The Trumpster Fire (3-14-17)

  1. EXPLAINER: "A month after President Trump issued his January 25, 2017 executive order, 'Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,' there remains a great deal of confusion: about what qualifies as a 'sanctuary jurisdiction,' about the order’s effects on those jurisdictions, and about whether Trump’s effort to pull their federal funding by unilateral executive action is constitutional." (Lawfare)
  2. NEWS: "A company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, stands to receive more than $400 million from a prominent Chinese company that is investing in the Kushners’ marquee Manhattan office tower at 666 Fifth Ave." (Bloomberg)
  3. ANALYSIS: On Republicare: "Yes, there are winners in this bill. But those who benefit would be predominantly young, healthy and less likely to need insurance or older, well off and more likely to be able to afford insurance." (The Conversation)
  4. QUOTE: "I think there's no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election. The President used the word wiretaps in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities." - Sean Spicer, 3/13/17, on Trump's accusations of Obama wiretapping him. (CNN)
  5. NEWS: "Data provided by the Department of Homeland Security shows that searches of cellphones by border agents has exploded, growing fivefold in just one year, from fewer than 5,000 in 2015 to nearly 25,000 in 2016." (NBC News)
  6. NEWS: "But by 2020, about 2 million fewer people would get insurance through work if the GOP’s proposed Obamacare replacement bill, the American Health Care Act, passes, according to a scorecard report released today by the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan agency that tracks the financial impact of legislation." (The Atlantic)
  7. NEWS: Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's daughters had their phones hacked and text messages stolen and distributed on the Internet. Among the messages are accusations between the daughters that Manafort was involved "in the February 2014 Kiev police shootings which resulted in the death of approximately 100 people deemed as pro-West protesters." (The Independent)
  8. NEWS: "Even as the White House rejected a CBO scoring of the House GOP Obamacare repeal bill, a secret White House analysis showed an even higher number of Americans would lose health insurance coverage under the bill. According to a document first reported Monday evening by Politico, an internal executive branch analysis showed that 26 million Americans would lose their coverage, two million more than the estimate of 24 million released earlier in the day by the CBO." (TPM)
  9. NEWS: "On 13 March 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order requiring agencies within the executive branch of the federal government to submit plans for their reorganization. Trump said at a ceremony accompanying the signing that the order was designed to identify where money was being wasted at the federal level through a 'thorough examination.'" (Snopes)
  10. NEWS: ProPublica has a backgrounder on Preet Bharara, the fired US prosecutor who tweeted about the Moreland Commission, along with information about the Moreland Commission. Read it here.
  11. NEWS: There's something of a civil war brewing the White House Press Room between established, mainstream reporters and the rightwing conspiracy theorists the White House has been credentialing lately. Poynter has the details in their morning roundup. Read it here.
  12. NEWS: Exxon Mobil is being investigated for "whether the company misled investors by publicly arguing against the reality of climate change even though its executives knew the science was accurate." During the course of the investigation, then-CEO, now-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's emails were subpoenaed. The investigators have just discovered that Tillerson was also using a second, secret email to talk to his executives, and they just subpoenaed that, too. (Ars Technica)
  13. EXPLAINER: Lifehacker's "Vitals" feature explains what's going to happen to your health insurance if Republicare gets passed. Read it here.
  14. GOOD READS: The SCotUSBlog has been doing in-depth features on Trump's nomination to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch. The features cover his rulings on various topics from abortion to civil rights, and more. It's a pretty heavy duty chunk of reading, so you might want to save this link for when you have time for it. Read them here.
  15. NEWS: The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), says of SIC investigations into Trump's BS wiretapping claim, "I've talked to all the appropriate people. I would say from our conversations, what we've gotten are sufficient answers." He wouldn't say what those answers were. (TPM, CNN)
  16. NEWS: "Every single American will have access and have the financial feasibility to purchase [health insurance]," says Tom Price, Health and Human Services Secretary, which either goes to show he's astoundingly innumerate or lying through his teeth. (TPM)
  17. NEWS: Trump's considering adding some swag into Republicare to get it to pass. Under consideration: moving up the date to roll back Medicaid and moving up other changes to the insurance markets. Both of which would likely make the bill worse, but Trump's coddling the ultra conservatives, here, not the audience in general. The ultraconservatives think Republicare isn't appalling enough already. (TPM, Reuters)
  18. NEWS: Richard Spencer, the nasty little nazi who's been punched twice so far, just had the IRS strip non-profit status from his nasty little nazi National Policy Institute group. Feel free to cheer. (TPM)
  19. NEWS: Back in October 2016, right after Trump's status as a serial sexual assaulter was discovered, Paul Ryan was on a conference call with congressional Republicans. During the call he said some disparaging things about Trump. We know this because Breitbart got the tape of the call and ran it on their site yesterday. Paul Ryan's a weasel, so whatever he thought about Trump back in October, he's happy enough to be in bed with him now. What's more interesting about this news is Breitbart turning on mainstream GOPpers and trashing them. (TPM)
  20. NEWS: "A Texas lawmaker is making a point about legislation that restricts women's access to health care and abortions by proposing to fine men $100 when they masturbate." (AP)
  21. NEWS: Republicans were in full on panic spin-mode yesterday over the CBO's scoring of Republicare, with lots of the top guys insisting that Republicare is a three-part bill, and the other two parts will make things better, yaddayadda. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) dissed all that, saying "There is no three-phase process. There is no three-step plan. That is just political talk. It’s just politicians engaging in spin." (TPM)
  22. NEWS: "Secretary of Defense James Mattis told senators, in written testimony following his January confirmation hearing, that climate change was a national security issue that also required a 'whole-of government' response." (TPM, Also: ProPublica)
  23. NEWS: "U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is preparing to release a wide-ranging executive order to reduce the role that climate change plays in policy decisions, according to a Trump administration official who reviewed a draft of the order." (Reuters)
  24. NEWS: Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who is a positively appalling human being, said today, that, basically, white people don't have to worry about becoming a minority because black and Hispanic people will fight each other to death. This guy is just so charming. (TPM)
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