The Trumpster Fire (3-15-17)

  1. NEWS: Yesterday the Senate sent Trump a bill that'll "expand the number of applicants for jobless benefits who can be drug-tested." Trump's expected to sign it. (AP)
  2. NEWS: Republicans have been claiming their ACA repeal is a "three-pronged plan," the first part of which is the Republicare bill we've been arguing about lately. Part two is a mystery, and Senator Ted Cruz said today that the "part three" (which is also pretty mysterious) will never pass because it'll need 60 votes in the Senate, which is unlikely to pass because the Democrats will obstruct it. (TPM)
  3. NEWS: Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is refusing to move ahead on confirmations in front of his committee (Senate Judiciary Committee) until they get an update on the Trump-Russia investigations. FBI Director James Comey hasn't been forthcoming and Grassley's apparently had enough of it. (TPM)
  4. NEWS: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says Republicare is "mortally wounded." (TPM)
  5. NEWS: About 12.2 million people in Obamacare insurance plans through the exchanges for 2017, which is down more than 400,000 from last year. (TPM) That's likely due to the GOP stopping the advertisement/awareness campaign that was running to remind folks to sign up.
  6. NEWS: Former Trump campaign guy Roger Stone says that he thinks his contacts with Guccifer 2.0 might've been obtained through a FISA warrant. (TPM)
  7. NEWS: The House GOP is thinking about pulling the "continuous coverage" provision from Republicare. That's the one that mandates you carry continuous insurance coverage or pay a fine if you stop coverage and then sign up again. (TPM)
  8. NEWS: Nazi garbage person Richard Spencer supports Rep. Steve King after all his white supremacist remarks because of course he does. That's Spencer and David Duke. Good company that King guy keeps, eh? (TPM)
  9. NEWS: House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) is worried that the intelligence community may have overstepped their bounds in collecting information about the Trump-Russia ties because they might have scooped up information from Trump's campaign staffers during monitored phone calls. If they did, it would be because they had a FISA court order to snoop on anyone in the campaign calling a hostile foreign agent, so... (TPM) Nunes also says he doesn't believe "there was an actual tap of Trump Tower." (NPR)
  10. NEWS: Angela Chen, a Chinese American businesswoman who sells access to powerful people, just bought a $15 million penthouse in a building owned Trump. According to Mother Jones, "Chen has ties to important members of the Chinese ruling elite and to an organization considered a front group for Chinese military intelligence." (Mother Jones)
  11. NEWS: The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates a bit today, and said to expect two more hikes this year. (Politico)
  12. NEWS: "A federal judge in Maryland grilled lawyers attacking President Donald Trump's revised travel ban executive order Wednesday at one of at least three court showdowns across the country on attempts to block the new directive just hours before it's set to take effect." (Politico, Also: Reuters)
  13. NEWS: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has threatened a government shutdown over the border wall funding, and more than a few other senators aren't happy about the requested funding, either. The White House is asking for a whole lot of money without offering much by way of plans or information about the wall. (Politico)
  14. NEWS: FBI Director James Comey will testify publicly in front of the House Intelligence Committee next Monday. (Politico)
  15. NEWS: "In a landmark move, the Justice Department on Wednesday indicted four men, including two Russian spies, for hacking into Yahoo and stealing data on 500 million users. The indictments mark the first time the U.S. has ever filed criminal cyber charges against Russian government officials." (Politico, Also: Reuters, Vox)
  16. NEWS: Today Trump directed the EPA to "re-evaluate" Obama's emissions standards that would require automakers to "meet strict limits strict limits on greenhouse gas emissions that would have vehicles getting more than 50 miles per gallon on average by 2025." (Politico, Reuters)
  17. NEWS: "The Congressional Budget Office predicts big changes in the individual insurance market if Republicans succeed in passing a bill to replace Obamacare." (NPR Audio)
  18. NEWS: House Speaker Paul Ryan is weirdly optimistic about Republicare's chances of passing. I can't tell if he's deluded, playing a little politics game, or knows something we don't. (NPR)
  19. EXPLAINER: "Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has arrived in Tokyo to begin a a six-day sweep through Northeast Asia. It's his first trip there as America's top diplomat, and he heads into a region full of challenges, both old and new." (NPR)
  20. NEWS: ProPublica's "Documenting Hate" project has a map full of the latest anti-semitic hate crime reports. Check it out here.
  21. NEWS: "China has started fresh construction work in the disputed South China Sea, new satellite images show, a sign that Beijing is continuing to strengthen its military reach across the vital trade waterway." (Reuters) RELATED: "China's accelerated military development and recent activity by its military aircraft and ships around Taiwan pose an increased threat to the self-ruled island, according to a Taiwanese government defense report draft reviewed by Reuters." (Reuters)
  22. NEWS: Some Fox News commentator claimed the other day that rather than have the US spy on Trump, Obama had had the UK do the dirty work. Reuters found a British security official who says that's BS. (Reuters)
  23. NEWS: Trump apparently has budget info coming tomorrow. The details will include "deep cuts in domestic programs and foreign aid, releasing a budget outline that would boost military spending by $54 billion and seek cuts of the same size in non-defense programs." (Reuters)
  24. NEWS: "Seventeen congressional Republicans signed a resolution on Wednesday vowing to seek 'economically viable' ways to stave off global warming, challenging the stated views of President Donald Trump, who has called climate change a hoax." (Reuters)
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