President Trump takes the high road by threatening to cancel Nancy Pelosi’s international travel, which was supposed to be secret
Mike Pompeo checked his couch cushions
Climate change is wreaking havoc on California’s fire management systems
California’s wildfire season used to last a few months. Now the state burns all year.
Global warming has intensified California’s cyclical droughts, leaving the land riddled with pockets of dry brush that persist even amid winter rains. That became clear last week when a blaze broke out 300 miles (480 kilometers) north of San Francisco, burning 30 acres in Humboldt County.
The notion that fires are no longer seasonal looms large as PG&E Corp. prepares to file for bankruptcy in the face of $30 billion in potential liabilities from blazes in 2017 and 2018. Historically, PG&E and other California utilities only needed to worry about fire in late summer and fall. Now they’re perpetually exposed to the risk that power lines could spark an inferno.
The 116th Congress has just started, and a GOP member has already announced his resignation
If there’s another Brexit vote in the U.K., it probably won’t be for a long time
Les Moonves is fighting for his golden parachute
Former CBS CEO Leslie Moonves is bringing his case against CBS to binding arbitration, the company said in an SEC filing Wednesday. Moonves believes he was wrongfully terminated although a CBS board investigation concluded there were grounds to fire him for cause.
CBS said last month it found grounds for firing Moonves and would not be paying him any of a potential $120 million exit package.
Up next: Collusion is good!
The horrific family separation policy was even worse than previously known
The Atlantic calls on Congress to “immediately open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump”
Congressmen meet with right wing troll, claim they didn’t know he was a right wing troll
Notorious alt-right figure and Holocaust denier Chuck Johnson met with two Republican lawmakers in Congress on Wednesday.
Johnson’s visit was first noted by a HuffPost reporter, who tweeted a picture of Reps. Andy Harris (R-MD) and Phil Roe (R-TN) walking with Johnson.
Johnson, a former Breitbart reporter, has denied the magnitude of the Holocaust, expressing doubt that gas chambers were real and questioning whether six million Jews were really killed—a figure that has been well documented by scholars and historians. He also ran crowdfunding efforts for white supremacist causes, including the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.
In statements, the lawmakers confirmed that they had met with Johnson to discuss genetic testing and DNA, but claimed they weren’t aware of Johnson’s history of making racist statements.
Man who worked for Trump thinks Trump actually has a shutdown strategy
“I don’t understand what the outcome is here, and I don’t understand where we’re going with it. I’m confused as to what the White House’s strategy is on this a little bit.”
Trump’s lurid taped-mouth kidnapping claims seem to be completely made up
In Trump’s telling, the adhesive is sometimes blue tape. Other times it is electrical tape or duct tape.
In some instances, the descriptions are more salacious and graphic. “Human trafficking — grabbing women, in particular — and children, but women — taping them up, wrapping tape around their mouths so they can’t shout or scream, tying up their hands behind their back and even their legs and putting them in a back seat of a car or a van — three, four, five, six, seven at a time,” the president said in the Cabinet Room on Jan. 11. (A timeline of the president’s taped-women remarks appears below.)
With an eerie specificity, Trump has characterized these acts as commonplace.
Yet human-trafficking experts and advocates for immigrant women have said they are perplexed by this increasingly repeated story in Trump’s repertoire — and are at a loss for where he got his information. It was not from them, they say; in fact, they have no idea what he is talking about.
The FBI’s New York branch was reportedly very pro-Trump in 2016. And now…
NPR poll has Trump at 39 percent approval, and he’s significantly down among key supporters
Down significantly among suburban men, a net-positive approval rating of 51-to-39 percent to a net-negative of 42 percent approve, 48 percent disapprove. That’s a net change of down 18 percentage points;
Down a net of 13 points among white evangelicals, from 73-to-17 percent approve to 66-to-23 percent approve;
Down a net of 10 points among Republicans, from 90-to-7 percent approve to 83-to-10 percent
Down marginally among white men without a college degree, from 56-to-34 percent approve to 50-to-35 percent approve, a net change downward of 7 points.
The HUD official who was holding things together under Ben Carson is out
A top Department of Housing and Urban Development official is leaving the agency Thursday following disagreements with other members of the Trump administration over housing policy and the White House’s attempt to block disaster-recovery money for Puerto Rico, according to five people with direct knowledge of the situation.
Deputy Secretary Pam Patenaude, second-in-command at the agency helmed by Ben Carson and widely regarded as HUD’s most capable political leader, is said to have grown frustrated by what a former HUD employee described as a “Sisyphean undertaking.”
Patenaude cited personal reasons when she submitted her resignation on Dec. 17.
It doesn’t sound like the Trump Organization had the tightest controls on illegal activity
In early 2015, a man who runs a small technology company showed up at Trump Tower to collect $50,000 for having helped Michael Cohen, then Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, try to rig online polls in his boss’s favor before the presidential campaign.
In his Trump Organization office, Mr. Cohen surprised the man, John Gauger, by giving him a blue Walmart bag containing between $12,000 and $13,000 in cash and, randomly, a boxing glove that Mr. Cohen said had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter, Mr. Gauger said.
Mr. Cohen disputed that he handed over a bag of cash. “All monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check,” he said, offering no further comment on his ties to the consultant.