GOP Ignores Protests At Its Peril

Rich Lowry: “It’s beginning to look like August 2009 in reverse. In that summer of the Tea Party, conservative activists packed the town-hall meetings of Democratic congressmen and peppered them with hostile questions. It was an early sign of the abiding opposition that Obamacare would encounter, and the prelude to Democratic defeats in 2010, 2014, and 2016. Now, progressive activists are tearing a page from that playbook.”

“The scenes are highly reminiscent of 2009, with Republican officeholders struggling to control unruly forums and leaving their town-hall meetings early or not holding them in the first place.”

“The partisan temptation in this circumstance is always to dismiss the passion of the other side, which is what Democrats did to their detriment in 2009 and Republicans are doing now.”

Trump Would Reconsider Bannon’s Role If Asked

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that if President Trump’s newly appointed national security adviser wanted to remove chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council’s principals committee, the president would “take that under serious consideration,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Said Spicer: “The president has made clear to him he’s got full authority to structure the national security team the way he wants.”

GOP Lawmaker Defends Trump Before Rowdy Crowd

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) “fended off a crowd of protesters at a town hall Tuesday, trying to assure a rowdy audience that he doesn’t fall in line with President Trump on every issue,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Said Carter: “I am not here to tell you Donald Trump is perfect. I am not here to tell you I agree with everything he has done. Those of you who have studied the Bible know that God has used imperfect people to do great things before.”

Russian Diplomat’s Death Needs More Study

“The cause and manner of death of Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations needs to be studied further, the city medical examiner said Tuesday, a day after the diplomat fell ill at his office at Russia’s U.N. mission and died at a hospital,” CBS News reports.

“Further study usually includes toxicology and other screenings, which can take weeks. The case was referred to the medical examiner’s office by the hospital.”

Most Trump Voters See Media as the Enemy

A narrow majority of President Trump’s supporters agree with him that the media is their enemy, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds, although most Americans overall don’t feel similarly.

“Most Trump voters, 51%, say the media is an enemy to people like them, according to the poll, with 36% considering the media unfriendly, and just 5% saying it’s friendly or an ally. Overall, 22% of Americans consider the media an enemy to people like them, with 19% saying it’s unfriendly, 21% that it’s friendly, and 14% that it’s an ally.”

NSC Staffer Quits Over Trump’s ‘Disturbing’ Actions

The spokesman for the National Security Council says President Trump’s “disturbing” and repeated attempts to undermine the U.S. intelligence community prompted him to resign last week, the Huffington Post reports.

“In a scorching Washington Post column published Monday, Edward Price … pointed to several instances in which he said Trump had questioned the integrity of U.S. intelligence agencies, including the president’s tepid response to reports that Russia hacked U.S. officials in an attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election.”

But the “final straw” was Trump’s decision last month to make chief strategist Steve Bannon — whom Price calls “a media champion of white nationalism” — a member of the National Security Council.

Trump Has Lied Every Day of His Presidency

“Donald Trump has been president for all or part of 33 days. He has averaged four falsehoods or misleading statements a day(!) in that time. There hasn’t been a single day of Trump’s presidency in which he has said nothing false or misleading,” the Washington Post reports.

“That data, which comes from a terrific new project from The Post‘s Fact Checker that seeks to document Trump’s statements in the first 100 days of his presidency, is stunning.”

New Rules Allow Far More Deportations

The Department of Homeland Security “released a set of documents translating President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and border security into policy, bringing a major shift in the way the agency enforces the nation’s immigration laws,” the New York Times reports.

“Under the Obama administration, undocumented immigrants convicted of serious crimes were the priority for removal. Now, immigration agents, customs officers and border patrol agents have been directed to remove anyone convicted of any criminal offense. That includes people convicted of fraud in any official matter before a governmental agency and people who ‘have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits.'”

“The policy also calls for an expansion of expedited removals, allowing Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent to deport more people immediately.”

Wall Street Journal: “Almost everybody living in the U.S. illegally is now subject to deportation, and more undocumented arrivals at the southern border would be jailed or sent back to Mexico to await a hearing rather than released into the U.S.”

Jay Inslee for President?

“The turbulent early weeks of President Donald Trump’s White House have had an unexpected side effect: boosting Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s national profile,” the Seattle Times reports.

“Among Democrats searching for new leaders after taking their own thumping in November, Inslee’s loud pushback against Trump has resonated. And though it’s exhaustingly early — we apologize for even talking about this — to think about the 2020 presidential race, some already are suggesting Inslee could be in the mix.”

The President Will See You Now

Just published: The President Will See You Now: My Stories and Lessons from Ronald Reagan’s Final Years by Peggy Grande.

People interviews the author, who was Reagan’s longtime assistant:

Once he was in his office entertaining visitors – as he often did. He was telling a familiar story, one he told so often even Grande knew it word for word. “The story was flowing off his tongue effortlessly,” Grande writes in the memoir. “This was one of his greatest hits.”

Just before delivering the punch line, Reagan stopped. “He looked at me with a look I would eventually get to know very well but didn’t understand yet,” Grande writes. “I knew what he was supposed to say and he knew that he did, too. But it didn’t come out.”

A Broken Century

David Brooks: “Most of us came of age in the last half of the 20th century and had our perceptions of “normal” formed in that era. It was, all things considered, an unusually happy period. No world wars, no Great Depressions, fewer civil wars, fewer plagues.”

“It’s looking like we’re not going to get to enjoy one of those times again. The 21st century is looking much nastier and bumpier: rising ethnic nationalism, falling faith in democracy, a dissolving world order.”

“At the bottom of all this, perhaps, is declining economic growth.”