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.”

Democrats Will Finally Pick Their New Chair

NBC News: “The Democratic National Committee will pick a new chairman in Atlanta on Saturday — the last possible weekend allowed by the party’s charter, which states the election must be held ‘prior to March 1’ following an election. The timing was intended to give party members ample time to consider their future after an unexpected loss. But the length of the race has also allowed tensions to fester between the establishment and progressive wings. And it has hobbled the national party’s ability to both respond to Trump and capitalize on the unprecedented grassroots opposition to him. For Democrats on both sides of the chairmanship fight, the election cannot end soon enough.”

Bannon Delivered Different Message Before Pence Visit

“In the week before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Brussels and pledged America’s ‘steadfast and enduring’ commitment to the European Union, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon met with a German diplomat and delivered a different message, according to people familiar with the talks,” Reuters reports.

“Bannon, these people said, signaled to Germany’s ambassador to Washington that he viewed the EU as a flawed construct and favored conducting relations with Europe on a bilateral basis.”

Protesters Ready for Trump’s First Visit to New York

New York Times: “The distaste for President Trump in his hometown has convulsed into near daily protests across the city. Summoned by a Facebook post or cellphone alert, New Yorkers have taken to the streets to object to his policies, appointments and executive orders.”

“All this, however, could merely be a prelude to the moment yet to come — Mr. Trump has still not set foot in New York City as president, puzzling and emboldening some protesters who see his weekend visits to his Florida estate as something of a retreat to friendlier ground. But whenever he does settle into his penthouse home atop Trump Tower, seething New Yorkers will finally be able to train their ire directly at Mr. Trump on his doorstep.”

Trump Energizes the Anti-Vaccine Movement

“President Trump’s embrace of discredited theories linking vaccines to autism has energized the anti-vaccine movement. Once fringe, the movement is becoming more popular, raising doubts about basic childhood health care among politically and geographically diverse groups,” the Washington Post reports.

“Public health experts warn that this growing movement is threatening one of the most successful medical innovations of modern times. Globally, vaccines prevent the deaths of about 2.5 million children every year, but deadly diseases such as measles and whooping cough still circulate in populations where enough people are unvaccinated.”

Trump Will Roll Back Climate, Water Rules

President Trump “is preparing executive orders aimed at curtailing Obama-era policies on climate and water pollution,” the Washington Post reports.

“While both directives will take time to implement, they will send an unmistakable signal that the new administration is determined to promote fossil-fuel production and economic activity even when those activities collide with some environmental safeguards.”

The First House Elections of the Trump Era

FiveThirtyEight: “Election junkies need not wait until November 2018 to get their next fix. They don’t even need to wait for the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia later this year. Five special elections for the House of Representatives are expected to take place over the next few months: California 34, Georgia 6, Kansas 4, Montana At-large and South Carolina 5.”

“These elections are ‘special’ in the sense that they occur outside the normal two-year November House election cycle — to fill a vacant seat. But other than that, there’s nothing all that special about special elections, making them a decent thermometer reading on the country’s political mood and how voters are responding to President Trump.”

Daily Kos has compiled a spreadsheet of all the important elections in 2017.