Alec MacGillis points you to “the list of 400+ hires by Trump admin for its ‘beachhead’ teams to run fed depts. Some eyebrow-raising names.” The list, compiled and reported on by Justin Elliott, Derek Kravitz and Al Shaw at ProPublica, is already at 30,000+ shares. Says Joaquin Sapien, “Meet your new government: swamp denizens, recent high school grads and Breitbart contributors.”
Among those eyebrow-raising names? "“Curtis Ellis was a columnist for WorldNetDaily….’ Now, he works for the Trump admin,” tweets Asawin Suebsaeng. Adds Lee Fang: “DoD staffed by Palantir lobbyist, HHS staffed by drug lobbyist.” “Birthers, Breitbarters, and a class of 2015 graduate — of high school,” says Dan Zak. David Fahrenthold calls the reporting by Elliot, Kravitz and Shaw “Amazing work,” and Frederick Deknatel tweets, “fantastic reporting from ProPublica on the cranks and crackpots Trump has hired to invade various federal agencies.” Dan Diamond adds, “1) Kudos to @ProPublica on assembling the full list of Trump beachhead staffers. Useful, important journalism.”
Tweets Miriam Elder, “Uh, Nigel Farage went to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London today and told @BuzzFeedNews he can’t ‘remember’ why.” Edward-Isaac Dovere adds, “Farage insisted he couldn't remember what he was doing in the building where Assange lives - as he left the building.” Marie Le Conte reports in BuzzFeed this morning that Nigel Farage Just Visited The Ecuadorian Embassy In London. Hugo Rifkind imagines for us how the scene might have played out: "“Julian! You've got a visitor!’ ‘Bonzer! Is it Pamela Anderson again?’ ‘Erm…’” Josh Marshall notes, “Convenient way for President Trump to pass a message to Assange.” Tweets Bradd Jaffy: “Farage! Actual lolz.” And as Michael Crowley points out, “life continues to imitate bad airport paperback thriller.”
Tom DiChristopher reports for CNBC.com that EPA chief Scott Pruitt says carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming, to which Daniel Gross responds, “oh, ok.” “Pruitt's ‘opinion’ on CO2 is at odds with almost every scientist who's researched this,” Jeff Nesbit points out. But Alexander C. Kaufman says that “Pruitt knows this argument about carbon dioxide is nonsense, that's why he ducked Qs about it during confirmation.” Meanwhile, Kristin Musulin “*bangs head so hard against desk that it breaks*.”
But hey, how about that weather? Well, Spring Came Early. Scientists Say Climate Change Is a Culprit, as Jeremy White and Henry Fountain report in The New York Times (11,000+ shares). “Awesome. I mean, not awesome, but you know what I mean,” Eric Roston tweets. In other words, “Yes, the beautiful weather we've been having is due to climate change. Your uneasy delight is appropriate,” says Kaleigh Rogers.
Lawyer, lawyer, pants on fire (literally).
Things are heating up everywhere. For example, David Ovalle of the Miami Herald reports: “A Miami defense lawyer's pants burst into flames Wednesday afternoon as he began his closing arguments in front of a jury - in an arson case.” Mark Berman announces, “THE MOST FLORIDA TRIAL OF ALL TIME, IT FINALLY HAPPENED.” Melanie Cohen captures what we’re all thinking with, “Lawyer, lawyer, pants on fire (literally).” And Therese Apel muses, “So... I'm not sure about credibility with a jury when you're the guy with pants on fire.” Referring to the @_FloridaMan Twitter account, Eric Lam calls it “The platonic ideal Florida Man story.” And Charles Rabin points out the obvious: “Courthouse beat wins, hands down.”
Washington is a weird, weird place, man.
But strange happenings aren't confined to Florida courthouses. Reid Epstein gives a quick summary of the scoop by Mark Maremont and James V. Grimaldi in The Wall Street Journal: “New in WSJ: Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner are renting a house from the richest man in Chile, who is suing the US govt.” As Jeffrey Sparshott says, ”Ivanka Trump, a Chilean copper magnate and Washington power politics. It's all here.” Says Matt Pearce, “Washington is a weird, weird place, man.”
Jessica Lustig is referring to 25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going, The New York Times Magazine music issue. “Need a break from reading abt health care policy this week? We got you,” says Jake Silverstein. Not only that, “The UI on @jakesilverstein's @NYTmag music package is incredible; as you scroll through articles, the song changes,” notes Kurt Soller. Says Emma Klug, “THIS is how you do a music issue online.”
What would Mort say?!
That’s Lucia Moses's question to Joe Pompeo, in light of his report in POLITICO that anti-Trump tabloid New York Daily News pulls back on its opposition coverage. As Justin Green highlights, “Daily News ownership reportedly decided having viral anti-Trump front pages didn't make up for declining print sales.” As Edward-Isaac Dovere notes, “Why the Daily News pulled back on Trump: he's more popular w/readers than the staff wanted to admit.” But Froma Harrop says, “NYDN pulling back on Trump? Curious take given recent page 1.”
In other media news, Emily Steel of The New York Times has this: “SCOOP Fox News settled w a contributor who said a network exec tried to force her to perform oral sex on him at work.” David Folkenflik adds, “NYT: Fox News pays ex-Contributor $2.5M Over Sexual Assault Claims - fires an Ailes protege.” Which leaves Susan Antilla wondering, “Each time a reporter like @EmilySteel brks story like this, u wonder ‘What other workplace abuses are under wraps?’”
Also making the rounds today:
The Washington Post’s Jose DelReal reports, Trump administration considers $6 billion cut to HUD budget. As he explains, “Scoop: Trump admin has considered $6+ billion in cuts to HUD, perhaps eliminating beloved community develpmt grants.”
“Here's the @AP report on former National Security Advisor Flynn registering lobbying for Turkey with @TheJusticeDept,” tweets Alex Howard, who links to Stephen Braun’s piece, Former Trump security adviser Flynn admits Turkey lobbying.
Massimo Calabresi's cover piece for TIME goes Inside Donald Trump's War Against the State. Sam Jacobs highlights this quote, “This, argues the Administration, is all part of the master plan."
In his column for CNBC.com, John Harwood says the "GOP health bill redistributes money from Trump's blue-collar supporters to tiny group of wealthy ones." Or as Matt Rosoff puts it, "The Republican health-care bill threatens Trump's voters."
Eli Stokols and Josh Dawsey report in POLITICO, Huntsman offered Russia ambassadorship. Scott Bixby notes, “Huntsman has built a pretty solid career out of being offered ambassadorships to prevent him running for president.”
- Want to know “the reason why DACA is still untouched? Steve Bannon,” tweets Kate Nocera. As Adrian Carrasquillo and Tarini Parti report in BuzzFeed, Steve Bannon Helped Preserve DACA But Democrats And Activists Aren't Celebrating. Carrasquillo elaborates, “Am told Bannon won a debate on keeping DACA against Jeff Sessions and Stephen Miller who wanted to curtail program. But this isn't some major rift. Bannon, Sessions, and Miller all agree on big deportation #s. Why activists worried.”