Friday’s Mini-Report, 2.1.19

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* How did this story about Virginia’s Democratic governor not come out sooner? “A photo from Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook shows two men, one in blackface and one in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood, on the same page as the governor. The photo, which The Virginian-Pilot obtained a copy of Friday from the Eastern Virginia Medical School library, comes from the 1984 yearbook, the year Northam graduated.”

* The vote on this was 68 to 23: “The Senate, in a bipartisan rebuke to President Trump’s foreign policy, voted overwhelmingly to advance legislation drafted by the majority leader to express strong opposition to the president’s withdrawal of United States military forces from Syria and Afghanistan.”

* Trump’s reaction to this should be interesting: “A draft Pentagon report warns that without continued pressure, ISIS could regain territory in six to 12 months, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the draft.”

* This case was a bad idea: “In a brief but biting order, a federal judge in Oklahoma dismissed a defamation lawsuit Carter Page brought against the Democratic National Committee and its lawyers related to the involvement of the DNC’s law firm in funding the Trump-Russia dossier.”

* The Adelsons’ deep pockets: “GOP megadonors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson together contributed a half a million dollars last year to a legal defense fund set up for Trump aides swept up in the Russia investigation, tax filings released Thursday evening revealed.”

* Trump Jr’s phone calls while he was setting up the infamous Trump Tower meeting: “The recipient of one of the phone calls was Howard Lorber who is, yes, a ‘family friend.’ But he is also a longtime point of contact in Trump’s ambitions to build a tower in Moscow, which date back to the 1980s.”

* The new pharma plan: “The Trump administration proposed on Thursday to require health insurance companies and middlemen to give consumers the benefit of discounts they get on prescription drugs, a huge change that could substantially lower some patients’ costs but could also have unintended consequences.”

* A story to keep an eye on: “Five protesters who allege that President Trump’s security team assaulted them in 2015 have subpoenaed the president to testify at trial. The case was brought against six defendants, including then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, the Trump Organization and Trump security director Keith Schiller, three months after Trump announced his candidacy.”

* One isn’t enough: “Maine Sen. Susan Collins is the first – and so far only – Republican senator to sign on to a bill guaranteeing back pay for federal contractors in the wake of the 35-day government shutdown. The bill would ensure that contractors, who typically haven’t received back pay in the past, also get paychecks for the time they missed as a result of the stalemate.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.