Friday’s Mini-Report, 4.6.18

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* New sanctions: “The Trump administration took one of its most aggressive actions against Russia on Friday, announcing sweeping sanctions against members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, along with top officials and several businesses, including a state-owned weapons trading company.”

* The crisis is ongoing: “Still recovering from Hurricane Maria’s wallop, Puerto Rico residents took another hit Friday as they began to learn that their government is shutting down about a quarter of their children’s schools at the end of the year.”

* Trump Slump: “Even an improving labor market can’t shake Wall Street’s worry over the Trump administration’s tariff bluster. All three major indices saw sharp declines Friday, with the Dow Jones slumping by 767 points and entering correction territory – again – before closing down 576 points.”

* Related news: “President Donald Trump threatened a major escalation in trade tensions with Beijing on Thursday, saying he was considering imposing tariffs on an additional $100 billion in imports from China.”

* The Kentucky legislature “passed a sweeping tax overhaul this week, and now lawmakers are asking Gov. Matt Bevin to sign a bill that would slash taxes for some corporations and wealthy individuals while raising them on 95 percent of state residents, according to a new analysis.”

* CFPB: “Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has complained that the regulator engages in ‘wasteful spending’ and needs to be slimmed down. To underscore the point, he submitted a quarterly budget request recently that was a nice round number: $0. That attitude, though, apparently didn’t apply to two of his recent hires.”

* White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, “once empowered to bring order to a turbulent West Wing, has receded from view, his clout diminished, his word less trusted by staff and his guidance less tolerated by an increasingly go-it-alone president.”

* Curious: “Questions are swirling around Congressman Pete Sessions after reports that the Republican secretly met with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas this week during a previously undisclosed trip to the South American country.”

* Impressive reporting: “On five trips to battle-scarred Iraq, journalists for The New York Times scoured old Islamic State offices, gathering thousands of files abandoned by the militants as their ‘caliphate’ crumbled.”

* Rex Tillerson really wasn’t good at his job: “Now that Tillerson has been fired, the vaunted ‘Redesign’ initiative he launched faces an uncertain future, but at least one clear legacy: around $12 million spent just for private consultants who in some cases charged the State Department more than $300 an hour.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Friday's Mini-Report, 4.6.18