Friday’s Mini-Report, 5.12.17

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* A brutal step backwards: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors this week to seek the maximum punishment for drug offenses, in one of the clearest breaks yet from the policies of the Justice Department under the Obama administration.”

* Not the answer we were looking for: “Fired FBI Director James Comey turned down an invitation to be interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee next week, according to that panel’s leading Democrat. Asked on MSNBC Friday afternoon if he believed it was ‘critical’ to speak to Comey, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) affirmed that it was, but said ‘he won’t be testifying on Tuesday’ as he was invited to do.”

* On a related note: “The Senate Intelligence Committee is exploring ways to compel President Donald Trump to hand over any potential audio recordings of now-former FBI Director James Comey, an aide with the committee told HuffPost.”

* That’s ridiculously close: “A Russian fighter jet came within about 20 feet of a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft over the Black Sea earlier this week, an American official said.”

* Sunlight often makes a difference: “The real estate company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to President Trump, said on Friday that its employees would no longer take part in a cross-country roadshow in China this month.”

* Michelle Obama “on Friday criticized a Trump administration decision to delay federal rules aimed at making school lunch healthier, saying kids will end up ‘eating crap’ instead.”

* Florida: “Corrine Brown, a former longtime United States representative from Florida, was convicted on Thursday of taking for herself thousands of dollars in donations that were meant to fund student scholarships.”

* As a public service, the Washington Post “compiled a timeline of the shifting rhetoric by Trump and his staff” about the James Comey firing. I found it quite helpful.

* I found this very compelling: “We badly want to understand Trump, to grasp him. It might give us some sense of control, or at least an ability to predict what he will do next. But what if there’s nothing to understand? … What if our attempts to explain Trump have failed not because we haven’t hit on the right one, but because we are, theory-of-mind-wise, overinterpreting the text?”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Friday's Mini-Report, 5.12.17