Thursday’s Mini-Report, 2.23.17

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* More on this tomorrow: “President Donald Trump on Thursday again expressed a desire for America to be an unparalleled military power, saying he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to make it ‘top of the pack.’”

* North Dakota: “The protest site for the Dakota Access pipeline has been cleared after some demonstrators refused to leave Wednesday, when a deadline for evacuation passed. The Oceti Sakowin camp was cleared as of 2:09 p.m. local time, a spokesperson for the North Dakota Joint Information Center told ABC News.”

* Counting heads, the Senate would struggle to pass a Republican repeal law: “[Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski], in her annual address to the Alaska Legislature, told lawmakers that she would not vote to repeal the expanded Medicaid health care program – a key component of the health law – as long as the Legislature wants to keep it.”

* Perhaps the president could comment on this: “A 51-year-old Olathe man was charged Thursday in a Wednesday night shooting at a [Kansas] bar that left one man dead and two others wounded…. At least one witness reportedly heard the suspect yell ‘get out of my country’ shortly before shooting men he thought were Middle Eastern. Both men, engineers at Garmin, appear to be originally from India.”

* Pakistan: “For the first time, after years of appeasing certain Islamist militant groups for political and religious reasons, the government has reluctantly agreed to allow the armed forces to enter Punjab province, authorized with special powers to hunt down, arrest and shoot suspected militants.”

* I think we can guess what will happen next: “Two lobbying groups representing auto manufacturers have written letters urging the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, to reverse a decision last month by the Obama administration to move forward with tougher fuel-economy standards that carmakers are supposed to meet by 2025.”

* A powerful piece from Rumana Ahmed: “When President Obama left, I stayed on at the National Security Council in order to serve my country. I lasted eight days.”

* A striking behind-the-scenes look into Sebastian Gorka’s efforts: “An embattled White House terrorism advisor whose academic credentials have come under widespread fire telephoned one of his main critics at home Tuesday night and threatened legal action against him, Newsweek has learned.”

* And finally, on a personal note, I thought I’d mention that today is my “blogoversary”: I started blogging exactly 14 years ago today. As you might imagine, I couldn’t have imagined at the time where this excursion would take me. Whether you’ve been with me since the beginning or started reading today, thank you for the support.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Thursday's Mini-Report, 2.23.17