Thursday’s Mini-Report, 2.7.19

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Today’s messiest story: “The acting attorney general, Matthew G. Whitaker, told lawmakers on Thursday that he would not testify before the House Judiciary Committee as scheduled on Friday without a written assurance that they would not issue a subpoena for his testimony during the hearing.”

* How reassuring: “When asked whether his acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker will testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, President Trump deflected, suggesting if Whitaker did end up appearing he would ‘do very well.’”

* Look for a floor vote on Barr in six days: “The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nomination of William Barr to be the next attorney general Thursday, as Republicans touted his qualifications and Democrats voiced concerns about how he would handle the special counsel investigation.”

* The Green New Deal gets some details: “Liberal Democrats put flesh on their ‘Green New Deal’ slogan on Thursday with a sweeping resolution intended to redefine the national debate on climate change by calling for the United States to eliminate additional emissions of carbon by 2030.”

* A new Virginia mess:  “A Republican Virginia state senator oversaw a yearbook at the Virginia Military Institute that included racist images and slurs, adding him to the list of scandal-plagued Virginia politicians that has thrust the normally decorous state capital Richmond into a state of tumult.”

* Trade talks: “Stocks fell on Thursday after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said China and the U.S. were still far away on striking a trade deal, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping by 360 points.”

* Remember, Trump has argued that these farmers simply don’t mind the economic hardship: “President Donald Trump’s trade war is magnifying some of the toughest farm conditions since the crisis that bankrupted thousands of farmers in the 1980s – and threatening a constituency crucial to his reelection hopes.”

* I hope you saw Rachel’s coverage of this last night: “Paul Erickson, the American political operative and boyfriend of admitted Russian agent Maria Butina, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in South Dakota on charges of wire fraud and money laundering.”

* Interesting EU dispute: “France has recalled its ambassador to Italy in response to verbal attacks from Rome and other provocations, the French Foreign Ministry announced Thursday.”

* There should probably be a broader conversation about what’s causing this: “Evidence is mounting that the U.S. is becoming a less attractive place for international students to study…. A report published Thursday by the Council of Graduate Schools, which found that applications from international students to U.S. graduate schools dropped 4% between fall 2017 and fall 2018, the second year in a row of declines. First-time graduate student enrollment is also down 1% for the second year in a row.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Thursday's Mini-Report, 2.7.19