Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The latest out of Virginia: “The woman accusing Democratic Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault has hired Christine Blasey Ford’s legal team to represent her.”
* Trump’s nominee to succeed Kavanaugh: “Judicial nominee Neomi Rao defended herself Tuesday against tough questioning from members of both parties on the Senate Judiciary Committee and expressed ‘regret’ for some of her past writings, which she said in retrospect make her ‘cringe.’”
* According to the latest figures, it looks like Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago trips have cost us about $64 million. (When he canceled South Korean military exercises, at a savings of $14 million, the Republican described that as “a fortune.”)
* Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) co-authored an op-ed on limiting corporate stock buybacks. That strikes me as a very good idea.
* Republican Reps. Duncan Hunter, Chris Collins and Steve King are without committee assignments. “They basically have nothing to do,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said yesterday. “If you’re cast out of the organized bodies and committees of Congress, and you’re kind of just a hitchhiker on the floor, there’s very little influence you can have in the House of Representatives…. I suppose they can form a ‘pariah caucus.’”
* Budget policy can be tricky: “President Donald Trump is ignoring the law today. And no one really cares…. The fiscal 2020 budget request was due Monday, even though the fiscal 2019 appropriations process has still not been finished…. A 1990 budget law says that Monday was the deadline for the request, but there is no penalty for not hitting the target date. It has been missed throughout history, and Congress has often failed to follow federal budget deadlines as well.”
* Here’s an interesting story about the new criminal-justice-reform bill signed into law in December: “Confusion and division over a provision in the First Step Act has left thousands of well-behaved inmates in limbo.”
* Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) apparently thought it’d be a good idea to pick a Twitter fight with Juliette Kayyem over the merits of a border wall. Take a couple of minutes to read this thread and I think it’s fair to conclude that Kayyem, a former member of Jeh Johnson’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, made an extremely compelling case.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.