Tuesday’s Mini-Report, 2.7.17

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Afghanistan: “At least 21 people were killed Tuesday in Kabul when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a gate at the Afghan Supreme Court, authorities said. Ministry of Public Health spokesman Wahidullah Mayar said nine women were among the victims. The 41 wounded included nine women and two children, he said.”

* Big day for the White House’s Muslim ban: “A federal appeals court on the West Coast will hear oral arguments Tuesday afternoon that could keep a hold on travel restrictions created by President Donald Trump on foreigners from seven countries.”

* Elections have consequences: “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted an easement allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under the Missouri River north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, paving the way for construction of the final mile and a half of the more than 1,700-mile pipeline.”

* Paul Ryan and I may define “respect” differently: “Asked on Tuesday about President Donald Trump’s attacks on the ‘so-called judge’ who blocked his immigration executive order nationwide, House Speaker Paul Ryan defended the President. Despite the insults, Trump was respecting the appeals process, Ryan said at his weekly press conference.”

* DHS: ” The head of Homeland Security defended President Donald Trump’s immigration order but said he erred in not telling lawmakers about it before it went into effect.”

* This is not a good argument: “Republican Sen. Deb Fischer, who voted to confirm to Betsy DeVos as the secretary of education Tuesday, said DeVos will need to be exposed to public schools to see how successful they are in educating children.”

* Trump’s belligerence is affecting Iranian politics: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today that “he considers the opening weeks of Trump’s administration to be a revelation of America’s true character, and was grateful for how it made plain impulses that have typically laid beneath the surface of American policy.”

* They’re right: “An executive order pausing immigration and other travel by people from seven mostly Muslim countries is scaring away scientists, doctors and would-be entrepreneurs, biotechnology executives said Tuesday.”

* The State Department’s struggles: “U.S. allies and adversaries looking for clarity on President Donald Trump’s foreign policy will have to wait a bit longer to get that guidance from Rex Tillerson’s State Department. For the third consecutive week since Trump took office, State Department press briefings normally held every workday haven’t been scheduled, no chief of staff has been named and many of the most senior posts at the department remain vacant.”

* If I were in the White House, I might discourage Sean Duffy from appearing in public to defend the administration: “Appearing on CNN with Alisyn Camerota, Wisconsin Representative Sean Patrick Duffy was there to defend Trump’s Muslim ban and super ready to explain that when white people shoot people it’s completely different.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.