Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 1.11.17

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Powerful testimony: “Evoking memories of segregation-era marches for equality in Selma, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis and other prominent Democrats within the Congressional Black Caucus testified against Sen. Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, staking a clear opposition to the Alabama senator’s appointment as attorney general.”

* Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of State, did not have an easy day: “After prodding, he acknowledged during Wednesday’s confirmation hearing that [Russia’s] cyber intrusion would not have happened without Putin’s sign off. But the longtime Exxon Mobil CEO told the committee he has not yet spoken to Trump about one Russia, one of the top foreign policy challenges facing the U.S. ‘That’s pretty amazing,’ Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez said.”

* More on this story tomorrow: “President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he has tapped David Shulkin, a physician who is currently serving in the Obama administration as VA undersecretary, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

* Asia-Pacific: “Taiwan scrambled F-16 fighter jets and dispatched a frigate to the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday after China sent its sole aircraft carrier into the waterway, Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported.”

* The VW scandal isn’t over: “U.S. officials indicted six executives at German automaker Volkswagen on Wednesday in connection with the company’s scheme to deliberately deceive U.S. regulators about the emissions standards of its diesel-engine vehicles and sell those cars illegally to American drivers.”

* Texas’ latest execution: “A Texas man who claims his lawyers did a bad job of defending him against charges he callously murdered two men could become the first prisoner executed this year if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t call off his Wednesday night lethal injection.”

* I think this is going to be a big story in Trump’s first term: “Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has outlined his stance as a firm opponent of marijuana, but during his confirmation hearing Tuesday, he offered only vague answers about how he might approach the drug should he be confirmed as President-elect Donald Trump’s attorney general.”

* Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery: “Sen. Dianne Feinstein had a ‘voluntary’ and ‘nonemergency’ medical procedure to install a pacemaker Tuesday night, her office said Wednesday. The California Democrat was working at home Wednesday, aides said, and missed the second day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., to be U.S. attorney general.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.


Wednesday's Mini-Report, 1.11.17