Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 11.14.18

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* That’s hardly reassuring: “Defense Secretary Jim Mattis described the deployment to the border as ‘great training’ and told active-duty soldiers in Texas not to pay attention to the news coverage of the operation because they would ‘go nuts.’”

* And speaking of underwhelming arguments: “The Justice Department released a memorandum Wednesday defending the legality of President Trump appointing Matthew G. Whitaker as acting attorney general – rejecting criticism from some lawyers that the move violates the Constitution.”

* Remember, Trump hates Amazon because of some weird theory about the Washington Post: “President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Virginia and New York are ”paying a very big price’ to house Amazon’s next headquarters, adding that ‘time will tell’ on the merits of the deals.”

* Still not fired: “One day after first lady Melania Trump’s office called for the ouster of deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel, a White House official confirmed Wednesday that Ricardel is still employed there.”

* A Brexit step forward: “Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, faced down her hard-line critics on Wednesday and won the support of a jittery cabinet for a plan to quit the European Union, keeping on track her push to avert an economically damaging rupture with the bloc in March.”

* Another discouraging Facebook story: “While Mr. Zuckerberg conducted a public apology tour in the last year, Ms. Sandberg has overseen an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat Facebook’s critics, shift public anger toward rival companies and ward off damaging regulation. Facebook employed a Republican opposition-research firm to discredit activist protesters, in part by linking them to the liberal financier George Soros.”

* Yemen: “The United States has waged a drone war in Yemen for 16 years, trying to suppress al-Qaida’s branch here. But the campaign has had a hidden cost: civilians cut down by the drones’ missiles. There is no comprehensive count of civilian deaths because of the difficulty of confirming identities and allegiances of those killed. But in an examination of drone strikes this year alone, The Associated Press found that at least 30 of the dead likely did not belong to al-Qaida.”

* Nearly two years later, there’s finally a nominee: “President Trump announced Tuesday that he will nominate retired Army Gen. John Abizaid to become the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, filling a vacancy that was spotlighted by the difficult diplomacy between the United States and Riyadh over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 11.14.18