Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 12.19.18

Updated

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* I’m about 95% sure there won’t be a shutdown: “Senate Republicans on Wednesday introduced a short-term bill to fund the government through Feb. 8, a deal that would avert a partial government shutdown over the Christmas holiday.”

* This is why I’m not 100% certain there won’t be a shutdown anyway: “President Trump’s most loyal Friends appeared awfully disappointed Wednesday morning by his decision not to shut down the U.S. government over funding for his border wall. Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy said the Democrats had won the showdown, and Trump had lost.”

* I’ll have more on this in the morning: “The U.S. is preparing to withdraw a significant number of troops from Syria, according to two senior defense officials and one person familiar with the plan, a pending policy shift that blindsided Congress and most senior officials at the Pentagon and State Department.”

* Trump lost another immigration court case: “A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed Justice Department policies that made it harder for immigrants to claim asylum because of domestic violence or gang violence, finding the policies violated existing immigration laws.”

* In related news: “The Trump administration is changing the way it reviews sponsors who want to care for migrant children in government custody – backing off a requirement that all people in the house are fingerprinted.”

* Ignoring presidential pressure: “The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its benchmark interest rate a quarter-point but lowered its projections for future hikes.”

* Sanctions: “The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday levied fresh sanctions against Russian agents and companies allegedly tied to a nerve-agent attack in the U.K. and election interference in the U.S. and elsewhere.”

* Facebook keeps ending up in the news for the wrong reasons: “For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews.”

* In case you missed Rachel talking about this last night: “A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered a mystery corporation owned by a foreign country to comply with a subpoena that appears to be from special counsel Robert Mueller.”

* Most Americans still don’t support building a border wall.

* The VA “set aside $6.2 million this year alone to advertise its crisis hotline – the centerpiece of its suicide-prevention efforts – online, on billboards, buses and trains, and via local and national radio commercials. But as of September, the agency had spent $57,000 – less than 1 percent of that budget, auditors wrote.”

* Kavanaugh: “The judicial council reviewing dozens of misconduct claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh has dismissed the complaints that coincided with his contentious nomination battle.”

* I wouldn’t ordinarily make note of congressional office assignments, but let’s make an exception: “When she gets to Washington, D.C., Representative-elect Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts will take up her work in the Capitol office that belonged to Shirley Chisholm, the pioneering representative from New York who was the first black woman elected to Congress.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.