Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Quite a scene in southern California: “The hills north of Los Angeles were burning Wednesday as the wildfires that have already devoured a large swath of Ventura County were now threatening the nation’s second-largest city.”
* Whether he’ll run unopposed is unclear: “Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday he would seek re-election in March 2018, setting the stage for the 65-year-old to extend his dominance of the country’s political landscape into a third decade.”
* Isn’t it a little late for these California Republicans to recognize their mistake? “Though the House and Senate have voted to repeal the deduction for state income taxes in Republican tax overhaul plans, it isn’t dead yet. California Republicans are pushing for an income-tax deduction in the final tax bill being worked out by lawmakers in a House-Senate conference committee on tax legislation.”
* The Summer Zervos suit is worth watching: “President Donald Trump is immune from state court action, his attorney argued Tuesday in opposing a defamation lawsuit by a former ‘Apprentice’ contestant who says Trump sexually assaulted her in 2007.”
* The Republican impact on the judiciary is the most important story most Americans haven’t heard anything about: “Nine confirmations in little more than a month have lifted the total number of judges confirmed during the Trump presidency to 16. Along with the major prize – Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch – Trump can say he got more appellate court justices confirmed at this date in his presidency than any predecessor since Republican Richard Nixon.”
* Remember when Trump, as a candidate, said he could eliminate the trade deficit with China within a year or two? “The U.S. trade deficit jumped 8.6 percent in October as imports from China and other suppliers hit a record high ahead of the holiday shopping season, a Commerce Department report released Tuesday showed.”
* Kellyanne Conway reportedly said this morning in reference to Trump, “The president has tremendous moral standards.” Noted without comment.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.