Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Only of concern to people who eat food: “The ongoing federal government shutdown has stopped most food safety inspections, but the Food and Drug Administration is planning to resume at least some of them. To do it, the agency will have to force furloughed workers to come back without pay.”
* Rosenstein: “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing the special counsel investigation, plans to step down after Robert Mueller finishes his work, according to administration officials familiar with his thinking.”
* He probably doesn’t have the authority to do this: “In the midst of a government shutdown, President Trump has threatened to cut off federal emergency aid to California for forest fires…. It is unclear, based on the tweet’s wording, if Trump already directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to withhold funds or if he would be doing so.”
* Upping the pressure on the shutdown: “Senate Democrats voted down a Middle East policy bill on Tuesday evening in protest over the government shutdown, and may soon vote again to block Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s agenda if the funding lapse persists.”
* Formalizing what we knew would happen: “President Donald Trump has formally nominated Andrew Wheeler to be EPA administrator, cementing the no-nonsense former attorney as his pick to carry out his deregulatory agenda, the White House announced today.”
* I could’ve sworn we were told tax cuts would pay for themselves: “The federal budget deficit continued to rise in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 and is on pace to top $1 trillion for the year, as President Trump’s signature tax cuts continue to reduce corporate tax revenue, data released Tuesday shows.”
* The White House told reporters yesterday that Donald Trump wrote last night’s Oval Office address “himself.” What this White House may not appreciate is the fact that no one believes claims that are plainly implausible.
* Easy money: “A gambling site is paying out thousands of dollars to people who correctly bet that President Donald Trump would tell more than 3.5 lies in his Oval Office address on Tuesday. Bookmaker.eu asked people to wager on the president’s truthfulness, offering odds of -145 for more than 3.5 lies and +115 for less than 3.5 lies. That means if a person bet $145 dollars that Trump would lie at least four times, they would win $100.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.