Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 2.8.17

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Yemen: “Angry at the civilian casualties incurred last month in the first commando raid authorized by President Trump, Yemen has withdrawn permission for the United States to run Special Operations ground missions against suspected terrorist groups in the country, according to American officials.”

* I’ll look forward to hearing the White House’s defense of this: “A Russian judge convicted Aleksei A. Navalny, an opposition politician and one of the Kremlin’s most charismatic critics, of fraud charges on Wednesday, a move that bars him from running for the presidency next year.”

* Really? “People who want to visit the United States could be asked to hand over their social-media passwords to officials as part of enhanced security checks, the country’s top domestic security chief said.”

* We live in strange times: “[F]or some experts who study terrorism, President Trump’s assertion this week that the news media has actually been ignoring and covering up terrorist attacks came as a surprise.”

* Expect a rocky tenure: “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday delivered her first public message since her rocky confirmation hearing, promising her new staff that she is committed to working with it to ‘protect, strengthen and create new world-class education opportunities for America’s students.’”

* I’ll have more on this in the morning: “Sen. John McCain, chair of the Armed Services Committee, called the recent US raid in Yemen a ‘failure’ following a classified briefing Tuesday morning on the operation, which ended in the death of a Navy SEAL and an unconfirmed number of civilians.”

* Indirectly, money in the president’s pocket: “The Department of Defense is seeking to rent space in President Trump’s New York skyscraper, Trump Tower, a move that could directly funnel government money into the president’s business interests.”

* Mattis is reportedly “not happy” about the developments: “The Pentagon is seriously short of high-level staffers, the result of an ongoing disagreement between the White House’s Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner and Pentagon chief Jim Mattis over who should work in the building, sources tell SitRep.”

* Climate: “Representatives from a coalition of veteran Republican officials – including five who have either served as treasury secretary or as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers – met Wednesday with White House officials to discuss the idea of imposing a national carbon tax, rather than using federal regulations, to address climate change.”

* Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) “pointed to one of man’s greatest scientific achievements as evidence that his state could build more prisons…. ‘If Alabamians can put man on the moon, we can build new prisons,’ Bentley said during his State of the State address on Tuesday.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.


Wednesday's Mini-Report, 2.8.17