Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 5.15.19

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Stonewalling: “The White House told the House Judiciary Committee in a letter Wednesday that it will not comply with a broad range of the panel’s requests and called on it to ‘discontinue’ its inquiry into President Donald Trump.”

* I wish he didn’t consider this a laughing matter: “Attorney General William Barr kidded Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday about an impending vote to find him in contempt of Congress. Barr approached Pelosi, D-Calif., at a National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day event outside the Capitol, shook her hand and said loudly, ‘Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?’ a bystander told NBC News.”

* The latest escalation: “The State Department has ordered ‘nonemergency U.S. government employees’ in Iraq to leave its embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil amid tensions with neighboring Iran.”

* Officials claimed there were First Amendment concerns with this: “The United States says it supports an international effort to find ways to stop social media from spreading hate – but won’t take part in it.”

* In case you missed this news last night: “Donald Trump Jr. has agreed to testify next month before the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee, a source close to the president’s eldest son confirmed to NBC News on Tuesday…. [The testimony] will be limited to five to six topics and Trump Jr.’s appearance will last between two and four hours.

* Welcoming more immigrants would be a good idea: “The number of babies born in the U.S. in 2018 fell to the lowest level in 32 years, according to a government report released Wednesday. The numbers are part of a decades-long trend toward fewer and fewer babies being born each year – which means we’re getting further away from the possibility of having enough children to replace ourselves, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

* Remember in 2016 when Trump vowed to be a champion of the LGBT community? “President Donald Trump opposes the passage of the Equality Act, a proposed bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights law to prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.”

* All is not well with the NRA: “As the gun rights group lavished pay and perks on its leaders and partners, fueling infighting, it increasingly relied on its own charity for funds. Tax experts have questions.”

* Plenty of Americans find it confusing, too: “New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she’s baffled by the United States’ failure to pass stricter gun laws, despite the dozens of mass shootings on American soil over the last few decades.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.