Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Amazing progress: “Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who was critically wounded after a gunman opened fire at a congressional baseball practice in June, has made progress in his recovery and was discharged from a Washington, D.C., hospital on Tuesday.”
* Did Donald Trump ban transgender troops in order to advance a spending bill with money for his border wall? It’s an explanation that would answer some questions.
* Ugh: “President Trump lumped the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah among militants and terrorists he praised the government of Lebanon for fighting, saying during Rose Garden remarks Tuesday that the tiny Mideast nation was “on the front lines” of a shared battle against extremism. The only problem? Hezbollah is a political partner of the man standing next to Trump, visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.”
* Disheartening, but not surprising: “Republican Trey Gowdy acted behind closed doors like a lawyer for President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, during questioning Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee, said the top Democrat on the panel. ‘Mr. Gowdy took the role as a second attorney for Mr. Kushner,’ Adam Schiff of California told reporters.”
* Brian Benczkowski: “President Trump’s nominee to lead the Justice Department’s criminal division told senators Tuesday that he once represented a Russian bank that was alleged to have a Trump Organization connection, but he cast that representation as a routine part of his legal work and forcefully asserted that he would be an independent and fair-minded law enforcement official.”
* But what are they prepared to do about it? “Republican senators have Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ back. The GOP lawmakers are furious over President Donald Trump’s escalating attacks on their former colleague and are letting the attorney general – and the public – know that they stand with Sessions in the face of the president’s broadsides.”
* Apparently, he can get worse: “Human rights groups are calling on Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to retract his threat this week to bomb indigenous-run schools because he fears they are turning students against the government.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.