Friday's Mini-Report, 3.6.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Fine-tuned machine: "President Donald Trump scrapped a planned trip to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta on Friday, and both he and White House officials gave differing explanations for the cancellation before it was announced that the trip was back on."

* What an awful situation: "Cut off from their relatives inside a virus-stricken nursing center, families are frantically searching for help and basic information."

* Riyadh: "Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has detained one of the most senior members of the royal family, a former crown prince and a royal cousin for unexplained reasons, a relative and a person close to the royal family said Friday."

* So much for this week's boasts from Trump and Pompeo: "The U.S. government has collected persuasive intelligence that the Taliban do not intend to honor the promises they have made in the recently signed deal with the United States, three American officials tell NBC News, undercutting what has been days of hopeful talk by President Donald Trump and his top aides."

* Pentagon trouble: "The number of high-level civilian vacancies at the Pentagon has hit a new high for the Trump administration as lawmakers raise concerns that the department doesn't have enough qualified people in place to tackle the nation's biggest national security problems."

* DNA samples? "U.S. border agents will soon begin a widespread program to gather DNA samples from immigrants who enter the country illegally and are in federal custody, according to two administration officials."

* If I thought readers would indulge me, I'd write posts about the importance of the judiciary every day: "Judge Thomas B. Griffith told court officials he plans to retire in September, just two months before the 2020 presidential election. The announcement clears the way for Trump to add a third judge to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which has been a pipeline for nominees to the Supreme Court."

* And speaking of justice-related issues, TPM did a nice job with this: "The apparent refusal of President Trump's Justice Department to engage in any meaningful, public enforcement of the Voting Rights Act has taken Republicans' general hostility to the law to a whole new level. The DOJ has not filed a single new Voting Rights Act case since the Trump administration took over -- setting it apart from the last several administrations, Republican and Democratic."

Enjoy the weekend.