Today's edition of quick hits:* An important hire: "The flagging U.S. probes into the Trump administration's ties to the Kremlin are about to get an injection of fresh blood. Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats have tapped April Doss, a former NSA lawyer, to join the committee's investigation of Russia's intervention in the U.S. election."* Don't assume that the House Freedom Caucus' support for new-and-not-improved Republican health care plan means it will pass. Some GOP lawmakers who were inclined to support their party's bill last month suddenly aren't so sure.* Remember, Trump congratulated Erdogan on the demise of democracy in Turkey: "Turkey on Wednesday detained more than 1,000 people with suspected links to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and later temporarily suspended some 9,000 personnel from its police force in one of the largest operations in recent months against the movement that is blamed for last summer's failed military coup."* The truth apparently needed a little touch-up: "President Donald Trump told aides to toughen a State Department letter last week that declared Iran in compliance with a landmark nuclear deal, senior U.S. officials involved in a policy review said."* A stunning story out of Wisconsin: "Milwaukee County Jail staff cut off an inmate's access to water for seven days straight before he died of dehydration, and the man was too mentally unstable to ask for help as he slowly died, prosecutors said Monday at the beginning of an inquest."* DOJ: "Rod Rosenstein was confirmed as the second-ranking official at the Justice Department on Tuesday, giving him the reins of the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election after Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal last month."* Criminal justice: "Justice Sonia Sotomayor says the Supreme Court is letting police off the hook too easily. In a surprising dissent backed only by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sotomayor wrote in detail about one of the biases in the legal system that may let cops get away with excessive use of force -- by slanting the system in favor of the police officer."* This won't advance in a Republican Congress, but it's laying down a marker: "Backed by nearly half of the Senate's Democrats, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wa.) are introducing revamped legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 and index it to inflation."* A rule appears to be taking shape: if I'm enjoying a TV show, and it co-stars Alan Tudyk, it will be cancelled rather quickly.* Polling the Russia scandal: "Overall, 56 percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll think Russia tried to influence the election, and 39 percent think the Trump campaign intentionally tried to assist such an effort."Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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