It’s a new week. Let’s get going.
1) Critics note Trump’s rocky start. Trump disagrees.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump will mark his hundredth day in office. From CNN:
President Donald Trump lives for superlatives — he wants the biggest, the best, the greatest. So it’s no surprise he’s already fuming about uncomplimentary reviews of his first 100 days in office.
Trump is approaching the first symbolic milestone of his presidency on Saturday with a familiar mix of bluster and smokescreens, meant to disguise the reality that he has produced one of the least-prolific first 100 day debuts of any president in modern history.
Well, at least it’s historic.
But Trump’s critics argue that not only has the President failed to muster a record of significant political achievement in his first 100 days, he has tarnished his office.
They say that with his claims that former President Barack Obama tapped his phones and that millions of illegal voters threw the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, he has devalued the currency of truth on which successful presidencies depend.
They accuse him of insulting US allies and presiding over a White House characterized by feuds, leaks and indiscipline.
“It’s not me … 65% of the American public, maybe 60%, are saying he is doing a bad job, he has got to figure out something for his second 100 days because it hasn’t been very good so far,” said CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, on “CNN Tonight” Friday.
Needless to say, the president is less than thrilled.
2) The Senate’s Russia probe stalls because of Richard Burr.
Apparently, North Carolina’s senior senator is stalling the Senate’s probe into Russian meddling with the 2016 election. From Yahoo:
More than three months after the Senate Intelligence Committee launched its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election — including allegations of collusion by associates of President Trump — the panel has made little progress and is increasingly stymied by partisan divisions that are jeopardizing the future of the inquiry, according to multiple sources involved in the probe.
The committee has yet to issue a single subpoena for documents or interview any key witnesses who are central to the probe, the sources said. It also hasn’t requested potentially crucial evidence — such as the emails, memos and phone records of the Trump campaign — in part because the panel’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., has so far failed to respond to requests from the panel’s Democrats to sign letters doing so, the sources said.
“The wheels seem to be turning more slowly than the importance of the inquiry would indicate,” said Richard Ben-Veniste, a member of the 9/11 commission and former Watergate prosecutor, one of a number of veteran Washington investigators who have begun to question the lack of movement in the probe.
3) N.C. Senate is expected to talk K-3 class size today.
From the N&O:
A state Senate panel will consider Monday night a bill that school districts say is needed to prevent thousands of potential teacher layoffs and cuts in art, music and physical education classes in North Carolina elementary schools.
The Senate Education Committee’s agenda for Monday’s 6 p.m. meeting in Room 544 of the Legislative Office Building was revised late Sunday night to add House Bill 13, legislation which school officials say is needed for them to have class-size flexibility to maintain arts and PE programs. Monday’s discussion comes after Senate leaders, who questioned how school districts were spending state money, put the bill on hold for two months.
4) March in downtown Raleigh draws thousands.
We have reached a point where we really have to march for facts. From the INDY’s coverage of the March for Science:
For organizer Jenny Hedge, the march for science was about scientists standing in solidarity with each other.
“I’m here because people working in agencies that monitor and protect our commonly shared environment are facing a much greater attack,” she said. “When we’re talking about our air, water, and soil, spaces that defy state lines and national boundaries, we must have a robust and resilient infrastructure where skilled scientists can thrive and take pride in what they do. As well, those who are working in the private sector shouldn’t be given gag orders if they want to talk about any of these problems.”
Others who spoke at the rally, such as federal scientist Tamara Tell, discussed how budget cuts under the Trump administration might hurt the scientific community.
“Federal scientific research is a truly positive force in our society,” she said. “There’s a reason we have flu vaccines every year and we can combat rapidly evolving public health threats like Zika. It’s called the Center for Disease Control. There’s a reason we have clean air to breathe, safe water to drink, and that there’s no longer lead in paint or gasoline. It’s called the Environmental Protection Agency. There’s a reason we have new cancer drugs, and a new vaccine under development for Zika virus. It’s called the National Institutes for Health. And there’s a reason that we can track hurricanes, and we can track global fisheries that provide the single largest source of protein for humans on this planet. It’s called the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. So, who are these cuts going to hurt? They’re going to hurt federal researchers and scientists like us. In the Research Triangle Park, alone, the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences and the Environmental Protection Agency employ over thirty-five hundred workers.”
March on and have a great week.