👓 Why a Government Lawyer Argued Against Giving Immigrant Kids Toothbrushes | The Atlantic

Read Why a Government Lawyer Argued Against Giving Immigrant Kids Toothbrushes (The Atlantic)
The sheer effrontery of the government’s argument may be explained, but not excused, by its long backstory.

We certainly have a lot of things we need to fix in this country, but knowing a bit of the history of how we got here may also help to fix the problem. 

Read A ‘Bridge’ to China, and Her Family’s Business, in the Trump Cabinet (New York Times)
Elaine Chao has boosted the profile of her family’s shipping company, which benefits from industrial policies in China that are roiling the Trump administration.

If this were written into a spy thriller, you probably wouldn’t believe it.

hat tip:

🎧 On Matters of War | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to On Matters of War from On the Media | WNYC Studios

Controversy erupted over news that President Trump may grant more pardons for alleged war criminal Edward Gallagher and others. This week, On the Media looks at Fox News’s influence on the president’s decision. And, how the Navy may be spying on a reporter who's tracked Gallagher's case. Plus, how the latest Julian Assange indictment could spell disaster for the future of investigative journalism. 

1. James Goodale, former General Counsel for The New York Times and author of Fighting For The Press, on the disastrous new Julian Assange indictments. Listen

2. Adam Weinstein [@AdamWeinstein], an editor with The New Republic, on the unofficial Fox News campaign to push the president to pardon alleged war criminals. Listen.

3. Andrew Tilghman [@andrewtilghman], Executive Editor of the Military Times, on the Navy's troubling assault on press freedom. Listen.

4. Scott J. Shapiro [@scottjshapiro], professor of philosophy and law at Yale, on how militaries across the globe navigate the horrors of war. Listen.

❤️ RepKatiePorter on @SecretaryCarson, REOs, and OREOs

Liked a tweet by Rep. Katie Porter Rep. Katie Porter (Twitter)

“The best people” indeed. I’m guessing we should have asked a few more questions like “the best people” at what? Screwing up the country? Carson may have been a half-decent pediatric neurosurgeon, but he obviously doesn’t seem to know anything else about anything else.

I’ll be he follows this up with something idiotic like, “I’m a big picture guy.”

🎧 A Tell-All Memoir And An NDA | the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to A Tell-All Memoir And An NDA from On the Media | WNYC Studios

This week, the latest tell-all memoir from a former White House staffer hit bookstores. Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House is by Cliff Sims — who was, depending on who you ask, either key player as Director of Message Strategy or, as Trump tweeted this week, “nothing more than a gofer.”

The book, of course, is a landfill of trash and dirt on his former colleagues. And even as Sims toured the morning shows, the late shows and the everything-else shows to hawk his book, Trump Campaign COO Michael Glassner was threatening to sue him for violating the campaign's non disclosure agreement. Sims says he remembers signing some paperwork, but doesn’t remember if there was an NDA in there and, as other lawyers have since chimed in, there is established precedent that would make it very hard for the campaign to silence a former federal employee.

The subject of NDAs comes up a lot for people in Trump’s orbit — which is why the team at Trump, Inc. (produced here at our station, WNYC) did a whole episode on the topic. We present that episode for you as our podcast extra this week. Enjoy!

🎧 The Daily: The Brief, Controversial Tenure of Kirstjen Nielsen | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The Brief, Controversial Tenure of Kirstjen Nielsen from New York Times

As homeland security secretary, she enacted and publicly defended the family separation policy. In President Trump’s eyes, she didn’t go far enough.

👓 Attorneys General Sue Trump Administration Over School Nutrition Rollbacks | The Salt | NPR

Read Attorneys General Sue Trump Administration Over School Nutrition Rollbacks by Allison AubreyAllison Aubrey (The Salt | NPR )

A coalition of state attorneys general is suing the Trump administration for weakening the federal nutrition standards for school meals that are fed to about 30 million children across the country.

"Over a million children in New York — especially those in low-income communities and communities of color — depend on the meals served daily by their schools to be healthy, nutritious, and prepare them for learning," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. Joining James in the lawsuit are the attorneys general of California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico and Vermont.

👓 Second Judge Blocks Trump Administration’s Census Citizenship Question Plans | NPR

Read Second Judge Blocks Trump Administration's Census Citizenship Question Plans (NPR.org)
A second federal judge has issued a court ruling against the administration's plans to ask whether every person living in the country is a U.S. citizen in the 2020 census.

👓 Joshua Tree National Park’s Signature Trees Are Among Shutdown Victims | New York Times

Read Joshua Tree National Park’s Signature Trees Are Among Shutdown Victims (New York Times)
The park said that an unspecified number of its spiky-leafed trees had been destroyed by visitors during the shutdown.

📺 “Face the Nation” on January 13, 2019 | CBS

Watched "Face the Nation" on January 13, 2019 from CBS News

On this "Face the Nation" broadcast moderated by Margaret Brennan:

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (read more)
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (read more)
  • Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro (read more) (full interview)
  • Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson (read more)
  • Michael Crowley, Jeffrey Goldberg, David Nakamura, Seung Min Kim (watch)

👓 First on CNN: Hundreds of TSA screeners calling out sick | CNN

Read First on CNN: Hundreds of TSA screeners calling out sick by Rene Marsh and Gregory Wallace, CNN (CNN)
Hundreds of Transportation Security Administration officers, who are required to work without paychecks through the partial government shutdown, have called out from work this week from at least four major airports

👓 Trump Administration Suggests Furloughed Workers Do Chores for Landlords to Help Pay Rent | The Daily Beast

Read Trump Administration Suggests Furloughed Workers Do Chores for Landlords to Help Pay Rent (The Daily Beast)
Nearly 800,000 federal workers lack a paying job because of the shutdown.

For Trump, a landlord, this sounds exactly like what he’s been asking the American people to do for him for two years now.

👓 Doomed to fight the Civil War again | LA Times

Read Doomed to fight the Civil War again (LA Times)
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is wrong about what caused the Civil War, and wrong to give the benefit of the doubt to the slavers over the slaves.

👓 Ayers not taking job as White House chief of staff | CNN

Read Ayers not taking job as White House chief of staff by Kaitlan Collins, Sophie Tatum and Jamie Gangel (CNN)
Nick Ayers, the leading candidate to replace John Kelly as President Donald Trump's chief of staff, announced Sunday he will not be taking the job, reviving discussions about who will succeed the retired Marine general when he leaves at the end of the month.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: One Family’s Reunification Story | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: One Family’s Reunification Story from New York Times

Since President Trump ended the practice of separating migrant children from their parents, few families have been reunited. Those that have are becoming national symbols.