News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
Consider this an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
From The Hill
More Republicans view North Korean leader Kim Jong Un favorably than do House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), according to a poll released Monday.
The Ipsos survey conducted for the Daily Beast found that among Republicans, 19 percent indicated they hold a favorable opinion of Kim, while 17 percent said they have a favorable opinion of Pelosi.
Sixty-eight percent of Republicans said they held an unfavorable opinion of Kim, while 72 percent said they had an unfavorable view of Pelosi.
Former first lady Laura Bush spoke out Sunday night about the separation of families on the US border, writing a harsh criticism of the current zero-tolerance immigration policy being enforced under the Trump administration.
Bush, whose opinion piece ran in The Washington Post, decries the separation of children from parents entering the United States illegally as “cruel” and “immoral.”
It’s a rare public admonishment of current administration policy from Bush, who has seldom weighed in on politics since her husband left office.
“I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart,” Bush writes.
“Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso,” she continues. “These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.”
From The Hill
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter called children crying at the border after being separated from parents “child actors” during an appearance Sunday on Fox News.
Coulter also said President Trump should not fall for the “child actors” as he faces pressure to end his zero-tolerance policy at the border, which has resulted in parents being separated from their children so that they face immediate deportation.
“I would also say one other thing, these child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks 24/7 right now — do not fall for it, Mr. President,” Coulter said on “The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton.”
A Texas sheriff’s deputy was being held Monday on a charge of “super aggravated sexual assault” of a 4-year-old girl after authorities say her mother, an undocumented immigrant, was being blackmailed to stay silent about the abuse — or face deportation.
Jose Nunez, a 47-year-old detention officer with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested early Sunday while he was off-duty after the mother took her daughter to a local fire station for help, officials said at a news conference.
From The Hill
The tax law President Trump signed in December will lower charitable giving in 2018 by $17.2 billion, or 4 percent, before accounting for economic growth, according to a new report from the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
The tax law does not directly limit the itemized deduction for charitable contributions. However, the measure significantly increased the standard deduction, which reduces the number of people who will take itemized deductions. The law also cut tax rates for individuals, which could lower the incentive for people who itemize deductions to make charitable donations.
AEI researchers estimated that of the projected $17.2 billion decline in giving, $14.2 billion of the reduction will be due to the bigger standard deduction and $3 billion will be due to other provisions in the tax law.
As a judge began sentencing more than six dozen immigrants for illegal entry on Monday, one woman spoke up to ask: “What’s going to happen to my daughter?”
Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker, presiding over the hearing in Texas federal court, could tell her only that reunification with her child was out of his hands.
“Hopefully, they’ll get you to her,” Hacker told the woman, who was communicating through a translator, before sentencing her to time served in detention and paving the way for her likely deportation.
She wasn’t alone. Of an estimated 81 migrants whose cases Hacker handled in a packed courtroom in this Texas border town, 21 informed the court through their public defender that they had been separated from their children after illegally crossing into the United States.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed on Monday that the watchdog is looking at potential mishandling of confidential information by former FBI director James Comey in his leaking of memos and that the OIG will “issue a report when the matter is complete,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The big picture: President Trump has accused Comey of wrongfully disclosing confidential information when he leaked the memos about his interactions with Trump, which fueled the Mueller investigation and accusations of obstruction of justice. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that some of the information in the memos was classified, and now Horowitz is confirming those suspicious.
A Space Force Monday Bonus Shout Out Note from the “What Does Our Intrepid Trump Tweets Reporter Tiff Think?” File
It’s hard to say that President Donald Trump’s Twitter habits are getting stranger. After all, this is a President who has, from the start of his presidential campaign, used the social media site as among other things, a communications device, a Festivus pole and a psychologist’s couch. He’s attacked his own party leaders and suggested it might be time for them to quit. He’s attacked a cable news anchor for allegedly receiving a facelift. He’s threatened nuclear war with North Korea.
How could you possibly top — or, depending on your view of Trump — bottom that?
The answer is you can’t. But there does appear to be a change in both Trump’s Twitter habits and the content of his actual tweets in recent weeks — a trend that had become even more noticeable in the last few days. Trump is not only tweeting more, but he is doing so at less and less predictable hours. His actual tweets read like a stream of consciousness, verbal vomit — always (or almost always) focused on the ongoing special counsel investigation being led by Robert Mueller. Twitter has transformed into Trump’s very public venting operation — a forum where he can unleash his anger, bitterness and resentment and watch while his loyal supporters tell him that he’s right. Always.