**Now down to
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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt now has an 18 person, 24/7 security detail. The effort has become so elaborate that the EPA has now had to take agents off actual EPA criminal investigations to focus on protecting Pruitt.
This is offensive and ridiculous.
Senate Republicans are trying to run out the clock, passing Graham-Cassidy before the CBO has enough time to score it and (presumably) show how bad it is. But Brookings has run the numbers and reports that 21 million people would lose their coverage under the proposed law.
One of the recurrent features of the Russia investigation drama has been the Trump inner circle’s hunt for a fall guy. It’s a very weird progression because not only has the designated fall guy changed but the people in the inner circle have changed. Indeed, at some points, it’s been a member of the putative inner who was the designated fall guy. It’s complicated.
Let’s go back to the Spring.
The executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors talked to Alice Ollstein this morning about what a tough spot Graham-Cassidy puts red state Medicaid directors in:
We have members whose governors are strongly in favor of the bill who would be in a tough position if they spoke out. But I’ve talked to lots of people who said, ‘Politically, my state is going in one direction, but I’m extraordinarily concerned about what it would do to my state and its people in the long term.’
The Washington Post reported yesterday that amongst the tens of thousands of documents Paul Manafort has turned over to congressional investigators and the Special Counsel’s offers were emails between Manafort and his Ukrainian deputy Konstantin Kilimnik. In one of those emails he tells Kilimnik to pass on word to a top Russian oligarch named Oleg Deripaska that he could provide briefings on the state of the presidential campaign.
“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” wrote Manafort.
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I’ve mentioned before that Facebook seems to have a hard time grasping that it is a commercial entity rather than a government or a civic space. In his statement today, Mark Zuckerberg compared placing some controls or vetting on the ads it runs to prior restraint. “We don’t check what people say before they say it and I don’t think society should want us to. Freedom means you don’t have to ask for permission first.”