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From The Reporter’s Notebook
RNC communications director Sean Spicer said on Wednesday that while President-elect Donald Trump, who has eschewed regular intelligence briefings, is meeting once or twice daily with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for an “intel update,” TPM’s Esme Cribb reported. While Trump has faced criticism for refusing to receive regular intelligence briefings, Flynn is also facing renewed scrutiny of his own handling of classified intelligence. According to U.S. Army documents obtained by the Washington Post through a Freedom of Information Act request and published Wednesday, a 2010 Army investigation had determined that Flynn “inappropriately shared” classified information with foreign officials in Afghanistan.
Agree or Disagree?
Josh Marshall: “The policy and political playing field on social insurance programs and safety net issues has for decades been one of defense, protecting programs like Social Security and Medicare which have been the pillars of the American social compact going back to the 1930s and 1960s respectively. The budgetary and ideological threats to each are not new. In each case they go back to the passage of the original legislation, with the aim being first to abolish them outright and then later to create new programs under similar branding which place the risk on individuals as opposed to creating security by socializing risk.”
“There was an overwhelming science that the Earth was flat.”
–One of Trump’s advisers compared the scientific consensus that human beings contribute to global warming to flat earth theory and geocentrism.
BUZZING: Today in the Hive
From a TPM Prime member: “That is to say, the people in the affected communities either aren’t feeling the benefit of the programs, such that they credit the government with helping, or they believe that the benefits inure to others. Further, telling somebody, ‘… But we extended your unemployment benefits and gave you SNAP and WIC when you had that long period of unemployment,’ even if true, is not likely to resonate with somebody who would prefer to have a stable, decent-paying job.”
Related: GOP lawmakers are now facing concerns about what their current plan could mean for the individual markets, which health policy experts warn could collapse in a so-called transition period.
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What We’re Reading
DC-area marching bands sit out Trump’s inaugural parade. (NBC)
The year in memes. (New York Magazine)