FROM Eric Lipton
The war within the EPA As Attorney General of Oklahoma, President Trump's EPA Administration, Scott Pruitt, sued the agency he now runs many times to reduce federal regulations. Now, one top deputy, Nancy Beck, has re-written a rule to track the consequences of a hazardous chemical in drinking water. Photo by Wayan Vota Before joining the EPA, Beck was an executive at the American Chemistry Council for five years. Veterans at the agency are worried. That's according to Eric Lipton of the New York Times .
Is Trump 'reducing the size of government' or dismantling it? On his reality TV show, Donald Trump was famous for saying, "You're fired." As President, he's saying, "We don't need those jobs" in the first place. Republicans aren't the only ones who've complained that government is "bloated," but even after budget cuts, somebody has to be in charge. With high-level vacancies -- from the State Department to FEMA — will the US be prepared for an international crisis, a hurricane or an earthquake? Is it oversight due to inexperience — or top aide Steve Bannon's goal of "deconstructing the administrative state?"
The public interest and personal business at the Trump White House As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to "drain the swamp," but his own, global holdings already pose a unique set of ethical conflicts. The transition process has already provided unmistakable evidence of what might be to come. He's met with business partners from India who say his presidency will be a bonanza . Daughter Ivanka is marketing bracelets like the one she wore on 60 Minutes. She and other family members will be in charge of some 500 business investments all over the world. The Wall Street Journal says if Trump doesn't liqudate all those assets and create a blind trust, he'll never escape the appearance that his White House is up for sale.
DHS Developing Software to Monitor Opinions of the US The New York Times reports that the Department of Homeland Security wants computer software to monitor negative opinions of the US or its leaders in the foreign press. The official goal is to "identify common patterns... that might be indicative of potential threats." Can software be developed to evaluate the relative intensity of different statements? That's the challenge posed for researchers at a consortium of universities with a $2.4 million grant from DHS.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?