/Thursday’s Mini-Report, 12.19.19
Thursday’s Mini-Report, 12.19.19

Thursday’s Mini-Report, 12.19.19

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* The House sure does pass a lot of legislation: “The House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly passed the new North American trade deal, voting in unusually bipartisan fashion just a day after impeaching President Trump strictly on party lines.”

* This might take a while: “Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress went toe-to-toe Thursday as a standoff unfolded over the next steps in President Donald Trump’s impeachment.”

* Ukraine: “Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor was instructed by a top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to hand over responsibilities for his post just days before Mr. Pompeo plans to visit the Ukrainian capital, according to a person familiar with the situation.”

* Pentagon: “Ambassador Tina Kaidanow, senior adviser for international cooperation, has left the Pentagon, the Department of Defense confirmed to Defense News Wednesday. She’s the fifth top official in seven days to exit or announce their departure from the Pentagon, according to Defense News and The Hill.”

* It’s amazing how similar Donald Trump’s and Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric can be: “I don’t think Trump will be voted out of power on made up charges,” the Russian president said at a wide-ranging end-of-year news conference. “Democrats lost the last election, and now they want to win by other means.”

* In related news: “The Trump administration is quietly fighting a new package of sanctions on Russia, The Daily Beast has learned. A Trump State Department official sent a 22-page letter to a top Senate chairman on Tuesday making a wide-ranging case against a new sanctions bill.”

* A step in the right direction: “Facebook plans to clamp down on attempts to use its services to interfere with the 2020 U.S. census, including the posting of misleading information about when and how to participate, who can participate and what happens when people do.”

* Good: “The Senate on Thursday cleared by voice vote a wide-ranging bill to crack down on unwanted robocalls.”

* Here’s wondering just how independent the review will be: “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it will review allegations that Donald Trump Jr., may have illegally killed a rare sheep during a recent trip to Mongolia and imported parts of the animal back to the U.S.”

* A notable paragraph from TPM’s Josh Marshall: “At a certain point, the multiplicity of connections becomes hard to miss. Trump and Giuliani’s whole effort in Ukraine seems to have been funded in large part by a Putin-aligned oligarch; the conspiracy theories themselves originated in Russian intelligence operations; and after being laundering through the Giuliani-Trump-Solomon laundromat they are then amplified and promoted by other disinformation and social media campaigns run out of Russia. As Nancy Pelosi says, with Trump all roads lead to Russia.”

See you tomorrow.

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