Thursday’s Mini-Report, 5.17.18

 msnbc.com  5/17/2018 9:30:07 PM   Steve Benen

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* The final vote was 54 to 45: “The Senate on Thursday confirmed Gina Haspel as the next CIA director despite opposition from most Democrats and a handful of Republicans who blasted her role in the agency’s enhanced interrogation program.”

* Quite an explosion: “Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted anew before dawn Thursday, shooting a steely gray plume of ash about 30,000 feet (9,100 meters) into the sky that began raining down on a nearby town.”

* I’ll have more on this tomorrow: “A New York appeals court on Thursday rejected a request from President Trump to stay proceedings in a defamation suit filed by a former contestant on ‘The Apprentice’ who has claimed that he sexually harassed her.”

* Mueller probe: “Special counsel Robert Mueller has issued a pair of subpoenas to a social media consultant who worked on Roger Stone’s pro-Donald Trump super PAC during the 2016 presidential campaign.”

* An acknowledgement of reality: “FBI Director Christopher Wray reiterated his position that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe is not a witch hunt in an appearance before the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday, continuing to stake a position opposite to President Donald Trump’s.”

* The latest in a series of bad headlines for the finance giant: “Some employees in a Wells Fargo & Co. unit that handles business banking improperly altered information on documents related to corporate customers, according to people familiar with the matter.”

* Andrew Smith: “The new director of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection unit, a watchdog with broad investigative powers over private companies, stands out even in an administration prone to turning over regulatory authority to pro-industry players.”

* The return of a problem we thought we’d solved: “Emissions of a banned, ozone-depleting chemical are on the rise, a group of scientists reported Wednesday, suggesting someone may be secretly manufacturing the pollutant in violation of an international accord.”

* We can do better: “The federal government now spends less than it did about 30 years ago on some of the country’s poorest children, the result of cuts to federal welfare programs, according to a new research paper.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

« Go back