Today’s Buzz features ethics missteps, Patriots boycotting the White House visit, and an attempt to control prescription prices in Oregon. Galentine’s Day isn’t until Monday, but it’s my weekend and I’m starting the celebration now!
Right Now with Emily Leuning
What I’m Doing: Getting ready for Sunday’s Galentine’s Day brunch!
What I’m Reading: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
What I’m Listening To: Lizzo “Good as Hell” on repeat
Some Syrian refugees arrive in Chicago at last: On Tuesday night, after a three-year wait in a refugee camp, prolonged by ten days by President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily banned entry to the United States to refugees and nationals of seven mostly Islamic countries, three Syrian refugees, Baraa, Abdulmajeed, and their 16-month-old daughter finally arrived in Chicago.
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White House says Conway has been ‘counseled’ after touting Ivanka Trump’s products: The endorsement, in which Kellyanne Conway told Fox News Channel viewers to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff,” appeared to violate a key ethics rule barring federal employees from using their public office to endorse products. The White House reaction was a rare acknowledgment of an ethical misstep.
GOP preparing plan to gut Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, roll back Wall Street regulations: A Republican plan to dismantle Wall Street regulations would strip the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of many of its powers, including eliminating its consumer complaint database and scaling back its enforcement abilities, according to a five-page memo distributed by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee.
Appeals Court Rejects Bid To Reinstate Trump’s Travel Ban: The three-judge appeals panel declined to overturn a lower court’s order suspending the president’s ban against entry into the United States by refugees and travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations.
Mexico City’s Endless Commute: Every day, workers across the region endure some of the world’s most crowded streets and subway cars for higher wages in the city center.
Tribe Reportedly Files Legal Challenge To Dakota Access Pipeline: With the Dakota Access Pipeline now cleared to cross under a reservoir in the Missouri River, one of the two Native American tribes fighting the pipeline has filed a legal challenge to the plan, according to the Associated Press.
Spicer loses his cool with the press: White House press secretary Sean Spicer tangled with the press corps during the daily briefing on Thursday, as reporters repeatedly pressed him to explain how Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s criticism of Donald Trump got twisted, among other controversies.
Office of Government Ethics website breaks after Conway promotes Ivanka’s brand: The website of the federal government’s ethics watchdog has been inaccessible for hours, and agency officials say it’s because of surging traffic. “We received a high volume of traffic and we are looking at ways to redirect traffic and add capacity,” a spokesman for the Office of Government Ethics said.
Local Gov Confidential
GOP plan to fix Kansas budget implodes amid pressure from educators: Republican leaders in the Kansas Senate thought they had cobbled together enough votes to pass a plan that would help fill Kansas’ budget hole. But that plan, which would have cut more than $120 million from public schools, imploded Thursday as pressure from education activists mounted.
Five New England Patriots plan to skip White House visit: Defensive end Chris Long and running back LeGarette Blount of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots said Thursday they won’t visit the White House with the team, joining three other teammates in boycotting the celebration.
Eat Trump’s immigration ban: Ten Chicago restaurants that wouldn’t exist in a white nationalist America: There have been plenty of occasions over the last few months when I’ve sat down to write about ersatz Chinese food, or half-assed barbecue, or yet another costly multicourse tasting menu, when I’ve been hit by one thought that stops me midsentence: Who the hell can eat at a time like this?
Oregon lawmakers introduce bill targeting out-of-control prescription prices: If the bill becomes law, drug makers that increase the cost of a medication faster than inflation or charge patients $10,000 a year for a single drug would have to pay insurers a rebate to offset the cost. The rebate would be the difference between the price the drug-maker charges in Oregon and the average price of the same drug in developed nations.