Feb. 16, 2017

The greatest team in sports history?  The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team has a 100-game win streak, and is going for more.  Second place belongs to the UCLA men’s basketball team, which won 88 consecutive games between 1970 and 1974.

The Russian connection?  President Trump’s National Security Advisor, Michael T. Flynn, was fired this week for his possibly illegal conversations with the Russian ambassador.  This might be only the tip of the iceberg of Trump’s questionable ties to Russia.  Our new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was awarded the Order of Friendship by Vladimir Putin.  He opposes sanctions on Russia for their annexation of Crimea and their military actions in Syria and Ukraine.  Also on the radar of investigators is Paul Manafort, Trump’s one-time campaign manager, who was a top advisor to a pro-Russian political party in the Ukraine, for which he was scheduled to receive over $12 million.  Trump’s well-known bromance with Russian President Vladimir Putin is going to be in the news a lot in the coming weeks and months.

President Donald Trump’s problems continue to grow. A federal court stopped his ban on migrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, and Trump will probably be forced to re-write his executive order. Also, the nomination of Andrew Puzder for Labor Secretary may be in jeopardy, since a video of his ex-wife accusing him of domestic abuse has surfaced.

Other cabinet nominations include (1) a Secretary of Education who is critical of public schools; (2) a head of the Environmental Protection Agency who is a climate change skeptic; (3) a Treasury secretary from Goldman Sachs, (4) a head of the Department of Energy who could not remember the name of the department when he advocated doing away with it; (4) A head of the Veteran’s administration who has never served in the military, (5) a chief presidential advisor, who was the head of the alt-right, crypto-racist, Breitbart News, and (6) a new Attorney General who failed to win a federal judgeship for his racial comments.  (Extra points if you know their names.  Answers at the bottom of the page)

Judge Neil Gorsuch will soon fill the seat on the Supreme Court left vacant by the death of Antonin Scalia despite the efforts of Democrats who have promised to filibuster his nomination.  Like Scalia, Gorsuch believes in interpreting the U.S. Constitution as its original authors would have intended.  Liberals argue that the law should reflect the subsequent evolution of American society.  Some of the big issues at stake are voting rights, women’s rights to abortions, and the role of money in politics.

(1.Betsy DeVos, 2. Myron Ebell, 3.Steve Mnuchin, 4. Rick Perry, 5. Steve Bannon, 6. Jeff Sessions.)