Becca Rotenberg
Featured

Trump's 100-day report card

Kiichiro Sato/AP

A quarter of Americans gave President Trump an F on his performance for his first 100 days in office, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico poll. Trump received a majority of failing grades on all the issues, except terrorism, for which he earned an A.

Failing marks:

  • Foreign relations
  • Healthcare
  • National debt
  • Jobs
  • Climate change
  • Draining the swamp
  • Immigration
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Navigating Trump's first 100 days

Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Welcome to day 100 of Trump's presidency. A lot has happened in a short amount of time, so we took a look back to the moments the defined some of the most memorable days.

Photos: Carolyn Kaster, Ryan Kang, David J. Phillip, Win McNamee, Wong Maye-E, Susan Walsh, Andrew Harnik, Kathy Willens / AP; Zhu, VeryBusyPeople / Flickr
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Trump could withhold 3,600 secret JFK files

Jim Altgens / AP

An estimated 3,600 secret files about the assassination of JFK will be released to the public on Oct. 26 — unless President Trump decides to keep them sealed.

The JFK Act of 1992 sealed all federal documents related to Kennedy's death after Oliver Stone's movie JFK sparked public interest.

Under the law, all the documents are to be released in full on the 25th anniversary of when it was enacted unless the President believes doing so causes more harm than good.

Trump and JFK conspiracies: During the election, Trump promoted a National Enquirer article that linked Ted Cruz's father to Lee Harvey Oswald based on a 1963 photo, despite no evidence to support his claim.

Featured Facts Matter

Most state Supreme Court judges aren't elected

Orlin Wagner/AP

The issue:

Sean Spicer condemned the San Fransisco judge who blocked Trump's effort to withhold money from sanctuary cities, calling it "egregious overreach by a single unelected judge." This is not the first time the White House has spoken out against the judiciary system or questioned a judge's authority, delegitimizing a judge based on his appointment.

The facts:

Only 22 states elect state Supreme Court judges via residents casting a vote on their ballot, similar to any other local or federal election. The other 28 states' judges are appointed through gubernatorial appointment, legislative appointment, or nominating commissions — i.e. without state residents voting.

Why it matters:

The alternative election processes can help avoid electing judges based on their policy views, campaign dollars and how well they sold the people on their platform. This speaks directly to our system of checks and balances, which the White House is threatening by denouncing the judicial branches' capabilities of electing a judge through other means.

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Trump has filled 5% of his senior administration jobs

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Of the 556 seats that have to be nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate:

  1. 530 seats are empty
  2. 20 Cabinet-level seats filled, 2 await confirmation, 1 failed
  3. 37 nominees awaiting confirmation
  4. 468 seats have no nominations

The precedent: at the 100-day mark, Obama had 487 empty, George W. Bush 521, and Clinton 507

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Rise of the Trump resistance movement

From pink-hatted protesters to big town hall turnout, the anti-Trump resistance has been in full swing since January's inauguration. The left is taking a page out of the Tea Party playbook, and building the resistance from the grassroots up.

Why it matters: We saw a similar rise on the right in 2009-2010 shortly after Obama was inaugurated, and a huge number of Republican lawmakers were voted into office. That movement shook up US politics and changed the face of the Republican Party, and we could see similar aftershocks here.

Money:

Media:

  • The most engaged partisan Facebook pages belong to left-leaning and Trump resistance groups. These pages are outperforming popular news competitors in overall engagement.
  • Anti-Trump sites launched across the web -- some with prominent names behind them, such as 'Crooked Media,' by former Obama staffers and 'Resistance Calendar,' by filmmaker Michael Moore.
  • Cell phone apps and internet start ups that send daily text messages about getting involved have emerged with hundreds of thousands of followers.

Politics:

  • Former politicians are getting involved. Barbara Boxer's Fight Back PAC is establishing itself against Trump's agenda but also as a movement to win votes for progressives.
  • Trump's disapproval rating is on the rise: 57% - Quinnipiac, 55% - Gallup Daily Tracker, 52% - Economist/YouGov, 49% - Marist
  • Congressional town halls and protests have been flooded with angry voices over what has been dubbed the 'resistance recess.' The movement was loud enough to get a response via twitter from President Trump.
  • Activism among liberal democrats is on the rise:
    • 47% of liberal Dems report say they've gotten involved in the last past two months, compared to 23% of all adults.
    • Liberal Dems, more than any other group, anticipate taking part in activism in the next two years
Peaceful protests:
  • The Women's March on Washington had nearly 600 reported marches across the country, roughly 500,000 protesters at each, and rallies in 100 cities across the globe.
  • A day without immigrants and women closed businesses, emptied offices, and brought nationwide rallies.
  • The tax march saw rallies across 150 cities nationwide, with the support of roughly 70 organizations.

Cultural:

  • Olivia Wilde: "Stop telling me to 'get over it.' Get UNDER it. He works for US. The democratic process is constant. Stay informed, stay engaged, speak up."
  • Alicia Keys: ".@realDonaldTrump Americans are all colors, faiths, cultures & genders. We have voices. We refuse fear. We believe in the Dream. #WeAreHere"
  • Mahershala Ali at the SAG Awards: "[W]hen we get caught up in the minutiae and the details that make us all different, I think there's two ways of seeing that. There's the opportunity to see the texture of that person...then there's an opportunity to go to war about it"
  • Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes: "It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back."
  • Jimmy Kimmel at the Oscars: "Now it's time for something that is very rare today: a president that believes in both arts and sciences."
  • Killer Mike, in an interview with Snapchat's Peter Hamby: "Artists, musicians, I think it is just naturally in us to exude a form of protest...you have to take that out into the world."
Featured

Trump's secret weapon

Alex Brandon / AP

The 1996 Congressional Review Act (CRA) can overturn "midnight rules" created by an outgoing president. Until President Trump assumed office, it was successfully used only once. Trump has used it 14 times.

Between the lines: The CRA says that once a rule is killed, the executive branch can never come back with a rule that is "substantially the same form." When Democrats controlled Washington from 2009-2010, they avoided using the CRA, opting instead to re-regulate any unfavored Bush-era rules.

Why it matters: The fast-track tactic to reverse Obama's legacy fulfills Trump's campaign promises, but is also a blunt approach to gain political points. The divide between right and left is intensifying, as Democrats see the CRA as an abuse of power to appease the far right and special interests.

The overturned regulations:

  1. Federal Contractor blacklisting rule, which required companies to report any law violation from the last three years when bidding on federal contracts over $500,000. (Feb. 1)
  2. The Stream Buffer rule, which restricted coal companies from dumping waste into streams. (Feb. 2)
  3. Bureau of Land Management venting and flaring rule, which reduced air pollution from methane. (Feb. 2)
  4. Social Security Service's Second Amendment restrictions, which added additional mental health background to gun sales. (Feb. 2)
  5. SEC's resource extraction rule, which required oil and gas companies to disclose foreign payments. (Feb. 3)
  6. Bureau of Land Management planning 2.0 rule, which gave the public greater control over in natural resource and land use planning. (Feb. 6)
  7. The teacher preparation rule, which required states to issue annual ratings for teacher-prep programs. (Feb. 7)
  8. The education accountability rule, which required states to evaluate their schools and holds them accountable for students performance. (Feb. 7)
  9. The state retirement plan rule, which encouraged state governments to offer retirement savings plans for private-sector workers. (Feb. 15)
  10. The local retirement plan rule, which exempted local municipal retirement savings plans from strict pension protection laws. (Feb. 15)
  11. The national wildlife hunting and fishing rule, which banned predator hunting not approved by the federal government on national wildlife refuges. (Feb. 16)
  12. The unemployment insurance drug testing rule, which limited drug testing for unemployment benefits. (March 14)
  13. FCC internet privacy rules, which would have required companies get their customers' permission before sharing their data with advertisers. (April 3)
  14. Title X abortion funding rule, which restricted states from withholding federal funding to Planned Parenthood and groups that provide abortion services. (April 13)

Featured

How Trump's approach to Egypt freed Hijazi when Obama failed

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Kiichiro Sato/AP

Aya Hijazi was the face of Egypt's crackdown on civil society while imprisoned the last three years, and now she's the face of two drastically different approaches to freeing American prisoners and foreign policy.

Why it matters: America is putting security cooperation in the Middle East first, a significant change from years of balancing military partnerships and showcasing a commitment to human rights.

Former President Obama temporarily stopped delivering weapons to Egypt in 2013, and later provided military vehicles and $1.3 billion annually in an attempt to pressure President el-Sisi to release prisoners. He refused to invite el-Sisi to the White House, showing his refusal to work with an administration that oversaw human rights violations. But the Obama administration remained largely quiet during the time Hijazi was held.

President Trump hosted el-Sisi at the White House earlier this month, which was seen as crucial leverage to shifting relations with Egypt. Trump had direct conversations with el-Sisi, who oversaw Hijazi's return home. The administration praised el-Sisi's leadership efforts, and is open to being allies in the fight against ISIS in the Middle East.

Featured

Trump and The Patriots — they have history

Gregory Payan/Evan Agostini/Invision/Winslow Townson/AP

The New England Patriots' trip to the White House today is far from the beginning of the relationship between the Super Bowl champs and Donald Trump.

Coach Bill Belichick wrote a letter to then candidate Trump congratulating him on his campaign, which Trump later read out loud at a rally in New Hampshire. Belichick said he wrote the letter based on a longtime friendship, not politics.

QB Tom Brady was questioned in 2016 when a Make America Great hat was found in his locker, and Trump later credited Brady's support for his Massachusetts primary win. Brady, who never formally endorsed Trump, said they'd been friends since 2002 when he judged a Miss USA pageant.

Owner Robert Kraft contributed $1 million to Trump's inauguration this year. The two became friends when Trump invited Kraft to play golf 20 years ago. Kraft says his loyalty dates back to 2011 when his wife died. Trump attended her funeral and called Kraft once a week for the next year.

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Sandy Hook dad rips Alex Jones over "playing a character" claims

Tamir Kalifa/Austin American-Statesman/AP

InfoWars founder Alex Jones, who is battling for total custody over his children, previously fueled a conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook shooting never happened, and that the 20 killed children were actors planted by the U.S. government.

Jones' attorney argued that he shouldn't be evaluated based on his on-air character, saying:

"[that] would be like judging Jack Nicholson in a custody dispute based on his performance as the Joker in 'Batman.'"

Leonard Pozner, whose 6-year-old son was killed at Sandy Hook, said in response:

"I wish I could be there in the courtroom to stare him down to remind him of how he's throwing salt on a wound, and so he can remember how he handed out salt for other people to throw on mine."