Remember when President Trump said he wanted Medicare to be able to negotiate its own drug prices, rather than be held hostage by big pharmaceutical corporations? I bet you already know what happened: Mr. Trump met with big pharma and then declared that Medicare itself is the "price-fixer" -- to review, federal law prevents Medicare from negotiating its own drug prices! -- and that he'll "fix" things by "lowering taxes" and "getting rid of regulations that are unnecessary." That's some negotiating, right there. Look at them balls swing!
From the "We Sure Dodged a Bullet There" file: President Trump's team originally told all federal Inspectors General to resign, before relenting under actual bipartisan Congressional pressure. Inspectors General, of course, serve terms of set length regardless of which party controls the levers of power, precisely so they hunt down corruption in our government independent of political pressure. I remember warning about something like this happening almost 10 years ago, but I wanted to be wrong.
Close to a thousand State Department employees all over the planet sign a cable expressing their opinion that Mr. Trump's Muslim ban won't make America safer. Clearly they're figuring that the Trump Administration can't purge everyone in the State Department! I bet Dear Leader tries, though -- and I wouldn't count on someone stopping him. (In case I haven't been clear, I think Republicans want things the way they are. As I suggested yesterday, they're like dung beetles.)
Andrew Cohen at The Marshall Project describes Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch as "Scalia Without the Scowl." I imagine Mr. Trump chose Mr. Gorsuch because he'll rubber-stamp whatever expansion of Executive branch power Donald Trump demands, and I also suspect Judges Hardiman and Pryor wouldn't kowtow to that. They might even have told Dear Leader that! If so, I sincerely hope both men eventually die in their sleep.
News you absolutely need: the Consumerist reports on a relatively new twist on an old phone scam, and thus instructs you to never say "yes" to a stranger on a phone. How it works: the caller asks "can you hear me?," and if you say "yes," they'll sign you up for all kinds of crap you didn't want and demand payment because you said "yes" (the recording of which they'll cut-and-paste into another conversation). Try as I might to avoid blasphemy, people who'd perpetrate such a scam deserve everlasting hellfire.
Finally, because it can't all be bad news, Lego has built a social network for children that seems like a nice place to be. Kids can be cruel just like adults can be, but Lego has built in some solid protections, not just by mandating parental permission and using actual human eyeballs to screen out adult content, but also by rejecting any user-generated image that might give away a child's identity, and by limiting comments to a variety of emojis. It's a lot harder to be cruel with smiley-faces -- especially from far across the internet. Great job, Lego!