Cabinet: David Shulkin, the Department of Veteran Affairs secretary and an Obama hold-over, seems to have gotten in some minor trouble due to taking trips to Wimbledon on the taxpayer dime. On one hand, this seems to be an odd pattern of cabinet officials in the Trump white house, but on the other hand the IG overseeing this case recommended that Shulkin repay the relevant costs as opposed to charging him with a crime, so this will most likely blow over.
Judges: In news that I bet will come as a complete shock, most of Trump’s judicial nominees have been white. This is due to them all basically being picked off a Federalist Society list whose criteria for judicial quality is based on having a pretty strict Conservative legal record, and that’s not exactly conducive to fleshing out diversity numbers. Naturally, the expected actors on the D side are shocked and appalled at this racist display of only nominating people who meet the set qualifications!
Kasich/2020: Buzzfeed has an uncharacteristically insightful look into the tattered remains of Kasich-world, and how the Ohio Governor is looking at his prospects for 2020—both inside the GOP and out. Honest question—does a Kasich Indy run make it more or less likely Trump wins re-election? It’s not like Kasich is particularly popular with the sort of people who voted for Trump in 2016, and could serve as a nice 3rd-party landing spot for anti-Trump forces if the Democrats nominate a true-blue moonbat. I think it would be an amusing end to Kasich’s legacy if his vanity no-chance Presidential campaigns wind up being instrumental in getting Trump elected TWICE.
Politico/MC: In the biggest sign of the recent swing towards the GOP, we have the first poll of the year to show the Republicans actually up on the measure, instead of just less down than they were before. The Politico/Morning Consultant poll has the GOP up 39-38, the best the GOP’s seen in months. This poll does however have a history of being more friendly to the GOP than most of the other polling firms, so don’t go dancing in the streets yet over our imminent 2018 victories, but it’s nice to know that we’ve reached the point where an outlier poll is one with the GOP up instead of “Only down by X”
PPP: Speaking of less favorable polls, PPP is out with their latest that has Trump at an impressive 46/50 approval rating, even if the Democrats are up 49-41 on the GCB. This is a bit odd since the Congressional GOP usually over-performs Trump’s approval numbers in polls, but I think it might have to do with the standard PPP practice of asking a bunch of leading questions in-between the two. Why is the GCB question 38 and following such insightful gems such as “Do you think the Trump administration is actively taking steps that will hurt people’s health care and raise costs, or not?”. If an R-leaning subsection just hung up halfway through, it might explain why Trump is doing so well in a sample that thinks he should be impeached right now 45-44, self-ID’s as 41-31 D, and says they voted for Clinton by 6 points….