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Hardline GOP Caucus to Revive Obamacare Repeal in House

House Freedom Caucus will try to revive Obamacare repeal. Politico: “The conservative House Freedom Caucus will file a petition today to try to force Speaker Paul Ryan to bring up a so-called ‘clean Obamacare repeal’ bill. The legislation passed the House and Senate in the past — it repeals Obamacare after a two-year transition period. (It failed the Senate this year.)… The Freedom Caucus and conservative outside groups will try to ramp up lots of pressure to force people to sign on. Expect Trump – itchy for victory, and frustrated with Republican leaders on health care – to weigh in.”

HUD Report Details Crisis For Renters

Millions of poor families could benefit from housing aid Trump wants to cut. WaPo: “The number of poor families struggling to pay their monthly rents or living in deplorable accommodations has grown 41 percent since the beginning of the Great Recession a decade ago, despite a stronger national economy, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development… ‘These are folks on the edge who don’t get housing help,’ said Brian Sullivan, a HUD spokesman. ‘They are severely rent-burdened or just living in awful conditions.’ The report blamed growing competition for a shrinking supply of affordable residences for the increase, a result of declining homeownership and rising rents, in addition to a widening gap between the number of renters in need and the availability of federal assistance.

Nation’s Largest For-Profit Landlords Consolidate

Blackstone-Starwood merger creates largest rental home company In U.S. NPR: “Many renters around the country are about to get a new landlord. Two publicly traded companies in the rental home business are planning to merge. Together, the Blackstone Group and Starwood Waypoint Homes own more than 80,000 homes. They were part of a wave of investors who saw business take off when they bought up foreclosed homes and turned them into rental properties.”

Cybersecurity Chiefs Quit

Four top cybersecurity officials quit government. BuzzFeed: “Four senior cybersecurity officials are stepping down from their US government positions, raising concerns that an exodus of top leaders may make the federal government more vulnerable to hacking.Two of those resigning – Sean Kelley, the chief information security officer for the Environmental Protection Agency, and Richard Staropoli, the chief information officer for the Department of Homeland Security – had been in their jobs for just a few months.”

Indiana GOP Suppresses Metro Votes to Favor Suburbs

How the Indiana GOP used uneven early voting rules to tamp down Democratic votes. New York Magazine: “An investigative report by the Indianapolis Star lays out a pretty open-and-shut case of voter suppression by the Indiana GOP: State and local Republicans have expanded early voting in GOP-dominated areas and restricted it in Democratic areas, an IndyStar investigation has found, prompting a significant change in Central Indiana voting patterns.That made voting more convenient in GOP areas for people with transportation issues or busy schedules. And the results were immediate.”

Nixon WH Counsel John Dean Sees Similarities to Watergate

Dean sees echoes of Watergate in Trump WH. NPR: “The echoes I hear are there is clearly a cover-up in the White House. If you did not want to have all this suspicion about what they’re doing, you’d have everybody who was involved come into a room and say, ‘OK, I want sworn affidavits. I want to clean this up. I don’t want to have this hanging over my administration’… Well, that’s exactly the opposite of what they’re doing. So this is very similar to — this is the pattern in Watergate… There are echoes, and during Watergate, we wrote what you shouldn’t do. We wrote the book on it. And Trump doesn’t even seem to know what happened.'”

New Wave of Democratic Women Run for Office

Democrats Have a Problem. Can These Women Fix It? The Nation: “For a host of reasons, the election of the pussy-grabbing, utterly incompetent, nationally embarrassing Donald Trump has inspired a stunning wave of female newcomers to electoral politics. Since November, an astonishing 16,000 women have contacted Emily’s List, which works to elect pro-choice Democratic women, to say they want to run. In the 2015–16 election cycle, only 920 women did that.”

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