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Federal Judge Refuses Trump Request To Seal Files

Federal judge refuses to grant restraining order over evidence seized from Trump’s lawyer. WHIO: "A federal judge in New York on Monday refused a request by lawyers for President Donald Trump to stop federal investigators from going through evidence seized from Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, but the judge held off on deciding how best to review those materials for questions of possible attorney-client privilege involving the President, and whether that should keep some of the evidence out of the hands of prosecutors. In a several hour hearing, federal judge Kimba Wood left open the possibility that she might appoint a “special master” to oversee the process of evaluating the evidence seized from the President’s lawyer, to determine which items should – or should not – be protected under attorney-client privilege. The FBI has already set up what is known as a “taint team” to look through the materials – those people are completely separate from prosecutors working on the Cohen case in the Southern District of New York, and would determine if any documents are protected."

Senate Budget Chair Wants To Eliminate Own Committee

Budget chair floats plan to eliminate his own committee. The Hill: "The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee is floating the idea of getting rid of the Budget panel altogether, according to Republican sources. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) has noted that mounting deficits are making it much tougher to pass a spending blueprint, the sources say. Enzi’s seemingly radical suggestion comes as a special bipartisan committee prepares to hold its first hearing on reforming the budgetary process, which Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), a former House Budget Committee chairman, this weekend called 'irreparably broken.'... Congress has missed the requirement set out by the Congressional Budget Act to pass a concurrent budget resolution by April 15, and GOP lawmakers say they do not expect to pass a budget before the end of this election year."

GOP Faces Tight Race In AZ Special Election

GOP scrambling to save AZ House seat: "Democrats have launched a serious bid to win an April 24 special election for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, scaring national GOP groups into spending major money on a seat that was once considered safely Republican. Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, 50, a physician and an advocate for cancer research, is taking on Republican Debbie Lesko, 59, a conservative state senator, to fill a suburban Phoenix seat vacated by Rep. Trent Franks (R). Franks resigned in December after it emerged that he had offered a female aide $5 million to serve as a surrogate mother for his children. Although the odds of Tipirneni flipping the seat are not in her favor, her candidacy has excited the Democratic base, enabling the party to improve its chances in other races. In November, Arizona Democrats hope to take control of the state Senate and plan to mount serious bids for the governorship and an open U.S. Senate seat."

Senators Seek To Revise War Powers

Sens. Corker, Kaine float new war powers authorization proposal. USA Today: "Sen. Bob Corker plans to move forward as early as next week on a bipartisan resolution updating President Donald Trump’s authority to use military force in the ongoing war against terrorism. Corker, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., rolled out a proposal on Monday that would update the president’s existing legal authority for using military force to fight terrorism in the Middle East while at the same time placing some new restrictions on that authority. The resolution authorizes the executive branch to use 'all necessary and appropriate force' against al-Qaida, the Taliban, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and any 'associated forces.' The proposal, the result of months of bipartisan negotiations, does not provide legal authority for military action against any nation state, which means it would have had no bearing on Trump’s decision to order military strikes last weekend against Syria."

Kendrick Lamar Wins Pulitzer Prize

Kendrick Lamar deserves his Pulitzer. WaPo: "Damn for real. Kendrick Lamar just won the Pulitzer Prize for music. What does it mean? So many things. First, it confirms that these strange days have been blindingly golden for black pop culture... Here’s what else it means: That rap music is the most significant pop idiom of our time. It’s the sound of 21st century American life — a black art form with a black-and-white-and-everyone-else audience. The music is an implicit conversation about the conjoined legacies of slavery, segregation, police brutality and other hideous injustices that our society doesn’t care to solve. In that sense, rap music is the sound of a broken nation struggling to understand itself. And Lamar understands that. Whenever he darts off into a virtuoso verse, he isn’t trying to dizzy our ears as much as vocalize his own hyper-awareness to the state of the nation in real time."

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Cynthia Nixon Could Take Down Andrew Cuomo Over Education. Jake Jacobs: "Should a state with extreme wealth and extreme poverty use public education to even the playing field so all children have an opportunity to improve their conditions? The state’s current Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has been long accused of blocking fair funding for education. But a formidable challenger to Cuomo has emerged, and she is making the issue of equitable education funding front and center."

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