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Trump Order Will Aim to Roll Back a Clean Water Rule
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ February 27, 2017, 10:59 PM)

The executive order, expected Tuesday, will direct the Environmental Protection Agency to begin dismantling President Barack Obama?s environmental legacy.

Trump Concedes Health Law Overhaul Is ?Unbelievably Complex?
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ February 27, 2017, 09:29 PM)

The president suggested that the struggle to replace the Affordable Care Act was creating a legislative logjam, potentially stalling other parts of his agenda.

In the House, Leaders of Russia Inquiry Are Split on Whether It?s Needed
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ February 27, 2017, 08:51 PM)

The top Republican on the Intelligence Committee said there was no evidence of ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. His Democratic counterpart disagreed.

Critics Assail Cuts in Foreign Spending as Trump Moves to Boost Military
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ February 27, 2017, 08:48 PM)

The proposed Pentagon increase has been criticized in part because White House officials say President Trump will call for a cut to programs that military officials say contribute to global stability.

Former President George W. Bush Levels Tacit Criticism at Trump
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ February 27, 2017, 08:16 PM)

The former president took issue with the current president?s approach to immigration and the news media, and said that ?we all need answers? on any potential ties to Russia.

Wilbur Ross, a Billionaire Investor, Is Confirmed as Commerce Secretary
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ February 27, 2017, 07:24 PM)

Mr. Ross, whose businesses were buoyed by Nafta, will be a key leader in efforts to overhaul the trade deal.

Attorney General Pledges Crackdown on Violent Crime, Gun Violations
(from: Washington Wire @ February 27, 2017, 07:11 PM)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised to crack down on violent crime and direct the Justice Department to increase prosecutions of gun-law violations, seeking to outline his priorities to reporters the day before his first public speech as the nation?s top law enforcement official.

Disagreement in GOP Over Tax Credits to Replace Obamacare
(from: Washington Wire @ February 27, 2017, 06:58 PM)

An influential conservative House Republican said he could not currently support House GOP leaders? plan for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, highlighting the internal divisions hindering Republicans as they struggle to overhaul the 2010 health-care law.

Trump improves on Romney across Rhode Island, but Democrats keep their legislative supermajorities
(from: Swing State Project @ February 27, 2017, 06:06 PM)

Daily Kos Election?s project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation comes to Rhode Island, one of the few states where Democrats hold supermajorities in both legislative chambers. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new states; you can also find all our data from 2016 and past cycles here.

The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (which is still its official name) backed Hillary Clinton 56-40, not a particularly close result, but still a noticeable drop from Barack Obama?s 63-35 win in 2012. While Obama carried all 38 state Senate seats, Clinton won 28 of them. (We estimate that one of those seats, the Warwick-based SD-30, backed Clinton by 7 votes, after supporting Obama 60-37.) While Donald Trump didn?t come close to winning Rhode Island?s four electoral votes, he improved on Mitt Romney?s margin in 33 Senate seats. The largest swing to the right was in SD-25 in Johnston, which lurched from 57-41 Obama to 55-41 Trump. However, Democratic incumbent Frank Lombardo III won a fourth term without any GOP opposition. The biggest swing to the left was in SD-03 in Providence, which went from 79-18 Obama to 84-11 Clinton; unsurprisingly, Democratic state Sen. Gayle Goldin won without any general election opposition.

Trump?s improved performance didn?t do much to help the GOP in the state Senate. Democrats netted one seat last year, taking their already dominant 32 to five majority to 33 to five. (The chamber?s only independent retired and was replaced by a Republican.) Ticket-splitting helped Team Blue more in the state Senate than it aided the GOP, with seven Democrats holding Trump seats and two Republicans on Clinton turf. The reddest Democratic-held seat is SD-23, which swung from 52-46 Obama to 57-38 Trump, but where Democratic state Sen. Paul Fogarty won a tenth term 58-42. The bluest GOP-held seat is SD-35, which went from just 50-48 Obama to 52-43 Clinton; Republican incumbent Mark Gee won a second term without any general election opposition. The entire state Senate is up every two years.

It was a similar story in the state House. Clinton carried 57 of the 75 seats, losing 17 Obama seats. Clinton did win half of the state House seats that Romney won, meaning she carried exactly one Romney seat. HD-30, which includes all of East Greenwich, swerved from 50-48 Romney to 52-43 Clinton, but Republican incumbent Antonio Giarrusso won without any general election opposition. HD-30 was a rarity, since Trump improved on Romney?s margin in 64 districts. However, state House Democrats netted two constituencies and won a 64-10 majority. Blake Filippi won re-election as an independent but soon became a Republican, handing them an eleventh seat. Eleven Democrats represent Trump seats, while four Republicans, including Filippi, hold Clinton districts.

Interestingly, one of those 11 Democrats is Nicholas Mattiello, the speaker of the House. His Cranston-based HD-15 swung from 51-48 Obama to 56-40 Trump, making it Trump?s fourth best seat in the chamber. Mattiello, who has a reputation as a conservative, only won re-election 49-48 in November, though Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo may wish her intra-party foe had lost. The reddest Democratic seat is HD-47, which swung from 54-43 Obama to 58-36 Trump, but where Democratic state Rep. Cale Keable narrowly won a fourth term. The bluest GOP-held seat is HD-72, which went from 53-46 Obama to 54-41 Clinton, and where Republican state Rep. Kenneth Mendonca also narrowly won re-election. The whole state House is also up every two years.

A Constitutional Right to Facebook and Twitter? Supreme Court Weighs In
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ February 27, 2017, 03:44 PM)

In considering a North Carolina law that bars sex offenders from using some social media, the Supreme Court discussed how such platforms have transformed civic life.

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