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The Donald vs. Very Fake News
The president’s solo news conference went exactly the way he wanted

President Donald Trump, seen here during his press conference Thursday, has the media right where he wants them, Wetherbee writes. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s first solo press conference as president was a disaster. The 77-minute ramblings of an elderly man has both sides of the aisle worried. Reporters and pundits and supporters and the opposition are confused. What was that? 

It was what the president wanted.

Cory Booker’s Mysterious Mission to Texas
New Jersey senator spent recent weekend visiting a private prison

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has been one of the leading voices of the congressional effort to overhaul the criminal justice system. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As most of his colleagues headed home last weekend, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker spent Friday night on a journey to the center of the country.

After flying from Washington to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Feb. 10, one of the rising stars in the Democratic Party sat unnoticed at a charging station, at the far end of Terminal B, where small regional jets arrive and depart.

Jason Kander May Have Made a Big Mistake
Missouri Democrat hits national stage with potential long-term consequences

Jason Kander’s recent association with national Democratic super PAC could complicate his chances in future elections in Missouri, Gonzales writes. (Courtesy Jason Kander Facebook page)

Missouri Democrat Jason Kander came close to getting elected to the Senate after he burst onto the scene last year with a memorable campaign ad and a strong challenge to GOP incumbent Roy Blunt. Now Kander is widely viewed as a rising star in the Democratic Party, but his postelection choices may complicate future bids for higher office.

Last year, Kander gained national attention for his ad, “Background Checks,” in which he reassembled a rifle blindfolded. It was one of the most memorable ads of the cycle, if not recent campaign history.

White House Puts GOP in Awkward Position
Flynn fallout, security considerations keep dominating news

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to talk about Cabinet nominations on Tuesday. But most of the questions at his press availability were about the latest scandals coming from the White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s domination of the news, whether due to the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn or the spectacle of the president discussing national security at his Mar-a-Lago resort’s dining room, is putting Republican leaders in an awkward position.

“Look, I — I — you’ll have to ask those — the White House those kinds of questions,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday at his traditional media availability after the Republicans’ policy lunch. 

House Poised to Block D.C. Suicide Law but Senate May Not Act
Oversight committee approves resolution overturning the law

Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup introduced the resolution to overturn the District of Columbia’s assisted suicide law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Monday approved a resolution to overturn a District of Columbia law that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients who request them. The 22-14 vote was the culmination of an emotional markup that pitted Democratic support for local governance against the Republican majority’s assertion of congressional power over D.C. law.

The D.C. law is similar to those in five other states and requires the physician to assert that the patient is mentally competent, along with other safeguards, before the drugs are administered. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed it into law in December after an 11-2 council vote.

Report Shows ‘Untapped Power’ of Constituent Advocacy
Showing the local effects of legislation can better influence lawmakers

People react to Rep. Jason Chaffetz as he speaks during a town hall meeting at Brighton High School, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Hundreds of people lined up early for the town hall with Chaffetz on Thursday evening, many holding signs criticizing the congressman's push to repeal the newly-named Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Appeals Court Refuses to Restore Trump’s Travel Ban
9th Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision

A four-year-old girl gathers with protesters and members of the Congress in front of the Supreme Court on Jan. 30 to voice opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A federal appeals court on Thursday declined to revive President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration order that temporarily bans all refugees as well as foreign travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit unanimously upheld a lower court’s order that has temporarily stopped the Trump administration from implementing the travel ban.

Sean Duffy’s an Embarrassment to Wisconsin’s 7th District
And he should apologize to everyone

Wisconsin Rep. Sean P. Duffy, seen above attending a House Financial Services Committee hearing last fall, made headlines after an interview on CNN on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Sean Duffy’s constituents and colleagues should be ashamed of him.

In an interview on CNN on Tuesday, the Wisconsin Republican applauded the “good things that came from” a white supremacist murdering nine black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

Supreme Court Nominee’s Legal Approach Follows Scalia
Analysis of past rulings reveal an ideology similar to late justice’s

Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, left, and Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley arrive to speak to reporters following their meeting in the Capitol on Feb. 1. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Judge Neil Gorsuch included a line in his first remarks as a Supreme Court nominee that signals just how closely his approach to deciding cases aligns with the late Antonin Scalia, the polarizing and reliably conservative justice whose seat Gorsuch would fill.

“A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge, stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands,” Gorsuch, 49, said at the White House last Tuesday.

Black History Month Lessons for ‘Trump World’
Fight for equality continues to be a few steps forward followed by pushback

Despite the success of “Hidden Figures,” we are still far from a time when people of color and women play more than token roles in the telling of the nation’s history, Curtis writes. (Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)

Every year, when February rolls around, you hear the same questions: Why do we need a Black History Month? When is White History Month? (The answer to that second question is January through December, by the way.)

For the answer to the first, look no further than the movie that just picked up the top award from the Screen Actors Guild. “Hidden Figures” is about the African-American female mathematicians who helped propel the U.S. space program, and who were mostly left out of the history books and previous film accounts of NASA and the talents who made it soar. (John Glenn wouldn’t leave home without their trajectory equations.)