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PBC News & Comment: Budget Bill Passes, Despite Rand Paul Filibuster

Government was technically shut down briefly overnight, as Senate, then House pass debt-funded budget, splintering both parties amid massive dysfunction…--Rand Paul exposed deep Republican hypocrisy, including his own

--Paul Krugman observes that GOP never really cared about deficits, used the rhetoric to block Obama

--billionaire vs billionaire lawsuit abruptly ends mid-trial in San Francisco, as Uber settles with Google’s Waymo over theft of robot car technology

--Winter Olympics in South Korea offer intrigue and diplomacy, as Kom Jong Un’s sister meets S. Korean president Moon, and Mike Pence talks human rights

--Buzzfeed says “it’s clear” that Russian hacking of DNC is connected to hacking of World Anti-Doping Agency

--as we await release of House Intel Democratic rebuttal memo, crews are building partitions between Dem and GOP staff in committee offices

--at ConsortiumNews, Coleen Rowley and Nat Parry take on the mobilization planned if Trump fires Mueller

--in op-ed, international lawyer Ian Wilkie says Defense Secretary Mattis has admitted there’s no evidence that Syria used sarin gas in Ghouta or Khan Sheikoun

--WashPost reports that Trump rarely reads his daily intel briefing, likes videos and graphics

--VICE takes a break from its general support for US foreign policy, declares US is propping up a dictatorship in Honduras

--already slammed for handling of wife-beater Rob Porter’s White House exit, John Kelly tells staffers to lie about it

--MeToo produces “collateral damage” as producer Jill Messick’s suicide is blamed on Harvey Weinstein and Rose McGowan

--California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, leader of MeToo in legislature, is accused of groping male staffer

--yesterday in Sacramento, feds hold only hearing on plan to drill for oil off the coast, which turned out to be a silly “open house”

--at Shadowproof, Kevin Gosztola details how ICE is targeting activist immigrants for deportation

--in San Francisco, asylum hearing leads to arrest of Sudanese refugee

--after detailed analysis, the Cook Report says that Dems could win back control of the House in November