What The Fuck Just Happened Today?

Today's essential newsletter. Logging the daily shock and awe in national politics. Read in moderation.
by @matt_kiser

Site updated:

1/ 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear challenge to Trump’s ban today. The issue in front of the court at the moment is whether the ban will remain suspended for now. The hour-long hearing, conducted by telephone among three West coast judges at 6 p.m. ET, will determine the immediate fate of the nationwide temporary restraining order against Trump’s travel ban. The three-judge panel is expected to rule this week. (CNN)

UPDATE:

Trump travel ban hearing liveblog. (Washington Post)

Related:

2/ Betsy DeVos is confirmed as education secretary thanks to an unprecedented tie-breaking vote. The Senate voted 50-50 on Trump’s controversial pick to head the Department of Education, forcing VP Pence to cast a historic vote to break the tie. (BuzzFeed News)

UPDATE:

The senators who opposed DeVos represent 36 million more people than her supporters do. The 50 senators who opposed DeVos represent 179,381,386 people, while the 50 senators who supported her represent only 143,064,962 individuals. (Think Progress)

Related:

3/ WH official: We’ll say “fake news” until media realizes attitude of attacking the President is wrong. Trump and his staff have repeatedly used the term “fake news” to discredit reporting on the administration, often offering no evidence to back up their disputes with those outlets’ stories. (CNN)

Related:

4/ FBI axes FOIA requests by email, so dust off your fax machine. Starting next month, the FBI will no longer accept Freedom of Information Act requests by email. In lieu of its popular email service, the FBI suggests sending a fax or snail mail, a procedural change that has more to do with obstructing the law than a dearth of resources. (TechCrunch)

5/ Hundreds of current, former EPA employees urge Senate to reject Trump’s nominee for the agency. The controversial nomination advanced out of a Senate committee last week after Republicans used their majority to suspend committee rules and approve Pruitt despite the absence of all Democrats, who boycotted the nomination vote partly because of his anti-regulatory bent. He could be approved by the full Senate as early as this week. (Washington Post)

6/ Trump’s White House tries to rehab its Hill outreach. The administration has been on a hiring spree to smooth congressional relations but some of the interactions are still rocky. (Politico)

7/ Melania Trump reveals plan to leverage presidency to ink “multi-million dollar” endorsement deals. The admission came in a defamation lawsuit the First Lady filed against the Daily Mail. (Think Progress)

8/ Europe must defend itself against a dangerous president. The United States president is becoming a danger to the world. It is time for Germany and Europe to prepare their political and economic defenses. (Der Spiegel)

9/ BuzzFeed vs. Trump. BuzzFeed News pushes further than its competitors, but can it handle the consequences? (Recode)

10/ Trump administration to approve final permit for Dakota Access pipeline. The deputy secretary of the Army will grant the final permit needed for completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, clearing the final bureaucratic hurdle standing in the way of the massive infrastructure project. (Washington Post)

11/ White House ramping up search for communications director after Spicer’s rocky start. Trump is disappointed in Spicer’s performance during the first two weeks of the administration. Spicer has served as both White House press secretary and communications director for the new administration. Those roles are typically filled by two staffers. (CNN)