Quick Takes: Preparing for War, Not Peace

* Trump wants to increase the Defense budget by at least $54 billion. Meanwhile, in addition to the problems Martin just wrote about at the State Department, the president wants to cut their budget by 37%. Zack Beauchamp notes that even Republicans aren’t likely to go along with that and roughly 100 Congressional Democrats wrote a letter of objection.

With instability and turmoil on the rise around the world, our international affairs efforts address the root causes of conflict and crisis. Our diplomats settle disputes over conference tables and in quiet conversation so that they don’t need to be settled with bombs and bullets. Our development initiatives help countries lift themselves up, because areas mired in poverty often become hotbeds for instability and violence. This work also shows the world that the United States believes in opportunity, equality, and the rule of law for all people.

* Perhaps the best description of Trump’s speech last night came from a “senior White House official.”

* CNN’s Sara Murray reports that the media fell for a bait-and-switch from the Trump administration.

* It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that the White House chief strategist who wants to fuel a “global war with Islam” is lighting up the pages of an al Qaeda newsletter.

The front page article from Al Qaeda-affiliated publication Al Masra features a photo of Bannon and references negative comments he’s made against Islam. The appearance of Bannon in jihadist media shows how policies forged by his nationalist policies support the notion that the West and Islam are incompatible— a narrative pushed not only by the White House, but by groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

* Hours after Trump said this:

As we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens. Bad ones are going out as I speak tonight and as I have promised.

this happened.

A young woman in the process of renewing her legal status to stay in the country has been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Twenty-two-year-old Daniela Vargas had just spoken Wednesday at an immigration press conference in front of Jackson City Hall. Her attorney says a friend was driving Vargas from the press conference when ICE officials pulled them over on the freeway and detained Vargas.

Her attorney, Nathan Emmons, says that Vargas’ earlier Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status had just expired and that his firm had already filed to renew it.

* VP Pence just dug the hole Republicans have put themselves in with Obamacare repeal a little bit deeper.

Pence appeared Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” where George Stephanopoulos asked him if Trump “can guarantee that everyone who has coverage now won’t lose it” under a new health care law…

“Will that guarantee that no one loses coverage?” Stephanopoulos asked again.

“I think the President has made it clear: No one is going to fall through the cracks in this,” Pence said.

* Finally, here is FDR sounding awfully prescient during his reelection campaign in 1936. I guess some things never change (hat tip to Timothy Noah for this one).

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.