Quick Takes: Taxpayers Are Picking Up the Tab For This Cabinet’s Extremism

* Do you remember those days when Trump was announcing his cabinet nominees and people started to figure out that he was appointing people who were likely to undermine the very mission of the agencies they were being asked to lead? That kind of extremism didn’t sit well with the American public or the people who work in those departments. A resistance was launched.

Apparently that scared some cabinet members like Scott Pruitt at EPA and Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education. As a result, taxpayers are going to have to pick up the tab for their cowardice. Here’s the story on Pruitt:

Though the Trump administration has requested deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, the department is looking for an increase in security for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the New York Times reported this week.

The EPA has asked to add 10 security agents to provide a 24/7 security detail for Pruitt, which would be the first time an EPA administrator has had around-the-clock security, according to the New York Times…

Myron Ebell, who led President Donald Trump’s EPA transition team, told E&E News in February that the additional security agents could help protect Pruitt from protesters and his department’s own employees.

* We recently heard a similar story about DeVos.

Federal marshals are protecting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at a cost to her agency of nearly $8 million over nearly eight months, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

The Education Department has agreed to reimburse the marshals $7.78 million for their services from mid-February to the end of September, said a marshals spokeswoman — an average of about $1 million per month…

Previous education secretaries have been protected by a team of department employees, many of whom were Secret Service veterans. That team was replaced by marshals on Feb. 13, a few days after DeVos encountered protesters who briefly blocked her from entering a D.C. middle school.

* A lot of the news today was about our unhinged president’s interview with Maria Bartiromo. If you don’t have the stomach to read the whole thing, take a look at what Mark Sumner wrote about it and treat yourself to his artful use of phrases like “loopier than a Ferris wheel on meth” and “Donald Trump tries to make death by chocolate a literal thing.”

* Remember that time I talked about how we shouldn’t take Trump’s policy statements seriously? Today provided more examples.

* Yet another one of Bannon’s executive orders bites the dust.

The White House will lift President Trump’s federal hiring freeze on Wednesday following fire from critics who said it hampered the government from carrying out core functions.

* During his address to a joint session of Congress, Trump talked about how his administration was going to highlight the victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. ICE isn’t exactly off to a great start on that one.

Immigration officials are halting the fearmongering weekly reports that list crimes allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants…

The weekly reports listed the crimes allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants and shamed the local law enforcement agencies that supposedly didn’t notify ICE they had these alleged criminals in custody or didn’t cooperate with “detainer requests” that hold immigrants after they’re released so they can be picked up for deportation…

Several police agencies questioned the accuracy of the reports. Since ICE started publishing the reports last month, they’ve issued eight corrections, an apology, and are now ceasing the report until an undisclosed amount of time.

* Nate Cohn tells us why a Republican win in Kansas yesterday is still a loss for the GOP.

On Tuesday, Republicans won an unexpectedly close race in Kansas’ Fourth Congressional District. The Republican Ron Estes won by seven points over James Thompson, even though President Trump won the district by 27 points in November. No Democrat holds a House seat as Republican as this one, so it’s startling that the seat was even competitive.

For an idea of just how Republican this district is – take a look at this:

* Finally, all of us “oldies” can find a lot of inspiration in this:

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.