Start your Monday smart (and we’re here to help)

Monday, May 1, 2017
Happy Monday morning. Here are the 5 things you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

By Doug Criss.

1. Donald Trump

How will President Trump spend his next 100 days? Probably a lot like how he spent his first – searching for legislative wins. Of course, Trump will disagree with that assessment. He marked his 100th day in office over the weekend with a huge rally in Pennsylvania, where he bragged to his most hardcore supporters about racking up great achievements so far.

The question of how to deal with North Korea (which had another failed missile test) has been a mainstay of Trump’s term so far, but he raised eyebrows when, in an interview, he called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a “pretty smart cookie" and left the door open for military action against the regime. (It was left to Sen. John McCain to reassure allies: “Sometimes it’s important to watch what the President does rather than what he says.")

People are also scratching their heads over Trump’s decision to invite Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ uber-controversial President, to the White House. Duterte is waging a violent (and some say illegal) war on drugs in his country. He has said he’s killed people, and he has just an awful human rights record. But Trump thinks he can be of help in dealing with North Korea.

2. Weather

It was a deadly weekend down South. At least 13 people were killed as storms ripped through Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. Damage was widespread in northeast Texas, where at least three tornadoes hit. And it’s not over. A severe weather warning is in effect today. About 22 million people on the East Coast, from North Carolina to New York, are at risk of twisters, high winds and hail.

3. Turkey

Friends don’t let friends fight, so the US is taking some steps to keep a pair of its Mideast allies from duking it out. US forces are now patrolling part of the Turkey-Syria border. This comes after Turkey killed dozens of Kurdish fighters in airstrikes last week. Turkey says it wasn’t intentional. The Kurdish fighters — including some from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) — have been helping the US fight ISIS. But Turkey considers the YPG to be a terrorist group in itself. So the US hopes the patrols — complete with armored vehicles flying American flags — will help keep the peace between its two closest allies in the volatile region. If you need a refresher, here’s a quick look at the alphabet soup free-for-all in Syria. 

4. Politics

Relax, America. There probably won’t be yet another government shutdown crisis this week. Congress wants to kick that can down to the fall. Congressional negotiators reached a deal that, if approved, will keep the government funded through September. The deal will provide billions in new spending to the Pentagon and $1.5 billion for border security (think hi-tech stuff and fixing existing infrastructure) but nothing for new border wall construction. The House and Senate are expected to take up the spending bill before week’s end. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s in this latest bill.

A rumored revival of the GOP health care bill may be around the corner too, but President Trump may have muddied the waters a bit when he said this weekend the Republican plan “guarantees" coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. There’s debate if the GOP plan really does that at all.

5. Milwaukee jail death

An inquest is being held in the death last year of an inmate in the Milwaukee County Jail. Prosecutors suspect he died after jailers denied him water for a week. The inmate’s death was ruled a homicide by a medical examiner. And there have been three other deaths, including a newborn baby, at the jail, so folks are anxious to see just what’s going on up there. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke runs the jail. He’s a tough-talking supporter of President Trump. Protesters will target him today. They want him to quit over the jail deaths, but they’re also upset about his intention to use deputies and correction officers to help enforce federal immigration laws.

Breakfast Browse

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
Nap time
Now this is a gym class we can all get behind: a 60-minute sleep class for tired parents.
Don’t look at me
The Fyre Festival turned into an embarrassing hot mess and (past his prime) rapper Ja Rule founded it, but he’ll tell anyone who’ll listen, it wasn’t his fault.
May you know all
It’s May 1, May Day, but how did it come about? AJ Willingham, our resident explainer of everything, fills you in.
Immigration battle
A North Carolina city council member wanted to introduce a resolution, welcoming immigrants, as a nice gesture. Then all hell broke loose.
‘How do you like me now?’
President Bush (via Will Ferrell) popped up at Samantha Bee’s alternative White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
“The news coming out of the White House is so stressful, I’ve been watching ‘House of Cards’ just to relax."
Comedian Hasan Minhaj roasting the Trump administration during the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

And finally …

Room’s not big enough for the both of us
Shasta the dog hates the “evil" Roomba vacuum cleaner, so she does something about it. (Click to view)
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