Pres candidate Julian Castro calls on Barr to resign

Citing the Washington Post scoop that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was unpleased with Attorney General William Barr’s depiction of his report, Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro tweeted: “Attorney General Barr willfully misled the American people to cover up attempted crimes by Donald Trump. He should resign his position or face an impeachment inquiry immediately.”

Barr wars: Mueller strikes back against AG’s interpretation

Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrote a letter to Attorney General William Barr after he publicized Mueller’s principal conclusions, expressing his concerns about Barr’s depiction of his findings, which he said failed to capture the “context, nature, and, substance.” The letter was followed by a phone call during which Mueller pressed Barr to release executive summaries of his report.

Post-announce bump solidifies Biden’s frontrunner status

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement of a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination has earned him an 11-point polling bounce, leaving him well at the front of the Democratic candidate pack. That puts Biden more than 20 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Sen. Bernie Sanders (15%), and 30 points ahead of the next strongest candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (8%).

Stephen needs Moore votes

Sen. Joni Ernst became the first Republican senator to go on record as a “no” on Donald Trump’s Fed pick Stephen Moore today. She said it’s “very unlikely that I would support that person,” and “several” senators agree with her. She also said she shared her views with the White House. Her assessment was affirmed by Republican Sen. Tim Scott, who said Moore’s best hope was to barely squeak by.

The Columbian: Gerrymandering is biggest threat to democracy

“[Q]uestions about voter eligibility have ranged from efforts to remove minorities from voter rolls to suggestions that people who are incarcerated should be allowed to vote. Those are complex issues, but the conundrum of illegal gerrymandering should be easy to fix. Other states should be quick to adopt Washington’s bipartisan approach to drawing congressional and legislative districts.”

Japan’s pacifist emperor steps down

Japan’s Emperor Akihito, who ascended to the throne in 1989, succeeding his father, Emperor Hirohito, stepped down today and handed over the throne to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito. The transition ends the postwar period formally known as Hesei or “achieving peace.” Akihito is the first Japanese monarch to abdicate the throne in 200 years.

Trump threatens Cuba

Donald Trump threatened economic war against Cuba if it does not remove its troops from Venezuela. He specifically suggested a full embargo of Cuba and the “highest-level” of sanctions if Cuba does not comply. Cuba has been very supportive of preserving the Maduro regime, providing soldiers and money.

Trump businesses extorted undocumented workers

Along with the brazen hypocrisy of railing against illegal immigration while hiring undocumented workers at your businesses, Donald Trump and his businesses have gone one step further by forcing undocumented workers to work extra hours with no pay. The New York attorney general is investigating the claims and has already interviewed more than two dozen former employees.

Stone’s time in the barrel

Randy Credico, longtime Roger Stone friend and radio host, received a subpoena from prosecutors to testify in Stone’s case. While Stone’s trial will not begin for a few more months, prosecutors believe that Credico will be a credible and damaging witness against Stone.

Why did ISIS leader Baghdadi reappear now?

Infamous Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi made his first appearance in an ISIS video in five years. As speculation grows behind the reason for his reappearance, many believe that he is attempting to assure supporters that the caliphate is not dead, despite heavy losses over the last few months. Others believe that he is signaling to lone-wolf attackers to work autonomously as the communication and structure of ISIS break down.

Is it finally infrastructure week?

President Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met for talks on infrastructure on Tuesday. The three agreed on a $2 trillion figure. The agreement on price is an important hurdle to cross before being able to pass any meaningful infrastructure plan.

Sri Lanka ends social media ban

After the Easter Sunday attacks, Sri Lanka placed a ban on all social media, including messaging apps like WhatsApp. The ban, which has now been lifted, caused widespread confusion as many Sri Lankans only use social media to communicate with family and friends.

124 days: Paul Whelan is still detained in Russia

American Paul Whelan has been detained in Russia on dubious charges for 124 days. Russia is denying basic consular services to Whelan. They do not allow letters from Whelan’s family to be read, nor the signing over of powers of attorney, and they limit all other discussion. These restrictions render the consular visits nearly meaningless.

Maduro claims ‘total loyalty’ of military chiefs

Embattled President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday Venezuela’s military chiefs had assured him of their “total loyalty,” after a group of soldiers rose up in support of opposition leader Juan Guaido. “Nerves of Steel! I have spoken with the commanders of all the [defense regions and operational zones], who have expressed their total loyalty to the People, the Constitution and the Fatherland,” he said on Twitter.

Jennifer Rubin: Rod Rosenstein is leaving as a diminished man and shamed lawyer

“Informed legal observers had their suspicions about him from the start. How did he get roped into writing a memo that served as the phony excuse for firing then-FBI Director James B. Comey? Why didn’t he recuse himself once it became apparent he was witness to a key event in possible obstruction-of-justice case? History is not likely to treat Rosenstein well. He was weak when strength was required, cowardly when courage was called for. He’s no Mueller.”

Timothy L. O’Brien: Welcome to the war over Donald Trump’s wallet

“Welcome to the first salvos of the post-Mueller battle between the White House and Congress over the separation of powers, executive authority and the Pandora’s Box of thorny, troubling problems stemming from the fact that Trump is the most financially conflicted president of the modern era…How this plays out will inform whether non-partisan and non-ideological values such as good government, ethical management, and, yes, transparency have institutional protection in the future regardless of which president and which party controls the White House.”

Adam Schiff will make a criminal referral to the Justice Dept on Erik Prince

House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff said today that his committee will make a criminal referral to the Justice Department for Erik Prince, the founder of the private military company Blackwater and the brother of Education Sec. Betsy DeVos. Prince, who served as an informal Trump campaign adviser, misled the committee at least twice when testifying, Schiff says.

Democrats rising concern about the border ‘crisis’

Views of the border situation as a crisis have risen steeply among Democrats, up 17 percentage points from 7% in January to 24% now. Additionaly, a 42% plurality of registered voters say Donald Trump’s handling of illegal immigration makes them more likely to oppose his reelection in 2020.

Trump wants to prevent Deutsche Bank and Capital One from releasing his financial records

Seven of Trump’s companies filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Deutsche Bank and Capital One to block the banks from complying with federal subpoenas investigating his financial dealings. “The subpoenas were issued to harass President Donald J. Trump, to rummage through every aspect of his personal finances, his businesses, and the private information of the President and his family,” the lawsuit reads.

Venezuela opposition leader leads uprising against Maduro

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has taken to the streets with detained activist Leopoldo Lopez and a small contingent of heavily armed soldiers in a military uprising. “This is the moment of all Venezuelans, those in uniform and those who aren’t,” said Lopez in his first public appearance since being detained in 2014 for leading anti-government protests. “Everyone should come to the streets, in peace.”

WaPo: Lie No. 10,000 is really a whopper

“The president, whose own administration imposed and then rescinded a systematic policy of wrenching migrant children from their parents, with no protocol in place to reunite them, now poses as a paragon of compassion that ended cruel laws in place before he took office. This is false.”

Trump will make immigrants pay fees to seek asylum

New policies include adjudicating asylum applications within six months of filing, requiring a monetary fee for applications, and it would prevent migrants who have attempted to enter the United States illegally from receiving work authorization before any relief is granted.

Two sixth graders charged with plotting school shooting

The students were charged with conspiracy to commit murder on Friday for allegedly scheming to kill students and parents at South Cumberland Elementary School before killing themselves. A school resource officer heard about a rumor about a “hit list” relating to a future school shooting, and was able to alert the authorities on time.

White House pushing to designate Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist group

The Trump administration directed officials to come up with ways to slap sanctions on the Islamist political movement. This comes after Trump met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has long decried the Muslim Brotherhood that has opposed his rule in the country. By designating the movement as a terror group, it would immediately become the target of American sanctions and restrictions, including travel bans and other limits.

Boeing finds another 737 Max software problem

Boeing admitted Monday that a previously-undisclosed software problem stopped certain safety alerts from flashing up as expected. Said alerts could have warned pilots that the plane’s stall-prevention system, suspected to have been involved in the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, was about to misfire.

Junior’s gf joins Trump campaign

Former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle is joining President Trump’s 2020 campaign as a senior adviser, the campaign announced on Monday. Guilfoyle is also the girlfriend of Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and most recently served as the vice chair of America First Action, a pro-Trump Super PAC.

Kalev Leetaru: The outsized impact of Twitter on democracy

“For Twitter to see the core underpinnings of democracy through the lens of ‘fake news’ is truly frightening and reminds us that it either doesn’t take its role in democracy seriously or that it takes it so seriously that it is afraid of reminding society how much power it truly wields over the future of the nation itself. In the end, as the Washington Post’s motto reminds us, ‘democracy dies in darkness.’ It is time for us to shed far more light on social media’s impact on democracy.”

Mattis ignored Trump to prevent ‘bad things from happening’

Former Defense Sec. James Mattis declined to carry out orders from President Trump or otherwise limited his options in various attempts to prevent tensions with North Korea, Iran, and Syria from escalating. “The president thinks out loud. Do you treat it like an order? Or do you treat it as part of a longer conversation? We treated it as part of a longer conversation,” a former senior national security official said. “We prevented a lot of bad things from happening.”