March 22, 2017: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes
  • The news about President Donald Trump's ties to Russia just gets worse. In an exclusive story, The Associated Press reported this morning that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort "secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin," contradicting the administration's insistence that Manafort never worked for Russian interests. Manafort worked as Trump's campaign chairman until August 2016, including the period when Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination. Manafort resigned after the AP revealed he was a paid lobbyist for Ukraine's pro-Russia ruling political party.
  • Wall Street is seeing a second-straight day of lousy numbers as the Dow Jones Industrial average fell another 70 points in early trading Wednesday. It's the biggest drop in five months. Analysts are pointing to Trump's hobbled Obamacare replacement health care plan and, more importantly, how its possible failure could lead to future instances of Trump being unable to deliver on his ambitious campaign promises.
  • The Idaho House approved a new Fiscal Year 2018 spending plan for Idaho community colleges on Tuesday—representing a 6.7 percent increase—but not before Rep. Heather Scott (R-Blanchard) tried to derail the plan. Arguing against the budget, the Spokesman-Review reported Scott insisted lawmakers were taking general fund dollars away from more important matters to fund community colleges. "When my parents [in District 1] have to choose between paying their taxes or buying food, I want to make that point," said Scott, underscoring her opposition to multiple line items attached to the community college bill. Ultimately, the spending plan was approved on a 48-22 vote, sending it to the Senate.
  • Mention the name Chuck Barris to someone under the age of 30 and there's a good chance that they don't know who he is. To Baby Boomers, Barris was the godfather of The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, The Gong Show and a slew of other off-the-wall game shows in the 1960s and '70s. Variety reported Barris died Tuesday at his New York home at the age of 87. The most stunning part of Barris' biography is his claim that he was an assassin for the CIA at the same time he was producing some of television's hottest programs. His autobiography was turned into a dark comedy, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts.
  • Speaking of Baby Boomers, The Beach Boys will be returning to the Treasure Valley this summer. Tickets will go on sale this Friday for The Beach Boys appearance Sunday, July 9 at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa. Tickets run from $35 to $65. The man responsible for the sound that made the Beach Boys famous, Brian Wilson, will be appearing in his own concert at the Morrison Center in Boise on Thursday, April 6.

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