March 28, 2017: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes
  • President Donald Trump is expected to go to the offices of the Environmental Protection Agency today and sign an executive order that would, in effect, dismantle former-President Barack Obama's most significant climate change effort, which enforced new rules for coal-burning energy plants. The New York Times reports Trump said his order "will increase America's energy independence and restore lost coal mining jobs." Trump's suggestion that coal mining jobs have been threatened by foreign imports doesn't square with the facts: The U.S. doesn't import coal. What's more, University of Wyoming energy economist Robert Godby told The Times that those mines that would stay open are using fewer workers, replacing them with more mechanization.
  • The worst kept secret in Hollywood is a "secret" meeting of the Motion Picture Academy of Governors today. A spokesman for the Academy confirmed the meeting to The Daily Express in the U.K. but would not say anything more. The obvious mission of today's meeting will be to craft a plan to avoid another screw-up like this year's Oscars, when the wrong winner was announced as the Best Picture of the year—one of the biggest public faux pas in modern history.
  • The mother of a child with special needs has taken to social media to blast TSA agents at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport for conducting what she called a "horrifying" security check. The Dallas Morning News reports the mother claims she and her son were "treated like dogs" after she requested TSA agents screen her son "in other ways per TSA rules." Instead, a security agent patted down the boy for more than two minutes as a pair of DFW police officers flanked the child. The woman said agents then kept her and the boy for about 45 minutes, causing them to miss their flight. The TSA is disputing the mother's story, but conceded the process "took about 45 minutes, which included the time it took to discuss screening procedures ... and screen three carry-on items that required further inspection." The mother's Facebook account of the incident has already netted more than 5 million views.
  • With only a handful of measures left on the House and Senate agendas, the Idaho Legislature should gavel out of its 2017 session today. The biggest piece of news from Monday was the House passage of HB67a—repealing the state's grocery tax—on a vote of 51-19. Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter has already hinted he may veto the measure, saying the state's general fund would take a hit of approximately $25 million.
  • What began as a noise complaint March 25 turned into an all-out raid of an alleged cockfighting ring in Gooding County. The Twin Falls Times-News reports the Gooding County Sheriff's Office said deputies witnessed an active cockfight at a rural farm with upwards of 150 people there to watch. Ultimately 80 roosters had to be taken from the scene and euthanized by the Idaho Humane Society. Authorities said scores of people were cited with misdemeanors for participating in the cockfight. Additionally, the sheriff's office said the owner of the farm was under investigation and may be charged using a 2012 law that makes organizing a cockfight a felony when drugs or gambling are involved. Deputies seized narcotics, firearms and cockfighting equipment at the scene.
  • On the March 27 broadcast of the Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon wondered aloud if Trump's failure to repeal and replace Obamacare might provide the material for another Trump memoir. He even suggested a few titles, including "The Giving Up Tree," "To Kill a Healthcare Bill," "Oh, the Places You'll Golf" and "How to Lose Friends and Influence No One."

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