March 31, 2017: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes
  • President Donald Trump called the congressional inquiry into his alleged ties to Russian officials a "witch hunt" this morning, adding that his disgraced national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who resigned after it was learned he had undisclosed dealings with Russians, should ask for immunity from prosecution. Flynn has asked to cut a deal in return for his testimony before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Flynn's attorneys insist their client has plenty to share with Congress, but not before getting immunity from possible prosecution. The request for immunity has raised eyebrows. Last September, when Flynn was campaigning for Trump in Florida, Flynn said, "If you're not guilty of a crime, what do you need immunity for? Right?"
  • Meanwhile, Trump is calling out Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) and members of the Idaho House Freedom Caucus for their success last week in derailing Trump's bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. "We must fight 2018," Trump tweeted, adding, "If @RepMarkMeadows, @Jim_Jordan and @Raul_Labrador would get on board we would have both great healthcare and massive tax cuts &Reform." Labrador responded by reminding Trump that the Freedom Caucus "stood with u when others ran." For the record, Labrador was an ardent supporter of Sen. Ted Cruz's run for the White House before shifting his endorsement to Trump in the summer of 2016.
  • Thursday's wild weather, which whipped across the Treasure Valley, may have contributed to a deadly two-car crash in Canyon County. Idaho State Police said the scene was an intersection at Homedale and Farmway roads. A juvenile passenger in a Ford van died at the scene and two other children were rushed to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. Meanwhile another bad wreck, this time on I-84 near Vista Avenue, closed all westbound lanes of the interstate through much of the evening Thursday. Traffic was flowing again by daybreak. ISP offered few details on the condition of the crash victims other than to say they were rushed to local hospitals.
  • Speaking of weather, a "dangerous" river advisory remains in effect for the Boise River as floodwaters have now closed seven stretches of the Boise Greenbelt. At daybreak this morning, the river was nearly 11 feet high at the Glenwood Bridge in Boise and running at 8,260 cub feet per second. The National Weather Service is warning that if the river hits 11.3 feet  or 8,900 cfs, large sections of the Greenbelt will be underwater and communities from Boise to Caldwell will see severe riverbank erosion. The NWS says Thursday's rain/snow was the 10th highest one-day total in Boise's recorded history.
  • The Motion Picture Academy apparently wants a do-over. In the shadow of this year's debacle, in which the wrong Best Picture Oscar winner was announced before a worldwide television audience, reports the academy is finalizing talks for this year's producers to return in 2018 and they're "moving aggressively" to get this year's host, Jimmy Kimmel, to return next year.
  • Politico reports the Department of Energy Office of International Climate and Clean Energy has barred employees from using the term "climate change" in official memos.  With that in mind, CBS Late Show host James Corden last night offered some alternative phases: "Instead of 'climate change,' you have to say 'endless summer.' Instead of 'tornado,' we're going to call it 'fun time twisty wind.' Instead of 'earthquakes,' we'll now be referring to them as 'dirt twerking.'"

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