From the hill to the hall: July 25–31

Trump speaks to Scouts
President Trump spoke to the Boy Scouts of America at the organization’s annual jamboree, covering topics such as his electoral victory and his successful friends’ yacht parties.

Trump tweet sets off panic
In the midst of Trump’s tweetstorm announcing a ban on trans troops, military analysts initially feared the tweets signaled military action against North Korea. The lack of clarity in the tweets and their disjointed nature led several in the intelligence community to fear the worst. Unfortunately for those with an interest in civil rights, what followed was worse—but those fearing an imminent strike on Pyongyang breathed a sigh of relief.

Senate gives us the skinny on the repeal
In the latest “-and-forth” in the back-and-forth drama over the Senate’s health care legislating, Senate Republicans dropped what they termed a “skinny” repeal. Compounding the never-ending comedy that is government, Senators stated that passage of the bill was not intended to be the end—instead, the bill was a vehicle for the reconciliation process. However, the House seems reticent in its intent on the final outcome, especially with a martial law rule in effect that would have allowed for fast passage of the bill. Ultimately, the most vicious volley may have rested in the hands of Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who voted no, effectively killing the bill and setting up even more confusion in the Capitol.

Sanctions for EVERYONE!
A 98–2 vote on Thursday, with Senators Paul and Sanders voting nay, lobbed further sanctions toward Russia, Iran and North Korea. Senator Sanders for his part explained his opposition to sanctions on Iran, which is ostensibly still under a deal brokered by the Obama White House.

Wanted: new police chief
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has narrowed the search for a new Portland Police Bureau chief to four, among whom are current Chief Mike Marshman and Pittsburgh Assistant Chief Larry Scirotto. Two other unnamed candidates have requested that their names be unreleased. The mayor is interviewing the candidates and should be deciding soon.