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Sunshine and Shade
February 19, 2018

After meeting some victims of the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Friday, President Trump has passed the rest of Presidents Day weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort. "He spent much of the time watching cable news, venting to friends about the Russia investigation, and complaining that it has been driving so much press coverage," The Washington Post reports, citing people who spoke with the president. Trump "also surveyed Mar-a-Lago Club members about whether he ought to champion gun control measures in the wake of last week's school massacre in nearby Parkland, telling them that he was closely monitoring the media appearances by some of the surviving students."

With Trump at Mar-a-Lago were his sons Eric and Don Jr., Geraldo Rivera, and first lady Melania Trump, who "did not join her husband in the dining room" Saturday night, the Post reports. Starting Saturday night, Trump started tweeting angrily about the FBI, his national security adviser, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calf.), and Oprah Winfrey. Trump met Sunday with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

He did not golf on Saturday and Sunday, out of deference to the Parkland shooting — "his predecessor had been criticized for golfing too soon after tragic events," The New York Times notes — but he visited his golf club Sunday night, his motorcade passing a "gentlemen's club" advertising purported onetime paramour Stormy Daniels' Make America Horny Again appearance. Trump and the first lady return to the White House on Monday night. Peter Weber

March 18, 2015

The Associated Press looked at the federal government's 2014 Freedom of Information Act data, released on Tuesday, and wasn't impressed. For the second consecutive year, AP said, the Obama administration "more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them," took longer to hand them over, and more regularly said it couldn't find requested records.

Part of this may be that, as AP concedes, "citizens, journalists, businesses, and others made a record 714,231 requests for information" to 100 federal agencies, costing the government a record $434 million to try and keep up. And it still didn't keep up: More than 200,000 requests remained unanswered as of Jan. 1, 2015.

In 250,581 cases, AP said, government agencies blacked out at least some part of the handed-over document or refused to turn them over at all. In 215,848 other cases, federal agencies said they either couldn't find the record, the requester refused to pay for copies, or the government determined that the request was improper or unreasonable. The White House, using its own metrics, said it turned over 91 percent of requested records, some with parts redacted. You can peruse the data yourself, or read more of AP's analysis. Peter Weber

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