News you need to know — and your President Obama pic of the day.

Welcome to a new daily series at Shareblue Media, providing you with links to important news, interesting stories, useful information about actions of resistance, and a picture of President Barack Obama to lift your spirits a bit.

  • The uber-conservative Sen. Ted Cruz had an interesting start to his day. Warning: Not Safe For Work. Especially if you’re an uber-conservative senator.
  • In a major staffing fail, Donald Trump has left a crucial White House post vacant: First Pet.

    [Trump] is the first president without a pet in nearly 150 years … According to the Presidential Pet Museum, the White House has been home to over 300 animals, ranging from dozens of dogs, horses and birds to the occasional bear, tiger and alligator … Harry Truman, the president from 1945-53, is often credited with saying “if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”

    Sage advice for “Mr. 30 Percent.”

  • Speaking of Trump’s unpopularity, Pope Francis is definitely not a fan:

    If US President Donald Trump considers himself “pro-life,” he should reconsider his decision to end a program that allows the children of undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States, Pope Francis said.

    “The President of the United States presents himself as pro-life and if he is a good pro-lifer, he understands that family is the cradle of life and its unity must be protected,” Francis said.

    This isn’t the first time the pope has repudiated Trump’s xenophobia. But hey, what does the pope even know about the teachings of Jesus, right, Steve Bannon?

  • Remember that garbage voter suppression commission headed up by Mike Pence and Master of Disenfranchisement Kris Kobach? It’s still total garbage:

    The commission’s second meeting [will] include three panels of elections professionals on Tuesday who will present a series of sham statistics and questionable studies to draw false conclusions about the integrity of U.S. elections … A majority of testimony will come from individuals with strong points of view who “are willing to overlook weaknesses in the statistical evidence that they’re using in order to make their claims.”

    And just for good measure, the panel will be filled with a whole lot of white men:

  • In a hopeful bipartisan effort, New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins introduced an amendment Monday to reverse Trump’s hateful ban on transgender Americans serving openly in the military:

    The amendment … would prevent the military from kicking out transgender service members solely based on their gender identity, according to a copy of the language obtained by CNN.

    The senators will try to get a vote on their proposal during consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act, the massive defense policy bill that’s on the Senate floor this week.

    That bigoted ban is also being challenged by no fewer than four separate lawsuits, including one from two transgender troops from California.

  • You haven’t forgotten about the Russia investigation, right? Donald Trump Jr. testified in a closed-door session of the Senate Judiciary Committee about his meeting with Russian agents during the campaign. But one senator wasn’t satisfied with that:

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate judiciary committee, said Monday she expects Donald Trump Jr. to return to the Senate at some point for a public hearing about his meeting last year with a Russian lawyer and others.

    Trump Jr. was interviewed by Senate judiciary staff for close to four hours last week. Asked if she expected Trump Jr. to return, Feinstein told CNN, “I do — come hell or high water.”

    Maybe he can hitch a ride with his dad.

  • Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress want to give tax cuts to the richest Americans. And to do it, they’re willing to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other necessary programs that average Americans rely on. A coalition of progressive organizations, called Americans for Tax Fairness, has a way for you to stop them. Call your members of Congress and tell them to vote no on this disastrous budget. Because not one penny in tax cuts should be given to the wealthy and corporations.
  • Former press secretary Sean Spicer probably didn’t win any awards during his six months on the job, but his doppelgänger did:

    On Sunday, [Melissa] McCarthy won best guest actress on a comedy series at the Creative Arts Emmys … [for her] gum-chewing portrayal of the embattled press secretary on “Saturday Night Live.”

    Let’s all take a few minutes to remember that glorious performance: