* Tom Hamburger reports that Michael Flynn may have been even sleazier than you thought:

As President Trump delivered his inaugural address on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in January, his new national security adviser, Michael Flynn, sent a text to a former business associate telling him that a plan to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East in partnership with Russian interests was “good to go,” according to a witness who spoke with congressional investigators.

Flynn had assured his former associate that U.S. sanctions against Russia would immediately be “ripped up” by the Trump administration, a move that would help facilitate the deal, the associate told the witness.

The witness provided the account to Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who detailed the allegations in a letter Wednesday to the panel’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).

If Flynn isn’t going to jail, he’d better have some incredible info on other people to supply the special counsel with.

* Jeff Stein reports that Republicans are ready to launch Phase II of their plan to make America more unequal:

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that congressional Republicans will aim next year to reduce spending on both federal health care and anti-poverty programs, citing the need to reduce America’s deficit.

“We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Ryan said during an appearance on Ross Kaminsky’s talk radio show. “… Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements — because that’s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking.”

Ryan said that he believes he has begun convincing President Trump in their private conversations about the need to rein in Medicare, the federal health program that primarily insures the elderly. As a candidate, Trump vowed not to cut spending on Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.

The shamelessness here is just stunning. We’re going to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit so we can give corporations and the wealthy a tax cut, then turn around literally days later and say this terrible debt we’ve accrued means we have no choice but to slash the safety net.

* Christopher Ingraham reports on a new study showing that the top 1 percent have more of the country’s wealth than any time in the last half century. Time for some more tax cuts and upward redistribution!

* Brian Faler reports that experts sorting through the tax bill Republicans rushed through have found it “riddled with bugs, loopholes and other potential problems that could plague lawmakers long after their legislation is signed into law.”

* Jessie Hellmann reports that 3.6 million people have signed up for insurance plans on the ACA exchanges, ahead of last year’s pace.

* Rick Noack reports that pretty much the entire world condemned President Trump’s announcement today that he’s moving our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

* James Hohmann unpacks the continued support Roy Moore gets from many Alabama women.

* Noah Bookbinder, Norman Eisen, and Caroline Fredrickson explain why it will be very difficult for President Trump to fire Robert Mueller if he tries.

* A new Quinnipiac poll finds that nearly half of American women say they’ve been sexually assaulted, and 66 percent of all voters say if an elected official is accused by multiple women, he should resign.

* Dahlia Lithwick argues that “When they go low, we go high” isn’t really working out for Democrats.

* At The Week, I argued that Republicans aren’t even trying to persuade anyone of anything anymore.

* And Heather Digby Parton says that the idea that Trump associates are setting up a private intelligence service is just idiotic enough to be true.