Opinion writer

* Erica Werner and Mike DeBonis report that it looks like we’ve got ourselves a budget deal:

Congressional leaders on Wednesday unveiled a sweeping budget deal that would add about $400 billion in federal spending over the next two years, delivering the military funding boost demanded by President Trump alongside the increase in domestic programs sought by Democrats.

With a government-shutdown deadline of midnight Thursday looming, the accord holds the promise to break a months-long partisan standoff centered on federal spending, though roadblocks remain.

In a major lift for the package, the White House signaled its support, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders calling it “steps forward.” But several Republicans strenuously opposed a plan that would add to the nation’s debt.

The budget deficit has already ballooned thanks to the tax cut all those same Republicans voted for. So feel free to ignore everything they say.

* Andrew Restuccia reports that, amazingly, an accused domestic abuser is one of Donald Trump’s closest aides:

White House staff secretary Rob Porter, a mostly unknown but deeply influential aide who spends almost every day by President Donald Trump’s side, said Wednesday he plans to resign following abuse allegations from his ex-wives.

In a pair of reports published by the Daily Mail, Porter’s two ex-wives detailed episodes of verbal and physical abuse. The Daily Mail published a copy of a protective order obtained by Porter’s second wife in 2010, and later published photographs of Porter’s first wife with a black eye she said came from Porter punching her. […]

But a senior administration official said Kelly was previously aware of the 2010 protective order, which prevented Porter from getting a full security clearance.

I guess Kelly said to him, “No prob, bro — we all know chicks lie.” After all, didn’t over a dozen women independently make up stories about President Trump grabbing them and kissing them against their will?

* White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is not backing down from his assertion that Dreamers who didn’t sign up for DACA are lazy.

It couldn’t be because they were worried that giving the federal government their names and addresses might one day be used to round them up for deportation, like say if some xenophobic white nationalist got elected president.

* Daniella Diaz reports that Nancy Pelosi has spoken for more than seven hours on the floor of the House in support of Dreamers. As of now, she’s still going.

* Sara Murray reports that despite his lawyers’ advice, President Trump wants to be interviewed by Robert Mueller because he totally thinks he can ace the interview. Yeah.

* Jill Colvin looks at Trump’s continual attempts to characterize immigrants as violent criminals.

* Jacob Levy offers a deeply thoughtful meditation on Trump’s use of language — on the power it has exerted over Republican voters and the GOP Congress, and on the folly of imagining that his words alone won’t do serious damage to American political life, as long as he is constrained from acting.

* Matt Glassman examines the incentives that push members of Congress away from doing the right thing.

* Benjy Sarlin examines Eric Holder’s efforts to help Democrats reverse years of losses in redistricting.

* A new Quinnipiac poll finds that Trump’s approval has risen to 40 percent, and 48 percent give him credit for the state of the economy.

* Max Boot explains why Republicans repelled by Trump’s authoritarian tendencies have no choice but to vote Democratic.

* Ryan Goodman unpacks the letter Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham wrote in an effort to breathe life into the deflating Nunes effort. Unsurprisingly, it’s another big nothing.

* At The Week, I examined the question of whether President Trump will — or can — refuse to answer Robert Mueller’s questions.

* Gerard Ramalho reports that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says global warming might be a good thing, because humans flourish when it’s warm. Seriously, he said that.

* And finally, if you haven’t seen the Trump hair video, you simply must. For yourself. For the children. For America.