Opinion writer

* Via Maria Sacchetti, President Trump and Stephen Miller are climbing over each other in a rush to start putting migrant children in cages again:

The Trump administration is moving to formally terminate a federal court settlement restricting how long U.S. officials can detain migrant children with their parents and replace it with a new rule that could expand family detention and dramatically increase the time children spend in custody.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services will issue a new rule Friday to withdraw from the Flores Settlement Agreement, the federal consent decree that has set basic standards for the detention of migrant children and teens since 1997.

The new rule would eliminate a 20-day cap for detaining migrant children and create a new licensing regime that would make it easier for federal officials to expand family detention nationwide.

The rule won’t take effect for at least two months, and it will be challenged in court, so who knows how far it will get. But it’s yet another sign of just how zealously Trump and Miller are working to make it harder for desperate migrants to seek refuge here.

* More Fake News about the stupendous Trump economy:

Employers added a half-million fewer jobs in 2018 and early 2019 than previously reported, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

The revisions, which are preliminary, are part of an annual process in which survey-based estimates are brought into alignment with more definitive data from state unemployment insurance records. Wednesday’s revision covers the period through March; final updates, which will include the rest of 2019, will be released in February.

The revisions don’t change the overall picture of a healthy job market. But they do mean that 2018, which had ranked among the strongest years of job growth in the decade-long recovery, was weaker than previously believed.

Something tells us the economic numbers that Trump has been hailing (while claiming the numbers under Obama were fake) will soon become fake under Trump, too.

* Hamed Aleaziz reports on still another Trump administration effort to make it a lot harder for people who are seeking asylum in the United States.

* A new CNN poll finds that Trump’s approval rating is stuck at 40 percent. Interesting nugget: Approval of Trump’s handling of race relations is also mired at 40 percent -- among whites.

* A new Politico/Morning Consult poll finds that Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders lead Trump by 7 and 5 points respectively, while the other Democrats are tied with Trump or trailing. But here’s the really important finding:

Trump comes in at 35 percent or 36 percent in each of the seven different matchups tested — a troubling place for an incumbent, especially when the majority of voters also disapprove of his job performance.

It’s still very early, but those are just terrible number for Trump.

* An important point from Neil Irwin: Trump’s new message is basically that the economy is super awesome, but also, we need a whole lot of new stimulus to keep it afloat.

* Heidi Przybyla reports on how coal miners just aren’t doing all that well under Trump, even as the coal magnates are doing quite well indeed.

* Ed Kilgore has a nice piece using his southern childhood to demonstrate how absurd the conservative rage over the New York Times’ “1619 Project” has been.

* Jamil Smith on why the “1619 Project" is a real act of patriotism that has exposed dark truths about our country in the present.

* Jennifer Rubin looks at a new Joe Biden ad slamming Trump for dropping the push for background checks, and notes that this is the way to pillory Trump for failing to deliver.

* And David Bier has a new paper arguing that increasing legal immigration is the solution to all of our problems on this issue. Of course, for Trump, legal immigration is the problem, so…