A Delayed Health Vote

Sunday, July 16, 2017Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 9.23.03 AM

Good Monday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
Senator John McCain of Arizona had surgery on Friday, delaying a plan to vote on the Republican health care overhaul.
President Trump returned from France on Friday and spent the weekend watching golf at his resort in New Jersey.
A Russian developer is known to help out the Kremlin on occasion. But was he a conduit to Mr. Trump during the campaign?
— The First Draft Team
White House Memo

Dropping the Bluster, Trump Revives Banter With Reporters

President Trump and his wife, Melania, boarding Air Force One in Paris on Friday. Mr. Trump spoke expansively to reporters on Wednesday's flight to France.

President Trump and his wife, Melania, boarding Air Force One in Paris on Friday. Mr. Trump spoke expansively to reporters on Wednesday’s flight to France. Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

The Donald J. Trump who turned up in the press cabin of Air Force One on Wednesday evening, as his plane crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the way to Paris, was starkly different from the one who publicly pillories the news media but surprisingly familiar to reporters who know him well.
The president had taken off his tie but kept on his jacket — a wardrobe change that for him qualifies as casual Friday — and he was in a happy-hour frame of mind. Expansive, engaging, even at times ebullient, Mr. Trump held forth for an hour, addressing reporters by name and alighting on topics as different as Chinese history and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
It was a loose, good-humored side of Mr. Trump that the public rarely sees amid the fusillade of angry speeches and venomous tweets that have characterized the president’s first six months in the White House. And it came to light only because he retroactively put the session on the record, asking a reporter the next morning why she had not quoted his remarks.
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Xiyue Wang in an undated photograph from Princeton University, where he is a graduate student.

Iran Sentences U.S. Graduate Student to 10 Years on Spying Charges


The sentence for the American, a graduate student in history at Princeton, seemed bound to further antagonize relations between Iran and the United States.

Mohamad Alrefai in “While I Was Waiting.” The play, based on a true story, will be performed at Lincoln Center this week.

For Syrian Actors, a Maddening Road to America


The cast and crew of a Syrian play to be performed at Lincoln Center are scattered across the world, so just getting to the United States was a dramatic ordeal.

Members of the Popular Mobilization Forces, a mostly Shiite militia group, at their post at the Iraqi border with Syria.

Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’


The United States spent more than $1 trillion and lost about 4,500 troops in the effort to make Iraq the cornerstone of a Western-facing Middle East. But today, Iran’s influence is paramount.

An abandoned furniture store in Lares, P.R. The town in the mountainous heart of the Caribbean island has lost more people to migration than any other municipality since 2010.

Exodus From a Historic Puerto Rican Town, With No End in Sight


Even on an island facing economic collapse and population loss, Lares, a picturesque mountain town, stands out. It has lost almost a quarter of its population since 2000.

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
• Guy Benson in Townhall:
“He’s made an excellent, reassuring, conspiracy-puncturing decision here, and that matters. Or at least it should.”
After President Trump fired James B. Comey as the F.B.I. director, Mr. Benson wrote that he would reserve judgment until he saw whom Mr. Trump would nominate as a replacement. Now that Christopher A. Wray, the president’s pick, has testified before the Senate (and received rave reviews from political leaders on both sides of the aisle), Mr. Benson is confident that the fallout from Mr. Comey’s ouster is not as dire as initially predicted. Read more »
From the Left
• Brian Beutler in New Republic:
“Mitch McConnell is trying to make liars out of Republican opponents of his odious health care bill.”
Mr. Beutler critiques the latest attempt by the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, to pass a health care bill. The cynicism, he writes, is “breathtaking”: “The proposition is that the most vulnerable citizens should take a flyer on the hope that the least honest governing party in memory will take another vote at some point in the future to spare them.” Read more »
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