A Shutdown for the Wall?

Thursday, August 24, 2017Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 8.45.35 AM

Good Thursday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
— The First Draft Team
The Upshot

How Many Americans Would Pass an Immigration Test Endorsed by Trump?

By QUOCTRUNG BUI
President Trump this month endorsed legislation that would effectively cut immigration to the United States by half. The bill, known as the Raise Act, would sharply reduce the share of people admitted through family ties and create a skills-based system that scores applicants on factors including age, education, income, job prospects and proficiency in English.
The Senate sponsors of the bill say their system, modeled on merit systems used by Canada and Australia, would make the United States more competitive. If passed — and immigration overhaul has defied decades of attempts — it would replace standards largely established in the Johnson administration.
Read more »
Federal Electricity Study Hints at Future Support for Coal

By BRAD PLUMER

The Energy Department report says the current grid is robust but suggests additional support for the ailing coal and nuclear industries.

Coach Bronco Mendenhall leading Virginia onto the field in 2016. The ESPN announcer Robert Lee had been scheduled to call the Virginia-William and Mary game in Charlottesville on Saturday.

ESPN Pulls a Broadcaster, Robert Lee, and Encounters a Storm

By MARC TRACY

A decision that a broadcaster who shares a name with the Confederate general should not call a Virginia game in Charlottesville has been met with criticism.

Judge A. Wallace Tashima in 2012. He ruled on Tuesday that the decision to end a Mexican-American studies program in Tucson was “motivated by a desire to advance a political agenda by capitalizing on race-based fears.”

Tucson’s Mexican Studies Program Was a Victim of ‘Racial Animus,’ Judge Says

By MAGGIE ASTOR

A federal judge ruled that state officials’ actions were racially driven when they ended a Mexican-American studies program in Tucson’s public schools.

Senator Robert Menendez arrived at Federal Court in Newark on Tuesday. On some days this fall, Mr. Menendez will have to choose between attending his corruption trial and casting votes in the Senate.

Menendez Is Denied Reprieve From Corruption Trial to Cast Senate Votes

By NICK CORASANITI

Senator Robert Menendez had requested that his trial be delayed until after the Senate session in September, or postponed on days when major votes were taking place.

Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia in Beijing in May.

Malaysian Leader in Billion-Dollar Scandal Is Invited to White House

By GARDINER HARRIS

The visit by Prime Minister Najib Razak promises to bestow legitimacy on him and illustrates what critics say is the Trump administration’s disregard for corruption.

An Exxon Mobil refinery in Billings, Mont. in 2016. A new paper by two Harvard researchers who reviewed nearly 200 documents representing the company’s research and public statements found that the company largely misled the public on the science explaining climate change.

Exxon Misled the Public on Climate Change, Study Says

By JOHN SCHWARTZ

A new paper argues that Exxon Mobil “contributed quietly to the science” of climate change “and loudly to raising doubts about it.”

A coal pile at the NRG WA Parish electrical generating station near Houston. It uses carbon capture and storage technology.

What ‘Clean Coal’ Is — and Isn’t

By BRAD PLUMER

President Trump’s comments about “clean coal” in Phoenix betrayed a common confusion about the term.

During a rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, President Trump blamed the news media for the country’s deepening divisions, saying it had failed to properly report his remarks on the violence in Charlottesville, Va.

U.N. Panel Condemns Trump’s Response to Charlottesville Violence

By SEWELL CHAN AND NICK CUMMING-BRUCE

The anti-racism committee invoked its urgent warning procedures for the first time since an outbreak of killings last year in Burundi.

Alaska’s Permafrost Is Thawing

By HENRY FOUNTAIN

The loss of frozen ground in Arctic regions is a striking result of climate change. And it is also a cause of more warming to come.

Justice Bernd Zabel last year. The judge said he had worn a “Make America Great Again” hat as a joke.

Canadian Judge Faces Possible Discipline for Wearing Trump Cap

By CATHERINE PORTER

Justice Bernd Zabel of Ontario faced a disciplinary panel because he arrived in his Hamilton courtroom wearing a red “Make America Great Again” ball cap.

Gerard Baker, the editor in chief of The Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street Journal Editor Admonishes Reporters Over Trump Coverage

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

In internal emails, Gerard Baker described the draft of an article about the president’s rally in Phoenix as “commentary dressed up as news reporting.”

The memorial will be cleaned and repaired, and educational space will be added beneath it.

America’s Most Popular Statues

By SHIVANI VORA

Statues honoring the Confederacy have gotten a lot of attention lately. But the statues that draw millions are largely monuments to freedom.

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
• Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio in The Weekly Standard:
“With his decision, President Trump has ensured that the worst-case scenario won’t unfold. But that is a long way from victory.”
Mr. Trump’s speech last night may have indeed appeased the neoconservatives listening. Mr. Joscelyn and Mr. Roggio believe that President Trump deserves credit for his decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan, writing that “a complete withdrawal would have been disastrous.” They are cautious, however, and warn the commander in chief that he must “drastically reassess America’s jihadist enemies.” Read more »
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From the Left
• Fred Kaplan in Slate:
But nowhere in the speech did Trump lay out how the pounding might lead to the winning of the war and the settling of the peace.”
Mr. Kaplan heard little in the way of an actual plan to win in Afghanistan on Monday night. As the president made clear in his speech, he is more interested in “killing terrorists” than “nation-building.” Which leads Mr. Kaplan to wonder, “What is he going to do about the Afghan nation?” After all, “killing is only the beginning of winning a war.” Read more »
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