A Softer Tone

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

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

Trump Goes Positive in Congress Address

By JOSH KATZ AND GREGOR AISCH
President Trump’s address to Congress featured a markedly different tone than the combative one on display over the first five weeks of his presidency.
While many of his recent public appearances were closer in style to his campaign speeches, the speech on Tuesday night was in line with typical State of the Union addresses from previous presidents.
Read more »

Trump, in Optimistic Address, Asks Congress to End ‘Trivial Fights’

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, MICHAEL D. SHEAR AND PETER BAKER

The president called on Congress to work with him on overhauling health care, changing the tax code and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure and military.

Ever a Showman, Trump Keeps Washington Guessing

By PETER BAKER AND MAGGIE HABERMAN

On the day of his first speech to Congress, the new president ripped up the script and opened the door to an unexpected compromise on immigration policy.

Fact Checking Trump’s SpeechReporters from The New York Times fact checked the president’s first address to Congress.

• Full Video and Transcript

Health Care Is at Center of Democrats’ Response to Trump

By JONATHAN MARTIN

Democratic leaders are determined to make health care the centerpiece of their attacks against Republicans leading into next year’s midterm elections.

Trump Offers ‘Miracles,’ but Few Details on How to Achieve Them

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

The president offered a vision of more jobs and less crime and poverty, but a reduction in regulations was just about the only goal for which he gave specifics.

From ‘America First’ to a More Conventional View of Diplomacy

By MARK LANDLER

The president’s first address to Congress came after a turbulent debut on the world stage, but also reflected a return to established U.S. positions.

President Seesaws on Legal Status for Undocumented Immigrants

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR

Before his speech to Congress, President Trump said that “the time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides.” But he made only a glancing reference to that assertion as he faced lawmakers.

Trump’s Trade Retreat Could Hurt Push for Labor Rights Abroad

By NEIL GOUGH

The Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade deals required tougher labor and environment measures. Some call them fig leaves, but others bemoan their loss.

A Subdued Trump Still Gets Friends and Foes Worked Up

By MATT FLEGENHEIMER

If Donald Trump strained to project a presidential air, stifling digressions and generally staying on script, the spectacle also laid bare the simmering tensions that have overtaken an already-long-polarized space.

Justice Dept. Stays Out of Argument Over Voter ID Law

By MANNY FERNANDEZ AND ERIC LICHTBLAU

A previously scheduled hearing over the Texas law had an awkward tone, one day after the Justice Department changed its position on a key issue.

Kellyanne Conway Sits, and Etiquette Arbiters Take a Stand

By KATIE ROGERS

Photos of the counselor to the president sitting casually on a couch in the Oval Office were all the kindling needed to ignite into a battle over decorum.

Does Barring Reporters From Briefings Cross a Legal Line?

By ADAM LIPTAK

First Amendment experts say the White House decision to bar several outlets from a briefing last week may have been unconstitutional.

Sessions Indicates Monitoring of Some Police Agencies May End

By ERIC LICHTBLAU

In his first speech as attorney general, Mr. Sessions blamed Justice Department scrutiny from afar for undermining the effectiveness of the police across the country.

Desperate for Presidential Leadership, G.O.P. Finds Little

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER AND EMMARIE HUETTEMAN

A lack of engagement from the president, who has relied on attention-grabbing executive actions, has left the party paralyzed when it expected legislative activity.

Threats and Vandalism Leave American Jews on Edge

By ALAN BLINDER, SERGE F. KOVALESKI AND ADAM GOLDMAN

At least 100 threatening calls have been made to Jewish community centers and schools since January, in a menacing pattern that has prompted a federal investigation.

Obamas Make Book Deal With Penguin Random House

By ALEXANDRA ALTER

The company will publish coming books by former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, concluding a heated auction among multiple publishers.

Andrew Harnik/Associated Press