A Turn to Leniency

Monday, December 11, 2017Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 10.29.40 AM

Good Monday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
— The First Draft Team
TRUMP’S WAY

Inside Trump’s Hour-by-Hour Battle for Self-Preservation

By MAGGIE HABERMAN, GLENN THRUSH AND PETER BAKER
President Trump during a news conference in the Rose Garden last month.

President Trump during a news conference in the Rose Garden last month. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Around 5:30 each morning, President Trump wakes and tunes into the television in the White House’s master bedroom. He flips to CNN for news, moves to “Fox & Friends” for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” because, friends suspect, it fires him up for the day.
Energized, infuriated — often a gumbo of both — Mr. Trump grabs his iPhone. Sometimes he tweets while propped on his pillow, according to aides. Other times he tweets from the den next door, watching another television. Less frequently, he makes his way up the hall to the ornate Treaty Room, sometimes dressed for the day, sometimes still in night clothes, where he begins his official and unofficial calls.
As he ends his first year in office, Mr. Trump is redefining what it means to be president. He sees the highest office in the land much as he did the night of his stunning victory over Hillary Clinton — as a prize he must fight to protect every waking moment, and Twitter is his Excalibur. Despite all his bluster, he views himself less as a titan dominating the world stage than a maligned outsider engaged in a struggle to be taken seriously, according to interviews with 60 advisers, associates, friends and members of Congress.
Read more »
Roy S. Moore, the Republican Alabama Senate nominee, during a rally this month in Fairhope, Ala. He has denied accusations of molesting teenage girls.

Alabama, Despite History of Unruly Politics, Has ‘Never Seen Anything Like This’

By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON AND JONATHAN MARTIN

The wild and ugly campaign for the Senate, fraught with incendiary comments and molestation claims, has left even veterans of the state’s politics searching for parallels.

Confused by All the News About Russia? We Are Here to Help

By KAREN YOURISH

Most of the news about Russia falls into one of three categories, which we break down.

Jerome H. Powell, during his confirmation hearing to be the next Federal Reserve chairman. The Fed has been patient in its approach to interest rate increases under the current chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen.

A Fed Rate Increase Is Expected. But What Comes Next?

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

The Federal Reserve has signaled its move this week. Investors, though, want to know whether the central bank will continue with its patient approach to rates.

President Trump at a rally in Pensacola, Fla., on Friday. A Washington Post reporter apologized for a misleading tweet that suggested the event was sparsely attended.

Trump Urges Firing of Washington Post Reporter Over Misleading Tweet

By ZACH JOHNK

President Trump said the reporter, Dave Weigel, should be fired for a photo he posted on Twitter, and later deleted, of a sparsely filled arena before a Trump rally in Florida.

The United States has undertaken an escalating campaign of drone strikes in Somalia.

Pentagon Foresees at Least Two More Years of Combat in Somalia

By CHARLIE SAVAGE AND ERIC SCHMITT

In a proposal, the Defense Department is also seeking looser oversight of its operations in Somalia, where it doubled the number of airstrikes it carried out this year.

Protesters trying to remove barbed wire blocking a road leading to the United States Embassy, east of Beirut, Lebanon, on Sunday.

Lebanese Protest Near U.S. Embassy After Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

By NADA HOMSI AND ANNE BARNARD

Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse thousands of protesters outside the embassy near Beirut.

President Trump touring the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum on Saturday.

Rejecting Calls to Stay Away, Trump Speaks at Civil Rights Museum

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR AND ELLEN ANN FENTRESS

In Jackson, Miss., the president hailed heroes of the civil rights movement even as activists and politicians said his presence insulted the effort to confront the state’s history.

Alaskan lawmakers and energy companies have fought for decades to expand energy exploration.
ON WASHINGTON

How Arctic Drilling, Stymied for Decades, Made Surprise Return in Tax Bill

By CARL HULSE

Advocates of oil exploration in an Alaska wildlife refuge are taking advantage of the special rules of the tax debate to charge toward victory.

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
Rich Lowry in National Review:
“Surely, the state of Minnesota can come up with someone to occupy one of its two Senate seats who hasn’t treated people this way and been dishonest about it.”
Mr. Lowry says he doesn’t buy Mr. Franken’s apology during his resignation speech. If he is innocent, as the senator claims, Mr. Lowry writes, then he shouldn’t resign. After all, “a duly-elected senator wrongly accused owes it to himself and his constituents to fight on.” Read more »
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From the Left
Paul Waldman in The Week:
“Who survives this kind of scandal? The ones that are the least repentant — and often, the most guilty.”
Thursday’s events follow a depressing pattern when it comes to political scandals, Mr. Waldman says. Those who are accused of harassment but stand their ground are rarely held to account by their own parties. He adds, “No matter what you did, there’s a good chance you’ll win.” Read more »
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More selections »