Another White House Shakeup

Tuesday, August 1, 2017Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 8.12.51 AM

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

On Justice Ginsburg’s Summer Docket: Blunt Talk on Big Cases

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court. J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the most outspoken member of the Supreme Court, sometimes to her regret. Last year, she issued a statement saying that her criticisms of Donald J. Trump during the presidential campaign had been ill advised. “In the future,” she said, “I will be more circumspect.”
She has stayed true to her word, to a point, but she remains blunt and candid. In a pair of recent appearances, Justice Ginsburg critiqued the Trump administration’s travel ban, previewed the coming court term, predicted an end to capital punishment and suggested that the other branches of government are in disarray.
Justice Ginsburg, 84, also described her grueling exercise routine, her link to a rap icon and her “graveyard” dissents.
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President Trump meeting with members of his cabinet at the White House on Monday.

John Kelly, Asserting Authority, Fires Anthony Scaramucci


It remains to be seen if the new chief of staff will quell the chaos that has defined, distracted and often derailed President Trump’s White House.

Vice President Mike Pence speaking in Tallinn, Estonia, with the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania behind him. He told the Baltic leaders that “we are with you.”

Embassy Reductions Won’t Deter U.S., Pence Says


During a trip to Eastern Europe, the vice president responded aggressively to Russia’s retaliation for sanctions legislation. President Trump remained silent.

New C.D.C. guidelines on opioids like Percocet are likely to have sweeping effects on the practice of medicine.

White House Panel Recommends Declaring National Emergency on Opioids


President Trump’s commission to assess the epidemic wrote to him that a declaration would allow the federal government to “take bold steps.”

The V.C. Summer nuclear project near Jenkinsville, S.C. The owners, Santee Cooper and South Carolina Gas & Electric, announced Monday that they were abandoning two unfinished nuclear reactors rather than than saddle customers with additional costs.<br /><br />

U.S. Nuclear Comeback Stalls as Two Reactors Are Abandoned


Two South Carolina utilities said they would halt construction on a pair of reactors, dealing a major blow to the future of American nuclear power.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, at a budget meeting last week. He spoke about tax reform at an event Monday that was hosted by Americans for Prosperity, a political network funded by the Koch brothers.

Moving Past Health Care, White House Looks to Tax Reform


The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress cannot afford another political failure. And outside groups are working to remind them of that.

President Trump giving the Medal of Honor to James C. McCloughan, 71, in the East Room of the White House on Monday. Mr. McCloughan is credited with saving the lives of 10 men over two days in Vietnam.

Medal of Honor Goes to Vietnam Medic Who Ran Through ‘Hell on Earth’


James C. McCloughan, credited with saving the lives of 10 men over a two-day battle, was awarded the nation’s highest military decoration 48 years on.

The White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Friday.

Divorce Report Capped Scaramucci’s First Week. There Was No Second Week.


News that the White House communications director and his wife were breaking up kept intrigue swirling.

The 2003 funeral of a doctor who died of SARS infection in Hong Kong during the pandemic. Only six countries have taken steps to evaluate their abilities to withstand a global pandemic, according to a report sponsored by the World Bank.

Only Six Nations Have Evaluated Readiness for Global Pandemic


A World Bank-sponsored study found that wealthy countries Finland, Saudi Arabia and the United States and poor nations Eritrea, Pakistan and Tanzania had gone through assessments.

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
• Paul R. Pillar in The National Interest:
“The bill is consistent with, and puts in stark relief, a larger problem of Congress habitually using economic sanctions against foreign states as an expression of disapproval that is poorly designed to achieve any U.S. foreign policy objectives.”
Mr. Pillar argues that the real purpose of sanctions is to allow politicians to pander to domestic constituencies against unpopular foreign entities. Bills including the most recent sanctions legislation against Russia, North Korea and Iran are carelessly assembled and, he writes, “collide immediately with economic interests of U.S. allies in Europe.” Read more »
From the Left
• Joshua Yaffa in The New Yorker:
“Putin has not yet given up on Trump entirely. The goal of this latest move is not to break with Trump or to forswear working with him.”
Mr. Yaffa proposes that the response of the Russian president need not be interpreted as an escalation in hostilities between the two countries. Instead, he writes, perhaps it is possible to read Mr. Putin’s decision to expel American diplomats from his country as “both a warning and an opening” for President Trump. Read more »
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