Catastrophic Flooding

Monday, August 28, 2017Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 9.21.46 AM

Good Monday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • President Trump announced plans to travel to Texas on Tuesday, as millions of people there continued to battle catastrophic flooding and torrential rainthat was expected to last for several more days. [The Times is providing free digital access to coverage of the storm. See more here.]
  • Mr. Trump has embraced a program to overhaul the nation’s nuclear arsenal and the Air Force has announced major new contracts for nuclear cruise and ground-based missiles, even as some experts call the programs unnecessary and dangerous.
  • After two deadly collisions involving Navy ships, more than a dozen current and former officers raised alarms about gaps in maintenance and training, grueling duty schedules and expanded operations.

  • Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” seemed to separate himself from the president on his equivocal response to the Charlottesville violence.

— The First Draft Team


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News Analysis

Trump’s Brand of Law and Order Leaves Leeway on the Law

President Trump at a rally last week in Phoenix, where he signaled he might pardon Joe Arpaio.

President Trump at a rally last week in Phoenix, where he signaled he might pardon Joe Arpaio. Tom Brenner/The New York Times

President Trump spent 18 months as the ultimate law-and-order candidate, promising to rescue an American way of life he said was threatened by terrorists, illegal immigrants and inner-city criminals.
But during seven months as president, many critics and legal scholars say, Mr. Trump has shown a flexible view on the issue, one that favors the police and his own allies over strict application of the rule of law.
Over the past two years, in ways big and small, the critics say, Mr. Trump has signaled that taking the law into one’s own hands is permissible, within the executive branch or in local police departments, or even against a heckler at one of his rallies.
Read more »
The Kennedy Center Honors have a bipartisan tradition of recognizing excellence in the arts for decades. In 2005, President George W. Bush congratulated Tina Turner, and, from left, Tony Bennett, Suzanne Farrell, Julie Harris and Robert Redford, who were also honorees, at a White House reception.

The Trumps Bow Out. Will Future Presidents Attend the Kennedy Center Honors?


President Trump’s decision to skip the Kennedy Center’s gala eases the pressures this year — but could make it harder to attract other presidents.

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, center, said that his country’s nuclear program could be restarted in a matter of hours if the American government imposed further sanctions on Tehran.

If Report Says Iran Is Abiding by Nuclear Deal, Will Trump Heed It?


Although inspectors are expected to certify Iranian compliance, President Trump wants out of the nuclear deal, making his allies and advisers uneasy.

A protest this month in support of DACA outside the office of Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general. Mr. Paxton and other attorneys general have said they will file a lawsuit if the White House does not phase out the program.

‘Dreamer’ Plan That Aided 800,000 Immigrants Is Threatened


A group of conservative state attorneys general has threatened to sue the Trump administration unless it begins to dismantle the program by Sept. 5.

Janet L. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, with Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, and Haruhiko Kuroda, the head of the Bank of Japan, at the annual conference in Wyoming sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Bankers and Economists Fear a Spate of Threats to Global Growth


At a conference where economic policy makers usually discuss how to fuel growth, they instead worried about threats from protectionism, deregulation and the debt ceiling.

Misspelling is hardly the sin it once was.

So Trump Makes Spelling Errors. In the Twitter Age, Whoo Doesn’t?


In tweets, the president seems to spell poorly, and he’s been flogged for it. But there’s an argument to be made that the spelling police should relax a bit.

An Independence Blue Cross sign-up spot in Philadelphia in 2013. Despite threats to the Affordable Care Act and its individual mandate, some insurers serving that market under the law are beginning to turn a profit.

Trump’s Threats on Health Law Hide an Upside: Gains Made by Some Insurers


Despite anxiety over the Affordable Care Act’s stability, many insurance companies still participating have cut losses sharply. Some are starting to prosper.

People lined up to speak during a town hall meeting in Charlottesville, Va., on Sunday.

After Charlottesville Protests, Fury Flows Toward Local Officials


Residents and local activists condemned the response of local politicians and the police to a white nationalist rally this month.

A giant robotic arm loads pallets of chainsaws in a factory in Virginia Beach. A change in how spending on capital investments like automation is treated for tax purposes could encourage more of it, proponents say.

Will the Republican Tax Bill Be Aimed at the Economic Past, or the Future?


In at least a few cases, economic theory favors one approach, while political calculation suggests another.

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
Noah Rothman in Commentary
“Trump’s Praetorian Guard may pretend as though the president is unconcerned about a primary challenge, but his behavior suggests otherwise.”
Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story
Mr. Rothman writes that even as Mr. Trump’s “2020 campaign machine is staffing up, raising funds, and tracking potential Democratic challengers,” the Twitter attacks that Newt Gingrich points to in a separate commentary portray the landscape of primary challenges to come. It starts with Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who has already announced himself a challenger “from the president’s left,” continues with the establishment parts of the Republican Party and extends to “the wing of the G.O.P.” that Mr. Rothman says “believes in Trumpism even more than Trump.” Read more »
From the Left
Katy Waldman in Slate
“No man is an island, but Trump is drawing perilously close.”
Ms. Waldman looks at the president’s recent speeches, the White House firings and Twitter attacks on potential congressional allies and sees limited opportunities after Mr. Trump has “shoved away all of the stakeholders in his presidency.” Ms. Waldman even found evidence of Mr. Trump’s isolation during the recent solar eclipse where the president “looked up and challenged the sky” by not wearing glasses. Read more »
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