‘Fire and Fury’

Tuesday, August 8, 2017Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 9.14.45 AM

Good Wednesday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • President Trump warned North Korea after the state issued a statement saying it would use its resources to take “physical action” against new United Nations sanctions. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seenMr. Trump told reporters.

  • In Japan and South Koreapoliticians are calling for new military capabilities, in what could become a regional arms race.
  • The looming publication of a climate report again raises a contentious policy issue that has deeply divided Mr. Trump’s closest advisers since he arrived in the Oval Office.
  • Public construction spending is dropping across the country, and officials are concerned about safety and quality of life as existing infrastructure ages and falls into disrepair.
  • The president met with top advisers at his New Jersey golf club to discuss the drug overdose problem, but offered no specific initiatives to stem the tide.
— The First Draft Team


The Upshot

The Political Payoff of Making Whites Feel Like a Minority

At a Trump campaign rally on Long Island last year.

At a Trump campaign rally on Long Island last year. Damon Winter/The New York Times

Nationality, race and ethnicity are a large part of identity for most people. Factors like this matter more for some people than others — and for some groups more than others — but a sense of group awareness or membership exists in varying degrees across all segments of American society.
Often it’s easy to see the signifiers of such group identity, in distinctive music, food or clothing, for example. But sometimes when symbols or language are co-opted, it is harder to spot. In 2015, Donald J. Trump’s “make America great again” and “build a wall” started out as simple but powerful slogans. As time went on, they became more infused with a specific meaning that symbolized the concerns and preferences of a substantial set of white Americans.
Mr. Trump’s appeals were a form of group politics or identity politics, and he continues to focus on threats to white identity as president.
A polling place in Columbus, Ohio, in November. In a reversal from its position under President Obama, the Justice Department is now backing the state’s efforts to purge its election rolls of infrequent voters.

Justice Dept. Backs Ohio’s Effort to Purge Infrequent Voters From Rolls


The position is a reversal from the federal government’s stance under the Obama administration.

An American Super Hornet fighter jet during an aviation exhibition in Bangalore, India, in 2011.

Iranian Drone Buzzes U.S. Fighter Jet Over Persian Gulf


The jet, which was waiting to land on the aircraft carrier Nimitz, was forced to swerve to avoid hitting the drone.

Senator Dean Heller returned to the Capitol after a meeting at the White House last month.

Dean Heller’s Party Loyalty Not Enough to Stop a G.O.P. Primary Challenge in Nevada


He backed party leaders on health care, but Senator Dean Heller is finding that Republicans have their limits. Now he has a primary challenger: Danny Tarkanian.

Thousands of Mexican workers cross the border legally each night from Mexico into California, where they pick up work as agricultural day laborers in California’s Imperial Valley.

The Danger From Low-Skilled Immigrants: Not Having Them


A wealth of research shows that the economy is lifted by foreign workers, providing new opportunities for the native-born.

Alison Brie in “GLOW,” a Netflix series about women’s wrestling.

7 Shows for President Trump to Watch on His Vacation


The president is spending 17 days in New Jersey and New York. A few of our critics weigh in with recommendations of shows to watch (besides the news).

The Senate gallery in the Capitol in Austin, Tex. Business interests oppose a restrictive bathroom bill, fearful of repeating North Carolina’s experience.

Texas Transgender Bathroom Bill Falters Amid Mounting Opposition


With just days left in a special legislative session, supporters of transgender restrictions are pessimistic about the chances of legislation in the face of business opposition.


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:
“The time for good options is passed.”
Mr. Rothman argues that the United States is at a “tipping point” in its relations with North Korea. The American government has two choices before it, neither of which is good. Either policy makers implicitly allow the Asian country to continue developing nuclear weapons, and pin hopes on a program of deterrence, or they pursue the “near impossible task” of neutralizing North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, Mr. Rothman writes. Read more »
From the Left
• Josh Marshall in Talking Points Memo:
“President Trump is simply too erratic, unstable and dangerous to be in charge in a situation like this.”
Mr. Marshall tells his readers: If you weren’t worried before, now you should be. Although he admits that the conflict with North Korea is “neither new nor entirely of President Trump’s making” — Mr. Marshall believes that “George W. Bush’s administration wrecked a not great but workable formula in 2001-2003” — the current president’s belligerent language is making a bad situation worse. Read more »
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