House Approves Budget Plan, Clearing Way for Tax Cuts

Friday, October 27, 2017Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 12.34.52 PM

Good Firday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • The Republican race to overhaul the tax code broke into a sprint on Thursday, with House members narrowly clearing a budget blueprint that would allow a tax bill to pass Congress without any Democratic votes.
  • President Trump directed the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency, taking long-anticipated action to address a rapidly escalating epidemic of drug use.
  • Mr. Trump ordered the long-awaited release of more than 2,800 documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
  • The Department of Homeland Security unveiled several border wall prototypes that the agency said was the first step in carrying out Mr. Trump’s plan to build a barrier along the border that the United States shares with Mexico.
  • Senator Lindsey Graham, once the target of the president’s barbs, is suddenly his cheerleader, even as other like-minded Republicans recoil from Mr. Trump.
  • New details have changed the timeline to the attack in Niger as Pentagon officials investigate the ambush that left four Americans and five Nigeriens dead.
— The First Draft Team

A Secret Service Agent Remembers: ‘I Wish I Had Been Quicker’

By MATT FLEGENHEIMER
Clint Hill, who was in Jacqueline Kennedy's Secret Service detail, on the back of the limousine moments after the shooting on Nov. 22, 1963.

Clint Hill, who was in Jacqueline Kennedy’s Secret Service detail, on the back of the limousine moments after the shooting on Nov. 22, 1963. Ike Altgens/Associated Press

It was just before noon, in the last hours of a half-century wait for government documents about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, that the octogenarian Secret Service retiree shuffled into his first TMZ moment.
“A lot of people always have these different conspiracy theories,” a cameraman for TMZ, the gossip site, began, ambushing the former agent, Clint Hill, outside his hotel here on Thursday. “Do you sometimes hear it and wonder it yourself?”
Mr. Hill stared back at him.
“Never,” he said flatly. “I was there.”
The release of documents concerning Kennedy’s death has captivated historians both professional and amateur, returning a seminal moment of the modern presidency to the forefront of the American psyche.
Read more »
Kalashnikov Concern is one of the companies being considered for sanctions by the Trump administration.

Trump Administration Sends Congress List of Possible Russia Sanctions

By NICHOLAS FANDOS AND MICHAEL D. SHEAR

The list appeared to be an effort to mollify critics, including Senator John McCain of Arizona, who have criticized delays in imposing new sanctions.

LIVE BRIEFING

National Archives Release Files on John F. Kennedy’s Assassination

By THE NEW YORK TIMES

The federal government released thousands of documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

A steel mill in Huger, S.C., in April. The president signed executive orders in April calling for the Department of Commerce to launch investigations into whether imports of steel and aluminum were harming American national security.

Democrats Pressure Trump to Fulfill Promise to Impose Steel Tariffs

By ANA SWANSON

The move to block two of the president’s Commerce Department nominees is a product of a broader fight over the president’s promises to radically alter trade policy.

Mark Halperin is a former political director at ABC News and more recently was an analyst at MSNBC.

Mark Halperin, a Top Political Journalist, Faces Multiple Claims of Harassment

By JOHN KOBLIN AND MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

The accusations against Mr. Halperin, among the most prominent political journalists in the country, were made by former colleagues from his time as political director at ABC News.

A Tea Party protest of the Internal Revenue Service’s scrutiny of conservative groups outside the United States Capitol in 2013.

Justice Department Settles With Tea Party Groups After I.R.S. Scrutiny

By EMILY COCHRANE

The government will pay millions of dollars in one settlement with hundreds of conservative groups and admit wrongdoing, though pay no damages, in another.

President John F. Kennedy before his assassination in 1963.

Have You Read the Kennedy Documents? Tell Us What You See

By THE NEW YORK TIMES

The New York Times would like to hear from readers about what they think are the most notable parts of the final batch of documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

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
Ben Domenech in The Federalist
“Again: the G.O.P. as it was died in Cleveland. Flake’s decision authenticates this.”
Mr. Domenech has been arguing that Jeff Flake should not run for re-election since July. The reason, he writes, is that the senator from Arizona is “out of time, a vestige of the pre-Donald Trump fusionism of the Republican Party.” Mr. Flake choosing not to seek another term, writes Mr. Domenech, does not mark a “changing of the guard.” That’s because “Flake is not the guard, he’s more of a bystander to the guard, and he knows it.” Read more »
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From the Left
Adele M. Stan in The American Prospect:
“In a binary system such as ours, the republic is gravely threatened when the members of one of the two major political parties risk ouster-via-primary for insufficient loyalty to an authoritarian executive.”
While it may be tempting for progressives to view the Republican intraparty fighting “with a sense of amusement, if not outright glee,” Ms. Stan warns that any celebrations from the left are premature. By driving out dissenting Republicans like Mr. Flake, she writes, figures like Steve Bannon “can fundamentally alter the party’s DNA to favor authoritarian candidates.” Read more »
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More selections »