McCabe Out

Tuesday, January 30, 2018Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 9.13.35 AM

Good Tuesday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • Andrew McCabe, the F.B.I.’s deputy directorabruptly stepped down after months of withering criticism from President Trump. He told friends he felt pressure from Christopher Wray, the F.B.I. director, to leave.

  • Disregarding Justice Department warnings, the House Intelligence Committee is releasing a memo said to accuse the F.B.I. of misusing its authority.

  • Three women, all Democrats, who were contemporaries at the Naval Academy are running for Congress in swing districts where military service is likely to resonate.
  • Melania Trump was said to have been blindsided by reports of an affair between Mr. Trump and an adult-film star, but is expected to resurface at the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

  • Signals from the White House have hard-line supporters worried that the president will forgo ideological purity in the speech and instead sing the praises of bipartisanship.

  • Mr. Trump is expected in the address to promote his strategy to win the war in Afghanistan. He’ll be the third president to do so.
— The First Draft Team

Tucked Into the Tax Bill, a Plan to Help Distressed America

Michael Tubbs, the mayor of Stockton, Calif., hopes a provision in the new federal tax law will help entice investment to the city.

Michael Tubbs, the mayor of Stockton, Calif., hopes a provision in the new federal tax law will help entice investment to the city. Andrew Burton for The New York Times

A little-noticed section in the $1.5 trillion tax cut that President Trump signed into law late last month is drawing attention from venture capitalists, state government officials and mayors across America.
The provision, tucked on page 130 of the sprawling tax overhaul, is an attempt to grapple with a yawning hole in the recovery from the Great Recession: the fact that, in much of the country, the economic recovery has yet to arrive.
The law creates “Opportunity Zones,” which will use tax incentives to draw long-term investment to parts of the country that struggle with high poverty and sluggish job and business growth. The provision represents the first substantial new federal attempt to aid those communities in more than a decade. And it comes as a disproportionate share of economic growth has been concentrated in so-called superstar metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and New York.
If the zones succeed, they could help revitalize neighborhoods and towns that are starved for investment.
They could also deliver a windfall, in the form of avoided capital gains taxes, for corporations and financiers investing in the Opportunity Zones.
Read more »
Can states force residents to choose between their right to express themselves and their right to vote? The Supreme Court will hear arguments this month on a Minnesota law that bars political T-shirts, hats and buttons at the polls.

When a T-Shirt Gets You in Trouble at the Voting Booth


The Supreme Court will hear arguments next month in a First Amendment case on a Minnesota law that bans political T-shirts, hats and buttons at the polls.

If Jay-Z has an opportunity to give an acceptance speech at the Grammy Awards, eyes will be on him for a response to President Trump.

Trump Bragged to Jay-Z About Black Employment. Is He Right?


The president made a familiar boast that is true as far as it goes. But there are underlying dynamics to consider as well.

Trucks lined up along the United States-Mexico border. President Trump came into office last year with an ambitious trade agenda, including a promise to rework Nafta, or scrap it altogether.

Signs of Progress in Nafta Talks but Countries Remain Deeply Divided


As the sixth round of talks over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement concluded, a deal between Mexico, Canada and the United States was still far from guaranteed.

United States Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, a Republican and the chairman of the powerful appropriations committee, announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election in November.

Powerful House Republican Says He Will Not Seek Re-election


The chairman of the appropriations committee, Rodney Frelinghuysen, is the latest congressional Republican to announce he will not seek re-election in the 2018 midterms.

Evelyn Rodriguez and Freddy Cuevas with a memorial for their daughter Kayla Cuevas, in September 2016, in Brentwood, N.Y. Ms. Rodriguez has been invited to the White House and to the State of the Union address.

Mother of Long Island Gang Victim Is Invited to State of the Union


Evelyn Rodriguez has been a fierce victims’ advocate since her daughter, Kayla Cuevas, was killed by the transnational gang MS-13 in 2016.

President Trump has had hostile words for the news media and has rejected formal press conferences, but he often spars with reporters on the fly, sometimes for as long as an hour.

In Age of Trump, Political Reporters Are in Demand and Under Attack


White House correspondents have plenty of material — and plenty of angst — as they cover what Stephen K. Bannon calls “the first McLuhanesque presidency.”

The House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California, voted on Monday to release a classified memo on the the Russia inquiry.

How FISA Wiretap Applications Work and Why It Matters


How investigators seek permission to eavesdrop on Americans has been a subject of renewed interest after Republicans wrote a memo said to portray the Justice Department as abusing surveillance powers.

A Syrian refugee, Baraa Haj Khalaf, received a kiss from her mother after arriving at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago last February. Refugees from Syria and 10 other countries can again enter the United States, but only after passing new security measures.

Many Muslim Refugees Will Face Additional Scrutiny Under Trump Plan


The Trump administration is resuming the admission of refugees from 11 countries, most of them predominantly Muslim, but they will undergo more vetting.

Protesters in October outside of the Supreme Court, which is expected to decide this spring whether partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional.

A Flurry of Courts Have Ruled on Election Maps. Here’s What They’ve Said.


How the disputes over electoral maps in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Maryland shape up, and what the next steps are.

A ban on most abortions after 20 weeks is central to the strategy of the anti-abortion movement, which is newly emboldened under President Trump.

Senate Rejects Measure to Ban Abortion After 20 Weeks of Pregnancy


In a vote that fell mostly along party lines, Republicans aimed to force vulnerable Democrats to take a stand ahead of the midterm elections.

Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey during his inauguration in Trenton on Jan. 16. He has ordered the state to rejoin a regional carbon-trading program.

New Jersey Embraces Idea It Once Rejected: Making Utilities Pay to Emit Carbon


Democratic governors nationwide are taking steps to tax or price emissions within their own borders, even as the Trump administration dismantles federal climate policy.

Janet L. Yellen will preside over her final Federal Reserve policymaking meeting this week.

Yellen’s Fitting Finale: Fed Plans to Stand Still


The Federal Reserve is expected to leave interest rates unchanged at Janet L. Yellen’s final meeting as the Fed chairwoman. Harder choices lie ahead.