“Morph Into” Citizens

Thursday, January 25, 2018Screen Shot 2018-01-25 at 8.58.07 AM

Good Thursday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • President Trump again seemed to undercut his administration’s message on immigration, saying that he would be open to allowing so-called Dreamers to morph into citizens over a period of time.

  • The president also said he was looking forward to speaking with Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel for the Russia inquiry. He said his lawyers told him it would take about two to three weeks to arrange it, but added that any interview would be subject to my lawyers, and all of that.

  • American military officials fear that makeshift camps for Islamic State fighters and family members in northern Syria may repeat a security mistake of the Iraq war.
  • The Justice Department rebuked an effort by House Republicans to undermine the Russia investigation by pushing to release a memo said to accuse the F.B.I. of abusing its power.

  • Mr. Trump is arriving at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to explain his America First approach at a moment when the world is moving ahead with a trade agenda that no longer revolves around the United States.
— The First Draft Team
The Interpreter: Episode 1

Is There Something Wrong With Democracy?

By MAX FISHER AND AMANDA TAUB
After 200 years of expansion, democracy’s growth in the world has stalled. A handful of democracies like Venezuela and Hungary are backsliding into authoritarianism. And even in established Western democracies, voters are losing faith in democratic institutions and norms.
That has left us and scholars who study democracy obsessed with a set of questions. Is this all just a blip, or is democracy in real trouble? Are the oldest and sturdiest democracies, like those of Europe and the United States, really as safe as they seem? And why would people voluntarily dismantle their own democracy from within?
No one knows the answers for sure. But we’re starting to figure them out, and it’s not all good news.
Read more >>


For Pope Francis, Fake News Goes Back to the Garden of Eden

By JASON Pope Francis has offered a largely cleareyed assessment of fake news, though at times he conflated it with a style of journalism he dislikes.HOROWITZ

In a major document, the pontiff offered his analysis of how fake news works and how it can be stopped, though he overlooked the misuse of the term.

Turkish soldiers around the area of Mount Bersaya, north of the Syrian town of Azaz, on Tuesday.

U.S. Sends Mixed Messages as Turkey Attacks Syrian Kurds

By MARK LANDLER, CARLOTTA GALL AND ERIC SCHMITT

To mollify Turkey, the White House said it was easing off its support for the Syrian Kurds, while the Pentagon said they were a critical partner in the war against the Islamic State.

A former Special Forces officer, Capt. Dan Quinn, was relieved of his command and pulled from Afghanistan after fighting with an Afghan militia commander for keeping a boy as a sex slave.

Afghan Pedophiles Get Free Pass From U.S. Military, Report Says

By ROD NORDLAND

A special inspector says the American military uses loopholes to exempt Afghan security forces from punishment for enslaving and raping children. Dan Quinn, above, a former Special Forces officer, fought with an Afghan commander over the practice.

A judge with the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the detained man, apparently born in the United States but raised in Saudi Arabia, could challenge his transfer if a diplomatic deal is reached to hand him over to Saudi authorities.

Military Ordered to Notify A.C.L.U. Before Transferring American ISIS Suspect

By CHARLIE SAVAGE

The man was captured in Syria as a suspected Islamic State fighter, and his case has raised novel issues about the rights of American citizens.

Demonstrators in Zurich this week. While many are poised to recoil at President Trump’s arrival in Davos this week, much of the moneyed elite there are willing to overlook what they portray as the president’s rhetorical foibles in favor of the additional wealth he has delivered to their coffers.

The Truth About Trump in Davos: Follow the Money

By PETER S. GOODMAN

Many members of the moneyed elite are willing to overlook what they portray as rhetorical foibles in favor of focusing on the additional wealth President Trump has delivered.

Democrats dismissed the idea that Alex M. Azar II might be a moderating force as secretary of health and human services, but Republicans broadly supported his nomination.

Senate Confirms Former Drug Executive as Health Secretary

By ROBERT PEAR

Alex Azar, a former drug company executive, immediately confronts two huge challenges: how to rein in drug prices and how to administer the Affordable Care Act.

Turkish tanks stationed near the Syrian border on Wednesday.

Trump Sharply Warns Turkey Against Military Strikes in Syria

By GARDINER HARRIS

In a phone call, Mr. Trump urged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to limit attacks against Kurdish militias, including some backed by American forces.

Gary D. Cohn, President Trump’s economic adviser, promised that the president’s message would reassure the market makers who descend on Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum every year. “America first is not America alone,” he said.
WHITE HOUSE MEMO

Trump’s Enthusiasm for Stock Market Collides With His Trade Plans

By MARK LANDLER AND MAGGIE HABERMAN

No president has taken more delight, or claimed more credit, for a roaring market. But his advisers are warning him that more protectionist trade policies could hurt it.

Trump International Hotel in Washington has emerged as the spot for those seeking to rub elbows with those closest to the president.

Trump Groups Raised Millions, Then Paid It Out to Loyalists and a Trump Hotel

By KENNETH P. VOGEL AND RACHEL SHOREY

New campaign filings show that two pro-Trump groups are raising millions, then channeling the money into the Trump Organization and to Trump loyalists.

President Trump has had fiery exchanges with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, over the past year.

Administration Slaps New Sanctions on North Korea

By ALAN RAPPEPORT

The Treasury Department announced new sanctions on North Korea as the administration continues to crack down on the nuclear ambitions of Kim Jong-un.