Moscow Tower Deal Could Make Trump President, Ally Said

Tuesday, August 29, 2017Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 8.47.39 AM

Good Tuesday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
— The First Draft Team
Sidebar

Trump’s Legal U-Turns May Test Supreme Court’s Patience

By ADAM LIPTAK
The Supreme Court is hearing two important cases in which the Trump administration has switched sides from its predecessor.

The Supreme Court is hearing two important cases in which the Trump administration has switched sides from its predecessor. Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

The Trump administration may be headed for trouble in the Supreme Court. It has twice switched sides in important Supreme Court cases, on workers’ rights and voting rolls, abandoning the positions of the previous administration for ones favored by conservatives.
Such legal U-turns can try the justices’ patience. In the Obama years, some of the testiest exchanges at oral arguments involved changes in legal positions that seemed prompted by politics. Mr. Trump’s lawyers may now also have some explaining to do.
The decisions to change course cannot have been made lightly, as lawyers in the solicitor general’s office, the elite unit of the Justice Department that represents the federal government in the Supreme Court, know that switching sides comes at a cost to the office’s prized reputation for continuity, credibility and independence.
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Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, last week in Washington.

Two Bankers Are Selling Trump’s Tax Plan. Is Congress Buying?

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS AND KATE KELLY

Many wonder if Gary D. Cohn’s and Steven Mnuchin’s real-world experience in finance has equipped them to carry out a delicate political negotiation.

A protest of President Trump’s travel ban outside an appeals court in Seattle in May.

Appeals Court Appears Inclined to Exempt Relatives From Travel Ban

By ADAM LIPTAK

As the Supreme Court prepared to hear the case, an appeals court considered who may be barred from entering in the meantime. The judges were more circumspect about refugees.

Doctors tend to treat patients similarly, regardless of their insurance, research shows. In June, Dr. Van Breeding examined Tonya Lewis in Whitesburg, Ky., where Medicaid coverage is common.
THE NEW HEALTH CARE

Why Medicare and Medicaid Can Outmatch Private Plans on Cost

By AUSTIN FRAKT

Good news: The medical system doesn’t seem to discriminate by insurance status. Bad news: The value of care is hard to influence by adjusting prices.

Dr. Mark Berman, of the Cell Surgical Network, in 2014 at his practice in Beverly Hills, Calif. Dr. Berman is a founder of the California Stem Cell Treatment Centers, where patients received an unapproved stem cell treatment made with the help of a smallpox vaccine and other ingredients.

F.D.A. Cracks Down on ‘Unscrupulous’ Stem Cell Clinics

By SHEILA KAPLAN AND DENISE GRADY

The agency reported actions against a biotech company and two large stem cell clinics over unapproved treatments, a move it said was necessary to make way for speedier approval of legitimate therapies.

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
Jon Gabriel in USA Today:
“I’m a conservative Maricopa County resident who has lived under Arpaio throughout his decades-long reign. Arpaio was never a conservative; he just played one on TV.”
Mr. Gabriel writes that he saw former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “love of racial profiling firsthand,” on his daily commute through the Hispanic town of Guadalupe, Ariz. “Being Caucasian, I was always waved through. The drivers ahead and behind me weren’t so lucky.” Read more »
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From the Left
Margaret Talbot in The New Yorker:
“But Trump probably also likes Arpaio because the former sheriff represents in miniature what the president would like to be more maximally — a successful American authoritarian.”
Not only is Mr. Arpaio’s pardon a “gift to the white nationalists,” writes Ms. Talbot, but it also signifies “a broad-brush contempt for fundamental rights in this country.” She recounts Mr. Arpaio’s “longstanding reputation for flouting civil rights” and draws connections between the president and the sheriff, noting that both men regard “reporters, activists and critics of his policies as personal enemies as well as enemies of the people.” Read more »
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