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Thursday, September 21, 2017Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 7.17.29 PM

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

How the Latest Obamacare Repeal Plan Would Work

Senator Lindsey Graham speaking to reporters on Tuesday about his proposed legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Senator Lindsey Graham speaking to reporters on Tuesday about his proposed legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The latest Republican proposal to undo the Affordable Care Act would grant states much greater flexibility and all but guarantee much greater uncertainty for tens of millions of people.
The legislation, proposed by two Senate Republicans, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, would not only reduce the amount of federal funding for coverage over the next decade, but also give states wide latitude to determine whom to cover and how. The result is a law that would be as disruptive as many of the Republicans’ previous proposals, but whose precise impact is the hardest to predict.
The bill would initially preserve nearly all the funding currently provided to Americans through the Affordable Care Act’s state insurance marketplace subsidies and expansion of Medicaid. But starting in 2020, that funding would be reallocated to state governments as block grants. Over time, the division of money would shift among the states based on a complex formula, and the total pot would grow according to a set rate, not based on the number of people nationwide who sign up for coverage.
Read more »

Manafort Working on Kurdish Referendum Opposed by U.S.

Lebanese Kurds demonstrated on Sunday in Martyrs’ Square in Beirut in support of the referendum vote on Iraqi Kurdish independence.By KENNETH P. VOGEL AND JO BECKER

The president’s former campaign chairman has continued soliciting international business even as his past international work is under investigation.

President Trump speaking to reporters on Air Force One as news coverage of his dealings with Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leaders in Congress, aired last week.

‘Chuck and Nancy,’ Washington’s New Power Couple, Set Sights on Health Care


Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer hold no formal reins of power, but the Democratic leaders have emerged as a surprising force.

President Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Norfolk, Va., in July.

Mattis Shows How to Split With Trump Without Provoking Him


The secretary of defense has been deft at leveraging the president’s respect for him into room to maneuver on his policy goals.

Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. “There needs to be more aggressive enforcement action on tech companies like Google,” says Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut.

Internet Giants Face New Political Resistance in Washington


Facebook, Google and Amazon are coming under increasing pressure by regulators concerned about their growing power.

Wind turbines near Block Island, R.I. Historically, the federal government has led the way in researching and developing technologies like wind and solar power.

How Can U.S. States Fight Climate Change if Trump Quits the Paris Accord?


Fourteen states have vowed to uphold the Paris climate pact with or without the federal government, and a new analysis suggests their efforts are having an impact.

Voters cast their ballots at a polling location outside of Ashland, Va., last November.

Voter Fraud? A Trump Nominee Looks as if He Cast an Illegal Ballot


Jeffrey Gerrish, the president’s nominee to be a deputy U.S. trade representative, is drawing Senate scrutiny for a vote cast in Virginia after he moved to Maryland.

“This guy, Bill Cassidy, he just lied right to my face,” Jimmy Kimmel said in his monologue on Tuesday night.

Republicans Defend Health Bill Against Another Adversary: Jimmy Kimmel


“I wish he understood completely,” Senator Bill Cassidy, one of the bill’s co-authors, said of Mr. Kimmel, who has been a frequent critic of G.O.P. health legislation.

President Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea and called Iran a “rogue nation” during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

The Contradiction Buried in Trump’s Iran and North Korea Policies


The president calls the Iran nuclear deal an “embarrassment,” but ending it would destroy his credibility in any talks over North Korea’s arsenal.

A protest in Sydney last month calling for an end to Australia’s offshore detention of refugees and asylum seekers.

In Deal Trump Called ‘Dumb,’ U.S. Taking 50 Refugees From Australia


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said a group of asylum seekers being held in camps on Nauru and Manus Island would be resettled in the United States.

Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, made a surprise appearance at the Emmy Awards on Sunday.

Trump Tweets He Was ‘Saddened’ by ‘Bad’ Emmy Ratings


Politics dominated the awards show on Sunday, and two days later, the president finally reacted.

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
Sohrab Ahmari in Commentary:
“The speech offered the clearest sign yet that the administration has parted with Steve Bannon and other Breitbart types who wanted to use Trump as a bulldozer against liberal order.”
Establishment Republicans should rejoice at the president’s speech to the United Nations on Tuesday, writes Mr. Ahmari, and “give credit where it is due.” According to him, the address marks a “return to the G.O.P.’s postwar foreign-policy traditions” and a shedding of the “pinched, narrow nationalism” of hyper-nationalists like the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen or Mr. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s former chief strategist. Read more »
From the Left
Fred Kaplan in Slate:
“If respect for sovereignty is a pillar of world order, should anyone care what ideology or economic system a country decides to pursue, as long as it doesn’t seek to impose it on others?”
Mr. Kaplan appraises Mr. Trump’s speech as perhaps the “most hostile, dangerous and intellectually confused” address by an American president to an international audience. According to Mr. Kaplan, the president was particularly contradictory in his remarks on sovereignty, arguing that “he invoked sovereignty when it suited his purposes — and proposed violating sovereignty, without a thought, when it didn’t.” Read more »
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