‘My Button Works!’

Wednesday, January 3, 2018Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 9.58.12 AM

Good Wednesday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • In a tweet, the president said his nuclear button was much bigger & more powerful than the North Korean leader’s. And my Button works!
  • Earlier in the day, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea moved quickly to embrace a proposal by the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, to start inter-Korean dialogue and send a team to the Olympics.

  • President Trump redoubled his support for protesters in Iran, but he also trained some of his Twitter fire on former President Barack Obama and the nuclear deal.
  • Orrin G. Hatch, the longest-serving Senate Republican, announced that he would retire at the end of the year, clearing a path for Mitt Romney to run for his seat.
— The First Draft Team
THE UPSHOT

Why the U.S. Spends So Much More Than Other Nations on Health Care

By AUSTIN FRAKT AND AARON E. CARROLL

Evan Cohen

The United States spends almost twice as much on health care, as a percentage of its economy, as other advanced industrialized countries — totaling $3.3 trillion, or 17.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2016.
But a few decades ago American health care spending was much closer to that of peer nations.
What happened?
A large part of the answer can be found in the title of a 2003 paper in Health Affairs by the Princeton University health economist Uwe Reinhardt: “It’s the prices, stupid.
Read more »
President Trump, Melania Trump and their son Barron returned to the White House on Monday after a vacation at their Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

President Trump Threatens to Withhold Aid to Palestinians

By MICHAEL TACKETT AND PETER BAKER

The president used Twitter on Tuesday to rail against the Palestinians and Pakistan, threatening to withhold aid, while also attacking a familiar target: Hillary Clinton.

Senator Mitch McConnell has promised a vote on immigration legislation if a bipartisan group of senators can reach agreement on a measure that would extend protection from deportation while also beefing up border security.

Democrats Outline Demands as Threat of Shutdown Looms

By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG AND THOMAS KAPLAN

Democrats are pushing for funding for children’s health care and protection for young undocumented immigrants, among other priorities.

President Trump’s claim came on the heels of two reports that there were no fatal commercial passenger jet accidents in 2017.
FACT CHECK

Trump’s Aviation Boast Fails to Get in the Air

By LINDA QIU

The president claimed undue credit for the “safest year on record” in commercial aviation, despite having done little on the issue.

An American military patrol in April in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.

U.S. Service Member Is Killed in Afghan Province

By HELENE COOPER

Four service members were wounded after a skirmish on Monday in Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan.

MIND

‘Fake News’: Wide Reach but Little Impact, Study Suggests

By BENEDICT CAREY

Before the 2016 election, those most likely to read “fake news” online were older and conservative, a new study finds. But even they relied most often on the mainstream media.

Kansas State University is one of a number of colleges cutting programs because of declines in foreign student enrollment.

As Flow of Foreign Students Wanes, U.S. Universities Feel the Sting

By STEPHANIE SAUL

Colleges have cut programs amid a drop in international enrollment tied to several factors, including more restrictive immigration policies.

A naturalization ceremony in Tampa, Fla., last month. The government has sought to count everyone living in the United States, legally and otherwise, since the first census in 1790.

Alarm at Proposal to Ask About Citizenship Status in Census

By MICHAEL WINES

The Justice Department’s request to ask people about citizenship status in the 2020 census would keep Latinos and other ethnic minorities from being counted, critics say.

FIRST WORDS

American Politics Is Swamped With ‘Bad Faith’ Actors

By JOHN HERRMAN

Duplicitousness, mendacity, advantage-taking — once someone commits to tactics like these, pointing it out might do as much harm as good.