Net Neutrality Undone

Friday, December 15, 2017Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 9.16.29 AM

Good Friday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • The Federal Communications Commission scrapped Obama-era rules meant to protect an open internet in a 3-to-2 vote along party lines.

  • Republicans plan to unveil a final tax bill Friday with the aim of voting early next week and delivering it to President Trump before Christmas. But many of the last-minute changes are expected to drive up the bill’s cost, and Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican, said he won’t vote for it without an expanded child tax credit.
  • Some evangelical Christians say reflexive support for divisive, scandal-plagued figures like the Alabama Senate candidate Roy S. Moore is hurting their movement’s image.

  • Doug Jones’s victory on Tuesday was a measure of the big benefits Democrats enjoy when they put more resources into reaching black and other minority voters.

  • Newly under Republican control, the National Labor Relations Board changed the standard for holding a company responsible for a franchisee’s practices.
— The First Draft Team

Millions of Children Could Lose Health Coverage Starting Next Month

Lawmakers have yet to renew federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP, which insures nearly nine million children in low-income families. Most states will run out of money in the next few months if Congress does not act.
Read more »
Protesters being arrested on Wednesday outside the office of Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine. Constituents met with Ms. Collins to try to persuade her to vote against the tax bill moving through Congress.<strong><br /></strong>

Last-Ditch Effort to Sway Senator on Tax Bill Involves Personal Pleas


Progressive activists met with Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, in a bid to persuade her to vote against the $1.5 trillion tax bill.

Nikki R. Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, stood at a news conference on Thursday in front of part of what defense officials said was an Iranian-made Qiam missile fired by Houthi militants at a Saudi airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

U.S. Accuses Iran of U.N. Violation, but Evidence Falls Short


American officials showcased weapons thought to be used by Iran-backed rebels in Yemen but failed to show how they proved Iran violated an international agreement.

ON WASHINGTONRepresentative Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House, has strongly endorsed the push for new hearings into accusations of sexual misconduct by President Trump.

With New Focus on Sexual Misconduct, Democrats Take Aim at Trump


After purging some from their ranks, Democrats are intensifying a push to investigate the president over accusations of harassment and abuse.

The New York Times election needle predicted the results of Tuesday’s Alabama Senate race.

NYT Needle Returns to the Spotlight. The Internet Notices.


New York Times editors explain how our election needle came to be and why we’re all fixated on it.

The Republican senator Dean Heller of Nevada seems vulnerable to a Democratic challenge in 2018.

Once Unthinkable, Now Possible: Senate Looks Like a Tossup in 2018


Alabama’s surprising result gives Democrats a plausible path to take control.

President Trump described his administration’s deregulation efforts in remarks at the White House on Thursday. He then stood between two piles of paper representing government regulations in 1960, (20,000 pages, he said), and today — a pile that was about six feet tall (said to be 185,000 pages).

Trump Says His Regulatory Rollback Already Is the ‘Most Far-Reaching’


President Trump, showcasing his accomplishments near the end of his first year, said that for every new regulation, his administration has killed 22.

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia at the start of his annual news conference in Moscow.

‘Are You Normal?’ Putin Asks U.S. Congress in Annual News Gathering


As much circus as news conference, the event provided the Russian president with a platform to bolster his campaign and to attack the United States.

Representative Blake Farenthold, Republican of Texas, is the fourth member of Congress in two weeks whose careers have been felled by allegations of sexual misconduct.

Blake Farenthold, Texas Congressman Accused of Sexual Harassment, Will Not Run Again


Representative Blake Farenthold, who settled a sexual harassment claim for $84,000, is the subject of an Ethics Committee investigation and will not run again.

The Interior Department has been dogged by reports of harassment and intimidation in the last decade.

Thousands of Interior Dept. Employees Report Harassment and Intimidation at Work


About 30,000 employees took an Interior Department survey, and 35 percent said they were mistreated, the agency said in results released Thursday.

How Republicans Think About Climate Change — in Maps


Republicans might not say that humans caused climate change, but they still support policies to mitigate it.

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
Sarah Rumpf in RedState:
“With Moore out of the national political scene, the Democrats lose a punching bag.”
Ms. Rumpf tallies the winners and losers from this week’s special election. In the short term, she concedes that Democrats are the winners. But Mr. Moore’s loss deprives the Democrats of a target for their criticism. Her list of losers includes the president, Stephen K. Bannon, the Republican Party establishment and Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, among others. Her list of winners includes Richard C. Shelby, the senior Republican senator from Alabama, and the White House staffers that have sought to limit Mr. Bannon’s influence. Read more »
From the Left
Eric Levitz in New York magazine:
“Democrats had no reason to believe that they could win Jeff Sessions’s old Senate seat. But they prepared for that possibility anyway. Now, they’ve got to do the same in every state in the country — and not just because you never know when a Republican candidate will turn out to be a child molester.”
The biggest lesson Democrats must learn from the Alabama election, writes Mr. Levitz, is that they can run a competitive race anywhere. He explains how important it is not to punt on elections that seem unwinnable: “The inconvenient truth for Democrats is that they have no hope of exercising federal power without investing in long-shot races in hostile territory.” Read more »
More selections »