New, Indefinite Travel Ban Restricts Seven Countries

Monday, September 25, 2017Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 9.45.28 AM

Good Monday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • President Trump issued a new order indefinitely banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.
  • A wave of demonstrations at N.F.L. games on Sunday, fueled by the president’s tweets, even included some of Mr. Trump’s supporters in the league, but it drew a mixed reception from fans.
  • As deadly drone attacks by the Islamic State increase, American officials are experimenting with technologies that can destroy the weapons.
  • Senator Susan Collins said she had a number of serious reservations about the latest proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Senator Ted Cruz said he and another Republican senator were seeking changes to the bill.

— The First Draft Team

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News Analysis

Is Trump All Talk on North Korea? The Uncertainty Sends a Shiver

South Koreans at a rail station in Seoul watched Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, deliver a statement last week. Mr. Kim called President Trump “deranged.”

South Koreans at a rail station in Seoul watched Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, deliver a statement last week. Mr. Kim called President Trump “deranged.” Jung Yeon-Je/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

When President Trump gave a fiery campaign speech in Huntsville, Ala., on Friday evening, he drew a rapturous roar by ridiculing Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, as “Little Rocket Man.”
Among diplomats and national security specialists, the reaction was decidedly different. After Mr. Trump repeated his taunt in a tweet late Saturday and threatened that Mr. Kim and his foreign minister “won’t be around much longer” if they continue their invective against the United States, reactions ranged from nervous disbelief to sheer terror.
Mr. Trump’s willingness to casually threaten to annihilate a nuclear-armed foe was yet another reminder of the steep risks inherent in his brute-force approach to diplomacy. His strengths as a politician — the ability to appeal in a visceral way to the impulses of ordinary citizens — are a difficult fit for the meticulous calculations that his own advisers concede are crucial in dealing with Pyongyang.
The disconnect has led to a deep uncertainty about whether Mr. Trump is all talk or actually intends to act. The ambiguity could be strategic, part of an effort to intimidate Mr. Kim and keep him guessing. Or it could reflect a rash impulse by a leader with little foreign policy experience to vent his anger and stoke his supporters’ enthusiasm.
Read more »


President Trump boarding Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport in New Jersey on his way back to the White House on Sunday.

A Divider Not a Uniter, Trump Widens the Breach


While past presidents at least talked about bringing the country together, this president has made a point of attacking everyone from sports stars to the pope.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany at the Christian Democrats’ headquarters in Berlin on Sunday.

Angela Merkel Makes History in German Vote, but So Does Far Right


Ms. Merkel becomes only the fourth postwar chancellor to win four national elections, but her victory is diminished by the showing of Alternative for Germany.

President Trump and his wife, Melania, leaving Air Force One in Naples, Fla., this month. She has brought some conventionality to a White House that often eschews it.

At Her Own Pace, Melania Trump Tiptoes Into the Limelight


The first lady is as cautious as her husband is impulsive, but eight months on she is hinting at an emerging policy platform.

President Trump authorized the drone strikes on an Islamic State training camp in Libya based on the recommendation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

17 ISIS Fighters Reported Killed as U.S. Ends Lull in Libya Airstrikes


A half-dozen “precision strikes” hit a training camp about 150 miles southeast of Surt, from which militants were plotting and conducting attacks, the military said.

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
Ned Ryun in The Hill:
“Now, faced with less than two weeks to repeal ObamaCare under budget reconciliation rules, Republicans have slid a tepid bowl of gruel across the table to the American people. To be fair, the GOP repeal is not completely awful; there is the ability, if one closes his eyes and plugs his nose, to choke it down.”
The Graham-Cassidy bill isn’t perfect, Mr. Ryun writes, but it’s better than the Affordable Care Act. Like other writers on the right, Mr. Ryun is happy to see the bill repeal the medical-device tax and restrictions on health savings accounts. However, he worries that the bill does not “really address the costs of healthcare, which is the real issue with rising premiums and deductibles.” In the end, he has this somewhat tepid endorsement of the bill: “Just close your eyes and choke it down. If you imagine it tastes like steak it’ll make it easier.” Read more »
From the Left
Margaret Carlson in The Daily Beast:
“Overcome by their hunger to deliver a win to the base, erase once and for all the signature accomplishment of President Barack Obama, and show Chuck and Nancy that they can have all the crispy beef they want with the president but they’re still in the minority, they’re moving to pass a bill almost no one understands, or wants to.”
Ms. Carlson calls the Graham-Cassidy bill a “Quixotic crusade” that is “as flawed, if not more, than the so-called skinny repeal.” She pins her hopes on a rejection of the bill by Senator John McCain of Arizona, writing, “When the pressure to take one for the team was immense to give his party bereft of victory a win, McCain said no.” She hopes Mr. McCain can say no again. Read more »
More selections »