Obamacare Repeal Fails as McCain Casts Decisive No Vote

Friday, July 28, 2017Screen Shot 2017-07-28 at 8.04.05 AM

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

In One Day, Trump Administration Lands 3 Punches Against Gay Rights

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR AND CHARLIE SAVAGE
Demonstrators outside the White House after President Trump announced on Wednesday that he intended to bar transgender people from serving in the military.

Demonstrators outside the White House after President Trump announced on Wednesday that he intended to bar transgender people from serving in the military. Justin Gilliland/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration abruptly waded into the culture wars over gay rights this week, signaling in three separate actions that it will use the powers of the federal government to roll back civil rights for gay and transgender people.
Without being asked, the Justice Department intervened in a private employment lawsuit on Wednesday, arguing that the ban on sex discrimination in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect workers on the basis of their sexual orientation. The friend-of-the-court brief, filed at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, was a striking shift in tone from the Obama administration, which had shied away from that question.
The move ended a day that began with a tweet from President Trump announcing a ban on transgender people serving in the military, surprising Pentagon leaders and reversing a year-old Obama administration policy.
Also on Wednesday, Mr. Trump announced that he would nominate Sam Brownback, the governor of Kansas and a vocal opponent of gay rights, to be the nation’s ambassador at large for international religious freedom.
The constellation of events raised alarm among gay rights advocacy groups, which portrayed the moves as a concerted effort to limit advancements in gay rights.
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In April, Carla Provost became the first woman to head the Border Patrol.

Woman in Charge at Border Patrol Hopes to See More in Ranks

By RON NIXON

Carla Provost’s elevation to the top job was a milestone in the Border Patrol’s 93-year history, but women are still only about 5 percent of agents.

Sessions Calls Trump’s Remarks ‘Hurtful’ but Pledges to Press On

Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March. He defended his recusal from the government’s Russia inquiry in an interview Thursday.By REBECCA R. RUIZ

In an interview with Fox News, the attorney general defended his choice to recuse himself from the Russia investigation and said he remained committed to doing his job.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan in Washington on Thursday. Republicans said they planned to heed the lessons from their health care legislation efforts and use a more conventional process to get a tax bill drafted.

White House and G.O.P. Leaders Reach Deal on Principles of Tax Overhaul

By ALAN RAPPEPORT

Republican negotiators hope to pass the first major revision of the tax code since 1986, after dropping a contentious border adjustment tax on imports.

President Trump at the White House on Thursday. On Friday, Mr. Trump will demand the denial of grant money to so-called sanctuary cities that do not assist the federal authorities in detaining undocumented immigrants.

Trump to Revive Push on Immigration Crackdown on Long Island Trip

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS

Lacking major legislative wins and besieged by White House infighting, the president will remind his supporters of his commitment to a campaign promise.

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
• David French in National Review:
“President Obama subordinated readiness to a warped vision of social justice. Trump is subordinating effectiveness to impulse and convenience.”
President Trump’s announcement barring transgender people from military service reminds Mr. French of the clumsy rollout of the first version of his travel ban: It’s the right policy, in his view, but announced and implemented in the wrong way. He agrees in principle with the ban on transgender service members. However, by confining important conversations of military readiness and culture to a series of tweets, Mr. French argues, the president “sabotages his own policies.” Read more »
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From the Left
• Gersh Kuntzman in The New York Daily News:
“If you’re not outraged by the ban on transgender people serving in the military, your prejudices are laid bare. But if you’re not outraged by the manner in which our president announced the ban, you are as big a jerk as Donald Trump.”
There may be little on which Mr. Kuntzman agrees with Mr. French, but both writers condemned the method by which the president made his announcement. He notes that the three tweets came out minutes apart, leaving uncertain interpretations dangling in the air. Read more »
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