Political Gets Personal for President

Wednesday, July 12, 2017Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 9.14.29 AM

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

Don’t Assume That Private Insurance Is Better Than Medicaid

By AARON E. CARROLL AND AUSTIN FRAKT

Illustrations by Alice Noir, Louis Dawson, Tresnatiq, Lorie Shaull, Robert Bjurshagen, Oliviu Stoian; The Noun Project

As we recently wrote, it’s better for patients to have Medicaid than to be uninsured, contrary to critics of the program. But is having Medicaid, as those critics also say, much worse than having private insurance?
This idea has become a talking point for conservatives who back big changes to Medicaid, as the Senate health bill proposes. The poor would benefit simply by being ushered off Medicaid and onto private insurance, they write.
But it’s far from proven that Medicaid is worse than private insurance. A lot depends on what kind of insurance is compared with Medicaid, and how they are compared.
Read more »
Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Wednesday rejected the notion that Republicans had gone soft on Russia. “You know me on this issue,” he told reporters. “I’m a Russia hawk.”

Congress Wants to Punish Russia, but Can’t Dole Out the Punishment

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS AND MATT FLEGENHEIMER

Infighting has delayed sanctions against Moscow for election meddling, even as the cloud of Russia-tinged scandal darkens over President Trump.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, has walked back his promise that the wealthy would see no absolute tax cut under the legislation that President Trump ultimately signs.

A Risky Mix: Cutting Taxes for the Rich and Aid for the Poor

By ALAN RAPPEPORT

Of all the lessons emerging from the struggle to repeal the Affordable Care Act, one stands out: Such a combination of cuts is politically toxic.

Roger J. Stone Jr. at the La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, Calif., in March. He is accused in an invasion of privacy lawsuit.

Trump Campaign Is Sued Over Leaked Emails Linked to Russians

By CHARLIE SAVAGE

The invasion of privacy suit accuses the Trump campaign and a top adviser of conspiring with Russia in its release of hacked data that exposed the plaintiffs’ personal details to the public.

Hillary Clinton arriving for a campaign event in Lakeland, Fla., last November.
FACT CHECK

Stories of Foreign Election Influence, Separate and Not Equal

By LINDA QIU

There are important distinctions between Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer and two stories some conservatives cited about Democrats and the Clinton campaign.

Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, in May. Her agency is re-evaluating the Obama administration’s policies on campus sexual assault.

Campus Rape Policies Get a New Look as the Accused Get DeVos’s Ear

By ERICA L. GREEN AND SHERYL GAY STOLBERG

Betsy DeVos’s Education Department is re-evaluating the get-tough policies on campus sexual assault that were enforced by the Obama administration.

The publicist Rob Goldstone at a benefit in 2009 in Water Mill, N.Y.

Rob Goldstone, Trump Intermediary, Likes Silly Hats and Facebook

By VALERIYA SAFRONOVA

The British publicist has a moment in the media glare as the broker of the 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Moscow insider.

Janet L. Yellen testifying before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.

Yellen Says Economy Is Robust, but Adds That Fed Will Stay Flexible

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

Addressing a House committee on Wednesday, Janet L. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, emphasized the strength of job growth but said policy makers were watching the recent weakness of inflation.

Customers on their laptops at the Filtered NYC coffee shop in Upper Manhattan.
STATE OF THE ART

What We Lose When the World Moves On From Email

By FARHAD MANJOO

Donald Trump Jr.’s Russian email thread shows the historical value and irresistible allure of a technology that continues to betray us.

Christopher A. Wray was sworn in at the start of his confirmation hearing to head the F.B.I. on Wednesday.

Trump’s Nominee to Lead F.B.I. Pledges to Resist White House Pressure

By ADAM GOLDMAN AND MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT

Senators pressed Christopher A. Wray, whose confirmation as F.B.I. director is expected, on how he would navigate political interference.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, speaking to reporters on Tuesday. He canceled part of the chamber’s August recess so that the Republicans could focus on health care legislation.
ON WASHINGTON

Republicans Reluctantly Acknowledge a Failure of Governing

By CARL HULSE

A unified control of government has not produced significant legislative accomplishments, so the Senate is giving up part of its coveted August recess.

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
• James S. Robbins in USA Today:
“These days, you don’t need a crime or a cover-up to trigger outsized political outrage, just a heavy dose of bad optics.”
Mr. Robbins’s article reflects how many on the right have sought to defend Donald Trump Jr. and the administration after a week of bad press. He suggests that Mr. Trump’s meeting with the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya could have been a setup by Fusion GPS, a Democratic opposition research group. He also points to a Politico story from January that detailed the Ukrainian government’s efforts to help the Clinton campaign, calling it a “solid case” for “actual collusion.” Read more »
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From the Left
• Yochi Dreazen in Vox:
“The other shoe has finally fallen, and the Trump presidency may fall with it.”
Typically, Mr. Dreazen writes, comparing political scandals to Watergate is “a very dangerous thing to do.” But if there’s evidence that the president knew about his son’s meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer, this scandal may rise to that level. And while we may not be at impeachment just yet, “we’re getting much closer.” Read more »
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