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Recognizing Jerusalem

Wednesday, December 6, 2017Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 8.45.03 AM

Good Wednesday morning. 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • President Trump plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the American Embassy there, a radical move that would upend nearly seven decades of American foreign policy and could torpedo his efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

  • Mr. Trump’s impulsive, improvisational political style is preventing the Republican Party from establishing a true organization for the coming midterm elections.

  • children’s health insurance program popular with both Republicans and Democrats is in limbo because of partisan rancor that has stymied legislative action in Washington.
  • Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who almost certainly holds the crucial vote in the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, sent sharply contradictory messages when it was argued at the Supreme Court.
  • Representative John Conyers Jr., a Democrat who faces allegations that he sexually harassed former employees, announced that he was “retiring today” from Congress.
  • As allegations of men’s misbehavior fuel a broader conversation, a zero-tolerance attitude has evolved into discussions about what is acceptable, due process and generational differences.
— The First Draft Team

Among the Tax Bill’s Biggest Losers: High-Income, Blue State Taxpayers

By ALICIA PARLAPIANO AND K.K. REBECCA LAI
While the Republican tax overhaul would add up to an overall tax cut for individual taxpayers, at least through 2025, millions could still immediately receive a tax increase. For many, particularly those in Democratic areas who earn $200,000 or more, the increase would come from the repeal of the state and local tax deduction, known as SALT.
Read more »
Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide, was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday as secretary of homeland security.

White House Aide Is Confirmed as Homeland Security Secretary

By RON NIXON

Kirstjen Nielsen, an aide to John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, has defended herself against charges that she is too inexperienced to lead the department.

Robert S. Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said technology’s ability to help consumers find lower-priced goods and services was accelerating.

Fed’s Kaplan Says Technology Is Holding Down Inflation

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

Robert S. Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, says increased competition is making it harder for companies to raise prices.

Charles L. Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said that for now, the decision on whether to raise interest rates “is really a judgment call.”

Fed’s Evans Questions March Toward Higher Interest Rates

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

Charles L. Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said he did not understand the urgency to raise rates in December, given the sluggish pace of inflation.

Jerome H. Powell during his confirmation hearing last week before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. On Tuesday, the committee endorsed his nomination to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Fed, Perplexed by Low Inflation, Is Still Ready to Raise Rates

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

As Federal Reserve officials struggle to understand why inflation remains low, two of them give their reasons for being on different sides of the debate.

Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, at the Capitol in June.

Special Counsel Investigation Has Cost at Least $6.7 million

By NICHOLAS FANDOS

Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, spent almost $7 million in its first four and a half months, he said.

Customs and Border Protection patrol agents detain a group who attempted to illegally enter into the United States from the Rio Grande River in Texas in May.

Administration Touts Drop in Border Arrests as Proof of Immigration Crackdown

By RON NIXON

A decrease in arrests at the border shows that the administration’s deterrence efforts are effective, Homeland Security officials said.

Steven K. Bannon, the former chief strategist to President Trump, during an event in Manchester, N.H., last month.

Bannon Returns to the Air With Satellite Radio Program

By MAGGIE HABERMAN

Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s former strategist, has another medium to take on the Republican establishment.

Over the weekend, more than 500 people attended the Teen Vogue Summit: a two-day event, costing from $299-$549 per ticket.

‘Where My Activists At?’ Inside the First Teen Vogue Summit

By SHEILA MARIKAR

Who needs a fusty old print magazine when you have Elaine Welteroth and Hillary Clinton in the flesh — Am I right, ladies?

President Ronald Reagan, with a replica of a federal income tax form, promoting his tax legislation in New Jersey in 1985.
ECONOMIC SCENE

Tax Plan Aims to Slay a Reagan Target: the Government Beast

By EDUARDO PORTER

By denying deductions for state and local taxes, the Republicans seek to force high-tax states run by Democrats to capitulate.

A portrait of Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan and the longest serving African-American man in House history, hangs in the Judiciary Committee room.

As Harassment Accusations Multiply, a Question: Who Stays and Who Goes?

By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG

Some lawmakers charged with sexual harassment face intense pressure to resign. Others find more tolerance. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the responses.

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
Tyler Cowen in Bloomberg:
“In essence, a new kind of supply-side economics has been invented.”
Mr. Cowen, an economist with pro-free market, libertarian views, explains that the president’s “economic revolution” is centered on making the United States a hub of investment, “not encouraging exports.” It’s this quality, he writes, that unites the “Trumpian nationalists” and the more establishment Republicans in Congress who want to pass a sweeping tax overhaul. Read more »
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From the Left
Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine:
“The passage of the Trump tax cuts will help lay the groundwork for their undoing by increasing the chances Democrats regain control of Congress.”
Mr. Chait calls for the repeal and replacement of a signature piece of the Trump administration’s legislative agenda: tax cuts for the rich. He understands how precarious the changes made to the tax code are. He suggests that Democrats running in 2020 campaigns focus on exposing Mr. Trump’s false populism and advocating for increased social spending. “Reporters are inevitably going to ask them how they plan to pay for it,” he writes. “Republicans have given them an easy answer: Repeal the Trump tax cuts for the rich.” Read more »
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More selections »