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The End of Nafta?

Thursday, October 12, 2017Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 10.24.15 AM

Good Wednesday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • The North American Free Trade Agreement, long a punching bag for President Trump, is edging closer toward collapse as negotiators gather for more talks. The collapse of the 1994 trade deal would send shock waves throughout the global economy, inflicting damage far beyond Mexico, Canada and the United States.

  • Mr. Trump, after failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act in Congress, will act on his own to relax health care standards on small businesses that band together to buy health insurance and may take steps to allow the sale of other health plans that skirt the health law’s requirements.

  • Responding to a report by NBC’s news division that he contemplated an increase in the nation’s nuclear arsenalMr. Trump threatened to use the authority of the federal government to retaliate.
  • Mr. Trump said that he intended to name Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide, to lead the Department of Homeland Security, elevating a former Homeland Security official in the George W. Bush administration who has lately worked to impose order in Mr. Trump’s chaotic West Wing.

  • Renegade Republicans who made Nancy Pelosi into a successful boogeyman for their base are now trying the same tactic with one of their own: Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader.

— The First Draft Team
The Upshot

The N.F.L. Is Now One of the Most Divisive Brands in the U.S.

By KEVIN QUEALY
About three weeks ago — before President Trump said that N.F.L. owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem — Democrats and Republicans held relatively similar views about the league. About 60 percent said they viewed it favorably, while about 20 percent said they viewed it unfavorably, according to daily online surveys conducted by Morning Consult, a polling, media and technology company.
Since Mr. Trump’s remarks, though, many of his supporters have changed their attitudes.
Trump voters are now much more likely to say that they view the N.F.L. negatively, reflecting a sharp change around Sept. 23, when Mr. Trump criticized the players at a speech in Alabama. The views of Hillary Clinton voters have not changed appreciably over the last few weeks.
Read more »
Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, encouraged Democrats interested in cutting taxes to put aside their issues with the president and join Republicans.
ON WASHINGTON

For Republicans, ‘Failure Is Not an Option’ on Tax Cuts

By CARL HULSE

After their health care debacle, Republicans acknowledge that an inability to deliver on taxes would be disastrous and set them up for a fierce backlash.

A guard tower at the entrance of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. For years, the military forcibly fed chronic protesters when their weight dropped too much.

Military Is Waiting Longer Before Force-Feeding Hunger Strikers, Detainees Say

By CHARLIE SAVAGE

The military appears to be letting protesters deteriorate past a point that once prompted medical attention. One lawyer called it a new strategy to stop the hunger strikes.

Janet L. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, at a news conference in Washington after the Fed’s policy meeting last month.

Fed Still Puzzled by Inflation, but Rate Increase Is on Track

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

Slow inflation was the main topic at the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting, but most officials leaned toward another interest rate move this year.

A Trump campaign rally in May 2016. Facebook reported that “malicious actors” used fake accounts during the campaign to promote links to stolen information.
THE SHIFT

We Asked Facebook 12 Questions About the Election, and Got 5 Answers

By KEVIN ROOSE

Facebook responded to some questions about its role in the 2016 presidential election, and its plans to safeguard its platform in the future.

Ehud Barak, the former Israeli prime minister and defense minister, in 2013.

Ehud Barak, Israeli Hawk and No Friend of Iran, Urges Trump to Keep Nuclear Deal

By MARK LANDLER

Mr. Barak, Israel’s former leader and defense chief, does not want President Trump to decertify the deal — a step he is expected to take.

The International Monetary Fund in Washington. The fund argued that many countries, like the United States, have room to raise tax rates on the wealthiest without impeding growth.

I.M.F. Cautions Against Tax Cuts for Wealthy as Republicans Consider Them

By ANA SWANSON AND JIM TANKERSLEY

The International Monetary Fund said global leaders need to address income inequality or risk undermining economic growth.

Eminem Lashes Out at Trump With Freestyle Rap Video

By DES SHOE AND JOE COSCARELLI

The rapper accused Mr. Trump of racism, hypocrisy, disrespect of military veterans and more in a video played at the BET Hip Hop Awards.

Tom Steyer in 2014. Mr. Steyer, one of the Democratic Party’s most prominent donors, called on the party’s lawmakers to impeach President Trump should they take control of Congress in 2018.

Key Donor Demands of Democrats: Pledge to Impeach Trump

By ALEXANDER BURNS

Tom Steyer, a prominent liberal backer, called on Democratic lawmakers to remove Mr. Trump from office if they take control of Congress in 2018.