‘The Right Thing’

Wednesday, December 6, 2017Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 10.10.40 AM

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

What Happened to the American Boomtown?

State Street, Chicago, 1900.

State Street, Chicago, 1900. Library of Congress

Chicago in 1850 was a muddy frontier town of barely 30,000 people. Within two decades, it was 10 times that size. Within another two decades, that number had tripled. By 1910, Chicago — hog butcher for the world, headquarters of Montgomery Ward, the nerve center of the nation’s rail network — had more than two million residents.
“You see these numbers, and they just look fake,” said David Schleicher, a law professor at Yale who writes on urban development and land use. Chicago heading into the 20th century was the fastest-growing city America has ever seen. It was a classic metropolitan magnet, attracting anyone in need of a job or a raise.
But while other cities have played this role through history — enabling people who were geographically mobile to become economically mobile, too — migration patterns like the one that fed Chicago have broken down in today’s America. Interstate mobility nationwide has slowed over the last 30 years. But, more specifically and of greater concern, migration has stalled in the very places with the most opportunity.
Read more »

5 Points on Harassment to Take Away From Judd and Times Reporters


Journalists who investigated two of the biggest sexual harassment cases of the past year were joined by the actress Ashley Judd to discuss their reporting.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson spoke at a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.

Tillerson Says Trump Remains Committed to Mideast Peace


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed reassurances about the consequences of an administration decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The sweeping tax overhaul approved Saturday by the Senate would eliminate penalties for people who go without insurance, a change not in the tax bill passed last month by the House.

Tax Bill Is Likely to Undo Health Insurance Mandate, Republicans Say


House Republicans are embracing the Senate’s repeal of the health law’s mandate that most people have insurance, but they are not buying a side deal to stabilize insurance markets.

John Conyers III, son of the retired Representative John Conyers Jr., at a movie premiere in July.

Conyers’s Son Was Arrested This Year, Accused of Stabbing His Girlfriend


John Conyers III, whose father endorsed him for a House seat he resigned amid harassment allegations, was arrested in February after his girlfriend was cut by a knife during an argument.

A man aiming at targets during a class to qualify for a concealed-carry permit in Illinois.

House Votes to Sharply Expand Concealed-Carry Gun Rights


The House easily passed legislation requiring each state to recognize another state’s concealed-carry gun permit. But the bill faces doubt in the Senate.

Ann Marie Buerkle’s tenure as a commissioner on the board of the Consumer Product Safety Commission has come under fire now that President Trump has nominated her to lead the agency. Consumer advocates worry that Ms. Buerkle is too close to industry groups to lead the commission.

Trump Pick to Head Consumer Safety Board Is Seen as Too Close to Industries


Ann Marie Buerkle, a commissioner poised to run the federal agency, has rarely voted for a mandatory recall, a maximum fine or a tougher safety standard.

Administration lawyers have concluded that the N.S.A. and the F.B.I. can lawfully keep operating the government’s warrantless surveillance program into April, even if Congress does not reauthorize it by an end-of-year deadline.

Warrantless Surveillance Can Continue Even if Law Expires, Officials Say


Lawyers for the Trump administration have concluded that the warrantless surveillance program can keep operating into April, even if the law authorizing it expires on New Year’s Eve.

Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the F.B.I. about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Flynn Said Russian Sanctions Would Be ‘Ripped Up,’ Whistle-Blower Says


The whistle-blower said Michael Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser, thought that ending the sanctions would allow a business project he was once involved with to move forward.

Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, said in a letter Monday that he was “committed to holding up the E.P.A.’s scientific integrity policy.”

E.P.A. Chief Says Agency Scientists Are Free to Discuss Their Work


Scott Pruitt was responding to concerns over the agency’s decision to bar two scientists and a consultant from presenting their research at a conference in October.

The American Embassy in Havana in September.

Tillerson Suggests Cuba Could Have Stopped ‘Targeted Attacks’ on U.S. Diplomats


“You probably know” who attacked the 24 American diplomats in Cuba, the secretary of state said. “You can stop it. It’s as simple as that.”

On the Night News Desk When Trump’s Tweeting Starts


Lara Jakes, recent night editor for our Washington bureau, and Steve Kenny, night editor in New York, discuss how Year 1 of the Trump era has affected their jobs and their sleep.

Stephen K. Bannon, left, with Roy S. Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, at a campaign event for Mr. Moore in Fairhope, Ala., on Tuesday.

Bannon Finds New Fight Backing Moore for Senate, but Risks Are High


The former White House strategist Stephen Bannon delivered a plea to elect Roy Moore at a rally in southern Alabama.

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
Kevin D. Williamson in National Review:
“The Affordable Care Act began coming undone the second it was signed; this tax plan, created in much the same way, may very well suffer the same fate.”
Mr. Williamson worries that many of the changes to the tax code enacted by this weekend’s work by the Republican Party will last only as long as they are in power. Congress, he writes, has proved itself to be incapable “of conducting its business in a fashion befitting the legislature of the most powerful nation in the history of human affairs, and of forging bipartisan compromises.” And bipartisanship, he reminds his readers, is the only way to pass legislation that can outlast a fickle electorate. Read more »
From the Left
Jordan Weissmann in Slate:
“One thing is clear: Labor is the loser, and capital is the winner.”
Mr. Weissmann is skeptical that corporations, given a significant tax cut, will let the extra cash flow to employees. In the past, he writes, we have seen companies “lavish” corporate profits onto shareholders. Moreover, he argues that for people worried about income inequality, corporate tax cuts aren’t even the most alarming part of the Republican plan: “The cuts targeted at pass-through businesses are.” Read more »
More selections »