U.S. Eliminates Status for Salvadorans

Tuesday, January 9, 2018Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 8.54.16 AM

Good Tuesday morning. 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans no longer qualify for temporary protection from deportation that was granted after two devastating earthquakes in 2001. It is the Trump administration’s latest reversal of years of immigration policies and one of the most consequential to date.

  • The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is said to have told President Trump’s lawyers that he will probably seek to speak with the president. White House officials viewed it as a sign the inquiry was nearly over, but it touched off discussions about the potential perils.

  • Glenn R. Simpson’s research firm, Fusion GPS, quietly compiled the notorious dossier of possible links between President Trump and Russia. Then it became public, and Mr. Simpson was pulled into the furor on Capitol Hill and cable news networks.

  • With a speech at the Golden Globe Awards, Oprah Winfrey launched a thousand fantasies. In the imagination of some Democrats, she seemed an answer to the party’s problems. Others questioned whether the country could accept another TV star as a political leader.

— The First Draft Team

Strong Economies Lift Presidents. Trump Seems an Exception.

President Trump's approval ratings are in the upper 30s.

President Trump’s approval ratings are in the upper 30s. Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

The stock market has surged. Unemployment is at 4.1 percent. ISIS has largely been vanquished from Iraq and Syria.
But despite it all, President Trump’s approval ratings are mired in the upper 30s. No president has had worse ratings at this stage of his term since modern polling began more than three-quarters of a century ago.
With Mr. Trump starting the new year with a blizzard of tweets and with fresh controversy emerging seemingly every day, it is debatable whether he is as weak as he looks. After all, he managed to win the presidency with terrible favorability ratings. Analysts have understandably been cautious about assuming that his weak figures will doom him or his party again.
But it seems clear that Mr. Trump’s approval ratings betray significant political weakness.
Setting aside the question of how much credit first-year presidents deserve for a strong economy — they have less influence than you might think — Mr. Trump’s ratings should be much better. A 4.1 percent unemployment rate, the lowest in 17 years, is more typically associated with a 60-plus-percent approval rating for a first-term president.
Read more »
Prototypes for a wall along the United States’ southern border were unveiled in October in California.

To Pay for Wall, Trump Would Cut Proven Border Security Measures


Experts say some measures targeted are more effective than a wall, resulting in an approach a Republican congressman called “a third-century solution to a 21st-century problem.”

President Trump spoke on Monday to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention in Nashville.

Overstating Size of Tax Cuts in Speech to Farmers


President Trump told a Farm Bureau convention he had cut taxes by $5.5 trillion; the Republican overhaul would in fact reduce the tax burden on individuals and companies over the next decade by $1.5 trillion.

President Trump on Monday at the College Football Playoff championship game in Atlanta. His appearance seemed intended to emphasize his critique of athletes for using football games as a place for protests.

Trump Takes Field at College Football Championship Game


The president’s appearance seemed intended to emphasize his furious critique of athletes for using football games as a place for protests.

John Sargent, the chief executive of Macmillan, the parent company of Henry Holt, which has received orders for more than a million copies of “Fire and Fury.”

Publisher Defied Trump to ‘Defend the Principles of the First Amendment’


John Sargent, the executive behind Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” discusses his decision to fight the president’s attempt to quash the book.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry had sought to guarantee financial returns for plants that stockpile at least 90 days’ worth of fuel.

Perry’s Plan to Rescue Struggling Coal and Nuclear Plants Is Rejected


In a blow to the Trump administration, a federal panel turned down a proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize struggling plants.

After Oprah Winfrey’s speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at Sunday’s Golden Globes, speculation about a possible presidential run soared.

What Politicians Could Learn from Winfrey


Sneer at celebrity all you want, but elections are contests of stories, and Oprah Winfrey showed that she can tell one.

Tom Steyer said his group’s campaign would focus on reaching millennial voters, who will constitute the largest voting demographic in the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Billionaire to Spend $30 Million on 2018 Elections. His Aim: Impeachment


The billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer said he would spend $30 million on the 2018 midterms to elect Democrats, with a goal of removing the president.

A construction site in Mexico where Ford Motor has canceled plans for a factory. For the biggest makers of cars and machines, provisions of the new tax law could make it attractive for American companies to locate factories abroad.

Tax Law May Send Factories and Jobs Abroad, Critics Say


Supporters say the recently approved tax law will help American multinationals compete more aggressively overseas. Others see incentives to put factories overseas.

The Supreme Court’s majority opinion on Monday said the appeals court had erred in concluding that there was no question of prejudice in the case of a black inmate in Georgia.

Death Penalty Case Heard by Racist Juror Must Be Reviewed


In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a juror’s racist statements required an appeals court to reconsider a death row inmate’s case.

Tim Hully harvests corn at Walnut Grove Farm in Adairville, Ky., in 2016.

How Administration’s Policies May Actually Threaten Farmers


The president cast himself as a friend to farmers on Monday, but his position on trade and some parts of the new tax law threaten to undercut their interests.

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
Mollie Hemingway in The Federalist:
“There is nothing about Trump now that suggests his mental state is any different or worse or dangerous than when voters elected him, or when they first encountered him on gossip pages and in reality television decades ago.”
Ms. Hemingway notes that while some critics of President Trump have suggested using the 25th Amendment to overturn election results they were not expecting or not happy with, the debate has been reignited with the publication of Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury.” Any conversation about the president’s mental fitness, she argues, is merely an attempt by the opposition to undo the democratic will of the American people. Read more »
From the Left
Joan Walsh in The Nation:
“As we marvel or chortle or freak out over these many new revelations, let’s keep our wits about us. There is likely no serious way to respond until November 2018. Let’s focus on that.”
Ms. Walsh writes that her main takeaway from Mr. Wolff’s book and New York Times reporting on Mr. Trump’s interventions in the Russia inquiry is that Republicans “are circling the wagons around Trump.” She does not propose a 25th Amendment solution to the problem, however. The only way to address an unfit president whose party will not hold him accountable is for Democrats to win in the midterm elections, she said. Read more »
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