Wiretap: This time, it could be Democrats who are ready to shut down the government
Maybe you remember this threat from previous administrations. But the tables have turned. Democrats are now threatening to shut down the government if Republicans can’t agree on compromise legislation that would counter what critics say is Donald Trump’s decision to sabotage Obamacare — by scrapping the Cost Sharing Reduction program that helps insurance companies keep premiums affordable. Via The Washington Post.
Andrew Sullivan: Trump’s problem is not that he’s a moron, even though he may be, but that he’s a dangerous reactionary fantasist who thinks he can somehow reconstruct the late 1950s. It seems that might even be worse. Via New York magazine.
Just in case you thought the news from Iraq was getting better these days, apparently it’s not. Reports are that Iraqi forces are beginning an assault on Kurdish-held Kirkuk, with nearby oil fields at stake. U.S. forces have, of course, trained both side of this battle, which has been inflamed by Kurdistan’s recent referendum vote for independence. Meanwhile, the Iraqi forces are joined by Iranian-supported Shiite militias. Via The New York Times.
Trump’s irrational hatred of the Iran nuclear agreement, which could lead Congress to pass further sanctions and for Iran to then abandon the deal, not only endangers our relationships with our enemies, but also with our friends. Via The New Yorker.
In a Vox explainer, we learn how Trump’s decison to decertify the Iran deal is not the same as ending it, which isn’t to say that it’s not pointless and dangerous.
Carl Cannon: Is the bipartisan disgust with Harvey Weinstein and his indefensible treatment of women a cultural turning point? It just might be. Via The Orange County Register.
From The National Review: There’s a three-way battle on the Republican budget — the House version, the Senate version and Trump’s incoherent version.
Meanwhile, Steven Bannon promises a “season of war” against Mitch McConnell and any Republicans he thinks are blocking Trump’s programs. In other words, if you didn’t get the hint in Alabama, now you know to get ready for a very busy and expensive primary season. Via Politico.
As the Democratic Party continues to move left, centrists are casting around for some big-idea programs that will help move the party back toward the middle. Via McClatchy.
Bill Clinton reviews Ron Chernow’s Grant in The New York Times Book Review. Grant’s role in protecting the right to vote and combating white supremacy is not so much a history lesson, Clinton writes, as a mirror on our times.
Long-form bonus via The Atlantic: What Facebook has done to American democracy. Let’s just say it’s nothing good. And the really strange thing is, nobody saw it coming, and that includes Facebook.
Photo by Kevin Bacher courtesy of National Park Service, via Flickr: Creative Commons. Mount Rainier’s Nisqually Entrance gates were locked during the government shutdown in October 2013.
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