White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has spent seven years trying to keep his son’s death in Afghanistan free from politics. Now his boss, Donald Trump, has turned the former Marine general’s grief into a political talking point. It all began with the deaths of four U.S. special forces soldiers in Niger that Trump hadn’t publicly addressed and then Trump’s false accusation that Barack Obama never called Gold Star parents. Via The Washington Post.
And now a Democratic congresswoman is alleging that Trump, in a phone call to the widow of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, told her, “He knew what he signed up for … but when it happens, it hurts anyway.” Via Vox.
There was a huge breakthrough in a Senate attempt to shore up the shaky Obamacare markets when Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray announced a tentantive agreement. Now, all they need is for Trump, who has pushed so hard to end Obamacare, to help persuade reluctant Republican leaders to push it through Congress. In other words, don’t count on the plan ever becoming law. Via The Atlantic.
American-backed forces say that the Syrian city Raqqa, the de facto capital of the ISIS caliphate, has been captured. It’s a major blow to the ISIS militants, who have now lost their two most important cities in the last three months. The question now is what ISIS does next. Via The New York Times.
If Trump’s warnings about the dangers from Iran sound disturbingly familiar, it’s because they seem not very different from George W. Bush’s warnings about the dangers from Iraq, circa 2002. Let’s hope the association stops there. Via Politico.
From The Weekly Standard: Bill Kristol questioning whether the Republican Party is heading for a crackup and wondering, if it is, where that might lead.
Walter Shapiro: Harvey Weinstein is plenty guilty, all right. But the guilt-by-association game being played by Republicans is far from innocent. Via Roll Call.
Molly Ringwald on all the other Harvey Weinsteins. Every woman in Hollywood, she writes, has her own Harvey stories. Via The New Yorker.
George Saunders wins the prestigious Man Booker Prize for his novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo” — a ghost story addressing Abe Lincoln’s grief for the 11-year-old son, Willie, he lost during the Civil War. Natalie Hopkinson tells the story in The New York Times of the Booker’s dark history, based on African slavery and the sugar trade.