Republicans are doubling down— again.
As we all know, they haven’t been able to get anything significant through Congress at this point, but now they’re trying to get everything at once — by deciding to whack Obamacare as part of the tax bill. The idea is to dismantle the individual tax mandate — which would boost federal revenues while, um, reduce those covered by health insurance by maybe 13 million people — because that’s what Donald Trump wants. Via The Atlantic.
One more little healthcare-related issue with the tax bill, it could potentially trigger an automatic $25 billion cut in Medicare. Via Vox.
Jeff Sessions told a House committee that he has never lied about the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians. He just can never seem to rememberthem until someone — say, a journalist or a federal investigator — reminds him. Via The New York Times.
The Democratic nomination system wasn’t rigged, writes Ezra Klein in Vox, but it was biased. The strange thing, he concludes, is that the pro-Clinton bias actually helped Bernie Sanders, and those who were hurt — and this will sound really strange — were potential candidates like Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren and … John Hickenlooper. That’s what he said.
This time, we’re told, it was a neighborhood dispute in a rural Northern California community that set off a shooter, who was known for firing guns, on a killing rampage in which he shot more than a dozen people — apparently at random — and killed at least four. Via The San Francisco Chronicle.
Frank Bruni: Danica Roem is the country’s only openly transgender lawmaker and what she wants to talk about is traffic on Route 28. And if that’s really, really boring — and it really is — that’s a very good thing. Via The New York Times.
Dana Milbank: If the Trump administration defense on possible collusion with Russia comes down to positing that the entire outfit was way too dumb to organize a conspiracy, Donald Trump Jr. will obviously be the first witness. Via The Washington Post.
Now that Trump is coming home from his mostly uneventful trip to Asia, what’s he going to do about Roy Moore? Mitch McConnell has begged Trump to lean on Moore to quit the race. But Trump also knows that many of his most fervent supporters are also fervent Moore supporters. And then there’s the Trump-accusers problem. Via Politico.
From The National Review: Rich Lowry writes that if the Roy Moore story is a matter of he said, she said, then the she-said contingent is so much more believable.
Then were those years in which Moore was apparently banned from the mall for his habit of badgering teenage girls. At least that’s what the folks in his Alabama hometown say. Via The New Yorker.