The Republican tax-bill strategy, writes John Cassidy in The New Yorker, has three prongs — speed, subterfuge and diversion. One bill has passed the House. A different version has passed the Senate Finance Committee. In other words, the strategy may be working.
Dave Leonhardt: If you watched any of the all-too-brief Senate hearings on the Republican tax cut bill, you saw some angry exchanges, particularly involving Sen. Orrin Hatch, who seems upset that Democrats keep saying the bill is bad for middle- and working-class voters. The problem for Hatch is that, in this case, the Democrats are right. Via The New York Times.
Democrats are making the case that if suburban middle-class voters don’t see the tax cuts they’ve promised, there could be a huge backlash at the polls next year. Via The Washington Post.
Charles Manson dies at 83. The New York Times has written a lengthy obituary, but at this point it’s hard to know what else there is to say.
That photo, Al Franken and trusting the women. Via The Atlantic. From The National Review: If Franken manages to keep his Senate seat, Democrats will come to regret it. Whatever Franken has done may not be nearly as bad as whatever Roy Moore has done, but that won’t stop Republicans from playing the what-about-ism card.
ABC News is reporting that special counsel Robert Mueller has made a wide-ranging request for documents from the Justice Department, which oversees his investigation. He is apparently particularly interested in documents relating to the firing of FBI director Jim Comey. Meanwhile, in the White House, reports The Washington Post, Trump aides are split on where the investigation is headed. Some see a quick resolution. Others see a long winter.
One more day in Trumpworld: The president was so angry that he didn’t get more thanks from a players’ father for his help in freeing three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting that he’s changed his mind on the topic. Trump is now saying he wished he’d left them in jail in China. Via The Los Angeles Times.
Cass Sunstein: Trump’s Clinton fixation is truly Orwellian. It’s an easy call. Just pull out your dog-eared copy of 1984 and brush up on Big Brother’s Two Minute Hate. Via Bloomberg.
Elizabeth Warren: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was a long-shot idea that, somehow, became law. And more surprising still is that the bureau has actually been allowed to do its work. But all that may be coming into an end as agency director Rich Cordray is retiring and Trump gets set to name a successor. Via American Prospect.