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Bad for business –> The rift in the White House between Steve Bannon and the president’s plutocratic advisers is not just about Bannon’s politics — it’s because Bannon is bad for the Trump family’s bottom line, The Washington Post reports, citing 21 White House sources.
“Trump’s three oldest children — Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric — and Kushner have been frustrated by the impression of chaos inside the White House and feel that their father has not always been served well by his senior staff, according to people with knowledge of their sentiments,” write Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker and Robert Costa. “The Trump heirs are interested in any changes that might help resuscitate the presidency and preserve the family’s name at a time when they are trying to expand the Trump Organization’s portfolio of hotels.”
Hostage situation –> If the president can’t repeal and replace Obamacare as it currently exists, he can blow up the program, which his agencies oversee. “On Wednesday, President Trump announced that he plans to use the powers of his office to jeopardize health care access for millions of low-income people, while destabilizing America’s insurance markets — because he believes that voters will blame the ensuing chaos on the Democratic Party, leaving Chuck Schumer desperate to negotiate with the White House over Obamacare repeal,” Eric Levitz reports for New York magazine.
The economic issue behind the United Airlines disaster –> Why has United Airlines been so bad at apologizing after a passenger was dragged, beaten and bloodied, off a plane when he refused to “voluntarily” give up his seat? In short: Corporate consolidation, resulting in oligopoly.
The major American airlines “do not need to do anything to convince people to fly with them, because they all merged and consolidated until there were just four firms controlling the vast majority of domestic flights, and they have determined that it is in their collective best interest not to seriously compete with one another,” writes Alex Pareene for Fusion. “…This is the end result of decades of corporate consolidation — aided by economists and regulators and politicians from both parties — that has greatly enriched a few at the expense of workers, consumers, and citizens in general.”
Echo chamber –> “Of the top 100 US newspapers, 47 ran editorials on President Donald Trump’s Syria airstrikes last week: 39 in favor, seven ambiguous and only one opposed to the military attack,” writes Adam Johnson of the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. “In other words, 83 percent of editorials on the Syria attack supported Trump’s bombing, 15 percent took an ambivalent position and 2 percent said the attack shouldn’t have happened.”
All the news that’s unfit to print –> The New York Times has hired an alumnus of The Wall Street Journal editorial page, Bret Stephens, who is known for casting doubt on what he has called “the purported threat of global warming.” At In These Times, Kate Aronoff writes, “contrarian (read: conservative) views do have a place in the national debate. But whether climate change exists is no longer a debate.”
Not fast enough –> The climate change denial lobby in Washington is upset that Trump and his EPA head Scott Pruitt have not acted more quickly to undermine the federal government’s ability to act on climate change. In particular, Myron Ebell, who headed Trump’s EPA transition team, and others are bothered that Pruitt has not challenged the EPA’s so-called “endangerment finding,” which labeled climate change a public health threat and allowed the EPA to regulate the pollutants that cause it.
“Free” college, with a million strings attached –> Advocates of free college education are having a hard time getting excited about New York’s new Excelsior Scholarship, pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo with help from both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The law would make public colleges tuition-free for students whose families earn less than $125,000 a year — but there are many catches, and, in the end, the law may do more to help students from middle-income families than from poor ones. “He designed a bill that policy thinkers who’ve been beating the drum for free college are probably hoping other states won’t try to copy,” Jordan Weissmann writes for Slate.
Avoid the seafood –> The Miami Herald reports that days before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Mar-a-Lago, the club was cited for several food safety violations, including some improperly prepared fish and some dangerously warm ham.
We produce this news digest every weekday. You canto receive these updates as an email.