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Daily Reads: Deal Announced but Trump Reverses Himself on Bipartisan Health Fix

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Trump Reverses Himself on Bipartisan Health Fix

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About that “bipartisan health care deal” –> Two key senators, Republican Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democrat Patty Murray of Washington, announced on Tuesday that they’d come to an agreement on a bill that would stabilize Obamacare’s exchanges while giving insurers a bit more flexibility. Billy Wynne and Timothy Jost have the details — and game out the likelihood of the bill’s passage — at the Health Affairs Blog.

But according to the Associated Press, the deal is already “reeling after President Donald Trump reversed course and opposed the agreement and top congressional Republicans and conservatives gave it a frosty reception.”

Clash in Kirkuk –> Military officials are trying to contain the fallout after “US-armed and -trained Iraqi government forces clashed with US-armed and -trained Kurdish forces in the disputed city of Kirkuk” over the weekend. Robbie Gramer and Paul McCleary report for Foreign Policy that the firefights, which followed a Kurdish independence referendum last month that was vehemently opposed by Baghdad, has left our “Iraq policy in disarray and open[ed] the door for greater Iranian influence in the country.”

The religious right never had much quarrel with far-right populism –> The New Republic’s Sarah Jones on how Trump “stole the soul” of this year’s Values Voter Summit.

A remarkable performance –> A day after Trump was forced to walk back his claim that Barack Obama didn’t call the families of soldiers who died on his watch, he did so himself, reportedly telling the pregnant widow of a sergeant killed in an ambush in Niger that her husband “knew what he signed up for … but when it happens, it hurts anyway.” Miami’s ABC station has that story at the link.

In the interim, the president invoked the death of White House chief of staff John Kelly’s son, who was killed after stepping on a land mine in Afghanistan in 2010, to buttress his claim. Ashley Parker reports for The Washington Post that Kelly had “gone out of his way to keep the death of his son free from politics” until Tuesday, when his boss “thrust his son into the public and political glare.”

At The Atlantic, David Graham writes that by starting this kerfuffle, Trump managed to shift the news cycle away from the deaths of the four soldiers killed in an attack that some have called “Trump’s Benghazi.” According to Graham, “the Pentagon still doesn’t understand what happened, and is conducting a preliminary review to see whether there should be a formal investigation and whether military procedures need to be changed.”

How not to drain a swamp –> The Center for Public Integrity’s Carrie Levine reports that “several major corporations and trade groups secretly bankrolled a plush hideaway for lawmakers at the same Republican National Convention in Cleveland where Trump gave the speech” promising to “drain the swamp” in DC.

Uptick –> Maurice Chammah and Tom Meagher report for The Marshall Project that “this year will be the first since 2009 in which there were more executions [in the US] than the year before.” And eight more are scheduled before year’s end.

Third time isn’t the charm –> Cristian Farias at New York magazine: US District Judge Derrick Watson blocked the third iteration of Trump’s travel ban from going into effect. “On Tuesday, a federal judge in Hawaii — the same one Jeff Sessions once derided as a ‘judge on an island in the Pacific’ — dealt the president yet another setback in his bid to impose travel restrictions on a number of nations, most of them Muslim-majority.”

Really? –> Internal White House documents circulated by Peter Navarro, director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, “allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility and spousal abuse.” Damian Paletta reports for The Washington Post that the documents “were presented without any data or information to back up the assertions.”

All the other Harvey Weinsteins –> Molly Ringwald, teen megastar of the ’80s, speaks out at The New Yorker about her own experiences dealing with abusive men as a young Hollywood actress.

Subpoenaed –> Last week, we mentioned that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was refusing to testify before congressional investigators looking into potential collusion with the Russians. On Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Manafort. NBC’s Marianna Sotomayor and Kasie Hunt report that “the committee expects Page will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer questions.”

Meanwhile, Robert Mueller “has interviewed the cybersecurity expert who described being ‘recruited to collude with the Russians,'” according to Natasha Bertrand at Business Insider.

On Tuesday, a federal judge “dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought against the Associated Press by a Russian billionaire with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.” Eric Tucker has that story.

And “Russian trolls posing as Americans made payments to genuine activists in the US to help fund protest movements on socially divisive issues,” reports Shaun Walker for The Guardian.

Losing some old friends –> Kevin Wilshaw, a prominent British neo-Nazi and former organizer for the white supremacist National Front, announced on the UK’s Channel Four News that he’s gay and his mother is Jewish, and disavowed the movement he helped build. Paraic O’Brien has more.



Daily Reads was compiled by BillMoyers.com staff and edited by Kristin Miller.

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