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Daily Reads: Kremlingate Could Test Trump Advisers’ Loyalty; Sanders Announces Medicare for All Today

A roundup of stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Daily Reads: Kremlingate Could Test Trump Advisers' Loyalty

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Medicare for all –> Bernie Sanders will unveil his new Medicare-for-All bill today. He offers a preview of it in today’s New York Times.

At Vox, Jeff Stein writes that around a quarter of Senate Dems are supporting the bill, with some others waiting to see the text of the proposal before committing. Considering that the idea was seen as a fringe one not long ago, it’s a “stunning shift” in the political landscape.

Politicizing the bureaucracy –> The Interior Department’s inspector general is opening up an investigation into what The Washington Post’s Joe Davidson calls “the extraordinary and politically suspect reassignment of dozens of Senior Executive Service (SES) members.

Sinister new centers of unaccountable power –> Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith argues that Silicon Valley’s public image has taken a massive nosedive in recent years, which he thinks is “likely to have major consequences for the industry and for American politics.”

Another budget shocker –> Last week, Donald Trump was cutting budget and debt limit deals with “Chuck and Nancy,” and now a senior advisory says that “Trump would not demand that border wall funding is tied to a legislative replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,” according to Jonathan Easley at The Hill.

Worse than partisan –> A FOIA request revealed that Hans von Spakovsky from the conservative Heritage Foundation sent an email to the Trump administration saying that he was deeply troubled to learn that the election commission might be bipartisan, urging officials to exclude not only Democrats but also moderate Republicans. Spakovsky was later appointed to the commission himself. Megan Wislon has more at The Hill.

The commission does have a bipartisan veneer thanks to the participation of Bill Gardner, New Hampshire’s sometimes contrarian Democratic Secretary of State. Gideon Resnick and Sam Stein report for The Daily Beast that Gardner’s involvement, along with a package of new voter suppression bills being considered in the legislature, is making the Granite State ground zero in the fight for the ballot — and inviting threats by the likes of Howard Dean.

Loyalty test –> Darren Samuelsohn writes at Politico that “current and former White House aides caught up in the special counsel’s Russia probe the probe are being advised by their attorneys to tell the truth — even if that might hurt the president.” At the same time, “Trump stalwarts know the president is closely following the media coverage of the Russia case — and the last thing they want is to be deemed a turncoat.”

And at The Atlantic, Matt Ford interviewed veteran officials who faced grand jury investigations into Whitewater and the firing of Valerie Plame about what it was really like in these high-pressure situations.  

Make theft illegal again –> In what The Intercept’s Zaid Jilani calls “a surprise vote,” the House passed a bipartisan measure on Tuesday that would “roll back Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s expansion of asset forfeiture.” As Jilani explains, “Civil asset forfeiture is a practice by which law enforcement can take assets from a person who is suspected of a crime, even without a charge or conviction.”

Speaking of democracy –> In a 5-4 decision handed down on Tuesday, the Supreme Court blocked a lower court’s ruling requiring Texas to redraw its racially gerrymandered districts in time for the 2018 midterms. Adam Liptak has more at The New York Times.

Impunity, again –> The Justice Department announced that it would not seek civil rights charges against the six Baltimore police officers implicated in Freddie Gray’s death in 2015. Salvador Hernandez and Dominic Holden have that story at Buzzfeed.

The real resistance –> At The American Prospect, Page Gardner and Celinda Lake write that the power of the anti-Trump resistance will be tested by its ability to get millennials, people of color and single women registered and out to the polls in 2018.

Disgrace –> Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigned on Tuesday, mere hours after a family member accused him of past sexual abuse. Jim Brunner, Daniel Beekman and Lewis Kamb have more at The Seattle Times.

Fatberg –> What is it, you ask? An iceberg-like product of people dumping paper products and liquid oils into the sewer system, and according to The Guardian’s Matthew Taylor, London is grappling with a “total monster” of a fatberg that threatens the entire system.

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



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