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Morning Reads: For First Time, Obama Veto Override; Government Shutdown Temporarily Averted

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

Morning Reads: For First Time, Obama Veto Override

President Barack Obama boards Air Force One on September 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Congress overrides Obama’s veto –> A bill allowing Americans to sue foreign countries alleged to have funded attacks on US citizens has passed Congress, despite a veto by President Obama and an aggressive lobbying effort by Saudi Arabia, the bill’s clear target. Families of 9/11 victims will now be able to sue the Kingdom, which reportedly was funneling money to terrorist groups around the time of the attack. In vetoing the bill, Obama said he worried that other countries would retaliate by taking similar steps — perhaps suing the United States for attacks by Syrian rebels we fund, for instance. After the veto override vote, several members of Congress sent the president a letter saying they saw his point and were also concerned about the bill’s “unintended consequences.”

No shutdown… for now –> Congress has passed, and Obama has signed, a bill to keep the government funded through the beginning of December. It did not include either of the Democrats’ sticking points — aid for Flint and the end of a congressional order that the SEC not be allowed to force corporations to disclose their political spending to shareholders. Jon Reid at Morning Consult: “With no votes scheduled for the rest of the week, lawmakers are now set to return to the campaign trail for another lengthy recess, but will have to get back to work on extending government funding, among other legislative items, when they return for the lame-duck session after the election.”

More troops to Iraq –> In the Los Angeles Times, W.J. Hennigan reports, “The Pentagon plans to send about 600 additional troops to Iraq to help launch a long-awaited offensive to retake Mosul in coming weeks, the most ambitious operation yet in the two-year military campaign against Islamic State. The escalation, which has been approved by the White House, suggests the challenges US-backed Iraqi ground forces will face in assaulting a heavily defended major urban center that is Islamic State’s self-declared capital in Iraq and the largest city under its control anywhere.”

The jobs aren’t coming back –>During the debates, Trump did not have a plan for bringing back the jobs that he says have been lost to China and Mexico. And there may be no real answer. An in-depth New York Times report looks at the complex web of forces that determine the winners and losers of trade, globalization and automation. The issue has become central to American and European politics. “Mr. Trump vows to slap punitive tariffs on Chinese goods,” Peter Goodman writes. “But that would very likely just shift production to other low-wage countries like Vietnam and Mexico. It would not turn the lights on at shuttered textile plants in the Carolinas. (Even if it did, robots would probably take most of the jobs.)”

Trade bans be damned –> Kurt Eichenwald’s latest scoop for Newsweek: “A company controlled by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, secretly conducted business in communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings. Documents show that the Trump company spent a minimum of $68,000 for its 1998 foray into Cuba at a time when the corporate expenditure of even a penny in the Caribbean country was prohibited without US government approval. But the company did not spend the money directly. Instead, with Trump’s knowledge, executives funneled the cash for the Cuba trip through an American consulting firm called Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corporation.”

Stiffed –> The retired owner of Freehold Music Center in Freehold, New Jersey, writes in The Washington Post that back in 1989, Donald Trump stiffed him on an order for pianos at Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City: “Today, when I hear Trump brag about paying small business owners less than he agreed, I get angry. He’s always suggesting that the people who worked for him didn’t do the right job, didn’t complete their work on time, that something was wrong. But I delivered quality pianos, tuned and ready to go. I did everything right. And then Trump cheated me. It’s a callous way to do business.”

Make Amerrica Great Again –> The menu for the restaurant at Trump’s new Washington, DC hotel has some spelling issues.

Morning Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!

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