March 1, 2017

Top Stories

Tax Credits Inflame Internal Fight Over Leaked GOP Obamacare Repeal Draft

The Gist: A leaked draft of legislation that represents the closest that congressional Republicans have come to signaling their way forward on repealing the Affordable Care Act is already up in flames, in part due to a revolt from the caucus’ hard right wing over a proposal that has been a mainstay of GOP health plans in recent years.

Networks Give Trump Address Glowing Reviews: 'The Most Speech-Like Speech'

The Gist: Hosts on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC praised President Donald Trump for staying on-script (for the most part) during his Tuesday night address to a joint session of Congress.

Trump Says SEAL Killed In Yemen 'Broke A Record' After Standing Ovation

The Gist: President Donald Trump said Tuesday that a U.S. commando killed during the first counter-terrorism operation of his term was "very happy" after his widow received an extensive standing ovation during Trump's speech to Congress.

From The Reporter's Notebook

What Trump ultimately delivered was somewhat more subdued than the apocalyptic rhetoric of his RNC acceptance speech and inaugural address. He vowed at the outset of the speech to "deliver a message of unity and strength,” and he struck a compassionate note by expressing concern about the recent waves of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and the vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, TPM's Alice Ollstein wrote. But after that relatively moderate opening, Trump went on to paint a dark and often misleading portrait of a country with "dying industries," "crumbling infrastructure," a "terrible drug epidemic," "neglected inner cities," and a general "environment of lawless chaos." It was, in short, "American carnage" all over again, though less angry.

Agree or Disagree?

Josh Marshall: "I can't in good conscience not add here that the speech was strewn with demonstrably false claims. But we expect this now. The President's advisors, especially Steve Bannon, can read the polls as well as anyone else. But they've set as their goal not shifting those numbers (at least not worrying about them for now) so much as providing repeated evidence and claims to convince his base supporters that he's following through on what he promised he would do. I said I would do this and I didn't. You can count on me. I'm different."

Say What?!

"For people who are not Republicans and already committed to the President and his agenda, Donald Trump did indeed become presidential tonight. And I think we'll see that reflected in a higher approval rating."

- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Tuesday that President Donald Trump became "presidential" during his address to a joint session of Congress.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "Conservatives in the main want to be free from regulations imposed by Washington. Can we look at a few? Civil Rights Environmental protections Workplace safety These all require states to protect individuals from unwarranted discrimination, from degraded air and water, and from disregard of workplace safety. So conservative states want to be free to let their residents or visitors be injured by these conditions or actions. Some liberal-government states want to be free to increase personal freedoms (cannabis, LGBTQ protections) and resist Washington preventing them from doing that. Examples: The continued classification of cannabis as Schedule 1 by the DEA is a top-down limit on personal freedom. The relaxing of environmental limits on emissions imposes damages on downwind states or states that share a watershed. It is not symmetrical. It is like trying to equate the freedom to discriminate with the freedom to not be discriminated against. Your freedom to swing your fist around ends at the tip of my nose. Your freedom to dump waste ends at your property line, or before if water or air is involved."

Related: Sessions Sets Goals: Robust Enforcement Of Drug, Gun, Violent Crime

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What We're Reading

The Scary State of Volcano Monitoring in the United States (The Atlantic)

What It's Like to Be Rihanna's Personal Chef (Bon Appetit)