Can Ford Survive in a World of Self-Driving Cars?
A Defector From Conservatism With a Clear Vision of Trump’s Rise
“Saudi Consulate event” is quite the euphemism
Clear effect of Hurricane Michael seen in Florida ballot returns
Odds Watch: Prediction model gives GOP a 6.4 percent chance of retaining House
Jeff Sessions’s Justice Department is in turmoil
During his 20 months in office, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has swept in perhaps the most dramatic political shift in memory at the Justice Department, from the civil rights-centered agenda of the Obama era to one that favors his hard-line conservative views on immigration, civil rights and social issues.
Now, discontent and infighting have taken hold at the Justice Department, in part because Mr. Sessions was so determined to carry out that transformation that he ignored dissent, at times putting the Trump administration on track to lose in court and prompting high-level departures, according to interviews over several months with two dozen current and former career department lawyers who worked under Mr. Sessions. Most asked not to be named for fear of retribution.
Stunning details on Georgia’s election-suppression methods
Even by Georgia standards, the voter purge of late July 2017 was remarkable. In a single day, more than half a million people — 8 percent of Georgia’s registered voters — were cut from the voter rolls. Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, an avid supporter of President Donald Trump who has described himself as a “politically incorrect conservative,” oversaw the removals eight months after he’d declared himself a candidate for governor.
The purge was noteworthy for another reason: For an estimated 107,000 of those people, their removal from the voter rolls was triggered not because they moved or died or went to prison, but rather because they had decided not to vote in prior elections, according to an APM Reports analysis. Many of those previously registered voters may not even realize they’ve been dropped from the rolls. If they show up at the polls on Nov. 6 to vote in the heated Georgia governor’s race, they won’t be allowed to cast a ballot.
Press group strongly criticizes Trump’s endorsement of violence
White House signals it won’t distance itself from Saudi Arabia that much
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has decided to take part in an anti-terror finance meeting with Saudi security officials and their Middle Eastern counterparts in Riyadh later this month, opting to attend despite growing global outrage over the suspected murder of a U.S.-based journalist at the hands of Saudi operatives, according to three people familiar with his travel plans.
The security gathering next week is separate from a Riyadh financial summit that Mnuchin announced on Thursday he would not attend. Numerous other Western officials and corporations have pulled out of the “Davos in the Desert” financial summit because of the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote for The Washington Post.
CNN uncovers insensitive comments made by Republican lawmaker in tough reelection fight
The Minnesota congressman made his comment during a November 2012 broadcast of “The Jason Lewis Show,” a syndicated radio program. Lewis was discussing sexual harassment allegations leveled against then-Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain from his time as president of the National Restaurant Association.
“I don’t want to be callous here, but how traumatizing was it?” Lewis said. “How many women at some point in their life have a man come on to them, place their hand on their shoulder or maybe even their thigh, kiss them, and they would rather not have it happen, but is that really something that’s going to be seared in your memory that you’ll need therapy for?”
What voters care about the most right now
A brief guide to Ryan Zinke’s latest ethics shadiness
Trump clarifies that grammatical mistake is on purpose
Facebook poaches a surprising name from the world of U.K. politics
Facebook has hired Nick Clegg, the former UK deputy prime minister, to head its global affairs and communications team as it faces escalating problems over data protection and the threat of greater government regulation.
Mr Clegg, 51, will move to Silicon Valley in January to succeed Elliot Schrage, who announced he would leave Facebook after 10 years in June. His recruitment will be as much of a surprise to the British political establishment as it will be to Silicon Valley, where few European politicians enjoy a high profile in the insular tech industry.
One reason the Trump administration may be wary of freezing out Saudi Arabia
The disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi brought to the forefront an open secret in Washington: Saudi Arabia is spending heavily to influence the nation’s capital.
Since Khashoggi disappeared after walking into the Saudi consulate in Turkey on Oct. 2, lobbying firms that work on behalf of the Saudi government have found themselves under increasing scrutiny.
The Saudis have poured money into lobbying for decades, but the numbers increased dramatically under the Trump Administration.
According to data compiled by the Center for International Policy, a foreign policy think tank, that was provided to TIME, the Saudi government spent $10 million on lobbying in 2016. By 2017, that number had nearly tripled, increasing to almost $27 million.
A chilling observation from last night’s Trump rally
A comprehensive look at Bill de Blasio’s failure to catch on outside New York
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first major attempt to be a national player was a monthslong comedy of errors involving City Hall staffers and some of the biggest political operatives in New York, according to thousands of pages of emails — many of them previously undisclosed — reviewed by POLITICO.
De Blasio’s Progressive Agenda nonprofit was ostensibly designed to champion issues the mayor held dear — income inequality, voter enfranchisement, education — with de Blasio as the central force behind the “movement.”
But the more-than-$860,000 effort yielded little in the end — no public debates, a couple of events including one that failed spectacularly, and no political upside for a mayor singularly obsessed with becoming a national liberal leader.
Twitter yanks Saudi propaganda accounts
Twitter suspended a network of suspected Twitter bots on Thursday that pushed pro-Saudi Arabia talking points about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the past week.
Twitter became aware of some of the bots on Thursday when NBC News presented the company with a spreadsheet of hundreds of accounts that tweeted and retweeted the same pro-Saudi government tweets at the same time.
Turkish officials are shooting down yesterday’s report that they shared evidence of Khashoggi’s murder with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Turkey’s foreign minister says his country has not shared any audio recordings from Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance with U.S. officials.
The state-run Anadolu Agency also quoted the minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, as saying that Turkey would share “with the world” the results of its investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Make graphic design great again
Beto backs impeachement
The joke is that Trump is dumb
When the president found out I was Indian-American he asked me if I was the same tribe as Elizabeth Warren.
Some Republicans would rather smear Khashoggi than Saudi Arabia
In recent days, a cadre of conservative House Republicans allied with Trump has been privately exchanging articles from right-wing outlets that fuel suspicion of Khashoggi, highlighting his association with the Muslim Brotherhood in his youth and raising conspiratorial questions about his work decades ago as an embedded reporter covering Osama bin Laden, according to four GOP officials involved in the discussions who were not authorized to speak publicly.
Those aspersions — which many lawmakers have been wary of stating publicly because of the political risks of doing so — have begun to flare into public view as conservative media outlets have amplified the claims, which are aimed in part at protecting Trump as he works to preserve the U.S.-Saudi relationship and avoid confronting the Saudis on human rights.
Democrats are staying on-message
These guys just can’t help themselves
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke sought to skirt or alter department policies to justify his taxpayer-funded trips with his wife, the agency’s inspector general said in the latest critical report on travel practices by President Trump’s Cabinet members.
Zinke’s maneuvers included pressing Interior staffers to research whether his wife, Lola, could become a volunteer at the agency, a move the employees said was designed to enable her to travel with him at taxpayer expense, according to a report obtained by Politico that the inspector general’s office will release next week. It said he also violated Interior policy by having her travel with him in federal vehicles.
Turkish source says they’ve given Pompeo proof of their Khashoggi allegations
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has heard an alleged audio recording of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to a senior Turkish official.
Speaking exclusively and on condition of anonymity to ABC News, the official claimed the recording was played in meetings in Turkey on Wednesday, and that Pompeo was given a transcript of the recordings.
Will the business world’s sudden chilliness toward Saudi Arabia last?
Yet the exodus of top financial executives from what has been called “Davos in the Desert,” hardly represents an irreparable break by Wall Street with the kingdom. Indeed, numerous banks are still sending underlings who will undoubtedly relay the message that whatever the public statement of their chief executives, they still value Saudi Arabia as a client.
After all, financial institutions didn’t flinch when the crown prince consolidated his power by imprisoning his rivals in the Riyadh Ritz Carlton and forcing them to hand over substantial chunks of their wealth. (Saudi Arabia maintains these were necessary anticorruption measures.)
Yet it remains to be seen whether whatever fees Wall Street collects from Saudi Arabia will be worth the reputational risks.
What the government could uncover in its investigation into Pennsylvania’s Catholic Church
From what is known so far, a few aspects of the inquiry could potentially be significant. Federal investigators are apparently interested in documents that may have been concealed in so-called “secret archives” or confidential files, which would likely detail how dioceses handled legal cases involving clergy. This could be important, said Massimo Faggioli, a historian at Villanova University, because it could test whether church leaders faithfully retained documents on past wrongdoings—or got rid of potential evidence.
According to canon law, or the ecclesiastical guidelines that govern the Church, “all documents that are in the secret archives that pertain to the investigations and trials of members of the clergy that were accused of sexual crimes … must be destroyed every 10 years,” Faggioli said. “This may have an impact on what the feds will find or not find.”
Interior department says what looked like corruption was just a Ben Carson screwup
The Interior Department’s longtime acting inspector general, whose aggressive investigations have been a thorn in the side of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, will keep her job.
Mary Kendall, the Interior Department’s deputy inspector general, has overseen a record number of investigations of Zinke, including one that concluded the secretary could have avoided spending $12,375 on a charter flight to a hockey team owned by a former campaign contributor.
Ben Carson, Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, told staff in an Oct. 12 email that Suzanne Israel Tufts, a political appointee who serves as assistant secretary of HUD’s Office of Administration, would be leaving the agency to become the acting inspector general at the Interior Department.
The move drew condemnation from Democrats, who termed it retribution against Kendall, who’s served in that capacity for several years.
But Heather Swift, a senior adviser to Zinke, said in a statement Thursday that Kendall remains in her post and there’d never been a decision to move Tufts into the job.
This could be a major breakthrough for abortion access
For years, an organization called Women on Web has given women a way to perform their own medication-induced abortions at home. The organization would remotely do online consultations, fill prescriptions, and ship pills that trigger miscarriages to women who live in countries where abortion is illegal. Several studies have shown that the service is safe.
Just like Women on Web, the new service, Aid Access, will screen women for their eligibility to take the pills—they should not be more than nine weeks pregnant—through an online process. (If the pills are taken later, they are less likely to work.) Gomperts will herself fill each woman’s prescription for misoprostol and mifepristone, which together are about 97 percent effective in causing an abortion within the first trimester and already account for a third of all abortions in the United States. She then sends the prescriptions to an Indian pharmacy she trusts, and it ships the pills to women at their homes in the United States.
What happens to your approval rating when you confirm a Supreme Court justice
Trump comes close to admitting the obvious
Fact check: false
More on today’s loud John Kelly vs. John Bolton argument
A heated argument in the West Wing between chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton over a recent surge in border crossings turned into a shouting match Thursday, two sources familiar with the argument told CNN.
The exchange lay bare a bitter disagreement that has existed between two of President Donald Trump’s top aides for weeks now. Trump, who was incensed about the rising levels of migrants and threatened to shut down the southern border on Twitter earlier that morning, took Bolton’s side during the argument.
A loud fight between two powerful Johns
General Ahmed al-Assiri isn’t going to like this
The rulers of Saudi Arabia are considering blaming a top intelligence official close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, three people with knowledge of the Saudi plans said Thursday.
The plan to assign blame to Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, a high-ranking adviser to the crown prince, would be an extraordinary recognition of the magnitude of international backlash to hit the kingdom since the death of Mr. Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi dissident. A resident of Virginia and contributor to The Washington Post, Mr. Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul 16 days ago.
Veep goes farther than Trump on Saudi Arabia
Mitt Romney is through pretending he’s only focused on Utah’s Senate race. Brace yourself, “Amercia”
After spending most of the past year quietly tending to his own race, Romney is using his formidable national profile and expansive political network to elect embattled Republicans across the country. Weeks before his virtually assured election to the Senate, the 2012 Republican standard-bearer is issuing endorsements, appearing in TV ads and fundraising for hopefuls up and down the ballot.
Senator Heller shares the Trump administration’s interest in the VA trying experimental treatments, lack of concern about conflicts of interest
Sen. Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican, pushed doctors at the Veterans Affairs medical center in Reno to adopt an experimental mental health treatment marketed by a company with ties to his office.
On a Friday night last December in his Reno office, Heller, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced VA officials to representatives from a health care startup called CereCare. The company markets an “off-label” method of treating addiction and post-traumatic stress, using electromagnetic brain stimulation.
An American recession may be nigh
The U.S. economy has a greater than 50-50 chance of tipping into a recession in the next two years, according to a model tracked by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The probability of a U.S. recession within one year is almost 28 percent, and rises to more than 60 percent over the next two years, researchers wrote in a note this week. Over the next three years, the odds are higher than 80 percent, according to the note.
Add this to the pile of issues Dems could investigate if they win in November
The F.B.I. project was a long-debated plan to turn the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s crumbling Brutalist headquarters, the J. Edgar Hoover Building, over to a commercial developer, who could demolish it and build something new there. In return, the developer would construct a new, state-of-the-art campus for the F.B.I. in the Washington area.
Mr. Trump never pursued it, but the F.B.I. building continued to intersect with his business — and later with his presidency. As recently as early 2015, months before he announced his candidacy, an executive at his company expressed concern to a congressional aide about the redevelopment project creating potential competition for Mr. Trump’s hotel. And now, as the first real estate developer turned president, Mr. Trump has again taken an interest in the F.B.I. project.
Within months of his taking office, his administration killed the original plan to trade the Hoover site for a suburban campus. A little over a year into Mr. Trump’s term, and after at least one meeting in which the president was personally involved, the administration announced a new plan that would keep the F.B.I. on the existing site in a new building, rather than turn over the property for commercial development.
White House sends major signal of disapproval to Saudi Arabia
NYC building removes a certain name from facade after resident vote
Pompeo in no rush to condemn Saudi Arabia
Odds watch: Political prognosticator says Dems not a sure thing for House control
We have previously described Democrats as being “soft favorites” in the race for the House, and that’s basically where we’re still at. As this roadmap hopefully will demonstrate, Democrats may yet blow open the battle for the House and win the majority comfortably. But there are paths for the Republicans to hold on as well, and a Democratic House majority is not yet written in stone.
Palantir may go public in a big way
Data-mining giant Palantir Technologies Inc., one of Silicon Valley’s most secretive companies, is weighing an initial public offering likely to be among the largest in recent years, people familiar with the matter said.
New Yorkers who are not constantly online love Andrew Cuomo
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions may be falling, but not by nearly enough
The EPA is promoting newly released data showing a 2017 cut in aggregate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from industrial operations, but there’s a more nuanced story behind the top-line numbers.
Why it matters: Despite the cuts driven largely by power-sector changes, the U.S. is not on pace to meet Obama-era targets for cutting economy-wide emissions by 26%–28% below 2005 levels by 2025.
Achieving those emissions cuts, let alone the kind of reductions scientists say are needed to help avoid high amounts of warming, will require driving down emissions well beyond the electricity sector.
Republican Congressman to addicts: Hey, my life is hard too
At one point, Brat seemed to liken his campaign with the difficulties faced by an addict.
After one inmate described the difficulties she would face after release in finding work and stability–and Chesterfield Sheriff Karl Leonard mentioned the need for additional funding for longer-term stays–Brat turned the conversation back to his campaign against Democrat Abigail Spanberger.
“You think you’re having a hard time–I’ve got $5 million worth of negative ads coming at me,” he said. “How do you think I’m feeling? Nothing’s easy. For anybody.”
“You think I’m a congressman, ‘Oh, life’s easy, this guy’s off having steaks every day.’” he said. “Baloney. I’ve got a five year-old daughter, she’s got to deal with that crap on TV every day.”
“So it’s tough,” he continued. “No one out there’s got some easy life. Right?”