September 27, 2017
It’s Wednesday, the midpoint of the week. Last night, right-wing candidate Roy Moore won the Republican primary in a special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ former senate seat in Alabama, despite the efforts of Vice President Mike Pence to convince voters to support his opponent Luther Strange, who was appointed to fill the vacancy before the special election. The victory by Moore stunned observers and served as further evidence of the current anti-establishment sentiments of the Republican base.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration will unveil its tax reform proposal today, promising to lower taxes on earners in the highest income brackets along with other revisions to the federal the tax code. In other news, the acting head of the Drug Enforcement Agency announced his resignation, citing disagreement with the White House; Senate Republicans officially admitted defeat in their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act by year’s end; and Saudi Arabia will overturn its ban on allowing women to drive.
As always, good luck on the day ahead and thanks for reading the newsletter.
The Wonks Team
Politics and Public Policy
- The Washington Post reports that North Korea reached out to Republican Party strategists for insights and analysis on President Trump’s comments in order to understand the severity of his threats over its nuclear ambitions.
North Korean government officials have been quietly trying to arrange talks with Republican-linked analysts in…www.washingtonpost.com
- Amanda Taub of The New York Times “Interpreter” column examines the far-right movement in Europe and what the results of Germany’s parliamentary elections convey about the statuses of mainstream political parties.
Many of these voters moved to the AfD, but other small parties gained as well. And the AfD also picked up significant…www.nytimes.com
Business, Science, and Health
- Alyssa Bereznak profiles online startup journalism, where new niche publications derive their financial support from specific lifestyle-oriented brands like Casper mattresses, as well as the questions regarding journalist ethics raised by the practice.
In June 2015, a new, hyperspecific website named Van Winkle's went live. It was billed as an online destination for…www.theringer.com
- The San Francisco Chronicle writes about the radiation concerns created by smart watches and previous studies on radiation emitted by cell phones on reproductive health.
The newly released Apple Watch - with its added feature of cellular connectivity - is reigniting concerns among some…www.sfchronicle.com
- FiveThirtyEight evaluates the possibilities of a disease outbreak in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and the destruction to the island’s infrastructure that normally prevents the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.
The images and reports coming out of Puerto Rico show an island in crisis. Many ports remain closed, airports are…fivethirtyeight.com
Sports and Culture
- Michael Baumann of The Ringer reflects on how the conversations surrounding the NFL players’ national anthem demonstrations have drowned out Colin Kaepernick’s original protest against racism and police brutality.
In the most politically active sports weekend in recent American history, one image stood out above all others…www.theringer.com
- Zito Madu of SB Nation assesses how NFL executives coopted the national anthem demonstrations on Sunday to revolve around the league’s branding message of “unity” by including team owners while Colin Kaepernick remains out of an NFL job.