11/16/2018

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11.16.2018 | The Editors

ESSENTIAL #1: “AP SOURCE: WHITAKER TOLD GRAHAM THAT MUELLER PROBE TO GO ON” MARY CLARE JALONICK AND MIKE BALSAMO, ASSOCIATED PRESS

From the article: “Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker told Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham in a meeting on Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will proceed, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

The meeting with Graham and Whitaker comes as a bipartisan group of senators is pushing legislation to protect Mueller’s job. The senators are concerned about Whitaker’s past criticism of the Mueller probe, which is looking at Russian interference in the 2016 election and ties to President Donald Trump’s campaign. Trump appointed Whitaker as acting attorney general last week.

Whitaker told Graham the investigation would be allowed to proceed, the person said. The person wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the meeting and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.”

ESSENTIAL #2: “RELIEF FOR PRISONERS” HARVEST PRUDE, WORLD MAGAZINE

From the article: “President Donald Trump said Wednesday he would support a bipartisan deal on criminal justice reform that could become the first large-scale prison law overhaul in recent years.

Senators from both parties agreed to a proposal this week that builds on legislation the House passed in May. That bill, called the First Step Act, focused on back-end reforms such as improving prison conditions and assisting inmates reentering society. The Senate version adds front-end reforms that ease mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. It also cuts the “three-strikes” penalty to 25 years in prison instead of a life sentence for nonviolent drug offenses and reduces the “stacking” sentencing policy that makes it a federal crime to have a firearm while committing another crime. It retroactively applies a 2010 lawreducing harsher penalties for crack cocaine convictions than for powder cocaine. And the bill introduces more measures aimed at reducing recidivism while seeking to improve conditions for female inmates.”

ESSENTIAL #3: “JUDGE GRANTS CNN’S MOTION TO RESTORE JIM ACOST’S WHITE HOUSE PRESS PASS” BYRON TAU, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

From the article: “A federal judge granted an emergency motion to restore the White House press credential of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta—a victory for the network in a closely watched press-freedom case.

The lawsuit, which drew the attention of major media outlets and press-freedom advocates, could establish a new precedenton the circumstances under which the government can ban individual reporters from public buildings.”

ESSENTIAL #4: “HOW HUD’S INSPECTION SYSTEM FAILS LOW-INCOME TENANTS NATIONWIDE” MOLLY PARKER, THE SOUTHERN ILLINOISIAN

From the article: “Apartment complexes subsidized by HUD collectively house more than 2 million low-income families around the country. Some are run by public housing authorities and others are owned by private for-profit or nonprofit landlords. By law, the owners of such complexes must pass inspections demonstrating they are decent, safe and sanitary in exchange for millions of dollars in federal money each year.

But as thousands of renters across the country have discovered, passing scores on HUD inspections often don’t match the reality of renters’ living conditions. The two-decade-old inspection system — the federal housing agency’s primary oversight tool — is failing low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities and undermining the agency’s oversight of billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded rental subsidies, an investigation by The Southern Illinoisan and ProPublica has found.

HUD has given passing inspection grades for years to dangerous buildings filled with rats and roaches, toxic mold and peeling lead-based paint, which can cause lifelong learning delays when ingested by young children. The same goes for buildings where people with disabilities have been stranded in high-rise apartments without working elevators, or where raw sewage backs up into bathtubs and utility drains. The agency has passed buildings where ceilings are caving in and the heat won’t kick on in frigid winter months as old boiler systems give out.”

Today's EssentialsEditors