ESSENTIAL #1: “TESTIMONY FROM COHEN COULD COMPOUND LEGAL ISSUES FOR TRUMP” MICHAEL D. SHEAR, THE NEW YORK TIMES
From the article: “The dramatic public testimony to Congress on Wednesday morning by President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, could intensify the legal issues facing the president in the criminal and civil investigations that are swirling around him, legal experts said.
Mr. Cohen’s testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee was a remarkable personal and political rebuke to the president from a lawyer who served Mr. Trump with fierce loyalty for more than a decade.
In his prepared testimony and about five hours of grilling by lawmakers, Mr. Cohen — who has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and will go to prison for his crimes — blasted the president as a ‘racist,’ a ‘con man’ and a ‘cheat.’”
ESSENTIAL #2: “U.S. DROPS DEMAND FOR FULL ACCOUNTING OF N. KOREA NUCLEAR PROGRAM AHEAD OF TALKS” CAROL E. LEE AND COURTNEY KUBE, NBC NEWS
From the article: “U.S. negotiators are no longer demanding that North Korea agree to disclose a full accounting of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs as part of talks this week between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, according to current and former senior U.S. officials.
The decision to drop, for now, a significant component of a potential nuclear deal suggests a reality that U.S. intelligence assessments have stressed for months is shaping talks as they progress: North Korea does not intend to fully denuclearize, which is the goal Trump set for his talks with Kim.
Disclosure of a full, verifiable declaration of North Korea’s programs is the issue over which the last round of serious negotiations between Pyongyang and world powers, including the U.S., fell apart a decade ago.”
ESSENTIAL #3: “LEANING OUT” PATRICK T. BROWN, NATIONAL REVIEW
From the article: “We seem to have reached a cautious truce in the cultural “mommy wars” that used to provide fodder for endless magazine covers. In the papers that fuel policy circles, however, high levels of homemaking are considered a stubborn problem. A 2014 PBS article — “When It’s Cheaper for Parents to Stay at Home Than Pay for Child Care” — typified the conventional wisdom, which looks askance at the stay-at-home option. The Brookings Institution reported that the stalling rate of women’s labor-force participation is a threat to “economic progress.” In a report on Australia’s labor market, OECD economists cited the country’s high proportion of stay-at-home moms as the “greatest untapped potential” for the country’s work force, saying that “there are potentially large losses to the economy when women stay at home.” The Economistdeplored the “waste” of Germany’s relatively high rate of stay-at-home moms, scolding that the country “scandalously underuses” women’s potential productivity. In summarizing a poll of U.S. women who stay home, Gallup called kids “a company’s greatest competition.”
Left unexamined is the premise that the pursuit of economic growth is a greater social good than supporting moms who want to stay home with their children, especially in the early years of life. Many child-care-policy discussions ignore the underlying unfairness of handing out expanded benefits for working parents but implicit penalties for those who stay home. ”
ESSENTIAL #4: “TRUMP JUDICIAL NOMINEE RAO FACES UNCERTAIN COMMITTEE VOTE” MARIANNE LEVINE, POLITICO
From the article: “On the eve of a crucial vote, it’s unclear whether judicial nominee Neomi Rao will receive a favorable recommendation from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The GOP-controlled panel will vote Thursday on whether to send Rao’s D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals nomination to the Senate floor. If confirmed, Rao would replace Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the country’s second most powerful court.”