ESSENTIAL #1: “REPUBLICANS FLIRT WITH REBELLION IF TRUMP MOVES AHEAD ON MEXICO TARIFFS” LAUREN FOX, TED BARRETT AND HALEY BIRD, CNN
From the article: “Republican senators railed against President Donald Trump's threatened tariffs against Mexico in a private lunch on Tuesday with White House and Justice Department officials, who struggled to explain their legal process for implementing the new levies.
Roughly a half dozen GOP senators stood to speak about why the decision to impose tariffs on Mexico was ill-advised, a person who attended the lunch told CNN.
The members insisted Trump hold off on any declarations until he can brief members personally on the plan, according to this person. But with Trump in Europe and members scheduled to leave for D-Day commemorations, that may not be possible before Monday's deadline for activating the first band of 5% tariffs on all goods coming from Mexico.”
ESSENTIAL #2: “WHAT ARE CONSERVATIVES ACTUALLY DEBATING” ROSS DOUTHAT, THE NEW YORK TIMES
From the article: “There are voters out there that a moralistic and populist conservative right might win but a flagrantly hypocritical and ethnonationalist conservatism cannot. And so far post-fusionist conservatism has devoted more energy to devising clever anti-anti-Trump arguments than to addressing head-on an obvious question like, How are you going to persuade more African-American Christians to support what seems like a white-chauvinist formation?”
ESSENTIAL #3: “FRANKLIN GRAHAM HAS PLAYED HIS ULTIMATE TRUMP CARD” MICHAEL GERSON, THE WASHINGTON POST
From the article: “I pray for President Trump at least once a week. “Grant to the president of the United States,” says the Book of Common Prayer, “and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do thy will.”
This is, or at least should be, noncontroversial for a Christian. The Apostle Paulurged Timothy to pray “for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” Though it is difficult to associate tranquility, quietness, godliness or dignity with our current king, the requirement stands.
Yet the Rev. Franklin Graham’s declaration last week for a ‘special day of prayer for the President, Donald J. Trump’ on Sunday had a very different theological flavor. Graham made clear that the real purpose of the event was not to pray for the president, but to pray in his political favor. ‘President Trump’s enemies continue to try everything to destroy him, his family and the presidency,’ Graham said. ‘In the history of our country, no president has been attacked as he has.’ The American Family Association described the day of prayer as a type of “spiritual warfare,” necessary because Trump’s many accomplishments ‘make him very unpopular with the Devil and the kingdom of darkness.’”
ESSENTIAL #4: “HOW JULIÁN CASTRO WOULD ADDRESS 'OVER-AGGRESSIVE' POLICING” NOLAN D. MCCASKILL, POLITICO
From the article: “Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro released his ‘People First’ policing plan Monday morning, saying that ‘far too many lives have been tragically cut short at the hands of a broken police system.’
Castro previewed the policy Saturday in San Francisco for MoveOn’s Big Ideas Forum, and he talked about policing in his January speech launching his campaign, lamenting at the time that ‘for far too many people of color, any interaction with the police can become fatal.’
Castro’s three-pronged plan focuses on ending ‘over-aggressive policing’ and tackling racially discriminatory practices; holding officers accountable; and bridging the divide between law enforcement and their communities.”