ESSENTIAL #1: “DAN COATS TO STEP DOWN AS INTELLIGENCE CHIEF; TRUMP PICKS LOYALIST FOR JOB” MAGGIE HABERMAN, JULIAN E. BARNES AND PETER BAKER, THE NEW YORK TIMES
From the article: “President Trump announced on Sunday that Dan Coats would step down as the director of national intelligence after a fraught tenure marked by tension with the Oval Office, and he tapped one of his staunch defenders, Representative John Ratcliffe, to take over the country’s expansive network of spy agencies.
Mr. Coats, a former senator and longtime pillar of the Republican establishment who angered the president by providing unwelcome assessments of Russia, North Korea and other matters, told Mr. Trump last week that it was time to move on, officials said. His departure removes one of the most prominent national security officials willing to contradict the president.”
ESSENTIAL #2: “BLACK JOURNALISTS PUSH MEDIA TO COVER ‘HYPER-RACIAL’ MOMENT IN POLITICS” MICHAEL CALDERONE, POLITICO
From the article: “Some journalists of color are growing increasingly vocal in their push for media outlets to take race head-on in political coverage — and they are publicly highlighting the ways they say Trump’s words and the semantic debates over whether to call them “racist” weigh on them personally.”
ESSENTIAL #3: “SENS. BILL CASSIDY AND KYRSTEN SINEMA JOIN FORCES TO AID NEW PARENTS IN FIGHT FOR FAMILY LEAVE” EMILY TILLETT, CBS NEWS
From the article: “As the United States remains the only developed country in the world without a national paid parental leave program, a bipartisan duo is looking to make that a thing of the past. Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona say their new proposal would change existing tax code to give new parents across the country access to more money to help relieve the burden of time away from the office.
With the Cassidy-Sinema plan, new parents would be allowed to take $5,000 advance on the child tax credit, reducing the $2,000 annual benefit to $1,500 for ten years after the birth or adoption of a child. It's money that can go a long way for a new family.”
ESSENTIAL #4: “BETTER TO HAVE A FEW RATS THAN TO BE ONE” EDITORIAL BOARD, BALTIMORE SUN
From the article: “As heartening as it has been to witness public figures rise to Charm City’s defenseon Saturday, from native daughter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, we would above all remind Mr. Trump that the 7th District, Baltimore included, is part of the United States that he is supposedly governing. The White House has far more power to effect change in this city, for good or ill, than any single member of Congress including Mr. Cummings. If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone’s, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land.”