Nikki Haley resigns as UN ambassador | Vox


The move came as quite a surprise to many both in the administration and outside it, and it’s still unclear why exactly she decided to resign.

“I‘m a believer in term limits,” Haley told reporters at the White House, signaling why she will leave after two years as UN ambassador.

“I think you have to be selfless enough to know when you step aside and allow someone else to do the job.”

Source: Nikki Haley resigns as UN ambassador – Vox

How to Stop a War Between the United States and China | Time


In a little-noticed pivot, the Administration set up China as the major geopolitical opponent of the United States in no uncertain terms, led by a speech from Vice President Mike Pence.

This change in position — not to be confused with the far more benign “Pacific Pivot” of the Obama Administration — has set off alarm bells ringing from Tokyo to Melbourne.

We are seeing China bursting with new power and political purpose in global economics (with the one-belt, one-road strategy); aggressive political strategies aimed at hold-out democratic enclaves like Hong Kong and Taiwan; deep cultural accomplishment (featuring a dynamic film industry and a powerful state-sponsored sports culture); a muscular control over international Chinese figures (arresting the head of Interpol and a globally famous film star); and a far more assertive approach in international organizations (including creating the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank).

Source: How to Stop a War Between the United States and China | Time

Deported parents may lose kids to adoption


Federal officials insist they are reuniting families and will continue to do so. But an Associated Press investigation drawing on hundreds of court documents, immigration records and interviews in the U.S. and Central America identified holes in the system that allow state court judges to grant custody of migrant children to American families — without notifying their parents.

And today, with hundreds of those mothers and fathers deported thousands of miles away, the risk has grown exponentially.

Source: AP Investigation: Deported parents may lose kids to adoption

Audit cleared Google privacy practices despite security flaw | TheHill


The audit is likely to raise new questions about how Google handled the potential breach and the criteria auditors are using to assess companies’ privacy policies.

Google agreed in 2011 to submit to independent privacy assessments every two years as part of a settlement with the FTC over charges that it had deceived users about its privacy practices.

Source: Exclusive: Audit cleared Google privacy practices despite security flaw | TheHill

‘I know nothing’: Trump’s stance toward missing Saudi journalist sparks concern | POLITICO


“I don’t like hearing about it, and hopefully that will sort itself out,” Trump said Monday, adding that he was “concerned” about the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who has recently been critical of the kingdom’s leadership.

According to reports in multiple outlets, Turkish intelligence believes Khashoggi was killed by the Saudi government. Yet, despite his access to sensitive intelligence information, Trump told reporters Tuesday he had no special insight into the situation.

Source: ‘I know nothing’: Trump’s stance toward missing Saudi journalist sparks concern – POLITICO

Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape

Political polls and years of knife-edge elections have convinced many that our country has become a 50:50 society, divided into two opposing political tribes and trapped in a spiral of conflict and division.

Our research uncovered a different story, one that probes underneath the issues that polarize Americans, and finds seven groups that are defined by their core beliefs, rather than by their political opinions, race, class or gender.

In talking to everyday Americans, we have found a large segment of the population whose voices are rarely heard above the shouts of the partisan tribes. These are people who believe that Americans have more in common than that which divides them. While they differ on important issues, they feel exhausted by the division in the United States.

They believe that compromise is necessary in politics, as in other parts of life, and want to see the country come together and solve its problems.

Source: hidden_tribes_report.pdf

Kavanaugh becomes new flashpoint in midterms defined by anger | TheHill


One of the most intense midterm election campaigns in recent memory is growing even more vicious in the aftermath of a partisan brawl over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that deeply angered conservatives and liberals alike.

Liberals are furious that Kavanaugh, a potentially pivotal vote on abortion rights and other issues, was confirmed despite what they view as credible accusations of sexual assault against him, which he has denied.

Democratic candidates for the House believe the issue will help attract the votes of suburban women already moving in their direction.

Source: Kavanaugh becomes new flashpoint in midterms defined by anger | TheHill

In midterms, Democrats and Republicans try to be populist | McClatchy Washington Bureau


Matt Cartwright understood he might be walking into enemy territory.

“I’m a Democrat, but I stick up for you guys,” Cartwright said, extending his hand to a potential voter, who was sitting next to a cow at an agricultural fair the Democratic congressman was visiting.

If Cartwright sounds defensive, he has reason to be in this working-class part of northeast Pennsylvania that makes up the 8th Congressional District. This area had long been a union-heavy bedrock of the Democratic Party, but Donald Trump won it by 10 percentage points — part of the reason he was the first GOP nominee since 1988 to win the state.

Source: In midterms, Democrats and Republicans try to be populist | McClatchy Washington Bureau

Dems eye ambitious agenda if House flips | TheHill

Because Democrats have long honored a system of seniority without term limits, the top Democrats on House panels are considered favorites to jump into chairmanships if control of the House changes hands.

The gavel-holders are poised to play an outsize role if the Democrats control the chamber: Given the growing clamor from rank-and-file lawmakers about consolidation of power at the top of the party, Democratic leaders across the board are vowing to lend more authority to the committees in the next Congress.

Source: Dems eye ambitious agenda if House flips | TheHill

October 2018 update to TIGER: Calm seas belie storm clouds on the horizon


The U.S. economy is in fine fettle, posting impressive growth in GDP and employment. The unemployment rate has fallen to 3.7 percent, but wage and inflationary pressures remain broadly in check.

U.S. stock markets continue to perform strongly, reflecting robust growth in corporate earnings bolstered by the corporate tax cut and a more lax regulatory environment.

Bond markets appear less sanguine; notwithstanding the recent uptick in bond yields, the relatively flat U.S. Treasury yield curve is worrying.

Source: October 2018 update to TIGER: Calm seas belie storm clouds on the horizon