Quick Takes: A Trade War in the White House

* Earlier this week I pointed to an article by Perry Bacon about the “eight power centers of the Trump administration.” To recap, here they are:

1. The White Nationalists – Bannon, Sessions, Miller, Gorka, Navarro
2. The Evangelicals – Pence, Price, Pruitt, DeVos and Short
3. The Generals – Mattis, Kelly, MacMaster
4. The Friends and Family – Ivanka, Kushner, Cohen
5. The RNCers – Preibus, Spicer, Walsh
6. The Wall Streeters – Mnuchin, Cohn
7. The Bureaucrats – 1.8 million workers at federal agencies
8. The Lone Wolfs – Conway, McGahn, Tillerson

That is a helpful back-drop for this report from Shawn Donnan and Demetri Sevastopulo suggesting that a civil war has broken out in the White House over trade. On one side are the White Nationalists – including Bannon and Trump’s trade advisor Peter Navarro. On the other side are the Wall Streeters – particularly Gary Cohn. The article ends with this quote from Thea Lee, a trade official at the AFL-CIO, “At the moment it appears that the Wall Street wing of the Trump administration is winning this battle and the Wall Street wing is in favour of the status quo in terms of US trade policy.”

* I’m not prepared to even try to get inside David Brooks’ head enough to understand most of what he wrote in an article titled, “The Republican Health Care Crackup.” But this part is clear:

This thing [the Republican AHCA] probably won’t pass, but even if it passes it will probably lead to immense pain and disruption. That will discredit market-based social reform, cost the Republicans their congressional majorities and end what’s left of the Reagan-era party.

* The Breitbart article about AHCA today is titled, “7 Reasons Why Obamacare 2.0 Is All But Guaranteed to Impose Crushing Costs on Voters, Hurt Trump’s Base, And Hand Power Back to the Democrats.” Interestingly enough, other than a couple of fear-mongering items about immigrants and health care, it actually comes down on the side of criticisms we’re hearing from the left about how this bill would hurt the very people who voted for Trump.

* We all know that the Obama’s decided to stay in Washington D.C. until Sasha graduates from high school. But to demonstrate that conspiracy theories aren’t limited to right wing media outlets these days, Republican Rep. Mike Kelly isn’t buying it.

A Pennsylvania congressman has accused former President Barack Obama of staying in Washington solely to run a “shadow government” to undermine the GOP agenda.

* Finally, if you have access to Amazon Prime Video, I recommend that you watch the series, “Good Girls Revolt.” It is loosely based on a true story about a group of 60 women who filed a case against Newsweek in 1970 because they were relegated to being researches and not allowed to be reporters. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who currently serves as the delegate representing D.C. in Congress, handled the case for the ACLU.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .