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Tuesday Morning Briefing: Maybe we should just stop counting October surprises

November 1, 2016

While the presidential candidates threw more brickbats at one another, The New York Times learned that in the 1990s, Donald Trump was using a tax avoidance scheme so aggressive, the IRS would likely have ruled it improper if he were audited.

Monday Morning Briefing: You want Halloween thrills? Look no further than the election

October 31, 2016

Let’s start with what we know.

Federal investigators have a warrant to review newly discovered emails that could be related to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server while she was secretary of state. FBI Director James Comey wants to know if any of these emails contained classified information. He said this in a letter to Congress disclosed Friday afternoon, 11 days before the election.

Friday Morning Briefing: Ammon Bundy walks

October 28, 2016

Ammon Bundy and his band of gun-toting protesters were cleared of federal conspiracy charges that stemmed from their role in the armed takeover of a wildlife center in Oregon earlier this year. It was stinging defeat for federal prosecutors and law enforcement in a trial the defendants sought to turn into a pulpit for airing their opposition to U.S. government control over millions of acres of public land in the West.

Thursday Morning Briefing: GOP woes trickle down to statehouses

October 27, 2016
Digits of the day: 18

It’s getting ugly for the Republican Party down-ballot. The bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures estimates 18 legislative chambers in 12 states could switch party control, including in Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, Washington and Wisconsin. Republicans have dominated control of legislatures since the mid-term election in 2010 and currently hold the majority in 67 of the country’s 98 partisan legislative chambers, while Democrats have 31. Nebraska’s single chamber is nonpartisan.

Wednesday Morning Briefing: Cold wars, hot wars

October 26, 2016

NATO wants to build up troops on Russian’s borders to their highest level since the Cold War. The United States hopes for commitments from Europe to fill four battle groups of 4,000 troops, part of the alliance’s response to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. Also, with Russia’s only aircraft carrier heading to Syria in a show of force along Europe’s shores, NATO wants to counter with forces in the Baltic states and eastern Poland starting next year.

Tuesday Morning Briefing: Two lovers, and both of them are Duterte

October 25, 2016

Well, that didn’t take long. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to end a military agreement with the United States if he remains in power when it expires a little less than eight years from now. Constitutionally, Duterte, who took office in July, is limited to a single six-year term.

Monday Morning Briefing: Another Time Warner deal. What could possibly go wrong?

October 24, 2016

AT&T’s proposed $85 billion takeover of Time Warner generated skepticism among both Democrats and Republicans, making it more likely that regulators will scrutinize the deal. Time Warner shares soared as much as 19 percent since news of the acquisition started seeping into the market. And really, why shouldn’t they? What could possibly go wrong with a Time Warner merger? Oh, wait…

Friday Morning Briefing: When walkbacks don’t actually walk back

October 21, 2016

Donald Trump graciously said he will accept the results on Election Day – if he wins. He then added he would reserve the right to challenge the results in court if he didn’t like them. If it was a joke, it wasn’t widely appreciated.His non-walkback was greeted with predictable outrage not only from prominent Democrats such as President Barack Obama, but also from Republican senators who are hoping to keep their majority on the Hill.

Thursday Morning Briefing: The suspense may kill him

October 20, 2016

Chris Wallace: But, sir, there is a tradition in this country — in fact, one of the prides of this country — is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard-fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign that the loser concedes to the winner. Not saying that you’re necessarily going to be the loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner and that the country comes together in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?

Wednesday Morning Briefing: Debate night: Going down for the third time

October 19, 2016

Now that Donald Trump has declared his independence from the Republican Party, the third and final debate is likely to be nothing the American public has seen before on so august a stage. So here are some pressing questions: