What We’re Following
Trump vs. Sessions: The president attacked his attorney general in a New York Times interview released last night, saying he never would have hired Sessions if he knew he’d recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Sessions has been one of Trump’s most stalwart political supporters, and the comments highlight the president’s tendency to demand one-sided loyalty from those close to him—as well as four other key flaws that James Fallows finds on display in the interview. Trump also criticized Robert Mueller, drawing concerns that he might attempt to fire Mueller or Sessions. So far, though, the Justice Department doesn’t seem flustered.
Health Care: The Congressional Budget Office scored the latest draft of Republican senators’ health-care bill, finding it similar to the last one: 15 million people would lose insurance in 2018. Trump met with lawmakers yesterday in a last-ditch effort to save the bill, which lost so much support early this week that most observers declared it dead. The president didn’t make much progress, and the plan’s problems run deep—it’s woefully out of touch with the needs of the GOP’s base.
Bridal Books: The novelist Jane Austen, who died 200 years ago this week, is often praised for subverting the expectations of her time by writing complex, intelligent female characters—yet her stories also helped to solidify the idea that marriage is a woman’s ultimate goal. More recently, the 1987 book Martha Stewart Weddings played a major role in turning weddings into the over-the-top spectacles they’re often expected to be today.