What We’re Following
Hurricane Harvey: Congress is preparing to send additional federal aid to Texas after the weekend’s storm left severe damage on the Texas coast and unprecedented flooding in the Houston area. The heavy rainfall—rather than high winds or storm surge—is likely to be the most dangerous part of the storm, particularly for Houston’s most vulnerable communities. In one hospital, patients are stranded and running out of food; meanwhile, residents have turned to Twitter to get help from citizen rescuers. As Harvey’s aftermath unfolds, here’s an annotated list of resources to stay updated on the situation.
Joe Arpaio’s Pardon: President Trump pardoned the former Maricopa County sheriff of his contempt-of-court conviction during a Friday night news dump that also included a directive to ban transgender troops and the ouster of Sebastian Gorka. Arpaio, once Trump’s ally in questioning Barack Obama’s citizenship, had ignored a federal judge’s order to stop racial-profiling practices that the court found to be discriminatory. His pardon suggests disrespect not only for civil rights, but also for America’s courts.
Bipartisan Efforts: Senators Lamar Alexander, a Republican, and Patty Murray, a Democrat, are planning new hearings on health care next month—and with both of their parties involved this time, their reform plans might actually work. As for the chances of the collaboration itself, two historians note that conditions for bipartisanship are best when a party is internally divided, or when cooperation comes with a political incentive. And as former Vice President Joe Biden writes, in the aftermath of racist violence, there’s a strong moral incentive for all Americans to come together and fight “for the soul of this nation.”