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Pence Warns North Korea But Doesn't Rule Out Talks and More in Politics Today

by Countable | 4.17.17

It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:

1. Pence Warns North Korea, but He Also Doesn’t Rule Out Talks

Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea on Monday not to test American resolve, but he also raised the possibility that the Trump administration could pursue talks.

The message, delivered by Mr. Pence on a visit to South Korea that included a stop at the demilitarized zone that divides the Korean Peninsula, showed that the administration, while talking tough, was not ruling out negotiations.

Read more at the New York Times.

Read more about what’s next with North Korea on Countable.

2. The Violent Clashes In Berkeley Weren't 'Pro-Trump' Versus 'Anti-Trump'

According to reports in mainstream news outlets like CNN, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, Saturday saw pro-Trump demonstrators clash with anti-Trump protesters in Berkeley, California, while more placid "Tax Day" marches took place around the country calling on the president to release his tax returns. The news stories offer largely the same account and framing as that given by the LA Times: "hundreds of pro-Trump demonstrators and counter-protesters clashed Saturday at a 'Patriots Day' rally… Both groups threw rocks and sticks at each other and used a large trash bin as a battering ram… Twenty-one people were arrested… Eleven people were injured."

All of this did happen. But such accounts missed the most crucial aspects of what was at stake in the Berkeley clashes, and thus fail to explain why there were aggressive altercations at all. To frame Saturday's events as a fight between supporters of the president and his denouncers roundly misses the key tensions undergirding the confrontation: that of anti-fascists versus white nationalists.

Read more at Esquire.

3. Which State Sends Most Taxes to DC? Hint: It's Not a State

Washington, that swampy den of iniquity that politicians love to scorn, sends the most tax dollars per person to the U.S. government.

The nation's capital gets a good return on its tax investment. For every dollar the District sends to the federal government, it gets back almost $4, according to a 2015 study by the New York state comptroller.

The biggest losers when it comes to taxes and spending are New Jersey, Wyoming and Connecticut. New Jersey gets back just 77 cents for every dollar it pays, while Wyoming gets back 81 cents and Connecticut gets 83 cents.

Read more at NBC News.

4. Supreme Court, with Gorsuch, set to hear church-state case

Justice Neil Gorsuch's first week on the Supreme Court bench features an important case about the separation of church and state that has its roots on a Midwestern church playground. The outcome could make it easier to use state money to pay for private, religious schooling in many states.

The justices on Wednesday will hear a Missouri church's challenge to its exclusion from a state program that provides money to use ground-up tires to cushion playgrounds. Missouri is among roughly three dozen states with constitutions that explicitly prohibit using public money to aid a religious institution, an even higher wall separating government and religion than the U.S. Constitution erects.

Read more at MPR News.

5. EPA emerges as major target after Trump solicits policy advice from industry

Just days after taking office, President Trump invited American manufacturers to recommend ways the government could cut regulations and make it easier for companies to get their projects approved.

Industry leaders responded with scores of suggestions that paint the clearest picture yet of the dramatic steps that Trump officials are likely to take in overhauling federal policies, especially those designed to advance environmental protection and safeguard worker rights.

Read more at the Washington Post.

6. President Donald Trump planning Wisconsin visit on Tuesday

President Donald Trump is planning a Tuesday visit to the Kenosha headquarters of tool manufacturer Snap-on Inc., his first visit to Wisconsin since taking office.

In a February interview with Bloomberg, Nick Pinchuk, Snap-on chief executive officer, president and chair, praised Trump for meeting with business executives shortly after his inauguration.

Pinchuk also said he was seeing more confidence from small business owners, including the auto repair shops that buy Snap-on tools.

Read more at Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: (stephan) via Flickr / Creative Commons)


Written by Countable

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