Below are some news bits the West Wing of the White House and Washington D.C. are reading on December 11, 2017:
In one corner of Afghanistan, America is beating Islamic State
Michael Phillips in The Wall Street Journal
In a lengthy report for The Wall Street Journal, Michael Phillips writes that despite being overshadowed by high-profile battles in Syria and Iraq, “Afghan and U.S. special-operations troops this year have pushed back Islamic State in a monthslong offense.”
This progress against ISIS in the Achin region contrasts with the fight elsewhere in Afghanistan, Phillips reports. In other parts of the country, “the Taliban and other insurgent groups . . . live among civilians and are difficult to target.” American military personnel “estimate as many as 1,500 Islamic State fighters remain in Afghanistan, including areas along the Pakistan border that militants claim for their caliphate,” Phillips writes.
Trump signs his first space policy directive to send Americans back to the Moon
SpaceNews reports that President Donald J. Trump today signed his Administration’s first space policy directive. Space Policy Directive 1 “directs the NASA Administrator to lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the Moon, and eventually Mars,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement.
Republican tax bill is a ‘jobs bill’ says professor
In USA Today, George Mason Law Professor F.H. Buckley argues that the Republican tax bill is good news for the majority of middle-class Americans. Why? “It’s a jobs bill,” he says. “There’s a worldwide competition for investment dollars, and all other things being equal they’re going to flow to low-tax countries.”
Treasury Department says tax plan will boost revenue
Dave Boyer of The Washington Times reports that a Treasury Department analysis shows that the GOP’s proposed tax plan “would pay for itself and more, actually boosting revenue by $300 billion over 10 years.” Treasury’s numbers differ from that of a congressional forecast by taking into account the potential for stronger economic growth.
First Lady Melania Trump’s visit to Texas was welcomed
Washington Examiner’s Naomi Lim writes about First Lady Melania Trump’s visit to hurricane-stricken areas of Texas with Second Lady Karen Pence last week. On Sunday, the First Lady “appealed to Americans to donate time and money this holiday season in order to alleviate some of the devastation experienced by those who continue to grapple with the impact of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria,” Lim reports.