Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are my emphasis. This is a work in progress, and I will update it frequently.
Friday, 24 March 2017, Day 64:
In Major Defeat for Trump, Push to Repeal Health Care Law Fails, The New York Times, Robert Pear, Glenn Thrush and Thomas Kaplan, Friday, 24 March 2017: “House Republican leaders, facing a revolt among conservatives and moderates in their ranks, pulled legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act from consideration on the House floor Friday afternoon in a significant defeat for President Trump on the first legislative showdown of his presidency. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan conceded, ‘We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.’ The defeat of the Republicans’ three-month blitz to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement exposed deep divisions in the Republican Party that the election of a Republican president could not mask. It also cast a shadow over the ambitious agenda that Mr. Trump and Republican leaders had promised to enact once their party assumed power on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. The drama of the day underscored the futility of the leaders’ efforts. Mr. Ryan rushed to the White House shortly after noon to tell Mr. Trump he did not have the votes for a repeal bill that had been promised for seven years — since the day Mr. Obama signed his landmark health care act into law Mr. Trump, in a telephone interview moments after the bill was pulled, blamed Democrats and predicted that they would seek a deal within a year, he asserted, after ‘Obamacare explodes’ because of high premiums. He also expressed weariness with the fight, which was a fraction of the length of time that Democrats devoted to enacting the Affordable Care Act. ‘The best thing that could happen is exactly what happened — watch,’ he said. ‘It’s enough already.’ But the effort to win passage had been relentless — and hardly hidden. Vice President Mike Pence and Tom Price, the health secretary, rushed to Capitol Hill for a late appeal to House conservatives, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. And in private, Mr. Trump took a much harder line. The president was furious that members of the hard-line conservative Freedom Caucus had opposed the legislation. He demanded for much of Thursday that Mr. Ryan push a vote to publicly expose the members who were opposing the administration. Mr. Trump and his top strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, wanted to see a confidential list to exact revenge on the bill’s Republican opponents, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation…. In the end, Republican leaders doomed the bill by agreeing to eliminate federal standards for the minimum benefits that must be provided by certain health insurance policies. ‘This provision is so cartoonishly malicious that I can picture someone twirling their mustache as they drafted it in their secret capitol lair last night,’ said Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts. ‘This back-room deal will kill the requirement for insurance companies to offer essential health benefits such as emergency services, maternity care, mental health care, substance addiction treatment, pediatric services, prescription drugs and many other basic essential services.’ Defeat of the bill could be a catalyst if it forces Republicans and Democrats to work together to improve the Affordable Care Act, which virtually every member of Congress believes needs repair. Democrats have been saying for weeks that they want to work with Republicans on such changes, but first, they said, Republicans had to abandon their drive to repeal the law.”
The U.S. State Department, in Reversal, Issues Permit for Keystone XL Oil Pipeline, Clifford Krauss, Friday, 24 March 2017: “During his presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump repeatedly hailed the Keystone XL pipeline as a vital jobs program and one that sharply contrasted his vision for the economy with that of Hillary Clinton. ‘Today we begin to make things right,’ President Trump said Friday morning shortly after the State Department granted the pipeline giant TransCanada a permit for Keystone construction, a reversal of Obama administration policy. The pipeline would link oil producers in Canada and North Dakota with refiners and export terminals on the Gulf Coast. It has long been an object of contention, with environmentalists saying it would contribute to climate change and the project’s proponents — Republicans, some labor unions and the oil industry — contending that it would help guarantee national energy security for decades to come. When President Barack Obama rejected the project in late 2015, he said it would undermine American leadership in curbing reliance on carbon fuels. The pipeline still faces hurdles before it can be built. It needs the approval of the Nebraska Public Service Commission and local landowners who are concerned about their water and land rights. Protests are likely since the project has become an important symbol for the environmental movement, with the Canadian oil sands among the most carbon-intensive oil supplies. Mining the oil sands requires vast amounts of energy for extraction and processing. In addition, interest among many oil companies in the oil sands is waning amid sluggish oil prices. Extraction from the oil sands, situated in the sub-Arctic boreal forest, is expensive. Statoil and Total, two European energy giants, have abandoned their production projects. In recent weeks, Royal Dutch Shell agreed to sell most of its oil sands assets for $8.5 billion. And Exxon Mobil wrote down 3.5 billion barrels of reserves, conceding the oil sands were not economically attractive enough to develop for the next few years at least. Nevertheless, Canadian production continues to grow as projects that were conceived when prices were higher begin to operate. And the Keystone effort is central to the future of TransCanada, a major force in the Canadian oil patch.” See also, Keystone XL pipeline Opponents Renew Fight Against Pipeline After Trump Approves It, Inside Climate News, Marianne Lavelle, Friday, 24 March 2017.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is targeting ‘sanctuary cities’ with raids, CNN, Maria Santana, Friday, 24 March 2017: “Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been targeting so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ with increased enforcement operations in an effort to pressure those jurisdictions to cooperate with federal immigration agents, a senior US immigration official with direct knowledge of ongoing ICE actions told CNN. A sanctuary city is a broad term applied to states, cities and/or counties that have policies in place designed to limit cooperation or involvement in the enforcement of federal immigration operations. More than 100 US jurisdictions — among them New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — identify as such. High-ranking ICE officials have discussed in internal meetings carrying out more raids on those locations, said the source.
Former Central Agency Director James Woolsey Says Trump Campaign Adviser Mike Flynn and Turkish Officials Discussed Removal of Erdogan Foe Fethullah Gulen From the U.S. in September 2016, The Wall Street Journal, James V. Grimaldi, Dion Nissenbaum and Margaret Coker, Friday, 24 March 2017: “Retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, while serving as an adviser to the Trump campaign, met with top Turkish government ministers and discussed removing a Muslim cleric from the U.S. and taking him to Turkey, according to former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey, who attended, and others who were briefed on the meeting. The discussion late last summer involved ideas about how to get Fethullah Gulen, a cleric whom Turkey has accused of orchestrating last summer’s failed military coup, to Turkey without going through the U.S. extradition legal process, according to Mr. Woolsey and those who were briefed. Mr. Woolsey told The Wall Street Journal he arrived at the meeting in New York on Sept. 19 in the middle of the discussion and found the topic startling and the actions being discussed possibly illegal…. Mr. Flynn served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser for 24 days and resigned after he misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about his contact with a Russian diplomat.”
Fact Checker: 100 days of Trump claims, The Washington Post, Friday, 24 March 2017: “Trump has been in office for 65 days. As of our latest update on day 63, we’ve counted 317 false or misleading claims.”
How Trump is rolling back Obama’s legacy, The Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin and Darla Cameron, Friday, 24 March 2017: “During President Trump’s first year in office, Congress and his administration plan to review, revoke and overwrite key parts of his predecessor’s domestic legacy. As of March 24, here are the Obama-era rules and regulations” that are being undone.