The lessons from this project have more relevance for the Trump administration which isnt likely to embrace this kind of technocratic wonkery than it might seem at first glance.
Continue reading the main storyConsider that Mr. Trump is betting on lower taxes on businesses and the investor class unleashing faster economic growth and preventing the budget deficit from skyrocketing. But he may want to consider hedging his bets. Policies that funnel direct benefits to lower-income workers might complement his trickle-down approach.
Put another way, as long as youre cutting taxes by $6 trillion (that is the high-end direct cost estimate of Mr. Trumps plan from the Tax Foundation),
Donald Trump is surging in new battleground and national polls at a time when Hillary Clinton faces tough questions not only about her health but her sweeping criticism of her Republican opponents supporters.
Several surveys appear to show the Republican presidential nominee effectively ending, at least for now, a post-convention slump that saw Clinton leading in virtually every swing state. Now, a Monmouth University Poll shows Trump taking a narrow 2-point lead in Nevada; a Bloomberg Politics poll shows Trump leading Clinton by 5 points in Ohio; and new CNN/ORC polls show Trump leading in Florida and Ohio.
In the latter survey, Trump leads 46-41 percent among likely voters in Ohio, and 47-44 percent among likely voters in Florida.
Meanwhile, a Los Angeles Times tracking poll shows Trump taking a 6-point national lead.
Weve really had a good month, Trump told Fox News Fox & Friends, claiming hes enjoying renewed enthusiasm from voters.
Clinton, though, plans to return to the campaign trail Thursday afternoon after taking three days off to recover from a bout of pneumonia. While her campaign dispatched high-powered surrogates to the stump in her absence -- including Bill Clinton and President Obama -- the Democratic nominees presence could help reset the race once again.
The contest remains tight, and the polls are hardly uniform. A Quinnipiac University national poll released Wednesday showed Clinton leading 48-43 percent among likely voters.
But that still represents a narrowing of the race since a late-August survey showing Clinton up 10 points.
The recent surveys come as Clinton grapples with new controversies on two fronts: Her comment at a Friday fundraiser that half of Trumps backers are in a basket of deplorables, and her campaigns handling of a health scare on Sunday during a 15th anniversary ceremony honoring victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Clinton has since expressed regret for her deplorables comment, though Trump has called on her to outright retract it. And Clintons campaign has sought to answer questions about the former secretary of state's health, after Clinton was seen stumbling at the 9/11 memorial event in New York City.
The campaign said she was overheated and dehydrated, and revealed she had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday. While the incident revived long-simmering questions about her health, the campaign on Wednesday released additional medical details. Dr. Lisa Bardack, Clintons physician, said she is recovering well with antibiotics and rest.
Bardack also said Clinton remains healthy and fit to serve.
Trump, too, has tried to answer questions about his own health. He discussed the results of a recent physical with TVs Dr. Oz, and told Fox News on Thursday they were good. The discussion with Dr. Oz will air on his show Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign maintains they always knew states like Ohio would be competitive and they are building out their operation there.
The campaign announced that they will open a half-dozen new offices in the state, bringing their total to 54.
Pew Research created an absolutely stunning graph, plotting the population of the United States by race and age. That description, I will grant, doesn't make it seem hugely compelling; my affection for demographic data is almost certainly more robust than that of most people. But when you plot that data, the story of the next 40 years of American politics -- much less the story of the 2016 election -- becomes clear.
Here's the graph.
President Barack Obama claimed progress Wednesday in the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State group, even as political turmoil in Iraq and renewed violence in Syria threatened to jeopardize hard-fought gains.
During a rare presidential visit to CIA headquarters, Obama said it had been "a bad few months" for the Islamic State and gave a detailed account of areas where U.S.-backed forces have wrested territory back from the extremist group. Though he acknowledged the fight remains difficult and complex, he said IS was on the defensive and that the U.S. intends to "keep that momentum."
"Every day, ISIL leaders wake up and understand that it could be their last," Obama said, using an acronym for the extremist group.
Obama offered no new steps or specifics about how the U.S. will beef up the fight against IS, although U.S. officials have suggested those steps are in the works. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has said the Pentagon is seeking ways to increase military support for the fight, including a likely increase in U.S. forces, along with the possible use of Apache helicopters for Iraqi-led combat missions.
The visit to the CIA's campus in suburban Virginia was designed to assure Americans that the U.S. is fully engaged in the fight, despite persistent complaints from Obama's critics that his strategy isn't aggressive enough. Indeed, in recent months Obama has made similar field trips to the Pentagon and the State Department to illustrate how all facets of the U.S. government are on the case.
"They are working around the clock to keep us safe," Obama said, adding that CIA operatives had thwarted terrorists repeatedly without being able to acknowledge it publicly. "They don't get a lot of attention."
Though Obama gave an optimistic portrayal of progress in both Iraq and Syria, the picture on the ground remains muddled at best.
In Syria, escalating fighting between the government and militants has threatened to jeopardize a fragile cease-fire the U.S. and Russia brokered earlier this year. Peace talks resumed Wednesday in Geneva aimed at resolving Syria's civil war, though deep disagreements about who should participate have continued to plague that process.
Syrians living in parts of the country still under government control also voted Wednesday in parliamentary elections that Syrian President Bashar Assad's opponents dismissed as a sham intended to lend an air of legitimacy to his beleaguered government, in yet another worrying sign for the peace talks.
The uptick in violence in Syria has raised difficult questions about how to proceed if the truce falls apart and frees Assad and his Russian backers to resume attacks on U.S.-supported opposition groups. Russia, which had been bolstering Assad with an air campaign against his opponents, recently ordered a drawdown in warplanes, but said strikes would continue against IS and the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front. Both of those groups are excluded from the cease-fire.
In Iraq, Obama pointed to the Iraqi military's preparations to retake the IS stronghold of Mosul as an example of increased momentum in the fight. Yet modest signs of progress have been tempered by ongoing sectarian challenges and a political crisis in Baghdad that have threatened to further destabilize the country.
Obama's remarks at the CIA came the week before he travels to Saudi Arabia for a summit with Persian Gulf leaders focused largely on the threat from the Islamic State. Previewing his request to countries attending that summit, Obama said "the entire world" must step up to help Iraq restore stability "so that ISIL cannot return."
Lederman reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.
Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP and Kevin Freking at http://twitter.com/APkfreking
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For days the death of Juneaus newly elected mayor had spawned a deepening mystery: what killed the outgoing and athletic leader of Alaskas capital?
Greg Fisk, who took office in late October, was found dead Monday in his hillside home, where he lived alone.
Fisk, 70, was youthful for his age, but in the absence of clear facts, rumors swept Juneau, a city of Subarus, bear-proof garbage bins and public trails that overlook a glacier. The city, which sprawls across an area nearly the size of Delaware, is home to about 33,000 hardy residents.
Police in Juneau said they had eliminated the possibility of suicide, a drug overdose or illegal drug use. And the mayor was definitely not shot, they said.
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Investigators acknowledged that they were aware of rumors that an assault occurred in connection with Fisks death, but quickly added that those theories were no more than speculation.
Police Chief Bryce Johnson told Anchorage-based KTUU-Channel 2 that the mayor had suffered injuries, but declined to elaborate.
Could be natural. Could be an accident. Could be a lot of things," Johnson had said. Asked whether police have ruled out assault, Johnson said, Thats part of what we need to find out with cause of death.
Then late Wednesday afternoon came the answer: Preliminary results from an autopsy indicated that Fisk died of natural causes.
Bruce Botelho, who served as Juneau mayor for 12 years, said he persuadedFisk to run for office this year. The two men swam together daily, he said, and Fisk was vigorous for his age, although they had discussed previous health problems before the campaign.
He had had some heart issues, Botelho said. We discussed those. We felt those issues were behind him.
Residents on the downtown street where Fisk lived, just blocks from the state Capitol, placed votive candles this week beside a wooden sculpture of people and bears holding hands, said neighbor Claire Richardson.
A fisheries consultant who won election over the incumbent mayor by a margin of 2 to 1, Fisk lived in one of the smaller houses on the hill. His red cabin was like a little ship, Richardson said. Very small, but everything was in place.
Police said he was found dead, alone, by his adult son.
A neighbor brought coffee to a police officer investigating the death, Richardson said. Another placed memorial lanterns on a fence post by Fisks house.
Botelho, who said he has known Fisk for more than 20 years, last heard from himthe day before Thanksgiving. They talked about Fisk hosting a meeting of other coastal Alaska mayors to advocate for the state-run ferry system that delivers people and goods to cities that cannot be reached by road.
Botelho said he had not heard specific rumors of an assault but suggested the intense interest in the case outside of Juneau probably stems from the Police Departments inability, at first, to rule out foul play and Fisks apparent good health.
Kyle Hopkins is a Los Angeles Times correspondent.
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President Obama has decried the strategy employed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Syria as a "recipe for disaster."
Speaking to reporters at the White House today, Obama reflected on his first formal meeting with Putin in more than two years on Monday at the United Nations General Assembly.
Obama said he had fundamental differences with Putin on moving forward in the strategy to eliminate ISIS terrorists from the country, accusing Russia's bombing campaign in the country as counterproductive as they prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with military support.
He specifically condemned the Russians for their three-day bombing campaign in Syria that the U.S. said has targeted moderate rebel groups, not ISIS.
"From [Russia's] perspective they're all terrorists, and that's a recipe for disaster," Obama said. "And it's one that I reject."
Despite a meeting that White House officials called productive, Obamas words for Putin were harsh as he said Russias military actions in Syria are isolating itself from the world.
Mr. Putin had to go into Syria not out of strength but out of weakness, because his client, Mr. Assad, was crumbling, Obama said. Iran and Assad make up Mr. Putin's coalition at the moment. The rest of the world makes up ours. I don't think people are fooled by the current strategy.
The U.S., along with six partner countries in the anti-ISIS coalition, issued a statement earlier today condemning Russia's bombing campaign, saying the attacks did not target ISIS and resulted in civilian casualties.
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