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Tax Plan, Amtrak, John Skipper: Your Tuesday Briefing

• Best of late-night TV. Trevor Noah looked back at 2017 in a year-end edition of “The Daily Show”: “Every day I wake up terrified at the notion that he’s president of the most powerful nation in the world, but I must admit, every day I also wake up knowing he’s going to make me laugh.” • Quotation of the day. “Just because you’ve seen ‘My Cousin Vinny’ doesn’t qualify you to be a federal judge.” — Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, after video of him grilling a nominee for the federal bench last week spread online. The nominee, Matthew Petersen, was unable to answer many of the senator’s questions and withdrew his nomination over the weekend […]

How Senate Republicans Have Reacted to the Roy Moore Allegations

Here is a roundup of how the Senate’s 52 Republicans have responded.‘I can no longer endorse his candidacy’PhotoSenator John McCain of Arizona called the allegations against Mr. Moore “deeply disturbing and disqualifying.”Credit Tom Brenner/The New York TimesMr. […]

As Other Republican Senators Bolt, Lindsey Graham Cozies Up to Trump

“I’m going to try to stay in a position where I can have input to the president,” Mr. Graham, 62, said in a lengthy interview. “I can help him where I can, and he will call me up and pick my brain. Now, if you’re a United States senator, that’s a good place to find yourself.”“He’s very popular in my state,” Mr […]

Trump’s Next Move on Health Care? Choice for Secretary May Offer Clue

The White House had no comment on Saturday, but two advisers who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters said two top candidates were Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Both have previously been vetted by the White House, nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate to their current jobs within recent months, a significant selling point.Other names have been floated as well, including David Shulkin, the secretary of veterans affairs and a favorite of the president’s. But he has been criticized for a European trip with his wife that mixed business and sightseeing and was partially financed by taxpayers, and Mr. Trump may be reluctant to move him because he has been critical to fixing veterans’ care.Some reports floated former Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, an assistant secretary of health and human services under President George W. Bush. But he was a caustic critic of Mr. Trump during his own brief campaign for the White House that ended in late 2015 after he called the future president a “narcissist” and “egomaniacal madman.”Mr. Trump may not necessarily fill the post quickly. […]

Mexico, Donald Trump, Hurricane Maria: Your Wednesday Briefing

• Best of late-night TV. Jimmy Kimmel spent a full seven minutes excoriating Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana for going back on his word. • Quotation of the day. “The things that make us different, those are our superpowers.” — Lena Waithe, the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy series, for “Master of None.” Back Story Today, we give you a slice of culinary history. The Times described pizza 73 years ago as “a pie made from a yeast dough and filled with any number of different centers.” “With the dexterity of a drum major wielding a baton, the baker picks one up and twirls it around, first in one hand and then in the other,” the report said, describing Luigino’s Pizzeria Alla Napoletana in Times Square. […]

Life After the Storm: Children Who Survived Katrina Offer Lessons

“My mom was overwhelmed. I had to get my little brother to school every day; it was like every day I woke up and had to forget everything that had happened to day before,” said Mr. Bridges, who now works for a New Orleans social justice nonprofit, and sings in a band, Melomania. “Homework – forget it […]

In Florida, Searching for Gas and Water, and Watching Irma

MIAMI — Fuel was such a scarce commodity that some drivers took to trailing gas tankers down the road to see where they stopped to unload. Bottled water was so scarce that residents simply gave up looking. Sandbags, like plywood, were gone, as were certain kinds of screws and nails.“It takes a long time,” said Pablo Smith, 24, who sat scrolling on his phone as he waited in line at a Citgo station in South Florida. The line stretched down a long block of U.S. 1, a major highway, clogging the right lane.“At least there’s gas,” he said.Residents across South Florida scrambled to finalize preparations Thursday as Hurricane Irma, which has devastated islands in the Caribbean, approached with 175-mile-an-hour winds […]