North Carolina Strikes Deal to Repeal Bathroom Law

“North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature and its Democratic governor announced late Wednesday that they had reached an agreement to repeal the controversial state law that curbs legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and sets rules that affect transgender bathroom use in public buildings,” the New York Times reports.

“But gay rights advocates raised objections, arguing that the compromise would continue to allow discrimination. And it was unclear late Wednesday whether the deal, if approved, would end the boycotts by sports leagues, businesses and others that have harmed the state’s reputation and economy.”

Washington Post: “This week, lawmakers are facing a clear deadline imposed by the NCAA, which gave North Carolina until Thursday to change the law if it wants to host any college sports championships through 2022.”

Few Trying to Save the Filibuster

“The Senate is careening toward a historic change to its filibuster rules that takes it one step closer to a version of the majority-rule House of Representatives,” Politico reports.

“But no one seems to care enough to save the Senate from itself.”

“Unlike past institutional crises, there’s no bipartisan ‘gang’ stepping up to force a truce between the warring armies led by Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer. Acrimony between the two parties has become so routine that invoking the so-called nuclear option to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court is almost a ho-hum affair, assumed to be a done deal.”

Freedom Caucus Reckons with Wrath of Trump

Politico: “The heat has left some of the remaining members of the group questioning whether the Freedom Caucus did the right thing in delivering an embarrassing rebuke to their new Republican president. Some hope that Speaker Paul Ryan’s move this week to re-open negotiations on health care will give them another chance to get to ‘yes’ — and save them from being faulted for the collapse of the GOP’s campaign to end Obamacare.”

“It’s unclear how prevalent buyer’s remorse is within the group, which has roughly three dozen members.”

History Suggests White House Can’t Lead on Tax Reform

“Republican and Democratic veterans of Washington’s messy policymaking process have a vehement response to the idea that the White House, fresh from its failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, will take the lead on drafting legislation to reform the nation’s tax system: good luck with that,” Politico reports.

“Traditionally, the White House has stumbled when trying to craft major new legislation. Writing laws is, after all, what Congress gets paid to do — and lawmakers don’t like being big-footed by staffers at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., even when they come from the same party.”

Trumpism Doesn’t Make Much Sense

Rich Lowry: “In light of all this, the product of the Ryan-Trump partnership on health care was a bill bizarrely at odds with a national election Republicans had just won on the strength of working-class voters. Under the GOP replacement, fewer people would have had coverage, and workers further down the income scale would have been particularly hard hit. For whatever reason, neither of these facts seemed to exercise the White House, at least not enough to try to do anything to fix them.”

“His energies were taken up trying to placate the conservative House Freedom Caucus. The supposed affinity between Trump and the Freedom Caucus is one of the great ideological misunderstandings of our time. Just because Trump and the conservative caucus are both ‘anti-establishment’ doesn’t mean they have anything else in common. Trump is more naturally an ally of the moderate Tuesday Group, except with a flame-throwing Twitter feed.”

“A President Trump acting more in keeping with his free-floating reflex to take care of people, as expressed in speeches and interviews, would have pushed the health bill to the left. But Trump so far hasn’t followed the logic of his own politics in dealing with Congress.”

Republicans Will Need Democrats to Prevent Shutdown

“Congressional Republicans are working aggressively to craft an agreement intended to keep the government open past April 28, but their bid to avert a shutdown hinges on courting Democrats wary of President Trump and skirting the wrath of both hardline conservatives and Trump himself,” the Washington Post reports.

“The murky path forward on government funding sparked widespread unease Wednesday within the business community and at the Capitol, where Republicans speculated that Trump’s request for money to build a wall along the border with Mexico and $30 billion in new defense spending may need to be delayed to avoid a shutdown.”

Why a Membership Model?

Many have asked why Political Wire switched to a membership model last year. The answer is very simple: digital advertising is broken.

There was a time when the publisher could sell advertisers access to an audience. The incentives were perfectly in line: Publishers who put out a quality publication attracted a quality audience which made sense to quality advertisers. All parties had a stake in the system.

But as publishing moved to the Internet and digital ads evolved, the incentives grew out of whack. Publishers no longer have a direct relationship with most advertisers. Instead they increasingly use ad networks. These ad networks pool an audience across thousands of different publications and websites. Advertisers tell the networks what audience they want to target and their ads are shown wherever those readers happen to be visiting.

What does this mean? Publishers no longer have direct relationships with advertisers so they try to make themselves as attractive to ad networks as they can. This often means sharing personal data about their readers and resorting to other reader unfriendly tactics to show as many ads as they can. Advertisers no longer care about individual publications since their audience may come from thousands of different sites.

To make matters worse, the Internet has a virtually unlimited inventory of ad space which drives prices down to ridiculously low prices. This often leads to ads that are in very poor taste.

The membership model is much more direct and honest. Publishers are directly accountable to their readers. That’s it.

If you’re a regular reader and not yet a member, please consider it. In addition to supporting a site you love, you’ll also get exclusive analysis, new features and no advertising.

Join today for $5 a month or $50 for the year.

Ivanka Trump Will Take Formal White House Job

Ivanka Trump “is becoming an official government employee, joining her husband in serving as an unpaid adviser to her father in the White House,” the New York Times reports.

“Ms. Trump already has an office in the West Wing, and she said last week that she would serve as an informal adviser to her father. But that plan prompted criticism from ethics experts, who said it would allow her to avoid some rules and disclosures.”

House GOP Mulls Another Try at Obamacare Repeal

“House Republicans are considering making another run next week at passing the health-care bill they abruptly pulled from the floor in an embarrassing setback to their efforts to repeal Obamacare,” Bloomberg reports.

“Two Republican lawmakers say that leaders are discussing holding a vote, even staying into the weekend if necessary, but it’s unclear what changes would be made to the GOP’s health bill.”

“Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, who helped derail the bill, have been talking with some Republican moderate holdouts in an effort to identify changes that could bring them on board with the measure.”

Chelsea Clinton Says She’s Not Running for Anything

Chelsea Clinton told Variety there is no truth to rumors that she is mulling a political bid: “I am not running for public office.”

Said Clinton: “I am really constantly surprised by the stories of me running for, fill-in-the-blank: Congress, Senate, City Council, the presidency. I really find this all rather hysterical, because I’ve been asked this question a lot throughout my life, and the answer has never changed.”