Good Wednesday morning. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell joins the blockbuster year-end double-header under the Axios tree:
Today at 8 a.m in downtown D.C., I'll talk with Gary D. Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, about tax cuts, tech, China and next year's White House agenda. RSVP here.
Tomorrow at 8 a.m., I'll interview Leader McConnell back-to-back with Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. RSVP here.
Two weeks of insight: Between now and New Year's Day, Axios CEO Jim VandeHei and I will bring AM readers our year-end thoughts on the topics that matter most ...
President Trump takes a beating in the media, but he's ending 2017 on the high note of his presidency.
You might not like his words or actions. But measured in terms of what Republican voters want and expected, he's winning on consequential and lasting fronts:
Why it matters: The media often appraises presidencies and politics through liberal-tinted glasses. But the vast majority of the majority like, even love, these policies. (Worth noting: A majority of America opposes Trump and most of his policies.)
Be smart: We have been saying all year: Watch what he does, not what he says. Until recently, he hasn't done much. But these wins are substantial, with consequences for millions of people and many years to come.
Be mindful: These short-term wins pack big long-term consequence. If people lose health coverage, or see only the rich benefiting from tax cuts, or deficits threatening growth and stability, the Trump GOP will own it all.
For history ... 12:47 a.m.: "WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate passes 1st major rewrite of US tax code in 31 years, setting stage for final House vote on Wednesday."
Be smart ... "80 percent of the country will pay lower taxes next year. But the short-term gains come with a cost: The legislation also makes the country's debt problem even worse," the WashPost's Heather Long writes:
How it's playing ... N.Y. Times 2-column lead, "URGENCY IN G.O.P. PUSHING TAX BILL TO THE FINISH LINE: Victory for Trump, Donors and Party — Skepticism in Polls and Analyses" ... WashPost 2-column lead, "Despite hitch, tax overhaul is all but done."
"How China's Surveillance State Overwhelms Daily Life," by The Wall Street Journal's Josh Chin and Clément Bürge in Urumqi, China:
Tim Keller —founder and Pastor Emeritus of the Redeemer Presbyterian Churches of New York City, and one of the nation's most celebrated evangelical pastors — writes a tough piece for The New Yorker that shot up the "Most Popular" list ... "Can Evangelicalism Survive Donald Trump and Roy Moore?":
A single vote may spell the end of Republican control in Virginia's House of Delegates:
The new president of the Heritage Foundation, the nation's largest conservative think tank, is Kay Coles James, director of the Office of Personnel Management under George W. Bush and a senior member of President Trump's transition team:
"PBS will broadcast a BBC news program featuring Washington correspondent Katty Kay for the second half of Charlie Rose's vacated [11 p.m.] time slot [beginning Jan. 2], pairing it with a Christiane Amanpour program that began airing last week," AP's David Bauder writes:
P.S. "HBO [announced] its replacement for outgoing Sheila Nevins, the longtime head of documentary," per Hollywood Reporter: Longtime HBO execs "Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller will share the title of executive vp HBO documentary and family programming when Nevins officially departs in early 2018."
Reliving 2017 in 30 images ... At the Oscars on Feb. 26, host Jimmy Kimmel and presenter Warren Beatty sort out the results of Best Picture as the casts of "La La Land" (mistakenly announced) and "Moonlight" (the real winner) react on stage.
"A spirited year-end battle at the box office commences [today] when Sony's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Fox's The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman as P. T. Barnum, open nationwide opposite the current ruling champ, Disney and Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Last Jedi," The Hollywood Reporter's Pamela McClintock writes: