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First Read’s Morning Clips: Americans Pessimistic on Race Relations

TRUMP AGENDA: Americans pessimistic on race relations

From one of us: “Seven-in-10 Americans view race relations in the United States as poor — nearly matching the record high, according to a new poll from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal. In the wake of a white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August that ended in the death of a peaceful protester, 28 percent of the public — including 24 percent of whites and 40 percent of African-Americans — say that race relations are “very bad,” with another 42 percent of all respondents calling them "fairly" bad.”

The New York Times: “For decades, Republicans have dreamed of taking some of the vast sums the federal government spends on health care entitlements and handing the money over to states to use as they saw best. Now, in an 11th-hour effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the party has come up with a way to repackage the funding for the law it loathes into a trillion-dollar pot of state grants. The plan is at the core of the bill that Senate Republican leaders have vowed to bring to a vote next week. It was initially seen as a long-shot effort by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy. But for all its ad hoc, last-minute feel, it has evolved into the most far-reaching repeal proposal of all.”

“In public, President Donald Trump is all-in on the Senate’s final chance to repeal Obamacare. But privately, there’s ambivalence in the White House about the bill’s contents and its chances of clearing the tightly divided chamber next week,” writes POLITICO.

Jimmy Kimmel is still at it on the health care front.

“An internal analysis by the Trump administration concludes that 31 states would lose federal money for health coverage under Senate Republicans’ latest effort to abolish much of the Affordable Care Act, with the politically critical state of Alaska facing a 38 percent cut in 2026,” according to the Washington Post.

Inside Tom Price’s decision to use chartered jets with taxpayer funds, from the Washington Post.

And POLITICO reports that Price took at least 24 flights on private charter planes.

Here’s what Trump’s North Korea sanctions mean, via the New York Times.

NBCNews.com: “North Korea's leader called President Donald Trump “a frightened dog” and a “gangster fond of playing with fire” in an official statement released Thursday. Kim Jong Un responded to Trump's U.N. speech in a dispatch written in the first person. South Korea's government said it was the first such direct address to the world by any North Korean leader.”

“The White House plan for a massive package of tax cuts is gaining new momentum as Republicans attempt to set aside months of intraparty squabbling and unify behind a key part of President Trump’s agenda,” writes the Washington Post. “Two developments are accelerating the effort: Key Senate Republicans reached a tentative deal this week to allow for as much as $1.5 trillion in tax reductions over 10 years; and there is a growing willingness within the GOP to embrace controversial, optimistic estimates of how much economic growth their tax plan would create.”

Facebook will hand over Russia-linked ads to Congress.

OFF TO THE RACES: Strange hugs Trump in debate

Joe Biden recorded a robocall for a state Senate candidate in Florida.

AL-SEN: From NBC’s Alez Seitz-Wald in Montgomery: “Do the voters of Alabama need a senator who's friends with President Donald Trump? That question was at the center of the first and only debate on Thursday between interim Sen. Luther Strange and conservative challenger Roy Moore, just days ahead of Tuesday’s heated Republican runoff election to fill the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”

More, from AL.com: “For an hour-plus debate, a rollicking format in which Strange and Moore, vying for Strange's U.S. Senate seat, a summary is alarmingly easy to give. Strange stayed on message all night: President Donald Trump really really really likes him. President Trump picked him. President Trump is coming to see him. President Trump can count on him. President Trump chose him, like the Bachelor chooses a swooning young lass. If he said it once, he said it a hundred times.”

Stumping for Roy Moore, Sarah Palin said “the swamp” is trying to “hijack” Trump’s presidency.

Moore in 2005 said “homosexual conduct should be illegal,” per CNN.

NJ-GOV: A new poll shows Phil Murphy’s lead at 13 points.