Gallucci

17 Jul 19
Fortune
In a remarkable political repudiation, the Democratic-led U.S. House voted to condemn President Donald Trump’s “racist comments” against four congresswomen of color, despite protestations by Trump’s Republican congressional allies and his own insistence he hasn’t “a racist bone in my body.” Two days after Trump tweeted that four Democratic freshmen should “go back” to their home countries — though all are citizens and three were born in the U.S.A. — Democrats muscled the resolution through the chamber by 240-187 over near-solid GOP opposition. The rebuke Tuesday night was an embarrassing one for Trump even though it carries no legal repercussions, but if anything his latest harangues should help him with his die-hard conservative base. Despite a lobbying effort by Trump and party leaders for a unified GOP front, four Republicans voted to condemn his remarks: moderate Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Fred Upton of Michigan, Will Hurd of Texas and Susan Brooks of Indiana, who is retiring. Also backing the measure was Michigan’s independent Rep. Justin Amash, who left the GOP this month after becoming the party’s sole member of Congress to back a Trump impeachment inquiry. Democrats saved one of the day’s most passionate moments until near the end. “I know racism when I see it,” said Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, whose skull was fractured at the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” civil rights march in Selma, Alabama. “At the highest level of government, there’s no room for racism.” Before the showdown roll call, Trump characteristically plunged forward with time-tested insults. He accused his four outspoken critics of “spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician” and added, “If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave !” — echoing taunts long unleashed against political dissidents rather than opposing parties’ lawmakers. The president was joined by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and other top Republicans in trying to redirect the focus from Trump’s original tweets, which for three days have consumed Washington and drawn widespread condemnation. Instead, they tried playing offense by accusing the four congresswomen — among the Democrats’ most left-leaning members and ardent Trump critics — of socialism, an accusation that’s already a central theme of the GOP’s 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns . Even after two and a half years of Trump’s turbulent governing style, the spectacle of a president futilely laboring to head off a House vote essentially proclaiming him to be a racist was extraordinary. Underscoring the stakes, Republicans formally objected after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said during a floor speech that Trump’s tweets were “racist.” Led by Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, Republicans moved to have her words stricken from the record, a rare procedural rebuke. After a delay exceeding 90 minutes, No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Pelosi had indeed violated a House rule against characterizing an action as racist. Hoyer was presiding after Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri stormed away from the presiding officer’s chair, lamenting, “We want to just fight,” apparently aimed at Republicans. Even so, Democrats flexed their muscle and the House voted afterward by party line to leave Pelosi’s words intact in the record. In tweets Tuesday night, Trump took a positive view of the vote, saying it was “so great” that only four Republicans had crossed party lines and noting the procedural rebuke of Pelosi. “Quite a day!” he wrote. Some rank-and-file GOP lawmakers have agreed that Trump’s words were racist, but on Tuesday party leaders insisted they were not and accused Democrats of using the resulting tumult to score political points. Among the few voices of restraint, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump wasn’t racist but also called on leaders “from the president to the speaker to the freshman members of the House” to attack ideas, not the people who espouse them. “There’s been a consensus that political rhetoric has gotten way, way heated across the political spectrum,” said the Republican leader from Kentucky, breaking his own two days of silence on Trump’s attacks. Hours earlier, Trump tweeted, “Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” He wrote that House Republicans should “not show ‘weakness'” by agreeing to a resolution he labeled “a Democrat con game.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, one of Trump’s four targets, returned his fire. “You’re right, Mr. President – you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head and a racist heart in your chest,” she tweeted. And one of the leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, offered an impassioned response to Trump’s racist tweets at a roundtable for women of color in Davenport, Iowa, saying to applause, “And he needs to go back to where he came from.” The four-page Democratic resolution said the House “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.” It said Trump’s slights “do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.” All but goading Republicans, the resolution included a full page of remarks by President Ronald Reagan, who is revered by the GOP. Reagan said in 1989 that if the U.S. shut its doors to newcomers, “our leadership in the world would soon be lost.” Tuesday’s faceoff came after years of Democrats bristling over anti-immigrant and racially incendiary pronouncements by Trump. Those include his kicking off his presidential campaign by proclaiming many Mexican migrants to be criminals and asserting there were “fine people” on both sides at a 2017 neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly. And the strong words in Washington come as actions are underway elsewhere: The administration has begun coast-to-coast raids targeting migrants in the U.S. illegally and has newly restricted access to the U.S. by asylum seekers. Trump’s criticism was aimed at four freshman Democrats who have garnered attention since their arrival in January for their outspoken liberal views and thinly veiled distaste for Trump: Ocasio-Cortez and Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All were born in the U.S. except for Omar, who came to the U.S. as a child after fleeing Somalia with her family. The four have waged an increasingly personal clash with Pelosi over how assertively the House should try restraining Trump’s ability to curb immigration. But, if anything, Trump’s tweets may have eased some of that tension, with Pelosi telling Democrats at a closed-door meeting Tuesday, “We are offended by what he said about our sisters,” according to an aide who described the private meeting on the condition of anonymity. That’s not to say that all internal Democratic strains are resolved. The four rebellious freshmen backed Rep. Steven Cohen of Tennessee in unsuccessfully seeking a House vote on a harsher censure of Trump’s tweets. And Rep. Al Green of Texas was trying to force a House vote soon on whether to impeach Trump, a move he’s tried in the past but lost, earning opposition from most Democrats. At the Senate Republicans’ weekly lunch Tuesday, Trump’s tweets came up and some lawmakers were finding the situation irksome, participants said. Many want the 2020 campaigns to focus on progressive Democrats’ demands for government-provided health care, abolishing the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and other hard-left policies. “Those ideas give us so much material to work with and it takes away from our time to talk about it,” Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana said of Trump’s tweets. More must-read stories from Fortune: —What to expect from the second Democratic debate —Who wins and loses as White House withdraws drug rebate plan —A new holding center for migrant children is open in Texas —Fed Chairman Powell: If Trump asks me to leave, I won’t —Tom Steyer mastered markets and now he wants to topple Trump Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.
17 Jul 19
Fortune
Harris’s Medicare for All Has a Private Option Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris said her Medicare for All plan wouldn’t end private insurance. At least not right away. “Medicare for All means that everyone will have access to health care and that cost will not be a barrier,” Harris told CNN in an interview aired Wednesday. “As it relates to private insurance, there will still be supplemental insurance, but yeah, transitioning into Medicare for All will at some point reduce the requirement for insurance because everyone will have access to health care,” she said. Harris has been accused of waffling on her health care plan, embracing Medicare for All but trying to find a narrow path between two competing constituencies in the Democratic Party. On one side are progressives such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who embrace a Medicare for all system that would eliminate most private insurance. On the other side are moderates, including front-runner Joe Biden, seek to preserve Obamacare but would add on new government-run options in an effort to maximize consumer choice. Harris said on CNN that private insurance would remain a “supplemental” option, under her plan. But that would eventually not be needed as there won’t be a need. She also said she doesn’t see a middle-class tax hike needed to fund her proposal, and she’d instead eye more targeted new revenue sources such as going after Wall Street. More must-read stories from Fortune: —What to expect from the second Democratic debate —Who wins and loses as White House withdraws drug rebate plan —A new holding center for migrant children is open in Texas —Fed Chairman Powell: If Trump asks me to leave, I won’t —Tom Steyer mastered markets and now he wants to topple Trump Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.
17 Jul 19
Fortune
The president of Planned Parenthood, Dr. Leana Wen, was ousted Tuesday after just eight months on the job as the organization faced unprecedented challenges related to its role as the leading abortion provider in the U.S. Wen, in a Twitter post, said she learned that Planned Parenthood’s board “ended my employment at a secret meeting.” She indicated the board wanted more emphasis on political advocacy, while she sought to prioritize Planned Parenthood’s role as a provider of health care services ranging from birth control to cancer screenings. “We were engaged in good faith negotiations about my departure based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood,” Wen said. “I am stepping down sooner than I had hoped.” Her departure came as the Trump administration announced it would start enforcing new rules that ban taxpayer-funded family planning clinics referring women for abortions. Planned Parenthood, the largest recipient of those funds, says it will not abide by those rules. Without elaboration, Planned Parenthood announced Wen’s departure via a Twitter post, thanking her for her service and wishing her luck going forward. It also announced that Alexis McGill Johnson, co-director of a research consortium called the Perception Institute, will serve as acting president of Planned Parenthood and its political wing, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, while a search for new permanent leader is conducted. Wen, a Chinese immigrant who fled her native country when she was a child, took over as Planned Parenthood’s leader in November, succeeding Cecile Richards, who had been president since 2006. Wen had been Baltimore’s health commissioner since 2015 Wen’s tenure coincided with major challenges for the U.S. abortion-rights movement, in which Planned Parenthood has long played a major role. Emboldened by a strengthened conservative presence on the U.S. Supreme Court, several Republican-controlled state legislatures have enacted laws this year aimed at banning most abortions. None of the laws have taken effect, but backers hope they might eventually lead the high court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that establish a nationwide right to abortion. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has moved to withhold federal family planning funds from clinics, including Planned Parenthood’s, that refer women for abortions. With about 400 clinics, Planned Parenthood is the largest provider in the federal family planning program for low-income women, known as Title X. The program does not pay for abortions, but until now clinics had been able to refer women for the procedure. Planned Parenthood clinics have long been a target for religious and social conservatives because the clinics separately provide abortions. Jacqueline Ayers, Planned Parenthood’s top lobbyist, said its clinics will stop accepting federal money and tap emergency funding as they press Congress and the courts to reverse the administration’s ban. Title X serves about 4 million women annually through independent clinics. Taxpayers provide about $260 million a year in grants to clinics, but that money by law cannot be used to pay for abortions. In a letter to her colleagues at Planned Parenthood, Wen said she had believed its primary mission was to be a health care organization, more so than an advocacy organization. “With the landscape changing dramatically in the last several months and the right to safe, legal abortion care under attack like never before, I understand the shift in the Board’s prioritization,” Wen wrote. More must-read stories from Fortune: —What to expect from the second Democratic debate —Who wins and loses as White House withdraws drug rebate plan —A new holding center for migrant children is open in Texas —Fed Chairman Powell: If Trump asks me to leave, I won’t —Tom Steyer mastered markets and now he wants to topple Trump Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.
17 Jul 19
Fortune
A new Trump administration rule, which requires most migrants to apply for asylum in one of the countries they passed through before they can file for protection in the United States, has drawn sharp criticism from immigrant rights advocates and human rights organizations and will likely be challenged in the courts.  The new rule going into effect Tuesday requires asylum seekers arriving by land, who have traversed a third country that has signed onto the international refugee convention, to apply for protection in that country before they would be eligible to apply in the United States. The vast majority of people fleeing violence and instability in Honduras and El Salvador take land routes north, and now would be forced to apply for asylum in Guatemala or Mexico, before being eligible to apply in the United States, with a few exceptions.  Numerous immigrant advocate groups and human rights organizations have condemned the move as an unlawful alteration to asylum rules dodging a more appropriate legislative process, and the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project deputy director, Lee Gelernt, said the organization intends to sue and delay implementation of the rule.  The administration says the directive is necessary in the face of a crush of new asylum applicants at the southern border and lack of Congressional action.  “Ultimately, today’s action will reduce the overwhelming burdens on our domestic system caused by asylum-seekers failing to seek urgent protection in the first available country, economic migrants lacking a legitimate fear of persecution, and the transnational criminal organizations, traffickers, and smugglers exploiting our system for profits,” Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a statement. Asylum claims at the southern border have soared in the past few years, increasing roughly 70% from 2017 to 2018, to approximately 93,000, according to Department of Homeland Security data. Asylum is offered to those fleeing persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, and, after an initial “credible fear” interview to establish a basis for an asylum claim, the applicant’s claim is vetted by an immigration judge. Officials say the number of families making the long, perilous journey and the proportion seeking asylum have both increased as smugglers have deployed a new strategy of offering migrants promises of legal residency in the United States if they declare they are afraid of returning home.  “This administration is right to continue efforts to solve the border crisis with a new rule to return integrity to the asylum system.,” U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Georgia) said in support of the new rule. “Ignoring policy flaws that encourage illegal immigration, abuse of our generous system, and exploiting women and children isn’t compassionate.” Immigration analysts and refugee advocates immediately questioned the legality of the new rule and offered alternative, less restrictive, solutions to the growing number of asylum claims.  “We need solutions from the administration, and ones that unite us and won’t cause other problems,” said Jacinta Ma, policy and advocacy director at the National Immigration Forum. “They are creating incentives to cross illegally or cross with more dangerous methods … Mexico is not as well equipped as the United States to address this humanitarian crisis.” Mexico’s refugee commission is already bursting at its seams, many observers argue. The country expects to field 60,000 asylum claims in 2019, a nearly 200% increase, according to the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, which has called for a coordinated regional response to address the problem.  The UNHCR also issued a statement saying it is “deeply concerned” about the new U.S. rule, arguing it “excessively curtails the right to apply for asylum, significantly raises the burden of proof on asylum seekers beyond the international legal standard, sharply curtails basic rights and freedoms of those who manage to meet it, and is not in line with international obligations.” Groups such as the National Immigration Forum and American Immigration Lawyers Association are championing a combination of short term solutions to relieve pressure at the border, such as hiring more medical personnel, asylum officers and immigration judges, and working on better interagency coordination, coupled with a long term strategy that targets underlying causes of migration from the so-called “Northern Triangle” countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, including corruption, weak institutions, gang violence, economic stagnation and food insecurity. They have also suggested a refugee resettlement initiative for Central America that would allow people in those countries to seek protection without making the physical journey north.  “[The Trump administration] is effectively ending asylum for Central Americans, and this is not in line with the values of our nation. We shouldn’t shut the door on people fleeing persecution,” Ma said.   In addition to the direct impact on potential asylees from Central America, Customs and Border Patrol is also encountering more migrants from Africa, Haiti, Cuba, and other regions at southern U.S. crossings.  “My concern is this new proposal does away with due process, and there really isn’t a chance for someone who passed through Mexico to make a claim,” said Matthew Soerens, U.S. director of church mobilization at World Relief, who pointed out that many people fleeing religious persecution in places outside of the Western Hemisphere have traveled through Central America to get to the United States.  “We’ve worked with many people from Africa who’ve come through Mexico and been granted asylum in the U.S.,” he said. “We believe we can be a compassionate nation and a secure nation. It’s not appropriate to let everyone in. We are a nation of laws, but we can also offer due process and treat everyone humanely.”  This is one in a series of hurdles the Trump administration has attempted to erect to stem the flow of migrants seeking asylum at the southern border. In June, under the threat of tariffs, the Mexican government agreed to increase internal enforcement to stop Central American migration and also allow migrants to wait on its side of the border while applying for asylum in the United States. Additionally, the “Migrant Protection Protocols” implemented earlier this year have returned roughly 15,000 asylum seekers, mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, to Mexico to await their court date.  Some migrants who are attempting to enter at official border crossings and submit an asylum claim have been forced to cue in camps and shelters in Mexico. Now, if the new rule is allowed to go into effect, those in line would need to apply in one of the other countries they traveled through first. Under the new rule the United States could also deport people eligible for asylum back to the country from which they fled.  While legal challenges have been promised inside the United States, the leader of at least one Central American country has also begun pushing back on the new policy. President Donald Trump was scheduled to meet with President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala at the White House on Monday, and the administration said regional security would be on the agenda including a “safe third country” agreement that would codify Guatemala’s role in accepting asylum applications from migrants passing through on their way north. Morales postponed the visit Sunday, however, and the Guatemalan government issued a release saying in part: “The government of the republic reiterates that at no point it considers signing an agreement to convert Guatemala into a safe third country.” The new rule does allow for people who were denied asylum in another country they passed through to apply for protection in the United States, and there are some exceptions for victims of trafficking and torture. While the rule was published Monday and took effect Tuesday, there is a 30-day comment period and it is still possible a court challenge could delay implementation.  More must-read stories from Fortune: —What to expect from the second Democratic debate —Who wins and loses as White House withdraws drug rebate plan —A new holding center for migrant children is open in Texas —Fed Chairman Powell: If Trump asks me to leave, I won’t —Tom Steyer mastered markets and now he wants to topple Trump Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.
17 Jul 19
Fortune
Researchers are predicting record numbers of voters for next year’s White House general election, and political organizations are figuring out what to do with this gift of information. Each of the major political parties is hoping that their candidates will benefit from the anticipated spike. While Democrats usually benefit from higher voter turnout, however, political experts are saying Republicans will likely see some advantage, too, this time around. Everyone seems to be glued to the presidential election, even though it’s well more than a year away, they said. “So far, if you look at voter enthusiasm and engagement measures, we see that everybody’s enthusiasm and interest level seems to be high,” said Ruy Teixeira, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and codirector of the States of Change study of the American electorate.  “Before 2018, the differential was in the Democrats’ favor,” Teixeira told Fortune. “Now, we’re seeing that there’s high interest in both sides. That could be significant.” States of Change is one of the efforts predicting huge turnout in 2020. A coalition of the Center for American Progress, the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution produced the report. Others also are predicting voluminous turnout. “2020 will see the turnout storm of the century…participation levels not seen in more than 100 years,” Michael McDonald, associate professor at the University of Florida and head of the United States Election Project, said via Twitter.  According to project, an effort spearheaded by McDonald and the University of Florida, 50.3% of the voting-eligible population cast ballots in the 2018 midterm election compared with 36.7% in the 2014 midterms. The data prompted McDonald to tweet, “First time since 1914 the U.S. has broken 50% in a midterm election.” And Rock the Vote, a nonprofit aimed at raising the numbers of people casting ballots, has seen a 60% rise in the number of people registering online on all of its platforms between 2015, leading up to the 2016 White House election, and now, spokesman Andrew Feldman said. In terms of hard numbers, the organization’s platforms generated 36,589 registered voters in 2015 through mid-July, compared with 54,424 this year so far, according to Feldman While more than 20 high-profile Democratic candidates battle it out for a chance to unseat President Trump, voters tied to both major parties are clearly paying attention. Between the last presidential election in 2016 and the midterm elections in 2018, turnout numbers remained high even though there typically is less interest in off-year elections.  Catalist, a firm that studies voting practices, predicts that 156 million people will cast ballots in 2020, a major rise from the 139 million that voted in 2016. The Democratic firm based its prediction on studies of the midterm elections last year. “The composition of the 2018 electorate resembled recent presidential electorates much more than recent midterms,” Yair Ghitza, Catalist’s chief scientist, wrote on Medium.  Rock the Vote, a nonprofit committed to getting people registered to vote and to the point where they’re casting ballots, says that with the higher turnout already apparent, the organization can now drill down. The nonprofit will focus its efforts on getting people of color and younger people—who are typically underrepresented—to cast ballots and also continue to educate people on how to vote, particularly in this age of multiple options, from early voting to absentee voting. The organization has a program that brings voter education into the high schools, and they plan on relaunching it for this election cycle in mid September. “It can be confusing for first-time voters and young voters to figure out how the process actually works,” Feldman told Fortune. “A lot of what we’re doing right now is making sure that young people are educated in how to actually cast their ballot.” He added, “Each state has different deadlines, different rules: Do you have early voting? Can you vote absentee?”  In its outreach to black voters and voters of color, the key for Rock the Vote will be to educate voters about their rights—particularly with so many allegations of voter suppression rampant, Feldman said. The organization also is trying to meet people in the places where they are most comfortable communicating and is getting its message out via social media, as well as encouraging people to have conversations with their peers, Feldman said. For Republicans, white, non-college-educated voters will be critical for them to see a victory, political experts said. The GOP likely will be pushing to see that this demographic makes up a large part of the turnout spike, according to Teixeira.  Democrats will likely try to take advantage of this group’s move away from Trump, but Republicans will act on the predictions too, the political analyst said. “The Trump campaign will be doing everything possible to amp up and turbocharge white, non-college turnout, particularly in rural areas,” he said. More must-read stories from Fortune: —What to expect from the second Democratic debate —Who wins and loses as White House withdraws drug rebate plan —A new holding center for migrant children is open in Texas —Fed Chairman Powell: If Trump asks me to leave, I won’t —Tom Steyer mastered markets and now he wants to topple Trump Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.
16 Jul 19
Fortune
In a remarkable political repudiation, the Democratic-led House voted Tuesday night to condemn President Donald Trump’s “racist comments” against four congresswomen of color, despite protestations by Trump’s Republican congressional allies and his own insistence he hasn’t “a racist bone in my body.” Two days after Trump tweeted that four Democratic freshmen should “go back” to their home countries — though all are citizens and three were born in the U.S.A. — Democrats muscled the resolution through the chamber by 240-187 over strong GOP opposition. The rebuke was an embarrassing one for Trump, and he had appealed to GOP lawmakers not to go along, but there were four Republican votes for the resolution. The measure carries no legal repercussions for the president and the vote was highly partisan, unlikely to cost him with his die-hard conservative base. Before the showdown roll call, Trump characteristically plunged forward with time-tested insults. He accused his four outspoken critics of “spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician” and added, “If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!” — echoing taunts long unleashed against political dissidents rather than opposing parties’ lawmakers. The president was joined by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and other top Republicans in trying to redirect the focus from Trump’s original tweets, which for three days have consumed Washington and drawn widespread condemnation. Instead, they tried playing offense by accusing the four congresswomen — among the Democrats’ most left-leaning members and ardent Trump critics — of socialism, an accusation that’s already a central theme of the GOP’s 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns. Even after two-and-a-half years of Trump’s turbulent governing style, the spectacle of a president futilely laboring to head off a House vote essentially proclaiming him to be a racist was extraordinary. Underscoring the stakes, Republicans formally objected after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said during a floor speech that Trump’s tweets were “racist.” Led by Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, Republicans moved to have her words stricken from the record, a rare procedural rebuke. After a delay exceeding 90 minutes, No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer of Maryland ruled that Pelosi had indeed violated a House rule against characterizing an action as racist. Hoyer was presiding after Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri stormed away from the presiding officer’s chair, lamenting, “We want to just fight,” which he apparently aimed at Republicans. Despite Hoyer’s ruling, Democrats flexed their muscle and the House voted afterward by party-line to leave Pelosi’s words intact in the record. Some rank-and-file GOP lawmakers have agreed that Trump’s words were racist, but on Tuesday party leaders insisted they were not and accused Democrats of using the resulting tumult to score political points. Among the few voices of restraint, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump wasn’t racist, but he also called on leaders “from the president to the speaker to the freshman members of the House” to attack ideas, not the people who espouse them. “There’s been a consensus that political rhetoric has gotten way, way heated across the political spectrum,” said the Republican leader from Kentucky, breaking his own two days of silence on Trump’s attacks. Hours earlier, Trump tweeted, “Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” He wrote that House Republicans should “not show ‘weakness'” by agreeing to a resolution he labeled “a Democrat con game.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, one of Trump’s four targets, returned his fire. “You’re right, Mr. President – you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head and a racist heart in your chest,” she tweeted. The four-page Democratic resolution said the House “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.” It said Trump’s slights “do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.” All but goading Republicans, the resolution included a full page of remarks by President Ronald Reagan, who is revered by the GOP. Reagan said in 1989 that if the U.S. shut its doors to newcomers, “our leadership in the world would soon be lost.” Republican leaders lobbied GOP lawmakers hard to oppose the resolution. McCarthy called the measure “all politics,” and No. 3 House GOP leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming said the four Democrats “are wrong when they attempt to impose the fraud of socialism on the American people.” The showdown came after years of Democrats bristling over anti-immigrant and racially incendiary pronouncements by Trump. Those include his kicking off his presidential campaign by proclaiming many Mexican migrants to be criminals and asserting there were “fine people” on both sides at a 2017 neo-Nazis rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly. And the strong words in Washington come as actions are underway elsewhere: The administration has begun coast-to-coast raids targeting migrants in the U.S. illegally and has newly restricted access to the U.S. by asylum seekers. Trump’s criticism was aimed at four freshman Democrats who have garnered attention since their arrival in January for their outspoken liberal views and thinly veiled distaste for Trump: Ocasio-Cortez and Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All were born in the U.S. except for Omar, who came to the U.S. as a child after fleeing Somalia with her family. The four have been in an increasingly personal clash with Democratic Speaker Pelosi, too, over how assertively the House should be in trying to restrain Trump’s ability to curb immigration. But if anything, Trump’s tweets have served to ease some of that tension, with Pelosi telling Democrats at a closed-door meeting Tuesday, “We are offended by what he said about our sisters,” according to an aide in the room who described the private meeting on condition of anonymity. That’s not to say that all internal Democratic strains are resolved. The four rebellious freshmen joined Rep. Steven Cohen of Tennessee and a handful of others who wanted the House to vote on a harsher censure of Trump’s tweets. And Rep. Al Green of Texas was trying to force a House vote soon on whether to impeach Trump — a move he’s tried in the past but lost, earning opposition from most Democrats. At the Senate Republicans’ weekly lunch Tuesday, Trump’s tweets came up and some lawmakers were finding the situation irksome, participants said. Many want the 2020 campaigns to focus on progressive Democrats’ demands for government-provided health care, abolishing the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and other hard-left policies. “Those ideas give us so much material to work with and it takes away from our time to talk about it,” Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana said of the Trump tweets. More must-read stories from Fortune: —These are the four Republicans who voted to condemn Trump’s tweets —Who wins and loses as White House withdraws drug rebate plan —A new holding center for migrant children is open in Texas —Fed Chairman Powell: If Trump asks me to leave, I won’t —Tom Steyer mastered markets and now he wants to topple Trump Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.
16 Jul 19
Fortune
Federal prosecutors said they aren’t bringing criminal charges against a white New York City police officer in the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner, a black man whose dying words — “I can’t breathe” — became a rallying cry as the nation confronted a long history of police brutality. However, prosecutors in other cases in recent years have decided to bring charges against officers. A look at some of those: JASON VAN DYKE A jury convicted Officer Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder in October in the 2014 fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald. He was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison. The white Chicago police officer shot the black teenager 16 times. The release of police dashcam video 13 months after the shooting sparked large protests and led to the ouster of Chicago’s top police official. Three other officers were acquitted in January of trying to cover up the shooting. ___ ROBERT BATES Bates, a white Tulsa County volunteer sheriff’s deputy, was sentenced in 2016 to four years in prison for second-degree manslaughter in the 2015 death of Eric Harris, 44, who was unarmed and restrained. Bates served less than half the sentence. ___ JAMES BURNS Burns, a white Atlanta police officer, is charged with felony murder and other counts in the June 2016 death of Deravis Caine Rogers, 22. Prosecutors say Burns was responding to a suspicious person call when he fired shots into a car driven by Rogers, killing him. ___ AMBER GUYGER Guyger, a white Dallas police officer, was indicted in November on a charge of murder in the Sept. 6 killing of her unarmed black neighbor, 26-year-old Botham Jean. Authorities say Guyger told investigators that while returning home from work, she mistook Jean’s door for her own and that she shot him inside his home when he didn’t obey her commands. ___ DOMINIQUE HEAGGAN-BROWN Heaggan-Brown, a black Milwaukee police officer, was acquitted in June 2017 of first-degree reckless homicide after shooting 23-year-old Sylville Smith during a foot chase in August 2016. Heaggan-Brown was fired after unrelated sexual-assault allegations surfaced. ___ PETER LIANG Liang, a rookie police officer in New York City, was convicted of manslaughter in 2016 in the 2014 death of 28-year-old Akai Gurley. Liang, an American of Chinese descent, said he was patrolling a public housing high-rise with his gun drawn when a sound startled him and he fired accidentally. A bullet ricocheted off a wall, hitting Gurley. A judge reduced the conviction to negligent homicide and sentenced Liang to five years’ probation and 800 hours of community service. ___ ROY OLIVER Oliver was convicted of murder in August in the 2017 death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Oliver, a white police officer in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs, fired into a car packed with black teenagers, killing Edwards. ___ RYAN POWNALL Pownall was charged with third-degree murder for the 2017 death of 30-year-old David Jones, who was shot in the back as he fled. Pownall, who is white, was fired from the Philadelphia police force last year. He is awaiting trial. ___ MICHAEL ROSFELD Rosfeld is charged with criminal homicide in the June 19 shooting death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. after the teen fled from a traffic stop in Pennsylvania. The white officer is awaiting trial. White former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld was acquitted of a homicide charge in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose II, an unarmed black teenager who was shot in the back as he fled a traffic stop. Investigators had said Rosfeld gave inconsistent statements about whether he saw a gun in the teen’s hand. ___ BETTY SHELBY Shelby, who was a white police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was acquitted of manslaughter after shooting 40-year-old Terence Crutcher in 2016. Crutcher, who was black, was unarmed. Shelby resigned from the Tulsa Police Department and later went to work for an area sheriff’s office. ___ MICHAEL SLAGER Slager pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges after killing 50-year-old Walter Scott in 2015. The white North Charleston police officer fired at Scott’s back from 17 feet (5 meters) away. Slager was sentenced to 20 years in prison in December 2017. His conviction was appealed and upheld. ___ JASON STOCKLEY Stockley, a white St. Louis police officer, was acquitted of murder in 2017 in the 2011 shooting death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. Stockley insisted he saw Smith holding a gun and felt that he was in imminent danger. Prosecutors accused Stockley of planting a gun in Smith’s car. ___ RAYMOND TENSING Tensing, a white University of Cincinnati police officer, was tried twice for murder after he killed Samuel DuBose, whom he pulled over for driving without a front license plate in 2015. DuBose, who was black, was unarmed. The jury was hung both times and the charges were dismissed. Tensing received $350,000 from the university when he agreed to resign. ___ JERONIMO YANEZ Yanez, a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, was charged with second-degree manslaughter after he fatally shot a 32-year-old black motorist, Philando Castile, in 2016. Yanez, who is Latino, was acquitted in June 2017. He has left the police department. ___ ANDREW DELKE Delke, a white police officer in Nashville, Tennessee, was charged in September with criminal homicide in the death of 25-year-old Daniel Hambrick after surveillance footage appeared to show him chasing the black man and opening fire as he fled from the officer in July. Delke claims Hambrick pointed a gun at him, but prosecutors question that claim. More must-read stories from Fortune: —What to expect from the second Democratic debate —Who wins and loses as White House withdraws drug rebate plan —A new holding center for migrant children is open in Texas —Fed Chairman Powell: If Trump asks me to leave, I won’t —Tom Steyer mastered markets and now he wants to topple Trump Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.
16 Jul 19
Fortune
A federal judge has restricted Roger Stone’s use of social media after finding that the longtime friend of President Donald Trump violated her gag order. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Stone on Tuesday that he could not use Instagram or other social media platforms while the case against him moves forward. She said the punishment was necessary because he had proven unwilling to adhere to her orders and to refrain from publicly commenting on the case. She did not order him to jail. Stone is charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, accused of lying to lawmakers and witness tampering. Prosecutors argued Stone had violated the judge’s gag order by Instagram posts that disparage the Mueller investigation and the broader election interference probe. More must-read stories from Fortune: —What to expect from the second Democratic debate —Who wins and loses as White House withdraws drug rebate plan —A new holding center for migrant children is open in Texas —Fed Chairman Powell: If Trump asks me to leave, I won’t —Tom Steyer mastered markets and now he wants to topple Trump Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.
16 Jul 19
Fortune
President Trump’s tweets on Sunday advising four first-term congresswomen of color to go back where they came from is resonating in time for major national meetings of black and Latino voters. It’s summer, and that means that the country’s major civil rights organizations are hosting national meetings with thousands of attendees. The National Urban League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the National Bar Association, all advocates for black Americans, are scheduled to meet within days and it is likely that their programs will include discussion of the president’s most recent social media insults. The tweets fired off on Sunday from Trump came less than 24 hours after the League of United Latin American Citizens wrapped up its annual convention of 25,000 in Milwaukee.  Leaders for at least two of these organizations say the tweets are likely to be a hot topic or are now being talked up among members. The president’s missives appeared to be aimed at progressive Democratic U.S. Reps Ayanna Pressley, a black woman from Boston; Ilhan Omar, a Somali American who lives in Minneapolis; Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American from metropolitan Detroit; and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina representing New York City. Telling someone to go back to where they came from is typically an insult thrown at immigrants. Of that group targeted by the president, Omar is the only one born outside the United States, in Somalia. She became a U.S. citizen in 2000. Those facts did not seem to faze the president as he jumped into a Twitter tirade. “So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world … now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” the president tweeted Sunday morning.  “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” he went on. “Then come back and show us how it is done.” National Urban League President Marc Morial told Fortune in an email that he expects that the four Democratic candidates now slated to appear at the group’s conference will address the president’s comments. The meeting starts Thursday in Indianapolis. “President Trump’s unwillingness to accept people of color as fully ‘American’ has been on display since his embrace of the ‘birtherism’ conspiracy regarding President Obama,” Morial said of Trump’s ongoing refusal to believe Barack Obama was born in the United States. “What we’re seeing from him now is not exactly new.” Morial added, “We do expect the candidates to reject this kind of blatant racial division, but we’re looking for very detailed policy proposals—not only to address racist rhetoric but to bring about true equality of opportunity.” The four candidates confirmed, and more who have been invited, will headline two plenary talks at the conference. “The Presidential Plenaries at our conference will be focused on the candidates’ plans for addressing economic and social disparities and uniting the country, in keeping with our theme, ‘Getting 2 Equal: United Not Divided,’” Morial said.  Also within the next week, nine Democratic candidates are slated to speak at the NAACP annual conference, scheduled for July 20th through the 24th in Detroit.  NAACP President Derrick Johnson, while holding back from anticipating what attendees might discuss, did tell Fortune via email that President Trump’s comments are moving the country in the wrong direction.  “President Trump’s racist, nativist and xenophobic statement that elected representatives of color should ‘go back where they came from’ represents a whistle call to white supremacists and increases the risk of racially motivated acts of violence against these congresswomen and people of color more generally,” Johnson said. “This kind of divisiveness moves our country backward, not forward.  President Trump should issue an immediate apology to the freshman congresswomen who were the subject of his tweets, and to the nation as a whole.” Seven Democratic presidential candidates traveled to Milwaukee last week for the LULAC conference, which wrapped up on Sunday. Trump’s tweets came through less then 24 hours after, but the White House posture toward voters of color is still resonating with group members, David Cruz, LULAC’s national communications director, told Fortune. “Nothing surprises us anymore—this is par for the course for this man,” he said of the tweets. “It demeans the office and it certainly slanders women who are doing very good work, but he has no respect for these kinds of things.” Through son-in-law Jared Kushner, President Trump had earlier declined an invitation to join LULAC’s week-long meeting. Because of this, the group was stung to learn that the president traveled to Milwaukee at the same time as the LULAC gathering to headline a Republican fundraiser, Cruz said. “We are a bipartisan group and he chose to say ‘no’ to us on Tuesday, turns around and announces a fundraiser with well-heeled people at a gathering,” Cruz said, adding that LULAC president Domingo Garcia mentioned the snub at one of the conference events.  “We think it’s unfair that he (President Trump) did not see fit to come speak to thousands of working men and women but he chose to come via Air Force One and go have a private fundraiser with the well-heeled,” he said. LULAC members feel they already know where the president stands, he said. “He was not a topic of discussion at our convention because we don’t think he deserves our attention,” Cruz said.  The National Bar Association, which represents 65,000 lawyers, meets July 20th through the 26th in New York.  More must-read stories from Fortune: —What to expect from the second Democratic debate —Who wins and loses as White House withdraws drug rebate plan —A new holding center for migrant children is open in Texas —Fed Chairman Powell: If Trump asks me to leave, I won’t —Tom Steyer mastered markets and now he wants to topple Trump Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.
16 Jul 19
Fortune
Several members of the Republican party have spoken out after President Donald Trump targeted four Democratic congresswomen of color on Twitter. Here’s what they had to say: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell McConnell says President Donald Trump is “not a racist” after Trump tweeted over the weekend that four congresswomen of color should return to their native countries. All of the congresswomen are American citizens. McConnell said at a news conference Tuesday that political rhetoric has gotten “way, way overheated across the political spectrum.” He pointed to Democratic comments, saying “we’ve seen the far left throw accusations of racism at everyone.” He also took a mild swipe at Trump, saying everyone “from the president to the speaker to the freshmen members of the House” should take a lesson from the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who said he attacked ideas, not people. Pressed by reporters as to whether he thought the president is a racist, McConnell said: “the president is not a racist.” Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado Gardner was asked by Denver-area KOA NewsRadio early Tuesday about Trump’s tweets and replied: “I disagree with the president. I wouldn’t have sent these tweets.” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina Graham, a close ally of the president who golfed with him over the weekend, advised him to “aim higher” during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” even as he accused the four Democrats of being “anti-Semitic” and “anti-American.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “No. This is about ideology,” McCarthy said during a briefing with reporters. “This is about socialism versus freedom.” Marc Short, chief of staff to Mike Pence Short said, “I don’t think that the president’s intent in any way is racist,” pointing to Trump’s decision to choose Elaine Chao, who was born in Taiwan, as his transportation secretary. Chao is one of the few minorities among the largely white and male aides in high-profile roles in Trump’s administration. She is the wife of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who declined comment Monday on Trump’s attacks. Rep. Pete Olson of Texas Olson said Trump’s tweets were “not reflective of the values of the 1,000,000+ people” in his district. “I urge our President immediately disavow his comments,” he wrote. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah The GOP White House nominee in 2012, and now one of the president’s most vocal GOP critics, said Trump’s comments were “destructive, demeaning, and disunifying.” Maine Sen. Susan Collins Collins, who is up for re-election next year, said Trump’s tweet was “way over the line and he should take that down.” Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania Toomey said of the Democrats, “We should defeat their ideas on the merits, not on the basis of their ancestry.” Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina Scott said Trump had “interjected with unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language”  Michigan Congressman Fred Upton “Frankly I’m appalled by the President’s tweets. There’s no excuse. Inflammatory rhetoric from both sides of the aisle that is used to divide us just isn’t right. It’s not helpful. We have too many challenges facing us that we ought to be working on together – immigration, the debt ceiling, the border crisis. The President’s tweets were flat out wrong and uncalled for, and I would encourage my colleagues from both parties to stop talking so much and start governing more.” In an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll from February 2017, half of Americans said the mixing of culture and values from around the world is an important part of America’s identity as a nation. About a third said the same of a culture established by early European immigrants. But partisans in that poll were divided over these aspects of America’s identity. About two-thirds of Democrats but only about a third of Republicans thought the mixing of world cultures was important to the country’s identity. By comparison, nearly half of Republicans but just about a quarter of Democrats saw the culture of early European immigrants as important to the nation.
16 Jul 19
Fortune
Federal prosecutors won’t bring civil rights charges against a New York City police officer in the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner, a decision made by Attorney General William Barr and announced one day before the five-year anniversary of his death, officials said. The announcement of the decision not to bring charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo comes a day before the statute of limitations was set to expire in the case that produced the words “I can’t breathe” — among Garner’s final words — as a rallying cry among protesters of the police treatment of black suspects. “The evidence here does not support Officer Daniel Pantaleo or any other officer with a federal civil rights violation,” said Richard Donoghue, the U.S. attorney for eastern New York. “Even if we could prove that Officer Pantaleo’s hold of Mr. Garner constituted unreasonable force, we would still have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Pantaleo acted willfully in violation of the law.” Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, and the Rev. Al Sharpton said they were outraged and heartbroken. Sharpton called for Pantaleo’s dismissal from the NYPD. “We are here with heavy hearts, because the DOJ has failed us,” said Carr, who has become a vocal advocate of police reform in the years since her son’s death. “Five years ago, my son said “I can’t breathe” 11 times. Today, we can’t breathe.” A senior Justice Department official told The Associated Press that prosecutors watched video of the confrontation “countless” times but weren’t convinced Pantaleo acted willfully in the seconds after the chokehold was applied. There were two sets of recommendations made. The Eastern District of New York recommended no charges, but Justice Department civil rights prosecutors in Washington recommended charging the officer. Attorney General William Barr made the ultimate decision, the official said. The official said Barr watched the video himself and got several briefings. Prosecutors had to examine Pantaleo’s state of mind, and it would be a “high standard” to prove the case to a jury, the official said. Prosecutors also considered whether he violated NYPD’s policy on chokeholds. Officers were attempting to arrest Garner on charges he sold loose, untaxed cigarettes outside a Staten Island convenience store. He refused to be handcuffed, and officers took him down. Garner is heard on bystander video crying out “I can’t breathe” at least 11 times before he falls unconscious. He later died. “I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry for police reform activists, coming amid a stretch of other deaths of black men at the hands of white officers. Garner was black; Pantaleo is white. Protests erupted around the country, and police reform became a national discussion. A state grand jury had also refused to indict the officer on criminal charges. In the years since Garner’s death, the New York Police Department made a series of sweeping changes on how it relates to the communities it serves, ditching a policy of putting rookie cops in higher-crime precincts in favor of a neighborhood policing model that revolves around community officers tasked with getting to know New Yorkers. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is running for president in part on the notion he helped improve police-community relations, said in a statement that the city is not the same as it was five years ago. “Reforms over the last five years have improved relations between our police and our communities,” he said, adding crime was at record lows and 150,000 fewer people were arrested last year than the year before we came into office. But some activists, including Garner’s family and the relatives of others killed by police, have argued the changes weren’t enough. De Blasio also said it was a mistake to wait for federal prosecutors to finish investigating the death of Garner before beginning disciplinary proceedings. But there is no fule requiring the NYPD to do so. Police reform advocates said the decision was upsetting but to be expected. Joo Hyun-Kang, the director of Communities for Police Reform, said it was “outrageous but not shocking.” Hawk Newsome, the head of New York area Black Lives Matter chapter said, “It’s America, man.” “As a black man in America I have no expectation that we will receive justice in court without radical change in this country,” said Newsome, who’s planning a Tuesday night rally in Harlem and a nationwide civil disobedience campaign. Chokeholds are banned under police policy. Pantaleo maintained he used a legal takedown maneuver called the “seatbelt.” But the medical examiner’s office said a chokehold contributed to Garner’s death. The NYPD brought Pantaleo up on departmental charges earlier this year. Federal prosecutors were observing the proceedings. An administrative judge has not ruled whether he violated policy. He could face dismissal, but Police Commissioner James O’Neill has the final say. In the years since the Garner death, Pantaleo has remained on the job but not in the field, and activists have decried his paycheck that included union-negotiated raises. More must-read stories from Fortune: —What to expect from the second Democratic debate —Who wins and loses as White House withdraws drug rebate plan —A new holding center for migrant children is open in Texas —Fed Chairman Powell: If Trump asks me to leave, I won’t —Tom Steyer mastered markets and now he wants to topple Trump Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.
16 Jul 19
Fortune
Bernie Sanders Says He Would Meet With Dictators Bernie Sanders said that as president he would sit down with authoritarian leaders like North Korea’s Kim Jong Un or Russia’s Vladimir Putin even though he remains critical of President Donald Trump’s “respect and affection for” dictators around the world. “Should we sit down and negotiate with them? Absolutely,” the Vermont senator and Democratic White House contender said at a Washington Post Live news event Tuesday. “Should we praise them as a great leader? I don’t think so.” Sanders also said that he would directly engage with leaders of Iran to try to improve strained relations and quell the risks of conflict that have been escalating under Trump. He said he would convene a broader meeting between the U.S., Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations to try to reduce tensions in the region. “I think there is an opportunity to sit down with them, explain to them our concerns about their support for this or that terrorist group, their missile program,” Sanders said in the wide-ranging interview. “But also to tell Saudi Arabia and Iran that we are sick and tired of losing young men and women in the war on terror and spending trillions of dollars.” Meanwhile, Sanders said he probably would not move the U.S. Embassy back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem if he’s elected, although he said that could be a factor in peace talks among the U.S., Israel and Palestinians. Trump in late 2017 announced U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, even though it is disputed territory. Joe Biden Says He Won’t Be ‘Third Term of Obama’ Joe Biden’s presidency wouldn’t just be a continuation of Barack Obama’s two terms, the former vice president contended in an interview airing Tuesday.“This is not a third term of Obama,” he told MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski in an interview conducted Monday in Iowa when she asked about his relationship with the former president. “The world’s changed. It’s different. We have the same value set, he and I,” Biden said. “It’s a different world. The same things don’t apply.” The Democratic front-runner frequently invokes Obama on the campaign trail and has offered policy positions that align closely with the Obama administration’s work. He unveiled a plan Monday to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act at a time when other Democratic presidential hopefuls are looking past the signature Obama achievement on health care and advocating for Medicare for All. And he even fell into a trap Monday that Obama set on health care a decade ago, promising that under his proposal, “if you like your health care plan, your employer based plan, you can keep it.” Despite their close ties — which Biden noted include friendships between his granddaughters and Malia and Sasha Obama — Obama has not endorsed Biden, which he claimed in the interview was “because I have asked him not to do that — I don’t want to put him in that spot and I want to earn this on my own.” Obama has said that he will stay out of the Democratic primary until there is a nominee to avoid influencing the race. Even without an endorsement, Biden wants voters to know that the ties run deep. “We’re friends. You know, it’s family,” he said. Kamala Harris Threatens to Probe Drug Makers A centerpiece of Kamala Harris’s new plan to tackle rising prescription drug prices is a threat to launch an investigation into drug companies that are “price-gouging patients.” The Democratic contender says she’d do that by executive action if Congress doesn’t pass her plan to lower drug costs in her first 100 days. She says she’d demand that the bad actors lower their prices, and if they refuse, use regulatory powers to import cheaper alternatives and license some patents to low-cost competitors under the Bayh-Dole Act. More must-read stories from Fortune: —What to expect from the second Democratic debate —Who wins and loses as White House withdraws drug rebate plan —A new holding center for migrant children is open in Texas —Fed Chairman Powell: If Trump asks me to leave, I won’t —Tom Steyer mastered markets and now he wants to topple Trump Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.
16 Jul 19
BsNews.it - Brescia News

Il primo passo compiuto da Neil Armstrong esattamente cinquant’anni fa, sulla polverosa superficie lunare, non è stata solo la più grande avventura mai compiuta dal genere umano ma anche la realizzazione di un sogno. Il sogno della conquista della Luna che ha visto l’uomo sfidare i propri limiti: tecnologici, scientifici e anche personali. Con la […]

16 Jul 19
All Things Lake Chelan

By Richard Uhlhorn Shawn and D’Arcy Burke brought a proposal to the City Council to see if the City would be interested in leasing space for a 20-meter Ferris Wheel in the City Boat Launch parking lot. “It would be a nice addition for the City,” stated Burke. “It is safe for all ages and […]

15 Jul 19
Fortune
They’re all women of color. Every one of them is an American citizen. And of the four members of the self-styled “squad” duly elected to the House of Representatives, only one was born outside the U.S. In racist tweets over the weekend, President Donald Trump almost certainly was referring to this group of liberal House freshmen whose elections in 2018 helped return the chamber to Democratic control. Among Trump’s tweets: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Trump defended the tweets Monday and suggested the Democrats leave the country if they have complaints. Condemnation poured in from Democrats and — slowly — a selection of Republicans. Here’s a look at the lawmakers Trump referenced: ___ Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, 29 The Bronx-born former bartender is the charismatic star of the class of 2018, winning her seat in a primary and turning her massive social media following into a measure of power on Capitol Hill. Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist, has clashed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the influence of newcomers. She’s also been conspicuously courted by some of the party’s many presidential candidates, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. To Trump, she tweeted: “Mr. President, the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States.” ___ Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, 36 Omar was a child when her family fled civil war in Somalia, an African nation of about 12 million, after it was shattered by a civil war in 1991. She spent years in a refugee camp in Kenya and immigrated to the United States as a refugee in 1995. Omar became eligible for citizenship five years after the family entered. Omar became a U.S. citizen in 2000. In the House, she has repeatedly run up against more senior Democrats over her remarks about Israel and what she said was the need to question the Jewish state’s influence in Washington. To Trump, she tweeted: “The only country we swear an oath to is the United States. Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen.” ___ Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, 42 The Detroit native is the first Palestinian American elected to the House. She and Omar are the first Muslim American women to serve in the chamber. And like Omar, Tlaib made a name for herself almost immediately after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gaveled the new session of Congress into session in January. That night, Tlaib was videotaped talking to a liberal group — saying of Trump: “We’re gonna impeach the motherf—er.” No such effort is underway even now, in large part because Pelosi and other Democrats don’t see bipartisan public sentiment for doing so. To Trump, Tlaib tweeted: “Keep talking, you just make me work harder. I’m proud of my Palestinian roots & a WEAK bully like you never wins.” ___ Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, 45 A Cincinnati native raised in Chicago, Pressley worked for Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy and worked for John Kerry for 13 years while he served in the Senate. In 2009, she ran for an at-large seat on Boston City Council and became the first woman of color elected to the body in its 100-year history. Of Trump’s tweets, she responded: “THIS is what racism looks like. WE are what democracy looks like. And we’re not going anywhere. Except back to DC to fight for the families you marginalize and vilify everyday.”