Move over, Nancy Pelosi. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the “squad” of freshmen women of color are emerging as new stars of Republican attacks against Democrats running for Congress. The tone is being set from the top as President Donald Trump bashes the four squad members with a strategy Republicans are quick to mimic, modeled on his own rise to the White House. Trump set a new standard in 2016, making some Republicans uneasy, by taunting rivals and branding them with exaggerated nicknames intended to make them unelectable. The GOP is embracing the tactic for 2020. A first test will be a Sept. 10 special election in North Carolina, the state where Trump sparked the “send her back!” rally chant. The Trump-endorsed Republican, Dan Bishop, is portraying Marine veteran Dan McCready and other Democrats as “crazies,” ?clowns” and “socialist.” “These crazy liberal clowns … They’re not funny,” Bishop says in one ad that features images of McCready, Pelosi and squad members to a soundtrack of circus music. “They’re downright scary.” Yet it remains to be seen whether this line of attack will work. For years, Republicans relied on attacks depicting Pelosi, the House speaker, as an out-of-touch San Francisco liberal as they tried to snap GOP voters to attention. But singling out a new generation of female leaders is risky when Republicans are trying to prevent an exodus of suburban women and independent voters. The attacks are especially fraught because two of the women — Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan
“While I think this is something that is disturbing in the African American community, for someone to make a mockery of us and our culture, I appreciate her for at least owning it and coming out publicly with it,” Singleton said. He said Ivey called him Thursday morning to personally apologize. “I said to the governor, ‘I think this is a teachable moment.'”
Struggling Democratic presidential candidates are facing the bad news that they are not among the 10 who have qualified for the next debate, a predicament that is likely to spell doom for their campaigns. Hours ahead of a midnight Wednesday deadline to qualify, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced she was dropping out of the race after spending at least $4 million on advertising in recent months to qualify. Billionaire climate change activist Tom Steyer, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and self-help guru Marianne Williamson were also among those missing September’s debate, as were Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and a handful of others. To appear on stage in Houston next month, they had to hit 2% in at least four approved public opinion polls while securing 130,000 unique donors . Two new polls released Wednesday affirmed that they were all below the threshold. The question shifted from who would qualify for the following debate to who would stay in the race. “Our rules have ended up less inclusive … than even the Republicans,” Bullock said on MSNBC, referring to the thresholds set by the Democratic National Committee. “It is what it is.” The 10 candidates who qualified for September’s debate are Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang. In a still-crowded Democratic field, not qualifying for the debate was expected to severely cripple a candidate’s prospects. However, several have pledged to forge on
“The prospect of keeping Dr. Toledo, who has never been accused, much less convicted, of any act of violence and, indeed, has not been convicted of any crime at all, in such punitive conditions for what will likely be years of litigation is a special circumstance that verges on the unconscionable,” Graham Archer wrote.
Democratic voters appear to be reassessing their approach to health care, a pragmatic shift on their party’s top 2020 issue. “Medicare for All” remains hugely popular, but majorities say they’d prefer building on “Obamacare” to expand coverage instead of a new government program that replaces America’s mix of private and public insurance. Highlighted by a recent national poll, shifting views are echoed in interviews with voters and the evolving positions of Democratic presidential candidates on a proposal that months ago seemed to have growing momentum within their party. Several have endorsed an incremental approach — rather than a government-run plan backed by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. It could mean trouble for Sanders and his supporters, signaling a limit to how far Democratic voters are willing to move to the left and an underlying skepticism that Americans will back such a dramatic change to their health care. “We hear Medicare for All, but I’m not absolutely certain what that means and what that would then mean for me,” said Democrat Terrie Dietrich, who lives near Las Vegas. “Does it mean that private insurance is gone forever?” Dietrich, 74, has Medicare and supplements that with private insurance, an arrangement she said she’s pretty comfortable with. She thinks it’s important that everyone has health care, not just those who can afford it. She said she would support Medicare for All if it was the only way to achieve that. But “I don’t think we can ever get it passed,” Dietrich added.
“She was a woman of grace, faith and hope. She has left an eternal mark on all who knew her, because she was generous and unconditional in her love, warm in her embrace and genuinely interested in the welfare of others,” Blanco’s family said in a statement issued by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office.
“With China building up its military to threaten us and our allies, and the People’s Liberation Army aiming thousands of missiles at Taiwan and deploying fighter aircrafts along the Taiwan Strait, now more than ever it is critical that Taiwan has the support needed to defend itself,” said Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Donald Trump has urged China to “humanely” resolve the violent stand-off with pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong, on the back of growing concerns that Beijing is considering direct intervention in the crisis. Images taken by AFP on Thursday showed thousands of Chinese military personnel waving red flags and parading at a sports stadium in the city of Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong. Dozens of armoured personnel carriers and supply trucks were also parked nearby. Chinese state-run media reported this week that the elements of the People’s Armed Police (PAP), which is under the command of the Central Military Commission, were assembling in Shenzhen. The parade comes as the US president linked a possible trade deal with Beijing to a peaceful resolution to the political unrest that has roiled the semi-autonomous Chinese city for 10 weeks. Washington has become increasingly alarmed by Chinese security forces gathering near the border with Hong Kong as the protests show no signs of abating and Beijing intensifies its drumbeat of intimidation against a movement pushing for democratic reforms. “Millions of jobs are being lost in China to other non-Tariffed countries. Thousands of companies are leaving. Of course China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!” Trump wrote on Twitter, in the first clear indication that the trade deal could be threatened by how Beijing reacts to the protests. “I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem,