USA

Elizabeth Warren - US Politics News Today

The question was inevitable. Elizabeth Warren’s answer was the same. And her rivals seized on it. For the second consecutive debate, Warren refused to say whether middle-class Americans would pay higher taxes under her proposed Medicare for All plan. It was a glaring dodge for a candidate who has risen to the top of the Democratic field by unveiling detailed policy proposals and selling them with a folksy flair. And it was one of nearly a half a dozen issues where Warren found herself defending the broad ambition she has laid out to remake the American economy and rebalance the nation’s wealth. More moderate candidates, including Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, cast Warren as both unrealistic and vague. How Warren handles that criticism, which was abundant Tuesday and is likely to escalate in the coming weeks, will be a central test of whether she can maintain her standing. “Warren has done a good job at remaining steady despite the arrows in her direction, but she is still missing answers to core questions about her plans,” said Bill Burton, a Democratic strategist who worked for former President Barack Obama. While Warren has surged into the upper tier of candidates with former Vice President Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, her liberal, government-funded policies have become subject to added scrutiny, prompting concerns about whether her views are out of the mainstream and would imperil Democrats’ chances in the general election against President Donald Trump. Warren’s more moderate Democratic rivals sought toContinue reading

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Elizabeth Warren - USA Politics News Headlines Today

Surging U.S. Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren came under repeated attack on her healthcare and tax policies in a debate on Tuesday, as moderate rivals pushed her to explain how she would pay for ambitious proposals including her Medicare for All plan. Warren’s recent rise into a virtual tie with former Vice President Joe Biden in many opinion polls made her a frequent target for attacks that exposed the Democratic Party’s divisions between its centrist and progressive wings on a range of issues. The Democratic contenders for the White House were united, however, in supporting the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry of Republican President Donald Trump and criticizing Trump’s recent decision to withdraw from Syria. Moderate rivals Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, facing pressure to break out of the middle of the crowded Democratic presidential field, went after Warren for being evasive on her plan for universal healthcare and said her plan would mean higher taxes or Americans. “I think we owe it to the American people to tell them where to send the invoice,” Klobuchar told Elizabeth Warren. “The difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something you can actually get done.” Klobuchar pushed back when Warren said critics of her wealth tax were trying to protect billionaires, saying: “No one on this stage wants to protect billionaires,” adding: “Your idea is not the only idea.” Buttigieg chided Warren, who boasts she has a plan for everything, for not releasing aContinue reading

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Rudy Giuliani - US News Today

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was paid $500,000 for work he did for a company co-founded by the Ukrainian-American businessman arrested last week on campaign finance charges, Giuliani told Reuters on Monday. The businessman, Lev Parnas, is a close associate of Giuliani and was involved in his effort to investigate Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination. Giuliani said Parnas’ company, Boca Raton-based Fraud Guarantee, whose website says it aims to help clients “reduce and mitigate fraud”, engaged Giuliani Partners, a management and security consulting firm, around August 2018. Giuliani said he was hired to consult on Fraud Guarantee’s technologies and provide legal advice on regulatory issues. Federal prosecutors are “examining Giuliani’s interactions” with Parnas and another Giuliani associate, Igor Fruman, who was also indicted on campaign finance charges, a law enforcement source told Reuters on Sunday. The New York Times reported last week that Parnas had told associates he paid Giuliani hundreds of thousands of dollars for what Giuliani said was business and legal advice. Giuliani said for the first time on Monday that the total amount was $500,000. Giuliani told Reuters the money came in two payments made within weeks of each other. He said he could not recall the dates of the payments. He said most of the work he did for Fraud Guarantee was completed in 2018 but that he had been doing follow-up for over a year. Parnas and Fruman wereContinue reading

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Nancy Pelosi - Donald Trump - USA Politics Headline Today

“With his words and his actions, President Trump has indicted himself. By obstructing justice, refusing to reply with a congressional inquiry, he’s already convicted himself,” Joe Biden said. “In full view of the world and the American people, Donald Trump has violated his oath of office, betrayed this nation and committed impeachable acts.”Continue reading

Barbed Wire-Ringed Prison Detention Center For Immigrants, USA NEWS

Tucked away in the dense forest of rural Louisiana is a barbed wire-ringed prison that has quickly grown into a major detention center for immigrants detained at the border. The Winn Correctional Center is one of eight Louisiana jails that have started housing asylum seekers and other migrants over the past year, making Louisiana an unlikely epicenter for immigrant detention under President Donald Trump. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it’s now holding about 8,000 migrants in Louisiana out of 51,000 nationally. These new facilities, a mix of old state prisons and local jails, are several hours away from New Orleans and other major cities in the region, far from most immigrant rights’ groups and immigration lawyers. Migrants complain of mistreatment and prolonged detention. “I knew they would detain us, but I never thought it would be for this long,” said Howard Antonio Benavides Jr., an 18-year-old from Venezuela who has been at Winn for three months. The surge in migrant detention has occurred against the backdrop of a criminal justice overhaul in Louisiana that has reduced the state’s prison population and threatened the economies of the small towns that rely on the jails. ICE has stepped into the void. At Winn, which started detaining migrants in May, employee salaries have risen from $10 an hour to $18.50. Local officials have signed contracts that guarantee millions in payments to the local government, the state, and a private prison company based in the state, while still allowing ICE to detain migrantsContinue reading

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Elizabeth Warren - US Politics News Today

When Elizabeth Warren campaigned in Nevada in February, Abbie Peters was there. Energy and enthusiasm for the Massachusetts senator was not. “It was early, and she wasn’t as popular,” said Peters. Nearly eight months later, Peters, a retiree from California, was back again to see Warren. The message hadn’t changed. But she felt like she was watching a different messenger. The crowd swelled with enthusiastic supporters, and Warren’s status near the top of the Democratic presidential field was affirmed. “She gave pretty much the same speech, but it’s a good one and it’s authentic,” Peters said. Still, Warren is quickly finding that her rapid ascent is accompanied by heightened scrutiny and criticism, from President Donald Trump and her Democratic opponents. Her political allies and foes alike say Warren has appropriately sharp elbows and isn’t afraid to throw them — something she’ll likely increasingly have to do during the Democratic primary and in Twitter combat with Trump. The latest examples came this week, when Warren was forced to defend a critical portion of the biographical story she tells on the campaign trail and a top Democratic challenger said that her health care plan would potentially alienate half the nation’s population. With less than four months until the first votes in the Democratic nominating process are cast, Warren can anticipate that those criticisms will sharpen and accelerate. “It’s a new phase for her, but if you’re the front-runner, all that means is everybody’s behind you and they want to be in frontContinue reading

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Democratic organizer Bill Chandler, USA

US Democratic organizer Bill Chandler says: “It’s neighbor to neighbor. The grass roots, from people to people, overrides money.”

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US Democrats

As Democrats try to win control of the White House and the Senate in 2020, they face a geographical puzzle — the path to the presidency may conflict with the one to a Senate majority. Democrats’ best shot at the White House is to win back their old turf — the Rust Belt states heavy with working-class white voters who have become increasingly difficult to hold in the party’s tent. But the path to winning the Senate travels through what many believe is the Democrats’ territory of the future. College-educated suburbanites, young people and minorities make up the winning coalition in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia and North Carolina, the states where Democrats will need to pick up seats to wrest control of the Senate from the GOP. The tensions between the two contests — the two paths to two different victories — highlight the geographic concerns that have long bedeviled Democrats. The party has successfully built support in the growing West and Sun Belt states, but not yet enough to put the fight over the Rust Belt in the rearview mirror. “They’re kind of stuck between their past and their future,” said William Frey, a demographer at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. “It’s an interesting conundrum.” For Democrats wrestling with picking their nominee, it’s more than just a head-scratcher. Senate races and presidential races are linked — Senate candidates rarely win when their party’s presidential candidate loses their state. If the party wants to win the White House andContinue reading

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Mike Pence - USA Politics News Headline

US Vice President Mike Pence is receiving a tongue-lashing from European allies as he plays understudy to the president on the world stage. From the Taoiseach of Ireland to the mayor of Reykjavik, leaders have been publicly confronting Pence on issues such as the U.K.’s exit from the E.U., nuclear disarmament and climate change. The appeals appear part of a desperate effort to try to get through to a Trump administration that follows its own norms and rules, and find someone— anyone — who might be able to change the president’s mind. But again and again, Pence has appeared to brush off the efforts, which spilled into public view before he’d even left the airport in Shannon, Ireland. There, Simon Coveney, the country’s foreign minister, confronted Pence with an urgent message about the potential impact of Brexit. He warned a return to hard borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland would not only disrupt commerce, but could also threaten a fragile peace. “As somebody who understands Ireland well, I think you understand why it’s such an emotional issue,” Coveney said, trying to leverage Pence’s personal connections to the country. “It’s a huge issue for this country right now. It’s dominating politics here. It’s about trying to mitigate against potential damage.” Pence, appearing less than amused by the public confrontation, said he was “grateful” for Coveney’s “candor” and quickly pivoted. But the pleas continued in Pence’s meetings with other Irish leaders, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. “All I ask is that you bringContinue reading

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Bans Flavored Electronic Cigarettes

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer moved Wednesday to make her state the first to ban flavored electronic cigarettes, accusing companies of using candy flavors and deceptive advertising to “hook children on nicotine.” The Democrat ordered the state health department to issue emergency rules that will prohibit the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products, including to adults, and the misleading marketing of e-cigarettes. Retailers will have 30 days to comply with the rules once they’re filed in coming weeks. The rules will almost certainly be challenged in court. New York last November began taking steps to bar the sale of flavored e-cigarettes but withdrew proposed rules, and legislators rejected Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal to clarify the state health department’s authority to limit sales. The federal government and states ban the sale of vaping products to minors, yet government survey figures show that last year, one in five U.S. high school students reported vaping in the previous month. Top government health officials, including the surgeon general, have flagged the trend as an epidemic. “This is a health crisis that we’re confronting, and it would never be permitted if it was cigarettes. We’re letting these companies target our kids, appeal to our kids and deceive our children,” Gretchen Whitmer told reporters. Michigan’s chief medical executive determined that youth vaping constitutes a public health emergency. As of last week, 215 possible cases of severe pulmonary disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes had been reported by 25 states, according to the Centers for DiseaseContinue reading

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US Navy ships sail through Taiwan Strait

“It is plausible to imagine a scenario where these forces stumble into some type of accidental escalation. While U.S. efforts are intended to deter, Iran may view increased U.S. maritime presence as offensive in nature or as preparation for a larger attack on Iran and respond accordingly,” Becca Wasser, a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corp. who studies the region said.Continue reading

Joe Biden - US Today Headline Story

Joe Biden entered the Democratic primary promising “from day one” to reject campaign cash from lobbyists. “I work for you — not any industry,” Joe Biden tweeted. Yet hours after his April campaign kickoff, the former vice president went to a fundraiser at the home of a lobbying executive. And in the months since, he’s done it again and again. It’s hard to quantify how much Biden has raised from the multibillion-dollar influence industry, but the roughly $200,000 he accepted from employees of major lobbying firms is far more than any of his rivals have received, according to a review of campaign finance data by The Associated Press. Though it’s a small fraction of the $21.5 million he reported raising in the second quarter of 2019, the money demonstrates a comfort with an industry that is the object of scorn of Democratic activists and some of Biden’s principal rivals. Biden’s pledge applies only to federally registered lobbyists, and most of the money tracked by the AP was from others in the influence industry. But thousands of dollars did come from federally registered lobbyists, and Biden’s campaign said it is returning such donations. His campaign accepted roughly $6,000 in contributions from at least six federally registered lobbyists, including representatives of Google, aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin, and pharmaceutical companies, records show. An additional $5,750 was donated by two lobbyists who had been registered shortly before making contributions to Biden’s campaign, records show. In at least two instances, donations came fromContinue reading

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Dylann Roof - USA News

“At the end of the day, the bottom line is, had they followed their own procedures, then Mr. Roof would not have been able to purchase this gun and we would have been able to save nine innocent lives and the injury to the other victims,” South Carolina state Sen. Gerald Malloy said.Continue reading