It will take some time before we get a full understanding of what transpired in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning, but by afternoon the alleged gunman was identified as a vocal anti-Semite who reportedly shouted, “All Jews must die!” We don’t need an awful lot more to understand what happened.
I wonder if President Trump ever looks in the mirror and sees himself morphing into President Obama.
Naw, probably not. But word that Trump, who excoriated Obama for governing via executive orders when he took such steps as creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program after failing to get congressional cooperation, is again contemplating using the same mechanism.
Some people, like our president, wonder why women don’t come forward to report sexual harassment and assault if it’s “really as bad as they say.”
Here’s why: Because, as Christine Blasey Ford’s experience illustrates, there’s just no upside. Not only do you have to relive one of perhaps the worst moments of your life, and in public, but there’s also a good possibility you’ll be told you are mistaken, crazy or conniving.
Ford knew her decision to come forward and recount her experience with a young Brett Kavanaugh would change her life — and not in a good way. And that’s exactly what happened — and continues to happen. She and her family continued to get death threats while Kavanaugh was awarded a seat on the high court.
A day after announcing a rule change designed to undermine Obamacare and its protections for people with preexisting conditions, the Trump administration unveiled a proposal that just may strengthen Obamacare.
Reversing a position taken by the Obama administration, the departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services proposed Tuesday to allow employers to give workers cash, tax-free, for healthcare insurance and expenses in lieu of providing a group insurance plan. Workers would have to combine their Health Reimbursement Accounts, however, with an insurance plan that complied with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (with one important exception that I’ll explain in an update below).
Halloween is always getting people in trouble. There’s just something about feeling liberated to dress in costume that makes people stupid. (I hate to bring this up, but remember how now-beloved Prince Harry turned up as a Nazi at a costume party years ago?)
On Tuesday, Megyn Kelly, host of the third hour of the “Today” show on NBC, embraced blackface as a Halloween costume choice. No, she didn’t don it. (Thank God.) But she and her fellow chatters were grumbling about all the costumes deemed politically incorrect when she suddenly dropped this: “What is racist? You truly do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. When I was a kid, that was OK as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”
Seriously? Whom did she dress up as when she was a kid? Al Jolson?
There are two consistent messages in recent national polls about the coming midterm election. One, as seen in the latest results from USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times, is that significantly more Americans plan to vote for Democrats than Republicans. The other, as illustrated by this new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, is that surging voter enthusiasm in both parties could lead to a huge turnout.
National surveys about voter preference should be taken with a full shaker of salt. The Democrats who dominate the coastal cities don’t get to vote in the GOP-led states lying between them. Yes, every midterm election since 2006 has been a “wave” election of some sort, shifting power dramatically in one chamber or the other. But as the person selling you mutual funds is duty-bound to tell you, past performance is no guarantee of future results.
The turnout projections are more interesting, coming at a time when President Trump’s unusually low approval ratings are climbing. He’s close to being in net positive territory — more voters approving than disapproving — for the first time in his tenure. Given the unblinking support from his base and unwavering hostility from Democrats, Trump’s improved ratings could be coming only from less ideological voters in the middle.
Some congressional Republicans are apparently so desperate to hold on to their seats on Nov. 6 that they are willing to gamble that voters won’t notice their newfound affection for the popular parts of the Affordable Care Act that they tried to kill again and again.
As the caravan of thousands of mostly desperate Hondurans makes its way north through southern Mexico, one thing has become abundantly clear: President Trump and his brain trust have absolutely no idea how to handle it.
Fuming and frothing, Trump urged the governments of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to stop the caravan and announced Monday morning that he “will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them.”
Last week, I received a series of texts from Verita Black Prothro, a woman I’d interviewed when I covered the women’s march in Reno nearly two years ago. Since then, Black Prothro decided to run for public administrator in Washoe County, the northwest Nevada district that contains Reno. Her speech at the women’s march animated the audience, which cheered and teared up as she spoke. "We pray that those who say they walk with Christ start acting like they walk with Christ,” she said of the Trump administration, which was just taking office. “In the Old Testament through the New, we're told to care for the poor, the widows, and the orphans. This whole thing they call 'tough love' — that's not mentioned in the Bible."
So when I saw the first text — an image of a campaign sign with Black Prothro’s face covered in black spray paint except for her eyes and mouth and the “Black” in her name crossed out — I dropped my phone. It was such a degrading depiction of such a dignified woman that, for a moment, the whole thing did not compute.
But we live in a world where women and people of color are not safe and where women of color are exponentially less so. The Huffington Post has been keeping a running list of racist attacks on candidates of color. At the time of writing, twenty-three political candidates in this year’s elections were reported to have been victimized; three, including Black Prothro, are from Nevada. Black Prothro says that these experiences are more common than reported. For instance, when a Latino candidate in Nevada was shot at while campaigning in 2016, he didn’t talk about it until the election was over, worried it would negatively impact his chances.
And while a striking number of black candidates are running for office in November — including high-profile gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams, Ben Jealous and Andrew Gillum — some have pulled out of their races because of safety concerns.