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.
Following a series of scandals on campus that were only made worse by the administration’s attempts to quietly bury the problems, the university announced Friday that it had reached an agreement to pay $215 million to patients treated by Dr. George Tyndall, the longtime campus gynecologist accused of abusing and sexually harassing patients.
The “agreement in principle” calls for the university to provide $2,500 to every student who ever saw Tyndall at the campus health clinic and up to $250,000 to students who provide a written claim of abuse and who agree to be interviewed by a psychologist. An independent evaluator appointed by the court will decide the individual award.
In the build-up for the midterm elections, Democrats are flailing Republicans over health insurance for people with preexisting conditions, and President Trump is flailing Democrats over a caravan of Central American migrants heading toward our southern border.
Both of these issues speak to deep-seated insecurities among overlapping groups of voters — the well-founded concern about rising healthcare costs, and less-well-founded fears about demographic and economic changes in this country. And both also shine a spotlight on what and whom Democrats and Republicans value.
But the two issues are being thrust at voters as if they were mountainous when, in terms of the number of people involved, they look a lot more like molehills.
President Trump mouthed some of the right words Thursday when he said it appears that dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi had probably been murdered and that the consequences would be “very severe” if blame is firmly tied to the Saudi government. But, hours later at a campaign rally, he praised Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte, who won a special election last year despite body-slamming a Guardian journalist to the ground — an act for which Gianforte later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.
“By the way, never wrestle him,” Trump said to laughter from the crowd. "Any guy who can do a body slam ... he's my guy.”
Watching the one and only debate between the two Democrats running for the U.S. Senate in California — incumbent Dianne Feinstein and her challenger, state Sen. Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles — I often found myself wondering what voters really wanted to hear from candidates. Was it their plans, or their ambitions?
Feinstein, whose been in the Senate long enough to have served in the majority and the minority twice, was all about plans. Incrementalism. Small ball.
De Leon, who enjoyed Democratic supermajorities during much of his time as president pro tem of the California Senate, was all about ambitions. Big, immediate change. Home-run swings.
Two recent high-level personnel moves in the Trump administration’s Interior Department could well spell trouble for fish, wildlife and national parks, and raise serious questions about the credibility of the department’s multiple investigations into Secretary Ryan Zinke’s conduct and possible conflicts of interest.
“Federal Judge throws out Stormy Danials lawsuit versus Trump. Trump is entitled to full legal fees.” @FoxNews Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas. She will confirm the letter she signed! She knows nothing about me, a total con!
The striking thing is that McSally and Sinema are far apart on a wide range of real issues that matter to every Arizonan, including taxes, healthcare and immigration. They don’t need to mud wrestle; the contrast between the two couldn’t be more clear — McSally is campaigning as a Trumpist, and Sinema as a moderate Democrat.