For the first in Gallup’s polling, a majority of black respondents say black-white relations are somewhat or very bad
Sean Spicer switches sides
Surprise, surprise: Sean Spicer is now officially a member of the mainstream media. The former White House press secretary has signed a contract to serve as a special correspondent for syndicated newsmagazine show Extra.
“When they pitched this to me, I said, ‘Yeah, I love the idea,’” Spicer told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday.
Spicer, who famously tangled with television reporters during his stint in the White House, is beginning with a special series that focuses on the personal lives and views of D.C. insiders, including some of his former Trump administration colleagues.
The Trump administration is making it more difficult to become a citizen. Probably not coincidentally, wait times to do so have soared.
The time that aspiring Americans must wait to be naturalized is now almost twice as long, 10 months, as it was two years ago. In Las Vegas, where the office has a particularly large backlog, applicants could wait 31 months.
The delays come as the Trump administration tightens scrutiny of applications, diverts staff from reviewing them and introduces proposals likely to make it more difficult, and cumbersome, for green-card holders to qualify and complete the process.
The administration’s move to tighten restrictions on immigration have awakened many longtime permanent residents to the fact that a green card does not shield them from deportation. It has also compelled many to seek citizenship in order to cast a ballot, with hundreds of thousands of immigrants poised to become potential voters ahead of the 2020 election.
Chicago PD superintendent laments the gap in coverage between Smollett case and everyday violence
“I just wish that the families of gun violence in this city got this much attention because that’s who really deserves the amount of attention that we’re giving to this particular incident.”
The teachers strike movement hits Oakland
A murder in Indiana is looking increasingly like an anti-Muslim hate crime
An incident that was initially reported as a fatal road rage shooting has shined an even brighter light on potential hate crime legislation in Indiana. Mustafa Ayoubi, a Carmel native and Indiana University graduate, was killed Saturday. His friends say it was because of his Muslim faith.
Witnesses told investigators that Dustin Passarelli, 33, yelled slurs about Islam just moments before he shot Ayoubi to death in an apartment complex parking lot.At least two shots struck Ayoubi, 32, in the back, court records said. The man yelled: “You are followers of Muhammad,” and “Muhammad is a pedophile,” Usman Ashraf, a friend of Ayoubi who witnessed the shooting, told IndyStar.
This incident comes as Indiana lawmakers debate a new hate crimes law. Indiana is one of a handful of states without such a law.
Chicago police tell reporters that Jussie Smollett orchestrated attack
Chicago police release Jussie Smollett mugshot
Time’s latest cover is a doozy
Mike Pompeo says he won’t run for senate in Kansas, which probably doesn’t actually mean much
Milwaukee is expected to be tapped as the Democratic Convention host in 2020, but Miami isn’t going down without a fight
Miami’s stable of Democratic donors — many of whom have hosted President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton multiple times and are already being hit up by numerous Democratic presidential hopefuls — are applying their clout to the city’s bid. Some of them say they’re already leaning on potential 2020 candidates — they won’t say which ones — to get them behind Miami’s convention bid.
Underpinning Miami’s pitch: It’s the heart of the largest Democratic county in the nation’s biggest swing state. Losing Florida — which is worth 29 Electoral College votes, compared to Wisconsin’s 10 — would likely cost President Donald Trump his reelection.
“We’re making a final effort to convince the DNC that Miami is the best place to go, that this could be a boost to the nominee,” said Chris Korge, the top financier of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and a co-chair of Miami’s convention effort.
California’s status as right-wing punching bag makes little sense, considering what an economic powerhouse it is
California is now the world’s fifth-largest economy, up from eighth a decade ago. If it’s a socialist hellhole, it’s a socialist hellhole that somehow nurtured Apple, Google, Facebook, Tesla, Uber, Netflix, Oracle and Intel, not to mention old-economy stalwarts like Chevron, Disney, Wells Fargo and the Hollywood film industry. California firms still attract more venture capital than the rest of the country combined, while its farms produce more fruits, nuts and wine than the rest of the country combined. During the Great Recession, when the state was mired in a budget crisis so brutal its bond rating approached junk and it gave IOUs to government workers, mainstream media outlets were proclaiming the death of the California dream. But after a decade of steady growth that has consistently outpaced the nation’s, plus a significant tax hike on the wealthy, California is in much sounder fiscal shape; while federal deficits are soaring again, the state has erased its red ink and even stashed $13 billion in a rainy day fund.
Things took a dramatic turn in the hearing over possible election fraud in North Carolina
The son of Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris testified Wednesday that he warned his father repeatedly that he believed a political operative now at the center of an election-fraud investigation had previously used illegal tactics to win votes.
John Harris, now an assistant U.S. attorney in Raleigh, said he advised his father in conversations and emails that he believed Leslie McCrae Dowless was “shady” and appeared to have illegally collected absentee ballots in 2016 while working for a different Republican candidate in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.
… At one point during his testimony, John Harris’s voice cracked and his father wept.
“I thought what he was doing was illegal, and I was right,” John Harris said about Dowless. He added: “I had no reason to believe that my father actually knew, or my mother or any other associate with the campaign had any knowledge. I think Dowless told them he wasn’t doing any of this, and they believed him.”
Maybe Trump should have consulted with our allies before announcing a big policy change in Syria
As the deadline approaches for the withdrawal of U.S. forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria, America’s closest European allies have turned down a Trump administration request to fill the gap with their own troops, according to U.S. and foreign officials.
Allies have “unanimously” told the United States that they “won’t stay if you pull out,” a senior administration official said. France and Britain are the only other countries with troops on the ground in the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State.
Along with the United States, they have provided training, supplies, logistics and intelligence for the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-dominated group that has done most of the fighting. U.S., French and British forces also operate heavy artillery and conduct the airstrikes that have been decisive against the militants.
Lead is still a major public-health disaster in many American cities
While we rightfully panic about the increasing dangers of a warming planet wrought by human industry, our negligence in housing — paired with a helping of systemic racism and poverty — has insured that children today are exposed to environmental dangers that should have been eradicated long ago. Five weeks before Trump made his declaration in an attempt to seize his border wall funding, researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland published two new studiesin coordination with a Cuyahoga County early-childhood initiative. Their conclusions were harrowing. Analyzing statistics obtained from the Ohio Department of Health, the Case studies found that 10.7 percent of children born in 2012 were found to have elevated blood lead level (EBLL) by age five. That’s 1,237 affected kids. And though overall lead-contamination rates for children in the region have declined for many years, kids under six in Cuyahoga County accounted for 41 percent of Ohio’s cases of elevated exposure.
Children living in pre-1978 housing laden with lead paint is the primary threat identified by the studies. Such homes are prevalent throughout Cleveland and its suburbs, and it’s chilling to consider the likelihood of children crawling around houses containing materials that could poison them. Before age six is about the worst possible time for exposure, as the neurotoxin present in lead potentially causes permanent damage in developing brains.
The stockpile of the U.S. Coast Guard officer who intended to kill Democrats and journalists
The EPA cribbed the music for a game about recycling from the background music for Yoshi’s Island
The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency has an educational flash game on its site called Recycle City Challenge. That in itself is not special. However, what is interesting is that when you clicked the Let’s Get Started button, a familiar tune for Mario fans played.
The Verge reached out to the EPA for comment after the incident. Here’s what the EPA told the publication:
The ‘Recycle City Challenge’ game was created for EPA by a contractor. We are looking into whether the contractor received permission to use the music, to the extent permission was necessary in this instance.
Nancy Pelosi announces that the House will vote on a resolution to oppose Trump’s emergency declaration
All Members take an oath of office to support and defend the Constitution. The President’s decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution and must be terminated. We have a solemn responsibility to uphold the Constitution, and defend our system of checks and balances against the President’s assault.