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    Biden hails ‘biggest step forward on climate ever’ as he signs Inflation Reduction Act – as it happened

    Joe Biden has signed into law a plan to spend hundreds of billions of dollars fighting the climate crisis and lowering healthcare costs for Americans, capping more than a year of negotiations ahead of elections in which voters may oust his Democrats from control of Congress.Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act was a major accomplishment for the Biden administration, and marks the first time the United States has passed legislation specifically geared towards lowering its carbon emissions.“With this law, the American people won, and the special interests lost,” the president said as he signed the legislation in a White House ceremony. He called it proof for “the American people that democracy still works in America, notwithstanding … all the talk of its demise, not just for the privileged few, but for all of us”.The act will invest $386bn into programs to speed the transition into energy and climate programs, most of which are meant to speed the transition towards renewable sources. It will also extend health insurance subsidies, and expand coverage under government health care programs.“This bill is the biggest step forward on climate ever,” Biden said.Joe Biden signed into law his landmark spending plan to fight the climate crisis and lower healthcare costs, in what his administration hopes will turn around the president’s fortunes after months of worrying unpopularity. Elsewhere, more details about the many investigations surrounding Donald Trump were revealed.Here’s a look back at today’s news:
    Two Democratic committee chairs accused the homeland security inspector general of not complying with their investigations into the January 6 attack. Meanwhile, the New York Times reported two of Trump’s former lawyers were interviewed by the FBI regarding classified documents that made their way to Florida.
    Jill Biden has tested positive for Covid-19, and will isolate in South Carolina, where she was on vacation with her husband. Joe Biden remains negative, but will wear a mask indoors and around others for the next 10 days.
    The White House is making plans for a campaign to convince men and women alike of the harm of abortion bans, and to sue states that restrict the procedure.
    Democrats consider the Inflation Reduction Act to be a major win, but in an interview with the Guardian, independent senator Bernie Sanders outlined the many ways in which he feels it falls short.
    Joe Biden has signed into law a plan to spend hundreds of billions of dollars fighting the climate crisis and lowering healthcare costs for Americans, capping more than a year of negotiations ahead of elections in which voters may oust his Democrats from control of Congress.Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act was a major accomplishment for the Biden administration, and marks the first time the United States has passed legislation specifically geared towards lowering its carbon emissions.“With this law, the American people won, and the special interests lost,” the president said as he signed the legislation in a White House ceremony. He called it proof for “the American people that democracy still works in America, notwithstanding … all the talk of its demise, not just for the privileged few, but for all of us”.The act will invest $386bn into programs to speed the transition into energy and climate programs, most of which are meant to speed the transition towards renewable sources. It will also extend health insurance subsidies, and expand coverage under government health care programs.“This bill is the biggest step forward on climate ever,” Biden said.In a few minutes, Joe Biden will sign the Democrats’ marquee spending plan into law, channeling hundreds of billions of dollars towards fighting climate change and lowering health care costs.Biden and other Democrats have been trying to hype up the legislation – dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act – as much as they can. Here’s how he cast it on Twitter:Later today, with the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act into law, we make history.— President Biden (@POTUS) August 16, 2022
    Congress is in recess and many lawmakers are visiting their districts across the United States. In a letter to Democrats sent this afternoon, House speaker Nancy Pelosi offered advice on how to sell constituents on the legislation:.css-knbk2a{height:1em;width:1.5em;margin-right:3px;vertical-align:baseline;fill:#C70000;}It is crucial that, during this District Work Period, we communicate to our constituents how America’s families will benefit from this new law:
    Health: reducing pollution to secure clean air and clean water in every community across the country.
    Economy: securing an estimated nine million new good-paying jobs, saving families around $1000 per year on their energy bills and offering more stability from the volatile oil market that inflames inflation.
    National Security: declaring our energy independence so that foreign dictators cannot hold families and our economy hostage by manipulating the price of oil.
    Justice: delivering $60 billion in environmental justice initiatives so that we repair the mistakes of the past and ensure all communities feel the benefits of a cleaner, greener economy.
    Future: taking a giant step to honor our sacred responsibility to build a healthier, more sustainable future for our children.
    It took more than a year of negotiations to reach an agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act, which garnered no Republican votes in either chamber. Its name is a nod to the ongoing wave of high inflation in the United States, though the legislation itself may not make much difference. According to the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Wharton Budget Model, it will lower the US’ budget deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars, but “the impact on inflation is statistically indistinguishable from zero.”At the same time as voters in Wyoming head to the polls, the top House Republican is in the state for a fundraiser that Bloomberg reports will feature a special guest: Elon Musk.The Tesla boss is considered the world’s richest man, but has kept his politics murky, often announcing that he had voted for Democrats but lately expressing sympathy with some Republican positions. McCarthy, meanwhile, is likely to become speaker of the House of Representatives should Republicans win a majority following the November midterm elections. He also also been vocal in support of Harriet Hageman, the Trump-backed candidate expected to triumph over Liz Cheney in today’s GOP primary.Despite the investigations swirling around him, Donald Trump’s influence within the GOP will likely be confirmed again today in Wyoming, where Republicans are expected to oust Liz Cheney from her seat in the House of Representatives in favor of a challenger backed by the former president. The Guardian’s David Smith reports:Widely praised for her defence of democracy during the January 6 committee hearings, Liz Cheney looks set to lose her seat in Congress on Tuesday to a rival backed by former US president Donald Trump.Opinion polls show Cheney trailing far behind conservative lawyer Harriet Hageman – who has echoed Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud – in a Republican primary election to decide Wyoming’s lone member in the House of Representatives.Victory for Hageman would continue a recent winning streak for Trump-backed candidates in congressional primaries and deal a blow to remnants of the Republican party establishment.Liz Cheney looks set to lose Congress seat to Trump-backed rivalRead moreThe New York Times reports that the FBI has interviewed Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel under Donald Trump, and his deputy Patrick Philbin regarding classified documents the former president may have taken with him to Florida after he left office.The lawyers are the most senior Trump White House officials the FBI has contacted as it investigated the documents, according to the report, which cites people familiar with the matter. The two men were appointed by Trump to deal with the National Archives, which usually takes possession of an outgoing president’s documents. Philbin spoke to investigators in the spring, while it was unclear when Cipollone was interviewed, the Times reports.The FBI last week searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida as part of their investigation into the documents, and turned up papers that were deemed “top secret” and other classifications that require special handling. Cipollone and Philbin have also been subpoenaed by a grand jury investigating the January 6 attack.Trump under investigation for potential violations of Espionage Act, warrant revealsRead moreTwo House Democratic committee chairs have today sent a letter to Joseph V. Cuffari, the department of homeland security’s inspector general, accusing him of blocking their probe into the January 6 insurrection.Cuffari has been at the center over the scandal caused by the Secret Service’s deletion of texts from around the time of the attack on the US Capitol, which the agency has said was caused by a change in their phone technology, but which lawmakers investigating the attack worried may be an attempt to cover up details of what happened that day.“In response to the committees’ requests, you have refused to produce responsive documents and blocked employees in your office from appearing for transcribed interviews. Your obstruction of the committees’ investigations is unacceptable, and your justifications for this noncompliance appear to reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of Congress’s authority and your duties as an inspector general,” Carolyn B. Maloney, chairwoman of the oversight and reform committee, and Bennie G. Thompson, chairman of the homeland security committee, wrote to Cuffari.“If you continue to refuse to comply with our requests, we will have no choice but to consider alternate measures to ensure your compliance.”Last week, it was revealed that Cuffari apparently failed to act on a memo from top career officials in his office to Congress informing lawmakers that the texts had been erased.Secret Service watchdog suppressed memo on January 6 texts erasureRead moreIndeed, the federal government has followed through on its plans to ration water as the west faces a “megadrought”, with the interior department announcing it will again cut water releases from the Hoover and Glen Canyon Dams.The two embankments create lakes Powell and Mead, which together provide water to 40 million people in the southwestern United States.Here’s more from deputy interior secretary Tommy Beaudreau:Today, @Interior announced urgent actions to improve and protect the long-term sustainability of the Colorado River System in the face of climate change-driven drought, extreme heat and low precipitation. https://t.co/bPFnmy3nwF— Tommy Beaudreau (@DepSecBeaudreau) August 16, 2022
    We are committed to using every resource available to conserve water and ensure that irrigators, Tribes and communities receive assistance and support to build resilient communities and protect our water supplies.— Tommy Beaudreau (@DepSecBeaudreau) August 16, 2022
    As drought shrivels Lake Powell, millions face power crisisRead moreThe federal government may today announce water cuts in western states in an attempt to conserve resources amid the region’s “megadrought”, Richard Luscombe reports:Water cuts are expected to be announced on Tuesday to western states in the grip of a severe “megadrought” that has dropped levels in the country’s largest two reservoirs to record lows.The flow of the Colorado river, which provides water to more than 40 million people across seven states and Mexico, will be stemmed to reduce supply to Arizona and Nevada initially, if the federal government confirms the proposal.The crisis, which has dropped levels in Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US to an 80-year low of barely one-quarter its 28.9m acre-feet capacity, is threatening the future of the crucial river basin.It has also led to potential disruption of water delivery and hydropower production, forcing the US Bureau of Reclamation to consider drastic action.Drastic water cuts expected as ‘megadrought’ grips western US statesRead moreJoe Biden will this afternoon sign into law his marquee spending plan to fight climate change and lower healthcare costs, as his administration looks to make the most of hopeful political developments ahead of November’s midterm elections.Here’s a look back at what has happened today so far:
    First lady Jill Biden has tested positive for Covid-19, and will isolate in South Carolina, where she was on vacation with her husband. Joe Biden remains negative, and is heading back to the White House for the 3.30pm eastern time signing of the Inflation Reduction Act spending plan.
    The White House is making plans for a campaign to convince men and women alike of the harm of abortion bans, and to sue states that restrict the procedure.
    Democrats consider the Inflation Reduction Act to be a major win, but in an interview with the Guardian, independent senator Bernie Sanders outlined the many ways in which he feels it falls short.
    The Guardian’s Ramon Antonio Vargas spoke with the mother of a man who shot himself after driving into a barricade at the US Capitol. She attributed his actions not to politics, but rather brain trauma from playing football:The mother of a Delaware man who shot himself to death after driving into a US Capitol barricade over the weekend says she believes he was struggling with brain trauma from growing up playing football.Richard Aaron York III’s mother, Tamara Cunningham, said she suspects his past as a high school football player left him with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain condition colloquially known as CTE. Some football players develop CTE because of repeated head blows that are common to the sport.“Something was going on for a while,” Cunningham told the Guardian in an interview Tuesday. “And it was progressively getting worse.”Mother of man who shot himself after driving into Capitol barrier speaks outRead moreThe Biden White House has plans for capitalizing on both the defeat of the anti-abortion ballot initiative in Kansas this month and the supreme court’s June decision overturning Roe v Wade, Reuters reports.The campaign is targeted at both women and men, and among its goals is getting Americans to better understand the economic and mental health effects abortion bans can have. The justice department also plans to use two laws to sue states that try to crack down on access to the procedure, as well as on abortion pills.“The idea is to be much more disciplined and consistent in messaging to break through to the everyday American,” a source with direct knowledge of the plans told Reuters. More

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    Liz Cheney looks set to lose Congress seat to Trump-backed rival

    Liz Cheney looks set to lose Congress seat to Trump-backed rivalPolls show congresswoman trailing far behind conservative lawyer Harriet Hageman in Wyoming’s Republican primary Widely praised for her defence of democracy during the January 6 committee hearings, Liz Cheney looks set to lose her seat in Congress on Tuesday to a rival backed by former US president Donald Trump.Opinion polls show Cheney trailing far behind conservative lawyer Harriet Hageman – who has echoed Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud – in a Republican primary election to decide Wyoming’s lone member in the House of Representatives.Republicans rue price of fame as celebrity Senate candidates struggleRead moreVictory for Hageman would continue a recent winning streak for Trump-backed candidates in congressional primaries and deal a blow to remnants of the Republican party establishment.Cheney is vice-chairwoman of the House panel investigating the deadly attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021. She has used the committee’s televised hearings to eviscerate Trump and members of her own party who remain loyal to him and his “big lie” that electoral fraudsters caused his defeat to Joe Biden in 2020.The three-term congresswoman has also made the existential struggle for American democracy a central part of her re-election campaign in Wyoming.In a closing video message, she said: “America cannot remain free if we abandon the truth. The lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen is insidious. It preys on those who love their country. It is a door Donald Trump opened to manipulate Americans to abandon their principles, to sacrifice their freedom, to justify violence, to ignore the rulings of our courts and the rule of law.”But Cheney’s status as an unyielding leader of the anti-Trump resistance has alienated many Wyoming Republicans, many of whom accuse her of putting personal ambition in Washington ahead of her constituents at home.She trailed Hageman 52% to 30% in a survey of likely primary voters from 7 to 11 July published by Wyoming’s Casper Star-Tribune. A University of Wyoming poll released last week put Hageman’s lead at 29 percentage points.Supporters of Cheney, the 56-year-old daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, believe she still has a fighting chance if enough Democrats and independents cross over and vote for her, which is allowed in the state’s primary system.But political strategist Terry Sullivan, who managed the Republican senator Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign, regards Cheney’s defeat on Tuesday as a “foregone conclusion” but sees her efforts as part of a larger battle.“Liz Cheney isn’t fighting for re-election – she’s fighting for the direction of the Republican party,” he told the Reuters news agency, noting that some observers have discussed whether Cheney should mount a presidential campaign in 2024. “It’s more of a kind of a beginning, not an end.”Cheney supported Trump’s agenda 93% of the time, according to the FiveThirtyEight website. But she was stripped of her role as the No 3 House Republican for voting to impeach him on a charge of inciting the January 6 Capitol attack.She was among 10 House Republicans to do so and to earn the former president’s wrath and vow of revenge. Three others have already lost their primaries – four decided not to run again and two won their contests.The fate of another Trump adversary, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, was less clear on Tuesday as the state’s non-partisan primary format allows the top four vote-getters to advance to the 8 November general election, which could bring a possible rematch of Murkowski and Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka.Alaska voters will also determine whether to pick Sarah Palin, a former governor and 2008 vice-presidential nominee whom Trump endorsed for the state’s only House seat.Palin finished first among 48 candidates to qualify for a special election seeking to replace congressman Don Young, who died in March at age 88, after 49 years as Alaska’s sole House member.Palin is on Tuesday’s ballot twice: once in a special election to complete Young’s term and another for a full two-year House term starting in January.Most of the candidates Trump has backed this election season have triumphed in what his supporters say is a sign of his continued sway over the party as he considers whether to run for office again in 2024.TopicsHouse of RepresentativesUS politicsWyomingAlaskaUS CongressUS SenatenewsReuse this content More

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    Taiwan is now a touchstone issue for the UK, the US and for us in China. This is how we see it | Zheng Zeguang

    Taiwan is now a touchstone issue for the UK, the US and for us in China. This is how we see itZheng ZeguangAfter Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, relations between the countries are at a delicate stage. There must be no miscalculation

    Zheng Zeguang is the Chinese ambassador to the UK
    Chinese ambassador warns UK not to cross ‘red lines’ over Taiwan
    Over the past weeks, the world has seen the resolute response from China after the visit to Taiwan of US House speaker Nancy Pelosi. Some people have asked why this is necessary. To understand, one needs to learn some history.Taiwan has been an inalienable part of China’s territory since ancient times. Throughout history, the island has been twice lost and regained. During the colonial expansion of western countries, it was occupied by the Dutch for 38 years before it was recovered in 1662 by Chinese national hero Zheng Chenggong. When imperial powers were carving up the world among themselves, Taiwan was subjected to Japanese occupation for 50 years. The Cairo declaration of 1943 and the Potsdam proclamation of 1945 made it clear that Taiwan should be returned to China.Although the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have been caught up in prolonged political antagonism since 1949 as a result of the Chinese civil war, China has never been divided, the island has remained part of China’s territory, and the historical and legal fact that the two sides of the Strait belong to the one and same China has never changed. The Chinese people will firmly safeguard, at any cost, their national sovereignty and territorial integrity. “Taiwan independence” means war and will lead to a dead end. Opposing and defeating such attempts is meant to avoid war and safeguard peace and stability in the region.That is why China strongly opposed and had been repeatedly warning against the provocative visit of the US House speaker, a move that seriously infringed upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.Over the years, the US has been playing the “Taiwan card” to contain China by approving arms sales to the island, upgrading its relations with the authorities there and hollowing out the one-China principle. The authorities on the island, led by the Democratic Progressive party, have refused to recognise the 1992 consensus that embodies the one-China principle. They have gone all out to advance “de-sinicisation” and promote “incremental independence”. Against such provocation, it is only natural that China takes necessary measures in response. These measures are aimed at opposing interference from the US in China’s internal affairs, restraining the separatist attempts of “Taiwan independence” forces, safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity and upholding peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. The US side and “Taiwan independence” separatist forces must bear full responsibility for their wrongdoings. Some people may say that by suspending cooperation with the US in certain areas, China is “punishing the world”. But China will continue to stand by its commitments to the international community on issues such as climate change. China has the best record of fulfilling its pledges to the world.The right way for China and the US, two major countries, to handle their relations is to respect each other and avoid confrontation. China has made enormous efforts to promote the healthy and steady development of China-US relations, but we will never sit by and do nothing in response to provocative moves that undermine our core interests. The right thing for the US to do is to acknowledge the one-China principle and the three Sino-US joint communiques: stop playing the “Taiwan card”; sever any official ties and military cooperation with the island; and stop creating further crises.The Taiwan issue has always been a sensitive matter at the centre of relations between the UK and China. Our countries began to explore diplomatic ties in the early 1950s, but it was not until 1972 that the relationship was upgraded to the ambassadorial level, with the signing of a joint communique. Full diplomatic relations had to wait until the UK clearly recognised the Chinese government’s position that Taiwan is a province of the People’s Republic of China, decided to revoke its official representative office on the island, recognised the government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, and promised to maintain only an unofficial relationship with Taiwan. This history must never be forgotten and pledges should be honoured.The Taiwan question is a major issue of principle. There is no reason for the UK to disregard that fact and follow in the footsteps of the US. Calls to “help Taiwan defend itself” and the like are extremely irresponsible and detrimental. Any move that violates the one-China principle and the provisions of the joint communique, or crosses the red line of the Chinese side, will bring serious consequences to bilateral relations. There should not be any miscalculation on this.Over the past 50 years, the exchanges and cooperation between China and the UK have brought enormous benefits to the peoples of both countries. These hard-won outcomes must be cherished. China-UK relations are now at an important juncture. The Conservative party will soon elect a new leader and the country will have a new prime minister. The trajectory of Britain’s policy on China is being followed closely from all quarters. Around the world, daunting challenges, such as the lingering pandemic, the economic downturn, energy shortages and the climate crisis, remain.Under such circumstances, China and the UK should strengthen rather than weaken their cooperation. The two sides should follow the principles of mutual respect, equality and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, engage in dialogue and cooperation, and join hands to address common challenges. This is the right choice, one that conforms to the fundamental interests of the peoples of both countries.
    Zheng Zeguang is the Chinese ambassador to the UK
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    NBA to pause on election day to encourage US fans to vote

    NBA to pause on election day to encourage US fans to voteLeague wants to encourage civic engagement in NovemberNBA players have been involved in voter registration in past The NBA will be off on election day. The league’s schedule for the coming season will have all 30 teams playing on 7 November, the night before the US midterm elections. The NBA is hoping teams use that night as an opportunity to encourage fans to vote, as well as amplifying the need for civic engagement.But on 8 November, which is election day in the US, no NBA teams have games scheduled. Teams are being encouraged to share election information – such as registration deadlines – with their fanbases in the weeks leading up to 8 November.’How do we fix this?’: LeBron James takes fight to black voter suppressionRead more“The scheduling decision came out of the NBA family’s focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections,” the league said on Tuesday.All 435 US House seats will be up for grabs on 8 November, along with more than 30 US Senate seats and gubernatorial races. The Senate is currently split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats. The move is a rarity for the league, which typically plays no games on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and tries to avoid scheduling games on the day of the NCAA men’s basketball championship game. It also has a few days off built around the All-Star Game, which takes place in February.The NBA and its players were openly involved in several election-related pushes in 2020, largely after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor reignited the quest to eliminate racial inequality and police brutality.Many players, including LeBron James, were involved in voting registration drives and other get-out-the-vote initiatives. Some teams turned their arenas into registration or voting centers.The NBA’s full schedule for the season will be released at 3pm ET on Wednesday.TopicsNBABasketballUS politicsUS midterm elections 2022US sportsnewsReuse this content More

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    Mother of man who shot himself after driving into Capitol barrier speaks out

    Mother of man who shot himself after driving into Capitol barrier speaks outTamara Cunningham says she believes her son who fatally shot himself struggled with brain trauma from playing football The mother of a Delaware man who shot himself to death after driving into a US Capitol barricade over the weekend says she believes he was struggling with brain trauma from growing up playing football.Richard Aaron York III’s mother, Tamara Cunningham, said she suspects his past as a high school football player left him with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain condition colloquially known as CTE. Some football players develop CTE because of repeated head blows that are common to the sport, and York had a number of concussions during his playing days, she said.“Something was going on for a while,” Cunningham told the Guardian in an interview Tuesday. “And it was progressively getting worse.”A CTE diagnosis can only be definitively made with a postmortem brain autopsy. Cunningham said she had requested one from a private doctor as well as the local coroner’s office but was sure she would be able to schedule such a procedure.Nonetheless, in prior cases where CTE was ultimately confirmed in late football players and athletes in other violent sports, families suspected their loved ones had the condition beforehand because of behavior they considered erratic or aggressive.Cunningham spoke out on her thoughts about her son as police continued investigating what may have motivated York to aim his car at a barricade outside the Capitol in Washington DC early on Sunday.Because the case unfolded after federal agents searched former president Donald Trump’s home in Florida on 8 August, some wondered whether the 29-year-old York’s actions were politically motivated.After all, an armed man enraged by the FBI’s search of Trump’s home for records being kept there without authorization had tried to break into a bureau field office in Ohio on 11 August. Authorities ultimately shot the would-be intruder to death in a standoff.But, noting that Congress is in the middle of its annual August recess, police have said they do not believe York was specifically targeting anyone who would be working on Capitol Hill.And York’s mother on Tuesday said she didn’t know her son to be that closely attuned to politics or to support the Republican Trump – in fact, she believed his voter registration listed him as a Democrat.“We’re just not that kind of family,” Cunningham said when asked if anything political had motivated her son on Sunday.Instead, investigators appear to be regarding York’s violent death as the last episode of a life marked by legal trouble over the last decade.York, of Dagsboro, Delaware, pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges after police accused him of choking and assaulting his pregnant girlfriend in 2012, according to the news website Lehigh Valley Live.He also allegedly pleaded guilty to assault and property damage charges in early 2020 after a colleague on a roofing job accused York of attacking him at his home, the Pennsylvania news outlet Morning Call reported. The co-worker reportedly suffered injuries to his face and head, and York was sentenced to about seven months of prison as well as two years’ probation.About 4am Sunday, York drove a car into a barricade on the eastern side of the Capitol. His vehicle became engulfed in flames as he exited his car, possibly because he ignited it, and he began firing a gun in the air, Capitol police officers said.The commotion prompted Capitol police officers to approach him, and as they neared, York shot himself dead, according to authorities. No one else was hurt.For many, York’s death brought to mind the April 2021 killing of Capitol police officer Billy Evans. He was killed by a Virginia man who drove his car into a Capitol barricade.Meanwhile, in 2013, Capitol police shot and killed a Connecticut woman near a facility checkpoint after she crashed her car into a White House barricade and fled by speeding down Pennsylvania Avenue.The drivers in each of those cases had mental illness, various media reports said.Cunningham said her son did, too. She said she knew he took medication for it, though she didn’t know the specifics about any diagnoses or treatments he had received.Cunningham made it a point on Tuesday to discuss some of her son’s better days. York would cook breakfast and prepare coffee for his grandmother daily, as well as engage in spirited card games regularly, she recounted.He would visit Cunningham and her fiance most weekends, regularly accompanying them to car races and other festive events. He was the father to a nine-year-old boy whom he didn’t get to see often but doted on whenever he had time with him, Cunningham added.“When he was functioning,” Cunningham said of York, “he was a wonderful, wonderful person.”TopicsWashington DCUS politicsnewsReuse this content More

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    In praise of Liz Cheney. May we have more politicians like her | Robert Reich

    In praise of Liz Cheney. May we have more politicians like herRobert ReichWe need more politicians who stand by their principles, even if it costs them everything On Tuesday, Wyoming Republicans determine the fate of Representative Liz Cheney, the putative leader of the anti-Trump forces in the Republican party.Six days after the 6 January 2021 attack on the Capitol – when no other Republican in the House or Senate was willing to rebuke Trump – Cheney charged on the House floor that “the president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing.”The next day, Cheney joined nine other House Republicans and 222 Democrats in voting to impeach Trump.So far, three of these 10 principled Republican lawmakers have lost their primaries. Two have won them. The remaining four are retiring.As vice-chair of the House of Representatives’ January 6 committee investigating the causes of that attack, Cheney has ceaselessly and tirelessly helped lay out the case against Trump during eight public hearings held in June and July, with more to come.In response, Trump has done everything possible to end Cheney’s career. He made sure House Republicans revoked her status as the third highest-ranking leader of the Republican caucus, and that Wyoming Republicans censured her.Trump also selected Cheney’s opponent in Tuesday’s Republican primary, Harriet Hageman – who has rallied behind Trump and amplified his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.Hageman has a commanding double-digit lead over Cheney. (According to some reports, Cheney has been reluctant even to venture into Wyoming to campaign, due to death threats.)If Liz Cheney loses her House seat, as seems likely, I hope she doesn’t disappear from public life. Although her views on countless substantive issues are the opposite of mine, I salute her.She has displayed more courage and integrity than almost any other member of her party – indeed, given the pressure she was under, perhaps more than any lawmaker now alive.The role Cheney has played raises a larger question about the meaning of representative democracy. Is it the responsibility of elected officials to represent the views of their constituents or their own principles?The question isn’t limited to Republicans. As the midterms draw closer, some Democratic operatives and pundits argue that Biden and the Democrats must move to the “center” to win.But where is the center? Halfway between democracy and fascism? And if Democrats must go there to win, what’s the point of winning?I call this the Dick Morris paradox.In early 1996, Bill and Hillary Clinton summoned pollster Dick Morris to the White House to make sure Bill Clinton would be re-elected.Morris’s advice to Clinton was to move to the center (“triangulate”) and say nothing in his re-election campaign except that the economy was terrific and would be even better in the second term.Whenever I ran into Morris slithering around the West Wing, I suggested he urge Clinton to advance some policies for the second term’s agenda – a hike in the minimum wage, universal pre-K, paid family leave, Medicare for all.Morris’s invariable response: “If Clinton pushes any of these, there won’t be a second term.”I said there was no point in having a second term without an agenda to do something important in the second term. He argued back that there was no use having an agenda without a second term.But if the only way to get or keep power is to say nothing to the public about what you believe or intend to achieve, or to mislead the public, what’s the point of having power?To Morris and most other political operatives, this question makes no sense. Politics is about getting and keeping power. Principles have nothing to do with it.To Dick Morris operatives, politicians have a responsibility to mirror whatever the public wants or believes.But what if the public has been lied to by a conman who tells them the last election was stolen? What if he has cynically exploited their bigotry, ignorance or distrust?Should candidates merely reflect what the conman has stirred up, as Hageman has done in Wyoming and other Republican candidates are doing with Trump’s “big lie” elsewhere?Or should candidates risk losing political power (or never gaining it) by standing on their own principles?The dilemma on the Democrats’ side is not nearly as dangerous for the nation, but it exists, nonetheless.Some of today’s Democratic candidates are moving to the so-called “center” because they’ve convinced themselves they must do so to gain or hold power, which is better than not having any.But is gaining or holding power more important than telling the public what one truly believes, and speaking truth?
    Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. His new book, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It, is out now. He is a Guardian US columnist. His newsletter is at robertreich.substack.com
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    Republicans rue price of fame as celebrity Senate candidates struggle

    Republicans rue price of fame as celebrity Senate candidates struggleThe campaigns of Mehmet Oz, Herschel Walker and JD Vance have been tarnished by bizarre remarks and unscrupulous histories In Mehmet Oz, Herschel Walker and JD Vance, the Republican party has three celebrities running for Senate in November.The only problem? At the moment, each of them looks as though they might lose.Oz, a television stalwart better known as Dr Oz to millions of Americans, is trailing his opponent in Pennsylvania by double digits.Vance, a bestselling author and conservative commentator, is behind in his race in Ohio, an increasingly red state that many expected Republicans to win. So far the most notable point of his campaign was when Vance appeared to suggest women should stay in violent marriages.In Georgia, Walker, a former NFL running back, is running close against Raphael Warnock, the incumbent Democrat. But Walker’s campaign has been characterized by a series of gaffes, and this week, more seriously, his ex-wife recalled in a campaign ad how he once held a gun to her head.The three men’s travails spell out a problem in selecting outsider, celebrity candidates. Each brings name recognition, but in some cases have been unexposed to the media’s glare.The Pennsylvania Senate race is looking particularly dire for Republicans. According to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average, John Fetterman, the Democratic lieutenant governor, holds an 11% lead over Oz. Among Republicans in Pennsylvania, just 35% say they are “enthusiastic” about Oz’s candidacy, according to a Fox News poll in July, and 45% of Republicans say they “have reservations” about the physician.Oz’s struggles are significant enough that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is considering diverting money away from Oz’s campaign “to seats that we feel we can win”, Politico reported in July – a dramatic move given the Senate seat was previously held by a Republican.Oz has decided to try his hand at politics after being a fixture on American television for two decades, initially as a medical expert on the Oprah Winfrey show, then as the host of several of his own shows, including The Dr Oz Show, Surgeon Oz, and Transplant!.His TV career brought him fame, but scrutiny, too. In 2014 a Senate panel chastised Oz for featuring quack medical products on The Dr Oz Show. The doctor had described various supplements as “magic weight-loss cure”, and “the No 1 miracle in a bottle”, the Senate panel noted, despite no evidence to support the claims.“I don’t get why you say this stuff because you know it’s not true,” Claire McCaskill, a Democratic senator, said at the time.In response Oz said of the products, which included green coffee extract: “I recognize they don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact, but nevertheless I would give my audience the advice I give my family all the time, and I have given my family these products.”If suspicions linger about Oz’s snake oil salesman past, another problem for the GOP is that serious questions have been asked about whether Oz actually lives in Pennsylvania. Oz was a longtime New Jersey resident before, he says, he moved to the Keystone state in late 2020 – specifically into a house owned by his wife’s parents.Fetterman has seized upon Oz’s residency status by recruiting Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, from the TV show Jersey Shore, to troll Oz online.Walker’s campaign seems less doomed. He’s less than three points behind Warnock. But the retelling by Cindy Grossman, Walker’s ex-wife, of how the Republican “held the gun to my temple and said he was going to blow my brains out”, probably horrified some Georgians. Walker has said he struggled with mental health problems during the marriage, and has said he is “accountable” for violence in the relationship.Before the video aired, Walker’s campaign was hardly running smoothly, with reports that his staff faced a constant struggle to limit the candidate’s public appearances after a string of gaffes and bizarre comments.Walker has stumbled when talking about his ideas to limit school shootings, and baffled many with comments about the environment, when he claimed that “good air” above the US “decides to float over to China’s bad air”.He has also suggested in one interview that the theory of evolution is incorrect.“At one time science said man came from apes,” Walker said.“If that is true, why are there still apes?”The Daily Beast quoted one Walker staffer as saying: “He screws up on Fox News where people agree with him, so the idea of him taking an adverse interview or interacting with people who don’t agree with him is a non-starter.”The Republican leadership might have expected fewer problems from Vance, who is about four points behind Tim Ryan in Ohio. The Hillbilly Elegy author has been a frequent commentator in conservative circles and is a TV regular.But Vance attracted severe criticism in July, after Vice published footage of him suggesting that people should stay in violent marriages, during a Q & A at a school in September 2021. Speaking about the rise in marriages that end in divorce, Vance said:“This is one of the great tricks that I think the sexual revolution pulled on the American populace.“Which is the idea that like: ‘Well, OK, these marriages were fundamentally, you know, they were maybe even violent, but certainly they were unhappy. And so getting rid of them and making it easier for people to shift spouses like they change their underwear, that’s going to make people happier in the long term.’“And maybe it worked out for the moms and dads, though I’m skeptical. But it really didn’t work out for the kids of those marriages.”Asked by Vice News why “it would be better for children if their parents stayed in violent marriages than if they divorced”, Vance said he was a victim of domestic violence.“I reject the premise of your bogus question,” Vance said.“As anyone who studies these issues knows: domestic violence has skyrocketed in recent years, and is much higher among non-married couples. That’s the ‘trick’ I reference: that domestic violence would somehow go down if progressives got what they want, when in fact modern society’s war on families has made our domestic violence situation much worse. Any fair person would recognize I was criticizing the progressive frame on this issue, not embracing it.”If the disagreeability, and general incompetence, of the celebrity candidates – all of whom have been endorsed by Donald Trump – has surprised many, it doesn’t appear to have shocked senior Republicans.Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader who has looked on as Trump has effectively taken over the GOP, is among those who seem to have admitted that some of the candidates would struggle in November.“I think it’s going to be very tight. We have a 50-50 nation,” McConnell said in an interview on Fox News.“I think when this Senate race smoke clears, we’re likely to have a very, very close Senate still, with us up slightly or the Democrats up slightly.”TopicsRepublicansUS politicsUS SenateUS midterm elections 2022newsReuse this content More

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    Justice Department asks not to disclose affidavit behind Mar-a-Lago search

    Justice Department asks not to disclose affidavit behind Mar-a-Lago searchUnsealing the document could reveal the scope of the inquiry against Donald Trump, whose team is rattled by recent events The US Justice Department has asked a judge not to release the affidavit that gave the FBI probable cause to search Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, worsening distrust among top Trump aides casting about for any insight into the intensifying criminal investigation surrounding the former president.The affidavit should not be unsealed because that could reveal the scope of the investigation into Trump’s unauthorized retention of government secrets, the Justice Department argued, days after the Mar-a-Lago search warrant showed it referenced potential violations of three criminal statutes.FBI agents a week ago seized around 20 boxes of materials – including documents marked Top Secret – executing a search warrant which referenced the Espionage Act outlawing the unauthorized retention of national security information that could harm the United States or aid an adversary.“The affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course,” the justice department said, adding that it did not oppose unsealing both a cover page and a sealing order that wouldn’t harm the criminal investigation.Trump demands return of seized documents – by order of social mediaRead moreIn arguing against unsealing the affidavit, the justice department also said that the disclosure could harm its ability to gain cooperation from witnesses not only in the Mar-a-Lago investigation but also additional ones that would appear to touch on the former president.“Disclosure of the government’s affidavit at this stage would also likely chill future cooperation by witnesses whose assistance may be sought as this investigation progresses, as well as in other high-profile investigations,” prosecutors added.The existence of potential witnesses who could yet cooperate in a number of investigations against Trump – seemingly people with intimate knowledge of the former president’s activities – rattled close advisors once more Monday, further deepening distrust inside his inner political circle.The lack of insight into what the justice department intends to do with the investigation into Trump’s unauthorized retention of government documents has deeply frustrated the Trump legal team and aides alike in a week of perilous moments for the former president.At least one lawyer on the Trump legal team – led by former assistant US attorney Evan Corcoran, who also acted as the lawyer for Trump’s top former strategist Steve Bannon – has called up a reporter covering the story for any insight into how the justice department might next proceed.It added to the already fraught atmosphere inside the reduced group of advisors who have day-to-day roles around Trump that erupted shortly after the FBI departed Mar-a-Lago and sparked suspicions that a person close to the former president had become an informant for the FBI.That speculation came in part amid widening knowledge about how the FBI might have established probable cause that there was a crime being committed at Mar-a-Lago using new or recent information – to prevent the probable cause from going “stale” – through a confidential informant.According to multiple sources close to Trump, suspicions initially centered on Nicholas Luna, the longtime Trump body-man who stepped back from his duties around March, and Molly Michael, the former Trump White House Oval Office operations chief, who remains on payroll but is due to soon depart.Luna was subpoenaed by the congressional investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack but has not spoken to the FBI about this case, one of the sources said. And although Michael is slated to also leave Trump’s orbit, the source said, her departure – like Luna’s – is not acrimonious.The focus in the middle of the week shifted to Mar-a-Lago employees and other staff at the members-only resort in Palm Beach, Florida, the sources said, seemingly in part because the FBI knew exactly which rooms and where in the rooms they needed to search.But towards the weekend, and following the revelation that the FBI removed a leather-bound box from the property and already knew the location of Trump’s safe, scrutiny shifted once more to anyone else who had not yet been suspected – including members of Trump’s family, the sources said.A spokesperson for the former president did not respond to a request for comment. Calls to Trump lawyers went unanswered or straight to voicemail. The justice department declined to comment on the investigation or Monday’s request.Nonetheless, the escalating distrust and rampant speculation about an informant has started to reach dizzying levels, even by the standards of the Trump presidency, which was characterized in many ways by competing interests and political backstabbing, the sources said.It remains unclear whether the FBI relied on confidential informants, and the Guardian first reported that the search came in part because the justice department grew concerned that classified materials remained at Mar-a-Lago as a result of interactions with Trump’s lawyers.At least one Trump lawyer signed a document – apparently falsely – attesting to the justice department that there were no more classified materials left at Mar-a-Lago after federal officials in June removed 10 boxes worth of government records, the sources said, confirming a New York Times report.TopicsDonald TrumpFBITrump administrationUS politicsnewsReuse this content More