World leaders promised a green recovery. They got a brown one instead.

Governments in rich countries pledged last year to spend trillions of dollars to rescue their economies from the trough of the pandemic — and to channel that gusher of cash in ways that would aid the fight against climate change. The climate change strategy largely failed. More than 18 months later, mounting evidence shows that the spending did little to alter the trajectory that has the planet on a path toward blowing through global emissions targets. In fact, much of the stimulus spending was directed toward a “brown” recovery that…

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A field guide to Covid-19 boosters

The Food and Drug Administration is poised to dramatically expand the use of Covid-19 booster shots as soon as this week, after weeks of public debate over who needs the shots — and when. POLITICO breaks down the U.S. booster rollout and the big remaining questions, including how long the shots’ protection lasts and whether the Biden administration will authorize “mix and match” boosters. So, who can get a booster? FDA has authorized Pfizer’s shot for some groups and is likely to authorize boosters from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson…

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Race for Hastings’ Florida seat turns into 11-candidate pileup

TALLAHASSEE — The late Alcee Hastings held on to his South Florida congressional seat for more than 28 years. His successor may not last 12 months. The death of the 84-year-old lawmaker in April created a rare opportunity for Democrats in Florida: an open seat in Congress in a majority Black district that is unlikely to undergo major revisions in next year’s redistricting process. That prospect has sparked a free-for-all, with 11 Democrats — including several state legislators and local elected officials — all jumping into the race for a…

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Bitcoin funds are reaching the masses. Why crypto critics say it’s dangerous

The Securities and Exchange Commission is beginning to bless the first widely available investment funds that track Bitcoin, opening a rift with watchdog groups who argue increased exposure to the volatile market puts consumers at risk. The SEC has signaled that it won’t block industry proposals to launch exchange-traded funds based on Bitcoin futures contracts as regulatory deadlines come to pass this month. When the first fund begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange early this week, it will be a landmark moment for the booming cryptocurrency market. The…

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Build Back Better Is a Jobs Program. Why Won’t Democrats Call It That?

I knew the Democrats had a messaging problem the day I saw newspapers describe Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan as a vast expansion of the social safety net. Safety nets are those cumbersome things that catch you when you stumble and fall. They’re important, but they are not the stuff of inspiration. Nobody wants to need a government check. Kids dream of growing up to be singers, nurses, firefighters and pilots — jobs that will give them dignity, purpose and a role in the world. I’ve never met a…

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‘Prolific criminal’: Gaetz’s old wingman gets more time to help prosecutors

ORLANDO, Fla. — A corrupt former Florida tax official and one-time “wingman” to Rep. Matt Gaetz won extra time Monday to cooperate with federal prosecutors in their investigation of the congressman and a host of other scandals. Joel Greenberg was set to be sentenced on Nov. 18 for six crimes he pleaded guilty to earlier this year, but prosecutors successfully implored U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell to wait until March so they can track down all of the leads Greenberg has given to investigators. “Mr. Greenberg was a prolific criminal,”…

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The Manchin and Bernie show consumes Democrats

It was almost inevitable that the fight over President Joe Biden’s agenda would come down to Bernie Sanders vs. Joe Manchin. They represent fewer than 1 percent of Americans, but there’s no clearer window into Democrats’ inability to advance their domestic priorities than the ongoing rift between the socialist Vermont Independent and the conservative West Virginia Democrat. The duo’s verbal scuffle over the pace and scope of Biden’s social spending plan is going increasingly public, with Sanders aggressively leaning on Manchin as the latter tries to trim a measure stocked…

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Trump sues Jan. 6 committee, National Archives

Donald Trump is suing the Jan. 6 select committee and the National Archives to block the release of his White House’s records related to the Capitol attack. The former president’s lawyers filed the 26-page suit in D.C. district court on Monday, declaring the committee’s investigation “a vexatious, illegal fishing expedition.” It names the Jan. 6 panel’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), and the national archivist, David Ferriero, along with the committee and the archives themselves. Trump’s legal team contends that the Jan. 6 panel’s push for voluminous records from his…

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Opinion | Trump Can’t Keep His Jan. 6 Documents Secret. And Biden Can Help.

The select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection faces a potentially fatal roadblock: The committee wants to see a wide range of Executive Branch records and communications, presidential papers that could prove or disprove the reports that Donald Trump fully intended to undermine a fair election that he lost. And Trump, ever litigious, is going to court to stop the White House from sharing them. Trump is a master of using the courts to his own advantage, particularly as a stalling tactic, and this move could pay off more than…

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Biden quietly deciding how to restart student loan payments

The Biden administration is developing plans for how it will restart federal student loan payments early next year when the pandemic pause on monthly payments for tens of millions of Americans ends, according to documents obtained by POLITICO and two sources familiar with the plans. The Education Department is eyeing proposals that would give borrowers new flexibility as they face student loan bills for the first time in nearly two years, such as an initial grace period for missed payments, the documents and sources show. Officials are also looking at…

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Colin Powell dies from Covid complications

Colin Powell, an accomplished and esteemed four-star general who became the first African American secretary of State, died Monday as a result of complications from Covid-19, according to his family. He was 84. Powell was fully vaccinated against Covid-19, his family said in a statement posted to Facebook. With his death, the former soldier and statesman becomes perhaps the most high-profile American public figure to succumb to a so-called breakthrough infection of the novel coronavirus. “We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their…

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‘His Street Cred Went Up’: The Unintended Consequences of Outing the GOP Lawmakers at Jan. 6

It didn’t occur to them, not at first, that in the human mass pushing past police barricades around the Capitol, they might see the bald head of a Pennsylvania state senator gliding through the crowd of rioters in a golf cart reserved for “Stop the Steal” VIPs. Officials at the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, DLCC for short, an arm of the party with a staff of about 50 people charged with flipping state houses from red to blue, watched the chaos from home on Twitter and cable TV like most…

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Dems to Biden: Don’t leave people of color behind in Build Back Better negotiations

As he and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus gathered with President Joe Biden earlier this year, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn made note of the portrait of FDR that was hanging on the Oval Office wall. It was important, he stressed, for Biden to not make the same missteps Roosevelt did in the New Deal when it came time to craft his own domestic agenda; to ensure that millions of people of color were not excluded in the final outcome. That moment, which was recounted by two sources…

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Covid-stricken states still struggle months after Biden’s surge

As the Delta variant swept the country in early July, President Joe Biden promised to send federal Covid-19 response teams to help struggling states. Months later, state officials say the resources they received could not stop cases and deaths from rising. States such as Alabama and Louisiana still are struggling with unsustainable Covid-19 caseloads and hospitalizations that are stretching their funding, supplies and medical staffing, according to interviews with 10 state public health officials. They said the federal resources that did materialize could not ward off surges or allow them…

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As time runs short, Dems vow: less talk, more action

The window is rapidly closing on Democrats’ once-in-a-decade opportunity to clinch their agenda. The party has just a few short weeks to land a deal on its massive social spending bill before returning to a government shutdown deadline and a debt ceiling standoff in the creeping shadow of the midterm election. Democrats are under enormous pressure to finalize Biden’s domestic agenda while they hold full control of Washington, but also to use their power to enact policies they’ve championed for 10 years or more. The challenge of cutting a deal…

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Dems find their anti-Rubio warrior in Val Demings

MIAMI — A panicked question gripped Florida Democratic insiders this summer as Joe Biden’s approval numbers began to fade and eyes turned toward the midterm election horizon: Where’s Val Demings? For months, the Florida congresswoman challenging Sen. Marco Rubio in 2022 seemed nowhere to be found, eschewing local press and small political events typical for this election off-year, and also avoiding the national media glare in Washington. Now Demings has an answer for her whereabouts: She was campaigning almost exclusively on Facebook, growing an army of small-dollar donors across the…

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‘This is the future’: Black Senate candidates crush fundraising expectations

In his bid to hold his Georgia Senate seat, Democrat Raphael Warnock collected a stunning $9.5 million over the last 90 days. Democrat Val Demings, who’s challenging GOP Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida, amassed an eye-popping $8.5 million. In South Carolina, Republican Sen. Tim Scott brought in $8.4 million. All across the Senate map — but particularly in the South — Black candidates posted blowout performances in the most recent campaign fundraising period, leading to an unprecedented cash windfall that stands to reshape the Senate in 2022 and beyond. It’s…

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“We’re done”: Immigration advocates stage walk-out on Biden administration

Dozens of immigration advocates walked out, virtually, on top Biden officials Saturday in protest of the administration’s decision to continue border policies enacted during the Trump administration, according to several people who were in the meeting. Advocates asked for time before the beginning of a video meeting Saturday morning with several Biden administration officials, including people from the Department of Homeland Security officials and the White House Domestic Policy Council’s Esther Olavarria. The activists read a statement accusing the administration of “playing politics with human lives” and said they could…

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Opinion | The Perils of Political Foot-In-Mouth Disease

Democrats were already reaching for the Maalox as they saw polls showing a tight race in the Virginia governor’s race, when the once (and possibly future) governor Terry McAuliffe handed Republicans a gift of great price. Speaking at a debate late last month, McAuliffe responded to the culture war seizing public education — a fight largely centered on racial matters — by saying, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Whether it’s a reasonable position or not, within a day, the campaign of McAuliffe’s opponent,…

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Virginia is for worriers: Governor race poses real risk to Dem agenda

The Democratic Party’s fortunes are increasingly tied to someone who’s never served a day in federal office: Terry McAuliffe. Losing ground in a Virginia gubernatorial campaign once seen as a near-lock for Democrats, McAuliffe has sought to nationalize the race — calling out congressional inaction and President Joe Biden’s waning popularity as he tries to mount a return to an office he held four years ago. If McAuliffe loses, it could put a chill on Democrats’ agenda and prompt hand-wringing over whether the party failed to boost him enough in…

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Drain the swamp? This guy’s trying to fill it.

Ivan Adler is nothing if not self-aware. Sitting down at an Irish gastro pub located just a few miles outside Washington, D.C.’s confines, he wore a black and white T-shirt that got straight to the point: “lob•by•ist[lob-ee-ist]-nouna friend with benefits.” Adler, 56, is not in fact a lobbyist. But his job shares some key similarities. He is a recruiter — one of the top in D.C. — who specializes in plucking lawmakers and staffers off the Hill or elsewhere in government and placing them into jobs on K Street, whether…

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Moderate Democrats, citing global pact, want ‘pause’ in international tax changes

A trio of House Democrats is asking party leaders to “pause” their plans to raise taxes on big companies’ overseas profits, adding a new complication to Democrats’ negotiations over their next big legislative package. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi obtained by POLITICO, the lawmakers say they first want to see how other countries implement a new agreement to create a global minimum tax on multinationals — something that could be years away. Otherwise, they write, Democrats’ plans to hike an existing U.S. tax on companies’ foreign earnings,…

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Sinema rakes in Pharma and finance cash amid reconciliation negotiations

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) raised more campaign money in the last three months than in any quarter since she became a senator. And she hit that $1.1 million haul with a big assist from the pharmaceutical and financial industries, whose political action committees and top executives stuffed her coffers in the middle of negotiations on Democrats’ massive infrastructure and social spending bills. Sinema has emerged as a key player in those negotiations, with the reconciliation bill needing support from all 50 Democratic senators. But Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)…

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Manchin fires back after Sanders pens op-ed in WV paper

Bernie Sanders has been calling on Joe Manchin to support President Joe Biden’s full agenda for weeks. On Friday night, Manchin signaled he’s had enough of that. In response to an op-ed from Sanders (I-Vt.) published in Manchin’s hometown paper on Friday night, Manchin snapped back: “This isn’t the first time an out-of-stater has tried to tell West Virginians what is best for them despite having no relationship to our state.” “Congress should proceed with caution on any additional spending and I will not vote for a reckless expansion of…

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The Virginia governor’s race has been tight. Enter: The battleground of Richmond.

RICHMOND, Va. — The area around Virginia’s capital city is about to be overrun in the closing weeks of the hard-fought governor’s race. Democrats are sending their biggest guns to back up former Gov. Terry McAuliffe: first lady Jill Biden is coming to the Richmond area on Friday. Former President Barack Obama will be here next weekend. It’s a reflection of how the suburbs that ring the city’s history-laden downtown have become critical in a state that has trended blue but is still no guaranteed win for Democrats. “So goes…

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‘Really embarrassing’: GOP erupts into swing state civil war

Republicans have been feuding for months in Nevada’s largest county after a pro-Donald Trump insurgency with ties to far-right activists threw the party into chaos. Now the turmoil is spreading across the battleground state, consuming the GOP in a bonfire of lawsuits, counterclaims and resignations. The meltdown — the latest iteration of the hostilities that have wracked the party nationally in the post-Trump era — could prove especially damaging if the fissures linger into next year. Trump lost to Joe Biden in Nevada by just more than 2 percentage points,…

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Trump allies eye election law push should he be reelected

Even before he lost his reelection bid, former President Donald Trump has been obsessed with challenging and changing election laws. Should he find himself back in the White House, his allies are hoping to turn that obsession into legislative action. Trump is expected to mount another bid for president in 2024. And as talk of such a campaign has grown more concrete, so too has speculation over what type of agenda he’d actually pursue. Some answers can be found in the work being done by America First Policy Institute, a…

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Trump forces muscle out GOP old guard in Nevada

Republicans have been feuding for months in Nevada’s largest county after a pro-Donald Trump insurgency with ties to far-right activists threw the party into chaos. Now the turmoil is spreading across the battleground state, consuming the GOP in a bonfire of lawsuits, counterclaims and resignations. The meltdown — the latest iteration of the hostilities that have wracked the party nationally in the post-Trump era — could prove especially damaging if the fissures linger into next year. Trump lost to Joe Biden in Nevada by just more than 2 percentage points,…

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He Calls Himself the ‘American Sheriff.’ Whose Law Is He Following?

FLORENCE, Ariz. — The first thing to know about Mark Lamb, the sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona, is that he just plain looks like a sheriff. It could be the Justin cowboy hat he wears pulled low over his eyes and his penchant for Western shirts and a tactical vest in lieu of a uniform. It could be his demeanor, at once confident and aw-shucks. It could be his size — he’s 6’3”, 240 pounds, or so he writes in his self-published book, American Sheriff: Traditional Values in a Modern…

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