‘We don’t have to pretend anymore’: Greens ready to bail on D.C.

The climate advocates who cheered President Joe Biden’s arrival at the White House last year are preparing to give up on Washington. Instead, environmentalists and many of their Democratic allies are starting to shift their focus to state capitals as the places to press for action on climate change — going back to a strategy that they employed with some success during the Trump era. The flight from D.C. is in large part a response to 18 months of frustration with major setbacks to Biden’s climate agenda, capped by Thursday’s…

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Why Biden’s climate push might not be doomed

The Supreme Court ruling that hobbled the Biden administration’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases doesn’t leave the president totally out of options. The administration, congressional Democrats and their environmentalist allies can still step up their push for major climate legislation, rely on the Environmental Protection Agency’s remaining powers and work with cities and states to ramp down carbon pollution. None of those paths would be easy, especially given Democrats’ inability during the past year to get a major climate bill through the Senate. And some of the numerous climate initiatives…

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The Real Reason Washington Ignored Kavanaugh’s Would-Be Killer

On June 8, at about 1:05 in the morning, a taxicab pulled up outside the Chevy Chase home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. A young man dressed in black got out, carrying a backpack and a suitcase. According to an FBI affidavit, he eyed the Deputy U.S. Marshals standing guard outside the house, then turned and walked down the block. A few minutes later, the man called 911, allegedly saying he was having suicidal thoughts, had a firearm in his suitcase and had come from California to kill a…

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There Are 11 Types of Donald Trump Enablers. Which One Are You?

This week, Cassidy Hutchinson demonstrated in front of the whole world how a political staffer can break free from the rationalizations that lead dwellers of the swamp to enable behaviors we know are evil. I might be a Cassidy sympathizing Enemy of the People. But as a gay man who contorted himself into defending homophobes and a Trump abhorrer who didn’t hesitate when asked to spin for Trump’s EPA toady Scott Pruitt, I still know a thing or two about being an enabler. I have had more drinks where reluctant-MAGA and…

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The Democratic primary that could determine the future of abortion rights

The only way Democrats can codify Roe v. Wade into law is with a world-beating bank shot that requires two new votes to weaken the filibuster. Enter Battleground Wisconsin. Senate races in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania represent Democrats’ best chance to net two extra Senate seats — enough, presumably, to chip away at chamber rules that empower the minority party to block legislation. President Joe Biden boosted their effort Thursday by endorsing an exemption to the 60-vote threshold to preserve nationwide abortion rights. But Democrats need to beat historical odds and…

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Dems unite Jan. 6 and Roe for new battleground target: ‘MAGA’ Republicans

Democrats are readying a new strategy to help save their House majority that unites two topics currently riveting Washington: the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The heart of the approach: calling out GOP candidates’ most hard-line positions on multiple issues. Take, for example, the Republican hopeful who recently suggested rape victims were less likely to get pregnant. Or the Republican who’s defended the far-right militia, the Oath Keepers, alongside several more who have shared QAnon conspiracy theories with their supporters. All of those candidates…

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W.H. takes aim at DeSantis — even as Florida slips away from Dems

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida has the White House and national Democrats stumped. President Joe Biden’s policies loosening sanctions on Venezuela and easing restrictions on Cuba could be politically toxic in Latino-heavy South Florida. The administration was seen as making moves without considering political outcomes or improving Biden’s standing with a demographic key to winning the state. And funds from national donor groups have dried up after Florida Democrats suffered stinging losses in recent years. But Florida is also home to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a likely 2024 hopeful who takes…

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Push to rein in social media sweeps the states

Efforts to police speech on social media are spreading across the country, with lawmakers in 34 states pushing bills that are already setting up court battles with tech giants over the First Amendment. State legislators have introduced more than 100 bills in the past year aiming to regulate how social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter handle their users’ posts, according to POLITICO’s analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. However, only three bills have become law, including statutes in Texas and Florida aimed at punishing…

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New details of Jan. 6 panel’s mystery messages emerge

The Jan. 6 select committee publicly pointed to two communications this week as potential evidence of Trump-world’s efforts to influence witness testimony — without revealing their origin. Both were detailed to the panel by Cassidy Hutchinson, according to a person familiar with the last of her four depositions. Both of the two slides that the panel revealed at the end of its live hearing with Hutchinson reflected conversations she described to the committee in her final closed-door deposition, this person said. Hutchinson told the committee at the time that, on…

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Jan. 6 committee rallies around Hutchinson amid Trump World onslaught

The Jan. 6 select committee is raising sharp doubts about the credibility of Tony Ornato, a former Trump White House aide who played a featured role in this week’s explosive testimony by onetime colleague Cassidy Hutchinson. Ornato, a Secret Service official who served a year as a political appointee in Trump’s White House, has reportedly signaled a willingness to contradict a high-profile element of Hutchinson’s testimony: that Ornato told her former President Donald Trump lunged toward the head of his detail on Jan. 6, 2021, in a push to be…

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How Biden can still meet his climate goals

The Supreme Court ruling that hobbled the Biden administration’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases doesn’t leave the president totally out of options. The administration, congressional Democrats and their environmentalist allies can still step up their push for major climate legislation, rely on the Environmental Protection Agency’s remaining powers and work with cities and states to ramp down carbon pollution. None of those paths would be easy, especially given Democrats’ inability during the past year to get a major climate bill through the Senate. And some of the numerous climate initiatives…

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The conservative Supreme Court is just getting warmed up

The massive jolt the new conservative Supreme Court supermajority delivered to the political system last week by overturning Roe v. Wade could just be the beginning. The next targets could include voting rights, state courts’ power over elections, affirmative action and laws banning discrimination against LGBTQ people. Even as the justices wrapped up their work and began their summer break Thursday following an unusually rocky term, the court signaled that its poor standing with the public won’t deter justices from taking up ideologically-charged disputes that could sow havoc in American…

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Biden notches wins in Europe — as challenges pile up at home

MADRID — For nearly a week, President Joe Biden was the star attraction at a pair of European summits, hailed as a steadfast ally while he espoused the vital need for democracies to band together against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But once Air Force One touches down in Washington later Thursday, Biden returns to a starkly different political reality. The days Biden spent at the G-7 gathering in Germany and the NATO summit in Spain provided a brief oasis for the president, who must confront soaring inflation, surging gas prices,…

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5 lessons from the NATO summit

MADRID — NATO came together in a rare wartime meeting this week and showed a united front on arming and supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia, naming China as an economic and diplomatic threat — that is also rapidly building up its military — and trying to make the alliance better able to respond to any Russian incursions. And let’s not forget Turkey’s last-second agreement to approve allowing Finland and Sweden into the alliance. All of that and more was packed into about 48 hours of closed-door meetings, news…

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‘Shocking’ and ‘disgraceful’: Supreme Court climate ruling sparks anger from Democrats, environmentalists

The Supreme Court’s Thursday decision restricting the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to confront climate change sparked an uproar among climate hawks in Congress, environmental activists and the clean energy industry. But it also left them facing big questions about what their Plan B will be, amid Democrats’ struggles to push President Joe Biden’s climate agenda in Congress. “Climate change is here and happening regardless of whether a tiny, extremist minority wants us to do something about it,” a White House official said of the decision under condition of anonymity. “This…

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Supreme Court limits EPA’s climate powers

The Environmental Protection Agency has only limited authority to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a decision that deals yet another blow to President Joe Biden’s efforts to fight climate change. The 6-3 ruling that explicitly applied the court’s “major questions” doctrine erects a major obstacle to Biden’s hopes of addressing global warming through executive branch action — barely six months after a Senate stalemate shut down congressional Democrats’ efforts to pass their biggest-ever climate bill.  It also comes amid accumulating warnings from scientists…

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Supreme Court rejects challenge to Biden effort to end Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ program

The Supreme Court has rejected a major challenge to President Joe Biden’s effort to shut down his predecessor’s “Remain in Mexico” program that forced many asylum seekers trying to cross the U.S. border to return to Mexico to await hearings before U.S. immigration judges. In a 5-4 decision, the justices ruled that federal immigration law does not require the Biden administration to detain all asylum applicants pending rulings on their cases. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court’s liberal justices in the majority, while the other…

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Republicans who backed Trump Jan. 6 probe face fierce backlash at the polls

Never in nearly 42 years in Congress has Rep. Chris Smith had a primary quite like his last — when he spent the final weeks getting bombarded by angry constituents who felt he crossed President Donald Trump. The New Jersey Republican won renomination with his lowest primary vote share ever, after he voted to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. And his opponent seized on it, stoking an angry and anti-incumbent mood sweeping through Republican primaries around the country. Republican members from Utah to…

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Trump is in Trouble and He Knows It

At first blush, the Supreme Court’s decision striking down Roe v. Wade doesn’t have much to do with the startling revelations produced by the Jan. 6 select committee. Thanks, then, to Donald Trump for helping us get quickly to second blush: The ex-president himself seems to understand that the two are linked in a profound way, going well beyond the coincidence that not one but two monumental stories came crashing down near-simultaneously. Both stories move the national debate into arenas in which tactics that Trump has used so often and…

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Liz Cheney: ‘Republicans cannot be both loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution’

Rep. Liz Cheney, speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Wednesday, said it’s time for Republicans to make a choice: Donald Trump or the Constitution. The vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee leaned into her message just a day after White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s stunning testimony unveiled new details about the highest echelons of the White House in the final days and hours before the violent Capitol attack. In taking the stage at the Reagan Library in California, Cheney didn’t shy away from her newfound role as…

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Secret Service: Jan. 6 panel didn’t reach out before Hutchinson’s explosive Trump testimony

The Jan. 6 committee didn’t reach out to the Secret Service in the days before it aired explosive testimony about an alleged physical altercation between Donald Trump and his security detail on the day of the riot, according to an agency spokesperson. In a blockbuster Tuesday hearing, former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson described being told that the “irate” then-president was so furious agents wouldn’t drive him to the Capitol on Jan. 6 that he “lunge[d]” toward the head of his detail. Anthony Guglielmi, the service’s chief of communications,…

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What Dems can — and might — do in Congress to fight the end of Roe

Democrats are grappling with what may be the most immediate question of post-Roe politics: Is it even worth having more votes on abortion rights that aren’t going anywhere? Over the past year-plus, Congress has sent several high-profile House-passed bills straight into a Senate GOP filibuster, from a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission to elections reform. Democrats aren’t too eager to replicate that stalemate on abortion rights, aware that they can’t pass much with their paltry majorities in Congress — but that doesn’t mean they won’t vote on abortion at all. Speaker…

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Andrew Giuliani had the name ID and his famous father. He just didn’t have the votes.

ALBANY, N.Y. — The name Giuliani wasn’t enough to win a statewide race in New York. Andrew Giuliani failed in his first bid for election, coming in a distant second in a four-way race for governor after tethering his election to his father’s tarnished legacy and their closeness with former President Donald Trump. Giuliani said he wouldn’t have changed his messaging, despite the loss. And the results made it clear that he’s not going to be leaving New York politics after impressing party leaders with his easiness on the stump…

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New York’s governor race set for clash over guns and abortion

ALBANY, N.Y. — Republican leaders in New York have spent over a year touting Rep. Lee Zeldin as their best hope to recapture the executive branch. But while his conservative positioning and clout easily pulled him through Tuesday’s primary, Zeldin must now repaint himself as a viable gubernatorial candidate with multi-party appeal in a deep-blue state. Zeldin faces the daunting task of challenging incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul in November after they each emerged victorious from their respective primaries Tuesday night. And Hochul quickly framed her Republican foe, not by…

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Secret Service: Jan. 6 committee didn’t reach out before Hutchinson’s explosive Trump testimony

The Jan. 6 committee didn’t reach out to the Secret Service in the days before it aired explosive testimony about an alleged physical altercation between Donald Trump and his security detail on the day of the riot, according to an agency spokesperson. In a blockbuster Tuesday hearing, former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson described being told that the “irate” then-president was so furious agents wouldn’t drive him to the Capitol on Jan. 6 that he “lunge[d]” toward the head of his detail. Anthony Guglielmi, the service’s chief of communications,…

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Searches for abortion medications have soared

Google searches for information on medications that induce abortion spiked after POLITICO published the Supreme Court’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, a study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine found. In the 72 hours after the news, searches for abortion medications jumped 162 percent compared to the three days prior. The week of the POLITICO report, Americans conducted 350,000 searches for abortion pills, the highest level recorded in any equivalent time span, the researchers said. The authors of the study said the results indicate that the shift toward medication…

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Abortion doctors’ post-Roe dilemma: Move, stay or straddle state lines

The Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade and clearing the way for roughly half the states to ban abortion is forcing the nation’s providers to upend their lives and could radically alter the reproductive health care landscape. One clinic in Alabama, for example, is offering its roughly dozen staff members buyouts to give them a couple months’ cushion if they need to search for jobs in other states. An abortion provider near Cleveland — a single mom who promised her teenage son he wouldn’t have to change schools again…

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