Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag:

Only One State Has Met Federal Criteria For Reopening

Only one state has met all of the criteria contained in guidelines issued by the federal government for safely reopening businesses and easing social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an analysis by ProPublica. Despite the lack of progress by the overwhelming majority of states, Donald Trump is still pushing them to reopen.

ProPublica based its analysis on state-level data, updated daily, for five metrics stemming from the guidelines for reopening issued by the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its metrics are the number of positive tests per 100,000 people; the percentage of tests that are positive; the number of tests per 100,000 per day; the availability of ICU beds; and the number of hospital visits for "flu-like illness."

Read Now Show less

Bernie Sanders Wins Alaska, Washington, Hawaii Caucuses

By John Whitesides and Amanda Becker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders easily won nominating contests in Alaska, Washington and Hawaii on Saturday, chipping away at front-runner Hillary Clinton’s commanding lead in the race to pick the party’s candidate for the White House.

Sanders still faces a steep climb to overtake Clinton but the big victories in the West generated more momentum for his upstart campaign and could stave off calls from Democratic leaders that he should wrap up his bid in the name of party unity.

“We are making significant inroads in Secretary Clinton’s lead and … we have a path to victory,” Sanders told cheering, chanting supporters in Madison, Wisconsin. “It is hard for anybody to deny that our campaign has the momentum.”

Clinton, the former secretary of state, has increasingly turned her attention toward a potential Nov. 8 general election showdown against Republican front-runner Donald Trump, claiming she is on the path to wrapping up the nomination.

Heading into Saturday, she led Sanders by about 300 pledged delegates in the race for the 2,382 delegates needed to be nominated at the party’s July convention in Philadelphia. Adding in the support of superdelegates – party leaders who are free to back any candidate – she has 1,690 delegates to 946 for Sanders.

Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, needs to win up to two-thirds of the remaining delegates to catch Clinton, who will keep piling up delegates even when she loses under a Democratic Party system that awards them proportionally in all states.

“These wins will help him raise more funds for the next few weeks but I don’t think it changes the overall equation,” said Democratic strategist Jim Manley, a Clinton supporter. “Hillary Clinton has too big a lead.”

But Sanders has repeatedly said he is staying in the race until the convention, pointing to big crowds at his rallies and high turnout among young and first-time voters as proof of his viability. After raising $140 million, he has the money to fight on as long as he wants.

 

Message Resonates

He has energized the party’s liberal base and young voters with his calls to rein in Wall Street and fight income inequality, a message that resonated in liberal Washington and other Western states. Sanders won in Utah and Idaho this week.

“Don’t let anybody tell you we can’t win the nomination or the general election,” Sanders told supporters in Wisconsin, which holds the next contest on April 5. “We are going to do both.”

All three contests on Saturday were caucuses, a format that has favored Sanders because it requires more commitment from voters. They also were in states with fewer of the black and Hispanic voters who have helped fuel Clinton’s lead.

“He was just more aligned with my values. I am young and I never knew there could be someone like him in politics,” said Samantha Burton of Seattle, who said Sanders was the first candidate who had inspired her to make a donation.

Jocelyn Alt, a birthing assistant at a Seattle hospital, said she backed Clinton because she believed the times called for someone who could get things done.

“She knows how to make things happen,” she said. “I think Hillary is more likely to win against a Republican.”

After Wisconsin, the Democratic race moves to contests in New York on April 19 and a bloc of five states in the Northeast, led by Pennsylvania, on April 26.

There were no contests on Saturday in the Republican race featuring Trump and rivals U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

On Saturday, the New York Times published a lengthy foreign policy-focused interview with Trump. The New York billionaire told the newspaper he might stop oil purchases from Saudi Arabia unless they provide troops to fight the Islamic State.

Trump also told the Times he was willing to rethink traditional U.S. alliances should he become president.

 

(Additional reporting by Eric Johnson in Seattle and Chris Michaud; editing by Bill Trott and Jason Neely)

Photo: Supporters of Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders listen during a Sanders rally at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington March 25, 2016. REUTERS/David Ryder

Obama’s Arctic Adventure Ends With Sinking Village, Fish Spawn

By Roberta Rampton

KOTZEBUE, Alaska (Reuters) — President Barack Obama got a taste of the U.S. Arctic on Wednesday, dropping in to two remote fly-in native villages in a journey the White House hopes will show how climate change is affecting Americans.

Crossing the Arctic Circle, Air Force One flew over Kivalina, pop. 400, a whaling village on a barrier island debating whether to move as melting sea ice raises sea levels.

Obama said Kivalina is a harbinger of hardships other parts of the country could face if global warming goes unchecked.

“I’ve been trying to make the rest of the country more aware of the changing climate — but you’re already living it,” Obama told a crowd jammed into a school gym.

It was the culmination of a three-day adventure in which Obama hiked to a glacier and toured majestic fjords by boat, delighting residents in a vast and sparsely populated state often left off presidential itineraries.

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen before: the president, in Kotzebue, my hometown!” said Betty Kingeak, 26, who is a cashier and delivery driver at Little Louie’s restaurant.

Kingeak said she worries climate change could mean her children will not be able to camp, hunt, and fish like she does.

Obama, the first sitting president to cross the Arctic Circle, is pushing to marshal support for an international agreement to reduce carbon emissions.

He also wants to convince Congress to back at least one new heavy ice breaker for the U.S. Coast Guard, a national security priority underscored by a report on Wednesday that Chinese navy ships were in the Bering Sea near Alaska.

‘Uh-Oh’

Earlier on Wednesday, Obama visited Dillingham, a town on Bristol Bay, home to one of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fisheries, where two women gave him a crash course in catching salmon in traditional nets.

“I’ve got to get some gloves so I can handle my fish,” Obama said, donning an orange pair and hoisting a still-flopping silver salmon.

The fish promptly relieved itself on his shoes.

“Uh-oh. What happened there?” he said, laughing as the women explained the fish was spawning.

He tried his hand at Yup’ik native dancing with grade school students before taking his motorcade down the main drag, passing a fishing boat with the hulking head of a recently killed moose.

At the N + N Market, where a large bag of Doritos cost $9.39, Obama talked about the high costs of food in places where almost everything has to be shipped in.

The community was plastered with signs like “Mines and fish don’t co-exist” protesting against the Pebble Mine copper and gold project proposed by Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.

The Environmental Protection Agency has placed restrictions on the proposed mine, which the company is fighting in court.

“Our view is that if the president is interested in the issue he should try to hear from all perspectives about it, including those closest to Pebble who would like the jobs Pebble may provide,” said Mike Heatwole, a spokesman for Pebble Limited Partnership.

Obama did not address the mine directly, but noted he had taken steps this year to shut off Bristol Bay from oil and gas exploration to protect the fishing industry.

“There are other threats to this environment that we’ve always got to be alert to,” Obama said.

(Additional reporting by Steve Quinn in Juneau, Alaska; Editing by Louise Ireland, Toni Reinhold)

Photo: U.S. President Barack Obama (C) observes traditional salmon preserving with fishermen on the shore of the Nushagak River in Dillingham, Alaska, September 2, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst