With Joanie Greve and Mariana Alfaro
THE BIG IDEA: Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) says the decline in American manufacturing is as much a failure of public policy as anything else.
“Jump-Starting America,” a book published in April by Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson, compares the 10 metropolitan areas with the highest average earnings in 2016 to 1980. Back then, five of the top 10 were in Michigan: Flint, Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Midland, Saginaw and Monroe. None of those places make the list anymore.
“In the years since 1980, our country’s economic policy priorities have shifted to other industries like technology and health care,” said Peters, 60. “As a result of this shift, communities like Flint and Detroit have seen their economic opportunity decline while regions like Silicon Valley and Boston have prospered.”
Meanwhile, the senator lamented in an extended interview over the weekend, countries like China, South Korea and India have successfully implemented national manufacturing plans. He pointed to investments by South Korea to develop self-driving vehicles and by China to build better electric batteries. According to Peters, the United States has increased spending on research and development for manufacturing by about 10 percent over the past five years while Beijing increased it by 90 percent and Seoul increased it by 50 percent.
“Other countries have strategic visions. There's no reason why we can't,” he said. “Something I believe to my core is that you can't be a great country if you don't actually make products that you can sell around the world. So many countries understand the importance of their manufacturing sector. They invest … they nurture … and they work on coordinated policies to make sure the sector is healthy and vibrant. Yet we really haven't done that in this country. Manufacturing has played a back-seat role.”
In a speech on Tuesday, Peters plans to propose the creation of a new federal agency to chart a national industrial policy. His inspiration for what he wants to call the National Institute of Manufacturing comes from the National Institutes of Health. Peters said he studied everything from the creation of the National Science Foundation to the Department of Homeland Security. “This will be an executive branch agency that will house our national manufacturing programs under one roof,” he said. “NIH does a great job of coordinating a strategic vision for health care. Something similar should exist in manufacturing.”
Peters shared an early look at the draft of the keynote he plans to deliver tomorrow afternoon at a manufacturing summit being organized by a University of Michigan professor with the help of federal grants. He’s speaking between Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who has also been devoting increasing attention lately to this issue, and officials from the Pentagon and Commerce Department.
The Government Accountability Office tabulated in a 2017 report that there are 58 programs that focus on manufacturing, but they’re scattered across 11 federal agencies. Peters argues that the government does not need to spend more money to foster innovation. He said he believes the problems are inefficiency and insufficient attention from the most senior administration officials. He would streamline all these initiatives and put them under one umbrella.
“If you study those programs, they’re kind of buried in the bureaucracy of all these different agencies,” he said. “They probably were just added on over the course of years. It was like, 'Oh, we should probably do something on manufacturing. Let's create this specific program.' But there was no broad, comprehensive thought that went into it. Now's the time to coordinate all that.”
In the same vein as NIH, which established institutes to combat diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS, Peters said the National Institute of Manufacturing would have directorates to focus on technology development, industrial commons, education and the workforce, small and medium manufacturers, and trade.
Peters emphasized that most R&D would still be funded by business. “The NIH picks up those areas where the private sector, the pharmaceutical companies, might not be investing in research,” he said. “We’re not doing that in manufacturing.”
Peters said the existing efforts are “by and large good,” but they’re too siloed. “Unfortunately, these programs do not always work in concert with each other,” he said. “In some cases, there are layers and layers of bureaucracy that prevent an idea from seeing the light of day. We cannot let bureaucracy and disjointed programs stifle innovation.”
The senator wants to create a new role for a manufacturing czar who could report directly to the president. This person would be called the chief manufacturing officer of the United States. “It's important to put someone in charge,” said Peters. “You cannot have someone who has to wear 20 different hats. If you're wearing 20 different hats, some of those hats aren't going to get the kind of attention that they deserve. And that's why we want to put all of this into one umbrella organization.”
This isn’t some academic debate. This issue will probably be front and center in the 2020 campaign. Politicians have been talking about the need to do something for manufacturing for decades. President Trump breached the so-called blue wall in 2016 by appealing to working-class whites in places like Macomb County, Mich. He promised to bring back their manufacturing jobs that have moved overseas. Even though the economy is essentially at full employment, the president’s record on this metric is much more mixed.
Trump’s approval rating has slipped in the Wolverine State. A poll released Friday by EPIC-MRA showed that he’s viewed favorably by 40 percent of likely voters in 2020 and unfavorably by 57 percent. The survey showed Joe Biden leading by 11 points in a hypothetical, head-to-head matchup with the president.
The president is formally kicking off his reelection campaign with a big rally on Tuesday night in Florida, but his path to victory once again goes through the industrial Midwest. Likewise, Democrats need Michigan’s 16 electoral votes in most scenarios to win back the White House, and they have no path to a Senate majority without Peters.
He is one of only two Democratic senators up for reelection next year in a state carried by Trump in 2016. The other is Doug Jones in Alabama. National Republicans recruited John James this month to challenge Peters. The 38-year-old African American combat veteran waged a stronger-than-expected challenge against Debbie Stabenow, the state’s senior senator, in the midterms. He linked himself closely with Trump and still lost by 6.5 points. James, the chief executive of an automotive logistics company in Detroit, is running in 2020 as a “conscientious capitalist.”
Peters has kept a low profile in the Senate. Five years into his first term, many Michiganders still don’t have a well-defined view of him. A former financial adviser who served in the Navy Reserve, he spent eight years in the state Senate, lost the 2002 race for Michigan attorney general and then led the state lottery for five years before he ran for Congress. Riding Barack Obama’s coattails, he defeated an eight-term House Republican incumbent in the Detroit suburbs in 2008. Then he narrowly prevailed in 2010 as a top GOP target. Republicans in the state legislature eliminated his seat going into 2012, forcing him into a majority African American district. But he defeated Rep. Hansen Clarke in a primary. In 2014, Peters ran for the seat that opened with Carl Levin’s retirement. He was the only non-incumbent Democrat to win a Senate seat that year.
The senator said he wants the National Institute of Manufacturing to be a bipartisan undertaking. Peters is looking for Republican co-sponsors in the Senate and House. He’s planning to circulate a draft of his bill to offices on both sides of the aisle before introducing it so that he can make whatever changes are necessary to get broad support.
Peters argues that a nimble enough government policy that encourages the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence to manufacturing could bring back jobs that have gone overseas. We spoke on Saturday afternoon by phone as he drove between events in Michigan. Peters said that this new chief manufacturing officer could be the government’s point person on making sure young people learn the job skills necessary for the factories of the future.
“If you go on the factory floor in Michigan, it's not your father's or grandfather's factory,” he said. “As I travel around Michigan … the number one problem that they're facing is a lack of skilled labor. They say they have the job openings. They just don't have folks with the right kind of training and skills they need.”
In his speech tomorrow, Peters will make the case for optimism. “Venture capitalists call this disruption,” he plans to say. “I take a different view. I think change is only disruptive if it’s happening to you. If you are leading the change, it becomes transformational.”
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- Iran threatened to increase its enriched uranium stockpile beyond the limits set by the 2015 nuclear deal within the next 10 days. Rick Noack reports: “Iran has denied claims by the Trump administration and others that it is seeking to build a nuclear bomb. But on Monday, Iran also announced enrichment targets that would put it in the proximity of the levels needed to build a weapon. It was unclear how long Iran would need to reach those targets. … Monday’s comments to reporters by the spokesman for Iran’s nuclear agency, Behrouz Kamalvandi, indicates that efforts to resume the enrichment could begin even sooner than initially threatened. The move would constitute a blow to E.U. efforts to uphold the 2015 deal.”
-- The standoff with Tehran is exposing Trump’s credibility gap, as allies demand that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo provide more concrete evidence linking Iran to last week's attacks on oil tankers. Carol Morello, Kareem Fahim and Simon Denyer report: “Japan and Germany have requested stronger evidence than the grainy video released by the Pentagon appearing to show an Iranian patrol boat removing from one of the ships an item said to be an unexploded mine. Pompeo said in appearances on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ and ‘Fox News Sunday’ that he had spent much of the weekend talking with his counterparts in foreign capitals. It was an implicit acknowledgment that he has work to do convincing the world the U.S. accusations against Iran … are indeed, as Pompeo put it, ‘indisputable’ and ‘unmistakable.’”
GET SMART FAST:
Some Americans are traveling to Canada to buy insulin for a fraction of the price it costs in the United States. A small caravan of Americans drove last month to Fort Frances, Ontario, where they paid $1,200 for insulin that would have cost $12,000 in the United States. (Emily Rauhala)
Potent pot is posing a problem for teenagers in Colorado and Washington, the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana. Teenagers are more easily gaining access to potent marijuana, and visits to Children’s Hospital Colorado facilities for cannabis-related symptoms have more than quadrupled. (Jennifer Oldham)
Early returns in the Guatemalan presidential election show former first lady Sandra Torres, a center-left candidate, winning the first round. Torres is leading her conservative rival, Alejandro Giammattei, by seven points. She’s been named in a criminal case alleging campaign finance violations, but in Guatemala, political candidates have immunity from prosecution. (Reuters)
Boeing executives apologized to the families of the 346 victims of the 737 Max jet crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Kevin McAllister, CEO of Boeing’s commercial aircraft division, told reporters at the Paris Air Show that “we are very sorry for the loss of lives.” He also said he's “sorry for the disruption” to airlines from the subsequent grounding of all Max planes worldwide, and to their passengers facing summer travel. He wouldn’t say when the Max could fly again. (AP)
Gary Woodland won the U.S. Open, his first major title. The 35-year-old Kansas native finished at 13 under — defeating Brooks Koepka, who was seeking a third consecutive title. (Cindy Boren and Des Bieler)
- The U.S. women’s national soccer team secured a place in the knockout round of the World Cup by defeating Chile 3-0. The Americans need only a draw against the Swedish team on Thursday to claim the top spot in the next round. (Steven Goff and Michael Errigo)
A former Southern Baptist pastor in Texas was charged with molesting a teenage relative. Authorities say Stephen Bratton, who previously backed a state bill to charge women with homicide if they had an abortion, forced his relative to engage in “sexual intercourse multiple times a day or several times a week” from 2013 to 2015. (AP)
A woman was arrested in Miami Beach for allegedly attacking a sea turtle nest with a wooden stake. Eyewitnesses said they saw Michigan resident Yaqun Lu “jabbing at the sea turtle nest and stomping all over the nest with her bare feet,” which would violate Florida law and the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973. (Deanna Paul)
A Yankees jersey said to have been worn by Babe Ruth sold for $5.46 million. The jersey is believed to have been worn during the team’s “Murderers’ Row” period in the late 1920s. (Des Bieler)
- The song lyrics website Genius accused Google of lifting its content. Genius said it found more than 100 examples of songs that came up on Google’s platform originating from its site. The company said it figured it out by using a watermarking system that embedded patterns in the formatting of apostrophes in the lyrics. (Wall Street Journal)
THERE’S STILL A BEAR IN THE WOODS:
-- House Democrats’ respect for Nancy Pelosi, as well as their fear of crossing the House speaker, have stifled calls for impeachment in recent weeks. Rachael Bade interviewed more than 20 lawmakers and top aides: “Prominent liberals in the House, impatient with [Pelosi’s] opposition to impeaching [Trump], seemed on the brink of a major breakthrough one night last month. The chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a key Pelosi ally and the man who would preside over the hearings, was preparing to buck his party’s leader and join the pro-impeachment movement. Pelosi moved swiftly. She summoned her top lieutenants to a late-night meeting and hatched a plan — that six party leaders, speaking in unison, would make clear to the chairman why impeaching Trump was a terrible idea. … [House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry] Nadler left the room that night and has not publicly endorsed impeachment. … Over the past few weeks, Pelosi has worked behind the scenes to stifle the pro-impeachment movement in her caucus with strategically timed comments and announcements — and nudges to her members to get in line.”
-- Meanwhile, a new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll showed growing Democratic support for launching impeachment proceedings against Trump. NBC's Mark Murray reports: “Overall, 27 percent of Americans say there’s enough evidence to begin impeachment hearings now — up 10 points from last month. Another 24 percent think Congress should continue investigating to see if there’s enough evidence to hold impeachment hearings in the future, which is down eight points. And 48 percent believe that Congress should not hold impeachment hearings and that Trump should finish out his term as president — unchanged from a month ago. Almost all the growth in support for impeachment has come from Democrats, with 48 percent of them wanting impeachment hearings now, versus 30 percent who said this a month ago. Just 6 percent of Republicans support beginning impeachment hearings now, while a whopping 86 percent say Trump should finish his term as president.”
-- Contradicting the special counsel’s report, Trump claimed he never wanted to fire Bob Mueller because of the lessons he learned from Richard Nixon’s presidency. “I wasn't going to fire him,” Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “You know why? Because I watched Richard Nixon go around firing everybody, and that didn't work out too well.” Trump added he felt he had a constitutional right to fire Mueller if he had chose to. “Look, Article II. I would be allowed to fire Robert Mueller,” Trump said. “He wasn't fired. Okay? Number one, very importantly. But more importantly, Article II allows me to do whatever I want. Article II would have allowed me to fire him.” Mueller’s report outlined multiple instances in which Trump directed former White House counsel Don McGahn to have then-deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein fire Mueller. (ABC News)
-- House Democrats are planning on calling witnesses who never worked in the White House in an attempt to circumvent Trump’s stonewalling of investigations. Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn and Kyle Cheney report: “Key lawmakers (say) they hope to make an end run around Trump’s executive privilege assertions by expanding their circle of testimony targets to people outside government who nonetheless had starring roles in [the Mueller report.] That includes presidential confidants like former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.”
THE DOMESTIC AGENDA:
-- Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wants to assure the American public that his Supreme Court is apolitical. But the term’s biggest cases involve two of the most politically consequential decisions the court has made in years. Robert Barnes reports: “One initiative is to include a citizenship question in the 2020 Census, which has fueled a partisan showdown on Capitol Hill. The other could outlaw the partisan gerrymandering techniques that were essential to Republican dominance at the state and congressional level over the past decade. … Roberts sits physically at the middle of the bench in the grand courtroom, and now, for the first time since he joined the court in 2005, at the center of the court’s ideological spectrum. With the retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy last summer, the most important justice on the Roberts Court became Roberts himself. Roberts in the past has shown himself to be far more conservative than Kennedy, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested recently that has not changed.” Decisions in any of the 24 remaining cases on the court’s docket could come as soon as today.
-- To counter Democrats, Trump wants to reveal his own plan to replace Obamacare — but his Republican allies want him to let go of the issue. The Times’s Peter Baker, Michael Tackett and Linda Qiu report: “Since he announced his previous run four years ago, Mr. Trump has promised to replace President Barack Obama’s health care law with ‘something terrific’ that costs less and covers more without ever actually producing such a plan. Now he is vowing to issue the plan within a month or two, reviving a campaign promise with broad consequences for next year’s contest. If he follows through, it could help shape a presidential race that Democrats would like to focus largely on health care. … But nervous Republicans worry that putting out a concrete plan with no chance of passage would only give the Democrats a target to pick apart over the next year.”
-- The White House and top congressional leaders from both parties will meet again in an attempt to reach a spending deal. Politico’s John Bresnahan and Burgess Everett report: They will “try once again to reach a deal to avoid tens of billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts this fall, according to congressional and administration officials. Yet both sides acknowledge they're not close to an agreement at this point, with even Senate Republicans and the White House unable to fully hash out a common position among themselves. The federal government's debt ceiling will also need to be increased later this year in order to avoid a catastrophic default, foreshadowing how ugly this fall may get in Washington.”
-- Trump’s reelection campaign cut ties with three pollsters after the leak of internal numbers that showed the president losing to Joe Biden. Felicia Sonmez, Josh Dawsey and Ashley Parker report: “The campaign is severing its relationship with Brett Loyd, Mike Baselice and Adam Geller while keeping pollsters Tony Fabrizio and John McLaughlin. … The news follows reports … on a 17-state internal poll conducted by Fabrizio. The data … show Trump trailing Biden by double digits in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan, where Trump narrowly edged out Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. … Privately, the president was livid that the numbers leaked out, according to White House and campaign officials. ‘He is madder that the numbers are out than that the numbers exist,’ said one senior administration official. … The disclosure of the polling data has upended what has been a relatively smooth-running reelection operation so far — and highlights the stark challenges the president faces in forging a coalition to repeat his 2016 victory.”
-- Trump’s comments that he would accept damaging information from a foreign power, combined with his refusal to dismiss Kellyanne Conway over Hatch Act violations, have raised concerns he is adopting a win-at-all-costs approach to his reelection bid. David Nakamura and Holly Bailey report: “Taken together, the actions set off new alarm bells among legal analysts and Trump’s political rivals who warned that the president and his aides have emerged from the scorched-earth battle over the special counsel’s [investigation] with a conviction that they need not feel constrained by the safeguards built into the nation’s political system as they look to 2020. ‘We’re at a bad place. They’re emboldened and not trying to hide it anymore,’ said Glenn Kirschner, a legal analyst who spent three decades as a federal prosecutor. ‘They realized they could get away with it. There’s no accountability.’”
-- A new Fox News poll shows Bernie Sanders continues to fade. Fox News's Dana Blanton reports on the network's numbers: “Biden tops the list of Democratic contenders with 32 percent support among primary voters. Sanders trails at 13 percent, Elizabeth Warren at 9 percent, and Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris both at 8 percent. Next is Beto O’Rourke at 4 percent, Cory Booker at 3 percent, and Amy Klobuchar and Andrew Yang each garner 2 percent. ... Since March, Sanders is down 10 points, while Buttigieg ( 7), Warren ( 5), and Biden ( 1) have gained ground.”
-- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Biden still has his work cut out for him to reassure women who feel “discomfort” following allegations of inappropriate touching. When asked on ABC’s “This Week” whether she thought Biden understood the concerns around his behavior, the freshman congresswoman said: “I think that’s something that he has to kind of show the electorate. … You know, I think that it is an issue where there is a struggle; I’ll be completely honest. … I don’t think he’s necessarily convinced all women.” (Felicia Sonmez)
-- Buttigieg stepped off the campaign trail after a deadly shooting in his city. John Wagner reports: “At a news conference Sunday night in South Bend, the Democratic hopeful said he was getting in front of cameras soon as possible after the incident because of lessons learned from prior experiences during his tenure for which he had been criticized. ‘We’ve had prior cases of use-of-force incidents and officer-involved shootings where I hesitated, frankly, to get in front of cameras because we didn’t know very much, and it was out of our hands,’ Buttigieg said. ‘What I was told by people in the community is that it is important to open channels of communication to try to be clear on where the city is, even if we don’t find ourselves in a position to be able to say or do much right away.’”
-- Wall Street donors like Biden, Harris and Buttigieg. The Times’s Shane Goldmacher reports: “Interviews with two dozen top contributors, fund-raisers and political advisers on Wall Street and beyond revealed that while many are still hedging their bets, those who care most about picking a winner are gravitating toward Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, while donors are swooning over Mr. Buttigieg enough to open their wallets and bundling networks for him.”
-- Buttigieg raised $7 million in April, donors were told on a conference call. (Politico)
-- Buttigieg also said he’s “almost certain” the United States has already had gay presidents. “We have had excellent presidents who have been young. We have had excellent presidents who have been liberal. I would imagine we've probably had excellent presidents who were gay — we just didn't know which ones. Statistically, it's almost certain,” the mayor told Axios.
-- The 2020 campaign isn’t going according to Kirsten Gillibrand’s plan. The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere reports: “People working with her campaign acknowledge that she clearly underestimated how much her being out front in calling for Al Franken to resign from the Senate was going to haunt her—even though that was a year and a half ago, and despite the fact that all the other senators in the race called for him to go too. Among primary voters and partisan media outlets that put a premium on purity, no one is letting go of her past pro-gun or anti-immigrant positions. The media spotlight she gets in New York and Washington only makes it more shocking when insiders in those cities realize she’s largely unknown to almost everyone else.”
THE CHINA THREAT:
-- In Hong Kong, protesters returned to the streets on Sunday to continue demonstrating against their government’s handling of extradition negotiations with China, even after the city’s leader said she would suspend the effort. Shibani Mahtani reports: “Organizers estimated the turnout Sunday at nearly 2 million participants, in a territory of some 7.4 million — making plain the growing rupture between Hong Kong’s government, heavily influenced by Beijing authorities, and its people. … Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, said Saturday she would suspend debate on the bill in an effort to ‘restore calm and peace’ to Hong Kong. After protests swelled on Sunday, she apologized to the people of Hong Kong for ‘deficiencies in the government’s work’ and promised to ‘adopt a most sincere and humble attitude to accept criticisms and make improvements.’ … But she has stopped short of withdrawing the bill altogether. She has insisted the proposal — which would allow fugitives to be extradited to countries without a formal treaty with Hong Kong, including China — is ‘laudable.’”
-- Hong Kong police say they plan to clear the streets of protesters today. (AP)
-- Joshua Wong, one of the city’s pro-democracy icons, was released from prison after serving one month of a two-month sentence related to 2014 protests. CNN’s James Griffiths and Anna Coren report: “’It's really good timing to join the fight for freedom and democracy,’ he [said] after his release. ‘Five years ago after the end of the Umbrella Movement, we claimed we would be back. Yesterday two million people came to the streets ... it shows Hong Kong people realize this is a long term battle.’ … Wong added that he thought Beijing too must be looking at the chaos in Hong Kong -- amid the US-China trade war and other headaches for President Xi Jinping -- and wondering about Lam's future.”
-- Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said his company’s revenue will be $30 billion below earlier forecasts over the next two years. From the AP: “The Chinese telecom giant will reduce capacity but U.S. moves to restrict its business ‘will not stop us,’ Zhengfei said on a panel at company headquarters. The U.S. has put Huawei on a blacklist, meaning that American companies that want to sell parts to Huawei will need approval from the U.S. Commerce Department. Ren said it never occurred to Huawei that the American government would be so determined to take such a wide range of what he called extreme measures against the company. ‘I think both sides will suffer,’ he said. ‘No one will win.’”
-- Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said Trump could still meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit. From the Wall Street Journal’s Josh Zumbrun: “‘I think the most that will come out of the G-20 might be an agreement to actively resume talks,’ Mr. Ross said in a phone interview Sunday. ‘At the presidential level they’re not going to talk about the details of how do you enforce a trade agreement.’ ‘The most that might come is new ground rules for discussion and some sort of schedule for when detailed technical talks might resume,’ said Mr. Ross.”
-- As the Trump administration seeks a space force, Beijing is developing weapons to use in orbit. Politico’s Jacqueline Feldscher and the South China Morning Post’s Liu Zhen report: “Outspending a rival power into economic exhaustion might have helped the U.S. win the Cold War, said Qiao Liang, a major general in the Chinese air force who co-wrote a book called ‘Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America.’ But he said it won’t work against a wealthy manufacturing powerhouse like China. … Qiao’s words come as both Washington and Beijing are pouring money and resources into an increasingly militarized space race that some security specialists and former U.S. officials fear is heightening the risk of war. The aggressive maneuvers include ... efforts by both countries to develop laser and cyber weapons that could take out each other's satellites.”
MORE ON THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
-- Boris Johnson, the front-runner in the race for British prime minister, skipped the first televised debate. Onstage, he was represented by an empty lectern. William Booth reports: “’Where’s Boris’ his five competitors asked. The current British foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt, said that if Johnson could not handle tussling with five friendly colleagues, how would he possibly handle the wily negotiators in Brussels and the leaders of the European Union to get this better Brexit deal everyone promises? Brexit, again, being the only point of this entire exercise. … Johnson declined to appear, he said, because viewers might be turned off by too much ‘blue-on-blue action.’ Which sounds a little kinky but refers to Tories attacking Tories. Or put another way, Johnson’s fellow Tories attacking him, the front-runner. No matter, Johnson said, he would appear at the next scheduled debate, this one on the BBC on Tuesday — after the field is slimmed to five, maybe four, in balloting by Conservative members of Parliament this week.”
-- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a special ceremony to dedicate a new town in the Golan Heights named “Trump Heights.” The town, however, doesn’t yet exist. From Axios: “Netanyahu took the whole Israeli cabinet to the Golan Heights today and stated the cabinet will pass a resolution to establish the new town. But the cabinet resolution that passed actually said the government couldn't make a decision like that during an election period. So what was actually decided is that the Ministry of Housing will start preliminary planning work. For now, there is not even a fund allocated to build the new town. But what Netanyahu and his people did do was place a huge sign with the name of the new town in the spot the town might be located sometime in the future. Netanyahu and Ambassador (David) Friedman unveiled the sign in front of the cameras and praised Trump.”
-- A blackout in South America left tens of millions without power. Paul Byrne and Luis Andres Henao report: People in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay were left in the dark reportedly because of a failure in the countries’ power grid. “Authorities were working frantically to restore power, and by the evening electricity had returned to 98 percent of Argentina, according to state news agency Télam. Power also had been restored to most of Uruguay’s 3 million people as well as to people in neighboring Paraguay. On Sunday morning, Argentine voters were forced to cast ballots by the light of cellphones in gubernatorial elections. … An Argentine independent energy expert said that systemic operational and design errors played a role in the power grid’s collapse. … Uruguay’s energy company UTE said the failure cut power to all of Uruguay for hours and blamed the collapse on a ‘flaw in the Argentine network.’”
THE IMMIGRATION WARS:
-- A new wave of migrants is reaching the southern border, and this time they’re coming from Central Africa. The Times’s Manny Fernandez reports: “Men, women and children from central Africa — mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola — are showing up at the United States’ southwest border after embarking on a dangerous, monthslong journey. Their arrival at the border and at two cities more than 2,100 miles apart — San Antonio and Portland, Me. — has surprised and puzzled immigration authorities and overwhelmed local officials and nonprofit groups. The surge has prompted Portland to turn its basketball arena into an emergency shelter and depleted assistance funds meant for other groups. Officials in both cities have had to reassure the public that fears of an Ebola outbreak were unfounded while also pleading for volunteer interpreters who speak French and Portuguese.”
-- Constantin Mutu is the youngest child we know about who was separated from his family at the border. He was just 4 months old when he was taken from his parents. They wouldn’t see him again for another five months. The Times’s Caitlin Dickerson reports: “In Constantin’s case, it would be months before his parents saw him again. Before then, his father would be sent for psychiatric evaluation in a Texas immigration detention center because he couldn’t stop crying; his mother would be hospitalized with hypertension from stress. Constantin would become attached to a middle-class American family, having spent the majority of his life in their tri-level house on a tree-lined street in rural Michigan, and then be sent home. Now more than a year and a half old, the baby still can’t walk on his own, and has not spoken. ...
“Constantin was still in diapers when he appeared in federal immigration court in Detroit, four months to the day after he had arrived in Michigan, on June 14, 2018. During the five-minute proceeding, he babbled on his foster mother’s lap as she sat on the defendant’s bench. His pro bono legal representative requested that he be returned to Romania as soon as possible at government expense. A lawyer for the Department of Homeland Security argued against the request, stating that as an ‘arriving alien,’ Constantin was not eligible for such help. The judge quickly ruled against her, questioning the idea ‘that the respondent should be responsible for making his own way back to Romania as an 8-month-old.’”
-- A new Fox poll shows that half of American voters believe the Trump administration has gone too far on immigration enforcement. Bloomberg News’s Hailey Waller reports: “The 50% who say enforcement of immigration laws has ‘gone too far’ is more than double, 24%, those who say actions haven’t gone far enough. About one in five say the measures are about right. By a wide majority -- 73% to 24% -- Americans favor giving legal status to young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, so-called Dreamers. Allocating more agents to the border was a more popular choice than imposing tariffs on Mexican imports or building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. On tariffs, nearly eight in 10 of those polled had concerns that things they buy will be more expensive. More voters say tariffs hurt rather than help the U.S. economy, with 45% saying they hurt and 33% saying they help.”
-- International students are being left stranded by visa delays and backlogged immigration services. The Times’s Erica L. Green reports: Students are “awaiting work authorization under a program called Optional Practical Training, which allows international students legally attending school to work for up to a year in a field related to their studies. They can apply for the authorization only 90 days before they are scheduled to start a job or complete their degree. In prior years that was not a problem: The maximum wait time was 90 days, though university leaders said that it was rare that it exceeded 60. This year, Citizenship and Immigration Services is projecting a lag of up to five months, which an agency official said was a result of ‘a surge in employment authorization requests' that had created a “small backlog.’”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
Trump asked Mick Mulvaney, his acting chief of staff, to leave the room to cough during his interview with ABC News. “The president was in the middle of answering a question about his financial records when he became distracted by the sharp sound of his chief of staff expelling air from his lungs,” Isaac Stanley-Becker reports. “Trump tripped over his words, requesting to Stephanopoulos, ‘Let’s do that over.’ Appearing to point at Mulvaney, he said, ‘He’s coughing in the middle of my answer.’”
Text from former 2016 Trump campaign staffer: “I was told by multiple people when I came aboard to never cough or sneeze while in the presence of Trump. He thinks it’s a sign of weakness and lack of control. Nobody ever recovers.” https://t.co/9CmKeoH1iu— Jackie Alemany (@JaxAlemany) June 17, 2019
Obama's former deputy national security adviser made this point about the Trump administration's comments on Iran:
There has been no Secretary of Defense for six months. Note the escalation with Iran in that period.— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) June 15, 2019
A Post video editor highlighted this from the Sunday shows:
Steve Scalise refuses to say House Republicans won’t use stolen or hacked campaign material in the 2020 election.— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) June 16, 2019
House Republicans pulled out of talks with Democrats to not use stolen or hacked material in 2018 and the RNC has made no commitment either.https://t.co/C7RnnAXJ5Q pic.twitter.com/w3l0JxWFbA
The former FBI director criticized 2020 candidates, namely Kamala Harris, who have called for the prosecution of Trump:
Political candidates and elected officials should not talk about the future prosecution of any individual. Law enforcement decisions must be apolitical.— James Comey (@Comey) June 15, 2019
A former Democratic senator mocked Trump's press secretary's departing message:
I hope I will be remembered for being quiet, shy, and always very thin. https://t.co/xooVXvLoIi— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) June 15, 2019
A Post reporter shared this moment from the campaign trail:
Man in the blue t-shirt interrupted Harris to ask what she will do for veterans. Within a minute of him starting, Harris’s husband Doug Emhoff (dark blue suit) was inches away. pic.twitter.com/3jwb2N0vna— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) June 15, 2019
Two presidential candidates traded tips, per a CNN reporter:
Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke meet behind the scenes at the Black Economic Alliance event in South Carolina.— Dan Merica (@merica) June 15, 2019
Buttigieg mentions he’s headed to Virginia next. O’Rourke asks the mayor if he knows to call it a commonwealth, not a state. pic.twitter.com/NC0ZXoDIbf
Danica Roem, the first openly transgender person to be elected to Virginia's General Assembly, wished Pete and Chasten Buttigieg a happy anniversary:
An NPR reporter pushed back against arguments that Trump's approval rating indicates he won't be reelected:
check this out:— Mara Liasson (@MaraLiasson) June 15, 2019
-June 1983: Mondale 49%, Reagan 39%
-June 1991: George H.W. Bush 51%, Democrat 28%, Don't know 21%
-June 1995: Dole 48%, Clinton 44%
-June 2011: Republican 44%, Obama 39% https://t.co/vqaXmtMm00
Nikki Haley, Trump's former U.N. ambassador who has been talked about as a future GOP presidential candidate, visited Iowa:
Trump suggested he may try to seek a third term, defying the Constitution, while also criticizing the Times and The Post:
.....news is that at the end of 6 years, after America has been made GREAT again and I leave the beautiful White House (do you think the people would demand that I stay longer? KEEP AMERICA GREAT), both of these horrible papers will quickly go out of business & be forever gone!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2019
A presidential historian later tweeted this:
“Nixon backers exploring prospects for third term”—March 1973: pic.twitter.com/ym3T5cNjS8— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) June 16, 2019
The top Senate Democrat raised the issue of immigration on Father's Day:
This #FathersDay, we remember how the Trump administration cruelly separated children from their parents.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 16, 2019
The Trump administration’s approach to immigration is a politically-motivated failure at odds with our values.
We are better than this.
A senator from Texas replied:
Trump also offered this political message for Father's Day — and a former CIA director replied:
Why is it always about you?— Gen Michael Hayden (@GenMhayden) June 16, 2019
A Senate Democrat made this dad joke in honor of Father's Day:
When it becomes apparent!— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) June 16, 2019
Prince Harry celebrated his first Father's Day:
And the Canadian prime minister sought to collect on his NBA finals bet with the House speaker:
-- The Atlantic, “What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane,” by William Langewiesche: “The mystery surrounding MH370 has been a focus of continued investigation and a source of sometimes feverish public speculation. The loss devastated families on four continents. The idea that a sophisticated machine, with its modern instruments and redundant communications, could simply vanish seems beyond the realm of possibility. It is hard to permanently delete an email, and living off the grid is nearly unachievable even when the attempt is deliberate. A Boeing 777 is meant to be electronically accessible at all times. The disappearance of the airplane has provoked a host of theories. Many are preposterous. All are given life by the fact that, in this age, commercial airplanes don’t just vanish.”
-- “This is Fatherhood,” compiled by Amy Joyce: “To mark this Father’s Day, we asked dads to describe a moment when they truly felt like a father, in 500 words or fewer. Here are some of our favorite essays.”
-- The Atlantic, “Why Housing Policy Feels Like Generational Warfare,” by Alexis C. Madrigal: “Places where real estate is cheap don’t have many good jobs. Places with lots of jobs, primarily coastal cities, have seen their real-estate markets go absolutely haywire. The most recent evidence of this remarkable change comes in a new report by the real-estate firm Unison. The company, which provides financing to homebuyers by ‘co-investing’ with them, calculated how long it would take to save up a 20 percent down payment on the median home in a given city by squirreling away 5 percent of the city’s gross median income per year. Nationally, the gap between income and home value has been rising. Using Unison’s methodology, it took nine years to save up a down payment in 1975. Now it takes 14. But the aggregate numbers make the decrease in access to the real-estate market seem gradual, albeit troubling, and underplay the spikiness of the country. In Los Angeles, it would take 43 years to save up for a down payment. In San Francisco, 40.”
-- Los Angeles Times editor Norm Pearlstine writes about the challenges that ensued when his then-girlfriend got an abortion 57 years ago, 11 years before Roe: “We were frightened, embarrassed and reluctant to discuss her pregnancy with friends or family. … Charlene started asking classmates if they had any leads. She was surprised to learn she wasn’t the only one. A friend in her dorm finally referred us to an osteopath who worked out of a shabby office in one of south Philadelphia’s rougher neighborhoods. He wanted $500, equal today to $4,200 when adjusted for inflation. That was far more than I could afford, but a cousin — who never let me forget it — advanced me the money and a few days later, the osteopath performed the abortion. I wish the story ended there, but, alas, Charlene began to hemorrhage. The osteopath wouldn’t return our phone calls.”
HOT ON THE LEFT:
“Tiffany Haddish Cancels Atlanta Show Over Georgia’s Abortion Law,’ from HuffPost: ‘Comedian Tiffany Haddish pulled the plug on her June 22 show in Atlanta in protest over Georgia’s controversial new abortion law. … ‘After much deliberation, I am postponing my upcoming show in Atlanta,’ Haddish said in a statement to CNN on Saturday. ‘I love the state of Georgia, but I need to stand with women and until they withdraw Measure HB481, I cannot in good faith perform there.’ Haddish was scheduled to perform at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. The venue will offer refunds to anyone who bought tickets to the show, a spokeswoman for the public relations firm that represents Fox Theatre told CNN.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT:
“Trump agrees with AOC after Dem warns of 'very real risk' president will be re-elected in 2020,” from Fox News: Ocasio-Cortez “warned Sunday there is ‘very real risk’ [Trump] will win re-election in 2020, sparking a rare response of its kind from the president: ‘I agree.’ … ‘I think that we have a very real risk of losing the presidency to Donald Trump if we do not have a presidential candidate that is fighting for true transformational change in the lives of working people in the United States,’ Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News' Jon Karl on ‘This Week’ … The president quoted the congresswoman in a tweet Sunday night, adding: ‘I agree, and that is the only reason they play the impeach card, which cannot be legally used!’ He did not elaborate.”
Trump and Pence will have lunch. The president has no other events on his public schedule.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“If you can believe it, Abraham Lincoln was treated supposedly very badly. But nobody's been treated badly like me.” — Trump in his ABC News interview.
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- It’s a high-humidity day with potential evening storms. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “A very warm, humid weather pattern has replaced the refreshing conditions late last week. This mugginess fuels storms firing up along a cold front near the region for the first few days this week, especially in the afternoon and evening hours. Some of these storms could be heavy with strong winds and possibly some flooding. The front should finally clear the region late Thursday, setting up a nice Friday and Saturday.”
-- The Nationals beat the Diamondbacks, 15-5. (Jesse Dougherty)
-- “How Jennifer Wexton became the ‘patron saint of the transgender community,’” by Jenna Portnoy: “Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) told the crowd at a recent Capital Pride brunch that she would be delighted if someone opted to portray her in drag. … The cheeky request was a lighthearted nod to what has become Wexton’s signature issue six months into her first term: LGBTQ rights, with an emphasis on the transgender community, which includes her niece. The day she took office, Wexton became the first member of her class — and the second member ever — to display the trans flag outside her congressional office. She helped introduce a bill banning LGBTQ discrimination in housing. … Her focus on transgender rights has irked some Republicans who say the issue affects few of her constituents but energizes the far left and appeals to donors as she prepares to seek a second term. Critics prefer she spend time on traffic, infrastructure and the cost of college.”
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
The secretary of state and Fox News's Chris Wallace had this heated exchange:
On Fox News Sunday, Mike Pompeo nearly blows a gasket when Chris Wallace asks him very straightforward questions regarding Trump's comments about how he wouldn't contact the FBI if he's offered dirt on a 2020 opponent by a foreign government. pic.twitter.com/HgpyFDgBG5— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 16, 2019
John Oliver weighed the pros and cons of Democrats starting impeachment proceedings against Trump:
Hasan Minhaj looked at Internet-access inequality in the U.S.: