With Joanie Greve and Mariana Alfaro
THE BIG IDEA: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock won’t be on the Democratic debate stage next week, but that won’t stop him from talking about money in politics.
Campaign finance animates his presidential campaign more than any other issue. In an extended interview, Bullock excitedly recounted the litigation he’s been involved with since the Citizens United decision, outlined steps he would take on his first day as president to limit the influence of deep-pocketed donors and discussed strategies to force more disclosure from independent groups.
To be sure, Bullock is far from the only Democratic candidate talking about this. Most do. Criticizing the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision is an easy applause line when speaking to liberal activists on the stump. Several candidates, including Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke, have released specific plans on restricting dark money. But no one else has made it the centerpiece of their bid.
Campaign finance is Bullock’s calling card in the same way that climate change propels Jay Inslee, another accomplished second-term Western governor struggling to break through in the crowded field of 23 candidates.
Bullock acknowledges that it’s challenging to connect what can seem like an esoteric topic for many people to the pocketbook issues that they know impact their daily lives. In his stump speech, he bends over backward to couple them.
“Look, people don't wake up each day saying, 'Oh, this outside spending is causing me problems,’” he explained. “What they say is, 'I'm working harder and I'm making less. My union membership is half of what it was in the 1980s. This economy doesn't seem to be working for me, and the political system doesn't seem to give a damn.' That's where the impact is real. That's where, once you get outside of the 202, people are saying that if elected officials are going to be sort of like NASCAR, where they're sponsored by all kinds of folks, as least we ought to know who is doing the buying.”
-- The 53-year-old is the only Democratic presidential candidate who has won statewide in a place carried by Donald Trump. He was reelected by four points in 2016 on the same day Trump won Montana by 20 points. Bullock insists he would have qualified if he got in the race earlier — he reportedly fell short by just one respondent in one poll — but he wanted to focus on expanding Medicaid in the state legislative session.
“I don't regret waiting until we got health care for 100,000 Montanans,” he said. “Four years ago, Ben Carson was polling number one. There's plenty of time. Voters want to make the right decision, not a bad decision.”
-- Bullock plans to bracket next week’s debates with televised town halls in the first two early states. On Wednesday evening, WHO-TV’s Channel 13 in Des Moines will air an event with the governor moderated by Dave Price, who plans to pose questions submitted online by likely caucus-goers. On Thursday evening, WMUR’s Channel 9 in Manchester, N.H., will air its own town hall moderated by Adam Sexton. These events may get Bullock more attention than he would from standing on the main stage with nine others.
-- The governor is suing the Trump administration in a bid to compel the Internal Revenue Service to resume collecting information about major donors to groups registered as 501(c)(4) nonprofits. Bullock notes that the IRS announced that it would stop demanding such information by happenstance on the same day Trump held his news conference in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin. Montana’s Republican attorney general refused to join the suit, so the governor went to court on his own. A federal judge heard arguments earlier this month about whether the case can proceed. The Trump Justice Department argues that Bullock lacks standing and that states have no right to dictate to the IRS what information it must collect from taxpayers.
Bullock argued that the new policy would make it easier for foreigners to funnel money into American elections undetected, and he said the administration did not jump through the necessary procedural hoops to roll back the 40-year-old requirement. “Right now, you could literally have a foreign company giving to a nonprofit, and no one would even know,” he said. “That rule has been around since 1971, and Richard Nixon wasn't the exact model of transparency. … We really don't know, nor does the IRS know, who was trying to buy our 2018 midterms.”
He expressed confidence that he’ll prevail on the merits. “I'll be a more geeky lawyer here than you want, but they didn't even do this with notice and comment,” Bullock said. “You can't get rid of a regulation by using a sub-regulatory procedure! One of the things that will help when we win this is that they put that rule in effect right away.”
-- This is the latest salvo in a decade-long legal crusade against Citizens United, which he sees as the worst judicial ruling of modern times. Before the 5-to-4 decision was handed down in June 2010, when he was the state’s attorney general, he organized a coalition of lawyers to warn of a parade of terribles that could result if the post-Watergate campaign finance regime was scuttled.
“Afterward, every other state said, ‘Game over. There's nothing we can do,’” Bullock said. “In Washington, D.C., at the time, we controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency. People decried the decision. They gave speeches about it. But they didn't do anything.”
Bullock sought to continue enforcing Montana’s 1912 ban on corporate spending in elections. The Montana Supreme Court upheld the state’s Corrupt Practices Act. But the Supreme Court ruled against Bullock on appeal and struck down the law on a 5-to-4 vote in 2012.
In 2015, during his first term as governor, Bullock successfully lobbied the GOP-controlled state legislature to pass a law requiring groups that spend money within 90 days of state elections to disclose where they get their funding. Bullock noted that this prompted several national groups, including the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, to stop running attack ads against him 91 days out from the election when he sought a second term in 2016. In its current term, the Supreme Court declined to take up a challenge to the law — allowing it to stand. “If you can do that in a state like ours, you ought to be able to do it all across the country,” Bullock said.
-- Last year, Bullock said he became the first governor to issue an executive order that requires all state government contractors to disclose their political spending and efforts to exert influence. A push to do something similar at the national level faltered during the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency. Bullock promises to sign an order applying the same policy to federal contractors on his first day in the White House if he’s elected. “If a state can do that, think if the federal government did it,” he said. “They contract with almost every business in the country. At the very least, adding the sunshine and transparency will change some of the corporate behavior.”
-- Ultimately, though, Bullock argues, transformational change will require a change in Supreme Court jurisprudence. That’s why he is open to expanding the Supreme Court to 11 justices. “I would love to believe that the court is no longer political, but when you see what Mitch McConnell did in blocking Merrick Garland, then we have to keep all options on the table,” he said. “The idea of expanding the court to 11 to make up for what’s been done in the last few years might be a real good way to do it.”
-- The governor argues that big money has corrupted every facet of federal policymaking and tilted the playing field toward corporations. For examples, he blames the GOP tax cuts, rising prescription drug prices and a failure to address climate change on the corrosive influence of deep-pocketed donors.
As a point of contrast, Bullock said Democrats can win routinely in a red state like Montana because of the electorate's deeply ingrained suspicion of outside money. During the Gilded Age, the Treasure State experienced some of the most flagrant and odious corruption in American history. William Clark, one of the richest men in America, was caught bribing Montana state legislators to appoint him to the U.S. Senate in 1899. This helped create momentum for what became the 17th Amendment, which mandated the direct election of senators. It eventually prompted reforms in the state, including the Corrupt Practices Act that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down five years ago.
“At the turn of the century, there were these Copper Kings — wealthy mining barons who literally spent so much money in our system that every local, state and federal office were controlled by them,” Bullock said. “Mark Twain said William Clark buys politicians like other people buy food, and corruption smells sweet in Montana. Folks finally said enough is enough.”
The governor hopes they’ll do so again in 2020.
MORE ON 2020:
-- Joe Biden’s divergence from the more liberal 2020 candidates was evident during a forum in which representatives of the Poor People’s Campaign grilled the hopefuls on their approaches to poverty and racism. Chelsea Janes reports: “Biden outlined a new health-care proposal, which would build on the Affordable Care Act by increasing access for lower-income people. The former vice president’s tack on health care is less sweeping than the Medicare-for-all plan embraced by some of his Democratic rivals, which they touted later onstage. … The Rev. William Barber II, a founder of the campaign, asked attendees not to cheer or hiss but rather to greet all the candidates with polite applause. Even in this subdued setting, however, the response to Biden was noticeably muted, and he left the stage to applause that was less enthusiastic than that which greeted him.”
-- Biden said at a fundraiser in New York last night that 360,000 donors have given his campaign an average contribution of $55, which would mean he’s raised $19.8 million. The revelation appeared unintentional. Biden's campaign earlier said it raised $6.3 million in its first 24 hours. (Michelle Ye Hee Lee and John Wagner)
-- Top Democratic strategists worry that even their top-tier candidates are not getting their messages across because of Trump’s singular ability to dominate the news cycle. Michael Scherer reports: “Through the first five months of the year, Trump has received about three times as much Google search interest in the United States, on average, as all his Democratic rivals put together. He has been having about 75 percent more social media interactions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram than his rivals combined since February. And when it comes to CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel, Trump was mentioned nearly twice as often as the 23 Democrats last month.”
-- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) released a list this morning of 137 things she would promise to do during her first 100 days as president. Jenna Johnson reports: “Roughly half of these promises involve reversing or counteracting actions taken by Trump and his administration; about half a dozen center on pieces of legislation that Klobuchar would introduce. The rest of the list is filled with actions that she would take using the executive power of the presidency — from directing agencies to aggressively target robocall scammers to increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15 per hour to issuing a waiver so Americans can import less-expensive prescription drugs for themselves from Canada.”
-- House Democrats are growing more anxious about their grip on the majority as the Trump investigations and the noisy debate over impeachment overshadow their pocketbook agenda. Mike DeBonis reports: “In recent weeks, Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has briefed fellow House leaders in private meetings about focus groups the committee commissioned in three key political battlegrounds. The upshot, according to four Democrats familiar with the findings, is that the public’s impression of the new House majority is bound up in its battles with Trump, not in its policy agenda. That has prompted anxiety about whether the Democratic strategy to hold the House in 2020, by focusing intently on health-care costs and other kitchen-table issues, can be effective amid the president’s attacks.”
-- Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez is facing blowback not only for his management of the debate process but also for making Democratic lawmakers feel like “second-class citizens," Politico’s Burgess Everett and Heather Caygle report, based on interviews with more than a dozen House and Senate lawmakers: “Several lawmakers said they felt shunned by the DNC and fret the party is headed toward a brutal election cycle with serious divisions.”
-- Senate Democrats persuaded Cal Cunningham to drop out of the lieutenant governor's race to challenge Sen. Thom Tillis next year in North Carolina, which will again be a presidential battleground. He's a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and still faces two other Democrats in a primary before facing the GOP incumbent. (John Wagner)
TRUMP'S REELECTION CAMPAIGN:
-- Here we go again: The president is officially kicking off his bid for a second term tonight with a huge rally in Orlando. Toluse Olorunnipa, Josh Dawsey and Ashley Parker report on the palace intrigue:
One of the three polling firms abruptly fired by the Trump campaign this weekend was formerly owned by Kellyanne Conway: “Of the three, only [Brett] Loyd appears to be fully on the outs. He’s president and chief executive of Polling Company/WomanTrend, which was founded by Conway. The move to fire the pollsters was supported by campaign manager Brad Parscale and Jared Kushner … There have long been tensions between Kushner and Conway … and advisers said the ouster … was primarily targeted as a jab at her. ... For his part, Trump has publicly denied the existence of the internal polls showing him behind Biden, even as his campaign confirmed them. ...
“Trump’s advisers said the president’s supporters, who are expected to fill the 18,500-seat Amway Center, are not paying attention to internal machinations of the campaign and won’t be swayed by early signs of turbulence. … Trump will take the stage in Florida to make the case that the first 2½ years of his administration have been about ‘promises made’ and ‘promises kept,’ advisers said. He will point to the strong U.S. economy and a slew of actions he has taken on issues including taxes, military spending and judicial appointments. ... According to two advisers who spoke with him in the past month, Trump remains bullish on his prospects and argues that polls don’t capture his popularity. He has pointed to crowd sizes and the number of people who interact with him on social media.”
-- The bigger picture: As Trump announces, there are fresh indicators of a darkening economic outlook. “Trump faces a number of major decisions on trade and the budget in the coming months just as the U.S. economy faces the biggest head winds of his tenure, forcing him to decide whether to recalibrate as recession fears mount for next year,” Damian Paletta and Heather Long report. “Trump has threatened to escalate trade conflicts with China, Mexico, the European Union and Japan, spooking business leaders and leading some to pull back investment. Similarly, budget and debt-ceiling talks with congressional leaders from both parties have sputtered, raising the possibility of another government shutdown in October.
“The uncertainty — and a cooling global economy — led JPMorgan Chase on Monday to predict that there was a 45 percent chance the U.S. economy would enter a recession in the next year, up from 20 percent at the beginning of 2018. Also Monday, a key gauge of New York’s manufacturing industry notched the biggest one-month drop ever recorded. … The economy’s softening and uncertainty around Trump’s next actions are causing a delicate situation for the Fed, which is meeting Tuesday and Wednesday. Trump is relying on the central bank to cut interest rates to boost economic growth. But Fed officials are trying to reconcile worrisome reports about the economy with other areas of relative strength, particularly the low unemployment rate and high levels of consumer spending.”
-- Ahead of the G-20 summit, India lobbed a small but strategic strike against Trump in the trade war, imposing retaliatory tariffs on 28 products and layering in another economic stressor. Taylor Telford reports: “The penalties run as high as 70 percent, affecting agricultural goods such as apples, almonds and walnuts, as well as chemical and finished metal products. India said the move was ‘in the public interest’ following Trump’s decision to revoke India’s preferential trade privileges. India had been the biggest beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences, a program designed to help developing countries sell to U.S. consumers. But Trump, irritated by the United States’ hefty trade deficit with New Delhi, ended India’s favorable trade status on June 5.”
-- Steve Schale, who managed Obama’s Florida effort in 2008 and was a senior adviser in 2012, wrote a smart blog post explaining why it makes sense for Trump to launch his reelection bid in Orlando. He argues the conventional wisdom that Trump carried the Sunshine State because of his strength in the Panhandle is wrong, and he thinks winning again will depend on replicating Trump's margins in the I-4 corridor. “And here’s one little secret — a lot of the movement in those counties come from the same voters who moved around between Obama and Trump in the Midwest, since a lot of the migration into the I-4 counties comes from that part of the US mainland,” Schale writes. “The last Republican to win the White House without Florida was Calvin Coolidge, and well, that was so long ago that Floridians at that time were still at risk of getting malaria.”
-- Republicans withstood the blue wave in Florida during 2018, and many Democrats there think Trump starts with the advantage: “If you are asking me today, I would say Trump will carry Florida,” said Alex Sink, the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nominee. “Trump’s political advisers view Florida, which packs 29 electoral votes and provided 37% of his victory margin in 2016, as trending more Republican, pointing out that Democrats currently hold just one statewide elected office,” the Wall Street Journal's Alex Leary and Michael C. Bender report. “Trump has taken steps to strengthen his ties to Cuban voters in South Florida, rolling back his predecessor’s diplomatic thaw. He has taken a tough line with Venezuela, endearing him to a small but growing number of Venezuelan voters in South Florida. ‘They are not looking to win the Hispanic vote,” [Democratic pollster Fernand] Amandi said of Republicans. ‘They are looking to manage the margins and gain enough to put together a coalition with other voters to get to a majority.’”
-- When the president arrives this evening, at least five of his former employees — undocumented immigrants who were fired from his golf clubs — will be there protesting. The “Baby Trump” blimp will also be in the sky. (New York Daily News)
-- Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, Trump’s lone challenger for the Republican nomination, will hold an intimate fundraiser in D.C. while Trump speaks to a capacity crowd. Robert Costa reports: “Instead of arena rallies, most of Weld’s weeks are filled with little-noticed trips to New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state, where he stops by diners and living rooms to meet with voters who might remember him from when he was a neighboring governor in the 1990s. Other weeks are dotted with meetings and television appearances — he was on MSNBC on Sunday morning — where he has won occasional attention for his scathing criticism of Trump, but little else. … The president’s backers have ignored or mocked Weld since he announced his campaign in April, calling the Harvard lawyer — who can trace his family’s roots to the Pilgrims — ‘nothing more than a delusional elitist.’ That view is shared in the West Wing, according to several Trump advisers, with Weld dismissed as a speck of lint on a black-tie tuxedo. … When asked if there is any chance he drops out before next year’s primary season, Weld said, ‘No.’”
-- Fun flashback to 2016: Trump was discouraged from going down the now-famous golden escalator at Trump Tower when he announced. Parker reports: “At the time, nearly every member of his nascent political team urged Trump not to ride a moving stairway down to his announcement. They fretted that it would look amateurish and not remotely presidential. At one point, George Gigicos, the campaign’s director of advance, offered a compromise: that Trump instead take the elevator, give his speech and then ride the escalator back up once he was done — like a mechanical rope line, Gigicos suggested. Trump was insistent. 'No, I’m going down the escalator,' he said — an early example of him flouting the norms and conventions of politics at nearly every juncture, and often prevailing. … Some in Trump’s orbit — including Michael Cohen, Trump’s then-fixer and personal lawyer, who is serving a three-year prison term for tax evasion and campaign finance violations, among other misdeeds — pushed for a circuslike spectacle, complete with elephants and women in bikinis.”
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- Escalation: Acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan announced that he is sending approximately 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East “for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats,” hours after Iran said its stockpile of enriched uranium will surpass limits set by the 2015 international nuclear deal in 10 days.
“While they are exasperated with Iran, the Europeans are perhaps even more annoyed with Trump, who has repeatedly tested their allegiance and trust,” Karen DeYoung reports. “On Iran, France, Germany and the European Union believe the U.S. president has put them in an impossible position — and made the Iranian threat far worse than it was a year ago for no good reason. Of the European partners to the deal, only Britain so far has accepted that it is ‘almost certain’ that Iran attached mines to the oil tankers last week. … As the administration tries to present convincing proof, the Pentagon on Monday released several photographs it said showed Iran’s involvement more clearly than a grainy video released last week. … Trump has said repeatedly that his goal in Iran is ‘no nuclear weapons’ and that he does not want war. But events seem to be quickly moving in the opposite directions on both counts.”
-- For his part, the president called the alleged Iranian attack on the oil tankers “very minor.” Time’s Tessa Berenson reports: “Trump’s comments, made in a nearly hour-long interview with TIME, struck a different tone than the public stance of the Pentagon and other Republicans in Washington. … Trump said he agrees with the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Iran was behind the attack. … But he also downplayed Iran’s aggression, arguing that the country has adopted a less hostile posture towards the United States since he became president.”
GET SMART FAST:
A gunman was fatally shot by police after opening fire outside a federal building in Dallas. Tom Fox, a Dallas Morning News photographer, was there to cover a federal trial when the shooter, identified by authorities as Brian Isaack Clyde, opened fire. Clyde caused panic but no injuries before he was killed. (Eli Rosenberg)
Four people were injured in a shooting at a celebration for the NBA champion Toronto Raptors. Toronto’s police chief said that officers arrested three people in connection to the shooting and that none of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries. (Amanda Coletta, Cindy Boren and Reis Thebault)
California's wet winter has spurred fears of an intense wildfire season. Officials' anxieties underscore the meteorological extremes the state has faced in recent years. (Scott Wilson)
Another shark attack has been reported in North Carolina, the third this month. The victim, an 8-year-old boy, was left with non-life-threatening puncture wounds to the leg. Only three shark attacks were reported in North Carolina in all of 2018. (New York Times)
U.S. women’s soccer games generated more total revenue than the U.S. men’s games. The revelation may prove key to the gender-discrimination lawsuit by the women's team against the federation. All 28 members of the team allege that U.S. Soccer has paid them less than the men’s team and has denied them equal playing, training and travel conditions. (Wall Street Journal)
The U.S. women’s Thursday match against Sweden could be the first true World Cup test for goalie Alyssa Naeher. Her lack of World Cup and Olympic experience, combined with her relative inactivity in the team’s matches against Thailand and Chile, will be under the microscope against the undefeated Swedes. (Steven Goff)
A man who allegedly paid two hit men to shoot Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz was identified by Dominican authorities. Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota reportedly paid about $7,800 to carry out the hit job, but his motive remains unclear. (Des Bieler)
Authorities detained a man attempting to smuggle 34 finches crammed into hair rollers. The man, who brought the birds to New York City from Guyana, planned to sell the finches for about $3,000 each. (Michael Brice-Saddler)
Gloria Vanderbilt — a socialite whose varied career included modeling, painting and writing — died at 95. Vanderbilt first captured the public’s imagination as a 10-year-old heiress at the center of a heated custody battle during the Great Depression and went on to attract more media attention for her many romantic liaisons and friendships with famous artists. (Valerie J. Nelson)
Historian Alan Brinkley died at 70. Brinkley, whose work chronicled the most important events and leaders in 20th-century American political history, had suffered from ALS for three years. (New York Times)
New research shows that dogs have developed a muscle to raise their eyebrows and make adorable sad puppy dog eyes over thousands of years of domestication. Scientists say this marker, which wolves don’t have, is used by dogs to communicate with humans. (AP)
THE IMMIGRATION WARS:
-- Trump, in a tweet, vowed massive immigration arrests and the removal of “millions of illegal aliens” starting next week. Nick Miroff and Maria Sacchetti report: “Large-scale ICE enforcement operations are typically kept secret to avoid tipping off targets. In 2018, Trump and other senior officials threatened the mayor of Oakland, Calif., with criminal prosecution for alerting city residents that immigration raids were in the works. … U.S. officials with knowledge of the preparations have said in recent days that the operation was not imminent, and ICE officials said late Monday night that they were not aware that the president planned to divulge their enforcement plans on Twitter.
“Executing a large-scale operation of the type under discussion requires hundreds — and perhaps thousands — of U.S. agents and supporting law enforcement personnel, as well as weeks of intelligence gathering and planning to verify addresses and locations of individuals targeted for arrest. The president’s claim that ICE would be deporting ‘millions’ also was at odds with the reality of the agency’s staffing and budgetary challenges. ICE arrests in the U.S. interior have been declining in recent months because so many agents are busy managing the record surge of migrant families across the southern border with Mexico.”
-- In Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, “the American Dream has turned into hell,” Maria Sacchetti reports: “More than 200 migrants were sent back to Juarez on Thursday, double the previous day, and officials expect as many as 500 migrants each day will be returned from El Paso to Juarez in coming weeks. ‘We didn’t expect this many, but it’s our job and we’re trying to handle the situation,’ said Enrique Valenzuela, head of the Chihuahua State Population Council, which registers migrants in Juarez. Valenzuela said Mexico’s federal government brokered the deal to accept the migrants with the White House, part of a diplomatic effort to avoid Trump’s threatened tariffs on Mexican goods. ‘We had no say. We had no choice.’ … Juarez has about a dozen migrant shelters — most run by churches — with room for 1,500 people. That many people could be turned away from the U.S. border every few days, and Valenzuela said the city could use 20 to 30 more shelters to house potentially thousands more migrants. …
“Juarez, once the world’s murder capital, can be a frightening alternative for migrants who had dreamed of reuniting with friends and family in the relative safety of cities across the United States. … Many issues surrounding the anticipated influx remain unresolved: Migrants returned to Mexico are allowed to wait there for their hearings in U.S. courts — a period that sometimes spans months — but they do not have permission to work to support themselves. Many do not have relatives there who can take them in, as they do in the United States. Some are sick and in need of doctors or hospitalization. ‘What worries me is that the city and the state, we’re not that prepared,’ said the Rev. Javier Calvillo Salazar, who runs the city’s largest migrant shelter, Casa del Migrante. ‘That could plunge us into a crisis.’”
-- Arrests along the Mexican border are falling, according to new figures from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, though officials say it's too early to get a full picture of the impact of Trump’s deal with Mexico. Nick Miroff reports: “U.S. authorities detained more than 85,000 ‘family unit’ members at the border in May, an average of nearly 2,800 per day. That number has declined about 13 percent since the beginning of June, a period during which Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexico and the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador agreed to an immigration crackdown to avoid the penalty. Overall, U.S. officials say they are expecting a 15 to 20 percent decline in border arrests from May, when authorities detained more than 144,000 and migration levels reached their highest point since 2006. The portion of migrants arriving as part of a family group has reached unprecedented levels in recent months, overwhelming U.S. border authorities who say they are ill-equipped to care for so many parents with children.”
-- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is planning on transferring paperwork out of overburdened offices to reduce wait times for immigrants who have applied for green cards or citizenship. Abigail Hauslohner reports: “The strategy, which will apply only to applications for permanent residency — also known as green cards — or U.S. citizenship, probably will be a welcome respite to immigrant communities in cities such as St. Paul, Minn., where some applicants wait up to two years to become citizens. Immigrants in other places could see the process lengthen. It is unclear if the plan will have an impact on the staggering application backlog that has grown during the Trump administration and has drawn a growing tide of bipartisan criticism from immigration advocates, business leaders and lawmakers. About 25 percent of the 5.6 million immigration cases in the backlog are those with pending green card or naturalization applications.”
-- The Trump administration said it's easing cuts in aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. But it will not allow new funding until those countries do more to reduce migrant flows to the U.S. The AP’s Matthew Lee reports: “The State Department said that after a review of more than $615 million in assistance that [Trump] ordered in March to be cut entirely, it would go ahead with $432 million in projects and grants that had been previously approved. The remaining amount will be held in escrow pending consultations with Congress, it said. That $432 million, which comes from the 2017 budget, is being spent on health, education and poverty alleviation programs as well as anti-crime efforts that many believe help reduce migrant outflows from the impoverished Northern Triangle region. About $370 million in money from the 2018 budget will not be spent and instead will be moved to other projects, the State Department said.”
-- New York state will grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, a win for liberals that has stirred backlash among Republicans. The Times’s Vivian Wang reports: “The vote, together with the Assembly’s passage last week, thrust New York into the center of the explosive national debate over immigration. It would reverse a nearly 20-year-old ban and end years of political paralysis on the issue. … Twelve states and Washington, D.C., currently allow undocumented immigrants to drive. New Jersey is weighing a similar proposal.”
THERE’S A BEAR IN THE WOODS:
-- Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is no longer headed to Rikers after Attorney General Bill Barr’s No. 2 intervened in the case. The Times’s William K. Rashbaum and Katie Benner report: “The letter, from Jeffrey A. Rosen, [Barr’s] new top deputy, indicated that he was monitoring where Mr. Manafort would be held in New York. And then, on Monday, federal prison officials weighed in, telling the Manhattan district attorney’s office that Mr. Manafort, 70, would not be going to Rikers. Instead, he will await his trial at a federal lockup in Manhattan or at the Pennsylvania federal prison where he is serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence for wide-ranging financial schemes, according to people with knowledge of the matter. A senior Justice Department official said that the department believed Mr. Manafort’s treatment was appropriate, but several former and current prosecutors said the decision was highly unusual. Most federal inmates facing state charges are held on Rikers Island.”
-- Putting a potential damper on Trump’s pardon powers, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the precedent that a person can be prosecuted by state and federal authorities for the same offense. Robert Barnes reports: “The 7-to-2 ruling rejected arguments that allowing subsequent prosecutions violates the double jeopardy clause in the Bill of Rights, which prohibits more than one prosecution or punishment for the same offense. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority; Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Neil Gorsuch dissented. Since the 1850s, the court has allowed an exception to the Constitution’s double jeopardy prohibition on the theory that federal and state governments are separate constitutional actors with their own sovereign authority. … The case drew special attention because of Trump’s musings that he might pardon some officials caught up in investigations of the administration. For instance, some states have said they plan to prosecute [Manafort] under their own tax evasion laws should Trump pardon Manafort on his federal convictions.”
-- Rep. Katie Porter, a Democrat from a competitive California House district, endorsed opening an impeachment inquiry intro Trump. The Times’s Nicholas Fandos and Julie Hirschfeld Davis report: “The announcement makes Ms. Porter one of the first to endorse impeachment of the 40 or so ‘front-line Democrats’ whose seats are deemed endangered by their party. … So far, only one other freshman Democrat representing a swing district, Representative Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, has endorsed the idea. Representative Harley Rouda of California, whose Orange County district sits near Ms. Porter’s, has said that if the Trump administration does not end its blockade of congressional subpoenas by the end of June, he will follow suit. It is unclear whether the announcement by Ms. Porter — who defeated Mimi Walters, a Republican, by four percentage points — will persuade other endangered Democrats to follow course.”
THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
-- Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, offered a “very sincere apology” to the city’s residents for the “anxiety” caused by the extradition legislation that drew millions to protest. Shibani Mahtani reports: “She also said it was 'very unlikely' that the extradition plans, which she suspended last week, could be introduced again before the end of the Hong Kong legislature’s term next July. Lam, however, will not fully withdraw the legislation as demonstrators have demanded, and says she wants to continue to serve the public. ‘I have heard you loud and clear and have reflected deeply on all that has transpired,’ she said, her voice shaking at times as she delivered a statement before a packed room of reporters. ‘I will not proceed again with this legislative exercise if these fears and anxieties could not be adequately addressed.’”
-- The mass street protests in Hong Kong show China’s efforts to win over the island's trust and love are failing. Gerry Shih reports: “’Beijing has misinterpreted Hong Kong’s culture, psyche and feelings,’ said Anson Chan, the former No. 2 official in Hong Kong. ‘Hong Kong people will not bend to the will of the communist totalitarian state. If only Beijing would understand what makes Hong Kong tick, what are the values we hold dear, then they can use that energy to benefit both China and Hong Kong. Instead, they have this mentality of control.’ … ‘The extradition amendment was just the last straw on the camel’s back,’ said Alan Leong, a former legislator and chairman of the opposition Civic Party. With its authority unquestioned at home, the Communist Party struggles to deal with a territory with a mature and rambunctious civil society, Leong added. ‘You talk reason with Hong Kong,’ he said. ‘You don’t rule Hong Kong.’”
-- Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later this week. Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said Xi would visit Kim on Thursday and Friday, marking the first visit to North Korea by a Chinese president in 14 years. (AP)
-- Egypt’s former president collapsed in court and died of an apparent heart attack. Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president, had been imprisoned since 2013, when his government was overthrown in a military coup led by now-President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. The death of the 67-year-old Morsi, who was known to have been suffering from ailments like diabetes and liver disease, raised questions among his supporters about his treatment in prison. (Sudarsan Raghavan and Kareem Fahim)
-- The Trump tax law has created huge bills for citizens living abroad. Adam Taylor reports: “The United States is one of only two countries in the world that bases its taxation policies on citizenship rather than residence, according to the Tax Foundation; the other is Eritrea. The U.S. practice is a relic of the Civil War and the Revenue Act of 1862, which sought to punish men who fled to avoid joining the Union army. … To come into compliance with U.S. tax laws, dual nationals may have to deal with mundane but complex aspects of U.S. bureaucracy — acquiring a Social Security number as a nonresident, for example.”
-- The White House will not invite Israel to its Bahrain economic conference. CNN’s Jeremy Diamond reports: “The White House had previously planned to invite an Israeli government delegation to attend the summit alongside finance ministers from several Arab countries and businessmen, sources familiar with the matter said. … Administration officials have touted the planned conference as a way to unite the region around a more prosperous future and had privately talked up the prospect of Israeli government officials interacting with officials from Arab countries with whom Israel has no formal diplomatic relations. This now means that neither government party to the conflict will attend the conference. The Palestinian Authority had previously vowed to boycott the conference and had urged other Arab countries not to attend.”
-- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will decide on a controversial pipeline expansion. Amanda Coletta reports: “The $5.5 billion expansion would nearly triple the amount of Canadian crude oil the pipeline transports each day from Edmonton, Alberta, to the port in Burnaby, B.C., to be loaded onto tankers bound for Asia and other lucrative markets. Landlocked Alberta churns out four-fifths of Canadian crude. Boosters say the project will ease a pipeline shortage that keeps most Alberta crude trapped there, where it trades at a discount to global oil benchmarks. But environmentalists, some indigenous groups and the eco-friendly government of British Columbia oppose the project over concerns about oil spills and rising greenhouse-gas emissions from the processing of the Alberta oil sands. … The decision on whether to approve the project comes at a difficult time for Trudeau. His approval ratings have fallen this year amid criticism of his government’s handling of the prosecution of a construction firm in his home province of Quebec.”
-- The Supreme Court ruled that Virginia’s House Republicans could not single-handedly challenge findings that state legislative districts were racially gerrymandered, potentially giving Democrats an advantage in this fall’s elections there. Robert Barnes and Laura Vozzella report: “All 140 seats in the legislature are on the ballot, and the GOP holds a three-seat edge in the House (51 to 48) and a bare majority in the Senate (20 to 19), with one vacant seat in each chamber. … The 5-to-4 decision did not shed light on how courts should consider claims of racial gerrymandering, but rather who has the right to sue. … In the Virginia case decided Monday, [Ginsburg] wrote for the majority that House Republican leaders could not challenge the court ruling after Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) acquiesced. … Ginsburg was joined in an unusual alignment by fellow liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, as well as conservatives Clarence Thomas and Gorsuch.”
-- The court decided against taking another case centered on a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple despite a state law outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation. Barnes reports: “The case would have been a sequel to last year’s consideration of the same topic. The court ruled then for a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple’s wedding reception, but it left undecided whether a business owner’s religious beliefs or free speech rights can justify refusing some services to gay people. The Supreme Court deliberated for months about whether to take the Oregon case. The delay indicates there were behind-the-scenes negotiations, though the justices did not reveal them. Instead, they simply sent the matter back to an Oregon appeals court and told it to look again in light of the Colorado decision.”
ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN AND WOMEN:
-- The confirmation hearing for Shanahan to become the permanent secretary of defense has been postponed because the Senate has still not received documents related to the FBI’s background check. Yahoo News’s Hunter Walker reports: “With Shanahan’s confirmation on hold, press reports have questioned his relationship with the president, and the Pentagon has been fielding press queries about his personal life, including a messy divorce that involved an accusation of domestic violence from his ex-wife, who was arrested as part of the dispute. … Since Shanahan was announced as Trump’s next pick for the Cabinet post, his nomination has not been officially submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee, which would be responsible for conducting his confirmation hearings.”
-- Trump’s nominee for United Nations ambassador, Kelly Craft, has been frequently absent from her current post in Ottawa, where she is the U.S. ambassador to Canada. Politico’s Lauren Gardner reports: “Federal Aviation Administration records … show that a private jet registered to Craft’s husband and used by the ambassador made 128 flights between the United States and Canada during a 15-month span of her tenure in Ottawa, the equivalent of a round trip once a week. Some of the trips correspond with dates of events Craft attended in her home state of Kentucky — such as the Kentucky Derby and a media interview at a University of Kentucky basketball facility named for her husband, Joe Craft, a coal billionaire — but neither of the Crafts, through their spokespeople, would confirm how many of the flights involved her travel.”
-- Vice President Pence's communications director, Jarrod Agen, is leaving the White House. Agen, who has been with Pence since the start of the administration, will become a vice president for communications at defense contracting firm Lockheed Martin. He has told friends and associates that he was ready for a change after two and half years at the White House. (Ashley Parker and Robert Costa)
-- Mitch McConnell responded to comedian Jon Stewart’s criticism of his handling of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, saying he does not understand why the comedian is “all bent out of shape.” Felicia Sonmez reports: “McConnell argued Monday that ‘many things in Congress happen at the last minute.’ He added that the fund, which provides compensation to first responders and others who are sick or dying from illnesses linked to their work at the 9/11 attack sites, will be fully funded. ‘We have never failed to address this issue, and we will address it again,’ McConnell said. … Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said last week that he was ‘begging’ McConnell to bring the legislation to the floor ‘immediately after it passes the House.’ Schumer renewed his call Monday, addressing McConnell in a tweet. ‘I’ll tell you why,’ Schumer said in response to McConnell questioning why Stewart was ‘all bent out of shape.’ ‘Because 9/11 victims are getting sicker, and the last time this bill came up you delayed.’”
-- Facebook’s move toward offering digital currency will create new regulatory battles in D.C. for a company whose privacy practices have already ignited fires with American and European regulators. Politico’s Matei Rosca and Patrick Temple-West report: The cryptocurrency initiative, code-named “Project Libra,” is expected to be unveiled today, and it could become a major e-commerce tool for users across Facebook’s suite of services. “A Facebook equivalent of Bitcoin could allow users to buy products from popular Instagram influencers more quickly and easily than with cash — while remaining within the company’s social media domain. And importantly for Facebook shareholders, the company could make money off a fee for every processed transaction.”
-- Hospitals complain they are being inundated with robocalls that could threaten their patients’ health. Tufts Medical Center received more than 4,500 robocalls one April morning last year, disrupting communications for hours in an environment where each second could mean the difference between life and death. (Tony Romm)
-- YouTube, the world’s most popular video site for children, isn’t for them. Bloomberg News’s Mark Bergen and Lucas Shaw report: “Alicia Blum-Ross, YouTube’s policy chief for kids and family, tried to convince the room that her company was getting quality content to kids. It has spent the past year throwing resources at child safety. YouTube has recruited staff and set up an outside advisory council. … In the first quarter of 2019, the company removed more than 800,000 videos for violations of its child safety policy. Blum-Ross then touted YouTube’s supposed panacea: YouTube Kids. The app, created four years ago, filters videos from the main site specifically for children under thirteen, who are protected by federal law from forms of digital data collection. … What Blum-Ross didn’t mention, however, is that not many kids use YouTube Kids, and those who do don’t stick around. … Four people at Google privately admitted that they don’t let their kids watch YouTube unsupervised and said the sentiment was widespread at the company. One of these people said frustration with YouTube has grown so much that some have suggested the division spin off altogether to preserve Google’s brand.”
-- An 18-year-old backpacker from Belgium disappeared after walking out of his hostel in Australia. His father is now making an emotional appeal to WhatsApp, saying his son’s encrypted messages in the app could provide clues to his whereabouts. Liz Weber reports: “Theo Hayez, who spent the past eight months traveling around Australia, was reported missing on June 6 when he did not return to his hostel, leaving his passport and personal belongings behind, according to a New South Wales police statement released Monday. Hayez had been preparing to return home to Belgium. Last week, his father, Laurent Hayez, traveled to Australia to assist in the search for his son. In a news conference Monday at the Tweed Heads police station, Laurent Hayez made a public appeal for information and pleaded with the Facebook-owned company to release the details of his son’s WhatsApp messages … ‘This is a question of providing assistance to a person in grave danger,’ he said. ‘It is vital that investigators get access to Theo’s WhatsApp account without delay. Every minute counts.’”
-- A man who shared a video of the New Zealand mosque shooting will be jailed for 21 months. CNN’s Julia Hollingsworth reports: “Philip Neville Arps, 44, was sentenced in Christchurch District Court on Tuesday to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to two charges of distributing objectionable material, his lawyer Anselm Williams confirmed. Arps sent copies of the footage -- which was streamed live on March 15 by the mosque shooter -- to about 30 people soon after attacks on worshippers inside two Christchurch mosques, according to CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand. … During sentencing on Tuesday, Judge Stephen O'Driscoll said that when Arps was asked for his opinion on the video, he described it as ‘awesome,’ RNZ reported.”
-- A North Carolina mother is crediting Apple’s Find My Friends app with saving her daughter’s life after the 17-year-old girl’s car hydroplaned and careened into a ditch. The app allowed Catrina Cramer Alexander to find her daughter, Macy Smith, in time to rush her to a hospital. Smith sustained nerve damage in her arm and a fractured neck but appears to be recovering well. (Allyson Chiu)
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
Biden was mocked again for his dubious claims that he can persuade McConnell to cooperate with him if he gets elected president. Alyssa Mastromonaco, Obama’s former White House deputy chief of staff, was one of several prominent Democrats who viewed the former vice president’s remarks as naive:
maybe you can shame people. you can’t shame McConnell. it would be dope to find a path to greater bipartisanship but this isn’t that path. https://t.co/l2YNj0H7i0— alyssa “activist witches 2020” mastromonaco (@AlyssaMastro44) June 17, 2019
For his part, McConnell was mocked for likening Puerto Rico statehood to socialism:
"We support the right of the United States citizens of Puerto Rico to be admitted to the Union as a fully sovereign state." --- the 2016 Republican Party platformhttps://t.co/ZJgbvisSG4 https://t.co/eIFM5qZPyJ— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) June 17, 2019
A former Obama appointee remembered this anecdote about Anthony Scaramucci after Trump asked his acting chief of staff to leave the Oval Office for coughing. The Mooch, who served 11 days as White House communications director, responded:
CNN's Wolf Blitzer shared a similar experience with the president:
President @realDonaldTrump was clearly irritated when his White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney coughed during his interview with @GStephanopoulos in the Oval Office. Check out his reaction and then what he told me 20 years ago. pic.twitter.com/bzlFgm5agI— Wolf Blitzer (@wolfblitzer) June 17, 2019
A 2020 Democrat quickly deleted a reference to one of his opponents:
A Post contributing columnist noted this of the Hong Kong protests:
More than 25 percent of Hong Kong's population of 7.4 million people protested this weekend. By proportion, these are the largest protests in modern history. Absolutely stunning. pic.twitter.com/5YAR1xDMjT— Isaac Stone Fish (@isaacstonefish) June 17, 2019
The attorney general is overseas, per his spokeswoman:
Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) explained, in a video, why she is supporting an impeachment investigation of the president. Porter narrowly defeated her Republican rival in last year’s midterms:
Today I wanted to speak directly to the people of CA-45. There's been a lot of noise in D.C. and in the press about impeachment, so I wanted to share my thoughts with you. pic.twitter.com/ceri6lHwbY— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) June 18, 2019
A former aide to Hillary Clinton, noting Porter's vulnerability, called on safer House Democrats to follow:
If Katie Porter, from a purple district, is brave enough to do the right thing, what are House Dems from safe blue districts doing?— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) June 18, 2019
An Atlantic correspondent compared Porter to another Californian:
Decades ago, I wrote in Esquire about the So Calif Congressman who studied evidence carefully and finally decided to support impeachment (of R Nixon).— James Fallows (@JamesFallows) June 18, 2019
He was a Republican: Charles Wiggins. Rep. Katie Porter is a Democrat. But the clarity of logic and duty has a similar ring. https://t.co/wQUh809IdR
An MSNBC anchor remembered her mother's role in broadcasting history:
Zoey Tur was piloting a helicopter for KCBS-TV and had a hunch: Maybe Simpson had gone to Orange County to visit Nicole’s grave. So she flew in that direction, and she would be the first to start broadcasting the most famous police pursuit in history. https://t.co/aX9v2vDGVA— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) June 17, 2019
And plane passengers captured Mexico's Popocatepetl spewing ashes:
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
-- The Guardian, “Where does your plastic go? Global investigation reveals America's dirty secret,” by Erin McCormick, Bennett Murray, Carmela Fonbuena, Leonie Kijewski, Gökçe Saraçoğlu, Jamie Fullerton, Alastair Gee and Charlotte Simmonds: “A Guardian investigation has found that hundreds of thousands of tons of US plastic are being shipped every year to poorly regulated developing countries around the globe for the dirty, labor-intensive process of recycling. The consequences for public health and the environment are grim.”
-- The New Yorker, “Is Sarah Huckabee Sanders the Future of the Republican Party?” by Paige Williams: “Sanders once told me that she never backs politicians whose positions she disagrees with. She likely defended Trump because, ultimately, she approved of him. Last week, when she retweeted the President’s announcement of her impending departure, she declared pride in what Trump has ‘accomplished.’ She might have been talking about the appointments of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, whose presence jeopardizes the standing of Roe v. Wade. Or she could have been talking about the economy, or the Administration’s ruthless and increasingly deadly stance on immigration, or the decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a city that Sanders has visited many times with her father, Mike Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist preacher and Presidential candidate who now leads religious group tours there with his wife, Janet. One White House correspondent told me that Sanders is a ‘true conservative. She believes in toughness at the border. She’s not a closet moderate.’”
HOT ON THE LEFT:
“Lawyers for Sandy Hook families say Alex Jones sent them child porn,” from the Connecticut Post: “Conspiracy theorist and InfoWars host Alex Jones sent child pornography to the lawyers for the families of the Sandy Hook tragedy, their lawyers said. The law firm representing the families of the 2012 mass shooting, stated in court documents filed Monday they have contacted the FBI after discovering child porn in electronic files Jones recently turned over to the Sandy Hook families as a result of their lawsuit against him for calling the tragedy a hoax. Jones publicly responded on a broadcast of his show that he is being framed by Chris Mattei, the lawyer for the Sandy Hook families and went on making what Mattei and his law firm, Koskoff, Koskoff and Bieder claim are threats against them. … [I]n court documents filed Monday, the lawyers for the Sandy Hook families asked a court to take immediate action against Jones.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT:
“Parkland activist says Harvard revoked his offer of admission,” from Susan Svrluga: “Kyle Kashuv, who survived the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., quickly became known as an advocate for school security. While many of his classmates marched for gun control, he presented a more politically conservative response to the attack. … Kashuv wrote on social media Monday morning that nearly two years ago, when he was 16, he and some classmates used ‘abhorrent racial slurs’ in an effort to be shocking and extremist, and that images of those private conversations had recently resurfaced. He wrote a public apology, but said former peers and political opponents contacted Harvard and urged the university to rescind its offer of admission. Kashuv then described the questions and the responses he gave to school officials, and wrote that he was told this month Harvard rescinded its offer.”
Trump will receive his intelligence briefing before flying to Orlando with the first lady for his campaign launch.
Pence will travel to Miami for a meeting with the commander of U.S. Southern Command before attending the president’s rally in Orlando.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) predicted national Republicans following Trump were destined for “the waste bin of history”: “America in 2019 is California in the 1990s,” Newsom told Politico. “The xenophobia, the nativism, the fear of ‘the other.’ Scapegoating. Talking down or past people. The hysteria.” He added that under Trump, national Republicans “are into the politics of what California was into in the 1990s … and they’ll go the same direction — into the waste bin of history, the way Republicans of the '90s have gone. That’s exactly what will happen to this crop of national Republicans.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- Get ready for another round of storms and more humidity. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Our week of mega-mugginess marches on with another warm and humid day today as we watch the potential for another round of strong to severe storms this afternoon into the evening. We must also tolerate higher humidity levels that make our air conditioners work even harder. Tomorrow and Thursday tell the same story before we finally break free for a nicer Friday and Saturday. Sunday may then revert more humid with a storm chance returning.”
-- The Nationals' game against the Phillies was postponed, setting up a split doubleheader for Wednesday to make up for it. (Jesse Dougherty)
-- Jack Evans, the chairman of the Metro board, violated the panel’s ethics code multiple times, a law firm hired by the board found. Robert McCartney reports: “While the firm found ‘evidence of multiple violations’ of the board’s ethics code and the Metro Compact, the board’s four-member ethics committee could agree to cite Evans on only one violation — a conflict of interest regarding Evans’s work on behalf of Colonial Parking, committee Chairman Clarence W. Crawford said. … Crawford, who represents Maryland on the Metro board, described the results of the ethics probe in a four-page letter to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D). … The letter said the law firm Schulte Roth and Zabel, which conducted the investigation, found violations of the board’s ethics code in three primary areas: Evans’s efforts to help Colonial Parking; his actions to assist Digi Outdoor Communications, an electronic sign company; and his business plan used in connection with his efforts to obtain a job with a private law firm.”
-- The D.C. Council will vote on a proposal to use about $47 million in excess cash generated by the Washington Convention and Sports Authority for priorities that include public housing repairs. Peter Jamison reports: This resolves “a standoff with the District’s chief financial officer that threatened to derail the city’s budget, according to officials familiar with the deal. The two city officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive negotiations, said that council members will vote on legislation redirecting the funds on Tuesday and that they expect Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey S. DeWitt will certify the resulting budget. The deal is a victory for D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D), who for weeks has refused to back down in the face of DeWitt’s warnings that he would not certify a budget that extracted money from the reserves of the convention authority.”
-- D.C. is wrestling with a symbol of the past as notorious drug lord Rayful Edmond III seeks an early release from jail. Paul Schwartzman and Keith L. Alexander report: “For months, the prospect of freedom for Edmond, now 54, has provoked chatter across the city, particularly among black Washingtonians who recall him traveling around town in a chauffeur-driven limousine and handing cash to strangers — the largesse he could afford from selling 1,700 pounds of cocaine a month. … f he returns to Washington, Edmond would find a far different city than what he left in 1990 … The neighborhood where he based his operation — between Gallaudet University and H Street NE — was nearly 95 percent African American, according to the census. Many residents were poor and working class and living in ramshackle rowhouses. By 2017, the same neighborhood was 66 percent white and 24 percent black, according to census estimates. Nearly 60 percent of the households earn more than $100,000.”
-- The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians are officially locked out — the orchestra will no longer pay them. Anne Midgette reports: “The orchestra’s news release went out late Sunday night, only hours before the end of the last day the musicians were to draw pay, and only a short time after the players themselves had been informed, according to Peter Kjome, the orchestra’s president and CEO. Players and management are returning to the negotiating table Friday, in the presence of federal mediators, although the negotiations are not yet officially in mediation. Whatever the outcome, Kjome says that the lockout will end on Sept. 9, when the orchestra is scheduled to reconvene for the fall season. Musicians, however, are highly unlikely to resume work unless a contract agreement has been reached.”
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Jon Stewart replied to Mitch McConnell's claim that he was "bent out of shape" for asking Congress to expand a health fund for 9/11 first responders:
Seth Meyers took apart Trump's interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos:
D.C. visitors reviewed "The Daily Show's" Presidential Twitter Library:
And CNN's Anderson Cooper produced a eulogy video for his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt: