‘Breaking point’: Why the red state/blue city conflict is peaking over masks

The effort by statewide GOP leaders in multiple states to strip local Democratic officials of their authority over masking “is very consistent with what we’ve been seeing” for years, says David Damore, a University of Nevada at Las Vegas political scientist and co-author of the recent book “Blue Metros, Red States.” “But now you have a public health issue, so it’s upped the ante compared to a fight over, say, who should regulate Uber. Here it is something that is affecting every community in the country.”

The new Census Bureau figures released last week help explain the intensity of this struggle. Those new data, according to several previously unpublished analyses shared with me, show that in the fastest-growing Sun Belt states, the large metropolitan areas facing the most persistent conflicts with state Republican leaders dominated population growth over the past decade. Sun Belt metro areas like those centered on Atlanta,
Read the rest

Kamala Harris’ Damage Control Squad

Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Send tips to [email protected] or tweet me at @BrentGriffiths.

Here’s what we’re talking about:

With Phil Rosen.

Leah Daughtry, Donna Brazile, Tina Flournoy, Minyon Moore, Karen Finney, and Ashley Etienne.

Kamala Harris allies in Washington (clockwise from top left): Leah Daughtry, Donna Brazile, Tina Flournoy, Minyon Moore, Karen Finney, and Ashley Etienne.

AP/J. Scott Applewhite; REUTERS/Richard Brian; AP/Susan Walsh; Kevin Wolf/AP Images; Reuters; for TV One 2016; Leigh Vogel/Getty.

1. INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE: Washington’s version of the “KHive” is swarming to defend Vice President Harris. Her team includes some of the most powerful women in Washington who have long played defense for male politicians like Bill Clinton, Mike Bloomberg, and Bernie Sanders.

Here are some of the members of her team:

  • Minyon Moore: Moore was a guest at a recent DC-area dinner focused on how to help Harris fight back against negative press, per Axios
Read the rest

Haiti can’t rebuild after its earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace without fixing it political crises

Over the weekend, Haiti was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on the western part of the island.

Thus far, nearly 2,000 people have been reported dead and nearly 7,000 injured, and about 1.2 million people have been impacted, according to UNICEF. The homes of up to 1.5 million residents have been damaged, per the New York Times. And to make matters worse, Tropical Storm Grace made landfall on the island Monday, bringing flooding and mudslides and further limiting access to food, shelter, and water for those in need.

The earthquake and storm are expected to be particularly devastating given the political instability Haiti is experiencing. Harley Etienne, who studies urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan and researched land tenure policies in post-earthquake Haiti, says while the early figures are not as bad as the 2010 earthquake — when well over 100,000 people died, and

Read the rest

Joe Biden’s political honeymoon is officially over

His average approval ratings is now below 50% in the running averages maintained by 538 (49.3%) and Real Clear Politics (49.6%). (Hat tip to Politico’s Playbook for first noting it!)

While polling averages are less-than-a-perfect measure — they take in lots and lots of polling data, of varying degrees of expertise and rigor — they do make clear that Biden has been on a downward trend. Gallup confirms the erosion in Biden’s support; as of late July his approval rating stood at 50%, the lowest of his term to date.

It also seems unlikely that Biden’s somewhat-freefall has stopped just yet.

There’s also the ongoing fourth spike of Covid-19 ravaging the country, with new cases up 52% nationally as compared to two weeks ago and deaths up 87% during that same time frame, according to The New York Times.

Given all of that — and

Read the rest

What Kamala Harris’ Law School Years Reveal About Her Politics

In the fall of 1986, Harris arrived on campus at Hastings a week before most of her classmates. She was part of the pre-orientation Legal Education Opportunity Program (LEOP), which had been founded in 1969 to help law students from disadvantaged communities navigate the stringent demands of the first-year curriculum. Harris had come to a predominantly white institution after four years at a historically Black university. Beyond introducing students to Socratic pedagogy, case-briefing and exam-taking, the pre-orientation also gave students of color a sense of community and a hamlet of solidarity in a cut-throat environment.

“There was already a disadvantage that we didn’t know how things like wills and trusts and intestacy would affect real people,” Matsuda, who met Harris through LEOP, says. “It was a big learning curve for a lot of us.”

In a class of about 125 LEOP first-years, Harris quickly made an impression on Richard Sakai,

Read the rest

10 of the biggest findings from the Cuomo sexual harassment probe

WASHINGTON — The report issued Tuesday by the New York attorney general’s office graphically detailed numerous accusations of sexual harassment by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governor forcefully denied the allegations and ignored renewed calls for his resignation after the report was released.

Here are the 10 most explosive excerpts from the report:

  • Cuomo engaged in “a pattern of inappropriate conduct” with a woman dubbed Executive Assistant #1, which included kissing her on the lips at least once, grabbing her buttocks during hugs, asking multiple times about whether she had cheated or would cheat on her husband, and once reaching under her blouse and grabbing her breast.
  • The governor sexually harassed a New York state trooper assigned to his security detail on a number of occasions. Cuomo ran “his hand across her stomach, from her belly button to her right hip” as she held a door open.
  • While the trooper
Read the rest

Gov. Abbott has authority to defund legislative branch, Texas Supreme Court rules

The Texas Supreme Court on Monday denied an attempt by a group of Democratic lawmakers and staffers to block Gov. Greg Abbott’s veto of funding for the state’s legislative branch, citing the opportunity lawmakers have to restore the funds during the current special session.

In the ruling, the nine Republican justices rejected the Democrats’ argument that Abbott’s veto violates the part of the Texas Constitution that establishes three separate and independent branches of government. The justices suggested that the dispute over funding is largely a political matter, rather than one between the Legislature and Abbott.

“While the interference by one branch of government with the effectual function of another raises concerns of separation of powers, the issue presented here is primarily one of differences among legislators,” the justices wrote.

Abbott’s veto would cut the salaries and benefits of some 2,000 employees within the legislative branch, which is funded by the

Read the rest

Top aide to embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigns

A top aide to embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned Sunday, saying in a statement that the last two years have been “emotionally and mentally trying.”

Melissa DeRosa resigned as secretary to the governor as Cuomo faces calls to step down after New York’s attorney general released a report less than a week ago alleging that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women and violated state and federal laws.

Cuomo, who has resisted calls to resign from top Democratic lawmakers and President Joe Biden, has denied the allegations.

In a video clip released Sunday, one of Cuomo’s accusers said on “CBS This Morning” that she believed she was listed first in the attorney general’s report because her allegations were the most egregious of those of all the women who have come forward.

The woman, Brittany Commisso, identified in the report as Executive Assistant #1, said she was groped and harassed

Read the rest

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigns after sexual harassment allegations

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday he will resign after a withering report from the state’s attorney general documented multiple accusations of sexual harassment against women.

The decision heads off his almost certain impeachment and conviction in the state Legislature.

“Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government, and therefore that is what I’ll do, because I work for you, and doing the right thing, is doing the right thing for you,” Cuomo said in a televised address, at which he took no questions.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a fellow Democrat, will serve the rest of his term when the resignation becomes effective in 14 days. She will become the state’s first female governor.

Though Cuomo, 63, apologized to his accusers, he made it clear he did not believe he stepped over a red line

Read the rest

Malaysia’s Political Crisis Is Dooming Its COVID-19 Response

Southeast Asia has in recent weeks become an epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indonesia is recording the highest number of confirmed new cases per day in the world, and even one-time success stories like Thailand and Vietnam are experiencing major outbreaks. Myanmar, which remains mired in crisis following a coup in February, is suffering from the unchecked spread of the virus. And Malaysia is reporting roughly 12,000 cases per day, the highest per capita average in the region.

More From Our Experts

But unlike every other Southeast Asian state save Myanmar, Malaysia’s response is being hampered by chaotic governance and persistent political infighting. With Parliament suspended since January due to a controversial national emergency declaration, political leaders and public health officials have been unable to forge a coherent response. Lawmakers are set to reconvene next week, though the brief session is not expected to yield much of substance. The

Read the rest