Category Archives: World

politics news

The Latest: Cuomo, Nixon Vote in NY Primary Election

The Latest on New York’s Democratic primary (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and activist actress Cynthia Nixon have cast their votes in New York’s Democratic primary election.

Nixon posed for photos with supporters in Manhattan’s Union Square before she voted Thursday at a community center. Cuomo appeared at a polling station in suburban Mount Kisco with his girlfriend, Sandra Lee.

Democrats across New York are also choosing their candidates for attorney general and the state Legislature in the nation’s last primary election of 2018.

The most-watched race is the fiercely fought contest between Cuomo and Nixon.

She’s a high-profile example of an insurgent left-wing trying to oust establishment incumbents.

11 a.m.

Democrats across New York are choosing their candidates for governor, attorney general and the state Legislature in the nation’s last primary election of 2018.

The most-watched race is a fiercely fought contest between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and activist actress Cynthia Nixon.

She’s a high-profile example of an insurgent left-wing trying to oust establishment incumbents.

President Donald Trump might want to keep an eye on the attorney general primary.

Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and former Hillary Clinton adviser Leecia Eve have all vowed to be a legal thorn in the Republican president’s side.

Polls show that race very close going into election day.

Voting began in some cities early Thursday and starts in other places at noon.

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

The Latest: Cuomo, Nixon Vote in NY Primary Election

The Latest on New York’s Democratic primary (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and activist actress Cynthia Nixon have cast their votes in New York’s Democratic primary election.

Nixon posed for photos with supporters in Manhattan’s Union Square before she voted Thursday at a community center. Cuomo appeared at a polling station in suburban Mount Kisco with his girlfriend, Sandra Lee.

Democrats across New York are also choosing their candidates for attorney general and the state Legislature in the nation’s last primary election of 2018.

The most-watched race is the fiercely fought contest between Cuomo and Nixon.

She’s a high-profile example of an insurgent left-wing trying to oust establishment incumbents.

11 a.m.

Democrats across New York are choosing their candidates for governor, attorney general and the state Legislature in the nation’s last primary election of 2018.

The most-watched race is a fiercely fought contest between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and activist actress Cynthia Nixon.

She’s a high-profile example of an insurgent left-wing trying to oust establishment incumbents.

President Donald Trump might want to keep an eye on the attorney general primary.

Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and former Hillary Clinton adviser Leecia Eve have all vowed to be a legal thorn in the Republican president’s side.

Polls show that race very close going into election day.

Voting began in some cities early Thursday and starts in other places at noon.

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

Trump Criticized for Rejecting Puerto Rico Hurricanes’ Death Toll

U.S. President Donald Trump is facing fresh, harsh criticism for disputing the official death toll in Puerto Rico from last year’s hurricanes and alleging, without evidence, that opposition Democratic Party members inflated the numbers to make him look bad.

 

Trump said on Twitter Thursday morning, “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” referring to hurricanes Maria and Irma.

An independent study concluded the death toll from Hurricane Maria was nearly 3,000.

 

The reaction to Trump’s tweets on the matter has been fast and fierce.

“With 3,000 people dead, for the president to say that Puerto Rico was a success, a triumph of his presidency, is simply delusional,” Congressman Luis Gutierrez said on the floor of the House of Representatives Thursday morning. “And now, he denies that they are even dead.”

 

Gutierrez, who is of Puerto Rican heritage and represents the state of Illinois, was involved in the island’s recovery effort. He also accused Trump of “making a tremendous and deadly mistake in caring for the American people.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican from a state where many of those who fled the island have relocated, said he disagreed with the president.

“An independent study said thousands were lost,” Scott said on Twitter, adding that he has been to the island seven times and had seen the devastation firsthand.

 

Congressman Steny Hoyer, who as the Democratic whip holds the opposition party’s second highest position in the chamber, called the president’s comment “beyond comprehension and deeply offensive to the thousands of American families who lost loved ones.”

Paul Ryan, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (the top representative of the president’s party in the chamber), had a conditional defense of Trump’s comments when questioned by a reporter.

 

“There is no reason to dispute these numbers,” Ryan replied, adding, however, “it was no one’s fault” that so many had died from a devastating storm hitting an isolated island.

Power was out for several months for much of the island, and damage from the storm still hampers the recovery of the Caribbean territory that is located about 1,600 kilometers southeast of the state of Florida and is home to 3.3 million people, who are U.S. citizens. About a quarter of a million residents were displaced.

 

A report by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, issued on Aug. 29, said vast numbers of Puerto Ricans died as a direct result of Hurricane Maria last September, far beyond the initial estimate of 64 deaths.

The report said many of the deaths occurred weeks later because of devastating damage to the Caribbean island’s electrical grid that curbed treatment for those with life-threatening injuries or medical conditions.

The death toll issue is making fresh headlines, as Hurricane Florence targets the southeastern U.S. coastal state. As the new storm approached, Trump, for days, revisited the U.S. government’s performance in handling the aftermath of Maria’s stunning blow to Puerto Rico and other hurricanes that hit the U.S. mainland last year.

Trump went to Puerto Rico after Maria hit, saying, “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000.”

The president added: “This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!”

 

Some prominent Republicans are hesitating to criticize the president about the tweets. Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is the finance committee chairman, laughed when a reporter read excerpts to him on Thursday, responding: “I can’t really comment because I don’t know anything about it.”

 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, told reporters: “The death toll in Puerto Rico is abominable and abhorrent, and it’s a lesson in our need to do better for our fellow Americans, adding that “Puerto Rico is still a humanitarian crisis.”

The president views it differently.

“We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan),” Trump tweeted Wednesday.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz told CNN that the president’s words added “insult to injury,” saying he had no idea what is going on there. She said Trump has “no empathy” for anything that doesn’t make him look good.

Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rossello said, “Now is not the time to pass judgment. It is time to channel every effort to improve the lives of over 3 million Americans in Puerto Rico.”

Ken Bredemeier contributed to this report. Michael Bowman and Katherine Gypson contributed from Capitol Hill.

 

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

Trump Criticized for Rejecting Puerto Rico Hurricanes’ Death Toll

U.S. President Donald Trump is facing fresh, harsh criticism for disputing the official death toll in Puerto Rico from last year’s hurricanes and alleging, without evidence, that opposition Democratic Party members inflated the numbers to make him look bad.

 

Trump said on Twitter Thursday morning, “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” referring to hurricanes Maria and Irma.

An independent study concluded the death toll from Hurricane Maria was nearly 3,000.

 

The reaction to Trump’s tweets on the matter has been fast and fierce.

“With 3,000 people dead, for the president to say that Puerto Rico was a success, a triumph of his presidency, is simply delusional,” Congressman Luis Gutierrez said on the floor of the House of Representatives Thursday morning. “And now, he denies that they are even dead.”

 

Gutierrez, who is of Puerto Rican heritage and represents the state of Illinois, was involved in the island’s recovery effort. He also accused Trump of “making a tremendous and deadly mistake in caring for the American people.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican from a state where many of those who fled the island have relocated, said he disagreed with the president.

“An independent study said thousands were lost,” Scott said on Twitter, adding that he has been to the island seven times and had seen the devastation firsthand.

 

Congressman Steny Hoyer, who as the Democratic whip holds the opposition party’s second highest position in the chamber, called the president’s comment “beyond comprehension and deeply offensive to the thousands of American families who lost loved ones.”

Paul Ryan, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (the top representative of the president’s party in the chamber), had a conditional defense of Trump’s comments when questioned by a reporter.

 

“There is no reason to dispute these numbers,” Ryan replied, adding, however, “it was no one’s fault” that so many had died from a devastating storm hitting an isolated island.

Power was out for several months for much of the island, and damage from the storm still hampers the recovery of the Caribbean territory that is located about 1,600 kilometers southeast of the state of Florida and is home to 3.3 million people, who are U.S. citizens. About a quarter of a million residents were displaced.

 

A report by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, issued on Aug. 29, said vast numbers of Puerto Ricans died as a direct result of Hurricane Maria last September, far beyond the initial estimate of 64 deaths.

The report said many of the deaths occurred weeks later because of devastating damage to the Caribbean island’s electrical grid that curbed treatment for those with life-threatening injuries or medical conditions.

The death toll issue is making fresh headlines, as Hurricane Florence targets the southeastern U.S. coastal state. As the new storm approached, Trump, for days, revisited the U.S. government’s performance in handling the aftermath of Maria’s stunning blow to Puerto Rico and other hurricanes that hit the U.S. mainland last year.

Trump went to Puerto Rico after Maria hit, saying, “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000.”

The president added: “This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!”

 

Some prominent Republicans are hesitating to criticize the president about the tweets. Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is the finance committee chairman, laughed when a reporter read excerpts to him on Thursday, responding: “I can’t really comment because I don’t know anything about it.”

 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, told reporters: “The death toll in Puerto Rico is abominable and abhorrent, and it’s a lesson in our need to do better for our fellow Americans, adding that “Puerto Rico is still a humanitarian crisis.”

The president views it differently.

“We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan),” Trump tweeted Wednesday.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz told CNN that the president’s words added “insult to injury,” saying he had no idea what is going on there. She said Trump has “no empathy” for anything that doesn’t make him look good.

Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rossello said, “Now is not the time to pass judgment. It is time to channel every effort to improve the lives of over 3 million Americans in Puerto Rico.”

Ken Bredemeier contributed to this report. Michael Bowman and Katherine Gypson contributed from Capitol Hill.

 

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

Cyclist Who Flipped Off Trump’s Motorcade Runs for Office

The cyclist who flashed her middle finger at President Donald Trump’s motorcade says she’ll file paperwork to run for office in northern Virginia. 

Juli Briskman tells The Washington Post this week that she’ll file paperwork to challenge Suzanne M. Volpe, a Republican who represents the Algonkian District on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in 2019. Briskman says she will run on increasing transparency in local government, among other things. 

The 51-year-old marketing executive was on a bike ride in October 2017 and was photographed making the offensive gesture as Trump’s motorcade drove by.

Briskman told her bosses what happened after the photo went viral and was asked to leave her government contracting job or face termination. She sued and won her severance claim, but her wrongful-termination lawsuit was dismissed.   

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

Cyclist Who Flipped Off Trump’s Motorcade Runs for Office

The cyclist who flashed her middle finger at President Donald Trump’s motorcade says she’ll file paperwork to run for office in northern Virginia. 

Juli Briskman tells The Washington Post this week that she’ll file paperwork to challenge Suzanne M. Volpe, a Republican who represents the Algonkian District on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in 2019. Briskman says she will run on increasing transparency in local government, among other things. 

The 51-year-old marketing executive was on a bike ride in October 2017 and was photographed making the offensive gesture as Trump’s motorcade drove by.

Briskman told her bosses what happened after the photo went viral and was asked to leave her government contracting job or face termination. She sued and won her severance claim, but her wrongful-termination lawsuit was dismissed.   

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

Democrats Announce Big Online Ad Play for US Midterms

Two major Democratic political groups on Wednesday announced a combined $21 million digital ad buy targeting Senate races in November, a sign the party is trying to learn from 2016, when Donald Trump’s Republican presidential campaign was far more aggressive online.

Priorities USA and Senate Majority PAC announced $18 million in joint spending in Arizona, Indiana, Florida, Missouri and North Dakota. Senate Majority PAC also tacked on an additional $3 million in ads targeting Montana, Nevada, Tennessee and West Virginia.

“For the last, really, six years, the Democrats have had their hats handed to them when it comes to digital,” Guy Cecil, the chairman of Priorities USA, which is exclusively funding digital ads and outreach this election cycle, said in an interview. “We needed to close the gap.”

The move comes as Democrats and Republicans are fighting furiously over control of the Senate, where the GOP has a 51-49 edge. Although almost all competitive seats are in states Trump won in 2016, Republicans are increasingly alarmed about the strength of Democratic candidates in states including Tennessee, Texas and Arizona.

GOP edge on Google

The size of the campaign is significant. According to Priorities USA, $7 million has been spent on advertising for Senate races on Google since May 31, with Republicans outspending Democrats 60-40. Facebook did not have comparable data. And through the end of August, Senate Majority PAC, one of the biggest Democratic financial organizations in the battle over control of the upper chamber, spent $37 million in ads on television and radio, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

J.B. Poersch, president of Senate Majority PAC, said it’s important to maintain a mix of traditional television and radio ads along with digital. But for years, he said, “I don’t think we had digital at the adults’ table.”

The conventional wisdom in politics is that Democrats dominated in digital during much of the Obama years because they were more advanced in gathering online data and using it to target voters. But that changed in 2016, when the Trump campaign outspent Hillary Clinton’s Democratic campaign nearly 2-to-1 online, according to a Priorities USA presentation to donors obtained by The Associated Press. The outspending also stretched to various House races. Right-leaning groups, meanwhile, registered vastly more online domains through the beginning of 2017.

Since 2016, Democrats have increasingly focused on digital as a way to strike back against the GOP, with liberal Silicon Valley entrepreneurs holding trainings for Democratic campaigns and some liberal insurgent candidates, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York City and Ayanna Pressley in Boston, winning recent primaries with minimal television ads and instead relying mostly on digital ones.

In-house agency

The GOP continues to invest in both digital and traditional advertising, but no Republican organization of comparable prominence to Priorities has announced an all-digital strategy. Priorities has even formed its own in-house digital ad agency to build spots for its campaigns, including a previously announced $12 million buy targeting House races.

Damon McCoy, a New York University professor who analyzed Facebook political ad spending data earlier this summer, said Democratic and Republican groups spend at comparable rates on the platform with one significant exception: Trump. The president’s own re-election campaign was the biggest political ad spender in the analysis that McCoy and other academics conducted.

Minus the president’s campaign, “spending is fairly split between liberal and conservative candidates and political organizations,” McCoy said. 

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

Democrats Announce Big Online Ad Play for US Midterms

Two major Democratic political groups on Wednesday announced a combined $21 million digital ad buy targeting Senate races in November, a sign the party is trying to learn from 2016, when Donald Trump’s Republican presidential campaign was far more aggressive online.

Priorities USA and Senate Majority PAC announced $18 million in joint spending in Arizona, Indiana, Florida, Missouri and North Dakota. Senate Majority PAC also tacked on an additional $3 million in ads targeting Montana, Nevada, Tennessee and West Virginia.

“For the last, really, six years, the Democrats have had their hats handed to them when it comes to digital,” Guy Cecil, the chairman of Priorities USA, which is exclusively funding digital ads and outreach this election cycle, said in an interview. “We needed to close the gap.”

The move comes as Democrats and Republicans are fighting furiously over control of the Senate, where the GOP has a 51-49 edge. Although almost all competitive seats are in states Trump won in 2016, Republicans are increasingly alarmed about the strength of Democratic candidates in states including Tennessee, Texas and Arizona.

GOP edge on Google

The size of the campaign is significant. According to Priorities USA, $7 million has been spent on advertising for Senate races on Google since May 31, with Republicans outspending Democrats 60-40. Facebook did not have comparable data. And through the end of August, Senate Majority PAC, one of the biggest Democratic financial organizations in the battle over control of the upper chamber, spent $37 million in ads on television and radio, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

J.B. Poersch, president of Senate Majority PAC, said it’s important to maintain a mix of traditional television and radio ads along with digital. But for years, he said, “I don’t think we had digital at the adults’ table.”

The conventional wisdom in politics is that Democrats dominated in digital during much of the Obama years because they were more advanced in gathering online data and using it to target voters. But that changed in 2016, when the Trump campaign outspent Hillary Clinton’s Democratic campaign nearly 2-to-1 online, according to a Priorities USA presentation to donors obtained by The Associated Press. The outspending also stretched to various House races. Right-leaning groups, meanwhile, registered vastly more online domains through the beginning of 2017.

Since 2016, Democrats have increasingly focused on digital as a way to strike back against the GOP, with liberal Silicon Valley entrepreneurs holding trainings for Democratic campaigns and some liberal insurgent candidates, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York City and Ayanna Pressley in Boston, winning recent primaries with minimal television ads and instead relying mostly on digital ones.

In-house agency

The GOP continues to invest in both digital and traditional advertising, but no Republican organization of comparable prominence to Priorities has announced an all-digital strategy. Priorities has even formed its own in-house digital ad agency to build spots for its campaigns, including a previously announced $12 million buy targeting House races.

Damon McCoy, a New York University professor who analyzed Facebook political ad spending data earlier this summer, said Democratic and Republican groups spend at comparable rates on the platform with one significant exception: Trump. The president’s own re-election campaign was the biggest political ad spender in the analysis that McCoy and other academics conducted.

Minus the president’s campaign, “spending is fairly split between liberal and conservative candidates and political organizations,” McCoy said. 

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

US Seeks to Impose Cost for Election Meddling

The United States is hoping to use the threat of calibrated sanctions to deter individuals, companies or countries from attempting to interfere with the midterm elections in November.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday authorizing automatic sanctions against actors or entities assessed to have meddled with elections, whether by attacking America’s election infrastructure or through the use of propaganda and disinformation campaigns.

“It’s a further effort, among several that the administration has made, to protect the United States against foreign interference in our elections and really our political process more broadly,” National Security Adviser John Bolton said Wednesday while briefing reporters.

“We felt it was important to demonstrate the president has taken command of this issue, that it’s something he cares deeply about,” Bolton added. “This order, I think, is a further demonstration of that.”

Russian meddling attempts

There have been ongoing concerns about possible attempts by Russia to meddle with the upcoming November vote as a follow-up to what intelligence officials have assessed to be a fairly successful effort to meddle with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

But Bolton and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said the new executive order is not country specific, citing evidence that China, Iran and North Korea may also be working to influence the midterm election in November.

“We see attempts,” Coats told reporters Wednesday, repeating previous assertions that the U.S. intelligence community has yet to see “the intensity of what happened back in 2016.”

“In terms of what the influence is and will be, we continue to analyze all that,” Coats added. “This is an ongoing effort here, and it has been for a significant amount of time, and will continue on a, literally, 24-hour-a-day basis until the election.”

The new executive order gives U.S. intelligence agencies 45 days after an election to report any efforts to meddle with the outcome.

The U.S. attorney general and the Department of Homeland Security will then have 45 days to review those findings. If they agree with the assessment, it would trigger automatic sanctions.

Those sanctions could include blocking access to property and interests, restricting access to the U.S. financial system, prohibiting investment in companies found to be involved, and even prohibiting individuals from entering the U.S.

Additionally, the order authorizes the State Department and the Treasury Department to impose further sanctions, if deemed necessary.

Bolton denied that recent criticism of Trump, and his interactions with President Vladimir Putin during their summit in Helsinki, played any role in issuing the executive order. In Helsinki, Trump told reporters he accepted Putin’s denial of Russian meddling in the 2016 election over the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment and later tried to clarify his statement in a tweet affirming support for the intelligence community.

“The president has said repeatedly that he is determined that there not be foreign interference in our political process,” Bolton said. “Today he signed this executive order, so I think his actions speak for themselves.”

Additional measures possible

Still, Bolton left open the possibility that the White House could work with U.S. lawmakers on additional measures.

Already, members of Congress have introduced various pieces of legislation aimed at setting out stiff penalties for Russia and other countries who seek to meddle with the U.S. electoral process.

And some lawmakers said Wednesday the Trump administration’s latest effort does not go far enough.

“An executive order that inevitably leaves the president broad discretion to decide whether to impose tough sanctions against those who attack our democracy is insufficient,” Mark Warner, the Democratic ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.

“If we are going to actually deter Russia and others from interfering in our elections in the future, we need to spell out strong, clear consequences, without ambiguity,” Warner added.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio said that while the order is a step in the right direction, it is not enough.

“The @WhiteHouse & @POTUS deserve credit for taking this action. They did as much as they could do with an executive order but are limited from going further without legislation,” he tweeted.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have been critical of Trump for failing to fully enact a sanctions law that they passed over a year ago, even though the U.S. Treasury Department did impose major sanctions against 24 Russians as a result.

But Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Republican Richard Burr expressed hope late Wednesday the new executive order will “send a clear message” to Russia, Iran and others.

“[The executive order] strengthens our ability to quickly and appropriately hold responsible anyone who interferes in our elections,” Burr said in a statement.

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

Jimmy Carter: To Beat Trump, Democrats Cannot Scare Off Moderates

Former President Jimmy Carter sees little hope for the U.S. to change its human rights and environmental policies as long as Donald Trump is in the White House, but he has a warning for his fellow Democrats looking to oust the current administration: Don’t go too far to the left.

 

“Independents need to know they can invest their vote in the Democratic Party,” Carter said Tuesday during his annual report at his post-presidential center and library in Atlanta, where he offered caution about the political consequences should Democrats “move to a very liberal program, like universal health care.”

 

That’s delicate — and, Carter admitted, even contradictory — advice coming from the 93-year-old former president, and it underscores the complicated political calculations for Democrats as they prepare for the November midterms and look ahead to the 2020 presidential election.

 

“Rosie and I voted for Bernie Sanders in the past,” Carter noted.

 

He was referring to his wife, Rosalynn, and their support for the Vermont senator, an independent who identifies as a democratic socialist, over establishment favorite Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. At another point, he pointed to California’s environmental policies — limits on carbon emissions, stiffer fuel-efficiency standards — as the model for combating climate change.

 

Still, Carter stressed, Democrats nationally must “appeal to independents” who are souring on the current administration.

 

Trump’s job approval rating, according to Gallup, has dipped to 40 percent, mostly because of declining support among independents.

 

Carter alluded to arguments from self-identified progressives that Democrats will sacrifice votes on the left if they don’t embrace the liberal base: “I don’t think any Democrat is going to vote against a Democratic nominee,” and he insisted that he’s not asking the left to sacrifice its goals, only to see that winning elections is necessary to accomplish any of them.

 

There is some historical irony in Carter’s analysis. He came to the White House in 1976 from the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, and he clashed with party liberals, drawing a spirited primary challenge in 1980 from Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy. Carter prevailed, but he was wounded, abandoned by Kennedy’s most liberal supporters and unable to win over independents who helped deliver a landslide for Republican Ronald Reagan.

Carter’s latest handicapping comes near the conclusion of a midterm primary season that has seen Democratic primary voters move the party to the left.

 

In some states and districts, that means nominating full-throated advocates of single-payer health care, a $15 minimum wage and abolishing or at least overhauling the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. In other races, it means nominees who back more cautious moves to the left, such as background checks before certain gun purchases, a “public option” health insurance plan to compete alongside private insurance policies, step raises for the minimum wage and an immigration overhaul that offers legal status to some immigrants in the country illegally.

 

Carter did not delve into those distinctions, instead offering a sweeping condemnation of his latest successor to remind Democrats of the stakes.

 

He denounced the administration’s latest environmental policy proposal to make it easier for energy companies to release methane gas that contributes to climate change. He singled out Trump’s policy of separating immigrant families at the border, including those seeking asylum.

 

“America is inherently committed to human rights, and I think in the future we will let that prevail,” Carter said, “but for the next two years, I can’t predict the imprisoned children are going to be any better off — unfortunately.”

Carter has previously criticized Trump for his repeated falsehoods, and he’s chided Trump for his hardline support for Israel over Palestinians. Yet Carter has found common ground with Trump on other foreign policy fronts, and did so again Tuesday.

 

While avoiding any mention of the special counsel’s investigation into whether Trump’s presidential campaign coordinated with Russia in the 2016 U.S. election, Carter said he has engaged for years with Russian President Vladimir Putin concerning the ongoing Syrian civil war.

 

“I have his email address,” Carter said, adding that he and Putin share the same Russian river as their favorite spot for salmon fishing. That friendship, Carter said, means when Russia and other nations hold multilateral talks about the Syrian conflict, “Quite often they invite the Carter Center. … They do not invite the U.S. government.”

 

Carter also praised Trump for meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Carter repeated his frustrations with the last Democratic president, Barack Obama, for not engaging more directly with the insular Asian nation. Carter said he’s not sure Trump has made real progress yet with North Korea, but he endorsed calls for the U.S. to formally declare an end to the Korean War and normalize relations with Pyongyang.

 

“Let them be part of the community of nations,” he said. “I think that would be enough in itself to bring an end to the nuclear program in North Korea.”

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!