Sep 15, 2018

Black Democratic women seek change in the party after midterms

Ayanna Pressley, who could be Massachusetts' first black congresswoman. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Black female Democratic candidates made it clear on Friday at a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus that if there's a blue wave in November, "[t]hey want a seat at the leadership table and a role in re-examining how the party works," the Associated Press reports.

The big picture: Black women are a strong voting bloc for the Democratic party. Rep. Terri Sewell told the AP that black women have "been the backbone of the Democratic Party for a long time and we're finally getting our due." Yet many feel slighted by the Democratic party; Axios' Alexi McCammond reported earlier this year that many black female candidates "feel the party isn't investing in them." Ayanna Pressley, who is likely to become the first black congresswoman from Massachusetts, told the AP it's "not enough to just talk about a blue wave...What matters is who are those Democrats?"

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Trump's clemency spree

Rod Blagojevich in 2010. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

President Trump announced Tuesday that he commuted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence for extortion, bribery and corruption — as well as issuing full pardons for former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik and financier Michael Milken.

The big picture: The president's clemency spree largely benefitted white-collar criminals convicted of crimes like corruption, gambling fraud and racketeering, undercutting his message of "draining the swamp."

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Trump's improbable moonshot

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA is unlikely to meet its deadline of sending astronauts to the surface of the Moon by 2024, even with a large influx of funding.

Why it matters: The Artemis mission to send people back to the Moon is the Trump administration's flagship space policy, and its aggressive, politically-motivated timeline is its hallmark.

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Justice Department says U.S. attorneys are reviewing Ukraine information

Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) Tuesday informing him that the U.S. attorneys for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania are reviewing "unsolicited" information from the public related to matters involving Ukraine.

Why it matters: Nadler had requested an explanation for the "intake process" that Attorney General Bill Barr stated had been set up in order to receive information that Rudy Giuliani had obtained about the Bidens in Ukraine.