May 05, 2019

Happy Sunday! A week from today is Mother's Day. (I said it backwards so you wouldn't see "Mother's Day" and panic.)

  • The most-read N.Y. Times story last week was the inspiring saga of Riley Howell, a UNC Charlotte student who was killed after he charged a gunman to save others.

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1 big thing: 2020 Dems' 1 big things

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Here's one big thing about each 2020 Democrat — what you should know if you know nothing else about them, by Axios' David Nather and Alexi McCammond:

  • Joe Biden: Hey, remember Obama? (Also: I can beat Trump.)
  • Bernie Sanders: Revolution! Thanks to me. (He takes credit for pushing the rest of the field toward progressive proposals he championed first, like Medicare for All.)
  • Pete Buttigieg: The fresh face. (How many other Midwestern, gay, millennial, Afghanistan veteran mayors are in the race?)
  • Kamala Harris: The "largest working and middle-class tax cut in a generation," as she calls it. The LIFT Act would provide a tax credit of up to $6,000 a year.
  • Elizabeth Warren: The "wealth tax," a 2% tax on Americans with more than $50 million in assets.) She's also running a policy-heavy campaign in general.
  • Beto O'Rourke: As of this week, it's his $5 trillion climate change plan.
  • Cory Booker: His theme is "Justice for All," including criminal justice reform and an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Amy Klobuchar: She depicts herself as a practical Democrat. Her first policy proposal was a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.
  • Michael Bennet: Another moderate who calls himself a "pragmatic idealist." He rejects popular Democratic proposals like Medicare for All and free college.
  • Julián Castro: He has put out an immigration plan that rolls back policies implemented by Presidents Trump and George W. Bush.
  • John Delaney: He promises only bipartisan proposals in his first 100 days.
  • Tulsi Gabbard: She says she's anti-war and will talk to "both adversaries and friends in the pursuit of peace."
  • Kirsten Gillibrand: She has emphasized issues like sexual assault and reproductive rights, but her first campaign proposal is a "clean elections" campaign finance plan.
  • Mike Gravel: He's running on a platform of "ending all wars."
  • John Hickenlooper: He's a centrist and criticizes progressive Democratic proposals like the Green New Deal.
  • Jay Inslee: He's basing his campaign on fighting climate change.
  • Wayne Messam: His big idea is cancelling student loan debt.
  • Seth Moulton: Foreign policy, national security and defense.
  • Tim Ryan: He says he wants to "rebuild the middle class," and emphasizes the decline of the industrial Midwest.
  • Eric Swalwell: He's running on gun control.
  • Marianne Williamson: She's calling for a "moral and spiritual awakening."
  • Andrew Yang: He wants to give every citizen $1,000 a month — a universal basic income — to combat job replacement from automation.

Go deeper on Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bennet, Julián Castro, John Hickenlooper, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, Wayne Messam, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson or Andrew Yang.

2. "A crisis for democracy"

Half of the surviving U.S. newspapers will be gone by 2021, Nicco Mele, director of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, tells The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

  • Why it matters: "Nearly 1,800 newspapers closed between 2004 and 2018, leaving 200 counties with no newspaper and roughly half the counties in the country with only one, according to a University of North Carolina study."

3. Dire warning for heartland

The minor league baseball park in Davenport, Iowa, is surrounded by Mississippi River floodwaters. (Kevin E. Schmidt/Quad City Times via AP)

Forecasters say flooding along the Mississippi River could persist into June as relentless rains continue to saturate the Midwest, per USA Today.

  • "We have points in Iowa and Illinois that have been in flood stage for over 30 days, which hasn't occurred since we started keeping records — and some of them go back 150 years," said Patrick Burke of the National Weather Service.

Bonus: Pic du jour

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

This small space with steel bars in the basement of the Capitol is sometimes referred to as the old "House jail."

  • Alas, it's a myth, per AP's Lisa Mascaro: "No evidence suggests that any room in the Capitol was ever designated for use as a jail," says an entry on the House website's historical pages.

Why it matters: House Democrats are talking about jailing people, imposing steep fines — all sorts of extraordinary, if long-shot measures to try to force the White House to comply with subpoenas and requests for information.

  • The barred space is used to store the cherished Lincoln Catafalque, the pedestal for caskets during state funerals.

4. Facebook forecast

A multibillion-dollar settlement the Federal Trade Commission is negotiating with Facebook "probably won't include limits on Facebook’s ability to track users and share data with its partners," the N.Y. Times Cecilia Kang reports.

  • "[O]ne of the most contentious undercurrents ... has been the degree to which Mark Zuckerberg, ... should be held personally liable."
  • "Facebook has put up a fierce fight, saying Mr. Zuckerberg should not be held legally responsible for the actions of all 35,000 of his employees."

Go deeper.

5. 2020 trail pic

Photo: Meg Kinnard/AP

Joe Biden takes selfies with supporters in Columbia, S.C., yesterday following the first rally of his campaign.

  • Criticizing Republican efforts to tighten voting rules, Biden said: "You've got Jim Crow sneaking back in."
  • On Trump: "This guy is going to go after me and family ... [There] are so many nicknames I want to give this guy, ... [I'd] start with clown."

How it's playing ... WashPost, top of column 1: "Biden's hot start puts rivals on their heels."

6. A message to Washington

Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP

This photo provided by the North Korean government, supposedly taken Saturday, is said to show Kim Jong-un observing weapons-systems tests.

  • Why it matters: North Korea's state media says Kim oversaw a "strike drill" for multiple launchers, with tactical guided weapons fired into the sea. Analysts interpreted the test as an attempt to exert pressure on Washington. (Reuters)

7. A worthy read

Kesha Scales, 46, who worked in metal assembly at the Lordstown plant, hugs friend and former co-worker Beverly Williams. (Photo by LaToya Rudy Frazier/The New York Times)

From "The End of the Line" ... "the story of what happens to a factory town when the factory shuts down," by Dan Kaufman in the N.Y. Times Magazine:

"For more than 50 years, life in Lordstown, Ohio, has revolved around the G.M. plant at the edge of town ... The last Cruze came off the line on March 6":

[P]eople ran into the road, whooping and hollering at the honking cars and tractor-trailers before dispersing in the bitter cold. The last Cruze remained inside the plant, awaiting a final inspection.
By then, it had already come to be much more than a car. It was a token of the most coveted working-class possession: a secure, well-paying job with health insurance and a pension. ...
It was loaded onto a truck destined for Sweeney Chevrolet, a dealership in Youngstown. ... At Sweeney, employees discovered signatures that the Lordstown workers had left underneath the car and a collection of handmade signs that they had placed in the trunk.
"We will survive," one read.

Worthy of your time.

8. Corner of Obama and MLK

Cora Stephens at yeaterday's festival (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

A street festival in L.A.'s Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw neighborhood celebrated the official renaming of 3.5-mile Rodeo Road to Obama Boulevard, per the L.A. Times:

  • "The ... ceremony attracted thousands of people to the street’s intersection with Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in one of Los Angeles’ historic black neighborhoods."
  • "The festival celebrated the life and legacy of the 44th president at the spot where he held a campaign rally in 2007, days after announcing his run for the White House."

Be smart: "Lest anyone is confused, the former Rodeo Road (pronounced RO-dee-oh) bears no resemblance to the vaunted Rodeo (Ro-DAY-oh) Drive of Beverly Hills."

9. DQ stuns Derby

Flavien Prat hugs Country House after winning Kentucky Derby (Darron Cummings/AP)

Kentucky Derby favorite Maximum Security cost bettors $9 million when the horse crossed the finish line first but was subsequently disqualified, making long shot Country House the winner, per ESPN:

  • "Maximum Security closed at 9-2 ... Country House, at 65-1, had the second-longest odds of any Kentucky Derby winner."
  • "Across the nation, there was more than $6.2 million bet on Maximum Security to win and only $520,907 on Country House."

What happened: "Officials cited Maximum Security for interference and the colt became the first Kentucky Derby winner to be disqualified for violating a state regulation that penalizes horses for impeding the path of another in a race." (AP)

  • What's next: "Maximum Security co-owner Gary West criticized race stewards' disqualification ... as 'egregious' and said he was pondering [an] appeal." (AP)

10. 1 fun thing


On "Saturday Night Live," Kate McKinnon, as Elizabeth Warren, tells Colin Jost on "Weekend Update" that Joe Biden is "the Amtrak masseuse" (via N.Y. Times):

I’m over here, working 'round the clock to give you free college. But oh, look-ee there — Beto O'Dork did parkour in a Starbucks. Wow.
Whoops, I just figured out universal pre-K but what's that over there — Mayor Pete Bu-Judge Judy-Jute’s playing piano and speaking fluent Klingon.


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