Politics & Policy

Why it matters: While Democrats fight to convince voters that they should be the ones tasked with taking down President Trump, the current administration is powering ahead on efforts to restrict immigration, unleash business and reshape the U.S. role in the world.

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Trump vows to block stimulus funding for mail-in voting and USPS

President Trump on Thursday told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo that Democratic demands to fund mail-in voting and the U.S. Postal Service in ongoing coronavirus stimulus negotiations were a non-starter.

Why it matters: Trump directly linked Democrats' desired $3.6 billion for mail-in voting and $25 billion for the USPS to his continued baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud.

George Floyd's death forces small-town America to confront racism

Data: IPUMS NHGIS, University of Minnesota, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The killing of George Floyd and changing demographics across the country have brought discussions over racism and police use of force to small-town America.

Why it matters: White Americans are growing older as the younger generations across the country become more diverse. The shift in what had been predominantly white communities is sparking protests and conversations about racial inequality. Many small towns are realizing for the first time how multiracial they are.

"A mad woman": Trump trains attacks on Harris, AOC, Pelosi

President Trump on Thursday attacked Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi throughout an interview with Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo, respectively calling them "mad," "not even a smart person" and "stone cold crazy."

Why it matters: It's hardly the first time Trump has attacked prominent women.

2 hours ago - Sports

HBCUs are seeing a basketball resurgence

Five-star recruit Makur Maker has committed to Howard University. Photo: John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are experiencing an athletic reawakening, attracting interest and commitments from top basketball recruits at a level not seen since the 1970s.

Why it matters: The college recruiting process often centers around "What can this college do for me?" Now, as more young Black men recognize the power of their actions, some have begun asking, "What can I do for this college?"

When and how to vote in all 50 states

Data: RepresentUS; Note: Montana has told counties they can opt into universal vote-by-mail; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Millions of Americans who normally vote in person on election day will turn to early voting or mail-in ballots this fall — but that only works if you understand your state's election rules, deadlines and how to ensure your vote is counted.

Driving the news: Axios is launching an interactive resource, built on research by RepresentUs, a nonpartisan election reform group, to help voters across the country to get the information they need.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 20,651,113 — Total deaths: 750,030— Total recoveries: 12,851,449Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 5,197,749 — Total deaths: 166,038 — Total recoveries: 1,755,225 — Total tests: 63,731,305Map.
  3. Public health: Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.
  4. Business: The pandemic real estate market — Newsrooms abandoned.
  5. Sports: NFL says its positive test rate is under 1%.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The financial toll of the pandemic.

Bob Woodward's new book details letters between Trump and Kim Jong-un

Bob Woodward during a 2019 event in Los Angele. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Journalist Bob Woodward has obtained "25 personal letters exchanged" between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for his new book, "Rage," publisher Simon & Schuster revealed on Wednesday.

Details: In the letters, "Kim describes the bond between the two leaders as out of a 'fantasy film,' as the two leaders engage in an extraordinary diplomatic minuet," according to a description of the book posted on Amazon.

Dozens of Confederate symbols removed in wake of George Floyd's death

A statue of Confederate States President Jefferson Davis lies on the street after protesters pulled it down in Richmond, Virginia, in June. Photo: Parker Michels-Boyce/AFP via Getty Images

59 Confederate symbols have been removed, relocated or renamed since anti-racism protests began over George Floyd's death, a new Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) report finds.

Why it matters: That's a marked increase on previous years, per the report, which points out just 16 Confederate monuments were withdrawn or renamed in 2019.

Dems raise alarm over changes to Postal Service's election mail processing practices

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy walking through the Capitol on August 5. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House and Senate Democrats wrote to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Wednesday, urging him not to issue new directives for handling election mail ahead of November's general election.

Why it matters: Democrats fear changes to election mail processing practices "will cause further delays to election mail that will disenfranchise voters and put significant financial pressure on election jurisdictions," per a letter written by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and signed by the 47-member Democratic caucus.

Biden campaign raises $26 million in 24 hours after announcing Harris as running mate

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign announced on Wednesday that it raised $26 million in the 24 hours after revealing Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential pick.

Why it matters: The cash influx signals that Harris has helped the Democratic presidential campaign pick up steam. Nearly 150,000 contributors were first-time donors, according to the campaign statement.

17 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Harris previews dual role in debut speech: Attacking Trump and humanizing Biden

Sen. Kamala Harris began her first speech as Joe Biden's running mate excoriating President Trump for his "mismanagement" of the coronavirus and scorn for the racial justice movement, before quickly pivoting to how she came to know Biden: through her friendship with his late son Beau.

Why it matters: The debut speech on Wednesday underscored the dual roles that Harris will take on for the rest of the campaign — humanizing Biden during a moment of national crisis and "prosecuting" the case against Trump as a failed president.

18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden introduces Kamala Harris in first joint appearance

Joe Biden formally introduced Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Wednesday, telling a socially distanced audience in a Wilmington, Del., gymnasium: "I have no doubt that I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America."

Why it matters: Harris is a historic pick for vice president, becoming the first Black woman and first South Asian woman to be named to a major-party U.S. presidential ticket. "Kamala knows how to govern," Biden said. "She knows how to make the hard calls. She is ready to do this job on day one."

Updated 18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP congressman condemns QAnon after conspiracy theorist wins Georgia runoff

Kinzinger. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) tweeted Wednesday that QAnon has "no place in Congress," a day after Marjorie Taylor Greene, a vocal QAnon conspiracy theorist, won the Republican nomination in a congressional runoff election in Georgia.

Why it matters: Few, if any, Republican members of Congress have publicly condemned the far-right conspiracy, which baselessly claims that a secret cabal of sex traffickers within the "deep state" is waging a war against President Trump.

Updated 20 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi says Mnuchin told her White House is "not budging" on stimulus position

Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday.

The latest: Around 3 p.m., Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) issued a statement saying that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had initiated a phone call and made clear that the White House is "not budging from their position concerning the size and scope of a legislative package."

New Jersey governor allows schools to reopen for in-person learning

Gov. Phil Murphy in December 2019. Phoot: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced Wednesday he will sign an executive order allowing private and public K-12 schools and universities to reopen for in-person learning in September.

The big picture: New York and New Jersey have now authorized school districts to begin reopening. Both states and Connecticut ordered travelers from 31 states to quarantine before crossing their state borders after they were able to manage the pandemic.

House Oversight chair introduces bill to preserve USPS services

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill to restrict changes to the U.S. Postal Service's level of operation, the representative's office announced on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The bill comes amid increased scrutiny from Democratic lawmakers, who say recent efforts to restructure USPS threaten the use of mail-in ballots for the November election. Maloney further notes that individuals depend on USPS for critical deliveries, including medications.

23 hours ago - Health

Poll: America's confidence in public school system jumps amid pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

America's confidence in the public school system rose by 12 points this year to 41% — its highest point since 2004, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.

Why it matters: "Double-digit increases in confidence for any institution are exceedingly rare," Gallup notes. The jump comes as teachers, administrators and parents are still figuring out how to safely get kids back to school in the midst of a global pandemic, as the U.S. reports the most coronavirus infections and fatalities in the world.

Watch: Gen Z and the future of politics

Axios Visuals.

Join Axios at the DNC on Tuesday, August 18 at 3:30 p.m. ET for a conversation on how Gen Z is engaging with politics, featuring 2018 Texas Boys State participant Rene Otero. Additional speaker to be announced.

Watch: The future of employability in Milwaukee

Axios Visuals.

Join Axios at the DNC on Tuesday, August 18 at 12:30 pm ET for a conversation on Milwaukee's economic recovery amidst the coronavirus, featuring 5 Lakes Institute Executive Director Kathleen Gallagher and Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy.

What to know about Kamala Harris's alliances, brawls with Big Tech

Vice Presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris, tapped Tuesday as Joe Biden's running mate, is not a "break up Big Tech" crusader. But should Democrats win in November and seek to go after Silicon Valley, she could bring prosecutorial rigor to the case.

Why it matters: The vice president doesn't normally run a president's tech agenda, but can still help set the tone on a wide range of issues for a presidential campaign and administration. Harris' familiarity with the firms in her backyard may give her an outsize role on tech policy.

Aug 12, 2020 - Technology

Scoop: Trump's TikTok order threatens plans for 10,000 U.S. jobs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

An order from President Trump that would ban TikTok in the U.S. is putting in jeopardy TikTok's plan to hire 10,000 U.S. employees, according to a source familiar with the company's thinking.

Why it matters: When TikTok first rolled out the job pledge, it served as a carrot in the political conflict over the social video service, but it's now being held out as a stick.

Trump congratulates QAnon conspiracy theorist on GOP runoff win

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday tweeted congratulations to Marjorie Taylor Greene, a vocal QAnon conspiracy theorist who won the Republican nomination in Georgia's deep-red 14th Congressional District runoff.

Why it matters: The president's approval illustrates how the once-fringe conspiracy theory has gained ground within the GOP. Greene is among the at least 11 GOP candidates for Congress who have openly supported or defended the QAnon movement or some of its tenets, per Axios' Jacob Knutson.

What Kamala Harris means for Biden's climate change plans

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joshua Lott/Stringer.

Sen. Kamala Harris' VP selection could heighten the ticket's focus on environmental justice while prompting fresh Trump campaign political attacks on Democrats' energy plans.

Why it matters: Her introduction comes in an election year that has seen more emphasis on climate change than prior cycles. One effect of the movement ignited by the police killing of George Floyd is a new focus on environmental burdens that poor people and communities of color face.

Trump: Biden, Booker would allow low-income housing to "invade" suburbia

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump in a tweet Wednesday morning boasted about a policy meant to block low-income housing from suburbia and argued that former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) would allow affordable housing to "invade" the space of the "suburban housewife."

Why it matters: The policy has drawn harsh criticism and been seen as a form of segregation. The Obama-era provision that was reversed by Trump's policy sought to fight against housing discrimination.

Murder rate surges in big cities

The scene of a Sunday shooting in Southeast D.C. that killed a 17 year old. Four gunmen fired at least 100 rounds amid hundreds of people at a block party, hitting 22, per the WashPost. Photo: NBC4 via AP

Major cities saw a spike in murders this summer, even as overall crime rates remained at a generational low, according to The New York Times.

Where it stands: The average murder rate across 20 major cities averaged 37% higher at the end of June than at the end of May, the Times reports, citing University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist Richard Rosenfeld. It increased by 6% over the same period last year.

Aug 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

How it happened: Inside Biden's vetting for VP

Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris debate in Detroit on July 31, 2019. Photo: Paul Sancya

Joe Biden's initial list of possible contenders was roughly 20 governors, senators, congresswomen, mayors and other Democratic stalwarts — young and old; Black, Hispanic, white, Asian; straight and gay, AP reports.

How it works: Harris was among the party's most popular figures, a deft debater and a fundraising juggernaut.

Aug 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

What Trumpworld really thinks about Biden picking Kamala Harris

Sen. Kamala Harris launches her presidential campaign in Oakland on Jan. 27, 2019. Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo/MediaNews Group/East Bay Times via Getty Images

What we're hearing about Joe Biden picking Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate from the text chain of the Axios political team.

White House editor Margaret Talev: So far, Harris has been the hardest for Trump to brand. The initial Trump campaign response is to brand her as a sellout willing to look past her earlier concerns about Biden.

3 keys to Joe Biden picking Kamala Harris

Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

Three quick points about Joe Biden's historic selection of Sen. Kamala (pronounced COMMA-luh) Harris of California as his running mate — and clues they give us to how Biden would govern:

  1. She was always at the top of his list. As I look back through my text threads with top Dems over the past five months, she was always assumed to be the most likely pick.
Aug 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Virginia man who drove into Black Lives Matter protesters jailed for 6 years

Photo: Henrico County Police

An "admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan" has been sentenced to six years in prison for driving his vehicle into Black Lives Matter protesters in Richmond, Virginia, and faces more charges before a grand jury next month, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The big picture: Harry H. Rogers, 36, of Virginia, received the maximum penalty for "six misdemeanors, including assault, destruction of property and hit-and-run charges" over the June 7 incident after a judge in Henrico County District Court convicted him on Monday, the New York Times notes. The judge ruled the attack was not a hate crime because "the victims were white," WTVR-TV reported. Rogers' three outstanding felony charges are for alleged attempted malicious wounding, AP reports.

Biden running mate news triggers "best grassroots fundraising day ever"

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris hug during a March campaign rally in Detroit. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

More than $10.8 million was donated in four hours after Sen. Kamala Harris was announced as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's running mate Tuesday, the Democrats' main donation-processing platform ActBlue said, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: Biden is lagging behind in fundraising to President Trump, whose campaign and the Republican National Committee out-raised that of the Democrats' last month. But Biden's announcement triggered his campaign's "best fund-raising hour," his deputy digital director, Clarke Humphrey tweeted, adding it was the campaign's "best grassroots fundraising day ever." ActBlue took $2.3 million in donations during the same hours of 4pm to 8pm Monday, "suggesting a bump as large as $8.5 million" for Biden, the Times notes.

Go deeper: Political world reacts to Biden tapping Kamala Harris as running mate

Trump rules out socially distanced rallies: "You can't have empty seats"

The upper section is partially empty as President Trump speaks during his June campaign rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump said during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt Tuesday he'd love to hold campaign rallies, but he "can't because of the covid. ... you can't have people sitting next to each other."

Why it matters: Trump is known for electrifying crowds at rallies and connecting with loyal supporters on a huge scale. But Trump stressed to Hewitt and in a separate radio interview earlier Tuesday that it wouldn't work while social distancing is required to prevent the spread of COVID-19. "You can’t have empty seats," Trump told with Fox News Radio.

Ilhan Omar wins Minnesota primary

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) won the Democratic primary against lawyer Antone Melton-Meaux on Tuesday evening, AP reports.

Why it matters: The race is one that's played out across the U.S. as progressives continue to sweep party nominations. Omar's win officially means all four progressive members of "The Squad" have won their primary elections.

Updated Aug 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

25 face felony charges after downtown Chicago hit by looters

Police officers inspect a damaged Best Buy in Chicago that was looted and vandalized. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Local police officers are seeking felony charges in 25 cases following the arrest of 100 people in the wake of widespread looting and property damage in Chicago on Monday, per the Washington Post.

Driving the news: Law enforcement said the event involving hundreds of people was a coordinated response after an officer shot a suspect Sunday evening, according to CBS Chicago.

Marjorie Taylor Greene wins Georgia's 14th district runoff

Photo: Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images

Gun-rights activist Marjorie Taylor Greene defeated physician John Cowan in a runoff election for the Republican nomination in Georgia's deep-red 14th Congressional District on Tuesday, AP reports.

Why it matters: Greene, a vocal QAnon conspiracy theorist who has been condemned by GOP leaders for making multiple offensive remarks about Black people, Jews and Muslims in Facebook videos, is likely to win a seat in the House come November.

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