National News at a Glance
Posted September 3, 2018 8:54 p.m. EDT
As Hearings Begin, Differing Views of Kavanaugh Emerge
Two wildly different portraits of Judge Brett Kavanaugh are set to emerge Tuesday at the opening of his Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Republicans will present Kavanaugh as an experienced, independent-minded jurist, and as an advocate and mentor for women. Democrats will paint Kavanaugh as a far-right extremist who would roll back abortion rights, deny health coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, protect President Donald Trump from the threat of subpoena — and as someone who may have misled Congress when he testified during his appeals court confirmation hearing in 2006.
Growth Has Lifted Counties That Voted for Trump. Mostly, It’s the Wealthy Ones.
President Donald Trump rode to office in part by promising economic revival across America. While economic growth has accelerated since he took office, it has not helped everywhere. The divide is pronounced between the high- and low-income counties that helped deliver Trump the White House. The most prosperous Trump-supporting counties — as ranked by the Economic Innovation Group, a think tank in Washington focused on geographic disparities in the U.S. economy — added jobs at about a 2 percent annual rate in 2017. The least prosperous Trump counties did not add any new jobs, on net.
Trump’s Justice Department Redefines Whose Civil Rights to Protect
Since its founding, the Justice Department’s civil rights division has used the Constitution and federal law to expand protections of African-Americans, gays, lesbians and transgender people, immigrants and other minorities. But under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the focus has shifted to people of faith, police officers and local government officials who maintain they have been trampled by the federal government. The Leadership Conference, a civil rights advocacy group, counts at least 95 instances in which the administration has taken a stance antithetical to long-standing views on civil rights and civil liberties.
Democrats, Eyeing a Majority, Prepare an Investigative Onslaught
House Democrats, increasingly optimistic they will win back control in November, are mining a mountain of stymied requests in preparation for an onslaught of hearings and investigations into nearly every corner of the Trump administration. While they continue to distance themselves from talk of impeaching President Donald Trump, Democrats could soon oversee inquiries into whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election, if the president obstructed a federal investigation into the matter and what role Trump played in paying to silence two women in the closing weeks of the campaign who say they had affairs with him.
Trump Blasts Sessions for Charging GOP Members Before Midterms
President Donald Trump on Monday attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the Justice Department’s decision to bring criminal charges against two Republican congressmen before the midterm elections, linking the department’s actions with his party’s political fate. In a pair of tweets, Trump suggested that the Justice Department should not have brought charges against two “very popular” Republican lawmakers so close to November because it could jeopardize the party’s control of the House. In another tweet, he suggested that Sessions, one of Trump’s few vocal defenders early in his campaign, had fallen into favor with Democrats after the charges were delivered.
Green Cabs Were Supposed to Thrive. Then Came Uber.
Uber and Lyft, the ride-hailing services that have transformed the way many New Yorkers get around, have plunged the yellow cab industry into an existential crisis. But green-cab drivers are no less angry about app-connected rides, saying that Uber and Lyft have torpedoed their fledgling segment of the taxi industry before it even had a chance to establish itself. A new law caps ride-share vehicles in New York at about 100,000. But drivers said the cap was unlikely to create a new window of opportunity for green cabs, in part because ride-hail cars outnumber green cabs 30-1.