Headlines: August 15, 2018
Listen to story:
Download: mp3 (Duration: 9:13 — 8.4MB)
In today’s news headlines primary races took place in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, and Connecticut on Tuesday and many progressives won Democratic nominations. In Minnesota Somali American Ilhan Omar won her primary for the seat being vacated by Keith Ellison. If she beats her Republican opponent in November – which is likely in the strongly Democratic district – she would join Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib to become the first Muslim American woman to ever serve in Congress. Mr. Ellison also won his race to become the Democratic nominee for Minnesota Attorney General despite recent allegations about domestic abuse.
In Connecticut, a first-time candidate and former teacher Jahana Hayes won the Democratic nomination for a House seat. If she wins in November, the Washington Post reports that she would be, “the first black woman of either party to represent part of New England in Congress.”
In Wisconsin Randy Bryce who goes by the moniker Ironstache, has won a Democratic nomination for the seat being vacated by House Speaker Paul Ryan. Bryce is an Army veteran who campaigned on his working class roots. He won the endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders and beat his opponent Cathy Myers by 20 percentage points, despite recent negative media coverage about past arrests. He will face Republican Brian Steil in November. Also in Wisconsin Tony Evers won the Democratic nomination for Governor and will face incumbent Scott Walker.
Vermont’s Gubernatorial race made history with transgender candidate Christine Hallquist winning the Democratic nomination. Hallquist was Vermont’s first transgender state lawmaker, and her Tuesday night victory made her the first transgender person ever to be nominated by a major party for the position of governor. If she wins the November race, she would of course also become the nation’s first transgender Governor.
And in Kansas, a long-drawn out vote count for the GOP nomination for Governor has finally come to a close. Incumbent Governor Jeff Colyer has conceded the race to his challenger Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State and rabid anti-voting activist. Trailing behind Kobach by just a few hundred votes Colyer announced his concession saying it was in the best interest of the Republican Party.
In other news, the State of Pennsylvania has released a damning grand jury report about pervasive sexual abuse of children at the hands of Catholic priests. The report covers the period since 1947 in six dioceses. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro called it the “largest, most comprehensive report into child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church ever produced in the United States.” The report covers not only the sordid details of abuse, and names the priests, but also the extent of the decades-long cover up by higher ups in the church.
Meanwhile a federal judge in New York just ruled that former top Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein can be sued on charges of sex trafficking. An actress named Kadian Noble brought the suit against Weinstein last year and Judge Robert Sweet has now cleared the way for it despite the fact that it includes a broad interpretation of federal sex trafficking laws.
Former aide to Donald Trump, Roger Stone is under fire for briefly posting a Swastika-filled doctored photo on social media earlier this week. A group shot of astronauts was doctored with his face and Trump Administration officials’ faces including Trump, Mike Pence, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and others, and was captioned “Space Force: In Space No One Can Hear You Lie.” Mr. Stone posted the photo to Instagram and wrote, “I love this. Proud to be in this crew – but the only lies are being told by liberal scumbags. #maga #republican #infowars.” There were a total of 8 swastikas in the photo and Stone deleted it a few hours later. Stone, who advised Trump during his Presidential campaign, is among those facing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
President Trump continued to fuel the fire of insults being hurled at his former White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who has written a new tell-all book about him called Unhinged. Amid reports that White House staff are terrified of her releasing more secret recordings, Trump tweeted, “When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!” Trump also continued his attacks on the Special Counsel’s investigation and took a swipe at his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions for being, “scared stiff,” and “missing in action.” On Tuesday White House Press Secretary Sanders was asked if Trump had ever used the N-word as alleged by Manigault-Newman, but Sanders said she could not guarantee it. Later in today’s show, author Katharine Gerbner will join us to explain the roots of white supremacy which she writes about in her new book, Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World.
The ACLU has uncovered coordination between ICE and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Boston, Massachusetts, to arrest undocumented immigrants seeking to adjust their status. According to CNN, the civil rights group filed documents in court showing that ICE and USCIS, “discussed scheduling interviews with immigrants at times that were convenient for ICE agents who would be waiting to arrest them — and in some cases initiate the deportation process.” The ACLU is representing five Massachusetts-based couples that consist of citizens married to non-citizens, who were impacted by the practice.
West Virginia’s legislature has voted to impeach all four justices on the state Supreme Court in a stunning rebuke. All four justices were accused of improperly spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to, among other things, furnish and renovate their offices.
Politico on Tuesday published an exposé of the Trump administration’s proposal to allow states to rewrite regulations for pollution from coal-burning plants, and even opt out of regulating them altogether. The plan would undo yet another central piece of President Obama’s efforts to curb climate change and comes at a time of record-breaking heat waves in the US and around the world directly linked to global warming. Later in the program we’ll speak with senior climate scientist Geeta Persad of the Union of Concerned Scientists about how climate change is driving California’s massive wildfires this summer.
The Union of Concerned Scientists has just released a new report, surveying scientists working in federal agencies under the Trump administration. According to the organization, “A year and a half into the Trump administration, its record on science policy is abysmal: undermining the role of science in decision-making, expanding the influence of regulated industries, excluding public voices, censoring scientists, overriding and dismissing science advice, and hindering the collection and dissemination of scientific information.” The report, entitled “Science Under Trump: Voices of Scientists across 16 Federal Agencies,” surveyed more than 63,000 scientists working for the federal government.
And, a survey of farmers published on Tuesday has found that support for Donald Trump has dipped sharply – mostly due to the negative impacts farmers are feeling from China’s retaliation to Trump’s trade war. About 70% of farmers picked Trump in the 2016 election but now only 50% say they would vote for him again. Trump’s support remains strongest among younger farmers – those who are 45 or less.