politics

Twitter taunts Rep. Eric Swalwell after Trump Tower selfie
There are lots of places in New York to get a cup of coffee

California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell has been one of President Donald Trump’s top antagonists. (Rep. Eric Swalwell via Twitter)

Rep. Eric Swalwell faced a dilemma Wednesday afternoon. As he trudged past Trump Tower, he wondered where else he could get a good cup of coffee in Manhattan.

“It’s snowing in [New York]. I need coffee. The closest cafe is inside Trump Tower. This is me walking to an alternative,” Swalwell tweeted.

Mike Pompeo says he is not running for Senate in Kansas in 2020
Former congressman says he will be secretary of State as long as Trump wants him in that role

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a 2020 campaign for Senate in Kansas is “ruled out.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that he was ruling out running for Senate in Kansas in 2020 — at least as long as he is still the top diplomat.

“I love Kansas. I’m going to be the secretary of State as long as President Trump gives me the opportunity to serve as America’s senior diplomat,” Pompeo told NBC’s “Today Show” when asked about a possible race for the seat being vacated by the retirement of Sen. Pat Roberts.

Brett Kavanaugh could decide how redistricting is done
Newest justice will be center of attention when court hears gerrymandering cases next month

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, center, at the State of the Union earlier this month. His views on gerrymandering are a bit of a mystery. (Pool/Doug Mills/The New York Times file photo)

Voters keep voicing their frustration with the politically fraught way that state lawmakers redraw congressional districts every 10 years, and have approved ways to outsource the work with hopes of making fairer maps.

Colorado and Michigan approved ballot measures in November to create independent redistricting commissions to prevent one party from carving up a state in such a way as to entrench itself in office. Missouri approved a plan in which a state demographer and a statistical test will help determine lines. Utah approved the creation of an advisory commission.

Some Republicans with bases in their districts break ranks with Trump over wall funding
Money shouldn’t be diverted from necessary military construction projects, lawmakers say

Ohio Rep. Michael R. Turner is among the Republican lawmakers with a military base in their districts who opposes the president’s circumvention of congressional spending powers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Though typically aligned with the White House, some Republicans who have military bases in their districts oppose President Donald Trump raiding $3.6 billion in military construction projects to finance walls along the southern border.

Recent polling finds that most Americans oppose Trump’s circumvention of Congress to divert already-appropriated funds to build a wall, and the percentage of voters who endorse the idea tracks closely to the president's approval rating. 

Why politicians, and everyone, need to think about legacy
Anti-lynching bill should be a reminder of how history will judge the present

Visitors at the National Memorial For Peace And Justice in Montgomery, Ala., on April 26, 2018. The memorial includes over 800 hanging steel columns, each representing a county where people were lynched. (Bob Miller/Getty Images)

OPINION — At least the bill was approved on a voice vote. That was the bill that would make lynching a federal crime, passed in the Senate late last week — in 2019.

Let that sink in. The legislation still must be approved by the Democrat-controlled House, which is expected to happen with no problem, and be signed into law by President Donald Trump. But it would be unwise to take anything for granted since similar legislation has stalled for more than 100 years, held up by elected public servants who felt that taking a stand would be too politically risky.

States, consumer groups blast CFPB’s fintech protections
But financial industry groups are rallying behind bureau’s plan

New York’s Letitia James led 22 other Democratic state attorneys general in a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that slammed the agency for its plans to allow banks and technology firms to develop untested fintech products and services without fear of reprisals from regulators. (Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works, Inc., file photo )

State attorneys general, consumer advocates, community activists, and banking regulators are criticizing proposed legal protections for banks and technology firms that develop “innovative” financial products.

The protections would come from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which in December unveiled what it calls a “regulatory sandbox” that will allow firms to develop untested fintech products and services without fear of reprisals from regulators. While the criticism rolls in, financial industry groups are rallying behind the plan, even asking the CFPB to expand the legal safe havens.

Former top military advisers urge Congress to pass gun background checks bill
Ex-leaders are part of veterans coalition organized by Giffords’ group

Retired Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal is among the former military advisers and leaders urging congressional leaders to pass a universal backgrounds check bill. (John Medina/Getty Images file photo)

More than a dozen retired top military commanders, leaders and advisers, whose careers spanned both Republican and Democratic administrations, are throwing their weight behind a bill in the House and Senate that would require universal background checks for all U.S. gun sales.

In a letter Thursday, 13 former top military advisers and combat leaders urged congressional leaders in both parties to pass the bill, known in the House as HR 8, which targets private gun sales that don’t require background checks under current federal law.

‘Domestic terrorist’ planned to target Democrats, prosecutors say
Pelosi, Schumer among several lawmakers on U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant’s list

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer were among several Democrats targeted for attack by a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant assigned to the headquarters in Washington “is a domestic terrorist” whose potential victims included numerous Democratic members of Congress, federal prosecutors said in a court filing.

A federal search of Christopher Hasson’s basement apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, found 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, as well as drugs he illegally possessed, prosecutors told a judge Tuesday in a bid to keep him in custody pending a trial.

Alabama Republicans don’t see Roy Moore redux as Senate primary kicks off
But Bradley Byrne stresses need for ‘right Republican’ to take on Doug Jones

Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne announced Wednesday that he was running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:21 p.m. | Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne launched his Senate campaign Wednesday, kicking off the contest to take on one of the most vulnerable senators in the country: Democrat Doug Jones

“The main reason I’m running is that we’ve got somebody in the United state Senate, Sen. Doug Jones, who does not reflect the values or policy positions of the state of Alabama,” Byrne said in a phone interview after announcing his Senate run in Mobile.

Mark Harris’ son warned him about Dowless illegally collecting ballots in North Carolina race
Testimony by John Harris contradicts earlier interviews his father gave about GOP operative

The son of North Carolina Republican Mark Harris testified Wednesday that he warned his father about hiring an operative whom he believed ran an illegal ballot operation scheme. Above, Harris, center, campaigns with President Donald Trump and Rep. Ted Budd in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 26, 2018. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

In remarkable testimony Wednesday afternoon, the son of North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said he warned his father about Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. illegally collecting ballots before Harris hired him. 

John Harris, the son of the Republican nominee in North Carolina’s 9th District, told his father that collecting ballots was illegal and offered to send his father the statute proving that.