Here are the stories I am following today, May 13.
- Rep. Tlaib sparks outrage with comments on Holocaust, Palestinians
House Republican leaders on Sunday called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to “take action” against Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., for controversial comments she made about the Holocaust during a podcast. “There’s always kind of a calming feeling, I tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports,” Tlaib said during an appearance on the most recent episode of the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery.” “And, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., called Tlaib’s comments “twisted and disgusting.” House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer “to finally take action against Representative Tlaib and other members of the Democratic caucus who are spreading vile anti-Semitism.” Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman to be elected to Congress, has been accused of anti-Semitism several times since taking office in January. Tlaib’s spokesman accused Republican leaders and right-wing extremists of taking her words out of context to incite hate. Tlaib vowed to not be silenced. “Policing my words, twisting & turning them to ignite vile attacks on me will not work.” Pelosi is facing criticism from some fellow Democrats for allowing a Texas imam with a history of anti-Israel comments to deliver the noon prayer in the House of Representatives last week.
MY TAKE: When will everyone understand that this woman is the Devil?
- Kudlow: We expect China to retaliate for hiked tariffs
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said he expects China to retaliate against the U.S. after President Trump increased tariffs last weekon Chinese goods. “The expected countermeasures have not yet materialized,” Kudlow told “Fox News Sunday.” “[But] Yes, I reckon they will. We will see what they come up with. So far, we haven’t heard on that basis.” The U.S. increased tariffs Friday on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent after trade negotiators from both countries failed to come to an agreement. In addition, Trump called for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to begin raising tariffs on “essentially all remaining imports from China, which are valued at approximately $300 billion.” Kudlow said trade talks will continue, though there are no set plans yet. The likelihood of Trump meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month during the G-20 summit in Japan is “pretty good,” he added.
MY TAKE: Stock market headaches coming.
- Schools rethink advice to fight gunman as last resort. In case of a shooting situation, U.S. students are being taught to avoid, barricade, hide and, as a final recourse, confront. But the recent deaths of two students who opposed shooters are prompting officials to question the last option.
MY TAKE: Secure the damn school already!
- Internal memos show Border Patrol agents are getting more power, taking some discretion away from trained asylum officers. “Homeland Security officials are making it tougher for people seeking asylum [at the border with Mexico] to get over the first hurdle in the lengthy process of gaining U.S. protection,” the L.A. Times’ Molly O’Toole reports.
“The new guidance is the latest in a series of steps the Trump administration has taken to try to deter people from applying for asylum or to find ways to reject their claims earlier in the process.”
MY TAKE: Whatever legal steps it takes to stop the invasion, take them all for it must STOP.
- That’s the second year the figure rose, after several years of declines under the Affordable Care Act. About 1.1 million Americans lost health insurance coverage last year, according to USA Today: Efforts by the Trump administration and Congress to challenge and loosen ACA requirements probably played a role in the lost coverage. About 30.4 million went without insurance in 2018, up from 29.3 million in 2017, according to the CDC.
MY TAKE: The border and healthcare are two issues Trump will face with Independent voters in 2020.
- Left leaning Axios.com reports that Democrats have more than beating President Trump to fret in 2020: They face an uphill battle to win the Senate, and the possibility of losing House seats, too. The Senate looks tough to win back for Democrats, who have suffered a string of recruiting disappointments:
- Democrats need three seats to win a majority — but very few Republican incumbents look beatable right now. Susan Collins, who sits atop the list, is fairly popular in Maine.
- The other two most vulnerable Republicans are Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Martha McSally of Arizona, who’s being challenged by Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut turned gun-control advocate.
- But even if Democrats somehow took out those three, they’ll still struggle to hold onto the seat of Sen. Doug Jones in deep-red Alabama.
Many Democrats wish these 2020 presidential candidates — and possibilities — would run for Senate instead: Beto O’Rourke in Texas, John Hickenlooper in Colorado and Steve Bullock in Montana.
In the House, Democrats will have a hard time making big gains: House Republicans need to pick up at least 18 seats to win back control. 31 Democrats represent districts that President Trump carried in 2016; another 12 represent battleground districts that Mitt Romney carried in 2012. But House Republicans say it’ll be difficult to win back control. Trump’s likely 2020 path is so similar to his 2016 map that Republicans can’t see flipping a lot of districts.
My Take: The Republicans are quitting before they even start.