Democrats’ recent winning streak in special elections might be coming to an end with Tuesday’s contest in Arizona’s 8th congressional district. But the party still plans to count it as a victory.
Two women, Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a cancer-research advocate, and Republican state Senator Debbie Lesko, are vying to fill the House seat vacated by Republican Trent Franks, who resigned in December after it was reported that he asked a staffer to be a surrogate. Only two people have represented the area—which includes the suburbs to the north and west of Phoenix—since 1977, and Democrats haven’t even had a candidate on the ballot since 2012. But a string of surprising wins in Alabama, Virginia, and most recently in Pennsylvania, has given Democrats cause for hope even in the reddest of places.
“It should be an unwinnable district for us,” said Andy Barr, a local Democratic strategist, citing the fact that Donald Trump won the district by a whopping 21 points in 2016. “It should not be possible for us to be in this position, and yet we are.”
Tipirneni, a former ER physician, has made healthcare the centerpiece of her longshot campaign, advocating for a Medicare-for-all type public option. She’s also vowed to increase investment in public education, a pretty timely issue in the state: Arizona educators voted last week in favor of a statewide walkout to protest low pay and school funding. On this, the Democrat has positioned herself directly opposite Lesko, a longtime proponent of...
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—When Garnett and Dave Mellen sent their 19-year-old daughter, Gita, off to college an hour away at Virginia Commonwealth University last fall, they didn’t expect to follow her.
But in November, the family received notice that their monthly health-insurance premium in Charlottesville would triple for 2018, from $1,200 to an unaffordable $3,600. So, the Mellens, both longtime local business owners, packed their bags and spent time with Gita in her off-campus apartment in Richmond.
“My whole life has been rearranged around trying to get health insurance,” Garnett Mellen, 56, said, as she explained that claiming residency with her daughter in the new zip code had cut their premiums by more than half.
Charlottesville now claims the dubious distinction of having the highest individual-market health-insurance costs in the country—prompting families like the Mellens to look for extreme solutions.
An exodus of carriers, which was blamed on losses caused by the instability of the Obamacare marketplace, created a coverage vacuum, leaving locals and insurance regulators scrambling.
Only one carrier—the Virginia Beach–based Optima Health—decided to continue to participate in the individual market, but it did so with monthly premium increases that were, on average, in the high double digits and for some consumers as much as 300 percent, according to people interviewed for this story.
It’s a problem that’s likely to be replicated elsewhere, says Timothy Jost, an emeritus professor of law at Washington and Lee University in Virginia and an expert on the health law. “In many...
Social conservatives love them some Donald Trump. The reason is hardly a mystery. Despite the swirling tales of porn stars and Playboy bunnies, Russian hookers and general degeneracy, this president has delivered on some key issues for traditional-values voters, especially when it comes to appointments. (“Gorsuch!” has become an all-purpose rejoinder to any awkward questions about Trump’s fitness for office.) Ordinarily harsh moralizers—including Franklin Graham, Tony Perkins, and Jerry Falwell Jr.—are among the most reliable Trump apologists. And while a majority of Americans remain ambivalent about 45, his religious followers grow ever more enamored. A new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute has Trump’s favorables among white evangelicals at an all-time high of 75 percent.
Which is why social conservatives’ ongoing freak-out over Chai Feldblum is so striking.
Who the heck is Chai Feldblum? For those who don’t closely chart the comings and goings of random bureaucrats at non-glamorous government agencies: Feldblum has been a commissioner at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since Obama appointed her in 2010. In 2013, she was reupped for a full five-year term, set to expire on July 1. In December, Trump renominated Feldblum for a third go-around.
Feldblum’s curriculum vitae is impressive, intimidating even. A graduate of Harvard Law, she clerked for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. In 1988, she went to work as legislative counsel for the ACLU’s AIDS project, where she had a key role in drafting the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In 1991, she became a professor at the...
Last May, a 16-year-old without a driver’s license was steering his parents’ sedan down a street in Carteret, New Jersey, when a police car pulled behind him with its lights flashing. The young man, who wasn’t wearing his seat belt, either tried to flee or panicked and hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes. He crashed the vehicle into a guy-wire beside a utility pole, triggering its airbags.
Officer Joseph Reiman, a former marine, quickly exited his car and approached the crash. When backup arrived moments later with a dash-cam running, Reiman was recorded pummeling the teen with punches about his head and face.
A man interviewed by a local newspaper offered this version of what happened. “The way he was punching him was excessive,” he said. “I thought he was going to beat him to death.”
The teen’s father filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit. And Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey agreed that the young man had been needlessly brutalized: According to The Courier News, he charged Reiman with one count of aggravated assault and three counts of official misconduct “for assaulting the teenager, failing to activate his body-worn camera, and failing to use reasonable discretion or restraint in the amount of force used to apprehend the teenager.”
Reiman has pleaded not guilty, but this article is not about his trial. It is about a quality that most Americans expect their police officers to exhibit: courage.
But what sort?
The prologue of this remarkable memoir is likely to send readers to the YouTube clip of the occasion it describes: the 2006 Oprah show on which 18-year-old Clemantine Wamariya and her older sister were reunited with the rest of their long-lost family, 12 years after the pair had fled the Rwandan genocide. Oprah later pronounced it “one of the deepest, most joyful moments I’ve ever experienced.” She rated the footage “beautiful, raw, raw, raw, raw, raw, raw, pure.” On the screen, Wamariya’s face twists with pain and near-terror.
On the page, Wamariya and the journalist Elizabeth Weil set out to sabotage facile uplift. Forget raw and pure: Wamariya’s quest is to create some semblance of moral and emotional coherence out of a life that too often feels like a self-corroding performance. In flight since she was 6, she has counted for survival on a drive “to be who I needed to be and get what there was to get.” A brutal journey through six countries initiated her early on as a “mimic and a chameleon”—by turns obedient younger sister, vigilant little mother (to her sister’s children), and “a nobody, invisible.” Each smiling version of herself was as fierce as she was afraid.
On her arrival in the U.S., in 2000, a new role awaited. At 12, Wamariya was “a curiosity, an emissary from suffering’s far edge.” Her “refugee skills” kicked in, and in public she became “Oprah’s special genocide survivor,” then a...
A Peruvian judge on Monday ordered the arrests of two men accused of lynching of a Canadian man last week in a remote Amazonian village as retribution. The Canadian, 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe, had been accused by villagers of murdering an indigenous medicine woman in the region of Ucayali and was killed in revenge by a "mob," according to Peru's interior ministry. A minute-and-a-half long cellphone recording of the lynching, which was posted on Facebook, showed two men dragging Woodroffe by a noose around his neck as others looked on.
The system, originally dreamed up by a teenager, will be shipped out this summer to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, between Hawaii and California, and which contains an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) spans 617,763 sq miles - more than twice the size of France, and contains at least 79,000 tons of plastic, research found last month.