Wednesday, December 7

Politics

EXPLAINER: Drag queens and how they got pulled into politics
Politics

EXPLAINER: Drag queens and how they got pulled into politics

Lately, drag has been dragged through the mud.The art form has been cast in a false light in recent months by right-wing activists and politicians who complain about the “sexualization” or “grooming” of children. Opponents often coordinate protests at drag events that feature or cater to children, sometimes showing up with guns. Some politicians have proposed banning children from drag events and even criminally charging parents who take their kids to one.Performers and organizers of events, such as story hours in which colorfully clad drag queens read books to children, say the protesters are the ones terrorizing and harming children and making them political pawns — just as they’ve done in other campaigns around bathroom access and educational materials.The recent headlines about disr...
Politics

Little evidence of political argument before teen’s death

BISMARCK, N.D. -- There is little indication that an 18-year-old who died after being struck by an SUV in North Dakota was a political extremist like the driver claimed.Investigators say none of the witnesses they have interviewed support the idea that there was a political argument before authorities say Shannon Brandt struck Cayler Ellingson with his vehicle on Sept. 18 in McHenry, and a family friend who knew the teen said he wasn't active in politics.Court documents said Brandt told a 911 dispatcher that he felt threatened after having a political argument with Ellingson, and that he believed the teen was part of a “Republican extremist group.”North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind said Friday that authorities have talked to dozens of witnesses and plan to talk to more as t...
Politics

Car blast kills daughter of Russian known as ‘Putin’s brain’

MOSCOW (AP) — The daughter of an influential Russian political theorist often referred to as “Putin’s brain” was killed in a car bombing on the outskirts of Moscow, authorities said Sunday.The Moscow branch of the Russian Investigative Committee said preliminary information indicated 29-year-old TV commentator Daria Dugina was killed by an explosive planted in the SUV she was driving Saturday night.There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But the bloodshed gave rise to suspicions that the intended target was her father, Alexander Dugin, a nationalist philosopher and writer. Dugin is a prominent proponent of the “Russian world” concept, a spiritual and political ideology that emphasizes traditional values, the restoration of Russia’s power and the unity of all ethnic Russians thro...
Johnson steps on political land mine with Social Security, Medicare comments  
Politics

Johnson steps on political land mine with Social Security, Medicare comments  

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), a stalwart Senate ally of former President Trump, is facing fresh uncertainty in his race for reelection after telling a podcast last week that Social Security and Medicare should be classified as discretionary spending, with Congress authorized to set their budgets every year.    Johnson had been cruising to reelection in a favorable political climate for Republicans, who expected to take control of the House and possibly the Senate as well.    But now Johnson is on the defensive as Democrats have political ammo to claim that he wants to cut the two popular entitlement programs, a strategy they used effectively against Republicans in the past.    Johnson has landed in hot water before for making provocative comments on conservative media, m...
Politics

John Legend and Kanye Wests Friendship Ruined by Politics

The end of a friendship era? Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images and Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Legal Defense Fund Longtime friends John Legend and Kanye West are (still) drifting apart. In an appearance on the Axe Files podcast, Legend said that he and the Donda rapper do not see eye to eye on political matters, which has caused a rift in their relationship — though anyone tuned into Legend’s comments over the past few years may have already read these tea leaves. “Well, you know, we aren’t friends as much as we used to be because, I honestly think because we publ...
Politics

Spurred by the Supreme Court, a Nation Divides Along a Red-Blue Axis

As the political divide between the states becomes more pronounced, what political scientists call “sorting” may accelerate. The conservative Illinois billionaire Kenneth Griffin announced last week that he had moved to Miami from Chicago, and would take Citadel, his hedge fund, with him. He told his employees that Florida offered a better corporate environment.At the same time, Ms. Caprara said the Pritzker administration routinely boasts of the state’s welcoming political environment, where abortion rights are codified and companies will never find themselves in the position the Walt Disney Company now occupies in Florida — squeezed between a conservative government constraining gay and transgender rights, and liberal consumers demanding a corporate pushback.“Companies don’t want to h...
Politics

Biden Irked by Democrats Who Won’t Take ‘Yes’ for an Answer on 2024

WASHINGTON — Earlier this month, when Senator Bernie Sanders said he would not challenge President Biden in 2024, Mr. Biden was so relieved he invited his former rival to dinner at the White House the next night.Mr. Biden has been eager for signs of loyalty — and they have been few and far between. Facing intensifying skepticism about his capacity to run for re-election when he will be nearly 82, the president and his top aides have been stung by the questions about his plans, irritated at what they see as a lack of respect from their party and the press, and determined to tamp down suggestions that he’s effectively a lame duck a year and a half into his administration.Mr. Biden isn’t just intending to run, his aides argue, but he’s also laying the groundwork by building resources at th...
Abortion debate shows how California politics have changed
Politics

Abortion debate shows how California politics have changed

People often ask me how things have changed at California’s Capitol over the last 60 years. One answer: Politics today is a lot more knee-jerk partisan. A striking example is abortion. That’s true of many issues. More legislators used to think for themselves and not be so subservient to party dogma. Now, abortion is again front and center after news broke last month that the U.S. Supreme Court was on the verge of overturning Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized pregnancy terminations nationwide. In Sacramento, there has been political gameplaying by Democrats and rote partisan voting by both parties. That’s in stark contrast to 55 years ago this month when the Democratic-controlled Legislature narrowly passed and new Republican Gov. Ronald Reagan signed the nation’s most libera...
Politics

Pence Navigates a Possible White House Run, and a Fraught Political Moment

Former Vice President Mike Pence has emerged from the Jan. 6 hearings in a peculiar position.To some Democrats in Congress, he has become something of a hero for resisting Donald J. Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn the 2020 election at a time when American democracy seemed to teeter on the brink. To Mr. Trump and his political base, Mr. Pence is a weakling who gave away the presidency. And to a swath of anti-Trump voters in both parties, he is merely someone who finally did the right thing by standing up to his former boss — years too late, after willingly defending or ignoring some of Mr. Trump’s earlier excesses.The whipsaw of images creates an uncertain foundation for a potential presidential campaign, for which Mr. Pence has been laying the groundwork. Yet the former vice presi...
Morales wins Republican Secretary of State nomination | Politics
Politics

Morales wins Republican Secretary of State nomination | Politics

INDIANAPOLIS—Incumbent Secretary of State Holli Sullivan was defeated Saturday afternoon in a vote by Indiana State Republican Party convention delegates who gave a majority to challenger Diego Morales on the second ballot.Sullivan, a former state representative who was appointed to the office in 2021 after the resignation of Connie Lawson, received 561 votes to Morales' 847, which gave the challenger a majority of the convention votes needed for nomination. Morales will face Democrat Destiny Wells, who was nominated without opposition Saturday in Indiana Democrats' state convention, and Libertarian Jeff Maurer in the November election.The Republican conven...