national politics

Matias J. Ocner / Miami Herald

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg made a campaign stop in South Florida on Monday, meeting with local students and holding a fundraiser in Wynwood where he discussed several national issues affecting the region.

During a nearly 20-minute speech in front of more than 70 people, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said his candidacy marks an opportunity to “change the channel” in Washington and make politics more accountable.

SCOTT OLSON / GETTY via Miami Herald

So far ahead of the pack that he can only see Donald Trump, former vice president Joe Biden kept his sights on the president Monday night and warned during a private Coral Gables fundraiser that the greatest threat to the future of America — world peace, even — is currently occupying the White House.

Trump’s first term will “go down as an aberration, an anomaly. But eight years will fundamentally change the nature of who we are,” Biden told a crowd of about 200 who donated to Biden’s campaign to see him speak at the Gables Club, 10 Edgewater Dr., along the Coral Gables Waterway.

Beto O'Rourke got lots of attention from his campaign kickoff in Keokuk, Iowa. And thanks to some of his comments, not all of that attention was good.

At the start of his speech, O'Rourke referenced a call from his wife, Amy, "who's back in El Paso, Texas, where she is raising, sometimes with my help, Ulysses, who's 12 years old, Molly, who's 10, and their little brother, Henry, who is 8 years old."

To some Democratic voters, that seemed like a flip acknowledgment that he was handing off parenting duties to his wife while he pursued his political dreams.

The next Chicago mayor will either be a self-described political outsider who has never run for office or a longtime city alderman and chair of the county's Democratic Party. Either way, for the first time, the city's top political official will be an African-American woman.

The House is slated to vote Wednesday on a bill that would require background checks on all gun sales — including those that occur online or at gun shows. On Monday, a group of four CEOs sent a letter urging Congress to pass the proposal.

Updated at 7:05 p.m. ET

The woman who accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault has gone public with her story by releasing a statement describing the 2004 encounter when both were attending the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Vanessa Tyson said she recently wrote in a private message on Facebook that she was assaulted by someone at the convention, but she did not name Fairfax. The conservative website Big League Politics published the message earlier this week, naming Fairfax as the alleged assailant.

President Trump's second State of the Union address will be delivered Tuesday night before a joint session of Congress with all the usual pomp and circumstance. But the political backdrop is unusual, coming in the aftermath of the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history and on the eve of what could be another vicious fight or even another shutdown.

The fight at the heart of the shutdown — the fight over the president's border wall — remains unresolved with the clock ticking to make a deal.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey is the latest Democrat to enter the increasingly crowded race for the White House, making the initial announcement with a message of unity.

The idea of civility in politics has become almost a quaint idea in some circles. A nonpartisan group called Better Angels is advancing the notion that we can talk about our differences - respectfully. They'll be getting an equal number of Republicans and Democrats together tonight.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

President Trump on Monday denied that he has been trying to conceal details about his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin after a pair of explosive press reports over the weekend.

"I never worked for Russia," Trump told reporters. "It's a disgrace that you even asked that question because it's a whole big fat hoax. It's just a hoax."

Updated at 3:44 a.m. ET Wednesday

Republicans and Democrats will split control of Congress next year. House Democrats are projected to pick up enough GOP-held seats to take the majority in the House, according to The Associated Press. Senate Republicans are projected to maintain and perhaps expand their majority.

The results create a divided Capitol Hill next year and mean President Trump's plans for new tax cuts, tougher immigration legislation and changes to the Affordable Care Act will be blocked.

Roughly 80 percent of voters say they are concerned that the negative tone and lack of civility in Washington will lead to violence or acts of terror, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted after the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

But they are divided on who is the most to blame.

The deadly synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, the killing of two African-Americans in Kentucky and the wave of improvised explosive devices aimed at critics of President Trump all happened just within the past week.

One year after the #MeToo movement took off, new NPR-Ipsos polls show the nation deeply divided on sexual assault and harassment, with fissures running more along party lines than gender.

Most — 69 percent — of more than 1,000 Americans surveyed, say the movement has created a climate in which offenders will now be held accountable. But more than 40 percent feel the movement has gone too far.

Anti-Semitism in its rawest form motivated the Oct. 27 massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The detectives who investigated the killing reported that the gunman, once in custody, told officers that he "wanted all Jews to die."

In his initial reaction to the shooting, President Trump said, "It looks definitely like it's an anti-Semitic crime." But the president seemed surprised it had happened, saying it was "something you wouldn't believe could still be going on."

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