Massachusetts

Liberals Spar over Trump’s ‘Hate Wall’ in House Primary Debate
Race between Pressley and Capuano has been tagged as the next potential Democratic Party shakeup

Rep. Michael Capuano, center, and Boston city counselor Ayanna Pressley squared off in their final debate for the Massachusetts 7th District seat before next month’s Democratic primary. (WGBH)

Boston city counselor Ayanna Pressley accused Rep. Michael Capuano on Wednesday of hewing too close to the right on issues including criminal justice, police protests and funding for a proposed border wall Wednesday in the final debate of one of Massachusetts’ most closely watched House primaries.

Both candidates are left-leaning liberals who have acknowledged that they often agree. But they have taken on more aggressive stances as the clock ticks down in a race that has attracted national attention as the next to potentially shake up the Democratic Party.

Police, Opponents Criticize Warren’s Remarks on ‘Racist’ Justice System
Democratic senator said system was ‘racist ... I mean, front to back’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was criticized for her remarks calling the criminal justice system “racist.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren was criticized by her Republican challengers and law enforcement in Massachusetts after declaring in a speech that the criminal justice system is “racist.”

Speaking at New Orleans’ Dillard University last week at an event hosted by Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond, the Massachusetts Democrat said “the hard truth about our criminal justice system: It’s racist ... I mean, front to back.”

Group Files Lawsuit to Challenge Electoral College
Includes former Massachusetts governor, Al Gore’s former lawyer

David Boies, is part of a group staging a legal challenge to the Electoral College. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group is suing two red states and two blue states to change the Electoral College system.

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig and David Boies, who served as former Vice President Al Gore’s lawyer in Bush v. Gore, make up the group according to the Boston Globe.

Primary Elections? Sure, We Got ’Em
August might be a sleepy time for some, but not for the midterms

These folks, Public Advocate of the U.S. Inc, cannot wait for the Senate to come back and get to its hearing on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. On Wednesday, they hosted a live performance by the “Kavanaugh Singers” in front of the high court to promote the judge’s confirmation. The group sang “Confirm Brett” to the tune of Mary Poppins’ “Chim Chim Che-ree.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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August might be a sleepy time for legislation, the Senate’s capital busy-work period notwithstanding (See The Kicker below). But this is a midterm election year, and we are still in the thick of primary season.

Pot Business Expected to Boom, Lighting Up Pressure on Lawmakers
More that a dozen states expected to expand legalization by 2025, report says

Secret Service block pro-marijuana protesters from carrying their 51-foot inflated marijuana joint down Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With marijuana legalization measures expected to pass in 13 more states by 2025, the legal pot market would reach more than $30 billion, according to an industry report released Thursday. 

The trend is bound to increase pressure on lawmakers to stake positions on one of the country’s most rapidly evolving social issues — the legalization of pot and cannabis — according to the report from New Frontier Data, a nonpartisan market research firm. 

When Getting ‘Trumped’ Means Extra Dessert
Jim Warlick’s latest project is Presidential Scoops

Ice cream cones sit on the counter at Presidential Scoops as an employee scoops ice cream at the store in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When John F. Kennedy ate ice cream, he was on a boat, in a polo shirt, with his mouth open wider than the cone.

It’s executive moments like those that inspire Jim Warlick. The political history buff and JFK fanatic has branched out into frozen treats with Presidential Scoops, just a block from the White House.

Margaret Heckler, Through the Years With Bikes, Bread and Cake
Former congresswoman, HHS secretary, ambassador to Ireland dies at 87

Rep. Margaret M. Heckler, R-Mass. and Rep. Robert C. Eckhardt, D-Texas, ride bikes in front of Capitol Hill. (Mickey Senko/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Margaret M. Heckler, a Massachusetts Republican who went on to become Health and Human Services secretary and later ambassador to Ireland, died Monday at the age of 87, but not before leaving behind some indelibly light-hearted images from her Capitol Hill days using some pedal power — with various foodstuffs. 

Heckler, born on June 21, 1931, was first elected to Congress in 1966, and did it in dramatic fashion before even getting to the general election. She defeated Massachusetts Rep. Joseph W. Martin Jr., the former speaker of the House, in a  Republican primary.

North Carolina GOP Candidate Preached Extensively on Wives Submitting to Husbands
Former Baptist preacher Mark Harris is running in the 9th District

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris upset Rep. Robert Pittenger in the 9th District GOP primary in May. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP)

Democrats were already targeting North Carolina’s 9th District before incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger lost his Republican primary in May. And they’re hoping that past comments from the former Baptist minister who defeated him improves their chances of flipping the seat this fall. 

Mark Harris on multiple occasions — as a preacher and political candidate — has said that women should submit fully to their husbands and that he believed homosexuality is a choice. Before venturing into politics, he was a pastor at First Baptist Church in Charlotte. 

Trump May Have Tipped His Hand on 2020 Democratic Foe
President appears leery of facing Biden, GOP operative says

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., watches Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wrap up her speech during a rally in Washington. President Trump revealed he wants to run against one of the liberal senators in the 2020 general election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Already thinking about his 2020 re-election bid, President Donald Trump essentially dared Democratic voters Thursday evening to pick a nominee from that party’s most liberal ranks.

Trump often lets the world know his thoughts on legislation, policy decisions and foreign policy matters — either during free-wheeling political rallies or Twitter rants. That was the case during a campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, when he signaled he would prefer to run against “Pocahontas” — his racially tinged nickname for Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren — or “Crazy Bernie” — his dismissive moniker for Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Dems Rip Page From GOP Playbook to Fight Trump’s Pollution Rollback
Markey: ‘We’ll use every tool available to block the Trump administration’s U-turn on fuel efficiency’

Sen. Dianne Feinstein says “Californians have a right to breathe clean air, and we’re not giving that up to President Trump without a fight.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats opposed to the Trump administration’s proposal to freeze fuel efficiency standards have limited options to fight back in the halls and floor of Congress, but the one option they do have comes straight from the GOP deregulatory playbook.

Once finalized, Democrats, led by top members on the Environment and Public Works Committee, plan to introduce a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn the Trump administration’s fuel efficiency strategy, Sen. Edward J. Markey told reporters on a phone conference in response to the administration’s proposal Thursday.