Paul Ryan Moving to Maryland, Not Selling Wisconsin Home

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan is moving his family from his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, to a house in a Washington, D.C., suburb less than a year after he retired from Congress saying he wanted to spend more time with his children.

Ryan spokesman Kevin Seifert said Tuesday that Ryan and his family will be “temporarily” renting a house in Maryland and splitting their time between there and their longtime home in Janesville. He is not selling the Janesville house, which he lived in throughout his 20 years in Congress.
 
The move will put Ryan and his family closer to the sisters of Ryan’s wife, Janna Ryan, who live in the area.
 
Since leaving Congress at the end of 2018, Ryan started the nonprofit American Idea Foundation. That will still be based in Janesville.

 

 

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Democrats Spending Millions to Try to Take Back Statehouses

Democrats still shaken by the 2010 tea party wave that netted Republicans six governors’ offices, flipped 21 statehouse chambers and drove nearly 700 Democratic state legislators from office are mounting a comeback, pouring millions of dollars into state level races.
 
In a longtime Republican district covering a wealthy enclave of Dallas, Democratic challenger Shawn Terry has raised $235,000, an eye-popping amount for a statehouse race that’s more than a year away. In Virginia, where the GOP holds a slim majority, Democrats have outraised Republicans for the first time in years. Democrats are even putting some money in deeply Republican Louisiana.
 
The cash deluge shows how the consequences of next year’s elections run far deeper than President Donald Trump’s political fate. The party that controls state legislatures will take a leading role in the once-in-a-decade redistricting process that redraws congressional maps. Newly empowered Republicans used that process to their favor following the tea party victories, and Democrats want to use the same playbook.

“There is, especially for this cycle, a very strong focus on redistricting,” Terry said.
 
The stakes are particularly high following a recent Supreme Court ruling that decided federal courts have no business policing political boundary disputes in many cases. The ruling doesn’t apply to districts gerrymandered along racial lines but otherwise gives states wide latitude to draw maps with little concern for an eventual judicial rebuke.
 
“Everybody knows everything is at stake,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of the group EMILY’s List, which recruits and trains women to run for office and plans to spend $20 million on legislative races. “We just have to go in and win chambers.”

Organizations like EMILY’s List, the Democratic Governors Association and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee have seen a sharp increase in donations, nearing parity with Republicans who almost always outraise and outspend them, according to an analysis of IRS data by The Associated Press.
 
And Democratic donors who gave little to nothing to down-ballot races in the past are cutting large checks to groups focused on state races, the AP’s analysis shows. Among them are billionaire George Soros (at least $5.4 million), hedge fund billionaire Donald Sussman (at least $4.8 million) and billionaire investor and entrepreneur Fred Eychaner (at least $4.2 million).

The numbers don’t take into account the activities of nonprofit “dark money” groups that both Republicans and Democrats operate. They won’t have to disclose their finances until next year at the earliest.
 
But already the money is filtering out to the states.
 
Priorities USA, the largest Democratic outside group, and EMILY’s List recently announced they would spend $600,000 on voter mobilization for Virginia’s fall elections. For the first time, the Democratic opposition research group American Bridge is digging into the pasts of Republican statehouse candidates.
 
And the DLCC, which is spearheading efforts in Virginia, says it has collected $9 million since the 2018 midterm elections, an off-year record, and is on pace to reach its $50 million fundraising goal for the cycle.  
 
New groups that are focused on state races have sprung up, including the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which is led by former Attorney General Eric Holder and endorsed by former President Barack Obama.  
 
It all stems from what Democrats describe as a nearly traumatizing experience in 2010 when, reveling in the early days of the Obama administration, they failed to organize at the state level. Democratic strategist Jessica Post remembers being outside a bar in Pennsylvania’s capital city of Harrisburg when she got word of just how thoroughly her party was rejected.
 
“After curling up on the sidewalk, I walked back into the bar, popped open a Budweiser and said to myself, `If I have anything to do with this, we will not get outclassed in 2020 by the Republicans,” said Post, who now leads the DLCC and is tasked with reclaiming lost ground.

The new attention Democrats are paying to down-ballot races is a break from the past, when the White House and Congress were the primary focus. Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said a breakthrough came in 2016 when he, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other party officials gathered top Democratic donors in a Philadelphia hotel ballroom to forcefully make the case and unveil a new state level fundraising initiative.    
 
“People finally understand that you just can’t play every four years in the presidential, you have to play in these state races,” said McAuliffe, a top Democratic fundraiser. “You could have a great wave in Congress, but if you have all these gerrymandered districts, I don’t care how much money you have.”
 
Next year’s elections will still play out under the maps that Republicans drew after the 2010 campaign. But Democrats are hoping that the money they’re investing in state races, higher turnout in a presidential election year and frustration with Trump, particularly in the suburbs, could give them the lift they need.

In Texas, for instance, Democrats are nine seats away from flipping the House, which would give them a sliver of power after nearly a quarter-century of political irrelevance. A Democratic majority in the House would deny the GOP the chance to write congressional maps on their own.
 
The Minnesota Senate is two seats away from flipping from red to blue, while the Michigan House is four seats away, according to figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Pennsylvania Democrats need nine seats to control the House and four to take the Senate. In Florida, Democrats are four seats from power in the Senate, while control of the Wisconsin Senate hangs by three. In North Carolina, Democrats could take the Senate by winning five seats, while the House would require them to flip six.   
 
Republicans are taking the threat seriously. Citing multiple studies, they say the outcomes of 50 legislative races across the U.S. could be the difference between a 36-seat Republican congressional majority and a massive 110-seat Democratic edge.
 
Austin Chambers, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee, said his organization will need to raise more than it ever has, though he declined to state a fundraising goal. His group was narrowly edged by DLCC in the first half of 2019, though Chambers said he expects they will ultimately outraise Democrats.
 
“It is serious as a heart attack, and we’ve got to do everything we can to prepare for it,” he said.

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As Rivals Head to California, Biden Chooses New Hampshire

Joe Biden won’t be among the parade of White House hopefuls in California this week, skipping the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting to campaign in New Hampshire instead.

The former vice president will have the nation’s first primary state essentially to himself as his top rivals jockey for attention from hundreds of Democratic officials gathered in San Francisco for the party’s last national meeting before presidential voting begins in February.
 
Biden’s choice is partly a reflection of Democrats’ new rules that strip DNC members of their presidential nominating votes on the first 2020 convention ballot. But it’s just as much an indication of Biden’s deliberate front-runner strategy as he continues to lead national and state primary polls: The 76-year-old candidate is choosing carefully when to appear alongside the candidates who are trying to upend him, and he’s keeping a distance, at least publicly, from the party machinery that ultimately proved an albatross to Hillary Clinton in her 2016 loss to Donald Trump.
 
“He has a real commitment to be in the early states,” said Biden’s campaign chairman, Cedric Richmond, pointing to Biden’s recent four-day swing through Iowa, the first caucus state, along with upcoming trips to South Carolina and Nevada and a return to Iowa. “I wouldn’t make any more of the scheduling decision than that.”
 
Indeed, Biden has joined multicandidate “cattle calls” in Iowa; Nevada, the first Western state in the nominating process; and South Carolina, which hosts the South’s first primary.
 
The Biden campaign also isn’t ignoring the DNC. Campaign manager Greg Schultz will be in San Francisco on his boss’s behalf. Yet the national Democratic gathering is a notable absence for the candidate himself, given Biden’s deep connections across the party as a two-term vice president and six-term senator who’s run for president twice before; and Biden aides have noted quietly that they are keenly aware of the criticism Clinton absorbed in 2016 as progressive activists who backed Bernie Sanders accused the DNC of favoritism. Biden’s team doesn’t want a repeat if he’s the nominee.
 
With Biden away, DNC members will hear from, among others, Sanders and his fellow senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, the hometown favorite who served previously as a local prosecutor and California attorney general. Several candidates have scheduled their own events in California beyond the DNC sessions.
 
California will be critical to the nomination after moving up its primary to join a Southern-heavy Super Tuesday lineup next March. The state will have 400 pledged delegates at stake, the largest of any state and about a fifth of the total necessary to win the nomination.
 
Democrats in California criticized Biden’s absence in the spring, but prominent DNC member and Californian Christine Pelosi said it makes sense this time around given the audience.
 
 “We’re not a room of 400 superdelegates anymore,” said Pelosi, a daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “We’re just a room full of activists. … And everyone knows Vice President Biden. This is far more important for candidates who aren’t as well known.”
 
That said, Pelosi noted that party events in California can sometimes draw boisterous crowds of progressives, like the one at the state party convention that jeered as some party moderates warned against veering too far left. And while Biden certainly wouldn’t face a hostile crowd of DNC delegates, there’s plenty of potential for activists or protesters to make their presence known.
 
“Some people can crash and scream,” said Pelosi, who says she will not publicly back a candidate during the nomination process. “That might make for good TV, but it’s not really advancing the cause” or ideal for Biden.
 
There’s also another variable for Biden — and his fellow candidates — to consider: the big money that it takes to compete in California. In New Hampshire and Iowa, voters expect aggressive retail politics and close contact with would-be presidents. That doesn’t work in a state of 40 million residents, with candidates instead forced to spend heavily on traditional television advertising and digital ads to reach voters.
 
 “He will be back to California again,” Richmond said. “And we will have the resources to compete there.”

 

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НБУ зафіксував зміцнення гривні щодо долара

Національний банк України встановив 20 серпня о 12:00 довідкове значення курсу 25 гривень 12 копійок за долар. Це на 5 копійок менше за офіційний курс на сьогодні.

Регулятор відбив тенденцію, яка сформувалася на міжбанківському валютному ринку ще в другій половині дня 19 серпня. На торгах 20 серпня «спостерігається поступове зростання пропозиції на фоні дуже стриманого попиту», відзначають фахівці сайту «Мінфін», які станом на 11:00 зафіксували котирування 25 гривень 11–13,5 копійки за долар.

На 1 серпня НБУ встановив найвищий за останні три з половиною роки курс гривні до долара – 25,02 за одиницю американської валюти.

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Водії, слюсарі, електромонтери – у Державній службі зайнятості розповіли про запити ринку праці

Найбільший попит роботодавців із початку 2019 року – на кваліфікованих робітників, повідомили на запит Радіо Свобода у Державній службі зайнятості.

За даними ДСЗ, з січня по липень 2019 року в базі даних відомства налічувалося 743 тисячі вакансій.

«У розрізі професій найбільший попит роботодавців спостерігався на кваліфікованих робітників, а саме – водіїв, швачок (шевців – ред.), електромонтерів, слюсарів, операторів заправних станцій, електрогазозварників, трактористів, монтерів колій, токарів, робітників з комплексного обслуговування будинків, малярів, мулярів та столярів», – йдеться у відповіді служби.

Читайте також: Із російського філолога в реставратори меблів: як в Естонії навчаються все життя​

Як додають у ДСЗ, на ринку праці також затребувані працівники сфери послуг, зокрема: продавці, кухарі, охоронці, офіціанти, медичні сестри, помічники вихователів, пекарі, бармени. Крім того, як «стабільно високий» оцінюють попит на фахівців із досвідом роботи в економіці, медицині, фармацевтиці, освіті, державній службі.

При цьому, за даними ДСЗ, протягом 2018 року до неї звернулося 8,5 тисяч випускників вищих навчальних закладів, або 2% від загальної кількості людей, які закінчили ВНЗ. У попередні роки цей показник складав 5%-6%.

У липні 2019 року Міністерство освіти і науки повідомило, що найпопулярнішими спеціальностями для вступу стали філологія, право, менеджмент, комп’ютерні науки, журналістики, інженерія програмного забезпечення, психологія і медицина. Всього документи на вступ до ВНЗ подали 831,5 тисячі випускників шкіл.

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Michael Bennet Banking on Moderation in Age of Trump

Michael Bennet was about as fired up as he ever gets at the Iowa State Fair’s Political Soapbox, railing against Bernie Sanders’ health care plan — but politely.

“I respect him because he tells the truth about what’s in his plan, but I disagree that that’s gonna get us universal health care in America,” said Bennet, a Colorado senator and decidedly lower tier Democratic presidential candidate.

He prompted boos from the crowd, most of whom were waiting in the heat to see Sanders speak shortly after him, but Bennet wasn’t too fussed. As admirers thronged to the Vermont senator, Bennet went on to tour the fair and hop aboard a few rides with his daughters.

Bennet is pursuing the presidency as the anti-Donald Trump: measured and moderate. Contemplative and competent. With the energy in the Democratic Party radiating from the left and the president so often shouting from the right, Bennet’s journey has been a lonely road.

But he insists he won’t change course.

“If we are forever trapped in a world of instantaneous celebrity that is driven by social media, it may be that I’m not the person for that time,” he said in an interview. “But just like with many other things, I prefer not to think that we’re living in a permanent state of a broken-down political system that won’t deliver on all the promises these candidates are making.”

Bennet’s odds of winning the Democratic presidential nomination are as long as his thoughts are deep.

His new book is his version of an urgent call to arms to restore American democracy and no one’s idea of a bestseller.

And yet, Bennet is tying his candidacy to perhaps the most audacious proposition of all, that voters may actually crave the opposite of the relentlessly turbulent tenure of Trump.

He made that pitch explicit in a tweet, pledging, “If you elect me president, I promise you won’t have to think about me for 2 weeks at a time. I’ll do my job watching out for North Korea and ending this trade war. So you can go raise your kids and live your lives.”

James Carville, a top strategist on both Bill and Hillary Clinton’s early presidential campaigns, is bullish on Bennet because he believes that “the way to beat Trump is to be as profoundly different from Trump as you can be.”

“Just be nice, be calm, get out of everybody’s face,” he said. “If the country is looking for the most unlike Donald Trump person, I think Michael Bennet is that person.”

Carville said he’s spoken to other Democrats who believe Bennet would make the best president out of any candidate in the field. Carville said he would make an even better nominee than Joe Biden because “he’d be new, different, younger and … could project forward.”

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet speaks at the Des Moines Register Soapbox during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Aug. 11, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa.

But before Bennet can even be taken seriously as the challenger to Trump, he must emerge from a field of two dozen other Democratic hopefuls, including a cluster that shares some version of his pragmatic approach, such as Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Many trees must fall before primary voters would see Bennet as their alternative.

He is at his most animated when he is assailing “Medicare for All,” Sanders’ signature policy proposal and one also embraced by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

“I really believe that, better than the other people that are in this field, the agenda that I’m pursuing is an agenda that Democrats in Iowa and South Carolina, New Hampshire and Nevada will recognize themselves in,” he said.

Indeed, some voters in Iowa do see an appeal in Bennet’s calm.

“That’s what I want — someone who’s really steady, and he has a reputation for being really knowledgeable about policy,” said Linda Simonton, a 71-year-old retiree from Des Moines, after seeing Bennet speak at the fair. “He knows what he’s doing. He’s worked in the Senate, he’s worked on immigration, he’s worked across the aisle.”

And the Des Moines Register editorial board praised Bennet after sitting down with him, encouraging caucusgoers to give him “more attention.”

“He offers a much-needed reality check on the promises candidates are offering and what it will take to accomplish meaningful change,” the board wrote.

Bennet is Trump’s opposite even in style. Compared to other candidates who shout or sermonize on the stump, Bennet tends toward monotone that can make his speeches sound like a well-intentioned lecture from someone’s father. On the stump at the state fair, Bennet, who delayed his entrance into the race because he had prostate cancer, even joked to the crowd that they should get their prostates checked.

Asa Leonard, an 18-year-old art student who saw Bennet in Knoxville, Iowa, said he was “charmed” by the senator’s style.

“He’s very much a dad-jokey kind of guy, very nice and calm and open, and a little stern but not aggressively so,” he said.

That style appeals to even some voters who identify as more progressive. Leonard, who said he favors South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg or Sanders to Bennet, said Bennet was “the most compelling person from the moderate policy lineup.”

Audience members wearing “Moms Demand Action” gun reform T-shirts listen to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet speak at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, Aug. 10, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Still, some of Bennet’s supporters are skeptical that he can break through. Phyllis Weeks, a 69-year-old Democratic activist, enthusiastically asked Bennet if he needed donations to get into the next debate because “I think you have some really good things to say.”

Weeks said she liked that he’s a “steady hand” and “has a lot of authority and wisdom,” but said she was skeptical of his chances in the primary.

“I don’t know that Michael Bennet can win the nomination,” she said.

And Simonton, who saw Bennet at the fair and said she likes that he’s a “nice kind of mild-mannered guy,” also admitted “it’s actually my belief” that a more “macho” guy would be more motivating for voters.

“I have to think about who other people would like … like with Steve Bullock, I think, OK, here’s a really good-looking, kind of macho, nice guy, all wrapped up in one, that I think a lot of people would find really appealing,” she said.

Bennet’s heard this kind of thing before. But he doesn’t feel compelled to change his style, or his message, to prove them wrong.  

“I’ve heard people say … are you too nice?” he said. “But I think what they’re really asking is, ‘Are you tough enough for this? And I think I am tough enough for this.'”

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Romney Says Climate Change Happening, Humans Contribute

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney said Monday that he believes climate change is happening and human activity is a significant contributor.

During a speech at the conservative Sutherland Institute in Salt Lake City, the senator acknowledged that the position is rare among his fellow Republicans, but one that younger people seem to respond to more strongly than older conservatives.

“In some respects, (by speaking with newer conservatives), I’ll be able to make inroads with some of the young people coming along,” he said.

The former GOP presidential nominee has acknowledged climate change before, and said during his 2018 campaign for U.S. Senate in Utah that “climate realities” will make wildfires more common and destructive in the West. His comments Monday took that stance a step further.

Still, Romney said he’s opposed to the Green New Deal economic package intended to fight climate change, calling it “silliness” in part because much of the growth in emissions is coming from developing countries such as India and Brazil rather than the U.S.

The U.S. should instead provide incentivizes for entrepreneurs to develop cleaner energy sources while also helping people who work in industries that could be left behind, such as coal mining, he added.

“I’m not willing to sit by if there are major sectors that are losers … and watch people and communities suffer because of that change,” he said.

Romney discussed the benefits of a carbon tax, a fee based on each ton of carbon dioxide emissions produced by fossil fuels that some major oil companies have adopted. He suggested a portion of the tax revenue could go to coal workers in rural communities that would suffer financially from the move to cleaner power alternatives.

The former Massachusetts governor also criticized “Medicare for All” proposals supported by candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination that would put the government in charge of most health benefits.

Romney said the “deeply discounted” Medicare payments would cripple the revenue of “virtually every hospital in rural America.”

On immigration, Romney said he shared the angst of Democrats over family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border, calling it a “very dark chapter” in the country’s history. He stressed the need for tougher border security and a “merit-based system” of legal immigration, but added that Republicans need to agree on a stance before negotiating immigration policies with Democrats.

The senator has yet to endorse a candidate in the 2020 presidential election but has said that Trump will likely win re-election in 2020 as an incumbent presiding over a strong economy.

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Democrat Elizabeth Warren Woos Native American Voters

Addressing Native American tribal leaders and citizens Monday, Senator Elizabeth Warren pledged to rescind permits for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

“Tribal governments are the ones who should control what happens on tribal lands,” she said, speaking at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum being held this week in Sioux City, Iowa. 

Warren said the pipeline permits should not have been granted in the first place. Tribes have long complained, saying the U.S. government has ignored historical treaty boundaries and failed to give tribes a voice in how land is used.

“We need a true resetting of the relationship [between the U.S. government and tribes],” Warren told the Iowa audience. “It is there in words, but not in action. We need to change the rules to make sure it is there in action, as well.” 

If elected president, Warren pledged to ensure that tribes would not only be consulted about planned projects but can make informed decisions about whether they should proceed.

Inadequate funding

Last week, New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haaland, who has endorsed Warren for president, announced the two would co-sponsor the Honoring Promises to Native Nations Act, legislation that would address funding shortfalls outlined in a December 2018 report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights titled “Broken Promises.” 

FILE – Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., one of the first Native American woman elected to Congress, is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 3, 2019.

The report noted the U.S. has a historic trust responsibility to tribes, negotiated in exchange for the surrender of billions of hectares of land and the removal and resettlement of tribes from their ancestral homelands.  

The new legislation would guarantee direct, long-term funding for criminal justice and law enforcement in Indian Country, as well as support for infrastructure, housing, education, health care and economic development initiatives, as well as, perhaps most important of all, self-governance. 

The act would also ensure funding levels are adjusted to accommodate inflation. They have invited tribal leaders and citizens to comment.

Poor federal funding, Warren said, is also to blame for barriers to voting that are endemic to many reservations. Strict voter ID laws, the removal of voters’ names from rolls, and inaccessible voter registration and polling sites are some of the factors holding Native Americans back from participating in local, state and national elections.

“Voter suppression is democracy suppression, and it must stop,” Warren said. “The idea that one of the major parties intends to retain power by keeping American citizens from voting is appalling, and we need to be able to fight back against that in all places where it shows up.”

If elected, Warren said she would create federal standards for access to voting, making sure these meet regional needs.

She added that she would make sure “there is real money to back it up.” 

Cherokee controversy

Whether Native American voters put their support behind Warren remains to be seen. For years, she claimed Cherokee and Delaware Indian heritage, provoking outrage among many in Indian Country who argue that only tribes, not individuals, should decide who is Indian and who is not.

Monday, Warren apologized for her past “mistakes.”

“I am sorry for harm I have caused,” she said. “I have listened, and I have learned a lot … and it is a great honor to partner with Indian Country.”

Nine U.S. presidential candidates — seven Democrats and two independent candidates — are participating in this week’s Iowa forum, a sign that politicians are recognizing the power of the Native vote, particularly in western states. 

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 5.2 million people identify as American Indian and Alaska Native, either alone or in combination with one or more other races. 

This is a small fraction of the total U.S. population of nearly 309 million, but significant enough, say analysts, to make a difference in some states.

The 2018 midterm elections saw nearly 50 Native Americans elected to state legislatures; Native American governors elected in two states, Oklahoma and Minnesota; and two Native women, Haaland of New Mexico and Sharice Davids of Kansas, take seats in Congress. 

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is scheduled to address forum participants Tuesday.

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