By Lauren Egan
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump welcomed the Boston Red Sox to the White House Thursday afternoon to celebrate their 2018 World Series win.
“Each Red Sox player is a shining example of excellence living out an American sporting tradition that goes back many generations,” Trump said, honoring the team on the White House South Lawn.
Trump, a native of New York, joked about the Red Sox’s defeat of the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series, telling players “I think I’ll be neutral in this one.”
Some members of the team opted against neutrality.
Team manager Alex Cora, who is Puerto Rican, declined to attend the White House celebration, pointing to disagreements with Trump’s political positions, including his administration’s handling of hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
Other players who declined the invitation included Mookie Betts, David Price, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rafael Devers, Hector Velazquez, Xander Bogaerts, Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez, according to the Boston Globe. All of them are people of color.
They aren’t the first championship players to decline an invitation to a celebratory White House visit since Trump took office. The University of Virginia men’s basketball team recently decided not to attend a White House ceremony after their 2019 NCAA win. And Trump has made clear that some teams, such as the Golden State Warriors and the Philadelphia Eagles, were not welcome at the White House amid widespread criticism by players on those teams of the president and his policies.
After the brief ceremony on the South Lawn, Trump invited the Red Sox inside the White House for a private tour of the Lincoln Bedroom.
Democrats still haven’t figured out how to fight Trump
By Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann
Five months into their majority, what do House Democrats have to show for it?
Not an infrastructure deal (the subject of today’s meeting with President Trump, which is unlikely to go anywhere, especially after Trump told Pelosi and Chuck Schumer that Congress should pass his U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal first).
Not any progress on health care, which was Democrats’ No. 1 priority in last year’s elections.
Not HR-1 — the campaign-finance and ethics bill that they passed in March, but which isn’t going anywhere in the Senate.
And the summer and fall is expected to be spent dealing with thorny issues like budget caps and raising the debt limit.
So Pelosi and House Democrats have to ask themselves: What does success look like heading in 2020 – beyond the presidential race, which is shaping up to be a 50-50 proposition?
And what’s the plan for 2019?
Is it triumphing over Trump in the courts?
Is it finding damaging information that could hurt Trump next year – a la how House Republicans Benghazi-ed Hillary Clinton in 2015?
Because one reason why House Democrats are growing restless – and increasingly talking about impeachment — is that they have little to show for their majority.
At least right now.
Biden or a Biden-slayer?
Unless your name is Joe Biden, no Democrat looks all that great in the early 2020 polling.
And, yes, it’s still really early.
But that early Biden strength is a potentially rewarding situation for the rest of the Dem field: Beating a strong Biden makes you a stronger candidate.
It would be akin to Barack Obama’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2008 — remember, she was far from a lightweight in that race.
In fact, Obama’s win over Clinton ultimately proved to be more difficult than his general-election triumph over John McCain.
So it sets up a potentially virtuous situation for Democrats: They could end up with Biden as their nominee, or they could end up with the man or woman who ultimately beats him.
Of course, that assumes Biden remains formidable and healthy over the next year. And it also assumes the Dem nomination doesn’t devolve into chaos (contested convention, mass protests, a party that’s unable to come together).
Because anything is possible in American politics…
Kentucky governor: It’s going to be Bevin versus Beshear
State Attorney General Andy Beshear won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Kentucky last night, and he’ll face incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in the fall.
Beshear got 38 percent of the vote, while state House Minority Leader got 32 percent and former state Auditor Adam Edelen finished third at 28 percent. (It’s a reminder that going negative – like Edelen did – can have consequences with voters.)
Strikingly, Bevin won just 52 percent in his own GOP primary, with state Rep. Robert Goforth taking 39 percent of the vote.
And as we’ve said before, November’s election could be a canary in the coal mine for 2020.
A relatively unpopular Republican incumbent. A relatively strong economy. And a state with a considerable urban-versus-rural divide.
Tweet of the day
2020 Vision: Breaking down Beto’s town hall
NBC’s Garrett Haake reports on the highlights of Beto O’Rourke’s CNN town hall appearance last night.
- On impeachment, O’Rourke said it is time to begin, damn the political consequences.
- On abortion, he said any federal judge he nominates must understand that Roe v. Wade is settled law.
- And he defended two positions that sometimes don’t sit well with progressives — his support for Medicare For America versus Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All, and his past vote to lift a ban on oil exports.
On the campaign trail today
Pete Buttigieg visits New York, including participating in a 92nd St. Y event with Jonathan Capehart… And John Delaney stumps in Iowa.
Data Download: The number of the day is … 71 percent and 38 percent
Seventy-one percent and 38 percent.
That’s the share of American voters who say that the state of the economy is good or excellent (71 percent, the highest percentage in almost 18 years) and the share who say that they approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as president (38 percent, a typical but decidedly poor number for the commander-in-chief), according to a new Quinnipiac poll.
It’s a striking difference between the record high economic optimism and a presidential approval rating mired in the high 30s.
Asked specifically about Trump’s economic performance, 48 percent of voters say they approve, while 45 percent disapprove.
Still, 54 percent said they “definitely” would not vote for him in 2020.
The Lid: Pelosi and the Giant Impeach: Don’t miss the pod from yesterday, when we look at the numbers behind the impeachment debate.
ICYMI: New clips you shouldn’t miss
The Washington Post reports that a confidential draft IRS memo says the White House must turn over the president’s tax returns to Congress UNLESS he invokes executive privilege.
Today’s the day for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school to release the findings of its investigation into a racist yearbook photo.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson misheard real estate term “REO” as cookie “OREO.”
Former Ohio State University students don’t think that Jim Jordan has been exonerated in the school’s molestation cover-up scandal.
Trump agenda: Riders on the (tweet)storm
Here’s Trump’s impeachment tweetstorm from this morning.
Trump is hiring Ken Cuccinelli for a senior DHS job. Here’s why that matters.
How exactly does the Trump administration plan to pay for its huge infrastructure plan?
2020: About last night
Here’s the Courier-Journal’s look ahead at the general election in KY-GOV.
And here are the results from that special election in Pennsylvania, where Republican Fred Keller easily won in a heavily red district.
North Korea is taking aim at Joe Biden.
NBC’s Benjy Sarlin asks: Do Democrats have TOO MANY new ideas?
Elizabeth Warren’s plans are built around a huge tax on the wealthy. But will the rich avoid it?
Bernie Sanders is exploring new ways to raise cash.
Meanwhile, Biden raised $2.2 million from two Florida fundraisers.
Kirsten Gillibrand is out with a new “Family Bill of Rights.”
Brexit Party polls latest: Policies and manifesto – What does Brexit Party stand for?
THE BREXIT PARTY is tipped to score a major victory against the Conservatives and Labour in the European Elections 2019 – but what does the party stand for and how is it faring in the latest polls?
California considers health care for undocumented immigrants
By Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Lilian Serrano’s mother-in-law had lots of stomach problems, but she always blamed food.
Doctors at a San Diego-area clinic suspected Genoveva Angeles might have cancer, but they could not say for sure because they did not have the equipment to test for it and Angeles, who had been in the country illegally for 20 years, could not afford to see a specialist and did not qualify for state assistance because of her immigration status.
In September, Angeles finally learned she had gallbladder cancer. Serrano said she was in the hospital room when Angeles, in her late 60s, died about two weeks later.
“We don’t know if she would have survived treatment, but she was not even able to access it,” said Serrano, chairwoman of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium.
“She never had a chance to fight cancer.”
Stories like that have prompted California lawmakers to consider proposals that would make the state the first in the nation to offer government-funded health care to adult immigrants living in the country illegally. But the decision on who to cover may come down to cost.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to spend about $98 million a year to cover low-income immigrants between the ages of 19 and 25 who are living in the country illegally.
The state Assembly has a bill that would cover all immigrants in California living in the country illegally over the age of 19. But Newsom has balked at that plan because of its estimated $3.4 billion price.
“There’s 3.4 billion reasons why it is a challenge,” he said.
The state Senate wants to cover adults ages 19 to 25, plus seniors 65 and older. That bill’s sponsor, Sen. Maria Elana Durazo, scoffed at cost concerns, noting the state has a projected $21.5 billion budget surplus.
“When we have, you know, a good budget, then what’s the reason for not addressing it?” she said.
The Senate and Assembly will finalize their budget proposals this week before beginning negotiations with the governor. State law says a budget has to be passed by June 15 or lawmaker forfeit their pay.
At stake, according to legislative staffers, are the 3 million people left in California who don’t have health insurance. About 1.8 million of them are immigrants in the country illegally. Of those, about 1.26 million have incomes low enough to qualify them for the Medi-Cal program.
“Symbolically, this is quite significant. This would be establishing California as a counter to federal policies, both around health care and immigration,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president for health reform at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
If enacted, it could prompt yet another collision with the Trump administration, which has proposed a rule that could hinder immigrants’ residency applications if they rely on public assistance programs such as Medicaid.
The proposed rule from the Department of Homeland Security says the goal is to make sure “foreign nationals do not become dependent on public benefits for support.”
California is also considering a measure requiring everyone in the state to purchase health insurance. People who refuse would have to pay a penalty, and the money would go toward helping middle-income residents purchase private health insurance plans.
“We’re going to penalize the citizens of this state that have followed the rules, but we’re going to let somebody who has not followed the rules come in here and get the services for free. I just think that’s wrong,” Republican state Sen. Jeff Stone said about coverage of people in the U.S. illegally.
Many immigrants who are in the country illegally are already enrolled for some government-funded programs, but they only cover emergencies and pregnancies.
Serrano was one of hundreds of immigrant activists who came to the Capitol on Monday for “Immigrant Day of Action.” She and her husband spent the day meeting with lawmakers, sharing the story of Angeles.
“The conversation that I have is about the cost,” she said, describing her interactions with lawmakers. “The conversation we want to have is about our families.”
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