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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 87)

Joe Biden Did Fine, and That Might Have Been Enough

One month after a wobbly debate performance that reinforced the perceived weaknesses of the ostensible front-runner — Is he too old? Too nostalgically moderate? Too politically brittle to defend himself when challenged? — former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. settled behind his center-stage lectern on Wednesday night and supplied some answers: He is still old. He is still nostalgic. And he is still the front-runner, until someone can prove otherwise.

Far from perfect, and rarely exactly steady, Mr. Biden nonetheless achieved at least some of the goals that seemed to elude him last time.

He had promised before the debate that this time he would not be so “polite.” About 30 minutes in, after listening to liberal rivals lash his health care vision as insufficiently ambitious and dismiss concerns about cost as a Republican talking point, Mr. Biden widened his eyes a bit. He waved a hand, slicing the air. He had just the word.

“This idea is a bunch of malarkey,” he said of the criticisms, leaning on a trademark Bidenism. He accused his peers of underselling the trillions of dollars that a “Medicare for all”-style plan might cost, turning toward two more progressive rivals — Senator Kamala Harris of California and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York — to level the kind of zealous defense of center-leftism that has often escaped him in this campaign: “I don’t know what math you do in New York,” Mr. Biden said. “I don’t know what math you do in California. But I tell ya, that’s a lot of money.”

Throughout the evening, he plowed through a series of forceful defenses of his service alongside former President Barack Obama, frequently eager to wrap himself in Mr. Obama’s legacy on issues from health care to climate and never missing a chance to remind audiences of his association with sunnier Democratic times.

Join us for live analysis on debate night. Subscribe to “On Politics,” and we’ll send you a link.

Certainly, he did acknowledge some differences: He said he would renegotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major trade agreement for which he advocated as vice president.

Even while his record was under attack, Mr. Biden, 76, played the happy statesman, or tried to, occasionally slipping as he addressed far younger contenders. “Go easy on me, kid,” Mr. Biden said to Ms. Harris, a United States senator and former attorney general of California who is 54 years old, as they took the stage.

In an exchange with Julián Castro, the former federal housing secretary and San Antonio mayor, Mr. Biden referred to him as “Julián” and then thought better of it — “excuse me, the secretary.”

Discussing criminal justice reform with Senator Cory Booker, who has been sharply critical of Mr. Biden’s record on that matter, he jokingly skipped ahead, calling him the president and stopping himself as he lightheartedly grabbed Mr. Booker’s arm — “excuse me, the future president.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group 31debate-moment2-articleLarge Joe Biden Did Fine, and That Might Have Been Enough United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Senate Presidential Election of 2020 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010) Medicare Health Insurance and Managed Care Harris, Kamala D Democratic Party Debates (Political) de Blasio, Bill criminal justice Castro, Julian Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Mr. Biden asked Senator Kamala Harris to “go easy” on him before the debate began.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

And in an opening statement that seemed to reinforce the introductory theme of his campaign — taking relentless aim at President Trump — Mr. Biden nodded to the diversity of fellow Democrats onstage, appearing sensitive to the balance of running against them as a white male septuagenarian.

“We are strong and great because of this diversity, Mr. President, not in spite of it,” he said, pushing back against Mr. Trump’s latest grievance-powered rhetoric. “So Mr. President, let’s get something straight. We love it. We are not leaving it. We are here to stay, and we’re certainly not going to leave it to you.”

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Mr. Biden’s standing atop the field is far from assured, and some rival campaigns still consider him a paper-tiger favorite, doomed to crumble eventually under the weight of his lengthy record and indiscipline on the stump.

He has still struggled to communicate a detailed affirmative blueprint of what his presidency might look like and has yet to face Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has fashioned herself as the candidate with a policy plan for every occasion, on a debate stage.

And his first debate performance was so rocky, and so alarmed even close allies and advisers, that he did not have a high bar to clear Wednesday night.

But the forum provided a chance to articulate, at least in broad strokes, a compelling argument for the kind of deliberately paced change he is espousing, one night after Ms. Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders outlined their shared promise of far more extensive social and economic upheaval. It was also an opportunity to move beyond his disquieting showing five weeks ago, when an evening of wandering and defensive answers seemed to threaten a bedrock claim of Mr. Biden’s candidacy: that no other Democrat has the presence and moxie to stare down Mr. Trump.

That night in Miami, it was Ms. Harris who initiated the conflict, drawing on her personal experience with busing as a young black girl in California to castigate the former vice president for his warm remembrances of working with segregationist senators. Mr. Biden appeared flat-footed, defiant but sputtering, at one point stopping himself abruptly with an unfortunate phrase: “Anyway, my time is up.”

Entering Wednesday, Mr. Biden seemed determined to abandon such deference. As even admirers acknowledge that he can no longer float above the fray — with the fray savaging his long and often less-than-liberal record at every opportunity — Mr. Biden has in recent weeks demonstrated an increased willingness to engage, responding in kind to Ms. Harris and Senator Cory Booker, who has called Mr. Biden “an architect of mass incarceration.”

[Read our full recap of Night 2 of the Democratic debates.]

Some of Mr. Biden’s allies had described the first debate as a wake-up call for him — a reminder that, regardless of his previous relationships with these Democratic candidates, he could no longer expect the decorous treatment he enjoyed as vice president. His supporters urged him to focus on the future rather than rehashing the more controversial elements of his past.

“To the extent he spends his time getting wrapped up in relitigating statements or comments or votes from 30 or 40 years ago, I think we lose, all of us, collectively,” said Senator Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat and close ally of Mr. Biden’s. “What is constructive is when our candidates put their best foot forward on the debate stage, and show how they would be the best answer to the question that Middle America is asking: If we give you back the keys, Democrats, where will you take us?”

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Westlake Legal Group 31debate-ledeall-1-videoSixteenByNine3000 Joe Biden Did Fine, and That Might Have Been Enough United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Senate Presidential Election of 2020 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010) Medicare Health Insurance and Managed Care Harris, Kamala D Democratic Party Debates (Political) de Blasio, Bill criminal justice Castro, Julian Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Kamala Harris sparred while fending off attacks from fellow candidates on health care and criminal justice reform.CreditCreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

At times on Wednesday, Mr. Biden appeared particularly keen to embrace the “middle” part. He made clear that he was familiar with his opponents’ records on sensitive matters like criminal justice and policing, issuing criticisms of those records that could have come from another candidate further to the left. But on immigration, Mr. Biden proudly adopted a more centrist mantle, at a time when many Democratic strategists fear some in the presidential field are veering too far with calls to decriminalize unauthorized border crossings. “The fact of the matter is, you should be able to, if you cross the border illegally, you should be able to be sent back,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s a crime.”

When pressed on the number of deportations that took place while Mr. Obama was in the White House — amid the shouts of some protesters — Mr. Biden staunchly defended the administration’s broader approach. But as Mr. de Blasio needled Mr. Biden over whether he had personally spoken up, Mr. Biden showed a flash of exasperation.

“I was vice president,” he said. “I am not the president. I keep my recommendation in private. Unlike you, I expect you would go ahead and say whatever was said privately with him. That is not what I do. What I do say to you is, he moved to fundamentally change the system.”

While Mr. Biden was crisper and more energetic on Wednesday than he was in the first debate, his verbal tics and signature self-interruptions were hardly eradicated. He still cut himself off, at times with a well-worn trail-off: “Anyway …”

Mr. Biden’s advisers said ahead of the debate that they anticipated that he would be the main target of the other candidates onstage, and candidates from Mr. de Blasio to Ms. Harris to Mr. Booker aimed to deliver. But throughout the debate, Ms. Harris was also the subject of repeated criticism across the stage, from Senator Michael Bennet on health care to Representative Tulsi Gabbard on criminal justice.

In one early exchange on health care, Mr. Biden signaled quickly that he would gladly join the effort. “You can’t beat President Trump with double-talk,” he said, accusing Ms. Harris of vacillating and equivocating in her health care plans. Ms. Harris landed some of her own zingers — “They’re probably confused because they’ve not read it,” she said of the Biden campaign’s critique of her proposal — but often found herself on the defensive, occasionally demoting the former vice president to “Senator Biden” as she collected herself for a response.

Ms. Harris and Mr. Booker are particularly eager to chip away at Mr. Biden’s expansive backing among black voters, who still recall him fondly from his eight years as Mr. Obama’s sidekick.

Yet one lesson of Mr. Biden’s first debate is how durable much of his support seems to be so far. While Mr. Biden initially saw his standing fall a bit in polls, with Ms. Harris especially rising, he appears to have reestablished a comfortable lead in recent surveys.

A Quinnipiac University national poll released Monday showed Mr. Biden well ahead of his competitors: He was the choice of 34 percent of Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning voters, the survey found, while Ms. Harris came in at 12 percent. Among black voters the numbers were starker: Mr. Biden had the support of 53 percent of black Democratic voters; Ms. Harris claimed only 7 percent.

Perhaps channeling some confidence from those poll numbers, Mr. Biden vigorously defended his own record throughout the debate, appearing more comfortable than he had in June.

Not every flourish worked. In his closing statement, Mr. Biden seemed to show his age a little while trying to promote a way to join his campaign. “Go to Joe 30330,” he said, apparently conflating a website with a text message destination. The result, instead, was malarkey.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Apple Reports Declining Profits and Slowing Growth, Again

Westlake Legal Group 30apple-sub-facebookJumbo Apple Reports Declining Profits and Slowing Growth, Again United States Trump, Donald J Software Smartphones Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Office of the United States Trade Representative Mobile Applications iPhone International Trade and World Market Desktop Computers Customs (Tariff) Cook, Timothy D Computers and the Internet Company Reports China Apple Inc 5G (Wireless Communications)

Apple has long performed like clockwork, growing steadily and producing an ever-growing stream of profit. Not anymore.

On Tuesday, the Silicon Valley behemoth said that its net income had fallen nearly 13 percent and that its revenue growth had slowed to 1 percent in the latest quarter, with iPhone sales continuing to decline and gains in the company’s services business failing to make up the difference.

The latest financial results showed persistent signs of weakness for what has been one of the world’s financial standouts. Apple built its enormous business on the back of the iPhone, but sales of the device have slipped for three straight quarters amid a saturated market for smartphones and the company’s struggle to find new buyers.

Yet the results Apple reported on Tuesday suggested that the company could be starting to halt declines in key areas of its business, including iPhone sales and revenue from the Chinese market.

Apple said net income had dropped to $10.04 billion for its fiscal third quarter compared with $11.5 billion a year ago. Revenue rose to $53.8 billion from $53.3 billion a year ago. Apple’s earnings beat analysts’ estimates of $2.10 a share.

Apple has tried to slow the bleeding in its iPhone business with new financing offers and a trade-in program for owners of older models after finding that people are keeping their iPhones longer. In the latest quarter, revenue from iPhone sales fell nearly 12 percent, to $25.97 billion, from a year earlier. In the company’s previous quarter, iPhone sales fell 17 percent.

Consumers are finding fewer reasons to upgrade their iPhones, analysts said, with newer models offering only incremental improvements. The trend could continue this year, when Apple is likely to unveil a new slate of iPhones. The latest models, which are expected to debut in September, are unlikely to work with the new fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless technology that offers far faster download speeds than current service. Apple is expected to have 5G iPhones for 2020, analysts said.

Apple said previously that iPhone sales were down 15 percent in the final three months of 2018, and it blamed the drop on economic weakness in China. Apple has since cut iPhone prices in China, and Timothy D. Cook, the company’s chief executive, said in April that the move had helped lift business there.

In the latest quarter, Apple’s sales in the region that includes China continued to improve. Sales there fell by 4.1 percent, compared with 25 percent and 21 percent drops in the prior two quarters.

[Get the Bits newsletter for the latest from Silicon Valley and the technology industry.]

The Chinese market has emerged as one of Apple’s greatest vulnerabilities. The region is the company’s No. 3 market for sales. This month, Chinese officials disclosed that the country’s growth had fallen to its slowest pace in three decades. Apple also assembles most of its products in China. The company’s supply chain has long drawn the ire of President Trump, who has tried to publicly pressure Apple to build more of its products in the United States.

The company has moved the other way instead, shifting assembly of its new top-of-the-line Mac Pro desktop computers to China from Texas. Apple’s attempt at making the Mac Pro in Texas turned out to be a headache, as production problems and a lack of manufacturing infrastructure in the area delayed the computer’s introduction.

Mr. Trump has placed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, including semiconductors, televisions and ball bearings, as part of a bruising trade war. So far, Apple products have largely escaped the tariffs’ effect.

Last week, Apple filed 15 requests with the United States trade representative’s office asking that certain products it imports from China be excluded from the tariffs, including components used in the Mac Pro desktop like power cables and circuit boards. Apple said in the requests that it cannot find the products outside of China.

On Friday, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter that Apple “will not be given Tariff waiver, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China” and that the company should “Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!”

Apple did not comment on Mr. Trump’s tweet. In the past, the company has called itself “an engine of economic growth in the United States.” It said that last year it spent $60 billion with 9,000 American suppliers, helping support 450,000 jobs.

Mr. Cook has encouraged officials in the United States and China to resolve the trade dispute, but the tensions have recently accelerated. And while the countries resumed trade talks this week, hopes for a transformative deal are dwindling.

Apple faces other issues in Washington, including antitrust concerns. Last week, the Department of Justice said it was opening an antitrust review of the Big Tech companies. Apple has come under particular scrutiny for how it wields power in its App Store, where it distributes games, ride-hailing programs and more.

As Apple’s iPhone sales fall, the company has sought to make up the gap in revenue with an expanding business selling apps and services to its existing customers. Apple now offers subscriptions for news, music and TV services and is preparing to launch a gaming service soon. Its services revenue rose more than 12 percent to $11.5 billion.

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‘Moscow Mitch’ Tag Enrages McConnell and Squeezes G.O.P. on Election Security

Westlake Legal Group 30dc-mitch-sub-facebookJumbo ‘Moscow Mitch’ Tag Enrages McConnell and Squeezes G.O.P. on Election Security United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Russia Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising McConnell, Mitch Cyberwarfare and Defense

WASHINGTON — Senator Mitch McConnell is usually impervious to criticism, even celebrating the nasty nicknames that have been bestowed on him by critics. But Mr. McConnell, the Senate majority leader, is incensed with his new moniker, “Moscow Mitch,” and even more miffed that he has been called a “Russian asset” by critics who accuse him of single-handedly blocking stronger election security measures after Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Democrats had been making the case for months, but it was supercharged last week by the testimony of Robert S. Mueller III, the former special counsel, who told the House Intelligence Committee that the Russians were back at it “as we sit here.”

Mr. McConnell cites several reasons for his opposition — a longstanding resistance to federal control over state elections, newly enacted security improvements that were shown to have worked in the 2018 voting and his suspicion that Democrats are trying to gain partisan advantage with a host of proposals. Republican colleagues say that Mr. McConnell, a longtime foe of tougher campaign finance restrictions and disclosure requirements, is leery of even entering into legislative negotiation that could touch on fund-raising and campaign spending.

But whatever Mr. McConnell’s reasoning, criticism of him for impeding a number of election proposals has taken hold — even back home in Kentucky, where the majority leader faces re-election next year.

“Democrats want more aggressive legislation to protect America’s elections after Robert Mueller’s stark warning about Russian interference,” began one report aired on a Louisville television station last week. “Mitch McConnell blocked it.”

Even President Trump felt compelled to come to his defense — as only he could.

“Mitch McConnell is a man that knows less about Russia and Russian influence than even Donald Trump,” the president told reporters Tuesday as he was leaving for a speech in Jamestown, Va. “And I know nothing.”

That did not relieve the heat on the majority leader, who on Monday had appeared to open the door ever so slightly to doing more on election preparedness.

“I’m sure all of us will be open to discussing further steps Congress, the executive branch, the states and the private sector might take to defend our elections against foreign interference,” he said as he seethed on the Senate floor over what he described as McCarthy-style attacks on his integrity and distortions of both his position on election security and his hawkish history of challenging Russia.

Throughout his political career, Mr. McConnell has made opposition to the Kremlin a hallmark of his foreign policy stands.

For once, Democrats seemed to be getting to a man who has embraced his portrayal as Darth Vader. When an unsubstantiated West Virginia Senate campaign ad in 2018 called him “Cocaine Mitch,” he began answering his Senate telephone with that identifier. “Moscow Mitch”? Not so much: “I was called unpatriotic, un-American and essentially treasonous,” he said.

Democrats pressed their advantage. And why not? #MoscowMitchMcTraitor was trending on Twitter, and Senate Republicans of all stripes were being asked about the blockade.

“So long as the Senate Republicans prevent legislation from reaching the floor, so long as they oppose additional appropriations to the states, so long as they malign election security provisions as, quote, partisan wish lists, the critics are right to say Leader McConnell and Republican senators are blocking election security,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said on the floor Tuesday.

Mr. Schumer has in the past suggested that another potential reason behind Mr. McConnell’s position is the thought that interference emanating from Russia could aid Republicans. “I hope it’s not because he thinks it will benefit him, because Putin could turn around in a minute, and then do things that he doesn’t like,” Mr. Schumer said in June.

Lawmakers in both parties have election security proposals waiting on the sidelines, and the furor has caused some to step up demands for Congress to take up their bills.

Senators Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, and Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland, wrote on Monday to colleagues reconciling the annual House and Senate military policy bill to request that they include stalled sanctions legislation meant to deter Russia or other foreign actors from interfering in American elections. House lawmakers included a similar provision in their military policy bill, but the senators want to see it strengthened to slap Russia’s economy with intense sanctions if it is found to interfere in a future election.

“This conference committee represents this Congress’ best — potentially last — opportunity to enact meaningful legislation aimed at deterring Russia from a repeat performance of its 2016 presidential election interference,” the senators wrote. “We ask that you seize this opportunity and include the provisions outlined above in the final conference report.”

On Tuesday, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, signed on to a measure by Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the committee’s top Democrat, that would require campaign officials to report to federal authorities any offers of campaign assistance from foreign entities.

“Congress must take strong action to deter foreign nations from attempting to disrupt our elections,” Ms. Collins wrote on Twitter. “We should also move forward with securing our electoral process, the cornerstone of our democracy.”

Mr. McConnell’s opposition to any and all election legislation has bottled up the bills in the Senate Rules Committee. The panel’s chairman, Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, has hesitated to advance any of the bills since they would go nowhere on the floor.

Mr. Blunt said he repeatedly had been assured by the F.B.I., the Department of Homeland Security and the federal intelligence agencies that they were not lacking resources to combat election interference.

“They always say, ‘No, we don’t need anything,’” Mr. Blunt said Tuesday. A former state elections official himself, Mr. Blunt said he agreed with Mr. McConnell that the federal government should not gain more authority over state elections.

“Mitch would not want to see us further federalize the process and that’s where I am, too,” Mr. Blunt said.

Proponents of the bills say they are devised to keep the states in the lead. A Democratic measure approved by the House would send more than $1 billion to state and local governments to tighten election security, but would also demand that states use the money for machines with backup paper ballots and require a national strategy to protect American democratic institutions against cyberattacks. States would be required to spend federal funds only on federally certified “election infrastructure vendors.”

A bipartisan measure in both chambers would require internet companies like Facebook to disclose the purchasers of political ads. Another bipartisan Senate proposal would codify cyberinformation-sharing initiatives between federal intelligence services and state election officials, speed up the granting of security clearances to state officials and provide federal incentives for states to adopt backup paper ballots.

Backup paper ballots got an endorsement Tuesday from an unlikely source: Mr. Trump.

With the focus on the issue intensifying, Mr. McConnell and Senate Republicans will face more pressure to act.

If they do, the most likely result would not be advancing stand-alone bills but instead using the annual spending bills that must pass this fall to funnel more money to states to secure their elections and to make certain they have a paper-ballot trail that can be audited if questions arise about the legitimacy of an outcome. Ten states now lack full capacity to do so, according to the Rules Committee.

Mr. Schumer encouraged that idea Tuesday. “If McConnell wants to address election security in the appropriations process, we would welcome his support on an amendment to send more funding to the states,” he said. “We want to get something done on election security because this is not about party, this is a matter of national security.”

Mr. McConnell said Monday that he would not be intimidated into acting on election interference.

He also will probably not be answering his phone “Moscow Mitch.”

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Trump Hails African-American Contributions to America Amid Battle With Black Critics

JAMESTOWN, Va. — President Trump hailed the contributions of African-Americans to the building of the nation during a ceremony on Tuesday paying tribute to democracy in the New World, even as he continued to wage war on some of his most prominent black critics.

The president’s elevated and scripted words honoring 400 years of representative government in the Western Hemisphere and the role played by African-Americans stood in sharp contrast to the acerbic attacks he made beforehand on a black congressman and his Baltimore-based district.

But the bitter, racial furor of recent days, punctuated by his latest comments assailing Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, followed Mr. Trump to Jamestown, where elected representatives first met in 1619. Virginia’s African-American state lawmakers boycotted his speech, calling the president an “emblem of hate” who does not represent the best ideals of the nation.

One state lawmaker, Ibraheem Samirah, stood and interrupted the president’s speech, holding up a sign that said, “Go Back to Your Corrupted Home” and “Deport Hate.” Mr. Samirah, a Democratic state delegate and a Palestinian-American, shouted: “Mr. President, you cannot send us back. Virginia is our home.” He was led out politely by police officers.

Mr. Trump made no response nor did he reference the broader controversy during his speech, but instead made a point of highlighting that this year is also the 400th anniversary of the first slaves brought to America.

“Today, in honor, we remember every sacred soul who suffered the horrors of slavery and the anguish of bondage,” he said, adding, “In the face of grave oppression and grave injustice, African-Americans have built, strengthened, inspired, uplifted, protected, defended and sustained our nation from its very earliest days.”

Just hours earlier, Mr. Trump again disparaged Mr. Cummings, whom he has accused in recent days of running a “disgusting” congressional district. “Baltimore is an example of what corrupt government leads to,” Mr. Trump told reporters as he left the White House. “I feel so sorry for the people of Baltimore, and if they ask me, we will get involved.”

Mr. Trump offered no evidence of corruption nor did he explain on what he based such an accusation. But he made clear he was unwilling to back down in a continuing war of words that has aggravated racial tensions and left many of his own advisers concerned that he was turning off suburban voters who could be a key to his re-election next year.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158648511_b206214e-14c9-4ad3-a092-272f28a1a60a-articleLarge Trump Hails African-American Contributions to America Amid Battle With Black Critics Trump, Donald J Sharpton, Al Race and Ethnicity Northam, Ralph S Jamestown (Va) Herring, Mark R Fairfax, Justin Edward Cummings, Elijah E

“Mr. President, you cannot send us back. Virginia is our home,” Ibraheem Samirah, a Democratic state delegate and a Palestinian-American, said during the speech.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Facing questions about his apparent willingness in recent days to divide his supporters and opponents along racial lines, Mr. Trump insisted that he was the “the least racist person there is anywhere in the world.” Then he called the Rev. Al Sharpton, another recent adversary, “a racist.”

This line of self-defense came a day after the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, which represents elected members of the House of Delegates and the State Senate, said in a statement that its members could not “in good conscience sit silently” as a president who has promoted racial divisions is given such a prominent platform.

“It is impossible to ignore the emblem of hate and disdain that the president represents,” the caucus said in its statement. The statement added that Mr. Trump’s “repeated attacks on black legislators and comments about black communities” made him “ill suited to honor and commemorate such a monumental period in history, especially if this nation is to move forward with the ideals of ‘democracy, inclusion and opportunity.’”

The lawmakers’ protest came as Mr. Trump has employed racist tropes repeatedly in recent weeks. He told four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to their home countries, even though three were born in the United States and the fourth was naturalized as a teenager. In the last several days, he has repeatedly assailed Mr. Cummings and his “rat and rodent infested” majority-black district and targeted other foes like Mr. Sharpton, who he said “Hates Whites & Cops.”

Mr. Cummings, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, has emerged as a major foil for the president as his panel presses investigations into Mr. Trump’s administration. Last week, the committee authorized Mr. Cummings to subpoena work-related emails and text messages on personal devices of White House officials, including Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter, and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law.

“I think that Representative Cummings should take his oversight committee and start doing oversight on Baltimore,” Mr. Trump said.

Aides said that the subpoena move last week riled Mr. Trump and helped fuel the anger that had been on public display since Saturday. The president has also bristled at Mr. Cummings’s criticism of how detained migrants are being treated at the border, saying that the lawmaker should first worry about what Mr. Trump called the dismal conditions in his own district.

As he took questions for over 10 minutes on Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump appeared not to know that a boycott in Jamestown was being planned, saying he would be “shocked” if opponents of color were declining to attend the event.

“If that’s the case, they’re fighting against their people,” Mr. Trump said, as he claimed that his administration had been receiving calls nonstop praising his comments on Baltimore. “The African-American people have been calling the White House. They have never been so happy about what a president has done.”

Mr. Trump at the Jamestown Settlement Museum. Hours earlier, he continued his war of words that has aggravated racial tensions.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The ceremony on Tuesday at the Jamestown Settlement Museum marked the first meeting of elected legislators in the New World. On July 30, 1619, a group of 22 representatives of plantations or settlements gathered in a church in Jamestown for the first time in what would be known as the House of Burgesses, the precursor to state legislatures and Congress in the centuries to come.

The event was already fraught for African-American lawmakers because of the anniversary of slavery. The caucus held alternative events in Richmond, including a wreath-laying at the Virginia State Capitol to honor African-American lawmakers who served after the Civil War.

The idea was to focus “on those individuals who fought for a more just, equitable and inclusive democracy,” said Senator Jennifer McClellan, the group’s vice chair.

But Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax, Virginia’s only African-American statewide elected official and a Democrat, attended Tuesday’s ceremony, saying beforehand that the twin anniversaries “far supersede the petty and racist actions of the current occupant of the White House.”

In an essay posted on Medium, he said: “The bigoted words of the current president will thankfully soon be swept into the dustbin of history. Our democracy, born in Virginia, will live on.”

Virginia has been roiled by its own controversies this year. Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, has rebuffed widespread calls to resign after the discovery of a 1984 medical school yearbook that included a picture of a man in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan robes on his personal page. Mr. Northam at first admitted being in the photograph, then denied that he was either man.

The state’s attorney general, Mark R. Herring, also a Democrat, later admitted that he once wore blackface at a party as a college student. And Mr. Fairfax has been accused of sexual assault by two women.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Mr. Trump dismissed questions about whether he was hurting himself politically by relentlessly fueling racial tensions in recent days.

“I think I’m helping myself,” Mr. Trump said. “These people are living in hell in Baltimore.”

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Huawei’s Sales Jump Despite Trump’s Blacklisting

Westlake Legal Group merlin_155583492_a7fdea77-1f55-4ccd-852e-ee11c2e1dff7-facebookJumbo Huawei’s Sales Jump Despite Trump’s Blacklisting Trump, Donald J Ren Zhengfei Politics and Government International Trade and World Market Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Computers and the Internet China Blacklisting

BEIJING — A little over two months after Huawei’s chief executive began comparing his embattled company to a bullet-riddled fighter plane, the Chinese tech giant said its sales for January through June grew by nearly a quarter from a year earlier, a sign that the Trump administration’s clampdown has hardly brought the firm crashing to the ground.

“Neither production nor shipment has been interrupted, not for one single day,” Liang Hua, the chairman of Huawei’s board of directors, said on Tuesday at the company’s headquarters in the southern city of Shenzhen. “No matter how many difficulties we might face, we remain confident in the company’s future development.”

The strong results, with revenue of around $58 billion for the first half of the year, testify to the breadth of Huawei’s business, which now spans smartphones and laptops, equipment and software for wireless networks, cloud computing services, city surveillance gear and more. Last year, the company generated around $105 billion in sales, more than China’s two best-known internet giants, Alibaba and Tencent, combined.

But Huawei’s future has been uncertain ever since Washington began ratcheting up efforts to undermine the company, saying that its products are dangerously susceptible to influence and disruption by the Chinese government. Huawei rejects the insinuations.

Its fate is now entangled with talks between the United States and China to end their yearlong tariff war. As those negotiations have swung between optimistic highs and gloomy lows, so too has the outlook for Huawei’s business.

The company is not publicly traded, but it periodically releases financial results to counter Washington’s claims that it is secretive and opaque.

After American officials spent months warning the world about the risks of using Huawei’s equipment to build next-generation wireless networks, the Commerce Department took direct aim at the company’s operations in May by putting it on an export blacklist. This meant that American companies like Qualcomm and Intel would need special permission to sell Huawei the microchips and other specialized components that go into its products.

American tech suppliers swiftly halted shipments to Huawei in response. The Chinese company’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, predicted in June that revenue this year would be around $30 billion less than previously forecast. That gap alone represents more revenue than Ericsson, one of Huawei’s main rivals in telecom equipment, took in all year in 2018.

Before long, though, some American tech companies decided that they could resume selling certain items to Huawei despite the blacklisting. Their lawyers determined that Washington’s restrictions did not apply to hardware that was manufactured outside the United States and that did not contain much in the way of sensitive American components and technology.

“Once we determined that we could continue to resume most of those products, it really got back to normal pretty quickly,” Dave Pahl, the head of investor relations at the chip maker Texas Instruments, said during a conference call with analysts last week.

Then, after meeting with China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, in Japan last month, Mr. Trump said the administration would permit more American sales to Huawei, in a gesture meant to smooth the path toward a trade deal.

Huawei cannot breathe easy, however. The Commerce Department still has not indicated exactly how it will decide who gets licenses to sell to the company. American trade negotiators were in Shanghai on Tuesday to try once more to piece together an accord.

Some of Huawei’s American partners have already started making potentially hard-to-reverse changes to their operations in response to the blacklisting. The electronics manufacturer Flex said last week that it had scaled down its activities in China for supplying Huawei.

For many years, Huawei’s chief executive, Mr. Ren, was a reclusive figure who almost never spoke to reporters. Of late, he has been a near-constant presence in the global news media, sounding exuberant about his company’s prospects for surviving Mr. Trump’s onslaught.

Speaking this month with a group of Italian journalists, Mr. Ren boasted that Huawei had already patched up 70 to 80 percent of what he called the “bullet holes” in its wireless infrastructure products — the ways in which they relied on American-sourced parts or technology.

By the end of the year, he predicted, Huawei will have filled more than 90 percent of these holes.

“We can stand on our own right now,” Mr. Ren said. “We don’t need to depend on the U.S. to continue serving our customers. The more advanced a system is, the more capable we are of standing on our own.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Huawei’s Sales Jump Despite Trump’s Blacklisting

Westlake Legal Group merlin_155583492_a7fdea77-1f55-4ccd-852e-ee11c2e1dff7-facebookJumbo Huawei’s Sales Jump Despite Trump’s Blacklisting Trump, Donald J Ren Zhengfei Politics and Government International Trade and World Market Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Computers and the Internet China Blacklisting

BEIJING — A little over two months after Huawei’s chief executive began comparing his embattled company to a bullet-riddled fighter plane, the Chinese tech giant said its sales for January through June grew by nearly a quarter from a year earlier, a sign that the Trump administration’s clampdown has hardly brought the firm crashing to the ground.

“Neither production nor shipment has been interrupted, not for one single day,” Liang Hua, the chairman of Huawei’s board of directors, said on Tuesday at the company’s headquarters in the southern city of Shenzhen. “No matter how many difficulties we might face, we remain confident in the company’s future development.”

The strong results, with revenue of around $58 billion for the first half of the year, testify to the breadth of Huawei’s business, which now spans smartphones and laptops, equipment and software for wireless networks, cloud computing services, city surveillance gear and more. Last year, the company generated around $105 billion in sales, more than China’s two best-known internet giants, Alibaba and Tencent, combined.

But Huawei’s future has been uncertain ever since Washington began ratcheting up efforts to undermine the company, saying that its products are dangerously susceptible to influence and disruption by the Chinese government. Huawei rejects the insinuations.

Its fate is now entangled with talks between the United States and China to end their yearlong tariff war. As those negotiations have swung between optimistic highs and gloomy lows, so too has the outlook for Huawei’s business.

The company is not publicly traded, but it periodically releases financial results to counter Washington’s claims that it is secretive and opaque.

After American officials spent months warning the world about the risks of using Huawei’s equipment to build next-generation wireless networks, the Commerce Department took direct aim at the company’s operations in May by putting it on an export blacklist. This meant that American companies like Qualcomm and Intel would need special permission to sell Huawei the microchips and other specialized components that go into its products.

American tech suppliers swiftly halted shipments to Huawei in response. The Chinese company’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, predicted in June that revenue this year would be around $30 billion less than previously forecast. That gap alone represents more revenue than Ericsson, one of Huawei’s main rivals in telecom equipment, took in all year in 2018.

Before long, though, some American tech companies decided that they could resume selling certain items to Huawei despite the blacklisting. Their lawyers determined that Washington’s restrictions did not apply to hardware that was manufactured outside the United States and that did not contain much in the way of sensitive American components and technology.

“Once we determined that we could continue to resume most of those products, it really got back to normal pretty quickly,” Dave Pahl, the head of investor relations at the chip maker Texas Instruments, said during a conference call with analysts last week.

Then, after meeting with China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, in Japan last month, Mr. Trump said the administration would permit more American sales to Huawei, in a gesture meant to smooth the path toward a trade deal.

Huawei cannot breathe easy, however. The Commerce Department still has not indicated exactly how it will decide who gets licenses to sell to the company. American trade negotiators were in Shanghai on Tuesday to try once more to piece together an accord.

Some of Huawei’s American partners have already started making potentially hard-to-reverse changes to their operations in response to the blacklisting. The electronics manufacturer Flex said last week that it had scaled down its activities in China for supplying Huawei.

For many years, Huawei’s chief executive, Mr. Ren, was a reclusive figure who almost never spoke to reporters. Of late, he has been a near-constant presence in the global news media, sounding exuberant about his company’s prospects for surviving Mr. Trump’s onslaught.

Speaking this month with a group of Italian journalists, Mr. Ren boasted that Huawei had already patched up 70 to 80 percent of what he called the “bullet holes” in its wireless infrastructure products — the ways in which they relied on American-sourced parts or technology.

By the end of the year, he predicted, Huawei will have filled more than 90 percent of these holes.

“We can stand on our own right now,” Mr. Ren said. “We don’t need to depend on the U.S. to continue serving our customers. The more advanced a system is, the more capable we are of standing on our own.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Huawei’s Sales Jump Despite Trump’s Blacklisting

Westlake Legal Group merlin_155583492_a7fdea77-1f55-4ccd-852e-ee11c2e1dff7-facebookJumbo Huawei’s Sales Jump Despite Trump’s Blacklisting Trump, Donald J Ren Zhengfei Politics and Government International Trade and World Market Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Computers and the Internet China Blacklisting

BEIJING — A little over two months after Huawei’s chief executive began comparing his embattled company to a bullet-riddled fighter plane, the Chinese tech giant said its sales for January through June grew by nearly a quarter from a year earlier, a sign that the Trump administration’s clampdown has hardly brought the firm crashing to the ground.

“Neither production nor shipment has been interrupted, not for one single day,” Liang Hua, the chairman of Huawei’s board of directors, said on Tuesday at the company’s headquarters in the southern city of Shenzhen. “No matter how many difficulties we might face, we remain confident in the company’s future development.”

The strong results, with revenue of around $58 billion for the first half of the year, testify to the breadth of Huawei’s business, which now spans smartphones and laptops, equipment and software for wireless networks, cloud computing services, city surveillance gear and more. Last year, the company generated around $105 billion in sales, more than China’s two best-known internet giants, Alibaba and Tencent, combined.

But Huawei’s future has been uncertain ever since Washington began ratcheting up efforts to undermine the company, saying that its products are dangerously susceptible to influence and disruption by the Chinese government. Huawei rejects the insinuations.

Its fate is now entangled with talks between the United States and China to end their yearlong tariff war. As those negotiations have swung between optimistic highs and gloomy lows, so too has the outlook for Huawei’s business.

The company is not publicly traded, but it periodically releases financial results to counter Washington’s claims that it is secretive and opaque.

After American officials spent months warning the world about the risks of using Huawei’s equipment to build next-generation wireless networks, the Commerce Department took direct aim at the company’s operations in May by putting it on an export blacklist. This meant that American companies like Qualcomm and Intel would need special permission to sell Huawei the microchips and other specialized components that go into its products.

American tech suppliers swiftly halted shipments to Huawei in response. The Chinese company’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, predicted in June that revenue this year would be around $30 billion less than previously forecast. That gap alone represents more revenue than Ericsson, one of Huawei’s main rivals in telecom equipment, took in all year in 2018.

Before long, though, some American tech companies decided that they could resume selling certain items to Huawei despite the blacklisting. Their lawyers determined that Washington’s restrictions did not apply to hardware that was manufactured outside the United States and that did not contain much in the way of sensitive American components and technology.

“Once we determined that we could continue to resume most of those products, it really got back to normal pretty quickly,” Dave Pahl, the head of investor relations at the chip maker Texas Instruments, said during a conference call with analysts last week.

Then, after meeting with China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, in Japan last month, Mr. Trump said the administration would permit more American sales to Huawei, in a gesture meant to smooth the path toward a trade deal.

Huawei cannot breathe easy, however. The Commerce Department still has not indicated exactly how it will decide who gets licenses to sell to the company. American trade negotiators were in Shanghai on Tuesday to try once more to piece together an accord.

Some of Huawei’s American partners have already started making potentially hard-to-reverse changes to their operations in response to the blacklisting. The electronics manufacturer Flex said last week that it had scaled down its activities in China for supplying Huawei.

For many years, Huawei’s chief executive, Mr. Ren, was a reclusive figure who almost never spoke to reporters. Of late, he has been a near-constant presence in the global news media, sounding exuberant about his company’s prospects for surviving Mr. Trump’s onslaught.

Speaking this month with a group of Italian journalists, Mr. Ren boasted that Huawei had already patched up 70 to 80 percent of what he called the “bullet holes” in its wireless infrastructure products — the ways in which they relied on American-sourced parts or technology.

By the end of the year, he predicted, Huawei will have filled more than 90 percent of these holes.

“We can stand on our own right now,” Mr. Ren said. “We don’t need to depend on the U.S. to continue serving our customers. The more advanced a system is, the more capable we are of standing on our own.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ahead of Debates, Pennsylvania Democrats Want Candidates to Stress Pragmatism

NEWTOWN, Pa. — Diane LeBas, a 71-year-old substitute teacher attending the Newtown Democrats’ summer picnic on Sunday, recounted how she was tear-gassed protesting the Vietnam War. No one could question her progressivism.

“But at the moment, I’m leaving progressivism in the back seat for pragmatism,” Ms. LeBas said about the 2020 presidential race. “We have to get rid of the guy who’s threatening our core values. For pragmatism, I would choose Joe Biden.”

Among a circle of activists at the picnic here in Bucks County — a swing town in a swing county in a swing state — there were many nods. Ahead of the second round of Democratic debates in Detroit starting Tuesday night, the party stalwarts were wrestling with the old tug of whether to follow their heart or their head in picking a candidate.

For the moment, the head seemed to be winning.

[Harris and Biden will meet again in the next Democratic debates. Here are the lineups.]

The same was true at a second gathering further south on Sunday, in Delaware County. Unwinding after a weekend of canvassing for candidates in municipal races, several Democratic volunteers acknowledged that they were more liberal than many Democratic voters, which helped explain the enduring appeal of Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“It’s almost like two different parties,” said Andrew Hayman, 28, a Democratic committee member in the town of Upper Darby. “I encounter it every day at the doors: people who are excited for Biden or they don’t have a candidate.”

Many of those Democrats — whether they already have a preferred candidate or remain torn — are hoping that this week’s debates include more economic issues and moderate points of view than the June debates, where liberal issues and arguments dominated the two nights. Several Democrats said that voters were far more concerned about feeding their families or ensuring their children’s futures than they were about issues like impeaching President Trump.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158609013_10f9778c-a1d6-4f2d-b5d6-01c3e8085742-articleLarge Ahead of Debates, Pennsylvania Democrats Want Candidates to Stress Pragmatism Warren, Elizabeth Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Pennsylvania Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

“I’m leaving progressivism in the back seat for pragmatism,” said Diane LeBas. She supports Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the primary.CreditHannah Yoon for The New York Times

Susan Turner, who complained that the June debates did not include enough so-called kitchen-table issues, said: “Jobs are certainly a concern of people. Minimum wage.”

At the gatherings in Bucks and Delaware Counties, outside Philadelphia, there was plenty of support for several candidates. In a straw poll at the Newtown picnic — held with Democratic-approved paper straws, not plastic — the results were: Elizabeth Warren, 15, Kamala Harris, 14, Mr. Biden, 8 and Pete Buttigieg, 7. Bernie Sanders earned just one vote.

[We tracked down the 2020 Democrats and asked them the same set of questions. Watch them answer.]

Julia Woldorf, a member of the Newtown Borough Council, argued that Mr. Biden was a poor choice if voters were trying to be practical about the candidates. She brought up Ms. Harris’s sharp-scalpeled attack on him in the first debate over his civil rights record, which caught Mr. Biden off guard.

“He showed me he couldn’t respond the way he should have,” Ms. Woldorf said. “If Trump throws something at him, how’s he going to respond?”

There were echoes of the hand-wringing among some national Democrats over whether candidates were lurching too far leftward to win with plans that would end private health insurance or decriminalize unauthorized border crossings.

“I think ‘the squad’ is leading us too far to the left, and we’re alienating a lot of folks in the middle,” said Susan Turner, a retired engineer who now owns the Green Frog Bakery in Newtown, referring to the four progressive congresswomen who have clashed with Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Steve Cickay, a retired I.R.S. executive, played down Democratic fretting over whether Mr. Biden was too old to motivate younger voters.

“The disgust with Trump is so overwhelming,’’ he said. “It’s not going to be the Hillary deal in 2016.”

Elen Snyder, a 62-year-old full-time activist, said she divorced her husband of 35 years over his support for President Trump in 2016.CreditHannah Yoon for The New York Times

Elen Snyder, a 62-year-old full-time activist at the picnic, was an example of how passionate many Democrats have become in the drive to defeat the president. Ms. Snyder said she divorced her husband of 35 years in 2016 over his support of Mr. Trump.

“He’s always been a Republican, and I’ve always been a Democrat and that was fine,” she said. But with the rise of Mr. Trump, she said: “He became an angry man. It was like I was watching this white guy who I thought I knew all of a sudden become racist, become all of the things Trump represented which I abhorred.”

Her favorite 2020 candidate, for now, is Ms. Warren — though the choice may indicate that head over heart isn’t universal. “My Merrill Lynch adviser told me that the only candidate he would be against is Liz Warren because she scares the financial community,’’ she said. “I delighted upon hearing that.”

The Newtown activists, like those in Delaware County, want to elect more Democrats to county and municipal offices in 2019 to continue building a foundation for 2020 turnout, when Pennsylvania will once again be in the eye of the presidential storm.

Bucks County Democrats failed to gain in the 2018 midterm blue wave, when Representative Brian Fitzpatrick held on to the only Repubican-held congressional seat in the Philadelphia region. But a year earlier in Delaware County, Democrats won their first countywide offices in more than a century.

The issue of “Medicare for all,” with its promise to eliminate private health insurance in the version supported by Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, proved a sharp dividing line among the Democratic activists.

“I don’t think that health care is a human right. Sorry, I don’t agree with Bernie on that; it’s a privilege,” said Ms. Turner, the bakery owner.

An hour south of Newtown, where the second group gathered in the home of Barbarann Keffer, a candidate for mayor of Upper Darby, Mr. Hayman, the Democratic committee member, explained that Mr. Biden is acceptable even to Republicans he meets. “He’s not hated,’’ he said. “He’s a known quantity.”

People at the picnic cast votes for their favorite presidential candidates using Democratic-approved paper straws.CreditHannah Yoon for The New York Times

That pleased Margo Davidson, a Pennsylvania state representative from Upper Darby. “I’m Biden all the way. I’m with Uncle Joe,” she said in Ms. Keffer’s crowded living room, where volunteers came in with stacks of campaign literature for Democrats on the ballot in November.

Ms. Davidson, the first African-American to represent her statehouse district, noted that despite Ms. Harris’s attack on Mr. Biden in the first round of debates, black support for President Barack Obama’s former vice president seems to be steady.

“I love Kamala,” she said, “but we’ve got to get rid of Trump and that’s more important to me than any one personality.”

Michelle Billups, a candidate for town council in Upper Darby, blurted to a circle of activists: “I’m going to be honest. I like Andrew Yang.”

Another Biden supporter, atypical for her age, was Raeleen Keffer-Scharpf, 17, a daughter of Ms. Keffer, the mayoral candidate. She has watched debates and candidate forums on YouTube. Beto O’Rourke, once thought to galvanize young voters, was a “viral” candidate without staying power, she said, adding that she’s “a sucker for strong female characters in politics.” But she declared Mr. Biden her top choice for now.

“I think he can win the presidential,” Ms. Keffer-Scharpf said.

That concept of presumed electability, much maligned by candidates not named Biden or the other front-runners, nonetheless held sway among activists in both counties.

Mr. Hayman said Democrats’ strongest message in 2020 ought to be about expunging the Trump years and returning the country to stability. Democrats, he said, should take a page from President Warren G. Harding, a Republican, and promise a return to normalcy.

“If we just talk about running the government, I think we win on that,” he said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ahead of Debates, Pennsylvania Democrats Lean More Pragmatic Than Progressive

NEWTOWN, Pa. — Diane LeBas, a 71-year-old substitute teacher attending the Newtown Democrats’ summer picnic on Sunday, recounted how she was tear-gassed protesting the Vietnam War. No one could question her progressivism.

“But at the moment, I’m leaving progressivism in the back seat for pragmatism,” Ms. LeBas said about the 2020 presidential race. “We have to get rid of the guy who’s threatening our core values. For pragmatism, I would choose Joe Biden.”

Among a circle of activists at the picnic here in Bucks County — a swing town in a swing county in a swing state — there were many nods. Ahead of the second round of Democratic debates in Detroit starting Tuesday night, the party stalwarts were wrestling with the old tug of whether to follow their heart or their head in picking a candidate.

For the moment, the head seemed to be winning.

[Harris and Biden will meet again in the next Democratic debates. Here are the lineups.]

The same was true at a second gathering further south on Sunday, in Delaware County. Unwinding after a weekend of canvassing for candidates in municipal races, several Democratic volunteers acknowledged that they were more liberal than many Democratic voters, which helped explain the enduring appeal of Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“It’s almost like two different parties,” said Andrew Hayman, 28, a Democratic committee member in the town of Upper Darby. “I encounter it every day at the doors: people who are excited for Biden or they don’t have a candidate.”

Many of those Democrats — whether they already have a preferred candidate or remain torn — are hoping that this week’s debates include more economic issues and moderate points of view than the June debates, where liberal issues and arguments dominated the two nights. Several Democrats said that voters were far more concerned about feeding their families or ensuring their children’s futures than they were about issues like impeaching President Trump.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158609013_10f9778c-a1d6-4f2d-b5d6-01c3e8085742-articleLarge Ahead of Debates, Pennsylvania Democrats Lean More Pragmatic Than Progressive Warren, Elizabeth Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Pennsylvania Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

“I’m leaving progressivism in the back seat for pragmatism,” said Diane LeBas. She supports Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the primary.CreditHannah Yoon for The New York Times

Susan Turner, who complained that the June debates did not include enough so-called kitchen-table issues, said: “Jobs are certainly a concern of people. Minimum wage.”

At the gatherings in Bucks and Delaware Counties, outside Philadelphia, there was plenty of support for several candidates. In a straw poll at the Newtown picnic — held with Democratic-approved paper straws, not plastic — the results were: Elizabeth Warren, 15, Kamala Harris, 14, Mr. Biden, 8 and Pete Buttigieg, 7. Bernie Sanders earned just one vote.

[We tracked down the 2020 Democrats and asked them the same set of questions. Watch them answer.]

Julia Woldorf, a member of the Newtown Borough Council, argued that Mr. Biden was a poor choice if voters were trying to be practical about the candidates. She brought up Ms. Harris’s sharp-scalpeled attack on him in the first debate over his civil rights record, which caught Mr. Biden off guard.

“He showed me he couldn’t respond the way he should have,” Ms. Woldorf said. “If Trump throws something at him, how’s he going to respond?”

There were echoes of the hand-wringing among some national Democrats over whether candidates were lurching too far leftward to win with plans that would end private health insurance or decriminalize unauthorized border crossings.

“I think ‘the squad’ is leading us too far to the left, and we’re alienating a lot of folks in the middle,” said Susan Turner, a retired engineer who now owns the Green Frog Bakery in Newtown, referring to the four progressive congresswomen who have clashed with Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Steve Cickay, a retired I.R.S. executive, played down Democratic fretting over whether Mr. Biden was too old to motivate younger voters.

“The disgust with Trump is so overwhelming,’’ he said. “It’s not going to be the Hillary deal in 2016.”

Elen Snyder, a 62-year-old full-time activist, said she divorced her husband of 35 years over his support for President Trump in 2016.CreditHannah Yoon for The New York Times

Elen Snyder, a 62-year-old full-time activist at the picnic, was an example of how passionate many Democrats have become in the drive to defeat the president. Ms. Snyder said she divorced her husband of 35 years in 2016 over his support of Mr. Trump.

“He’s always been a Republican, and I’ve always been a Democrat and that was fine,” she said. But with the rise of Mr. Trump, she said: “He became an angry man. It was like I was watching this white guy who I thought I knew all of a sudden become racist, become all of the things Trump represented which I abhorred.”

Her favorite 2020 candidate, for now, is Ms. Warren — though the choice may indicate that head over heart isn’t universal. “My Merrill Lynch adviser told me that the only candidate he would be against is Liz Warren because she scares the financial community,’’ she said. “I delighted upon hearing that.”

The Newtown activists, like those in Delaware County, want to elect more Democrats to county and municipal offices in 2019 to continue building a foundation for 2020 turnout, when Pennsylvania will once again be in the eye of the presidential storm.

Bucks County Democrats failed to gain in the 2018 midterm blue wave, when Representative Brian Fitzpatrick held on to the only Repubican-held congressional seat in the Philadelphia region. But a year earlier in Delaware County, Democrats won their first countywide offices in more than a century.

The issue of “Medicare for all,” with its promise to eliminate private health insurance in the version supported by Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, proved a sharp dividing line among the Democratic activists.

“I don’t think that health care is a human right. Sorry, I don’t agree with Bernie on that; it’s a privilege,” said Ms. Turner, the bakery owner.

An hour south of Newtown, where the second group gathered in the home of Barbarann Keffer, a candidate for mayor of Upper Darby, Mr. Hayman, the Democratic committee member, explained that Mr. Biden is acceptable even to Republicans he meets. “He’s not hated,’’ he said. “He’s a known quantity.”

People at the picnic cast votes for their favorite presidential candidates using Democratic-approved paper straws.CreditHannah Yoon for The New York Times

That pleased Margo Davidson, a Pennsylvania state representative from Upper Darby. “I’m Biden all the way. I’m with Uncle Joe,” she said in Ms. Keffer’s crowded living room, where volunteers came in with stacks of campaign literature for Democrats on the ballot in November.

Ms. Davidson, the first African-American to represent her statehouse district, noted that despite Ms. Harris’s attack on Mr. Biden in the first round of debates, black support for President Barack Obama’s former vice president seems to be steady.

“I love Kamala,” she said, “but we’ve got to get rid of Trump and that’s more important to me than any one personality.”

Michelle Billups, a candidate for town council in Upper Darby, blurted to a circle of activists: “I’m going to be honest. I like Andrew Yang.”

Another Biden supporter, atypical for her age, was Raeleen Keffer-Scharpf, 17, a daughter of Ms. Keffer, the mayoral candidate. She has watched debates and candidate forums on YouTube. Beto O’Rourke, once thought to galvanize young voters, was a “viral” candidate without staying power, she said, adding that she’s “a sucker for strong female characters in politics.” But she declared Mr. Biden her top choice for now.

“I think he can win the presidential,” Ms. Keffer-Scharpf said.

That concept of presumed electability, much maligned by candidates not named Biden or the other front-runners, nonetheless held sway among activists in both counties.

Mr. Hayman said Democrats’ strongest message in 2020 ought to be about expunging the Trump years and returning the country to stability. Democrats, he said, should take a page from President Warren G. Harding, a Republican, and promise a return to normalcy.

“If we just talk about running the government, I think we win on that,” he said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Widens War on Black Critics While Embracing ‘Inner City Pastors’

WASHINGTON — President Trump widened his war on critics of color on Monday with new attacks on the Rev. Al Sharpton and other political opponents even as he gathered his own African-American allies at the White House to defend him against charges of racism.

In a third straight day of broadsides against black figures, Mr. Trump denounced Mr. Sharpton on Twitter as “a con man” who “Hates Whites & Cops” and again assailed Representative Elijah E. Cummings and his Baltimore-based district, drawing rebukes from Maryland Republicans as well as Democrats.

Mr. Trump’s determination to intensify the furor rather than move on guaranteed that it would continue to dominate the political debate in Washington and force many of the president’s fellow Republicans to choose whether to stand by him, break with him or, in the case of most, find a way to keep out of the discussion.

[Related: How Trump and Sharpton became the ultimate New York frenemies.]

The president linked the clash with Mr. Cummings to his earlier demand that four Democratic congresswomen of color “go back” to their home countries, and he cast it in electoral terms. “If the Democrats are going to defend the Radical Left ‘Squad’ and King Elijah’s Baltimore Fail, it will be a long road to 2020,” he tweeted. “The good news for the Dems is that they have the Fake News Media in their pocket!”

To defend himself, Mr. Trump enlisted a couple of his reliable African-American supporters. He brought a group of about 20 “Inner City Pastors,” as he called them, to the White House for a meeting on Monday about how to help the black community. Aides said the event was planned long before the fight with Mr. Cummings as part of a bid by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, to win African-American votes next year.

But if the White House had hoped for a show to shield the president from his detractors, it did not materialize. Mr. Trump, who enjoys inviting news cameras into meetings to showcase his visitors and expound on his views, kept the encounter behind closed doors, and just two of the attendees publicly testified afterward on the White House driveway to the president’s good faith in wanting to improve life for African-Americans.

“The president is concerned about the whole nation, about everybody in the nation,” said Alveda C. King, a niece of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a leader of an anti-abortion group who also belongs to “Women for Trump” and is a Fox News contributor. “So I want us to remember that we’ve been designed to be brothers and sisters. One member of the human race. Not separate races.”

The Rev. Bill Owens, the founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, a group that opposes same-sex marriage, said that he found it “hard to believe” that Mr. Trump was a racist, citing the president’s support for opportunity zones and an overhaul of criminal justice laws.

Asked about the president’s attacks on Mr. Cummings, Mr. Owens demurred. “Well, those are his words,” he said. “I don’t want to second-guess what he says because I hear a lot of things. I see also people pandering to black people, to get them on board with some of their agenda.”

Mr. Trump’s latest tweets provoked increasingly angry reactions in Baltimore and increasingly acute concerns inside the West Wing. Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican, criticized the president’s attack on the state’s largest city as “outrageous and inappropriate,” and an ally of both Mr. Cummings and Mr. Trump in the House defended the congressman against the president.

Several White House officials expressed agreement during a senior staff meeting on Monday morning that the president’s attacks were a bad move, according to people informed about the discussion, but they were uncertain who could intervene with him — or if anyone would even dare try.

They privately scoffed at the idea that it was strategy rather than impulse, concluding that any political benefit he might derive by revving up his conservative, largely white base could be offset by alienating more moderate voters in the suburbs of states like Wisconsin and Michigan that he needs to win a second term.

Three advisers said the president complained about Mr. Cummings throughout the weekend. Two of those advisers said the real source of his ire was the decision by the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which Mr. Cummings leads, to authorize subpoenas for all work-related texts and emails sent or received by Mr. Kushner and Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter and senior adviser, on personal accounts.

In taking on Mr. Sharpton, the president confronted a fellow veteran of New York’s often inflammatory racial politics. Mr. Trump was evidently peeved that Mr. Sharpton traveled to Baltimore on Monday to denounce the attacks on Mr. Cummings.

“I have known Al for 25 years,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Went to fights with him & Don King, always got along well. He ‘loved Trump!’ He would ask me for favors often. Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score. Just doing his thing. Must have intimidated Comcast/NBC. Hates Whites & Cops!”

Mr. Sharpton, a longtime civil rights leader and MSNBC host, fired back during his appearance in Baltimore.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_154787568_a14bdf97-6173-4f9c-a1e6-39c373129132-articleLarge Trump Widens War on Black Critics While Embracing ‘Inner City Pastors’ United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Sharpton, Al Race and Ethnicity discrimination Cummings, Elijah E Blacks Baltimore (Md)

The Rev. Al Sharpton in New York City earlier this year. Mr. Trump criticized him on Twitter on Monday as “a con man” who “Hates Whites & Cops!”CreditKena Betancur/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“Called me a troublemaker?” he said. “Yes, I make trouble for bigots. I made trouble for him with Central Park. I made trouble with him for birtherism. I’m going to keep making trouble for bigots. As far as me being a con man, if he really thought I was a con man, he’d be nominating me for his cabinet.”

Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Trump did get along in the past even as they clashed over the case of the Central Park Five involving black and Hispanic teenagers who were accused of raping a white woman but were later exonerated. Mr. Sharpton grew increasingly critical after Mr. Trump began falsely accusing President Barack Obama of being secretly born in Kenya.

Mr. Sharpton has his own complicated history on race. He was an outspoken activist through a string of racially charged episodes in New York in the 1980s and 1990s, and was regarded in that era alternately as a champion of social justice or as a self-promoting provocateur. He drew broad criticism as one of the most vocal supporters of Tawana Brawley, an African-American teenager whose claims of rape by a gang of white men in 1987 were exposed as a hoax.

Mr. Sharpton has reinvented himself as a more measured, mainstream national voice on civil rights, and he ran for president in 2004. His National Action Network has become a force on the political left and even Mr. Trump twice attended its conventions.

The flare-up with Mr. Sharpton came after Mr. Trump assailed Mr. Cummings over the weekend, saying the congressman should spend less time criticizing the president’s handling of detained migrants at the border and more time fixing his “disgusting, rat and rodent infested” district where “no human being would want to live.”

After he was accused of perpetuating racist stereotypes about the majority-black district, Mr. Trump tweeted that it was Mr. Cummings who was a racist and that his fellow Democrats were playing “the Race Card.” On Monday, he nicknamed Mr. Cummings “King Elijah,” accusing him of “25 years of all talk, no action!”

The president was so obsessed with the congressman and Mr. Sharpton that he started his day focused on them and ended it that way, as well. His first tweet attacking Mr. Sharpton came at 6:30 a.m. By 10:45 p.m., he was still at it, along the way vaguely insinuating corruption by Mr. Cummings without any hint of evidence.

“Billions of dollars have been pumped in over the years, but to no avail,” Mr. Trump wrote. “The money was stolen or wasted. Ask Elijah Cummings where it went. He should investigate himself with his Oversight Committee!”

Mr. Cummings made no comment on Monday. But in Baltimore, Michael Steele, the former Republican National Committee chairman and Maryland lieutenant governor who himself is black, joined Mr. Sharpton to denounce the president’s attacks.

Mr. Steele urged Mr. Trump to visit Baltimore if he really cared about conditions for people living there. “Folks want to talk to you,” he said. “So just show up. Put the tweet down, brother, and show up.”

Mr. Hogan, who considered but opted against a Republican primary challenge to Mr. Trump next year, issued a broad criticism of “angry and divisive politics” in Washington punctuated by too much tweeting and name calling. But he largely avoided addressing Mr. Trump by name.

“Enough is enough,” Mr. Hogan said on WBAL radio. “People are just completely fed up with this kind of nonsense.”

Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a senior Republican on Mr. Cummings’s committee and a friend of the chairman’s, broke his silence on Monday. Mr. Meadows, who when accused of racism himself was defended by Mr. Cummings, sent a text to former Senator Rick Santorum, a CNN commentator, to read on air.

“No one works harder for his district than Elijah,” Mr. Meadows said in the text as read by Mr. Santorum. “He’s passionate about the people he represents, and no, Elijah is not a racist. I am friends with both men, President Trump and Chairman Cummings. I know them both well, and neither is a racist.”

Other Republicans rejected the suggestion that Mr. Trump singles out lawmakers of color.

“Oh, for Pete’s sake, that’s ridiculous — no, he does not,” said Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota. “If African-American lawmakers are going after him, he goes after them. If a white lawmaker goes after him, he goes after them. If there were striped lawmakers and they went after him, he’d go after them.”

Mr. Trump has told aides he sees his latest outbursts as smart strategy. The president has long been petrified of losing his base, and some aides believe he will need to maximize turnout from the voters who helped put him in the White House the first time given the highly partisan environment.

Several advisers said they were aghast that he was making such a target of Mr. Cummings. If anyone had tried to persuade the president of that, they were keeping it to themselves on Monday. But many advisers sounded defeated as they talked about a tweetstorm they hoped would end soon.

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