The New York City Pride Parade Today at Noon!

Dear Commons Community,

Today the New York City Pride Parade is observing the  anniversary of The Stonewall Inn Uprising. which some refer to as riots.  In 1969, the NYPD used billy clubs against protesters outside The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar. In response, protesters slashed police car tires and broke the windows of businesses.

The parade today starts at noon  at 25th Street and Fifth Avenue near Madison Square Park in Manhattan. It then marches down Fifth Avenue, turns west onto 8th Street and continues on Christopher Street, where it passes by the Stonewall National Monument.



Joe Biden to Meet with His Family Today to Discuss Continuing His Candidacy!


Dear Commons Community,

NBC News is reporting that President Joe Biden is expected to discuss the future of his re-election campaign with his family at Camp David today, following a nationally televised debate Thursday that left many fellow Democrats worried about his ability to beat former President Donald Trump in November.  He and first lady Jill Biden are scheduled to join their children and grandchildren there. As reported by NBC.

Biden’s trip was planned before Thursday’s debate. He and first lady Jill Biden are scheduled to join their children and grandchildren there late Saturday.

So far, the party’s top leaders have offered public support for Biden, including in tweets posted by former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Senior congressional Democrats, including Reps. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Jim Clyburn of South Carolina and Nancy Pelosi of California, have privately expressed concerns about his viability, said two sources apprised of those discussions, even as they all publicly back the president.

One Democratic House member who believes Biden should drop out of the race — but has yet to call for that publicly — told NBC News that three colleagues expressed the same sentiment to him during votes on the House floor Friday.

House leaders have not wavered publicly, and their aides denied that they are expressing doubts behind closed doors.

“Speaker Pelosi has full confidence in President Biden and looks forward to attending his inauguration on January 20, 2025,” Ian Krager, a spokesman for the former House speaker said. “Any suggestion that she has engaged in a different course of action is simply not true.”

Christie Stephenson, a spokeswoman for Jeffries, the House minority leader, said her boss has “repeatedly made clear publicly and privately that he supports President Joe Biden and the Democratic ticket from top to bottom.”

Brianna Frias said that Clyburn, who is traveling to Wisconsin this weekend to campaign for the president, “has total confidence in President Joe Biden and the Biden-Harris ticket.

“Any reports alleging that the Congressman has expressed anything other than firm support of President Biden are completely untrue,” Frias said.

At the same time, there is an understanding among top Democrats that Biden should be given space to determine next steps. They believe only the president, in consultation with his family, can decide whether to move forward or to end his campaign early — and that he won’t respond well to being pushed.

“The decision-makers are two people — it’s the president and his wife,” one of the sources familiar with the discussions said, adding: “Anyone who doesn’t understand how deeply personal and familial this decision will be isn’t knowledgeable about the situation.”

This account of a president and his party in crisis just a little more than four months before an election they say will determine the fate of democracy is drawn from interviews with more than a dozen Democratic officials, operatives, aides and donors. All of them spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to describe matters as sensitive as whether a sitting president might give up his re-election bid and how he could be replaced on the ballot.

Despite delivering a rousing speech at a rally in North Carolina on Friday that calmed some of his allies, Biden was described by one person familiar with his mood as humiliated, devoid of confidence and painfully aware that the physical images of him at the debate — eyes staring into the distance, mouth agape — will live beyond his presidency, along with a performance that at times was meandering, incoherent and difficult to hear.

“It’s a mess,” this person said.

Another person familiar with the dynamics said Biden will ultimately listen to only one adviser.

“The only person who has ultimate influence with him is the first lady,” this person said. “If she decides there should be a change of course, there will be a change of course.”

Jill Biden is a most intelligent woman.  I hope she does what is best for the country and recommend that her husband step down.


Federally Regulatory Oversight Gutted – A Devastating Power Grab by the US Supreme Court!

Dear Commons Community,

A US  Supreme Court decision yesterday gutting federal regulatory power isn’t getting enough attention. It could affect everyday Americans in myriad ways. Yesterday’s  ruling upended what’s called the “Chevron doctrine,” a long-standing legal principle that gave federal agencies broad discretion to interpret the instructions Congress hands them for writing rules and regulations.  As reported by of the The Huffington Post.

That might sound obscure or technical. It isn’t. In fact, it’s hard to overstate how important Chevron has been to the basic functioning of government, for reasons my HuffPost colleague Paul Blumenthal has spelled out.

When Congress writes laws to guarantee clean drinking water, for example, or to protect consumers from fraud, those instructions will inevitably leave executive branch agencies room for interpretation ― in part, because lawmakers recognize they don’t really have enough expertise or clairvoyance to get that detailed.

Under the Chevron doctrine, which dates back to a 1984 Supreme Court ruling involving the Chevron oil company, agencies had wide leeway to interpret lawmakers’ instructions and proceed accordingly. Those interpretations could be challenged in court, but under Chevron, judges would defer to agencies as long as they thought the agencies were being “reasonable.”

Chevron has been the foundation for all kinds of rules that affect everyday life. Emission limits on vehicles, safety standards for food and drugs, guidelines for broadband access ― in all of these instances and many, many others, the agencies writing the rules used the authority they got from Chevron.

Now that authority is gone. The question is what effects the decision will have ― and what reaction, if any, it will provoke from the voters.

A Ruling ― And A Revolution ― 50 Years In The Making

In yesteray’s 6-3 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts said it’s up for Congress to specify what it wants agencies to do, and then up to the courts to sort out ambiguities over what those instructions mean. In other words, agencies can’t preemptively make those decisions in the way they could before.

As Paul explains in his analysis, the decision represents “a major power grab by the judicial branch, which will now play a bigger role as the final arbiter over which new regulations are allowed to stand and which will be struck down.”

Friday’s ruling comes just one day after yet another opinion limiting the power of federal agencies, and two years after a major case that restricted the EPA’s authority. Nobody can know for sure what effect they will have cumulatively, but most likely they will make agencies a lot more skittish about issuing new rules ― which is to say, the federal government is going to do a lot less regulating in the future.

Of course, this is very much the point, and what conservatives have been trying to do for decades.

It’s part of a broader effort to roll back the powers that the federal government gained in the 20th Century, via the New Deal and then the Great Society. That effort has included the creation of right-wing think tanks, support for legal researchers developing anti-regulatory arguments and the financing of political candidates who would put conservative jurists on the bench.

It’s taken more than 50 years and a whole lot of money from big business, which is eager to operate without so much regulatory interference. But with these new Supreme Court decisions, the effort appears to have succeeded.

“This is an avowed agenda of the conservative legal movement to increase judicial constraints on agency action,” Nicholas Bagley, a University of Michigan law professor who has written extensively on Chevron, said yesterday. “The idea is that doing so is going to enhance liberty, it’s going to reduce intrusive government regulation, it’s going to make agencies behave more reasonably and rationally. But at the end of the day, what it truly accomplishes is the enfeebling of collective governance.”

Part of Roberts’ logic is that Chevron put too much power in the hands of federal agency experts, who are not directly accountable to the public.

But judges have even more freedom to defy public opinion, as this conservative court has done a lot lately ― most famously two years ago in its Dobbs decision, which eliminated the federally guaranteed right to abortion.

The popular backlash to Dobbs helped Democrats to elect a number of federal and state officials, who since then have used their powers to restore some of the abortion right protections the Supreme Court took away.

At least in theory, this week’s rulings could produce a backlash of their own. But first voters would have to recognize that the federal government’s power to protect them was under assault from conservative justices — and who put those justices on the bench.

Chief Justice Roberts has been wanting to eviscerate Chevron since his appointment to the Supreme Court.



The New York Times editorial board calls for Biden to drop out of the presidential race

Credit. Damon Winter/The New York Times

Dear Commons Community,

The New York Times editorial board in a piece published yesterday urged President Joe Biden to step aside in the 2024 race after his poor debate performance in Atlanta on Thursday night.

“The clearest path for Democrats to defeat a candidate defined by his lies is to deal truthfully with the American public: acknowledge that Mr. Biden can’t continue his race, and create a process to select someone more capable to stand in his place to defeat Mr. Trump in November,” the editorial board wrote.

The opinion piece acknowledged that ending his campaign would “be against all of Mr. Biden’s personal and political instincts” and highlighted that it was Biden himself who challenged former President Donald Trump to the debate.

“The truth Mr. Biden needs to confront now is that he failed his own test,” the board wrote.

The Biden campaign brushed off the decision by the editorial board in a statement Friday.

“The last time Joe Biden lost the New York Times editorial board’s endorsement it turned out pretty well for him,” said campaign co-chair Cedric Richmond, who was previously a White House aide and a congressman from Louisiana.

The paper’s editorial board ultimately backed Biden in the general election in 2020 but had selected Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., during the Democratic primaries earlier that year.

At that time, the board had raised concerns about Biden’s age, saying, Biden, then 77, should “pass the torch to a new generation of political leaders.”

The Trump campaign said in response to the editorial board’s decision that Biden is the “incumbent president, he is the Democrat nominee, he has also said he won’t drop out, it’s too late to change that.”

Biden has given no indication that he plans to step aside, but he has the option to withdraw before he is formally nominated at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August.

The editorial board’s piece comes as Democrats have expressed alarm following the president’s debate performance Thursday night, which was punctuated by a raspy voice and rhetorical missteps such as tripping over his words and apparently losing his train of thought.

Biden defended his capacity to serve in a speech yesterday infused with energy that had been missing as he debated the night before.

“I know I’m not a young man,” Biden told supporters in Raleigh, North Carolina yesterday afternoon. “I don’t walk as easy as I used to. I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to. I don’t debate as well as I used to, but I know what I do know — I know how to tell the truth!”

The American people deserve better choices to serve our country than Biden and Trump.


Joe Biden gave a painful debate performance last night!

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Dear Commons Community,

I watched the presidential debate last night between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.  I took six pages of notes about what each candidate said.  It doesn’t matter.  Biden’s performance was sad and pathetic.  His advisers should have never let him on the stage. He verbally stumbled and at times was incoherent.  As a result, some Democrats are discussing the need for a new nominee after watching the “disaster” unfold.  The New York Times reported that replacements including Governor Gavin Newsom were being implored to step in.

David Plouffe, who managed Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, told the CNN: “It’s kind of a Defcon 1 moment.”

David Axelrod, a strategist for Obama, said: “I think you’re going to hear discussions that I don’t know will lead to anything but there are going to be discussions about whether he should continue.”

The warning signs for Mr. Biden’s were there from the start of the night – from the moment he walked on stage, in fact.

The president looked nervous as he waited in the wings while he was introduced, before stiffly making his way across the stage.

“Folks, how are you?” he said, in a voice that was close to a mumble. As he took his spot, the President was barely audible as he said, hoarsely: “Great to be here, thank you.”

Mr. Axelrod said later in the evening that Biden appeared “disoriented” as soon as he stepped on stage.

During the 90-minute debate, Mr Biden spoke in a soft, raspy voice which at times made his answers hard to decipher.

As concern grew over the president’s performance, the White House began to brief out that he had a cold.

The debate in Atlanta, Georgia, opened with questions on the US economy, but Mr Biden repeatedly paused to correct himself as he confused millions and billions and percentage figures.

“What I’m going to do is fix the tax system. For example, we have a thousand trillionaires in America,” Mr. Biden said before clearing his throat. “I mean, a thousand billionaires.”

Mr. Biden also mixed up a 24 and 25 per cent rate of tax, then lost his train of thought and stared down at his notes.

He added that the tax raise would raise $500 million in a 10 year period, before correcting his statement to $500 billion.

In the debate’s most excruciating moment for the president, he lost his train of thought while discussing healthcare and tripped over his words before taking a protracted pause.

“We finally beat Medicare,” he began again, before a moderator cut him off.

His stumble was a gift for Trump, who accused Biden on the night of seeking to destroy the security net for senior citizens.

“He did beat Medicare,” Trump chimed in. “Beat it to death.”

When the debate hosts turned the discussion to immigration, Trump issued one of the most widely-shared put downs of the night.

In a stumbling answer on his border policies, in which Mr. Biden slurred some words, he said there were 40 per cent fewer people coming across the border illegally than when Trump left office.

“I’m going to continue to move it until we get the total ban on … the total initiative relative to what we’re going to do with more Border Patrol and more asylum officers,” Mr. Biden said.

Trump responded: “I really don’t know what he said at the end of that sentence. I don’t think he knows what he said either.”

Van Jones, a CNN pundit and former Obama adviser, called for Mr. Biden to step aside and said the debate was “painful” to watch.

“That was not what we needed from Joe Biden.”

It would be challenging for the Democratic Party to replace Mr Biden at this stage in the campaign, after he won the party’s primary essentially unchallenged earlier this year.

Incumbent presidents running for a second term are almost never defenestrated by their party at their party’s convention, where the formal decision to award a nomination takes place.

To replace Mr. Biden, the party would either require his consent, or for more than half of the state delegates who pledged support for him during the primary process to turn their backs on him.

If Mr. Biden agreed to step aside, then the party would choose a new nominee in an open process of voting on the convention floor in Chicago in late August.

A poll taken by CNN after the debate showed that 67 per cent of viewers thought Donald Trump had won, compared with 55 per cent who thought he would win before it started.

Excruciating painful to watch!

You can find a recap of the debate and what the candidates said below courtesy of The Associated Press.



Debate takeaways: Trump confident, even when wrong, Biden halting, even with facts on his side


June 28, 2024 at 12:27 AM

WASHINGTON (Associated Press) — Thursday’s presidential debate was a re-run that featured two candidates with a combined age of 159, but it went especially poorly for one of them, President Joe Biden.

Already fighting voter concerns about his age, Biden, 81, was halting and seemed to lose his train of thought, sparking quick concerns among Democrats about the man they hope will keep former President Donald Trump from returning to office. For his part, Trump made repeated false claims and provocative statements. But Trump seemed smoother and more vigorous than Biden, who is only three years older than the Republican ex-president.

The debate covered a wide range of topics and included a former president — Trump — not backing down from his vows to prosecute members of Congress and even the man he was debating. But the overarching theme was the difference between the candidates’ performance.

Here are some takeaways from the face-off.

Style v. Substance

Presidential debates are often scored on style and impression more than substance. Trump was confident and composed, even as he steamrolled facts on abortion and immigration with false assertions, conspicuous exaggerations and empty superlatives. Biden was often halting, his voice raspy, even when he had the facts on his side. He had difficulty finishing his arguments and marshalling his attacks.

Trump’s supporters have seemed unconcerned about his relationship with the truth, and his performance and delivery helped him. Biden’s supporters consistently express concern about the president’s age and capacity and he did little to reassure them.

One of the first glimpses viewers got of Biden was when he lost his train of thought while making his case on tax rates and the number of billionaires in America — trailing off and looking down at his lectern before mumbling briefly and saying “we finally beat Medicare.” When he tried to finish his point, he was cut off because of the time limits.

At other times, Biden made some puzzling non sequiturs that seemed to undercut what the campaign has said are his strong points, including the economy and abortion rights. As Biden critiqued Trump’s economic record, the president suddenly pivoted to Afghanistan and how Trump “didn’t do anything about that” — although the botched withdrawal of Afghanistan is widely considered one of the lowest points of Biden’s presidency.

Later, as Biden singled out state restrictions on abortion, he confusingly pivoted to immigration and referred to a “young woman who was just murdered” by an immigrant. It was unclear what point he was trying to make.

Jan. 6 and Trump’s revenge

Trump was cruising through the opening of the debate when he suddenly stumbled over the question of how he would reassure voters that he would respect his oath of office after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

He continued to engage in denialism about the attack and refused to denounced those who attacked police and stormed the building by breaking doors and windows. He suggested that those charged will somehow be found one day to be innocent.

More than 1,400 people have been charged with federal offenses stemming from the riot. Of those, more than 850 people have pleaded guilty to crimes, including seditious conspiracy and assaulting police officers. About 200 others have been convicted at trial.

Trump tried to avoid addressing the issue. He defended the people who stormed the Capitol, blaming Biden for prosecuting them. “What they’ve done to some people who are so innocent, you ought to be ashamed of yourself,” Trump told Biden.

Trump warned that the members of the congressional committee that investigated Jan. 6 could face criminal charges, as could Biden himself.

Biden shot back: “The only person on this stage who’s a convicted felon is the man I’m looking at.”

Trump didn’t back down from his vow to seek vengeance. Coupled with his refusal to condemn the Jan. 6 attackers, it made for a stark moment.

Asked if he would accept the results of the election, Trump said, “if it’s a fair and legal and good election, absolutely,” which notably is not an unqualified yes.

Low road

In what may well be a first in a presidential campaign, Trump called the president, Biden, a “criminal” and said he could well be prosecuted after he leaves office. Biden then brought Trump’s recent criminal trial in New York in which prosecutors presented evidence that Trump had sex with a porn actor. “I didn’t have sex with a porn star,” Trump said.

Trump’s vow on abortion

Abortion is an issue Democrats think could help deliver a victory in November. Trump in 2016 campaigned on overturning Roe v. Wade, and as president appointed three Supreme Court justices who provided the deciding votes revoking the 49-year right to the procedure. In response to a question from the moderators, Trump vowed not to go further if he returns to the White House, where his administration would have the authority to outlaw the abortion pill mifepristone, which is widely used.

Overturning Roe is one of Trump’s greatest political vulnerabilities, but on Thursday the former president contended everyone was happy with what he did.

“As far as abortion’s concerned it’s back to the states,” Trump said, contending the Founding Fathers would have been happy with the end of Roe. “Everybody wanted it brought back.”

That’s not true. Polls have shown significant opposition to overturning Roe and voters have punished Republicans in recent elections for it. “The idea that the founders wanted the politicians to be the ones making the decisions about women’s health is ridiculous,” Biden shot back.

In a unanimous decision this month, the Supreme Court preserved access to mifepristone, a pill that was used in nearly two-thirds of all abortions in the U.S. last year.

Until Thursday, Trump had not detailed his position on access to the medication, but during the debate he indicated he supported the justices’ decision, saying: “I will not block it.”

But when it was his turn to speak, Biden stumbled through his explanation of Roe, which he said “had three trimesters” — a lost opportunity for the Democrat to make a strong rhetorical case on an issue vital for his party.

“The first time is between a woman and a doctor,” Biden continued. “Second time is between a doctor and an extreme situation. A third time is between the doctor, I mean, between the women and the state.”

Border skirmish

In recent months, Biden has tried to reverse his poor public standing over his handling of immigration, first by endorsing a bipartisan Senate proposal with some of the toughest border restrictions in recent memory and then, after that legislation collapsed, taking executive action to clamp down on migrants seeking asylum at the southern border.

But as Biden tried to tout the progress he’s made, particularly the 40% drop in illegal border crossings since his border directive was implemented this month, Trump invoked his trademark dark and catastrophic rhetoric to paint a portrait of a chaotic border under Biden’s watch.

For example, Trump argued that the migrants arriving at the U.S. border are coming from “mental institutions” and “insane asylums” — a frequent refrain of his at rallies for which he has offered no evidence. He also claimed the U.S.-Mexico border is the “most dangerous place anywhere in the world” and cited examples of immigrants in the U.S. illegally who had committed violent crimes.

Though some immigrants do commit horrific crimes, a 2020 study published by the National Academy of Sciences found “considerably lower felony arrest rates” among people in the United States illegally than among legal immigrants or native-born. But Trump often benefits from his certitude.

It’s the economy, and Trump said Biden is stupid

The debate began with Biden defending his record on the economy, saying he inherited an economy that was “in a freefall” as it was battered by the pandemic and that his administration put it back together again.

But after Biden touted his administration’s accomplishments — such as lowering the cost of insulin and the creation of millions of new jobs — Trump boasted that he oversaw the “greatest economy in the history of our country” and defended his record on the pandemic.

Biden retorted: “He’s the only one who thinks that.” But Trump responding by attacking him on inflation, arguing that he inherited low rates of inflation when he came into office in January 2021 yet prices “blew up under his leadership.”

Suckers and losers

Biden — whose deceased son, Beau, served in Iraq — had one of his most forceful moments when he went on the attack against Trump’s reported comments in 2018 that he declined to visit a U.S. military cemetery in France because veterans buried there were “suckers” and “losers.”

It was an argument that Biden, then the Democratic challenger, made against Trump in their first 2020 debate and one that the incumbent president has regularly used against Trump, framing him as a commander in chief who nonetheless disparages veterans. “My son was not a loser, was not a sucker,” Biden said. “You’re the sucker. You’re the loser.”

Trump responded that the publication that initially reported this comments, The Atlantic, “was a third-rate magazine” and had made up the quotes. But undercutting Trump’s retort is the fact that his former chief of staff, John Kelly, confirmed those private remarks in a statement last fall.



New York City Has 186,000 Fewer Children Than It Did in 2020

Dear Commons Community,

New York City has significantly fewer children and teenagers than it did before the coronavirus pandemic spurred an exodus of families to the suburbs and other states, according to an analysis of new census data released yesterday.

The number of New Yorkers under the age of 20 fell by 9 percent — or more than 186,000 people — to 1.8 million in 2023 from just three years earlier, according to Social Explorer, a data research company that analyzed the census estimates.  As reported by The New York Times.

It was the biggest drop in at least a decade in the city’s under-20 population. The decrease could potentially affect the city’s education policies and public school system, which is the largest in the United States, and could eventually help shape the city’s work force and economy. That age group has been steadily shrinking in the city since at least 2010 even as older age groups have been growing.

Though the census estimates do not offer an explanation for the demographic changes, many families with children, including many Black families, have moved out of the city in recent years because of a shortage of affordable housing, a shift to work-from-home policies, concerns about school quality and crime and a desire for more parks and open spaces, among other reasons.

All five boroughs lost residents under the age of 20, with Brooklyn losing 66,000 younger residents; Queens losing 53,000; the Bronx 41,000; Manhattan 22,000; and Staten Island nearly 4,000.

The suburbs surrounding New York City also lost younger residents, but those drops were more modest. Long Island lost nearly 18,000 residents under age 20, while New Jersey suburbs lost nearly 40,000 younger residents.

Andrew A. Beveridge, a former sociology professor at Queens College and president of Social Explorer, said the decline in younger residents in New York City is likely to be offset in part by the influx of more than 200,000 migrants since the spring of 2022, which includes many families with children.

Still, he added, the city is facing a major demographic shift that could have far-reaching consequences, including fewer students in the schools. “It means that people in New York are less likely to be families with kids and that has all sorts of implications,” he said.

The drop was steepest among the city’s youngest residents, with the number of children under the age of 5 falling by 17 percent — or more than 92,000 people — to 445,000 from more than 537,000 in 2020, according to the analysis.

City planning officials said that the decrease in the under-5 population most likely reflected a decline in the number of births in the city and the country since the pandemic.

The New York City public school system has shrunk to roughly 915,000 students from 1.1 million a decade ago. In the 2021-22 school year alone, nearly 58,000 students left the system to attend schools outside the city, according to Education Department data — by far the highest number in more than a decade.

This is terrible news for the Big Apple!



Video: Podcast with Alfred Essa featuring New Book Edited by Patsy Moskal, Chuck Dziuban and myself!

Dear Commons Community,

Patsy Moskal, Chuck Dziuban and I were interviewed on Alfred Essa’s podcast earlier this month. We discussed our recently published book, Data Analytics and Adaptive Learning:  Research Perspectives (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2024). In addition to the main theme of the book, we focused on issues of equity, assessments and research. The podcast is now available and can be seen in its entirety below:

Feedback welcome!


Watching the Biden – Trump Presidential Debate Tonight

Dear Commons Community,

The moment has been four years in the making: President Biden and former President Donald J. Trump on a debate stage, another flashpoint in their long-running hostilities.

The debate, hosted by CNN at its Atlanta studios starting at 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time tonight, will occur without an in-person audience and before Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden formally accept their parties’ nominations this summer, in a dramatic departure from the past.

CNN will broadcast or stream the debate on all its platforms, including its flagship cable channel, as well as CNN International, CNN en Español and CNN Max. The network also plans to stream the debate on You will not have to log in or be a subscriber to watch the stream.

CNN is also sharing its feed with other broadcast and cable news networks so that they could simulcast the debate. That means you can also watch it on Fox News, ABC News, NBC News and elsewhere.

The moderators will be Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, who are fixtures on the anchor desk at CNN and the hosts of the network’s Sunday political talk show, “State of the Union.” Mr. Tapper is CNN’s chief Washington correspondent, and Ms. Bash is the network’s chief political correspondent.

On with the show!


Republican Strategist Karl Rove Sounds an Alarm for Trump – ‘Look at The Evidence’

Karl Rove

Dear Commons Community,

Longtime Republican strategist Karl Rove delivered bad news to Donald Trump and his supporters over the weekend.

“Take a look at the evidence,” he said on Fox News on Saturday when asked if polls have shifted since the former president’s conviction last month on 34 charges in the Stormy Daniels hush money case.

He said polls show Trump losing ground to President Joe Biden since the conviction. As a result, Trump’s modest lead over Biden has been shrinking on RealClearPolitics and other poll aggregators, and Rove predicted that Trump’s lead may be about to vanish altogether.

“We’re likely to see that lead dissipate because the most recent polls have had Biden ahead,” Rove said in comments posted on Mediaite, using his white board to show poll results since the conviction.

Much of that shift is from a core group of voters who may ultimately decide the election.

“The movement is among independents,” said Rove, who helped lead George W. Bush’s two presidential campaigns. “And they have moved, in recent polls, roughly 9 points towards Biden.”

Rove noted that polls of independents previously found that 21% said they would be less likely to vote for Trump if he were convicted.

Trump and Biden will meet for their first debate since the 2020 election tomorrow night.

I tend to ignore political polls so early in a contest but I found it interesting that a diehard Republican such as Rove would comment so rigorously on them especially on Fox News.


George Latimer, a pro-Israel centrist, defeats Progressive Squad Representative Jamaal Bowman in New York Democratic primary!

George Latimer and Jamaal Bowman. Ted Shaffrey/AP

Dear Commons Community,

With almost 60 percent of the vote, George Latimer, a pro-Israel centrist, defeated U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman yesterday in a Democratic primary in suburban New York that highlighted the party’s deep divisions over the war in Gaza.

With the victory, Latimer has ousted one of the most liberal voices in Congress and one of its most outspoken critics of Israel. Bowman has accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza, where thousands of Palestinians have died in military strikes.

Latimer, who got into the race at the urging of Jewish leaders and had heavy financial backing from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is a former state legislator who has served as Westchester County executive since 2018.  As reported by The Associated Press.

In a victory speech, Latimer called for more civility following the contentious election.

“We have to fight to make sure we don’t vilify each other and we remember that we’re all Americans, and our common future is bound together,” he told supporters at an event in White Plains.

“We argue, we debate, we find a way to come together,” he said, adding that all representatives had a duty to find ways to work across political divides and prevent the country from splintering.

Bowman had been seeking a third term, representing a district in New York City’s northern suburbs. His defeat is a blow to the party’s progressive “squad” wing and a potential cautionary tale for candidates trying to shape their messaging around the Israel-Hamas conflict.

His loss also disrupted what has generally been a stable primary season for congressional incumbents.

“This movement has always been about justice. It has always been about humanity. It has always been about equality,” Bowman said at his election party in Yonkers, conceding that he lost the race but remaining unapologetic about his opposition to the war in Gaza.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s political action committee spent nearly $15 million on the primary, filling airwaves and mailboxes with negative ads in an effort to unseat Bowman, who has accused the influential pro-Israel lobbying group of trying to buy the race.

“The outcome in this race once again shows that the pro-Israel position is both good policy and good politics — for both parties,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said in a statement.

Some major progressive figures have rushed to Bowman’s defense. In the final stretch of the race, he rallied with liberals Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders, while Latimer pulled in the endorsement of former presidential candidate and former New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

On Israel, both Bowman and Latimer support a two-state solution. They have also both condemned Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel that killed around 1,200 people. But Bowman was one of a few progressives who rejected a symbolic House resolution in support of Israel following the Oct. 7 attack. Latimer firmly backs Israel and said negotiating a cease-fire with Hamas is a non-starter because he believes it is a terrorist group.

Bowman was first elected in 2020 after running as a liberal insurgent against moderate U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, a 16-term congressman who chaired a House committee on foreign affairs. Bowman, 48, embraced the political outsider strategy this year as well, depicting Latimer as a tool of Republican donors and pro-Israel groups.

Latimer said Bowman’s criticism of Israel was only part of the reason why he decided to challenge the incumbent. He said Bowman hasn’t been attentive to the needs of the district, maintained few relationships with its leaders, and was more interested in getting spots on cable news than he was in helping people.

During the campaign, Latimer, who has more than three decades of political experience, often displayed his deep regional knowledge and connections to make the case that he would be an effective member of Congress. Latimer has said that’s the sort of politics people expect from their elected officials, rather than caustic fights between the far right and far left — a clear dig at Bowman.

Aside from his position on Israel, Bowman has been followed by lingering criticism over an incident last year when he triggered a fire alarm in a House building while lawmakers were working on a funding bill. He said it was unintentional, with the alarm going off when he tried to open a locked door while trying to vote. Bowman was censured by his colleagues in the House, and the incident drew embarrassing news coverage.

The congressional district’s boundaries have shifted since Bowman first won office in 2020, losing most of its sections in the Bronx and adding more of Westchester County’s suburbs.

Today, 21% of its voting-age population is Black and 42% is non-Hispanic white, according to U.S. Census figures, compared to 30% Black and 34% white in the district as it existed through 2022. Bowman is Black. Latimer is white.

Bowman, as the election neared, focused on driving up turnout in what parts of the Bronx remain in his district, telling supporters there that the contest could hinge on their votes. He spent the bulk of his election day in the Bronx, too, and a video posted to the social media site X showed Bowman walking down a street in the Bronx with a drum line behind him on Tuesday.

Latimer, 70, will be the prohibitive favorite to win in the general election. The district, which includes parts of Westchester and a small piece of the Bronx, is a Democratic stronghold.

Nationally, Democratic Party leaders have emphasized moving toward centrist candidates who might fare better in suburban races.

Also yesterday, Democratic voters on Long Island picked former CNN anchor John Avlon as the candidate who will challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Nick LaLota in a district that’s been controlled by the GOP for a decade.

Avlon defeated retired chemistry professor Nancy Goroff in the Democratic primary. The Long Island congressional district has become a priority for Democrats as the party tries to flip suburban seats in New York as part of a strategy to win a House majority.

For the past three months, there were prime-time TV advertisements for Latimer or Bowman or both every night, making it the most expensive congressional primary contest ever in American politics.