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National Govt & Politics
Warren leads Democrats into first night of 2020 debates
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Warren leads Democrats into first night of 2020 debates

Warren leads Democrats into first night of 2020 debates

Warren leads Democrats into first night of 2020 debates

On the eve of the first major gathering of Democratic Party candidates in the 2020 race for President, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) drew over a thousand interested Democrats to a town hall gathering at Florida International University on Monday, pressing the case for the federal government to do more to help working Americans find economic security in the future.

"I don't want a government that works for big corporations, I want one that works for families," Warren said to applause, making the case for a higher minimum wage for workers, major ethics reforms for government officials, voting reforms, major tax changes, and more.

"Let's start with a wealth tax in America," said Warren, as she called for 'big structural change in this country,' rattling off a number of her policy ideas, getting big cheers for new limits on lobbying, action on climate change, and better wages for all workers.

“A full time minimum wage job in America will not get a momma and a baby out of poverty,” Warren said.  “That is wrong, and that is why I am in this fight.”

Of the ten Democrats on the debate stage Wednesday night, Warren is by far the strongest candidate in the first group, as she has been gaining momentum in recent weeks in a variety of polls.

The four other top Democrats in the race will be on stage together on Thursday - Biden, Buttigieg, Harris and Sanders.

Along with Warren, two other Democrats attracted press attention in south Florida before the Wednesday debate, as Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State talked about his signature issue of climate change, and ex-Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas rallied with teachers in Miami.

"It's a great opportunity for me to listen to you, to have the chance to introduce myself," said O'Rourke, who is one of the better known names on the first night of the Democratic debate.

The first debate night in Miami features three Democratic Senators (Booker, Klobuchar, Warren), two House members (Gabbard, Ryan), two former House members (Delaney, O'Rourke), one current mayor (DeBlasio), one former mayor and Cabinet member (Castro), and one Governor (Inslee).

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Warren leads Democrats into first night of 2020 debates

While some like Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) arrived in Florida on Tuesday afternoon - getting unsolicited advice along the way from fellow passengers on her flight to Miami - Inslee was for a second day hammering away at his main issue of climate change.

"Today we're announcing a new freedom in America, and that's freedom from fossil fuels," Inslee said at an event in the Everglades.

Inslee followed up his Everglades visit with a Tuesday evening event where he took shots at Big Oil.

For most of the Democrats over the next two nights, there is a simple game plan. 

"Our goal," a memo to reporters from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said, "Introduce Cory to Democrats tuning in for the first time," noting that when you do the math, each candidate is only going to get between seven and eleven minutes of total speaking time.

"I can’t wait to share with you my vision for a more just and fair nation," Booker said.

Meanwhile, Warren was making plans for an impromptu visit on Wednesday to a facility south of Miami, where immigrant children detained by border authorities are being held.

“I'm going to Homestead,” Warren said to cheers after being urged to focus on the issue by an activist at a town hall meeting in Miami.

“If you can come, come and join us,” Warren urged the crowd, as her campaign set a 10:45 am visit on Wednesday, which seems all but certain to draw extra news media attention, just hours before the first night of the Democratic debates.

While Warren was on the move, her colleague Sen. Booker was doing more mundane things at the same time back in Washington, D.C. - helping people put their suitcases in the overhead bin on his flight to Miami.

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • The FHSAA football playoffs continue Friday night with a full slate of games, featuring several of central Florida’s biggest schools vying for a state title. Starting with the Class 5A Region finals, Jones High School is hosting Ocala Vanguard tonight. In the Class 7A Region finals, Edgewater High School is hosting Niceville High School, in Edgewater’s first home playoff game in over a decade. News 96.5 WDBO spoke with Edgewater’s head coach Cameron Duke about tonight’s matchup. “To play a quality team like the Niceville Eagles, they’re undefeated.  And they’ve been a successful program for a very long time in this state, so we’re looking forward to it,” said Duke.  In Sanford, Apopka High School and Seminole High School square off to decide their own Class 8A Region final. All games kick off at 7:30 p.m. For a complete schedule of games and brackets for each division from Class 1A through 8A, click HERE.
  • The teenager who opened fire last week on classmates at Santa Clarita's Saugus High School, fatally wounding two students before turning the gun on himself, used an untraceable 'ghost gun' in the attack, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Thursday. >> Read more trending news  Authorities said Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, 16, pulled a .45-caliber, 1911-model replica semi-automatic pistol from his backpack in the open-air quad at Saugus High School on Nov. 14. He shot five students at random, police said. Gracie Anne Muelberger, 15, and Dominic Blackwell, 14, were killed in the attack. Investigators said Berhow saved the last bullet for himself. He died from a head wound the next day. Authorities are working to determine who built the gun used in the attack, which included a partially built receiver, meaning it lacked a serial number, The Los Angeles Times reported. 'They're sold as a kit,' Villanueva told KABC-TV. 'You can legally buy it, assemble the weapon yourself and then you have a gun that is not registered, and no one knows that you have it. … That is very dangerous.' Authorities in Los Angeles have noted an increase in recent years in the use and proliferation of ghost guns. The guns are crafted from parts which require no background checks to purchase and so they lack serial numbers, officials with the Los Angeles Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said. Officials with the ATF are assisting Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies as they work to trace the gun used by Berhow and several other registered and unregistered firearms seized last week from his home, according to KNBC and KCBS-TV. Six of the seized guns belonged to Berhow's late father, according to KCBS-TV. The motive behind last week's shooting remained unclear Friday, despite a search of Berhow's home and police interviews with 45 people. Authorities said Berhow had shown no signs of violence and didn’t appear to be linked to any ideology or terrorist group. He ran cross country, was a Boy Scout and had a girlfriend. Villanueva told KABC-TV that authorities were working to unlock Berhow's cellphone in an effort to gain more information. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Disney is sharing a behind the scenes snapshot of their new Cirque du Soleil show coming to Disney Springs in 2020. They posed the video on their Disney Park Blog Thursday. It explains the yet to be named show’s theme, which combines animation and acrobatics as a young girl discovers her art. “We’ve discovered in our research that animation is very physical,” creation director Fabrice Becker said in the video. The video shows performers rehearsing as creator’s outline the theme.  The audience can expect to see acrobatics, choreography,  music and fun characters. 'It's a show based on love,' writer and show director Michael Laprise said.  Tickets can be purchased here , the first available is March 17, 2020.  The show replaces La Nouba, which permanently closed in 2017. App users click here to watch the video.
  • The family of a Navy veteran is looking for answers after his body was found on the floor of his Texas apartment nearly three years after his death. >> Read more trending news  A medical examiner has determined Ronald Wayne White had been dead in the apartment since communications with his mother in New York ended abruptly three years ago, WFAA reported. 'My son would call me at least twice a month,' Doris Stevens told WFAA, adding, 'He would call me from Egypt. He would call me from the Philippines. He would call me right from Dallas.” White, who worked for a defense contractor following his military service, traveled frequently and would have been 51 at the time of his death, the news station reported. An officer with the DeSoto Police Department told People magazine White’s body was found last week on the kitchen floor of his DeSoto Town Center apartment when maintenance workers entered the premises to investigate a water issue. “Maintenance men were trying to get into the apartment because they noticed that the water usage was non-existent for some time, so they suspected that there was some type of issue with the water main,” the officer told People. Stevens, who lives in Long Island, New York, told WFAA multiple police departments explained to her over the years that because White was an adult who was known to travel frequently they could not pursue her concerns as a missing persons case. “My biggest question is, how in the world could my son have been dead in that apartment and nobody knows anything?” Stevens told the news station. According to WFAA, DeSoto police have determined White had a month-to-month lease on the apartment paid through an automatic withdrawal from an account linked to his Navy retirement. The new, well-insulated dwelling was located on the third floor with all windows locked and sealed tightly. 'The way he was found, the way the apartment was arranged and so forth, there was zero indication of foul play,' Pete Schulte, a detective with the DeSoto Police Department, told the news station. In addition, police investigators found diabetes medications inside the apartment – dated 2016 – and the family confirmed White was a diabetic, People reported. Read more here or here.
  • At 5:30 this  morning, NASA began their coverage of a spacewalk to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, an instrument seeking to unlock the mysteries of dark matter. Astronauts Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Andrew Morgan of NASA will venture outside the International Space Station for the second in a series of five planned spacewalks to repair the particle physics experiment outside the orbiting laboratory. The duo is scheduled to spend six and a half hours in space today.  Their spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 7:05 a.m. App users click here to watch it live. 

Washington Insider

  • Fifty-six years ago, it was just another Friday. On November 22, 1963, my father had walked the one block home from his job on Capitol Hill to eat lunch with my mother, who was just days away from giving birth to her first child. After having his lunch, my dad was enjoying a little down time on the couch, listening to the radio. That's when the news arrived from Dallas, Texas. “KENNEDY SERIOUSLY WOUNDED PERHAPS SERIOUSLY PERHAPS FATALLY BY ASSASSINS BULLET,” read the bulletin on the UPI wire that was quoted by newscasters around the nation. As soon as he heard the report, my father bolted out the door, running down C Street, S.E. to the Cannon House Office Building, where he worked for a member of Congress from Illinois. “We heard the news on the radio. It was all horrible news,” my mother remembered. “Jim quickly went back to the office.” As my dad rushed towards the Cannon building, a cab pulled up with Ted Henshaw, a future Clerk of the House, and my father's friend and drinking buddy, John Mahoney, who worked with Henshaw at the Democratic National Congressional Committee. 'As we were walking up the steps to the building, your father came running down the street and he said to me - and I will never forget,' Mahoney said – ‘The president has been shot, perhaps fatally!'” Back then, there weren’t walls of televisions in every office. But in Mahoney’s office, there was a teletype machine that brought in news from around the world. “We all tore into the office of course and sure enough, there it was - Merriman Smith had filed a story for UPI,” said Mahoney. “We literally tore the subsequent bulletins off the tape before they made it on the air,” my father said. Like news of Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 attacks, November 22, 1963 was seared on the memory of many of my father’s fellow aides on Capitol Hill. “I was in the cafeteria having lunch and someone ran in and said, 'The President's been shot!' and all hell broke loose,' said Abe Boni, a longtime friend of my parents. “I jumped up out of my chair - I don't know where the hell I thought I was going - but I jumped up,” Boni said many years later, like it was yesterday. When the news broke, Roll Call newspaper founder Sid Yudain was downtown at the time, in a most peculiar place for any reporter. “I was in the ladies room at the Meridian Hill Hotel, which was the hotel for girls at that time,” said Yudain, who had been out to lunch with the hotel owner, a real estate mogul who ran ads in Roll Call. There was no men’s room, so the manager took him to the ladies room and locked the door. “The next thing I know, his name was Goldberg (the manager), and he came in banging on the door and said, ‘You better get out of there! JFK has just been shot!’” Yudain scrambled back to Capitol Hill, stopping first for a drink and to watch the television at the 116 Club, a local political watering hole on the Senate side that most people probably still don’t know even exists. “Then I went to (Speaker) McCormack's office,” said Yudain, but staffers would not let him in at first because of stepped up security for the Speaker in the aftermath of the assassination. Earlier, one of Yudain's reporters had found the Speaker - standing by himself - in the House Press Gallery, doing the same thing my father was doing across the street, reading the reports coming in on the newspaper wire machine. But things didn't stay calm for long for the Speaker, or the Congress. “I remember the state of panic,” said Mahoney, who also was drawn to the Capitol in the immediate aftermath of the news. “I saw the Secret Service flooding the Hill and they came to get Speaker McCormack,” said Mahoney. “I saw him, he was absolutely ashen, I mean he was white panic in his face, and I will never forget that. It left me cold.” “This was Mr. Confidence, he ran the House like some piece of machinery and all of a sudden there he was in the arms of the Secret Service,” said Mahoney. The view from outside the U.S. was also interesting, and that came in a late 1963 letter to my father from his college friend Larry Russell, who recounted what it was like to get the news overseas. Russell was working at the U.S. Embassy in Algeria, where he worked for the State Department as a top aide to Ambassador William J. Porter. “I can add nothing to what your own thoughts and reactions must have been and will not try. In the cold, bleak dawn of another day, however, you might be interested in knowing what this sort of thing does to a small segment of the President’s staff overseas. 'I was attending a cocktail party for Walter Reuther at the Ambassador’s residence when the U.P.I. called to give the old man (the Ambassador) the news of the attempt. He took it rather calmly, came back to the main room and announced it to us all, and the party went on. The Ambassador then excused himself and went upstairs to turn on his radio (he is a HAM operator), dragging me along with him. He tuned in on a broadcast direct from the States, left me to listen and returned to his guests. 'It was thus that I had the very unfortunate job of bringing the final news to the old man. They were fairly good friends, the Porters hailing from Massachusetts and having a summer home very near that of the Kennedys, and the Ambassador took it like a blow to the stomach. He then had to announce the news to his guests, and the party broke up. Then the Ambassador wept. That was certainly my most difficult moment. 'You can’t imagine what Kennedy meant to the career Foreign Service officer, particularly the men like Bill Porter who knew him personally.' To my father, it was obvious what Kennedy meant. Years later, there were still pictures of the 35th President in my dad's office. In a note to his friends nine years ago, it was clear there was still pain. “The effect on this still somewhat idealistic Congressional aide who had been privileged to know and work with some of the top Kennedy people, was devastating,' my father wrote; 'things never seemed to have that same brightness and élan again.' The next few days after Kennedy was assassinated, hundreds of thousands converged on the U.S. Capitol to pay their respects, as they filed through the Rotunda in the bitter November cold. 'I wanted to go there, but Jim wouldn't let me stand in the cold,' my mother remembered years later, noting that she was days away from giving birth. “It was a horrible time for everyone,' she said.  Note: This is an updated version of an article written by Jamie Dupree in 2013.