Hillary Clinton: Trump ‘Engaged In What Psychologists Call Projection’


Hillary Clinton: Trump ‘Engaged In What Psychologists Call Projection’

Sebastian Murdock – September 22, 2023

Hillary Clinton blasted former President Donald Trump, saying his behavior is “what psychologists call projection.”

In an interview set to air on Sunday, the former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee told MSNBC’s Jen Psaki that Trump often accuses others of behavior he’s engaging in himself.

“You know, the thing about [Trump] ― and I’m not the only person who’s noticed this ― is he engaged in what psychologists call projection,” Clinton said in an excerpt from the interview that aired on “Morning Joe” on Friday.

“So, whenever he accuses somebody else of doing something, it’s almost guaranteed he’s doing it himself or he’s already done it,” she continued. “Or whenever he denies thinking about doing something or doing it, it’s almost guaranteed he is thinking about it or he’s already done it.”

Clinton was responding to Trump’s claim that he wouldn’t pardon himself for his multiple alleged crimes if he became president again. She dismissed the notion.

“I don’t believe him on anything,” she said. “Why would I start believing him on that?”

Trump has often been accused of using projection as a political tactic. In 2020, for instance, the anti-Trump group Really American PAC released an ad that showed footage of Trump accusing Democrats of things he had actually done himself.

“Donald Trump is often guilty of the very things he accuses of others,” MSNBC’s Ari Melber said in the viral ad.

Revelations of Clarence Thomas’s Koch links stoke supreme court reform calls

The Guardian

Revelations of Clarence Thomas’s Koch links stoke supreme court reform calls

Martin Pengelly in Washington DC – September 22, 2023

<span>Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

report detailing how Clarence Thomas secretly participated in donor events staged by the hard-right Koch network drew more fierce protests and outrage over the conservative supreme court justice’s proliferating ethics scandals.

Related: ‘You want to think America is better’: can the supreme court be saved?

Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat on the Senate judiciary committee who has advanced ethics reform amid reports about Thomas and other justices, said: “Oh, my.

“More undisclosed private jet travel, more fingerprints of the billionaire-funded court fixer Leonard Leo” – a rightwing activist widely linked to Thomas – “more engagement with billionaire-funded organisations scheming to influence the court.”

Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who chairs the Senate judiciary committee, said: “Once again, Justice Thomas’s gaggle of fawning billionaires expands and their influence on the court grows larger.

“The Koch brothers are the architects of one of the largest, most successful political operations in history, aimed at influencing all levels of government and the courts. Justice Thomas hid the extent of his involvement with the Koch political network and never reported gifts associated with these engagements.”

Kyle Herrig, senior adviser to the campaign group Accountable.us, said: “It’s clear that Justice Thomas sees his position on our nation’s highest court as a way to upgrade his own lifestyle with no regard for ethics or consequences.”

The report linking Thomas to Koch donor summits at Bohemian Grove, an exclusive all-male resort in California, was just the latest blockbuster from ProPublica, the nonprofit newsroom that has hounded the justice over his failure to declare links to and generous gifts from rich rightwing donors often with business before the court.

Outlets including the New York Times and Politico have also reported on links between Thomas, his wife, the far-right activist Ginni Thomas, and influential activists and donors.

The new report said Thomas attended Koch events at least twice, putting him “in the extraordinary position of having served as a fundraising draw for a network that has brought cases before the supreme court, including one of the most closely watched of the upcoming term”.

That case, Loper Bright Enterprises v Raimondo, concerns the right of federal agencies to regulate businesses in areas including labor rights and environmental and consumer protection. Durbin said Thomas should step aside.

“The Koch network has invested tremendous capital to overturn longstanding legal precedent known as Chevron deference, which would handcuff regulators and serve the interests of corporate fat cats,” Durbin said.

“As more details are revealed of Justice Thomas’s undisclosed involvement with the Koch political network, there are serious questions about his impartiality in cases squarely confronting the Chevron doctrine. For these reasons, I’m calling on Justice Thomas to recuse himself from consideration of Loper Bright v Raimondo.”

A Koch spokesperson denied wrongdoing, saying: “The idea that attending a couple events to promote a book or give dinner remarks, as all the justices do, could somehow be undue influence just doesn’t hold water.”

Thomas did not comment. He has said he did not declare gifts from donors because he was advised he did not have to. Subsequent filings revealed more such links.

Supreme court justices are nominally subject to the same ethics rules as all federal judges.

On Friday, Richard Painter, a former White House ethics lawyer now a law professor at the University of Minnesota, said the new ProPublica report showed Thomas “violated: 1) financial disclosure laws, 2) laws prohibiting judges from participating in partisan fundraising (the Kochs have a super pac) and 3) recusal laws for judges. 28 U.S.C. 455. He simply does not understand or care about the law.”

In practice, however, the justices govern themselves. John Roberts, the chief justice, has rebuffed demands for testimony in Congress about reports of links with rightwing donors also involving Samuel Alito, another hard-right justice.

With Republicans opposed and holding the House, Democratic-led ethics reform stands next to no chance of success. Calls for Thomas to resign or be impeached have come from figures as influential as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive congresswoman from New York. But such calls also stand next to no chance. Only one supreme court justice has been impeached: Samuel Chase, unsuccessfully, in 1804-05. In 1969, Abe Fortas resigned, amid a scandal over his financial dealings.

Thomas is 75 but has no apparent reason to resign or retire. The senior conservative on the court, he is a key part of a 6-3 rightwing majority, years in the making by activists and Republicans in Congress, that has handed down epochal decisions including the removal of the right to abortion.

Related: ‘Warped history’: how the US supreme court justified gutting gay rights

Herrig, of Accountable.us, added: “As ethics violations by Thomas and others keep piling up, Chief Justice Roberts’s lack of action becomes more egregious. The chief justice must demand Justice Thomas recuse himself from upcoming cases with Koch network conflicts of interest. We need accountability and reform now.”

Media observers also reacted to the new ProPublica report.

Jane Mayer of the New Yorker, co-author of Strange Justice, a seminal book on Thomas’s controversial confirmation in 1991, asked: “Does justice go better with Koch?”

Dahlia Lithwick, who covers the supreme court for Slate magazine and hosts the Amicus podcast, wrote simply: “Pay. To. Play.”

David Rothkopf, a columnist and author of books including Traitor: A History of American Betrayal from Benedict Arnold to Donald Trump, asked: “Is Clarence Thomas the most corrupt supreme court justice in our history? One of the most corrupt senior officials in our history?

“There is no doubt any more.”

“What are we going to find out next?”: Clarence Thomas’ shocking ethics scandal “sickens” experts


“What are we going to find out next?”: Clarence Thomas’ shocking ethics scandal “sickens” experts

Tatyana Tandanpolie – September 22, 2023

Clarence Thomas Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images
Clarence Thomas Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Legal and political experts have erupted with disgust online Thursday after a report revealed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has participated in two Koch donor summits and ultimately aided the political network, which has appeared before the high court in multiple cases — including one of the most highly anticipated of the upcoming term — in its efforts to raise funding.

According to ProPublica, who conducted interviews with three former network employees and one major donor, Thomas has attended Koch donor events at least twice over the years with the justice, staffers said, being flown in to speak in hopes that it would encourage attendees to continue donating. Thomas did not report the 2018 flight he took to Palm Springs for the Koch organization’s annual summit on his disclosure form, and a spokesperson for the network told ProPublica it did not pay for the jet.

As the outlet notes, Thomas’ participation in the events is part of a yearslong, personal relationship he has with the networks founders — libertarian billionaires David and Charles Koch — that has largely remained out of the public eye and sprouted from years of trips to the Bohemian Grove, a secretive, all-men’s retreat in Northern California Thomas has attended for two decades.

The revelation comes after ProPublica’s previous reports have also shed light on the conservative justice’s ties to GOP megadonor and billionaire Harlan Crow, who financed a number of luxury trips for Thomas across decades, paid private-school tuition for two years for the child Thomas raised and purchased property from Thomas — including his mother’s home — in 2014.

Thomas neglected to report these dealings with Crow in his annual financial disclosures but acknowledged in his most recent financial report that he took three trips aboard the billionaire’s private plane last year and included amendments to reports filed between 2017 and 2021 to address matters he “inadvertently omitted.”

Thomas’ ties to billionaires whose political interests have been brought — if not also seen success — before the Supreme Court has sparked calls for the imposition of an ethics code on the justices and instilled doubt in the public’s trust of the high court. The latest revelation has only bolstered those concerns with some experts and officials on Friday renewing calls for his resignation.

“Justice Clarence Thomas continues to bring shame upon himself and the United States Supreme Court,” Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “He should resign. What are we going to find out next? A fundraiser for Trump headlined by Clarence Thomas? Ridiculous.”

“Personally, I’d go right to resign. It’s long overdue. And I’d revisit the cases he’s decided—including Citizens United and Shelby v Holder, which together handed our democracy to the rich—while we’re at it. Corruption of the highest order,” said Boston College professor of 19th-century U.S. history Heather Cox Richardson, whose research focuses on American political history and ideology.

Other experts have expressed outrage and further critiqued Thomas over his acceptance of gifts and failure to disclose them or recuse himself from relevant cases.

“The whole point of disclosing conflicts & recusing is to maintain public confidence in key democratic institutions, like the Court,” former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance tweeted. “It’s clear that the integrity of the branch of gov’t he serves in is not important to Justice Thomas.”

“Clarence Thomas might not be the finest Justice money can buy, but he’s definitely bought,” attorney and retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Moe Davis, said on X. “Imagine if Supreme Court justices were held to the same ethical standards we demand of a 21-year-old Army lieutenant.”https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-3&features=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%3D%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1705197204053414297&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.salon.com%2F2023%2F09%2F22%2Fwhat-are-we-going-to-find-out-next-clarence-thomas-shocking-ethics-scandal-sickens-experts%2F&sessionId=3f497b0df6d0efbd4a8714586fcd62d8aac8a429&theme=light&widgetsVersion=aaf4084522e3a%3A1674595607486&width=550px

“As a public servant who sacrifices donor $ (I don’t take donations from elected officials, PBAs, or attorneys with cases before my office), b/c I believe the justice system should be free from even the appearance of political influence, this sickens me,” added Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor and current district attorney

The End of Pretenses

The Atlantic – Daily

The End of Pretenses

Tom Nichols, Staff Writer – September 14, 2023

Our excerpt from a forthcoming biography of Mitt Romney has many people talking about the Utah senator’s principles and character, but we should be deeply alarmed by Romney’s warning about the Republican Party.
The End of PretensesMitt Romney(Charles Ommanney / Getty)

My colleague McKay Coppins has spent two years talking with Mitt Romney, the Utah senator, former Massachusetts governor, and 2012 Republican presidential nominee. An excerpt from McKay’s forthcoming book confirmed the news that Romney has had enough of the hypocrisy and weakness of the Republican Party and will be leaving the Senate when his term expires; other stunning moments from their conversations include multiple profiles in pusillanimity among Romney’s fellow Republicans. (I am pleased to know that Senator Romney holds as low an opinion of J. D. Vance as I do; “I don’t know that I can disrespect someone more,” he told McKay.)

But I want to move away from the discussion about Romney himself and focus on something he said that too many people have overlooked.“Some nights he vented,” Coppins wrote of their conversations; “other nights he dished.” And then came a quiet acknowledgement that should still be shocking, even after seven years of unhinged right-wing American populism:“A very large portion of my party,” [Romney] told me one day, “really doesn’t believe in the Constitution.” He’d realized this only recently, he said. We were a few months removed from an attempted coup instigated by Republican leaders, and he was wrestling with some difficult questions. Was the authoritarian element of the GOP a product of President Trump, or had it always been there, just waiting to be activated by a sufficiently shameless demagogue? And what role had the members of the mainstream establishment—­people like him, the reasonable Republicans—played in allowing the rot on the right to fester?

I think every decent Republican has wondered the same thing. (The indecent ones have also wondered about it, but as Romney now accepts, people like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz have figured out that playing to the rot in the GOP base is a core skill set that helps them stay in Washington and far away from their constituents back home.)

But enough about the hollow men of the GOP. Think about what Romney is saying: “Millions of American citizens no longer believe in the Constitution of the United States of America.” This is not some pedestrian political observation, some throwaway line about partisan division. Leave aside for the moment that Romney is talking about Republicans and the hangers-on in the Trump movement; they are also your fellow Americans, citizens of a nation that was, until recently, one of the most durable democracies on Earth. And they no longer care about the fundamental document that governs our lives as Americans.

If Republicans no longer care about the Constitution, then they no longer care about the rule of law, secular tolerance, fair elections, or the protection of basic human rights. They have no interest in the stewardship of American democracy, nor will they preserve our constitutional legacy for their children. Instead, they seek to commandeer the ship of state, pillage the hold, and then crash us all onto the rocks.

It would be a relief to find out that some of this is about policy, but for many of the enemies of the Constitution among the new right, policy is irrelevant. (One exception, I suspect, might be the people who, if faced with a choice between a total ban on abortion and the survival of the Constitution, would choose theocracy over democracy; we’d all be better off if they would just admit it.)

The people Romney is worried about are not policy wonks. They’re opportunists, rage-junkies, and nihilists who couldn’t care less about policy. (Romney describes one woman in Utah bellowing at him, red-faced and lost in a mist of fury while her child stood nearby, to the point where he asked her, “Aren’t you embarrassed?” She was not.) What they want is to win, to enjoy the spoils and trappings of power, and to anger and punish people they hate.

There is no way to contend, in a rational or civic way, with this combination of white-hot resentment and ice-cold cynicism. Romney describes multiple incidents in which his colleagues came to him and said, You’re right, Mitt. I wish I could say what you say. I wish we could stop this nightmare. And then all of them belly right back up to the table in the Senate Dining Room and go on pandering to people who—it bears repeating—no longer care about the Constitution.

This is the seedbed of authoritarianism, and it is already full of fresh green shoots. And yes, at some point, if someone is clever enough to forge a strong and organized party out of this disjointed movement, it can become a new fascism. So far, we should be grateful that Donald Trump and those who surround him have all been too selfish and too incompetent to turn their avarice into a coherent mass movement.

If you’ve ever served in the military or as a civilian in the U.S. government, you’ve taken the oath that requires you, above all—so help you God—to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” and to “bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” Romney is warning us that many of his Republican colleagues and much of their base will do no such thing. They would rather turn their personal misery and resentment into mindless political destruction—even to the point of shredding one of humanity’s greatest political documents.

I have written before that we can no longer indulge Republicans and their various media enablers in the fantasies that Trump is a normal candidate, that we are heading into a normal election, that the Republican Party is a normal party (or, indeed, a political party at all). How we each defend the Constitution is an individual choice, but let us at least have no pretenses, even in our daily discussions, that we live in normal times and that 2024 is just another political horse race. Everything we believe in as Americans is at stake now, and no matter what anyone thinks of Mitt Romney, we owe him a debt for saying out loud what so many Republican “leaders” fear even to whisper.

Kim Jong Un reportedly hops on his bulletproof, drab green train for meeting with Putin

USA Today

Kim Jong Un reportedly hops on his bulletproof, drab green train for meeting with Putin

Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY – September 11, 2023

A luxury armored train believed to be carrying Kim Jong Un appeared to depart Pyongyang Monday for Vladivostok, Russia, where the reclusive North Korean leader may rendezvous with President Vladimir Putin.

South Korean state media reported that the train Kim uses, bulletproof but notoriously slow possibly because of its heavy weight, left North Korea. The Kremlin confirmed in a statement he will visit Russia “in the coming days.”

The White House previously said they were expecting a meeting between the two leaders this month as Moscow looks to its former ally from Soviet Union times to help it rearm for its war in Ukraine. The meeting could take place as early as Tuesday. It would be Kim’s first overseas trip in more than four years.

Is Putin getting desperate in Ukraine? Outreach to Kim Jong Un puts spotlight on weapons shortages

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un leaves a train carriage after arriving at the border station of Khasan, Primorsky Krai region, Russia, on April 24, 2019.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un leaves a train carriage after arriving at the border station of Khasan, Primorsky Krai region, Russia, on April 24, 2019.

The White House said last week arms negotiations between North Korea and Russia were “advancing.” It also warned that Kim’s regime would “pay a price” if it strikes an arms deal with Putin’s government.

The encounter between Kim and Putin could take place on the sidelines of the annual Eastern Economic Forum. It runs in the far eastern Russian port city through Wednesday, according to its website.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency has reported that Kim’s train has up to 20 bulletproof carriages and has a top speed of approximately 37 miles per hour. It is painted a drab green color and is rarely photographed. The train was used by Kim’s father and grandfather, both former North Korea leaders.

The isolated Asian country could help resupply Moscow with artillery shells and rockets. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington think tank, describes North Korea’s munitions industry as “highly developed.” In return, North Korea could seek access to some of Russia’s high-tech weapons systems.

North Korea continues to test and develop long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. The U.S. and North Korea have held on and off nuclear nonproliferation talks stretching back to the 1980s.

Trump’s Electoral College Edge Seems to Be Fading

The New York Times

Trump’s Electoral College Edge Seems to Be Fading

Nate Cohn – September 11, 2023

SEPTEMBER 6th 2023: A New York federal judge rules that former president Donald Trump is liable for defamation in the second E. Jean Carroll case and must go to trial to determine damages. – AUGUST 7th 2023: A New York judge dismisses a defamation countersuit brought by Donald Trump against columnist E. Jean Carroll. – JULY 19th 2023: A New York judge denies the request from former President Donald Trump for a new trial in the E. Jean Carroll sexual abuse, rape and defamation civil case. – MAY 9th 2023: A New York federal jury finds former President Donald Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation in civil lawsuit and awards $5 million in damages to accuser E. Jean Carroll. – MAY 1st 2023: A New York judge has denied the request from Donald Trump’s legal team for a mistrial in the rape and defamation lawsuit brought columnist E. Jean Carroll. – NOVEMBER 24th 2022: Ex-magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll files a new lawsuit against former President Donald Trump for battery and defamation under the provisions of a new New York State law that allows adults alleging sexual assault to bring claims years after the attack. – SEPTEMBER 20th 2022: Former President Donald Trump to face a new lawsuit alleging sexual assault to be filed by columnist E. Jean Carroll who claims Trump raped her in the 1990s. – File Photo by: zz/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx 2015 6/16/15 Donald Trump announces his 2016 candidacy for President of The United States of America on June 16, 2015 at Trump Tower in New York City. (NYC) (zz/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx)More

The early polls show Donald Trump and President Joe Biden tied nationwide. Does that mean Trump has a clear advantage in the battleground states that decide the Electoral College?

It’s a reasonable question, and one I see quite often. In his first two presidential campaigns, Trump fared far better in the battleground states than he did nationwide, allowing him to win the presidency while losing the national vote in 2016 and nearly doing it again in 2020.

But there’s a case that his Electoral College advantage has faded. In the midterm elections last fall, Democrats fared about the same in the crucial battleground states as they did nationwide. And over the last year, state polls and a compilation of New York Times/Siena College surveys have shown Biden running as well or better in the battlegrounds as nationwide, with the results by state broadly mirroring the midterms.

The patterns in recent polling and election results are consistent with the trends in national surveys, which suggest that the demographic foundations of Trump’s Electoral College advantage might be fading. He’s faring unusually well among nonwhite voters, who represent a larger share of the electorate in noncompetitive than competitive states. As a consequence, Trump’s gains have probably done more to improve his standing in the national vote than in relatively white Northern states likeliest to decide the presidency, like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Midterm results typically don’t tell us much about the next general election. Polls taken 15 to 27 months out don’t necessarily augur much, either. But the possibility that Republicans’ Electoral College advantage is diminished is nonetheless worth taking seriously. It appears driven by forces that might persist until the next election, like Biden’s weakness among nonwhite voters and the growing importance of issues — abortion, crime, democracy and education — that play differently for blue and purple state voters.

Of course, there is more than a year to go. Biden may regain traction among nonwhite voters or lose ground among white voters, which could reestablish Trump’s Electoral College edge. Perhaps his Electoral College edge could grow even larger than it was in 2020, as some Democrats warned after that election.

But at this point, another large Trump Electoral College advantage cannot be assumed. At the very least, tied national polls today don’t mean Trump leads in the states likeliest to decide the presidency.

There are three basic pieces of evidence suggesting that Trump’s key advantage might be diminished today: the midterms, the Times/Siena polls and state polls.

The Midterms

The 2022 midterms were a surprise. Republicans won the national vote, just as the polls anticipated. With Republicans usually faring better in the battlegrounds in recent cycles, a national popular vote advantage might have been expected to yield a “red wave.”

But Democrats held their ground in the battleground states, allowing them to retain the Senate and nearly hold the House. Nationally, Republican House candidates won the most votes by about 2 percentage points (after adjusting for uncontested races). The margin was almost identical in the presidential battlegrounds, like Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Republican House candidates also won by 2 points.

The shrinking gap between the key battleground states and the national popular vote wasn’t just because of Democratic resilience in the battlegrounds. It was also because Republicans showed their greatest strengths in noncompetitive states like California and New York as well as across much of the South, including newly noncompetitive Florida. Democratic weakness in these states was just enough to cost them control of the House of Representatives, but did even more to suppress Democratic tallies in the national popular vote, helping erase the gap between their strength in the battlegrounds and the national vote.

Does the House popular vote tell us much about the Electoral College two years later? Possibly, though not necessarily. The 2018 midterm results showed House Republicans running well in key battleground states, foreshadowing Trump’s expanded Electoral College advantage two years later. Republican strength by state in the House mirrored the presidential race in 2020 as well. Perhaps it should be expected to foreshadow the presidential vote by state again.

But today, it’s harder than it was at this time in the last cycle to connect voter attitudes about the House with presidential preference. One major issue: the House results weren’t highly correlated with Biden’s approval rating. In contrast, the tight relationship between the House vote and Trump’s approval rating back in 2018 made it reasonable to believe the distribution of the House vote told us something about his strength heading into 2020.

The midterms are an important clue, but additional data is probably needed to connect what happened last November to what might happen next November.

Times/Siena Polls

Times/Siena polling over the last year offers additional evidence of such a connection.

Overall, Trump has gained in the places where Republicans fared well in the midterms, while Biden is holding up well in the states where Democrats fared well in the midterms, based on a compilation of 4,369 respondents to Times/Siena polls.

On average, Biden continues to match his 2020 performance in the states where Democrats fared better than average in the midterms, a group that includes every major battleground state. Instead, all of his weakness in Times/Siena national polling is concentrated in the states where Democrats fared worse than average last November.

In the sample of 774 respondents in the battleground states, Biden leads Trump, 47-43, compared with a 46-44 lead among all registered voters nationwide. On the other hand, Biden leads by 17 points, 50-33, in a sample of 781 respondents in California and New York — the two blue states that primarily cost Democrats the House last November — down from a 27-point margin for Biden in 2020.

In general, I am loath to look at geographic subsamples in our polling; results by state are just so sensitive. For this analysis, it makes a huge difference whether Biden is tied in the battlegrounds or up 5 points.

But in this particular case, the specific findings are part of the broader pattern supported by larger samples. Splitting our sample into two groups, we have over 2,000 respondents in states where Republicans did well and states where Democrats held up. The trends in both groups align with those of the midterms, and, while the sample is small, the pattern also appears to filter down to the crucial battlegrounds.

State Polls

There aren’t too many polls of the key battleground states at this early stage. But the available survey data doesn’t show any sign of an Electoral College advantage for Trump, either.

Over the last year, Biden leads by 1.3 points in national polls, while he leads by at least 1 point in the average of polls taken in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — three states that would probably be enough to reelect him.

In contrast, Biden won the national vote by 4.5 points in 2020 while winning Wisconsin by just 0.6 points. The key measure of Electoral College strength, relative to the national vote, is the difference between the national vote and the “tipping-point state” — the state that pushes a candidate over the Electoral College threshold. That difference was roughly 3.8 percentage points in Republicans’ favor in 2020 and 2.9 points in 2016, with Wisconsin the tipping-point state in each case. In the state polling today, that gap is essentially nonexistent.

On the other end of the competitiveness spectrum is New York, one of the most solidly blue states in the country. Biden will surely win the state, but he may not do as well there as he did in 2020. He holds a 48-35 lead in eight polls over the last year, including a 47-34 lead in a Siena College poll last month. For what it’s worth, you can add a 49-36 margin in the Times/Siena compilation of 256 respondents in New York.

In one sense, New York was the worst state in the nation for House Democrats in 2022, based on their mere 9-point aggregate House win compared with iden’s 23-point win in the state in the 2020 presidential election. The state numbers today look as reminiscent of the midterms as the last presidential election. Results like these in blue states will hurt Biden in the national polls and popular vote, but won’t do anything to hurt his chances in the Electoral College.

The New Issues

Together, the midterms, the state polling and the Times/Siena polls offer three serious if imperfect data points suggesting Trump isn’t faring much better in the battleground states compared with nationwide, at least for now.

But why? Broadly speaking, there are two major theories: the issues and demographics.

First, the issues. In the aftermath of the midterms, Democratic strength in key battleground states appeared attributable to specific issues on the ballot, like abortion, crime and democracy. This helped explain some aspects of the election, including the failures of anti-abortion referendums and stop-the-steal candidates — and perhaps New York Democrats.

It’s possible these new issues are helping to shift the electoral map heading into 2024 as well. New issues that have emerged since 2020 — abortion rights, trans rights, education, the “woke” left and crime — are primarily state and local issues where blue, red and purple state voters inhabit different political realities, with plausible consequences for electoral politics.

Moderate voters in a blue state — say around Portland, Oregon — have no need to fear whether their state’s conservatives will enact new restrictions on transgender rights or abortion rights, but they might wonder whether the left has gone too far pursuing equity in public schools. They might increasingly harbor doubts about progressive attitudes on drugs, the homeless and crime, as visible drug use among the homeless in Portland becomes national news.

But moderate voters in a purple state — say those who live around Grand Rapids, Michigan — might have a different set of concerns. The “woke” left could be a very distant worry, if they understand what it is at all. They’ve probably never heard of the gender unicorn. Their city’s crime, homelessness and drug problems don’t make national news.

What does make national news is the conduct of their state’s Republican Party, which not only tried to ban abortion last fall but also embraced the stop-the-steal movement. The “threat to democracy” is not an abstraction for Biden voters here: It was their votes that Trump and his allies tried to toss out.

This is a plausible explanation, if one that’s hard to put to the test. The apparent relationship between the midterms and presidential polling is perhaps the best piece of evidence, if we stipulate that the pattern in the midterms was indeed explained by the varying salience of these state and local issues.

Shifts Among Demographic Groups

Trump’s Electoral College advantage was built on demographics: He made huge gains among white voters without a college degree in 2016, a group that was overrepresented in the key Northern battleground states. It let him squeak by in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, even as his weakness among college-educated voters cost him votes — and ultimately the popular vote — in the Sun Belt and along the coasts.

The polls so far this cycle suggest that the demographic foundations of Trump’s advantage in the Electoral College might be eroding. Biden is relatively resilient among white voters, who are generally overrepresented in the battleground states. Trump, meanwhile, shows surprising strength among nonwhite voters, who are generally underrepresented in the most critical battleground states. As a consequence, Trump’s gains among nonwhite voters nationwide would tend to do more to improve his standing in the national vote than in the battleground states.

Overall, 83% of voters in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were white in the 2020 election, according to Times estimates, compared with 69% of voters elsewhere in the nation. Or put differently: If Biden struggled among nonwhite voters, it would do a lot more damage to his standing outside of these three states than it would in the states that make up his likeliest path to 270 electoral votes.

Is this enough to explain Trump’s diminished advantage? It could explain most of it. If we adjusted Times estimates of the results by racial group in 2020 to match the latest Times/Siena polls, Trump’s relative advantage in the Electoral College would fall by three-quarters, to a single point.

In this demographic scenario, Biden would sweep Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. He would lose Arizona, Georgia and Nevada, just like in the state polls conducted so far. It would be a narrow Biden win if everything else went as expected: He would earn 270 electoral votes, exactly the number needed to win.

There’s also a chance that maybe, just maybe, Democrats might defy these unfavorable national demographic trends in states like Arizona and Georgia. After all, these two states lurched leftward in 2020, even though nonwhite voters shifted to the right nationally in that election as well. Clearly, other state-specific trends canceled out Trump’s gains among nonwhite voters: White voters moved more toward the left than elsewhere in the country; the nonwhite share of the electorate grew more than it did elsewhere; and Democratic support among nonwhite voters appeared relatively sturdy, for good measure.

If those state-specific trends prevail over the national ones again, perhaps Biden can hope to get the best of both worlds: good results in the Northern battlegrounds, thanks to his national strength among white voters, with resilience in the blue-trending Sun Belt states where idiosyncratic factors might cancel out unfavorable national demographic trends.

With more than a year to go, none of this is remotely assured to last until the election. But at least for now, a tied race in the national polls doesn’t necessarily mean that Mr. Trump has a big lead in the Electoral College.

18 times US presidents told lies, from secret affairs to health issues to reasons for going to war


18 times US presidents told lies, from secret affairs to health issues to reasons for going to war

James Pasley – September 8, 2023

donald trump tongue
US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, United States on February 28, 2017. Traditionally the first address to a joint session of Congress by a newly-elected president is not referred to as a State of the Union.Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • Every US president has told a lie — from war and taxes to health conditions and extramarital affairs.
  • When Dwight D. Eisenhower was caught lying by Russia, he said it was his greatest regret in office.
  • President Donald Trump made more than 30,000 false or misleading statements while in office.

“This is what we will say publicly but now, let’s talk about what we will actually do,” President Richard Nixon wrote in a memo about secret bombings in Cambodia in 1970.

“Every president has not only lied at some time, but needs to lie to be effective,” Ed Uravic, who wrote “Lying Cheating Scum,” told CNN.

From President James Polk lying to invade Mexico in 1846 to then-presidential candidate George H.W. Bush famously promising no new taxes, here are some of the most famous lies US presidents have ever made.

In the 1840s, President James Polk told Congress that Mexico had invaded the US.

james polk
Former President James Polk.Universal History Archive/Getty Image

This was a lie. In actual fact, his administration had ordered US soldiers to occupy an area in Mexico near the Texan border in 1846. Then when Mexican forces attacked the US soldiers, Polk claimed it was an attack against the US.

The result of this lie was the Mexican-American war.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln, also known as “Honest Abe,” might not have lied, but he wasn’t always truthful.

Abraham Lincoln
Former President Abraham Lincoln.Getty Images / Staff

In response to rumors that he was about to meet with Confederate representatives in Washington, he told the House that no representatives were on their way to Washington, The Washington Post reported.

He wasn’t lying — they were on their way to Virginia, where he would later meet them. He didn’t tell the whole truth at the time because he didn’t want his meeting to impact the passing of the 13th Amendment.

Political theory professor Meg Mott told The Conversation his use of truth when dealing with the Confederacy was “devious.”

In 1898, President William McKinley declared Spain had attacked a US warship called the USS Maine in Cuba, killing 355 sailors.

William Mckinley
Former President William McKinley.Library of Congress

But reportedly, he had no evidence of this.

The actual cause of the sinking has never been conclusively proven.

Although reluctant to go to war with Spain, his insistence that the Spanish were behind the attack led to war, per the Columbus Dispatch.

In 1940, during World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised the nation that “your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt.Hulton Archive/Getty

But Roosevelt was already preparing to enter the war. His declaration was an election promise — one he would not keep — made during his campaign against Wendell Willkie.

After his speech, his speechwriter, Sam Rosenman, asked him why he hadn’t said the final part of the speech, which was, “Except in case of attack.”.

Roosevelt responded, “If we’re attacked, it’s no longer a foreign war.”

The following year, in 1941, Roosevelt lied again. This time, he said a German submarine had attacked a US ship called the Greer without provocation.

president franklin d roosevelt
Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt.Keystone Features/Getty Images

In actuality, the Greer had been protecting British ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean and had been following that German submarine and letting the British know its path.

Roosevelt used the attack as a provocation to prepare the US for entering World War II.

In August 1945, the Truman administration issued a press release after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, describing it as “an important military base.”

President Harry Truman in 1945.
Former President Harry Truman in 1945.MPI/Getty

Hiroshima was home to 350,000 people, although it did have a military base in the city.

About 10,000 soldiers were killed in the blast, but most of the 125,000 people who died were civilians.

In 1960, President Dwight Eisenhower dismissed claims that the US had flown spy planes over Russia after one of its planes was shot down.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Former President Dwight Eisenhower.Getty Images

Thinking the pilot was killed, he approved a number of statements that said it was a weather plane. But when Russia announced it had one of the pilots named Gary Powers in custody, he had to admit he had been lying.

He called it the biggest regret of his life.

“I didn’t realize how high a price we were going to pay for that lie,” he said.

On October 20, 1962, President John F. Kennedy told America he had a cold.

President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office signing copies of his official portrait in 1961.
Former President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office signing copies of his official portrait in 1961.Henry Burroughs/AP

The truth was he was dealing with a crisis. Intelligence agents had found that the Soviets were creating a missile base in Cuba.

To ensure the public didn’t panic, Kennedy told the press he had to leave Chicago where he was campaigning because he had a fever. In reality, he had to attend a meeting back at the White House to decide whether to invade Cuba.

He also claimed that the Russians had more nuclear weapons than the US.

Though he lied about having an illness, Kennedy lied about not having another one. In 1960, he said he had “never” had Addison’s disease.

John F. Kennedy poses for photographers in his favorite rocking chair in the White House in 1963.
Former President John F. Kennedy in the White House in 1963.Keystone/Getty Images

Despite scientists later confirming he had the disease, in his primary campaign against Lyndon B. Johnson, he called himself “the healthiest candidate for President in the country.”

Kennedy wasn’t the only president who lied about his health. Numerous presidents — including Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower — lied about their health at some point.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson said in a televised speech, “We still seek no wider war.”

President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Sitting Room of the family quarters of the White House in Washington, DC.
Former President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Sitting Room of the family quarters of the White House.Bettmann/Getty Images

This was in reference to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which North Vietnamese patrol boats had reportedly attacked US ships in the Gulf of Tonkin.

In the same speech, he declared, “Aggression by terror against the peaceful villagers of South Vietnam has now been joined by open aggression on the high seas against the United States of America.”

Johnson’s administration claimed that the US ships were out on routine patrols, but they were actually on a secret mission in North Vietnamese territory. The attacks were used to increase the US’s presence in Vietnam.

Johnson’s lies didn’t end there either. He went on to withhold information from the public and Congress about how much was spent on the Vietnam War and how badly the war effort was going.

In 1970, President Richard Nixon lied to the country about a US covert bombing campaign in Cambodia.

Richard Nixon
Former President Richard Nixon.Getty Images

After the bombings were made public, Nixon let people believe the attacks on Cambodia were over.

He advised his staff to tell the public that the soldiers were providing support for local soldiers when, in fact, the attacks continued.

In a memo, Nixon wrote, “This is what we will say publicly but now, let’s talk about what we will actually do.”

In 1974, Nixon declared, “I’m not a crook” after being accused of obstructing justice and lying during the Watergate scandal.

President Richard Nixon speaking at a podium in 1969.
Former President Richard Nixon in 1969.Bettmann/Getty Images

He claimed he was not involved in the scandal, but an investigation found evidence that he was. He later resigned as president instead of potentially being impeached.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan promised the nation: “We did not — repeat, did not — trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we.”

United States President Ronald W. Reagan in the Oval Office in 1985.
Former President Ronald W. Reagan in the Oval Office in 1985.Diana Walker/Getty Images

This was during the Iran-Contra Affair, where the US government secretly traded weapons with Iran in exchange for the release of US hostages being held by terrorists in Lebanon.

The government then used the money from the weapons to fund anti-communist groups in Nicaragua.

Despite Reagan’s promise, it later turned out the US had in fact traded arms for hostages.

He later said, “My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.”

In 1988, then-Republican presidential nominee George H.W. Bush said, “Read my lips: No new taxes.”

george hw bush
Former President George H.W. Bush.Diana Walker/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

His whole statement was: “My opponent won’t rule out raising taxes. But I will. And the Congress will push me to raise taxes, and I’ll say no. And they’ll push, and I’ll say no, and they’ll push again, and I’ll say, to them, ‘Read my lips: no new taxes.'”

At the time, the six words were seen as a successful political slogan.

But Bush was later forced to raise taxes during negotiations with a Senate and House controlled by Democrats. After he did so, The New York Post went with a headline that said: “Read my lips: I lied.”

His U-turn on taxes was widely seen as one of the reasons he did not get re-elected for a second term.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton said before a federal grand jury, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” referring to his intern Monica Lewinsky, with whom he did, in fact, have an affair.

Monica Lewinsky and former President Bill Clinton.
Monica Lewinsky and former President Bill Clinton.Fiona Hanson – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images. Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images.

Clinton was impeached for lying under oath, but he was acquitted by the Senate.

It was thought to be the first time a president was caught lying about their sex life because it was the first time a president had ever really been asked about it.

In 2003, two months after the US invaded Iraq, President George W. Bush claimed to have found weapons of mass destruction to justify the war.

Then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush standing between American flags in 1999.
Then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush in 1999.David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

“We found the weapons of mass destruction,” he said. “For those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they’re wrong; we found them.”

But they hadn’t found anything.

Bush later said, “We do not know whether or not [Iraq] has a nuclear weapon.”

However, then-CIA Director George Tenet later testified that Bush was advised there were no nuclear weapons and it would be unlikely that the country could even make one until 2007.

In 2008, when President Barack Obama was pushing through his new Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, he promised people wouldn’t need to change their plans if they didn’t want to.

Former President Barack Obama in 2017.
Former President Barack Obama in 2017.Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

“If you like your plan, you can keep it,” Obama said. But it wasn’t true.

In the end, millions of people had to change their plans. He also didn’t just say it once, but around 37 times, Politico reported.

“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” he said in 2013.

President Donald Trump made more than 30,000 false or misleading statements while in office.

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a political rally on July 29, 2023 in Erie, Pennsylvania.Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

This averaged out at about 21 false claims a day, The Washington Post reported.

Some of Trump’s lies included his claim that the pandemic was “totally under control,” the altering of a weather map with a Sharpie after he wrongly said Alabama was at risk from Hurricane Dorian, or his claim that Rep Ilhan Omar supported al Qaeda.

He also falsely claimed the election was stolen from him.

To keep workers going in the heat, companies try fledgling cooling tech

The Washington Post

To keep workers going in the heat, companies try fledgling cooling tech

Jacob Bogage – September 8, 2023

In crop fields, on construction scaffolding, beside drive-through lanes, working conditions are getting hotter, igniting a small but fast-growing industry to cool workers down.

There are vests packed with ice and pressed against the skin, and others soaked in water to evaporate on the body. There are high-tech stickers that measure sweat content and core temperature. One commercial lab is attempting to make fabric that reflects sunlight, mimicking the skin of a desert ant.

Gus Lackerdas, a national sales manager at cooling-gear firm Techniche and parent company OccuNomix, has a quick and easy pitch for prospective buyers, who include developers, contractors and road pavers: “Not only can your people be more productive, which I know you want, but they’ll be safer, which I know your HR department wants.”

It has been a successful pitch so far. By the company’s estimates, the cooling-gear sector has grown from $30 million to $100 million in sales over the past three years. Cooling products for Techniche and OccuNomix have brought in at least $3 million to $5 million in annual revenue over that span, Lackerdas said.

The new interventions offer alternatives to the well-established fundamentals of heat safety: water, rest and shade. In a warming world – 2023 is on track to be the hottest year in Earth’s recorded history, according to multiple recent climatological studies – those simple yet effective strategies may not be enough to keep workers safe, some experts say.

“We need a more robust kind of system in place for workers to be able to protect themselves,” said Roxana Chicas, a nurse and scientist at Emory University. “I think that includes cooling devices, personal protective equipment.”

Heat killed 121 workers between 2017 and 2022, according to federal data, but some research suggests the real number is much higher because heat-related deaths and injuries are often blamed on accidents or underlying health conditions. A 2021 study published by the IZA Institute of Labor Economics concluded that occupational injury data from California – a state used as a stand-in for federal measurements – may undercount heat-induced injuries by a fivefold margin.

Occupational cooling technology remains a largely unproven field, with a small body of academic research on certain devices in workplace settings. Much of the research has been conducted using athletes or military members, who are not reliable stand-ins for a civilian workforce, experts say.

But the U.S. economy cannot stop when it gets hot, said Justin Li, co-founder and CEO of Qore Performance, which makes ice vests. To a large extent, his business model relies on the idea that some employers will seek ways to keep work viable at any temperature.

“In a free market, it creates open space for your competition to beat you, because maybe you choose not to try to manipulate the environment,” Li said. “But what if your competitor does figure out how to manipulate that environment?”

What are the options?

For Chick-fil-A franchisee Troy Seavers, the complaints hit a crescendo in 2020. Why, customers asked, were drive-through employees at his restaurant near Phoenix outside in the hottest part of the day?

So Seavers tallied the investments he made to keep workers safe in the desert heat and distributed the list to the customers who raised concerns.

He built a shade canopy over part of the drive-through and bought a misting station and a swamp cooler. At 100 degrees or more, drive-through workers must wear Qore ice vests. No one is allowed to work outside for more than an hour at a time, and all workers receive paid cooling breaks. Those working outdoors wear two-way radios in case they need to call for help.

“The guests need to see that I proactively am protecting my team from the sun,” he said. “I haven’t had a guest call me in three years.”

At Dutch Bros. Coffee, a popular West Coast chain with locations 10 minutes away, franchisee Josh Hayes purchased more than 200 ice vests for employees across multiple stores, he said. He bought extra freezers for each location, so there’s always another frozen vest available.

DPR Construction, a general contractor with worksites across the Sun Belt, distributes cooling caps and neck towels that can be dunked in water for evaporative cooling. During breaks, supervisors hand out electrolyte ice pops. But in the Southeastern United States, DPR worksites have started moving away from those items in favor of longer, better rest periods, said Lance Wafler, who leads the company’s field operations in the region.

Wafler’s break areas have complete shade and running water. At particularly hot sites, DPR will rent an air-conditioned storage container, he said, and put picnic benches inside. The company has cut down on overtime, especially during heat waves.

“We are very cautious of trying to push our craft of trying to work longer, harder because of several safety concerns,” Wafler said. “Heat illness is one of them. But construction is inherently hazardous.”

Still, on a construction site, no one asks whether it’s “too hot to work,” he said.

Qore’s ice vest, which presses cold surfaces against the back, sides and abdomen, has been used by fast-food chains such as Chick-fil-A, Raising Cane’s and Dutch Bros. Coffee.

Meanwhile, Techniche’s evaporative vest, common among industrial workers, can decrease skin temperature by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, the company says, depending on ambient humidity.

These interventions are supposed to interrupt the effects of heat, said Margaret Morrissey-Basler, an assistant professor of health sciences at Providence College. They’re designed to work by keeping the body cool enough that natural heat reactions don’t kick in, or start at a higher temperature.

That’s noteworthy, she said, because water, rest and shade are normally sufficient on their own. “If you don’t have those in your work environment, you’re already off to a bad start,” said Morrissey-Basler, who also works with the University of Connecticut’s Korey Stringer Institute to help employers put together heat safety protocols.

Water replenishes fluid, which ensures there’s enough blood in the body and allows you to keep sweating. Rest slows or stops aerobic activity, so your muscles don’t produce as much heat. Shade gets you out of direct sunlight, giving your body the ability to radiate heat to your surroundings.

Don Chernoff, founder of the commercial research firm Small World Sciences, is working with North Carolina State University and University of Chicago researchers to produce textiles for “clothing that essentially lets you wear the shade on your body.” Tiny pyramids built into the fabric are designed to deflect sunlight, much like the leaves of a tree overhead – or similar tiny pyramids on the skin of the Saharan silver ant.

The bugs are so well adapted to searing conditions, they venture out during the hottest periods of the day, feasting on the decaying carcasses of animals that died in the heat.

Chernoff’s firm and research partners have not yet been able to make an economically feasible textile that could be woven into garments. “It theoretically should work,” he said.

A few inventors have touted other new ideas.

For workers in construction and agriculture, CalidGear is a garment that can be worn underneath work attire, as opposed to cooling vests or towels normally worn on top of other clothes. Tayyaba Ali, a 24-year-old entrepreneur, is hoping to roll the product into another start-up that makes water filtration monitoring software.

Young Ko, a mechanical engineering PhD student at MIT, developed a cooling wrap that in tests reduced skin temperature by 50 degrees Fahrenheit in dry conditions.

Sheng Xu, a wearable-tech researcher and nanoengineering professor at the University of California at San Diego, and a team of graduate students created a battery-powered fabric patch designed to conduct heat away from the wearer.

Do any of these things work? The ideas are promising, Chicas of Emory University said, but many emerging heat devices haven’t yet faced sufficient scientific or job site scrutiny.

For example, Chicas and co-authors from Tulane University and Boston University studied the effects of cooling bandannas and ice vests on farm and landscaping workers in Florida in 2020. The bandanna did prove effective, reducing the odds that a worker’s core temperature exceeded the dangerous threshold of 100.4 degrees. But the vest did not: 40 percent of workers wearing it reported symptoms of heat-related illness, and 60 percent had core temperatures greater than 100.4 degrees.

Chicas noted that her sample of 84 workers was too small to draw definitive conclusions. But it was an encouraging start to more research, she said.

What happens when you overheat?

When your body gets hot, hundreds of thousands of years of physiology kick in to cool you down.

Your heart pumps blood to the surface of your skin, where it’s not as warm. You sweat, causing water to evaporate off your body and provide relief, but it makes you lose fluid, decreasing blood supply.

When your internal temperature reaches around 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, your body has to make difficult choices. Which organs are going to get that limited amount of blood?

Eventually, your body reacts like it’s fighting an infection, pitching your temperature even higher and shunting blood away from your skin to protect vital organs, said Pope Moseley, a research professor at Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions.

“Then you’re really screwed because now you’re not cooling,” said Moseley, who is also an intensive-care physician.

Our bodies also adjust to regular high heat exposure in a process called acclimatization, which experts say can take about a week. Effective acclimatization yields cell-level changes that help us retain fluids and keep core temperature low. For example, Moseley said, a heat-acclimated body sweats at a cooler temperature – essentially leaving your internal air conditioner on. Your blood volume increases so your body doesn’t have to make as many tough choices.

Tracking workers’ health signs

Because heat affects individuals differently, Moseley said, it’s hard to give workers solid health advice. One farmworker may be fine in conditions that are debilitating to a colleague an arm’s length away.

“We are not seeing the totality of the impact of heat,” Moseley said. “We are missing this massive number of people, both in the workplace and not, who are highly vulnerable, and we’re going to be seeing more of this.”

Some emerging technologies in the heat-safety industry are designed not to keep workers cool but to provide precise measurements of when they are in danger.

A skin patch developed by Epicore Biosystems measures sweat content and skin temperature and contains an accelerometer to measure work rate. The company markets the patches to industrial employers, CEO Roozbeh Ghaffari said. Bluetooth transmitters in each patch communicate to management when workers need more hydration, electrolytes or just a break. If a wearer sweats out 2 percent of their body weight, the patch vibrates.

“You can begin to predict based on the skin temperature and accelerometer data what risk profiles start to look like,” Ghaffari said.

Meanwhile, Chicas is researching a patch that’s worn on the chest and measures core temperature, respiratory function and other biomarkers to predict when heat strain, a precursor to the more dangerous heat stress and heat stroke, sets in. But she wonders whether employers will draw the right conclusions from the data.

Sensors can have their own drawbacks, said Andrea Matwyshyn, a professor in the law and engineering schools at Pennsylvania State University. In certain cases, she said, their accuracy can be affected by darker skin complexions, certain medications or even hair spray.

And sensor data by itself isn’t always a reliable predictor of health. A worker can feel ill without showing symptoms of heat stress. Data should always be combined with human feedback, she said.

There are also privacy concerns. A supervisor could use health sensor data to claim an employee isn’t working hard enough, Chicas noted. Matwyshyn has a similar worry and wonders whether a manager could use that data to weed out workers seen as too unhealthy.

“There’s always a trade-off,” Chicas said. “But doing nothing I don’t think is an option.”

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Extreme heat brings hidden risk for people with mental health issue

Some workers who rebuild homes after hurricanes are afraid to go to Florida. They blame a law DeSantis championed


Some workers who rebuild homes after hurricanes are afraid to go to Florida. They blame a law DeSantis championed

Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN – September 7, 2023

Immigrant workers from across the US raced to Florida to help rebuild after Hurricane Ian devastated the region.

But now, nearly a year later and days after another major hurricane hit, some of those workers say this time they’re staying home.

Saket Soni, whose nonprofit Resilience Force advocates for thousands of disaster response workers, says there’s one clear reason behind the shift: Florida’s new immigration law, which Gov. Ron DeSantis has championed.

In a survey Resilience Force conducted over several months this summer, Soni says more than half of the nonprofit organization’s roughly 2,000 members said they would not travel to Florida to help with hurricane recovery efforts because of the law. And in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia, he says, many remain concerned.

“They felt very fearful,” says Soni, the organization’s executive director. “No amount of money would be worth it if it meant they would be incarcerated or deported.”

Normally, Soni says Resilience Force workers wouldn’t think twice before heading to a disaster zone.

The group is made up largely of immigrants, many of whom are undocumented, Soni says. And much like migrant workers who follow harvest seasons and travel from farm to farm, they crisscross the US to help clean up and rebuild when disaster strikes. Soni says many of them see the skills they’ve honed over years of responding to major storms as a calling, in addition to a means of supporting their families.

“Sadly,” he says, “you have all of these workers sitting in Houston and in New Orleans, coming to our offices, asking us, is there a chance this law will be repealed? Is there any chance they could go?”

DeSantis touted the law as ‘ambitious.’ Immigrant rights advocates call it ‘draconian’

CNN has reached out to DeSantis’ office for comment. In May, the Florida governor and aspiring GOP presidential candidate signed what he touted as “the most ambitious anti-illegal immigration laws in the country.” The measure – also known as SB1718 – went into effect on July 1. It includes provisions that:

– Make it a third-degree felony to “knowingly and willfully” transport someone who’s undocumented into the state

– Require business with at least 25 workers to use E-Verify, a federal program that checks workers’ immigration status

– Invalidate driver’s licenses issued to unauthorized immigrants in other states

– Require certain hospitals in Florida to ask patients about their immigration status

At a press conference after he signed the bill, DeSantis described its passage as a “great victory.”

“In Florida, we want businesses to hire citizens and legal immigrants. But we want them to follow the law and not (hire) illegal immigrants, and that’s not that hard to do,” he said. “And once we get that kind of as a norm in our society, I think we’re going to be a lot better off.”

Supporters of the law have said stopping undocumented immigrants from coming to the state and pushing out those who already live in Florida is part of their aim.

Critics call the law “draconian” and argue that it’s hurting the state’s economy and putting immigrant communities on edge.

“People are living in fear,” says Adriana Rivera, communications director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition.

Before it went into effect, the law spurred a travel advisory from one of the most prominent Latino advocacy groups in the United States. And immigrant advocates warn that concerns over the law have already caused some workers in key industries like agriculture and construction to leave Florida.

“This law is particularly problematic because it really doesn’t benefit anyone. This law was created to demonize the state’s immigrant communities that have been so critical in building our state and growing our economy,” says Samuel Vilchez Santiago, Florida state director for the American Business Immigration Coalition.

An unstilted home that came off its blocks sits partially submerged in a canal in Horseshoe Beach, Florida, on September 1, two days after Hurricane Idalia hit. - Rebecca Blackwell/AP
An unstilted home that came off its blocks sits partially submerged in a canal in Horseshoe Beach, Florida, on September 1, two days after Hurricane Idalia hit. – Rebecca Blackwell/AP

CNN teams reporting in Florida since Idalia hit haven’t observed any worker shortages.

But in recent months, Vilchez says he’s received multiple reports from managers who’ve showed up to construction sites expecting to see workers and instead found the worksites abandoned.

Soni, Resilience Force’s executive director, says he watched a similar scene unfold a week after the law passed.

“I remember being there one afternoon and talking to a worker at lunchtime. … And he, quite literally, while he was talking to me was packing his tools into his pickup truck and leaving with his crew.”

It was an early sign, Soni says, of harms caused by the immigration law.

“It’s really undermining the ability of Floridians to recover after a hurricane,” he says. “It’s upending the possibility of homes being rebuilt.”

‘I can’t lose my family just to earn a few more dollars’

For Josue, a 23-year-old from Honduras who lives in Texas and works in home remodeling, it’s been hard to watch news reports from Florida showing Hurricane Idalia’s aftermath.

“I feel powerless, seeing how all these people need help,” he says.

Josue, who asked to be identified only by his first name because he’s undocumented, says he knows how hard it is for families to clean up and move forward after disaster strikes.

“We’ve had hurricanes like this hit Honduras, and people have helped us,” he says. “And that’s one reason I want to help. We do it with all our hearts. We do it because we are all equal.”

Last year, he spent months in the Fort Myers area rebuilding homes “from top to bottom” – some still swamped with floodwaters, some with roofs ripped off.

In this aerial view, destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Ian is shown in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, on October 2, 2022. - Win McNamee/Getty Images
In this aerial view, destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Ian is shown in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, on October 2, 2022. – Win McNamee/Getty Images

This year, he says he doesn’t feel safe returning to the state.

Neither does 30-year-old Javier, who lives in New Orleans and also asked to be identified only by his first name because he’s undocumented.

After a few months remodeling homes in Fort Myers after Hurricane Ian last year, Javier says he sensed the atmosphere in the community shifting. Rumors swirled of undocumented workers getting arrested. He fled to Louisiana after hearing that more raids were imminent.

“If it was like that then, imagine how it would be now, with this law,” he says.

He thinks of the many family members he’s supporting, like his 12-year-old daughter in Honduras, who wants to be a surgeon when she grows up. And he thinks of his two sons living in Louisiana.

“I can’t lose my freedom,” he says. “I can’t lose my family just to earn a few more dollars.”

He’s worried about damage from this hurricane – and the next one

Officials are still surveying the damage Hurricane Idalia left behind when the Category 3 storm made landfall last week in Florida’s Big Bend region.

So far, despite the storm’s intensity, experts say the damage appears to be less extensive than other major hurricanes, partly because Idalia made landfall in a less populated region.

Hurricane Idalia caused between $12 billion and $20 billion in damage and lost output, according to a preliminary cost estimate from Moody’s Analytics. Hurricane Ian caused an estimated $112.9 billion of total damage, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Saket Soni, executive director of Resilience Force, speaks to workers in a parking lot in LaPlace, Louisiana, on February 07, 2022. - Josh Brasted/Getty Images
Saket Soni, executive director of Resilience Force, speaks to workers in a parking lot in LaPlace, Louisiana, on February 07, 2022. – Josh Brasted/Getty Images

Even though the damage from this storm isn’t as extensive, Soni says his contacts in the state still report that significant help is needed.

“There’s pretty major devastation in rural areas. There’s a lot of fallen trees. There’s a lot of homeowners in rural areas trying to clean their yards, and an older population of homeowners that needs the help,” Soni says.

While worker shortages in the wake of Idalia haven’t been reported, Soni says that’s a very real possibility if another major storm strikes the state this hurricane season, which ends November 30.

Forecasters are currently eying Hurricane Lee in the Atlantic, although they say it’s too soon to know whether the storm will strike the mainland US.

“Thankfully this recent hurricane, Idalia, did not hit a major city, but the next hurricane could hit the day after tomorrow,” Soni says. “It could come for Jacksonville or Tampa or Tallahassee. And at that point the governor would have a massive rebuilding effort on his hands, and no workers to fuel it. That’s really the situation that I’m concerned about.”

That, too, would be a disaster, Soni says – but one that he says is man-made, and avoidable.

CNN’s Matt Egan, Gloria Pazmino, Bill Kirkos, Carlos Suarez, Denise Royal, Isabel Rosales, Laura Robinson and Elisabeth Buchwald contributed to this report.

Trump: ‘I’m Allowed to Do Whatever I Want’ With Classified Info

Rolling Stone

Trump: ‘I’m Allowed to Do Whatever I Want’ With Classified Info

Peter Wade – September 6, 2023

Donald Trump said he “absolutely” plans to testify in the federal government’s case against him regarding classified documents he removed from the White House. “I’m allowed to do whatever I want … I’m allowed to do everything I did,” the former president told conservative podcast host Hugh Hewitt.

In an interview on “The Hugh Hewitt Show” that dropped Wednesday, the host asked Trump, “Did you direct anyone to move the boxes, Mr. President? Did you tell anyone to move the boxes?” referring to the boxes of more than 300 classified documents the federal government seized last year from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

“I don’t talk about anything. You know why? Because I’m allowed to do whatever I want. I come under the Presidential Records Act,” Trump replied, while also taking a quick detour to bash Hewitt. “I’m not telling you. You know, every time I talk to you, ‘Oh, I have a breaking story.’ You don’t have any story. I come under the Presidential Records Act. I’m allowed to do everything I did.”

Trump has long been misrepresenting what is allowed under the Presidential Records Act.

The law states: “Upon the conclusion of a President’s term of office, or if a President serves consecutive terms upon the conclusion of the last term, the Archivist of the United States shall assume responsibility for the custody, control, and preservation of, and access to, the Presidential records of that President.” There is an allowance for presidents to keep records that are of “a purely private or nonpublic character” and unrelated to presidential duties, but many of the documents Trump was found to possess came from government agencies, such as the C.I.A. and Department of Defense. Trump even bragged on tape post-presidency about holding on to plans for war with Iran.

When Hewitt asked Trump if he would testify in his own defense at the trial in the documents case, the former president said, “That, I would do. That, I look forward to, because that’s just like Russia, Russia, Russia. That’s all the fake information from Russia, Russia, Russia. Remember when the dossier came out and everyone said, ‘Oh, that’s so terrible, that’s so terrible,’ and then it turned out to be it was a political report put out by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. They paid millions for it. They gave it to Christopher Steele. They paid millions and millions of dollars for it, and it was all fake. It was all fake.”

“So I look forward, I look forward to testifying. At trial, I’ll testify,” Trump added. Of course, Trump loves to talk a big game, and we likely won’t know if he will actually testify until next year. The classified documents trial is set to begin in May 2024.

Hewitt followed up by asking, “If you do [testify] and they ask you on the stand, did you order anyone to move boxes, how will you answer?”

“I’m not answering that question for you,” Trump said, “but I’m totally covered under the law.”

In addition to discussing his legal troubles, Hewitt asked Trump for his thoughts on an unrelated topic: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. “I know that they don’t like me,” Trump said. “I said that I don’t think they are very appropriate what they’re saying, what they’re doing, and I didn’t like the way she dealt with the queen.”