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Inslee ramps up pressure campaign for DNC to hold climate change debate, says earth’s ‘on fire’

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Inslee unveils $9 trillion plan to battle climate change

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee is stepping up his push to force the Democratic National Committee to hold a primary debate solely on the issue of climate change.

“This planet is on fire and we have to have a debate on how to put it out,” the Democratic presidential candidate and longtime champion of combating climate change told reporters.

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And Inslee warned that if the DNC doesn’t drop its opposition to a climate change-only debate, he will “be talking to the other candidates” who agree with him and “we will pursue what other options we can make.”

Inslee made his comments Wednesday while campaigning in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary in the race for the White House.

Inslee, a long-shot for the nomination in an historically large field of two-dozen candidates, has been aggressively and relentlessly urging the DNC and the national party committee’s chairman Tom Perez to hold a climate change debate.

DEBATE OVER DEBATE: SOME 2020 DEMS FUME OVER DNC CRITERIA TO MAKE THE STAGE

Perez reportedly told activists who confronted him at a party gathering in Florida this past weekend that holding such a debate was “just not practical.”

Inslee, firing back, added “I’ll tell you what’s impractical. It’s to be underwater, under eight feet of water as a farmer in Iowa. To have your town burned down in Paradise, California.”

And the governor emphasized that “there’s 12 debates. One of them ought to be dedicated to this effort. I’m not just saying that. Hundreds of thousands of Democrats are. It’s the right thing to do and I hope the party will reconsider.”

“There are nine state party chairs who are going to bring a resolution at the next executive committee to make sure this gets done,” he noted.

And Inslee pointed to numerous rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden, the clear front-runner right now in the Democratic nomination race, who’ve joined his calls for a climate change debate.

“There are about 14 of the candidates, including the former vice president. The former vice president said we need a debate on this yesterday. So I would encourage the chair of the party to listen to the former vice president and hundreds of thousands of grassroots folks and party chairs and me and make sure this gets a full and fair debate,” he said.

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Perez, in a Medium post on Tuesday, defended his climate change record while steering the DNC the past two years.

“Climate change is an urgent threat to our nation and our planet,” he wrote. “It imperils our children and grandchildren’s future, and it disproportionately affects our most vulnerable communities. That’s why, beginning in 2017, I made clear to our media partners that the issue of climate change must be featured prominently in our debates. That didn’t happen in 2016 — and it was wrong.”

But in explaining his opposition to Inslee’s push, Perez said “if we change our guidelines at the request of one candidate who has made climate change their campaign’s signature issue, how do we say no to the numerous other requests we’ve had? How do we say no to other candidates in the race who may request debates focused on an issue they’ve made central to their own campaigns?”

And he pointed to other options to spotlight the issue of climate change.

“Already, a number of organizations and networks have hosted their own issue-based forums and town halls — and I hope and expect more of these will take place in the coming months,” Perez emphasized. “Nobody is prohibited from participating in a DNC-sanctioned debate because they participated in a climate change forum or town hall.”

While Inslee twice gave Biden a shout-out for joining the calls for a climate change debate, he targeted the former vice president’s efforts on the issue.

Inslee, who last week said that Biden’s new proposal to produce net-zero emissions and reach a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050 “lack teeth,” criticized the former vice president again.

“I am the only candidate who has said this has to be the first priority of the United States. I am the only candidate who has said that. He (Biden) has not,” Inslee told Fox News.

“I’m the only candidate who has said we have to get off coal with … teeth in a law in the next ten years. He has not. I’m the only candidate who has said we need to make our transportation system electric in the next decade and a half. He has not,” Inslee spotlighted. “So there are some differences.”

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Trump rips New York Times over Kavanaugh piece, calls for resignation of anyone involved in ‘SMEAR story’

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Trump rips New York Times over Kavanaugh piece, calls for resignation of anyone involved in 'SMEAR story'

President Trump blasted The New York Times over its supposed bombshell report on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, calling on “everybody” involved in the “smear” to resign.

“I call for the Resignation of everybody at The New York Times involved in the Kavanaugh SMEAR story, and while you’re at it, the Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, which is just as phony!” Trump tweeted Monday evening.

“They’ve taken the Old Grey Lady and broken her down, destroyed her virtue and ruined her reputation… She can never recover, and will never return to Greatness, under current Management. The Times is DEAD, long live The New York Times!”

NEW YORK TIMES CRITICIZED FROM BOTH SIDES OVER NOW-REVISED KAVANAUGH ALLEGATIONS

Late Sunday, The New York Times walked back an explosive report about a resurfaced allegation of sexual assault by Kavanaugh from his college days. The piece by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, adapted from their forthcoming book, alleged there was corroboration of an incident in which Kavanaugh, as a college student at Yale, exposed himself to a female classmate at a party.

However, The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway — who reviewed an advance copy of the book – flagged an omission and the paper eventually revised the controversial story after being lampooned on social media over the gaffe.

The update included the significant detail that several friends of the alleged victim said she did not recall the purported sexual assault. The newspaper also stated for the first time that the alleged victim refused to be interviewed, and has made no other comment about the episode.

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Trump was asked about whether anyone from The Times should be “fired” over the controversy. He called it a “fair” question but didn’t directly give an answer.

“I think The New York Times made another terrible mistake,” Trump said. “It’s a shame that a thing like that could happen… They used to have a thing called fact-checking. They don’t have fact-checking anymore.”

Fox News’ Brian Flood and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

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With New Mexico rally, Trump seeks to flip state won by Clinton in 2016

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With New Mexico rally, Trump seeks to flip state won by Clinton in 2016

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump will hold one of his signature rallies on Monday night in New Mexico, a longtime Democratic stronghold his campaign has added to the list of states it hopes to win in the November 2020 election.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S., September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

The last time New Mexico supported a Republican in a presidential race was 2004. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton beat Trump there by 8 percentage points three years ago.

Trump’s campaign sees an opening in the state with Latinos, who it believes will swing his way despite tough immigration policies, including a crackdown on migrants from Central America and a push to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Democrats have criticized those efforts. But a Trump campaign aide said the Republican president could win over Latinos who came to the United States legally and believe others should, too.

“Big crowd expected in New Mexico tonight, where we will WIN. Your Border Wall is getting stronger each and every day — see you in a few hours!” Trump tweeted ahead of his trip.

The campaign also views Trump’s support for the fossil fuel industry as a plus in the state, which is rich in oil and natural gas, said the campaign aide, who declined to be named. Trump is likely to discuss energy on Monday night.

Trump won the White House in 2016 with electoral votes from traditional Republican-leaning states and some surprise Democratic-leaning ones.

The Trump campaign says it wants New Mexico’s five electoral votes to augment the 306 electoral votes the president received in his first election, not create a separate path for victory. A candidate must get 270 electoral votes nationally to win.

Democrats, who did well in New Mexico during the 2018 mid-term elections, are skeptical.

“Last cycle, Democrats crushed Republicans in New Mexico because voters are fed up with President Trump’s toxic healthcare agenda and broken promises,” said David Bergstein, a communications director for the Democratic National Committee focused on battleground states.

“We take nothing for granted, but this GOP strategy looks like they’re concerned about a realistic pathway to 270 electoral votes,” he added.

Trump won electoral-vote-rich swing states such as Ohio and Florida in 2016, while also picking up Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania from Democrats.

The campaign says it is eyeing more pickups in 2020, including Colorado, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Nevada.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Tom Brown

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California adds Iowa to ‘travel ban’ over refusal to fund gender transitions

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California adds Iowa to 'travel ban' over refusal to fund gender transitions

California announced Monday that it has added Iowa to the list of states on its ever-expanding “travel ban” list because of that state’s new prohibition against funding gender-transition surgeries under Medicaid.

The announcement by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra means that as of Oct. 4, California will no longer offer taxpayer-funded trips to Iowa for any public employee or student at a state-run university.

Becerra’s authority came from a 2016 California law signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown that bars state-funded travel to other states that undercut LGBT rights. The list already included Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi.

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Conservatives have called the law ineffective, inconveniencing, possibly unconstitutional and hypocritical. The state’s sports teams have turned to private funding to get around the restrictions, according to The Los Angeles Times.

A homeless woman smokes as she waits for city crews to clean the area near Los Angeles City Hall Monday, July 1, 2019. California is overrun with homeless individuals. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

A homeless woman smokes as she waits for city crews to clean the area near Los Angeles City Hall Monday, July 1, 2019. California is overrun with homeless individuals. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

“The Iowa Legislature has reversed course on what was settled law under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, repealing protections for those seeking gender-affirming health care,” Becerra said in a statement. “California has taken an unambiguous stand against discrimination and government actions that would enable it.”

The brouhaha began after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in March that taxpayers could be forced to pay for gender reassignment surgery. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a law effectively overriding that ruling two months later.

At the federal level, the Trump administration has disputed the idea that sex-based discrimination prohibitions under law include protections for gender identity. The Health and Human Services Department, in May, angered progressive advocates with rules that both allowed doctors not to perform certain operations and stated that “gender identity” was not protected under sex discrimination law in health care.

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Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report.

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