China warned Taiwan on Friday it would only get burnt if it sought to rely on foreigners, adding to warnings from state media the country could go to war over Taiwan if the United States passes into law a bill promoting closer U.S. ties. The legislation, which only needs President Donald Trump's signature to become law, says it should be U.S. policy to allow officials at all levels to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts, permit high-level Taiwanese officials to enter the United States"under respectful conditions" and meet with U.S. officials. Beijing considers democratic Taiwan to be a wayward province and integral part of"one China", ineligible for state-to-state relations, and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control. China's Taiwan Affairs Office said the bill was a serious contravention of the"one China" principle. read more
A progressive political action committee (PAC) hit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) on Tuesday, calling it "out-of-touch" on gun control laws and criticizing its lack of support for single-payer healthcare. The Justice Democrats -- founded by The Young Turks creator, progressive activist Cenk Uygur -- shared its criticism of the DCCC in response to reports that the DCCC told lawmakers not to support single-payer healthcare and to refrain from talking about gun-control policies in the wake of a mass shooting last year. "It's becoming evident that the DCCC -- and the billionaire donors and revolving door consultants that make up the Democratic Party's establishment -- believe Democrats can only take back Congress running on a watered-down message," the Justice Democrats said in a statement. read more
The Washington state senate passed a bipartisan bill Wednesday to abolish the death penalty. Senate Bill 6052 passed the state senate 26 to 22 and will now go to the state house for a vote. If signed into law, the bill would repeal the death penalty for aggravated first-degree murder and replace it with life without parole, the News Tribune reported. Republican State Sen. Maureen Walsh sponsored the bill and said she didn't do so out of sympathy. "That's not why I'm doing this," said Walsh, whose district in Walla Walla is where the state's death row is located. "I'm doing this maybe because I feel like it's somewhat our responsibility as legislators to vet these issues here in this forum in this venue." A major concern over maintaining a death penalty is the cost. A recent Seattle University study found that death penalty cases cost an average of about $1 million more than life imprisonment cases. Moral concerns were also a part of the debate. read more
if there's been one consistent thing about Donald Trump since he emerged as a presidential candidate in June 2015, it's this: When women accuse men of sexual assault or domestic abuse, Trump sides with the men. The most recent example of this trend has played out over the last 72 hours -- as Trump has repeatedly noted that Rob Porter, his former staff secretary, denies the charges of physical and emotional abuse levied against him by both of his ex-wives as well as a former girlfriend. "Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation," the President tweeted Saturday morning "Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?" read more
Democrats won an exurban St. Louis seat in the Missouri state House of Representatives on Tuesday, racking up another victory in a district carried easily by President Trump in the 2016 election. Voters in Jefferson County appeared to choose Mike Revis, a 27-year old Democrat, to fill a seat left vacant when the incumbent quit to run for county executive. With all ten precincts within the district reporting, Revis led Republican David Linton by 108 votes, or about three percentage points. If Revis's lead holds, it would mark a significant swing from 2016, when President Trump won the district by a 61 percent to 33 percent margin. Four years before that, Mitt Romney beat President Obama in the district, south and west of St. Louis, by a 55- to 43-percent margin.