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Ax Files with David Axelrod



Episode 531 – Brandon Johnson The Ax Files with David Axelrod

Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson began his campaign trailing in the polls, and his name was little known to Chicago voters. But with the help of the Chicago Teachers’ Union, the former CTU teacher and organizer created a progressive movement, eventually winning the mayor’s race. Mayor-elect Johnson joined David to talk about growing up as one of 10 kids, his introduction to politics, his transition from teaching to organizing, his public safety and policing philosophy, and what he sees for the future of Chicago.

27 Apr. 2023

Episode 530 – Asa Hutchinson The Ax Files with David Axelrod

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently announced that he is running for president in 2024. With less publicity than the other mainstream Republican candidates — most notably Donald Trump — Hutchinson hopes to draw a contrast between himself and the other candidates by refraining from outrage and instead focusing on returning civility and traditional conservative values ​​to the GOP. After serving in Congress and leading positions in the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department ofshow more Homeland Security, Governor Hutchinson hopes his track record will speak for itself. Hutchinson joins David to talk about growing up in rural Arkansas, his position on abortion, why he thinks better mental health is the best way to fight gun violence, why he criticizes the court decision Alvin Bragg and why he thinks Trump can’t do it. victory in 2024.

20 Apr. 2023

Episode 529 – Neil King Jr. The Ax Files with David Axelrod

From trying to become a monk in a monastery in Sri Lanka to reporting from Prague after the collapse of the Soviet Union, former reporter Neil King has traveled the world. In March 2021, he embarked on a different journey, going from his home in Washington, DC to New York. Along the way, he hoped to explore the “core piece” of the country and feel the pulse of modern America. Neal joined David to talk about his decades as a reporter, his battle with esophageal cancer, the people he met and the lessons he learned on his 26-day walk, as well as his new book, American Walk: The Walk memory and renewal.

13 Apr. 2023

The Best of The Ax Files: Christiane Amanpour The Ax Files with David Axelrod

This week we revisit a 2017 conversation with CNN’s top international anchor Christiana Amanpour. She joined David in London to discuss growing up in Iran during the revolution, her experience covering the first Gulf War, her relationship with John F. Kennedy Jr., the refugee crisis and more.

6 Apr. 2023

Episode 528 – Theo Epstein The Ax Files with David Axelrod

Theo Epstein made a name for himself in baseball helping teams facing major championship droughts like the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs win the World Series using data and analytics. He now works for Major League Baseball, where he helped develop new rules to move away from the data-driven game and improve the game’s fluidity and entertainment value. On Opening Day, Theo spoke to David about the new rules for this baseball season, the impact they will have on players and fans, and why he believes they will help the game “get closer to the best version of baseball.”

March 30, 2023

Episode 527 – Jen Easterly The Ax Files with David Axelrod

CISA director Jen Easterly got an early taste of government as a sixth grader when her class was featured in an advert for then-presidential candidate Ronald Reagan. The announcement never got on the air, but Principal Easterly continued to work in the civil service. Having spent decades in the military and in the private sector, Director Easterly now leads the U.S. Cyber ​​and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA. As head of the CISA, she works to protect against cyberattacks on everything from US electionsshow moreThe structure of systems that Americans use every day, such as water, schools, and hospitals. Principal Easterly joined David to talk about what she thinks makes a good leader, the cyber threats from Russia and China, the potential downsides of AI and TikTok, and why cybersecurity should be a collaborative effort.

March 23, 2023

Episode 526 – John Hendrickson The Ax Files with David Axelrod

Journalist John Hendrickson has been living with stuttering since childhood: he struggles with it, looks for ways to get rid of it and tries to accept it. John, who rose to national prominence after interviewing then-presidential candidate Joe Biden about his own stuttering in 2019, recently wrote a book about his experiences and the scientific research behind stuttering. John joined David to talk about living with stuttering, his journalism work, interview Biden, and re-examine his relationship with stuttering in his book, Delayed Life: Coming to terms with stuttering.

March 16, 2023

Ch. 525 – Ambassador Michael McFaul The Ax Files with David Axelrod

In high school, Michael McFaul developed an interest in the Soviet Union, which eventually led to him serving as U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, McFaul has become a vocal supporter of Ukraine. McFaul joined David to talk about his job advising on sanctions against Russia, why he thinks the US should go all in on military aid to Ukraine, how Russian President Vladimir Putin can claim victory, how much time Ukraine has, to turn the tide. the war and his skepticism that Putin would resort to using nuclear weapons.

March 9, 2023

Episode 524 – Peter Meyer The Ax Files with David Axelrod

Just days after he was sworn into Congress, former GOP member Peter Meyer of Michigan watched in horror as protesters stormed the Capitol. Deeply disturbed by the experience, he voted to impeach President Trump, paving the way for the Trump-backed primary opponent to defeat Meyer in 2022. defense of Ukraine, his decision to vote to impeach Trump, the importance of long-term thinking in politics, and potential participation in the Senate.

March 2, 2023

Ch. 523 – Beto O’Rourke The Ax Files with David Axelrod

Beto O’Rourke rose to national prominence in 2018 when he narrowly lost to Texas Senator Ted Cruz in an unexpectedly close election. Two years later, he ran in the Democratic presidential primaries, and in 2022 he ran for governor of Texas. Although three races in a row were unsuccessful, they generated enthusiasm and energy and at times helped revitalize the Democratic Party in Texas. Beto joined David to talk about political struggles in Texas, raising three kids and running three consecutive campaigns, why he chose to run for governor, gun violence and its effect on young voters, immigration and how what he sees in his political future.

February 23, 2023

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North Carolina Republicans announce 12-week abortion ban



ROLES — Republicans in North Carolina on Tuesday unveiled a plan to ban abortion in the state after 12 weeks of pregnancy, a move that will significantly narrow the window for legal abortions but fall short of the more restrictive bans that have been passed in other southern states. states.

The new measure was unveiled just days after proposed bans failed last week in two other conservative states — a near-total ban in South Carolina and a six-week ban in Nebraska — with opposition from some Republican women and others in the party amid concerns. growing political backlash caused by the fall Row vs Calf.

On Tuesday in North Carolina, Republican women lawmakers took the lead in introducing the legislation in a surprise press conference that ended months of closed-door discussions among Republicans, many of whom pushed for a six-week ban. Lawmakers have repeatedly said that a 12-week ban would be widely popular among North Carolina residents, describing the proposal as a “basic” approach to the issue.

“We are looking[ed] to what the majority of North Carolina residents said. That’s where most of it comes to naught,” Republican Senator Joyce Kravetz said, adding that there was “a lot of discussion and a lot of controversy.”

Another MP, Rep. Sarah Stevens (R), speaker pro tempore of the House of Representatives, called the bill “for women.”

Democratic leaders disputed the idea that the proposal would be popular with the public.

“The Republican leadership has once again schemed behind closed doors and silenced the voices of both members of the public and members of the state legislature to impose a ban on harmful abortions on us,” said Sen. Dan Blue and Rep. Robert Reeves. says in the statement. “North Carolinas believe in freedom, including the freedom to decide whether and when to start a family.”

The vast majority of abortions in the country are done before North Carolina legislators consider this limit. in 2020, approximately 93 percent of abortions were performed at or before 13 weeks of gestation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Legislation establish exceptions for rape and incest for 20 weeks, and an exception for lethal fetal anomalies for 24 weeks. The proposal also includes an exception for the life of the mother.

Conservative dissidents block abortion restrictions in Nebraska, South Carolina

While North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has repeatedly vetoed abortion restrictions in the past, Tuesday’s announcement underscored a new dynamic in Raleigh, where last month’s House Democrat switch party gave Republicans a veto-proof supermajority that could give for the first time in many years they won the right to pass a law to ban abortion.

North Carolina, where abortions are currently legal up to 20 weeks pregnant, has become a destination for people seeking abortions following a June Supreme Court ruling that overturned Row vs Calf, prompting strict bans in the South. Firstly two month since the landmark ruling, North Carolina experienced a larger surge in abortions than any other state.

Across the country, conservatives in the months following the abolition of the Supreme Court caviar prompted GOP leaders to seize the opportunity to impose strict bans. But voters have repeatedly demonstrated their strong support for abortion rights by repealing anti-abortion amendments even in conservative states like Kentucky and Kansas.

The 2022 midterm elections, in which a number of Democrats won competitive races after making abortion rights a central issue, were widely viewed by Republicans as a sign of danger.

North Carolina Republicans said Tuesday the proposal would come with millions of dollars in additional spending on child care, paid parental leave for teachers and government employees, and foster families. The lawmakers said they would also increase funding for crisis pregnancy centers, organizations that aim to discourage women from having abortions.

The text of the bill was unavailable on Tuesday evening. A vote on the bill is expected in the coming days.

Rep. Trisha Cotham, an MP whose party has replaced the vast majority of Republicans in North Carolina, has expressed support for abortion rights in the past but has not said how she will vote as a Republican.

The Republican lawmakers who introduced the plan on Tuesday said they were confident they could win the support of some Democrats, some of whom have voted for anti-abortion legislation in the past.

Republicans seek to reduce access to abortion in post-Row Haven states

Earlier this year, every member of the Democratic Party in the state legislature signed a bill that codified caviar into law. The legislation was intended as a show of Democratic unity, though it was doomed from the start in a Republican-dominated legislature.

But a few days later, a Democratic MP told The Post that he would not rule out a vote to limit abortion.

“I go to bed with it, I wake up with it,” Rep. Garland Pierce (D), who leads the congregation at Bright Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Laurinburg, North Carolina, said at the time. “When you get deep inside, you want to make sure you’re doing the right thing.”

The NC Values ​​Coalition, one of North Carolina’s leading anti-abortion groups, originally drafted a six-week abortion ban “as a starting point,” group executive Tami Fitzgerald previously told The Post.

In a statement released after Tuesday’s press conference, the group said the proposal fell short of the group’s long-term goals. The group supports abortion only when it is necessary to save the mother’s life.

“NC Values ​​believes that life begins at conception and that life is a human right. Although the General Assembly has decided to limit abortion to 12 weeks, we are grateful that more children will be protected by moving the restriction from 20 weeks back to 12 weeks,” Fitzgerald said.

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Almost half of the lieutenant governors are women. Could this pave the way to a higher position?



Research published last week The Barbara Lee Family Foundation shows the opportunities and challenges for women who are second in command. Some of them are gaining more and more public notoriety as they carve out a space separate from the governor they work with.

Among the findings of the study, a majority of voters believe that female lieutenant governors are eligible to serve as governors, and the office can prepare these women for the role.

“They’re sleeping in terms of achieving parity for women because I don’t think people really think too much about it,” said Amanda Hunter, executive director of a foundation that conducts unbiased research on women in the US. policy.

This is reflected in some new research based on work by Lake Research Partners and Bellwether Research and Consulting. In January, the groups polled online 2,900 voters likely to vote in 2024 for their opinions on lieutenant governors in general and the intersection of the sexes.

Voters are generally unaware of the role and responsibilities of lieutenant governors, which vary by state.

“The role of lieutenant governors is really a blank slate in the eyes of voters, so they have the opportunity to define it,” Hunter said.

Only 12 states have female governors, but 14 women were elected lieutenant governor in the 2022 midterms, including eight incumbents who were re-elected. This has resulted in a nearly gender-matched percentage of women in this position this year, more than at the end of 2022, when 19, or 42.2 percent, of all lieutenant governors were women. One woman was assigned to the role.

According to the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, most likely, voters did not have a preference for the gender of lieutenant governor. For those who did, the men preferred the male Lieutenant Governor and the women preferred the female. Most voters who self-identify as Black, Hispanic, AAPI, Indigenous, or Indigenous have said they prefer a woman in this role.

Most said that their friends and neighbors were also likely to be gender-neutral. But of those who think their neighbors would have a preference, both men and women said they thought their neighbors would prefer a man in that role.

“Some voters still have a slight barrier of imagination when it comes to seeing a woman lieutenant governor if they assume their neighbor is likely to vote for a man over a woman,” Hunter said.

Just a few decades ago, lieutenant governors were relegated to a secondary role, including by the governors they worked with. As for female lieutenant governors, the situation appears to be changing as more of them take over explicit leadership in setting policy priorities.

This could have implications for higher office: more than 70 lieutenant governors, including 12 women, became governor in 1980.

Juliana Stratton, Illinois lieutenant governor and chair of the National Association of Lieutenant Governors, a bipartisan organization, said that while her role is not clearly defined in the state constitution, she has been working to add several initiatives to her office. This includes work for justice and equality, women and girls, and care. Stratton is the first black man to be elected lieutenant governor of a state.

“The skill set that I bring to the work I do is to bring people together to solve problems, identify problems, and then make sure we lift communities and let the voices of the community guide us in how we solve these problems,” the Democrat said.

Other lieutenant governors are also working to take the lead and share their life experiences at work.

In Arkansas, Republican Lieutenant. government Leslie Rutledge attracted public attention after tornado damage in Arkansas a few weeks agowhen she spoke about her experience as a former Attorney General in providing advice to residents.

In Minnesota, he is a lieutenant in the Democratic Party. government of Peggy Flanagan gave a personal answer to a state senator who said he didn’t know anyone who was hungry.

Lieutenant in California government of Eleni Kunalakis established a transgender advisory board and appeared on national television talk about the state’s precautions after a major flood.

Kunalakis, a former US ambassador to Hungary, is also in contention for a higher post. On Monday she announced that she intended to run for governor in 2026. Kunalakis, a Democrat, was elected as California’s first female lieutenant governor in 2018 along with the governor. Gavin Newsom, which has a limited duration. If elected, she would become California’s first female governor.

Hunter said the new study shows voters want to know about a lieutenant governor’s individual accomplishments in office. It is more important for voters to know what the lieutenant governor has done and their relationship with the voters than the lieutenant governor’s relationship with the governor.

“They just want to know what works for people,” she said.

Stratton said she’s seen firsthand how female lieutenant governors are stepping up in everything from supporting small businesses to addressing maternal health and mortality issues.

“These are highly skilled women. These are women who are at the forefront and often have leadership qualities that are really based on really thoughtful and strategic thinking, but also based on compassion and really listening to our communities,” she said. “I think it’s exciting. And I think that the women who serve in these positions can rise as high as they want.”

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ACLU sues new Oklahoma law banning gender transition treatment for minors



The ink was barely dry on the Oklahoma Governor’s paper. Kevin Stitt’s signature when the American Civil Liberties Union sued to stop enforcement of Senate Bill 613, a law that would ban sex reassignment hormones and surgery on underage children.

ACLU and Lambda Legal filed legal trial On Tuesday, an Oklahoma federal court blocked a recently signed law that would make it a felony to grant gender transition to persons under the age of 18. The lawsuit alleges that the state law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution.

“We all deserve the freedom to control our bodies and seek the health care we need, including gender-affirming care,” said Megan Lambert, Oklahoma-based ACLU legal director. “The Oklahoma ACLU and our partners have alerted legislators that we will take immediate action on any ban on gender-affirming care that becomes law, and today is the day we deliver on that promise.”

Oklahoma became the 18th state to restrict gender reassignment procedures for minors when the Republican governor signed the bill Monday after a large majority past both chambers vote along party lines. The law takes effect immediately.

“Last year, I called for a statewide ban on all irreversible sex reassignment surgery and juvenile hormone therapy, so I am thrilled to sign this legislation today and protect our children,” Mr. Stitt said. “We can’t turn a blind eye to what’s going on in our country, and as governor, I’m proud to stand up for what’s right and ban life-changing transitional surgeries on children in Oklahoma.”

Among those who welcomed the passage of the bill was Matt Sharp, director of the Freedom Defense Alliance’s Legislative Defense Center, who praised Mr. Stitt and the Legislative Assembly for “upholding the truth.”

“To deny the truth that we are either male or female hurts real people, especially vulnerable children,” Mr Sharp said. “Young people deserve to live in a society that does not expose them to risky experiments to which they cannot actually consent, including so-called ‘sex reassignment’ operations and drugs.”

He noted that some European countries, including Sweden, England and Finland, restrict such procedures for children.

“By passing this law, Oklahoma has taken an important step towards protecting children and parents from being forced into life-changing, often sterilizing surgeries and medications,” Mr. Sharp said.

ACLU lawsuit filed on behalf of Dr. Oklahoma City. Shauna Lawlis and five children aged 12 to 17 undergoing gender reassignment treatment said the law would have “devastating effects on transgender teenagers in Oklahoma.”

“These teenagers will not be able to receive the critical medical care recommended by their healthcare professionals, and their parents agree that they need it,” the statement said. “In addition, the treatment of those who are already receiving assistance will be stopped. For some transgender teenagers, the prospect of losing the medical care they need is unbearable.”

The ACLU was busy filing three lawsuits last week to block measures to ban “gender-affirming care” in Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee.

“We are confident that the state will prove completely incapable of defending this law in court and welcome the opportunity to fight for the safety, dignity, and equality of trans Oklahoma,” said Harper Seldin, ACLU LGBTQ & HIV Project staff lawyer.

American Principles President Terry Schilling disagreeapplauding Mr. Stitt for signing the measure and declaring that “the momentum is on our side”.

“While the predatory transgender industry has tried to sell the country what it euphemistically calls “gender-affirming care,” more and more Americans are realizing what it really is: physical sterilization and mutilation for ideology and profit.” said Mr. Schilling.

A lawsuit seeking to bar the state from enforcing the ban pending a court order was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

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