February 21, 2024


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Wisconsin’s Top Court Won’t Order Ballots Reprinted, Averting Election Chaos

37 min read
Wisconsin’s Top Court Won’t Order Ballots Reprinted, Averting Election Chaos

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Credit…Will Cioci/Wisconsin Watch, via Associated Press

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the Green Party’s presidential candidate will not appear on the state’s presidential ballot, a decision that came as a sigh of relief to election officials who had worried that a wholesale reprinting of thousands of ballots could bring chaos to an already stressed electoral system.

The decision against the candidate, Howie Hawkins, also could provide a small but potentially significant lift to Joseph R. Biden Jr., whose Democratic allies had expressed concern that the presence of a third-party progressive candidate on the ballot could siphon votes away from Mr. Biden and help President Trump.

Both the Biden and Trump campaigns view a path to victory through Wisconsin, which Mr. Trump carried by less than 23,000 votes in 2016.

Days before the start of mail voting, the court ruled that Mr. Hawkins and his running mate, Angela Walker, had waited too long to appeal a decision from the Wisconsin Elections Commission that denied their placement on the ballot, giving the court no recourse.

“Given their delay in asserting their rights, we would be unable to provide meaningful relief without completely upsetting the election,” the court ruled.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission had denied the request on Aug. 20 because of a discrepancy in Ms. Walker’s address on petitions, and it took the Green Party candidates two weeks to file a request for review with the court. The request was filed on Sept. 3.

The court did not rule on the merits of the Green Party case, but concluded that the candidates’ delay in a situation with “very short deadlines” made it impossible to grant the motion without causing “confusion and undue damage to both the Wisconsin electors who want to vote and the other candidates in all the various races on the general election ballot.”

In an interview on Sunday, Mr. Hawkins said his campaign had been working to find a lawyer to take its case to the State Supreme Court and had reached out to a number of progressive lawyers before finally finding a firm that would take the case, acknowledging that the firm was a conservative one whose representation was being financed by an unnamed conservative benefactor.

More than a million Wisconsin voters have already requested absentee ballots, and the prospect of an enormous reprinting would have affected every county and municipal election official in the state.




‘Climate Change Is Real,’ Newsom Tells Trump at Briefing

During a meeting with local and state wildfire officials in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom politely disagreed with President Trump’s view on climate change.

“Your administration just entered into a first-of-its-type commitment over the next 20 years to double our vegetation management and forest management.” “Right.” “I want to thank you for supporting that effort, funding that effort. We acknowledge our role and responsibility to do more in that space. But one thing is fundamental: 57 percent of the land in this state is federal forest land. Three percent is California. So we really do need that support. We need that emphasis of engagement. And we are fully committed to working with you to advance that cause. We’ve known each other too long, and as you suggest, the working relationship I value — we obviously feel very strongly that the hots are getting hotter. The dries are getting drier. When we’re having heat domes, the likes of which we’ve never seen in our history: The hottest August ever in the history of the state, the ferocity of these fires, the drought — five-plus years — losing 163 million trees to that drought. Something’s happened to the plumbing of the world. And we come from a perspective, humbly, where we submit the science is in and observed evidence is self-evident that climate change is real, and that is exacerbating this. And so I think there is an area of, at least, commonality on vegetation, forest management. But please respect — and I know you do — the difference of opinion out here as it relates to this fundamental issue, on the issue of climate change.” “Absolutely.” “Appreciate it, thanks.”

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During a meeting with local and state wildfire officials in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom politely disagreed with President Trump’s view on climate change.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump arrived in California in a smoky haze on Monday and promptly blamed the wildfires ravaging the West Coast not on climate change but on the failure by western states to properly manage their forests.

“When trees fall down after a short period of time, they become very dry — really like a matchstick,” the president told reporters after disembarking from Air Force One at Sacramento McClellan Airport, where the stench of smoke filled the air. “And they can explode. Also leaves. When you have dried leaves on the ground, it’s just fuel for the fires.”

The president brushed off a question about climate change, suggesting that the query be put to Gov. Gavin Newsom of California instead.

During a briefing for the president by state and local officials fighting the fires or representing communities affected by them, Mr. Newsom pushed back on climate change, though he made a point of doing so exceedingly politely.

He offered thanks to Mr. Trump for federal assistance and agreed with him that forest management needs to be better, but he noted that only 3 percent of land in California was under state control while 57 percent was federal forest land under the president’s management.

“As you suggest, the working relationship I value,” Mr. Newsom said. But he said climate change clearly was a factor in the fires.

“Something’s happening to the plumbing of the world,” Mr. Newsom said. “And we come from a perspective, humbly, where we submit the science is in and observed evidence is self-evident that climate change is real and that is exacerbating this.”

He went on: “And so I think there’s an area of at least commonality on vegetation, forest management. But please respect — and I know you do — the difference of opinion out here as it relates to this fundamental issue on the issue of climate change.”

Rather than argue the point, Mr. Trump deferred. “Absolutely,” he said, and then turned the floor over to another briefer.

But after another speaker also raised climate change, Mr. Trump made clear that he remained unpersuaded. “It will start getting cooler,” he said. “Just watch. I don’t think science knows, actually.”

The president’s comments reflected a longstanding assertion on his part whenever flames erupt in California or elsewhere in the west. But environmentalists, state officials and scientists said the scarred countryside and ashen clouds are the predictable consequence of climate change that has gone largely unchecked by Mr. Trump, who has instead rolled back environmental regulations.

“Raking the leaves and forest floors is really inane; that doesn’t make sense at all,” said Ralph Propper, president of the Environmental Council of Sacramento. “We’re seeing what was predicted, which is more extremes of weather.”

Nearly two years ago, federal government scientists concluded that greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels could triple the frequency of severe fires across the Western states.

But the president has used his time in the nation’s highest office to aggressively promote the burning of fossil fuels, chiefly by rolling back or weakening every major federal policy intended to combat dangerous emissions. At the same time, Mr. Trump and his senior environmental officials have regularly mocked, denied or minimized the established science of human-caused climate change.

Now, as he battles for a second term in the White House, Mr. Trump has doubled down on his anti-climate agenda as a way of appealing to his core supporters. At a rally in Pennsylvania last month, he blamed California’s failure to “clean your floors” of leaves, threatening to “make them pay for it because they don’t listen to us.”

“Talk to a firefighter if you think that climate change isn’t real,” Mayor Eric M. Garcetti of Los Angeles said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “It seems like this administration are the last vestiges of the Flat Earth Society of this generation.”




Biden Calls Trump a ‘Climate Arsonist’ in Remarks on Wildfires

During a speech in Wilmington, Del., Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential nominee, attacked the Trump administration’s response to climate change.

The fury of climate change everywhere, all this year, and right now. We stand with our families who have lost everything, the firefighters, the first responders, risking everything to save others, and the millions of Americans caught between relocating during a pandemic or staying put as ashes and smoke pollute the air they breathe. The past 10 years were the hottest decade ever recorded — the Arctic is literally melting. Parts are actually on fire. What we’re seeing in America, in our communities, is connected to all of this. If we have four more years of Trump’s climate denial, how many suburbs will be burned in wildfires? How many suburban neighborhoods will have been flooded out, how many suburbs will have been blown away in superstorms? If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze? If you have a climate denier four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised when more of America is underwater? We need a president who respects science, who understands that the damage from climate change is already here, and unless we take urgent action will soon be more catastrophic.

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During a speech in Wilmington, Del., Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential nominee, attacked the Trump administration’s response to climate change.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

As wildfires raged across the West Coast, Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Monday attacked President Trump’s record on climate change, calling the president a “climate arsonist” whose inaction and denial had fed destruction.

In a speech in Delaware, Mr. Biden directly connected the blazes that have displaced thousands of people to climate change, and he also spoke about flooding in the Midwest and hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. He sought to paint a second Trump term as harmful to the suburbs, flipping an attack waged against him by the president.

“If we have four more years of Trump’s climate denial, how many suburbs will be burned in wildfires?” Mr. Biden asked. “How many suburban neighborhoods will have been flooded out? How many suburbs will have been blown away in superstorms?”

He continued: “If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze? If you give a climate denier four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised when more of America is underwater?”

Mr. Biden’s speech, delivered outdoors at the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Wilmington, came as Mr. Trump traveled to California and met with Gov. Gavin Newsom and other officials for a briefing on the devastating wildfires.

Mr. Trump has come under intense criticism for failing for several weeks to mention the blazes that have ravaged parts of California, Oregon and Washington. The president, who has called climate change a hoax, has frequently expressed skepticism about the scientific consensus that warming global temperatures are worsening wildfires.

In his speech, Mr. Biden criticized Mr. Trump over his “disdain for science and facts,” presenting climate change as another area where the president had failed to provide leadership in the face of a crisis. He made a case for treating the reduction of fossil fuel emissions as a nonpartisan issue that could create manufacturing jobs while preserving the planet.

“We have to act as a nation,” Mr. Biden said. “It shouldn’t be so bad that millions of Americans live in the shadow of an orange sky, and they’re left asking: ‘Is doomsday here?’”

Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Hillary Clinton, speaking candidly during an online fund-raiser Monday, counseled the Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris to “modulate” her tone during her upcoming debate with Mike Pence to avoid a sexist “double-standard” that portrays strong female leaders as frightening.

Mrs. Clinton, who lost the 2016 election despite posting strong debate performances against Donald Trump, warned Ms. Harris that Mr. Pence will try to undermine her without bombast.

“Pence will somehow, subtly undercut Kamala — you know, he will try to say, ‘Well, that’s not the way it’s done,’” Mrs. Clinton said, adding that Mr. Pence will attempt to use the debate, scheduled for Oct. 7 at the University of Utah, to “put her in the box of, you know, the inexperienced woman candidate.”

It is important that Ms. Harris confront Mr. Pence, Mrs. Clinton said, but she struck a note of caution gleaned from her 38 debate performances over two presidential election cycles.

“She has to modulate her responses because we know there still is a double standard, alive and well when it comes to women in politics,” Mrs. Clinton added, “so she’s got to be firm and effective in rebutting any implication that comes from the other side — but do it in a way that doesn’t scare or alienate voters.”

Monday’s online event, which attracted 100,000 viewers and raised an estimated $6 million in small donations, featured not only Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Harris but their two best-known celebrity doppelgängers, the former Saturday Night Live cast members Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph.

Mrs. Clinton — relaxed and eager to address the topic of sexism as she sat in her Chappaqua, N.Y., parlor — was asked what debating advice she had for Ms. Harris. She began her response, instead, by offering a preview of what the Democratic nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr., would be up against.

“As I found in 2016, with Trump, he could have cared less about answering the questions or even giving accurate information,” Mrs. Clinton said. “He came prepared to insult, to bully, to loom over the presence” — a reference to Mr. Trump’s bizarre habit of lingering behind the former secretary of state during their second debate four years ago.

At times, the discussion resembled an informal conversation between four friends, with Mrs. Clinton saying she has used the forced confinement of the pandemic to spend time with her grandchildren and to catch up on decades of sleep deprivation. Ms. Harris said that her family had been cooking a lot more, and binge-watching Marvel movies, at least before she was picked as Mr. Biden’s running mate.

At times they mused, more in astonishment than derision, about Mr. Trump’s personality quirks.

“Somebody said he has no sense of humor, I have never seen him laugh or make fun of himself — certainly not about his hairdo,” said Mrs. Clinton, who has endured endless scrutiny of her hairstyles and fashion choices over the years.

“There is nothing joyful about him,” Ms. Harris chimed in.

At one point, Ms. Poehler’s microphone went dead, and the three other participants chatted among themselves as Mr. Biden’s team scrambled to figure out what had gone wrong.

“Somebody unmute Amy!” Mrs. Clinton said.

“I smell sabotage,” joked Ms. Rudolph.

“You never know what is really going on these days,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Maybe,” she added later, “it’s the Russians.”

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, one of the Republicans’ most vulnerable incumbents, tried to turn around his faltering re-election campaign on Monday night, clashing with Cal Cunningham, his Democratic challenger, in a televised debate that largely focused on the coronavirus pandemic.

The contest in a key swing state is one of a handful of races that could determine control of the Senate next year, and almost every recent public poll shows Mr. Tillis, a first-term incumbent who is mostly allied with President Trump, trailing Mr. Cunningham, a former state senator and Iraq war veteran.

Seeking to halt that momentum, Mr. Tillis repeatedly tried to chip away at Mr. Cunningham’s image as an inoffensive moderate, painting him instead as a craven, ladder-climbing liberal who would “say anything to get elected.” Mr. Tillis implied Mr. Cunningham would defund the police, a position his rival rejected. He leaned heavily on his own status as an incumbent, highlighting bipartisan work done by Congress to provide relief to millions of Americans suffering from economic hardships caused by the coronavirus.

But Mr. Tillis’s biggest break came without much effort when Mr. Cunningham said he would be “hesitant” to take a vaccine approved by federal health authorities because of “extraordinary corruption in Washington” that he said was warping science in favor of commercial interests.

“Yes, I would be hesitant, but I am going to ask a lot of questions,” he said, adding that he thought other Americans felt the same way given “the way we have seen politics intervening in Washington.”

Mr. Cunningham later clarified his remark, saying he would take a vaccine if the F.D.A. approved it and politics was not involved, but Mr. Tillis pounced, chastising Mr. Cunningham as “irresponsible.” Republican groups quickly began circulating a clip of the exchange on social media.

“That statement puts lives at risk and it makes it more difficult to manage the crisis he pretends to say he is up to the task to manage,” Mr. Tillis said. He said he would trust a vaccine and the scientists behind it.

Still, at other points Mr. Tillis found himself on the defensive over his record as the two men sought to reintroduce themselves to North Carolina voters.

Mr. Cunningham accused Mr. Tillis of waiting too long to defend the country against the spread of the coronavirus, and of being party to “an unprecedented failure of leadership in this country” by Washington. He repeatedly argued Mr. Tillis was in the pocket of corporate interests, and had flip-flopped on key issues, like his support of Mr. Trump’s national emergency declaration to build a border wall.

The most concerted attacks centered on health care, an issue that has proved potent for Democrats in recent years as they have reclaimed power after losses in 2016. Mr. Cunningham said the state was more susceptible to the ravages of the virus because as speaker of the North Carolina House, Mr. Tillis helped block the expansion of Medicaid in the state, and then in the Senate, he voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Asked early on to rate Mr. Trump’s response to the pandemic, of which a majority of Americans disapprove, Mr. Tillis did not give a clear answer. He said Mr. Trump had taken “a good first step” by instituting travel restrictions from China last winter and noted that the situation remained “fluid.”

The answer reflected the careful balancing act Mr. Tillis needs to carry off in order to win: appealing to moderate swing voters who are skeptical of Mr. Trump — including those in the crucial suburbs around Charlotte and Raleigh — while not alienating the president’s core supporters.

Credit…Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Ohio will not automatically provide return postage on mail-in absentee ballots for the November election, after a largely Republican state panel denied a funding request by the Republican secretary of state.

Frank LaRose, Ohio’s secretary of state, last month asked the Ohio Controlling Board, which oversees changes to the state budget, for up to $3 million to prepay for postage for an expected record number of absentee ballots.

So far, more than a million applications for absentee ballots have been filed with county boards of elections in Ohio, and Mr. LaRose has said he expects that number to double by Election Day.

In a statement last month, Mr. LaRose said he wanted the funds to make it “easier than ever” for Ohio residents to cast their ballot by mail.

The controlling board comprises six state lawmakers and the director of the state’s Office of Budget and Management, who is appointed by the governor. Four Republican lawmakers voted against Mr. LaRose’s proposal on Monday; two Democrats voted in favor.

“Today was another missed opportunity by the legislature to make a small change, without an impact on our state budget, that would yield a big improvement,” Mr. LaRose said in a statement after the decision.

At least 17 states have laws requiring local election officials to supply return postage for mailed ballots, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

With a massive expansion of mailed ballots expected this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, some states, including Pennsylvania, Virginia and New Jersey, have approved additional funding for prepaid postage

Credit…Beth Nakamura for The New York Times

The mayors of 10 United States cities released an open letter on Monday calling on President Trump to condemn far-right vigilantes who have responded violently to racial-justice protests.

The signers — members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, part of the gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety — said that extremists “openly carrying firearms under the guise of upholding law and order” posed a threat to public safety in their cities, and that Mr. Trump’s comments in support of them had fueled the threat of violence.

“We’ve seen an alarming number of fellow elected officials, including yourself, applauding armed intimidation of peaceful protesters,” the letter says. “We are calling for an end to this dangerous rhetoric. Instead of inciting vigilantism, we urge you to join us in condemning reckless escalations by militias and other extremists.”

It continues: “Private citizens brandishing weapons bring deadly risks into volatile situations, and they make it harder for law enforcement to protect the public.”

Asked for comment, a White House spokesman said: “The American people are clamoring for city leaders to support law and order and the men and women in uniform, just as President Trump is doing at the federal level. If city leaders provide community safety or accept the president’s offers of federal assistance, which he has extended many times, Americans’ concerns will be fully addressed.”

Facing widespread disapproval of his handling of race relations and the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Trump has sought to reframe the November election around false narratives of chaos in American cities and existential threats to the suburbs. He has seized in particular on outbreaks of violence in Portland, Ore., and Kenosha, Wis., which have occurred amid mostly peaceful racial-justice protests nationwide.

In Kenosha, a teenager who supported Mr. Trump and opposed the Black Lives Matter movement fatally shot two people during the protests that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake. (An earlier version of this item incorrectly characterized the shooting; Mr. Blake was paralyzed, not killed.) In Portland, a self-described Antifa supporter fatally shot a member of a far-right caravan who had come to the city to show support for Mr. Trump.

In many cities, “these militia groups are showing up at protests almost pretending to be — and acting like and looking like — law enforcement or military, and it instantly escalates the situation,” said Mayor Timothy M. Keller of Albuquerque. He said he felt that Mr. Trump “wants to create violence so he can be seen as a person doing something about it.”

Mayor Levar M. Stoney of Richmond, Va., said that Mr. Trump had convinced far-right activists that they needed to take up arms to protect their communities, and that this had created “an unnecessary clash between ideologies.” In Molalla, Ore., for example, some residents refused to evacuate in the face of wildfires because of discredited rumors that left-wing activists were planning to loot their towns after they left.

“I had white supremacists embed themselves within some of the Black Lives Matter protests,” Mr. Stoney said. “I don’t believe that in order to make a political point, you need to walk the streets of my city with an AR-15.”

Credit…Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

The top communications official at the Department of Health and Human Services accused career government scientists on Sunday of “sedition” in their handling of the coronavirus pandemic and warned without evidence that left-wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election.

The official, Michael R. Caputo, the assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of harboring a “resistance unit” determined to undermine President Trump, and suggested that he personally could be in danger from opponents of the administration.

“If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get,” he urged his followers in a video he hosted live on his personal Facebook page.

To a certain extent, Mr. Caputo’s comments were simply an amplified version of remarks that Mr. Trump has made. Both men have singled out government scientists and health officials as disloyal, suggested that the election will not be fairly decided, and insinuated that left-wing groups are secretly plotting to incite violence across the United States if Mr. Trump wins.

A longtime Trump loyalist with no background in health care, Mr. Caputo, 58, was appointed by the White House to his post in April, at a time when the president’s aides suspected the health secretary, Alex M. Azar II, was protecting his public image instead of Mr. Trump’s. Mr. Caputo coordinates the messaging of an 80,000-employee department that is at the center of the pandemic response, overseeing the Food and Drug Administration, the C.D.C. and the National Institutes of Health, and recently he has been criticized for leading efforts to warp C.D.C. bulletins to fit Mr. Trump’s pandemic narrative.

Mr. Caputo’s 26-minute broadside delivered on Facebook was another sign of the administration’s deep antipathy and suspicion for its own scientific experts, and another example of a senior administration official stoking public anxiety about the election and conspiracy theories about the “deep state” — the label Mr. Trump often attaches to the federal Civil Service bureaucracy.

Mr. Caputo predicted that the president would win re-election in November, but that his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., would refuse to concede, leading to violence. “And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” he said. “The drills that you’ve seen are nothing.”

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump sought to reach out to Hispanic voters in Arizona, a crucial battleground state, with a small rally in which he declared his administration’s “unwavering devotion to Hispanic-American communities.”

Described by his campaign as a “round table,” Monday’s event in Phoenix was essentially an indoor rally at which more than 100 supporters gathered — most without wearing masks — to hear Mr. Trump list his accomplishments and criticize his rival, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

In 2016, Mr. Trump ran on an anti-immigrant message and, since becoming president, he has relentlessly waged an assault on the nation’s immigration system, seeking to close the borders, build a wall, shut down asylum, shrink legal immigration and deport undocumented immigrants.

But during his campaign for re-election, the president has sought to portray himself as a friend to Hispanic voters in key states like Arizona and Florida. At his rally Monday evening in Phoenix, the president bragged that before the coronavirus pandemic, the United States had achieved “the lowest Hispanic-American unemployment rate ever. Not even close.”

Mr. Trump won Arizona by about 3.5 percentage points in 2016, but polls this summer have shown Mr. Biden leading in the state. Polls of Hispanics in other states have shown the president picking up ground.

Most of what Mr. Trump said Monday was not specifically related to Hispanic voters. Instead, he delivered his usual campaign attacks on Mr. Biden, accusing the Democratic candidate of being a socialist, wanting to “totally eliminate religious liberty,” abolish school choice and “take away your Second Amendment.”

“What they’re asking for, it’s like the American nightmare or whatever you want to call it,” the president said.

After the president’s remarks, several local politicians and Hispanic business owners praised him for what they said was his support of their community. One noted that “a lot of people were saying Latinos do not like Donald Trump, but I said, ‘That’s not true.’”

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump defended his decision to flout Nevada authorities by holding an indoor rally on Sunday — and said that he felt personally safe at his campaign’s defiantly mask-optional events when asked if he was worried about the disease being spread in his presence.

“I’m on a stage and it’s very far away,” Mr. Trump told The Las Vegas Review-Journal, standing backstage as he prepared to address a non-socially distanced crowd of thousands at a construction-equipment factory owned by a friend, Don Ahern. “And so I’m not at all concerned.”

“What about everybody else?” Abby Phillip, a CNN political reporter who covers the president, wondered aloud on Twitter.

In a video of the brief interview posted on the Review-Journal’s website, Debra J. Saunders, a reporter for the paper, asked Mr. Trump first if he was concerned that he could catch the virus — which he shrugged off.

Then Ms. Saunders, who was wearing a mask and standing about six feet away, interjected “What about people here?” after he had begun to speak.

It is not clear if Mr. Trump did not hear the second part of the question, or chose not to answer it.

Instead he made a joke about the reporter, quipping, “I’m more concerned about how close you are,” even though she was wearing a facial covering and he was not.

The president also said he did not believe he was subject to Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order limiting gatherings to 50 people to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

He blamed Mr. Sisolak, a Democrat, for restrictions that forced his campaign to ditch plans to hold an outdoor rally Sunday near McCarran International Airport and an indoor event that had been scheduled in Reno.

He called Mr. Sisolak “a political hack” and accused him of playing a “game.”

The governor, who has sparred with Mr. Trump over mail-in balloting, slammed the president on Twitter Sunday night for “putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada.”

Mr. Sisolak was not alone in expressing his concern. Some members of Mr. Trump’s own party have questioned his decision to push ahead with mass campaign rallies, especially following the death from Covid-19 of Herman Cain, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate who attended Mr. Trump’s rally in Tulsa in June and was later diagnosed with the virus.

“Indoor rallies are irresponsible. Covid-19 is real and this was a bad idea,” wrote Ari Fleischer, President George W. Bush’s former press secretary and a frequent Trump defender, on Twitter.

Credit…Joshua Rashaad McFadden for The New York Times

President Trump’s relentless emphasis on civil unrest has raised the level of overall concern about law and order with voters, but he has yet to make the case that he is the best candidate to solve the problem, according to a Monmouth University poll released on Monday.

About two thirds of those polled said they believed that maintaining law and order was a “major problem” in the country right now, but the Democratic nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr., held a slight edge, 52 to 48 percent, on the question of who can best deal with the issue.

The poll also found that relatively few Americans were fully swayed by Mr. Trump’s argument that integration posed an existential threat to the suburbs. When asked if “efforts to increase integration of suburban communities could lead to more crime and lower property values,” only 13 percent said it was “very likely,” according to the poll, while 29 percent said it was somewhat likely.

Mr. Trump has suggested that an Obama-era inclusionary zoning plan, intended to counter housing segregation, would “destroy our suburbs” — an argument aimed at winning back white suburban moderates, especially women, otherwise alienated by his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The poll, which was conducted from Sept. 3 to 8, with 867 adults in the United States, has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.

Overall, about three in four Americans said they believed that having more racially integrated neighborhoods in their local communities was either somewhat or very important — virtually unchanged since January 2015, when Monmouth first asked this question.

Still, there were ample warning signs for Mr. Biden, who has recently emphasized his support for peaceful protesters and his opposition to violence at demonstrations opposing police brutality.

The poll found that the percentage of Americans who said that the anger driving the protests was justified had dropped significantly since the start of demonstrations protesting the killing of George Floyd in May. Currently, 39 percent said this anger was fully justified, compared to 46 percent in late June and down from a high of 57 percent in early June.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The Trump campaign altered its television advertising strategy this week, going completely dark in the state of Nevada while pouring nearly $2 million more into Arizona, Florida, Nebraska, North Carolina and Maine, according to Advertising Analytics, an ad tracking firm.

Campaigns frequently make adjustments to their advertising buys as they respond to changes in the race. But the changes this week come as the Trump campaign is being vastly outspent on television by his rival Joseph R. Biden Jr., and as it has ceded its fund-raising advantage to the Biden campaign.

This week, Mr. Biden, the Democratic nominee, has nearly $25 million in television ad reservations, while President Trump has roughly $14 million.

The decision to go dark for a week in Nevada comes just as Mr. Trump held an indoor rally in the state that the state’s Democratic governor called “reckless and selfish,” and as his campaign has been courting the support of the state’s Latino population. The campaign also went dark on the airwaves in Ohio and Iowa, two states that Mr. Trump won handily in 2016.

The campaign also culled its presence in Wisconsin for the week, reducing its initial reservation by 35 percent.

But the Trump campaign is targeting the Second Congressional district in Nebraska, which includes Omaha and has been leaning Democratic recently. Nebraska, which Mr. Trump swept in 2016, allocates two electoral votes to its statewide popular vote winner but gives an electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district.

The ad shifts in Nebraska included a $113,000 buy in Omaha, the Trump campaign’s first buy of the year in the state, according to Advertising Analytics.

Credit…Jefferson Siegel/Reuters

Anthony D. Weiner, the former congressman and New York mayoral candidate, has a new gig: He’s the chief executive of a Brooklyn-based countertop company.

In an email blast Monday morning, Mr. Weiner pitched IceStone, which he took over in May, as a business offering an “unlimited array of different colors we can use in our recycled glass creations.”

He attached a photo of a blue-and-orange Mets-themed prototype.

“It’s a reminder that even as a lot of people are choosing our gorgeous light/white colors” from a palette of 17 options, Mr. Weiner wrote, “we get calls every day from customers who want a little color in their kitchen, man cave, or restaurant bar.”

The email prompted a double take: was it really that Anthony Weiner, the onetime rising Democratic political star whose multiple sexting scandals ultimately landed him in federal prison, selling countertops?

It was, he confirmed by phone on Monday, explaining that he had been advising one of the owners of the company, who eventually asked him to step in.

“This might not be as much as a swerve out of the lane as you might think,” he said. “You’re trying to make payroll and understand the marketplace. I’m learning a lot.”

As for the presidential race, Mr. Weiner said he did not follow politics the way he used to and demurred when asked to comment about Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign. “Republicans like environmentally sustainable countertops as much as Democrats do,” he joked, noting that he was willing to talk about his new business venture but was “reluctant to mix dairy with meat here.”

Mr. Weiner, 56, lives in the East Village — separately but on the same floor as his wife, Huma Abedin, and their son — and has spent most of the pandemic working in the city.

When he was released from federal custody last year, after serving 18 months in prison, he told reporters that he wanted to “live a life of integrity and service.”

On his LinkedIn page, Mr. Weiner noted that the company, based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, works with recycled materials and reuses 90 percent of its waste water. “Yep, it’s a company that believes in second chances,” he wrote. “See where I’m going with this?”


The most-aired advertisement by Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign last week was a minute-long spot that sought to weave together three of the most potent elements of his candidacy: the wrenching loss in his biography, the coronavirus pandemic and Democratic support for health insurance.

The ad begins nearly a half-century ago, when Mr. Biden was sworn in to the United States Senate in a hospital because his wife and daughter had been killed in a car crash and his two sons were still hospitalized. The ad goes on to talk about his son Beau being diagnosed with cancer decades later and told he had “months to live.” While Mr. Biden has been a national figure for decades, Democratic strategists believe many voters still do not know the details of these episodes.

Mr. Biden pivots from his personal losses to the value of health care coverage. “The fact of the matter is health care is personal to me,” he says. “Obamacare is personal to me.”

Then the ad moves to the present day and President Trump, whom Mr. Biden accuses of trying to “eliminate this health care in the middle of a public health crisis — that’s personal to me, too.”

The accident that killed Mr. Biden’s first wife and daughter and hospitalized his sons before he was sworn in is one of the most well-documented and sorrowful of his life; Beau Biden’s later death from cancer was a factor in Mr. Biden’s decision not to run for president in 2016.

Mr. Trump has pressed to repeal the Affordable Care Act during his term but fallen short. His administration is actively trying to have the law scrapped in the courts: Arguments in a Supreme Court case are scheduled for shortly after the election.

In dozens of markets in battleground states and on national cable, at a cost of nearly $3.3 million, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

The ad tries to directly link health care — the issue that powered the Democratic gains in the 2018 midterms — with the pandemic, which party strategists see driving the election. And it uses Mr. Biden’s unique life experiences and losses to make him an especially empathetic narrator of both issues.

Credit…John Raoux/Associated Press

In his first interview since he was found in a Miami Beach hotel room in March with a man who was struggling to breathe after an apparent overdose, Andrew Gillum, the former Democratic nominee for Florida governor, came out publicly as bisexual.

Mr. Gillum, who sat down with his wife, R. Jai, for separate and joint interviews, which aired Monday on “The Tamron Hall Show,” said in July that he had completed treatment in rehab for alcoholism and depression. But he had not previously addressed his sexuality, despite years of chatter about it in political circles in Tallahassee, the Florida capital, where he was mayor for four years.

“That is something that I have never shared publicly before,” he told Tamron Hall.

In 2018, Mr. Gillum shot to national fame after winning the Democratic gubernatorial primary. He eventually lost narrowly in the general election to Ron DeSantis.

Mr. Gillum, 41, said he would go to rehab a few days after the March 13 incident at the Mondrian South Beach, in which the police were called but no one was arrested. Mr. Gillum’s friend, who was also an escort, was taken to the hospital. Leaked hotel room photographs showed Mr. Gillum naked on the floor.

The photos were taken without his consent while he was unconscious, Mr. Gillum told Ms. Hall. He said he went to the hotel to meet a friend after drinking by himself for several hours. He remembers having another drink in the room and then waking up passed out to the presence of the police and paramedics.

The police found plastic bags of suspected methamphetamines, which Mr. Gillum denied using. He and his wife had been staying in Miami, where Mr. Gillum was supposed to officiate a friend’s wedding.

Mr. Gillum told Ms. Hall that he might consider a return to politics.

“Would it be hard? Absolutely,” he said. “But Donald Trump is president.”

Credit…Samuel Corum for The New York Times

Bob Woodward said President Trump’s decision to play down the lethality of the coronavirus in early 2020 may have cost American lives.

Mr. Woodward, the veteran investigative reporter whose new book is based on 18 freewheeling interviews with the president, told NBC’s “Today” show that he believed Mr. Trump “possessed specific knowledge that could have saved lives.”

“This is deadly stuff,” Mr. Trump said on Feb. 7.

“You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” the president told Mr. Woodward in audio recordings published on The Washington Post’s website. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus.”

“At that moment if, like, Franklin Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor had told the American people the truth, a lot more could have been done,” Mr. Woodward told the show’s co-host Savannah Guthrie. “It is one of those shocks for me, having written about nine presidents, that the president of the United States possessed the specific knowledge that could have saved lives. Historians are going to be writing about the lost month of February” for years.

Yet Mr. Woodward, who has himself drawn criticism for not going public sooner with the president’s statements, defended not publishing them until now — while continuing to fault the president for not raising the alarm in real time. He said he did not immediately disclose the remarks because he underestimated how quickly the pandemic would spread to the United States.

“In February I thought it was all about China,” said Mr. Woodward, who said he would have published Mr. Trump’s remarks had he known, at the time of the interview, that aides had already told the president that the virus posed a grave threat to national security.

“If you look at what was known in February, the virus was not on anyone’s mind. No one was suggesting changing behavior,” added Mr. Woodward. “Then when it exploded in March, as you know, there were 30,000 new cases a day. Publishing something at that point would not have been telling people anything they didn’t know. They knew very clearly that it was dangerous.”

Credit…Amr Alfiky/The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr. would spend nearly $5.4 trillion over the course of a decade on new federal programs, including infrastructure, research and development, health care, housing assistance, education, paid leave and an expansion of Social Security, a new analysis calculates.

Mr. Biden would offset the spending with about $3.4 trillion in tax increases, heavily concentrated on the very rich, according to the analysis, which was released on Monday by the Penn Wharton Budget Model at the University of Pennsylvania. The resulting gap would add an additional $2 trillion to federal budget deficits over that time, and it would reshape the distribution of income and taxation in the United States. Wages would rise over the decade, and hours worked would fall.

If all of Mr. Biden’s tax changes were to become law, the analysis found, effective income and payroll tax rates would remain unchanged for Americans outside the top 5 percent of income earners.

The modeling projects that Mr. Biden’s tax increases, along with his plans to increase the flow of new immigrants from current levels under Mr. Trump, would accelerate economic growth modestly over the next decade. The gains would come from the larger number of Americans legally authorized to work, along with changes to corporate taxation that the budget model found would lead to companies “increasing their domestic capital investment as they shift more production back to the U.S.”

The model found that some of Mr. Biden’s spending proposals would hamper economic growth — ironically, by making health care more accessible and affordable, which would allow Americans to work and save a little less.

Mr. Biden’s agenda of taxing high earners and large corporations and spending the proceeds on programs targeted to the poor and the middle class, is significantly more ambitious in dollar terms than Hillary Clinton’s plan was in 2016.

But the modeling found the overall effect of the plans would largely be a wash in terms of economic growth, with a modest decline in the first 10 years and an offsetting increase within 30 years.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump is sprinting into the fall campaign with vigor and vehemence — but the grinding, buck-stops-here obligations of the presidency are forcing him to address, day after day, the cascading crises that are darkening his watch.

In 2016, Mr. Trump won by portraying Hillary Clinton as the tired embodiment of the ineffective Washington establishment. But he is the incumbent now — and despite his attempts to deflect blame or change the subject, the mounting death toll of the coronavirus pandemic, and the wildfires ravaging the West, are inescapable.

Mr. Trump seemed concerned that the coronavirus crisis was overtaking him in a taped conversation last month with the author Bob Woodward, excerpts of which were released Monday on CNN, and asked him, “So you think the virus totally supersedes the economy?”

On Monday, Mr. Trump heads to Sacramento, where he will be briefed on the devastation caused by the fires raging through California, Oregon and Washington State. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, a Democrat and frequent Trump critic, is also expected to attend.

The visit comes as the president, making his pitch to voters in the coal country of Pennsylvania and Ohio, campaigns on continuing to scale back environmental regulations. He is expected to use his visit to address the shooting of two Los Angeles County deputies in an ambush, a party official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said over the weekend.

As in Nevada, local officials in California see his visit, by and large, as an irritant: Mr. Trump has suggested that climate change is a hoax and has blamed the fires on poor management of forests — which Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon, called a “devastating lie.”

At a rally in a Las Vegas suburb Sunday night, where Mr. Trump delivered his counterfactual stump speech, the images contradicted his recent claim, in the wake of his interviews with Mr. Woodward, that he is deadly serious about fighting the pandemic. He flouted a Nevada rule banning mass indoor gatherings despite the fact that a substantial percentage of the electorate thinks he is not taking the crisis seriously enough.

Mr. Trump values visuals over words, and by the standards of his critics, the optics have not been good for him lately: He will appear Monday in a West that is in flames, after strolling through rubble in Kenosha, after egging on thousands of mask-less supporters in Henderson, Nev., over the weekend.

But he does not see it that way.

He wants voters to visualize the election as a referendum on Mr. Biden — whom he has accused of cowering in the basement — and has been willing to appear against discordant, even ugly backdrops, to prove he is physically willing to enter a fray his opponent is too scared to confront. (Mr. Biden, in fact, visited Kenosha as well, and has become increasingly active on the campaign trail in recent weeks.)

Above all, Mr. Trump is staking everything on the belief that he can convince Americans that what they are seeing is not his fault — and that Mr. Biden and the Democrats are responsible.

It is a message that his surrogates are adopting too.

“Joe Biden can’t run from his disastrous record responding to the coronavirus,” the Republican National Committee chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel. wrote in a Tweet on Sunday, about Mr. Biden, who has not held office for four years.

Credit…Amr Alfiky/The New York Times

Vice President Mike Pence has called off plans to attend a fund-raiser in Bozeman, Mont., on Monday evening hosted by a couple who have shown support for QAnon, the convoluted conspiracy theory built around the notion of a deep-state cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles and their powerful Democratic backers.

Dismissed as the wild rantings of internet trolls after it emerged in late 2017, QAnon has slowly crept toward the Republican mainstream, pushed at times by Mr. Trump and his allies. More than a dozen Republicans running for Congress this year have expressed some degree of belief in QAnon, as have a number of candidates in state races, though the conspiracy theory has been labeled a potential domestic terror threat by the F.B.I.

Mr. Pence’s plan to attend the fund-raiser on Monday was set to become the latest example of how QAnon beliefs are becoming normalized on the American right. The hosts, Caryn and Michael Borland, are wealthy Republican donors who have retweeted QAnon posts on social media and shared memes about the conspiracy theory.

But the Trump campaign quietly shelved Mr. Pence’s plans to attend the fund-raiser after The Associated Press reported last week that the couple had shared QAnon posts. The campaign said over the weekend that the decision to skip the fund-raiser was due to a scheduling change, and did not address the outcry over the host’s QAnon ties.

Credit…Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Jon Stewart, who has been a vocal advocate for emergency responders in the Sept. 11 attacks for almost two decades, is turning his attention to trying to pass a bill in Congress to help veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits in the wars that followed the terrorist strikes.

Mr. Stewart, the former host of “The Daily Show,” hopes to use his sway to help the tens of thousands of military service members who were exposed to more than 250 pits used in Iraq and Afghanistan to dispose of trash. Like veterans of the Vietnam War whose illnesses were linked to Agent Orange, these service members have fought with the federal government over benefits.

Mr. Stewart is helping to push new legislation sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, and Representative Raul Ruiz, Democrat of California, that would streamline the process for veterans seeking benefits for illnesses caused by toxic exposures. The group will introduce the legislation on Tuesday.

“The ironic thing is that the first responders suffered health effects due to a terror attack,” Mr. Stewart said in a phone interview. “Now these veterans are suffering health effects due to the negligence of our own country.”

The issue, which has been percolating on Capitol Hill for years, has drawn the attention of Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has long speculated that toxic substances from burn pits contributed to the brain cancer of his son Beau, who served in Iraq and died in 2015. “I have mentioned it to him already,” Ms. Gillibrand said of Mr. Biden. “He expressed support. I think he will be an ally.”

Tens of thousands of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were exposed to burn pits, which were regularly used to dispose of tons of refuse in giant dumps, with the materials ignited by jet fuel. Many veterans with lung diseases, cancers and respiratory illnesses believe those ailments stem from such exposure; the Department of Veterans Affairs has said their claims are not supported by evidence. “Unfortunately we place our veterans in almost the position of defendant, like at a trial over their own health,” Mr. Stewart said.

Ms. Gillibrand said there were many parallels between her efforts on burn pits with those that she and Mr. Stewart waged for firefighters and other workers who responded to the Sept. 11 attacks — including a lack of a Republican partner early on, and a protracted legislative fight — as well as those for groups of Vietnam veterans who were exposed at sea to Agent Orange. “It took me a long time,” she said. “These things aren’t easy.”

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