We’re twenty-two months away from Election Day, but the 2020 Presidential race has already begun—and it features a fascinating group of female candidates. This week, we’re bringing you pieces about some of these women, one of whom may be sitting in the Oval Office in two years’ time. Jeffrey Toobin profiles Elizabeth Warren, in “The Professor,” and, in “The Warren Brief,” Jill Lepore explores her views about corruption and inequality. Benjamin Wallace-Wells explains how Kamala Harris transformed from a prosecutor into a politician, and Evan Osnos chronicles the rise of Kirsten Gillibrand, who is “known for a near-evangelical confidence in the prospect of bipartisanship, in the restoration of the Senate, and in herself.” Kelefa Sanneh meets Tulsi Gabbard, the young, unorthodox representative from Hawaii who, if she won, would be our first Hindu President. And, finally, in a piece from 1928, Russel Crouse tells the story of Victoria Woodhull, who became the first woman to run for President, in 1872, as the nominee of the Equal Rights Party. Last year’s midterm elections saw an unprecedented number of women win seats in Congress. Contemplating the strengths of the women who have announced their candidacy for President so far, it’s easy to see how the 2020 election could be similarly historic.
Skiers had to thread their way through patches of dry ground at Squaw Valley Ski Resort, in Olympic Valley, Calif., in 2015. Credit Max Whittaker/Getty Images
By Porter Fox
Mr. Fox was a features editor at Powder magazine and is the author of “Deep: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow.”
From the snow-dusted ridgelines of the Catskills to the rugged summits of the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevadas and Cascades, winter is slowly disappearing. And snow is receding with it.
Snowpack Declines Over Three Decades
This map shows the change in the annual peak
snowpack, as measured by the amount of water in it.
1982 to 1986
2012 to 2016
We know humans are altering the climate. Temperatures in south-central Colorado have risen two degrees Fahrenheit on average since 1988. In California’s Lake Tahoe region, home to more than a dozen ski areas, warmer temperatures since 1970 have pushed the snow line uphill 1,200 to 1,500 feet. Winter season lengths are projected to decline at ski areas across the United States, in some locations by more than 50 percent by 2050 and by 80 percent by 2090 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, according to a 2017 study. Only about half of the 103 ski resorts in the Northeast will be able to maintain an economically viable ski season by midcentury, another study found in 2012.
In Europe, the cradle of ski culture, the problem is even worse. Half the glacial ice in the Alps has already melted; a study published two years ago in The Cryosphere, a journal of the European Geosciences Union, predicted 70 percent less snow in the mountains by the end of the century, threatening a $30 billion ski industry driven by more than 60 million tourists a year.
For the American ski industry, the impact has already been pronounced. Between 2001 and 2016, low-snow years cost the industry more than $1 billion and 17,400 jobs compared with an average season, according to a study commissioned by the nonprofit group Protect Our Winters.
I’ve been a skier for 45 years, and my passion for the sport has taken me to five continents. I’ve skied remote places, like the Cordillera Real in Bolivia, where a farmer at the base of a 16,000-foot peak I had just climbed and skied told me his village was relocating because the glacier no longer provided enough water. I’ve hiked and skied at New England resorts that have closed because of a lack of snow and money for snow-making. And I’ve visited dozens of resorts in the United States, Canada and Europe where the wealthy and not-so-wealthy gather — and where snowpacks are shrinking.
If any group was able to get political traction and defend winter in the United States, it stands to reason that it would be the winter sports community — a passionate population more than 24 million peoplestrong that includes some of the nation’s most affluent and influential citizens. Of the 14.7 million skiers in this country, 67 percent attended college and more than half earn more than $75,000 a year. In Aspen and its surrounding environs, nearly 50 billionaires have homes.
A FEW weeks ago, federal prosecutors in Arizona secured a conviction against four humanitarian aid workers who left water in the desert for migrants who might otherwise die of heat exposure and thirst. Separately, they dropped manslaughter charges against a U.S. Border Patrol agent who fired 16 times across the border, killing a teenage Mexican boy. The aid workers face a fine and up to six months in jail. The Border Patrol officer faces no further legal consequences.
That is a snapshot of twisted frontier justice in the age of Trump. Save a migrant’s life, and you risk becoming a political prisoner. Kill a Mexican teenager, and you walk free.
In his indictment of the Trump torpedo Roger Stone, the special counsel Robert Mueller noted that on June 14, 2016, the Democratic National Committee announced “that it had been hacked by Russian government actors.”
According to the indictment, unsealed Friday, Mr. Stone participated in and helped conceal an effort by the Trump campaign to cooperate with WikiLeaks in publicizing thousands of emails stolen from the Clinton campaign, which was done to devastating political effect. Mr. Stone stands accused of obstructing an official proceeding, making multiple false statements to Congress and tampering with a witness.
Around June and July of 2016, the indictment says, Mr. Stone told “senior Trump campaign officials” that WikiLeaks possessed stolen emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s chances of being president. It released the first batch on July 22, roiling the Democratic National Convention, which began three days later.
Maybe Mr. Trump and his associates had no idea who stole the emails and did not connect this bonanza with “Russian government actors.”
Mr. Trump and his associates might have thought that Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, was just being a mischievous scamp, not passing along communications stolen by Russian intelligence, most of which came from the hacker Guccifer 2.0, an online persona created by Russian military intelligence officers. Mr. Stone said in 2017 that he had carried out “completely innocuous” private Twitter exchanges with Guccifer 2.0 during the presidential campaign.
But then why did Mr. Trump say, five days after the first WikiLeaks release, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
And might not the Trump circle have suspected that WikiLeaks was working with Russia after Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and the campaign chairman Paul Manafort met at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, with Russians who were peddling dirt on Mrs. Clinton?
And if Mr. Trump’s first F.B.I. intelligence briefing on Aug. 17, 2016, included a warning about Russian espionage, as NBC News reported in 2017, why didn’t Mr. Trump or anyone else in the campaign tell the agents about the meeting or the suspicious release of emails?
After the first WikiLeaks release, the indictment says, “a senior Trump Campaign official was directed” — presumably by someone even more senior — to contact Mr. Stone about what dirt the group had on the Clinton campaign. If the Trump campaign had not known that it was getting dirt from Russia, why did George Papadopoulos, a campaign adviser whom Mr. Trump called “an excellent guy,” plead guilty to lying about his contact with a professor who said he had dirt from Russia on Mrs. Clinton? (Mr. Papadopoulos’s lawyer said his client had taken his cues from Mr. Trump, and that “the president of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever could.”)
Why did the former national security adviser Michael Flynn plead guilty to falsely telling the F.B.I. that he had not talked to the Russian ambassador about easing economic sanctions? And why did Mr. Trump craft a false story about the Trump Tower meeting, and falsely claim again and again that he had no business dealings with Russia even when his associates were negotiating with aides to President Vladimir Putin about a project in Moscow that could have earned him hundreds of millions of dollars?
Mr. Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon told the author Michael Wolff that he thought the Trump Tower meeting was “treasonous.” Yet he had no problem cooperating with WikiLeaks, according to the indictment. He is apparently the “high-ranking Trump Campaign official” who asked Mr. Stone on Oct. 4, 2016, about future WikiLeaks releases. Three days later, after the first stolen emails from Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, were released, one of Mr. Bannon’s associates texted Mr. Stone, “well done.”
No one should jump to conclusions in this case. As president, Mr. Trump may have held himself to be above the law, but he is entitled to the presumption of innocence. For their part, the American people are entitled to some answers.
Reading about the indictment of Donald Trump’s longtime pal Roger Stone, you can’t help thinking that we’ve got a president whose circle of associates closely resembles the guys Tony Soprano used to hang around with outside the pork shop in New Jersey.
Stone is a proud, self-proclaimed political dirty trickster. According to the Mueller indictment, he is also a witness tamperer who once threatened to kidnap the therapy dog of an associate who had been subpoenaed to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
That’s not necessarily the most important part of the charges, but I knew you’d want to hear about it first. The witness is Randy Credico, a former radio personality who Stone said served as an intermediary between him and the WikiLeaks folk who released all those stolen Clinton campaign emails.
The indictment says Stone accused Credico of being “a rat. A stoolie” and warned that he would “rip you to shreds” and “take that dog away from you.”
Credico has a little white emotional support dog named Bianca. Doesn’t this sound like something Paulie Walnuts would have done around “Sopranos” Season 4?
Moving on. The biggest news in the Mueller indictment was its charge that somebody told “a senior Trump campaign official” to contact Stone about any “damaging information” that WikiLeaks might have about the Clinton campaign. And that Stone reported back about stuff that just might be coming out in the near future.
Who do you think that Somebody could be? A person with receding hair and a taste for ultralong ties who recently kept the government shut for more than a month for no good reason whatsoever? Your guess is as good as mine.
And which senior campaign official do you think Somebody told to contact Stone? The former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, since convicted of financial fraud? Former campaign adviser Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I.? Former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, formerly in prison for lying to the F.B.I.?
How about lawyer Michael Cohen, now sentenced to three years in prison for lying to Congress? If Trump and the gang were a Sopranos remake, Cohen would be “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero, who turned on Tony after being busted himself.
Really, there’s so much talent there, it could have been anybody.
Stone and Trump go way back. They were introduced about 40 years ago by their good mutual friend Roy Cohn, the guy who gave us the McCarthy witch hunts. Trump still burbles about how great Cohn was. And he enthused to a documentary interviewer that Stone is “a quality guy” who “always wanted me to run for president.”
Can’t get a better recommendation than that. Stone has a talent for identifying presidential talent — he’s got a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back. He was partners with Paul Manafort in a Washington lobbying firm that specialized in representing the most terrible dictators on the planet. If you had a million dollars, a need for support from the United States government and a small problem with torture, rape and terrorism, these were the guys to see.
(A third partner, Charlie Black, said that when reporters called him to ask if Stone was the connection between the Trump campaign and Russia, he replied, “With all due respect, Roger couldn’t find Russia on a map.” As always, when we’re considering possible crimes committed during the 2016 campaign, the best defense of Trump and his associates is that they were too dumb to be capable of plotting.)
“I’m proud of the job I did at Black Manafort and Stone because I made a lot of money,” Stone told those documentarians, getting right to the point.
Stone’s political career almost came to a crashing end in 1996 when he ran into a scandal that forced him to resign from the Bob Dole campaign. (The candidate was touchy about headlines like “Top Dole Aide Caught in Group Sex Ring.”) Stone blamed the story on a lying, disgruntled former employee. Later, he admitted that it was true, and explained that he needed to deny it because “my grandparents were still alive.”
But no matter, he would go on triumphantly to organize a wild protest that stopped the recount of votes after the Gore-Bush election in Florida. Or maybe not. Stone bragged that he was the guy who staged one of the most spectacular assaults on the democratic process in recent history, but there was competition for the title.
And then on to Donald Trump. He and Stone had worked on his political career for ages. (Although Stone doesn’t take credit for Trump’s Obama birther campaign, he’s said that he didn’t discourage the idea.) The two men parted company in 2015 — Stone claimed he’d quit because he was dismayed by Trump’s “provocative media fights.”
But then next thing you know we’re in 2016, and they’re pals again. Those Clinton campaign emails are stolen and released. According to Stone’s indictment: A “high-ranking Trump campaign official sent a text message to Stone that read ‘well done.’”
That would be a memorable moment. Not often when “well done” comes up in connection with the Trump crew.
The wall of Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency has always operated both as a discrete proposal — an actual structure to be built under his leadership — and as a symbol with a clear meaning. Whether praised by its supporters or condemned by its opponents, the wall is a stand-in for the larger promise of broad racial (and religious) exclusion and domination.
It’s no surprise, then, that some Americans use “Build the wall” as a racist chant, much like the way they invoke the president’s name. And it’s also why, despite the pain and distress of the extended government shutdown, Democrats are right to resist any deal with the White House that includes funding for its construction.
That’s not to say there aren’t practical reasons for Democrats to resist the proposals on hand. The president calls his most recent bid a major compromise, but its headline provision — protections for immigrants covered by either Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or Temporary Protected Status — are short-term and limited. It also puts a cap on the number of Central American migrant children and teenagers who can receive asylum, requiring them to apply in their home countries, while also eliminating automatic court hearings for minors who arrive at the border in order to streamline the deportation process. Together with its $5.7 billion for “the wall,” it’s less a compromise than a near capitulation to the president’s vision for immigration policy — a vision he could not get through Congress when he had Republican majorities in both chambers. A border wall also just won’t work — erecting a barrier does nothing to solve the political conflicts and economic pressures that drive migration to the United States.
Agreeing to this deal — or any deal beyond a straightforward bill to end the shutdown — would only validate the president’s extortion tactics, adopted after conservatives pressured him at the end of last year to reject a so-called clean bipartisan bill to fund the government. To agree to wall funding in these circumstances would guarantee a repeat performance the next time President Trump wants to secure a legislative “win” without the difficult work of negotiating with Congress, much less his opposition.
But the paramount reason for resisting this deal, and any other, is what it would mean symbolically to erect the wall or any portion of it. Like Trump himself, it would represent a repudiation of the pluralism and inclusivity that characterizes America at its best. It would stand as a lasting reminder of the white racial hostility surging through this moment in American history, a monument to this particular drive to preserve the United States as a white man’s country.
In fact, you can almost think of the wall as a modern-day Confederate monument, akin to those erected during a similar but far more virulent period of racist aggression in the first decades of the 20th century. Built as shrines to white racial dominance as much as memorials for any particular soldier, they were part of a larger, national drive to uphold white supremacy against what one nativist thinker termed a “rising tide of color.”
This manifested itself across American society. At the grass roots, there was the reconstituted Ku Klux Klan, inspired by D.W. Griffith’s heroic 1915 depiction of Reconstruction-era “night riders” in “The Birth of a Nation.” The Klan strove to secure the power of the white petite bourgeoisie against perceived threats from capital and labor as well as uphold a stridently anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic and anti-black vision of white patriarchal authority. At the elite level, likewise, lawmakers and intellectuals fretted about the impact of an influx of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, as well as China and Japan. Their answer was something of a legislative wall — the 1924 Johnson-Reed Act, which sharply limited European immigration and all but banned it from much of Asia. (A former influential member of the Trump administration praised that law for its severe restrictions on who could enter the United States.)
The wall of Trump’s rhetoric and imagination channels all of this, up to and including the nativist tropes that associate nonwhite immigrants with crime and disorder. “BUILD A WALL & CRIME WILL FALL!” the president said in a Wednesday morning tweet.
It is true that Democrats have backed both barriers and harsh border policies in the past. President Barack Obama repeatedly offered strict immigration enforcement in return for Republican buy-in to comprehensive reforms. Now Democratic leaders have committed to new funding for additional border security. And the House majority whip, Jim Clyburn, has floated the possibility that Democrats could be moved on funding for the wall, provided it’s a “smart” wall. If, beyond Trump, the larger concern is policies that militarize the border and dehumanize migrants, then Democrats have had a significant part in creating the status quo.
But the president’s wall still looms as a racist provocation, a total repudiation of what the historian John Higham called “America’s cosmopolitan faith — a concept of nationality that stresses the diversity of the nation’s origins, the egalitarian dimension of its self-image, and the universality of its founding principles.” For Trump the wall signals his commitment to upholding existing hierarchies and strengthening their material foundations; for his supporters it validates their fears of cultural conquest. For the targets of their anxiety and aggression, it is a threat.
Early into the government shutdown, Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the wall “immoral.” She used the right word. The wall is a symbol of exclusion. If even a portion were built, that segment would serve as a modern monument to the worst of our nation’s heritage. No deal or compromise could justify that moral cost.
Jennifer Berman is a nationally syndicated cartoonist whose work has appeared in publications such as George, Harper’s, and Utne Reader, as well as in newspapers, on greeting cards, and on her own line of postcards, “Humerus Cartoons.” She is the author of Why Dogs Are Better Than Kids and Adult Children of Normal Parents. She lives in Ohio with her husband, Matt, their four dogs and one cat.
Postcard artist, cartoonist and author Jennifer Berman is perhaps best known for her individual cartoons, “Adult Children of Normal Parents, Annual Convention” and “Why Dogs Are Better Than Men,” as well as her internationally syndicated cartoon, “Berman.” A Chicago resident who grew up in Evanston, Berman’s work touches on a variety of social issues — with an ironic, thoughtful smile.
Q. Your humor really hits home. Where do you get your ideas from?
A. My cartoons are drawn from life, my own and others’. I beachcomb through my personal experiences and eavesdrop elsewhere. Life itself is funny.
Q. How did you break into the competitive field of cartooning?
A. Through a side door. In 1986, I started a shoestring company, Humerus Cartoons, in Berkeley, Calif. I printed postcards of my work and sold them on the street. By 1990, I had sold around a million postcards — mostly on word of mouth — before I started syndication.
Q. Is there a message you want people to get from your work?
A. The bottom line is, the stuff has to be funny. But I also like to think of my work as a solvent to cut through the veneer of our culture and to challenge popular conceptions.
Q. How do you make a living making people laugh?
A. I juggle as many projects as possible. Greeting cards, postcards, books, reprints, freelance illustrations, the syndication — anything I can think of.
Q. The big question: Why are dogs better than men?
A. My dogs Isaac and Lucy, for instance, are happy with any video I choose to rent and they never hog the remote control.
A tongue-in-cheek look at Republican foibles and follies observes that dogs are better because the ill-tempered ones can be neutered and they do not shut the government down when they fail to get their way. Original.
Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California joined the 2020 presidential contest on Monday, thrusting a daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India into the Democratic race two years after she arrived in the Senate.
Harris, a 54-year-old former prosecutor raised in a state that has been the crucible of the Trump resistance, expanded a growing field of candidates fighting for the nomination of a party that is increasingly nonwhite and fueled by women alienated by the president.
Kamala Harris, the first-term Democratic Senator from California who has rocketed to Democratic stardom since her election just over two years ago, used an early-morning television appearance on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to officially launch her long-awaited run for president. “My entire career has been focused on keeping people safe it is probably one of the things that has motivated me more than anything else,” Harris said on ABC’s Good Morning America. “When I look at this moment in time, I know that the American people need someone who is going to fight for them, who is going to see them, who will hear them, who is going to care about them, who will be concerned about their experience, who is going to put them in front of self-interest.”
Harris’ 2020 campaign logo is simply a wordmark, with her name conjoined with the words “FOR THE PEOPLE.” The muted yellow and red are meant as a subtle homage to the “Unbought and Unbossed” buttons and signs from the campaign of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to ever run for the United States presidency in 1972. But like that pioneer, upon whose shoulders Harris stands, both the slogan and the image suggest an urgency that goes beyond a typical election.
After a year in which America widely recognized what has long been true about the Democrats — that black women form the most dedicated and faithful part of their electorate — Harris, 54, now becomes the third African-American woman after Chisholm and former Senator Carol Moseley Braun to pursue the Democratic nomination. The daughter of a Jamaican father and a Tamil Indian mother, Harris would also be the first woman of Indian descent to seek a major party’s nomination in U.S. history.
Harris also posted an introductory video on social media in which she identified “values we as Americans cherish” and noted that “they’re all on the line now.”
While her team will have its headquarters in Baltimore, she also noted in the video that the campaign’s formal kickoff will take place in Harris’ hometown of Oakland, California, next Sunday, January 27th. There, it is expected that she will give a speech outlining her reasons for running and her vision for the nation.
Now even further in the minority, Democrats are likely to use this Senate term to establish standards for 2020 candidates. In Harris’ case, she is doing it for herself. In an email to Rolling Stone, the campaign staff also previewed a number of her policies as she made her announcement — and many are bills that she has already put forth or sponsored in the Senate. Though President Trump did sign into law a piece of criminal justice reform called the FIRST STEP Act late last year, it is unlikely that he would support the kind of progressive legislation that Harris has put forth. It seems as though she will instead sell the possibility of her signing all of it into law herself in two years.
Some anti-poverty advocates have long held the best way to help poor families is to give them money, and the Lift the Middle Class Act, which Harris introduced last fall and would give $500 per month to those families making less than $100,000, will apparently be a centerpiece of her presidential platform. The campaign also pointed to her housing-affordability tax credit for middle-class families spending at least 30 percent of their incomes on rent and to her bill aimed at ending one of the most egregious disparities in health care: the fact that pregnant black women and their infants are much more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than any other Americans.
Lara Bazelon, a law professor and the former director of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent in Los Angeles, published a piercing (and defenders later alleged, unfair) op-ed in the New York Times excoriating Harris’ record in San Francisco and later as California’s Attorney General. “If Kamala Harris wants people who care about dismantling mass incarceration and correcting miscarriages of justice to vote for her,” Bazelon wrote, “she needs to radically break with her past.” The Harris campaign staff began that effort by front-paging the Senator’s bail reform bill, proposed in 2017 with bipartisan support, “that would confront mass incarceration and discrimination in the justice system.”
Harris never mentioned President Trump once during her Monday morning announcement, but the shade was present. In her press comments , her staff stated that “restoring dignity and responsibility in office” was a priority and that “she will reject corporate PAC money and super PAC activity and is committed to returning leadership with honesty and moral character to the White House.”
Prior to the Oakland event, Harris will appear on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Thursday and travel to Columbia, South Carolina, on Friday to speak at a major event for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., which she joined during her undergraduate days at the historically black Howard University.
Nearly five decades after Shirley Chisholm announced her run as the first African American woman to seek the Democratic nomination for president, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) declared her run for president with an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and a slick video: