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Washington govenor calls on Americans to vote out those who "downplay" climate change

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told ABC's "This Week" that the primary way Americans can combat misinformation about the wildfires ravaging the West Coast is to vote out "any politician like Donald Trump who has downplayed climate change."

Why it matters: Trump is a climate skeptic who has weakened scores of environmental regulations and sought to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords. At a rally in Nevada on Saturday night, Trump insisted that the fires were "about forest management."


  • Scientists say that the hot and dry conditions created by climate change have exacerbated the intensity of wildfires.
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who appeared alongside Inslee, said Trump's claim that the fires could be prevented by raking forests was a "big and devastating lie."

What they're saying: "The only moisture in eastern Washington was the tears of people who have lost their homes and mingling with the ashes. And now we have a blowtorch over our states in the west which is climate change and we know that climate change is making fires start easier, spread faster, and intensify," Inslee said.

  • "Vote. Vote on climate. Get out there and vote against any politician like Donald Trump who has downplayed climate change, just like he's downplayed COVID," Inslee added.
  • "And for Donald Trump to say he's a hero of climate change is like saying he's a hero of masks against COVID. This idea that somehow we could have solved this problem by timber thinning is just a bunch of malarkey."

The big picture: Trump will visit California on Monday after being conspicuously silent about the fires. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the fires, with dozens of people missing. The Oregon emergency management director said the state was preparing for a "mass casualty event."

Justice's moves ring Big Tech with regulatory threats

The Department of Justice proposed legislation to curb liability protections for tech platforms and moved a step closer toward an antitrust lawsuit against Google Wednesday.

The big picture: As President Trump faces re-election, lawmakers and regulators are hurriedly wrapping up investigations and circling Big Tech with regulatory threats.

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Democrats' mail voting pivot

Democrats spent the early months of the coronavirus pandemic urging their base to vote absentee. But as threats of U.S. Postal Service delays, Team Trump litigation and higher ballot rejection rates become clearer, many are pivoting to promote more in-person voting as well.

Why it matters: Democrats are exponentially more likely to vote by mail than Republicans this year — and if enough mail-in ballots are lost, rejected on a technicality or undercounted, it could change the outcome of the presidential election or other key races.

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Biden's mail voting danger

Data: SurveyMonkey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Voters who disapprove of President Trump most strongly are by far the most likely to vote by mail in the presidential election, according to an Axios analysis of exclusive data from SurveyMonkey and Tableau.

Why it matters: The new data shows just how strongly the mail-in vote is likely to favor Joe Biden — with potentially enormous implications in the swing states due to the greater risk of rejection with mail ballots.

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Reopening the ACA debate is politically risky for GOP

Data: Kaiser Family Foundation, The Cook Political Report; Notes: Those losing insurance includes 2020 ACA marketplace enrollment and 2019 Medicaid expansion enrollment among newly-eligible enrollees. Close races are those defined as "Toss up" or "Lean R/D"; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The sudden uncertainty surrounding the future of the Affordable Care Act could be an enormous political liability for Republicans in key states come November.

Between the lines: Millions of people in crucial presidential and Senate battlegrounds would lose their health care coverage if the Supreme Court strikes down the law, as the Trump administration is urging it to.

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The coronavirus is surging again

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The coronavirus is surging once again across the U.S., with cases rising in 22 states over the past week.

The big picture: There isn't one big event or sudden occurrence that explains this increase. We simply have never done a very good job containing the virus, despite losing 200,000 lives in just the past six months, and this is what that persistent failure looks like.

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Two officers shot in Louisville amid Breonna Taylor protests

Louisville Metro Police Department said two officers were shot downtown in the Kentucky city late Wednesday, just hours after a grand jury announced an indictment in the Breonna Taylor case.

Driving the news: Metrosafe, the city's emergency services, said it received reports of a shooting at South Brook St. and Broadway Ave., near the area where protests were taking place. A police spokesperson told a press briefing the injuries of both officers were not life-threatening. One officer was "alert and stable" and the other was undergoing surgery, he said.

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Biden: Breonna Taylor indictment "does not answer" call for justice

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday condemned the grand jury indictment of a Louisville police officer who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March in a botched drug raid that led to her death, saying in a statement the decision "does not answer" for equal justice.

The big picture: Biden called for reforms to address police use of force and no-knock warrants, while demanding a ban on chokeholds. He added that people "have a right to peacefully protest, but violence is never acceptable."

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Trump refuses to commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses

President Trump repeatedly refused to say on Wednesday whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election to Joe Biden, saying at a press briefing: "We're going to have to see what happens."

The big picture: Trump has baselessly claimed on a number of occasions that the only way he will lose the election is if it's "rigged," claiming — without evidence — that mail-in ballots will result in widespread fraud. Earlier on Wednesday, the president said he wants to quickly confirm a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because he believes the Supreme Court may have to decide the result of the election.

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