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Rep. King falsely claims he was misquoted on ‘rape and incest’ abortion comment
Iowa Republican demands an apology from the media and his own party

Rep. Steve King talks with reporters at the Iowa State Fairlast week. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call).

Rep. Steve King demanded an apology over the weekend from GOP leaders and media outlets that criticized him for speculating that humankind may not exist without our species’ history of rape and incest.

The embattled Iowa Republican claimed, misleadingly, that he was misquoted in a Des Moines Register article — later picked up by The Associated Press — about comments he made defending his view that abortion should be illegal in all cases, including in instances of rape and incest.

White House readies $4 billion foreign aid cuts package
Proposal to eliminate unspent funds could ratchet up tensions with Congress over appropriations

President Donald Trump's administration could send Congress a proposal to cancel $4 billion in foreign aid funding in the coming days. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

The White House budget office on Thursday evening sent a proposal to trim unspent foreign assistance funds by “north of $4 billion” to the State Department for review, according to a senior administration official.

The final price tag of the rescissions package, which could also target unspent balances at the U.S. Agency for International Development, would likely change before being formally submitted to Capitol Hill, the official said.

Ken Cuccinelli wants to be a poet. First he needs a history lesson
It’s easier to rewrite Emma Lazarus than face up to the past

Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, has spent his week revising poetry — and evading history, Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It happened like clockwork. Every few weeks, especially in the winter months, when snowbirds traveled to my then-home in Tucson, Arizona, from parts north that included Michigan and Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, a letter to the editor would turn up at the paper where I worked. With slight changes, it would go something like: “I stopped in a store and overheard some people speaking Spanish. Why don’t they speak English?”

It took a little bit of time and a lot of convincing to explain that the families of many of these folks had been on the land the new arrivals so expansively and immediately claimed for generations, in the state since before it was a state, which Arizona didn’t become until 1912. It also has the greatest percentage of its acreage designated as Indian tribal land in the United States. And would it hurt you to know a word or two of Spanish?

When we stop talking to each other, democracy dies in silence
Social media is valuable for our political discourse, but it‘s time to tone down the rhetoric

A protester takes photos in front of the White House at an anti-Trump rally in July 2018. The anonymity of social media and its reach are rapidly changing the country’s political environment and not for the better, Winston writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — What happens to a democracy when people stop talking to one another about what matters to them and the country?  When people are afraid to speak their minds because they fear the personal blowback likely to come their way? Or worse, when they come to believe that their concerns, their views and their values just don’t matter to anyone anymore, and so they “turn off and tune out,” to quote an old line?

What happens?  That’s when democracy dies. Not necessarily in darkness but in silence. 

DOJ attorney in census citizenship dispute to leave department
John Gore ‘plans to spend time with family before deciding his next steps after DOJ’

Principal Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights John Gore speaks at the Justice Department September 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. Gore has left the department, a person familiar with the decision confirmed Friday. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

The Justice Department official at the center of the push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census has left the department, a person familiar with the decision confirmed Friday.

John Gore, who served as the Civil Rights Division’s principal assistant attorney general, authored a letter on enforcement of the Voting Rights Act that the Commerce Department used to justify adding a citizenship question to the census.

The lessons of Toni Morrison: Words matter, now more than ever
Trump may be missing what America needs, but late author’s writings light a path forward

With the death of Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, the world lost a giant when so many of our leaders are so small, Curtis writes. (Brad Barket/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — “Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names.”

Of course, that language from Toni Morrison perfectly suits this time, when the names we give the things that scare us hardly seem enough.

House Judiciary asks courts to order McGahn to testify
Lawsuit comes almost two months after chamber authorized the legal action

White House counsel Don McGahn’s testimony is crucial to the House’s “most solemn constitutional responsibility” to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment, the Judiciary Committee lawsuit states. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit Wednesday to enforce its subpoena for former White House counsel Don McGahn, launching a separation-of-powers battle in the courts that might not be quickly resolved.

The lawsuit focuses on McGahn’s key role in the Robert S. Mueller III-led special counsel probe when it comes to potential misconduct by President Donald Trump. It points out that the Mueller report section that focuses on whether Trump tried to obstruct the investigation mentions his statements more than 160 times.

How about a crime bill for white people instead of black people?
Crimes that keep Americans up at night are no longer out of some scene from “Law & Order”

It’s time to pass a new crime bill for the mostly white, almost entirely male, population of mass shooters who are steadily transforming our country into a shooting range to make up for their own sick frustrations with life, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — At nearly every Democratic presidential event I’ve been to this year, the candidates have talked about the devastating effects of the 1994 crime bill on the black community.

The legislation, which President Bill Clinton signed and Joe Biden, then a Delaware senator, pushed through the Judiciary Committee, was written as a response to an explosion in violent crime in urban areas across the country. In New York City, for example, there had been 2,245 murders in 1990. (There were 289 last year.)

House Democrats thread the needle on impeachment in hometown town halls
The impeachment caucus now includes half of the Democratic members of the House

Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., said he does not support an impeachment inquiry, but agreed with a constituent who said that investigations are not moving fast enough at a town hall this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats back in their districts for a six-week-long congressional recess have walked a tightrope on whether to impeach the president, according to local reports. 

The impeachment caucus now includes half of the Democratic members of the House.

The Baltimore that raised me is America too
As Trump revs up his base, he is tearing the country apart

What President Donald Trump said about the congressional district of Rep. Elijah Cummings is simplistic and ridiculously incomplete, writes Curtis, who called West Baltimore home. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — It was one of those Baltimore row houses that have come to define the city, three stories high, with a set of white marble steps out front. I will never forget those steps, the ones I had to scrub weekly, brush in one hand, Bon Ami cleanser in the other. And when I was finished, I had to do the same for older neighbors who needed the help. But those folks did their part, my mother reminded me, watching over the neighborhood from their windows when the block’s men, women and children were away working, running errands or attending school.

That’s what neighbors do for neighbors, all over America. And yes, that includes West Baltimore, about which Donald Trump tweeted: “No human being would want to live there.”