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August 13, 2019

You don't have to worry about remembering another name in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary field, The New York Times reports.

Stacey Abrams is expected to announce on Tuesday that she will not throw her hat into the ring. Abrams ran unsuccessfully in Georgia's 2018 gubernatorial election, but she captured the nation's attention despite the loss, and had been tossing around the idea of challenging for a seat in the Oval Office publicly for months.

But people familiar with Abrams told the Times that she ultimately decided against it. Instead, she'll reportedly work in battleground states to more closely monitor voter protection ahead of the 2020 general election. Lauren Groh-Wargo, one of Abrams' aides, said that for Abrams, "fighting voter suppression and making sure our nominees have what they need on the ground is what's most important."

That focus is, in part, fueled by allegations that Abrams lost her 2018 race to Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp because of voter suppression and election rigging.

Still, it might not be too long before Abrams is back on the campaign trail. The Times notes that she is likely to be a popular name for the vice presidency. Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

4:22 p.m.

President Trump continued his feud with Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Tuesday, ultimately leading him to accuse Jewish Democratic voters of disloyalty.

This iteration of the battle between Trump and the congresswomen follows a turbulent week which saw Israel bar and unbar Tlaib from visiting her grandmother in Palestine, only to have Tlaib ultimately reject the country's approval of her appeal. Meanwhile, Trump suggested Israel would look "weak" if it allowed Tlaib and Omar to enter Israel considering their support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, or BDS, movement. It's unclear if Trump's words swayed Israel toward Tlaib's initial rejection, but, regardless, the sides have gone back and forth ever since.

On Tuesday, Trump was asked about the situation, to which he replied that "any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat" show either "a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." About 79 percent of American Jews voted Democratic in 2018, reports NBC News' Benjy Sarlin.

The president also called Omar a "disaster for Jewish people" and, earlier in the day, mocked Tlaib for crying as she explained why she decided against visiting her grandmother. Tim O'Donnell

3:36 p.m.

President Trump on Tuesday confirmed reporting that he's considering a payroll tax cut after the White House spent the past day denying that he is.

On Monday, reports from The Washington Post and The New York Times emerged that the White House was weighing a temporary payroll tax cut as economists fear a looming recession, but White House officials denied it, with a statement released to the Post saying that "cutting payroll taxes is not something under consideration at this time." White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley in a Fox News interview on Tuesday morning similarly offered a denial, saying that "it's not being considered at this time."

So of course Trump would go on to say the exact opposite mere hours later, confirming the original reporting by saying in the White House, "Payroll taxes is something that we think about, and a lot of people would like to see that."

Add this onto the increasingly large list of examples of Trump contradicting White House officials, as when, earlier this year, the White House denied that Trump was considering a plan to release migrants into "sanctuary cities" and target his Democratic opponents, only for Trump to immediately tweet that he is "indeed, as reported," considering said plan. The New York Times' Maggie Haberman reports that administration officials were told to go out and deny that Trump is considering a payroll tax cut, a plan Trump himself would apparently thwart in short order. Brendan Morrow

3:27 p.m.

The nails seem to be approaching the coffin for Brexit negotiations.

That's because the European Union has rejected U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's latest request to scrap the Irish border backstop from a new withdrawal agreement, The Guardian reports.

Johnson reportedly sent European Council President Donald Tusk a letter detailing alternative methods ahead of the Oct. 31 Article 50 deadline, but Tusk was having none of it, maintaining that the continuation of an open border in Ireland is vital. He said that Johnson offered no viable options for preventing a hard border from arising, while the EU dismissed Johnson's argument that the backstop was anti-democratic.

On the other hand, Johnson said that he felt the EU was being too pessimistic about the matter and that he still believes a deal can be reached before the deadline, though he has not relented on the necessity of the backstop's removal from negotiations, RTE reports. At the same time, Johnson said the U.K. has no intention of implementing any new border checks or infrastructure at the Irish border that could threaten the integrity of the 1998 Good Friday agreement, which has kept the peace on the island for over two decades. The EU described Johnson's claim that two separate legal and economic jurisdictions could exist with an open border as "misleading." Tim O'Donnell

3:08 p.m.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is not planning to administer flu vaccines to migrant families in its custody, CNBC reports.

After the flu-related deaths of three migrant children in U.S. detention since last year, Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University doctors earlier this month wrote a letter to Congress calling for an investigation and "timely action," as "poor conditions at the facilities may be amplifying the spread of influenza and other infectious diseases, increasing health risks to children," The Washington Post reported.

But on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection told CNBC that "in general, due to the short-term nature of CBP holding and the complexities of operating vaccination programs, neither CBP nor its medical contractors administer vaccinations to those in our custody." The spokesperson said that "medical personnel on site are available 24/7" and that local health systems "may" provide migrants vaccination "if determined necessary."

Harvard's Jonathan Winickoff, one of the doctors who had urged congressional action earlier this month, continued to raise alarms following this news, telling CNBC that poor conditions at overcrowded facilities increase the likelihood of diseases spreading and that "the country needs urgent answers to that question so that children stop dying in detention." Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke out against this report on Tuesday and slammed President Trump, tweeting, "This cannot be America, but for as long as he is president, it will be."

The Department of Homeland Security's inspector general has in recent months released reports on "dangerous overcrowding" at border facilities like one in El Paso, which has a maximum capacity of 125 people but was found to be holding 900 detainees. "Corrective action is critical to the immediate health and safety needs of detainees," the report said. Brendan Morrow

3:08 p.m.

It's that time of year again. Supreme announced their fall/winter collection, which includes the usual branded clothing as well as their famously eclectic merchandise. In recent years the streetwear brand has thrown its name on hundreds of unusual or rare products like a crowbar, a brick, nunchucks and a dog bowl, each fetching hundreds of dollars on the fiercely competitive resale market.

Some see it as a brilliant satire of logo-obsessed hypebeast culture, while others simply see it as an attention-grabbing stunt meant to capitalize on the devoted fanbase's seemingly bottomless pockets.

This year, Supreme is offering nearly thirty branded items, including a measuring cup, hanging lantern, Honda Motorbike, voodoo doll (with pins!), and Wassily Chair, a nearly century-old Bauhaus design that exemplifies the modernist aesthetic. They're also offering more traditional merchandise like socks, keychains, and skateboard decks. Prices aren't yet listed, but they're sure to eventually sell for far more than what a non-branded Pyrex measuring cup would set you back.

The collection will be available to purchase in select stores on August 22nd, and online on August 26th. Make sure to pick up the box logo champagne flutes, so you can add a touch of grail to your next dinner party. Steven Orlofsky

2:38 p.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released another plan on Tuesday. This time around she's focusing on criminal justice reform, in the wake of several of her competitors unveiling similar proposals in recent weeks.

Like the other Democrats, Warren touched on several different topics in the plan, which is determined to reduce mass incarceration and curb recidivism from the ground-up by focusing on the education system, mental health services, and addiction treatment. "It is a false choice choice to suggest a tradeoff between safety and mass incarceration," the plan reads. "By spending our budgets not on imprisonment but on community services that lift people up, we'll decarcerate and make our communities safer."

The proposal takes an indirect shot at former Vice President Joe Biden by calling for the repeal of the 1994 crime bill, which the then-senator backed. Warren argues that the bill "exacerbated" incarceration rates by punishing people severely for minor crimes. The proposal also specifies that the bill's mandatory minimums and "truth-in-sentencing" provisions should be reduced or eliminated, allowing judges more flexibility when making sentencing decisions.

While Warren wants to ax most of the bill, she does concede that certain aspects, such as its section relating to domestic violence, ought to remain in place. Read the full plan here. Tim O'Donnell

1:27 p.m.

Harry Reid has some thoughts on the leftward tilt the Democratic party has made since his retirement in 2017.

In a Tuesday interview with Vice News, the former Nevada senator and Democratic Senate majority leader offered his opinions on some 2020 candidates' platforms, and how he thinks they can beat President Trump.

First things first: stop supporting Medicare-for-all. "How are you going to get it passed?" he asked, suggesting that candidates instead "focus on improving ObamaCare," legislation which he helped pass in 2010. A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 74 percent of Americans favor some form of a Medicare-for-all plan, and another found only 46 percent of Americans feel the same way about the Affordable Care Act. The single-payer health care plan, which Reid called "much harder to sell," has been adopted by some presidential candidates, most notably Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Reid also placed himself firmly on one side of another liberal wedge issue: immigration reform.

"There are so many more important things to do. Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list," he said, adding that he thought support for lenient immigration laws would hurt candidates in the general election.

Reid declined to endorse a candidate before February's Nevada caucus, but weighed in on the frontrunners. He said he thought "the world" of former Vice President Joe Biden, who aligns with Reid on immigration and healthcare. And despite diametric opposition to her health care and immigration plans, Reid also added that "everyone has to be impressed" with Warren, his former Senate colleague.

While some Democrats already agree with most of Reid's policy ideas, it's not too late for them to also echo his calls for more government research into UFO sightings. Reid 2020: The truth is out there. Steven Orlofsky

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