Analysis | California scraps travel ban. Your weekly non-Beltway … – The Washington Post

Welcome to The Daily 202! Tell your friends to sign up here. On this day in 1963, four Black girls were killed when a bomb ripped through Sunday services at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. More than 20 people were injured. Ku Klux Klansmen were eventually convicted of carrying out the attack.

California scraps travel ban. Your weekly non-Beltway political stories.

California repealed its ban on travel to states with anti-LGBTQ laws. Delaware has some success with guaranteed basic income for pregnant women. The cost of living soars in Miami. Cherokee in North Carolina approve recreational marijuana.

These are your weekly non-Beltway political stories.

The Daily 202 generally focuses on national politics and foreign policy. But as passionate believers in local news, and in redefining “politics” as something that hits closer to home than strictly inside-the-Beltway stories, we try to bring you a weekly mix of pieces with significant local, national or international importance.

But we need your help to know what we’re missing! Please keep sending your links to news coverage of political stories that are getting overlooked. (They don’t have to be from this week, and the submission link is right under this column.) Make sure to say whether we can use your first name, last initial and location. Anonymous is okay, too, as long as you give a location.

California ends a travel ban

We’re not going to word it any better than Andrew Sheeler did in the Sacramento Bee: “California no longer bans state-funded travel to more than half of the country.” It’s the half of the country that has laws on the books that discriminate against LGBTQ Americans.

“The ban caused difficulties for many state agencies, researchers, student athletes and others who rely on state money. Even supporters of the ban acknowledged that the law was not having the deterrent effect it was intended to — with more than 500 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in state legislatures across the country so far this year,” Sheeler reported.

The politics: California Democrats had apparently thought they could leverage the state’s resources to effect change in other states. Faced with apparent failure, they reversed course. What will the new frontier of state vs state politics look like?

Delaware’s guaranteed basic income

An anonymous reader in Wilmington, Del., steered us to news that the state’s guaranteed basic income pilot program for low-income pregnant women seems to be a success, with better health outcomes and a high return on investment.

Mark Fowser at WDEL has the details: “Pregnant women received a regular monthly income of $1,000 on a debit card for specific expenses such as food, transportation, education, housing or baby supplies. They also received counseling in financial management and career development. Other services are also offered through the Rose Hill Community Center.

This week the Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium “revealed that for every dollar invested into the program there was a return of more than three-dollars — 324%, in fact. Other financial benefits also were health benefits: $$299,520 in reduced hospital stays and $21,600 in reduced emergency department visits,” Fowser reported.

The politics: This seems awfully timely given the news that child poverty has soared due to the end of pandemic-era federal benefits.

South Florida’s cost of living surges

Housing and fuel powered a painful surge in the cost of living in South Florida, the Miami Herald’s Vinod Sreeharsha reported. Consumer prices increased there “by the widest margin among large U.S. urban areas.”

“The Miami metro area in August posted the highest cost-of-living increase among the nation’s biggest 14 metropolitan areas. That is an infamous distinction the region has held since December 2022, when annual inflation rose 9.9%,” Sreeharsha wrote.

  • For the 12-month period ending in August, inflation in the Miami metropolitan area climbed 7.8 percent. 

“Home rents jumped 15.3% last month, compared to a year ago while the cost of buying a home increased by 14.3%,” Sreeharsha reported.

The politics: This is a challenge for federal, state and local governments, notably on the housing front. And of course at the national level it will shape the 2024 presidential contest.

Recreational pot in North Carolina

An anonymous reader in Whittier, N.C., pointed us toward the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in far-western North Carolina voting to approve recreational marijuana use on tribal land.

“As approved, the referendum legalizes possession and use of cannabis by anyone 21 and older. Tribal lands, home to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, are an important cultural and tourism destination in the Great Smoky Mountains,” Joe Marusak reported for the Charlotte Observer.

“The referendum also requires the tribal council to develop legislation to regulate the market,” Marusak wrote.

The politics: Pot isn’t legal anywhere else in the state, which could set the stage for some tension.

See an important political story that doesn’t quite fit traditional politics coverage? Flag it for us here.

UAW launches historic strike against Big 3 automakers

United Autos Workers union members began picketing on Sept. 15 at three locations, including a Ford plant in Wayne, Mich., and a Stellantis plant in Toledo. (Video: Julie Yoon/The Washington Post)

“Thousands of United Auto Workers went on strike against all the Big Three automakers — General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, the parent company of Jeep and Chrysler — for the first time in history. With negotiations for new contracts unsuccessful so far, the UAW staged walkouts early Friday at three plants in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri,” our colleagues report.

TikTok is hit with $368 million fine under Europe’s strict data privacy rules

“European regulators slapped TikTok with a $368 million fine on Friday for failing to protect children’s privacy, the first time that the popular short video-sharing app has been punished for breaching Europe’s strict data privacy rules,” the Associated Press’s Kelvin Chan reports.

TikTok and U.S. rekindle negotiations, boosting app’s hopes for survival

“TikTok’s China-based parent company and the U.S. government are back at the negotiating table over the fate of the immensely popular video app in the United States. The renewal comes six months after the Biden administration told ByteDance that it was done negotiating,” Drew Harwell reports.

China’s defense minister under investigation for corruption

“Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu is under investigation for corruption and likely will be removed, two U.S. officials said this week, in what would be the latest in a series of top-tier purges of Beijing’s security ranks,” Ellen Nakashima and Cate Cadell report.

Lunchtime reads from The Post

After chaotic week, House heads home with government shutdown on horizon

House lawmakers left town Thursday after a dramatic three-day workweek that saw them launch a divisive impeachment inquiry and calls for the removal of Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his position, as they made little movement toward averting a government shutdown,” Marianna Sotomayor, Leigh Ann Caldwell, Amy B Wang and Jacqueline Alemany report.

  • “Republicans also weren’t able to move forward a traditionally noncontroversial defense spending bill, stymied by deep divisions in the party despite a shared goal of approving 12 individual appropriations bills.”

Supreme Court asked to pause limits on White House social media requests

“The Biden administration on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to pause a lower court’s order that restricts the White House, FBI and key public health agencies from efforts to ‘coerce or significantly encourage’ social media companies to remove or suppress posts,” Cat Zakrzewski reports.

Trump says he’d testify under oath he never ordered Mar-a-Lago security video deleted

“Former President Donald Trump said Thursday that he did not order a Mar-a-Lago staffer to delete security video at the center of an investigation into whether he mishandled classified documents,” NBC News’s Allan Smith reports.

  • “That’s false,” Trump told “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker.
  • Pressed by Welker about whether he would testify to that under oath, Trump said, “Sure, I’m going to — I’ll testify.”

GOP chairs in safe seats rake in campaign cash they don’t need

“[Rep. Jason T. Smith] and other Republicans who took the top spots on House committees this year have, all combined, raised 86% more in campaign donations in the first six months of 2023 than they did in the same period two years ago, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of federal campaign disclosures,” Bloomberg Government’s Kate Ackley and Maeve Sheehey report.

  •  The boost in political money, to their leadership PACs and campaign committees, followed their increased roles in shaping legislation. Their political coffers this year are chock full of donations from a cross-section of lobbying groups and corporations, including the American Medical Association and, that have a stake in tax, agriculture and other bills.”

Double blows of inquiry and son’s indictment create tough stretch for Biden

Neither the inquiry nor the indictment was unexpected, but the back-to-back developments underscored the challenges Biden faces as he runs for a second term. He faces no serious competition for the Democratic nomination, but some Democrats are growing increasingly concerned about his vulnerabilities, including his age, as polls show a tight race between him and Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination,” Tyler Pager reports.

U.S. cuts military aid to Egypt, sends money instead to Taiwan

“The Biden administration this week told Congress that it intends to withhold $85 million designated for U.S. security assistance to Egypt this year, and instead provide the bulk of the money to Taiwan,” Karen DeYoung reports.

  • The decision brought immediate criticism from lawmakers that the reprogrammed amount either wasn’t enough to punish Egypt for ongoing detentions of political prisoners and other human rights abuses, or that it was a paltry offering to Taiwan given the urgency of China’s aggressive behavior.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit Washington next week

Zelensky’s visit to Capitol Hill is tentatively scheduled for Thursday. The trip was coordinated with the Biden administration in a joint push to reinforce the importance to Congress granting the White House’s supplemental budget request for more than $24 billion in additional aid to Ukraine,” John Hudson and Maegan Vazquez report.

‘Greater Idaho,’ visualized

“In eastern Oregon, from the volcanic Cascade Range to this border town, is a sense of profound political alienation. The disaffection among conservatives has spawned a movement to change the state’s political dynamic in a novel if quixotic way — rather than relocate or change the politics, which seems impossible to many here, why not move the border and become residents who live under the rules of Idaho? This is no small task,Scott Wilson reports.

Biden circle fires back hard at impeachment inquiry

“Biden’s broader circle has joined the aggressive pushback. His reelection campaign fired off a fundraising email Wednesday castigating the inquiry as ‘theater with bad actors.’ His son Hunter, who is at the center of Republicans’ impeachment push, on Wednesday sued a hard-right activist who has been investigating him and providing information to Congress,” Marisa Iati reports.

  • “This flurry of reactions comes as the president’s allies say Biden himself plans to remain above the fray and focus on touting his economic record and leading the country.”

Wisconsin Republicans vote to fire elections director, who sues to keep her job

Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate voted Thursday to fire the swing state’s top elections official, who argued lawmakers didn’t have the power to oust her and said she would stay in office. About an hour after the vote, she sued GOP lawmakers, seeking validation from the courts that she can keep her job,” Patrick Marley reports.

  • The vote ignited a dispute over who is in charge of overseeing elections in a state that is expected to play a critical role in next year’s presidential contest and that may have to redraw its legislative districts within months.”

At 6:25 p.m., Biden will leave D.C. for Delaware.

60 years ago, Alabama church bombing killed 4 girls and catalyzed a movement

Sixty years later, as the country continues to reel from recent high-profile police killings of unarmed Black Americans and lawmakers in several states restrict the teaching of Black history, the city of Birmingham is hosting a week of events to commemorate the victims of the church bombing and highlight the civil rights push that followed,” DeNeen L. Brown reports.

Thanks for reading. See you next week.

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