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Three fierce women under fire

Three fiercely determined women with little else in common seized the spotlight this week. Alexandria Ocasi...

Posted: Dec 3, 2018 9:38 AM
Updated: Dec 3, 2018 9:38 AM

Three fiercely determined women with little else in common seized the spotlight this week. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was elected to Congress from the Bronx; Maria Lila Meza Castro, whose image as she fled tear gas at the border went viral; and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Call them sisters under fire:

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Ocasio-Cortez has yet to be sworn in, but she is already Fox News' favorite trigger, wrote Dean Obeidallah. It's "'Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez derangement syndrome,'" he writes: They can't stop talking about her, "from her choice of footwear to the type of apartment she can afford to the alleged impending doom she presents for America." With Hillary Clinton on the sidelines, "a young, brown Latina woman is the new 'villain' Fox News needs to keep viewers tuned in."

Maria Lila Meza Castro slogged her way with thousands of others from Honduras to the United States border, hoping to cross at Tijuana and seek asylum. Instead she was hit with tear gas, and the photograph of her -- wearing a T-shirt from the American film "Frozen," as she pulled two little girls to safety -- became an instant symbol. The cruel irony is that the movie "celebrates freedom and empowerment," noted Yalda T. Uhls. "Unfortunately ... she is unlikely to ever realize the dreams celebrated by the two characters beaming out from her T-shirt -- at least not in 2018 America."

Do the British media have it in for the Duchess of Sussex? Sure looks that way, observed Jane Merrick. The gushing coverage of the royal wedding has given way to tabloid trashing of the former American actress, as "a demanding bridezilla in the run-up to the wedding and a difficult boss" who demanded an emerald tiara and even made her sister-in-law Kate cry. It's unfair and an "apparent effort to 'other' her -- perhaps due to her being American but also, in a more insidious way, over her biracial heritage," Merrick wrote. Cut her a break, she says.

Why '41' will be missed

America's 41st President, George H.W. Bush, died Friday. Aaron David Miller recounted a phone call he received from the President when he worked in Bush's state department.  It showed, he wrote, Bush's character, and another essential quality: curiosity. While Bush's "mission in life was certainly driven by personal ambition, it was always tethered to a broader goal of service and obligation to a nation he loved. Together with the passing of John McCain, Bush's death reminds us of what's often missing in today's politics -- the service and bipartisanship required to lead a nation through difficult times."

Trump is right to worry about Cohen

"It is easy to see why (Donald Trump) is so visibly flustered," wrote former federal prosecutor Elie Honig. On Thursday, Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court to lying to Congress about Trump's Russia dealings. "Trump took a few swipes at Cohen, calling Cohen 'very weak' and accusing Cohen of 'lying.' This is Cooperator Bashing 101 -- standard, textbook stuff from a frightened target of a criminal probe. As Trump seems to understand, cooperating witnesses often pose the gravest threat to the leaders of closed, corrupt, hierarchical organizations."

The implications mount. "Did Trump's hiring of (Paul) Manafort as campaign chair, for no salary, have anything to do with Manafort's deep ties to pro-Vladimir Putin Russian oligarchs?" And where does the Russian state's effort to hack Hillary Clinton and the DNC's e-mails fit in? If Cohen knows it, now Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller does too, Honig says.

Earlier in the week, Mueller's cooperation deal with Manafort collapsed after Manafort was accused of lying to the special counsel's office ("incredibly reckless and self-defeating," opined Jeffrey Toobin). It's no setback for Mueller, Honig says, since "we know Mueller has the goods on whatever Manafort lied about."

GM job cuts puncture the Trump narratives

If Trump's presidency fails, look to General Motors, not Mueller, as a precipitating cause, suggested Mark Weinberg. On Monday, GM announced it was closing five North American plants, killing 14,000 jobs. Trump, whose steel and aluminum tariffs have cost the company $1 billion, was furious. If his economic policies are implicated, Weinberg wrote, it could represent "a stake in the heart of the Trump presidential experiment ... thousands of American autoworkers, many who voted for Trump in 2016 -- believing he would protect their jobs -- now face a stark reality just weeks before the holidays."

GM's move is a reality check, wrote Megan McArdle in The Washington Post. "We no longer live in a country where what's good for big business is good for its workers or for its politicians. There may be no way back to such a place, but if there is, it's pretty clear that Trump doesn't have the map."

It's not likely GM does, either, wrote Detroit native Marc Osler; it is motivated by short-term gains for investors, not long-term vision. The company will "roll out as many gas-guzzling Suburbans as Texas moms can buy. I don't believe for a second, though, that there is much chance that GM will eventually pivot to electric vehicles or autonomous cars." The harsh truth: "Don't fall in love with GM. She will not love you back."

The trouble with Beto-mania

Beto O'Rourke, who failed to unseat Ted Cruz from the United States Senate, told a crowd in El Paso on Monday that he may well run for president in 2020. Consider this, wrote Jill Filipovic. "A record number of women won races in the midterm election, making the incoming Congress the most female and the most racially diverse in American history. So of course presidential speculation is all about the white guy who lost his Senate race." The truth is "we still understand executive power as male, and so we continue to look to men to occupy it."

More than three weeks after the midterm elections, the country was still wrapping them up last week.

In Mississippi, the Republican Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith won a runoff Tuesday, after clinging tightly to Trump during a campaign marked by repeated race-related controversy. Lamented Mississippi author Ralph Eubanks: "Tuesday night, Mississippi had the opportunity to show the country that it had become a state that has shaken off its image as a closed society. "In the end, it was Mississippi's past that won the election rather than its future."

Burying climate change report backfires

Why, asked Ken Kimmell and Brenda Ekwurzel in The Guardian, did the Trump administration try to bury its own scary climate report by releasing it on Black Friday? What's Trump, a climate change skeptic, hiding? the writers ask. That "it's here and now," and that its findings "make the case that the administration must stop rolling back the climate policies the previous administration put in place." Trump ignores this at the world's peril, they note, even as states, cities and the private sector are stepping up with climate change strategies of their own.

Alaskan Bernadette Demientieff saw confirmation in the report: "Many of our Native communities ... are living that reality daily," she wrote. "Alaska is ground zero for climate change." And yet the Trump administration is pushing to open up the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling. The "dangerous collaboration of the fossil-fuel industry and the Trump administration are threatening our food security, our traditions, our cultural heritage, and our very survival," she says.

John Bolton's cowardice

John Bolton, President Trump's national security adviser, told reporters Tuesday he had a perfectly good reason not to listen to an audio recording of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi's torture and murder in the Saudi Embassy in Turkey: He doesn't speak Arabic. Earlier, Trump explained to Fox News' Chris Wallace that he, too, did not want to listen because "It's a suffering tape. It's a terrible tape." Paul Begala offered "a word for those who, when entrusted with leading our nation, purposefully turn away from their duties because they are difficult or unpleasant: cowards." "What this sad story teaches us is they (Trump and Bolton) also don't speak the language of American values," Begala says.

Khashoggi himself faced truth directly, his daughters Noha and Razan Jamal Khashoggi reflected in the Washington Post. "It was vitally important to him to speak up, to share his opinions, to have candid discussions." They offer not a eulogy of their journalist dad, but "a promise that his light will never fade, that his legacy will be preserved within us."

Washington Redskins should be ashamed

Reuben Foster was charged with domestic-violence battery in Tampa Bay, Florida, on Sunday and the San Francisco 49ers swiftly dumped him from their roster. Three days later the Washington Redskins hired him. Repulsive message received, wrote Roxanne Jones. The "NFL continues to excuse misogyny and abuse against women." But this will backfire, she says. "Women make up nearly 45% of the NFL fanbase," and often are the deciders for their kids' involvement. "We know our power. If the league intends to keep women watching and spending on the NFL, it cannot keep justifying guys like Reuben Foster."

Seven minutes of terror, and then...

Piece of cake: Point and shoot an $814 million spacecraft at Mars, 300 million miles away, then wait seven months for it to arrive and plunge at 12,300 mph (and a precise 12-degree angle) through the planet's atmosphere, and parachute gently to the featureless surface.

What could possibly go wrong? Nothing did. To cheers, NASA's Mars probe InSight landed flawlessly Monday, which is quite a thing, wrote physicist Don Lincoln ahead of the landing: The planet is a "graveyard of failed probes," with 44 tries and 18 successes over the years. Finding liquid water this time "would be the key discovery," says Lincoln, and "very comforting to possible future explorers."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312969

Reported Deaths: 3637
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin661641115
Ramsey27766505
Anoka22149228
Dakota22015190
Washington13999115
Stearns13733116
St. Louis8747112
Scott846255
Wright775843
Olmsted665634
Sherburne587641
Clay498457
Carver474213
Blue Earth414116
Rice412836
Kandiyohi408122
Crow Wing359634
Otter Tail314322
Chisago311611
Nobles308730
Benton299451
Winona276930
Mower261623
Douglas260337
Polk256324
Morrison231629
Lyon218711
Beltrami217117
McLeod212812
Becker205415
Goodhue203228
Steele19497
Isanti190617
Itasca190423
Carlton185816
Todd181214
Nicollet162525
Mille Lacs153631
Freeborn15336
Le Sueur147011
Cass143710
Brown141315
Waseca139211
Pine13658
Meeker12879
Roseau11964
Hubbard114925
Martin113320
Wabasha10561
Redwood94619
Chippewa8877
Cottonwood8664
Renville86527
Dodge8600
Watonwan8544
Wadena8016
Sibley7934
Rock7779
Aitkin76730
Pipestone72518
Fillmore6990
Houston6984
Yellow Medicine64812
Pennington6478
Kanabec61913
Murray5873
Swift5838
Faribault5612
Pope5391
Clearwater5248
Stevens5103
Marshall4979
Unassigned49359
Jackson4881
Lake4226
Koochiching3926
Wilkin3895
Lac qui Parle3773
Lincoln3591
Norman3497
Big Stone3182
Mahnomen2964
Grant2796
Kittson2248
Red Lake2133
Traverse1481
Lake of the Woods1001
Cook720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 227398

Reported Deaths: 2368
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33642336
Linn14352165
Scott1124986
Black Hawk10893135
Woodbury10372126
Johnson955336
Dubuque923291
Story678822
Dallas637257
Pottawattamie631970
Sioux370325
Webster358535
Cerro Gordo357144
Marshall348546
Clinton331344
Buena Vista305414
Des Moines291520
Muscatine289268
Warren281914
Plymouth276042
Wapello255772
Jones232313
Jasper217944
Marion205320
Lee203917
Carroll198422
Bremer195212
Henry18307
Crawford174616
Benton170619
Tama154340
Jackson144613
Delaware144221
Washington141314
Dickinson139210
Boone137011
Mahaska126827
Wright12456
Clay11784
Buchanan117010
Hardin115810
Page11374
Hamilton11199
Clayton11175
Cedar108413
Harrison107729
Kossuth10667
Calhoun10617
Floyd105016
Mills10487
Fayette103910
Lyon10338
Butler10216
Poweshiek99313
Winneshiek97613
Iowa95812
Winnebago93023
Hancock8677
Grundy86311
Louisa86216
Sac8608
Chickasaw8574
Cherokee8484
Allamakee81811
Cass81623
Mitchell7984
Appanoose79312
Humboldt7715
Union7706
Shelby76511
Emmet76424
Guthrie75415
Franklin73921
Jefferson7142
Madison6864
Unassigned6690
Palo Alto6554
Keokuk5997
Howard5599
Pocahontas5584
Greene5250
Osceola5241
Ida48913
Clarke4874
Davis4709
Taylor4653
Montgomery46311
Monroe44412
Adair4418
Monona4352
Worth3630
Fremont3583
Van Buren3585
Lucas3256
Decatur3170
Wayne3007
Audubon2962
Ringgold2112
Adams1702
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