The Trump administration wants the Supreme Court to not rule on Obamacare until after the 2020 election

During the 2016 election, President Donald Trump promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Congressional Republicans tried to make good on this promise in 2017, before a Senate vote effectively killed the effort. In the wake of that failed attempt, Republican states challenged the law’s constitutionality in court, an effort encouraged and aided by the Trump administration.

But with 2020 elections looming, the Trump administration and state-level Republicans have seemingly lost their appetites for slashing and burning the landmark health care legislation.

In briefs filed Friday to the Supreme Court in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn …

Another earthquake hits Puerto Rico, with aftershocks expected

Puerto Rico was rocked by another large earthquake early Saturday, the latest and largest of dozens of aftershocks that followed a larger quake off the island’s southern coast Tuesday.

The latest seismic activity had its epicenter off the coast of Guanica, a city on the island’s southern coast. The 5.9-magnitude quake — initially believed to be a 6.0-magnitude quake — shook buildings and left concrete strewn about many of the islands’ streets. Puerto Rico has been racked with nearly 45 aftershocks of at least a 3.0-magnitude since Tuesday’s 6.4-magnitude quake, which killed one person and injured nine others, …

Sanders tops latest Iowa poll, but the 2020 Democratic primary is still a four way race

Throughout the 2020 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg have topped most early primary state polls. Iowa and New Hampshire polls released late last week followed that trend, while also registering some important changes in position in the final weeks before voters caucus and cast ballots for the first time.

According to a Des Moines Register poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers released Friday, Sanders currently has the lead in that state, with 20 percent support — up 5 percentage points from the last poll …

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, an opponent of Beijing, has won reelection

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has won reelection in this Saturday’s elections.

She received 57 percent of the vote, to her chief rival’s 38 percent, in a victory that had a lot to do with China, and the continuing upheaval in Hong Kong.

“Taiwan is showing the world how much we cherish our free democratic way of life and how much we cherish our nation,” Tsai said in her victory speech, as she warned China to stay out of the island’s affairs: “I also hope that the Beijing authorities understand that democratic Taiwan, and our democratically elected government, …

Impeachment and Iran

This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would finally send impeachment articles to the Senate. Why now? What is the Senate trial shaping up to look like? And how will things change if former National Security Advisor John Bolton testifies before the Senate? Andrew Prokop has the answers on this week’s Impeachment, Explained.

Then, the most popular question I’ve gotten over the past week is: Did Trump bomb Iran to distract from impeachment? This reflects a broader view that presidents routinely start foreign conflicts to distract from domestic political troubles. Is that true? And if it is true, …

A Ukrainian plane crashed in Iran: What we know

Just a few hours after Iran launched an attack against US bases in Iraq in retaliation for the US killing of Qassem Soleimani, a Boeing passenger jet bound for Ukraine crashed shortly after it took off from Tehran. All 176 people on board — including 82 Iranians, at least 63 Canadians, and 11 Ukrainians — were killed.

Iran originally claimed the crash was not caused by any military action. However, by Saturday morning, Iranian officials admitted the plane was shot down after it “took the flying posture and altitude of an enemy target.”

Iranian officials called the act …

Romance is publishing’s most lucrative genre. Its biggest community of writers is imploding.

The romance writing community’s biggest professional organization is in shambles due to an institutional meltdown over racialized politics. It’s a giant imbroglio involving questions of how to bring progressive change to a 40-year-old organization whose membership is increasingly diversifying — and the ramifications are about much more than romance.

Formed in 1980 by the groundbreaking black romance editor Vivian Stephens, Romance Writers of America (RWA) is a trade organization that essentially functions as a union for its 9,000 members, most of whom are published or aspiring romance authors. Its major annual awards, the RITA Awards, are the most prestigious honor …

The new MIT report on Jeffrey Epstein raises questions about how much to blame billionaires like Bill Gates

For months, tech billionaires have been on the ropes over the ties they maintained with money manager Jeffrey Epstein well after he was indicted and registered as a sex offender in 2008. Many of those connections centered around MIT’s Media Lab, an institution popular in Silicon Valley and that had a concealed fundraising relationship with Epstein.

But many of those billionaires — from Bill Gates to Reid Hoffman — weren’t exactly revealing about their ties to Epstein when he was arrested this summer, or were at least quick to defend the Media Lab’s leadership over the Epstein situation.

And so …