Obama’s HBCU commencement speech doubles as an indictment of the Trump era

In his first major national address since the coronavirus pandemic began, former President Barack Obama delivered a commencement speech to graduates at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) Saturday. And much of his advice encouraging students to become leaders doubled as an indictment of the Trump administration’s management of the pandemic.

“More than anything, this pandemic has fully finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing,” Obama said in a video streamed online as part of the “Show Me Your Walk H.B.C.U. Edition” virtual commencement. “A lot of …

Rep. Justin Amash ends his third-party White House bid

Rep. Justin Amash, the independent Michigan congressman who said in April he was considering running for president as a third party candidate, has announced he’s decided not to pursue a bid for the White House.

“After much reflection, I’ve concluded that circumstances don’t lend themselves to my success as a candidate for president this year, and therefore I will not be a candidate,” he tweeted Saturday.

Trump continues purging inspectors general, removing a State Department watchdog

President Donald Trump fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick on Friday, continuing a pattern of ousting independent watchdogs that has alarmed government ethics experts and top Democrats.

Linick’s firing is of particular concern to both groups — Democrats have described the inspector general’s removal as an apparent attempt to retaliate against Linick for reportedly opening an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

A Democratic congressional aide told Vox’s Alex Ward Linick was looking into the potential “misuse of a political appointee” by Pompeo, including having that appointee carry out “personal tasks” for the secretary of state and his …

California locked down early and took the coronavirus seriously. Why are its cases still rising?

In late February and early March, when much of the United States wasn’t yet taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously, the state of California — the first place in the country to spot community transmissionlargely was.

Major tech companies in the state told their employees to work from home by the end of February or the first week of March. LA’s enormous TV and film industry largely shut down voluntarily in early March out of fears of spreading the virus among the hundreds of crew members and actors who circulate on sets every day.

Local leaders and the …

The House just passed its latest $3 trillion coronavirus stimulus package

The House on Friday passed the HEROES Act, Democrats’ $3 trillion proposal for the next stimulus package.

While it’s already been dismissed by Republicans in the Senate, the bill serves as an important marker for Democrats’ key priorities as lawmakers weigh how to address the economic fallout from the pandemic.

The legislation, which includes over $900 billion in federal funding for states and cities, as well as another round of stimulus checks and an extension for expanded unemployment insurance, passed the House 208-199 predominately on party lines.

Thus far, the bill has garnered little interest from Senate Republicans who’ve …