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Beto O’Rourke hits the road again with 2020 decision looming

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Beto O’Rourke is on the road again as he nears a decision on whether to enter the 2020 presidential race.

The former Democratic congressman from El Paso who ran for U.S. Senate in 2018 has at least two appearances scheduled this weekend across the Midwest. On Friday evening, he will visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he will hold a meet-and-greet with students and faculty. And on Saturday afternoon, he will speak at the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute National Conference in Chicago.

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The swing through the region appears to be O’Rourke’s first major travel outside Texas since his solo road trip last month through parts of the Southwest. Since then, O’Rourke has said he will make a 2020 decision by the end of the month.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether O’Rourke was approaching the Midwest trip the same way he did his previous one — traveling alone by car and blogging along the way. But the Midwestern stops will undoubtedly further stoke speculation about his 2020 plans, which are the subject of even more interest after his starring role in protests of President Donald Trump’s visit to El Paso on Monday.

The event at UW-Madison, hosted by the Political Science Student Association, is for students and faculty only. It is nonetheless notable, as it takes O’Rourke to a presidential battleground state that Donald Trump carried in 2016. Another Democrat in the 2020 mix, declared candidate and Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, is starting a swing through the state Saturday.

At the USHLI conference in Chicago, O’Rourke is the featured speaker at a luncheon honoring three Democratic lawmakers: U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico and former U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois.

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The conference will also feature remarks Friday by Julián Castro, the Texas Democrat who is already a 2020 candidate. He is the keynote speaker at a luncheon recognizing his mother, the Mexican-American civil rights activist Rosie Castro.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘They sense weakness’: Former senator says the world is ‘smirking’ as Trump flails away at latest China tariffs

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Former Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) appeared on CNN Friday to discuss how President Donald Trump has completely mishandled his long-running trade war with China.

While talking about trade with CNN's Jim Sciutto, Baucus said that China timed its new announcements of tariffs against $75 billion worth of American goods specifically to humiliate the president.

"They sense weakness," explained Baucus, who has also previously served as an American ambassador to China. "And I think that they see a weakness in the United States today. Trump has been weakened because of the weakened American economy and they're retaliating against the tariffs that Trump imposed after there was a truce there would be no tariffs."

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‘Alarming gibberish’: Trump mocked for raging impotently against Fed chair and China

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President Donald Trump attacked his own Federal Reserve chairman as an "enemy" of the United States amid his escalating trade war with China -- and other social media users were flabbergasted.

Fed chairman Jerome Powell refused to budge on interest rates, despite heavy pressure by the president in the face of a looming recession, and China retaliated against the tariffs Trump imposed with a new round of their own.

Trump lashed out at Powell, whose name he misspelled, and compared him unfavorably to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

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A look inside the Koch brothers’ secret plan to manipulate politicians — and how it fueled the rise of the radical right

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Democrats and Republicans are expected to spend about $1 billion getting their 2016 nominee elected. There’s a third group that will spend almost as much. It’s not a political party, and it doesn’t have any candidates. It’s the right-wing political network backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David Koch, expected to spend nearly $900 million in 2016. The Kochs’ 2016 plans come as part of an effort to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to conservative candidates and causes over the last four decades. The story of the Koch brothers and an allied group of billionaire donors is told in a new book by New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer, “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.” Mayer traces how the Kochs and other billionaires have leveraged their business empires to shape the political system in the mold of their right-wing agenda.

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