On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
77°
Showers
H 82° L 74°
  • cloudy-day
    77°
    Current Conditions
    Showers. H 82° L 74°
  • rain-day
    82°
    Afternoon
    Showers. H 82° L 74°
  • cloudy-day
    80°
    Evening
    Cloudy. H 82° L 74°
Listen
Pause
Error

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
Out West: Trump holds strong while farm worries grow
Close

Out West: Trump holds strong while farm worries grow

Out West: Trump holds strong while farm worries grow

Out West: Trump holds strong while farm worries grow

A trip through the Plains over the past two weeks showcased some of the electoral strengths - and possible weaknesses - for President Donald Trump, as he was cast as a hero by thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts, while the President's trade fight with China continued to draw intense concerns among farmers and agricultural leaders, threatening to cast a shadow in Red states on the President's 2020 re-election bid.

"Agriculture exports to China dropped by 50% last year," the National Farmers Union said on Monday, as concerns continue to grow among farmers that Mr. Trump's tariffs on Chinese imports - and the retaliation by the Chinese government against U.S. agriculture - could spell further economic troubles for farmers nationwide.

But while farmers worried about their sales, those going to a major motorcycle rally in South Dakota last weekend had an array of Trump t-shirts to buy, reflecting the strong support in Red states for the President.

"IN TRUMP WE TRUST," read one shirt on sale in Custer, South Dakota.

Here's some of what I saw during my break from Washington, D.C.

1. Trump wasn't there, but he was a star of Sturgis.

You don't have to be a political scientist to understand that most of those riding their motorcycles to the big rally in Sturgis, South Dakota this past weekend would tend to be Trump supporters. That was obvious in the shirts they were wearing, and what was on sale on the Main Street of towns in South Dakota and Wyoming. Shirts depicting the President as Captain America. "WELCOME TO AMERICA," bellowed another t-shirt which sported a drawing of President Trump riding a Harley with high handlebars. "NOW SPEAK ENGLISH OR GET THE F*CK OUT," the shirt said. Another shirt with a similar Trump-in-motorcycle-leather said, "FINALLY SOMEONE WITH BALLS!" And then there was one shirt which poked fun at what LBGTQ stands for.

Close

Out West: Trump holds strong while farm worries grow

2. Support for Trump being tested in Farm Country.
The corn is growing tall in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming. Soybeans are doing well. The cows look well fed and there is absolutely no shortage of grass to eat. In fact, there has been so much rain that the fields are an uncommon color of deep green in the middle of August for hundreds of miles, and there is little in the way of drought. That should be something good for Farm Country. But the news over the last week for farmers in the Plains was not positive, as the Chinese announced they would not buy any American agricultural products so long as President Trump was levying new tariffs on goods imported from Beijing. The Trump Administration has already unveiled two different bailouts for farmers hurt by trade retaliation - and there could be billions of dollars more needed if this U.S.-China trade fight goes on. It's being noticed by some of the bigger players in agriculture.

3. Growth remains uneven in Trump areas. In my five state trek, I only was in two counties which voted for Hillary Clinton - everything else was for President Trump in 2016. Economically, the strongest towns in rural America continue to rely on either tourism, or colleges and hospitals - but most areas don't have that, as many of the towns which fall in between are struggling. The two lane roads of the Plains showcased way too many faded signs - and dreams - which couldn't survive. Despite the President's constant declarations that the economy is the best ever, it's not apparent that things are changing dramatically in rural areas, especially with trade troubles being encountered by American farmers. Where was the biggest growth occurring? That's an easy answer - it was in a Blue area around  Minneapolis - where renovations were underway for numerous old buildings in the city, along with all sorts of highway construction in the region. Democrats won two House seats from the GOP in 2018 in greater Minneapolis, and it's yet another state further dividing along rural-urban lines, with the showdown in the suburbs and exurbs of the state's cities.

Close

Out West: Trump holds strong while farm worries grow

4. The cry for less government rings hollow at times. 
As you go through much of the Plains and the West, you find a lot of aggravation with the federal government. And yet - Washington does so much to keep these areas going, from the national parks which provide a vital economic boost via tourism, the government subsidies for farmers which help all sorts of agricultural operations, to the Army Corps of Engineers, which gives so many communities a life line along the Mississippi, Missouri, and other rivers. As I watched the sun set on the Missouri in the capital of South Dakota this past week, I couldn't help but think about how the Army Corps and the Bureau of Reclamation made it easier for the people out fishing late that evening, and others playing on the river. It was a fresh reminder of how reliant many Red states are on the federal government.

Close

Out West: Trump holds strong while farm worries grow

5. Energy industry remains strong - both fossil and green. My hotel in Dickinson, North Dakota could well have just been an office for workers at Halliburton, who filled the breakfast room and hallways with their work talk. Driving along miles and miles of dirt road across into Montana, we not only took in some great scenery, but also saw a large amount of construction work on an oil pipeline. It was a reminder of the ongoing energy boom in the Dakotas and Wyoming. But there was also evidence of continuing growth in a different arena - green energy - as giant trucks were on the interstates to deliver huge blades for wind turbines, and we saw repeated examples of entire fields sprouting solar panels, instead of corn, wheat, hay, or soybeans.

Close

Out West: Trump holds strong while farm worries grow

6. The debate over guns remains the same. Over twenty years ago, the guy who lived next to my grandparents in Wyoming had a favorite name for a buffalo-shaped target at his gun range - "The Schumer" he called it - referring to the New York Senator, and his push for gun controls. After the latest mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, there was no evidence that anything was changing out West when it comes to Second Amendment issues. One conversation stopped me in my tracks outside Bismarck, North Dakota, where I listened as three men talked about how they thought those mass shootings - along with the attack on an outdoor music concert in Las Vegas in 2017 - were probably orchestrated by the federal government in order to press for gun controls. "I love this country, but I don't trust the government," one man said to the nodding approval of the others, as they embraced what can only be described as a classic conspiracy theory. There will be more debate about guns when the Congress returns to work after Labor Day. Whether anything happens legislatively is another story entirely.

7. The only hope for unity may be the Prairie Dog.

If there was one thing that seemed to appeal to everyone we saw on our trip, it was an appreciation for the prairie dog. It didn't matter if you were a grizzled motorcycle rider, a family from overseas, or a bunch of kids from Back East who have a hard time wrapping their head around the fact that the Washington, D.C. area has more people than North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming combined. Little kids loved the prairie dogs. Pot-bellied bikers with no shirts loved the prairie dogs. Maybe there is hope that we can bridge the political gap in America. Prairie Dog 2020.

Close

Out West: Trump holds strong while farm worries grow

8. Checking off a few more state capitol buildings. I may work in the U.S. Capitol on a daily basis, but there's nothing I love more than going to see state capitols all around the country. This past week, the Dupree Family trekked to St. Paul, Minnesota, Bismarck, North Dakota, and Pierre, South Dakota. All three capitols had their good points, but if I had to pick one of them, then the South Dakota Capitol would rate the highest on my list. Every single one tells a different story. Every capitol is a reminder that we don't call it the United States of America for nothing.

Close

Out West: Trump holds strong while farm worries grow

Close

Out West: Trump holds strong while farm worries grow

Close

Out West: Trump holds strong while farm worries grow

My last piece of advice - get on the road and see the country. You might pick up a few things, and you might realize that no one gets everything they want in politics. 

Or in life.

Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • More than 5.4 million people worldwide – including at least 1.6 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Monday, May 25, continue below: Florida reports lowest number of daily deaths since late March Update 5:04 a.m. EDT May 25: Florida health officials on Sunday reported five new coronavirus-related deaths statewide since Saturday – the lowest day-to-day increase since March 29, records show. According to Orlando’s WFTV, officials also reported 740 additional cases of the virus statewide since Saturday. As of Sunday, the total number of cases in the state was at 50,867, with 2,237 deaths. Read more here. ‘Person of interest’ identified in bias crimes against Asians in Seattle Update 3 a.m. EDT May 25: Police in Seattle are investigating a growing number of crimes targeting Asians during the outbreak. Seattle officers said the attacks started late Saturday afternoon in the heart of Ballard and moved to Golden Gardens Park. They believe one man is responsible for all the incidents. A victim at Golden Gardens Park said the man spat in his face. The workers at Thai Thani Restaurant said the man threw things at them while demanding to know if they are Chinese. “I hear some noise, and I see some guy angry, yelling,' Umboom Moore told Seattle’s KIRO-TV. That was the first time she knew something unusual was happening Saturday night at the restaurant where she works. “Just like some crazy guy,” she said. “So I just started taking pictures.” Her co-worker, Natthiya Chumdee, said he was yelling at her. “Right over there, he smashed the window,” she said. When he asked if she is Chinese, she told him everyone there is Thai. He asked her to kneel and swear to it. “Well, I’m not going to do that,” she said. “He’s starting [to] lose control. And he comes here, and he says, ‘You know, I’m going to slam the door, this table to you.’” The night before, Tonya McCabe got the brunt of his anger. “He said, ‘Are you Chinese?’” she said. “And I said, ‘No, we’re not.’ And he still kept yelling at us. And I said, ‘If you’re not going to leave, I’m going to call 911.’ And then he said, ‘Better [expletive] call 911.’” Just last week, a man was captured on camera shoving an Asian couple as they walked by. They told Seattle police he spat on them, too. The man in these latest attacks is described as white, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, in his mid-20s to mid-30s and is of a muscular build. He was wearing a white shirt and shorts. It is the same suspect description in two attacks at Golden Gardens Park on Saturday night. “I stand back there, and ... yell to him, ‘Get out, leave!’” said McCabe. It has McCabe and the others working at this restaurant finding a different way to get around this city that is now their home. “I’m afraid to like walk on the street or take a bus,” said McCabe. They told KIRO that the man also approached other Asian-owned businesses in the area before apparently heading to Golden Gardens Park. Anyone who recognizes him is asked to call Seattle police. 17-year-old Georgia boy becomes youngest in state to die from COVID-19 Update 2:24 a.m. EDT May 25: The Georgia Department of Public Health said Sunday that a 17-year-old boy has died of the coronavirus, marking the youngest fatality and first pediatric death in the state. Nancy Nydam with the department confirmed the information to Atlanta’s WSB-TV on Sunday. The teen was from Fulton County and had an underlying condition, according to officials. His identity has not been released. More than 1,800 people have died of COVID-19 in Georgia since the outbreak began, with the median age of deaths at 73.6 years old, according to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cases of COVID-19 in children have typically been less severe, though there has been growing concern and a new warning about a rare condition recently seen in dozens of children nationwide. A spokesperson for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta confirmed that a team of infectious disease and cardiology experts are evaluating several cases in metro Atlanta of children who exhibited Kawasaki-like symptoms and inflammation. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta physician specialists stressed that it appears to be a rare finding with a low rate in Georgia. New York health officials have already issued a warning about a rare inflammatory syndrome that has infected at least 64 children in that state. A spokesperson for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta said they have experts for treating the symptoms regardless of a potential link to COVID-19. Families should contact their doctor or visit an emergency room if their child develops signs of illness such as high fever, rash, red eyes, abdominal pain and swelling of the face, hands or feet. US coronavirus cases top 1.6M, deaths near 98K Published 12:43 a.m. EDT May 25: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surged past 1.6 million early Monday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,643,238 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 97,720 deaths. The hardest-hit states remain New York, with 361,515 cases and 29,141 deaths, and New Jersey, with 154,154 cases and 11,138 deaths. Massachusetts, with 92,675 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,372, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 110,304. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 5,000 cases each. Seven other states have now confirmed at least 42,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 94,020 cases, resulting in 3,754 deaths • Pennsylvania: 71,563 cases, resulting in 5,136 deaths • Texas: 55,861 cases, resulting in 1,528 deaths • Michigan: 54,679 cases, resulting in 5,228 deaths • Florida: 50,867 cases, resulting in 2,237 deaths • Maryland: 46,313 cases, resulting in 2,277 deaths • Georgia: 42,902 cases, resulting in 1,827 deaths Meanwhile, Connecticut has confirmed at least 40,468 cases; Louisiana, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 31,000 cases; Colorado, North Carolina, Minnesota and Tennessee each has confirmed more than 20,000 cases; Washington, Iowa, Arizona and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases; Alabama and Rhode Island each has confirmed more than 14,000 cases; Mississippi, Missouri and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases; South Carolina has confirmed at least 10,000 cases; Kansas, Delaware, Kentucky, Utah and the District of Columbia each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases, followed by Nevada with more than 7,000; New Mexico and Oklahoma each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases, followed by Arkansas with more than 5,000; South Dakota and New Hampshire each has confirmed at least 4,000 cases; and Oregon and Puerto Rico each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown.
  • A South Carolina soldier has died in Afghanistan, WPDE reported. The U.S. Department of Defense announced Thursday that 25-year-old 1st Lt. Trevarius Ravon Bowman of Spartanburg died May 19 at Bagram Air Force Base. He died in a non-combat-related incident. A department news release said the incident is under investigation but didn’t provide details. Bowman was in Afghanistan supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. He was assigned to a unit attached to the 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade of the South Carolina National Guard. “It is with heavy hearts and deepest condolences that we announce the passing of 1st Lt. Trevarius Bowman. This is never an outcome we as soldiers, leaders and family members wish to experience,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Van McCarty, the adjutant general for South Carolina. “Please keep the service members in his unit in your thoughts and prayers, as well as his family as they work through this difficult time.”
  • The Republican National Committee and other conservative groups filed a lawsuit Sunday to stop California from mailing ballots to all voters ahead of the November general election. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced earlier this month that the state would mail all registered voters a ballot, while in-person voting would still remain an option, CNN reported. 'Democrats continue to use this pandemic as a ploy to implement their partisan election agenda, and Gov. Newsom's executive order is the latest direct assault on the integrity of our elections,' RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement, CNN reported. The lawsuit, filed by the RNC, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the California Republican Party challenges the expansion of absentee voting. '(It) violates eligible citizens' right to vote,' the lawsuit claims. '(And) invites fraud, coercion, theft, and otherwise illegitimate voting.' State officials stand by the move. “California will not force voters to choose between protecting their health and exercising their right to vote,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “We are meeting our obligation to provide an accessible, secure and safe election this November. Sending every registered voter a ballot by mail is smart policy and absolutely the right thing to do during this COVID-19 pandemic.” The lawsuit is one of nearly a dozen across the country challenging Democrat-led vote-by-mail expansion. The RNC has pored $20 million into the nationwide legal effort, CNN reported. Some states, including Republican-heavy Utah, already conduct their elections completely by mail. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud linked to voting-by-mail, CNN reported.
  • Thousands of convicted felons will be eligible to vote in Florida after a federal court ruled that a law that created wealth-based hurdles to voting is unconstitutional. The law, SB 7066, required people with past convictions to pay all outstanding legal fees, costs, fines and restitution before regaining their right to vote. The law undermined Floridians’ 2018 passage of Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to more than a million people who completed the terms of their sentence, including parole or probation. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle found that conditioning voting on payment of legal financial obligations a person is unable to pay violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by discriminating on the basis of wealth. He said that requiring the payment of costs and fees violates the 24th Amendment, which prohibits poll taxes and violates the National Voter Registration Act. “This is a historic win for voting rights. Judge Hinkle told the state of Florida what the rest of America already knows. You can’t make wealth a prerequisite for voting. This ruling opens the way for hundreds of thousands of Floridians to exercise their fundamental right to vote this November, and our democracy will be stronger for their participation,' said Sean Morales-Doyle, senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice.
  • A temporary field hospital built for $21 million as the coronavirus outbreak threatened to overrun medical facilities in New York has closed without ever seeing a patient. Plans to transform the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal into a temporary 670-bed hospital were announced March 31, a day after the USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived to help coronavirus patients. Officials also announced a tennis center in Queens would be converted into a 350-bed facility. At that time, there were about 8,400 patients in hospitals citywide being treated for the coronavirus, The City reported. The tennis center opened as a medical facility April 11 when there were 12,184 patients in hospital beds being treated across the city. It cost $19.8 million to renovate and revert the tennis center. It closed earlier this month after taking in 79 patients. The Brooklyn hospital, built by SLSCO, a Texas-based construction company, was supposed to open in April but was not ready for patients until May 4, The City reported. By then, hospital use had been sliced in half, to about 6,000 patients. It closed last week without ever having a patient. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to pay the costs for both hospitals. The two field hospitals were not the only emergency medical facilities in New York that saw limited use. The Comfort left New York after about a month and treating 182 patients, of which about 70% had the coronavirus. Several other field hospitals were built across New York for nearly $350 million. They closed in April without seeing any patients, The Associated Press reported. Built for worst-case scenarios, some of the unused facilities will be kept on stand by for a possible second wave. “As part of our hospital surge, we expanded capacity at a breakneck speed, ensuring our hospital infrastructure would be prepared to handle the very worst. We did so only with a single-minded focus: saving lives,” city spokesperson Avery Cohen told The New York Post. 'Over the past few months, social distancing, face coverings, and other precautionary measures have flattened the curve drastically, and we remain squarely focused on taking that progress even further.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Latest News Videos