There were 1,824 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 393,929 in the last 365 days.

Some people you should know: Aid workers in Gaza

All eyes on the Sunshine State

On Monday, President Joe Biden’s campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez said, “Make no mistake: Florida is not an easy state to win, but it is a winnable one for President Biden, especially given Trump’s weak, cash-strapped campaign and serious vulnerabilities within his coalition.” That sounds encouraging, but given Florida’s recent political trajectory, it also feels like a heavy lift. We asked longtime Florida political reporter Marc Caputo, now at The Bulwark, for his take.

Why does it feel like Florida is less of a swing state now?

Swing states swing back and forth. Florida has just drifted rightward for years. The shift became noticeable when Donald Trump unexpectedly won the state in 2016, followed by a string of Republican wins that led Gov. Ron DeSantis to carry Florida by nearly 20 points in 2022. There’s nothing swingy about that. There are now no statewide elected Democrats for the first time since Reconstruction. Florida’s voter rolls tell the story: In 2008, registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by over 600,000; today, Republicans outnumber Democrats by over 800,000. Republicans are hopeful Trump easily bests Biden in November.

How could down-ballot races be affected? Is there optimism for Democrats?

Florida voters have a history of approving left-leaning constitutional amendments (minimum wage increases, medical marijuana, felons’ voting rights) and also picking right-wing politicians (Trump, DeSantis, Sen. Rick Scott). So it wouldn’t be surprising if voters enshrine abortion rights or recreational marijuana in the state constitution and also choose Trump and Scott. There don’t appear to be any endangered Republican members of the U.S. House (20 of 28 seats are held by the GOP).

Florida GOP control in the Florida House probably peaked thanks to catastrophically low Democratic turnout in 2022 that won’t be repeated this year. Republicans are bracing for the loss of about five to 10 Florida House seats, but it won’t make much of a difference because they control 84 seats in the 120-member Florida House. In the Florida Senate, Democrats hold only 12 seats of the 40-member chamber. They have the most hope of flipping one district, based in Tallahassee, where lawyer Daryl Parks, a former law partner to national civil rights attorney Ben Crump, is trying to knock off Sen. Corey Simon, a former Florida State University defensive tackle.

So is Florida really in play?

Florida can’t be too much in play because the Democrats haven’t played seriously here for years. They haven’t conducted successful voter registration drives, as they did in the Obama years. The Biden political operation essentially ignored the state until recently. And the state party has been out of power for so long that it’s hard to raise money. Candidate recruitment has been generally poor. And Republicans enjoy inherent demographic advantages, with whites (notably retirees) and many Hispanic voters of Cuban, Venezuelan, Colombian and Nicaraguan descent. Voters with Puerto Rican roots in Florida tend to be less progressive than their New York counterparts as well. And there aren’t enough Black voters to keep Democrats as competitive as there are in other, more competitive Southern states like Georgia or North Carolina.


A story you should be following: Uganda’s anti-gay push

This week Uganda’s constitutional court upheld an anti-gay law that includes the death penalty for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.” The legislation was signed into law last year by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. The penalty for gay sex is life imprisonment.

When the law was first put in place, the World Bank ceased all new lending with Uganda and the U.S. sanctioned the government and restricted visas for top Ugandan officials. The United Nations has called the law “a recipe for systematic violations of the rights” of LGBTQ+ people.

Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and South Sudan are all considering similar anti-LGBTQ legislation.

I’ll be watching to see whether increasing international pressure has any impact on Uganda’s draconian policies.


Some people you should know: Aid workers in Gaza

This week, Israeli strikes killed seven aid workers from chef José Andrés’ charity group, World Central Kitchen, as they delivered food in Gaza.

In the wake of that deadly attack, World Central Kitchen and several other aid organizations paused operations in Gaza while they assess the situation on the ground and seek reassurances from the U.S. regarding the safety of their workers.

Anera, another U.S.-based agency, also suspended its operations this week. Additionally, the United Arab Emirates is pausing its involvement with a maritime aid corridor in Gaza.

Those are extremely concerning developments amid an already dire situation. Over 1 million Gazans are already experiencing “catastrophic food insecurity.”

Some aid groups are continuing their work in Gaza, including Action Against Hunger and Medical Aid for Palestinians. But until a cease-fire is reached, it’s unclear how much longer these groups can safely operate.


John Feinblatt’s weekend routine

John Feinblatt is the president of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country. You can follow him on X, @JohnFeinblatt.

What show are you bingeing right now?

I was never one of those kids who fantasized about being a pilot, but I’m plowing through “Masters of the Air,” the new Apple TV miniseries about WWII bomber pilots in Europe. For starters, the flight scenes are a must-see. And as a father to two college-age daughters, it gives me something to say about Austin Butler, Callum Turner and all the other up-and-coming heartthrobs on the show.

What’s the last book you read?

“Burn Book” by Kara Swisher. I’m a Kara Swisher superfan who would gladly read her collected grocery lists, so my expectations were high — and “Burn Book” easily exceeded them.

What time do you wake up on the weekends?

6:30 a.m., no matter how hard I try to sleep in.

How do you take your coffee?

My year-round drink is an iced latte with whole milk. Hot take: Cold coffee is better.