Schumer asks for probe into delay of Harriet Tubman $20 bill

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., requested an investigation Wednesday into why the Trump administration postponed plans to redesign the $20 bill, which included replacing President Andrew Jackson with iconic abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

In a Wednesday letter to the Treasury Department’s inspector general, Schumer asked officials to look into why the department pushed back the redesign and whether political considerations played a role in the decision.


 Harriet Tubman, pictured sometime between 1860 and 1875.(Harvey B. Lindsley/Library of Congress via AP)

 Harriet Tubman, pictured sometime between 1860 and 1875.(Harvey B. Lindsley/Library of Congress via AP)

“Shortly after the Trump Administration took office … all mentions of the Tubman $20 bill were deleted without explanation from the Treasury Department’s website,” Schumer wrote. “We do not know the real reason for these decisions, but we do know that during his campaign, President Trump referred to efforts to replace President Jackson’s likeness on the front of the $20 note as ‘pure political correctness.’”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Congress in May that efforts to put Tubman on the $20 bill are being delayed until 2028 because of security concerns such as counterfeiting.


“It is my responsibility now to focus on what is the issue of counterfeiting and the security features,” Mnuchin told lawmakers. “The ultimate decision on the redesign will most likely be another secretary’s down the road.”

On Friday, Mnuchin called suggestions that the process was being deliberately delayed “completely erroneous.”


In his letter, Schumer called any unnecessary delay to honor Tubman on the $20 note “improper and unacceptable.”

“If the Empire State Building could be completed in 13 months almost 100 years ago, the 21st century Treasury Department ought to be able to get this job done in a reasonable period of time,” he wrote.

Tubman escaped from slavery in 1849 and played a key role in the Underground Railroad. She helped guide over 300 slaves to freedom and also served as a spy and a scout for the Union Army during the Civil War.

Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this report. 

Rare wave-shaped clouds roll over Virginia

(CNN) — A rare formation of clouds wowed onlookers at Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake on Tuesday.

The photo shared on social media captured clouds that look like ocean waves in the sky. These clouds rarely form on windy and unstable days, but when conditions are just right, the natural phenomenon, known as Kelvin-Helmholtz Waves, occurs.

Amy Christie Hunter

The National Weather Service defines it as “vertical waves in the air associated with wind shear across statically-stable regions.”

“They can appear as breaking waves and as braided patterns in radar images and cloud photos,” the NWS says.

In other words, different layers of the atmosphere have differing wind speeds, creating the appearance of rolling waves. If the temperature and humidity are just right, it can produce these striking clouds.

Man who collided with BPD patrol car turns himself in

The man who crashed into a Bakersfield Police patrol car turned himself in to authorities Wednesday.

Ignacio Diaz, 27, was booked at the Kern County Jail on a warrant for felony hit and run.

 On June 11, a BPD officer was driving a marked patrol car going west near the intersection of East Brundage Lane and Cottonwood Road. A black Chevrolet sport-utility car was heading north on Cottonwood, running a red light and colliding with the BPD patrol car.

The officer was taken to a local hospital for minor to moderate injuries. He has since been discharged from the hospital and is at home recovering, police said.

Dana Perino: Dems could be looking to ‘chop down’ tallest oak in Biden at debates

Expect Democratic presidential candidates to focus on ‘chopping down’ former Vice President Joe Biden at next week’s debates, says Fox News’ Dana Perino.

“He is the tallest oak in the yard and there are a lot of Democrats that want to figure out a way to chop him down,” Perino told “The Story with Martha MacCallum” guest host Ed Henry Tuesday.

The first debate of the Democratic primary season will be split into two nights, June 26-27. The second nigh features most of the high-polling candidates on the stage, including Biden.


The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino” host said fellow 2020 hopefuls could take the opportunity to try to paint Biden as the past and follow the path of former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama by pitching future and progress to the Democratic base.

“Next week at the debates when they start for the Democrats you will see that the shots being taken, not just at Donald Trump… They’ll all do that. But there is going to be a movement for example like a Pete Buttigieg, who’s trying to say that we want the party to go forward. Biden wants to take you backward,” Perino said.


“And most Democrats the ones who have done very well just think in the past Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. What were their big campaign slogans — hope and change, moving forward.”

The comments came after Biden said he can win states no Democrat has won in presidential elections in decades.

“I plan on campaigning in the South. I plan on — if I’m your nominee — winning Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, believe it or not,” Biden vowed Monday, as he spoke at a gathering in the nation’s capital of the Poor People’s Campaign’s Moral Action Congress.

No Democrat has carried South Carolina in a presidential election since Jimmy Carter more than four decades ago. Biden, who has developed deep ties over the years in the state where he often vacations, enjoys a large lead over his primary rivals in the state’s crucial first-in-the-South presidential primary.

But capturing the conservative state in a general election would be a high hurdle. Republicans have won the state in every presidential election dating back to 1968, except for Carter’s victory in 1976.


No Democrat has won Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992. And other than Barack Obama’s victory in 2008, North Carolina has been solidly in the GOP column in each presidential election dating back to 1968.

The President accused Democrats of wanting to ‘destroy you and … our country as we know it’ during a rally to kick off his 2020 campaign


President Trump noted that he spoke with China’s President Xi today but remained noncommittal on a deal.

Trump formally announced earlier today that he and Xi will have a meeting at the G20 later this month and trade talks will resume. 

Tonight, he called Xi a “terrific person.”

As for a deal, he said, “We’ll see what happens,” reiterating that he wants a “good deal and a fair deal or we’re not going to have a deal at all — and that’s okay, too.”

He also responded to what he said was criticism from “fake news” (but actually, economists) regarding Americans ultimately paying the price for China tariffs, claiming to his supporters that the US is “taking in billions” from China and “You’re not paying much, if anything at all, in the case of China.”

In addressing trade with China, Trump said the US has had a regular $500 billion trade deficit with China. 

Facts first: The US trade deficit with China has never once been $500 billion. Accounting for trade in both goods and services, it was $379 billion in 2018, and a record $419 billion in goods trade alone.

ROBERT PRICE: Once homeless, high and pregnant, she’s now hopeful, healthy and driven

Within the culture of methamphetamine and heroin addiction that festers on the poverty-wracked south side of Oildale are some heart-wrenching stories. I stumbled upon a few of them there last year peering into dank garages and illegal gambling parlors, trying to interview twitching junkies, menacing bouncers and solemn street preachers.

Today I want to update you on one of those stories.

Last December I wrote this vignette as part of a much longer piece about the tragic desperation and hopeful activism that defines a section of Bakersfield’s unincorporated neighbor immediately north of the Kern River:

Danielle, 27, is sitting at a picnic table outside Young’s Drive-in, a 1950s-era mom-and-pop burger joint on Oildale Drive. Danielle — not her real name — is high on meth and talking to her boyfriend, Bobby, in a speed-slur that defies comprehension. She is thin as a reed, except for the football-sized paunch that juts from her abdomen. She is five months pregnant.

Her mother, Ali, at times frantic with grief, at times resigned to her daughter’s circumstances, has just pulled away in her little Hyundai, having met Danielle and Bobby here just long enough to buy them burgers, french fries, fried zucchini and milkshakes.

This is Ali’s third trip of the week to south Oildale, having paid two nights ago for a medium-sized pepperoni at Santa Barbara Pizza & Chicken for Danielle to pick up later. The tattooed manager there knows Danielle’s mother well by now and his gentle demeanor speaks to his genuine empathy.

Ali has tried pleading, ignoring, screaming and recruiting others to help get through to Danielle. She has tried guilt, prayer and tough love. She has entertained but rejected the idea of a forced abduction or some kind of trickery. Now that Danielle is pregnant, Ali has taken another tack: the welfare of the baby. Doesn’t Danielle want a healthy child? 

Young’s Drive-in is exactly one block from an Omni Family Health Center — and a second Omni is close by, as are two medical offices run by Clinica Sierra Vista. Ali has assured Danielle that an appointment, even a walk-in visit, will be free or almost free of charge, and the doctors won’t judge her. So far it hasn’t worked; Danielle has previously promised she’d go, but in the end her fear that they’ll take away her drugs wins out.

At least Danielle is communicative. If this were a heroin jag instead of a meth binge, Ali wouldn’t have heard from her daughter at all. When days, sometimes weeks pass without requests for fast food or groceries, Ali knows.

So the dance continues. Maybe tomorrow night Ali will return and take Danielle grocery shopping at the 99 Cents Only store just west of Decatur Street. And then, in the parking lot afterward, she will plead or scream or try to reason with Danielle — or just give it a rest this time and go home and cry.

Danielle — real name Ashley Danielle Griffith, now 28 — was so wisp-thin from drug use she hadn’t realized she was pregnant until, she later realized, she was almost halfway into her third trimester. She gave birth just two days after my column, “Where We Live: The fight to save Oildale,” was published, believing right up until her water broke that she was only about five months’ pregnant.  

Her baby, whom she named Mason, saved her life.

On the day he was born, Ashley wrote last week in a Facebook post, “life as an adult started for me.”

“Mason was born Christmas morning at full term. He weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces, and that is the biggest blessing considering I had zero prenatal (care),” Ashley wrote. “I was at (the) all-time lowest point of my life when I gave life to this little boy. No health insurance, not even an i.d., no place to live. The only thing I had was an addiction. A bad one. I had given up on myself, stopped taking care of myself.”

Ashley left the hospital without her baby. Kern County Child Protective Services, wisely and appropriately, took Mason from her side and placed him in foster care.

“I have no excuses,” Ashley wrote. “I was selfish. I’m an idiot.”

She saw only one path to redemption.

“I was broken, lost. So hurt, ashamed and just completely disgusted that I had let this happen … I did not know what to do. The only thing I knew I had to do was get my baby back.”

Ashley was eventually able to see her son twice a week, two hours each visit. The opportunity to hold her perpetually laughing, blue-eyed boy was all the motivation she needed to stay on course.

She enrolled in a 16-week parenting class, which she has now finished, and a six-month substance abuse program that she’ll soon graduate from. She continues to be drug tested three to five time a week.

She has full but conditional custody of Mason: She is subject to random, unannounced CPS home inspections.

“I’ve never worked for anything so hard in my life,” she wrote. “… I could just kick my own ass for not stepping up when I did find out I was pregnant. It still gets me down when I think about it. But one thing I can say is I am proud of the person I’ve become for my son. … I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not where I used to be.”

Drugs made her a selfish idiot. Motherhood snapped her out of it. Providence blessed her, despite everything, with a happy, healthy child. They have a chance now, both of them.

Ashley is doing what she needs to be doing, but she also must become the person she was meant to be, beyond the walls of her baby’s nursery. She needs an education, a career plan and a healthy amount of self-love.

Against what must have once seemed like insurmountable odds, she has started down that road. 

Ashley’s mother’s prayers, once so seemingly futile, are being answered after all.

Linda McMahon: Trump critics pointing to poll numbers forgetting what happened in 2016

Trump critics pointing to President Trump’s less than ideal 2020 poll numbers are forgetting what happened in 2016, according to Linda McMahon.

Not only are they missing the point, but McMahon said those concerns about Trump’s reelection prospects are largely unfounded on Monday on “The Story.”

“Doesn’t it sound a little bit like it did four years ago at about the same time?” the America First Action chairwoman asked host Ed Henry.

“How is Trump ever going to win? Well, he did win. He just absolutely surprised a lot of the pundits, and they were all wrong.”


On Monday, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough became the latest in a chorus of critics to question the president’s viability in 2020.

“Considering everything that’s happened over the past several years, I must say I’m completely at a loss at how he thinks he’s going to get where he needs to go to get reelected again, while he still just keeps playing to that small base,” he said.

A Fox News Poll released Sunday showed the president trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup by double-digits, and four other contenders by single digits.

Henry asked McMahon what she thought of Trump falling behind the former Delaware senator.


“If you want to roll back the clock a little bit and look, how did it look with Reagan? He was behind. How did it look with Clinton? He was behind and he won again,” she said.

“I really do think that polls, at this particular point, we’re not really putting much faith in them.”