[News] Post a Political News Story

Ongoing discussion of the political news of the day. This thread is for 'smaller' stories that don't call for their own thread. If a story blows up, please start a new thread for it.

Prederick wrote:

Moderately surprised to see Dan Crenshaw declaring Republicans "the party of Uber" but... alright!

The party of exploiting contract workers sounds about right.

OG_slinger wrote:

A federal judge ruled unconstitutional yesterday a Florida law that let the party that controlled the governor's mansion list their party's candidate on ballots first. Every governor since 1999 have been Republicans. The law's been in effect since 1951.

Experts analyzed races nationally and in Florida from 1978 to 2016 and testified that listing a candidate first had a "primacy effect" that gave them an average of a 5% advantage over down ballot candidates because many voters just select whoever's at the top.

Trump won Florida by 1.2% in 2016. In 2018 Ron Desantis beat Democratic candidate Bill Gillum for governor by 0.4% and Rick Scott beat Democratic candidate Bill Nelson for Florida's Senate seat by 0.2%.

facepalm

Should've mentioned this earlier, but Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards won re-election in a state where Trump had campaigned hard to get him out of office.

Edwards is absolutely not any kind of stereotypical "Democrat," but losing Louisiana and Kentucky are at least mild setbacks for the GOP, although I am wholly unwilling to make any large-scale predictions about what the loss means.

And in Jeffrey Epstein news, Britain's Prince Andrew may have taken part in an all-time great "Bad Idea" interview on the subject. Pretty much the entire UK media has said it was... well... i'll let them say it:

“I expected a train wreck,’’ said Charlie Proctor, editor of the Royal Central website, which covers the British monarchy. “That was a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion-level bad.”

Well!

one major benefit of the Edwards win:

The Edwards victory is particularly sweet for Democrats as it assures they will be able to have a say in the redistricting that will come after the 2020 census because governors can veto redistricting plans.
Prederick wrote:

Edwards is absolutely not any kind of stereotypical "Democrat," but losing Louisiana and Kentucky are at least mild setbacks for the GOP, although I am wholly unwilling to make any large-scale predictions about what the loss means.

At a minimum there's going to be a voice inside Republican politicians' heads whispering "maybe the Trump magic is wearing off and a clever, forward-looking person like yourself should probably start thinking about a world without him."

Prederick wrote:
“I expected a train wreck,’’ said Charlie Proctor, editor of the Royal Central website, which covers the British monarchy. “That was a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion-level bad.”

Well!

That could be said about so much British these days.

OG_slinger wrote:
Prederick wrote:

Edwards is absolutely not any kind of stereotypical "Democrat," but losing Louisiana and Kentucky are at least mild setbacks for the GOP, although I am wholly unwilling to make any large-scale predictions about what the loss means.

At a minimum there's going to be a voice inside Republican politicians' heads whispering "maybe the Trump magic is wearing off and a clever, forward-looking person like yourself should probably start thinking about a world without him."

I've heard other people say this, and it might be true, but if it is I think it'll only be in the sense of "We need to marry this reactionary nationalism to someone smarter and less impulsive."

This could also go in the Elections thread, but it's also relevant to the OK Boomer* discussion:

Democrats Can’t Fight Trumpism Without Fighting Billionaires: The party’s establishment is in denial about the ways in which concentrated riches are warping society and contributing to the disunity it seeks to heal.

it leads to two more articles by the author on the subject (apologies if these have been posted before):

What Americans Do Now Will Define Us Forever: If multiracial democracy cannot be defended in America, it will not be defended elsewhere.

Civility Is Overrated: The gravest danger to American democracy isn’t an excess of vitriol—it’s the false promise of civility.

*funniest thing I've seen about "OK Boomer" is a tweet asking if that's a new dating app

Your daily schadenfreude:

Supreme Court denies ‘pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli’s appeal request

The rejection means that Shkreli, 36, will have to serve out the remainder of his seven-year prison term, and forfeit more than $6.4 million.
Shkreli gained infamy in 2015 when as CEO of the drug firm then known as Turing Pharmaceuticals he raised the price of the medication Daraprim by more than 5,000%. The drug is used to treat a parasitic condition found in infants, pregnant women and people with HIV.

The price hike catalyzed a national argument over the costs of prescription drugs. Shkreli then escalated that argument with a series of controversial statements defending the increase, his smug appearance before a congressional committee, and his social media feuds with people such as Hillary Clinton and members of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Shkrekli’s appellate lawyer, Mark Baker, told CNBC that “all [Supreme Court] petitions are long shots.”

“We’re obviously disappointed, and there’s not much more that I can add,” Baker said.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

What Americans Do Now Will Define Us Forever: If multiracial democracy cannot be defended in America, it will not be defended elsewhere.

Of course Canada has a practicing sikh as one of our main party leaders (Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party). While he didn't win PM or leader of the opposition, has is the balance of power in the current parliament, and pretty much all of the Canadian political pundits agree that while he did not win the election, he did the best out of all of the party leaders, follwed closely by the leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

mudbunny wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:

What Americans Do Now Will Define Us Forever: If multiracial democracy cannot be defended in America, it will not be defended elsewhere.

Of course Canada has a practicing sikh as one of our main party leaders (Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party). While he didn't win PM or leader of the opposition, has is the balance of power in the current parliament, and pretty much all of the Canadian political pundits agree that while he did not win the election, he did the best out of all of the party leaders, follwed closely by the leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

I haven't lived in Canada for decades and I don't follow Canadian politics in depth, but uh, we elected a black President, so I'm not sure how much that means. : /

cheeze_pavilion wrote:
mudbunny wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:

What Americans Do Now Will Define Us Forever: If multiracial democracy cannot be defended in America, it will not be defended elsewhere.

Of course Canada has a practicing sikh as one of our main party leaders (Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party). While he didn't win PM or leader of the opposition, has is the balance of power in the current parliament, and pretty much all of the Canadian political pundits agree that while he did not win the election, he did the best out of all of the party leaders, follwed closely by the leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

I haven't lived in Canada for decades and I don't follow Canadian politics in depth, but uh, we elected a black President, so I'm not sure how much that means. : /

It's more me chuckling at the (continued) arrogance by many americans (not aimed at you specifically) and the utter conviction that there is only freedom in America, nowhere else. Only the US can fight for multiracial democracy. Only the US can fight for human rights, etc, etc, etc

mudbunny wrote:

It's more me chuckling at the (continued) arrogance by many americans (not aimed at you specifically) and the utter conviction that there is only freedom in America, nowhere else. Only the US can fight for multiracial democracy. Only the US can fight for human rights, etc, etc, etc

edit: on second thought, I realize this is just a knee-jerk response that isn't looking to engage with the topic, but rather to just grind an ax. : /

India has been better at minority representation in their government than America has for at least 50 years.

Granting that for the sake of argument and ignoring the worrying rise of Hindu nationalism, it's also not a country where the current majority were the colonizers.

Some big stuff today. First up, what has Iran been up to?

The Intercept: THE IRAN CABLES

In an unprecedented leak from one of the world’s most secretive regimes, an anonymous source provided 700 pages of Iranian intelligence reports to The Intercept, saying they wanted to “let the world know what Iran is doing in my country Iraq.”

Sounds like, among other things, Iran should give GWB a medal for advancing Iranian interests.

Second, what has the Democratic establishment been up to?

The Atlantic: It’s Not the Greed—It’s the Inequality
The Democratic Party’s establishment is in denial about the ways in which concentrated riches are warping society and contributing to the disunity it seeks to heal.

Deval Patrick is in. The former Massachusetts governor, responding to the fears of the Democratic establishment that the party’s aspirants are too left-wing and that its moderate standard-bearer, Joe Biden, is not up to the task of defeating Donald Trump, announced his candidacy for president in a video Thursday.

But perhaps the most telling of Patrick’s remarks Thursday came later. “I don’t think that wealth is the problem,” he said. “I think greed is the problem.”

Patrick joined Bain Capital, the private-equity firm co-founded by the 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, after he left politics. He fulfills the hopes of those members of the Democratic establishment seeking a post-racial unifier who, unlike Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, isn’t inclined to soak the rich. But Patrick’s claim that America’s divisions are unconnected to levels of income inequality unseen since the Gilded Age is profoundly naive. Partisan polarization, and the vitriol that accompanies it, is closely tied to the politics of artificial scarcity that entrenched concentrations of wealth create.

And finally, a minor breaking news story:

The Guardian: Jeffrey Epstein: two New York prison guards arrested

(Literally, it's a minor breaking news story, updates to come later, overall significance unknown.)

Paleocon wrote:

India has been better at minority representation in their government than America has for at least 50 years.

well my family is relocating to more Muslim friendly parts of India because of the rising tensions and have seen Hindus they once called friends turn their backs on them, so I'm not sure it matters much. These are baby boomer equivalent folks, who have never had to do that since Partition.

NBC wrote:

The emails offer a window into just how closely Miller coordinated with Breitbart, a publication that backed President Donald Trump early in his campaign. Its former chief executive, Steve Bannon, later served as an adviser to Trump.

I f*cking hate this kind of journalist underplaying. Bannon was a board member of Breitbart since it was founded and was handpicked by Breitbart's financial backers, the Mercer family, to run the organization after Andrew Breitbart died. It was Bannon who changed to focus of the publication from bits about the culture war to alt-right and white nationalism politics.

And Bannon didn't just "serve as an adviser to Trump." The motherf*cker was the chief executive officer of his campaign and became the Chief Strategist in the Trump White House, a newly created position that rivaled the Chief of Staff in power.

Bannon was also the founder of and vice president at Cambridge Analytica, which was also bankrolled by the Mercer Family. CA played a major role in the Trump campaign allowing it to microtarget voters using psychographics collected from voters Facebook data. It's alleged that Russia also used CA to interfere in the 2016 election.

Bannon was also the co-founder of Government Accountability Institute, a conservative think tank/investigative watchdog. Three guess on who funded them and the first two don't count.

The GAI was responsible for ripping out conservative conspiracy theory books. The one that they published in 2015 was Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, which detailed all the supposed quid pro quos Bill and Hillary were involved with, mostly focusing on how Hillary used her position as Secretary of State to enrich the Clinton Foundation. It includes gems like Uranium One. Some FBI agents liked the book so much they used it to justify opening an investigation of candidate Hillary and then bitched to conservative media when Comey rightly shut it down.

(The other co-founder of the GAI, Peter Schweizer, also wrote a book about the Bidens and Ukraine called Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends.)

It was a no-brainer that Miller was able to pitch racist editorial content to Breitbart. Racist content was it's bread and butter. I mean the site once had a whole section dedicated to "black crime." Couple that with Breitbart's vocal support of Trump's candidacy and, again, it's not a surprise that Miller was able to successfully pitch stories dinging Trump's competitors.

Bannon and Trump were two peas in an evil pod.

Pentagon: President Trump's order to withdraw troops from Syria allows ISIS to rebuild

President Donald Trump's order to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria in October provided the Islamic State an opening to rebuild itself, giving the terrorist group "time and space" to target the West, according to a Pentagon report released Tuesday.
OG_slinger wrote:

I f*cking hate this kind of journalist underplaying. Bannon was [exhibit one in the case that humanity must be destroyed]

You know, I was just thinking today about how utterly, yet perhaps insufficiently, I loathe that man's guts. Thanks for giving me that little push over the top.

I've been playing Crusader Kings 2 lately, and I can't even begin to imagine that guy's equivalent traits, stats, and plots. I have thrown better men into the oubliette.

Archangel wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

I f*cking hate this kind of journalist underplaying. Bannon was [exhibit one in the case that humanity must be destroyed]

You know, I was just thinking today about how utterly, yet perhaps insufficiently, I loathe that man's guts. Thanks for giving me that little push over the top.

I've been playing Crusader Kings 2 lately, and I can't even begin to imagine that guy's equivalent traits, stats, and plots. I have thrown better men into the oubliette.

No one would pay that man's ransom.

It's not really news, but it's probably too political to go elsewhere, so I give you...

BuzzFeed's Tiny Hand font

This will get lost in all the impeachment stuff.

Bibi charged with corruption

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on Israeli political developments (all times local):

6:35 p.m.

Israel’s attorney general has formally charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption scandals.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued an indictment Thursday charging Netanyahu with fraud, breach of trust and bribery. He was scheduled to address reporters later Thursday.

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and said he is a victim of a witch hunt.

JC wrote:

This will get lost in all the impeachment stuff.

Bibi charged with corruption

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on Israeli political developments (all times local):

6:35 p.m.

Israel’s attorney general has formally charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption scandals.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued an indictment Thursday charging Netanyahu with fraud, breach of trust and bribery. He was scheduled to address reporters later Thursday.

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and said he is a victim of a witch hunt.

"I'm the victim of a witchhunt" these days may as well be a signed and bonded confession.

Another piece (book review, really) relevant to the OK Boomer/Great American Paradox(?) conversation: (LINK)

The white flight of the 1960s and 1970s was made possible, in part, because of rules and regulations that viewed Latino immigrants as “acceptable buyers—that is those who were clearly not African American and whom city authorities were insisting were legally white.” That ends up being the most critical point of Sandoval-Strausz’ book: The nominal whiteness of Latinos let them access home mortgages and neighborhoods denied to black homebuyers during the mid-20th century, giving them the chance to build thriving barrios, despite the discrimination by employers and police officers Latinos still faced. It’s not the tidy narrative of immigrant exceptionalism we’re often offered: It’s something more disturbing, more interesting, and more important.

this passage caught my eye:

Barrio America offers a welcome narrative for our demoralizing political moment. As liberal alliances are torn apart by gentrification, isn’t it soothing to imagine a version of urban renewal that isn’t led by white tech workers who call the police for trespassing when neighbors of color enter their own homes? Picking up Barrio America, I was heartened by the largely upbeat argument Sandoval-Strauz puts forth: He says he’ll tell the story of an “urban renaissance,” centered on the oral histories of migrantes.
...
But the story Sandoval-Strausz ends up telling isn’t a particularly happy one; this isn’t “immigrants, we get the job done,” so much as “white Americans, we will definitely destroy cities and prosperity if left to our own devices.” It takes a full 160 pages of the book for Sandoval-Strausz to get to the part of the story where migrantes start showing up in large numbers—the book, until that point, is largely about what pushed white people out of the cities to begin with: “the refusal of most whites to share the cities fairly with people of color.” Through the 1950s, both Northern and Southern cities were fiercely segregated: by white residents willing resort to violence when their boundaries were threatened, and by white moderates and self-identified liberals in power who thought pacifying vocal racists was the best way to avoid chaos.

I wonder to what extent the gentrifiers are the descendants of White Flight. Are those tech workers the descendants of people who moved out of the cities to the new, post-WWII suburbs? Or were their families already outside the city (edit: hey, learned a new term!) in streetcar and railroad suburbs?

f*cking Bevin, still doing stupid sh*t on his way out. Bolded emphasis mine.

Pardons a child abuser.

The pardon hinges on the fact that in 2015, Hurt’s stepdaughter, whose name has not been made public, recanted her allegations. However, several judges declined to set aside Hurt’s conviction, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported, in part because of the role of Jefferson Circuit Judge Stephen Mershon in the recantation. Mershon presided over Hurt’s original conviction in 2001, but later began corresponding with Hurt and also contacted the stepdaughter.

In 2016, one judge said that Mershon had “altered” the stepdaughter’s memory and used “judicial coercion and intimidation” to get her to recant. After Hurt’s pardon, Mershon was the one to pick him up from prison.

...

But after Hurt’s conviction, the Courier-Journal’s Joe Sonka reported, Mershon remained interested in the case. He began corresponding with Hurt in prison and reached out to the stepdaughter. After hearing from Mershon, the stepdaughter eventually recanted her testimony in a 2015 hearing.

But in 2016, Jefferson Circuit Judge Audra Jean Eckerle declined to set aside the conviction, noting that prior to her recantation, the stepdaughter had “steadfastly maintained her account for 15 years.” By contrast, her new account of events was shifting and inconsistent, Eckerle wrote.

The recantation “is no more likely to be true than false, given her clear feelings of guilt about losing family relations and concerning the lengthy incarceration of someone who has been close to her,” the judge wrote. “It was only brought about by the highly unusual circumstance of the formerly sitting judge confronting her directly and privately. Even with his involvement, it took quite some time to get the victim to say Hurt did not commit the crimes, as opposed to her earlier expressions of forgiveness of him for his unlawful abuse.”

In 2018, an appeals court upheld Eckerle’s ruling.

But on Friday, Bevin decided to pardon Hurt. After the pardon, Mershon picked up Hurt from the state prison where he had been incarcerated and drove him to Hurt’s mother’s house. Because of the pardon, Hurt’s criminal record will now be expunged.

“I believe an innocent man is now free,” Mershon told the Courier-Journal. He added that “this guy could have been playing me, that he was the best con artist in the world,” but said he ultimately believes in Hurt’s innocence.

WTF, how could someone do this? Seriously. It makes me think Trump is the anti-christ with the people aligned with him and the hold he has on them with no credible reason. I am really running out of logical explanations.

fangblackbone wrote:

WTF, how could someone do this? Seriously. It makes me think Trump is the anti-christ with the people aligned with him and the hold he has on them with no credible reason. I am really running out of logical explanations.

Well there's your problem.

Stengah wrote:
fangblackbone wrote:

WTF, how could someone do this? Seriously. It makes me think Trump is the anti-christ with the people aligned with him and the hold he has on them with no credible reason. I am really running out of logical explanations.

Well there's your problem.

These people have always been around. Now Trump and the internet have allowed them to leave the shadows and declare themselves openly without fear. It's the perfect storm. I keep hoping that Trump is a one-off and sanity will prevail, as it has in past periods of civil unrest. After all, the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement in the 60s through the Vietnam war and Nixon's resignation appear to be more serious events than what we're going through now.

But the GOP have now shamelessly revealed themselves as sith lords and half the country either doesn't care or is in full support. Between that and their mastery of propaganda through social media I fear for our fragile democracy. If the House is prevented from exercising its oversight authority, resulting in a failed impeachment, and Trump wins in 2020 with another electoral college victory we will have a constitutional crisis with marches in the streets. Who knows how fast things will spiral down from there.