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Algernon Moncrieff

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Member since: Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:49 AM
Number of posts: 4,007

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Public backs action on global warming - but with cost concerns and muted urgency


Public awareness of global warming is up and support for action is broad, with eight in 10 Americans saying the federal government should try to achieve the same deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions called for in the international treaty rejected by Donald Trump.

Sixty-one percent in a new national survey also say the federal government should be doing “a great deal” or “a lot” about global warming, up 8 points since 2015 to the most since 2009. A mere 10 percent say the government in fact is doing that much – down 5 points in three years.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Jul 16, 2018, 12:41 AM (0 replies)

The healthcare election: Ohio's GOP governor candidate changes tune on killing Medicaid expansion


Mike DeWine (R-OH) has predicated a whole lot of his gubernatorial campaign on opposing the current Republican governor's embrace of Medicaid expansion. DeWine has said that "Medicaid expansion is financially unsustainable for both the federal government and for Ohio" and that if he wins, the expansion "will not exist as we know it." He's attacked his primary opponent Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor for supporting Gov. John Kasich's decision to expand it. But lately he's changed that tune.

On Wednesday afternoon, DeWine flatly said he would retain the entire Medicaid expansion while seeking reforms, imposing work requirements for recipients and instituting wellness programs to reduce costs.

DeWine said his announcement, made while accepting the endorsement of the political action committee of the Ohio State Medical Association, was not a reversal of his prior position.

How much did the state medical association's PAC have to do with that? Everything, as Democrat Richard Cordray emphasizes
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sun Jul 15, 2018, 11:04 PM (0 replies)

What California's June primary might have told us about the midterms this November


Even more chilling for Republicans in terms of turnout is that Democrats, in the brief history of the open primary in the state, have turned out in far better proportions in the general elections than in the primary. In the 2014 primary, Democratic candidates (Brown had a nuisance challenger that notched less than 1 percent of the vote) comprised 55 percent of the primary vote, while the Republicans accounted for 40 percent of the primary vote. By the general election, though, Brown pushed the advantage out to 20 points, a five-point improvement over the primary.

Democrats already outpolled Republicans in the open primary in one vulnerable GOP-held U.S. House seat (CA-49, where Democratic candidates led GOP candidates 51-48 in the primary). If a five-point swing between primary and general elections can be replicated in 2018, that would put no less than three other districts on the block where the D/R split was less than that (CA-10, CA-25, and CA-45), and put two others (CA-39 and CA-48) right on the knife’s edge, based on the partisan splits in the primary.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sun Jul 15, 2018, 10:12 PM (0 replies)

Conservative states balk at voter-approved medical marijuana


Pot advocates celebrated the culmination of a yearslong effort to ease restrictions on the use of cannabis last month when nearly 60 percent of Oklahoma voters approved medical marijuana.

Oklahoma's proponents had even included a two-month deadline for the implementation in their measure so as to avoid the years of delays they had seen elsewhere.

But that has not stopped state health officials and the Republican governor from making drastic changes . Within weeks of the election, they signed off on tough new restrictions, including a ban on the sale of smokable pot. The change was supported by groups representing doctors, hospitals and pharmacists who opposed medical marijuana, but infuriated supporters of the state question and has already led to lawsuits.

"It's like they snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory," said Chip Paul, who helped write Oklahoma's medical marijuana state question and push for its approval. "You try to do something the proper way. You follow the rules. And then you win and you get screwed."

This sounds like an issue Democrats should be running on in the Sooner state, but that's just me. I know they have a lot of angry teachers running for office in both parties this cycle, which should be interesting to watch.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sat Jul 14, 2018, 03:16 PM (5 replies)



During a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told angry lawmakers that the administration has no strategy to resolve things with Beijing. Saying trade talks with China had “broken down,” Mnuchin basically admitted that the U.S. was out of ideas, and that it’s up to China to offer concessions—otherwise, the tariffs will continue. “Is there a master plan?” asked Representative Mia Love, to which we imagine Mnuchin became the human embodiment of the shrug emoji. Representative Jeb Hensarling, a supporter of the president, was unimpressed by Mnuchin’s claims that the Treasury is “monitoring the impact on the economy of all these trade issues,” telling the secretary, “I appreciate the words; I am concerned about the deeds.” Meanwhile, lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee didn’t get much more out of Trump official Manisha Singh, who heads the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs:

“The administration needs to explain to Congress where this is all headed,” Senator Bob Corker told Singh. “To my knowledge, not a single person is able to articulate where this is headed, nor what the plans are, nor what the strategy is,” Corker said.

The committee’s top Democrat, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, told Singh at another point that “I don’t understand what the pathway is here, at the end of the day.”

Singh . . . defended the administration’s moves. “Our endgame is for China to change its behavior,” she said.

After Singh tried to explain the administration’s approach, Corker replied, “That enlightened us in no way.”

For its part, China reportedly can’t even tell whom it’s supposed to be negotiating with, after tentative agreements with Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross fell through. “I think they’re coming to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter whether Mnuchin or Ross or anybody is in the front of the line, that it’s really going to be figuring out what Trump wants,” Claire Reade, an attorney at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, told The New York Times. On Thursday, China’s Ministry of Commerce issued a statement saying, “For the purpose of meeting domestic political needs and suppressing China’s development, the U.S. has fabricated a set of policy arguments that distort the truth about Sino-U.S. economic and trade relations.” Things, in other words, are going swimmingly.

Remember when Donald Trump told U.K. right-wing rag The Sun that British Prime Minister Theresa May had screwed up Brexit by trying to negotiate a “soft“ deal, and that if she went through with it it he’d likely cancel a previously planned bilateral trade deal between Britain and the U.S., and that her political rival, Boris Johnson, would make a great prime minister, at a time when May is facing a vote of no confidence? You should, because it happened just yesterday. But according to Trump, none of those things ever happened.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sat Jul 14, 2018, 02:58 PM (8 replies)

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will campaign together in Kansas


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will make campaign swing through Kansas next week, rallying for two congressional candidates who argue that left-wing politics are the key to winning in red states.

“I’ve believed for years that the Democratic Party has committed political malpractice by writing off half the states in this country,” said Sanders in an interview, as he campaigned in Minnesota for Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). “They’ve got to fight for every state in this country.”

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez will head to Kansas on July 20. They’ll begin in Wichita, where James Thompson, who narrowly lost a special election in 2017, wants another chance to win the 4th Congressional District. They’ll continue with an event in the Kansas City suburbs for Brent Welder, a former Sanders delegate now seeking the Democratic nomination in the 3rd Congressional District.

Both districts are now held by Republicans who’ve voted reliably with their party — Reps. Kevin Yoder and Ron Estes. The 3rd District voted narrowly for Hillary Clinton in 2016; the 4th District, which is strongly Republican outside of Wichita, voted for Trump. In a short interview, Thompson said he would relish it if Estes and Republicans criticized him for campaigning with self-identified Democratic Socialists.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sat Jul 14, 2018, 01:14 AM (12 replies)

Ocasio-Cortez's Next Task: Empowering Other Female Outsiders to Win


As she stood atop a table in a packed Bronx billiards hall to deliver her victory speech, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez — who by morning would be one of the most talked-about names in American politics — reeled off a list of other progressive candidates she said needed to be sent to Congress: Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts, for example, or Cori Bush in Missouri.

By morning, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez had also trumpeted Ms. Bush and Ms. Pressley to her fast-growing Twitter following. Within the week, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez had dispatched her volunteers to canvass for Cynthia Nixon, Zephyr Teachout and Julia Salazar, candidates for New York governor, attorney general and State Senate.

Ms. Pressley gained 5,000 Twitter followers in 24 hours. More than 120 volunteers have signed up for Ms. Teachout’s campaign this week. In the same period, Ms. Salazar has raised more than $20,000.


Women in politics have long banded together to craft formal policy and to share informal tips. Emily’s List, the influential national organization that works to elect Democratic women, runs a 5,000-member Facebook group for women who are seeking office, considering a bid or supporting other female candidates. Several of the candidates Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has embraced noted that their collaborations predated last Tuesday’s primary.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sat Jul 14, 2018, 01:09 AM (5 replies)

Things will not be okay

Robert Kagan WaPo

The transatlantic community was in trouble even before Trump took office. The peaceful, democratic Europe we had come to take for granted in recent decades has been rocked to the core by populist nationalist movements responding to the massive flow of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. For the first time since World War II , a right-wing party holds a substantial share of seats in the German Bundestag. Authoritarianism has replaced democracy, or threatens to, in such major European states as Hungary and Poland, and democratic practices and liberal values are under attack in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. France remains one election away from a right-wing nationalist leadership, and Italy has already taken a big step in that direction. Meanwhile, Britain, which played such a key role in Europe during and after the Cold War, has taken itself out of the picture and has become, globally, a pale shadow of its former self. The possibility that Europe could return to its dark past is greater today than at any time during the Cold War.

Some of that has to do with the changing attitude of the United States in recent years. It’s little secret that President Barack Obama had no great interest in Europe. Obama, like Trump, spoke of allied “free riders,” and his “pivot” to Asia was widely regarded by Europeans as a pivot away from them. Obama rattled Eastern Europe in his early years by canceling planned missile-defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic as an inducement to Vladimir Putin to embrace a “reset” of relations. In his later years he rattled Western Europe when he did not enforce his famous “red lines” in Syria. Both actions raised doubts about American reliability, and the Obama administration’s refusal to take action in Syria to stem the flow of refugees contributed heavily to the present strain.

Obama was only doing what he thought the American people wanted. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the 2008 financial crisis, left Americans disenchanted with global involvement and receptive to arguments that the alliances and institutions they supported for all those years no longer served their interests. The Obama administration tried to pare back the American role without abandoning the liberal world order, hoping it was more self-sustaining than it turned out to be. But the path was open to a politician willing to exploit Americans’ disenchantment, which is precisely what Trump did in 2016.

NATO has never been a self-operating machine that simply chugs ahead so long as it is left alone. Like the liberal world order of which it is the core, it requires constant tending, above all by the United States. And because it is a voluntary alliance of democratic peoples, it survives on a foundation of public support. That foundation has been cracking in recent years. This week was an opportunity to shore it up. Instead, Trump took a sledgehammer to it.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Fri Jul 13, 2018, 01:43 AM (0 replies)

Trump: Brexit plan 'will probably kill' US trade deal

The president told The Sun newspaper that the UK's blueprint for its post-Brexit relations with the EU was "a much different deal than the people voted on".

On the subject of a future trade deal, he said the Chequers deal would mean it would be "most likely ... we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal".

He said he had told Mrs May how to do a Brexit deal, but: "She didn't agree, she didn't listen to me."

"I told her how to do it. That will be up to her to say. But I told her how to do it. She wanted to go a different route," he said.


After Trump's threats to pull out of NATO, Britain would be well served to reverse Brexit and prepare for a NATO without the US. Similarly, Canada should seriously consider EU membership. JMHO.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Thu Jul 12, 2018, 06:59 PM (1 replies)

ICE Officers to Asylum Seekers: 'Don't You Know That We Hate You People?'

Rolling Stone

Angelica Rebeca Gonzalez-Garcia (Guatemala)
Backstory: The 31-year-old mother fled domestic abuse with her then seven-year-old daughter.
Testimony: “On May 10, 2018, the day after our arrest, Officers came into the room and told me that they intended to take my daughter away from me… Most devastating of all, the Officers said I would never see my daughter again. When the Officers told me this, I felt like collapsing and dying. I cannot express the pain and fear I felt at that point. My daughter was only seven years old and she was much too young to be taken from me.

“When I asked why, the Officers said that I had ‘endangered’ her by bringing her here… During this same conversation one of the officers asked me ‘In Guatemala do they celebrate mother’s day?’ When I answered yes he said, ‘Then Happy Mother’s Day,’ because the next Sunday was Mother’s day. I lowered my head so that my daughter would not see the tears forming in my eyes. That particular act of cruelty astonished me then as it does now. I could not understand why they hated me so much, or wanted to hurt me so much.”

Doris Arriagga-Pineda (Unspecified)
Backstory: Fleeing domestic violence.
: “On May 20th, I was detained. I requested asylum and they took me to the ‘icebox’ (la hielera), where I spent one day with my daughter… who is 6 years of age. We slept on the floor there, with only the aluminum blanket… On May 22nd, they took me to the court, when I got back, they had taken her away… The officer kept saying that I wasn’t my daughter’s mother… What worries me the most about my daughter is the separation… It is difficult for her to eat. She always cries. The day I called, she couldn’t speak. My life is my daughter.”
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Thu Jul 12, 2018, 01:07 AM (9 replies)
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