The Moderate Voice http://themoderatevoice.com An Internet hub with domestic and international news, analysis, original reporting, and popular features from the left, center, indies, centrists, moderates, and right Tue, 28 Jun 2016 21:22:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.7 http://themoderatevoice.com http://themoderatevoice.com/media/favicon.ico The Moderate Voice Becerra Should Be On The Shortest of Hillary’s Short-List for Veep http://themoderatevoice.com/becerra-shortest-hillarys-short-list-veep/ http://themoderatevoice.com/becerra-shortest-hillarys-short-list-veep/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2016 20:58:30 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217503 abstract six line blue transparent vector

California’s Becerra is among the most qualified of potential Veep selections With exactly one month to go before the Democratic National Convention gavels to order in Philadelphia, the speculation about whom Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee will tap as her running-mate will soon skyrocket to a fever-pitch. While I have yet to reach a [...]

The post Becerra Should Be On The Shortest of Hillary’s Short-List for Veep appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
abstract six line blue transparent vector

Xavier_Becerra,_Official_Portrait
California’s Becerra is among the most qualified of potential Veep selections

With exactly one month to go before the Democratic National Convention gavels to order in Philadelphia, the speculation about whom Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee will tap as her running-mate will soon skyrocket to a fever-pitch. While I have yet to reach a final conclusion on who would ultimately be the soundest choice for Mrs. Clinton, my “short-short” list (in other words the people my top two) would without include Congressman Xavier Becerra of California. The other contender would be Virginia Senator (and former Governor) Tim Kaine whom I will preview shortly.But for now, allow me to state my case for Mr. Becerra.

Becerra 58, is not particularly well-known outside of Hispanic circles, but that is hardly a determining factor in a year like this. The selection of a number two is about complimenting the head of the ticket. A geographic balance is anachronistic. While once critical, if not pivotal (John F. Kennedy could not have won Texas had Lyndon Johnson not been on the ticket) most undecided voters are not decisively moved enough to be wooed by the fact that a person from their home-state is on their ticket. Instead, the prime motivator for a Presidential nominee so far as this is concerned is to fill in other gaps. Barack Obama picked Joe Biden because of his durability and tremendous stature on the foreign affairs stage. Mitt Romney tapped Paul Ryan because of his boldness and his respect among conservatives. John McCain went with Sarah Palin because – well, only he knows why (he might have been hoping for the female vote but not much else). With that in mind, perhaps the strongest number two pick I can see for Hillary Clinton is Becerra. The respect he commands and his many versatilities on a wide range of issues make him an obvious choice to step into Biden’s shoes.

It’s worth noting that history does not suggest Becerra will emerge the pick. Before Ryan, the last House member to be tapped as a running-mate was Geraldine Ferraro in 1984. Prior to that, it was William E. Miller of New York, who was chosen by Barry Goldwater in 1964. But though Becerra and Ryan are ideological opposites, they are similar in stature within their respective caucuses. Becerra has served in the chamber for nearly a quarter of a century and has often been promoted for leadership roles (he currently serves as Democratic Caucus Chair). Many expect he’ll go significantly higher and his charismatic speaking ability does little to quash those bets. The expectation has been that when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi retires, Becerra would be a strong candidate to succeed her or ascend to the position of Minority Whip (or Majority Whip should Democrats regain the House). Becerra himself alluded to that prospect by recently telling reporters that if Clinton were to win, he “would be looking forward to working with her as a member of Congress, hopefully in a leadership position,” He also has an international pedigree. In 2008, after Barack Obama won the Presidency, Becerra was reportedly offered the job of U.S. Trade Secretary but ultimately opted to stay in the House.

Nevertheless, Becerra brings two assets to the table that can’t be overlooked – his ethnicity and his stance as a loyal progressive.

The first is obvious. Becerra is Latino, the son of Mexican immigrants who epitomize the up by the bootstraps story. Many feel that picking a Latino, if not only for symbolic reasons, is imperative in light of Donald Trump’s proposed “wall.” Becerra has earned wide acclaim for surrogating for Mrs. Clinton in a number of states to the point that The New York Times in a recent profile noted that in being “recognizable to millions of viewers (of Spanish television), he has become the most prominent and outspoken advocate of Mrs. Clinton to a constituency she hopes to win over in huge numbers to capture the White House.” He calls the election “personal, very personal,” imploring his audiences to “get out there. I’ve got to get out there, because they are talking about us.” It’s not unusual for the words “about us” to often make it into his tweets about the election.

The demographic also has a notoriously poor turnout rate and many believe a Becerra move would allow Mrs. Clinton to run up the score in states where the Latino population is large, including Florida, Colorado, Nevada and potentially Arizona. In a piece for The Hill, Brent Budowski wrote “Becerra would champion a faith-based progressivism in the age of Pope Francis, with whom he shares a passion for social justice and income equality that provides a powerful appeal to Catholic and working-class voters transcending religion, ethnicity and gender” (Becerra is a devout Catholic who was at the Vatican for the canonization of Pope John Paul II).

The other feather in Becerra’s cap, at least as far as camp Clinton should be concerned is the affection for the esteem for which he is held among working-class groups. He is a progressive, a member of the House Progressive Caucus, who served as a loyal if not fierce backer of Mrs. Clinton’s during her primary contest with Mr. Sanders. While most analysts believe progressive voters, who by and large supported Sanders for the nomination, will come home at the end of the day – particularly against Donald Trump, others feel she needs to offer them a carrot in order to guarantee it. Becerra would fit that bill almost to a tee.

That’s not to say Becerra has had an unlimited honeymoon with progressives or fellow Latinos. He has backed free-trade agreements (including with Peru and Chile and enforcing the U.S-Australia Trade agreement). to the consternation of unions but has been vocal in recent years by coming out against them until the “self-enforcement” of fairness provisions could be assured. In a 2015 speech on the House floor urging rejection of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), he declared, “The countries themselves that want to trade with us are cheating by manipulating their currency to make the value of their goods look less expensive than American products in the same area. Are we supposed to depend on those same countries that are cheating to now enforce the rules against companies that are also cheating?” He did drive a wedge between himself and other Hispanic members of Congress by meeting with Fidel Castro in 1997. But his strengths tower over the minuses.

By contrast, the other Latino who is by all accounts atop Clinton’s short list – Housing Secretary and former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, has encountered troubled waters within the progressive movement, though backers have gone out of his way to promote his more liberal credentials. And while Castro’s presence on the ticket would certainly get more Latinos to the polls in the “Lone Star” State, it is highly, highly unlikely that it would be enough to turn Texas blue. While California lacks a snowball’s chance of going red even without Becerra, I return to my original point that it’s a national election so national factors must come into play when picking a Veep (Becerra also has more of a pedigree in foreign affairs than Castro). Thus, national factors must be at work. And the other progressive most identified with progressivism, Elizabeth Warren, while second to no one as far as energizing the base, is far too green to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

Which is why Xavier Becerra’s future goes far beyond the 34th Congressional District of California. Whether that means the Number One Observatory Circle and the Vice-President’s residence remains to be seen. But he might just be a pick that’s too good to ignore.

The post Becerra Should Be On The Shortest of Hillary’s Short-List for Veep appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/becerra-shortest-hillarys-short-list-veep/feed/ 1
Cartoons: Abortion ruling wipeout http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-abortion-ruling-wipeout/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-abortion-ruling-wipeout/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2016 15:07:34 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217500 cjones06282016

Ever watch that game show Wipeout where contestants have to go through humiliating and extremely difficult physical obstacle courses to win the prize? The players are always getting knocked down, punched in the face, and knocked into a great big muddy pool. It’s a really cool show to watch if you’re drinking in a bar [...]

The post Cartoons: Abortion ruling wipeout appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
cjones06282016

cjones06282016

Ever watch that game show Wipeout where contestants have to go through humiliating and extremely difficult physical obstacle courses to win the prize? The players are always getting knocked down, punched in the face, and knocked into a great big muddy pool. It’s a really cool show to watch if you’re drinking in a bar and the bartender won’t change the channel. Nobody watches that kinda stuff at home, or anything on that TruTV channel.

I drew a cartoon similar to this a few years ago that’s somewhere deep in my archives. There was an obstacle in front of an abortion clinic and I believe there were rattlesnakes and barbwire among the hazards.

Ever since the Supreme Court ruled abortion constitutional in 1973 Republicans have been trying to find ways to circumvent a woman’s right to choose, especially in red states.

Some of the obstacles they’ve constructed have been no public funding, no coverage of insurance, state-mandated counseling, licensed physicians, waiting periods, and making a girl call mom and dad.

Texas got real creative. They created a law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. These laws were closing clinics thus making fewer of them in the state and forcing women to driver farther from home, sometimes to another state, to get an abortion. Republicans claim these laws are for women’s health. Republicans being concerned about women’s health is laughable.

States can not enact laws creating undue burdens on women seeking abortions. That’s exactly what the Supreme Court, even with a vacancy the
Republican Senate refuses to fill, ruled Texas guilty of doing. Several other states have also made ridiculous laws on abortion and we can expect many of those to be struck down soon.

Republicans love to create obstacle courses for abortion, minorities registering to vote, immigration, getting on welfare, poor kids eating lunch, etc. The only issue it seems they want a clear path toward is buying a gun.

I think there should be Wipeout obstacle courses for Republicans before they can enact ridiculous laws. If nothing else it would be amusing to see them land in the mud. Wallowing in the mud is where they are the most comfortable.

This cartoon and post by Clay Jones are from his website www.claytoonz.com

The post Cartoons: Abortion ruling wipeout appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-abortion-ruling-wipeout/feed/ 0
Brentrance http://themoderatevoice.com/217496/ http://themoderatevoice.com/217496/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2016 14:04:44 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217496 27915649795_1355bb483a_b (1)

Britain may be on the verge of defying its vote on Brexit and rejoining the common market. Huh? Remember: The UK is not just England. The House of Lords said in an April report that any decision to exit the European Union would have to be approved by the Parliaments of Scotland, Northern Ireland and [...]

The post Brentrance appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
27915649795_1355bb483a_b (1)

27915649795_1355bb483a_b (1)

Britain may be on the verge of defying its vote on Brexit and rejoining the common market. Huh?

Remember: The UK is not just England.

The House of Lords said in an April report that any decision to exit the European Union would have to be approved by the Parliaments of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Welsh voters supported Brexit, and Northern Ireland’s Parliament is led by a party that favors leaving the union. But Scottish voters overwhelmingly opposed leaving, and so does the governing Scottish National Party, which has pledged to take any available measures to remain in the bloc.

Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, has suggested that her Parliament could withhold consent, sparking a constitutional crisis.

That, in turn, could be an opportunity for leaders wishing to avoid a Brexit. The next prime minister could tell voters that he or she would like to carry out their will, but that leaving Europe is impossible without Scottish approval. …NYT

Democracy itself is under threat. One political analyst says the economic optimism has died and been replaced by anger. (Sound familiar?)

In the face of that change in public attitudes, he said, much of the political class “is behaving the way it used to behave, the old arguments, the old fights, the adversarialism.” That has created what he called “the palpable disconnection” between political leaders and ordinary people. “That is true across much of the democratic world,” he added. “How do you put that right?”…WaPo

In fact, it sounds as though governing has broken down over there just as it has over here, accompanied by a surge in racism.

Police believe there has been an increase in hate crimes and community tensions since last week’s referendum. Initial figures show an increase of 57% in reported incidents between Thursday and Sunday compared with the same days four weeks earlier, the National Police Chiefs’ Council said – 85 incidents were reported compared with 54 during the earlier period.

“It’s no coincidence this has come off the back of the EU vote,” said a police source. …Guardian

Etcetera , etcetera.

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather

photo credit: Brexit Panic via photopin (license)

The post Brentrance appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/217496/feed/ 2
Read The Republican Benghazi Report http://themoderatevoice.com/read-republican-benghazi-report/ http://themoderatevoice.com/read-republican-benghazi-report/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2016 13:38:11 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217494 clintonbenghazi-e1445526918943-1-e1445573843331 (2)

Following over two years of investigations into the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, House Republicans on the Benghazi Select Committee released their findings Tuesday. The full 800-page report is available online here. Democrats released their own 339-page report into the events Monday and it is available online here. The [...]

The post Read The Republican Benghazi Report appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
clintonbenghazi-e1445526918943-1-e1445573843331 (2)

Following over two years of investigations into the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, House Republicans on the Benghazi Select Committee released their findings Tuesday. The full 800-page report is available online here. Democrats released their own 339-page report into the events Monday and it is available online here. The Republican…

The post Read The Republican Benghazi Report appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/read-republican-benghazi-report/feed/ 4
Politix Update: Trump Is The Ultimate Nowhere Man. He’s Everything & Nothing. http://themoderatevoice.com/politix-update-trump-is-the-ultimate-nowhere-man-hes-everything-nothing/ http://themoderatevoice.com/politix-update-trump-is-the-ultimate-nowhere-man-hes-everything-nothing/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2016 04:41:36 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217490 27713340515_6db9f25eb3_z copy

The love child of Hitler and Mussolini Trump is not. He lacks the discipline and zeal to be a successful fascist. ~ FRANK RICH For a year now, we’ve been trying to figure out who Donald Trump is, but in the last week that’s become blindly obvious: He’s everything and nothing. This has been hiding [...]

The post Politix Update: Trump Is The Ultimate Nowhere Man. He’s Everything & Nothing. appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
27713340515_6db9f25eb3_z copy

27713340515_6db9f25eb3_z copy

The love child of Hitler and Mussolini Trump is not. He lacks the discipline and zeal to be a successful fascist. ~ FRANK RICH

For a year now, we’ve been trying to figure out who Donald Trump is, but in the last week that’s become blindly obvious: He’s everything and nothing.

This has been hiding in plain view, but we can be forgiven that it has taken so long to sort things out. After all, we live in confounding times. (The Cavs beating the Warriors in seven games in Oakland? Come on!) The Trump clincher, at least for me, was the reaction of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, and it was only then that the whole ‘orama finally clickety-clicked into place.

You’ll recall that Trump did not put politics aside, let alone call for Americans to come together. Instead he tweeted about his powers of foresight — that he’d predicted such a thing would happen — and then for good measure blamed President Obama, implying that he’s a secret traitor, and demonized American Muslims while he was at it.

In case we hadn’t gotten the point, he added the next day that perhaps not even his proposed ban on immigrants from places where God is not a white Anglo-Saxon was strong enough, and noted that shooter Omar Mateen was from a country called “Afghan,” although he, like Trump, was born in a country called New York City, just not in the wealthy, lily-white enclave of Jamaica Estates in Queens.

Then on Tuesday, lest anyone miss his insinuation that Obama is a Muslim Manchurian candidate, Trump declared that “Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it.”

Trump then asked us to remember that he’s “a friend of women and the LGBT community,” pledging to gay Americans that “I will fight for you.”

We didn’t remember any such thing, of course, because he supports an amendment banning same-sex marriage, which he reiterated on Wednesday.

That was the day Trump really hit his stride. He solidified the support of Native American voters by yet again calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas,” and noted later in a speech that he had long opposed the Iraq war (he supported it) and called out the American troops who fought there for being “crooked as hell.”

“How about bringing baskets of money, millions and millions of dollars, and handing it out?” he asked. “I want to know who are the soldiers that had that job because I think they’re living very well right now, whoever they may be.” (A spokesman later denied that Trump had said what he said.)

On Thursday, Trump rested. Actually, he flip-flopped on gun control, noting that Hillary Clinton wants to repeal the Second Amendment (false) and tweeting that he would be meeting with the National Rifle Association, “who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, the no fly list, to buy guns.” (The NRA dutifully responded that it too opposed terrorists packing heat, but it opposes the no-fly ban.) Trump then wrapped up the day by claiming that “a tremendous flow of Syrian refugees” has been entering the U.S. because of our Islamofascist president. (The total between 2012 and 2016 was a paltry 2,000.)

On Friday, Trump said of Russian Thug-in-Chief Vladimir Putin, “In terms of leadership, he is getting an A,” and suggested that a shootout at the Orlando club “would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks, that would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight.”

This was about the time that the latest results from national polls hove into view. They were “brutal” as the banned-from-the-campaign bus Washington Post put it, but what the hay.

“So I’m four down in one poll, three and a half in another that just came out, and I haven’t started yet,” Trump noted, ignoring the polls in which Clinton has opened a double-digit lead and the fact that his numbers are the suckiest in the last three election cycles.

I haven’t started yet.

That’s exactly what Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, among other Republican Party elites, fear as each succeeding Nixon-to-China moment in Trump’s campaign sends his poll numbers further south while diminishing the party’s longer-than-long longshot chances to take back the White House, let alone hold onto the Senate.

These bigs kept hoping that Trump would “pivot,” to use a favorite newspaper headline word of the moment. (It’s short and snappy, while “revolve on his axis” is anything but.)

But . . . the chances of Trump morphing into a kinder, gentler and more grounded candidate who doesn’t advocate violence, invite comparisons to dictators and repel most voters with insults and braggadocio, let alone do the bare nuts-and-bolts minimum to run a national campaign, are as remote as Jamaica Estates is to the real world.

Trump’s dismissal of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who had steered the campaign with spectacular success through the primaries even if he had the tact of a Mafia hit man, was revealing. It was the most pungent example to date of Trump finding a fall guy for his own self-inflcted mess. It was too little too late. Besides which, Trump does not have a campaign in the traditional sense with fundraisers, field workers and computer wonks. And the move failed to elicited a single welcoming statement from a dispirited party elite. (Although The New York Times did use “pivot” in its headline on the ouster. )

It is accepted wisdom by now that the Republican Party is a burned-out hulk that has been waiting for a Nowhere Man with a Nowhere Plan to send it over the electoral cliff, and denying Trump the nomination, even if that was possible, would only hasten the party’s implosion.

But the most important factor is that positive poll numbers have been Trump’s oxygen, and now he’s slowly suffocating.

POLITIX UPDATE IS WRITTEN BY SHAUN MULLEN, A VETERAN JOURNALIST AND BLOGGER FOR WHOM THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IS HIS 12th SINCE 1968. CLICK HERE FOR AN INDEX OF PREVIOUS COLUMNS.
© 2015-2016 SHAUN D. MULLEN.

IMAGE FROM DONKEYHOTEY/FLICKR.
USED WITH PERMISSION.

The post Politix Update: Trump Is The Ultimate Nowhere Man. He’s Everything & Nothing. appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/politix-update-trump-is-the-ultimate-nowhere-man-hes-everything-nothing/feed/ 4
Supreme Court’s Hobbs Act ruling means increased mass incarceration http://themoderatevoice.com/supreme-courts-hobbs-act-ruling-means-increased-mass-incarceration/ http://themoderatevoice.com/supreme-courts-hobbs-act-ruling-means-increased-mass-incarceration/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2016 04:26:52 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217487 The crowded living quarters of San Quentin Prison in California, in January 2006. As a result of overcrowding in the California state prison system, the United States Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its prison population (the second largest in the nation, after Texas).

By Donnie W. Bethel and Stephen A. Cooper People of all persuasions, political parties, and philosophies have awakened to the terrible toll the crises of overcriminalization and mass incarceration have wrought on America. Perhaps, as reported by The New York Times, Judge Raymond J. Dearie of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn has now voiced [...]

The post Supreme Court’s Hobbs Act ruling means increased mass incarceration appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
The crowded living quarters of San Quentin Prison in California, in January 2006. As a result of overcrowding in the California state prison system, the United States Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its prison population (the second largest in the nation, after Texas).
The crowded living quarters of San Quentin Prison in California, in January 2006. As a result of overcrowding in the California state prison system, the United States Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its prison population (the second largest in the nation, after Texas).

The crowded living quarters of San Quentin Prison in California, in January 2006. As a result of overcrowding in the California state prison system, the United States Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its prison population (the second largest in the nation, after Texas).


By Donnie W. Bethel and Stephen A. Cooper

People of all persuasions, political parties, and philosophies have awakened to the terrible toll the crises of overcriminalization and mass incarceration have wrought on America.

Perhaps, as reported by The New York Times, Judge Raymond J. Dearie of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn has now voiced his view of this disturbing trend better than anyone else. Judge Dearie, a former prosecutor and once the United States Attorney in Brooklyn, plaintively asked: “Why this love affair in this country with lengthy incarceration, to our great embarrassment as a civilized nation?”

While not a complete answer to Judge Dearie’s plea, one definite contributing factor to the problem is terrible court opinions like the Supreme Court’s decision in Taylor v. United States, decided June 20, 2016, by a 7-1 vote.

Because of Taylor, more Americans, mostly minorities, will be exposed to federal prison cells for even more draconian periods of time than they are now. In Taylor, with the exception of (hold onto your hats) Justice Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court gave all conscientious, sentencing-reform-minded folks – including Judge Dearie – a swift kick in the pants.

As summarized by scotusblog.com, Taylor holds: “Because the Hobbs Act criminalizes robberies and attempted robberies that affect any commerce ‘over which the U.S. has jurisdiction,’ the prosecution in a Hobbs Act robbery case satisfies the act’s commerce element if it shows that the defendant robbed or attempted to rob a drug dealer of drugs or drug proceeds.”

Distilling Taylor further, The Jurist explains: “The Hobbs Act makes it a crime for a person to affect commerce, or to attempt to do so, by robbery. In an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, the Court found that because Congress has the power to regulate the marijuana under the Commerce Clause, Congress may also regulate drug theft. ‘By targeting a drug dealer in this way, a robber necessarily affects or attempts to affect commerce over which the United States has jurisdiction.” Justice Clarence Thomas filed a dissenting opinion. He would ‘hold that the Act punishes a robbery only when the government proves that the robbery itself affected interstate commerce.’”

Respectfully, we submit that in his dissent in Taylor, Justice Thomas is the lone Justice to get it right. (And, one has to wonder if his position might have carried more weight – maybe even the day – had it had the backing of a still-alive, formidable and feisty, Justice Scalia).

In his dissent, Justice Thomas writes: “When courts construe criminal statutes” it goes without saying that, “they must be especially careful. And when a broad reading of a criminal statute would upset federalism, courts must be more careful still.”

Thomas concludes that the majority opinion “fails to identify the language in the Hobbs Act that” unequivocally evidences “Congress’ intention to reach the sorts of local, small-scale robberies that States traditionally prosecute.”

Taylor was convicted of two separate robberies of low-level marijuana dealers. The underwhelming spoils of Taylor’s crimes: three cell phones, $40, some jewelry, and a marijuana cigarette – hardly, one would think, reason to invoke federal prosecution under the Hobbs Act – with each charged Hobbs Act violation exposing Taylor to up to 20 years in federal prison (where under federal sentencing law he’ll have to serve a minimum of 85% of his sentence, even with credit for good behavior).

As observed by Garrett Epps in The Atlantic (“Writ of Fido: The Supreme Court looks at how robbing a drug dealer can trip the Hobbs Act’s commerce provision and bring a petty thief a lot of federal trouble,” Feb. 25, 2016), “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked if the government was reaching down in this case to arbitrarily grab hold of a minor local crime: “It’s very odd that this is a federal case. I mean, they – in fact, they took, what, a couple of cell phones, $40?”

In 1998, evaluating a similar type case on the merits, where the two robberies at issue netted only a case of beer, a carton of cigarettes and $170 in cash from two businesses, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit – a Court not traditionally known for bending over backwards to advance defendants’ rights (and, in fact, true to form, did not reverse the convictions at issue), nevertheless wrote: “the Hobbs Act was intended to address offenses with a broad impact on interstate commerce, as opposed to local robberies normally prosecuted under state law, especially petty robberies or extortions.” (See United States v. Paredes, 139 F.3d 840, 844 (11th Cir. 1998)).

While it didn’t help the defendant in Parades, the Eleventh Circuit acknowledged what the United States Court of Appeals said two years earlier in United States v. Farmer, 73 F.3d 836, 843 (8th Cir. 1996): “We have no doubt that Congress, when it passed the Hobbs Act, had in mind primarily offenses with a broad impact on interstate commerce, as opposed to local robberies normally prosecuted under state law.”

Taylor guts the logic of Paredes and Farmer like yesterday’s fish and opens up a Pandora’s box of increased federal prosecutions (and incarcerations) nationally for crimes that states are more than capable of punishing without federal intervention.

Considering all the missing mothers and fathers absent from their families, and especially their children’s lives – languishing in federal jail cells long past the time that logic and reason would dictate – the Supreme Court’s decision in Taylor is not just a small step in the wrong direction, it’s a giant leap.

One can only hope that Attorney General Loretta Lynch, whose experience tackling “the over-criminalization of people of color” was touted as reason for her confirmation, will make sure that her office uses the blank check of Taylor wisely, even-handedly, and —most importantly—sparingly. We don’t need more people taking up space and scarce resources in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for stolen cell phones, trivial amounts of money, and a miniscule amount of marijuana.

Donnie W. Bethel has litigated criminal cases as a prosecutor and a defense attorney for over 26 years in military courts-martial and in federal court. Stephen A. Cooper worked as a D.C. public defender between 2003 and 2012 and as an assistant federal public defender in Alabama between 2012 and 2015. He has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers in the United States and overseas. He writes full-time and lives in Woodland Hills, California. This article has been published by The Hill and is used with the authors’ permission.

Photo: California Department of Corrections (http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/News/background_info.html) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The post Supreme Court’s Hobbs Act ruling means increased mass incarceration appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/supreme-courts-hobbs-act-ruling-means-increased-mass-incarceration/feed/ 0
Cartoon: Nazi got the blues http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-nazi-got-the-blues/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-nazi-got-the-blues/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2016 03:43:20 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217485 cjones06272016

Nazi got the blues by Clay Jones I hate Illinois Nazis. I had the Peter Gunn Theme in my head the entire time I was drawing this, despite watching The Big Lebowski at the same time. Maybe I should have been watching another movie but none come to mind. A bunch of neo-Nazi shite nationalists [...]

The post Cartoon: Nazi got the blues appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
cjones06272016

cjones06272016

Nazi got the blues
by Clay Jones

I hate Illinois Nazis.

I had the Peter Gunn Theme in my head the entire time I was drawing this, despite watching The Big Lebowski at the same time. Maybe I should have been watching another movie but none come to mind.

A bunch of neo-Nazi shite nationalists held a rally in Sacramento and they were lovingly greeted by a group of counter protesters. Within 20 minutes at least seven people had been stabbed, nine were hospitalized and many more suffered bruises, scrapes and cuts. Liberals and Nazis can’t get along in a free exchange of ideas. Go could have seen that coming?

The Traditionalist Worker Party, who the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as a hate group, advocates for a white nationalist homeland. They did have a permit for the rally.

While a lot of conservatives along with Donald Trump openly encourages violence, liberals usually give the impression they’re pacifist. Not always. One of the groups confronting the hate group is called “By Any Means Necessary.” I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media lately where liberals “jokingly” wish death and violence upon conservatives. If it wasn’t so lame I’d click the frowny face button. Hell, I read words from Bernie Sanders’ supporters wishing very nasty things to happen to Hillary Clinton.

It amazes me that people don’t realize that violence, or even condoning violence, doesn’t help their argument. It never helps. They always find a way to justify it, usually with the weak excuse that their target is a special case and deserves it.

No. What people with bad and horrible agendas deserve is to have their ideas rejected and live a full and healthy life full of grumpiness and hatred while they watch the world progress around them. In your face, haters!

While Jake and Elwood might want to chase Nazis into the Calumet river with a souped-up 1974 Dodge Monaco with a “440 Magnum” engine with an inoperable cigarette lighter that was previously a Mount Pleasant police car that Elwood purchased at an auction after trading the previous Cadillac Bluesmobile for a microphone, I doubt they’d actually want to physically hurt anyone.

Even Illinois Nazis. They really hated Illinois Nazis.

This cartoon and post by Clay Jones are from his website www.claytoonz.com

The post Cartoon: Nazi got the blues appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-nazi-got-the-blues/feed/ 0
Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren combine for energetic attack on Donald Trump http://themoderatevoice.com/hillary-clinton-elizabeth-warren-combine-for-energetic-attack-on-donald-trump/ http://themoderatevoice.com/hillary-clinton-elizabeth-warren-combine-for-energetic-attack-on-donald-trump/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2016 02:02:48 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217481 welker_rock_star_3 (1)

CINCINNATI — Hillary Clinton already had Elizabeth Warren’s endorsement. On Monday, Clinton sought to channel some of Warren’s energy. The first combined campaign appearance of the party’s presumptive presidential nominee and one of its most ardent progressive voices at this city’s restored Art Deco train station proved electric, producing a deafening roar as they took [...]

The post Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren combine for energetic attack on Donald Trump appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
welker_rock_star_3 (1)

welker_rock_star_3 (1)

CINCINNATI — Hillary Clinton already had Elizabeth Warren’s endorsement. On Monday, Clinton sought to channel some of Warren’s energy. The first combined campaign appearance of the party’s presumptive presidential nominee and one of its most ardent progressive voices at this city’s restored Art Deco train station proved electric, producing a deafening roar as they took the…

The post Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren combine for energetic attack on Donald Trump appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/hillary-clinton-elizabeth-warren-combine-for-energetic-attack-on-donald-trump/feed/ 0
Ten Reasons Abe Lincoln Would Be Rolling Over in His Grave Today (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/217475/ http://themoderatevoice.com/217475/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2016 01:46:16 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217475 hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

Ten Reasons Abe Lincoln Would Be Rolling Over in His Grave Today by Andrew Feinberg President Teddy Roosevelt put a portrait of Lincoln in the oval office and, when confronted with a problem, would ask, “What would Lincoln do?” Today, the answer, I’m afraid, would be roll over in his grave. There are 10 reasons [...]

The post Ten Reasons Abe Lincoln Would Be Rolling Over in His Grave Today (Guest Voice) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

Ten Reasons Abe Lincoln Would Be Rolling Over in His Grave Today
by Andrew Feinberg

President Teddy Roosevelt put a portrait of Lincoln in the oval office and, when confronted with a problem, would ask, “What would Lincoln do?”

Today, the answer, I’m afraid, would be roll over in his grave. There are 10 reasons for this and only some contain the words Donald Trump.

1) Donald Trump—In Lincoln’s day, the best people often ran for office. Today, well, maybe not. Being a lying, narcissistic, racist, misogynistic know-nothing does not seem to be an impediment to seeking the highest office in the land. Not yet, anyway. If the sixteenth president heard Trump say he was proud to belong to the party of Lincoln, he would wonder if his name had become a joke while he was away.

2) The new social civil war—Lincoln would be thrilled that we elected a black president but dismayed this milestone has enraged and emboldened racists. When Fox News ran an online story about Malia Obama deciding to attend Harvard, the piece drew so many racist responses—some with full names attached—that Fox had to shut down its Comments section.

3) Voter cynicism—In Lincoln’s day, citizens were passionate about politics. They flocked to political speeches as if they were sporting events. In 1860, the year Lincoln was first elected president, 81.2% of eligible voters cast ballots. In 2012, the number was a pathetic 57.5%. Lincoln considered politics a noble pursuit and he would be horrified to find that only 11% of Americans hold a favorable view of Congress.

4) The Internet—Lincoln would love the Internet—in theory. After all, it could spread detailed knowledge to every corner of the nation and create a more enlightened electorate. In theory. Alas, Lincoln would find it has become a wondrous mechanism for spreading lies. It has Balkanized the country at least as much as it has informed it.

5) Science denial—Lincoln was extraordinarily rational and curious. The only president to receive a patent, he signed legislation creating the National Academy of Sciences in 1863. If he came back and learned that, as the French ambassador to the U.S. put it, the only group of people in the world who do not believe in human-caused climate change are the Republicans in the U.S. Congress, he would not be amused.

6) Income inequality—Lincoln believed in a strong and growing middle class. He hated slavery partly because he believed it depressed wages for the average worker. He was a capitalist, but a somewhat unusual one by today’s standards. “Labor is the superior of capital,” he declared. If he learned that real wages for the middle-class had been falling in recent decades and that CEOs now out-earned the average employees in their companies by over 300 to one, he would be heartsick.

7) Crumbling infrastructure—Both the left and right agree that we have “third world” infrastructure. Lincoln wouldn’t know what “third world” meant—unless he landed at LaGuardia—but he would recognize underspending when he saw it. From his days as a state legislator in Illinois, he was passionate about government spending on “internal improvements,” as infrastructure was known back then.

8) Political purity—An irony of history is that Lincoln—the Great Emancipator—spent much of his political life battling abolitionists. He thought abolishing slavery was unconstitutional and believed that whites would never support a war whose primary objective was to end slavery. (The Emancipation Proclamation was permissible because it was enacted as a war-time measure.) Seldom an absolutist, Lincoln said the issue with a law “was not whether it has any evil in it; but whether it has more of evil than of good.” Our current inability to reach compromise solutions would dismay him.

9) Return of nativism—Donald Trump is stirring up, and profiting from, anti-immigrant feelings—much as the Know-Nothing party did in the late 1840s and early 1850s. Lincoln, who saw America as a haven of opportunity for everyone, would deplore such prejudice and might remind us that many male immigrants in the 1850s and 1860s joined the army and helped preserve the union.

10) Belief in government incompetence—Lincoln thought part of the federal government’s job was to do things for people they could not do themselves. He was an activist president. Under his leadership, the government established land-grant colleges (the forerunners of today’s great state universities) and passed the Homestead Act, which gave settlers 160 acres of federal land for a small filing fee. He knew from experience that government could do some things more effectively than the private sector. But times were different then.
Oh, were they different.

Andrew Feinberg is the author of Four Score and Seven, a novel that imagines that Abe Lincoln comes back to life for two weeks during the 2016 campaign and encounters a candidate who resembles Donald Trump.

photo credit: Abraham Lincoln, in the flesh via photopin (license)

The post Ten Reasons Abe Lincoln Would Be Rolling Over in His Grave Today (Guest Voice) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/217475/feed/ 0
Supreme Court ruling is likely to change the landscape of ‘abortion desert’ http://themoderatevoice.com/supreme-court-ruling-is-likely-to-change-the-landscape-of-abortion-desert/ http://themoderatevoice.com/supreme-court-ruling-is-likely-to-change-the-landscape-of-abortion-desert/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2016 01:22:13 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217476 hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

HOUSTON — Texas abortion clinics at risk of being closed by a restrictive state law will remain open and some of those shuttered will probably be able to reopen in the wake of a landmark Supreme Court ruling Monday that could block similar laws in other states across the so-called abortion desert of the South [...]

The post Supreme Court ruling is likely to change the landscape of ‘abortion desert’ appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

HOUSTON — Texas abortion clinics at risk of being closed by a restrictive state law will remain open and some of those shuttered will probably be able to reopen in the wake of a landmark Supreme Court ruling Monday that could block similar laws in other states across the so-called abortion desert of the South and…

The post Supreme Court ruling is likely to change the landscape of ‘abortion desert’ appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/supreme-court-ruling-is-likely-to-change-the-landscape-of-abortion-desert/feed/ 0
Warren as Clinton’s Running Mate? http://themoderatevoice.com/warren-as-clintons-running-mate/ http://themoderatevoice.com/warren-as-clintons-running-mate/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2016 00:17:52 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217473 Screenshot from CBS News website

The current political buzz concerns U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s future with Hillary Clinton. The question being asked is, “Will Warren become Clinton’s running mate.” Well, what if she does? Clearly, Clinton values Warren’s determination to take down Donald Trump, as indicted by a CBS story: “Warren’s willingness to take on Trump, who has made her [...]

The post Warren as Clinton’s Running Mate? appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
Screenshot from CBS News website

The current political buzz concerns U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s future with Hillary Clinton. The question being asked is, “Will Warren become Clinton’s running mate.” Well, what if she does?

Clearly, Clinton values Warren’s determination to take down Donald Trump, as indicted by a CBS story: “Warren’s willingness to take on Trump, who has made her his target just as often, has also been valuable for Clinton on the campaign trail.”

Over at The Hill, Niall Stanage writes, “By tapping Warren, Clinton could go a long way to reassuring progressives, including those who vigorously supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during the Democratic primary campaign.”

An ABC News story states, “Elizabeth Warren, the progressive champion and possible vice presidential pick for Clinton, showed she has the ability to bring out voters who normally would have stayed home or out of the process altogether.”

The Massachusetts senator certainly has an appeal to Democrat voters that can motivate the latter to get out to vote in November. That is a stark contrast to Donald Trump’s appeal to Republican voters.

The Hill reports, “The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal national survey found that 52 percent of GOP voters aren’t happy with Trump as the party’s standard-bearer, while 45 percent say they’re satisfied. The numbers are flipped for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton: 52 percent of Democratic voters are satisfied, while 45 percent aren’t.”

Clinton’s rating among Democrat voters would likely go up if she did choose the Massachusetts senator as her running mate. Still, such a choice would not be perfect.

Warren gained notoriety by presenting herself as a Native American prior to her venture into politics. Although she has claimed to be Cherokee, she has not demonstrated that she meets the qualification for being a member of the Cherokee Nation.

The Cherokee Nation website states the following:
“Cherokee Nation citizenship does not require a specific blood quantum. It does require that you have at least one direct Cherokee ancestor listed on the Dawes Final Rolls, a federal census of those living in the Cherokee Nation that was used to allot Cherokee land to individual citizens in preparation for Oklahoma statehood. To be eligible for a federal Certificate Degree of Indian Blood and Cherokee Nation tribal citizenship, you must be able to provide documents that connect you to a direct ancestor listed on the Dawes Final Rolls of Citizens of the Cherokee Nation with a blood degree. This roll was taken between 1899-1906 of Citizens and Freedmen residing in Indian Territory (now northeastern Oklahoma) prior to Oklahoma statehood in 1907.”

Being that Warren grew up in Oklahoma, she should have known that one needs to possess a Dawes Commission roll number in order to claim to be Cherokee. It isn’t enough to cite one’s own family lore.

In a 2014 U.S. News story, Brian Walsh writes, “Whether Warren falsely claimed to be a minority in order to game the system and advance her career is a question that goes to the heart of her honesty and integrity. It’s also a question that will confront her if she ever seeks higher office.”

One might wonder if Hillary Clinton has pondered that question.

Screenshot from CBS News website

Screenshot from CBS News website

The post Warren as Clinton’s Running Mate? appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/warren-as-clintons-running-mate/feed/ 15
What does the U.S. care about? http://themoderatevoice.com/217469/ http://themoderatevoice.com/217469/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 19:56:55 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217469 abstract six line blue transparent vector

Compared to their inaction on other agenda items, the U.S. Senate is brilliant. The one issue it had success with was to block President Obama’s immigration plans by not allowing a hearing or a vote for the ninth Supreme Court justice. President Obama by an executive order had allowed children born in the U.S. of [...]

The post What does the U.S. care about? appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
abstract six line blue transparent vector

Compared to their inaction on other agenda items, the U.S. Senate is brilliant.

The one issue it had success with was to block President Obama’s immigration plans by not allowing a hearing or a vote for the ninth Supreme Court justice.

President Obama by an executive order had allowed children born in the U.S. of undocumented parents and their parents to remain the U.S. The reasoning was that the children were born in the U.S., but the parents were still undocumented—some call it the children “anchor” babies—and by returning the parents to their native country, it would impact their children’s lives.

Refusing to discuss the ninth justice left eight justices. The 4–4 vote, liberals v. conservatives, essentially defeated the President’s executive order. The tie vote lets stand rulings by federal appeals courts. The vacancy was created with the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia in April.

If Donald Trump were to be elected, he would nominate a right-wing justice who would undo much of President Obama’s policies, tilting the Court to a 5–4¬¬ conservative; all actions would probably be supported by the Republican majority of the Senate.

If Hillary Clinton were to be elected, she would nominate a justice who would tilt the Court liberal. However, with that 5–4 Supreme Court majority and the conservative majority in the Senate, the president’s action would still be blocked or reversed.

Those who would be immediately affected in Pennsylvania would be about 136,000; about 19,000 undocumented children 16 years or younger when they came to the U.S. and 32,000 parents would also be affected, according to the Migrant Policy Institute (MPI). Most of the rest are undocumented workers without children and children born in the U.S., who are legal citizens.

In New Jersey are about 510,000 undocumented individuals, about 200,000 of them children under 16 and their parents.

The President’s order affects about half of the 11.3 million undocumented immigrants. About 60 percent of undocumented immigrants live in six states: California, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois, and Texas. Most of all undocumented workers, 5 percent of the U,S. population, are employed and pay taxes.

The President’s executive order directly affects those who have not entered the U.S. For the next seven months, those in the country would not be deported. However, the President’s powers do include those who come to the U.S., and he has broad discretionary powers, all of which related to immigration would be reversed by Trump.

“In November,” said the President, “Americans are going to have to make a decision about what we care about and who we are.”

[Dr. Brasch is an award-winning journalist and a professor emeritus from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. He is the author of 20 books; his latest is Fracking America.]

The post What does the U.S. care about? appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/217469/feed/ 0
Questions for the Democratic Party http://themoderatevoice.com/questions-for-the-democratic-party/ http://themoderatevoice.com/questions-for-the-democratic-party/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 18:06:04 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217461 Question

I have some questions for the Democratic Party, questions that members of the mainstream media ought to be asking. Whether or not the Democratic Party will answer these questions remains to be seen. #1 Why does your Party act as if it wants the USA’s southern border to be a sieve? #2 If your Party [...]

The post Questions for the Democratic Party appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
Question

I have some questions for the Democratic Party, questions that members of the mainstream media ought to be asking. Whether or not the Democratic Party will answer these questions remains to be seen.

#1 Why does your Party act as if it wants the USA’s southern border to be a sieve?

#2 If your Party doesn’t want the USA’s southern border to be a sieve, then why does your Party object to preventing foreigners from crossing the USA’s southern border illegally? (Preventing illegal border crossings would be the purpose of a wall built across the USA’s southern border.)

#3 Foreigners who are in the USA legally have played by the rules. Foreigner who are in the USA illegally have violated the rules. If you reward the latter by allowing them to remain in the USA without being penalized, then how would that be fair to the former?

#4 A 10/22/15 Real Clear Politics story states, “At a House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing Thursday, Rep. Jim Jordan introduced e-mails that show then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya terrorism to family and the Egyptian prime minister. Jordan then questioned why she told Americans the Benghazi attack was a response to an infamous YouTube clip mocking Muslims but e-mailed it was a terrorist attack to the Egyptian prime minister and family.” So, why did Secretary Clinton give one story in public and a different story in private?

#5 Secretary Clinton’s private server contained classified information, some being top-secret information. How did that information get onto her server without her or anyone working for her violating federal law?

#6 Secretary Clinton didn’t need a private server in her home in order to conduct government business. So, other than to hide what she was doing, why did she want the private server?

#7 Here is a screenshot from a 05/31/16 story published by Rasmussen:

What makes Hillary Clinton so special that she should keep running for POTUS even if she ends up being indicted?

#8 Democrat Congressman Chaka Fattah initially refused to immediately resign from Congress after he was convicted on federal corruption charges. On 06/22/16, The Hill reported, “Rep. Chaka Fattah offered his resignation from Congress on Wednesday, but the embattled Pennsylvania Democrat intends to remain a member – and collect a salary – for several more months.” The Hill also reported, “In interviews conducted before his resignation letter, most Democrats opted simply not to comment at all, and none called for his resignation.” Why is it that congressional Democrats didn’t call for Fattah’s immediate resignation?

Eight questions are enough for now. So, what are the answers? Inquiring minds want to know.

The post Questions for the Democratic Party appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/questions-for-the-democratic-party/feed/ 25
BREAKING: Supreme Court strikes down 5-3 Texas abortion access law http://themoderatevoice.com/breaking-supreme-court-strikes-5-3-down-texas-abortion-law/ http://themoderatevoice.com/breaking-supreme-court-strikes-5-3-down-texas-abortion-law/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 15:02:20 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217464 shutterstock_277819724 (3)

In a ruling that is going likely to have major political as well as legal consequence, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas’ abortion access law which many charged had been an attempt to use laws to make it impossible to get an abortion in Texas. The fact that this was not a tie means [...]

The post BREAKING: Supreme Court strikes down 5-3 Texas abortion access law appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
shutterstock_277819724 (3)

shutterstock_277819724 (3)In a ruling that is going likely to have major political as well as legal consequence, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas’ abortion access law which many charged had been an attempt to use laws to make it impossible to get an abortion in Texas. The fact that this was not a tie means the ruling would not have been different if Justice Antonin Scalia had been alive:

In a dramatic ruling, the Supreme Court on Monday threw out a Texas abortion access law in a victory to supporters of abortion rights who argued it would have shuttered all but a handful of clinics in the state.

The 5-3 ruling is the most significant decision from the Supreme Court on abortion in two decades and could serve to deter other states from passing so-called “clinic shutdown” laws.
Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion, which was joined in full by Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered the swing vote on the abortion issue.
“There was no significant health-related problem that the new law helped to cure,” Breyer wrote. “We agree with the District Court that the surgical-center requirement, like the admitting-privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an “undue burden” on their constitutional right to do so.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined Breyer’s opinion and wrote a brief concurring opinion, which focused on what she called women in “desperate circumstances.”
“When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners, faute de mieux, at great risk to their health and safety.”
The ruling will have major reverberations on the presidential election, where the fate of the Supreme Court has been front-and-center after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. Senate Republicans have refused to act on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, leaving the court with eight justices.
Hillary Clinton immediately praised the ruling.
“SCOTUS’s decision is a victory for women in Texas and across America. Safe abortion should be a right—not just on paper, but in reality. -H”
ustices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito wrote dissents.
Thomas wrote a bitter dissent for himself, accusing the court of eroding the Constitution.
“The Court has simultaneously transformed judicially created rights like the right to abortion into preferred constitutional rights, while disfavoring many of the rights actually enumerated in the Constitution,” Thomas wrote. “But our Constitution renounces the notion that some constitutional rights are more equal than others. … A law either infringes a constitutional right, or not; there is no room for the judiciary to invent tolerable degrees of encroachment. Unless the Court abides by one set of rules to adjudicate constitutional rights, it will continue reducing constitutional law to policy-driven value judgments until the last shreds of its legitimacy disappear.”

One bit of quick response:


NBC News:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down one of the nation’s toughest restrictions on abortion, a Texas law that women’s groups said would have forced more than three-quarters of the state’s clinics to shut down.

The decision was 5-3.

Passed in 2013, the law said clinics providing abortion services must meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers. And it required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Since the law was passed, the number of clinics providing abortion services in Texas dropped to 19 from 42. Opponents said that number would fall to ten if the Supreme Court upheld the law.

The Center for Reproductive Rights called the law “an absolute sham,” arguing that abortion patients rarely require hospitalization and that many patients simply take two pills.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer in writing the majority opinion said “neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a pre-viability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the Federal Constitution.”

Related: Shuttered the End of Abortion Access in Red America

Breyer was joined in the majority by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Anthony M. Kennedy and Sonia Sotomayor. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Clarence Thomas dissented.

In writing his dissent, Alito said “The Court favors petitioners with a victory that they did not have the audacity to seek.”

“If anything, when a case involves a controversial issue, we should be especially careful to be scrupulously neutral in applying such rules,” Alito wrote. “The Court has not done so here. On the contrary, de­termined to strike down two provisions of a new Texas abortion statute in all of their applications, the Court simply disregards basic rules that apply in all other cases.”

Thomas in his own strident dissent criticized what he sees as “the Court’s troubling tendency ‘to bend the rules when any effort to limit abortion, or even to speak in opposition to abortion, is at issue’.”


More posts and stories on this will appear later today on TMV.

graphic by shutterstock.com

The post BREAKING: Supreme Court strikes down 5-3 Texas abortion access law appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/breaking-supreme-court-strikes-5-3-down-texas-abortion-law/feed/ 12
Katie Ledecky: The Best Athlete Ever?(!) http://themoderatevoice.com/katie-ledecky-the-best-athlete-ever/ http://themoderatevoice.com/katie-ledecky-the-best-athlete-ever/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 05:11:59 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217450 Gold Medal

Click to enlarge images. It’s difficult to say who is (was) the greatest athlete ever, but I am going to make the case for Katie Ledecky. Katie is only 19 years old turning 20 at the 2016 Rio summer Olympics and already a multiple gold medal winner in swimming. At the London Olympics she was [...]

The post Katie Ledecky: The Best Athlete Ever?(!) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
Gold Medal

Gold Medal

Click to enlarge images.

It’s difficult to say who is (was) the greatest athlete ever, but I am going to make the case for Katie Ledecky.

Katie is only 19 years old turning 20 at the 2016 Rio summer Olympics and already a multiple gold medal winner in swimming. At the London Olympics she was 15 turning 16. She is probably a once in a lifetime phenomenon.

Science and maths have made sport much more objective than it was in the past. Today we can measure and predict performance over time via VO2max, blood work and male vs female. What we struggle to predict is what a gifted human being can do as opposed to a talented human being. One includes a mental component.

Back to Katie Ledecky.

Katie Ledecky.

Katie.

Where to start.

Why is she so dominant?

By most reports she is a gifted person with a high self-awareness and an incredible drive to be the best.

As Ledecky prepares to launch herself into the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, with the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics looming just six weeks in the distance, she already may be the most dominant athlete in sports, as measured by the gap between her and everyone else in her discipline. At the 2015 worlds, against the best competition the globe could offer, she won the 1,500 freestyle by more than 14 seconds and the 800 free by more than 10. When she set the most recent of her 11 world records, in the 800 free at a meet in Austin in January, her margin of victory was 17.81 seconds.

Usain Bolt is occasionally beaten. Serena Williams doesn’t win every Grand Slam title. Stephen Curry goes 5 for 20 now and again. But Ledecky has swum in 12 individual finals at major international meets, and has never lost.

“She’s the greatest athlete in the world today by far,” said Michael J. Joyner, an anesthesiologist and researcher for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., specializing in human performance and physiology. “She’s dominating by the widest margin in international sport, winning by 1 or 2 percent. If [a runner] won the 10,000 meters by that wide a margin, they’d win by 100 meters. One or 2 percent in the Tour de France, over about 80 hours of racing, would be 30 or 40 minutes. It’s just absolutely remarkable.”

KL Water

“We’re fortunate to be living in this age in our sport, the Ledecky era,” said Chuck Wielgus, executive director of USA Swimming. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen anybody like Katie before. And I think in the future we’re going to look back, and the sport’s history will be divided into pre-Katie and post-Katie. She’ll be this iconic figure by which all future distance and middle-distance swimmers will be measured.”

Out of the pool, though, there is nothing outwardly obvious about Ledecky that would suggest she is among the best athletes on the planet. At 5 feet 11, 150 pounds, she is tall for the general populace but only slightly above average for elite swimmers. She towers over some U.S. teammates, but looks up to Missy Franklin (6-2), Allison Schmitt (6-1½) and Dana Vollmer (6-1), among others. She lacks Phelps’s famously extreme physiology — the enormous wingspan, long torso and double-jointedness.

How does she do it? Her coach Gemmell says “She’ll do anything to be the best. She’s tough as nails. Any questions?”

Someone during the Rio Olympics will say that she is doping.

“I would stake my life that she’s not doping,” said Rowdy Gaines, a three-time Olympic gold medal winner and now a commentator for NBC. “There’s no way. It’s not in her vocabulary. She just has a gift.”

Ledecky’s career trajectory shows none of the telltale jumps that might indicate PED use. According to Mario J. Costa, a professor of sports sciences who studies the biophysics of swimming at the Polytechnic Institute of Guarda in Portugal, Ledecky’s annual improvement in the 800 free between ages 11 and 16 — the age when she first started swimming distance events through the age when she set her first world records — averaged about three percent, except for a spike of 9.94 percent between 12 and 13, explained by the onset of puberty.

In this era of specialization, where freestylers are generally either distance swimmers or sprinters, but not both, Ledecky’s performance within the sport is staggering.

Do what she does 48 weeks out of the year, and do that six to 10 times a week, and do that 20 to 40 times a practice, and it’s going to be realistic in the last 15 meters of an Olympics.

There was a Twitter thread recently reported “40 Must Do Katie Ledecky Training Secrets.” Coach Gemmell couldn’t let that go by unchallenged.

“Tip #41,” he tweeted in reply. “Just do the damn work.”

Don’t miss this young women this summer!!

ledecky1[1]

The post Katie Ledecky: The Best Athlete Ever?(!) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/katie-ledecky-the-best-athlete-ever/feed/ 9
Learning from Britain’s unnecessary crisis http://themoderatevoice.com/217454/ http://themoderatevoice.com/217454/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 04:39:07 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217454 brexit-1477302_640

WASHINGTON — Elites are in trouble. High levels of immigration are destabilizing our democracies. Politicians who put their short-term political interests over their countries’ needs reap the whirlwind — for themselves but, more importantly, for their nations. Citizens who live in the economically ailing peripheries of wealthy nations are in revolt against well-off and cosmopolitan [...]

The post Learning from Britain’s unnecessary crisis appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
brexit-1477302_640

brexit-1477302_640

WASHINGTON — Elites are in trouble. High levels of immigration are destabilizing our democracies. Politicians who put their short-term political interests over their countries’ needs reap the whirlwind — for themselves but, more importantly, for their nations.

Citizens who live in the economically ailing peripheries of wealthy nations are in revolt against well-off and cosmopolitan metropolitan areas. Older voters lock in decisions that young voters reject. Traditional political parties on the left and right are being torn asunder.

One of the few good things about Britain’s vote to leave the European Union is the rich curriculum of lessons it offers leaders and electorates in other democracies.

History is unlikely to be kind to British Prime Minister David Cameron. Last week’s referendum was not the product of broad popular demand. Cameron called it to solve a short-term political problem and get through an election. His Conservative Party was split on Europe and feared hemorrhaging votes to the right-wing, anti-Europe, anti-immigrant UK Independence Party.

Cameron figured that kicking his troubles down the road by promising a future plebiscite on Europe could make them go away. Instead, he turned a normal electoral challenge into a profound crisis that could lead to the breakup of his country while threatening Europe’s future. The devastating complaint of Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament: “A whole continent is taken hostage because of an internal fight in the Tory Party.”

For all the Union Jacks hoisted at Leave rallies, the nationalism behind this was English, not British. England voted to get out of the EU, Scotland overwhelmingly to stay. Northern Ireland also favored Remain, while Wales split narrowly for Leave, its more English parts voting like England.

Suddenly, for Scots who want their country to be independent, their nationalism becomes a form of pro-European internationalism. To stay in Europe, they have to escape Britain. Northern Ireland’s status is now also in doubt.

Don’t trash democracy or the voters. Where complicated choices are involved — and Brexit defines complexity — leaders in representative democracies need the guts to make hard calls and submit themselves to voters afterward. They should not use referendums purely to evade responsibility.

In fact, now that this road has been opened, real democrats should demand a second referendum on the terms of an exit deal. On Thursday, voters bet that the unknown would be better than the known. They should get to vote again on the full implications of what they set in motion.

The European idea was killed in part by right-wing Tories who think they can turn their island into a free trade, low-regulation paradise. But it was also battered in traditionally Labour-voting industrial areas far away from a happy and generally prosperous London that voted overwhelmingly to stay. A partial tally of the discontent: 68 percent Leave in Barnsley; 70 percent in the authority that includes Grimsby; and 62 percent in South Shields’ borough.

Emma Lewell-Buck, the Labor parliamentarian who represents South Shields and supported Remain, was right to say that UKIP leader Nigel Farage “whipped everyone up into a frenzy with his hateful language.”

Ethno-nationalism is on the rise across Europe and this vote will only intensify the trend. But in so many nations, including our own, technological change, globalization and financialization force the left-out to stare at prosperity from a great distance. In their justified frustration, they often see immigration as of a piece with the other changes in the world that they deplore.

Responsible officials should always be ready to denounce racism. But their job description also requires them to provide realistic policy answers to quell the rage. If center-right and center-left politicians fail to do this, their parties will remain suspect.

Yet if Britain’s vote is understandable, it’s also a cause for sadness. It’s a vote against a more open world and a rejection of the idea that democracies can actually gain power by pooling sovereignty and seeking goals in common.

The Leave campaign used slogans very familiar to Americans, including variations on “Take Our Country Back” and “Britain First.” These resonated with older voters who backed Leave by big margins. Younger Britons, who voted strongly to stay in Europe, will be shackled for many years to a result their elders imposed on them.

Friends of open societies have been slapped in the face by citizens who are themselves retaliating for having been knocked around and ignored for too long. Across Europe and in the United States, politicians can either respond to these cries of protest or face something worse than Brexit.

E.J. Dionne’s email address is ejdionne@washpost.com. Twitter: @EJDionne.

(c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

The post Learning from Britain’s unnecessary crisis appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/217454/feed/ 3
Mike Peters Guest Cartoon: Homegrown terror cell http://themoderatevoice.com/mike-peters-guest-cartoon-homegrown-terror-cell/ http://themoderatevoice.com/mike-peters-guest-cartoon-homegrown-terror-cell/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 01:11:35 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217447 MP-2016-06-23

Homegrown terror cell by Mike Peters OF RELATED INTEREST: —Republicans are selling guns to ISIS’ —Senate Republicans place Collins’ gun bill in phantom zone –-LUPICA: Senate Republicans show they’re more afraid of the NRA than guns in the wrong hands —In November, Republicans In Congress Must Pay For Their Addiction To NRA Money Mike Peters [...]

The post Mike Peters Guest Cartoon: Homegrown terror cell appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
MP-2016-06-23

Homegrown terror cell
by Mike Peters

MP-2016-06-23

OF RELATED INTEREST:

Republicans are selling guns to ISIS’
Senate Republicans place Collins’ gun bill in phantom zone
-LUPICA: Senate Republicans show they’re more afraid of the NRA than guns in the wrong hands
In November, Republicans In Congress Must Pay For Their Addiction To NRA Money

Mike Peters
is recognized as one of our nation’s most prominent cartoon artists for his outstanding work as both a political and comic strip cartoonist. His favorite expression “WHAT A HOOT” certainly sums up his outlook on his life and work which are inexorably entwined. Mike’s warm, easygoing and zany demeanor is evidence that his personality matches his creative talents. As so eloquently phrased by a colleague — “Mike is the Peter Pan of the cartooning world; he’s boyishly charming, good with a rapier and doesn’t spend a lot of time on the ground. And he doesn’t seem to want to grow up”.

The Comic Strip Mother Goose & Grimm appears in over 800 newspapers worldwide and consistently places in the top 10 most popular ratings. Licensees distribute Grimmy products all over the world, and the Grimmy TV show continues to air in several countries. Mother Goose & Grimm is included in the Toon Lagoon theme park at Universal Studios that opened in July 1999. This copyrighted cartoon is licensed to be run on TMV and is from his website.

The post Mike Peters Guest Cartoon: Homegrown terror cell appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/mike-peters-guest-cartoon-homegrown-terror-cell/feed/ 0
A Case of the DTs (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/217444/ http://themoderatevoice.com/217444/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 22:31:42 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217444 Photo: You Tube

A Case of the DTs by Evan Sarzin If I go more than three days without a Donald Trump media gaffe, I wake up shaking and disoriented. The room spins, I hear voices. Fortunately, I haven’t suffered this affliction recently. The past few days of the Trump Turnberry Goodwill Tour were burnished with moments of [...]

The post A Case of the DTs (Guest Voice) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
Photo: You Tube
Photo: You Tube

Photo: You Tube


A Case of the DTs
by Evan Sarzin

If I go more than three days without a Donald Trump media gaffe, I wake up shaking and disoriented. The room spins, I hear voices. Fortunately, I haven’t suffered this affliction recently. The past few days of the Trump Turnberry Goodwill Tour were burnished with moments of megalomania. I’ve collected enough to hold me through Labor Day.

The backstory of Trump’s takeover of the venerable Turnberry links has been told well and often. Like an Airedale marking territory, he had to have this golf course in his collection, if only to turn it into another glitzy Trump destination; eventually to fail. In the process he has alienated his neighbors, the politicians in his district and Scotland in its entirety. Just this week, the UK Supreme Court threw out his case to pull down the wind farm that vengeful Scots built just offshore of Trump Turnberry’s scenic vista. What a coincidence!

Showing a deep knowledge of local politics, he congratulated Scotland on voting to leave the European Union. Regrettably, Scotland actually voted to remain. England voted to leave. The Scots are considering a second referendum to separate from England in order to stay with the EU. So much for the briefing book.

His appearance at Turnberry prompted his beleaguered neighbors to hoist Mexican flags, in solidarity with their North American simpaticos, whom Trump has promised to to wall off. Those are among the same neighbors whose land Trump wanted to seize. He was picketed, pilloried and posterized. He was strafed with insults and taunts that put his feeble attempts to shame. Being called Lying or Little or Crooked is nothing compared to being called Tiny-fingered, Cheeto-faced, ferret wearing shitgibbon. And worse.

Not to mention that he took most of the week off from the campaign for his sojourn to the Old Sod. In some polls, he has dropped behind Hillary Clinton by double-digits. The Republicans found the situation so dire that they sent Mitch McConnell, the stone-faced master of the Senate, before the Sunday pundits. Even poor Mitch broke character trying to parry questions about Donald’s excellent adventure.

Donald Trump took this ill-advised trip when his campaign is struggling. His party is pulling away with both engines fully thrust. He is so lacking in preparation and politesse that he does not even know his host’s position on the most important issue in the world at this moment.

I’ll sleep well tonight.

Evan Sarzin takes time from his undisciplined writing habit to practice real estate and commercial law in New York City.
He has maintained his blog, The Revolted Colonies TM (therevoltedcolonies.blogspot.com) since 2010. When not otherwise loitering, he is a photographer and performing musician.

The post A Case of the DTs (Guest Voice) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/217444/feed/ 0
Poll: Support for Trump Nosedives as Clinton opens up double digit lead http://themoderatevoice.com/poll-support-for-trump-nosedives-as-clinton-opens-up-double-digit-lead/ http://themoderatevoice.com/poll-support-for-trump-nosedives-as-clinton-opens-up-double-digit-lead/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 19:43:08 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217438 Trump_&_Clinton (2)

Some new polls are out and one of them presents bad news for Republican presumptive Presidential nominee Donald Trump. It shows his support plummeting. The other shows a smaller loss of support and a look at overall polling trends don’t look good for Trump or the rebranding of the Republican Party as the Trumpublican Party.Yet [...]

The post Poll: Support for Trump Nosedives as Clinton opens up double digit lead appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
Trump_&_Clinton (2)

Trump_&_Clinton (2)

Some new polls are out and one of them presents bad news for Republican presumptive Presidential nominee Donald Trump. It shows his support plummeting. The other shows a smaller loss of support and a look at overall polling trends don’t look good for Trump or the rebranding of the Republican Party as the Trumpublican Party.Yet another poll shows major battles between Trump and presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll is dramatic:

Hillary Clinton surged to a broad advantage against Donald Trump in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, capitalizing on Trump’s recent campaign missteps. Two-thirds of Americans see him as biased against groups such as women, minorities or Muslims, and a new high, 64 percent, call Trump unqualified to serve as president.

These and other doubts about Trump have produced a sharp 14-point swing in preferences among registered voters, from +2 points for Trump in mid-May, after he clinched the GOP nomination, to +12 points for Clinton now, 51-39 percent. That snaps the race essentially back to where it was in March.

This could explain Trump’s sudden shift on banning Muslims where he now insists it means banning the entry of Muslims from terrorist countries — which had not been his previous position.
ABC_General_Election_Vote_Preference_Proof_02
And to those — Republicans who don’t like Trump, Democrats who don’t like Trump, and hard-core Bernie Sanders supporters who hate Clinton — who thought third party candidates could impact the election, they may wish to (at this point) think again:

Adding third-party candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green) to the mix makes no substantive difference: a 10-point Clinton advantage, 47-37-7-3 percent among registered voters. Looking at those who say they’re certain to vote in November likewise produces a very similar result: +11 Clinton in the two-way matchup, +9 in the four-way.

The national poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds another apparent impact of Trump’s problems: Perhaps benefitting from comparison, Barack Obama’s job approval rating has gained 5 points, to 56 percent, matching its high since the early days of his presidency. That includes 55 percent approval specifically on handling the economy.

Neither Clinton nor Trump seem to be beloved by voters, but Trump has a lot of ground to pave over to build a voters’ Trump Tower:

Trial heats are hypothetical; they ask which candidate people would support if the election were today – which it isn’t. At least as important are the underlying sentiments informing current preferences, and they show the extent of Trump’s troubles given his recent controversial comments. Among them:

• The public by 66-29 percent think he’s unfairly biased against groups such as women, minorities or Muslims.

• Americans by 68-28 percent think his comment about Judge Gonzalo Curiel was racist. Regardless of whether or not it was racist, 85 percent say it was inappropriate.

• While most Americans disapprove of Clinton’s handling of her email while secretary of state (34-56 percent, approve-disapprove), they’re equally disenchanted with Trump’s handling of questions about Trump University (19-59 percent, with more undecided).

• Most generally, the public by 56-36 percent, a 20-point margin, says Trump is standing against their beliefs as opposed to standing up for their beliefs.

And Clinton and the shocking Brexit vote?

Clinton, further, receives substantially better marks than Trump’s for her response to the lone-wolf terrorist attack June 12 in Orlando, Florida: Americans by an 18-point margin, 46-28 percent, say Clinton did a better job than Trump overall in responding to the attack.

Another result marks a rebuke to Trump in his own party. On June 15, referring to Republican leaders, he said, “Just please be quiet. Don’t talk.” In this survey, however, Republicans and GOP-leaning independents by a wide 62-35 percent say party leaders should speak out when they disagree with Trump, rather than avoid criticizing their likely nominee.

Indeed, Trump is supported by just 77 percent of Republican registered voters in the two-way test in this survey, compared with 85 percent in this group last month and, again, essentially back to his in-party support in March. In the four-way trial he’s at 74 percent among Republicans.

Results of this poll temper the notion that last week’s Brexit vote in the United Kingdom marks a broader dissatisfaction with the status quo that advantages Trump on this side of the Atlantic. On one hand, nativist sentiment, populism and economic anxiety clearly benefitted Trump in the race for the Republican nomination. On the other, his general election campaign requires broader support – and he’s had a dreadful few weeks.

There’s a whopping difference in the numbers when asked who’s more qualified to be President as well:
ABC_Presidential_Qualifications_Proof_02

A NBC/WSJ Poll shows a tighter race and bigger impact by third parties, with the race essentially unchanged:

Democrat Hillary Clinton holds a five-point advantage over Republican Donald Trump after becoming her party’s presumptive presidential nominee, according to the latest national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Forty-six percent of registered voters back Clinton, versus 41 percent who support Trump – slightly up from Clinton’s three-point lead in May, 46 percent to 43 percent.

When the horserace is expanded to four candidates – including Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein – Clinton gets support from 39 percent of voters, Trump gets 38 percent, Johnson 10 percent and Stein 6 percent.

The NBC/WSJ poll – conducted June 19-23 – comes after Clinton clinched the number of delegates needed to become the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee; after the tragic June 12 Orlando, Fla., shootings; and after a rough three-week stretch for Trump’s campaign.

Despite these events and changes, the Clinton-vs.-Trump horserace remains relatively consistent.

And the Washington Post reports that the numbers contain bad news for Trump: there is no sign that Democratic Presidential nomination hopeful Vermont Senator Bernie Sander’s supporters plan to vote in big number for him. They are turning to Clinton:

Sanders supporters aren’t just rallying around Clinton; they’re doing it rather quickly. And it’s a big reason Clinton just extended her lead over Trump into the double digits, 51 percent to 39 percent.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that Sanders backers, who polls have shown were reluctant to jump over to Clinton and even flirted with supporting Trump, are coming home faster than we might have expected.

Last month, 20 percent of Sanders supporters said they would back Trump over Clinton in the general election. This month, that figure is down to 8 percent.

CBS News finds a tight battle in the aptly-named “battleground” states:

Hillary Clinton holds narrow leads over Donald Trump across a number of key states of Florida (up three points, 44 to 41 percent); Colorado (Clinton 40 percent, Trump 39 percent); Wisconsin (Clinton up 41 percent to 36 percent) and North Carolina, which has flipped back and forth between the parties in the last two elections, where it’s Clinton 44 percent and Trump 42 percent.

In the wake of the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom this week, many wondered if the same sentiments that drove voters to leave the UK, such as voter unease about the economic and cultural effects of globalization, were at work in the U.S. presidential election, too.

Similar sentiments underpin Donald Trump’s general election vote, though there is not yet enough for him to surpass Clinton. Trump is also competitive in large part because of partisanship, as rank-and file Republicans continue to get behind him, even as Republican leaders have been more lukewarm toward the way Trump is running his campaign.

About one-third of voters in these states feel the U.S. has done too much in trying to become part of the global economy; too much to make changes to its culture and values, and encouraged too much diversity of people from different backgrounds. Those sentiments are especially pronounced among Republicans and conservatives in these battleground states, majorities of whom feel that way. And those voters are overwhelmingly supporting Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.

Partisanship is driving much of these horse races too. Despite the hard-fought primary contests on both sides, Democrats in these states are now lining up behind Hillary Clinton and Republicans behind Trump–each garnering around eight in ten from their respective camps.

And much of the vote appears locked in already: the bulk of those not voting for Clinton say they will not consider her, and the bulk of those not voting for Trump say they will not consider him. In Florida, sizable numbers of voters are voting in opposition to a candidate they don’t like: Forty-eight percent of Trump’s voters are backing him mainly to oppose Hillary Clinton, and 32 percent of Clinton’s voters are with Clinton in order to oppose Trump. That opposition effect works for both candidates, but voters say each party may have lost opportunities. Fifty percent of those not backing Clinton say they might have considered a Democrat this year had the party not been selecting Clinton as its nominee, and 47 percent of those not for Trump say they might have considered a Republican, but won’t support Trump.

However, as noted here often, one or two polls do not a likely election victory make. What is more useful is to look at the trend and average of polls. Here’s Pollster’s graph that shows what combined polling now has on the race:





















PHOTOS: By Donald Trump August 19, 2015 (cropped).jpg: BU Rob13 Hillary Clinton by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg: Gage [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The post Poll: Support for Trump Nosedives as Clinton opens up double digit lead appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/poll-support-for-trump-nosedives-as-clinton-opens-up-double-digit-lead/feed/ 3
Working Class British Voters Led the European Union Brexit Rejection (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/working-class-british-voters-led-the-european-union-brexit-rejection/ http://themoderatevoice.com/working-class-british-voters-led-the-european-union-brexit-rejection/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 18:29:03 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217436 27846198196_9dbb5982bd_b

Working Class British Voters Led the European Union Brexit Rejection by James Heartfield On Thursday night the first results from Britain’s referendum on pulling out of the European Union came in. A small clue to the way things were going last night was the vote in the North East. People in Newcastle are known locally [...]

The post Working Class British Voters Led the European Union Brexit Rejection (Guest Voice) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
27846198196_9dbb5982bd_b

27846198196_9dbb5982bd_b

Working Class British Voters Led the European Union Brexit Rejection
by James Heartfield

On Thursday night the first results from Britain’s referendum on pulling out of the European Union came in.

A small clue to the way things were going last night was the vote in the North East.

People in Newcastle are known locally as ‘takems’ (said with a short a, like tack um); those in Sunderland are called ‘makems’. It means that people in Sunderland make things and people in Newcastle take them. Sunderland is solidly industrial, while Newcastle, also a big industrial centre, is a market town. Newcastle voted to remain, but by the tiniest of margins. Sunderland voted to leave, 60-40. That was when we began to think that – not for the first time – the polls had got it wrong.

As the night wore on the results came in, defying the pollster’s determination that the people would reject the referendum question and stick with the European Union.

Of London Boroughs, Barking voted to leave, too. It was historically a ‘white flight’ borough, but today it is thronging with Poles and Africans. It is very working class. Islington, by contrast, was overwhelmingly for stay. Islington has working class wards, though these are mostly demoralised, and the borough deserves its reputation for being dominated by a precociously radical middle class.

Most of all the vote is a popular reaction against the elite. Their view that the European Union is not for them is right. I have taken students to the Brussels Parliament, which is a bit like visiting the offices of the IMF. The only people that you see hanging around outside and waiting to see someone, are themselves very haut bourgeois. By contrast, if you go to the Palace of Westminster, you will see large crowds of school children, nurses, veterans, and ethnic minorities. Parliament is often very bad in its decisions and its cliquishness, but the people do look to it in a way that they will never look on Brussels. That law making should have passed so silently and sneakily off to the European Commission is not something that ordinary British people approve of, and they are right.

The British Labour movement protested against the Maastricht Treaty back in 1991 that created the EU, and had already been committed to a position of withdrawing from the preceding EEC. Labour’s heartlands were in agreement. Over time, though, the temptation of the ‘European Social Chapter’, and the trade union leaders’ resentment at the Tories opt-out of that did tempt some labour leaders (though not their members) to support the EU. That in itself is a symptom of the unions’ loss of influence in their own right; they hoped that their European friends would offer them what their own campaigning could not.

As the Labour Party became more distant, metropolitan and elitist, it sought to re-write the party’s policy to mirror its own concerns, and also to diminish working people’s aspirations for social democratic reform in their favour. They got rid of the socialist clause in the party’s constitution, Clause 4, diminished union leaders’ say so in making party policy, and, symbolically, they changed the party’s position on Europe from withdrawal to positive support. For younger graduates in London who were the party’s activists, that all seemed to make sense, but a chasm was opening up between the party and its working class redoubts in the Midlands and the North of England.

There are many facets to this disaffection. People are angry about the NHS. Some of the mood of hostility towards Blair’s government was attached to the Iraq War.

Latterly, the question of immigration became one that the labour voters came to distrust the Labour leadership on. In private the Cabinet did indeed talk about encouraging wide scale immigration, with the ambition of making the Conservative Party unelectable, by creating a ‘multicultural’ country. In a telling moment in the 2010 election Gordon Brown was caught by a radio mike complaining about a voter whom he had been introduced to. ‘That bigoted woman’, he called her. Suddenly everyone could hear the snobbery in his prissy voice. ‘Bigoted’ here was code for common, uneducated, or perhaps even ‘unwashed’.

The EU issue was initially raised by the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), which is to say the grassroots of the Conservative Party, peeling away from David Cameron’s leadership. UKIP in that way are a mirror image of the disaffection of the Labour vote. In time, UKIP candidates got some support in Labour constituencies. That was a clue that the disaffection of the Labour vote was about to form itself up around the referendum.

Asked by pollsters why they had voted to leave the EU, some said it was immigration. But more said that it was the question of democracy. This is a word that seems to mean very little to the academics, government officials, constitutional lawyers and politicians, and yet, strangely, means a great deal to those whose access to it is most limited – the greater mass of the British public.

Depressingly, the sulking metropolitans and ‘opinion formers’ (Ha!) dismissed this revolt of the lower orders as nothing more than race prejudice. But that says more about those that say it than those that it is said of. To them almost every expression of popular sentiment feels like fascism. They see fascism in the support for the English football team, and lurking in the bad tempered rants of ‘white van man’ as he makes his deliveries. An old drunk on a bus says something mean about immigrants and he is pilloried on YouTube and Facebook as the latest sign of incipient fascism.

What they usually mean is that the common people have spoken, and spoken clumsily, without the tortuous manners of the intersectional left. But by and large the exiters were not angry with migrants so much as they were angry with the established order.

A tipping point was the publication of a letter on the front page of the Times, signed by leading businessmen demanding ‘remain’. This came hot on the heels of the claims that all economists (the same ones who had told us that there was no danger of an economic meltdown in 2008) were for remain. Before that the leaders of all the major parties lined up to say that remain was the only viable result.

Elsewhere in Europe we have seen this kind of consensus form up. The last time was around the proposed EU Constitution in 2004/5. As ever respectable voice made it plain that the Constitution effectively making the EU into a superstate was needed, the ordinary people revolted. In referenda in France and Denmark it was rejected. The project was in tatters. The very solidity of the establishment behind the EU Constitution was the thing that sunk it. If this shower are for it, thought the mass of the people, then it must be rubbish. So it was with the EU referendum in Britain on 23 June. The solidity of the establishment case for staying was probably what decided the majority to leave.

The ‘out’ decision leaves many questions. The traders have attacked the pound – well, they had made it clear that they did not like exit, so we can expect them to try to punish the voters. We will weather it, and the economy’s underlying strength will make them come back for sterling later on. Shame on them.

It is by no means clear that the vote to leave will lead to an actual ‘exit’. The prolonged process of leaving set out in the EU Treaty is effectively a ‘cooling off’ period, and a confident political leader – perhaps Boris Johnson, the star of the exit campaign – might well be tempted by some reforms. The EU itself will be shaken by the vote, and there are already signs that its leaders are moving away from the Federal structure of the Union in favour of a looser, intergovernmental agreement, that would allow greater sovereignty for its member states. That much is just an obvious attempt to accommodate what is already a groundswell of opposition to the Union that is much wider than Britain, taking in France, Spain, Greece and Portugal.

One thing is for sure: the vote shows that very few of the experts, the academics, the media, lawyers and politicians have any insight into the will of the people, or even understand the meaning of the words sovereignty and democracy.

James Heartfield is author of The European Union and the End of Politics and an historian and political scientist based in London. This article is reprinted from the website www.newgeography.com

photo credit: gettyimages – brexit out via photopin (license)

The post Working Class British Voters Led the European Union Brexit Rejection (Guest Voice) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/working-class-british-voters-led-the-european-union-brexit-rejection/feed/ 6
Brave Georgia to execute senior citizen next month (the antithesis of “the worst of the worst”) http://themoderatevoice.com/brave-georgia-to-execute-senior-citizen-next-month-the-antithesis-of-the-worst-of-the-worst/ http://themoderatevoice.com/brave-georgia-to-execute-senior-citizen-next-month-the-antithesis-of-the-worst-of-the-worst/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 17:30:45 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217430 Georgia Department of Corrections

In a news release issued this past Friday, June 24, and as reported by the Associated Press, Georgia’s Attorney General Sam Olens declared that John Wayne Connor, 60 years old — who has been incarcerated for 34 years, more than half of his life — will be executed. Over a quarter of a century ago, [...]

The post Brave Georgia to execute senior citizen next month (the antithesis of “the worst of the worst”) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
Georgia Department of Corrections
Georgia Department of Corrections

Georgia Department of Corrections

In a news release issued this past Friday, June 24, and as reported by the Associated Press, Georgia’s Attorney General Sam Olens declared that John Wayne Connor, 60 years old — who has been incarcerated for 34 years, more than half of his life — will be executed.

Over a quarter of a century ago, in 1982, when Connor was just twenty-five, he was convicted of beating his friend J.T. White to death. Both Connor and White were on a bender — drinking, partying, and smoking marijuana — when White made a lurid comment, saying he’d like to sleep with Connor’s girlfriend. A fight ensued and Connor bashed White to death with a bottle.

Highlighting the crime’s unpremeditated nature, Connor “left a note for his mother saying [he] had to leave because ‘something happened to me,’” and was later apprehended hiding in a hay barn with the girlfriend White’d impugned.

Now, over 34 years later, on July 14, stern-faced, tight-lipped lawmen (and possibly law-women) plan to frogmarch this old, weary and weathered man, Mr. Connor, to Georgia’s death-chamber. There, in that ungodly, inhuman space, Mr. Connor, who I respectfully submit has been punished enough, and who, is far from the “worst of the worst,” will die.

He will die despite the fact that in almost every civilized country the world-over, he would have been released from custody – to live – long, long ago.

Despite the particular mitigating circumstances of his crime, despite his age and the toll his lengthy incarceration has wrought upon him — causing him logically to not pose a continued threat to others (if, in fact, he ever was) — he’ll be executed.

Echoing this disturbing sentiment, Bill Rankin wrote for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last year: “Conner’s killing of White during the drunken brawl, while heinous, raises questions about whether the murder was proportionate when compared to others that landed men on death row. Some killed multiple victims. Some killed children. Some committed murder during an armed robbery or a sexual assault. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, during a two-year-long investigation of Georgia’s death penalty, found that prosecutors rarely sought the ultimate punishment for murders similar to White’s.”

Rankin’s column describes evidence in Connor’s case showing that Connor was horrifically abused as a child (“exposed to chronic domestic violence and routinely beaten, stabbed and shot at by his alcoholic father”), that he became addicted to drugs while self-medicating and, that he’s intellectually disabled. But, get this — because this is the real kicker — that information was not presented in court to save Connor’s life by his attorneys.

Five times already this year Georgia has injected the barbiturate pentobarbital into the veins of otherwise reasonably healthy human beings. On July 14, on a cold gurney at the state prison in Jackson, Georgia, Mr. Connor is scheduled to be the sixth.

He will not die at the hand or at the behest of his Creator, but by the will of the brave men and women of Georgia. And, even if not by their will, still, in their name. It’s horrible, it’s shameful, and in a free and civilized society, it shouldn’t be allowed.

Stephen Cooper is a former D.C. public defender who worked as an assistant federal public defender in Alabama between 2012 and 2015. He has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers in the United States and overseas. He writes full-time and lives in Woodland Hills, California.

The post Brave Georgia to execute senior citizen next month (the antithesis of “the worst of the worst”) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/brave-georgia-to-execute-senior-citizen-next-month-the-antithesis-of-the-worst-of-the-worst/feed/ 0
Independence Day: Resurgence Review http://themoderatevoice.com/independence-day-resurgence-review/ http://themoderatevoice.com/independence-day-resurgence-review/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 17:12:00 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217433 idrdavethom.0

(Taken from my blog, Chocolate Bites) It’s both accurate and unfair to call Independence Day: Resurgence a bad film. It’s bad, laughably bad – but I wasn’t offended by it. In fact, I found it an oddly charming and, perhaps more surprisingly, a very honest film. It uses pretty much the exact same plot as [...]

The post Independence Day: Resurgence Review appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
idrdavethom.0

(Taken from my blog, Chocolate Bites)

It’s both accurate and unfair to call Independence Day: Resurgence a bad film. It’s bad, laughably bad – but I wasn’t offended by it. In fact, I found it an oddly charming and, perhaps more surprisingly, a very honest film.

It uses pretty much the exact same plot as the first film: aliens come to earth with plans of destruction, but earth (and by earth I mean America) must find its resolve and overcome insurmountable odds to survive.

Practically everyone apart from Will Smith returns for this sequel and it also manages to add a Hemsworth brother. This continuity of cast members adds to the legitimacy of this film and I think it’s why I let quite a few honest-to-god bad moments go. I forgot what a joy Jeff Goldblum can be to watch.

The film knows exactly what it is, it knows why it exists and it doesn’t try to hide from it. It is shameless in its fan service and call backs to the original and I respect that. The film tries to echo the iconic moments of the original film and although it never manages to recreate the same magic, these recreations always feel… erm… honest.

Independence Day Resurgence is unbelievably cheesy. There are moments in this film where I wanted to groan and po-po what was on screen. But somehow, someway, this film managed to make me smile, laugh and it managed to surprise me. It is big dumb fun – with a lot of emphasis on the dumb.

@bitechoco

The post Independence Day: Resurgence Review appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/independence-day-resurgence-review/feed/ 2
Cartoon: You Brexit You Buy It http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-you-brexit-you-buy-it/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-you-brexit-you-buy-it/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 16:26:42 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217426 John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

The post Cartoon: You Brexit You Buy It appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

The post Cartoon: You Brexit You Buy It appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-you-brexit-you-buy-it/feed/ 1
Why I’m Not Joining In The Brexit Criticism http://themoderatevoice.com/why-im-not-joining-in-the-brexit-criticism/ http://themoderatevoice.com/why-im-not-joining-in-the-brexit-criticism/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 16:25:25 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217424 SOURCE: Trekcore.com

In Star Trek canon, The Borg are an alien race that appear as recurring antagonists in the Star Trek franchise. The Borg are a collection of species that have been turned into cybernetic organisms functioning as drones in a hive mind called “the Collective” or “the Hive”. The Borg use a process called assimilation to [...]

The post Why I’m Not Joining In The Brexit Criticism appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
SOURCE: Trekcore.com
SOURCE: Trekcore.com

SOURCE: Trekcore.com

In Star Trek canon, The Borg are an alien race that appear as recurring antagonists in the Star Trek franchise. The Borg are a collection of species that have been turned into cybernetic organisms functioning as drones in a hive mind called “the Collective” or “the Hive”. The Borg use a process called assimilation to force other species into the Collective by injecting microscopic machines called nanoprobes. The Borg are driven by a need for ‘perfection’, and assimilate other races to further that goal. They cruise the galaxy in cube shaped ships and they announce to a ship, a civilization, a planet: WE ARE THE BORG. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED.

The Borg will literally slice a civilization from the planet and assimilate. Turning everyone into the charming entities you see in the photo above. The ultimate union. The ultimate in sameness.

We are not The Borg. Nationality is not a joke. It is a set of shared beliefs, ways, and wiles. If I take a child born in Tibet as a baby to parents of the native race, bring that child to America, and raise that child fully as Nationality = American, that child will be American. Tibet will be foreign to them.

You can hate Brexit but we can’t dismiss nationality and it’s power. I have this exact same view as a commenter named “G B” at Wired.com recently wrote:

I know that this won’t play well with the globalists. People who cheer on and call for the end of borders and nations always seem to talk up diversity, yet at the same time they want to rid the world of what gave rise to diversity of cultures in the first place. Race is just one version of diversity, the beliefs and practices of many come from geography, location, nationality.

I’m no race purist, nor am I anti-immigration (though for some reason wanting a secured border and proper, easy-to-follow but required processes for immigration seems to somehow label me so). However, the no-nations, no-borders, and what to me seems eventually a no-race world that it appears globalists want would only make us weaker, and destroy what’s good in diversity.

There are way too many Anti-Brexit voices who view any move towards nationalism as xenophobic, racist, backwards, dumb, etc. And yes you have racism and xenophobia there but it’s not all. Ask yourself this question: Why? And the Simple Sam answer of “The racists and xenophobes scared everyone especially the old folk” misses the mark. Humans are tribal. Humans are ritualistic. Humans are creatures of habit. When a nation’s established ways and wiles are being chipped away (be it economically, culturally, etc), that’s when real leadership has to occur. And the message can’t just be “we live globalized world so get used to it”. Because all that does is generate a “they aren’t looking for what we are” view. Real leadership has to lead with NATION FIRST and filter outside cultural and economic forces (emphasis on FILTER). Some things will come in, some not, and some slowly, and some quickly.

Nationality is not a quaint notion. And it isn’t the realm of backwards, dumb folk. It is as old as humanity and has built much of what we treasure today. Great and small.

For the record, I believe leadership on both sides are “playing games”. And they are playing with nationalism. People voted with their heart and emotion yet this can be overruled in Parliament. Which will lead to more strife. Lovely (and not the good “lovely”).

The post Why I’m Not Joining In The Brexit Criticism appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/why-im-not-joining-in-the-brexit-criticism/feed/ 37
Democrats should not be too cocky about defeating Trump http://themoderatevoice.com/democrats-should-not-be-too-cocky-about-defeating-trump/ http://themoderatevoice.com/democrats-should-not-be-too-cocky-about-defeating-trump/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 12:50:39 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217422 8754344627_57002c520c

WASHINGTON — “You must be having a blast.” If I had a nickel for every time somebody said this to me during this election, I could close Donald Trump’s fundraising gap with Hillary Clinton. But I’m not having a blast. As someone who delights in the absurd in politics, I should celebrate Trump: an orange [...]

The post Democrats should not be too cocky about defeating Trump appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
8754344627_57002c520c

8754344627_57002c520c

WASHINGTON — “You must be having a blast.”

If I had a nickel for every time somebody said this to me during this election, I could close Donald Trump’s fundraising gap with Hillary Clinton.

But I’m not having a blast.

As someone who delights in the absurd in politics, I should celebrate Trump: an orange buffoon who flies to Scotland in the middle of the Brexit crisis and boasts about his golf resort, who brags about his penis size in a televised debate, lies about his charitable giving, fights with the pope, talks at a third-grade level, bastardizes Yiddish and bungles New Testament verses alike, calls 9/11 7-Eleven and believes global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese.

The preposterous Trump is, from this perspective, an embarrassment of riches. But I see him as just an embarrassment. For all of us.

My journalistic training gave me a sense of ironic detachment: Though my sympathies are with the center-left, my instinct is to find fault and hypocrisy on both sides. But this is different. This feels personal.

Far-right nationalism is supposed to be a product of other countries. Austria last month came within a whisker of electing the first ultranationalist head of state in Europe since the World War II. In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Front has an unsettling appeal. In Britain, a xenophobic strain empowered the Brexit disaster.

But here in pluralistic America, you weren’t supposed to be able to win by attacking immigrants, racial minorities and the disabled — or by proposing to ban immigration by members of a religious minority and to force those already here to register.

Some say that my family and I, as Jews, are safe from Trump’s hatred; his daughter married a Jew, after all. But Trump has trafficked in anti-Semitic stereotypes before, and the bigots Trump has unleashed in this campaign include legions of anti-Semites.

“If Trump stays on Message he will beat that whore and you will have to take your ass to Israel,” one emailer informed me in a badly spelled message this week. That follows many others via email and social media (“more of that, Jew … had you pegged as a Jewish shill … you’re garbage”), and my experience is hardly the worst.

My friend Jonathan Weisman at The New York Times wrote last month about the “anti-Semitic hate, much of it from self-identified Donald J. Trump supporters,” he has received. “[Twitter user] Trump God Emperor sent me the Nazi iconography of the shiftless, hook-nosed Jew. I was served an image of the gates of Auschwitz, the famous words ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ replaced without irony with ‘Machen Amerika Great.’ Holocaust taunts, like a path of dollar bills leading into an oven, were followed by Holocaust denial. The Jew as leftist puppet master from @DonaldTrumpLA was joined by the Jew as conservative fifth columnist, orchestrating war for Israel.”

Bethany Mandel, a conservative who is Jewish, wrote that her “anti-Trump tweets have been met with such terrifying and profound anti-Semitism that I bought a gun earlier this month.”

And after Julia Ioffe wrote a tough profile of would-be first lady Melania Trump in GQ, she was called a “filthy Russian kike,” among many other obscene taunts, and subjected to death threats and likenesses of her photo-shopped onto Holocaust images. Melania Trump’s response to the anti-Semitic barrage against Ioffe? “She provoked them.”

Donald Trump, pressed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about the anti-Semitic assault by his supporters, replied: “You’ll have to talk to them about it … I don’t have a message to the fans.” He then attacked Ioffe’s article.

It’s gratifying now to see that the American public appears to be rejecting, resoundingly, Trump’s bigotry. It confirms what I argued last year, that Trump is a “sure loser” in November, because “Americans, in a general election, will never choose a candidate who expresses the bigotry and misogyny that Trump has, regardless of his attributes.”

Now, I fear, Democrats have grown too confident — cocky, almost — about Trump’s inevitable defeat. I worry that a major terrorist attack before the election would benefit Trump, and what terrorist group wouldn’t want to boost Trump? He’s the best recruitment tool they’ve ever had.

Looking back at my columns of the last couple of months, it seems 90 percent of them have been about Trump in some form. I wonder: Have I lost my sense of humor? My ironic detachment?

But ironic detachment is a luxury of a stable democracy. Ours is not that — and it won’t be until we’re rid of this poison.

Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

photo credit: Donald Trump – money Challenge via photopin (license)

The post Democrats should not be too cocky about defeating Trump appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/democrats-should-not-be-too-cocky-about-defeating-trump/feed/ 5
A two-word analysis of Brexit http://themoderatevoice.com/a-two-word-analysis-of-brexit/ http://themoderatevoice.com/a-two-word-analysis-of-brexit/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 07:41:18 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217419 brexit-1462470592ZSA

Great Britain’t

The post A two-word analysis of Brexit appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
brexit-1462470592ZSA

brexit-1462470592ZSA

Great Britain’t

The post A two-word analysis of Brexit appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/a-two-word-analysis-of-brexit/feed/ 1
Donate to TMV http://themoderatevoice.com/donate-to-tmv/ http://themoderatevoice.com/donate-to-tmv/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 04:17:32 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217415 donate-1331096_640

No this isn’t a formal fundraiser. However, if you like The Moderate Voice and its mix of features, donations are always welcome. As many readers are well aware, we had to do a fundraiser last year due to brutal DoS attacks that nearly destroyed the site. This led to a new design aimed at above [...]

The post Donate to TMV appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
donate-1331096_640

donate-1331096_640

No this isn’t a formal fundraiser. However, if you like The Moderate Voice and its mix of features, donations are always welcome. As many readers are well aware, we had to do a fundraiser last year due to brutal DoS attacks that nearly destroyed the site. This led to a new design aimed at above all trying to remove vulnerabilities. Aesthetics came after. Then we had to work out some bugs, which have been worked out.

TMV has certain paid features and expenses that have normally been at least covered by ad revenues. Like many sites, particularly blogs that are not sharply right or sharply left, TMV has seen a decline in ad revenues (many blogs have died off or get far fewer hits then they used to as social media becomes more popular). We are determined no matter what NOT to pull any paid features through 2016 and if ad revenue increases keep them for 2017.

But within a few months TMV may be operating at a loss. Unlike many other blogs and websites, there is NO big bankroller for TMV. It has survived on some fundraisers done sparingly and its ad revenues. No matter what, it’ll operate full blast through 2016 but donations could help. Many websites regularly ask for reader support. (A GoFundMe has been considered but won’t be done yet).

SO if you like the site and want to donate, just hit the donate button.

AND MANY THANKS to the TMV readers who have set up small reoccurring donations to TMV paid via PayPal. They DO help — and add up.

Even if you can’t donate, THANKS for reading TMV — and please do spread the (hopefully good) word.

The post Donate to TMV appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/donate-to-tmv/feed/ 1
The 6 Germiest Places On An Airplane http://themoderatevoice.com/the-6-germiest-places-on-an-airplane/ http://themoderatevoice.com/the-6-germiest-places-on-an-airplane/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 03:08:48 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217413 Happy man seating in the aircraft and drinking water before his trip abroad.

Lola Gayle, STEAMRegister.com To be fair, I should tell you that you’ll most likely never look at flying the same again, especially if you’re a germophobe. Germs are everywhere, they’re hard to avoid, and there’s no better way to demonstrate this than to go to the airport and hop on a plane. That’s what TravelMath.com [...]

The post The 6 Germiest Places On An Airplane appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
Happy man seating in the aircraft and drinking water before his trip abroad.

Lola Gayle, STEAMRegister.com To be fair, I should tell you that you’ll most likely never look at flying the same again, especially if you’re a germophobe. Germs are everywhere, they’re hard to avoid, and there’s no better way to demonstrate this than to go to the airport and hop on a plane. That’s what TravelMath.com did…

The post The 6 Germiest Places On An Airplane appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/the-6-germiest-places-on-an-airplane/feed/ 1
Cartoon: TOODLE PIP, EU http://themoderatevoice.com/217409/ http://themoderatevoice.com/217409/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 02:56:52 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217409 cjones06252016

Toodle Pip, EU by Clay Jones I’m a fan of British humor. From Monty Python to The Young Ones to The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy to the first two Beatles movies. One of the biggest aspects of the humor, or “humour” to me is the slang. American slang sucks compared to the English, especially when [...]

The post Cartoon: TOODLE PIP, EU appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
cjones06252016

cjones06252016

Toodle Pip, EU
by Clay Jones

I’m a fan of British humor. From Monty Python to The Young Ones to The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy to the first two Beatles movies. One of the biggest aspects of the humor, or “humour” to me is the slang. American slang sucks compared to the English, especially when it comes to insults.

Donald Trump might have learned that Friday if he had the capability to comprehend and learn stuff.

On Friday after the Brexit vote Trump sent out a tweet while he was promoting his failing golf club in Scotland. There’s no larger evidence that Trump’s presidential campaign is more about his brand than policies than him taking a break to promote a failing golf club overseas.

I digress. Trump celebrated the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, even though he probably doesn’t understand it. He had it explained to him a few weeks ago on live television. Now he thinks it’s a great development. His tweet stated “Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!”

The most ignorant thing about Trump’s tweet is that Scotland voted 62% to 38% to stay in the EU. One clever twitter user replied to Trump’s tweet with “Scotland voted Remain, you weapons-grade plum.”

It didn’t stop there. Please forgive the not safe for family newspaper language here but further insults were:

Delete your golf course.

Scotland voted Remain you muppet.

Scotland voted to stay you numpty.

Scotland voted to remain, you tit.

Oi, buttplug face, Scotland are pro-EU.

Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in Europe you toupéd f–ktrumpet

SCOTLAND VOTED TO STAY, YOU WITLESS F—— C–KSPLAT!

No, they aren’t you c–kwomble.

Scotland voted remain you incomprehensible jizztrumpet.

Scotland voted stay & plan on a second referendum, you tiny fingered, Chetto-faced, ferret wearing sh–gibbon.

Scotland hates both Brexit and you, you mangled apricot hellbeast.

They voted remain you spoon.

To top his day off, one Scottish protester dropped golf balls all around him at his press conference. The golf balls were emblazoned with Swastikas. Too bad Corey Lewandowski had been fired and wasn’t there to rough the Scot up.

Trump is a spoon. A great big touped, Chetto-faced spoon.

This cartoon and post by Clay Jones are from his website www.claytoonz.com

The post Cartoon: TOODLE PIP, EU appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/217409/feed/ 5
Columnist George Will leaves the Republican Party over Donald Trump http://themoderatevoice.com/columnist-george-will-leaves-the-republican-party-over-donald-trump/ http://themoderatevoice.com/columnist-george-will-leaves-the-republican-party-over-donald-trump/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 00:46:49 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217407 George-Will-on-ABC (2)

Conservative columnist George Will has told a group of conservatives that he has quit the Republican Party because with Donald Trump “It is no longer my party.” He’s the first major defection from the high visibility Republican media or political elite. (GOP strategist Mary Matalin has registered with the Libertarian Party, but says she is [...]

The post Columnist George Will leaves the Republican Party over Donald Trump appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
George-Will-on-ABC (2)

George-Will-on-ABC (2)

Conservative columnist George Will has told a group of conservatives that he has quit the Republican Party because with Donald Trump “It is no longer my party.” He’s the first major defection from the high visibility Republican media or political elite. (GOP strategist Mary Matalin has registered with the Libertarian Party, but says she is a “provisional Trumpster.”) But he now joins a growing parade of GOPers who say they’ll either for for Democratic presumptive Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton or not vote at all. Talking Points Memo reports:

Longtime columnist George Will has officially left the Republican Party, he told a group of conservatives on Friday.

Will, a conservative writer for the Washington Post, confirmed to PJ Media that he switched his Maryland party registration from GOP to unaffiliated.

At a meeting of the Federalist Society Friday in D.C., Will told the group it’s worth refusing to back Trump even if it hands the election to Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“This is not my party,” he told the group. “Make sure he loses. Grit their teeth for four years and win the White House.”

According to the report, one of the new developments in deciding to leave the longtime party of his choice is when House Speaker Paul Ryan chose to endorse Trump.

Will is hardly alone in his consternation that all of what is now encapsulated by the newly rebranded name “Trump” entails. A larger number of GOPers have started coming out against Trump, saying they won’t vote for him, or they’ll vote for Hillary Clinton, and some won’t work with him.

Henry Paulson. chairman of the Paulson Institute and a former U.S. treasury secretary and chief executive of Goldman Sachs, announced that said for the good of the country, Republicans need to choose party over country and not vote for GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump. He says he’s going to vote for Clinton and that among Republicans “he is not alone.”

He is now one of several high profile former members of Republican administrations who are coming out squarely against Trump. The late first lady Nancy Reagan was known to have not only not liked Trump, but been upset over Trump comparing himself to the late President Ronald Reagan — whose kids have epeatedly said their father would never ever have voted for (an anti-Trump op-ed written by some Reagan aides as reportedly written at the request of Nancy Reagan). One of the more ludicrous political responses have been Trumpistas who replied that Reagan’s kids would have no idea how their father would have voted. Brent Scowcroft, National Security Adviser to Presidents George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford, and who worked in the White Houses of Presidents Richard Nixon and George W. Bush recently endorsed Clinton, saying she “brings truly unique experience and perspective to the White House.” And several GOP business leaders are coming out for Clinton.

Meanwhile, many top GOP strategists are refusing to work for Trump.

Paulson became Treasury Secretary in 2006 and had to deal with the great recession two years later. Here’s some of what he wrote in op-ed in The Washington Post:

Republicans stand at a crossroads. With Donald Trump as the presumptive presidential nominee, we are witnessing a populist hijacking of one of the United States’ great political parties. The GOP, in putting Trump at the top of the ticket, is endorsing a brand of populism rooted in ignorance, prejudice, fear and isolationism. This troubles me deeply as a Republican, but it troubles me even more as an American. Enough is enough. It’s time to put country before party and say it together: Never Trump.
…Let’s start by talking about his business acumen. When Trump assures us he’ll do for the United States what he’s done for his businesses, that’s not a promise — it’s a threat…
…I’m not the first Republican to say Trump is a phony and should not be president, and I expect there will be many more to come. But as a former chief executive and treasury secretary, I hope to bring an additional perspective to the discussion….

A few more excerpts:

He excels at scorched-earth tactics in negotiations during bankruptcy proceedings. Here, the “Art of the Deal” businessman is a master at advantaging himself over his fellow stakeholders and partners. In essence, he takes imprudent risks and, when his businesses fail, disavows his debts. He has branded himself as a business genius by flaunting and exaggerating his wealth. He is adept at leveraging his brand through licensing agreements that enable him to slap his name on anything he can. But while marketing and self-promotion may translate on the campaign trail, they have little relevance in running our country. And although his business dealings have allowed him to increase his inherited wealth, none of us knows by how much — we have only his word for it.’

And:

Now let’s talk about Trump the prospective president. Are we to believe that Trump, with his intensely divisive rhetoric and behavior, could bridge our country’s partisan divide? The American people are disgusted with business as usual in Washington, and it’s not hard to understand why. They feel as though they are being left behind or are afraid that they will be. They aren’t getting honest answers, and they believe that the most important problems are not being solved. This is not the fault of one political party; it’s the fault of too many partisans and ideologues on both sides who are unwilling or unable to work together.

I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if a divisive character such as Trump were president during the 2008 financial crisis, at a time when leadership, compromise and careful analysis were critical.

He makes an argument in favor of some approaches to fix some problems (all would requiring a thoughtful and cooperative President) then concludes:

Simply put, a Trump presidency is unthinkable.

As a Republican looking ahead to November, there are many strong conservative leaders in statehouses across the United States and in Congress, whose candidacies I am actively supporting. They have a big job to do to reinvent and revitalize the Republican Party. They can do so by responding to the fears and frustrations of the American people and uniting them behind some common aspirations, while staying constant to the principles that have made our country great.

When it comes to the presidency, I will not vote for Donald Trump. I will not cast a write-in vote. I’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton, with the hope that she can bring Americans together to do the things necessary to strengthen our economy, our environment and our place in the world. To my Republican friends: I know I’m not alone.

Huffington Post editor Arianna Huffington puts this tag under each each post that mentions Trump:

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

The post Columnist George Will leaves the Republican Party over Donald Trump appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/columnist-george-will-leaves-the-republican-party-over-donald-trump/feed/ 4
Disagreeing Without Personal Attacks http://themoderatevoice.com/disagreeing-without-personal-attacks/ http://themoderatevoice.com/disagreeing-without-personal-attacks/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 20:00:51 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217359 Beware of Attack Dog - Shutterstock

One task that the legal guardians of children have is the task of teaching children the art of disagreeing without engaging in personal attacks. This particular art form is often missing in the comments sections of website articles and blog commentaries. For example, Gretchen Carlson states the following in one of her commentaries: Yesterday I [...]

The post Disagreeing Without Personal Attacks appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
Beware of Attack Dog - Shutterstock

One task that the legal guardians of children have is the task of teaching children the art of disagreeing without engaging in personal attacks.

This particular art form is often missing in the comments sections of website articles and blog commentaries.

For example, Gretchen Carlson states the following in one of her commentaries:

Yesterday I startled many, and pleased tons of others by saying, I believe the assault weapons ban in this country should be reinstated. That’s because I believe the gun control issue is not simply black and white — but complicated. I said I was still in favor of the Second Amendment and even concealed carry. Still, I knew I’d get comments like these. “@GretchenCarlson’s whinny (or is that supposed to be whiney) ass should leave the air waves forever.” “Your anti American comments today were among the stupidest I’ve ever heard.” “I did not realize she was that stupid!” I also had comments with tons of f bombs, but it’s not the first time I’ve faced criticism for standing up for what I believe in.

Certain people were not just disagreeing with an opinion expressed by Carlson. They were attacking her as a person.

Granted, people who share their opinions with the general public need to have thick hides, because criticism is certainly going to come their way.

However, constructive criticism is one thing; ad hominem is another.

Carlson is correct when she says that the gun-control issue is complicated.

Right now, the majority of Americans polled have expressed their displeasure about the gun-control status quo.

The late conservative judicial icon Antonin Scalia said, “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

So, Americans of all political persuasions are wanting lawmakers to come up with legislation that would be effective in hindering the ability of individuals to engage in mass shootings regardless of their motivation for doing so.

The general question to be answered is this: What would be effective?

In order to get an answer, other specific questions are being asked, such as, “Would banning further retail sales of the AR-15 and like firearms work?” and “Would limiting the capacity of gun magazines work?”

Those latter two questions are an example of public brainstorming.

Some Americans (such as myself) really don’t know the answers. They have seen some evidence of the lethality of such things, and, thus, they are questioning the need for them.

There may be legitimate reasons for not banning further retail sales of the AR-15 and like firearms.

There may be legitimate reasons for not limiting the capacity of gun magazines.

Those who know such legitimate reasons can explain them without attacking the people who ponder about such things.

Instead, the latter are often subjected to this:

Those who engage in such ad hominem often do so within the cloak of Internet anonymity. Such anonymity tends to bring out the worst in people. Having one’s actual identity revealed tends to keep one’s behavior in check. (For that reason, I use my real name while writing, instead of hiding behind a pseudonym.)

Granted, a person can be using a real name and still be uncouth.

Anyway, disagreeing without personal attacks is an art that adults should be modeling while online.

(I strive for it, even though I mess up occasionally.)

Disagreeing without personal attacks is what convinces people to change their minds about subjects. Using ad hominem simply causes people to put up their defenses.

Gretchen Carlson has her way of responding to personal attacks. I have my own – the use of humor.

So, if you have decided to take offense in response to something that I have said, then here, take it.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

Featured Image from Shutterstock

The post Disagreeing Without Personal Attacks appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/disagreeing-without-personal-attacks/feed/ 1
Brexit Victory: Going Native (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/217404/ http://themoderatevoice.com/217404/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 17:48:14 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217404 LawrenceOfArabiaomar-sharif-peter-otoole-lawrence-of-arabia

Going Native by Evan Sarzin There will always be an England, presumably, and there will always be its Channel, to use as it pleases. For the past 70 years it has been a conduit to the European mainland and the shared market. The other day the British converted it back into a moat. The United [...]

The post Brexit Victory: Going Native (Guest Voice) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
LawrenceOfArabiaomar-sharif-peter-otoole-lawrence-of-arabia

LawrenceOfArabiaomar-sharif-peter-otoole-lawrence-of-arabia

Going Native
by Evan Sarzin

There will always be an England, presumably, and there will always be its Channel, to use as it pleases. For the past 70 years it has been a conduit to the European mainland and the shared market. The other day the British converted it back into a moat. The United Kingdom, once a globe-encircling Empire, is shrinking back into the island country of its origin. In the age of globalization, England wants to go it alone. This past June, for the first time, England grew its own tea in Cornwall. That must have been the straw.

Pundits liken Britain’s decision to leave the European Union to Trumpism: a populist, nativist movement, focused on taking back the country and maintaining control in white, Christian hands. One look at the platform at a Trump victory rally and you can see it: the Monochrome Coalition. In the UK, the Leavers were lurking in the shadows until the light was shone upon them.

Tribal ambition is coupled with the guarantee to voters to restore the country to its former glory, although nobody has explained how one thing triggers the other. In America, the not well-kept secret is that Trump is supported by the many of the wealthiest Americans; not just the disenfranchised working-class which is the target of his pitch.

Brexit, and Frexit, the French movement to exit the EU, and Nexit (the Netherlands) are after something else: freedom. “Victory for freedom!” exclaimed Marine Le Pen, a leader of France’s xenophobic National Front. “As I have been asking for years, now we need to have the same referendum in France and in the countries of the EU.”

Dissatisfied Europeans from member countries fault EU handling of the economy. France’s Thomas Piketty wrote that we are in a period of slow growth, which never favors the working-class, and there is not much that anyone globally can do about it. Who else is there to blame? You can’t fire all the players, so you fire the manager.

The nativist streak is most glaring in anti-immigration politics. The native population is outraged to have to share with, let alone support, emigres and refugees. How short the memory; these same outcasts once were their colonial drudges.

Most surprising, though, is that there is an undercurrent of hostility to corporate welfare, similar to Bernie Sanders’ principal concern. Europeans believe that the EU is captive to nationless hydra-headed corporations, whose influence dictates EU policy.

Why does anyone think that breaking up the EU will put an end to corporate domination of politics? England, France and whoever else exits the European Union will be subjected to the same enticement and threats by companies who are better funded than nation-states to wage economic war.

Evan Sarzin takes time from his undisciplined writing habit to practice real estate and commercial law in New York City. He has maintained his blog, The Revolted Colonies TM (since 2010. This is cross posted from that site. When not otherwise loitering, he is a photographer and performing musician.

The post Brexit Victory: Going Native (Guest Voice) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/217404/feed/ 2
CNN staff reportedly in ‘near revolt’ over hiring of Trump’s former campaign manager http://themoderatevoice.com/cnn-staff-reportedly-near-revolt-hiring-trumps-former-campaign-manager/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cnn-staff-reportedly-near-revolt-hiring-trumps-former-campaign-manager/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 17:20:38 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217402 qwrerr

CNN’s staffers are fuming that the cable network hired Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager Donald Trump kicked to the curb this week, according to the New York Post. The Post’s Page Six described the mood inside the network as approaching a “near revolt.” From the Post’s story: “CNN is facing a near internal revolt over [...]

The post CNN staff reportedly in ‘near revolt’ over hiring of Trump’s former campaign manager appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
qwrerr

CNN’s staffers are fuming that the cable network hired Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager Donald Trump kicked to the curb this week, according to the New York Post. The Post’s Page Six described the mood inside the network as approaching a “near revolt.” From the Post’s story: “CNN is facing a near internal revolt over the…

The post CNN staff reportedly in ‘near revolt’ over hiring of Trump’s former campaign manager appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/cnn-staff-reportedly-near-revolt-hiring-trumps-former-campaign-manager/feed/ 6
Don’t let mass shootings cloud why we are all here (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/217399/ http://themoderatevoice.com/217399/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 16:57:07 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217399 27167611224_77b8328b68_b

Don’t let mass shootings cloud why we are all here by Jordan Cooper As soon as you enter this world you are special because God created you. Don’t let anyone make you feel or tell differently than that. We shouldn’t have to earn the honor to be dealt with as a human being with all [...]

The post Don’t let mass shootings cloud why we are all here (Guest Voice) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
27167611224_77b8328b68_b

27167611224_77b8328b68_b


Don’t let mass shootings cloud why we are all here
by Jordan Cooper

As soon as you enter this world you are special because God created you. Don’t let anyone make you feel or tell differently than that.

We shouldn’t have to earn the honor to be dealt with as a human being with all inherent rights that come with it. We all have families,friends, and people that relate to us. We are all somebody’s somebody and we must remember hate disables fondness towards each other. We can call people part of white supremacy, homegrown terrorism, radical Islam, and mafia among other associations but they are all powered by hate. No one should have to exit this world because of hate. Hate destroys nature’s system of natural selection and God’s will.

The recent mass shootings in Charleston, South Carolina and Orlando, Florida are not to turn whites vs blacks, western civilization vs eastern civilization, and Christianity vs Sharia Law. That’s what the corrupted minds’ of the shooters wanted. We are all in this world to not be officially opposite of one another in the way we live our lives.

We are here to be understanding of one another and have supportive energy for the right things. No person deserves to be stigmatized as one of those people that are disassembling our globe. Mother Nature did not make losers, (animals created that setup) we were all made to be winners in our own way.

Jordan Thomas Cooper is a 2015 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in History and a 2010 graduate of the RealEstate School of Success in Irmo. He is the first African-American to serve in both the governor and lieutenant governor’s office as an aide and first to serve in the Inspector General’s Office in S.C. (Haley) He is also the first person to serve in the top three offices in the gubernatorial line of succession in South Carolina (Haley, Bauer, McConnell). He says research shows he is the second black presidential campaign speechwriter in American history and the first for a GOP presidential campaign (Bush 2015). He also played football for Coach Steve Spurrier.

photo credit: Allt Dearg Sunset 2 via photopin (license)

The post Don’t let mass shootings cloud why we are all here (Guest Voice) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/217399/feed/ 0
Cartoons: Trump teleprompters http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-trump-teleprompters/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-trump-teleprompters/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 03:28:16 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217396 David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

The post Cartoons: Trump teleprompters appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star
David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

The post Cartoons: Trump teleprompters appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-trump-teleprompters/feed/ 0
UK film and TV industries ‘grieving’ in wake of ‘Brexit’ vote http://themoderatevoice.com/uk-film-and-tv-industries-grieving-in-wake-of-brexit-vote/ http://themoderatevoice.com/uk-film-and-tv-industries-grieving-in-wake-of-brexit-vote/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 03:20:25 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217394 asdafasdf

LOS ANGELES — Most fans of the horror series “Penny Dreadful” think of the Showtime drama as a British TV show. The story is set in turn-of-the-century London and many of the actors and writers are from the U.K. But “Penny Dreadful” has been a multinational show helped by the U.K.’s membership in the European [...]

The post UK film and TV industries ‘grieving’ in wake of ‘Brexit’ vote appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
asdafasdf

asdafasdf

LOS ANGELES — Most fans of the horror series “Penny Dreadful” think of the Showtime drama as a British TV show. The story is set in turn-of-the-century London and many of the actors and writers are from the U.K. But “Penny Dreadful” has been a multinational show helped by the U.K.’s membership in the European Union…

The post UK film and TV industries ‘grieving’ in wake of ‘Brexit’ vote appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/uk-film-and-tv-industries-grieving-in-wake-of-brexit-vote/feed/ 1
Clinton regains double-digit lead over Trump: Reuters/Ipsos poll http://themoderatevoice.com/clinton-regains-double-digit-lead-over-trump-reutersipsos-poll/ http://themoderatevoice.com/clinton-regains-double-digit-lead-over-trump-reutersipsos-poll/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 03:12:27 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217393 shutterstock_140044387

More bad polling news for presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump: a new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has regained a double-digit lead over Trump. And it shows a big chunk of voters don’t plan (at this point) to vote at all: Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton regained a double-digit lead [...]

The post Clinton regains double-digit lead over Trump: Reuters/Ipsos poll appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
shutterstock_140044387

shutterstock_140044387
More bad polling news for presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump: a new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has regained a double-digit lead over Trump. And it shows a big chunk of voters don’t plan (at this point) to vote at all:

Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton regained a double-digit lead over Republican rival Donald Trump this week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.

The June 20-24 poll showed that 46.6 percent of likely American voters supported Clinton while 33.3 percent supported Trump. Another 20.1 percent said they would support neither candidate.

Trump had enjoyed a brief boost in support following the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, as he doubled down on his pledge to ban Muslims from entering the country, cutting Clinton’s lead to nine points.

But Trump’s rise in popularity appeared to be only temporary, unlike his lasting surge among the Republican field last year after the attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino, California.

Clinton’s 13.3 percentage point lead is about the same as she had before the Orlando attack.

Trump’s slip this week came as he struggled to show that he can keep up with a Clinton campaign apparatus that has dwarfed his in size and funding.

Campaign finance disclosures released earlier this week showed Trump started June with a war chest of just $1.3 million, a fraction of Clinton’s $42 million. Trump sought to ease concerns among his allies by saying that he could tap his “unlimited” personal wealth if needed, and also by bolstering efforts to raise money through fundraising events and online donations.

Meanwhile, Republican leaders including House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker continued to express reservations about their new standard bearer, who has angered some in the party with his fiery rhetoric.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell added yet another pointed bit of advice to Trump today:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) continues to be concerned about Donald Trump’s chances in November, given the GOP nominee’s inability to stick to a script and his meager fundraising haul in May.

“It’s no secret that he’s struggling. As you and I are talking today, we just saw his latest financial report and there’s not much money in there. He’s earned the nomination, but in order to be elected president, he needs to pivot and start acting like — presidential,” McConnell said in a Friday episode of GOP consultant Ben Mathis’ podcast, KickAss Politics, according to audio highlighted by Buzzfeed News.

According to FEC filings, Trump raised $3.1 million in May and had just $1.3 million cash-on-hand, whereas Hillary Clinton raised $26.4 million in May and has $42.5 million cash-on-hand

McConnell also lamented that Trump doesn’t like to use a script in his public appearances, something the majority leader has complained about before.

“For example, there’s nothing wrong with using a script, most candidates for president use a script. It’s how you remember everything you want to say,” McConnell said on the KickAss Politics podcast. “I think just kind of going from rally to rally and winging it may have worked in the primary but it’s not going work in the general.”

“I’ve endorsed him because he’s earned the nomination, but he needs to start acting like a serious candidate for president if he wants to win the election,” he added.

There were signs and promises that Trump would be getting his act together and a run more mainstream campaign. But his widely panned reaction to Great Britain leaving the European Union — he seemed to be more interested in pitching his businesses and looked like the 10th choice from central casting to play the role of a President on a straight to video cheapo movie — will not help him.

But one poll does not a trend make. Even so, the trending for Trump’s numbers aren’t good. Here’s The Huffington Post’s Pollster average of polls graph:

graphic via shutterstock.com

The post Clinton regains double-digit lead over Trump: Reuters/Ipsos poll appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/clinton-regains-double-digit-lead-over-trump-reutersipsos-poll/feed/ 2
Cartoon: Brexit http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-brexit/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-brexit/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 19:53:04 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217389 cjones06242016 (1)

Brexit by Clay Jones Sorry I didn’t write a column for the last two cartoons. I actually received a few comments on social media and more than one email asking why. I appreciate that some people actually like the columns, or even read them. I don’t consider myself a writer in the sense of a [...]

The post Cartoon: Brexit appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
cjones06242016 (1)

cjones06242016 (1)

Brexit
by Clay Jones

Sorry I didn’t write a column for the last two cartoons. I actually received a few comments on social media and more than one email asking why. I appreciate that some people actually like the columns, or even read them. I don’t consider myself a writer in the sense of a columnist or author. I write cartoons and songs. My style of writing a column is kinda easy, which is why there’s usually a typo or two I need to correct everyday. They also help keep people on the website longer (gotcha!) and encourages their return.

I didn’t write columns for those cartoons because I felt there wasn’t a need for one and the lack of any words by me helped push the cartoons. I’m not sure I’ll make up for it with this column.

The United Kingdom is proving the United States isn’t the only nation with a lot of stupid, nationalistic, and xenophobic people. They’re leaving the European Union.

I understand the desire to leave the EU. England has a great tradition and used to be an empire. They have their own identity. But I don’t think they’ve lost it by strengthening their financial structure. At this moment the pound versus the dollar is at its lowest since 1985 all because of this “Brexit” nonsense. Even Obama has come out in favor of the UK staying in the EU. It makes more sense financially and apparently the banks agree.

A lot of people attribute this to the sort of nationalism and racism we’re witnessing today in the U.S. The UK believes they’re too progressive and smart for the the likes of a Donald Trump, but they have their ultra right wing radicals willing to throw their economy in the loo and become poorer because brown people are entering their nation. One of the radicals actually killed a member of Parliament, Jo Cox, who campaigned against leaving the EU. Her killer is apparently tied to pro-Apartheid, Nationalists, and Neo-Nazi groups. Go figure. Donald Trump would probably describe the killer as passionate.

While people look at trade (no tariffs between EU members), sovereignty, defense (they’re still in NATO), and investment, a lot of this is really about immigration. Sound familiar?

People in the EU can move and work in other EU nations without the complications of passports, visas, work visas, etc. There may be a few things in there I’m not aware of since I’m not a citizen within the EU. This has also allowed immigration to increase in the UK. Right wingers don’t like brown people. That’s established and apparently it’s not just an American issue.

What could become interesting is what Scotland does down the road. They recently voted to remain a member of the UK but looking at voter turnout, they also want to remain a member of the EU. Could there be another referendum down the line on leaving once again, so they can rejoin the EU? Donald Trump is visiting Scotland today and that image alone might encourage the Scots to break away from the right wingers. Northern Ireland might be joining them.

The UK is not an ultra conservative nation. But as in the U.S., conservatives vote much more reliably than liberals or moderates. This was a very close vote. Staying home can put your nation’s fate into the hands of the wingnuts. That should be a lesson learned by those of us on this side of the pond.

This cartoon and post by Clay Jones are from his website www.claytoonz.com

The post Cartoon: Brexit appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-brexit/feed/ 1
The fictional Mr. Trump (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/fictional-mr-trump-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/fictional-mr-trump-guest-voice/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 19:05:25 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217385 25475724870_9fe3aeb6ee

The Fictional Mr. Trump By Andrew Feinberg In Four Score and Seven, my recently published novel about the 2016 election, there is a character who, some say, resembles Donald J. Trump. Which raises the question: How do you fictionalize a character who already seems made-up? First, exaggerate his flaws. How would one do that? Well, [...]

The post The fictional Mr. Trump (Guest Voice) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
25475724870_9fe3aeb6ee

25475724870_9fe3aeb6ee


The Fictional Mr. Trump
By Andrew Feinberg

In Four Score and Seven, my recently published novel about the 2016 election, there is a character who, some say, resembles Donald J. Trump. Which raises the question: How do you fictionalize a character who already seems made-up?

First, exaggerate his flaws. How would one do that? Well, it is difficult but not impossible. When Trump says “I never said that,” there’s over a 50 percent chance he said it. When my Ronald Crockenstock denies saying something, you know with certainty he said it. Denying it is his tell.

On many days when I was making stuff up about Crockenstock, I felt that Trump knew what I was doing and was competing with me. He was making stuff up too—with such frequency and brio it was tough to keep up. It was as if he were novelizing our collective lives. The star of reality TV was conjuring a reality that didn’t exist, but resonated with voters.

My first job was to give Crockenstock a different occupation. Something classy and innovative. Presto, he was the founder of the pay toilet colossus Pay As You Go. His toilets charged fifty cents a pop, but the real genius of the operation lay in the change-making machines attached to each marble-floored, gilt-mirrored porta-potty. You put in a dollar and got back 85 cents. Such capitalist alchemy leads Crockenstock to crow he could balance the federal budget in three months, maybe two.

This “turd mogul”—as he is fondly known to his enemies and, okay, his friends—is not above Olympian feats of pandering. To display his religious bona fides, he refers to the miraculous conversion of Peter, Paul and Mary on the road to Damascus. When corrected by a viciously pious senator who is fighting him for the nomination, he quickly regains his balance by saying he might well select God as his running mate—if He was available. (I guess that would be a short vetting process.)

Crockenstock is also something of a philosopher. When Abe Lincoln—yes, the sixteenth president is so horrified by our republic’s woes he comes back to life for two weeks in an attempt to restore sanity—accuses Crockenstock of being a compulsive liar, the pathological prevaricator says, “One could almost argue that, in helping to highlight by contrast what is true, false statements are actually more valuable than true statements.” Say what? This conspiracy nut who is more likely to read the National Enquirer than Foreign Affairs extends this logic by denying that an event in the book with 3,000 attendees ever occurred, pointing out that 323 million Americans were definitely not there. “You do the math,” he reasons.

Ultimately, it is only the candidate’s affection for violence, his mistrust of Hispanic surnames and his remarkably thin skin that threatens his bid for the presidency. And now I will give away part of the ending. Crockenstock does not become president. Phew.

Alas, that’s what happens in my fictional world. You and I have to cope with reality—even if what we see each day seems such a poor excuse for reality as we once knew it. Hey, I knew before now that many people, especially Republicans (I mean Herman Cain, really?), ran for president because even losing had career benefits (Fox talk show, book sales, speeches), but I didn’t know until this week’s Federal Election Commission filings that Trump and his family were profiting directly from the campaign.

You can’t make this stuff up. (Heck, I’m just upset I didn’t.) In the recently-reissued TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald, Timothy O’Brien admits to being entertained and amused by Trump but concludes that the man is, above all, a “huckster” like P.T. Barnum, who was a pioneer in telling people that everything he touched was the biggest, best and most spectacular. Trump’s lust for attention is matched only by his greed, which may explain why he’s been involved in so many sleazy, if not outright fraudulent, deals that ultimately cratered. And it might also explain, if anything could, the fact that Trump appears to have billed the campaign for the fake “Trump Steaks” displayed on the table at a Mar-a-Lago press conference, even though that failed brand was discontinued at least two years ago.

Hmm, making campaign contributors foot the bill for fake stuff that contradicts the true “lies” that opponents are telling about you. That shows initiative. Imagination. Leadership.

I wish I’d thought of it.


Andrew Feinberg’s comic political novel, Four Score and Seven , was published in April.

photo credit: Donald Trump via photopin (license)

The post The fictional Mr. Trump (Guest Voice) appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/fictional-mr-trump-guest-voice/feed/ 0
Is Brexit a Harbinger of Trumpism? http://themoderatevoice.com/217383/ http://themoderatevoice.com/217383/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:27:43 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217383 Patrick Chappatte, The International New York Times

With apologies to the climactic song in “Les Miserables,” here are the self-destructive Brits who voted yesterday to exit the European Union. Cue the music! Do you hear the people sing Singing the song of angry men We will crash the British pound Against the dollar and the yen, When the pounding in our brains [...]

The post Is Brexit a Harbinger of Trumpism? appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
Patrick Chappatte, The International New York Times
Patrick Chappatte, The International New York Times

Patrick Chappatte, The International New York Times

With apologies to the climactic song in “Les Miserables,” here are the self-destructive Brits who voted yesterday to exit the European Union. Cue the music!

Do you hear the people sing

Singing the song of angry men

We will crash the British pound

Against the dollar and the yen,

When the pounding in our brains

Echoes the poison in our guts

That is when the world will know

That we’re going nuts.

That’s what happens when voters surrender to their basest instincts. One “Brexit” voter, identified only as Adam, told the BBC, “I’m shocked and worried. I voted Leave but…I never thought it would actually happen.” A like-minded voter said on TV, “This morning I woke up and the reality did actually hit me, if I had the opportunity to vote again, it would be to stay.”

Too late, fools! You voted for xenophobic nationalism, to wall off your country from the rest of the EU and spark massive turmoil in the global markets. You’ve lit the flame of recession at home and abroad, you voted to imperil the ties that bind Europe’s anti-terrorism intelligence agencies and triggered a crisis that will likely destabilize the EU and embolden Vladimir Putin.

Americans should pay close attention to what is transpiring – and unraveling – in Britain right now. It’s a warning shot across our bow, a harbinger of what could happen here if we surrender to our basest instincts and elect Donald Trump.

The voters of what’s called “Little England” – a rough parallel to what we call “middle America” – hoisted a middle finger to immigration and globalization. Dire warnings about the consequences of exiting the EU failed to penetrate the intellect because these people were bent on voting with their gut.

Swayed by the xenophobic demagoguery of Mini Me Trump agitators like former London mayor Boris Johnson and Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, they convinced themselves that they were “Making Britain Great Again.” We’ll see how that goes when international financial institutions start pulling out of London.

Farage and his “Leave” campaign caught fire with his repeated claim that immigration has made traditional Britain “unrecognizable,” and that open borders with the EU have turned the “white working class” into “an underclass.” (Who does that sound like?)

He also sold the voters snake oil, promising that if Britain left the EU, it would free up lots of extra money for the national health program – in American dollars, roughly $500 million a week. But when asked on TV whether he can guarantee that promise, Farage admitted, “No I can’t…It was one of the mistakes I think the Leave campaign made.”

Yep, that pledge was just pap for the saps, and they bought it.

Into the aftermath of the “Brexit” walks Trump, seeking to take political advantage. (Two weeks ago he had no idea what Brexit was – “Huh?” he asked as he struggled to talk about it) In Scotland Friday morning, after praising the greatness of his golf course, right down to the plumbing, Trump said of the Brits:

“They have declared their independence from the European Union and have voted to reassert control over their own politics, borders and economy. Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence. Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first. They will have the chance to reject today’s rule by the global elite, and to embrace real change that delivers a government of, by and for the people. I hope America is watching, it will soon be time to believe in America again.”

There it was, his autumn campaign pitch. To follow our misguided British cousins into the abyss, all we need do is to stay home on election day, to cede the future to the forces of Trumpism.

At the end of “Les Miserables,” the people sang “There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes.” It’s coming soon. How do we want to live it?

———

Copyright 2016 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Dick Polman is the national political columnist at NewsWorks/WHYY in Philadelphia (newsworks.org/polman) and a “Writer in Residence” at the University of Pennsylvania. Email him at dickpolman7@gmail.com.

The post Is Brexit a Harbinger of Trumpism? appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/217383/feed/ 6
Rubio’s Re-Entrance A Boon For GOP But Will It Hold Through November http://themoderatevoice.com/217380/ http://themoderatevoice.com/217380/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 16:59:02 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217380 01_Rubio050113_750x500_10702949_8col

Rubio This week, Florida Senator Marco Rubio yielded to the pleas of months of entreaties from colleagues, former rivals and fellow Republicans by agreeing to stand for re-election to his Senate seat. While no one could predict what Rubio would ultimately do leading up to the announcement, few on either were ultimately surprised. Still, because [...]

The post Rubio’s Re-Entrance A Boon For GOP But Will It Hold Through November appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
01_Rubio050113_750x500_10702949_8col

01_Rubio050113_750x500_10702949_8col
Rubio

This week, Florida Senator Marco Rubio yielded to the pleas of months of entreaties from colleagues, former rivals and fellow Republicans by agreeing to stand for re-election to his Senate seat. While no one could predict what Rubio would ultimately do leading up to the announcement, few on either were ultimately surprised. Still, because he did leave people guessing until the 11th hour – Florida’s filing deadline is today – GOP candidates for many offices from both the contest to succeed him and the contest to succeed them, were left scrambling to drop down and file for their old posts.

The main story is Rubio opting to stay put and many are confident that his decision will leave the Senate seat in Republican hands. It certainly gives them a boost. But it’s hardly that simple.

To say that Republicans were underwhelmed at the prospect for holding the seat without Rubio was an understatement. None of his would-be successors set the world on fire and they openly worried that the Democrat in the strongest position to win the primary, South Florida Congressman Patrick Murphy, would snatch the seat in November, thereby further jeopardizing their already precarious 54-46 majority. Let’s look at the lay of the land with Rubio’s return.
First, it’s worth noting that Rubio will likely still face a primary. While most of the heavyweight Republicans running to replace Rubio have deferred to him, businessman Carlos Beruff has said he will do no such thing and in fact received vocal encouragement from the “Sunshine” State’s very conservative Republican Governor, Rick Scott. In fact, Beruff, has said he will spend as much as it takes to deny Rubio re-nomination. But Beruff is not Rubio’s biggest problem. He should prevail in the primary easily though is still likely to see a sizable protest vote, both from lingering resentment over his absenteeism and from ardent Trump supporters who handed him an embarrassingly lopsided defeat in his home state’s primary because his brand wasn’t sufficiently supportive of their platform. With Beruff being compared to Trump – both as far as money and verbal audaciousness, much of that same discontent is likely to be present in the primary. But it’s almost safe for him to look ahead to November. And that means more than a few Achilles Heels.

One is his absenteeism. It is not uncommon for Presidential candidates to miss many votes while seeking their party’s nomination but, fairly or not, Rubio was the first to take heat. The Daily Beast captured the perceptions by saying, “Marco Rubio’s new hobby: Florida.” Rubio said the Orlando terrorist attack motivated him to continue his public service.

It’s safe to say that more than a few voters will remember that. That’s not to say many won’t overlook it when weighing their two Senate choices but gaining their votes may mean that many will try to extract a promise that he will not run for President in 2020. This puts him in a difficult position. He is clearly ambitious and, if he comes to the conclusion that Trump will lose and the field will be wide open in 2020, he might not want to pass on that opportunity.
Another hurdle is Trump himself. The vituperativeness of the campaign made Rubio lukewarm to Trump. More importantly, so, according to polls, a majority of Floridians are as well.

Rubio is going to need many voters that Trump has offended – women, minorities, etc. But he will also need die-hard Trump supporters. If he appears with Trump, he risks offending not the swing voters or those against him but if he disses him, he angers the ardently anti-Trump voters he needs. Rubio is already trying to finesse that dilemma. He said as he announced his change of heart, “It is no secret that I have significant disagreements with Donald Trump. His positions on many key issues are still unknown. And some of his statements, especially about women and minorities, I find not just offensive but unacceptable.” But in unambiguously adding that Hillary Clinton was a non-starter, Rubio added, “If he is elected, we will need senators willing to encourage him in the right direction, and if necessary, stand up to him. I’ve proven a willingness to do both.”

Which brings us to Rubio’s own standing with his constituents. A survey conducted by Public Policy Polling less than a week ago found that just 30% of Floridians approved of his job performance as opposed to 49% who disapproved. It’s usually concerning when an incumbent’s approval is below 50% in an election year so to be the other way has to be quite dispiriting.

While one’s job approval is not always indicative of how folks will vote (issues, partisan shifts or moods of the day come into play which is why no incumbent Senator in a competitive state will drop into the 30s), there are serious hurdles he must strive to overcome. One, Florida has moved noticeably if not vastly to the left in the past decade. In fact, at the Presidential level, some Democrats are more bullish on their chances in Florida than Pennsylvania and Ohio. Further, the Hispanic percentage in key counties has risen dramatically. Osceola County (Kissimmee) is an example. In 2000, it was 29%. Today, it is 51%. Rubio is Hispanic but with emotions so high, it remains to be seen whether Latinos will consider him all talk and no cattle when it comes to immigration reform. Ammunition may be that while he was a steadfast member of the Gang of Eight early on, he backed away when his Presidential aspirations moved from just talk. On the up-side, Rubio likely will be able to count on a big showing among Cuban-Americans in South Florida.

In November, Rubio is likely to face Patrick Murphy, a two-term Congressman who has managed to nail down his very swing Port St. Lucie seat by impressive margins. Murphy is in the middle of his own public relations nightmare, brought on by a CBS4 News piece that exposed resume inflating and still must get past a primary of his own with bombastic Orlando Congressman Alan Grayson. Murphy is mounting a strong defense.

The bottom line is that with Florida unmistakably trending Democratic and the Clinton campaign determined to lure every last voter to the polls, counting anyone in and out at this point would be myopic at best.

The race is still a tossup.

The post Rubio’s Re-Entrance A Boon For GOP But Will It Hold Through November appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/217380/feed/ 1
On Political Poetry http://themoderatevoice.com/217377/ http://themoderatevoice.com/217377/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 16:48:50 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217377 Poems

I don’t know anything about poetry. I understand that some of the basic elements of poetry are (I had to look these up): rhyme, rhythm, meter and stuff called “alliteration,” “assonance,” etc. Now, that is not to say that I don’t enjoy reading poems. I regularly receive poems from a couple of friends. One friend’s [...]

The post On Political Poetry appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
Poems

Poems

I don’t know anything about poetry.

I understand that some of the basic elements of poetry are (I had to look these up): rhyme, rhythm, meter and stuff called “alliteration,” “assonance,” etc.

Now, that is not to say that I don’t enjoy reading poems.

I regularly receive poems from a couple of friends.

One friend’s poems are more traditional. That friend writes beautiful poetry about dreams, memories, love, the seasons, nightfall, the sun, the moon and the stars.

I love them.

My other friend’ poems are more politically oriented.

It so happens that we share similar political views and social values. Ergo, I enjoy them very much.

I want to share one of my friend’s “political” poems.

But, first, I wanted to do some research on “political poems,” so that I would not sound too uninformed.

Lo-and-behold, yesterday, Ken Chen at the New Republic wrote a long, long article, “What’s The Matter With Poetry?”, where he takes Ben Lerner (the great American poet, novelist, essayist and critic) to task, among other, for his stand on “political poetry” in Lerner’s new book The Hatred of Poetry.

If I understand it correctly, Chen disagrees with Lerner’s argument that if one loves “poetry’s promise of transcendence, you must also hate poems for their failure to keep up their end of the bargain.”

But I will let more informed readers decide for themselves, so here is some more by Chen:

“Poetry,” Lerner writes, “arises from the desire to get beyond the finite and the historical—the human world of violence and difference—and to reach the transcendent or divine.” The only problem? Poems are ultimately human rather than divine in character. “As soon as you move from that impulse to the actual poem,” he continues, “the song of the infinite is compromised by the finitude of its terms. In a dream your verses can defeat time… but when you wake… you’re back in the human world with its inflexible laws and logic.” In other words, if you’re a poet, you may declare yourself the unacknowledged legislator of the world, but you’re really just a hobbyist in the verse game.

Specifically on political poetry, Chen claims, “Merely disliking poetry, Lerner presents himself as a voice of reason, one who can moderate these excesses and defend the art against the pollution of politics.”

Perhaps as testimony to the impact of political poetry and in a rebuttal to Lerner, Chen shares a couple of stanzas (I hope I got the terminology right) of that very controversial — some say “infamous”– poem by Amiri Baraka*, “Somebody Blew Up America.”

The poem, released more than a year after September 11, according to Chen, is “an anti-matter ‘Song of Myself,’ a maximalist litany about everyone who’s ever been annihilated by or opposed American imperialism…”

Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain’t goin’ nowhere

Who make the credit cards
Who get the biggest tax cut…

Who locked up Mandela, Dhoruba, Geronimo,
Assata, Mumia, Garvey, Dashiell Hammett, Alphaeus Hutton…

Was it the ones who tried to poison Fidel
Who tried to keep the Vietnamese Oppressed
Who put a price on Lenin’s head
Who put the Jews in ovens,
and who helped them do it

Who said “America First”
and ok’d the yellow stars

Now, my second friend, the one who sends me “political poems,” is not as controversial — or infamous — as Baraka is, but his poems are very timely, relevant and, hopefully, do not “pollute” the art of poetry.

Here is his most recent one. It is called, “Hey Mate – I’m going to be Great – So listen up to what’s on my plate.”

Build a wall — And terrorism will fall
And who will pay? The Mexicans if we have it my way
Stop this national identity blight
Just keep this land for the Christian white

Bury your head in the sand — Don’t get involved in a foreign land
We won’t be safe in this land — Until there is a gun in everyone’s hand

Forget about those trade agreements poor
Cancel them all and we’ll prosper more

Climate change is as a Chinese hoax seen
Dig more coal, cut EPA and we’ll be just as green

Cut them high taxes — Chop them up with axes
Now don’t sweat about Social Security and Medicare
I’ll keep those benefits and even more because I care

Now clearly the defense budget should rise, but I’ll re-prioritize
I’ll get right in there with my businessman’s hat to give them a surprise

We’ll cut waste, fraud and abuse – so don’t you sweat
We’ll balance the budget and eliminate the National debt

It’s now $19 Trillion and growing every day
But we don’t have to pay — As a businessman I know the way

I’ve used bankruptcy many a time
My lenders didn’t get their dollars they only got a dime

So when I push the debt down to zero — You’ll call me a hero
We will set a new record for the growth of GDP
We’ll double it from the fifty-year average – you have heard it from me

It won’t be long — Before Radical Islam is gone
It won’t take long; it’s easy as a song — We’ll just carpet bomb

We’ll make those lazy foreigners for their security pay
And if they don’t; we’ll just push them out of the way
We’ll reap trillions by imposing tariffs on imports from far away
But on our own manufacturers there will be little taxes to pay

We’ll kick out the lazy “illegals” for their sin
And we won’t let any new ones come in

Now Congress – who are they? I’ve financed many in my day
If they don’t do what I say – I’ll fire them and send them on their way

We’ll be happy as a little clam — In our self-sufficient land
We’ll once more be great — Behind our 50-foot Gate

Now I’m an outsider, not a Washington lackey
I admit sometimes I say things wacky

No public office have I held – but what I’ve done sure has been swell
Now if you disagree, take it from me
If you don’t vote for Trump – we’ll all end up in the dump
And if you disagree, too bad for you, not too bad for me

And don’t try to start any fights
Or I’ll punch you in the nose and turn out your lights

Also, please read “Putting Political Poetry on America’s Op Ed Pages,” by “our own” Michael Silverstein.

* Baraka died in January 2014. He was 79. Read more about Baraka and his (in)famous poem here.

Photo credit: Textual Interstitial Vector via photopin (license)

The post On Political Poetry appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/217377/feed/ 0
Cartoon: Donald Trump’s fundraising http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-donald-trumps-fundraising/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-donald-trumps-fundraising/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 16:09:08 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217376 unnamed (23)

Mike Slosberg is a cartoonist and novelist. He lives with his wife and hundreds of drawing pens on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, New York. You can see more of his cartoons and learn about his books by going to: mikeslosbergbooks.com

The post Cartoon: Donald Trump’s fundraising appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
unnamed (23)

unnamed (23)

Mike Slosberg is a cartoonist and novelist. He lives with his wife and hundreds of drawing pens on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, New York. You can see more of his cartoons and learn about his books by going to: mikeslosbergbooks.com

The post Cartoon: Donald Trump’s fundraising appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-donald-trumps-fundraising/feed/ 0
UK ship ‘needs new captain’ after Leave vote – Cameron http://themoderatevoice.com/uk-ship-needs-new-captain-after-leave-vote-cameron/ http://themoderatevoice.com/uk-ship-needs-new-captain-after-leave-vote-cameron/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 15:32:02 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217374 maxresdefault

Hot on the heels of the seismic vote for the UK to leave the EU came the dramatic announcement from David Cameron that he will step down as prime minister by the autumn. He had pledged the referendum and led the campaign to remain in the EU. Cameron appeared outside Number 10 Downing Street at [...]

The post UK ship ‘needs new captain’ after Leave vote – Cameron appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
maxresdefault

Hot on the heels of the seismic vote for the UK to leave the EU came the dramatic announcement from David Cameron that he will step down as prime minister by the autumn. He had pledged the referendum and led the campaign to remain in the EU. Cameron appeared outside Number 10 Downing Street at breakfast…

The post UK ship ‘needs new captain’ after Leave vote – Cameron appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/uk-ship-needs-new-captain-after-leave-vote-cameron/feed/ 19
Trump’s Political Suicide http://themoderatevoice.com/trumps-political-suicide/ http://themoderatevoice.com/trumps-political-suicide/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 12:48:27 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217358 20857418220_eddd7c4801_b

Republican political consultant Mike Murphy examines the train-wreck that is the Trump campaign in The Washington Post. Forget, for a moment, all of Trump’s epic character flaws. A new question has seized the campaign: Can the self-proclaimed world-class business wizard actually manage anything? His campaign’s spiral into collapse proves he cannot. Let us count the [...]

The post Trump’s Political Suicide appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
20857418220_eddd7c4801_b

Republican political consultant Mike Murphy examines the train-wreck that is the Trump campaign in The Washington Post.

Forget, for a moment, all of Trump’s epic character flaws. A new question has seized the campaign: Can the self-proclaimed world-class business wizard actually manage anything? His campaign’s spiral into collapse proves he cannot. Let us count the ways:

Basic targeting. Presidential campaigns come down to a handful of swing states and a relatively small group of persuadable swing voters who ultimately decide the election. That’s why campaigns invest so much money in paid advertising and on-the-ground organizing in those key states. Trump has done neither. Instead he is careening around the country in his beloved jet, chasing elusive high-dollar donor support in Republican base states. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is gleefully beating his brains out in swing states with harsh but effective negative advertising — none of which is being answered and rebutted by the Trump campaign as his polling numbers tank.

Fundraising. Even if Trump wanted to rebut those Clinton attack ads, he lacks the money to fire back. Recent Federal Election Commission numbers show the Trump campaign with a ludicrously low $1.3 million cash on hand. The money maven is totally broke, which means his voter contact effort has gone silent. If Trump did put up millions in advertising to push back on Clinton, his campaign would have to join several earlier Trump enterprises in declaring bankruptcy. Meanwhile, what relatively little money the braggadocious billionaire has invested in his campaign has mostly been structured as a loan from, you guessed it, Trump. So despite his endless promises during the primary, Trump is showing no actual interest in self-funding his effort. Instead he’s hoping donors pay him back for the cost of bouncing around in his garish airplane. It’s no surprise that so few donors are falling for this suckers’ ploy.

Message. Trump’s pitchfork rhetoric played well in the GOP primary; winning him about 44 percent of the voters. But the voters he needs most now — college-educated white women and Hispanics — are giving Trump record unfavorable ratings in recent polls. It’s almost as though he is trying to offend them. Well, it’s working.

Ground war. Person-to-person campaigning is effective, but it doesn’t happen without a well-run ground organization heavily linked to the metrics provided by modern digital marketing technology. Trump is doing none of this. He seems to think holding rallies with voters who already support him is the campaign activity that counts. That’s not strategy; it’s egomania.

What is Trump’s biggest failure? He lacks any real strategy. Trump appears to totally miss the fundamental fact that the general-election electorate is much larger and demographically very different from the small electorate he captured in the Republican primaries. Here is a fact Mr. Trump would be well advised to consider: The total number of Republican primary voters this year, more than half of whom voted for somebody other than Trump, is significantly smaller than the number of minority voters that will vote this November. Put another way, Trump is likely to lose minority voters alone by roughly twice the total number of people who voted for him in the GOP primaries.

So as the Trump campaign moves into full meltdown, Republicans are seeing a presumptive nominee on a mission of political suicide. Nobody in the party wants a nominee with the Secret Service code name “Certain Train-wreck.” The question is: Can anything be done about it? The answer is yes. If Trump rolls into the convention broke and with a terrible deficit in the polls, the delegates may indeed act. Under convention rules, they have the power to do so. GOP conventions are party affairs empowered to pick the best candidate to win the general election. If Trump’s incompetence doesn’t change, he may well get fired in Cleveland.

Cross-posted from The Sensible Center

http://thesensiblecentercom.blogspot.com/2016/06/trumps-political-suicide.html

The post Trump’s Political Suicide appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/trumps-political-suicide/feed/ 2
Will sit-in make Congress stand up on gun control? http://themoderatevoice.com/217369/ http://themoderatevoice.com/217369/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 07:12:55 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217369 adfadfaf

WASHINGTON — The extremely rare sit-in by Democrats in the House chamber may have been, as Speaker Paul Ryan claimed, a “publicity stunt.” But it was a righteous one that may improve the prospects for meaningful gun control. It won’t happen immediately. Even after 49 innocent victims died in the Orlando massacre — the worst [...]

The post Will sit-in make Congress stand up on gun control? appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
adfadfaf

adfadfaf

WASHINGTON — The extremely rare sit-in by Democrats in the House chamber may have been, as Speaker Paul Ryan claimed, a “publicity stunt.” But it was a righteous one that may improve the prospects for meaningful gun control.

It won’t happen immediately. Even after 49 innocent victims died in the Orlando massacre — the worst such shooting in modern U.S. history — Republicans remain adamantly opposed to any new legislation that might keep powerful weapons out of the hands of the next would-be mass murderer.

If Republicans care more about maintaining their standing with the National Rifle Association than saving lives, that’s their choice. But polls show majority support for sensible new gun control measures — and members of Congress should at least have to go on record. Democrats are demanding that the House do its job: vote yes or no.

One of the bills Democrats want the House to vote on should be a no-brainer: expanding background checks for gun purchases. The other, which would deny the right to buy guns to individuals on the terrorism watch list, is in my view a tougher question. The American Civil Liberties Union has expressed “deep concerns” about relying on an “error-prone and unfair watchlisting system” to regulate access to firearms.

I wish the subject of the protest were, instead, a bill to ban military-style assault weapons of the kind used by Omar Mateen and so many other mass shooters. But if we are ever going to get to that point, the logjam has to be cleared. Something dramatic had to happen.

Enter Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a hero of the civil rights movement who knows something about thousand-mile journeys that start with a single step. Lewis also knows something about sit-ins, having staged more than a few, and it was in his office that a group of House Democrats came up with the idea of occupying the chamber to demand gun control votes.

They achieved no success, of course — not yet, at least.

The speaker of the House has sweeping powers and cannot easily be coerced into anything. Ryan called a recess and Republicans left the chamber, which meant that the C-SPAN cameras that televise House proceedings went dark; Democrats began streaming video of the sit-in via their cellphones. The spectacle of members of Congress sitting on the floor and staging a protest drew nationwide attention. Sympathizers dropped by, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who brought boxes of Dunkin’ Donuts. As the sit-in stretched into the evening, well-wishers had pizza delivered to the Capitol.

Ryan eventually brought the House back into session, to show it could function despite the ongoing protest, and then finally, in the middle of the night, ordered a recess until July 5. Republicans were free to scurry out of town.

So did the protest have any real impact? Certainly some, and potentially a lot.

First, the tactic rallied Democrats in both chambers to the gun control cause and put Republicans on notice that the issue won’t just go away. Mass shootings happen with depressing regularity, and by now everyone knows the drill: Congress argues about guns for a few days and then does nothing. The sit-in was not a part of the usual script, which makes the ending less certain.

Second, the protest drew widespread attention to the issue at a moment when the debate would otherwise be fading. Whether you thought the sit-in was courageous or absurd, you paid attention. Given what we know about public opinion, it is helpful for advocates of gun control to have the issue in the news. People say they want to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people. Republicans should have to explain why they disagree.

Third, and perhaps most important, the sit-in means that gun control will be an issue in the coming election. Is this smart politics? I believe it is.

Republicans are badly divided and will be led by a nominee rejected by much of the party establishment. Democrats see the potential for winning both the White House and the Senate and making major gains in the House — but only if the party is united and enthusiastic. The gun issue can help motivate the party faithful.

Taking action to prevent Orlando-style killings should also appeal to independent voters. Republicans take the position that nothing at all should be done to keep the next mass shooter from buying an assault rifle. Do they really believe that swing voters agree?

The sit-in was a spark. It might start a fire.

Eugene Robinson’s email address is eugenerobinson@washpost.com. (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

PHOTO by Rep. John Yarmuth, posted on his Twitter account.

The post Will sit-in make Congress stand up on gun control? appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/217369/feed/ 1
Supreme Court deadlock on immigration will have far-reaching implications http://themoderatevoice.com/supreme-court-deadlock-on-immigration-will-have-far-reaching-implications/ http://themoderatevoice.com/supreme-court-deadlock-on-immigration-will-have-far-reaching-implications/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 06:57:01 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217367 supreme-court-546279_640

WASHINGTON — A deadlocked Supreme Court decision that blocks President Barack Obama from granting amnesty to the parents of legal U.S. residents who are in the country illegally will deprive many of those people of the right to sign up for health insurance in California, analysts of the decision said Thursday. Most immigrants who are [...]

The post Supreme Court deadlock on immigration will have far-reaching implications appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
supreme-court-546279_640

supreme-court-546279_640

WASHINGTON — A deadlocked Supreme Court decision that blocks President Barack Obama from granting amnesty to the parents of legal U.S. residents who are in the country illegally will deprive many of those people of the right to sign up for health insurance in California, analysts of the decision said Thursday. Most immigrants who are in…

The post Supreme Court deadlock on immigration will have far-reaching implications appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/supreme-court-deadlock-on-immigration-will-have-far-reaching-implications/feed/ 0
Brexit: the earthquake has begun http://themoderatevoice.com/brexit-the-earthquake-has-begun/ http://themoderatevoice.com/brexit-the-earthquake-has-begun/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 05:13:23 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217362 fsdfdfsdf

The earthquake has begun. About 52 percent of British voters have decided to leave the European Union while about 48 percent voted to remain in the EU. These are not definite figures but close to the final calculations. An EU summit is likely next week to work out how Britain might actually leave since the [...]

The post Brexit: the earthquake has begun appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
fsdfdfsdf

fsdfdfsdf

The earthquake has begun. About 52 percent of British voters have decided to leave the European Union while about 48 percent voted to remain in the EU. These are not definite figures but close to the final calculations.

An EU summit is likely next week to work out how Britain might actually leave since the process of untangling ties might take several years. Exit by any country is unprecedented but there is an EU regulation that provides for a two-year period for disentanglement from specific agreements.

British Prime Minister David Cameron admitted that Britain’s famed bureaucracy has not make contingency plans for exit because most officials thought the Remain camp would win by a sliver thin margin.

Cameron may now be on his way out. Some expect him to resign in recognition of the huge snub to his authority and failure to win the Remain argument. In a manner of speaking, his leadership has been disavowed by slightly more than half of British voters.

It is too early to say whether upstart Nigel Farage, the disruptive leader of the UK Independence Party, will suddenly become the rallying personality for voters and, thus, drive the final nails that thoroughly weaken the stalwart and historic Conservative Party.

This cannot be ruled out since Tories had already split between those who favored Cameron and his Remain camp and those who sided with Tory leaders like Michael Gove, who compared economists warning against Brexit to experts in the pay of Nazis.

In recent days, Farage’s UKIP inflamed opinions with its huge “Breaking point” poster that showed hordes of Arab-looking mostly brown people storming British borders. Intellectuals said the poster was racist but it may have tipped the scales in favor of Brexit on the last straight.

Some analysts continue to suggest that most Tories will rally around Cameron and Chancellor George Osborn (who is Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister), allowing them to stay in their jobs during the separation process from the EU.

But it is very unlikely that either will survive until the 2020 general elections. Both have failed miserably because neither succeeded in properly explaining to ordinary voters why being in the EU is beneficial for Britain.

These are early hours in the seismic changes so there are no convincing explanations about how the British economy might absorb the inevitable dangers of Brexit.

Farage and others have not yet said anything coherent other than wishful thinking about Britain remaining in the EU’s single market and enjoying all current trade benefits despite having huffily rejected EU membership.

Brexit supporters continue to insist that the EU needs to trade with Britain as much as Britain needs European markets.

They forget that Britain is a $3 trillion economy compared with EU’s $12 trillion economy (excluding the UK). European markets contain 400 million people, compared with 65 million in Britain (including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

The biggest uncertainty involves the reaction of financial markets. The British pound has already fallen to a three decade low and equity and other financial markets might react violently when they open later today.

In any case, the narrow margins show that nearly half of Britain’s people oppose the views of the other half. That makes for extremely difficult negotiations amounting to severe turmoil on almost everything about Britain.

However, what that “everything” means is still unclear because nobody seems to have thought through all the implications of Brexit for ordinary Britons. There will be much muddling through in coming days, weeks, months and longer. And probably much regret.

Even leaders who vigorously campaigned for Brexit seem overwhelmed that they actually won and have so far not said anything real-world on such emotionally-charged issues as immigration, corporate taxation and tax evasion.

Still as Farage declaimed, the vote marks Britain’s “independence day” from Europe. But he might yet rue the results because Britain will certainly be weaker on its own, separated from the EU’s collective bargaining power on issue after issue.

photo credit: Little England via photopin (license)

The post Brexit: the earthquake has begun appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/brexit-the-earthquake-has-begun/feed/ 16
Why More Countries Need to Back Sustainable Tourism http://themoderatevoice.com/why-more-countries-need-to-back-sustainable-tourism/ http://themoderatevoice.com/why-more-countries-need-to-back-sustainable-tourism/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 03:00:20 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217342 train

With France’s air-traffic controllers in constant disputes with their government about issues like salary, staffing and retirement, these workers have been on strike for an average of one in every 12 days since the beginning of 2016. Not only has the strike cost international airlines millions of dollars in revenue, but it’s also affecting tourists [...]

The post Why More Countries Need to Back Sustainable Tourism appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
train

With France’s air-traffic controllers in constant disputes with their government about issues like salary, staffing and retirement, these workers have been on strike for an average of one in every 12 days since the beginning of 2016. Not only has the strike cost international airlines millions of dollars in revenue, but it’s also affecting tourists as more and more flights have been canceled for people looking to fly in and out of France.

If you think you can fly into London and take a nice, scenic drive to your destination, think again. Many French gas station workers are on strike too, meaning that approximately one in three gas stations in the country has run out of oil supplies.

The implications of the strikes go beyond just you and your vacation; they gravely affect the economy. With a large number of these countries relying heavily on the tourism industry, especially during the summer months, how could the governments avert these crises?

The answer: sustainable tourism.

What Is Sustainable Tourism and How Is It Possible?

We’ve all heard of sustainability. You probably even practice it by recycling and reusing old items for the sake of the environment. Maybe you even work for a company committed to renewable energy. However, sustainable tourism gets a little more complex. It means more than just traveling green. To be truly sustainable, tourism must consider environmental, economic and socioeconomic factors.

1. Invest in Alternative Transportation

Trains like the Eurostar, a high-speed railway that carries passengers between France and England, have made strides to become more energy-efficient. The company successfully slashed its CO2 emissions per passenger by 31 percent in 2009. They also cut down on carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 90 percent. With short-haul flights creating three times as many emissions as long-haul, large-scale investment in these alternative methods of transportation are a win-win for both the environment and the tourist industry.

The same goes for public transportation. These systems may be hard to figure out, but locals and dedicated workers are often more than willing to help those are who unfamiliar with the location. Not only is public transport often cheaper than a car rental, it also helps to cut down on the ultimate first-world problem: congestion.

Congestion has a huge economic and environmental impact. For example, from just 2009 to 2010, congestion costs across 439 urban areas in the United States reached $101 billion, with Florida alone – a popular tourist destination – accounting for $5.6 billion. With its high level of congestion, Florida commuters wasted 116 million gallons of fuel that year. That’s a lot of emissions.

2. Support Local Accommodation Over Chain Hotels

Bed-and-breakfast accommodation tends to be smaller than big-box hotels and thus can be more environmentally friendly by using less energy and water. The rise in popularity of services like Airbnb, which operates on the principles of home sharing for tourists, has greatly helped to fuel this once-niche industry, so it pays to back these initiatives. In fact, Airbnb conducted a recent study on the environmental impact of its home-sharing concept versus hotel stays and found that U.S. Airbnb travelers averaged 63 percent less energy use than hotel guests.

With the announcement this week of restrictions in New York on Airbnb operators, it will be interesting to see what impact this may have on the economy of the city. It’s unlikely that the Big Apple will suffer too much, but if Mayor de Blasio wants to get serious about combatting the effects of climate change and supporting environmental sustainability, his administration would be wise to rethink the measures put forward by Governor Cuomo.

3. Encourage and Fund Locally Owned Businesses

Locally owned businesses tend to reduce environmental impact by making local purchases, thus reducing transportation needs, congestion, sprawl and pollution. Not only that, but by encouraging tourists to “shop local”, they will be supporting local workers and helping to continue reinvestment in the local economy. By providing incentives to build and fund small businesses, governments would not only be reducing the overall environmental impact, but also giving tourists the opportunity to really experience the unique culture of the location. Who doesn’t want that on their vacation?

So why should we care about sustainable tourism? Well, it’s a part of thinking globally and showing compassion for a world greater than ourselves. It is possible to avoid or minimize the detrimental effects of tourism on the Earth, while countries increase their GDP and tourists get to enjoy the unique features of their vacation destination. By investing in sustainable tourism, everyone benefits.

The post Why More Countries Need to Back Sustainable Tourism appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/why-more-countries-need-to-back-sustainable-tourism/feed/ 1
Donald Trump’s Lies http://themoderatevoice.com/donald-trumps-lies/ http://themoderatevoice.com/donald-trumps-lies/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 02:08:47 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217357 Kool-AidMan

Non-partisan fact-check website Politifact.com calls it like they see it on Donald Trump. We’ve fact-checked Trump about 160 times. We have rated 76 percent of those statements Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire. (See his entire PolitiFact file, which updates as we post new fact-checks.) As we noted when we awarded Trump our 2015 Lie of the [...]

The post Donald Trump’s Lies appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
Kool-AidMan

Non-partisan fact-check website Politifact.com calls it like they see it on Donald Trump.

We’ve fact-checked Trump about 160 times. We have rated 76 percent of those statements Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire. (See his entire PolitiFact file, which updates as we post new fact-checks.) As we noted when we awarded Trump our 2015 Lie of the Year award for his portfolio of misstatements, no other politician has as many statements rated so far down the dial. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

Here are 10 of the most significant falsehoods that Trump has made during the past year.

  • Pants on Fire: “The Mexican government forces many bad people into our country.”
  • Pants on Fire: The number of illegal immigrants in the United States is “30 million, it could be 34 million.”
  • False: Mexico can afford to build a wall because the country’s trade deficit with America is billions of dollars.
  • Pants on Fire: “I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering” as the World Trade Center collapsed.
  • False: “I was totally against the war in Iraq, saying for many years that it would destabilize the Middle East.”
  • Pants on Fire: The unemployment rate may be as high as “42 percent.”
  • Pants on Fire: “Crime is rising.”
  • Pants on Fire: Ted Cruz’s father “was with Lee Harvey Oswald” before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Cross-posted from The Sensible Center

http://thesensiblecentercom.blogspot.com/2016/06/donald-trumps-lies.html

The post Donald Trump’s Lies appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

]]>
http://themoderatevoice.com/donald-trumps-lies/feed/ 8