Tag Archives: aren’t

Lifestyle Changes Aren’t Enough to Save the Planet. Here’s What Could

Lifestyle Changes Aren’t Enough to Save the Planet. Here’s What CouldWhen it comes to climate change, we can't just focus on individual choices. We need to give people better options. Michael E. Mann explains why.



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Republicans Aren’t Happy: Mueller Makes Last-Minute Request Ahead Of Testimony

Republicans Aren’t Happy: Mueller Makes Last-Minute Request Ahead Of TestimonyFormer special counsel Robert Mueller asked Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee to swear in his longtime deputy as a witness at a congressional hearing Wednesday, according to multiple reports.Mueller asked that Aaron Zebley, who served as deputy on the special counsel’s probe, be sworn in as a witness in order to address any questions that he is not able to answer, according to sources familiar with the matter, The New York Times and CNN reported.Mueller is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee for three hours and before the House Intelligence Committee for two hours Wednesday. He will be pressed for details of his 22-month investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia and whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct the probe.In a report of the investigation, Mueller said that his team was unable to establish that any Trump associates conspired with the Russian government to influence the election. But the report was vague on obstruction. Mueller declined to charge Trump on obstruction, but also said that the Republican was not exonerated by the investigation.



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90% of Border Crossers Aren’t Referred for Asylum Interviews

90% of Border Crossers Aren’t Referred for Asylum InterviewsThe government is implementing a new proposal that would ban asylum for immigrants coming to the United States through Mexico. It pins the uptick in border crossers on the asylum process, but the government’s statistics reveal that 90 percent of crossers in 2019 were not referred for an asylum interview at the border, and the highest share ever referred was just 19 percent in 2018.In fact, the rate of referral was just 7 percent in March 2019. This strongly indicates that the asylum ban will not have its intended effects. Figure 1 compares the rate at which undocumented immigrants at the southwest border were referred for asylum interviews at the border—called credible fear interviews—for each year from 2010 and 2019 as well as March 2019—the most recent month available. In no year has more than one in five immigrants stopped either at or between ports of entry entered the asylum process from the border.The pattern is not significantly different for immigrants from Central America’s Northern Triangle—Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The highest percentage of credible fear claims was just 30 percent in 2016, and the rate for 2019 is 9 percent. March 2019 was actually just 6 percent. In other words, at the border at least, the asylum ban will have very little effect on most Central American crossers.



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Nancy Pelosi’s renewed attacks on AOC aren’t just disrespectful, they’re dangerous

Nancy Pelosi’s renewed attacks on AOC aren’t just disrespectful, they’re dangerousAs America grows increasingly brazen in its bigotry, Pelosi should be standing up for her new colleagues – so why isn’t she?Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/APCan progressives please shut up and listen to Nancy Pelosi? The speaker of the House, I would like to remind everyone, is a master strategist, a savvy tactician, and an experienced politician. She knows what’s best for America. And what’s best for America, apparently, isn’t standing up to Donald Trump; no, it’s ensuring four freshman congresswomen don’t get ideas above their station. It’s ensuring Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in particular, knows her place.There have been long-running tensions between Pelosi and the so-called “Squad” of new progressive congresswomen, which consists of Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. Things escalated sharply over the weekend, when Pelosi decided it would be a good idea to demean her colleagues in the New York Times. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world, but they didn’t have any following,” Pelosi told the Times, referring to a border funding bill the Squad opposed. “They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got.”To begin with, Pelosi’s disparaging remarks about the Squad seemed like they were probably strategic. Now, however, the sustained attacks feel increasingly personal. “When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Washington Post on Wednesday. “But the persistent singling out … it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”AOC expanded on her comments on Thursday, telling CNN she “absolutely” doesn’t think Pelosi is racist. “It’s really just pointing out the pattern, right? We’re not talking about just progressives, it’s signaling out four individuals. And knowing the media environment that we’re operating in, knowing the amount of death threats that we get … I think it’s just worth asking why.”As Ocasio-Cortez notes, Pelosi’s attacks aren’t taking place in a bubble; they’re taking place in a media environment where the rightwing have put a target on the Squad’s back. On Tuesday night, for example, Fox host Tucker Carlson launched a racist attack against Omar that could arguably be seen as an incitement to violence against the congresswoman. “[Omar] has undisguised contempt for the United States and for its people,” Carlson told his 3 million viewers. “That should worry you, and not just because Omar is now a sitting member of Congress. Ilhan Omar is living proof that the way we practice immigration has become dangerous to this country. A system designed to strengthen America is instead undermining it.”America is becoming an increasingly hostile place for women and for people of color. Pelosi’s constant public attacks against the four newly elected women of color aren’t just disrespectful, they’re dangerous. Whether she means to or not, her repeated insinuations that the Squad are rabble-rousing upstarts who are undermining the Democratic party helps bolster the right’s vitriolic narratives about the congresswomen. As America grows increasingly brazen in its bigotry, Pelosi should be aggressively standing up for her freshman colleagues, not trying to tear them down. So why isn’t she?Well, to put it bluntly, I think it’s because she’s terrified of what her progressive colleagues represent. The Squad doesn’t just consist of four people, as Pelosi condescendingly told the Times; it represents the face of a new America. It represents a challenge to the traditional power structure. That doesn’t just scare bigots like Tucker Carlson, it scares the neoliberal establishment. It scares people who would never call themselves racist (they’d have voted for Obama for a third time if they could have!) but who clearly have a problem with young women of color speaking their mind. It scares people who champion more “diversity” – as long as that diversity keeps its mouth shut or sticks to the party line.Proud racism advocates for walls to keep brown people out of America. Polite racism builds different sorts of walls; it leverage concepts like “civility” and “unity” to make sure certain voices are kept out of power, or are dismissed as trouble-making and divisive when they try and critique power. What “civility” really means, in all of these discussions, of course, is servility. What unity really means is uniform acceptance of the status quo. Progressives keep being told we shouldn’t criticize centrist Democrats if we want any chance at beating Trump in 2020; and yet establishment figures like Pelosi seem to have no problem criticizing progressive Democrats and the millions of people they represent.In a press conference on Thursday, Pelosi brushed away questions about her feud with the squad, grandly stating that “Diversity is our strength. Unity is our power.” Is it really? Because I don’t see any diversity or unity from where I’m looking. I just see a lot of old-fashioned hubris.



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Nancy Pelosi’s renewed attacks on AOC aren’t just disrespectful, they’re dangerous

Nancy Pelosi’s renewed attacks on AOC aren’t just disrespectful, they’re dangerousAs America grows increasingly brazen in its bigotry, Pelosi should be standing up for her new colleagues – so why isn’t she?Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/APCan progressives please shut up and listen to Nancy Pelosi? The speaker of the House, I would like to remind everyone, is a master strategist, a savvy tactician, and an experienced politician. She knows what’s best for America. And what’s best for America, apparently, isn’t standing up to Donald Trump; no, it’s ensuring four freshman congresswomen don’t get ideas above their station. It’s ensuring Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in particular, knows her place.There have been long-running tensions between Pelosi and the so-called “Squad” of new progressive congresswomen, which consists of Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. Things escalated sharply over the weekend, when Pelosi decided it would be a good idea to demean her colleagues in the New York Times. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world, but they didn’t have any following,” Pelosi told the Times, referring to a border funding bill the Squad opposed. “They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got.”To begin with, Pelosi’s disparaging remarks about the Squad seemed like they were probably strategic. Now, however, the sustained attacks feel increasingly personal. “When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Washington Post on Wednesday. “But the persistent singling out … it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”AOC expanded on her comments on Thursday, telling CNN she “absolutely” doesn’t think Pelosi is racist. “It’s really just pointing out the pattern, right? We’re not talking about just progressives, it’s signaling out four individuals. And knowing the media environment that we’re operating in, knowing the amount of death threats that we get … I think it’s just worth asking why.”As Ocasio-Cortez notes, Pelosi’s attacks aren’t taking place in a bubble; they’re taking place in a media environment where the rightwing have put a target on the Squad’s back. On Tuesday night, for example, Fox host Tucker Carlson launched a racist attack against Omar that could arguably be seen as an incitement to violence against the congresswoman. “[Omar] has undisguised contempt for the United States and for its people,” Carlson told his 3 million viewers. “That should worry you, and not just because Omar is now a sitting member of Congress. Ilhan Omar is living proof that the way we practice immigration has become dangerous to this country. A system designed to strengthen America is instead undermining it.”America is becoming an increasingly hostile place for women and for people of color. Pelosi’s constant public attacks against the four newly elected women of color aren’t just disrespectful, they’re dangerous. Whether she means to or not, her repeated insinuations that the Squad are rabble-rousing upstarts who are undermining the Democratic party helps bolster the right’s vitriolic narratives about the congresswomen. As America grows increasingly brazen in its bigotry, Pelosi should be aggressively standing up for her freshman colleagues, not trying to tear them down. So why isn’t she?Well, to put it bluntly, I think it’s because she’s terrified of what her progressive colleagues represent. The Squad doesn’t just consist of four people, as Pelosi condescendingly told the Times; it represents the face of a new America. It represents a challenge to the traditional power structure. That doesn’t just scare bigots like Tucker Carlson, it scares the neoliberal establishment. It scares people who would never call themselves racist (they’d have voted for Obama for a third time if they could have!) but who clearly have a problem with young women of color speaking their mind. It scares people who champion more “diversity” – as long as that diversity keeps its mouth shut or sticks to the party line.Proud racism advocates for walls to keep brown people out of America. Polite racism builds different sorts of walls; it leverage concepts like “civility” and “unity” to make sure certain voices are kept out of power, or are dismissed as trouble-making and divisive when they try and critique power. What “civility” really means, in all of these discussions, of course, is servility. What unity really means is uniform acceptance of the status quo. Progressives keep being told we shouldn’t criticize centrist Democrats if we want any chance at beating Trump in 2020; and yet establishment figures like Pelosi seem to have no problem criticizing progressive Democrats and the millions of people they represent.In a press conference on Thursday, Pelosi brushed away questions about her feud with the squad, grandly stating that “Diversity is our strength. Unity is our power.” Is it really? Because I don’t see any diversity or unity from where I’m looking. I just see a lot of old-fashioned hubris.



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Biden’s Big 2020 Bet: Democrats Aren’t as Far-Left as Everyone Thinks

Biden’s Big 2020 Bet: Democrats Aren’t as Far-Left as Everyone ThinksYuri Gripas/ReutersWell, it wasn’t the smoothest launch from Joe Biden, was it? First it was Wednesday, and three speeches. Then it was Thursday. But still a speech, or so I thought. Then it was just a video. Although, inevitably, he’s doing a fundraiser, too. And now it’s Pittsburgh next Monday, with the official unveiling apparently put off until May 18, in Philadelphia. Kinda weird, like Sly Stone’s concert schedule in the ’70s. But, we do have this video……and it’s actually pretty good.He could have started this video in a thousand different ways. The obvious thing, of course, would have been Scranton. His hometown, which codes Pennsylvania working class like few other places, has the benefit of making some people smile as they think of the Dunder-Mifflin gang. Plenty of upsides there.So it was interesting that he chose Charlottesville. He started with Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence. Then the music changed to a minor key, and he upshifted to what happened in Charlottesville in 2017. Stark images of Nazi flags and marching thugs carrying torches. Reference to “Europe in the 1930s.” Reference to Donald Trump’s “very fine people”—words, he said, that “stunned the world.”“With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it,” Biden said. “And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I’d seen in my lifetime.”With four more years in the White House, he continues, Trump “will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.” Then, some old black-and-white footage: the Statue of Liberty, suffragists, D-Day, Iwo Jima, civil rights marchers. Finally, a long-ish paean to America and “who we are.”Well written, well delivered. Charlottesville is Biden’s bid to get the attention of some younger voters, while the video’s second half is aimed squarely at his base, the kinds of Democrats whose blood still stirs at the sight of men storming Utah Beach.By the way, those Democrats still exist, in very large numbers. This is one proposition Biden’s candidacy will put to the test—whether the center of gravity in the Democratic Party today has shifted irrevocably to the younger and leftier crowd one encounters on social media.In December, Gallup asked Democrats whether on the whole they’d rather see their party become more liberal or more moderate. More moderate won, and pretty convincingly: 54 to 41 percent. By the way, Gallup asked Republicans that question too, about their party, except of course “more conservative” instead of “more liberal.” Shockingly (not), Republicans said more conservative by 57-37 (can you imagine? More conservative than this!).Also according to Gallup, about half of Democrats say they’re liberal. On the one hand, that’s a recent historic high. But on the other, it means that about half don’t. About a third say moderate, which leaves around 15 percent who actually call themselves conservative.That’s the Democratic Party. You’d never know it from the media, which is drawn to the left-wing storyline like cocaine. But most Democrats are middle-age—and older—people, most of them women, of all races, who’d call themselves liberal to moderate. Those are the people who usually decide who the Democratic nominee will be. This is Biden’s theoretical crowd, but I think he has trouble even with them. Since they are predominantly women, and on the older side, they’ll remember the Anita Hill hearings, along with his two previous and spectacularly bad presidential runs and his penchant for awkward malapropisms and all the rest. In my anecdotal experience, this group doesn’t love Biden. White union men do, and as nominee he would win enough them back in the key states, I think there’s not much doubt about that. But they make up a smaller portion of the party’s base with each election. As for other older Democrats, there’s a lot about Biden they don’t especially like. But they probably are open to being persuaded that he can win. And that he can stop Bernie Sanders, whom they don’t like as a general rule, and that he can beat Trump. So that’s the first sale Biden will have to make: I can win.The second sale he needs to make is to those younger and leftier voters. There are enough of them that he can’t ignore them. They’re never going to love him. They’re with Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke. But Biden can make himself vaguely acceptable to them.He could do this in two ways. First, some blunt apologies about some of his past positions. He can’t just excuse himself away by saying it was a different time. He has to explain his old thinking and explain his current thinking in a way that convinces people that maybe this old dog has learned some new tricks.The other way is to talk about class in a much sharper manner than he’s ever done. He should not come out for Medicare for All and free college and the current version of the Green New Deal. That will look phony.But he absolutely should say that today’s capitalism is not the capitalism he grew up with. In other words, it’s not enough today to talk in the usual chicken-soup way about restoring the American dream. For a lot of people, especially young people, the American dream is a nightmare. He needs to show that he understands that this isn’t just a temporary bad turn, but that we’re entering the fourth decade of a political-economic epoch that has stolen trillions of dollars from working people and given it to the rich. And he ought to name a few names. Identify some bad guys. Not easy for an establishment guy to do, especially one who represented the corporate headquarters state for umpty-ump years.Democratic voters want electability. If Biden can make those two sales, he’ll have a shot. There’s not a lot in his track record that suggests that he can, but maybe the extraordinary nature of the historical moment will make him reach deeper into himself than he ever has. He’ll need to.Read more at The Daily Beast.



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Things That Are Working, and Things That Aren’t: Weekend Reads

Things That Are Working, and Things That Aren’t: Weekend ReadsFrom themes like Brexit to the Mueller report and Medicare, and places like Japan, Kosovo and Gaza, our reporters looked deep into successes, failures and cases that still have a long way to go to be figured out. Joe Mayes, Irene Garcia Perez, and Aine Quinn tell the story of businesses that are now spending millions for naught. There’s also this piece from Alan Crawford that explains how Britain’s tortured relationship with Europe just got worse.One Week Into the Mueller Report Fight, Battle Lines Are DrawnWhile Attorney General William Barr determined that the findings in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into the 2016 election didn’t warrant an obstruction charge, there may still be plenty that the White House wants to keep secret and that Democrats want to see.



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Journalist Sues Twitter for Banning Her over ‘Women Aren’t Men’ Tweets

Journalist Sues Twitter for Banning Her over ‘Women Aren’t Men’ TweetsAfter a number of temporary suspensions, Twitter in November permanently locked the verified account of Murphy, a Canadian writer and self-described feminist, informing her that she had violated the platform’s hateful-conduct rules. In late October, Twitter added “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals” to its list of prohibited behavior and applied the policy retroactively to Murphy’s earlier tweets. “Women aren’t men,” read an October tweet from Murphy.



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A quarter of all kindergartners in Washington county aren’t immunized. Now there’s a measles crisis

A quarter of all kindergartners in Washington county aren’t immunized. Now there’s a measles crisisMeasles outbreaks in Washington state and New York raise concerns about clusters of unvaccinated children



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Trump’s Efforts To Scare Away Immigrants Aren’t Working Very Well

Trump’s Efforts To Scare Away Immigrants Aren’t Working Very WellIn the last two months, the Trump administration has mobilized the National



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