Tag Archives: lessons

Sanders-Warren spat ignites debate on lessons of the #MeToo movement

Sanders-Warren spat ignites debate on lessons of the #MeToo movementAt Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders engaged in a “he said, she said” battle regarding a conversation the two progressive candidates had in 2018.



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How to Get a Green Deal Done: Europe’s Lessons for U.S. Democrats

How to Get a Green Deal Done: Europe’s Lessons for U.S. Democrats(Bloomberg) — When it comes to Green Deals, Europe has a lesson or two for liberal politicians in the U.S. trying to engineer far-reaching policies to address climate change.An American lawmaker, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, may have done more than anyone else to popularize the concept of a sweeping “green deal” to shift away from fossil fuels. But now the European Union is much closer to translating the goal into concrete policies that have a decent chance of actually being implemented.Both the U.S. Green New Deal resolution and the European Green Deal, which was unveiled this week by the EU’s executive arm, share the same targets: limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, in line with the landmark Paris climate accord. To meet this objective, backers of the plans in the EU and the U.S. aim to eliminate emissions by 2050 at the latest. Both plans trace their lineage explicitly to the New Deal of the 1930s, a series of social programs, public work projects and financial reforms championed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a way to counteract the Great Depression. The Green Deals may have identical goals and nearly matching branding, but the policies are oceans apart when it comes to the means of delivery.The European version is strictly focused on climate, and those policy areas which can affect it, such an industry, energy and public procurement. The U.S. Green New Deal — as it is laid out in the Ocasio-Cortez-sponsored resolution and the policy programs of Democratic presidential hopefuls such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — is tied to a series of contentious issues unrelated to climate, from health care coverage to employment.Europe’s narrow focus helped the plan gain the backing of conservative, centrist and center-left governments across the 28 nation-bloc, while the sweeping U.S. manifestos have little chance of garnering across-the-aisle support from legislators. Even ultra-conservative European governments, such as Poland’s, which resisted committing themselves to Green Deal goals, didn’t object to the bloc striving to meet the objective. Across the Atlantic, even modest efforts to curb climate change have been met with hostility by conservatives in the U.S. Congress, so reaction to the resolution was bound to split along political fault lines from the start. However, the Green New Deal’s very broad ambition has made it a favorite target of Republicans, who have tried to cast it as an illustration of how their liberal opponents are both dangerous and laughably unrealistic.Larry Kudlow, Trump’s chief economic advisor, stated that it would “literally destroy the economy.” Republican Senator John Barrasso suggested that the Green New Deal would result in the banning of cows, who burp methane, a greenhouse gas, and therefore the end of ice cream. The House Republican Conference and U.S. Chamber of Commerce dismissed it as a “Trojan horse for socialism.”The European Green Deal is also more concrete. The EU Commission unveiled on Wednesday a roadmap of specific legislative proposals divided by sector, measurable policy goals with due to be agreed interim benchmarks, and fixed dates. On the other hand, there are few numbers and details to be seen in any version of the Green New Deal advocated by U.S. Democratic hopefuls, other than public spending pledges.Europe’s step-by-step and sector by sector approach has already delivered real wins. The world’s biggest multilateral financial institution, owned by EU governments, has announced it will end funding for fossil fuel energy projects and its intention to mobilize a trillion euros ($ 1.1 trillion) over the next decade to finance the bloc’s transition to a low-carbon economy.To minimize risks for a pushback from skeptics, the EU’s Green Deal is also more flexible. While its U.S. counterpart aims 100% electricity production from renewables by 2030 — a target criticized by many as unrealistic — the EU lets its member states choose their energy mix, including zero-emitting nuclear power.The benefits of flexibility may end up outweighing any costs in terms of ambition and speed. Through a series of incentives and deterrents, such as the world’s biggest cap-and-trade program for polluters and progressively stricter limits on emissions from transport, the EU is effectively pushing its industries and companies toward ever cleaner technologies.Another way the European climate push differs is by successfully engaging the private sector. The continent’s biggest business leaders threw their weight behind a plan to make the bloc climate neutral, on the condition that appropriate safeguards “to avoid carbon and investment leakage and guarantee a global level playing field for competition,” are adopted. The EU is already considering such measures, including adjusting restrictions on state aid for companies, changing public procurement rules and penalizing imports from countries with looser emissions controls.In a sign of such private-sector support, earlier this month Spain’s Repsol SA became the first oil major to align itself with the Paris climate goals, saying it will eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations and its customers by 2050.  Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal — the world’s largest steel-maker — announced on Friday that it set a target to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030 to contribute to the Green Deal.To be sure, the European Green Deal is facing its own headwinds. Leading airlines attacked plans to impose a region-wide kerosene tax as part of a sweeping new environmental strategy, saying investment in sustainable fuels and electric planes would be more effective in reducing carbon emissions. More is still to come. While the European Commission will draft all the rules to bring the bloc’s Green Deal to life, they will require the support of EU governments and the bloc’s assembly. Expect every word and comma to be analyzed by national governments, parliamentarians, companies, industry lobbies and environmental activists. But rallying more than two dozen governments behind a shared goal to eliminate emissions and initiating the process of legislative proposals is something to start with. That’s the way the EU does things — one small, tedious, win at a time. \–With assistance from Jonathan Stearns and Ewa Krukowska.To contact the authors of this story: Nikos Chrysoloras in Brussels at nchrysoloras@bloomberg.netLeslie Kaufman in New York at lkaufman27@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Aaron Rutkoff at arutkoff@bloomberg.net, Ben SillsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Teachers strike taught Chicago's new mayor tough lessons -analysts

Teachers strike taught Chicago's new mayor tough lessons -analystsChicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot made strategic errors in the first major fight of her tenure, an 11-day teachers’ strike, but may have learned lessons that will prove useful as she confronts immense city budget challenges, political observers said. Lightfoot, 57, was elected in convincing fashion to become Chicago’s first black woman mayor in April, when she vaulted to victory on promises to dismantle the city’s corrupt political machine and reform the city’s school district.



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Pete Buttigieg Swats Down Beto O’Rourke on Guns: ‘I Don’t Need Lessons From You on Courage’

Pete Buttigieg Swats Down Beto O’Rourke on Guns: ‘I Don’t Need Lessons From You on Courage’Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke said on the debate stage Tuesday night that Americans who refuse to turn over banned semi automatic rifles under his mandatory gun buyback program would be met with unspecified “consequences,” a stance which drew major pushback from his fellow Democratic contenders.The Texas Democrat didn’t get into much more detail, but made clear that police will exercise force to confiscate weapons banned under his plan, the most sweeping gun control proposal offered by any Democratic presidential candidate.“If someone does not turn in an AR-15 or an AK-47…then that weapon will be taken from them,” O’Rourke said. “If they persist, there will be other consequences."Every candidate who addressed the issue on Tuesday evening supported additional restrictions on the sale of so-called assault weapons, but none went as far as O’Rourke. And his proposal prompted a harsh rebuke from others, especially South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.“Congressman, you just made it clear you don’t know how this is actually going to take weapons off the streets,” he told O’Rourke. “I don’t need lessons from you on courage, political or personal. The problem is not other Democrats who don’t agree with your particular idea of how to handle this. The problem is the National Rifle Association and their enablers in Congress, and we should be united in taking the fight to them.”That drew a heated response from O’Rourke, who accused Buttigieg of minimizing the problem of gun violence and the toll it’s taken on victims of mass-casualty shootings.“When you, mayor, describe this policy as a shiny object, I don’t care what that meant to me or my candidacy,” O’Rourke shot back. “But to those who have survived gun violence, those who have lost a loved one to an AR-15 or an AK-47, marched for our lives, formed in the courage of students willing to stand up to the NRA and conventional politicians and poll-tested politicians, that was a slap in the fact to every one of those groups and every survivor of a mass casualty assault.”O’Rourke’s proposal would likely require a massive police mobilization to enforce the confiscation of millions of firearms targeted by the plan. And that raised concerns for other candidates on the stage.“In the place I grew up in, we weren't exactly looking for more reasons for cops to come show up at the door,” said Julian Castro, the former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. “I am not going to give these police officers another reason to go door to door in these communities.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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German Attack Offers Lessons on Guns and Neo-Nazis

German Attack Offers Lessons on Guns and Neo-Nazis(Bloomberg Opinion) — An anti-Semitic shooting on Yom Kippur in Germany – worse news is difficult to imagine. But Wednesday’s horrible events in the eastern German city of Halle would have been bloodier had they taken place in a country with weaker gun laws and a less security-aware Jewish community.There’s also another lesson in what happened. For all the talk of “imported anti-Semitism” that comes with an increase in Muslim immigration, Jews and Muslims are in the same boat when it comes to the deadliest kind of xenophobic violence – the traditional, neo-Nazi kind.The 27-year-old attacker took care to document his motives, planning and the attack itself. In files he posted online before he drove to the Halle synagogue on Wednesday, he called himself a neo-Nazi and explained that he wanted to “kill as many anti-whites as possible, Jews preferred.” He mentioned that he’d also thought of attacking a mosque or an antifascist cultural center, because they were less protected than synagogues. (In Germany, all Jewish establishments including houses of worship are watched over by the police.) But then he changed his mind, he said, because the influx of immigrants into Europe made for too big a target.He described how he made his own arms, the goal being to show that improvised guns can work. The only factory-made weapon he managed to obtain was an ancient Smith carbine for use as a last resort. He actually expected to fail unless the synagogue’s thick doors were open or would succumb to a makeshift hand grenade.In the event, the doors held, saving the 80 people inside, who barricaded themselves in after they heard shots. The attacker killed a woman outside the house of worship, all while streaming his actions to the gamer website Twitch, which has since taken down the video. He then drove to a nearby Turkish restaurant and shot a man dead before his weapon jammed. As mass shootings go, the Halle attack was a relative failure, in part thanks to the use of homemade weapons. It’s hard for a lone terrorist of limited means to get his hands on any other kind of guns in Germany. Automatic rifles are pretty much out of reach for anyone without serious organized crime connections. Hunting weapons and handguns are somewhat easier to obtain despite strict laws regulating access to them, but they are of no use to an aspiring mass murderer.There’s much hand-wringing about the security measures and police posts at German synagogues. But the stark reality is that Jews are targets for neo-Nazi violence in any corner of the world. The Halle shooter wrote and spoke in English, addressing an international audience. The high security awareness of Germany’s Jewish communities and the help they get from the police are entirely justified. They stop people from being killed. Elsewhere, similar measures should be in place to thwart attacks like last year’s synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, in which 11 people died.The German police keep detailed statistics on hate crime and anti-Semitic crime in particular. Last year, they recorded 1,799 anti-Semitic offenses, a 20% increase from 2017. Of these, 89% were committed by people with extreme-right motives and views. That’s the reality of modern Germany, though attacks by Muslim immigrants attract more media attention. The threat to Jews comes overwhelmingly not from the Muslims, but from extreme nationalists and racists who hate all non-Whites and non-Christians – people like the Halle shooter. Of the 910 anti-Muslim crimes committed in 2018, right-wing radicals were responsible for 92%.Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann on Thursday blamed “spiritual arsonists” from the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party for the spread of anti-Semitism, even though the AfD is mostly an anti-immigrant party. He even singled out AfD politician Bjoern Hoecke, considered the leader of the party’s hardline wing.Herrmann has a point. In the area around Halle, Saalekreis, part of the state of Saxony Anhalt, the AfD came first in this year’s European Parliament election, winning 24% of the vote. It’s probably note a coincidence that the shooter came from a part of the country that votes this way. Hoecke on Wednesday professed “disgust, sadness and anger” at the shooting. But in his Facebook post, he only mentioned the synagogue attack, not the shooting at the kebab restaurant. That may be a calculated recognition of a sad reality in Germany today, that while a politician can’t get away with open anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim utterances aren’t judged as harshly.The potential victims of neo-Nazi violence – Jews, Muslims, everyone with a different skin color –  should feel more solidarity with each other. The danger is shared.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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A Retired Brigadier General's Lessons from the War in Afghanistan

A Retired Brigadier General's Lessons from the War in AfghanistanAmerica's top brass can no longer operate under the assumption that every problem is the responsibility of the U.S. military.



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Grieving New Zealand looks for lessons from Christchurch attack

Grieving New Zealand looks for lessons from Christchurch attackAfter days of intense grieving for New Zealand’s worst-ever mass shooting, attention began to turn to how the country’s gun laws need to change and what warning signs might have been missed ahead of a gunman’s attack on two mosques that killed 50 people. Bodies of the victims of Friday’s attacks in Christchurch were being washed and prepared for burial in a Muslim ritual process, with teams of volunteers flown in from overseas to assist with the heavy workload. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her Cabinet had made in-principle decisions on changes to gun laws which she would announce next Monday, saying now was the time to act on tightening access to firearms.



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Steve King’s Fall Offers Three Lessons for Conservatives

Steve King’s Fall Offers Three Lessons for ConservativesAll of his fellow Republicans supported the action – he even voted for it himself, to show his remorse – and earlier this week, the party’s leaders stripped King of his committee assignments. Several GOP members are telling him to resign. In a statement a week following the original Times report, King denied that he meant this.



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Venezuela’s Lessons for American Socialists

Venezuela’s Lessons for American SocialistsChavez’s so-called Bolivarian revolution took a peaceful, middle-income country and transformed it into a nightmare that puts the ruinous Soviet Union of the 1980s to shame. It’s important for other countries — including wealthy ones like the U.S. — not to ignore Venezuela, but to use it as a cautionary tale. Politicians like Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have embraced socialism, as have many young Americans.



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How long will the federal shutdown last? Here are lessons from previous budget battles.

How long will the federal shutdown last? Here are lessons from previous budget battles.The government shutdown, which is moving into its second week, is not the longest in history. Here's how some past budget fights have played out.



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