November 2, 2019

Posted by orrinj at 3:12 PM


Posted by orrinj at 8:06 AM


EXCLUSIVE UNH/LCV POLL: OVER 70% OF NH RESIDENTS SUPPORT MOVE TO 100% CLEAN ENERGY (Rob Werner, October 31, 2019 , league of Conservation Voters)

Released today, two exclusive questions fielded for the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) in the University of New Hampshire's Fall 2019 Granite State Poll found that the vast majority of New Hampshire residents support a move to 100% clean energy by 2050 and that many self-identified New Hampshire Democrats and Independents don't think the presidential candidates are talking about climate change enough in the 2020 campaign.

The poll was fielded between October 4 and October 17, 2019 and surveyed 507 randomly selected New Hampshire adults. LCV worked with the University of New Hampshire Survey Center to ask:

1. Do you favor or oppose moving to 100% clean energy, such as solar and wind energy, by 2050? and

2. Do you think the Democratic candidates for President are talking about climate change in the presidential campaign too much, about the right amount, or not enough?

Granite State voters care deeply about the climate crisis. An October CNN/UNH poll found that climate change/the environment is the #1 issue, tied with health care, that is "most important to [Democratic primary voters'] vote in the presidential primary." And New Hampshire voters don't just think climate change is important -- they want action on climate and they want to hear more from the presidential candidates. The LCV/UNH poll found that 71% of New Hampshire residents favor moving to 100% clean energy by 2050

Posted by orrinj at 7:49 AM


George Soros: 'Brexit hurts both sides - my money was used to educate the British public': The philanthropist who has spent billions promoting democracy talks populism, Trump and powerful enemies (Shaun Walker, 2 Nov 2019, The Guardian)

These days, the distance between Trump and Soros is about much more than personality and aesthetics. The president has become the most powerful among a global chorus of rightwing critics focused on Soros's philanthropic efforts, which fund a broad range of causes they dislike, from minority rights and protecting refugees to liberalising drug policy and combating hate speech. Soros has long had enemies - largely, authoritarian leaders who were wary of his efforts to promote and protect democracy; more recently, this has been amplified by the antisemitic conspiracy theories that ooze from the darker corners of the internet.

It is now rare for a week to go by without a populist politician painting Soros as a ruthless Bond villain with nefarious plans to reshape the planet. Last year, Trump suggested that Soros might be paying illegal migrants to come to the US; in Turkey, President Erdoğan has called him "a man who assigns people to divide nations and shatter them"; in Italy, Matteo Salvini has claimed Soros wants the country "to become a giant refugee camp because he likes slaves". Last month, Soros's financial support for the anti-Brexit Best for Britain group led Jacob Rees-Mogg to call him the "Remoaner-in-chief" in parliament. Nigel Farage has called him "the biggest danger to the entire western world".

As a reporter based in eastern Europe, I have had a ringside seat to the political hostility Soros has faced over the years. I spent a decade in Russia, where Vladimir Putin blamed him for organising revolutions in neighbouring countries; in 2015, his philanthropic foundations were banned from the country as a "threat to state security". Last year I moved to Budapest, the city of Soros's birth, where the far-right Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, had taken Soros-baiting to a new level, erecting thousands of billboards featuring a cackling Soros, warning Hungarians not to let him "have the last laugh".

Now I sit opposite a somewhat frail, elderly man wearing a maroon cardigan, and it feels like a Wizard Of Oz moment. Is this really the power-broker feared by the world's nationalists? Soros turns 90 next year, and his face is creased with age, a distinctive banana-shaped fold of skin under each eye. He has lost much of his hearing, and visitors are given a microphone that connects directly to his hearing aid. He speaks hesitantly, often needing a few seconds to find the right word, and there is a hint of annoyance in his eyes during the pauses - as if the brain is irritated at the mouth for not articulating its thoughts fast enough. But appearances can be deceptive: Soros still maintains a busy work and travel schedule, splitting his weeks between Manhattan and upstate New York with his third wife Tamiko, and spending several months a year on the road.

What sustains him, I ask, particularly given the recent intensity of the attacks he has faced? "It challenges me and therefore it energises me," he says with a smile, in his still-strong Hungarian accent. "When I look at the list of people, or movements, or countries who are attacking me, it makes me feel I must be doing something right. I'm proud of the enemies I have."

Posted by orrinj at 7:32 AM


Posted by orrinj at 7:17 AM


'It's like nothing we have come across before': UK intelligence officials shaken by Trump administration's requests for help with counter-impeachment inquiry  (Kim Sengupta, 11/02/19, The Independent)

[T]he information being requested has left allies astonished. One British official with knowledge of Barr's wish list presented to London commented that "it is like nothing we have come across before, they are basically asking, in quite robust terms, for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services".

The UK, in particular, has been viewed by Trump followers, especially far-right conspiracy theorists, as a deep source of woes for the president.

The claims that Trump was the Muscovian candidate for the White House effectively began to take shape after a meeting in May 2016 between Alexander Downer, the then Australian high commissioner in London, and George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor for the Trump campaign, at a bar, the Kensington Wine Rooms in west London.

Downer passed on what he had heard to Australian officials, who shared it with the ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organisation), who in turn got in touch with the FBI. They then officially launched their investigation the following month. [...]

But it is Christopher Steele who is the particular bête noire of Trump followers and they blame his report for starting the FBI investigation into Russian interference.

The House Intelligence Committee, then under Republican control, decided however that it was the Papadopoulous information which was the trigger. The same conclusion was separately drawn by the staff of the then Republican chair of the committee, Devin Nunes.

Trump loyalist Nunes, who his hometown newspaper in California has called "Trump's stooge", had to step down at one stage over allegations that he was colluding with the White House during the House investigation. He had, in the past, tried to carry out his own "Barr-Lite" version of investigating the investigators.

In August 2016, two staffers from the Nunes-run House Intelligence Committee suddenly turned up from the US at the London office of Steele's company, Orbis. Not finding him there, they went to the office of his lawyer and demanded to see him.

The timing of the visit was of importance. Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee, carrying out separate Russia investigations, were making progress in their attempts to speak to the former MI6 officer. The two men had come with the aim, it was suspected, of intimidating Steele. Nothing discernible appears to have resulted from their trip.

Julian Assange is another UK connection in the narrative. A year before Trump won the election Assange, holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, had told his colleagues in WikiLeaks, the organisation he founded, in a Twitter group chat that Hillary Clinton was a "bright, well connected, sadistic sociopath" and it would be better if the Republicans could seize power. WikiLeaks subsequently disseminated emails stolen, as multiple investigations have established, from Democratic Party computers by Russian hackers. Assange is in prison in the UK facing extradition to the US for alleged espionage offences.

A number of Trump associates have been under investigation by Mueller for their links to Assange. These include Roger Stone, a long-term and close advisor to the US president who was arrested last January. He goes on trial next week on charges of lying to congress, obstruction and witness tampering.

There have also been claims that Trump supporters not known to have been investigated by the special counsel had held clandestine meetings with Assange.

Glenn Simpson, whose Washington-based investigations firm hired Steele to compile the Trump report, told a US congressional inquiry in January that Nigel Farage was a more frequent visitor to Assange than was known and that he had passed data on to Assange on "a thumb drive".

Farage had long boasted of his closeness to Trump. On Thursday, speaking to Farage on his LBC show, the US president advised Boris Johnson to form an alliance with the Brexit Party leader to fight the coming UK general election.

The former Ukip leader visited Assange at the embassy in 2017 after returning from a trip to the US. The news of the visit broke after a member of the public saw him go into the building.

...what choice do the loyalists have but to obstruct justice?
Posted by orrinj at 6:49 AM

60-40 NATION:

Memo: Polling Medicare for All (Sean McElwee & John Ray, 11/01/19, Data for Progress)

Senator Warren's Medicare for All financing plan, that doesn't raise taxes on the middle class, is supported by a 57-30 percent margin among voters, and it is supported by a 53-32 percent margin among independents as well. Fully 1 in 3 Republicans support this financing plan as well 

Voters clearly support the goal of universal health coverage, with 59 percent of voters saying they would be more supportive of legislation if they thought it would achieve universal coverage. Seventy-four percent would be more supportive of Medicare for All if they knew it eliminated uncertainty as to whether or not a patient could see any doctor without worrying about their coverage

Opponents of Medicare for All tend to have more comprehensive coverage already and therefore likely do not perceive any benefits to them of moving to a different system. In contrast, those with less coverage or with more uncertainty about their current coverage favor Medicare for All

A Democrat running on Medicare for All would defeat Trump in a hypothetical election matchup, a finding consistent across repeated experiments using multiple vendors

Posted by orrinj at 6:45 AM


Fox News Poll: Record support for Trump impeachment (Dana Blanton, 11/01/19, Fox News)

A new high of 51 percent wants Trump impeached and removed from office, another 4 percent want him impeached but not removed, and 40 percent oppose impeachment altogether. In July, 42 percent favored impeachment and removal, while 5 percent said impeach but don't remove him, and 45 percent opposed impeachment. 

Posted by orrinj at 6:08 AM


Posted by orrinj at 5:59 AM


Trump Administration Loses a Sanctuary City Case--Yet Again (ILYA SOMIN |THE VOLOKH CONSPIRACY | 11.1.2019, reason)

For over two years, the Trump administration has been trying to force "sanctuary cities" to assist federal efforts to deport undocumented immigrants by imposing various new conditions on federal grants to state and local governments that refuse to comply. And throughout that time, courts have repeatedly ruled against the administration's plans, on the ground that only Congress can authorize conditions on federal grants to state and local governments. The executive is not permitted to make up his own conditions in an attempt to pressure states into doing his bidding.

The latest such defeat for the administration came yesterday, in a decision issued by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, addressing a lawsuit brought by the City of Los Angeles seeking to overturn the administration's attempt to impose three immigration-related conditions on recipients of Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grants for law enforcement agencies.