Saturday, September 21, 2019


Biden: Truly the most electable?
Joe Biden “is offering nothing” to voters except his insistence that he’s the Democratic candidate with the best chance of beating Donald Trump.  While Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and other Democratic primary rivals are galvanizing people around Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and calls to redistribute wealth, Biden inspires no one—not even his own wife.   Jill Biden conceded [recently] that Biden’s supposed electability is all he has, when she bizarrely said, “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care than Joe is, but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘OK, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump."

--Bhaskar Sunkara, The Guardian 

Putting your friends on the map
Sharing one’s location with friends over smartphones has become the norm for some social groups.   Apple’s Find My Friends, Google Maps, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger all have location-sharing integration.  And, for some, the ability to constantly track one another is a gesture of trust and intimacy.  There is also a sense of safety that comes from having someone always know where you are.  Sharing your location can also be handy to find a friend at a crowded music festival.  A downside:  It’s harder to avoid social interaction and say you already have plans when your friends can see your dot hovering over your home address.
--Julie Beck,

Warren’s nonsensical fracking ban
In a Democratic primary season that has produced a blizzard of far-left ideas,  Elizabeth Warren has just come up with one of the wackiest of all.   Warren [recently] vowed to use an executive order to impose a nationwide ban on fracking on her first day in office—a harebrained scheme that would backfire badly.  Over the past 15 years, the fracking revolution has been one of America’s greatest success stories.  It has helped the U.S. lower its carbon emissions by providing abundant, relatively cheap natural gas for electrical generation, driving dirty coal into steep decline.  In addition, the gas and oil produced by fracking have reduced U.S. energy imports from 60 percent in 2005 to 11 percent today, freeing us from dependency on the likes of Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela.  Eliminating fracking overnight would create a huge energy void that solar and win--which today provide just 10 percent of electrical generation--cannot fill by 2020 or anytime soon. The void would be filled by importing oil and gas from abroad.  If Warren wants Americans to take her candidacy seriously, she needs a new plan to address climate change--one that isn’t based on magical thinking.
--Ariel Cohen,

Supreme Court:  The Democrats’ threat
The Supreme Court as we once knew it died last year.  The battle over what’s left of a once respected institution has now spilled into public view, with Democratic and Republican senators sending extraordinary messages to the justices about their political independence, or lack of it.  First, five Democratic senators filed a “friend of the court” brief in a case about New York City gun laws, accusing the court’s conservative 5-4 majority of doing the bidding of corporate and Republican political interests on such issues as voting rights, partisan gerrymandering, dark money and environmental regulation. “The Supreme Court is not well,” the Democrats’ brief stated, warning that the public may demand the court be “restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics”--a threat to expand the nine-member court and pack it with progressives.  In response, all 53 Republican senators sent a letter "assuring the justices that the Republican Party has their back” and calling Democrats “a direct, immediate threat to the independence of the judiciary."
--Garrett Epps, 

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