Political Articles from 2018

INCREDIBLE: Third Party, Independent Representation Up 40% Since 2014

[Political]
INCREDIBLE:Third Party, Independent Representation Up 40% Since 2014
by John E. Palmer
Posted January 8, 2018

3rd parties are making limited headwayVoter distaste for both the Democratic Party and GOP seems to be at an all-time high. But candidate success outside the major parties remains elusive in Washington.

All 435 members in the U.S. House of Representatives are Democrats or Republicans. Across the Capitol, there are two of 100 senators with “(I)” after their names — Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Angus King of Maine.

But wait, there is another pool to look at. State legislatures are the farm teams to the Washington’s big leagues. Does the two-party duopoly hold consistently there, too?

The short answer is a definitive YES, but there are some states — particularly in New England — that are leading growth in independent and third party representation. More…

Plaintiffs Shred FEC’s Defense of Debate Commission

[Politics]
Plaintiffs Shred FEC’s Defense of Debate Commission
by Shawn M. Griffiths
Posted January 7, 2018

Commission on Presidential Debates excludes 3rd partiesLevel the Playing Field filed new documents in their case against the “nonpartisan” Commission on Presidential Debates. Among them is a brief that includes a blistering response to the FEC’s argument that the CPD — as an organization — doesn’t have a conflict of interest, even though the majority of its board is made up of high-powered Democratic and Republican insiders.

Plaintiffs in Level the Playing Field, et. al. v. FEC say the federal commission has ignored a “mountain of evidence” against the CPD, has misled the court in its defense of the debate commission, and has allowed the CPD to exercise “unchecked power to decide who may participate in the presidential debates.”

“[The CPD] has abused that power by erecting insurmountable obstacles that ensure only Republican and Democratic candidates will be invited,” plaintiffs write in their latest memorandum. More…

White House Considering Privatized Spy Networks

[Political]
White House Considering Privatized Spy Networks
By Neil Gordon
Posted January 2, 2017

Mike Pompeo, CIA DirectorLast week, BuzzFeed News published troubling allegations that the Trump administration is “considering a package of secret proposals” to privatize covert intelligence and counterterrorism operations. According to unnamed sources cited in the article, the proposals involve paying a private security company to set up an intelligence network, run propaganda efforts, and help capture wanted terrorists.

The company, Amyntor Group, is run by U.S. covert ops veterans. Company vice president John Maguire is a former CIA field case officer. Amyntor is based in Whitefish, Montana—a town that has become famous recently thanks to homesteading neo-Nazis and an energy company that won, then lost, a controversial $300 million contract to restore power to Puerto Rico. More…

Why Is Israel So Afraid of 16-Year-Old Ahed Tamimi?

[Political]
Why Is Israel So Afraid of 16-Year-Old Ahed Tamimi?
by Ariel Gold and Taylor Morley
Posted January 1, 2018

Israel fears its own occupation resultsSixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi was back in court Thursday, with the judge ruling for the third time that her detention is extended, this time for another five days. Over the past week and a half, Ahed has been shuffled between numerous Israeli prisons and police stations.

She has been held in cold isolation cells with cameras pointed at her 24 hours a day. Repeatedly, without a parent or lawyer present, they have attempted to interrogate her. The reasoning for the judge’s rulings to extend her detention is that she “poses a risk” to the military and the Israeli government’s case against her.

Israel is right that Ahed Tamimi poses a risk. But it isn’t a risk to one of the most heavily armed and advanced militaries in the world or to the legal case being built against her. The risk she poses is in her refusal to submit to the Israeli demand that Palestinians acquiesce to their own occupation. Israeli logic is that Palestinians should cooperate with their own oppression. More…

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