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Can Someone Please Vote CNN Off the Stage?
by Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Jul 30, 2019
“(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Ten of the Democrats debated on Tuesday night. But the debate was dominated by Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Don Lemon – CNN’s moderators. Norm Ornstein got it right:It’s not just that the time allocations were harsh. (The candidates were constantly being cut off, sometimes after being given all of 15 seconds to make their points.) And not just that the time allocation seemed somewhat arbitrary. No, it was the questioning that really fell short – very, very short. The CNN moderators, again and again, employed the very worst types of questions. One style that Tapper used repeatedly early on was interrupting to insist that the candidates stick to a portion of a topic that he found interesting (such as whether their health care plans would involve increases in taxes for the middle class) rather than what they wanted to talk about. The night also featured too many gotcha questions, in which a candidate is challenged about something they said.(1) But even worse was a constant theme of asking one candidate to fight with another. Candidate X, what do you think of Candidate Y’s plan? Those questions have superficial appeal because they appear to get to what separates the candidates. And they promise fireworks, with candidates forced to argue. But in reality, invitation-to-fight questions tend to emphasize the differences that the moderators select, which may or may not be substantively important ones. It leads the debate to focus on areas of internal candidate differences, leaving policy areas where they agree irrelevant – even if those areas are important, and contain real disputes with the other party. So for example late in the debate we had an extended exchange on nuclear no-first-use. Is that an important policy? Sure. Is it the most important thing to talk about in national security and foreign policy right now? I don’t think many experts would say so. It also created a frame of moderates squaring off against Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren that worked well for the candidates running as self-professed moderates, especially John Delaney, and much less well for the candidates who straddle that divide (and, one might argue, therefore are best positioned to unify the party): Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke. Buttigieg and perhaps to a lesser extent Klobuchar got in a few good lines anyway, but the debate was stacked against them by the way the moderators thought about the candidates.What’s more to the point is that the framing wasn’t very good for the party as a whole. It pushed both the moderates and the more progressive candidates away from the center of the party, because they were all cast that way. All of that raises the question of how much longer parties will go along with it.Once upon a time, in the 1970s and 1980s especially, presidential nomination debates were fully decentralized: Some organization (usually from the news media, including local news media, but sometimes other groups) would invite candidates to debate, and if enough of them accepted, the debate was on. They weren’t necessarily televised nationally, and the sponsor would decide who to invite, what rules to use, and everything else – with the main constraint only whether candidates were willing to show up for whatever conditions were set. We still have plenty of group forums or town halls or whatever that work that way.Over the last four or five cycles, however, the parties have been taking over. This year the Democratic Party has decided a lot of the whens, wheres, hows and whos. After Tuesday night’s event, I have to believe that there are plenty of people at the Democratic National Committee – and plenty of candidates and their staff – who are fed up with debates that put the TV stars first. I wouldn’t be surprised, especially if things go badly over the rest of the cycle, if both parties start thinking seriously about running their own shows in 2024. Now, there would be plenty of pitfalls, just as there have been when the parties took over the scheduling and the invitations. It’s certainly possible the parties, if they did take over the debates, might come to regret it. But could they? Yup. Sure, the networks want to promote their own talent by having them moderate, but the events would still be excellent for them even without that, and the parties could still arrange some sort of limited MC role for network anchors. And while party-sponsored debates would presumably stick to topics that the party wants to talk about, I’m not sure – especially after watching what CNN just did – that voters would be worse off. So I don’t know who won tonight’s debate, but I’m pretty sure that CNN, and perhaps in the future the media in general, were the losers.(1) Gotcha questions may have their place in interviews, although even there they tend to substitute for substance, but they're almost always a mistake in debates, where the candidates have each other to keep them honest.To contact the author of this story: Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Gray at philipgray@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering politics and policy. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.”
Canada police shift manhunt for teen slaying suspects
by Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Jul 30, 2019
“Canadian police said Tuesday they have pulled out of a remote northern town after an intensive search turned up no sign of two fugitive teenagers suspected of killing three people — a college professor, a North Carolina woman and her Australian boyfriend. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police used dogs and drones, helicopters, boats and even a military Hercules aircraft to scour the area around York Landing, Manitoba, but were unable to confirm a possible sighting of the two men reported by members of a neighborhood watch group. Nineteen-year-old McLeod and 18-year-old Schmegelsky have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Leonard Dyck, a University of British Columbia professor whose body was found last week in British Columbia.”
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Vatican bones found to be too old in quest to solve mystery of missing teenager Emanuela Orlandi
by Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Jul 30, 2019
“Vatican officials say experts have found no recent bones in their examination of an ossuary as part of a search for a teenager who disappeared 36 years ago - but an expert representing the family of the missing girl has called for more tests on some of the bones. A Vatican spokesman said a team of specialists, who completed their work Sunday, had found no bones recent enough to match those of Emanuela Orlandi, the missing teenager. Forensics specialist Giovanni Arcudi, who led the team, said they had found "no bone structure dating back to a period later than the end of the 19th century," according to a statement. But an expert appointed to represent the Orlandi family's interest has called for more detailed tests on around 70 bones that were not examined because they were judged to be very old. The Vatican police have taken possession of the remains, pending a court ruling on the question. Two tombs were opened at the Teutonic Cemetery in relation to the Orlandi case Credit: VATICAN HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX The experts removed thousands of bone fragments from the basement of the Pontifical Teutonic College on July 20, searching for Orlandi's remains following a mysterious message sent to her family via their lawyer. The message was a picture of an angel-topped grave in the Teutonic cemetery, and a note that simply read: "Look where the angel is pointing." Although no bones were found there - not even those of the two 19th-century princesses who were meant to be buried there - a further search found bones underneath the college. The Vatican has said the bones were likely moved during work on the cemetery and college during the 1970s and 1980s. There have been long-standing claims of a Vatican cover-up over the disappearance of the teenager Credit: Andrew Medichini/AP Emanuela Orlandi was the daughter of a Vatican City employee. She disappeared on June 22, 1983, aged 15, after leaving a music class. According to rival theories widely circulated in Italian media, the teen was snatched by mobsters to put pressure on the Vatican to recover a loan; or was taken to force the release from prison of Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981. In 2017, conspiracy specialists were driven into a frenzy by a leaked - but apparently falsified - document, purportedly written by a cardinal and pointing to a Vatican cover-up. Five years earlier, experts exhuming the tomb of a notorious crime boss at a Vatican-owned church uncovered some 400 boxes of bones. Enrico De Pedis, head of the Magliana gang, was suspected of involvement in her kidnapping and some speculated the youngster might be buried alongside him - but DNA tests failed to find a match.”
How to Tell If a Trump Supporter Is Racist
by Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Jul 30, 2019
“Every non-liberal leftist -- that is, nearly every Democrat running for president, New York Times and Washington Post columnist, CNN and MSNBC host, and your left-wing brother-in-law -- labels every Trump supporter and, of course, President Donald Trump, a “racist.”And they don’t stop there. Leftists don’t only label the half of the country that supports the president “racist,” they label all whites and America itself “racist.” If your son or daughter attends or recently attended an American university, it is close to certain he or she was repeatedly told that America and all whites are racist. According to the Left, whites are divided between those who admit they are racist and those who don’t admit it.Every conservative and many liberals know this is a big lie. The great question is: Do leftists believe it? It is impossible to know. But this we do know: If you repeat something often enough, and if your weltanschauung (worldview) and that which gives your life meaning are dependent upon believing something, you will eventually believe it.So here is a way to show it is a lie.Ask any white conservative, including one who supports Trump, the following three questions:1) Do you have more in common with, and are you personally more comfortable in the company of, a white leftist or a black conservative?2) Would you rather have nine white leftists or nine black conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court?3) Would you rather your child marry a black Christian conservative or a white non-Christian liberal?A white racist would prefer the whites in each case.I have asked these questions of thousands of Trump supporters at lectures and on my radio show. Not once has a white Trump-supporting conservative said he or she would be more comfortable in the presence of a white leftist than a black conservative, or would prefer an all-white liberal Supreme Court to an all-black conservative Supreme Court. Not once has a white Christian conservative said he or she would prefer their child marry a white non-Christian liberal to a black Christian conservative.If you’re an honest leftist, this should present a powerful challenge to your belief that all white conservatives are racist.But it won’t. Leftists have too much at stake to confront the truth about conservatives. Everything the Left has ever believed has depended upon lying about opponents. From the day Stalin labeled Trotsky -- who served as the head of the Red Army and who, along with Lenin, founded the Bolshevik Party -- a “fascist,” leftists have lied about their opponents.Some liberals lie, and some conservatives lie, but the truth is both a liberal and conservative value. It has never been a left-wing value. Any leftist who would commit himself to the truth would cease being a leftist. He would either become an anti-Left liberal or an anti-Left conservative.“America is racist.” “Whites are racist.” “Trump supporters are racist.” These are all big lies.So, then, given how important it is to leftists to maintain the lie of conservative racism -- along with xenophobia, misogyny, transphobia, and Islamophobia -- how would they rebut conservatives’ answers to these questions?Presumably, they would argue that every conservative who responds to these questions as I described is lying.But these questions are important -- no matter how much leftists ignore or dismiss them -- because they perform an important service for conservatives.I know this from Jewish history. There was so much Jew-hatred in the medieval Christian world that Jews sometimes wondered if there was any truth to the attacks on them. When a whole society denigrates a group, members of the denigrated group start wondering whether any of the attacks on them have any truth. But when the charge of blood libel -- that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood to bake matzos for Passover -- arose, it liberated Jews from taking any of the anti-Semites’ attacks seriously. Every Jew knew the blood libel was a lie -- Jews never consumed animal blood, let alone human blood.Every conservative knows his responses to these three questions are heartfelt and true, so these questions can help conservatives come to see the Left’s charge of conservative racism as medieval Jews came to see the anti-Semites’ blood-libel charge: as a lie.© 2019”
A Tale of Two Jeffreys: How the Virgin Islands Welcomed a Rich Sex Offender—and Punished a Poor One
by Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Jul 28, 2019
“Police HandoutsFrom the Virgin Islands comes a tale of two Jeffreys, and the difference great wealth can make when it comes to sex crimes—until it doesn't. Both Jeffreys were convicted of shameful crimes that required them to register as sex offenders in whatever state or jurisdiction they resided.Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida to engaging a minor in prostitution in a 2007 plea deal only a super-rich guy could have swung. He did 18 months locked up, mostly in a private wing of the Palm Beach County jail, where he only stayed at night, returning each morning to “work release.” He then proceeded to prove that a registered sex offender with enough money in the Virgin Islands can just continue to come and go from a private island off the coast of St. Thomas, with an ever-changing entourage of girls who appeared to be barely in their teens. He would announce his periodic return by raising the American flag over the opulent hideaway identified on the maps as Little Saint James Island, but known to locals as “pedophile island.”Jeffrey No. 2—Jeffery Cole—was convicted in Ohio of a misdemeanor charge of voyeurism in 2009. He was a schlub of modest means, but his offense was relatively minor (if creepy) and he needed neither wealth nor influence to receive just a suspended sentence of 90 days and two years probation.“The underlying conviction, which requires Mr. Cole to register as a sex offender, did not involve a minor, physical violence, or physical touching of any kind,” his present attorney, Melanie Turnbull, noted in court. We Found Red Flags All Over Jeffrey Epstein’s Jail RecordsOnce he successfully completed probation, Cole moved to Georgia, where he registered as a sex offender. He moved to the Virgin Islands in 2018 and has not been charged with engaging in further voyeurism or any other crimes.The problem for this Jeffrey was that he failed to register promptly in his new home as a sex offender. The U.S. Attorney for the Virgin Islands, Gretchen Shappert, did not miss an opportunity to convey through the media how seriously her office takes such matters.“USVI resident indicted for not registering as sex offender,” the headline in a local news outlet read.That February 28th article was accompanied by a photo illustration that showed a parked auto with a driver-side front door emblazoned with the words “SEX OFFENDER In This Car.” It also pictured a house with a sign out front reading, ”SEX OFFENDER LIVES HERE.” On April 12, Cole entered into a  plea deal where he faces a sentence of no more than a year.“St. Thomas Resident Pleaded Guilty to Failing to Register as a Sex Offender,” the U.S. Attorney’s press release announced. In the meantime, on March 15, the other Jeffrey flew into St. Thomas aboard his private jet. He made his annual check-in at the local sex registry office, a gesture that can now be seen as a kind of mockery, as it’s been revealed that he had been seen still bringing young girls to his private island. “Everybody was like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s pedophile island,’” remembers a Wall Street numbers cruncher turned pizzeria owner who arrived in the Virgin Islands from New York in 2009.Where were the authorities when it came to this Jeffrey?Epstein’s Coney Island Days: From Math Nerd to ‘Arrogant’ PrickAt least four members of the local legislature accepted significant campaign contributions from Southern Trust Company, Inc., one of a host of business entities Epstein founded in the Virgin Islands. Those companies began with L.S.J, LLC, through which he bought his private island for $7.95 million in 1998. Epstein had hired Cecile de Jongh, wife of former Virgin Islands Gov. John de Jongh, as the office manager for Southern Trust, which was granted income tax breaks of up to 90 percent by the U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority. The former first lady also managed the Epstein VI Foundation, which supported everything from brain research at Harvard to the girls’ volleyball team at St. Croix Central High School in the Virgin Islands.After Epstein was arrested in Florida for a sex crime involving a minor, a Virgin Islands newspaper called The Avis ran an article suggesting that Cecile de Jongh’s connections with Epstein might muddy her husband’s political prospects. The Avis also noted that the arrest called into question whether the girls’ volleyball team should have jerseys bearing the name Epstein.A purported grassroots movement collected 5,000 signatures on a petition accusing The Avis of yellow journalism. Epstein attorney Gerald Lefcourt issued a statement saying, “The grand jury and the prosecutor's office... determined that no serious offense had occurred.”Really.Epstein kept partying on Pedophile Island. He is said to have met some resistance when he sought to buy the nearby, larger island of Great St James. The blue-blood Danish family that owned it is said to have been reluctant to sell to someone with Epstein’s unsavory reputation. But he appears to have managed to acquire it anyway in 2016 by cloaking the buyer’s identity with a company called Great St. Jim LLC. He is said to have paid $18 million.Epstein immediately applied for a permit to erect two 80-foot flag poles, arguing that the 45-foot limit on the books should not apply to his property. No doubt at least one of the poles would be used to fly an American flag and announce for everyone to see when the owner of Pedophile Island was back.But construction of a compound on the bigger island was delayed by environmental concerns that even somebody as well-connected as Epstein could not just circumvent.And there was far greater trouble brewing for Epstein as the result of a determined reporter, Julie Brown of the Miami Herald.Brown revealed and documented the unconscionable plea deal Epstein had been granted. The Manhattan U.S. Attorney launched a new investigation. In reviewing the 2007 Florida case, the FBI noted a court document reporting an incident that when agents served Epstein’s personal assistant Lesley Groff with a grand jury subpoena, she excused herself, purportedly to check on her child. She is said by the court document to have used the moment to telephone Epstein, who was headed in his private plane from Palm Beach to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey across the Hudson River from New York. He was in the company of another assistant, Nadia Marcinkova, who has been accused of complicity in his sex trafficking.“Mr. Epstein became concerned that the FBI would try to serve his traveling companion, Nadia Marcinkova, with a similar grand jury subpoena,” the document reports. “In fact, the agents were preparing to serve Ms. Marcinkova with a target letter when the flight landed in Teterboro. Mr. Epstein then redirected his airplane, making the pilot file a new flight plan to travel to the US Virgin Islands instead.”The American flag no doubt again went up over Pedophile Island as the FBI stood thwarted at Teterboro. A dozen years later, the FBI took great care that Epstein received no warning. He flew unsuspecting on July 6 from Paris to Teterboro and a waiting pair of handcuffs. On July 8, Epstein was arraigned in Manhattan federal court on charges of trafficking in underage girls. He was remanded as a flight risk and a danger to the community. He was consigned to the Metropolitan Correctional Center, briefly in general population but within hours assigned to the Special Housing Unit due to threats from inmates who apparently take a dim view of “short eyes,” as child molesters are known behind bars.Epstein must have considered the arrest a possibility, for some time ago he commissioned an artist to paint a mural in his Manhattan mansion of him in a prison yard. Neither he nor the artist seem to have foreseen that he would find himself locked up 23 hours a day in an eight-by-eight foot cell infested with cockroaches and rodents. A thickly screened single narrow window faces a brick wall and lets in only enough light to tell night from day. Mold is said to grow on the walls. Water seeps in under the door from a shower to which he has access only once every three days. For two weeks, Epstein’s cellmate was an ex-cop named Nicholas Tartaglione, who is accused of a quadruple murder. Tartaglione says the two became “friends,” whereby he joined a list that once included two presidents, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. A realtor who asked not to be identified recently told The Daily Beast that Trump exclaimed at a business gathering at Tavern on the Green some years ago that Epstein was “my best friend.”Tartaglione has reportedly told authorities that he saved Epstein from a suicide attempt. But Trump may not be the only liar on Epstein's list of pals. Tartaglione ended up in the Special Housing Unit after he was caught with a cellphone that he insisted had just been given to him by another inmate. Tartaglione then moved to keep the government from inspecting the phone’s contents on the grounds it may have privileged communications with his lawyer and with his wife. Never mind it was supposedly not his.Epstein is now said to be on suicide watch. He is 66 and, if convicted, he stands a good chance of dying in prison even if he takes the best possible care of himself. He may have finally landed in a situation where all his money cannot save him from suffering the consequences of his actions.Also behind bars is the other Jeffrey, having been remanded when he entered his guilty plea in April. Cole had been free on his own recognizance since his arraignment, the court having deemed him to be neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community. His attorney petitioned for him to remain at liberty pending sentencing, which is set for August 15. The attorney noted that Cole is a 57-year-old graduate of Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in landscape architecture, had been steadily employed for more than 30 years and was presently a fleet manager at a car rental company. He would be able to continue working there until his day of reckoning. The judge remanded Cole nonetheless. Cole was shipped off to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. His attorney has since filed a motion to expedite matters.“The current sentencing date inevitably results in a period of incarceration of four months,” the petition noted, adding that Cole was eligible to receive probation and no time at all.As of Saturday, the sentencing was still set for August 15. Cole remains behind bars in Guaynabo. But he will almost certainly be free within the next few months.And you can bet that this Jeffrey would not trade places with the other one for all the money in the worldRead 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.”
Student group says Harvard failed to address racist messages
by Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Jul 28, 2019
“An association of black students at Harvard Law School says the university "woefully failed to act" after four students received offensive emails and text messages from an anonymous sender. The Harvard Black Law Students Association issued a statement Friday criticizing the school after it was unable to determine who sent the "hateful, racist and sexist" messages, and after officials refused to share details of an investigation with students who received the messages. Harvard officials say the case was investigated by university police, information technology officials and an outside law firm hired by the school, but they have been unable to determine who was behind the messages.”
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