Fair Observer comments on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party win in the general election and President Donald Trump’s impeachment. While the latter seems a resolute response to corruption, Trump’s support hasn’t wavered. Meanwhile, Johnson mis-stepped time and again leading up to the election, exerting emergency powers to force a Parliament vote and losing numerous votes in the House of Commons. But by forcing a vote to repopulate Parliament with his supporters, Johnson pulled off an improbable win and is positioned to move Brexit proceedings forward. Recent polls in the US show Trump is beating out Democratic rivals on a head-to-head basis.
After decades of a brewing Alaskan public safety crisis, the state board that regulates law enforcement is for the first time invested in training officers who work for remote villages to ensure they meet basic hiring standards. This after a consistently high rate of sexual violence, a third of the state lacking any law enforcement, and remote villages hiring convicts and sex offenders. ProPublica reports Alaskan state troopers have been serving mostly white communities accessible by road but not villages only accessible by plane. Alaskan experts familiar with the issues recommend solutions: replicate the training system for the Alaska health aide program, certify village volunteers to collect evidence and begin sexual assault exams, partner with tribal courts, and more.
Non-profit group The Prison Policy Initiative released a recent report outlining failures in juvenile prisons mirroring those in the adult system. Colorlines covers the PPI study. It finds that though the population of juvenile detention centers has decreased by 60% since 2000, Black and American Indian youth are overrepresented while white youth are underrepresented. Parallels to adult prisons include unnecessary pretrial detention, incarceration for minor offences, and glaring racial disparities; while only 14% of U.S. children are Black, 42% of boys and 35% of girls in juvenile facilities are Black. PPI recommends closing juvenile prisons, releasing and re-sentencing youth, investing into community-based programs, and ending the prosecution of youth as adults.
After Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party won the UK December 12 election, Labour’s socialist leader, Jeremy Corbyn, resigned. Fair responds to corporate media coverage, which has largely read the election results to be disastrous for the US left. In one 24-hour span, CNN published a trio of articles with similar messages, favoring moderate policies and warning that Corbyn’s were too far left; they were vote killers, much like Medicare for All, supported by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. A host of other outlets falsely suggested that the UK’s own state-run healthcare system, the immensely popular National Health Service, contributed to Corbyn’s defeat. Instead of these conclusions, Fair advises American progressives to prepare for a coordinated media smear campaign, question centrist advice, and reach elderly voters.
After months of negotiations over its federal spending package, Congress slashed measures for a clean energy future, including tax breaks for solar energy, electric vehicles, and energy storage. Instead, Inside Climate News reports, the bill offers federal support for plastics and fracking, funds coal miner pensions, and funds the Bureau of Land Management’s move west. After Kentucky coal miners criticized Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for abandoning them, he took credit for ensuring health and pension benefits were in the bill. Republicans had politically useful measures passed; Democrats offered ineffectual protests against the Trump administration’s fossil fuel-driven plans.
Columbia Journalism Review covers the creation of algorithmic and conservative news outlets to spread disinformation leading up to the 2020 presidential election. The Tow Center for Digital Journalism has identified 450 of these sites, 189 of which were set up as fake local news networks by an organization called Metric Media. Such networks can be traced back to conservative businessman Brian Timpone, whose company became known in 2012 for automatic story generation—coined “pink slime journalism.” These sites distribute thousands of algorithmically generated stories covering things like real estate and gas prices—but between these are placed quotes from Republican officials calling impeachment proceedings a witch hunt or an abuse of power.
Kansas City Lawmakers passed a bill in early December directing the city’s manager to set aside $8 million a year to pay the $1.50 public transit fare for every rider. New York City Councilmember Brad Landers lauded the move, saying New York City must achieve this step eventually too. Free public transit is among concerns of the democratic socialist resurgence, alongside Medicare for All and a Green New Deal, reports The Indypendent. While the NYC Fair Fares program was intended to aid New Yorkers living at or below the federal poverty line, strict and arbitrary measures limited its accessibility. The Indypendent offers alternatives to police fare enforcement and posits that the MTA’s fare could be seen as a tax that hits those who can least afford it the hardest.
Trump re-election advisor Justin Clark bragged to Republicans at a Wisconsin event that the GOP has “traditionally” suppressed voters. He then said to expect Republicans to play offensive on suppression in 2020. Particularly targeted will be the “Blue Wall” states Trump broke through to win the 2016 election: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Common Dreams reports Clark later said his comments were in jest, but election observers and critics don’t buy it, arguing Republican tactics amount to voter intimidation.
1. Trump impeachment: Pelosi hits back at president’s criticism as Schumer sends letter demanding documents from White House (The Independent)
2. The Fight Over the 1619 Project Is Not About the Facts (The Atlantic)
3. Obama Is Reportedly Talking Up Elizabeth Warren With Donors (HuffPost)
4. Boeing chief fired but 737 concerns persist (BBC)
5. ‘Mockery of justice’ after Saudis convict eight over Khashoggi killing (The Guardian)