Summary of “Schwarzenegger’s Plans for 2020 Gerrymandering Reforms”

Read: Schwarzenegger is back in a wonky campaign fight against gerrymandering.
Schwarzenegger became obsessed with redistricting reform after successfully pushing a ballot initiative in California, which passed narrowly in 2008 for statehouse races followed by another in 2010 for House seats, with opposition from both Republicans and Democrats.
After the four ballot questions Tuesday and the federal judge who on Wednesday threw out the Maryland congressional map on the grounds that it violated the Constitution through excessive partisanship, Schwarzenegger said he sees “a wave” of its own, albeit one that most election coverage has missed.
Last month, Schwarzenegger hosted a raffle that raised $50,000 on Crowdpac for redistricting reform.
He also spent a day in mid-November campaigning at rallies and fundraisers in Michigan and Colorado for the ballot amendments there.
Schwarzenegger said he’s ready to do more of that.
“If that’s what it takes to get the signatures, I will be the one to do it. I’m not ashamed of standing in a mall and asking people for signatures,” Schwarzenegger said.
He was previously chief Washington correspondent at Politico.

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Summary of “Beto’s consolation prize: Running for president”

O’Rourke’s narrow loss to Cruz instead sets him up to run full time for president – and jump immediately into the top tier of Democratic contenders.
O’Rourke has not yet indicated his intentions, but he has built, in the course of a few short months, a national brand and a national fundraising base that few Democrats can match.
Conveniently, the chief knock on O’Rourke’s campaign, that he embraced staunchly progressive positions that played poorly in Texas, only heightens his appeal in a national primary for a Democratic Party that has been tacking leftward.
O’Rourke ultimately performed poorly in rural Texas, a shortcoming that sealed his 2½ point defeat.
The voters O’Rourke drove to the polls helped Texas Democrats flip two House seats and make gains in the state Legislature.
Texas Democrats can keep going back to the new voters identified and mobilized by O’Rourke as they continue their efforts to turn the state purple, said Wendy Davis, a former Democratic state senator who ran for governor in 2014.
Without having visited, O’Rourke has already captivated the state’s Democrats.
“The loudest cheer of the night so far was when ABC showed Beto O’Rourke leading.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Study: Tetris is a great distraction for easing an anxious mind”

Playing Tetris might be the perfect coping mechanism, according to a new study in the journal Emotion.
There have been a number of scientific studies involving Tetris, one of the most popular computer games in the world, in which players flip falling colored blocks every which way in order to neatly stack them into rows.
A 2009 study found that one’s brain activity becomes more efficient the longer one plays Tetris.
Images of the Tetris combinations will linger in the brain, although this will happen with any repeated images or scenarios.
So Tetris seemed like an ideal tool when University of California, Riverside, psychologist Kate Sweeny wanted to investigate the role of distraction in dealing with the anxiety of waiting for important news: the results of a medical exam or whether one passed a crucial test.
While the subjects were waiting to hear the judgements of their peers, they played ten minutes or so of Tetris, at varying levels.
One group played the standard adaptive version of the game, where the difficulty level increased as their skill level did.
For anyone who isn’t sure how to get into a flow state to distract from a stressful waiting period, “Maybe Tetris isn’t a bad place to start.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Gavin Newsom, the Next Head of the California Resistance”

A longtime California political observer said, “There’s always a narrative of great moral challenge that Gavin Newsom single-handedly rises to while all around him cower.”
He says that California’s gubernatorial election will anoint “The next head of the resistance.” Much of Newsom’s Twitter feed, which has 1.4 million followers, is devoted to calling out the President, disputing him on issues and labelling him “a small, scared bully” and “a pathetic disgrace.” On the stump, Newsom points out that the “Nation-state” of California is larger than a hundred and thirty-seven countries and has the fifth-largest economy on the planet.
Hastings told me he explained to Newsom that “It wasn’t an anti-Gavin thing-it was just that I had a great relationship with Antonio.” Newsom said, “We had this strange conversation where I told Reed, ‘I thought you guys would only put in ten million’-I really thought five-and he said, ‘I’m only putting in half of what I otherwise would, because it’s you.'” Newsom snorted.
Tom Ammiano, a board member who initiated a health-care plan that Newsom later made his own, said, “There were members of the board who woke up every morning wanting to fuck Gavin Newsom over.”
Gordon Getty, a minority investor in those businesses, invested more heavily as Newsom kept expanding, and owned forty-nine per cent of the PlumpJack Group by the time Newsom ran for mayor in 2003.
“In my state, when people lose their jobs, there’s a good chance I’ll know ’em by their names. When a factory closes, I know the people who ran it.” Newsom shook his head admiringly: ” ‘I know everybody in my state, I know their names’-I mean, come on, that’s impossible! But that moment was, like, Whoa, what just happened? I fell in love with politics then.
Newsom has known Brown his whole life: his grandfather was a campaign manager for Brown’s father, Pat, a two-term California governor, and Brown appointed Bill Newsom to the state Court of Appeals.
What now? Newsom trudged downstairs and delivered a stock address about the glories of California, “a state where we don’t obstruct justice, we demand justice for everybody; where we don’t regulate women’s bodies more than we regulate assault weapons out on our streets.” Conspicuously missing, on the night when Newsom effectively became the next governor, was a clear signal of what exactly he hoped to do.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Midterm elections: How politicians know exactly how you’re going to vote”

Thanks to an army of data crunchers who marry that information with data you drop at a clothing or automobile site, many candidates often have intimate knowledge of who you are and whether you’re likely to support them.
Facebook’s data scandal involving consultancy Cambridge Analytica shed light on how companies can take personal information we give away and transform it into highly effective targeted ads.
While you may be aware your data is being used, you might not know the full extent of the process.
So we dug in to find out how data goes from your voter registration form to data brokers and back to you in the form of a political ad.Voter data in America.
The rules differ when it comes to uses of voter data for purposes other than elections.
The Federal Trade Commission, the US government’s consumer watchdog, produced a report on data brokers in 2014 and recommended that Congress require greater transparency from the data industry.
A RoboCent spokesperson told CNET in July that the company partners with data firms NationBuilder, Aristotle and i360 for voter data.
“The very politicians who fight for consumer data are also using it and not responsible for [where] that data goes to after campaigns,” said Kim Alexander, founder and president of California Voter Foundation.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Wisconsin’s $4.1 billion Foxconn factory boondoggle”

The details of the deal were famously written on the back of a napkin when Gou and the Republican governor first met: a $3 billion state subsidy in return for Foxconn’s $10 billion investment in a Generation 10.5 LCD manufacturing plant that would create 13,000 jobs.
When Walker signed the Foxconn deal in November 2017, the details matched those jotted on the napkin: the state promised a $3 billion state subsidy if the company invested $10 billion in a plant that created 13,000 jobs.
With other small costs added, the total Foxconn subsidy hit $4.1 billion – a stunning $1,774 per household in Wisconsin.
A Gen 6 plant would require about a $2.5 billion investment, according to Bob O’Brien, a partner at Display Supply Chain Consultants, rather than the $10 billion Foxconn initially promised.
“Similar results were seen in Vietnam, where Foxconn committed to a $5 billion investment in 2007, and in Brazil, where Foxconn spoke of a $10 billion plan in 2011,” and the plans were never realized, The Washington Post reported.
The environmental exemptions and the fact that Foxconn will operate unusually close to Lake Michigan are “Red flags” The Walker administration also agreed to allow Foxconn to draw massive amounts of water from Lake Michigan.
Foxconn has been buying real estate for “Innovation centers” Equally unclear was the economic advantage for Foxconn to have three different small innovation centers spread around the state.
Even after seven months of announcing new innovation centers and contributions, Foxconn hadn’t moved the needle much in the election: polls still showed the majority of people in the state didn’t believe the Foxconn deal would help them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Something’s Brewing in the Deep Red West – Rolling Stone”

Shea – a four-term elected official now running for a fifth – rarely sees any blowback for the things he says or for the fact that in his nine years in office he has allied with some of the most high-profile conspiracy theorists and anti-government extremists in the American West: from Cliven Bundy and his sons to a neo-Confederate Idaho preacher to the head of the Oath Keepers, an extremist group that believes “The United States is collaborating with a one-world tyrannical conspiracy called the New World Order.”
For several years, Shea has proposed the same initiative in the Statehouse: A place named “Liberty” – a 51st state that would sever the rural, arid and deep-red eastern half of Washington from the urban, forested, blue coastal region.
All over the Northwest, it’s regarded as a backwater bastion of right-wingers and members of the Patriot movement, which the Anti-Defamation League describes as a set of groups “Whose ideologies center on anti-government conspiracy theories.” Shea represents nearby Spokane Valley, a 98,000-person city with no discernible downtown – whiter, richer and more educated than the state average – extending almost all the way to the Idaho border.
Though Shea’s Liberty idea hasn’t gained much traction in the Statehouse, it’s red meat for anti-government extremists at a time when some Americans really are viewing this area of the country as the last remaining holdout for the type of America they think can be great again.
Riccelli has worked with Shea on some issues, but he emphasizes that Shea’s personality in the capitol and his personality at rallies is very different.
Shea had driven to Bunkerville, Nevada, to support rancher Cliven Bundy, but also to announce the debut of the Coalition of Western States – a group of politicians and activists hoping to see federally managed public lands transferred back to state hands.
For the 2016 God and Country festival, Ann Byrd explained in an e-mail to invitees that it was “Largely focused on building a Resistance to the globalists’ relentless assault on our liberty in the United States.” Shea gave a workshop for kids: “An exercise in field skills for youth, including: field strip and reassemble assigned weapon; orienteering, field dressing wounds, following orders, PT, shooting skill, etc.” After dinner, he gave another workshop called “Going Underground.”
Shea told the crowd that KXLY – a TV station in Spokane – did a survey about the 51st state of Liberty.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why you can’t buy a Tesla in some states”

Tesla has survived the first hard part: designing beautiful, fast, high-tech electric cars that a lot of people want and love.
Finding the answer turned out to be a long and winding road.Where Tesla is bannedIt’s hard to pin down exactly how many states truly don’t want Tesla to open dealerships.
Sixteen states have laws on the books that would prevent that, but Tesla hasn’t challenged those laws yet in some of them.
Then there are nine states that limit the number of dealerships Tesla can open: Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania.
If your car has a big problem that persists after several attempts to fix it, “The dealer and the customer are on one side of the table, and the manufacturer on the other side of the table. It’s anti-consumer to set up a system that allows a manufacturer to be your only option when you’re trying to get a vehicle under the Lemon Law. And that’s what the direct-sales system does, whether it’s Tesla or anybody else.”
In June 2016, Tesla’s general counsel, Todd Maron, met with Michigan’s dealer association, car manufacturers, and state Michigan legislators, to discuss a compromise that might let Tesla sell and service its cars in Michigan.
“If Tesla doesn’t straighten their act out, Tesla may just go away,” Fleming says.
“In all the other states in the country, in all the other countries where we operate, we’ve always been able to operate alongside dealers selling other cars. It’s just competition, and it’s completely normal.”

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Summary of “The most important science policy issue in every state”

“This is the most important election of our lifetime,” says Bill Holland, State Policy Director for the League of Conservation Voters.
While state waters extend only 3.5 miles offshore, companies wanting to develop in the zone would still have to get state permission to build pipelines and other infrastructure.
State lawmakers are taking a multipronged approach to tackling the problem: They’ve limited fills to three days to keep doctors from overprescribing the meds; state Attorney General Andy Beshear has sued seven pharmaceutical companies for failing to disclose how addictive their painkillers are; and a bipartisan bill to legalize medical cannabis, which for some could be used as an alternative pain medication, will likely be reintroduced in the 2019 legislature.
Her opponent, state Attorney General Bill Schuette, led the investigation of the crisis that resulted in charges against 15 former and current Flint and state officials.
The Empire State has a lot of water cleanup ahead. According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, as of this past August, 54 bodies of water have harmful algae blooms-rapidly growing nutrient colonies that can kill marine life and cause illness in humans.
Though the state sided with the villagers and set aside $25 million for relief efforts, the town is still waiting on an alternative source of H2O. Lawmakers are addressing the state’s overall clean-water issues broadly: They’ve passed $2.5 billion in funding to replace pipes and install new treatment systems; estimates from the state comptroller’s office put the cost of proper plumbing closer to $40 billion.
The groups sued the state in July; the plaintiffs contend that Meridian underestimated how much sulfur, methane, and other pollutants the facility will emit, and that the state health department’s monitoring requirements are inadequate.
Some lawmakers and residents worry that the state will repeat the same policy missteps with the natural-gas industry that it did with coal: imposing only a few regulations to protect water and ecosystems, and offering generous tax breaks that result in little revenue for the state.

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Summary of “The Worst Job in American Politics”

Springfield, the state capital, has grown so paralyzed that Illinois’ own governor compared the state to “a banana republic.” And a bitter standoff between Rauner, a Republican, and Democrats in the state Legislature has left Illinois more than $7 billion in unpaid bills and a sense among the state’s residents and creditors that Illinois might not be governable anymore.
“Defeating Bruce Rauner is critical to the future of our state,” Roberta Lynch, the executive director of AFSCME Council 31, the state’s flagship public employee union, where she’s worked for more than three decades, told me.
The crux of Illinois’ budget problem is simple: State lawmakers guaranteed Illinois teachers, school administrators, bureaucrats and other state workers generous pension benefits, and then failed year after year to sock away enough money to pay for them.
Edgar’s plan let the state avoid the pain of paying more into the pension funds right away by making the state contribute relatively little to the funds in the short term – while Edgar was still in office – and much more down the road. Decades of failure to save enough to pay state workers’ pensions are now squeezing the state budget.
College towns across the state have suffered because of the state’s fiscal woes, he told me.
Three of them – Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Eric Holcomb of Indiana and Eric Greitens of Missouri – even cut an ad for Rauner last year in which they praised Mike Madigan, Illinois’ state House speaker, for “Blocking Rauner’s reforms” and helping to lure jobs to their states.
Illinois’ pension problems have festered for so long that any steps toward genuinely solving them – raising taxes, cutting state services, defaulting on the state’s debt or some combination of the three – will be, as he put it, “Painful and politically unpopular.” While Illinois’ fiscal troubles have been building for decades, they have reached a breaking point in the years since the recession strained state budget.
Pritzker tore into Trump, as he had at other campaign stops, and “His silent partner here in the state of Illinois, Bruce Rauner.” But the state’s fiscal troubles were clearly on voters’ minds.

The orginal article.