Summary of “Why California Hasn’t Moved On From Dianne Feinstein”

Throughout more than two decades of shifts, Sen. Dianne Feinstein has remained a California constant.
So why hasn’t California, blue as blue can be, moved past its moderate senator? The state’s population shifts have moved it steadily into the safely Democratic column, but that doesn’t mean that its electorate is progressive enough – or angry enough at the Democratic establishment status quo – to rock the boat.
Present-day California looks much different than it did when Feinstein became a senator: 45 percent of the electorate are now registered as Democrats, and 25 percent as Republicans.
Longtime Feinstein adviser Bill Carrick called the accusations from California progressives that she isn’t liberal enough for the state “Ridiculous.”
Feinstein has always been viewed somewhat skeptically by the most left-wing factions of the Democratic Party, according to progressive columnist and longtime California political watcher Harold Meyerson, former editor at LA Weekly.
“California is more likely to have net out-migration than in-migration just because it’s more expensive to live here. But there’s a counterweight, at least in certain parts of the economic cycle, of higher income and job growth in California than the rest of the country, especially in the Bay Area.”.
“Everyone talks about the diversity part,” McGhee said, referring to California’s growing Latino and Asian cohort, “But if you look at the demographic complexion of Texas, it’s actually very similar , and yet Texas is much more Republican. And it’s not because the Latino population in Texas votes Republican. It’s because the white population votes Republican. It’s a combination of these two things that has pushed California way heavily into the Democratic camp.”
According to the Public Policy Institute of California, whites in California identify about evenly as liberal and conservative, with 25 percent saying they are “Middle of the road” politically.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Senate has forced a vote to restore net neutrality”

Sen. Ed Markey and 32 other Democrats have submitted a new discharge petition under the Congressional Review Act, setting the stage for a full congressional vote to restore net neutrality.
Because of the unique CRA process, the petition has the power to force a Senate vote on the resolution, which leaders say is expected next week.
The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to roll back regulations within 60 legislative days of introduction, a process that today’s resolution would apply to the internet rules introduced by FCC chairman Ajit Pai in December.
To successfully undo the Pai order and restore the 2015 rules, today’s resolution would need a bare majority in both the Senate and the House, as well as the president’s signature.
50 senators have come out in support of the bill: 48 Democrats together with Sen. Angus King and Sen. Susan Collins.
Activists have targeted moderate Republicans like Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. John Kennedy, and Sen. Rob Portman as a possible 51st vote.
The 2015 net neutrality rules are still broadly popular, which activists hope will make members of Congress wary of voting against them.
Sen. Brian Schatz told The Verge he’s “Hopeful” that the resolution will find a 51st vote in the Senate and proceed through the House.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘It’s not a done deal’: inside the battle to stop Brexit”

On 1 February, the Labour MP Chuka Umunna formally announced the existence of the grassroots coordinating group, a regular Wednesday morning gathering of organisations, activists and sympathetic MPs. Two weeks ago, GCG members launched the People’s Vote, calling for a referendum on the final Brexit deal.
Launching in August 2016 with six staff, the campaign group aimed to “Seek common ground between voters on both sides” by advocating a Brexit so soft, one journalist dubbed it “The Mr Whippy of Brexits”.
“I said, ‘Look, I want to stop Brexit as much as anyone else, but the question is how?’ My very strong view was that seeking to divide the movement between whether you were pure no-Brexit or soft Brexit was totally unhelpful.”
One argument is that there was no form of Brexit on the ballot paper and that campaign promises have been broken.
“We think Brexit is being driven by elites,” says Tom Brufatto, chair of Britain for Europe.
Thousands of people have gathered outside the Art Gallery for the Great Northern March, one of several simultaneous Stop Brexit protests designed to show that opposition is growing around the country.
At Best for Britain’s barnstorms, activists are sternly told that things that galvanise remainers, such as flags and Bollocks to Brexit stickers, are counterproductive when it comes to swaying the unconverted.
The voices are diverse, but they all hit the same notes: new facts have emerged; the negotiations aren’t delivering what was promised; a people’s vote is a democratic necessity; Brexit is not inevitable.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why political reforms can be bad for democracy”

“What matters more is whether political elites, and especially parties, serve as filters. Put simply, political parties are democracy’s gatekeepers.”
People either don’t realize how much parties have been weakened over the last half-century, or they are ignorant of the evidence that ineffectual parties put democracy on a path toward instability and even authoritarianism.
The ongoing process of diminishing the power of parties is actually endangering democracy, according to a growing number of experts and political observers.
“The weakening of parties has meant the weakening of government. People don’t like that, but very few people see the connection between political parties and government.”
The rise of political parties in the early 1800s transferred the responsibility “To keep dangerous figures out of the White House” from the Electoral College to the parties.
A system in which parties put presidential hopefuls through a rigorous process, where party insiders with political expertise were given a significant place of influence, would be a way for a party to then submit a candidate to the whole nation.
“That information is useful, even vital, to the task of picking a good nominee.”Masket’s study of political reforms in a number of states has shown that reforms that have weakened parties and given voters more input have counterintuitively made politics more opaque and less democratic.
“Each attempt to drive parties from the political sphere exacts a price on democracy, decreasing transparency, accountability, and other things we claim to hold important in our governing systems,” he wrote in his book, “The Inevitable Party: Why Attempts to Kill the Party System Fail and How They Weaken Democracy.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Christopher Wylie: Why I broke the Facebook data story”

A couple of days later, early on Saturday, Facebook took another dramatic action: it suspended AggregateIQ. This is important because AIQ was the Canadian data firm on which Vote Leave spent 40% of its budget during the EU referendum.
Facebook has suspended AIQ while it investigates AIQ’s relationship with Cambridge Analytica and whether it had access to Facebook data.
When four different campaigns – Vote Leave, BeLeave, Veterans for Britain and the DUP – all used the same data firm, AIQ, it’s pretty much impossible.
1 Cambridge Analytica data harvesting apps captured more than 87 million Facebook profiles, including one million UK records.
Facebook knew in December 2015 that data had been harvested on Cambridge Analytica’s behalf.
AIQ built the “Ripon” platform that Cambridge Analytica used to target people using misappropriated Facebook data.
Facebook suspended AIQ after learning “It may be affiliated with SCL and, may, as a result have improperly received Facebook data”.
9 What is AIQ’s role in this? Was British Facebook data, harvested using Cambridge Analytica’s apps, employed? Was data shared between Vote Leave, BeLeave, Veterans for Britain and the DUP?

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Moscow Midterms”

It’s midafternoon in Moscow when voting starts.
On certain voter files, so when the American voters show up in person today, their information won’t match their IDs.
Intelligence officials like John know that the Russians aren’t just targeting local officials but voting service providers as well – the vendors who make voting machines and software and who sometimes help municipalities or counties draw up their ballots.
Alexei targeted Bonnie and a few other clerks whose towns use touch-screen voting machines.
While a voting machine itself will never be connected to the internet, the touch-screen voting machines, as well as optical scan machines, all require programming that is done on other computers.
American election board officials comforted the public that there were paper trails attached to most voting machines, a backup measure, in case something went wrong.
Not only is it a swing state, but many of its counties use digital machines that don’t produce paper records – the vote tally is stored only in the machine.
Not only were his hacks of online voter registrations a success, but the ensuing chaos – America is burning hot with indignation and accusations of disenfranchisement – has provided Alexei with the perfect cover for his work on the voting machines.

The orginal article.

Summary of “There Is More At Stake In The Census’s Citizenship Question Than Response Rates”

If response rates decline, states with larger proportions of non-citizens could lose political power.
The addition of the question plays into an ongoing legal debate over how political districts should be drawn within states.
As things stand today, states use census data to draw congressional and state legislative districts with approximately equal total populations, including people who are ineligible to vote.
Sue Evenwel, the lead plaintiff in the case, lived in a state Senate district with approximately 584,000 citizens eligible to vote, while a neighboring district had only about 372,000 eligible voters.
The court unanimously rejected Evenwel’s argument that states must redistrict based on “Electoral equality.” In her majority opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote, “Nonvoters have an important stake in many policy debates By ensuring that each representative is subject to requests and suggestions from the same number of constituents, total population apportionment promotes equitable and effective representation.”
While the court declined to force states to draw districts according to the voter-eligible population, it did not say whether states could if they wanted to.
If adding the citizenship question is Step 1 in this question returning to the high court, Step 2 would be a state or municipality deciding to redistrict according to voter-eligible population during the next round of redistricting, in 2021.
In the first scenario we discussed – lower response rates among non-citizens – political representation would shift in favor of states with larger proportions of eligible voters.

The orginal article.

Summary of “My 72-Hour Safari in Clinton Country”

For the first few minutes of his shift, the Clinton voter laid out a relatively straightforward, if improbable, way Donald Trump could gain his support.
The idea: Just as reporters from New York and D.C. trek into Trump Country to visit greasy spoons and other corners of Real America™ to measure support for the candidate, I’d venture from Trump Country to the most stereotypical bastions of coastal liberal elitism, and ask the people I met whether they still support Hillary Clinton.
The deeper I plunged into the Blue Abyss, the more I realized how broad the political chasm between Clinton Country and Trump Country really is.
Of course, voters in Clinton Country are generally horrified by Trump.
It wasn’t just the clichéd dispatches from Trump Country that Clinton Country voters had come to loathe-it was Trump Country itself.
“I feel like people who are in Clinton Country are a little too quick to be critical of people in Trump Country, if you will, and maybe aren’t willing to give an earnest consideration of the opinions and emotions that drive people in Trump Country as they should,” he said.
“People in Trump Country have quite a different value set than Clinton Country, and we need to respect those differences. When I look at people there who are still supporting Trump, I’m a bit taken aback by that.”
In Trump Country, Trump voters’ disdain for reporters may be more choleric and louder, marked by raspberries blown at the press.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Does America Want A Third Party?”

Micah: OK, I don’t want this chat to just be bashing Brooks’s argument; I want to talk about third parties.
Micah: OK, so he sorta bungles parties and bungles recent U.S. political history, but let’s talk about the force he thinks will spur a viable third party.
Does the Republican Party under Trump look a lot different than the Republican Party under Reagan? Sure.
Micah: But that’s party identification people do say they want a third party!
Part of the issue that Americans don’t want a third party – they want their third party.
Natesilver: Yeah, look, I don’t want to go overboard in totally dismissing the idea of a third party.
Natesilver: Because among that 61 percent, there’s 21 percent who want the Reasonable Center Party, 20 percent who want the Green Party, and 20 percent who want the America First Party.
Micah: OK, so if we all think that it’s much more likely that one of the two major parties will shift in a big way than that a third party will emerge, what could that shift(s) look like?

The orginal article.

Summary of “Kansas Scrambles To Change Rules After 6 Teens Enter Governor’s Race”

When it comes to the rules about who can run for state office? There are no rules.
“Under Kansas law, there is no law governing the qualifications for governor, not one,” Bryan Caskey, director of elections at the Kansas secretary of state’s office, told The Kansas City Star last year.
Republican Rep. Blake Carpenter introduced a bill requiring candidates to be at least 18 years old to run for the state’s top elected offices, such as governor, secretary of state or attorney general.
Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor would have to have lived in the state for four years.
“We have age requirements on voters, and I really think that anybody who’s running should be able to vote for themselves,” Rep. Keith Esau, a Republican running for secretary of state, told The Topeka Capital-Journal.
He’s referring to Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the force behind the state’s strict voter ID law, who is running for governor.
State Sen. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, became the first woman to enter the crowded field for governor in December.
The state’s lack of rules for candidacy are so profound that Caskey could not even find a rule limiting the field to human candidates.

The orginal article.