Tougaloo president to attend Inauguration
Tougaloo president to attend Inauguration
While President Trump continues his increasingly desperate efforts to overturn the November election, Arizona and Wisconsin certified results Monday showing Joe Biden won both states.
As two Islamic State militants faced a judge in Virginia last month, Diane Foley listened from home through a muffled phone connection and strained to make out the voices of the men prosecutors say kidnapped her son before he was murdered. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh stand accused of belonging to an IS cell dubbed “the Beatles,” an incongruously lighthearted nickname for British citizens blamed for the jailing, torture and murder of Western hostages in Syria. After geopolitical breakthroughs and stalemates, military actions in Syria and court fights in London, the Justice Department’s most significant terrorism prosecution in years was finally underway.
The United States imposed sanctions on Monday on Chinese firm China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation (CEIEC), accusing it of supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's efforts to undermine democracy. The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement the Chinese company supported the leftist government of Maduro in its "efforts to restrict internet service and conduct digital surveillance and cyber operations against political opponents." "The United States will not hesitate to target anyone helping to suppress the democratic will of the Venezuelan people and others around the world," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
Amid the long-raging deadly strife in Indian-controlled Kashmir, another conflict is silently taking its toll on the Himalayan region’s residents: the conflict between man and wild animals. According to official data, at least 67 people have been killed and 940 others injured in the past five years in attacks by wild animals in the famed Kashmir Valley, a vast collection of alpine forests, connected wetlands and waterways known as much for its idyllic vistas as for its decades-long armed conflict between Indian troops and rebels. The Himalayan black bear is at the heart of this trouble.
President launches attacks on his own party despite two decisive Senate races in Georgia next month
Twitter has suspended a Thai account linked to an influence campaign in favor of the country's monarchy, amid months of taboo-breaking protests calling for Thailand's prime minister to resign and reform of its palace. That's after a Reuters analysis found the account was connected to thousands of others spreading posts in favor of King Maha Vajiralongkorn. And, while not directly linked to the account, internal army training documents reviewed by Reuters showed evidence of a coordinated information campaign designed to target "opponents" and spread pro-monarchy messages on Twitter, an important platform for criticism of the government even before the protests. After Reuters sought comment from Twitter on Wednesday, the account, @jitarsa_school, was suspended. It had gained 48,000 followers since its creation in September. The account's profile had said it trained people for a Royal Volunteers programme run by the Royal Office. The "Volunteer Spirit 904" program began in 2016 during the current king's reign to build loyalty to the monarchy. The palace did not respond to a request for comment. A Twitter representative said Sunday (November 29), "The account in question was suspended for violating our rules on spam and platform manipulation." The spokesperson said it was not a result of the Reuters request. The Reuters analysis found that more than 80% of accounts that followed @jitarsa_school had themselves been created since the start of September and a sample of those showed that all they did was promote royalist hashtags. In early October, Twitter announced it had taken down 926 accounts linked to the Thai army for violating its policies by amplifying pro-government content and targeting political opposition figures. The army at the time denied that the accounts belonged to army officials.
A speeding van carrying passengers crashed into a bus in foggy weather in eastern Pakistan on Monday, killing 13 people and injuring 17 others, a government official and rescuers said. The accident took place in the town of Narang Mandi in eastern Punjab province, said government official Mohammad Asghar Joya. Deadly road accidents are common in Pakistan due to poor road infrastructure and a disregard of traffic laws.
The Electoral College is a political abomination. As I have written before, rather than protecting the influence of small states, it grants overwhelming power to a handful of states that randomly happen to have a close partisan balance, which are mostly fairly large. Worse, it allows popular vote losers to win — which has happened twice in the last 20 years. Indeed, theoretically a candidate could lose the popular vote four to one and still win the electoral vote.Moreover, since 2012 the divergence between the Electoral College and the popular vote has been steadily growing. As I'll show below, while Joe Biden won a clear victory in the popular vote, he just barely squeaked through in the Electoral College. This idiotic anachronism must be destroyed.Let's take a look at this over the last two decades. One way to examine this question is to look at the most "efficient" way that losing candidates could have won the Electoral College. In other words, if we add up the state totals for previous elections going back to 2000, how might the losers have won by flipping the least number of votes?Using data from U.S. Elections Atlas, and 2020 data from the The New York Times (including a rough extrapolation assuming Biden wins 80 percent of the mail-in votes that haven't been counted yet in New York state), I calculated how the popular vote losers could have won the Electoral College — or lost, in the case of George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016.In 2000, of course, Bush officially "won" Florida by 537 votes, and therefore the presidency with 271 electoral votes, while Al Gore won the popular vote by about 550,000. (In reality, Gore probably would have won a fair recount in Florida if it hadn't been stopped by a conservative Supreme Court on nakedly partisan grounds, but I'm going to ignore that for the time being since it doesn't matter for this particular argument.) That means a flip of just 269 votes in one state from one candidate to the other would have changed the result. In 2004, Bush won re-election with a margin of about three million votes, and 286 electoral votes. John Kerry famously could have won if he had just flipped Ohio, where the margin was just 118,601 votes. However, it would have been slightly more efficient in vote terms to flip New Mexico, Iowa, Nevada, and Alaska, with a cumulative margin of 117,411. That means a flip of just 58,706 votes would have given Kerry the presidency.In 2008, Barack Obama steamrolled John McCain with a popular vote margin of over 9.5 million, and 365 electoral votes. But it would have taken relatively few vote changes to overturn even that landslide result. Obama won Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Rhode Island, Maine, New Mexico, Nevada, Vermont, Delaware, New Hampshire, Indiana, and North Carolina by a cumulative margin of just 1.436 million votes — therefore flipping just 718,138 would have given McCain an additional 97 electoral votes and victory. Similarly in 2012, Mitt Romney could have won by taking the nine closest states in terms of total votes, requiring only 384,188 flips. Then in 2016, Trump of course squeaked out an Electoral College victory with tiny margins in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — just 38,868 flips would have given Clinton the win.That finally brings me to 2020. Biden won the popular vote easily, with a margin maybe in the neighborhood of 6.9 million or so (depending on what happens in New York.) But it would have taken just 33,139 flips in Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin to deliver a Trump second term.Bringing this all together: If we plot these minimum vote flips to change the Electoral College result as a percentage of the popular vote margin, we can get a sense of how badly it diverges from the principle of one person, one vote:Courtesy: U.S. Elections AtlasWhat this shows is that the Electoral College is routinely on the edge of handing the popular vote loser the presidency even when it doesn't happen — and it seems to be getting worse. In 2008 and 2012, it would have taken a flip of 7.5 percent and 11 percent of the popular vote margin (still not great), but in 2016, flipping just 1.3 percent of the margin would change the result. The 2020 election, meanwhile, is the worst result since 2000 — though Biden did win, a flip of a mere 0.48 percent of the popular vote margin (or something like 0.02 percent of the total vote) would have let Trump win. Moreover, while the 2008 flipping scenario outlined above relies on implausible large percentage swings in small states like Vermont, Biden's victory depended on razor-thin margins in three swing states.All this speaks for itself. But before Republicans get too smug about cooking up justifications for the Electoral College because it happens to help them at the moment, consider that in 2004, flipping just 1.9 percent of the popular vote margin would have delivered the presidency to the Democrat even though Bush got three million more votes. Because the Electoral College's rules are so goofy and arbitrary, it is very easy to imagine demographic trends handing the Dems a near-automatic victory every time — if Texas went solidly blue, for instance. It would be better and fairer for everyone if the presidency simply went to the candidate that got the most votes.More stories from theweek.com Americans are choosing death over deprivation Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. GOP Sen. Josh Hawley tries to explain how Democrats are both 'Marxists' and 'corporatists'
Iran’s parliament on Tuesday approved a bill that would suspend U.N. inspections of its nuclear facilities and require the government to boost its uranium enrichment if European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal do not provide relief from oil and banking sanctions. The vote to approve the bill, which would also require approval by the Guardian Council, a constitutional watchdog, was a show of defiance after the killing of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist last month. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the final say on all nuclear policies.
The recent Armenia-Azerbaijan war, a result of failed diplomacy, has thrown up a new victor and paved the way for Turkey to extend its influence.
The Trump campaign is set to file a lawsuit Tuesday morning in Wisconsin's Supreme Court alleging that abuse of absentee voting affected 220,000 ballots in the battleground state that President-elect Joe Biden won.The campaign makes several claims of election officials intentionally breaking the law, resulting in illegal votes being cast and counted. According to the lawsuit, Wisconsin Election Commission officials as well as the city clerks of Milwaukee and Madison “willfully disregarded the current statute and made conscious efforts to circumvent Wisconsin election law,” causing a substantial number of votes to be counted that were cast “well outside of the bounds of Wisconsin law.”One such instance involves election officials accepting ballots without the required absentee ballot request forms on file, as Wisconsin law mandates, the campaign claims. Ballots that were cast without an absentee ballot application on file should be challenged, the campaign said.The campaign also claims that municipal clerks were “illegally altering ballot envelopes themselves” and fixing errors such as missing addresses.Election officials also allowed voters to flout voter ID laws, the lawsuit alleges, by allowing them to vote absentee even though they were not “indefinitely confined,” meaning they are “physically ill, infirm, elderly or disabled,” the group for which Wisconsin reserves absentee voting.Finally, the lawsuit claims the city of Madison allowed “unlawful polling locations at over 200 locations throughout the city’s Democracy in the Park voting events,” making ballots cast at those locations illegal. The Biden campaign also encouraged and advertised those events, according to the campaign.The head of the Trump campaign's Wisconsin legal team, former Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Jim Troupis, admitted that Wisconsin's ten electoral votes likely will not change the overall outcome of the election but said the campaign also sees long-term benefits of challenging the election process in the state.“Exposing exactly how the election processes were abused in Wisconsin holds enormous value for this election beyond a victory for President Trump, but the fact is, our state’s electoral votes likely won’t change the overall outcome,” Troupis said. “Regardless, we’re demonstrating that the results of this election unequivocally ought to be questioned.”The campaign's suit comes after Wisconsin finished a partial recount of the vote tally on Sunday, which added 87 votes to Biden's lead in the state. Democratic Governor Tony Evers certified the election results Monday night, a day before the deadline to do so.Hours earlier Arizona also certified its election results, affirming Biden as the first Democrat to be victorious in the state since 1996.Trump has so far refused to concede since the election, claiming that widespread fraud occurred with large numbers of mail ballots sufficient to overturn his victory.