Election Day is just days away and more voters are heading to polls - many of them under 25 years old.
Election Day is just days away and more voters are heading to polls - many of them under 25 years old.
Geoffrey S. Berman, the ousted federal prosecutor in Manhattan who led several investigations into President Donald Trump's allies, has been hired by a white-shoe law firm in New York. Berman will provide criminal defense in white-collar cases and work on complex commercial litigation at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, the firm announced Tuesday. The firm is “well known for its cutting-edge counsel to top tier companies and high-profile individuals,” Berman said in a statement.
China has provided North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his family with an experimental coronavirus vaccine, a U.S. analyst said on Tuesday, citing two unidentified Japanese intelligence sources. Harry Kazianis, a North Korea expert at the Center for the National Interest think tank in Washington, said the Kims and several senior North Korean officials had been vaccinated.
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'
The Georgetown Law graduate who also served as chief of staff to President Clinton will join at least two other Black women who are set to hold senior roles in Harris’ office. Earlier this week President-elect Joe Biden made headlines when he announced that he had hired an all-female senior communications team. Now it’s being reported that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is furthering this unprecedented pro-woman administration with her eyes set on Tina Flournoy as her chief of staff.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised Monday that justice will be done in the case of a French restaurant owner who was found murdered over the the weekend. López Obrador compared the case to last year’s killings of nine U.S. dual-nationals in northern Mexico, claiming “practically all” of whose alleged killers in that attack have been arrested. Authorities said evidence indicates dual French-Mexican citizen Baptiste Jacques Daniel Lormand set out late last week to sell bottles of high-end wine or liquor, accompanied by a Mexican partner.
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 president-elect will probably have to wear a medical boot for several weeks, his doctor says.
President Trump threatened to veto a $740 billion defense spending bill if it doesn't repeal Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, an unrelated provision that grants broad legal immunity to social media and other internet sites. Unless the "dangerous and unfair Section 230" is "completely terminated," Trump said on Twitter, he will "unequivocally veto" the legislation. Section 230, which shields social media companies from legal liability for user content posted on their sites, is considered a foundational provision of the internet.Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act with bipartisan support for 59 years in a row, and "presidents from both parties have always signed them, even after issuing veto threats," The Wall Street Journal notes. "The Senate version passed 86-14, and the House version passed 295-125, more than the two-thirds supermajority needed to override a potential veto." Negotiators are currently working out the differences so the legislation can be cleared in the next few weeks. Trump has already threatened to veto this same bill over a provision to rename military bases honoring Confederate officers.There is bipartisan support to reform Section 230, though each party objects to different ways it affects social media. Democrats say Facebook, Twitter, and other sites should do more to weed out disinformation and dangerous content, while Trump has complained baselessly that the sites censor conservatives. The NDAA authorizes $740 billion in Pentagon and Energy Department spending, including a 3 percent raise for U.S. troops, and guides Pentagon policy decisions.Besides passing the NDAA, Congress hopes to push through a spending bill to keep the government running and a COVID-19 relief package before adjourning for the year.More stories from theweek.com Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. Americans are choosing death over deprivation McConnell's latest COVID relief plan includes GOP priorities, 1-month unemployment extension
Alabama on Tuesday set a February execution date for a man convicting of the 1991 killing of a woman abducted near an automatic teller machine and later found shot in a cemetery. The Alabama Supreme Court ordered that 51-year-old Willie B. Smith III be put to death on Feb. 11 for the shotgun slaying of Sharma Ruth Johnson. Prosecutors said Smith abducted Johnson at gunpoint in October 1991 as she waited to use an ATM machine in Birmingham, forced her into the trunk of a car and withdrew $80 using her bank card.
An international coalition of more than 150 parliamentarians has urged Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, to guarantee a fair legal process for 12 young people who were detained in China in August after allegedly trying to flee the former British colony to reach Taiwan by sea. The open letter issued on Tuesday by 155 politicians from the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Myanmar and multiple European nations adds weight to a global campaign that has sprung up since the so-called “Hong Kong 12” were intercepted by the Chinese coastguard and jailed in the mainland city of Shenzhen. They were facing accusations of illegally crossing the border between Hong Kong and China. The group had tried to escape Hong Kong by speedboat, fearing political persecution amid an ongoing crackdown on pro-democracy activists and the introduction in June of a draconian national security law. The law punishes broadly defined crimes such as “secession” with up to life in prison. Beijing imposed the law to curb year-long anti-government protests. Hong Kong's Security Bureau has said all 12 were suspected of committing crimes including manufacturing or possessing explosives, arson and rioting in Hong Kong. The group consists of unnamed individuals aged 16 to 33. Signatories to the letter, who include Tom Tugendhat, the Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, and fellow MPs Iain Duncan Smith, Damian Green, Hilary Benn and John McDonnell, have appealed to Ms Lam to intervene to bring the group back to Hong Kong to face trial in local courts.
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.
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.
James Dixon put his bare hands in the food at the home where his victim was the host’s boyfriend. A Chicago man has been charged with murder after a fight over some Thanksgiving leftovers. James Dixon, 28, allegedly stabbed 52-year-old Vincell Jackson as the man was being escorted out of a house following a holiday gathering.