After gamely crisscrossing the country for months in pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, John Hickenlooper, once one of America’s most popular governors, announced on Thursday that he was dropping out of the race.
Though his faltering campaign had recently become the cause of mirth, Hickenlooper wasn’t crazy to think he had a shot at the job when he started.
It wasn’t so long ago that the surest route to the White House was first to serve as a governor. As Alan Greenblatt of Governing recently observed, governors won seven of the eight presidential elections from 1976 to 2004, hardly ancient history.
Source: Governors Are Losing the Space to Govern – Route Fifty
A nonprofit group tallied 2,310 conflicts of interest stemming from President Trump’s unprecedented decision to retain a stake in his business properties since he took office in 2017.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington released a report Thursday that calculated the number of times the president visited his properties at taxpayers’ expense (362), the number of foreign government officials (110) and U.S. officials (250) who have visited Trump properties and the number of political events (63) held at his properties.
Source: Watchdog Group Tallies 2,310 Conflicts of Interest Associated With President Trump’s Businesses – Government Executive
In Michigan, a state that’s 16 electoral votes Trump captured by winning just 10,704 more votes – or 0.3 percent of votes cast in the Wolverine State – Democrats are getting back to some very basic, old-fashioned campaign rules.
Listen. Don’t treat voting as a transaction. And make sure you don’t take for granted those “reliable” voters – such as African Americans – who turned out to be not so reliable for Democrats in 2016.
Source: Michigan Democrats Learn Painful Lessons From 2016 | The Civic Report | US News
Deepfake videos are likely to pose a grave threat to the 2020 election, unless the media adopts stringent policies to distinguish real videos from sophisticated forgeries, experts say.
“The press is going to have to resist the urge to get the scoop by talking about something that may not be true before they can validate it,” said Amy Zegart, co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University.
Source: Deepfake videos may have unwitting ally in US media | TheHill
The darkening economic clouds come at a difficult time for President Trump, posing a direct threat to his plans to ride a wave of robust U.S. job market and consumer spending to a second term.
The president was quick to blame the Federal Reserve for Wednesday’s stock plunge, heaping scorn on his frequent economic scapegoat as central banks around the world cut their rates.
Source: Recession fears surge as stock markets plunge | TheHill
Rarely has the world seen a single-day market crash like the one in Argentina this week. Investors stampeded for the exits Monday, devastating markets for Argentina’s stocks, bonds and currency, following the outcome of a primary election that strongly suggested President Mauricio Macri will lose his reelection bid.
At one point, Argentina’s Merval index had dropped a staggering 48 percent, the second-biggest single-day loss anywhere in the past 70 years.
When the day was over, the Merval had lost more than a third of its value, bonds had fallen 20 percent and the peso had crashed to new record lows.
Investors are fleeing because they are convinced that a victory by Macri’s challengers, Alberto Fernandez and his running-mate, former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, will spell disaster for Argentina’s economy.
Source: Why Fears of Fernandez’s Return Are Sinking Macri’s Reelection Hopes in Argentina
Frustrated by the government’s unresponsiveness, some protesters turned to violence. However, most protests, including a one-day general strike and the initial occupation of Hong Kong International Airport, were peaceful.
The protesters have expanded their demands. Many now insist on electoral reforms that the PRC has long rejected, as well as the reversal of the Hong Kong government’s removal of some democratically elected members from the Legislative Council.
They want to exercise the political freedoms that they believe they were promised by the “one country, two systems” provisions of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 and Hong Kong’s Basic Law.
Source: The Crisis in Hong Kong: What to Know | Council on Foreign Relations
President Trump’s less than enthusiastic reception in El Paso, Texas, along with the announcements by four Texas Republican congressmen that they will not be running for re-election, has drawn attention to the changing demography of that state.
Back in the 19th century a French sociologist first said “Demography is destiny.” And so it is, albeit over the long run.
Demographic change is slow, even glacial. But at some point demography becomes destiny.
Could we be on the verge in Texas?
Source: Is demography destiny in Texas?
Russia is “doing it as we sit here.”
This stray line, buried in seven hours of testimony on Capitol Hill, wasn’t just Robert Mueller’s way of rebutting the charge that his investigation into the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 presidential election amounted to a two-year, $32 million witch hunt.
It was also a blunt message to the lawmakers arrayed before him, the journalists hunting for a bombshell, and the millions of Americans monitoring the proceedings: We’re all here fighting the last war, when we really should be bracing ourselves for the coming one.
The Russians “expect to do it during the next campaign,” the special counsel continued, and “many more countries are developing capability to replicate” Moscow’s model.
Source: Here’s What Foreign Interference Will Look Like in 2020 – Nextgov
It was a classic Trump move: distract, divert, repeat. When a presidential problem surfaces, the president finds a way to move the problem out of the public eye, relieving pressure on him to solve the actual problem.
But two and a half years into his tumultuous presidency, Trump is finding that problems at home and abroad are mounting, getting harder to obscure. And with the presidential campaign heating up, the president is getting daily criticism from two dozen people who want his job.
Source: President Trump’s Distraction Strategy Could Be Fraying | The Civic Report | US News