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AZProgressive's Journal
AZProgressive's Journal
April 30, 2019

Who's in the Democratic Debates, Who's in Danger of Missing Them

As you may have heard, the first Democratic presidential debate will be split across two nights, June 26 and 27, because there are so many candidates: 20 and counting.

What you may not have heard is that the debate qualifications are turning out to be relatively easy to meet — to the point that they may cause embarrassment for some Democrats.

First, let’s lay out the qualifications: A candidate either has to receive donations from 65,000 people (including 200 donors apiece in 20 states) or has to register 1 percent support in three polls. Only polls from a preset list of organizations are accepted, and candidates cannot count two polls from the same pollster in the same place.

April 29, 2019

55% flatly rule out voting for Trump, health care is top issue

The key issue of the 2018 midterms may stick around to trouble President Donald Trump in 2020: Americans, by a 17-point margin, say his handling of health care makes them more likely to oppose than support him for a second term.

That result, from the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, marks one of many challenges Trump is expected to face as he seeks re-election.

The Mueller report and his immigration policies are substantial negatives as well. As reported Friday, Trump’s overall popularity is low: just 39 % of people approve of his work in office, and 55% flatly rule out voting for him next year.

Beyond that, a remarkable 75% of Americans, and 85% of registered voters, say they’re certain to vote in the 2020 election -- intended turnout levels typically only seen in the closing days of a presidential contest. If that intensity is maintained, it may boost Democratic candidates, many of whose core support groups are less reliable voters.


See PDF for full results, charts and tables.


April 29, 2019

Blackwater Founder Erik Prince's New Company Is Operating In Iraq

Frontier Services Group has not publicly stated it is working in Iraq, but documents obtained by BuzzFeed News show it was registered there last year.

By Rosalind Adams

HONG KONG — A Hong Kong–based security and logistics company founded by Erik Prince is working in the south of Iraq, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.

Prince, a former Navy SEAL and the brother of US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is best known for founding Blackwater, a private mercenary company that was banned from Iraq after contractors opened fire on and killed unarmed civilians in Baghdad.

Backed by Chinese money, Prince started the Hong Kong–listed Frontier Services Group (FSG) as a logistics company in 2014. Since then it’s expanded from operating Africa-based projects to offering logistics and security services for China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, a global infrastructure strategy adopted by the Chinese government. FSG has additional offices in mainland China; Southeast Asia; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

A subsidiary of the company based in Dubai — Frontier Logistics Consultancy DMCC — registered as a foreign company with Iraq’s Ministry of Trade, a document from February 2018 shows. The office is based in Basra, an oil-rich region in the south of the country, a source said.


April 25, 2019

We found 85,000 cops who've been investigated for misconduct. Now you can read their records

USA TODAY is leading a national effort to obtain and publish disciplinary and misconduct records for thousands of police officers.
John Kelly and Mark Nichols, USA TODAY
Updated 52 minutes ago

At least 85,000 law enforcement officers across the USA have been investigated or disciplined for misconduct over the past decade, an investigation by USA TODAY Network found.

Officers have beaten members of the public, planted evidence and used their badges to harass women. They have lied, stolen, dealt drugs, driven drunk and abused their spouses.


Among the findings:

Most misconduct involves routine infractions, but the records reveal tens of thousands of cases of serious misconduct and abuse. They include 22,924 investigations of officers using excessive force, 3,145 allegations of rape, child molestation and other sexual misconduct and 2,307 cases of domestic violence by officers.

Dishonesty is a frequent problem. The records document at least 2,227 instances of perjury, tampering with evidence or witnesses or falsifying reports. There were 418 reports of officers obstructing investigations, most often when they or someone they knew were targets.


There is a searchable database at link.

April 21, 2019



Though marijuana has been legalized — at least for medical use — in more than half the country, it remains outlawed by the federal government, which still considers cannabis on a par with heroin. First-term Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota said Saturday morning that she believes it is time for the U.S. to not only legalize pot on a countrywide basis, but to retroactively clear the criminal records of those previously jailed on marijuana charges.

"Cannabis criminalization disproportionately impacts communities of color," wrote Omar on Twitter Saturday morning. "We must finally legalize cannabis nationwide and expunge records for those incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses."


According to the American Civil Liberties Union, Omar's statement about marijuana arrests disproportionately affecting people of color was accurate. ACLU research found that, between 2001 and 2010, black people were four times more likely to be arrested on marijuana-related charges than whites, despite the fact that cannabis was used by the same percentage of people in either racial demographic.


April 4, 2019

Bernie's biggest fans: The global left

Bernie’s biggest fans: The global left
Sanders is viewed abroad as a potential figurehead for a worldwide movement against right-wing populism.

By HOLLY OTTERBEIN 04/04/2019 05:02 AM EDT

Bernie Sanders has a base that no other 2020 candidate can claim: left-wing politicians around the globe.

From South America to Europe to the Middle East, leftist leaders are celebrating his candidacy, viewing him as an iconic democratic socialist with the potential to lead a worldwide progressive movement at a time when right-wing populism is on the rise across the map.


Not all of Sanders’ foreign fans are so controversial. Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom’s Labour Party have argued that Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn would have a “special relationship” if the two men both rose to the top of their countries.


"Bernie Sanders’ last campaign was part of the inspiration for the way in which Labour approached the 2017 general election,” he said, “where we went to a very low position in the polls to being the biggest swing to the Labour Party in a general election since 1945.”

“I was not alone among Corbyn’s supporters in reflecting on what Labour could learn from the Sanders campaign,” he wrote in 2018. “Not only was there considerable common ground on policy, they were both ‘anti-establishment’ politicians who had the authenticity and credibility, on the one hand, to counter the right-wing populism of Donald Trump and [Brexit leader] Nigel Farage and, on the other, to inspire and mobilise young people on a scale not seen for a generation.”


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