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  21. <title>Kim Jung Un and Vladimir Putin during their high profile meeting in North Korea in June 2024. AP/Alamy Kim-Putin deal: why this is a coded message aimed at China and how it worries Beijing</title>
  22. <link>https://themoderatevoice.com/kim-jung-un-and-vladimir-putin-during-their-high-profile-meeting-in-north-korea-in-june-2024-ap-alamy-kim-putin-deal-why-this-is-a-coded-message-aimed-at-china-and-how-it-worries-beijing/</link>
  23. <comments>https://themoderatevoice.com/kim-jung-un-and-vladimir-putin-during-their-high-profile-meeting-in-north-korea-in-june-2024-ap-alamy-kim-putin-deal-why-this-is-a-coded-message-aimed-at-china-and-how-it-worries-beijing/#respond</comments>
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  25. <pubDate>Fri, 21 Jun 2024 14:25:13 +0000</pubDate>
  26. <category><![CDATA[Asia]]></category>
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  28. <category><![CDATA[Featured]]></category>
  29. <category><![CDATA[North Korea]]></category>
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  33. <category><![CDATA[China North Korea Xi Jinping Vladimir Putin Kim Jung Un Ukraine invasion 202]]></category>
  34. <category><![CDATA[Kim Jung Un]]></category>
  35. <category><![CDATA[Ukraine invasion 2022]]></category>
  36. <category><![CDATA[Vladimir Putin]]></category>
  37. <category><![CDATA[Xi Jingping]]></category>
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  40. <description><![CDATA[<p>Chee Meng Tan, University of Nottingham and Chi Zhang, University of St Andrews The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, paid a visit to Pyongyang this week and signed a defence pact with reclusive North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, as he looks for new allies who can help him increase Russia’s supply of munitions for the war<a class="read-more" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/kim-jung-un-and-vladimir-putin-during-their-high-profile-meeting-in-north-korea-in-june-2024-ap-alamy-kim-putin-deal-why-this-is-a-coded-message-aimed-at-china-and-how-it-worries-beijing/"> [&#8230;]</a></p>
  41. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/kim-jung-un-and-vladimir-putin-during-their-high-profile-meeting-in-north-korea-in-june-2024-ap-alamy-kim-putin-deal-why-this-is-a-coded-message-aimed-at-china-and-how-it-worries-beijing/">Kim Jung Un and Vladimir Putin during their high profile meeting in North Korea in June 2024. AP/Alamy Kim-Putin deal: why this is a coded message aimed at China and how it worries Beijing</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  42. ]]></description>
  43. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/dreamstime_s_93853693-e1718979703807.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="516" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-279476" /></p>
  44. <div class="theconversation-article-body">
  45. <p>  <span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chee-meng-tan-672794">Chee Meng Tan</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-nottingham-1192">University of Nottingham</a></em> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chi-zhang-1223704">Chi Zhang</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-st-andrews-1280">University of St Andrews</a></em></span></p>
  46. <p>The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, paid a <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/videos/c722gvppglyo">visit to Pyongyang</a> this week and signed a defence pact with reclusive North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, as he looks for new allies who can help him increase Russia’s supply of munitions for the war in Ukraine. </p>
  47. <p>As part of this mutual aid deal, the two leaders promised that each country will come to the defence <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/putin-meets-kim-north-korea-rcna157665">of the other</a> if attacked. Kim also promised North Korea’s full support for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.</p>
  48. <p>What’s interesting about the entire Russia-North Korea showy display of camaraderie is China’s response: silence. China has <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/20/world/asia/china-russia-north-korea.html#:%7E:text=News%20Analysis-,Russia%20and%20North%20Korea's%20Defense%20Pact%20Is%20a%20New%20Headache,military%20presence%20on%20China's%20periphery.&amp;text=David%20Pierson%20reported%20from%20Hong,Sang%2DHun%20reported%20from%20Seoul.">misgivings</a> about how things are unfolding, which reports suggest prompted Chinese president Xi Jinping’s <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c1vv196pe3eo">call</a> to Putin to call off the latter’s visit to Pyongyang. Obviously, Putin didn’t heed Xi’s request.</p>
  49. <p>Why would Beijing be so rattled by the Russian-North Korea defence treaty? After all, China has its own <a href="https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/china-north-korea-relationship">defensive pact</a> with North Korea, which was inked in 1961 and renewed in 2021. Beijing also has a <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/putin-visit-china-deepen-no-limits-partnership-with-xi-2023-10-15/">“no limits”</a> partnership with Russia.</p>
  50. <p>Logically, if China could sign its <a href="https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/why-china-north-korea-decided-renew-60-year-old-treaty">own defence treaty</a> with North Korea, so can Russia. But the pact made by Putin and Kim severely threatens Chinese security.</p>
  51. <p>China was <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-is-china-risking-us-sanctions-by-arming-russia-survival-228333">already worried</a> that whatever control it has over North Korea was weakened when Pyongyang reportedly supplied <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/17/world/europe/russia-north-korea-weapons-ukraine.html#:%7E:text=By%20March%2C%20officials%20said%2C%20North,South%20Korea's%20defense%20minister%20said.">almost 7,000 containers worth of weapons</a> to Moscow. And this is why, in April, the Middle Kingdom sent its third most senior leader within the Chinese Communist party hierarchy, <a href="https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/wjdt_665385/wsrc_665395/202404/t20240409_11278408.html">Zhao Leji</a>, to assure the North Korean strongman that Beijing was still a strong ally. </p>
  52. <p>Now the defensive pact that draws Moscow and Pyongyang closer threatens to further diminish China’s influence over Kim. The Kremlin knows that one of Beijing’s greatest fears is that a renegade North Korea may one day <a href="https://www.rand.org/pubs/commentary/2023/09/north-korea-and-china-arent-the-allies-you-think-they.html">point its weapons at China</a>.</p>
  53. <p>And this is a key reason behind Putin’s peace treaty with Pyongyang.</p>
  54. <h2>China and North Korea’s turbulent past</h2>
  55. <p>For decades, China had tried to maintain its influence over Pyongyang by being the <a href="https://www.stimson.org/2024/china-as-a-mediator-in-north-korea-facilitating-dialogues-or-mediating-conflicts/">mediator</a> between North Korea and the rest of the world. This included <a href="https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/10/china-mediator-trump-korea-talks-635361">attempting to curb</a> North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Beijing does so to safeguard its own <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-is-china-risking-us-sanctions-by-arming-russia-survival-228333">safety and survival</a>, and probably believes that as long as North Korea remains <a href="https://asiasociety.org/new-york/events/bitter-allies-china-and-north-korea">dependent</a> on China, it wouldn’t bite the hand that feeds it. China <a href="https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/china-north-korea-relationship">also remains</a> North Korea’s biggest trade partner. </p>
  56. <p>This all sounds awfully bizarre, since China’s mutual defence pact with North Korea suggests that both nations are close allies. But North Korea has a tradition of <a href="https://www.rand.org/pubs/commentary/2023/09/north-korea-and-china-arent-the-allies-you-think-they.html">defying China</a>, and this deal with Russia might embolden it further – and that will be worrying Beijing.</p>
  57. <p>In 2017, for instance, Kim Jong-un, in clear defiance of China, ordered the <a href="https://www.wsj.com/video/the-moment-kim-jong-nam-was-attacked-cctv-footage/D4AAC6B7-60BE-4457-8B20-093F3F063197">assassination</a> of his half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, in Malaysia. And when China retaliated by <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40932427">halting all coal imports</a> from North Korea into China, North Korea not only <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-korea/north-korea-condemns-lone-ally-china-publicly-first-time-n725086">condemned Beijing</a> for “dancing to the tune of the United States”, but also vented its anger by <a href="https://abcnews.go.com/International/north-korean-missile-test-year/story?id=46592733">firing missiles</a> in the direction of Japan. </p>
  58. <p>But where the missiles originated from in North Korea and the distance that it covered towards the direction of Japan provided China with a rather grim check on reality: North Korea’s <a href="https://www.rand.org/pubs/commentary/2023/09/north-korea-and-china-arent-the-allies-you-think-they.html">weapon capabilities</a> extend to major Chinese cities.</p>
  59. <p>The Sino-Korean <a href="https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/north-korean-attitudes-toward-china-historical-view-contemporary-difficulties">animosity</a> dates back centuries and took shape when Korea was a <a href="https://ijkh.khistory.org/journal/view.php?number=539">vassal state</a> of imperial China. Unfortunately, this animosity extended to modern times when Mao Zedong decided to <a href="https://cup.columbia.edu/book/a-misunderstood-friendship/9780231200554">station Chinese troops</a> in North Korea even after the conclusion of the Korean war, and when Beijing did not aid Pyongyang in its <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-east-asian-studies/article/abs/north-koreas-quest-for-nuclear-weapons-new-historical-evidence/EEFF3E4B0C6EF53549C086C0A4782423">nuclear ambitions</a>. </p>
  60. <p>It didn’t help either that the founding leader of North Korea, Kim Il-sung, was suspected of espionage and was <a href="https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/2022-01/China-North_Korea_Strategic_Rift.pdf">nearly executed</a> by the Chinese Communist party in the 1930s. </p>
  61. <p>All this history plays a part in what decisions and alliances are being made today, and why.</p>
  62. <p>It would be a serious mistake to think that the Russians, even in desperation, would believe that making North Korea an ally would turn the tide of the Ukrainian-Russian war in Russia’s favour. But this move, and his recent trip to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/jun/20/vladimir-putin-vietnam-state-visit">Vietnam</a>, shows Putin’s desperation. Even if Pyongyang continues to supply Russia with much-needed ammunition and <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/6/20/putin-says-russia-may-send-weapons-to-north-korea">weapons</a>, Moscow will need greater technology and firepower to win against a Ukraine that uses weapons <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62002218">supplied by the US and Europe</a>. </p>
  63. <h2>Putin’s agenda</h2>
  64. <p>This fact is not lost to Putin, and he knows that for Russia to stand a winning chance in the war that <a href="https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9847/">he started in 2022</a>, requires its partner of <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/putin-visit-china-deepen-no-limits-partnership-with-xi-2023-10-15/">“no limits”</a> to stand firmly by Russia’s side. </p>
  65. <p>But beyond supplying Russia with the <a href="https://news.sky.com/story/the-dual-use-chinese-goods-helping-russias-war-machine-13136786">dual-use technology</a> (which could be used for civilian or military purposes) to fuel Russia’s industrial war complex, China appears to have fallen short of <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/china-ukraine-weapons-russia-war-wang-yi-munich-1871036">supplying actual weapons</a> to Russia. </p>
  66. <p>Even if China wanted to provide weapons to Russia it can’t. This is because it fears further antagonising the west, and triggering <a href="https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/3267146/us-signals-further-steps-loom-halt-chinese-exports-support-russia-ukraine-war">economic sanctions</a> would prove lethal for an already <a href="https://theconversation.com/china-why-the-countrys-economy-has-hit-a-wall-and-what-it-plans-to-do-about-it-225623">ailing</a> Chinese economy.</p>
  67. <p>China knows that it needs a strong Russia so that the west doesn’t <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-is-china-risking-us-sanctions-by-arming-russia-survival-228333">consolidate its resources</a> to deal with the <a href="https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/counterintelligence/the-china-threat">perceived Chinese threat</a>. But on the other hand, helping Moscow may prove too much for Beijing to stomach since that would <a href="https://www.politico.eu/article/janet-yellen-us-china-antony-blinken-nato-ukraine-russia-war/">harm China’s economy</a>.</p>
  68. <p>So, Putin needs to force Beijing’s hand, and the peace treaty that he just signed with North Korea might just do the trick.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img loading="lazy" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232863/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important" referrerpolicy="no-referrer-when-downgrade" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p>
  69. <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chee-meng-tan-672794">Chee Meng Tan</a>, Assistant Professor of Business Economics, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-nottingham-1192">University of Nottingham</a></em> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chi-zhang-1223704">Chi Zhang</a>, Associate lecturer in international relations, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-st-andrews-1280">University of St Andrews</a></em></span></p>
  70. <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/kim-putin-deal-why-this-is-a-coded-message-aimed-at-china-and-how-it-worries-beijing-232863">original article</a>.</p>
  71. </div>
  72. <p><em>Top image: Photo 93853693 | Map © Marko Bukorovic | Dreamstime.com</em></p>
  73. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/kim-jung-un-and-vladimir-putin-during-their-high-profile-meeting-in-north-korea-in-june-2024-ap-alamy-kim-putin-deal-why-this-is-a-coded-message-aimed-at-china-and-how-it-worries-beijing/">Kim Jung Un and Vladimir Putin during their high profile meeting in North Korea in June 2024. AP/Alamy Kim-Putin deal: why this is a coded message aimed at China and how it worries Beijing</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  74. ]]></content:encoded>
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  79. <title>The Coming War in Lebanon</title>
  80. <link>https://themoderatevoice.com/the-coming-war-in-lebanon/</link>
  81. <comments>https://themoderatevoice.com/the-coming-war-in-lebanon/#respond</comments>
  82. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Guest Voice]]></dc:creator>
  83. <pubDate>Fri, 21 Jun 2024 04:01:47 +0000</pubDate>
  84. <category><![CDATA[Authoritarianism]]></category>
  85. <category><![CDATA[Christianity]]></category>
  86. <category><![CDATA[Democracy]]></category>
  87. <category><![CDATA[Hamas]]></category>
  88. <category><![CDATA[Iran]]></category>
  89. <category><![CDATA[Islam]]></category>
  90. <category><![CDATA[Israel]]></category>
  91. <category><![CDATA[Jews]]></category>
  92. <category><![CDATA[Lebanon]]></category>
  93. <category><![CDATA[Middle East]]></category>
  94. <category><![CDATA[Muslims]]></category>
  95. <category><![CDATA[Palestinians]]></category>
  96. <category><![CDATA[Religion]]></category>
  97. <category><![CDATA[Terrorism]]></category>
  98. <category><![CDATA[Ukraine]]></category>
  99. <category><![CDATA[War]]></category>
  100. <category><![CDATA[Hezbollah]]></category>
  101. <category><![CDATA[Jordan]]></category>
  102. <category><![CDATA[Lebanese Republic]]></category>
  103. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://themoderatevoice.com/?p=279410</guid>
  104.  
  105. <description><![CDATA[<p>By: David Anderson, J.D. Columnist Asymmetries and Moral Challenges A few decades ago I flew to Beirut because my mentor was dying there, to see the old chap off.  As my professor he&#8217;d taught me Middle East politics at our university in Australia over a decade earlier and he&#8217;d encouraged me to apply for a scholarship to study<a class="read-more" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/the-coming-war-in-lebanon/"> [&#8230;]</a></p>
  106. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/the-coming-war-in-lebanon/">The Coming War in Lebanon</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  107. ]]></description>
  108. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/dreamstime_s_11384531-e1718942051945.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="500" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-279469" /></p>
  109. <p><strong>By: David Anderson, J.D.</strong><br />
  110. <strong>Columnist</strong></p>
  111. <p><strong>Asymmetries and Moral Challenges</strong></p>
  112. <p>A few decades ago I flew to Beirut because my mentor was dying there, to see the old chap off.</p>
  113. <p> As my professor he&#8217;d taught me Middle East politics at our university in Australia over a decade earlier and he&#8217;d encouraged me to apply for a scholarship to study graduate level Middle East politics at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. so I did. And I stayed in America, became American and now I&#8217;ve lived in N.Y.C. for three decades so my mentor changed my life utterly for the better. Which is why I went to care for him in his final days in a grim cancer ward in the American University of Beirut Hospital.<br />
  114.  <br />
  115. I&#8217;ve  been studying Middle East politics most of my life, visiting the area many times and I even studied Arabic for a year at night school. I&#8217;m not an expert nor an academic but I could be described as a well informed student of the Islamosphere. </p>
  116. <p> Co-incidentally there was a war on about when I visited: the Lebanese have them often.</p>
  117. <p>The genesis of that war started earlier in the 1970s when, due to the arrival of Palestinians expelled for trying to destroy Jordan a few years earlier, the Palestinian &#8220;Fedayeen&#8221; (fighters) came to Lebanon to establish <em>&#8220;Fatahland&#8221;</em>in the south of that country that wasn’t theirs. Immediately they began attacking south of the border, shelling northern Israel.So, nearly destroying Jordan, getting kicked outta there and fetching up in south Lebanon &#8211; a wealthy, fairly freeChristian country at the time &#8211; they wrecked it. If you&#8217;re<br />
  118. berserk enough and your sociopathy is strong enough you <em>can</em> wreck an entire country and the Palestinians were very dedicated in their homicidal madness. The consequent Lebanese civil war was a long affair which reduced Lebanon to ruin. After &#8220;Fatahland&#8221; (1980s), the Israeli invasion stopped the rockets and the IDF returned to base with hopes of peace. </p>
  119. <p>Forward to 2006 and my visit. Repeated Hezbollah rockets into northern Israel provoked yet <em>another</em> Israeli incursion. Israel doesn&#8217;t start wars, nor does it ever lose them because in that neighborhood there&#8217;s no <em>negotiating.</em> It is a game theory binary: We win, you die*, you win, we die.*with a wrinkle: When Israel wins, being a democracy and civilized, they don&#8217;t just murder everybody they can.</p>
  120. <p>In 2024 we are again in the same place. Iran&#8217;s obedient servants Hezbollah have been rocketing northern Israel <em>nearly every day</em> since October into now uninhabitable northern Israel. Somebody should tell the BBC or CNNbecause they rarely report on this shelling. They don’t report that nearly 100,000 Israeli civilians, aversive to being exploded, abandoned the top fifth or so of their country since last October.</p>
  121. <p>Try to imagine fellow American readers: our northern states deserted because Canada continually shells Minnesota, the Dakotas and New England. This is the situation Israel unhappily finds itself in.    And how would you feel about the UN, say, or the Department of State or the BBC or NBC, if they counselled Minnesotans to just suck it up while Minneapolis burned under Canadian rockets? The ceasefire of the war I saw decades ago in 2006 ended with a UN agreement that Hezbollah would stay &#8220;north of the Letani River&#8221; in Lebanon. Basically their hungry martyrs and bearded ayatollahs pinkie promised to leave the bottom fifth of that country. They immediately broke their promise and Hezbollah still infests south Lebanon today.<br />
  122.  <br />
  123. Hilariously, Hezbollah even have a family friendly jihad theme park (!) I wrote about: chutzpah at scale there in Mleeta.</p>
  124. <p>But wait! Imagine at the <em>same time</em> your most precious loved ones are held hostage in Hamas&#8217; Islamic Republic of Gaza in basements a few miles from you as part of their larger “kill Israel” project? They&#8217;re there because your precious ones attended a music festival in their own democracy. Or got up to make breakfast on &#8220;stolen land&#8221; though not a square inch of Israel was actually stolen.</p>
  125. <p>The peace Hezbollah promised in 1983, again in 2006 and 2005 when Israel abandoned Gaza was broken by the Islamic forces, replaced by the hugely popular terror state in Gaza and ultimately the medieval stylings of Oct 7. ISIS would have been proud because <em>all</em> Islamist forces have the same motivations, goals and morals. Were we secular peaceable westerners faced with such evil we wouldn’t run, we’d shoot.</p>
  126. <p>Ceasefire? Anywhere? Some people can&#8217;t be trusted. Do you have<em> any </em>evidence the Palestinian movement &#8211; in its entirely &#8211; can be trusted to just hold off on the whole Jew killing, Israel annihilating project they are so fond of?</p>
  127. <p>I&#8217;m an atheist and an attorney so I don&#8217;t believe in stuff without evidence. Consequently, I find cries from leftist first world politicians and terrorist LARPing students of &#8220;They want peace&#8221; hollow &#8230;without evidence. I&#8217;ll wait while you detail the Palestinian “Co-Exist movement” in the comments below….</p>
  128. <p>I&#8217;ve got time.</p>
  129. <p>But Israel is starting to lose patience for political and strategic reasons. A fifth of one&#8217;s country abandoned<br />
  130. under rocket fire will put pressure on politicians. Imagine our hypothetical Minnesotans who&#8217;d quite like to go home. As a very amateur Middle East scholar I put the odds of an Israeli invasion at 50:50. </p>
  131. <p>Consider though that a self-inflicted war will destroy weak, failed, beautiful Lebanon. Until the 1970s it was a<br />
  132. Christian country which, after Israel, used to be the richest, most functional state in the Middle East until the<br />
  133. Palestinian fedayeen exploited its sectarian and class rifts into the 1975-1990 war and&#8230;. well&#8230; they wrecked it. The Palestinians wrecked an <em>entire</em> flourishing country. To kill Jews. They reduced Lebanon to a corrupt husk, a <em>spectacularly</em> bankrupt failed state which is about to be thrashed by asymmetrical military power to its south.</p>
  134. <p>Consider that today&#39;s tech, and Iranian missiles, make the wars of last century there look like teenage boys with firecrackers. That tech advance is <em>really</em> a game changer.</p>
  135. <p>For a military analysis of an imminent war it is importantto look at larger theories to predict results. We can ask <strong>what </strong>is behind a Hezbollah fighter? His cousin Mo? A far off ayatollah in Tehran who doesn&#8217;t givea damn about Lebanon? And what is behind that first I.D.F. soldier to cross the border? An Israeli Uzi, a (Israeli) Rafael Industries drone swarm or jets, a(n again, Israeli –<em> see a pattern here?</em>) Merkava tank, a nuclear bomb.</p>
  136. <p>Strategically they are laughably unmatched but the main mismatch in this game is reversed: Israel values its<br />
  137. citizens and soldiers&#8217; lives, the Hezbollah-Palestinian- Hamas axis embraces a  thirst for martyrdom. This<br />
  138. was a <em>pivotal</em> moral factor in past wars and still is. Who is most “valuable” to those ordering trigger pulls? A few years ago one thousand Fedayeen &#8220;warriors&#8221; (aka convicted criminals imprisoned<em> in a democracy</em> for killing fellow Arabs, and Jews) was morally &#8220;worth&#8221; one Israeli soldier named Gilad Shalit.</p>
  139. <p>Here is another analysis, a vital difference to take into account in predictions of war or peace: In democracies like Israel and the U.S. politicians, broadly, do what is in the interests and preferences of their constituents. Voters matter.</p>
  140. <p>In failed states, terrorist organizations (the entire Palestinian movement) and dictatorships (Iran and pretty much all of the Islamosphere) bearded leaders are certain they have &#8220;God&#8217;s remit&#8221;: they do whatever their own vision of paradise or personal profit dictate. So there&#8217;s  another asymmetry in our sum.</p>
  141. <p>We should spare a thought for the non-Hezbollah cohort of Lebanon: Orthodox and Catholic Christians and Sunni Muslims, the Druze and even some Shia&#8217; of Lebanon who very quietly detest Hezbollah and its Iranian masters.<br />
  142.  <br />
  143. Of course, like in the entire Arab world, there are no more Jews left in Lebanon to spare a thought for. Like 800,000 Jews in Arab lands they were robbed, de-naturalized atthe airports and expelled. That’s another historical asymmetry here. </p>
  144. <p><strong>So. War or Not?</strong></p>
  145. <p>Despite Hezbollah’s Iranian armaments northern Israel must be made safe. Democracies like Israel protect their<em>people</em> rather than use them as pawns like Lebanon/Syria or use them as human shields like Hamas does. The Palestinian project in Gaza and Lebanon use people to<em>protect its weapons</em> and tunnels. Israelis know the stakes– will they vote for their northern lands to be quietened by a hellish end-war and invasion of Lebanon?</p>
  146. <p>An invasion of Lebanon, more likely every day, is not vengeance and it is not expansion: what would Israel even <strong>do</strong> with the failed Lebanese Republic anyway? </p>
  147. <p><strong>Differing Objectives.</strong></p>
  148. <p>For a terrifyingly large slice of the Lebanese (and the <em>entire</em> Palestinian) population the goal is a &#8220;Judenfrei&#8221; Jew free) Eastern Mediterranean. <strong>Not land. </strong>For Israel the goal is to be less attacked, to defang murderous(loudly, proudly murderous!) neighbors. This is moral asymmetry at its most stark.</p>
  149. <p>Israel will invade to quieten the northern Hizbalistan aggression and southern Hamas-land and if you think self defense is &#8220;colonialism&#8221; you&#8217;ve probably just wasted $100K of Dad&#8217;s money in tuition to be taught idiot lefty activism rather than factual history.</p>
  150. <p>So will the Merkava tanks have to grind north and envelope south Lebanon again like so many times before?</p>
  151. <p>I&#8217;m not in an I.D.F. command center and I&#39;m not hiding like a terrorist rat under a building either (Hi Nasrallah! Hi Sinwar!) and as a former equities/options trader the best I can tell you is never make predictions about wars and never EVER about wars in the Middle East where Islam &#8211; with its bloody borders, its martyrdom cult and its totalitarianism &#8211;  is involved.</p>
  152. <p>Together, Ukraine and Israel are the moral challenge of our times in the manner of WW2. We now face a similar evil to that our grandparents fought before us. And defeated.</p>
  153. <p><em>David Anderson is an Australian-American lawyer in New York City with a B.A. (Hon.) and graduate study in Middle East politics from the University of Melbourne and Georgetown University. He travelled extensively in the region and has a luke-warm command of Arabic. His career was in finance and law and he now writes for various publications.</em></p>
  154. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/the-coming-war-in-lebanon/">The Coming War in Lebanon</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  155. ]]></content:encoded>
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  159. <item>
  160. <title>Commandments For Hypocrites (Cartoon, Column and Video)</title>
  161. <link>https://themoderatevoice.com/commandments-for-hypocrites-cartoon-column-and-video/</link>
  162. <comments>https://themoderatevoice.com/commandments-for-hypocrites-cartoon-column-and-video/#respond</comments>
  163. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Clay Jones]]></dc:creator>
  164. <pubDate>Fri, 21 Jun 2024 03:44:58 +0000</pubDate>
  165. <category><![CDATA[Cartoons]]></category>
  166. <category><![CDATA[Donald Trump]]></category>
  167. <category><![CDATA[Education]]></category>
  168. <category><![CDATA[Politics]]></category>
  169. <category><![CDATA[Religion]]></category>
  170. <category><![CDATA[Schools]]></category>
  171. <category><![CDATA[Clay Jones]]></category>
  172. <category><![CDATA[claytoonz]]></category>
  173. <category><![CDATA[Editorial Cartoons]]></category>
  174. <category><![CDATA[Louisiana]]></category>
  175. <category><![CDATA[Political Cartoons]]></category>
  176. <category><![CDATA[Republicans]]></category>
  177. <category><![CDATA[separation of church and state]]></category>
  178. <category><![CDATA[state legislatures]]></category>
  179. <category><![CDATA[trump]]></category>
  180. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://themoderatevoice.com/?p=279462</guid>
  181.  
  182. <description><![CDATA[<p>I think Republicans should treat religion in the Trump era the same way they treat government spending when a Republican is president. Ignore it. Republicans love to accuse Democrats of being socialist spenders and giving away free money. They blame our deficit on Democrats and cry that our children will be the ones paying it<a class="read-more" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/commandments-for-hypocrites-cartoon-column-and-video/"> [&#8230;]</a></p>
  183. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/commandments-for-hypocrites-cartoon-column-and-video/">Commandments For Hypocrites (Cartoon, Column and Video)</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  184. ]]></description>
  185. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/CjonesRGB06232024-scaled-e1718932110175.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="574" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-279463" /></p>
  186. <p>I think Republicans should treat religion in the Trump era the same way they treat government spending when a Republican is president. Ignore it.</p>
  187. <p>Republicans love to accuse Democrats of being socialist spenders and giving away free money. They blame our deficit on Democrats and cry that our children will be the ones paying it off. But the fact is, Republicans spend more money, create more debt, and lie about it. But, Republicans don’t talk about the national debt when they hold the White House. They never said anything about debt when Reagan, Bush, the other Bush, or Trump were in the White House but as soon as a Democrat enters, they’ll start howling about debt again.</p>
  188. <p>So, you would think Republicans wouldn’t wanna talk about religion and act all pious when supporting the pussy-grabber-in-chief. But nope, they pretend like it’s business as usual. It’s like a Texas church preaching at you while the pastor is a pedophile.</p>
  189. <p>You would also think they’d shut up about patriotism after trying to reinstall a president who lost the election. Coups and insurgencies by white nationalist terrorists are not patriotic.</p>
  190. <p>Down in Louisiana, where I’m mostly from (it’s complicated), the Republican-controlled state legislature has passed a bill, which was signed into law by the Republican governor, that forces every public school in the state to post the Ten Commandments in every classroom.</p>
  191. <p>These are the same zealots who proclaim themselves to be constitutionalists, but I think that only applies to guns.</p>
  192. <p>The first clause in the Bill of Rights states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” It’s been interpreted ever since that the First Amendment requires the separation of church and state. I’m sure when this goes to court, Louisiana Republicans will claim it’s not Congress who did this, but a state legislature. They will claim this doesn’t violate the Constitution, but they’re wrong. They know they’re wrong. But what they also know is that we currently have a corrupt Supreme Court that often uses religious zealotry for its legal opinions. Recently, the right-wing idiots on the court used the Bible to allow Yeehaw states to ban abortions and a gun manual to bring back bump stocks which a mass shooter used to kill 60 people in Las Vegas.</p>
  193. <p>Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry said, “This bill mandates the display of the Ten Commandments in every classroom — public elementary, secondary and post-education schools — in the state of Louisiana, because if you want to respect the rule of law, you’ve got to start from the original lawgiver.”</p>
  194. <p>But the thing is, there’s no universal agreement on who the “original lawgiver” is however, the state is forcing their religious opinion on every child who that “original lawgiver” is.</p>
  195. <p>The Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and other groups said in a joint statement Wednesday, “The First Amendment promises that we all get to decide for ourselves what religious beliefs, if any, to hold and practice, without pressure from the government. Politicians have no business imposing their preferred religious doctrine on students and families in public schools.”</p>
  196. <p>If a politician can’t understand the separation of church and state, then they have no business imposing their religion on others. And these kids can’t choose to avoid it, whether they’re Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, a witch, a Satanist, Jedi, Swifites, or atheist. I at least can choose to slam the door on Jehovah’s Witnesses.</p>
  197. <p>More hypocrisy comes in the fact that these Christians would never allow a document from another religion to be forced upon children in public schools.</p>
  198. <p>But how can Republicans preach to children that they shouldn’t lie, steal, commit adultery, covet, etc, when they follow a person who could possibly be the anti-Christ? Aside from the grifting, the lies, the insurrection, this is a man who didn’t just cheat on all three of his wives but has bragged about cheating on his wife, bragged about “grabbing women by the pussy,” bragged about being able to crash dressing rooms for teenage girls, has been accused by 26 women of sexual assault, and has been determined by a court of law to be a rapist.</p>
  199. <p>Here’s the deal, people: you can’t be a Jesus freak while being a Trump freak.</p>
  200. <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HUd6f7WpMtw?si=AqM5wufGcsAKffCA" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" referrerpolicy="strict-origin-when-cross-origin" allowfullscreen></iframe><br />
  201. <em><br />
  202. <a href="https://claytoonz.com/">Visit Clay Jones&#8217; website</a> and email him at Clay@claytoonz.com.</em></p>
  203. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/commandments-for-hypocrites-cartoon-column-and-video/">Commandments For Hypocrites (Cartoon, Column and Video)</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  204. ]]></content:encoded>
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  207. </item>
  208. <item>
  209. <title>IT’S THE SUPREME COURT, STUPID</title>
  210. <link>https://themoderatevoice.com/its-the-supreme-court-stupid/</link>
  211. <comments>https://themoderatevoice.com/its-the-supreme-court-stupid/#respond</comments>
  212. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Dick Polman, Cagle Cartoons Columnist]]></dc:creator>
  213. <pubDate>Fri, 21 Jun 2024 00:56:48 +0000</pubDate>
  214. <category><![CDATA[2024 Presidential Election]]></category>
  215. <category><![CDATA[Featured]]></category>
  216. <category><![CDATA[Politics]]></category>
  217. <category><![CDATA[Supreme Court]]></category>
  218. <category><![CDATA[2024 Elections]]></category>
  219. <category><![CDATA[Conservatives]]></category>
  220. <category><![CDATA[Democrats]]></category>
  221. <category><![CDATA[Dick Polman]]></category>
  222. <category><![CDATA[Donald Trump]]></category>
  223. <category><![CDATA[Joe Biden]]></category>
  224. <category><![CDATA[Liberals]]></category>
  225. <category><![CDATA[MAGA Supreme Court]]></category>
  226. <category><![CDATA[Republicans]]></category>
  227. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://themoderatevoice.com/?p=279459</guid>
  228.  
  229. <description><![CDATA[<p>Well, hallelujah! At long last, Democrats are poised to highlight our highest court as a top-tier campaign issue. The opposition camp has been doing this for decades – to devastating effect, as you may have noticed – so it’s nice that the Dems are finally waking up. It’s a tad late, of course, but better<a class="read-more" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/its-the-supreme-court-stupid/"> [&#8230;]</a></p>
  230. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/its-the-supreme-court-stupid/">IT’S THE SUPREME COURT, STUPID</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  231. ]]></description>
  232. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/rick-mckee_supreme-court-unindicted-co-conspirators-e1718931255454.png" alt="" width="760" height="495" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-279460" /></p>
  233. <p>Well, hallelujah! At long last, Democrats are poised to highlight our highest court as a top-tier campaign issue.</p>
  234. <p>The opposition camp has been doing this for decades – to devastating effect, as you may have noticed – so it’s nice that the Dems are finally waking up. It’s a tad late, of course, but better late than never.</p>
  235. <p>President Biden made the wake-up call at a fundraiser last weekend. He correctly warned that if Trump is reinstalled in the Oval Office, the convicted felon will likely have the opportunity to appoint a few more MAGA jurists to the Supreme Court.</p>
  236. <p>Or, as Biden himself put it, “he’s going to appoint two more flying flags upside down,” a barbed reference to you know who. That would be “one of the scariest” aspects of a convicted felon administration.”</p>
  237. <p>The president said, “The Supreme Court has never been as out of kilter as it is today, I mean never,” citing the theocratic decree that overturned women’s right to bodily autonomy – although he could easily have mentioned any number of decisions (including last week’s ruling that puts rapid-fire machine guns back into the hands of American lunatics), plus the court’s slow-mo deliberations on presidential immunity, which have all but guaranteed that the convicted felon, prior to the 2024 election, will not face a federal jury verdict for fomenting an attempted coup.</p>
  238. <p>But Biden did call out crooked Clarence Thomas’ recent contention that the court “should reconsider” its rulings codifying contraception and gay marriages. Regarding the latter threat, Biden said: “Not on my watch.” (Why would the court reconsider those rulings? I thought that conservatives pride themselves on respecting judicial precedent.) So bravo, Joe.</p>
  239. <p>Granted, the Biden campaign needs to highlight a lot of things – like his first-term domestic achievements (a huge list, starting with the strongest post-pandemic economy in the western world, assuming that voters are willing to process factual reality), his second-term goals (all of which have been itemized, assuming voters are willing to pay attention), his vow to defeat fascism at home, and his characteristic decency – in sharp contrast to the felon’s babbling imbecility.</p>
  240. <p>But between now and November, Biden and his surrogates need to hammer the Supreme court issue 24/7. Just as conservative Republicans have been doing for umpteen presidential election cycles dating back to the late 20th century.</p>
  241. <p>I’m frankly at pains to explain why most blue voters (especially blue-leaning voters who stay home) have never seemed to understand that whoever sits in the Oval has the power to shape the bench that has the final say on virtually every hot-button issue in American life. Conservatives said that out loud in 2000 when they coalesced around George W. Bush – who later gave us Sam Alito. They said it with peak fervor in 2016 when they rallied around Trump. They knew he was a lowlife, but so what.</p>
  242. <p>John Boehner, the ex-House Republican speaker, said it best in 2016. He admitted that Trump’s behavior “disgusted” him, but “the only thing that really matters over the next four years or eight years is who is going to appoint the next Supreme Court nominees…The biggest impact any president can have on American society and on the American economy is who’s on that court.”</p>
  243. <p>They didn’t care about purity; they understand what it takes to seize and exercise power. By contrast, the Dems in that consequential year didn’t campaign on the future of the court; they were far too invested in finding fault with Hillary Clinton. And the subsequent exit polls told the tale: Among the 14 percent of voters who said the court was “a minor factor” in their balloting decision, Clinton won by nine points; among the 14 percent of voters who said the court was “not a factor at all,” Clinton won by 18. But among the 21 percent of voters who cited the court as the “most important” factor, Trump swamped Clinton by 15. And those stats don’t include all the Democratic leaners who embraced Jill Stein or simply sat on their rears at home.</p>
  244. <p>Presumably – if Biden’s comments are any indication – Dems have finally learned their lesson. If the death of Roe v. Wade can’t wake them up, nothing will.</p>
  245. <p>To update James Carville’s old strategizing slogan: It’s the Supreme Court, stupid.</p>
  246. <p><em>Copyright 2024 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at DickPolman.net. Email him at dickpolman7@gmail.com</em></p>
  247. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/its-the-supreme-court-stupid/">IT’S THE SUPREME COURT, STUPID</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
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  252. <item>
  253. <title>The Gaza ‘Trident Pier’: A Nobel Project Plagued by Setbacks</title>
  254. <link>https://themoderatevoice.com/the-gaza-trident-pier-a-nobel-project-plagued-by-setbacks/</link>
  255. <comments>https://themoderatevoice.com/the-gaza-trident-pier-a-nobel-project-plagued-by-setbacks/#respond</comments>
  256. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Correspondent]]></dc:creator>
  257. <pubDate>Thu, 20 Jun 2024 15:55:13 +0000</pubDate>
  258. <category><![CDATA[At TMV]]></category>
  259. <category><![CDATA[Featured]]></category>
  260. <category><![CDATA[Government]]></category>
  261. <category><![CDATA[International]]></category>
  262. <category><![CDATA[Israel]]></category>
  263. <category><![CDATA[Middle East]]></category>
  264. <category><![CDATA[Military]]></category>
  265. <category><![CDATA[Palestinians]]></category>
  266. <category><![CDATA[Politics]]></category>
  267. <category><![CDATA[Famine]]></category>
  268. <category><![CDATA[Gaza]]></category>
  269. <category><![CDATA[Gaza humanitarian aid projects]]></category>
  270. <category><![CDATA[JLOTS]]></category>
  271. <category><![CDATA[President Biden]]></category>
  272. <category><![CDATA[Trident Pier]]></category>
  273. <category><![CDATA[U.S. CENTCOM]]></category>
  274. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://themoderatevoice.com/?p=279447</guid>
  275.  
  276. <description><![CDATA[<p>The project, known as JLOTS, or “Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore” capability, would consist of a floating dock about three miles off the Gaza shore, a floating pier attached to an approximately 1,800-foot-long modular causeway anchored to the shore and, finally, a group of logistic support vessels (LSVs) to transport the aid from the dock to the pier/causeway.</p>
  277. <p>In addition to weather and sea conditions problems, JLOTS has been fraught with logistical problems, security concerns, looting of the cargo coming off the pier by desperate Palestinians. Some U.S. servicemembers have also suffered accidental injuries.</p>
  278. <p>And, from the very beginning, there has been political sniping by some in Congress and, now, by the right-wing media...</p>
  279. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/the-gaza-trident-pier-a-nobel-project-plagued-by-setbacks/">The Gaza ‘Trident Pier’: A Nobel Project Plagued by Setbacks</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  280. ]]></description>
  281. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure id="attachment_279450" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-279450" style="width: 909px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Screenshot-2024-06-15-074508.png" alt="" width="909" height="599" class="size-full wp-image-279450" srcset="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Screenshot-2024-06-15-074508.png 909w, https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Screenshot-2024-06-15-074508-300x198.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 909px) 100vw, 909px" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-279450" class="wp-caption-text">Humanitarian aid once again reaches Gaza via the temporary Trident Pier, June 11, 2024. Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. Mikayla Fritz</figcaption></figure>
  282. <p>During his March 7 State of the Union Address, as health authorities were warning that  Gaza was “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/18/us/politics/gaza-pier-israel-aid.html">on the precipice of famine</a>,” President Biden announced an ambitious project that, when fully operational, would permit the delivery of up to 2,000,000 meals (up to 150 truckloads of aid) per day for Gaza’s 2.3 million people.</p>
  283. <p>The project, known as JLOTS, or “Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore” capability, would consist of a floating dock about three miles off the Gaza shore, a floating pier attached to an approximately 1,800-foot-long modular causeway anchored to the shore and, finally, a group of logistic support vessels (LSVs) to transport the aid from the dock to the pier/causeway.</p>
  284. <p>JLOTS is a capability that has previously been successfully deployed for humanitarian relief in places such Haiti, Somalia, and Kuwait.</p>
  285. <p>At the time, DoD estimated that JLOTS could be operational in 60 days, and the cost was estimated to be “at least $320 million.”</p>
  286. <p>To the credit of the brass responsible for the Trident Pier (The U.S. Central Command), the temporary pier was anchored to the beach in Gaza after only sixty-seven days. One day later, on May 17, the first trucks carrying humanitarian aid began rolling down the temporary pier.</p>
  287. <p>The cost is now reported to be $230 million, its price drop attributed partly to British contributions.</p>
  288. <p>There have been, and continue to be, serious problems, most of them related to unanticipated weather conditions.</p>
  289. <p>On May 25, high winds and heavy seas caused four vessels that are used to stabilize the floating pier to break free from their anchors and become beached after losing power.</p>
  290. <p>Three days later, a portion of the Trident Pier that was anchored into the Gaza coastline was damaged also in heavy seas.</p>
  291. <p>The pier was removed from its location on the Gaza coast and taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod where it was repaired and then returned to Gaza.</p>
  292. <p>A couple of weeks later, amid concerns that heavy seas would once again damage the pier, it was dismantled and moved back to the Israeli port of Ashod.</p>
  293. <p>On June 7, the pier was reopened and humanitarian aid was once again being delivered to the people of Gaza.</p>
  294. <p>However, it was once again temporarily shut down June 9-10, due to high seas, and deliveries resumed on June 11.</p>
  295. <p>And just last Friday, the Pentagon said it would tow back the pier to Ashdod “to prevent structural damage caused by the heightened sea state.”</p>
  296. <p>The pier has now, once again, been re-anchored.</p>
  297. <p>Although the pier has been fully in service for only about ten days since it was attached to the shoreline, over 3,500 metric tons (7.7 million pounds) of humanitarian aid have been delivered through the maritime corridor.</p>
  298. <p>In addition to weather and sea conditions problems, JLOTS has been fraught with logistical problems, security concerns, looting of the cargo coming off the pier by desperate Palestinians. Some U.S. servicemembers have also suffered accidental injuries.</p>
  299. <p>And, from the very beginning, there has been political sniping by some in Congress.</p>
  300. <p>Two weeks ago, citing some of the JLOTS setbacks, Senator Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, <a href="https://www.wicker.senate.gov/2024/6/senator-wicker-statement-on-return-of-pier-components-to-gaza">said,</a> “This irresponsible and expensive experiment defies all logic except the obvious political explanation: to appease the President’s far-left flank. This needs to end immediately.”</p>
  301. <p>The concerns and sniping have now grown into a full-blown attack on the project, bordering on gloating over the setbacks, especially by the right-wing media.</p>
  302. <p><a href="https://redstate.com/bobhoge/2024/06/18/pier-pressure-bidens-230m-gaza-boondoggle-could-be-scuttled-as-soon-as-july-n2175654">Calling it</a> “Biden’s $230M Gaza boondoggle&#8230;folly,”<em> RedState</em> proudly crows that it predicted it would be “an abject failure.”</p>
  303. <p><a href="https://hotair.com/john-s-2/2024/06/18/bidens-pier-in-gaza-has-been-a-failure-n3790516"><em>HotAir,</em> writes</a>, “Calling this a failure is being pretty generous at this point. It is an epic failure and embarrassment for the Biden administration and, unfortunately, for the United States.”</p>
  304. <p><a href="https://www.military.com/daily-news/2024/06/17/us-militarys-troubled-gaza-aid-pier-mission-would-be-ended-under-proposals-congress.html?utm_source=sailthru&#038;utm_medium=email&#038;utm_campaign=mil-ebb">And now,</a> “[a] pair of bills advanced last week in the House [seeking] to end the mission that was billed as the Biden administration&#8217;s flagship effort to aid Palestinian civilians on the brink of starvation after months of Israel&#8217;s bombardment of the Gaza Strip in its war against Hamas.” </p>
  305. <p>During the House Appropriations Committee&#8217;s debate, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn <a href="https://www.military.com/daily-news/2024/06/17/us-militarys-troubled-gaza-aid-pier-mission-would-be-ended-under-proposals-congress.html?utm_source=sailthru&#038;utm_medium=email&#038;utm_campaign=mil-ebb">said</a>:</p>
  306. <blockquote><p>Has it been as successful as we hoped it would? Absolutely not&#8230;But do you ever stop trying to provide children food? I don&#8217;t think in this country we do that.</p></blockquote>
  307. <p>Read more about JLOTS <a href="https://themoderatevoice.com/us-military-completes-critical-floating-gaza-pier-project/">here</a> and <a href="https://themoderatevoice.com/the-gaza-jlots-project-a-risky-but-indispensable-mission/">here</a>.</p>
  308. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/the-gaza-trident-pier-a-nobel-project-plagued-by-setbacks/">The Gaza ‘Trident Pier’: A Nobel Project Plagued by Setbacks</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  309. ]]></content:encoded>
  310. <wfw:commentRss>https://themoderatevoice.com/the-gaza-trident-pier-a-nobel-project-plagued-by-setbacks/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  311. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  312. </item>
  313. <item>
  314. <title>Modi remains India’s strongman and a partner for Biden, despite large electoral setbacks.</title>
  315. <link>https://themoderatevoice.com/modi-remains-indias-strongman-and-a-partner-for-biden-despite-large-electoral-setbacks/</link>
  316. <comments>https://themoderatevoice.com/modi-remains-indias-strongman-and-a-partner-for-biden-despite-large-electoral-setbacks/#respond</comments>
  317. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Brij Khindaria, Foreign Affairs Columnist]]></dc:creator>
  318. <pubDate>Thu, 20 Jun 2024 10:45:25 +0000</pubDate>
  319. <category><![CDATA[China]]></category>
  320. <category><![CDATA[Democracy]]></category>
  321. <category><![CDATA[Featured]]></category>
  322. <category><![CDATA[India]]></category>
  323. <category><![CDATA[International]]></category>
  324. <category><![CDATA[Pakistan]]></category>
  325. <category><![CDATA[Religion]]></category>
  326. <category><![CDATA[South Asia]]></category>
  327. <category><![CDATA[United States]]></category>
  328. <category><![CDATA[India elections]]></category>
  329. <category><![CDATA[India politics]]></category>
  330. <category><![CDATA[Narendra Modi]]></category>
  331. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://themoderatevoice.com/?p=279440</guid>
  332.  
  333. <description><![CDATA[<p>By giving him a mitigated electoral mandate, Indian voters have dealt Prime Minister Narendra Modi a lucky break although many within the country and outside see it as a rebuke to his leadership and his party, the BJP. Now that the elections dust is settling, he can finally in his 70s win more freedom from<a class="read-more" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/modi-remains-indias-strongman-and-a-partner-for-biden-despite-large-electoral-setbacks/"> [&#8230;]</a></p>
  334. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/modi-remains-indias-strongman-and-a-partner-for-biden-despite-large-electoral-setbacks/">Modi remains India’s strongman and a partner for Biden, despite large electoral setbacks.</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  335. ]]></description>
  336. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/dreamstime_s_79636188-e1718916645557.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="536" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-279455" /></p>
  337. <p>By giving him a mitigated electoral mandate, Indian voters have dealt Prime Minister Narendra Modi a lucky break although many within the country and outside see it as a rebuke to his leadership and his party, the BJP. </p>
  338. <p>Now that the elections dust is settling, he can finally in his 70s win more freedom from his life-long mentor the RSS, an activist group dedicated to building a country secure in its Hindu heritage after some eight centuries of subjugation by Muslim and Christian minorities. </p>
  339. <p>Modi now has a freer hand to reform the BJP into a more self-confident and secular political machine that hews its own path without depending on RSS activists for door-to-door canvassing of Hindus. Thus, he can prepare the groundwork for the BJP in a post-Modi India. </p>
  340. <p>In a shock election result, the BJP won only 240 seats in India’s 543-seat Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, well short of the 400 seats it had targeted. That forced Modi to begin his third five-year term in coalition with other parties for the first time but he is now on par with independent India’s first prime minister, the revered Jawaharlal Nehru.</p>
  341. <p>Modi remains a political strongman because the BJP rules from a position of strength with more than 80 percent of seats in his coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). </p>
  342. <p>The opposition INDIA alliance led by Rahul Gandhi, Nehru’s great grandson, surprised forecasters by winning 234 seats to the NDA’s 293 seats. Gandhi hopes to break Modi’s majority by seducing a few coalition politicians, but that will be an uphill struggle. His own alliance is much frailer because it comprises 26 parties with disparate political agendas and was cobbled together only for the recent elections. </p>
  343. <p>Gandhi may not be able to hold his people together under onslaught from the combative BJP. He is no match for Modi’s political skills despite his prominence in the Indian National Congress, which is still controlled by his family and ruled the country for decades. </p>
  344. <p>Modi’s line-up of 71 cabinet ministers and junior ministers is largely unchanged from his previous term, demonstrating his firm grip on the reins of power. That should ensure India’s political stability regardless of the virulence of some Modi critics led by Gandhi. </p>
  345. <p>Importantly, Modi’s two main coalition partners agree with most of his economic, trade, defense and foreign policy agendas, which is an asset for continuity of key policies within the nation and abroad. But they do not support the BJP’s Hindu nationalism so he will have to find ways of tempering that without provoking anger among the RSS rank and file.</p>
  346. <p>The most surprising reason for the BJP’s electoral discomposure was the huge losses suffered in its heartland, the northern state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). It is ruled by Modi’s handpicked acolyte, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu monk often publicized as a future BJP Prime Minister. </p>
  347. <p>Many see this as a disavowal by Hindus of appeals to their religion to gain votes but it likely signals voter frustration at the slow pace of job growth and prosperity. </p>
  348. <p>The dramatic electoral reversals have weakened RSS claims as a guarantor of voter turnout. That gives Modi space to transform the BJP into a normal party less dependent on RSS’s Hindu activists and more focused on economic and social development unrelated to religion.</p>
  349. <p>Another sign of Modi’s strength was his cabinet’s first decision on June 10 extending a subsidized housebuilding program for poorer Indians. That signaled continuity in his welfare agenda and could help the BJP to improve performance in forthcoming State and district elections. In India’s vast democracy, those happen every few months. </p>
  350. <p>Strains could emerge if Modi’s so far quiescent major allies, the Janata Dal (United) from the eastern state of Bihar and the Telugu Desam Party from Andhra Pradesh in the south, demand much more money from Delhi for their regional development programs. </p>
  351. <p>But they will support his urgent priorities of reining in inflation and creating many more jobs. The necessary reforms may be tough because of powerful agricultural and trade union lobbies that demand huge tax-payer financed subsidies the economy can no longer afford. </p>
  352. <p>Defense spending must also grow quickly because of continuing military threats from China along India’s long Himalayan border, where Beijing wants to annex very large chunks of territory, including the entire eastern State of Arunachal Pradesh. It is also a military ally of nuclear-armed Pakistan, an enemy that wishes to annex all of India’s northern State of Kashmir. </p>
  353. <p>These threats are driving Modi to tighten ties with Biden and deepen engagement with Washington’s attempts to deter China in the Indo-Pacific. He is also turning towards Gulf partners, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to increase engagement with Islamic states while bidding for leadership of the broader global south.</p>
  354. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/modi-remains-indias-strongman-and-a-partner-for-biden-despite-large-electoral-setbacks/">Modi remains India’s strongman and a partner for Biden, despite large electoral setbacks.</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  355. ]]></content:encoded>
  356. <wfw:commentRss>https://themoderatevoice.com/modi-remains-indias-strongman-and-a-partner-for-biden-despite-large-electoral-setbacks/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  357. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  358. </item>
  359. <item>
  360. <title>In costly Virginia race for U.S. House, MAGA candidate leads by only 312 votes (0.5%)</title>
  361. <link>https://themoderatevoice.com/in-costly-virginia-race-for-u-s-house-maga-candidate-leads-by-only-312-votes-0-5/</link>
  362. <comments>https://themoderatevoice.com/in-costly-virginia-race-for-u-s-house-maga-candidate-leads-by-only-312-votes-0-5/#respond</comments>
  363. <dc:creator><![CDATA[KATHY GILL, Associate Editor]]></dc:creator>
  364. <pubDate>Thu, 20 Jun 2024 04:52:59 +0000</pubDate>
  365. <category><![CDATA[Featured]]></category>
  366. <category><![CDATA[Politics]]></category>
  367. <category><![CDATA[Society]]></category>
  368. <category><![CDATA[MAGA]]></category>
  369. <category><![CDATA[Virginia]]></category>
  370. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://themoderatevoice.com/?p=279407</guid>
  371.  
  372. <description><![CDATA[<p>The Republican primary contest between incumbent U.S. Rep. Bob Good (VA, 5th District) and state Sen. John McGuire has moved through its second day of inconclusive results, which suggests Virginia Republicans are split on the topic of MAGA. That&#8217;s because former President Donald Trump endorsed McGuire over &#8220;[o]ne of America’s most conservative congressmen.&#8221; Trump carried<a class="read-more" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/in-costly-virginia-race-for-u-s-house-maga-candidate-leads-by-only-312-votes-0-5/"> [&#8230;]</a></p>
  373. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/in-costly-virginia-race-for-u-s-house-maga-candidate-leads-by-only-312-votes-0-5/">In costly Virginia race for U.S. House, MAGA candidate leads by only 312 votes (0.5%)</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  374. ]]></description>
  375. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia%27s_5th_congressional_district"><img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/VA-5th-district.png" alt="Virginia 5th Congressional District" width="1458" height="885" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-279411" srcset="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/VA-5th-district.png 1458w, https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/VA-5th-district-300x182.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 1458px) 100vw, 1458px" /></a></p>
  376. <p style="font-size: 1.3rem;">The Republican primary contest between incumbent U.S. Rep. Bob Good (VA, 5th District) and state Sen. John McGuire has moved through its second day of inconclusive results, which suggests Virginia Republicans are split on the topic of MAGA. That&#8217;s because former President Donald Trump endorsed McGuire over &#8220;<a href="https://apnews.com/article/virginia-primary-election-good-mcguire-1ed9cea1dd45a6cefae187ae968fa0ee#" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">[o]ne of America’s most conservative congressmen</a>.&#8221;</p>
  377. <p><a href="https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia%27s_5th_Congressional_District_election,_2020" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Trump carried the district</a> by 8.5% in the 2020 election. </p>
  378. <p>Why did Trump endorse Good&#8217;s opponent? Because he initially endorsed the <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/19/politics/bob-good-virginia-primary-trump-gop/index.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">presidential candidacy of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis</a>.</p>
  379. <p>In addition, Good voted to unseat Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House of Representatives. <a href="https://www.politico.com/news/2024/06/19/virginia-oklahoma-primaries-00164072" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">McCarthy also endorsed McGuire</a>. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/19/politics/bob-good-virginia-primary-trump-gop/index.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">From CNN</a>:</p>
  380. <blockquote style="font-size: 1.2em; padding-left: 10px; border-left: 5px solid gray; margin-top: -10px; padding-top: 0px;"><p>
  381. In more normal times, it would have been hard to imagine a conservative challenger getting to the right of Good. But in the modern GOP, the true acid test of political viability is total fealty to the presumptive nominee. And this race, which was <strong>the most expensive House GOP primary of the 2024 cycle so far</strong>, will also serve as the perfect emblem of a chaotic House majority that will be remembered far more for vicious internal fights and members trampling over one another to prove their devotion to Trump than for its legislative record (emphasis added).</p></blockquote>
  382. <p><strong>As of about 9 pm Pacific on Wednesday</strong>, <a href="https://enr.elections.virginia.gov/results/public/Virginia/elections/2024_June_Republican_Primary" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">McGuire had a lead of 312 votes</a>, with an unofficial count of 31,389 (50.25%) to 31,077 (49.75%).<br />
  383. <img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/CleanShot-2024-06-19-at-21.37.13@2x.png" alt="VA CD 5 election results" width="1426" height="702" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-279433" srcset="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/CleanShot-2024-06-19-at-21.37.13@2x.png 1426w, https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/CleanShot-2024-06-19-at-21.37.13@2x-300x148.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 1426px) 100vw, 1426px" /> </p>
  384. <p>Rep. Good, chair of the House Freedom Caucus, was <a href="https://ballotpedia.org/Bob_Good" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">first elected in 2020</a>. He graduated from Liberty University in 1988 (finance) and 2010 (M.B.A.).</p>
  385. <p>Wednesday, <a href="https://www.virginia.org/events/history-heritage/juneteenth/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Juneteenth, is a holiday</a> in Virginia. Given the probability of a recount, whether mandated or requested, we will not have an official estimate for days.</p>
  386. <p>According to Wikipedia, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia%27s_5th_congressional_district" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">the area is extremely conservative</a>. It was one of two Virginia districts to support Alabama Gov. George Wallace in his third party run for the presidency. The last time the district (although its boundaries have changed) voted for a Democratic presidential candidate was in 1948 with Harry S. Truman.</p>
  387. <p>The district has fewer <a href="https://www.vpap.org/offices/us-representative-5/district/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">people who characterize themselves as white, 69.1%</a>, <a href="https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/RHI125222" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">than the national average, 75.5%</a>. The converse is true for the district&#8217;s Black population, 20.7% versus a national rate of 13.6%.<br />
  388. <figure id="attachment_279423" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-279423" style="width: 1350px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/CleanShot-2024-06-19-at-21.07.53@2x.png" alt="Demographics, VA CD 5" width="1350" height="560" class="size-full wp-image-279423" srcset="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/CleanShot-2024-06-19-at-21.07.53@2x.png 1350w, https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/CleanShot-2024-06-19-at-21.07.53@2x-300x124.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 1350px) 100vw, 1350px" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-279423" class="wp-caption-text"></p>
  389. <div style="font-size: smaller; margin-top: -20px; padding-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 15px;">Virginia CD 5, demographic breakdown</div>
  390. <p></figcaption></figure></p>
  391. <p>The 2017 Cook Partisan Voter Index reported that  6% more voters cast Republican votes than the national average (designated +6). &#8220;This made Virginia&#8217;s 5th Congressional District the <a href="https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia%27s_5th_Congressional_District_election,_2020" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">179th most Republican nationally</a>.&#8221; The United States has 3,143 counties or equivalent local government systems, such as parishes and townships.</p>
  392. <div style="max-width: 100px; margin:auto; margin-top: 25px; margin-bottom: 25px; ">
  393.    <svg version="1.1" x="0px" class="svg-section-break" y="0px" viewBox="0 0 124.6 24.3" style="enable-background:new 0 0 124.6 24.3;" xml:space="preserve">
  394.      <g>
  395.      <polygon points="61.8,0.5 55.4,11.7 0,11.7 0,12.7 54.8,12.7 48.4,23.8 49.5,23.8 63,0.5 "></polygon>
  396.      <polygon points="69.8,11.7 76.3,0.5 75.1,0.5 61.6,23.8 62.8,23.8 69.2,12.7 124.6,12.7 124.6,11.7 "></polygon>
  397.      </g>
  398.    </svg></div>
  399. <p>Talk to me: <a href="https://bsky.app/profile/kegill.bsky.social" target="social" rel="noopener noreferrer">BlueSky</a> | <a href="https://facebook.com/kathyegill" target="social" rel="noopener noreferrer">Facebook</a> | <a href="https://mastodon.social/kegill" target="social" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mastodon</a> | <a href="https://Twitter.com/kegill" target="social" rel="noopener noreferrer">Twitter</a></p>
  400. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/in-costly-virginia-race-for-u-s-house-maga-candidate-leads-by-only-312-votes-0-5/">In costly Virginia race for U.S. House, MAGA candidate leads by only 312 votes (0.5%)</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  401. ]]></content:encoded>
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  403. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  404. </item>
  405. <item>
  406. <title>John Oliver brought devastating wit to Project 2025 on Sunday. Why must we rely on comedians to highlight the stakes in November?</title>
  407. <link>https://themoderatevoice.com/john-oliver-brought-devastating-wit-to-project-2025-on-sunday-why-must-we-rely-on-comedians-to-highlight-the-stakes-in-november/</link>
  408. <comments>https://themoderatevoice.com/john-oliver-brought-devastating-wit-to-project-2025-on-sunday-why-must-we-rely-on-comedians-to-highlight-the-stakes-in-november/#respond</comments>
  409. <dc:creator><![CDATA[KATHY GILL, Associate Editor]]></dc:creator>
  410. <pubDate>Wed, 19 Jun 2024 09:08:27 +0000</pubDate>
  411. <category><![CDATA[Featured]]></category>
  412. <category><![CDATA[Media]]></category>
  413. <category><![CDATA[Politics]]></category>
  414. <category><![CDATA[Society]]></category>
  415. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://themoderatevoice.com/?p=279389</guid>
  416.  
  417. <description><![CDATA[<p>On this week’s ‘Last Week Tonight,’ John Oliver dissected the Christian nationalist framework, Project 2025. About 100 ultra-right organizations developed this detailed (900+ pages) roadmap for a second Trump term. “If you’re thinking: ‘OK, Trump’s making big, scary promises, but he did that in 2016 too and he broke a lot of them,’ that is<a class="read-more" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/john-oliver-brought-devastating-wit-to-project-2025-on-sunday-why-must-we-rely-on-comedians-to-highlight-the-stakes-in-november/"> [&#8230;]</a></p>
  418. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/john-oliver-brought-devastating-wit-to-project-2025-on-sunday-why-must-we-rely-on-comedians-to-highlight-the-stakes-in-november/">John Oliver brought devastating wit to Project 2025 on Sunday. Why must we rely on comedians to highlight the stakes in November?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  419. ]]></description>
  420. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/CleanShot-2024-06-19-at-02.04.21@2x.png" alt="screenshot from John Oliver segment" width="3456" height="1916" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-279398" srcset="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/CleanShot-2024-06-19-at-02.04.21@2x.png 3456w, https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/CleanShot-2024-06-19-at-02.04.21@2x-300x166.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 3456px) 100vw, 3456px" /></p>
  421. <p style="font-size: 1.3rem;">On this week’s ‘Last Week Tonight,’ John Oliver dissected the <a href="https://themoderatevoice.com/project-2025-the-policy-substance-behind-trumps-showmanship-reveals-a-radical-plan-to-reshape-the-world/">Christian nationalist framework, Project 2025</a>. About 100 ultra-right organizations developed this detailed (900+ pages) <a href="https://amp.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/article/2024/jun/17/john-oliver-trump-second-term" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="guardian">roadmap for a second Trump term</a>.</p>
  422. <blockquote style="font-size: 1.2em; padding-left: 10px; border-left: 5px solid gray; margin-top: -10px; padding-top: 0px;"><p>“If you’re thinking: ‘OK, Trump’s making big, scary promises, but he did that in 2016 too and he broke a lot of them,’ that is true,” said Oliver on Sunday evening. “Though, he did also go on to do a lot of damage,” such as ending the Iran nuclear deal, withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, separating migrant children from their families at the border and appointing three rightwing supreme court justices.</p></blockquote>
  423. <p>The short answer to the question posed above: because traditional media aren&#8217;t advising voters of the stakes facing democracy, at least not regularly or thoroughly or directly. </p>
  424. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="500" data-dnt="true">
  425. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/iamjohnoliver?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@iamjohnoliver</a>: Project 2025 has produced a 900-page handbook that outlines policies for the next administration if Trump is elected. It proposes eliminating the Head Start program, installing an anti-abortion task force to replace President Biden&#39;s reproductive health care one,… <a href="https://t.co/lDBHSpf3au">pic.twitter.com/lDBHSpf3au</a></p>
  426. <p>&mdash; Biden-Harris HQ (@BidenHQ) <a href="https://twitter.com/BidenHQ/status/1803118033583374643?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  427. <p><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  428. <p>There are two not-staff-written stories about Project 2025 in the New York Times this year. TWO. </p>
  429. <p>Oliver&#8217;s critique triggered reports in <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/last-week-tonight-john-oliver-040856652.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Deadline</a>, <a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/john-oliver-breaks-down-just-how-scary-trumps-second-term-would-get" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">The Daily Beast</a>, and <a href="https://amp.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/article/2024/jun/17/john-oliver-trump-second-term" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="guardian">The Guardian</a>. </p>
  430. <p>The week before Oliver&#8217;s show, the BBC pointed out the Christian nationalists who are today&#8217;s MAGA movement&#8217;s policy fountain plan to <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c977njnvq2do" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">abolish the Department of Education</a>. TIME provided <a href="https://time.com/6986995/what-is-project-2025/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">a 3-minute read</a>. The Guardian, again, this time referencing <a href="https://huffman.house.gov" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA8)</a> and his <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/11/trump-project-2025-wrecking-ball" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="guardian">Stop Project 2025 Task Force</a>. </p>
  431. <p>What about The New York Times?</p>
  432. <p>On April 3, a <strong>guest essay</strong>: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/03/opinion/leonard-leo-heritage-trump-2025.html?searchResultPosition=5" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="not">Trump’s Backers Are Determined Not to Blow It This Time Around</a>. Notice the words missing from this headline, too. </p>
  433. <p>That&#8217;s it for the NYT search for 2024, but Google found a January entry in the NYT Magazine: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/21/magazine/heritage-foundation-kevin-roberts.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="not">Inside the Heritage Foundation’s Plans for ‘Institutionalizing Trumpism.</a>’  That&#8217;s because <strong>this is an interview with the head of the Heritage Foundation</strong>, Kevin D. Roberts; they are the driver of Project 2025. <em>It&#8217;s not written by a NYT staffer, either.</em> Again, note the missing words in the headline.</p>
  434. <p>The Washington Post?</p>
  435. <p>Like The Guardian, The Post <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/06/11/project-2025-trump-biden-election-congress/50661cba-27dc-11ef-835a-2a6acac1f8a6_story.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="post">also reported on the Democratic counter-effort</a>. The religion reporter partnered with campaigns to produce <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/06/13/trump-christian-right-abortion-prayer/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="post">Here’s what the Christian right wants from a second Trump term</a>.</p>
  436. <p>Political columnist Philip Bump wrote about Project 2025 on Tuesday (and did not reference Oliver): <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/06/18/trump-has-unveiled-an-agenda-his-own-he-just-doesnt-mention-it-much/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="post">Trump has unveiled an agenda of his own</a>. Headline is missing words.</p>
  437. <p>Without calling Project 2025 by name in a headline, in June The Post also <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2024/06/12/trump-federal-scientists-climate-environment/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="post">discussed aprehensions from scientists</a>, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/06/10/trump-military-draft-mandatory-service/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="post">mandating military service</a> and <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/06/13/christian-rights-agenda-trump/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">potential impacts on women&#8217;s health</a>.</p>
  438. <p>The Post is heads and shoulders better than the NYT but insufficiently direct. No one has started reporting on Project 2025 but no one has advised the headline team to signal us.  </p>
  439. <p>You should read the non-paywalled BBC and The Guardian for insights the “paper of record” deems beneath it. </p>
  440. <p><span style="color:white;">.</span></p>
  441. <p>Related: <a href="https://themoderatevoice.com/project-2025-the-policy-substance-behind-trumps-showmanship-reveals-a-radical-plan-to-reshape-the-world/">Project 2025, the policy substance behind Trump’s showmanship, reveals a radical plan to reshape the world</a></p>
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  449. <p>Talk to me: <a href="https://bsky.app/profile/kegill.bsky.social" target="social" rel="noopener noreferrer">BlueSky</a> | <a href="https://facebook.com/kathyegill" target="social" rel="noopener noreferrer">Facebook</a> | <a href="https://mastodon.social/kegill" target="social" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mastodon</a> | <a href="https://Twitter.com/kegill" target="social" rel="noopener noreferrer">Twitter</a></p>
  450. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/john-oliver-brought-devastating-wit-to-project-2025-on-sunday-why-must-we-rely-on-comedians-to-highlight-the-stakes-in-november/">John Oliver brought devastating wit to Project 2025 on Sunday. Why must we rely on comedians to highlight the stakes in November?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  451. ]]></content:encoded>
  452. <wfw:commentRss>https://themoderatevoice.com/john-oliver-brought-devastating-wit-to-project-2025-on-sunday-why-must-we-rely-on-comedians-to-highlight-the-stakes-in-november/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
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  455. <item>
  456. <title>Roger Stone readies a judge, lawyers and technology to contest 2024 election</title>
  457. <link>https://themoderatevoice.com/roger-stone-readies-a-judge-lawyers-and-technology-to-contest-2024-election/</link>
  458. <comments>https://themoderatevoice.com/roger-stone-readies-a-judge-lawyers-and-technology-to-contest-2024-election/#respond</comments>
  459. <dc:creator><![CDATA[JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief]]></dc:creator>
  460. <pubDate>Wed, 19 Jun 2024 03:45:31 +0000</pubDate>
  461. <category><![CDATA[2024 Presidential Election]]></category>
  462. <category><![CDATA[Corruption]]></category>
  463. <category><![CDATA[Extremists]]></category>
  464. <category><![CDATA[Featured]]></category>
  465. <category><![CDATA[January 6 coup attempt]]></category>
  466. <category><![CDATA[The Big Lie]]></category>
  467. <category><![CDATA[Voting]]></category>
  468. <category><![CDATA[Ally Sammarco]]></category>
  469. <category><![CDATA[dirty tricks]]></category>
  470. <category><![CDATA[Donald Trump]]></category>
  471. <category><![CDATA[Lauren Windsor]]></category>
  472. <category><![CDATA[MAGA]]></category>
  473. <category><![CDATA[Republicans]]></category>
  474. <category><![CDATA[Roger Stone]]></category>
  475. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://themoderatevoice.com/?p=279384</guid>
  476.  
  477. <description><![CDATA[<p>America&#8217;s most (in)famous dirty trickster is apparently at it again. Donald Trump and former Nixon jihadist Roger Stone is reportedly planning to be more ready this time to jump into action to contest the 2024 Presidential Election. This time he says he&#8217;ll have a judge on stand by, lawyers and technology to spring into action.<a class="read-more" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/roger-stone-readies-a-judge-lawyers-and-technology-to-contest-2024-election/"> [&#8230;]</a></p>
  478. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/roger-stone-readies-a-judge-lawyers-and-technology-to-contest-2024-election/">Roger Stone readies a judge, lawyers and technology to contest 2024 election</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  479. ]]></description>
  480. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/1024px-Roger_Stone_53423319404-e1718766459926.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="507" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-279385" /></p>
  481. <p>America&#8217;s most (in)famous dirty trickster is apparently at it again. Donald Trump and former Nixon jihadist Roger Stone is reportedly planning to be more ready this time to jump into action to contest the 2024 Presidential Election. This time he says he&#8217;ll have a judge on stand by, lawyers and technology to spring into action.</p>
  482. <p>Is this a surprise? Not really. Many have suggested something like this might be in the planning stages. But now Stone has come out and said it to an undercover liberal Journalist.</p>
  483. <p><a href="https://www.alternet.org/trump-campaign-judge/">Alternet&#8217;s Carl Gibson has a good summary:</a></p>
  484. <blockquote><p>Roger Stone — a longtime confidant of former President Donald Trump — recently revealed to two undercover journalists that Trump&#8217;s 2024 campaign is already hard at work planning to challenge 2024 election results in multiple states.</p>
  485. <p><a href="https://www.memeorandum.com/240618/p52#a240618p52">In new audio obtained by Rolling Stone</a>, documentary filmmaker Lauren Windsor and journalist Ally Sammarco spoke with Stone at an event at Trump&#8217;s Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this year while posing as conservative Catholics who were fans of the far-right activist. At one point in his conversation with Sammarco, Stone told her that Trump&#8217;s 2024 campaign is far more prepared than the former president&#8217;s 2020 campaign to dispute election results. He even suggested that Trump has friends in high places who will lend him a hand when election results are litigated.</p>
  486. <p>&#8220;At least this time when they do it, you have a lawyer and a judge — his home phone number standing by — so you can stop it,&#8221; Stone told Sammarco. &#8220;We made no preparations last time, none … There are technical, legal steps that we have to take to try and have a more honest election. We’re not there yet, but there’s things that can be done.&#8221;</p>
  487. <p>While Stone didn&#8217;t say the name of the judge the campaign is allegedly close with, he did tell Windsor that the campaign was prepared to mount a multi-state offensive to disrupt certification of election results using &#8220;lawyers, judges [and] technology.&#8221; He also hinted that Trumpworld viewed U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon — whom Trump appointed to the judiciary just months before he was voted out of office — as a fellow traveler, given her repeated accommodations of Trump&#8217;s delay tactics in the federal classified documents case.</p>
  488. <p>&#8220;We are beating them,” Stone is heard saying to Sammarco. “[Trump’s] trial in Georgia is falling apart. I think the judge is on the verge of dismissing the charges against him in Florida. They’re delayed in New York City and they’re now delayed in Washington.”</p>
  489. <p>&#8230;.Sammarco asked Stone a leading question about how the Trump campaign planned to stop &#8220;voter fraud&#8221; like &#8220;ballot harvesting,&#8221; and the Trump advisor assured her that for some friendly MAGA-adjacent state governments, &#8220;it’ll be easier to stop. In other places, it won’t.&#8221;</p>
  490. <p>&#8220;We should be suing in half a dozen places,” Stone continued. “I mean we’re finally now on an offensive footing.&#8221;</p>
  491. </blockquote>
  492. <p>The question now is: now that the suspicions of many are confirmed, do Democrats have an aggressive counter plan in place?</p>
  493. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  494. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">NEW UNDERCOVER inside Mar-a-Lago: Trump Ally Roger Stone’s Plan to Win Election Relies on Judges and Courts <a href="https://t.co/SNdcdCqcl7">pic.twitter.com/SNdcdCqcl7</a></p>
  495. <p>&mdash; Lauren Windsor (@lawindsor) <a href="https://twitter.com/lawindsor/status/1803118829683228950?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  496. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  497. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  498. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Roger Stone: &quot;We are beating them&#8230; I think the judge is on the verge of dismissing the charges against [Trump] in Florida.&quot;</p>
  499. <p>Judge Aileen Cannon is holding a series of hearings this week on motions to dismiss&#8230; Watch this space ? <a href="https://t.co/W0eC1nJlcc">https://t.co/W0eC1nJlcc</a></p>
  500. <p>&mdash; Lauren Windsor (@lawindsor) <a href="https://twitter.com/lawindsor/status/1803171399994863976?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  501. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  502. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  503. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">? Roger Stone is working on &quot;lawyers, judges, technology&quot; to &quot;use every lever we can&quot; to deliver this election for Trump.</p>
  504. <p>We need to be clear-eyed *now* about SCOTUS&#39;s central role in their scheme. It&#39;s already evident in the insurrection case: <a href="https://t.co/NQa9bB07HS">https://t.co/NQa9bB07HS</a> <a href="https://t.co/xnEBo4PEWD">https://t.co/xnEBo4PEWD</a></p>
  505. <p>&mdash; Alex Aronson (@alexaronson) <a href="https://twitter.com/alexaronson/status/1803121929714311567?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  506. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  507. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  508. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">First of all, these women are doing a national service. Wow.?</p>
  509. <p>At 3:11, the undercover reporter says “I was at the Capitol on January 6th. I’m prepared to do it again.”<br />Roger Stone: “That may not be necessary.”</p>
  510. <p>Note “Catholics for Catholics” is co-founded by Mike Flynn. <a href="https://t.co/rADg47xl8e">https://t.co/rADg47xl8e</a></p>
  511. <p>&mdash; Jim Stewartson, Counterinsurgent ?????? (@jimstewartson) <a href="https://twitter.com/jimstewartson/status/1803211627497455797?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  512. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  513. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  514. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I&#39;d love to know which judges are on &quot;Standby&quot; for a crook like Roger Stone. I&#39;d love to hear them named and interviewed.</p>
  515. <p>&mdash; Heather Thomas (@HeatherThomasAF) <a href="https://twitter.com/HeatherThomasAF/status/1803127708509151680?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  516. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  517. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  518. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Secret recording reveals Roger Stone bragging Trump has judges in his pocket for 2024 win<a href="https://t.co/Kd8CmDimYa">https://t.co/Kd8CmDimYa</a></p>
  519. <p>&mdash; Raw Story (@RawStory) <a href="https://twitter.com/RawStory/status/1803149721860440485?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  520. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  521. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  522. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Another banger from ?<a href="https://twitter.com/lawindsor?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@lawindsor</a>?</p>
  523. <p>‘Lawyers, Judges, Technology&#39;: Roger Stone Touts Plan for Trump Win in Secret Recording &#8211; Rolling Stone <a href="https://t.co/3fmUrgpwBY">https://t.co/3fmUrgpwBY</a></p>
  524. <p>&mdash; Reed Galen (@reedgalen) <a href="https://twitter.com/reedgalen/status/1803223603808469358?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 19, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  525. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  526. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  527. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Roger Stone crying about evangelicals not voting and not being confident Trump will win is hilarious.</p>
  528. <p>Roger Stone saying he has judges’ home phone numbers on standby preemptively to make more false claims about the election is terrifying.<a href="https://t.co/ISWDQ7foxv">pic.twitter.com/ISWDQ7foxv</a></p>
  529. <p>&mdash; Art Candee ?? (@ArtCandee) <a href="https://twitter.com/ArtCandee/status/1803122303154397211?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  530. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  531. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  532. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">“We should be suing in half a dozen places. I mean, we’re finally now on an offensive footing.”</p>
  533. <p>Stone says that now that the Republican National Committee is under MAGA control — they can spend “lots more” money on election monitoring.</p>
  534. <p>More: <a href="https://t.co/VVKR8a6O97">https://t.co/VVKR8a6O97</a> <a href="https://t.co/RbhfKaI78U">https://t.co/RbhfKaI78U</a> <a href="https://t.co/aQc31gnAfD">pic.twitter.com/aQc31gnAfD</a></p>
  535. <p>&mdash; Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) <a href="https://twitter.com/RollingStone/status/1803127246120427787?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  536. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  537. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  538. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This is fantastic work by Lauren Windsor. It’s amazing how both Roger Stone and Donald Trump are openly admitting that they can’t win the election so they’re going to use lawyers and the courts instead. So Democrats must be prepared not only to get out the vote but to get out the… <a href="https://t.co/hGnLVIV2S3">pic.twitter.com/hGnLVIV2S3</a></p>
  539. <p>&mdash; urban myths, legends (@urbanmyths) <a href="https://twitter.com/urbanmyths/status/1803123148063223974?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  540. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  541. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  542. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Roger Stone Reveals Insidious Plan to Help Trump “Win” Election <a href="https://t.co/snXOaktNIr">https://t.co/snXOaktNIr</a></p>
  543. <p>&mdash; The New Republic (@newrepublic) <a href="https://twitter.com/newrepublic/status/1803190296345284631?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  544. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  545. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  546. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">No one:</p>
  547. <p>Roger Stone: Here are the crimes I’m going to commit…</p>
  548. <p>He’s like a cartoon supervillain explaining his dastardly plan in detail beforehand. All he needs is a monocle and a handlebar mustache to twirl.<a href="https://t.co/30YHcDDCZ9">https://t.co/30YHcDDCZ9</a></p>
  549. <p>&mdash; Melanie D&#39;Arrigo (@DarrigoMelanie) <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrigoMelanie/status/1803249580831592841?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 19, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  550. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  551. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  552. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Roger Stone is about to go through some stuff. <a href="https://t.co/PqERVOf5PD">https://t.co/PqERVOf5PD</a></p>
  553. <p>&mdash; Eugene (@Democracy1stE) <a href="https://twitter.com/Democracy1stE/status/1803136519944937559?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  554. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  555. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  556. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">“Win” = Steal<br />Convicted felon ROGER STONE says he has a team working on getting convicted felon Trump to “win” the presidential election by “judges, courts and technology.”</p>
  557. <p>Stone also appears to admit the Jan6 insurrection, saying a violent coup “may not be necessary this time.” <a href="https://t.co/rzvUx0SBf0">https://t.co/rzvUx0SBf0</a></p>
  558. <p>&mdash; ??Paula Chertok? (@PaulaChertok) <a href="https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1803127661780517060?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  559. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  560. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  561. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Roger Stone Caught on Tape Discussing Trump’s Plan to Challenge 2024 Election<a href="https://t.co/OCgzBlHWNg">https://t.co/OCgzBlHWNg</a></p>
  562. <p>&mdash; Ally Sammarco (@Ally_Sammarco) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ally_Sammarco/status/1803250069933609100?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 19, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  563. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  564. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
  565. <p lang="en" dir="ltr">It is unfathomable that Roger Stone isn&#39;t in jail. Now he&#39;s planning his third &quot;stop the steal&quot; to guarantee trump gets back in the White House. <a href="https://t.co/1o8XuYb6HK">https://t.co/1o8XuYb6HK</a></p>
  566. <p>&mdash; jujujuliahh ?????? (@jujujuliahh) <a href="https://twitter.com/jujujuliahh/status/1803121037241905459?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote>
  567. <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  568. <p><em>PHOTO: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons</em></p>
  569. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/roger-stone-readies-a-judge-lawyers-and-technology-to-contest-2024-election/">Roger Stone readies a judge, lawyers and technology to contest 2024 election</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  570. ]]></content:encoded>
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  573. </item>
  574. <item>
  575. <title>Medal of Honor Tuesday: The Heroes of Iwo Jima</title>
  576. <link>https://themoderatevoice.com/medal-of-honor-tuesday-the-heroes-of-iwo-jima/</link>
  577. <comments>https://themoderatevoice.com/medal-of-honor-tuesday-the-heroes-of-iwo-jima/#respond</comments>
  578. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Correspondent]]></dc:creator>
  579. <pubDate>Tue, 18 Jun 2024 11:52:33 +0000</pubDate>
  580. <category><![CDATA[At TMV]]></category>
  581. <category><![CDATA[Featured]]></category>
  582. <category><![CDATA[History]]></category>
  583. <category><![CDATA[Inspiration and Living]]></category>
  584. <category><![CDATA[Military]]></category>
  585. <category><![CDATA[War]]></category>
  586. <category><![CDATA[Battle for Iwo Jima]]></category>
  587. <category><![CDATA[Flags of our Fathers]]></category>
  588. <category><![CDATA[Medal of Honor]]></category>
  589. <category><![CDATA[war in the Pacific]]></category>
  590. <category><![CDATA[World War II]]></category>
  591. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://themoderatevoice.com/?p=279354</guid>
  592.  
  593. <description><![CDATA[<p>While (re-)reading James Bradley’s Flags of our Fathers a few days ago, a certain paragraph jumped out at me. Referring to the epic World War II Battle for Iwo Jima, Bradley writes: It was America’s most heroic battle. More medals for valor were awarded for action on Iwo Jima than in any other battle in<a class="read-more" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/medal-of-honor-tuesday-the-heroes-of-iwo-jima/"> [&#8230;]</a></p>
  594. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/medal-of-honor-tuesday-the-heroes-of-iwo-jima/">Medal of Honor Tuesday: The Heroes of Iwo Jima</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  595. ]]></description>
  596. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure id="attachment_279356" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-279356" style="width: 573px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Screenshot-2024-06-16-163813.png" alt="" width="573" height="418" class="size-full wp-image-279356" srcset="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Screenshot-2024-06-16-163813.png 573w, https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Screenshot-2024-06-16-163813-300x219.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 573px) 100vw, 573px" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-279356" class="wp-caption-text">Joe Rosenthal’s iconic &#8220;Flag Raising on Mt. Suribachi,&#8221; Iwo Jima, immortalizing the courage of the more than 60,000 service members who took part in the Battle for Iwo Jima.<br /></figcaption></figure>
  597. <p>While (re-)reading James Bradley’s <em>Flags of our Fathers</em> a few days ago, a certain paragraph jumped out at me.</p>
  598. <p>Referring to the epic World War II Battle for Iwo Jima, Bradley writes:</p>
  599. <blockquote><p>It was America’s most heroic battle. More medals for valor were awarded for action on Iwo Jima than in any other battle in the history of the United States…in just one month of fighting on this island, [U.S. Marines] were awarded twenty-seven Medals of Honor…</p></blockquote>
  600. <p>Five of the twenty-seven recipients were in fact U.S. Navy sailors (four of them Hospital Corpsmen). This minor clarification, however, does not take away in the slightest manner from the amazing fact that the twenty-two Medals of Honor awarded to the Iwo Jima Marines represent more than one-fourth of the 82 Medals of Honor awarded to Marines in the entirety of World War II. </p>
  601. <p>The Battle for Iwo Jima was indeed the most highly decorated single engagement in Marine Corps history. It was also the bloodiest, most savage battle of the war. </p>
  602. <p>Again, Bradley: “It ground on over thirty-six days. It claimed 25,581 U.S. casualties, including nearly 7,000 dead.”</p>
  603. <p>With nearly 26,000 American casualties, the battle for Iwo Jima would become “<a href="http://the only Pacific battle in which a U.S. landing force suffered more casualties than it inflicted.">the only Pacific battle in which a U.S. landing force suffered more casualties than it inflicted.</a>” (The Imperial Japanese Army casualties included over 20,000 soldiers who fought to their deaths.)</p>
  604. <p>One of the twenty-seven Iwo Jima Medal of Honor recipients is Herschel “Woody” Williams.</p>
  605. <p>Up to two years ago, Williams was not only the last living Iwo Jima Medal of Honor recipient, but also the last living World War II Medal of Honor recipient.</p>
  606. <p>The Congressional Medal of Honor Society <a href="https://www.cmohs.org/news-events/press-releases/congressional-medal-of-honor-society-announces-passing-of-medal-of-honor-recipient-hershel-woody-williams/">writes in part</a>: </p>
  607. <blockquote><p>On Feb. 23, 1945, then-Corporal Williams&#8230;[o]ver the course of four hours&#8230;armed with a flamethrower and guarded by four Marine riflemen, repeatedly ran the width of the beach while under intense enemy fire to disarm and destroy seven pillboxes. His actions neutralized a considerable obstacle and created an access point for Marine Infantry units.</p></blockquote>
  608. <p>Woody passed away on June 29, 2022, in Huntington, West Virginia. He was 98.</p>
  609. <p>Fourteen of the twenty-seven heroes were awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.</p>
  610. <p>It would take volumes to adequately describe the actions of these fourteen men that led to their ultimate sacrifice and to being awarded the nation’s highest military honor.</p>
  611. <p>Here are a few excerpts from some of the citations:</p>
  612. <blockquote><p>&#8230;charged the hostile fortifications and knocked out two more cave positions. Immediately thereafter, he launched a bazooka attack unassisted, firing four rounds into the one remaining pillbox and completely destroying it before he fell, mortally wounded by a vicious burst of enemy fire.</p></blockquote>
  613. <blockquote><p>Realizing that his few remaining comrades could not repulse another organized attack, he called to his men to follow and then charged into the midst of the strong enemy force, firing his weapon and scattering them until he fell, mortally wounded by a grenade.</p></blockquote>
  614. <blockquote><p>Determined to crush all resistance, he led his men indomitably, personally attacking foxholes and spider traps with his carbine and systematically reducing the fanatic opposition, until, stepping on a land mine, he sustained fatal wounds.</p></blockquote>
  615. <blockquote><p>&#8230;determined to save the others if possible, shouted a warning, and instantly dived on the deadly missile, absorbing the exploding charge in his own body and thereby protecting his comrades from serious injury.</p></blockquote>
  616. <blockquote><p>Stouthearted and indomitable, he unhesitatingly yielded his own life that his fellow marines might carry on the relentless battle against a fanatic enemy.</p></blockquote>
  617. <p>The citation accompanying the Medal of Honor for U.S. Navy Pharmacist’s Mate First Class Jon Harlan Willis is particularly heart-wrenching.  It reads in part:</p>
  618. <blockquote><p>Willis resolutely administered first aid to the many marines wounded during the furious close-in fighting until he himself was struck by shrapnel and was ordered back to the battle-aid station. Without waiting for official medical release, he quickly returned to his company and, during a savage hand-to-hand enemy counterattack, daringly advanced to the extreme front lines under mortar and sniper fire to aid a marine lying wounded in a shell hole. Completely unmindful of his own danger as the Japanese intensified their attack, Willis calmly continued to administer blood plasma to his patient, promptly returning the first hostile grenade which landed in the shell hole while he was working and hurling back seven more in quick succession before the ninth one exploded in his hand and instantly killed him. </p></blockquote>
  619. <p>These are the thirteen other heroes who were awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously, in addition to John Harlan Willis.</p>
  620. <blockquote><p>Corporal Charles Joseph Berry<br />
  621.            Pvt. First Class William Robert Caddy<br />
  622.            Sgt. Darrell Samuel Cole<br />
  623.    Sgt. Ross Franklin Gray<br />
  624.            Platoon Sgt. Joseph Rodolph Julian<br />
  625.    Pvt. First Class James Dennis La Belle<br />
  626.            First Lt. Jack Lummus<br />
  627.    First Lt. Harry Linn Martin<br />
  628.            Pvt. George Phillips<br />
  629.    Pvt. First Class Donald Jack Ruhl<br />
  630.            Cpl. Tony Stein<br />
  631.    Gunnery Sgt. William Gary Walsh<br />
  632.            (U.S. Navy) Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class Jack Williams</p></blockquote>
  633. <p>The other twelve Medal of Honor recipients who, in addition to Herschel “Woody” Williams, survived 36 days of fierce fighting on that desolate, yet so strategically important volcanic island, are:</p>
  634. <blockquote><p> Lt. Col. Justice Marion Chambers<br />
  635.  Capt. Robert Hugo Dunlap<br />
  636.          Sgt. William George Harrell<br />
  637.  (U.S. Navy) Lt. J.G. Ruffus Geddie Herring<br />
  638.          Pvt. First Class Douglas Thomas Jacobson<br />
  639.  Second Lt. John Harold Leims<br />
  640.          Pvt. First Class Jacklyn Harold Lucas<br />
  641.  Capt. Joseph Jeremiah McCarthy<br />
  642.          Pvt. Franklin Earl Sigler<br />
  643.  Pvt. Wilson Douglas Watson<br />
  644.          (U.S. Navy) Pharmacist’s Mate First Class Francis Junior Pierce<br />
  645.          (U.S. Navy) Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class George Edward Wahlen
  646.  </p></blockquote>
  647. <p>On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz reflected on the courage and sacrifice of all who fought on Iwo Jima:  “Among those who served on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue.&#8221;</p>
  648. <p>A great tribute by a great man, albeit in some ways an understatement.</p>
  649. <p>In the conclusion to his book, <em>Flags of our Fathers</em>, and referring to the six men who raised the flag on Mt. Suribachi, Bradley writes &#8212; also in an understated way:</p>
  650. <blockquote><p>They were boys of common virtue.<br />
  651. Called to duty.<br />
  652. Brothers and sons. Friends and neighbors.<br />
  653. And fathers</p>
  654. <p>It’s as simple as that.</p></blockquote>
  655. <p>I am sure Bradley would not mind me using those words to describe <em>all</em> the heroes of Iwo Jima.</p>
  656. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/medal-of-honor-tuesday-the-heroes-of-iwo-jima/">Medal of Honor Tuesday: The Heroes of Iwo Jima</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  657. ]]></content:encoded>
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  660. </item>
  661. <item>
  662. <title>Project 2025, the policy substance behind Trump’s showmanship, reveals a radical plan to reshape the world</title>
  663. <link>https://themoderatevoice.com/project-2025-the-policy-substance-behind-trumps-showmanship-reveals-a-radical-plan-to-reshape-the-world/</link>
  664. <comments>https://themoderatevoice.com/project-2025-the-policy-substance-behind-trumps-showmanship-reveals-a-radical-plan-to-reshape-the-world/#respond</comments>
  665. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Guest Voice]]></dc:creator>
  666. <pubDate>Tue, 18 Jun 2024 10:59:20 +0000</pubDate>
  667. <category><![CDATA[Featured]]></category>
  668. <category><![CDATA[Politics]]></category>
  669. <category><![CDATA[Society]]></category>
  670. <category><![CDATA[Project 2025]]></category>
  671. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://themoderatevoice.com/?p=279372</guid>
  672.  
  673. <description><![CDATA[<p>Editors note: Project 2025 is the blueprint for a second Trump term as President. Who developed it? The Heritage Foundation along with about 100 other ultra-conservative organizations. In April 2022, conservative American think tank the Heritage Foundation, working with a broad coalition of 50 conservative organisations, launched Project 2025: a plan for the next conservative<a class="read-more" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/project-2025-the-policy-substance-behind-trumps-showmanship-reveals-a-radical-plan-to-reshape-the-world/"> [&#8230;]</a></p>
  674. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/project-2025-the-policy-substance-behind-trumps-showmanship-reveals-a-radical-plan-to-reshape-the-world/">Project 2025, the policy substance behind Trump’s showmanship, reveals a radical plan to reshape the world</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  675. ]]></description>
  676. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<blockquote style="font-size: 0.9 em; padding-left: 10px; border-left: 5px solid gray; margin-top: -10px; padding-top: 0px;"><p>
  677. Editors note: <a href="https://www.project2025.org" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Project 2025</a> is the blueprint for a second Trump term as President. Who developed it? The Heritage Foundation along with about 100 other ultra-conservative organizations.
  678. </p></blockquote>
  679. <p><img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/project-2025.png" alt="Project 2025" width="1594" height="1056" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-279376" srcset="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/project-2025.png 1594w, https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/project-2025-300x199.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 1594px) 100vw, 1594px" /></p>
  680. <div class="theconversation-article-body">
  681. <p>In April 2022, conservative American think tank the Heritage Foundation, working with a broad coalition of 50 conservative organisations, launched <a href="https://www.project2025.org/">Project 2025</a>: a plan for the next conservative president of the United States. </p>
  682. <p>The Project’s flagship publication, <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/24088042-project-2025s-mandate-for-leadership-the-conservative-promise">Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise</a>, outlines in plain language and in granular detail, over 900-plus pages, what a second Trump administration (if it occurs) might look like. I’ve read it all, so you don’t have to.</p>
  683. <p>The Mandate’s veneer of exhausting technocratic detail, focused mostly on the federal bureaucracy, sits easily alongside a Trumpian project of <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/07/us/politics/trump-2024-president.html">revenge and retribution</a>. It is the substance behind the showmanship of the Trump rallies.</p>
  684. <p>Developing transition plans for a presidential candidate is normal practice in the US. What is <em>not</em> normal about Project 2025, with its intertwined domestic and international agenda, are the plans themselves. Those for climate and the global environment, defence and security, the global economic system and the institutions of American democracy more broadly aim for nothing less than the total dismantling and restructure of both American life and the world as we know it.</p>
  685. <p>The unapologetic agenda, according to Heritage Foundation president Kevin D. Roberts, is to “defeat the anti-American left – at home and abroad.”</p>
  686. <p>Recommendations include completely abolishing the US Federal Reserve in favour of a system of “free banking”, the total reversal of all the Biden administration’s climate policies, a dramatic increase in fossil fuel extraction and use, ending economic engagement with China, expanding the nuclear arsenal and a “comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of U.S. participation in <em>all</em> international organizations” including the UN and its agencies. And that’s not all.</p>
  687. <p>Australia itself is mentioned just seven times in the substantive text, with vague recommendations that a future administration support “greater spending and collaboration” with regional partners in defence and send a political appointee here as ambassador. But even if only partially implemented, the document’s overarching recommendations would have significant implications for Australia and our region.</p>
  688. <p>Project 2025 is modelled on what the Foundation sees as its greatest historical triumph. The launch of the first <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/09/the-fall-of-the-heritage-foundation-and-the-death-of-republican-ideas/279955/">Mandate for Leadership</a> coincided with Ronald Reagan’s inauguration in January 1981. By the following year, according to the Foundation, “more than 60 percent of its recommendations had become policy”. </p>
  689. <p>Four decades later, Project 2025 is trying to repeat history. </p>
  690. <p>The Project is not directly aligned with the Trump campaign: it has in fact <a href="https://www.dissentmagazine.org/blog/building-a-better-trump-administration/">attracted some ire</a> from the campaign for presuming too much. Trump is under no obligation to adopt any of its plans should he return to the White House. But the sheer number of former <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/article/trump-2025-second-term.html">Trump officials and loyalists</a> involved in the Project, and its particular commitment to supporting a Trump return, suggest we should take its plans very seriously.</p>
  691. <p>Much of what is happening now in the US is unprecedented. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, is currently locked in a Manhattan courtroom <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-trump-is-using-courtroom-machinations-to-his-political-advantage-228254">defending himself from criminal charges</a>. Despite this unedifying spectacle, current polling separates Biden and Trump by <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2024/04/21/poll-trump-biden-election-immigration-economy/73404469007/">a gap of just 2%</a>, according to the latest poll. This year will be an existential test for American democracy.</p>
  692. <h2>The four pillars</h2>
  693. <p>Project 2025’s chosen method for engineering its radical reshaping of that democracy takes a startlingly familiar bureaucratic approach. It aims to create a system where any potential chaos is contained by an administration and bureaucracy united by the same conservative vision. The vision rests on four “pillars”. </p>
  694. <p>Pillar one is the 920-page <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/24088042-project-2025s-mandate-for-leadership-the-conservative-promise">Mandate</a> – the manifesto for the next conservative president (and the major focus of this analysis).</p>
  695. <p>Pillar two is the foundation’s recruitment program: a kind of conservative LinkedIn that aims to build a database of vetted, loyal conservatives ready to serve in the next administration. </p>
  696. <p>The program is specifically designed to “deconstruct the Administrative State”: code for using <a href="https://www.axios.com/2022/07/22/trump-presidency-schedule-f-federal-employees">Schedule F</a>, a Trump-era executive order (since overturned), that would allow an administration to unilaterally re-categorise, fire and replace tens of thousands of independent federal employees with political loyalists.</p>
  697. <p>Pillar three, the “Presidential Administration Academy”, will train those new recruits and existing amenable officials in the nature and use of power within the American political system, so they can effectively and efficiently implement the president’s agenda. </p>
  698. <p>Pillar four consists of a secret “<a href="https://www.project2025.org/playbook/">Playbook</a>” – a resources bank of things like draft executive orders and specific transition plans ready for the first 180 days of a new administration. </p>
  699. <p>The four pillars inform each other. The Mandate, for example, doubles as a recruitment tool that educates aspiring officials in the complex structures of the US federal government. </p>
  700. <h2>A response to Trump’s failures</h2>
  701. <p>The Mandate doesn’t specify who the next conservative president might be, but it is clearly written with Trump in mind. As it outlines, “one set of eyes reading these passages will be those of the 47th President of the United States”. What the Mandate can’t acknowledge is that the man aiming to be the 47th president was notorious for <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/breaking-with-tradition-trump-skips-presidents-written-intelligence-report-for-oral-briefings/2018/02/09/b7ba569e-0c52-11e8-95a5-c396801049ef_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-low_trumpbrief-1005am%3Ahomepage"><em>not</em> reading</a> his briefs when he occupied the Oval Office. </p>
  702. <p>An unspoken aim of Project 2025 is to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/10/opinion/shadow-war-trump-transition.html">inject some ideological coherence</a> into Trumpism. It aims to focus if not the leader, then the movement behind him – something that did not happen in the four years between January 2017 and January 2021. The entire project is a response to the perceived failures and weaknesses of the Trump administration.</p>
  703. <p>Project 2025’s vision rests on almost completely gutting and replacing the bureaucracy that (in the view of its authors) thwarted and undermined the Trump presidency. It aims to remodel and reorganise the “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/08/magazine/the-aspiring-novelist-who-became-obamas-foreign-policy-guru.html">blob</a>” of powerful people who cycle through the landscape of American power between think tanks, government and higher education institutions.</p>
  704. <p>It explicitly welcomes conservatives to this “mission” of assembling “an army of aligned, vetted, trained, and prepared conservatives to go to work on Day One to deconstruct the Administrative State”. “Conservatives”, in this framing, are not those who would defend and protect the institutions and traditions of the state, but rather right-wing radicals who would fundamentally change them. </p>
  705. <p>The choice of language – “mission”, “army” – is also deliberate. The Mandate repeatedly distinguished between “<em>real people</em>” and what it sees as existential enemies. “America is now divided,” it argues, “between two opposing forces”. Those forces are irreconcilable, and because that fight extends abroad, “there is no margin for error”. </p>
  706. <p>This framing of an America and a world engaged in an existential battle is underpinned by granular, bureaucratic detail – right down to recommendations for low-level appointments, budget allocations and regulatory reform. Effective understanding – and use of – the machinery of American power is, the Heritage Foundation believes, essential to victory. </p>
  707. <p>That is why the Mandate is 920 pages from cover to cover, why it has 30 chapters written by “hundreds of contributors” with input from “more than 400 scholars and policy experts” and why it can now claim the support of <a href="https://www.heritage.org/press/project-2025-reaches-100-coalition-partners-continues-grow-preparation-next-president?preview_id=2848&amp;preview_nonce=e270c3a857&amp;preview=true&amp;_thumbnail_id=2853">100 organisations</a>. </p>
  708. <p>What follows is a broad analysis of the implications of Project 2025 for the world outside the United States.</p>
  709. <h2>Drill baby, drill: climate and the environment</h2>
  710. <p>In late 2023, Donald Trump was asked by Fox News anchor Sean Hannity if he would be a “dictator”. Trump responded he would not, “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/dec/06/donald-trump-sean-hannity-dictator-day-one-response-iowa-town-hall">except on day one</a>”. In the flurry of coverage that followed, rightly condemning and outlining <a href="https://theconversation.com/bidens-burden-four-percentage-points-a-struggling-economy-and-a-fragile-democracy-219496">Trump’s repeated threats to American democracy</a>, the aspiring president’s stated reasons for a day of dictatorship were overshadowed.  </p>
  711. <p>But Trump was explicit: “We’re closing the border and we’re drilling, drilling, drilling.” While Trump himself may not be across or even aligned with the specific detail of much of Project 2025’s aims, on “drilling, drilling, drilling,” they are very much in sync.</p>
  712. <figure>
  713.            <iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Vz8ANyXDCAA?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Trump says he will be a dictator on day one.</span></figcaption></figure>
  714. <p>The Mandate condemns what it describes as a “radical climate agenda” and “Biden’s war on fossil fuels”, recommending an immediate rollback of all Biden administration programs and reinstatement of Trump-era policies. </p>
  715. <p>One of Biden’s signature legislative achievements, the <a href="https://www.energy.gov/lpo/inflation-reduction-act-2022">Inflation Reduction Act</a>, attracts a great deal of attention. Unsurprisingly, the broad recommendation is that the Act be repealed in its entirety. But the recommendations are also specific: repeal “credits and tax breaks for green energy companies”, stop “programs providing grants for environmental science activities” and ensure “the rescinding of all funds not already spent by these programs”. This would include removing “federal mandates and subsidies of electric vehicles”. </p>
  716. <p>There is, in all, a great deal to “eliminate” – a word that appears in the Mandate over 250 times. In environmental policy, programs on the elimination list include the <a href="https://www.energy.gov/CleanEnergyCorps">Clean Energy Corps</a>, energy efficiency standards for <a href="https://www.vice.com/en/article/m7qvdb/the-bizarre-climate-wrecking-money-wasting-politics-of-the-war-on-toilets">appliances</a>, the <a href="https://www.energy.gov/eere/office-energy-efficiency-renewable-energy">Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy</a> and the <a href="https://www.energy.gov/oced/office-clean-energy-demonstrations">Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations</a> in the Department of Energy, and the entire <a href="https://www.noaa.gov/">National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration</a>. </p>
  717. <p>But this is not all. The elimination of climate-focused programs, legislation, offices and policies would be accompanied by a dramatic increase in fossil fuel extraction and use – a reversal of Biden’s “war”.  </p>
  718. <p>The chapter on the Department of the Interior, which manages federal lands and natural resources, recommends it “conduct offshore oil and natural gas lease sales to the maximum extent permitted” and restart the coal-leasing program. </p>
  719. <p>This should include returning to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/17/climate/alaska-oil-drilling-anwr.html">the first Trump administration’s plans</a> to further open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil fields development. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should, likewise, “not use environmental issues like climate change as a reason to stop LNG projects”. </p>
  720. <p>Given the size and influence of the US economy, these policies would inevitably have global implications. This is not lost on the Mandate’s authors: the fight against the “radical climate agenda” is both local and global. </p>
  721. <p>The chapter on Treasury, for example, recommends that a conservative administration “withdraw from climate change agreements that are inimical to the prosperity of the United States”. This includes, specifically, the <a href="https://unfccc.int/">UN Framework Convention on Climate Change</a> and the <a href="https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/paris-agreement">Paris Agreement</a> (which Trump <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-54797743">withdrew the United States from</a> in 2020, and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/world/us-rejoins-paris-climate-accord.html">Biden rejoined</a> in 2021).</p>
  722. <p>Analysis by <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/feb/06/trump-climate-change-fossil-fuels-second-term">the Guardian</a> argues that taken together, these plans for rewinding climate action and accelerating fossil fuel extraction and use would be “even more extreme for the environment” than those of the first Trump administration. </p>
  723. <p>This would not be a straightforward case of the US reverting from being a “good” actor on climate to a “bad” one. While the Biden administration has presided over some of the most significant climate legislation and actions in US history, domestic oil production has also <a href="https://www.vox.com/climate/24098983/biden-oil-production-climate-fossil-fuel-renewables">hit a record high under Biden’s leadership</a>. The US is already <a href="https://www.wri.org/insights/interactive-chart-shows-changes-worlds-top-10-emitters">the second highest emitter</a> of greenhouse gases in the world.</p>
  724. <p>Several nations, including Australia, might find it convenient to <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/cop26-special-our-exceptional-friend/id1478594339?i=1000540058609">hide behind</a> the much more explicitly destructive policies of a future conservative US administration.  </p>
  725. <p>According to modelling by UK-based <a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-trump-election-win-could-add-4bn-tonnes-to-us-emissions-by-2030/">Carbon Brief</a>, which does not include the increases in fossil fuel extraction and use outlined by the Mandate, a second Trump administration could result in an increase in emissions “equivalent to the combined annual emissions of the EU and Japan, or the combined annual total of the world’s 140 lowest-emitting countries”. </p>
  726. <p>That would mean, even without accounting for the opening of new oil reserves in places like Alaska, “a second Trump term […] would likely end any global hopes of keeping global warming below 1.5C”. </p>
  727. <p>Project 2025’s authors are, of course, unapologetic. The Mandate demands that the next conservative administration “go on offense” and assert “America’s energy interests […] around the world” – to the point of establishing “full-spectrum strategic energy dominance”, in order to restore the nation’s global primacy.</p>
  728. <h2>A world on fire: security and defence</h2>
  729. <p>Restoring that global primacy is the focus of Section 2 of the Mandate. This section argues the Departments of Defense and State are “first among equals” with the executive branch, suggesting international relations should be a major focus for the next conservative presidency. It argues the success of such an administration “will be determined in part by whether [Defence and State] can be significantly improved in short order”. </p>
  730. <p>Why is that improvement so important? Because, according to the Mandate, the US is engaged in an existential battle with its enemies, in “a world on fire”. China is, unsurprisingly, the main game: “America’s most dangerous international enemy”. </p>
  731. <p>The Mandate’s overwhelming focus on China and its assessment that the world is in an era of “great power competition” is not radically different from the position of the current administration – nor the rest of the Western world. But the Mandate’s suggested response <em>is</em> different.</p>
  732. <p>“The next conservative President,” the Mandate claims, “has the opportunity to restructure the making and execution of U.S. defense and foreign policy and reset the nation’s role in the world.” </p>
  733. <p>For Defense, this reset means restoring “<em>warfighting</em> as its sole mission” and making its highest priority “defeating the threat of the Chinese Communist Party”. It means dismantling the <a href="https://www.dhs.gov/">Department of Homeland Security</a> and bringing its remit under Defense. It then recommends the department help with “aggressively building the border wall system on America’s southern border” and deploy “military personnel and hardware to prevent illegal crossings”. </p>
  734. <p>Along with this expanded, more aggressive role for the Pentagon, the Mandate advocates for a dramatic expansion in defence personnel. A reduced force in Europe would be combined with an increase in “the Army force structure by 50,000 to handle two major regional contingencies simultaneously”. </p>
  735. <p>It’s not quite clear how recruitment would be boosted so quickly. But at one point, the Mandate recommends requiring completion of the military entrance examination  “by all students in schools that receive federal funding”. This is one of many lines that hints at a radical reshaping of American life. </p>
  736. <p>The “two major contingencies” the department must prepare for appear to be “threats” from both China and Russia. As the <a href="https://apnews.com/article/ukraine-aid-israel-tiktok-congress-a8910452e623413bf1da1e491d1d94ba">long fight</a> over US funding for Ukraine has demonstrated, however, many Trump-aligned conservatives have an <a href="https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/mccarthy-s-fall-far-right-influence-american-foreign-policy">ideological affinity</a> with Putin’s Russia. This radical turnaround in the recent history of US–Russia relations marks a clear tension in conservative politics.  </p>
  737. <p>The Mandate acknowledges Russia now “starkly divides conservatives”. But it offers no real resolution, suggesting this would be left up to the president. Inevitable contradictions like this run throughout.  </p>
  738. <p>Even on China – one of very few issues that <a href="https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/02/15/china-us-relations-hawks-engagement-cold-war-taiwan/">unites conservatives and liberals</a> – the Mandate can contradict itself. One chapter, for example, worries about China blocking market access for the United States. Another advocates complete market decoupling. </p>
  739. <h2>Modernise, adapt, expand: on the nuclear arsenal</h2>
  740. <p>Trump has <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40879868">repeatedly toyed</a> with the possibility of using nuclear weapons. In 2016, the then-candidate was pressed on why he wouldn’t rule out using them. He responded with his own question: “Then why are we making them? Why do we make them?” </p>
  741. <p>As president, Trump <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/oct/06/donald-trump-us-nuclear-submarines-potentially-sensitive-information-australian-billionaire-anthony-pratt">repeatedly bragged</a> about the US nuclear arsenal and weapons development, and allegedly illegally removed classified documents <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jun/09/five-revelations-trump-unsealed-indictment">concerning nuclear capabilities</a> from the White House. During his presidency, the US also dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb, nicknamed with characteristic misogyny the “<a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/13/politics/afghanistan-isis-moab-bomb/index.html">mother of all bombs</a>”, on Afghanistan. </p>
  742. <figure>
  743.            <iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nFQosh7l_H4?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Trump alarmed nuclear experts by talking about America’s nuclear weapons.</span></figcaption></figure>
  744. <p>The Mandate encourages more weapons development. It argues the Department of Energy should refocus on “developing new nuclear weapons and naval nuclear reactors”. Its recommendation that the United States “expand” its nuclear arsenal in order to “deter Russia and China simultaneously” will especially concern advocates of <a href="https://disarmament.unoda.org/wmd/nuclear/npt/">non-proliferation</a>.  </p>
  745. <p>The Mandate also recommends the next administration “end ineffective and counterproductive nonproliferation activities like those involving Iran and the United Nations”. </p>
  746. <h2>“Friends and adversaries” abroad</h2>
  747. <p>This ramping up of American militarism should be accompanied, according to the Mandate, by a radical shakeup of American diplomacy. The next administration should  </p>
  748. <blockquote>
  749. <p>significantly reorient the U.S. government’s posture toward friends and      adversaries alike – which will include much more honest assessments about who     are friends and who are not. This reorientation could represent the most        significant shift in core foreign policy principles and corresponding action    since the end of the Cold War. </p>
  750. </blockquote>
  751. <p>In a line that inevitably provokes thoughts of <a href="https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/20/mapped-the-7-governments-the-u-s-has-overthrown/">regime change</a>, the Mandate suggests “the time may be right to press harder on the Iranian theocracy […] and take other steps to draw Iran into the community of free and modern nations”. It is, of course, silent on how <a href="https://www.bostonreview.net/forum/downes-regime-change/">disastrous regime change has proved to be</a> in the conduct of US foreign policy over the past half century. </p>
  752. <p>The Mandate also suggests a return to the Trump administration’s “tough love” approach to US participation in international organisations, ensuring no foreign aid supports reproductive rights or care, and that <a href="https://www.usaid.gov/">USAID</a>, the nation’s major aid agency, “rescind all climate policies”. </p>
  753. <p>All of this would mean installing “political ambassadors with strong personal relationships with the President”, especially in “key strategic posts such as Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)”. In the State Department specifically, “No one in a leadership position on the morning of January 20 should hold that position at the end of the day.” </p>
  754. <p>Perhaps most significantly, Roberts argues in the Mandate’s foreword that “Economic engagement with China should be ended, not rethought.” The chapter on the Department of Commerce similarly argues for “strategic decoupling from China”.</p>
  755. <p>Given the size and scope of the American and Chinese economies, and smaller nations like Australia’s reliance on stable economic relations with both, such a “decoupling” from China, alongside a ramping up of militarism, would have significant, wide-ranging consequences.</p>
  756. <p>Another recommendation is that the United States “withdraw” from both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and “terminate its financial contribution to both institutions”. The global consequences of even more radical suggestions like a return to the gold standard, or even “abolishing the federal role in money altogether” in favour of a system of “free banking”, are genuinely mind-boggling.</p>
  757. <h2>A new, frightening world in the making?</h2>
  758. <p>Project 2025 opens a window onto the modern American conservative movement, documenting in minute detail just how much it has reoriented itself around Trump and the ideological incoherence of Trumpism more broadly. The success, or not, of this effort to unify the movement will also have international implications, as those same organisations and individuals <a href="https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/will-the-heritage-foundations-project-2025-turn-trumpism-into-a-governing-agenda/">cultivate their connections</a> with the far-right globally. </p>
  759. <p>While Trump, as always, is difficult to predict, there are long and deep links between his campaign and supporters and the Project’s supporters and contributors. Nothing is inevitable, but should Trump return to the White House, it is <a href="https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/will-the-heritage-foundations-project-2025-turn-trumpism-into-a-governing-agenda/">highly likely</a> at least some of Project 2025’s recommendations, policies, authors, and aspiring officials will join him there. These include people like Peter Navarro, a former Trump official, loyalist and Mandate author, who is <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2024/03/19/politics/peter-navarro-jail-contempt-of-congress/index.html">currently serving a four-month prison sentence</a> for contempt of Congress because he refused to comply with a congressional subpoena during the January 6 investigation. </p>
  760. <p>Project 2025’s Mandate is iconoclastic and dystopian, offering a dark vision of a highly militaristic and unapologetically aggressive America ascendant in “a world on fire”. Those who wish to understand Trump and the movement behind him, and the active threat they pose to American democracy, are obliged to take it seriously.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img loading="lazy" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/227161/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important" referrerpolicy="no-referrer-when-downgrade" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p>
  761. <div style="max-width: 100px; margin:auto; margin-top: 25px; margin-bottom: 25px; ">
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  768. <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emma-shortis-168406">Emma Shortis</a>, Adjunct Senior Fellow, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></span><br />
  769. This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-project-2025-the-policy-substance-behind-trumps-showmanship-reveals-a-radical-plan-to-reshape-the-world-227161">original article</a>.</p>
  770. </div>
  771. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/project-2025-the-policy-substance-behind-trumps-showmanship-reveals-a-radical-plan-to-reshape-the-world/">Project 2025, the policy substance behind Trump’s showmanship, reveals a radical plan to reshape the world</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  772. ]]></content:encoded>
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  776. <item>
  777. <title>HUNTER BIDEN WAS FOUND GUILTY. GUESS WHAT DIDN’T HAPPEN?</title>
  778. <link>https://themoderatevoice.com/hunter-biden-was-found-guilty-guess-what-didnt-happen/</link>
  779. <comments>https://themoderatevoice.com/hunter-biden-was-found-guilty-guess-what-didnt-happen/#respond</comments>
  780. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Dick Polman, Cagle Cartoons Columnist]]></dc:creator>
  781. <pubDate>Mon, 17 Jun 2024 16:24:15 +0000</pubDate>
  782. <category><![CDATA[Crime]]></category>
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  786. <category><![CDATA[Law]]></category>
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  795. <category><![CDATA[Hunter Biden]]></category>
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  800. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://themoderatevoice.com/?p=279359</guid>
  801.  
  802. <description><![CDATA[<p>Hunter Biden, the president’s son, was found guilty of illegally buying a gun while using narcotics. While he stood trial, you may have noticed the quietude outside the federal courthouse and on the information highway. No demagogic puppets from Capitol Hill showed up to attack the rule of law or slime the judge and jury.<a class="read-more" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/hunter-biden-was-found-guilty-guess-what-didnt-happen/"> [&#8230;]</a></p>
  803. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/hunter-biden-was-found-guilty-guess-what-didnt-happen/">HUNTER BIDEN WAS FOUND GUILTY. GUESS WHAT DIDN’T HAPPEN?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  804. ]]></description>
  805. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><img loading="lazy" src="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/dave-granlund_no-one-is-above-the-law.png" alt="" width="830" height="601" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-279360" srcset="https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/dave-granlund_no-one-is-above-the-law.png 830w, https://themoderatevoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/dave-granlund_no-one-is-above-the-law-300x217.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 830px) 100vw, 830px" /></p>
  806. <p>Hunter Biden, the president’s son, was found guilty of illegally buying a gun while using narcotics. While he stood trial, you may have noticed the quietude outside the federal courthouse and on the information highway.</p>
  807. <p>No demagogic puppets from Capitol Hill showed up to attack the rule of law or slime the judge and jury.</p>
  808. <p>No whining from the defendant about how very unfair and disgraceful everything was, a sham the likes of nothing anyone has ever seen before. No fuming about a courtroom “icebox.”</p>
  809. <p>No Democratic denunciations of the FBI. No Democratic demands that a “weaponized” Justice Department should be defunded. No Democratic warnings that if “they” could come for Hunter, “they” could come for any of us.</p>
  810. <p>No complaints from the president that the entire justice system was being “rigged” against his son. And no nonsensical predictions that businesses will flee Delaware in retaliation.</p>
  811. <p>(Indeed, the president has been busy with presidential tasks – like managing a robust economy that the World Bank says is powering a global recovery; planning for the G7 summit in Italy; touting gun reform at a safety summit in Connecticut; denouncing fascism at D-Day events in France.)</p>
  812. <p>A Delaware jury said Hunter Biden broke the law? Fine. In a case brought by his father’s Department of Justice? So be it.</p>
  813. <p>Hunter himself has refused to play the victim card, simply stating, “I am more grateful today for the love and support I experienced this last week…than I am disappointed by the outcome.”</p>
  814. <p>Hunter’s father – the president who wants to set a good example for the nation – released a statement: “I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process.”</p>
  815. <p>As for the MAGAts, they’ve been scrambling for a unified response. Some of the usual suspects, like Steven Miller, are hewing to their paranoia by insisting (get this) that Hunter’s conviction is meant to distract us from the real crimes of the Biden family. But some Republicans with functioning brain cells rightly believe the verdict against the president’s son undercuts the MAGA mantra about how the justice system is (purportedly) weaponized against Trump.</p>
  816. <p>Dan Eberhart, a major Republican donor, tells NBC News (with his name on the record! amazing!) that Hunter’s conviction “definitely weakens the (MAGA) argument. To me, the justice system is working.” A Republican strategist who chooses to remain anonymous – to avoid incurring Trump’s wrath, according to NBC News – says that Hunter’s conviction “at a minimum slows the momentum” for Trump’s “weaponization” mantra. “It’s less of a bumper sticker than it was before.”</p>
  817. <p>What’s particularly striking – hilarious, really – is how so many of the same MAGAts who denounced the court system two weeks ago, when Trump was convicted of 34 felonies, are lauding the court system now that Hunter has been convicted. Do these people hear themselves?</p>
  818. <p>Case in point, Fox News’ Jesse Watters. Two weeks ago: “The republic has been wounded.” This week: “It gave me a little confidence in the American legal system.”</p>
  819. <p>Case in point, Laura Ingraham. Two weeks ago: “It’s a banana republic.” This week: Thanks to the courts, the Bidens’ “luck ran out.”</p>
  820. <p>Case in point, Sen. Charles Grassley. This week he opined on Hunter’s conviction: “You gotta rely on what the judges and juries decide…and you got to conclude justice was done. But when asked if that standard applies to the Trump conviction, he said nope. Because “it’s an entirely different situation.”</p>
  821. <p>Guess what, MAGAts. You can’t laud our justice system only when its verdicts please you. Tearing the system asunder whenever it rules against you – damaging the credibility of a bedrock American institution – is, quite frankly, fascistic.</p>
  822. <p>Contrast that with how Democrats treated Hunter’s trial. How refreshing it has been to bask in the sounds of silence.<br />
  823. <em><br />
  824. Copyright 2024 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at DickPolman.net. Email him at dickpolman7@gmail.com</em></p>
  825. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/hunter-biden-was-found-guilty-guess-what-didnt-happen/">HUNTER BIDEN WAS FOUND GUILTY. GUESS WHAT DIDN’T HAPPEN?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  826. ]]></content:encoded>
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  829. </item>
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  831. <title>Americans used to unite over tragic events – and now are divided by them</title>
  832. <link>https://themoderatevoice.com/americans-used-to-unite-over-tragic-events-%e2%88%92-and-now-are-divided-by-them/</link>
  833. <comments>https://themoderatevoice.com/americans-used-to-unite-over-tragic-events-%e2%88%92-and-now-are-divided-by-them/#respond</comments>
  834. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Guest Voice]]></dc:creator>
  835. <pubDate>Sun, 16 Jun 2024 17:47:02 +0000</pubDate>
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  851. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://themoderatevoice.com/?p=279350</guid>
  852.  
  853. <description><![CDATA[<p>Charles McMillan, a witness to George Floyd’s murder, speaks at the site where Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images Thomas D. Beamish, University of California, Davis Tragedy seldom unifies Americans today. Every year, horrific crises induce tremendous suffering. Most are privately tragic, affecting only those directly harmed and their<a class="read-more" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/americans-used-to-unite-over-tragic-events-%e2%88%92-and-now-are-divided-by-them/"> [&#8230;]</a></p>
  854. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/americans-used-to-unite-over-tragic-events-%e2%88%92-and-now-are-divided-by-them/">Americans used to unite over tragic events &#8211; and now are divided by them</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  855. ]]></description>
  856. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<div class="theconversation-article-body">
  857. <figure>
  858.      <img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/600258/original/file-20240612-17-lw2jav.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&#038;rect=30%2C0%2C6826%2C4688&#038;q=45&#038;auto=format&#038;w=754&#038;fit=clip" /><figcaption>
  859.          Charles McMillan, a witness to George Floyd’s murder, speaks at the site where Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis.<br />
  860.          <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/charles-mcmillan-a-witness-who-testified-in-the-derek-news-photo/1233109235?searchscope=image%2Cfilm&#038;adppopup=true">Stephen Maturen/Getty Images</a></span><br />
  861.        </figcaption></figure>
  862. <p>  <span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/thomas-d-beamish-1513064">Thomas D. Beamish</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-california-davis-1312">University of California, Davis</a></em></span></p>
  863. <p>Tragedy seldom unifies Americans today.</p>
  864. <p>Every year, horrific crises induce tremendous suffering. Most are privately tragic, affecting only those directly harmed and their immediate relations.  </p>
  865. <p>A small number, though, become politically notorious and, therefore, publicly tragic. </p>
  866. <p><a href="https://www.britannica.com/event/Hurricane-Katrina">Natural disasters</a>, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/interactive/school-shootings-database/">school shootings</a>, <a href="https://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf">terrorist attacks</a> and economic crises can become public tragedies. Sexual assaults – primarily of women – by abusive executives and other men in positions of power <a href="https://www.britannica.com/topic/Me-Too-movement">recently emerged as a public tragedy</a>, as has <a href="https://www.heinz.cmu.edu/media/2017/january/police-violence-data">police brutality against African Americans</a>, which has sown political unrest across the United States. </p>
  867. <p>Even the COVID-19 pandemic, a seemingly natural disaster, quickly <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/topic/politics-policy/political-issues/health-policy/covid-19-politics/">transitioned into a public tragedy</a> as deaths mounted and a pervasive sense of mismanagement, distrust and blame galvanized the public on the political left and right.</p>
  868. <p>Events like these represent a change in how tragic circumstances are cast and how they are responded to in the United States and beyond. Public tragedies are heartrending events that gain widespread public attention. They involve stylized public expressions of shock, outrage, social blame, claims of victimization, protest and memorialization.</p>
  869. <p>My book, “<a href="https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520401075/after-tragedy-strikes">After Tragedy Strikes</a>,” explores the recent proliferation of public tragedies as a distinctive kind of political crisis that has produced far-reaching positive and negative effects on social and political relations in the 21st century. </p>
  870. <p>As a <a href="https://sociology.ucdavis.edu/people/thomas-tom-beamish">sociologist who studies risk, politics and social movements</a>, I didn’t set out to evaluate the authenticity of claims made in public tragedies. Rather, through comparison, my goal was to understand better why some of these events exert tremendous influence, while other, objectively similar, traumas do not.</p>
  871. <p>Public tragedies have contributed to the increasing political polarization and the sectarian tone of political rhetoric today. One question I sought to answer in my book is why?</p>
  872. <figure class="align-center zoomable">
  873.            <a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/600267/original/file-20240612-19-2crrcw.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img alt="Acres of white flags planted in the ground, with a tall obelisk behind them." src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/600267/original/file-20240612-19-2crrcw.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/600267/original/file-20240612-19-2crrcw.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600267/original/file-20240612-19-2crrcw.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600267/original/file-20240612-19-2crrcw.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600267/original/file-20240612-19-2crrcw.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600267/original/file-20240612-19-2crrcw.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600267/original/file-20240612-19-2crrcw.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px"/></a><figcaption>
  874.              <span class="caption">‘In America: Remember,’ a 2021 art installation of more than 660,000 flags on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., commemorating Americans who died due to COVID-19.</span><br />
  875.              <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/people-walk-through-in-america-remember-a-public-art-news-photo/1235404563?searchscope=image%2Cfilm&amp;adppopup=true">Drew Angerer/Getty Images</a></span><br />
  876.            </figcaption></figure>
  877. <h2>Old way: ‘God, fate, bad luck’</h2>
  878. <p>The short answer is that the public’s understanding of tragic events has changed. </p>
  879. <p>Well into the 20th century, tragedies were mostly explained differently than now. Explanations often referenced forces such as God, fate, bad luck, blameless accidents or, in line with the U.S. liberal political tradition, individual responsibility. Even when suffering was extreme and known to have been caused or worsened by the actions or omissions of other persons, explanations of what caused it typically took these forms.</p>
  880. <p>Take <a href="https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Johnstown-Flood/David-McCullough/9780671207144">Pennsylvania’s Johnstown Flood of 1889</a>, in which more than 2,200 people and much of the city were swept away by a deluge after a dam failed. The wealthy South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club had built the dam to create a private lake. Despite the failure due to poor construction and maintenance, <a href="https://www.nps.gov/jofl/faqs.htm">neither the club nor its wealthy members would be held responsible</a>. In the most prominent legal case brought against the club, the final verdict attributed the tragic deaths and destruction to an act of God.</p>
  881. <p>Today, this explanation would be indefensible. </p>
  882. <h2>New way: ‘government, industry, culture’</h2>
  883. <p>After a tragedy, accounts now focus on assigning blame. I found that they also typically center on social blame, in which societal institutions such as the government, industry, civil society and even American culture are held responsible. </p>
  884. <p>Social blame attributes harm to social forces, not individuals or God. And because some group or aspect of society is blamed, public tragedies involve political conflict.</p>
  885. <p>Another reason public tragedies have become so politically consequential lies in a change in the contemporary American mindset.</p>
  886. <p><a href="https://news.gallup.com/poll/544415/personal-safety-fears-three-decade-high.aspx">Polls</a> <a href="https://news.gallup.com/poll/399680/parent-student-school-safety-concerns-elevated.aspx">show</a> that many Americans are experiencing fear and a deep sense of vulnerability to circumstances that feel beyond their control. </p>
  887. <p>This mindset inspires sympathy for victims of tragic circumstance, especially when the harms they suffer are portrayed by political elites, the media and social activists as reflecting political failure and an unfair society. Political interests on both the left and right now <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-020-09662-x">routinely use claims of victimization to gain support</a> and advantage.</p>
  888. <h2>George Floyd’s murder: A public tragedy</h2>
  889. <p>Take the story of <a href="https://www.mprnews.org/crime-law-and-justice/killing-of-george-floyd">George Floyd, killed in 2020</a> by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. </p>
  890. <p><a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/21/us/gallery/george-floyd-protests-2020-look-back/index.html">Floyd’s murder provoked nationwide outrage</a> as video footage of it circulated first on social media and then through sustained news media coverage. The news and social media story of Floyd’s death emphasized his innocence: As a Black man, he had suffered an unjustified death at the hands of the police.</p>
  891. <p>This representation was unusual at the time. Standard coverage of such killings often focused on resistance to arrest, prior indiscretions or the victim’s criminal record, which implies individual responsibility. Stories regarding Floyd’s death did not emphasize these elements.</p>
  892. <p>Nor did the stories suggest Floyd’s death was a necessary part of police fighting crime – another common feature of news accounts. Nor did stories emphasize that Chauvin was a rogue cop, which would have suggested his killing of Floyd was his responsibility alone. </p>
  893. <p>Rather, the initial stories connected Floyd’s killing to police violence across the country, suggesting it was a common police behavior. </p>
  894. <p>Thus, Floyd’s murder was quickly <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/george-floyd-america/policing/">blamed on “policing</a>,” gaining enormous public sympathy and notoriety – and, with this, political significance. It became a public tragedy, highlighting a set of societal conditions surrounding Floyd’s death in a way that few police killings of Black men had achieved.</p>
  895. <figure class="align-center zoomable">
  896.            <a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/600274/original/file-20240612-17-ba81za.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img alt="The wreckage of a town after a flood destroyed it." src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/600274/original/file-20240612-17-ba81za.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/600274/original/file-20240612-17-ba81za.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=519&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600274/original/file-20240612-17-ba81za.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=519&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600274/original/file-20240612-17-ba81za.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=519&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600274/original/file-20240612-17-ba81za.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=652&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600274/original/file-20240612-17-ba81za.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=652&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600274/original/file-20240612-17-ba81za.jpeg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=652&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px"/></a><figcaption>
  897.              <span class="caption">The Johnstown Flood disaster in Pennsylvania on May 31, 1889, killed over 2,200 people after the South Fork Dam failed, causing 20 million tons of water to destroy the town.</span><br />
  898.              <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/the-johnstown-flood-disaster-pennsylvania-usa-31-may-1889-news-photo/804459662?searchscope=image%2Cfilm&amp;adppopup=true">Historica Graphica Collection/Heritage Images/Getty Images</a></span><br />
  899.            </figcaption></figure>
  900. <h2>‘Good people brought low’</h2>
  901. <p>In the past, Americans might have attributed Floyd’s killing to fate, bad luck, accident or his individual responsibility, which might have weakened public outrage. </p>
  902. <p>Yet explanations of this kind are not as believable as they once were. Instead, the heartrending stories characteristic of public tragedies follow a routine storyline I call the “trauma script.” It is a stylized rendering that taps into American fears and vulnerabilities and prompts emotional response and moral panic.</p>
  903. <p>The script centers on innocent victims harmed by unforeseeable, uncontrollable and unwarranted circumstances blamed on the actions or omissions of “society.” </p>
  904. <p>In this telling, public tragedies convey a moral struggle in which good people are brought low by a bad society. This tragic struggle is not internal and personal but external and socially focused. It’s a scenario in which bad things happen to good people who have no choice.</p>
  905. <p>The public perception of trauma and loss and its underlying causes has, therefore, changed over time. </p>
  906. <p>In an earlier era, Americans often justified hardship because it reflected the sacrifice necessary to get ahead. Now, a shift in sentiment reflects a change in view. Americans now focus on unjustified hardship caused by society. This reflects a cultural shift from a progress-centered worldview toward a risk-focused one. </p>
  907. <h2>Victimhood as a political identity</h2>
  908. <p>As Americans have become more aware of risks, they increasingly view them as reflecting political choices. </p>
  909. <p>Whether the issue is climate change, energy sources, guns, sexual harassment, discrimination, policing, abortion or even free speech, these are now understood as involving decisions regarding risks that will benefit some and victimize others. </p>
  910. <p>Politically, these have become zero-sum disputes, leading to political polarization among Americans and social distrust of American institutions.</p>
  911. <p>Recent <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2019/07/22/key-findings-about-americans-declining-trust-in-government-and-each-other/">Pew surveys</a> show that two-thirds of Americans believe other Americans have little or no confidence in the government or other citizens. Gallup, too, has shown that American confidence in the government and other major societal institutions <a href="https://news.gallup.com/poll/394283/confidence-institutions-down-average-new-low.aspx">has fallen to historic lows</a>. </p>
  912. <p>Growing American distrust of their fellow citizens and perception of an unfair government have also intensified political competition. Americans increasingly blame their political rivals for their hardships and show compassion only toward those who share their beliefs. This shift has also cultivated sympathy for claims of societal victimization and elevated victimhood as a political identity.</p>
  913. <p>These conditions are the context within which public tragedies, as polarizing not unifying political events, have proliferated.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img loading="lazy" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/227842/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important" referrerpolicy="no-referrer-when-downgrade" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p>
  914. <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/thomas-d-beamish-1513064">Thomas D. Beamish</a>, Professor of Sociology, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-california-davis-1312">University of California, Davis</a></em></span></p>
  915. <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/americans-used-to-unite-over-tragic-events-and-now-are-divided-by-them-227842">original article</a>.</p>
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  923. <title>BOTH THE SAME (CARTOON)</title>
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  964. <title>Supreme Court unanimously concludes that anti-abortion groups have no standing to challenge access to mifepristone – but the drug likely faces more court challenges</title>
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  985. <description><![CDATA[<p>Supreme Court unanimously concludes that anti-abortion groups have no standing to challenge access to mifepristone – but the drug likely faces more court challenges Activists on both sides of the abortion battle are gearing up for it to be a major issue in the 2024 election. Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images Naomi Cahn, University of Virginia<a class="read-more" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/supreme-court-unanimously-concludes-that-anti-abortion-groups-have-no-standing-to-challenge-access-to-mifepristone-but-the-drug-likely-faces-more-court-challenges-2/"> [&#8230;]</a></p>
  986. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/supreme-court-unanimously-concludes-that-anti-abortion-groups-have-no-standing-to-challenge-access-to-mifepristone-but-the-drug-likely-faces-more-court-challenges-2/">Supreme Court unanimously concludes that anti-abortion groups have no standing to challenge access to mifepristone – but the drug likely faces more court challenges</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
  987. ]]></description>
  988. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<h1 class="theconversation-article-title">Supreme Court unanimously concludes that <span class="nobr">anti-abortion</span> groups have no standing to challenge access to mifepristone – but the drug likely faces more court challenges</h1>
  989. <div class="theconversation-article-body">
  990. <figure>
  991.      <img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/600668/original/file-20240613-20-vaqzdl.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&#038;rect=37%2C7%2C4955%2C3323&#038;q=45&#038;auto=format&#038;w=754&#038;fit=clip" /><figcaption>
  992.          Activists on both sides of the abortion battle are gearing up for it to be a major issue in the 2024 election.<br />
  993.          <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/demonstrators-protest-and-argue-outside-the-u-s-supreme-news-photo/2110561352?searchscope=image%2Cfilm&#038;adppopup=true">Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images</a></span><br />
  994.        </figcaption></figure>
  995. <p>  <span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/naomi-cahn-713411">Naomi Cahn</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-virginia-752">University of Virginia</a></em> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sonia-suter-1303960">Sonia Suter</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/george-washington-university-1262">George Washington University</a></em></span></p>
  996. <p><em>On June 13, 2024, the Supreme Court of the United States <a href="https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/documenttools/031dd2c0d3057252/bb3f6e16-full.pdf">unanimously decided to uphold access</a> to mifepristone, <a href="https://theconversation.com/medication-abortion-could-get-harder-to-obtain-or-easier-theres-a-new-wave-of-post-dobbs-lawsuits-on-abortion-pills-198978">one of two pills</a> used in medication abortion. Mifepristone has long been <a href="https://theconversation.com/mifepristone-is-under-scrutiny-in-the-courts-but-it-has-been-used-safely-and-effectively-around-the-world-for-decades-204163">used safely and effectively in medication abortions around the world</a>.</em></p>
  997. <p><em>Shortly after the 2022 Dobbs decision that overturned 50 years of abortion rights, <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-will-the-supreme-courts-decision-on-mifepristone-affect-abortion-access-4-questions-answered-204172">anti-abortion groups and doctors challenged</a> the Food and Drug Administration’s 2000 approval of mifepristone and its loosened regulations on how mifepristone is prescribed, arguing that it could not be used safely.</em></p>
  998. <p><em>The Conversation asked professors of law <a href="https://www.law.virginia.edu/faculty/profile/nrc8g/2915359">Naomi Cahn</a> and <a href="https://www.law.gwu.edu/sonia-m-suter">Sonia Suter</a> to explain how the Supreme Court case came about and what the ruling means for access to abortion pills and abortion more generally.</em> </p>
  999. <h2>How did this case get to the court?</h2>
  1000. <p>In <a href="https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/23-235_n7ip.pdf">Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine</a>, the plaintiffs argued that the FDA had <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-will-the-supreme-courts-decision-on-mifepristone-affect-abortion-access-4-questions-answered-204172">not adequately tested mifepristone for safety</a>. They also claimed that the FDA’s subsequent changes, which made the drug even more widely available, were also flawed. </p>
  1001. <p>In 2016, the FDA <a href="https://www.kff.org/report-section/legal-challenges-to-the-fda-approval-of-medication-abortion-pills-key-findings/">expanded the time frame for prescription of mifepristone</a> from seven weeks to 10 weeks gestation and allowed nonphysician health care providers, like nurse practitioners, to prescribe the pill. Then, in 2021, the FDA <a href="https://www.kff.org/report-section/legal-challenges-to-the-fda-approval-of-medication-abortion-pills-key-findings/">removed the in-person dispensing requirement</a> and allowed certified pharmacies to distribute it.</p>
  1002. <figure>
  1003.            <iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7Z4AxLyXlQg?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">The court found unanimously that the anti-abortion doctors did not have the legal basis to sue.</span></figcaption></figure>
  1004. <h2>What does the decision mean?</h2>
  1005. <p>As a result of the opinion, the use of mifepristone remains legal in the states that have not banned abortion. </p>
  1006. <p>As of June 2024, medication abortion accounts for <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/us/more-than-60-us-abortions-2023-were-done-by-pill-study-shows-2024-03-19/">more than 60%</a> of abortions in the U.S.</p>
  1007. <p>In its ruling, the court decided that the <a href="https://theconversation.com/abortion-drug-access-could-be-limited-by-supreme-court-if-the-court-decides-anti-abortion-doctors-can-in-fact-challenge-the-fda-226670">plaintiffs did not have standing</a>. Standing is the legal doctrine that limits the type of cases that courts can hear to ones where there are clear and concrete harms to the parties involved. </p>
  1008. <p>The court explained the requirement of standing by quoting the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who stated that plaintiffs need to answer “<a href="https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/23-235_n7ip.pdf">a basic question: ‘What’s it to you?</a>’” </p>
  1009. <p>Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s opinion for the court <a href="https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/23-235_n7ip.pdf">rejected the plaintiffs’ standing for several reasons</a>. First, it noted that the plaintiffs “do not prescribe or use mifepristone” and that the “FDA has not required the plaintiffs to do anything or to refrain from doing anything.” Thus, they are “unregulated parties who seek to challenge FDA’s regulation of others.” </p>
  1010. <p>The court ended by noting that even if no one has standing in this particular  case, the issue may “be left to the political or democratic processes” through which opponents can voice their “concerns and objections.”  </p>
  1011. <p>Justice Clarence Thomas concurred, agreeing with the rest of the court while also writing separately to <a href="https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/23-235_n7ip.pdf">point out that the doctors did not have standing</a> here, just as he believes “abortionists lack standing to assert the rights of their clients.”</p>
  1012. <figure class="align-center ">
  1013.            <img alt="Boxes of drugs labeled mifepristone sit on a shelf" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/600631/original/file-20240613-17-1pyz7e.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/600631/original/file-20240613-17-1pyz7e.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600631/original/file-20240613-17-1pyz7e.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600631/original/file-20240613-17-1pyz7e.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600631/original/file-20240613-17-1pyz7e.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600631/original/file-20240613-17-1pyz7e.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/600631/original/file-20240613-17-1pyz7e.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px"/><figcaption>
  1014.              <span class="caption">Studies have shown mifepristone is safe and effective.</span><br />
  1015.              <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://newsroom.ap.org/detail/SupremeCourtAbortion/b1b05c3b58684e57ab6725d1cafb4150/photo?Query=abortion&amp;mediaType=photo&amp;sortBy=arrivaldatetime:desc&amp;dateRange=Anytime&amp;totalCount=17823&amp;currentItemNo=4">AP Photo/Allen G. Breed</a></span><br />
  1016.            </figcaption></figure>
  1017. <h2>Why is this opinion significant?</h2>
  1018. <p>This case is important because it is the first full Supreme Court opinion since the court’s 2022 opinion in <a href="https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf">Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization</a>, which overturned Roe v. Wade and found no federal right to an abortion.</p>
  1019. <p>In holding that the plaintiffs lacked standing, the court did not address the merits of the claim. This means that the decision maintains the status quo in terms of FDA regulation of abortion pills. </p>
  1020. <p>But it is important to emphasize that the opinion did not take on legal questions concerning the validity of the FDA regulations or any other question concerning the FDA’s authority, which means many questions remain unanswered. For example, it is not fully clear to what extent the FDA regulations take precedence over state regulations regarding the prescription of mifepristone, which is at the <a href="https://www.wunc.org/health/2024-06-04/abortion-north-carolina-catherine-eagles-mifepristone-moore-berger">heart of some of the lower court cases</a>.</p>
  1021. <p>Nevertheless, for the moment, the FDA allows mifepristone to be mailed via certified pharmacies and to be prescribed without in-person visits; up to 10 weeks gestation; and by nonphysician health care providers, like nurse practitioners.</p>
  1022. <h2>Might there be other cases involving abortion pills?</h2>
  1023. <p>Other cases involving abortion pills are already in lower courts.</p>
  1024. <p>First, <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/supreme-court-abortion-pill-case-opinion/">three states</a> – <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/06/04/abortion-pill-states-challenge-supreme-court/">Idaho, Kansas and Missouri</a> – have <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/supreme-court-rejects-bid-restrict-access-abortion-pill-rcna151308">indicated that they are ready to challenge</a> the FDA’s decision-making on mifepristone, so the issues in this case might be back at the Supreme Court.</p>
  1025. <p>Second, states are already restricting access to the abortion pills. In May 2024, Louisiana made the decision to <a href="https://theconversation.com/louisiana-reclassifies-abortion-pills-as-controlled-dangerous-substances-heres-what-that-means-230848">treat both mifepristone and misoprostol as controlled substances</a>, meaning that the legislature concluded – albeit <a href="https://theconversation.com/louisiana-reclassifies-abortion-pills-as-controlled-dangerous-substances-heres-what-that-means-230848">without scientific evidence</a> – that there are dependence and abuse risks involved in taking the medication. Both pills are used for purposes other than medication abortion.</p>
  1026. <p>Third, a federal court <a href="https://theconversation.com/louisiana-reclassifies-abortion-pills-as-controlled-dangerous-substances-heres-what-that-means-230848">judge in North Carolina</a> recently <a href="https://caselaw.findlaw.com/court/us-dis-crt-m-d-nor-car/116121093.html">upheld some of the state’s restrictions on medication abortion</a>. This includes a requirement for an in-person consultation 72 hours in advance of the prescription, as well as an in-person examination and ultrasound before prescription. The judge’s reasoning was that  these requirements seemingly concerned issues “beyond regulating the safe use of mifepristone,” such as regulating the medical profession.</p>
  1027. <p>On the other hand, she struck down the parts of the North Carolina law that prevented patients from receiving the pills through pharmacies and taking them at home. She also blocked the requirement of an in-person follow-up appointment. In her view, these conflicted with the FDA decision to remove those requirements.</p>
  1028. <p>Fourth, under a Trump administration, the <a href="https://theconversation.com/biden-cannot-easily-make-roe-v-wade-federal-law-but-he-could-still-make-it-easier-to-get-an-abortion-225619">FDA could decide to revert</a> to the old requirements for prescribing mifepristone. That would be a <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/06/04/abortion-pill-states-challenge-supreme-court/">“highly unusual”</a> approach, but nothing bars that possibility. Moreover, it is a strategy <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/01/05/trump-abortion/">explicitly recommended by anti-abortion activists</a>. </p>
  1029. <p>Finally, there is the <a href="https://theconversation.com/an-obscure-1800s-law-is-shaping-up-to-be-the-center-of-the-next-abortion-battle-legal-scholars-explain-whats-behind-the-victorian-era-comstock-act-204728">issue of the meaning and application</a> of an 1873 Victorian statute, the <a href="https://jessica.substack.com/p/the-comstock-act">Comstock Act</a>, which <a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1461">criminalizes the mailing</a> <a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1462">or shipping</a> of any “lewd, lascivious, indecent, filthy or vile article” and anything that “is advertised or described in a manner … for producing abortion.” Anti-abortion groups believe this applies to mifepristone. </p>
  1030. <p>The Department of Justice, under the Biden administration, has <a href="https://www.justice.gov/olc/opinion/file/1560596/dl">interpreted the statute as only applying</a> if the sender knows the recipient plans to use the pills “illegally” for abortion. However, under <a href="https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/issue-brief/the-comstock-act-implications-for-abortion-care-nationwide/">another</a> administration, the DOJ might <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2024/01/22/opinions/abortion-threat-comstock-act-must-be-repealed-cohen-donley-rebouche/index.html">view the reach of the Comstock Act more broadly.</a>. </p>
  1031. <p>As <a href="https://theconversation.com/an-obscure-1800s-law-is-shaping-up-to-be-the-center-of-the-next-abortion-battle-legal-scholars-explain-whats-behind-the-victorian-era-comstock-act-204728">we have noted before</a>, a broad reading of the act could go beyond a prohibition on mailing the pills, even where abortion is legal; it might also apply to the distribution of any drug or medical tool – beyond just mifepristone – used to perform an abortion. These same tools are also used for other types of obstetrics and gynecology care. This could have the effect of banning abortion across the country, <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2024/01/22/opinions/abortion-threat-comstock-act-must-be-repealed-cohen-donley-rebouche/index.html">even where states allow abortions.</a>.</p>
  1032. <p>While the short-term consequences of the ruling leave mifepristone available where it is legal, this is not the last word on access to medication abortion.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img loading="lazy" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232453/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important" referrerpolicy="no-referrer-when-downgrade" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p>
  1033. <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/naomi-cahn-713411">Naomi Cahn</a>, Professor of Law, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-virginia-752">University of Virginia</a></em> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sonia-suter-1303960">Sonia Suter</a>, Professor of Law, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/george-washington-university-1262">George Washington University</a></em></span></p>
  1034. <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/supreme-court-unanimously-concludes-that-anti-abortion-groups-have-no-standing-to-challenge-access-to-mifepristone-but-the-drug-likely-faces-more-court-challenges-232453">original article</a>.</p>
  1035. </div>
  1036. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com/supreme-court-unanimously-concludes-that-anti-abortion-groups-have-no-standing-to-challenge-access-to-mifepristone-but-the-drug-likely-faces-more-court-challenges-2/">Supreme Court unanimously concludes that anti-abortion groups have no standing to challenge access to mifepristone – but the drug likely faces more court challenges</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://themoderatevoice.com">The Moderate Voice</a>.</p>
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