SHORT TAKES

DRUNKEN IRISHMEN MAKE THE BEST EMPLOYEES. Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions had once been denied a federal judgeship due to his history with the KKK. As the US Attorney General, he inspired little confidence in his management of the DOJ, so little that his rabbi, Donald Trump, spent many tweets criticizing him. Now, we learn from Andrew McCabe that Jeffrey once commented that the FBI was well staffed with drunken Irishmen who were reliably loyal to the agency. There is no information that Jeffrey demanded that all FBI recruitment material include an affirmative action statement to the effect that Irish Need Apply as affirmative action.

DEEP STATE AT THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY. The Donald tweeted that his administration, in pursuit of its anti-Obama agenda and of restoring coal production to the nation, demanded that the TVA purchase coal from Murray Energy Company for two of the agency’s aging coal-fired power plants. The CEO of Murray had contributed sizably to the Trump campaign and inauguration and had provided the administration with a plan for promoting coal production. One principle of such independent agencies is that they are governed by the federal Administrative Procedures Act, authorizing decisions to be made without arbitrariness or caprice, and upon substantial evidence. This is a type of “deep state” resistance that autocrats abhor. “You can’t always get what you want.”

AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD THEM. Teen gets vaccinated despite parents’ concerns: ‘I was doing it for my safety and the safety of others’. Ethan Lindenberger of Ohio says he got vaccinated when he turned 18, despite his parents’ concerns. Having grown up as an unvaccinated child, he turned to Reddit with questions on how to get vaccines after concluding that his mother’s fears of vaccination were unfounded. He especially worried about his two younger siblings, he said, although they cannot yet decide on their own to get vaccinated.

RANKED CHOICE VOTING FAILS IN VIRGINIA. Efforts to allow “ranked-choice” (“instant-runoff”) voting in local elections has died in a state Senate committee. The measure would have allowed localities to adopt ranked-choice voting for boards of supervisors and city councils, starting in 2020. It was killed on a 10-4 vote of the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections, with two Democrats joining eight Republicans in nixing the bill. Ranked-choice voting is the method already used by the Arlington County Democratic Committee in its caucuses, giving voters the ability to rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate receives 50 percent plus one of the vote on the first ballot, the lowest-vote-getting candidate is eliminated and his or her votes are reallocated as directed by the voters. The process is repeated as many times as needed until the top-finishing candidate achieves more than half the votes. Proponents of the procedure say it makes it less likely that a fringe candidate will secure victory in a crowded field, and encourages campaigns to be run in a positive manner, since candidates will be trying to become the second (or third, or fourth) choice of voters even if they are not the first.

 



Categories: Issues, Local, National

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