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How Democratic presidential politics on guns has shifted

— Don’t expect to hear much debate about guns in the 2020 Democratic primary. — The Iowa Democratic Party is proposing allowing absentee voting in the 2020 Democratic caucuses. Days until the 2019 election: 266 Days until the 2020 election: 630 TO THE LEFT — Gun control is a good indicator of the Democratic Party’s leftward drift in recent years, and a leading advocacy group expects all the 2020 candidates to be on the same page. In 2007 and 2008, then-candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama largely avoided talking about guns on the campaign trail, and they proceeded carefully when they did (in an April 2008 debate, ABC News’ Charlie Gibson pushed the candidates on why they didn’t emphasize their beliefs on gun control). Meanwhile, Harris supported a policy that turned over undocumented juvenile immigrants to ICE while she was San Francisco’s district attorney, CNN’s Nathan McDermott and Andrew Kaczynski reported. Justin Fairfax is citing due process in his refusal to step aside amid sexual assault allegations, and he presided over the the Virginia Senate on Monday. FIRST IN SCORE — ON THE AIRWAVES — The pro-Trump nonprofit America First Policies is going up with an ad in PA-08 pushing Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright to support funding for Trump’s proposed southern border wall. NC-09, CONTINUED — Mark Harris, the Republican in the still uncalled election in NC-09, said he didn’t know about previous allegations against Leslie McCrae Dowless, the independent contractor at the center of the election fraud allegations. “The NRCC has sent out thousands of emails trying to tie vulnerable Democrats to Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Omar,” POLITICO’s John Bresnahan, Laura Barrón-López and Heather Caygle reported. She later apologized: "We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity," Omar said in her follow-up statement.

In Nigeria, Politics and Militancy Go Hand in Hand

Militancy will play a critical role in next year's elections as Nigeria's various stakeholders try to exploit the country's insecurity for political gain. The vice presidency also rotates among the zones in a way that prevents the north or south from having the presidency and vice presidency at the same time. He and his allies used the Niger Delta insurgency, led by groups like the Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta and backed to a degree by local politicians, to help secure his term as president in January 2011. Jonathan had been criticized in the north and South-West for disrupting the balance of power by running for a second term — for seeking, in effect, more than eight years in office, including his succession after Yaradua's death. Perhaps most importantly, it looks like the PDP will also be zoning the presidency to the north, and most likely the North-West where Buhari is from. Niger Delta (South-South) Despite Jonathan's losing the presidency three years ago, the Niger Delta — a former hotbed of militancy — has remained relatively quiet for much of Buhari's term. Since Buhari took office, the South-East has seen a resurgence in the Biafra independence movement, particularly from the Igbo ethnic group, after the Jonathan government attempted to appease them through concessions. Instead, they are likely to attempt to exploit the Biafra movement's resurgence in Nigeria's rotational power structure. Conflict here has been overshadowed by the Niger Delta, Boko Haram and the Biafra independence movements, but the region is no less important. Given the Middle Belt's position between the north and south, it is a critical point of balance that could decide next year's presidential election if the north is split between the APC and the PDP and the south remains divided between the pro-APC South-West and pro-PDP Niger Delta.

It’s time for the United States and Europe to face the politics of cultural...

My experience as the senior Europe analyst in the U.S. intelligence community under the Obama administration and first few months of the Donald Trump presidency gave me a front-row seat to the early stages of major dysfunction and Trump’s hostility toward Euro-Atlantic institutions. Cultural displacement, masquerading as economic and border security anxiety, is chipping away at societal cohesion on both sides of the Atlantic. There are, of course, many drivers of this divide, including economic anxiety about globalization, wage stagnation, and career displacement, along with a perceived loss of community values due to continuing immigration and a fear of immigrant crime and foreign terrorism, often driven by exaggerated claims about the threat. In 2000, some 2 percent of Americans identified themselves as multiracial. By 2045, white Americans will no longer be the majority in the United States. Europe’s experience with identity—both at the national and supranational level—has been quite different: In many European Union countries, diversity is a newer issue than it is in the United States. While countries such as the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands have had significant histories as colonial powers and subsequent experience with robust immigration, most European countries are considered fairly new immigrant nations compared to the United States or Canada. What can the United States and European countries learn from each other’s experiences contending with these turbulent forces? Perhaps the core lesson is how many similarities there are in the populist and nativist messaging both sides of the Atlantic are facing, and thus in the shared challenge for those of us who oppose it. In addition to the Trump administration revamping its heartless policy prescriptions for asylum-seekers on the southern border, Trump himself must dial back his hostile rhetoric regarding immigrants, which provides powerful fuel for those who are already fearful.

Island women talk race, politics, and more in national forum

(Editor's Note: The Staten Island Advance is partnering with Spaceship Media in The Many: A Conversation Across Divides, a moderated Facebook conversation for women of all political stripes. STATEN ISLAND -- What does a fiscally conservative and socially liberal attorney from Richmond Town, a wine shop owner and progressive Democrat from the North Shore, and a hairstylist from South Beach who identifies as an Independent, have in common? They are a few of more than 300 women around the country participating in civil political discussions on a range of topics on a social media group called "The Many." From race, to abortion rights, national politics and the future of the Democratic party, The Many is a group where women across the political spectrum can have a "civil conversation" with one another about virtually any topic. Over a recent weekend, several Staten Island women participated in a discussion about the Trump administration's family separation policy ahead of a nationwide protests calling on the White House to end its zero tolerance immigration policy. For weeks, the White House has come under scrutiny for separating thousands of children from their parents and detaining them for crossing the U.S. border. "How disgraceful that our country has taken children away from parents, criminalized asylum seekers and now the President has 'solved' the problem he created by incarcerating children with their parents?" "My personal opinion prior to the executive order being signed was that separation of these children from their parents was disgraceful and will forever be a stain on our history," Victoria Ferrantelli Wickman, a Republican from Richmond Town who works as an attorney, wrote. Wickman said she joined The Many to participate in a forum where women could be honest about their views without getting attacked by others. "When I saw that this was people having to agree that they would have to be civil and not go to low blows and name calling and just try and explore the other person's perspective and ideology, it just seemed like it was a good forum to try and see how it would work out," she said.

Future Development Reads: Reconciling the politics with the economics

Editor's Note: At the end of each week, one of the rotating editors for Future Development—Shanta Devarajan, Wolfgang Fengler, Indermit Gill, or Homi Kharas—provides recommended literature on a specific development topic. A case in point is the effect of trade opening on wage inequality, which, according to economics, could be ambiguous whereas the political rhetoric, especially in rich countries, is that it is always harmful. A recent paper in VoxDev reconciles this difference by showing that the initial effect of trade liberalization is increased wage inequality, but as firms’ input costs fall further, wage inequality begins to decline. In addition to deriving the result theoretically, they empirically corroborate it with data from Brazil. The implication here is that the people protesting trade liberalization may be capturing a longer-term effect than economists’ short-run models. They find that Kenyan workers will remain competitive for about 20 years, which gives low-income country governments a window of opportunity to prepare for the technological changes, especially if they focus on the less-automated sectors such as food and beverages, garments, metals, and paper. The messages resonate with an earlier study, entitled “Trouble in the Making,” by my World Bank colleagues, Mary Hallward-Driemeier and Gaurav Nayyar. Finally, the 2011 Arab Spring revolutions pose a puzzle for economists because most standard economic indicators, such as GDP growth, poverty, inequality, and access to basic services were improving in the first decade of this century. Hassan Hakimian at University of London provides an explanation, drawing on Aristotle’s famous quote, “In order to secure his power, a tyrant must keep the population in poverty, so that the preoccupation with daily bread leaves them no leisure to conspire against the tyrant.” Hassan suggests that the growing prosperity raised expectations, particularly of the middle class, which the current regimes were not able to fulfill. The hypothesis echoes Elena Ianchovichina’s and my paper, “A Broken Social Contract, Not High Inequality, Led to the Arab Spring.” Related

The ironic politics of regulatory reform

Editor's Note: This report is part of the Series on Regulatory Process and Perspective and was produced by the Brookings Center on Regulation and Markets. And yet, one of the bills that would do the most to check the executive branch’s ability to act arbitrarily has almost no Democratic support and next to no coverage in the mainstream press. [1] The bill is the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), S. 951, sponsored by Sen. The bill will now look for a way to get to 60 votes in the Senate, but its prospects do not look bright. On a principled basis, the RAA’s supporters present the bill as an effort to update the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in line with the recommendations of such nonpartisan expert groups as the American Bar Association and the Administrative Conference of the United States. New requirements to develop full cost-estimates for three alternatives will slow down the regulatory process and create new opportunities for industry groups to tie up agencies in litigation. They also object to bringing independent agencies’ benefit-cost efforts under the auspices of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), as the RAA would do, noting the importance of preserving agency independence. Democrats, on the other hand, are standing up for a more autonomous, “independent” executive branch–even as they take to the airwaves to warn of the grave damages the current president can cause because of the executive’s great power and denounce several agency heads as hopelessly corrupt. For conservative Republicans, the most important triumph during the Trump administration has been the appointment of conservative judges. There is a real disagreement between the parties about the relationship between the executive and the other branches, and it appears to be more than just a passing hangover of the Obama years.