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Joe Biden finally enters 2020 presidential race

Joe Biden finally enters 2020 presidential race

Former economic adviser to President Obama Robert Wolf explains why the 2020 candidate is resonating with Democrat primary voters in the polls. #FoxandFriends #FoxNews FOX News operates the FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX Business Network (FBN), FOX News Radio, FOX…

Symbolism is important political strategy for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

VARANASI, INDIA - In the Indian city Hindus consider the center of the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has commissioned a grand promenade connecting the sacred Ganges River with the centuries-old Vishwanath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. In his five years as prime minister, Modi has pushed to promote this secular nation of 1.3 billion people and nine major religions — including about 170 million Muslims — as a distinctly Hindu state. And some Varanasi Muslims fear the project could embolden Hindu hard-liners who have demanded for decades that the 17th century Gyanvapi mosque — which they claim was built over an earlier Vishwanath temple demolished in the Mughal era — should itself be torn down. Around a Hindu festival day in March, Islahi said, a group tried to install a Hindu statue near the mosque to assert a claim on the property. The campaign includes restoring the Hindu names of cities that were renamed by Mughals centuries ago and excluding the Taj Mahal, a Muslim tomb, from government tourism materials. Though Varanasi draws millions of devout Hindus each year, scholars and residents emphasize its identity as a city where people of many faiths have long lived together harmoniously. But the temple project is a BJP-led effort to stamp India’s Hindu mores onto a multicultural society, historians and political scientists say. Last October, Modi unveiled another dream project: a statue in Gujarat of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, an Indian independence leader, politician and Hindu. But with the Vishwanath temple and other symbolic projects, one of Modi’s undisputed successes has been to insert religion into the center of the political debate in India. Khanna and his siblings, parents and grandfather live and run a wholesale garment business near the Vishwanath temple that deeds on weathered paper show the family has owned since Mughal times.

Why Trump-era policies create new barriers to legal immigration to the US

Reuters reported that more than 37,000 visa applications were refused in 2018 as a direct result of the administration’s travel ban on primarily Muslim-majority countries. K-1 visas for fiances of US citizens dropped 35.7% in fiscal year 2018, compared to 2016, and student visas declined by 23%, according to state department data. The document is just one of myriad changes under the current administration that have made it more difficult for people to enter and stay in the country through lawful means – even as Trump says publicly that he wants foreigners in the US, but “they have to come in legally”. Two years later, that number plummeted to 22,491 “Is it deliberate? In August 2016, Fawzi and his family say they received a letter with conditional approval to resettle in the US. “Four months,” Fawzi’s family told the Guardian, “and we are now in two years and [a] half.” Every time they ask officials about why they are stuck in Lebanon, they get the same answer: security procedure. However, experts in immigration policy say there’s no evidence many of the new vetting policies affecting foreign nationals work. Bier said the requirements have been devised primarily to “obstruct legal immigration”. “The ultimate goal is making it more difficult to live in the United States legally,” Bier said. But at least his partner’s visa was eventually approved.

Why Trump-era policies create new barriers to legal immigration to the US

Reuters reported that more than 37,000 visa applications were refused in 2018 as a direct result of the administration’s travel ban on primarily Muslim-majority countries. K-1 visas for fiances of US citizens dropped 35.7% in fiscal year 2018, compared to 2016, and student visas declined by 23%, according to state department data. The document is just one of myriad changes under the current administration that have made it more difficult for people to enter and stay in the country through lawful means – even as Trump says publicly that he wants foreigners in the US, but “they have to come in legally”. Two years later, that number plummeted to 22,491 “Is it deliberate? In August 2016, Fawzi and his family say they received a letter with conditional approval to resettle in the US. “Four months,” Fawzi’s family told the Guardian, “and we are now in two years and [a] half.” Every time they ask officials about why they are stuck in Lebanon, they get the same answer: security procedure. However, experts in immigration policy say there’s no evidence many of the new vetting policies affecting foreign nationals work. Bier said the requirements have been devised primarily to “obstruct legal immigration”. “The ultimate goal is making it more difficult to live in the United States legally,” Bier said. But at least his partner’s visa was eventually approved.

People Before Politics reboots to advance Gov. LePage policies

Paul LePage, geared up in recent months to protect fiscally conservative policies he favored. Paul LePage has geared up in recent months to protect fiscally conservative policies he favored. It is rallying opposition to a proposed carbon tax, criticizing Democratic Gov. LePage’s push to influence state politics even as he lives in Florida is an unusual move for a former governor. But his spokespeople say the governor, who has threatened to run against Mills in 2020 and wants to launch a “conservative mouthpiece” for Mainers, is concerned about state’s future. LePage was named the group’s honorary chairman. The newspaper’s review of tax filings show the group raised $1.1 million before fundraising halted after 2015. It paid out nearly $100,000 combined to the former governor’s daughter, Lauren LePage, and top political adviser, Brent Littlefield, in 2016 and 2017. The conservative-leaning group does not name its donors under IRS rules governing what are often called “social welfare nonprofits,” which can advocate for issues and raise unlimited amounts of money. Rabinowitz said Maine People Before Politics will file amended forms with the IRS to disclose more information about the group’s activities.

Politics Trump Policy Once Again in Budget Debate

The fiscal year 2020 budget proposes spending $4.7 trillion. That's up from $4.5 trillion last year and $4.1 trillion in FY 2018. Spending between FY 2020 and FY 2029 will grow by 40 percent, and thanks to projected GDP growth averaging 3 percent over the next decade, revenue may grow by 72 percent during that time. Also, $2 trillion have been added to the debt during the last two years. While the deficit is projected to be cut in half over the next decade and the debt may stabilize, as we shall see, these numbers carry little credibility. And to be fair, the budget does propose $2.7 trillion in spending reduction over the next 10 years. While many of these spending reform proposals are worth implementing, they simply aren't realistic. The budget proposes cutting these expenditures 9 percent between this year and next, and 26 percent over the next 10 years. What's more, the administration uses an old trick practiced by previous administrations. Fiscal responsibility can never be achieved on the back of non-defense spending alone, especially if it's offset by massive growth to defense spending.

The Green New Deal and the new politics of climate change

How did the GND manage to change climate politics? This means that advocates should have a clear narrative on “what” needs to change (goals) and “why” this change should happen (rationale). But, importantly, they should also have a clear political strategy on “how” they will bring about this change. Armed with scientific reports, the movement also showed why climate action was needed. However, the movement did not do well on the “how” issue. But at the same time, the violent “yellow vests” protests, ironically in Paris, showed that French farmers and workers opposed a climate levy on fossil fuel. But from the perspective of a “yellow vest” protester: Macron’s government “talks about the end of the world while we are talking about the end of the month.” The GND is an attempt to address climate issues while paying attention to political and social underpinnings. No IPCC report or COP summit can douse the street revolt if climate policy is perceived to be unfair. The climate movement has got its science right. Now the challenge is to get the politics right.

Bad Policy, Good Politics

Pete Marovich for The New York Times This article is part of David Leonhardt’s newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it each weekday. The Green New Deal is not a good piece of policy. I’m glad it exists because climate change and the stagnation of mass living standards are both defining challenges for this country. The plan doesn’t ask what is politically possible today. Too little, too much The overview released by Markey and Ocasio-Cortez has two main flaws: Although the plan does a good job laying out the problem of climate change, it doesn’t offer a clear vision for a solution. “Thus, at the same time, the plan avoids taking stances that are absolutely vital to reduce carbon emissions, it embraces policies that have nothing to do with climate change whatsoever.” If this were a proposal from a leading presidential candidate or a party leader, it would be worrisome. It’s more akin to a gadfly. For all its flaws, the Green New Deal is a useful call to action. Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Cory in the House?

What We’re Following Today It’s Friday, February 1. Meanwhile, in foreign-affairs news, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that he’s withdrawing the U.S. from its nuclear-arms-control treaty with Russia. "For years, Russia has violated the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty without remorse," he said. He’s Running: Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey spent Thursday night at a secret church service in Newark, where he was anointed by the church’s reverend. Twelve hours later, he announced his bid for the presidency in 2020. Meanwhile, as Howard Schultz, the billionaire ex-CEO of Starbucks, ponders whether he’ll launch his own presidential campaign, his many similarities to Donald Trump have become clear. Snapshot Ideas From The Atlantic The Covington Story Was a Collective American Nightmare (George Packer) “It seems to act out a drama in which we’re all caught, but in grotesque exaggeration. The White Flight From Football (Alana Semuels) “Football at the high-school level is growing in popularity in states with the highest shares of black people, while it’s declining in majority-white states. But it would be the end of the Super Bowl as we know it.” → Read on. I’ve Watched Him for 20 Years.

Labour would lose voters with ‘stop Brexit’ policy, poll suggests

A leaked poll commissioned by the pro-EU Best for Britain campaign suggests that voters would be less likely to back Labour if the party was committed to stopping Brexit. Twenty-five per cent said it would make them more likely to back Labour, with the rest saying they did not know. The polling also showed the party would lose around the same number of Labour voters as it would gain from the Conservatives. Just 9% of Conservative voters would switch to Labour in those circumstances, but 11% of current Labour voters said it would make them less likely to vote for the party. Corbyn could face string of resignations if he backs 'people's vote' Read more Jeremy Corbyn has made efforts to underline the delicacy of the party’s electoral position in recent days, including at a speech in Wakefield, where he said it must bridge the Brexit divide in order to address nationwide problems of inequality. A Best for Britain spokesman said the polling also showed that the vast majority of Labour voters would not desert the party if it committed to cancelling Brexit. The campaign group also said Labour would see a dividend from Lib Dem and Green voters. Of the Lib Dem voters polled, 39% would be more likely to back Labour and 40% of Green voters. “The poll shows that Conservative voters aren’t there just yet, but we are confident our campaign will get them there.” The cross-party campaign is separate from the People’s Vote campaign, though many MPs support both. The organisation, which was originally associated with the campaigner Gina Miller, who is no longer involved, has received about £800,000 from the philanthropist George Soros and has been involved in a series of eye-catching stunts, including installing a “big red button” outside the Labour conference urging MPs to stop Brexit.