Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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MSNBC to Air Obama’s 2004 Convention Speech During Trump’s Address to Nation

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—MSNBC will preempt Donald Trump’s national address on Tuesday night by airing Barack Obama’s keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, network officials have confirmed. Harland Dorrinson, an MSNBC spokesperson, said that the network elected to air the Obama speech “in order to best serve our audience.” “Based on the data gathered by our research department, the number of MSNBC viewers who were planning to watch the Trump speech was approximately zero,” Dorrinson said. “This seemed like a better way to go.” Since the Obama speech has a running time of only sixteen minutes, MSNBC plans to air it “over and over” until Trump has finished talking, Dorrinson said. “We’ll air it all night if we have to,” he said. The network spokesperson said that the White House had contacted MSNBC to argue that the network could not preëmpt a national address by Trump. “We had three words for them,” he said. “Yes we can.”

Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech

The guidelines that emerge from these meetings are sent out to 7,500-plus moderators around the world. Facebook has been accused of accelerating violence in the country. In many countries, extremism and the mainstream are blurring. The company never set out to play this role, but in an effort to control problems of its own creation, it has quietly become, with a speed that makes even employees uncomfortable, what is arguably one of the world’s most powerful political regulators. A 2016 document on Western Balkan hate groups, still in use, incorrectly describes Ratko Mladic as a fugitive. And Google Translate can be unreliable: Mr. Mladic is referred to in one slide as “Rodney Young.” The guidelines, said Mr. Mujanovic, the Balkans expert, appear dangerously out of date. Several months after Facebook said it had banned praise for Ma Ba Tha, a Myanmar supremacist group accused of encouraging ethnic cleansing, the company’s Myanmar guidelines stated that the group was allowed. Facebook users are prohibited from posting content that is deemed to support or praise them. Facebook says that any such practice would violate its rules, which include contingencies for reviewing posts in unfamiliar languages. But at company headquarters, the most fundamental questions of all remain unanswered: What sorts of content lead directly to violence?

Jeb Bush laments current state of politics in Sioux Falls speech

Jeb Bush lamented the current state of politics in the United States — and the lack of civility — during a speech Wednesday night at the 37th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner and Children's Charity. Jeb Bush joined governor-elect Kristi Noem, Gov. Dennis Daugaard, Sen. John Thune and Attorney General Marty Jackley in making remarks at the dinner, which honors South Dakota law enforcement and has raised millions of dollars for children. Bush's speech focused primarily on returning to civility in the country's political discussions, warning that we'd reached a point where people we disagreed with weren't just people with different opinions. "They're becoming enemies," Bush said. That means finding politicians that act respectfully and don't disparage others, he said -- and while he never said the name "Trump," the implication was clear. "Today in American politics," Bush said, "there are very few rewards for doing things right." While Bush headlined the speech, South Dakotans spoke before him, including Thune, who said he'd met Bush more than 30 years ago, and said that no other American family more exemplified public service. And standing in front of the massive crowd filling the Ramkota Exhibit Hall, Daugaard told attendees "banquets are not enough" to thank them for all that they do in the name of public service. More: Billie Sutton turned much of the state blue, but not deep blue
Ocasio-Cortez thanks supporters in victory speech

Ocasio-Cortez thanks supporters in victory speech

Democratic activist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez becomes the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service dedicated to delivering breaking news as well as political and business news. The number one network in cable,…

Kosovo president calls for political unity on Serbia’s talks

PRISTINA, Kosovo – Kosovo's president has urged political parties to work faster to unite behind a strategy to smooth ties with Serbia, which he called the only way for Kosovo to join the European Union. Hashim Thaci on Thursday called on politicians to reach a consensus soon on the government's negotiating team, a move strongly opposed by the opposition so far. Brussels has made it clear the EU will not accept Kosovo and Serbia if they don't resolve their conflict. Thaci said tough talks were ahead as the countries are set to negotiate on a 430-kilometer (270-mile) long border demarcation. "There will be no bilateral recognition without concluding such a process," he said. Some Kosovo and Serbian officials have proposed a deal based on where ethnic Serb and Albanian minorities are concentrated — Kosovo's northern Mitrovica region for Serbia's Presevo Valley. On Wednesday Kosovo's opposition political parties sent a letter to the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini saying that Thaci "does not represent us, nor the people of Kosovo in this process." They said any territorial swap or change is "dangerous for peace in the region and therefore are unacceptable." Both countries hope the seven-year long EU-facilitated dialogue to normalize ties will reach a final stage with a bilateral, legally binding agreement. ----- Semini reported from Tirana, Albania.

President Donald Trump’s talks trade, politics and job training in Iowa

Des Moines Register PEOSTA, Ia.— President Donald Trump displayed John-Deere-green hats bearing the slogan “Make Farmers Great Again” during his visit to Peosta Thursday, telling Iowa farmers they won’t be “too angry with Trump” following an apparent trade agreement with European leaders. “I have to say, because we have a lot of farmers in this place, we had this hat made up. Kim Reynolds, who participated in the forum, told reporters after the event that the conversations about opening up European markets are “hopefully a positive step.” “China has been a bad actor,” she said. “There’s no place doing better than Iowa,” he said. “We have a lot of federal people out here, some incredible people. Trump praised Blum, giving him credit for securing $117 million in federal funds to support flood mitigation efforts in Cedar Rapids. The visit is Trump’s third to the state since he was elected in 2016. “We have so many companies moving back to the United States now, and what we need is talented people,” he said. Kevin Lake, 31, of Sioux City, who wore a hat that read, “Make America Great Again,” clutched a photo that Trump signed for him at the airport. “But in the end the tariffs will work in America’s favor.” The crowd cheered Trump again as he got into his black presidential limousine and headed the 14 miles to Northeast Iowa Community College for the workforce discussion.

May hangs on as Johnson condemns Brexit plan in speech

Boris Johnson has used a stinging resignation speech to tell MPs that it was “not too late to save Brexit” but stopped short of a leadership challenge to Theresa May’s battered premiership. The former foreign secretary, who resigned from the cabinet last week over May’s Chequers negotiating strategy, said the government had allowed a “fog of uncertainty” to descend since her Lancaster House speech in January 2017, which suggested a “comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement” with the EU27. May faces pressure from both sides over Brexit plan at PMQs Read more A sombre Johnson had told the House of Commons: “It is not too late to save Brexit. But much of his speech was devoted to criticising the negotiating strategy that has been personally overseen by May. Johnson’s departure – along with those of former Brexit secretary David Davis, former Brexit minister Steve Baker and a handful of more junior government figures – has underlined the deep divisions in the Conservative party, and the conundrum facing May as she tries to negotiate a deal that will satisfy parliament. Baker warned May that she would not be able to avoid confronting the sceptics in her own party, claiming he and his colleagues can rely on many more than 40 votes to reject the Chequers approach. “Whether people like it or not, however impartial they may be, they must bring forward a deal which can be voted through by the Conservative party,” he said. People who have said the number 40 are not out by a fraction when they come to consider the number of members who don’t like this deal on these benches and are willing to vote in line with this dislike. They are out by a factor, not a fraction.” May caved in to amendments on her customs bill tabled to scupper the Chequers deal earlier this week, rather than confront the Brexit rebels directly. One cabinet minister said afterwards: “Whatever the differences are, we hang together and support the prime minister.” A second cabinet minister, who predicted that the PM would now survive, added: “Everybody was positive, including people who haven’t been in the last couple of weeks.

Obama Speech in South Africa Warns Against Rise of ‘Strongman Politics’

A day after Mr. Trump met with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Mr. Obama delivered his highest-profile speech since leaving office, at an event in South Africa marking the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. “Strongman politics are ascendant suddenly, whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained, the form of it, but those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning.” Mr. Obama opened his nearly 90-minute speech with a nod to current events, saying that times were “strange and uncertain” and that “each day’s news cycle is bringing more head-spinning and disturbing headlines.” He said that leaders embracing the “politics of fear, resentment and retrenchment” were undermining the international system established after World War II. “It’s on a move at a pace that would have seemed unimaginable just a few years ago. I’m not being alarmist; I’m simply stating the facts.” Just the day before, Mr. Trump had stood next to Mr. Putin in Helsinki, Finland, and disputed his own intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Moscow, at the behest of Mr. Putin, interfered in the 2016 presidential election. “Look, let me say: Politicians have always lied, but it used to be that if you caught them lying, they’d be like, ‘Ah, man.’” He also addressed growing anti-immigration policies in the United States and Europe. In the United States, Mr. Trump ordered a ban on travel to the country from several predominantly Muslim countries. His administration also enforced the former policy of separating immigrant children from parents who cross illegally into the United States. The ideals promoted by Mandela are now at risk, he added. Two different stories, two different narratives, about who we are and who we should be.” Countries like Russia and China are trying to take advantage of the moment of uncertainty, he said. “Within the United States and within the European Union, challenges to globalization first came from the left but then came more forcibly from the right,” Mr. Obama said.

This speech about American history will change the way you think about identity politics

The US celebrated the 242nd anniversary of its independence this week, roiled by fallout from the Trump administration’s family-separations policy at the same time it considers long-simmering questions over addressing its racial history and confronts the world with an isolationist trade policy. At heart of the debate is the question of identity—of us and them. Why is identity so often a source of conflict? Jelani Cobb, a professor of journalism at Columbia University and a staff writer for The New Yorker, suggests the answer goes all the way back to founding of the republic. “The question of ‘We, the people’ has been our ongoing and unresolved conflict in American identity,” Cobb said at a Chautauqua Institute talk in western New York. “We’ve never sufficiently understood and defined who is included in that term.” Ever since Thomas Jefferson’s passage famously decrying the transatlantic slave trade in the Declaration of Independence was cut, American democracy has been characterized by a boom-and-bust cycle, Cobb said. “An expanding concept of ‘we,’” followed by “a contracting, fearful idea of who ‘we’ should be.” Identity politics—and a cycle of progress, followed by backlash— have shaped the course of US history. The Civil War was followed by Reconstruction—in which more than 2,000 African-Americans were elected to political office—which was followed by the repressive Jim Crow era. The US has vacillated between opening its borders to immigrants and lashing out against them, from an 1882 law that forbade Chinese immigrants from entering to turning away boats filled with Jewish refugees during World War II. And the past 10 years have seen both the election of the first black US president and the ensuing rise of political movements centered on the idea that the white identity is under threat.

N.R.A. Gun Ban During Pence’s Speech Leaves Him Vulnerable to Bear Attack, DeVos Warns

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The National Rifle Association’s decision to ban guns during Mike Pence’s speech at its annual meeting in Dallas this week “leaves him totally vulnerable to a bear attack,” the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, warned on Monday. Speaking to reporters at the Education Department, DeVos said that she was “deeply concerned” that the N.R.A. was underestimating the danger posed to Pence by “the savagery of one rogue bear.” “All it would take is one angry bear to ruin what otherwise promises to be a really nice gun event,” she said. She added that, after contacting the N.R.A. leadership, she was alarmed to discover that there would be no bear detectors at the entrance to the Dallas venue. “A bear can simply waltz in there,” she said, shaking her head. “This is madness.” DeVos urged the gun organization to rethink its plan and insure that every member of the audience for Pence’s speech is fully armed. “If there are no guns, that is sending a very dangerous message to bears,” she said.
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