ISU Indy News: Black Lives Matter BloNo Continues Resistance

Read full article here.

“In December, Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal held a mass meeting to voice complaints about policing with Bloomington Police Chief Brendan Heffner. An upcoming vote over a police substation on Jefferson St. in West Bloomington spurred their actions. After the substation was re-named a community house, and the lease modified to address some of the concerns, the Bloomington City Council voted unanimously to accept the lease from Mid Central Community Action. During the vote, members of Black Lives Matter stood with signs, pleading with their elected officials to reject the lease.

Despite their ultimate defeat in the Jefferson Street Community House, the group continues to fight. Chief Heffner and the Bloomington Police are the recipients of the group’s criticism. In a statement published on February 16, Black Lives Matter said, “Despite clear evidence of disproportionate police practices, Chief Brendan Heffner denies any connection between race and enforcement outcomes…”

Read full article here.

Constitutional Coups in Africa, One of Many Democratic Issues

Kamissa Camara penned an overview on one method of sustained legal power by African presidents. They change the country’s Constitution so that there aren’t presidential term limits. Her list from the last 10 years doesn’t include the extended reigns of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, and José Eduardo dos Santos in Angola.

Between 2005 and 2015, presidents in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Congo Republic, Congo, Uganda and Rwanda attempted to extend their terms in office through constitutional or other legal amendments.

To expand on one example, the depth of the issues these countries face can not and should not be left to only Constitutional changes.

In the case of Uganda, president Yoweri Museveni came to power in 1985 in a coup d’etat of Milton Obote. He was a non-Constitutional president from 1986-96, then started his first constitutional term. In the original Constitution, there was a two term limit. In 2005, when it was passed, many claimed that Museveni was pulling the parliamentary strings to make it happen, as he was head of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.He had decent popular support, but as his tenure has extended, he has resorted to force upon the populace more often.  Human Rights Watch wrote a piece surrounding the 2016 election campaign. Uganda, and the NRM deployed volunteer ‘Crime Preventers’ in preparation for the election. They were deemed to be partisan bullies as opposed to a real force for stability. Presidential candidate Kizza Besigye has been arrested multiple times for his protests to the election results.

The ability to express opinion in Uganda is suppressed, and has been for some time. The ability to change to the Constitution by a president, technically through legal means, is simply one problem of an overarching problem. The autocratic, paternalistic, and hegemonic regime of Yoweri Museveni is one example of a group of young countries in Africa struggling to secure stable democracies. Pointing to Constitutional changes in term limits is an easy example to point out.

Democracy is hard. Before Western observers get too critical of African nations, let us remember that it took the United States 163 years before there was a presidential term limit, 131 years before women could vote, and 82 years before non-whites could constitutionally vote.

Quick Take: No Indictment. No Surprise

Minutes ago, the FBI announced that it would not recommend charges be filed against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

As the reactionist media starts its uproar, I would love to point out that this should not be surprising. Here’s my top three reasons why:

  • Most importantly, Clinton dismantled attempts to discredit her months ago during her 11 hours on the stand. There have been seven congressional investigations on her, which have been marred by partisanship.
  • The idea that Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who has a personal relationship to former president Bill Clinton, would attempt to press charges, is laughable. This announcement is likely more of a relief to Lynch, as she will not be facing the political backlash alone.
  • In the wake of the economic turmoil following the Brexit vote, there is a certainty that the powers that be did not want to create more.

Those who wanted to believe that Clinton would be indicted is a fairly short list.

  • Donald Trump (R-NY) supporters, not just a bandwagon supporter with no other choice. (I’m looking at you, Paul Ryan (R-WI).)
  • Bernie Bros who refuse to support their party’s candidate, and are likely to defect to Trump.

If there is one certainty in this world, it is that the far left media and Donald Trump will find a place of agreement, in calling foul on a corrupt system.

Biden: My V.P. was Warren

Following up on my article earlier:  V.P. Pick Critical for Clinton

Politico reported earlier today that current Vice President, Joe Biden (D-DE), would have picked Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as his running mate. Biden was a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, but never entered the race. Biden notes Warren’s anti-bank agenda, and the enthusiasm with the left supports her as he, like Clinton, is a centrist Democrat. Biden believes that Warren should be Hillary Clinton‘s (D-NY) running mate. Warren, to her credit, has played her cards carefully, giving her an opportunity at influence and possible the vice presidency, while generating enthusiasm on her Twitter account.

Politico – Joe Biden Wanted Elizabeth Warren as his VP

The revelation of Biden’s interest in Warren is timely: The Massachusetts senator, who has not yet endorsed a candidate for president, has been careful to avoid any statement that would indicate she favored ideological soulmate Bernie Sanders over the more centrist Clinton. But progressives have begun pitching Warren as a possible Clinton vice presidential pick to heal the divisions between the center and left of the Democratic Party after the protracted duel between Clinton and Sanders.

And Warren hasn’t entirely resisted the suggestion — in part, because it gives her leverage to influence Clinton’s potential staffing decisions in the Treasury Department and financial oversight boards.

V.P. Pick Critical for Clinton

From July 25th-28th, the Democratic National Convention will meet in Philadelphia and most likely, nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) for president. Sometime in the next 11 weeks, Vice Presidential candidates will announced for both the Democrats and Republicans. This pick could either sink or buoy Clinton’s campaign, being much more crucial than it is for Donald Trump (R-NY) and the GOP. Continue reading

‘Will McAvoy’ with Another Wake Up Call

In 2012, Jeff Daniels lit the internet on fire with a jaw dropping opening scene to HBO TV Series, The Newsroom. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth the 8 minutes. It was stunning enough that it was shown on the first day of my first political science class in college.

Daniels returns with a spoof on the scene, which is only two minutes. He succinctly highlights why this election shouldn’t be called for Hillary already, like many of the major news stations are doing.

Read my thoughts on Trump, Clinton, and Party Identity here.

Obama in Cuba – Reason for Cynicism

Thoughts from the Archive – Originally written on April 9, 2016.
Turned in as an assignment for “HIS 283: History of Cuba”.

From March 21st to 22nd of 2016, President Barack Obama (D-IL) was the first sitting United State president to visit Cuba in 88 years. With him, Obama brought CEOs of Marriott, Starwood Hotels, and PayPal, along with many other U.S. legislatures. In other the U.S. and Cuba, Obama’s visit dominated headlines, from a historic press conference with Raul Castro, to standing in Revolutionary Plaza in front of the Che Guevara Memorial with the U.S. coalition, and attending a Tampa Bay Rays-Cuba baseball game. Obama appeared on popular Cuban television and was, from the American perspective, embraced by the greater Cuban community.

There is a darker underbelly to Obama’s Cuban visit, and you have to dive into the history of U.S.-Cuban relations. Continue reading