Friday, May 6, 2016

Last Call For London Calling

London has just elected Sadiq Khan, Labour Party candidate, as Mayor of the city, and the campaign was as brutal, as nasty, and as racist as you can imagine.

Sadiq Khan, a practicing Muslim and Labour Party politician, has been elected mayor of London, marking a political milestone in the Western world. 
Londoners voted in Khan, 45, as the first Muslim mayor of a major Western capital city. He will take office in a metropolis where his fellow Muslims comprise about 12% of the population. 
His victory followed an unusually bitter campaign against Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, the son of a billionaire, in which race and religion have proven ugly flashpoints. 
The London-born son of Pakistani immigrants, Khan grew up with his six brothers and sister in a three-bedroom, public housing apartment. He studied law, became a university lecturer and the chairman of a civil liberties group, and was elected to Parliament in 2005. 
Affordable housing in a city increasingly drawing the super-rich, aging infrastructure and transportation are top issues facing the new mayor. 
Khan is replacing incumbent Boris Johnson, a colorful and popular figure who took office in 2008 and was a rare Conservative mayor in the Labour-leaning British capital. 
Johnson is leading the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union at a referendum on June 23. He is clashing with Prime Minister David Cameron, who is in favor of the United Kingdom remaining.

By the way, Goldsmith definitely played the terror card as it became clear he was going to lose, accusing the Labour Party of allowing the city to fall to Islamic terrorists that had attacked the city on July 7, 2005.

If that wasn't bad enough, there's the whole separate issue of Labour's leader being Jeremy Corbin, somebody very much considered to be wildly far left with that party having definite problems with those who are anti-Semitic making some very ugly comments.

Even PM David Cameron stepped into the fight, openly accusing Khan of being an ISIS sympathizer.

In the end, Khan won by a nearly 60-40% margin, but I fear this is going to have a major effect on the referendum for the UK to exit the EU next month.

We'll find out soon.

A Big Glass Of Nader Aid For The GOP

You can thank Ross Perot for screwing Poppy Bush over in 1992 to the point where Bill Clinton won states like Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Louisiana, Montana and West Virginia on the way to taking a 200 electoral vote win, and ol' Ross came back and did it again four years later to Bob Dole, handing Clinton an even larger re-election victory.

Oh please, please please please let a third party split the GOP and put another Clinton in the White House again 20 years later.

The clock is fast ticking down for a third-party run, at least when it comes to getting on the ballot in many states. Independent candidates running for president must file applications and petitions of support in Texas, which has 38 electoral votes, the second-most of any state, by May 9, according to the Texas secretary of state’s office. 
“It’s an uphill climb, everybody recognizes that, regardless of the route we go, but there are a lot of Republican donors sitting on the sidelines who would rather fund a third party than fund Donald Trump,” said Erickson, who said campaign finance experts within the movement estimate it will cost a minimum of $250 million to fund a third-party bid. 
But even if a third-party candidate failed to make the ballot in many states, the mere presence of a prominent alternative in the race could be enough to deny Trump the White House.

Conservatives have floated several names as a potential Trump spoiler. 
They include former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (R), who is poised to become the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee; former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who was long an outspoken conservative voice in Congress; and freshman Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who early Thursday morning posted on Facebook an open letter calling for a third-party option to Trump and Clinton.

National Review, a leading conservative publication, published a piece Thursday afternoon making the case for Johnson, praising him as a self-made businessman and a fiscal conservative who favors free trade and gun rights. 
“Everybody is looking at Gary Johnson right now to see where decides to settle on some of these issues,” Erickson said.

He added that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R), who dropped his bid for the GOP nomination earlier this year, “would be viable” as well.

Erickson said the key issue is abortion. Any candidate who will at least leave it to the states instead of the federal government to set abortion laws could draw strong support, he said. 
The biggest task ahead is finding a candidate whom conservatives can rally behind, and who has the stature needed to become a national candidate and take on Trump.

I can't begin to tell you how happy I'd be to see a Tea Party v Trump third party run, it would arguably give Clinton 538 electoral votes.  It would be amazing.

So go for it, guys.  Please.

NC Goes Down The Crapper

North Carolina Republicans are calling out federal Justice Department officials, saying they will openly defy a deadline to modify the state's HB2 "bathroom bill".  At stake: billions of dollars in federal Title IX funding for state schools and universities as lawmakers face civil rights violations.

The Republican leaders of North Carolina’s General Assembly defiantly announced Thursday that they would not meet a Monday deadline to suspend or repeal a state law limiting bathroom access for transgender people, setting up a potential legal showdown over what has become one of the nation’s most explosive cultural issues.

“We will take no action by Monday,” said Tim Moore, the speaker of the State House of Representatives, referring to the deadline the Justice Department gave the state to tell federal officials whether the law would stand. “That deadline will come and go.”

Though Mr. Moore criticized the deadline as “unreasonable,” he also seemed to signal that Republicans might eventually agree to alter the law, which forbids people to use public building restrooms that do not match the gender listed on their birth certificates.

“The legislative process doesn’t work where a response can be given by just a few days,” he said, “so we’re going to move at the speed that we’re going to move at to look at what our options are at this point.”

His comments, as well as a private meeting later with a leading critic of the law, Mayor Jennifer Roberts of Charlotte, were indications that lawmakers here may be concerned about the potentially damaging consequences of keeping the law intact and defying the Justice Department.

The Obama administration contends that the law violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and its finding could push the federal government to withhold in federal aid.

The law puts more than $4.8 billion in federal funding to state and local governments at risk, according to a recent analysis by the Williams Institute, a research organization at the University of California, Los Angeles, law school that focuses on sexual orientation and gender identity law. The bulk of those losses would be from education funds, though the state could also lose money for career services, health care, housing and other purposes.

$5 billion is real money folks, and I'm not sure what's going to happen to my home state if the feds make good on this threat.  This leverage is there for a reason, but ten million people in North Carolina are going to be hurt if this happens. That's $500 a person roughly, and that's not trivial, especially in the poorer parts of the Tarheel State.

Beyond that, the political fallout isn't going to be fun either.  We'll see which side the voters blame for this, the Obama administration or GOP Gov. Pat McCrory and the NC GOP.  A major court battle isn't out of the question either, so this could drag on for years, especially if McCrory wins re-election in November and voters keep the NC GOP in power.


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