From Politico Magazine:
According to the study, which used data from Florida and Ohio counties, registered Republicans and Democrats died of Covid in equal numbers in 2020, but once vaccines became widely available in summer 2021, the number of Republican excess deaths nearly doubled those of Democrats. The disparity grew even wider during the winter of 2021.
From Bloomberg Law:
As my former law firm’s representation of Harvey Weinstein showed, attorneys are often tasked with hiring and managing these operations so clients can protect their findings under the cloak of attorney-client privilege. Snyder, likewise, employed a law firm to hire the private investigators that harassed and intimidated dozens of former team employees.
From the National Interest:
Is China trapped between economic growth and state control? This is the riddle of China’s new journey, and it’s as old as empire. Only this time, the future of globalization hangs in the balance, with an equally momentous question: China intends to stay in the exclusive club of globally integrated economies, but what will happen when it tries to remake the rules?
—Hilton Root, et al.
From the Washington Post:
The instinct of Democrats has been to gloat as members of the other party form a circular firing squad. But if, as they often profess, moderate Democrats are really interested in cooperating with serious Republicans, they should give McCarthy the votes he needs to become speaker.
From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Based on our research, presidents have little time to contribute to scholarly research in their field and rarely teach while in office. They are likely unprepared to meet the needs of today’s students in the classroom. Faculty and staff, however, probably appreciate a successful former president’s work, and students may look forward to taking a class from him or her. But is burdening an institution financially by granting tenure to presidents who disgrace themselves, and possibly their institutions in the process, appropriate?
—Judith Wilde and Jim Finkelstein
According to the organizers, the summit aims to serve as a demonstration of the Biden administration’s commitment to the African continent and provide a forum for new joint initiatives between the United States and countries in Africa. According to senior White House officials, approximately 50 heads of state and senior government officials from African countries are expected to attend the summit, including from South Africa.
From American City and County:
Having spent a good deal of time scanning the collective wisdom of others, I offer my annual take on what trends will be most prevalent in cities and counties across the nation. We begin the new year with continued worries about inflation, fear of a recession and political insecurity.
—Alan R. Shark
From the Hill:
To address the Social Security shortfall, Congress will have to adopt tax increases, benefit cuts, or other spending cuts. Those measures will be unavoidably painful. By waiting to address the problem, however, Congress is inflicting another, entirely avoidable, harm: Americans cannot properly plan for retirement because they do not know what Congress will ultimately do to their taxes and benefits.
From Foreign Policy:
To start, Brazil has established a constitutionally independent and specialized court that resolves election disputes, reinforced by an independent prosecutor’s office. Second, the Brazilian electoral system is more centralized at the federal level, unlike the diffuse U.S. system. Finally, its crown jewel is an electronic voting system that counted all votes in just over three hours and swiftly certified the result before anyone could sow doubts about its legitimacy.
—Justin Gest and Clifford A. Young
From the Hill:
Furthermore, American-made weapons originally sent to Ukraine may be dispersed to other countries, a problem endemic in U.S. arms sales that has allowed adversaries and terrorist organizations to acquire advanced U.S. weaponry.
—Jordan Cohen, et al.
From Taiwan Insight:
As these are obviously local elections, they are definitively not an indicator of the respective parties’ positions in the national elections in early 2024. However, the current elections were primarily driven by the fact that at the local level, the Kuomintang still has strong patronage networks and administrative experience in dealing with local issues starkly contrasts to presidential and national legislative elections, in which China-Taiwan relations and national security are prominent issues.
—Gerrit van der Wees
From ISPI Online:
Indeed, as long as the war in Ukraine continues, Russia may not be in a position to increase its military presence in the Middle East. It is not clear, though, how much the West, including the US, can come to the aid of Middle Eastern states feeling threatened by Iran, when America and Europe are more focused on both Russia in Europe and China in Asia. If they do not see either the West or Russia as able to maintain order in the area, regional powers in the Middle East may feel both a greater need to act on their own as well as less external restraint about doing so. Therefore, a prolonged conflict in Ukraine may lead to an increased conflict in the Middle East.
—Mark N. Katz
People power efforts targeting corruption can disrupt dishonest activities and relationships; apply pressure through the power of numbers involving shared grievances and demands to elites; and engage with the public, powerholders, and institutions to gain support, shift loyalties towards civic initiatives, and back or even protect anti-corruption institutions, government reformers, and civil servants.
—Shaazka Beyerle and Layla Hashemi
From the National Interest:
In advanced European nations, the party or coalition in power develops plans for major legislation but apolitical ministry teams flesh out the details. The teams show drafts to affected constituencies with the objective of minimizing unnecessary opposition and flaws. If a draft is found satisfactory it goes to committees for further modification. Only then is the bill presented for a final vote in parliament.
—Frank T. Manheim
After a decade in which anti-corruption and anti-impunity efforts were beginning to bear fruit, these elites joined forces not only to bring down these efforts, but to co-opt key institutions, including the Public Ministry, the Supreme Court, and the Constitutional Court, and to turn the justice system into an instrument to punish those who were at the heart of Guatemala’s anti-impunity crusade, including judges, prosecutors, magistrates, and human rights defenders.
From the Hill:
Second: Intelligence analysis is written far more carefully than you’ll ever read it. Analysts may spend weeks or months writing the material you read. The material goes through multiple levels of review. Words are parsed. Verbs are carefully chosen. And you’ve got five minutes in a cold, harshly lit secure facility to read it—and less than a minute to translate it for your boss.
Anti-corruption efforts by nature involve negatives—stopping, preventing, and punishing wrongdoing. There is also a need for more positive reinforcement of honest officials and anti-corruption practices and for shifting social norms toward integrity, collective responsibility and accountability.
—Layla M. Hashemia, et al.
From Russia Matters:
Has this recent Russian dependence on Iranian arms given Tehran a greater degree of leverage over Moscow than it had before, particularly over Russia’s policies in the Middle East? While Western and Ukrainian sources have claimed it has, Russia's desire to maintain good relations with America's traditional allies in the region—particularly Saudi Arabia and Israel, neither of which has joined in Western sanctions or other efforts against Russia—will serve to limit what Moscow is willing to do for Tehran.
—Mark N. Katz
From the Hill:
President Biden is proposing to ban all caucuses and replace them with primaries. What’s the difference? A primary is an election. A caucus is a meeting. To vote in a caucus, you have to show up at a particular place and time, sometimes at a remote location and on a cold winter night.
The pro‐authoritarian approach in the Middle East also has its roots in essentialist assumptions regarding the compatibility between Arabs, Islam, and democracy. Assertions that Arabs in the Middle East are “not ready for democracy” have been repeated throughout Western academic and policy circles for decades.
—PhD Candidate Jon Hoffman
From Arab World:
Ultimately, the future of the Republican Party will depend on its ability to adapt to changing circumstances and to present a vision for the country that resonates with voters. While this may not be an easy task, it is essential if the GOP is to remain a viable and influential political force in the years ahead.
From La República:
Today, in an extremely volatile context, with 83 percent of the population demanding the closure of a Congress that has its back to the country and the call for new elections, the stigmatizing discourse of the terroir not only seeks to annihilate the humanity of its adversaries but, as we have seen, to justify their physical disappearance. We have already experienced this. It is necessary to stop it, before it is too late. For more than 25 Peruvian families it already is.