Sep 20, 2019

U.S. drone strike kills 30 pine nut farm workers in Afghanistan

U.S. drone strike kills 30 pine nut farm workers in AfghanistanA U.S. drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State (IS) hideout in Afghanistan killed at least 30 civilians resting after a day's labor in the fields, officials said on Thursday. The attack on Wednesday night also injured 40 people after accidentally targeting farmers and laborers who had just finished collecting pine nuts at mountainous Wazir Tangi in eastern Nangarhar province, three Afghan officials told Reuters. "The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone targeted them," tribal elder Malik Rahat Gul told Reuters by telephone from Wazir Tangi.




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Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warns of 'all-out war' - Aljazeera.com

  1. Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warns of 'all-out war'  Aljazeera.com
  2. Expert on why Saudi Arabia won't explicitly blame Iran for attacks: 'They would be toast'  Fox News
  3. Iran warns of ‘all-out war’ if US retaliates in wake of Saudi oil facility bombings  Fox News
  4. The End of Saudi Arabia’s Illusion  The New York Times
  5. Trump Can Still Broker Peace in Yemen—and Defuse Regional War with Iran  Newsweek
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China rips Pelosi for meeting with Hong Kong activists | TheHill - The Hill

  1. China rips Pelosi for meeting with Hong Kong activists | TheHill  The Hill
  2. Hong Kong protests: The Taiwanese sending 2,000 gas masks  BBC News
  3. China attacks Pelosi for siding with pro-democracy Hong Kong activists  New York Post
  4. One country, two systems did not work for America — it won't work for China | TheHill  The Hill
  5. U.S. Congress to advance 'Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy' bill  Reuters
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Trump Steers Clear of War Footing Toward Iran - The Wall Street Journal

  1. Trump Steers Clear of War Footing Toward Iran  The Wall Street Journal
  2. Iran's Zarif leaving on Friday for U.N. meeting: spokesman  Reuters
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Hurricane Humberto NOAA 5pm update: NHC warns of 'life-threatening' surf on US East Coast - Express.co.uk

  1. Hurricane Humberto NOAA 5pm update: NHC warns of 'life-threatening' surf on US East Coast  Express.co.uk
  2. Jerry has become a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center says  CNN
  3. Hurricane lashes Bermuda as new storm aims at Mexico resorts  Los Angeles Times
  4. Hurricane Jerry path: Where will Jerry make landfall? Which regions are under warnings?  Express.co.uk
  5. Jerry becomes a hurricane en route to Puerto Rico; Humberto knocks out power in Bermuda  USA TODAY
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Inside Apple's redesigned 'cube' store in New York City - Engadget

  1. Inside Apple's redesigned 'cube' store in New York City  Engadget
  2. Apple’s iconic Fifth Avenue store is back and bigger than ever  The Verge
  3. Take a first look inside the flagship Fifth Avenue Apple Store before it reopens on Friday  CNBC
  4. Apple unveils its renovated Fifth Avenue flagship store  Curbed NY
  5. Inside Apple’s reimagined Fifth Ave. store  TechCrunch
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Christie Brinkley Fires Back At Wendy Williams’ ‘DWTS’ Diss On ‘The Talk’ & Shows X-Rays Of Break - Hollywood Life

  1. Christie Brinkley Fires Back At Wendy Williams’ ‘DWTS’ Diss On ‘The Talk’ & Shows X-Rays Of Break  Hollywood Life
  2. Sailor Brinkley-Cook Reacts to Wendy Williams' Claims That Mom Christie Faked 'DWTS' Injury (Exclusive)  Yahoo Entertainment
  3. Christie Brinkley's go-to Adidas sneakers are half off on Amazon right now  AOL
  4. Sharon Osbourne slams Wendy Williams as being 'so dark inside'  Page Six
  5. Christie Brinkley All Smiles in Arm Cast While Supporting Daughter Sailor at DWTS Studio  Yahoo Entertainment
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Media Reports: Josh Rosen Named Starting Quarterback - MiamiDolphins

  1. Media Reports: Josh Rosen Named Starting Quarterback  MiamiDolphins
  2. Ryan Fitzpatrick: Dolphins need to acknowledge the elephant  Yahoo Sports
  3. The Dolphins Are Awful. Brian Flores Is Fine.  The New York Times
  4. 2 veteran Dolphins explain why they haven’t asked out. And a development Flores dislikes  Miami Herald
  5. The future is now: Josh Rosen replaces Ryan Fitzpatrick as Dolphins starter  Yahoo Sports
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US dials back Iran rhetoric and seeks 'peaceful resolution' over Saudi attack

US dials back Iran rhetoric and seeks 'peaceful resolution' over Saudi attackMike Pompeo says goal is to ‘get back on the diplomatic path’ following Trump’s remarks that the US was ‘locked and loaded’Mike Pompeo departs from al-Bateen Air Base in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/APThe US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has said Washington and its allies were seeking a “peaceful resolution” with Iran in the wake of the attack on Saudi oil facilities, making clear that Washington would limit its initial response to further sanctions.Pompeo’s remarks, made on his return trip to Washington after visits to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, mark a significant cooling of rhetoric after Donald Trump had warned the US was “locked and loaded” and Pompeo had said the attack, which he blamed on Iran, was “an act of war”.The Pentagon said its goal was “to deter conflict and get back on the diplomatic path” and stopped short of definitively blaming Tehran for the air strikes which knocked out half Saudi Arabia’s oil production, deferring to Riyadh to make that assessment.“As of this time all indications are that Iran is in some way responsible,” spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said, before adding: “We’re not going to get ahead of the Saudi investigation in their assessment of this.”Iran has insisted the attack on a Saudi oil field and refinery was launched from Yemen by Houthi rebels, who have claimed responsibility. Any reprisal attack on Iran by the US or Saudi Arabia, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned, would lead to “all-out war”.“I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I am making a very serious statement that we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” Zarif told CNN. “But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”Asked about Zarif’s comments, Pompeo sought to defuse the stand-off.“I was here in an act of diplomacy. While the foreign minister of Iran is threatening all-out war and to fight to the last American, we’re here to build out a coalition aimed at achieving peace and a peaceful resolution to this,” the secretary of state said. “That’s my mission set, what President Trump certainly wants me to work to achieve, and I hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran sees it the same way. There’s no evidence of that from his statement, but I hope that that’s the case.”Multiple reports from the White House have portrayed Trump as extremely reluctant to be drawn into another conflict as he campaigns for reelection while seeking to draw down troop levels in Afghanistan and Syria.Pompeo repeated Trump’s warning that Washington would impose further sanctions on Iran, which is already subject to a US oil and banking embargo, arguing that they were effective in cutting Iranian financing for its regional allies and its missile programme.“The president’s direction to us, to continue to prevent them having the capacity to underwrite Hizbullah, Shia militias in Iraq, their own missile program, all the things that they have done to pose a threat to the world, that’s the mission set with our economic sanctions,” he said.Pompeo was speaking after consulting Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and UAE prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the Trump administration’s closest allies in the region, particularly in the wake of Israeli elections that threw Binyamin Netanyahu’s political future in question.Trump had made clear that Saudi Arabia would have to take the lead role in any response for Saturday’s attacks. But Saudi officials have made it clear they did not want to trigger a full-scale conflict.The Pentagon said the focus of its own response was to explore “potential ways to look at mitigating future attacks”.Trump’s decision not to retaliate against Iran drew criticism from Republican hawks like the South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, who said that US inaction “was clearly seen by the Iranian regime as a sign of weakness”.Most Trump critics applauded US restraint, claiming that the US had under no obligation to Riyadh, but blamed Trump’s rhetorical bluster and his policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran for driving the region to the brink of conflict.“US inaction will be perceived as weakness,” said Suzanne Maloney, deputy director of the foreign policy programme at the Brookings Institution. “Let me be clear: I’m not advocating war. The point is that [Trump] engaged in a stupid, unnecessary, incredibly dangerous bluff and the Iranians have called him on it.”




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Officer who guarded El Chapo's wife arrested in drug sting

Officer who guarded El Chapo's wife arrested in drug stingA New York City police officer who moonlighted as a bodyguard for the wife of convicted Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was arrested in a drug sting Wednesday after prosecutors say he transported cocaine for an undercover officer posing as a drug dealer. Ishmael Bailey, 36, cried as he was arraigned Wednesday night.




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Justin Trudeau blackface: Third incident of Canadian PM wearing racist makeup emerges

Justin Trudeau blackface: Third incident of Canadian PM wearing racist makeup emergesA video of Justin Trudeau wearing blackface has been released. The clip is the third instance of the Canadian prime minister wearing racist make-up to emerge in the last 24 hours.The video was first obtained by Global News.




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Houston-Area Flooding Causes Flight Delays, Road Closures - Spectrum News

  1. Houston-Area Flooding Causes Flight Delays, Road Closures  Spectrum News
  2. How Imelda's Prolific Rain, Flooding Compares to Harvey in East Texas  The Weather Channel
  3. Remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda slam southeast Texas  ABC News
  4. In Southeast Texas, Imelda Inundates Homes and Roads; Hospital Evacuated, Hundreds Rescued from High Water  The Weather Channel
  5. National News UPDATE: Imelda's flooding rains close I-10 West at LA 109 KATC News 6  KATC Lafayette News
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Amazon’s Multibillion-Dollar Bet On Electric Delivery Vans Is Game-Changer For Startup Rivian - Forbes

  1. Amazon’s Multibillion-Dollar Bet On Electric Delivery Vans Is Game-Changer For Startup Rivian  Forbes
  2. Rivian's New Amazon Delivery Vans Look Adorable  Car and Driver
  3. Electric vehicle startup Rivian gets a jolt from big Amazon.com van order  Yahoo News
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Crypto Officially Confirmed For Apex Legends, Gets New Story Trailer - GameSpot

  1. Crypto Officially Confirmed For Apex Legends, Gets New Story Trailer  GameSpot
  2. Apex Legends | Stories from the Outlands – “Forever Family”  Apex Legends
  3. Apex Legends' Third Season Will Bring A New Character, Changes To Ranked Mode  Kotaku
  4. Apex Legends: New Hero Crypto Officially Announced, Season 3 Details Revealed - IGN  IGN
  5. New Apex short story uncovers Crypto's identity  Dot Esports
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YouTube Is About to Demote a Wide Swath of Its Creators - The New York Times

  1. YouTube Is About to Demote a Wide Swath of Its Creators  The New York Times
  2. YouTube creators may lose verified badges as company implements stricter criteria  The Verge
  3. YouTube makes verification harder to earn, and some will lose it  Engadget
  4. YouTube overhauls its problematic verification program  TechCrunch
  5. Popular YouTubers told they'll lose verification checkmarks  Business Insider
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Aaron Boone heard 'whispers' of Domingo Germán domestic violence allegations - New York Post

  1. Aaron Boone heard 'whispers' of Domingo Germán domestic violence allegations  New York Post
  2. Yankees' Aaron Boone on Domingo German incident  NJ.com
  3. Yankees' German put on leave under DV policy  ESPN
  4. Dingers, rookies and races: Top MLB storylines to watch in the last week of the regular season  Sporting News
  5. Yankees pitcher Domingo Germán placed on leave amid domestic violence probe  New York Post
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The Navy SEAL who ran the bin Laden raid says negotiating with the Taliban is like sitting down for talks with ISIS

The Navy SEAL who ran the bin Laden raid says negotiating with the Taliban is like sitting down for talks with ISISTalking to the Taliban is like meeting with ISIS, the retired Navy SEAL said weeks after Trump tried to bring Taliban leaders to the US for talks.




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Third Photo of Justin Trudeau in Blackface Threatens to Destroy His Progressive Reputation

Third Photo of Justin Trudeau in Blackface Threatens to Destroy His Progressive ReputationREUTERS/Chris WattieThe progressive reputation of Justin Trudeau is in ruins Thursday morning after a third instance emerged of the Canadian prime minister wearing racist dark face-paint.The first photo that surfaced, showing Trudeau in 2001 wearing brownface as part of an Aladdin costume, would have been enough to turn some voters off him forever. But, within hours, a second photo was published of him wearing blackface to sing the Jamaican folk song “Day-O,” followed by a third video of him sticking his tongue out wearing dark makeup.What was initially assumed to be a deeply stupid and offensive costume at one theme party now looks like it was just one instance of a deeply troubling habit.Trudeau admitted he “made a mistake” late Wednesday after the first photo was published. That showed him wearing brownface makeup to an “Arabian Nights”-themed gala at the Vancouver private school where he taught in 2001.The picture, found in West Point Grey Academy’s yearbook and published by Time magazine, shows Trudeau with his face, neck, and hands darkened—along with him wearing a turban and robes. While he was not the only one pictured in costume at the gala, he appeared to be the only one pictured in brownface. “Obviously I regret that I did it, I’m really sorry I did it,” Trudeau told reporters Wednesday evening. “I take responsibility for my decision to do that. I should have known better... I didn’t know it was racist at the time.”Media relations lead of the Liberal Party of Canada, Zita Astravas, confirmed to Time that it was Trudeau in the photo. “It was a photo taken while he was teaching in Vancouver, at the school’s annual dinner which had a costume theme of ‘Arabian Nights.’ He attended with friends and colleagues dressed as a character from Aladdin,” Astravas said. In addition to the yearbook photo, he also disclosed to reporters that he once participated in a high school play “with makeup on”—but he did not elaborate further. That photo was then found shortly afterward.The third video, published Thursday morning by Canada’s Global News, appears to show Trudeau’s face covered in dark makeup while he sticks his tongue out. It appears his arms and legs are also covered in dark makeup. A senior member of the Liberal campaign reportedly told the network that it was Trudeau in the video but didn’t comment further.The photos, which surfaced as Trudeau is ramping up his re-election campaign, sparked an outpouring of criticism on Twitter, where many accused the Canadian prime minister of racism. Trudeau announced his re-election bid this month amid accusations he meddled in a corruption case. When asked by reporters if he would consider resigning over the photo, he said only that the incident “calls for important conversations.”“I have worked all my life to create opportunities for people to fight against racism, I can stand here and say I made a mistake... I should have known better then, but I didn’t and I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m going to be asking Canadians to forgive me... I’m disappointed and pissed off at myself.”New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh blasted the prime minister, claiming that his public calls to fight discrimination and his behavior in private were at odds.“Who is the real Mr. Trudeau? Is it the one behind closed doors, the one when the cameras are turned off that no one sees?” Singh asked, according to The Globe and Mail. “Is that the real Mr. Trudeau? Because more and more, it seems like it is.”The National Council of Canadian Muslims also said Trudeau wearing brownface was a “reprehensible” act that “hearkens back to a history of racism, slavery, and an Orientalist mythology that is unacceptable.”“While we recognize that people can change and evolve over two decades, it is critical that the prime minister immediately and unequivocally apologize,” executive director Mustafa Farooq told the newspaper.Earlier this year, a similar yearbook photo of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wearing a racist costume was uncovered—prompting calls for him to resign. He is currently still in office. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey also recently apologized for participating in a blackface skit in college.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.




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'Serial killer' charged with killing four women and leaving their bodies in abandoned houses

'Serial killer' charged with killing four women and leaving their bodies in abandoned housesA suspected serial killer has been charged with murdering four women and leaving their bodies in abandoned houses in Detroit.Police had arrested Deangelo Martin in June for allegedly stabbing and sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman, who managed to escape, the previous month.




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Iranian FM warns US or Saudi attack would trigger 'all-out war'

Iranian FM warns US or Saudi attack would trigger 'all-out war'Iran's foreign minister has said a military strike on Iran would trigger "all-out war", as the United States and its Gulf allies accuse Iran of being behind attacks on Saudi oil facilities. Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels have claimed responsibility for Saturday's strikes on Saudi oil infrastructures, but the United States says it has concluded the attack involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounts to "an act of war".




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‘We are preparing for the worst’: Storm Area 51 event could be disaster, locals fear

‘We are preparing for the worst’: Storm Area 51 event could be disaster, locals fearLocal residents are "preparing for the worst" as fans of the viral Storm Area 51 Facebook event descend on a town near the secretive military base.The event could become a disaster as people struggle with the difficult conditions in Nevada without proper preparation, they have warned.




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Boris Johnson’s Brexit Gamble Might Take the U.K. Back to Square One

Boris Johnson’s Brexit Gamble Might Take the U.K. Back to Square OnePrime Minister Boris Johnson learned that he cannot leave the E.U. without a deal because of British Parliament, writes Ian Bremmer.




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Police: Pirates' Vázquez attempted to have sex with minor

Police: Pirates' Vázquez attempted to have sex with minorPittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez was being held Wednesday in a Pennsylvania jail on multiple felony charges after allegedly telling investigators he attempted to have sex with an underage girl during a meeting at her house in 2017. Vázquez is charged with statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors, all felonies, and a misdemeanor count of indecent assault of a person under 16 years old. The charges are related to Vázquez's alleged encounters with a girl starting in 2017, when she was 13 and living about an hour east of downtown Pittsburgh.




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Sep 19, 2019

Kelly Clarkson hosts emotional 'American Idol' reunion with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Ryan Seacrest, and Randy Jackson - Entertainment Weekly News

Kelly Clarkson hosts emotional 'American Idol' reunion with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Ryan Seacrest, and Randy Jackson  Entertainment Weekly News

A talk show may be the latest undertaking for pop star Kelly Clarkson, but on Wednesday's installment of the chatfest, the host decided to take it all the way back ...

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Alec Baldwin and wife Hilaria expecting baby No. 5 months after revealing miscarriage: 'God is good' - Fox News

Alec Baldwin and wife Hilaria expecting baby No. 5 months after revealing miscarriage: 'God is good'  Fox News

Baby bliss! Alec and Hilaria Baldwin are expecting their fifth child together. The co-host of the "Mom Brain" podcast revealed the exciting news in an Instagram ...

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Super Bowl contenders should jump on disgruntled Jags CB Jalen Ramsey - Yahoo Sports

  1. Super Bowl contenders should jump on disgruntled Jags CB Jalen Ramsey  Yahoo Sports
  2. Five trade fits for Jalen Ramsey - What the Jaguars want, and what's next  ESPN
  3. Jalen Ramsey or not, Chiefs want another corner. Here’s what that search looks like  Kansas City Star
  4. Should the Patriots trade for Jalen Ramsey?  Boston.com
  5. Stephen A. agrees with Deion Sanders calling for the Jaguars to sit Jalen Ramsey | First Take  ESPN
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Nelson Agholor Thrust Into a Starting Role for Week 3 - RotoBaller

  1. Nelson Agholor Thrust Into a Starting Role for Week 3  RotoBaller
  2. Carson Wentz talks Eagles’ plan to cater offense to JJAW and Mack Hollins  Bleeding Green Nation
  3. Eagles' injury plague leads to canceled practice  ESPN
  4. Eagles rookie 'ready' to step up after WR injuries  NFL.com
  5. Can Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz avoid being the next Matt Stafford? | Bob Ford  The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Analysts: Weapons in Saudi attack similar to Iranian ones

Analysts: Weapons in Saudi attack similar to Iranian onesA cruise missile and drone fragments that Saudi Arabia says it recovered from an attack on its oil industry bear similarities to Iranian-manufactured weapons, though more information is needed to make a definitive link, analysts told The Associated Press on Wednesday. Particularly striking was the cruise missile, which they said resembled a Quds-1 missile previously displayed by Yemen's Houthi rebels during a televised weapons exhibition in July. "It did not come from Yemen," said Michael Elleman, a missile expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.




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Republicans Slam Democrats Uninterested in Spying Investigation

Republicans Slam Democrats Uninterested in Spying InvestigationWhy don't they want to know?




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The problem isn't Joe Biden's centrism. It's that he's the wrong kind of centrist

The problem isn't Joe Biden's centrism. It's that he's the wrong kind of centristAmericans could embrace a moderate liberal. But Biden comes across as the tepid version of his more leftwing competitors ‘Biden has become the target for progressives who are disappointed with the Obama-Biden administration.’ Photograph: John Bazemore/APOne of the clearest takeaways from the Democratic presidential debate in Houston last week is that the party has a Joe Biden problem. As the frontrunner, Biden has blocked other moderate candidates from making a credible case for the nomination, while his amorphous and uninspiring centrism makes it more likely that the eventual Democratic nominee may end up going too far left to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.In Houston, Biden was more focused and forceful than he had been in previous debates – although that was a low bar to clear. He was at his most effective when critiquing the Medicare for All plan, chiding Bernie Sanders for the astronomically high cost of the proposal and Elizabeth Warren for her unwillingness to admit it would impose any financial burdens on middle-class taxpayers.Biden missed numerous examples to play up his deep experience in lawmaking and foreign policy, which his supporters tout as the antidote to Trump’s chaotic and disruptive governing approach. But he did call attention to the fact that he was the only candidate to have defeated the NRA in the legislative arena, when he secured passage of the 1993 Brady bill requiring background checks for firearms purchases.To the extent that Biden made an affirmative case for his candidacy during the debate, it was that he’s running to restore the status quo that prevailed during the eight years that he was Barack Obama’s vice-president. Democrats still revere the former president, who in 2018 registered a 97% favorable rating from party members. At the Houston debates, some of the most progressive candidates went out of their way to praise Obama – a significant shift from the previous debates, when they treated his legacy with something approaching disdain.“I’m for Barack,” Biden proclaimed at the debate, and his partnership with Obama is one of his greatest advantages with Democratic voters.But Trump’s presidency has accelerated the radicalization of most Democratic activists, if not the majority of Democratic voters. Obama himself may be off-limits for criticism, but Biden has become the target for progressives who are disappointed with the Obama-Biden administration, which they consider to have been insufficiently “woke” on race and immigration, excessively accommodating toward corporate interests on trade and taxation, and naive in believing Republicans would cooperate with them on matters like healthcare and climate change.Biden struggles to respond to such charges because, in typical centrist fashion, he wants everyone to like him. He will not make a robust defense of his centrism because he’s unwilling to denounce progressive excesses, other than to say that this or that policy is too expensive or won’t pass Congress. There haven’t been any Sister Souljah moments in Biden’s campaign, and there probably won’t be.During the debate, he had no good answer to an accusatory question about the high number of deportations during the Obama presidency. That’s because, at a time when many progressives appear to think there should be no restrictions on immigration whatsoever, he couldn’t openly defend the border enforcement policies he once supported. Rather than restating the Obama administration’s argument that the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal would have significantly improved global labor and environmental standards, he meekly agreed that unions and environmental activists should be included in future trade negotiations. Confronted with his 40-year-old quote rejecting reparations for African Americans, he couldn’t reply that reparations are still a widely unpopular and unworkable idea, so instead he served up an indigestible word stew larded with random thoughts about social workers, record players and the dictator of Venezuela.Biden’s centrist program, at least as he presented it during the debate, boils down to little more than a more incremental and cost-conscious version of the progressives’ plans. The moderate wing of the Democratic party may be relieved that Biden so far hasn’t been sucked into endorsing the progressives’ identity politics, but his articulation of what he wants to accomplish has so far been anything but inspiring.If Biden continues in the same dispiriting vein for the next several months, he will continue to overshadow more interesting proponents of Democratic moderation such as Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet (who failed to make the debate). Eventually, in the view of many Washington political observers, he will lose much of his popular support and fade from contention. In that case, many Democratic strategists worry that the remaining Democratic candidates will continue to try to outflank each other on the left, to the extent that the eventual candidate turns off the moderate majority of Americans and Trump wins re-election.If Biden is to avoid that fate, he might reflect on the difference between centrism and moderation captured in the idea of “trimming”, a nautical concept turned to political metaphor by the 17th-century English statesman George Savile, the Earl of Halifax. When the boat you’re sailing is being blown off course, sitting in the dead center of the boat isn’t going to get you where you want to go; you may have to lean hard to one side of the boat or another to counteract the force of the wind and waves and keep you moving in the right direction. Moderation, unlike centrism, can be dynamic and innovative rather than inert and imitative.If Biden wants to invigorate his campaign, he should try to reorient the Democratic conversation around bold moderate ideas that aren’t just cautious versions of the progressives’ plans. When defending free trade and the free market, he should think harder than he did as vice-president about how to more equitably distribute their benefits. (And if Sanders persists in calling countries like Denmark socialist, Biden should point out that their robust social safety net enables more unfettered capitalist competition than we have here.)Biden should sound the alarm about the opioid epidemic that led to nearly 140,000 Americans dying of overdoses during the past two years – a horrifying fact that went completely unmentioned in the Houston debate. He could call for a tax on the bloated financial sector, which could be used to address the disproportionate loss of home equity wealth suffered by minorities in the financial crisis.While no Republican legislator will ever endorse the Green New Deal, Biden could emphasize his ability to persuade many of them of the need for a carbon tax to offset climate change – an idea that’s slowly gaining acceptance among Republicans. He could champion the carbon-capture technologies that most of the progressive candidates instinctively resist. And he might point out that ideologically moderate Democrats performed much better than progressives in the 2018 elections.In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that as a registered Republican, I won’t be able to vote for any of the candidates in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. But as a political historian, I believe that few significant and enduring legislative achievements – from the New Deal to the civil rights legislation of the 1960s to Ronald Reagan’s pro-business reforms – have been passed without appealing to a critical mass of moderates in both parties.And as an American citizen, I hope that the next president, whoever he or she is, will be bold enough to make the far-reaching reforms our society and economy and environment need, but also moderate enough to restore the social unity and functional government that we currently lack. * Geoffrey Kabaservice is the director of political studies at the Niskanen Center in Washington DC as well as the author of Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party




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