Tucker Carlson criticizes Facebook for censoring interview with Chinese virologist

Facebook and other tech giants have engaged in a troubling pattern of censoring speech surrounding major issues in the coronavirus debate, Fox News host Tucker Carlson argued during his Wednesday night monologue.
Load more
Read full article on:
The Fanatic
Over the past 19 months, we have all heard a lot about Bill Barr’s misuse of the office of attorney general and the resources of the Justice Department to do the personal bidding of President Donald Trump, to undermine the evenhanded rule of law, and to work in countless other ways to put the president in a position of nearly autocratic power. What first came to our attention as surprising accounts of specific actions out of sync with the way attorneys general are supposed to act has become a systematic torrent of actions building on one another to feed a rising crescendo of public alarm.This unprecedented pattern of conduct by the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer has brought a question to the minds of many people: Why does Bill Barr do the things he does?To help us find answers to that question, Barr has left an extensive paper trail that goes back more than 30 years. Or rather, he has left two paper trails that run parallel to each other. The most familiar of these concerns executive power, the other the religious and moral health of the American people. As divergent as those subjects sound, Barr’s ideas on both follow a common course and structure.On both subjects, Barr posits a set of views that he ascribes to the Founders, and that, he believes, were absolutely essential to the success of the great experiment that is America. Those views also happen to be his own. In both cases, according to Barr, the Founders’ vision was firmly instituted, leading to the great advances and dominant role America came to play during most of two centuries. But, also in both cases, starting at around the same time—the 1960s and ’70s—the nation wandered away from the sacred path defined by its Founders. On account of that apostasy, the country now finds itself in dire straits. For Barr, the only remedy is drastic action to restore the nation to the Founders’ vision. Fortunately, he is making himself available to lead that restoration.[Charles Fried and Edward J. Larson: How far Bill Barr has fallen]Barr’s better-known views relating to executive power posit that the Founders intended to create an all-powerful president, and he sees that vision as thriving until the late 20th century, when it was undermined by interference from Congress and the courts. To Barr, the role of religion in our public life has followed a similar trajectory. The Founders, according to Barr, believed that national success depended on America remaining a pious Christian nation, in which the worst inclinations of the citizenry would be constrained by obedience to God-given eternal values. That reality, he tells us, also substantially persisted until the late 20th century, when a combination of forces conspired to severely undermine it.The best recent source for his thinking on religion is a speech he gave at the University of Notre Dame last fall. The argument he advanced then is virtually indistinguishable from ones he has been making for many years in other speeches and in an article he published in the scholarly journal The Catholic Lawyer in 1995.The basic story, according to Barr in that article, is that we are embroiled in “a historic struggle between two fundamentally different systems of values.” One of those is the “transcendent moral order with objective standards of right and wrong that exists independent of man’s will,” which is imparted by God, through his institution, the Church. The other is the worldview, developed starting with the Renaissance and accelerating during the Enlightenment, that knowledge, and thus arguably values, are derived from experience and science. This is the movement that spawned many of the notions that gave rise to the American experiment.But Barr does not discuss the latter worldview as an integral force behind the inspiration for and creation of the United States. Rather, he sees it simply as a force for secularism and moral relativism that has made “the tenets of Judeo-Christian tradition … sound increasingly jarring to the modern ear.”The crucial point for Barr is his claim that the thinking of the Founders, and therefore “the American government” they created, “was predicated precisely on this Judeo-Christian system” of values handed down by God. According to Barr, “the greatest threat to free government, the Founders believed, was not governmental tyranny, but personal licentiousness—the abandonment of Judeo-Christian moral restraints in favor of the unbridled pursuit of personal appetites.”To put it in polite terms, this is a complete misreading of the Founders’ views. Barr largely ignores many of the most central elements of the American founding—especially those concerning freedom of thought and speech, and the individual pursuit of happiness. Nor does he see as significant the fact that the members of the founding generation, although mostly self-described Christians, had also been greatly influenced by the secular and rationalist outlook of the Enlightenment, and rejected most of the supernatural elements of literal Christian doctrine.Instead, for Barr, the important point for Americans today, as he stated in his Notre Dame speech, is that: Over the past 50 years religion has been under increasing attack. … We have seen the steady erosion of our traditional Judeo-Christian moral system and a comprehensive effort to drive it from the public square. … We see the growing ascendancy of secularism and the doctrine of moral relativism. Barr then recites the “grim” consequences of “this moral upheaval,” including, starting in 1965, the steep rise in illegitimate births, “the wreckage of the family … record levels of depression and mental illness, dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males, an increase in senseless violence, and a deadly drug epidemic.”Crucial to Barr’s point of view is his claim that our modern condition, and all of these consequences, are the result of a “campaign to destroy the traditional moral order” by “the forces of secularism,” who have “[pressed] on with even greater militancy.” According to him, this militancy of the “secular forces” is working strongly against the historical tendency toward self-correction—the “pendulum swinging back” as it has in the past at times when “the traditional moral order has been shaken.” In his view, the project to secularize America has itself become the religion of the left.According to Barr, “another modern phenomenon that suppresses society’s self-corrective mechanisms—that makes it harder for society to restore itself" is that “we have the State in the role of alleviator of bad consequences. We call on the State to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility. … While we think we are solving problems, we are underwriting them.” And he also decried “the way law is being used as a battering ram to break down traditional moral values and to establish moral relativism as a new orthodoxy.”Not surprisingly, Barr’s prescription for restoring America to the Founders’ supposed vision of a pious Christian nation is extensive indeed. Moreover, in many of its particulars, it comes within the reach of discretionary powers held by the attorney general. As Barr specified at Notre Dame, this means working to undo “watershed” decisions by the Supreme Court legalizing abortion and euthanasia, among others that are contrary to religious teaching. It means altering social legislation and policies by which the government relieves individuals from bearing the consequences of immoral personal choices.[Donald Ayer: Bill Barr must resign]It also means broadening the trend of recent Supreme Court decisions allowing people to avoid generally applicable conduct requirements—such as those related to contraception coverage in employer medical plans—based on their religious beliefs. In Barr’s mind, this would countermand the tendency of “militant secularists today … to take a delight in compelling people to violate their conscience.”A final area involves education, where he says “the secularists are attacking on three fronts.” One is the curricula in public schools, where he says districts are adopting “LGBT” and other programs of study incompatible with traditional religious principles. Another is funding, where he says “state policies [are] designed to starve religious schools of generally-available funds and encouraging students to choose secular options.” The third involves laws limiting the freedom of religious schools to operate in accordance with their faith, for example, by foreclosing discrimination based on gender preference.Barr’s views on these issues, which he has been nurturing for three decades, fall close to the heart of the appeal that Trump is making to evangelicals and other religious conservatives who are a central part of his political base. It is thus easy to see how Barr’s expression of them can play an important role in Trump’s efforts to secure reelection this fall.Barr’s views on executive power are a bit better known, and that is probably because of the great many things he has done since becoming attorney general that have been aimed, in one way or another, at freeing the president from most limitations on his ability to act. For Barr’s views on this subject, as with religion, there are a number of sources over a period of more than 30 years to draw upon. We could, for example, go back and look at legal opinions he wrote as the head of the Office of Legal Counsel in 1989 and ’90. But two documents from the past two years give us more than enough to chew on. One is the 19-page memorandum that Barr submitted in June 2018, apparently auditioning for the job of attorney general by specifically arguing that Robert Mueller’s investigation was fundamentally misconceived. The other is the speech that he gave to the Federalist Society on November 15 last year, devoted to the topic of “the Constitution’s approach to executive power."The 2018 memo sets out a breathtaking vision of the president as exercising literally all of the powers of the executive branch, with no constitutional possibility of limiting the exercise of those powers for compelling reasons. Barr writes that the president “alone is the Executive Branch,” possessing literally “all Federal law enforcement power, and hence prosecutorial discretion.” That includes, Barr is perfectly clear, “supervisory authority over [all] cases,” including the right to direct the handling of cases involving himself, his friends, or his enemies.[David A. Graham: Bill Barr’s stinging attack on Bill Barr]In his speech to the Federalist Society, Barr goes beyond this vision of total and illimitable executive power to consider the president’s authority and standing in relation to the other branches of the federal government. And here, as he did in expressing his views on religion, Barr offers up a fictional version of the Founders’ vision with regard to the place of executive power.Barr begins by deriding “the grammar-school civics-class version” of our history, under which the Founders created a complex structure of checks and balances, to forestall the risk that any one part of government might develop tyrannical powers. Among the risks of important concern to them, most of us have thought, include the risk of tyrannical power in the president. And, indeed, the numerous checks the Constitution created to limit the president’s authority—the impeachment power, the House appropriation power, Congress’s power to override vetoes, the need for a congressional declaration of war, and the Senate power to advise and consent, for example—seem to show that unchecked presidential power was prominent among their concerns.Barr sees it differently. Notwithstanding that the abuses of King George III were the focus of the Declaration of Independence, and that the Founders chose in the Constitution to cabin the president’s powers in significant ways, Barr argues that the Founders actually were not much concerned about an out-of-control president, as the “civics-class version” suggests. They were far more concerned, he argues, about the relative powers that Parliament had gained in the years leading up to the Revolution, and also with the chaos that had ensued under the Articles of Confederation. Notwithstanding the checks that they built into the system, the right interpretation according to Barr is that by resolving in favor of a single executive officer, they meant for the president to have extremely broad and largely unchecked authority.Barr purports to find confirmation of this supposed Founders’ vision of a president with substantially unchecked powers in what happened next. He would have us believe that this vision of an all-powerful president that he wants to restore has in fact been a reality for most of our history. Indeed, he says, “more than any other branch, [the American presidency] has fulfilled the expectations of the Framers.” Thus, in his mind, strong and omnicompetent presidents led our government throughout the 1800s. Never mind the historical consensus that all but a few presidents before Franklin D. Roosevelt were quite weak, and that the greatest expansion of executive power came not early in our history, but in the 20th- and 21st-century era of the imperial president.As with the decline of religion in the face of “militant secularism” starting in the 1960s, Barr says that: Since the mid-’60s, there has been a steady grinding down of the Executive branch’s authority, that accelerated after Watergate. More and more, the President’s ability to act in areas in which he has discretion has become smothered by the encroachments of the other branches. Like our national falling away from pious Christian religiosity, in Barr’s mind, this supposed abandonment of our Founder’s vision of an all-powerful president demands to be remedied. And once again, as we have seen in his conduct since he became attorney general, Barr believes he is the man for the job. The last half of the Federalist Society speech provides the agenda, by detailing how, “in recent years, both the legislative and judicial branches have been responsible for encroaching on the presidency’s constitutional authority.”Targeting first the role of the legislature, Barr comes quickly to focus on alleged congressional interference with the Trump administration. Trump’s congressional opponents inaugurated “the resistance” and used “every tool and maneuver available to sabotage the functioning of his Administration.” Barr does not mention the administration’s repeated assertion of a categorical, prophylactic executive immunity to even having to appear before Congress, respond to its inquiries, or claim a specific executive privilege based on the facts. Nor does he note that the administration’s efforts to stonewall nearly all inquiries were, for many months, largely successful, even in the context of impeachment, where Congress’s constitutional power to inquire is at its apex.Second, he turns to the issue of judicial review. From the tone of this section, comprising four of the speech’s 11 pages, it appears that, in Barr’s mind, the courts are the principal culprit in unjustifiably limiting the extraordinarily broad powers that the president is constitutionally entitled to exercise. His discussion ignores, or perhaps just disagrees with, a pillar of our legal system since almost the very beginning—Chief Justice John Marshall’s magisterial pronouncement in Marbury v. Madison that “it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.”Among many other points made here, Barr complains that the judiciary “has appointed itself the ultimate arbiter of separation of powers disputes between Congress and Executive.” Indeed, he says that courts should play no role whatsoever in “constitutional disputes between the other two branches,” because “the political branches can work out their constitutional differences without [resorting] to the courts.” Beyond that, regardless of the complainant, courts should refrain from second-guessing the executive whenever its conduct involves the exercise of “prudential judgment,” on claims of improper “motivation behind government action,” or indeed any time when review would not be guided by “tidy evidentiary standards and specific quantums of proof.” In sum, Barr would foreclose judicial review of executive action in pretty much any case where there is a debatable issue.So what can we conclude from Barr’s long-held views concerning religion and executive power? And from the role that Barr has assigned himself in both respects to restore the Founders’ supposed consensus view—favoring a dominant role for Christian religiosity and an all-powerful president—that, according to him, was largely realized for nearly 200 years, but was totally undermined by the course of events that began in the 1960s?First, Barr grossly distorts what the Founders actually believed. Moreover, the nation’s course has not been the one he outlines—that of a mostly homogeneous nation of pious doctrinal Christian believers, overseen by an all-powerful but benevolent president, until it all went to hell in a handbasket starting in the 1960s.[Donald Ayer: Why Bill Barr is so dangerous]Second, given the course of our history and where we are today, his prescriptions for our current situation are quite literally un-American. Like it or not, America is far and away the most individualistic country on Earth, and Americans have always been deeply suspicious of excessive accumulations of power. And for most of its history, America has been a hurly-burly melting pot of varied faiths and freethinkers. All of that has brought both tremendous benefits and advances, and deep complications and challenges. But the only way the nation as a whole is going to buy into Barr’s ahistorical agenda is if it is forced to.Third, what Barr is doing is enormously harmful. He has become a one-man wrecking crew, set on destroying the reforms that were put in place by Edward Levi after Watergate, as well as many other checks and balances inherent in our constitutional system. Public confidence that ours is a system in which no person is above the law, where rules apply to everyone equally, has been severely shaken by recurring stark evidence that during the tenure of William Barr, this simply is not true.It has also been undermined by the unmistakable evidence that Barr regularly lies about all manner of things, in pursuit of his higher calling to restore his America that never was.Finally, as we move toward the election, it is crucial to recognize the toxic way that Barr’s misconduct is being aggravated by the mutual dependency between him and Donald Trump. Barr’s ideas discussed here, which he has spent his adult life formulating, have made him a modern Don Quixote, on a mission to correct the apostasies that he believes have occurred in his lifetime. Trump’s election put into the White House someone who actually aspires to autocracy, and Barr was able to offer himself up to make that a reality. Ironically, Barr’s vision to restore the dominance of pious Christian religiosity is also highly resonant with the campaign narrative most appealing to the political base of this most vulgar and irreligious president in our history.But Barr’s ticket to ride the white horse in his imagination can be rescinded at any time. As Trump said in August, Barr could be “the greatest attorney general in the history of our country,” “but if he wants to be politically correct, he’ll be just another guy.” So Barr has to dance to Trump’s tune. Also, Barr knows that his role of redeemer in chief will end unless Trump gets another term in office.Thus the list of Barr’s misdeeds, committed to protect the president against the consequences of his actions, to advance the president’s reelection prospects, or just to scratch the president’s itch to have something done a certain way, is extraordinarily long. Most obvious are Barr’s lies about the Mueller and Horowitz reports and his interventions in the Stone and Flynn cases.More troubling lately have been the things he has done and the falsehoods he has advanced to promote the president’s reelection prospects. He has become a full-time huckster and probably the most effective spokesperson for the president’s campaign themes. Think about his many unsupported comments on the untrustworthiness of mail-in voting, the unfairness of state and local restrictions to protect public safety, and his recent offhand falsehood, based on supposed intelligence reports, that China poses a greater threat to our election than does Russia. Think about his provocative use of law-enforcement personnel in Lafayette Square and later in Portland, Oregon, and other cities, to create videos of violence to support the campaign theme that America is under attack from subversive foreign elements. Think about his gross misuse of the Federal Tort Claims Act, to assert that the president’s alleged slander of E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of rape, is an official action of the United States, thus delaying any further court action until the election is over. And then there are the wholly unsupported comments Barr recently shared at Hillsdale College, where he said that the career staff at the DOJ have been acting as “headhunters” hungry for scalps to hang on the wall.Hovering over the election is the question of whether Barr will serve up some sort of October surprise in the form of findings or indictments from the inquiry he and John Durham have been leading since early last year into the FBI’s 2016 investigation of Russian interference. Such concern is certainly warranted, given Barr’s very extensive and accusatory recent comments—all in direct violation of written departmental policy—reflecting outrages that the investigation has supposedly unearthed. Barr is now fully focused on getting Trump reelected. He wants to keep Trump assured that he is acting like a Roy Cohn, without a whiff of political correctness. So, shockingly, Barr these days is regularly speaking to Trump’s base in language they will grasp. Sometimes these comments go so far into the ozone of unreality as to be almost beyond belief. And when they do, they typically echo Barr’s own unreal vision about the lost America of uniform Christian piety and autocratic leadership. That has been true in his many statements about “antifa” barbarians at the gate who must be met by force. It has also been true in statements such as the ones he delivered to Mark Levin’s Fox show in August, saying that the Democrats want to “tear down” America’s institutions so they can create a “progressive utopia,” because “power” is “their state of grace and their secular religion,” and “they want to run people’s lives so they can design utopia for all of us.”Barr is also telling the country a very big lie—a falsehood so bold, repeated so often, that it seems almost credible—about himself. Regularly for the past 19 months, Barr has been saying that his greatest concern has always been the protection of the rule of law and the equal application of the laws. He has claimed many times to be the one working to restore evenhanded justice from the supposed political abuses of the Obama administration and now even of the career prosecutors at the DOJ. Of course, the exact opposite is true. He is telling this lie in hopes of reaching the great majority of Americans who believe in the rule of law and want assurance that it is being protected.In this, there is a job for all Americans who care about the future. It is to tell everyone you know, in the clearest and strongest voice you can muster, that these claims are totally false, and that Barr’s devious campaign to restore his twisted vision of our history poses a grave threat to America as we know it.
Trump Branded 'Tinpot Tyrant,' Over 'Thinly Veiled Threat' on Peaceful Transfer of Power
The president has swiftly faced criticism from Democrat lawmakers over his remarks upon how he might behave post-election.
Does focus on statues and mascots distract from true racial justice?
CBSN Originals' "Speaking Frankly | Symbolic Justice" explores the fight over monuments and mascots — and the struggle beyond.
Slain Kenosha protester's partner sues Facebook over militia posts
Suit argues white supremacist groups "recruit, organize, and thrive, while Facebook continues to profit from their activities"
Vladimir Putin Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
The Russian head of state was named as a candidate for the award by Russian writer Sergey Komkov.
The two Republican members of the North Carolina State Board of Elections abruptly resign
The two Republican members of the North Carolina State Board of Elections abruptly resigned Wednesday, saying in separate letters that they felt misled by the state attorney general's office and board staff when they agreed to a settlement that would allow voters to fix absentee ballots with missing information.
'Poll Position' 9/23: Biden strong in red states; Collins struggling at home
New polling reveals the Biden campaign's strength in red states and Sen. Susan Collins' imperiled reelection prospects in Maine. Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans are split over when and how to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Jobless Data Is Expected to Show That Progress Is Slowing: Live Business Updates
'It's getting worse': Frontline female firefighter on this year's historic season
Female firefighters remain underrepresented as more crews step up to contain one of the worst fire seasons in history.
Republicans’ Supreme Court gambit may backfire. Here’s how.
The Democrats can play constitutional hardball, too.
Ron Rivera’s early approach for Washington signals how much work is left to do
Two weeks into the regular season, Coach Ron Rivera still doesn't know his team well. This means he must at times treat the start of the regular season as the preseason he didn't have.
David Bossie: Senate Republicans should confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee by Election Day
Republicans control both the White House and the Senate, and it’s clear that they were elected in part on the issue of the Supreme Court and filling vacancies in the federal judiciary.
Time for a fright? Check out these spooky road trips around the US
Travel site Kayak has put together a spooky road trip guide to cemeteries, ghost tours, haunted penitentiaries and more destinations across the U.S.
Group of Apple adversaries aims to curb alleged bullying
A coalition of nine companies formed Thursday with the aim of reigning in Apple’s power. The group, called the Coalition for App Fairness, submitted ten principles for the App Store that it says would allow for more competition, fairness and innovation in the mobile app industry.
We Are Doctors. Trump's Rallies Show He Doesn't Care About You—Or Any of Us | Opinion
The president's cavalier disregard for the lives of Americans—including the patients we've treated and the 200,000 dead from COVID-19—is infuriating.
President Trump Makes History Again | Opinion
In President Trump's first term, the White House has moved the federal judiciary away from three generations of liberal bias toward a constitutionally focused, strict-construction consensus.
108,000 web-delivered ballots must be hand-copied by Maryland poll workers to be counted
The ballots that tens of thousands of voters have obtained online cannot be scanned directly by the state’s machines.
My co-workers won’t wear face masks and it’s stressing me out
A junior staffer is instructed by bosses to "call them out" if they forget to wear masks at work. But they're still not changing their careless ways.
Shopping with the pros: Christopher Zoltan Ritchie’s favorite West Elm picks for a quick room refresh
If money is tight but you’re still craving change, start by swapping out pillows, throws, art, lighting or vases.
The election result the stock market is really afraid of
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on November 9, 2016, after Donald Trump’s upset White House victory. | Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images “Markets don’t give a shit about who’s president”: Wall Street’s biggest 2020 fear is a contested result. Wall Street’s nightmare scenario on Election Day isn’t really a Donald Trump or a Joe Biden victory. It’s one where there’s no clear winner, or a result one side refuses to accept. “We’re kind of preparing for Armageddon on November 3,” one senior vice president at a major quant firm, who asked for anonymity in order to speak freely about the matter, told me. “If it’s close, there’s a decent chance that, like, who the fuck knows? Are markets going to be down 20 percent on Wednesday?” One of the higher-ups at his firm recently sent an email asking about a what-if scenario where President Donald Trump sends in the National Guard post-election. At the very least, there are some concerns about possible presidential tweets. Investors are bracing for volatility. Most of the time, markets are not super impacted by who is in the White House, at least in the long term. At a press conference in September, President Trump said that a Biden victory for the presidency would cause “stocks to crash like you’ve never seen before.” But many people predicted the same thing about a potential Trump win in 2016, and about Barack Obama years before. Under both men, stocks climbed, and Wall Street did just fine. “Markets don’t give a shit about who’s president,” Barry Ritholtz, the founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management and a columnist at Bloomberg Opinion, told me. In recent weeks, I spoke with multiple insiders, analysts, and experts about their take on Trump vs. Biden. The takeaway is a complex one — after all, Wall Street is hardly a monolith, and they’re not all giving off Gordon Gekko vibes. Most acknowledged that Trump has been largely favorable to the markets because of tax cuts and his administration’s deregulatory bent. A Biden win would likely mean an increase in taxes, which investors wouldn’t love. And even if the anti-billionaire rhetoric hasn’t been flowing from Biden directly, they’ve heard it from other prominent Democrats. “Rich white guys watch way too much cable news and think everyone is after them” “Rich white guys watch way too much cable news and think everyone is after them. I don’t get it, but these guys are all doing fine in the markets and live in their bubble,” one Palm Beach private equity associate said in an email with regard to their bosses’ dislike of Biden. “They really only care about taxes and it’s quite infuriating.” But many aren’t looking at a potential Biden win as a doomsday scenario. There are plenty of sectors that could do well under the former vice president — green energy, for example — and investors think a Biden administration would likely cool it on tensions with China and be more dovish on immigration, both welcome moves. Plus, markets and big corporations like stability, which it’s hard to argue the current administration is consistently delivering. “Wall Street sees advantages and disadvantages to both candidates,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco. “It’s not as clear cut as you might normally see in an election.” What Wall Street is weighing isn’t really “Trump vs. Biden,” it’s “Trump vs. Biden vs. ???,” and that third option is the scariest, though not the likeliest. “A recipe for the market getting shellacked” Wall Street prefers certainty, and an undecided election means anything but. Imagine the United States hits November 4, 14, 24, even December, and it’s still not clear who won the presidential election or which party will have control of Congress. Especially with mail-in voting, it’s a real possibility. Or, say there is an outcome but one side refuses to accept it. Trump and Republicans are already starting to set the stage for casting doubt about a Biden victory, and there are concerns about domestic and foreign actors potentially confusing the outcome of the election. Some Democrats say they won’t trust the results if Trump wins. “One of the foundations of a democracy is fair and objective voting, and if that’s now not perceived to be the case, then who knows,” said Jack Ablin, founding partner of Cresset Capital. There is recent precedent for an uncertain outcome: George W. Bush vs. Al Gore in 2000. The weeks after the election, while the country turned its attention to the outcome in Florida, was not a great time for investors, as Stephen Mihm at Bloomberg recently explained. By the end of November of that year, the S&P 500 was down by 10 percent, though markets were bouncy, depending on the news of the day. Once the Supreme Court issued its decision in the matter, the markets recovered, at least for a while (they later declined, but for other reasons). As Mihm outlines, it sort of comes down to a philosophical divide between risk you can measure and uncertainty you cannot, outlined by economist Frank Knight in 1921. “The first could be calculated and a wager made based on the odds; the second was a genuine shot in the dark,” Mihm wrote. “The stock market would rather be handed what is perceived as bad news so that people can make an educated decision,” said Ken Greene, a financial adviser based in Nevada. In the 2000 election, the issue wasn’t really figuring out the risk of a Gore presidency compared to the risk of a Bush presidency, it was that nobody had any idea what was going to happen day to day or how things might shake out. This time around, we could see something even more chaotic. Isaac Boltansky, director of policy research a Compass Point Research & Trading, told me that he has discussed a number of election-related issues with clients: what’s going on with deal-making and antitrust scrutiny, what to expect from the housing market, how to think about the banking industry and trade and taxes. “The No. 1 worry that I’ve heard over the last few weeks is not knowing who will be the winner,” he said. And it isn’t just the presidency. The outcome of the Georgia US Senate race might not be known until 2021 — and, therefore, potentially which party controls Congress. “The No. 1 worry that I’ve heard over the last few weeks is not knowing who will be the winner” “If everybody is adult and calm and rational and says let’s count all the votes and figure out who won, it will be fine,” Ritholtz said. “If the crazies come out, and there are a lot of crazies … Mr. Market will not be happy with that at all.” His takeaway: “That kind of unrest and turmoil, that’s a recipe for the market getting shellacked.” Donald Trump has been good for the stock market. Joe Biden will probably be fine, too. President Trump would like everyone to believe that he is 100 percent responsible for the stock market when it goes up and that he has nothing to do with it when it goes down. The truth is neither. The market is influenced by a lot of things day to day, some related to politics, some not. Trump, overall, has been favorable to corporate America and Wall Street. In 2017, he signed into law a $1.5 trillion tax cut bill that disproportionately benefited corporations and the wealthy. (After signing the law, he literally told friends at his Mar-A-Lago resort that they “just got a lot richer.”) His administration has also taken a deregulatory approach to most industries. A Biden administration is likely to change course on some of that. He has proposed increasing the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent (Trump reduced it from 35 percent) and increasing the top individual income tax rate, among other measures. The former vice president has pledged not to raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000 a year. A Biden administration would also likely bring about tougher regulations on certain industries, such as fossil fuels and coal. “When you implement a higher corporate tax, that means [corporations] are not going to be investing as quickly, which means the multiple on the market might compress,” said Luke Lloyd, a wealth adviser at Strategic Wealth Partners. Ablin estimates that a corporate tax increase of the size Biden is proposing could be worth about 10 percentage points in the market. “That said, if Vice President Biden were to win, he would need Congress’s help,” he said, and it’s not clear Democrats will have a majority. “I think investors are taking more of a wait-and-see approach on that one.” If the market does indeed contract around a Biden win, if past serves as precedent, it will eventually come back and do just fine. In fact, historically, investors have done better under Democratic leadership. Getting past the top line, Trump and Biden mean different things for different sectors. Trump has done a lot of defense spending; Biden would likely be better for green energy. Those in private equity would rather not see an increase in capital gains taxes that could potentially come under Biden. Companies with more exposure to China may also benefit from an administration with a less rocky relationship with the country — Wall Street has reacted negatively to the US-China trade war. “If you look at Chinese equities over the last couple of months, they ebbed and flowed with Biden’s improving or trailing chances,” Ablin said. “Both candidates present risks,” Hooper said. She also noted that much of what’s been driving Wall Street, especially lately, has nothing to do with the president at all but instead has been tied to the Federal Reserve, which has made enormous efforts to boost markets. “It has very little, if anything, to do with the occupant of the White House.” White House chaos is not fun for anyone — and election chaos could be even worse The conventional wisdom is often that Republicans mean good for Wall Street and business and Democrats mean bad, but that’s not necessarily the case. And not everyone in the arena agrees. As some billionaires were lighting their hair on fire over the prospect of a Warren presidency during the Democratic primary, she was amassing plenty of fans in finance, too. Despite his working-class roots,the former vice president was largely Wall Street donors’ preferred candidate among the 2020 Democrats, and he and the Democrats are doing quite well with them in the general election, too. Paul Thornell, a former managing director for federal government affairs at Citigroup, told Politico that part of it is that the big banks, for example, aren’t just worried about taxes. “They’re looking at character and how these two conduct themselves as leaders,” he said. Billionaire hedge funder Leon Cooperman, who during the primary crusaded against Warren, in a recent interview with CNBC said that while he thinks Trump has “good economic ideas,” he also has “limited character.” Cooperman said he hasn’t made up his mind on who to support and added that he’s not sure what Biden stands for — a coded, but not uncommon, sentiment among investors worried about how much progressives have the former vice president’s ear. When I emailed him asking him if he had made up his mind, he responded, “I have a firm view but no need to go public!” The Biden campaign is leaning into the theme that Trump is too erratic for anyone to stomach, rich or poor. “Like everything else that’s been handed to him, Trump inherited a strong economy and squandered it, plunging us into a recession,” said Biden campaign spokesperson Rosemary Boeglin in an emailed statement to Vox. She added that the former vice president “knows that the words of a president matter and have the power to move markets, which is why Americans — regardless of their pocketbooks — are crying out for his stable leadership.” The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment. It’s hard to look at the Trump presidency objectively and think it hasn’t been good for corporate America and Wall Street’s bottom line. It’s also impossible not to recognize it’s been chaotic. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are dead in a pandemic, and the economy is deeply troubled — millions of people are out of a job, small businesses are suffering, and state and local governments are flailing. One investment bank vice president who focuses on commodities and oil laid out how he sees the stakes even for giant oil companies: “A Green New Deal or what have you is an existential threat to the fossil fuels business, but the thing is, what’s much more likely to happen is the pandemic rages indefinitely, and no one goes anywhere,” slowing consumption of those fossil fuels anyway. He is a Biden supporter and has given money to Democrats this election cycle. But a Biden loss isn’t his worst-case scenario. “I would much rather Trump win handily and demonstrably than any kind of ambiguity,” he said. “It is the worst possible thing.” Will you help keep Vox free for all? The United States is in the middle of one of the most consequential presidential elections of our lifetimes. It’s essential that all Americans are able to access clear, concise information on what the outcome of the election could mean for their lives, and the lives of their families and communities. That is our mission at Vox. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, please consider helping everyone understand this presidential election: Contribute today from as little as $3.
The Coronavirus Pandemic’s Outsized Effect on Women’s Mental Health Around the World
The virus, like so much else, discriminates against women
Bored homeowner turns driveway into giant mural using a pressure washer
Ron Burket from Trussville, Alabama, was bored at home and decided to take his pressure washing skills up a notch by creating a giant mural on his driveway. The final product was captured using a drone that lets you see all the details from above. The mural includes wolves, an owl and a giant elk. ...
DOJ moves to make it easier to sue social media companies
It's the latest move to amend a 24-year-old law that shields social media companies from most lawsuits.
'This one was for her': Heat star Bam Adebayo and others channel anger to the court for Game 4
NBA players on the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat had to 'transfer our anger' to the court after Breonna Taylor ruling in Louisville.
Celebrities voice anger over Breonna Taylor grand jury decision
Colin Kaepernick condemned the "white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor's life."
Jerrod Niemann recalls hanging out with Garth Brooks unexpectedly: ‘I did not come down off that cloud’
The "Lost & Found" singer and Brooks worked together on the song "Good Ride Cowboy."
Everything you need to know about the Breonna Taylor decision (and the reaction) Thursday
The long-awaited grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case came on Wednesday. Here are some takeaways from the day.
Unlicensed caregiver of 89-year-old man arrested for theft of thousands of dollars
An unlicensed caregiver from Craigslist has been arrested after stealing thousands of dollars over a four-year period of an elderly and incapacitated 89-year-old man.
Murder Hornets Could Spread 'Rapidly' Throughout Western North America If Not Contained
The hornets represent a significant threat to Western honeybees, which have no innate defence against them.
Chuck Schumer Says Mitch McConnell Has 'Defiled' Senate With Push to Replace RBG
The Senate minority leader said McConnell would "hurt his party" by trying to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's vacant Supreme Court seat.
40 days to Nov. 3
And what else you need to know today.
Dismay over Breonna Taylor spills into America's streets
'PUBG' Update 1.52 Adds Jammer Pack & Ferries on PS4 & Xbox - Patch Notes
"PUBG" update 8.3 has made its way to console as version 1.52, and it's got some interesting additions. Learn about the Jammer Pack and more in the patch notes.
CBSN Originals presents "Speaking Frankly | Symbolic Justice"
With renewed calls for racial justice in America come fresh demands to take down Confederate monuments, rid sports teams of Native American mascots, and rebrand products that use racist caricatures. But some say the focus on imagery distracts from the fight for systemic change. This CBSN Originals documentary explores the impact of dismantling these symbols of the past – and the push for a more equitable future.
Italian couple ‘Romeo and Juliet’ met from their balconies during lockdown. Now they’re engaged.
He first spotted her in March when she walked out on her balcony. She saw him that night on his terrace, and said it was love at first sight.
'Unprecedented and dangerous': Bernie Sanders to give speech warning Trump might not accept election results
The speech is expected to begin a new 6-week campaign for Sanders to warn the public of a 'nightmare scenario' – Trump not accepting an election loss.
Supreme Court Could Take Intellectual Property Protections Back 50 Years | Opinion
A ruling in Google's favor would have significant negative implications for not only the software industry, but also for musicians, news publishers, health care professionals and the U.S. economy writ large.
The Blob Meets the Heartland
For most of my three and a half decades as an American diplomat, the foreign-policy establishment (known unaffectionately in some quarters as the blob) took for granted that expansive U.S. leadership abroad would deliver peace and prosperity at home. That assumption was lazy, and often flawed.Riding the highs of globalization and American geopolitical dominance, we overreached. We deluded ourselves with magical thinking about our capacity to remake other societies, while neglecting the urgent need to remake our own. Unsurprisingly, the disconnect widened between the Washington policy establishment and the citizens it is meant to serve.Globalization and the deregulated flow of goods, services, and capital didn’t lift all boats. Instead, much of the American middle class—the engine of our country’s historic rise—wound up shipwrecked by income stagnation, automation and outsourcing, economic inequality, educational debt, and crippling health and housing costs. The coronavirus pandemic has only deepened these dislocations, making a reset of U.S. foreign policy’s relationship with the middle class even more urgent.By the time I left government several years ago, well before the pandemic broke, it was already well past time to reconnect foreign policy to domestic renewal. Now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, I share my colleagues’ interest in playing a part in this effort. The result is a new report, “Making U.S. Foreign Policy Work Better for the Middle Class,” the culmination of a systematic, two-year survey of three heartland states—Ohio, Colorado, and Nebraska.[William J. Burns: The United States needs a new foreign policy]Led by a bipartisan task force of seasoned policy makers and experts, our team sought to determine what changes to U.S. foreign policy are needed to advance the well-being of America’s middle class. The group’s starting point was something of an unnatural act for Washington’s foreign-policy elite: listening—rather than preaching—to middle-class citizens.The Carnegie Endowment is a venerable institution, but it is better known in foreign capitals and the Acela corridor than in most parts of America. Mindful of the old Ronald Reagan adage that the most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help,” we partnered with researchers at public universities to conduct hundreds of interviews across all three states. The team talked with state officials and labor leaders, with small-business owners and mayors. We analyzed the economy and different trend lines. We were well aware that the middle class in each of those states is hardly monolithic, and that economic realities, social structures, and political attitudes vary widely across all of them.The conversations we had showed more nuance, pragmatism, and common sense in the heartland than the hyperpolarized and partisan policy debates display in Washington. People appreciated being asked their views about how foreign policy could serve them better, but many also expressed frustration that reaching out had taken so long. As one straightforward Nebraskan put it, “We didn’t really expect anyone from Washington to pay attention, especially after you folks have screwed things up so badly.”Many of the ranchers and soybean farmers our team interviewed in Nebraska applauded efforts to push back against the predatory trade and investment practices of China, but worried about the damaging impact of tariffs and the loss of overseas markets. Manufacturing workers in Ohio didn’t necessarily see how foreign aid affected them in the abstract but appreciated the importance of U.S. support for Japan after the 2011 tsunami, which badly disrupted the supply chain on which Honda—the biggest manufacturing employer in the state—depended. Many of the Coloradans and Ohioans our researchers spoke with accepted the need for greater restraint in military spending, but people in Colorado Springs (the home of three military bases and the U.S. Air Force Academy) and Dayton (near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio’s largest single-site employer) saw cuts to the defense budget as existential threats to their local economy.Most of those we interviewed saw the value of America’s allies and our country’s active global leadership, but they expected other countries to invest more in their own military and contribute a greater share of the costs of securing peace. They were also skeptical of Washington’s foreign-policy extremes—its episodic crusading impulses as well as its bouts of isolationism.At a time when nearly 60 percent of Americans expect their children to be worse off financially than they are, the middle-class citizens we spoke with sought practical solutions. They saw the opportunities created by expanded trade and foreign investment, and felt the inevitable effects of technology and automation on traditional manufacturing. What they sought was a level playing field to help them compete. As one woman in Marion, Ohio, put it, “We will do what we can to reinvent ourselves and look to the future, but just let us have a fighting chance.”[Jim Tankersley: We killed the middle class. Here’s how we can revive it.]The Carnegie task-force report offers an array of detailed recommendations to help ensure that U.S. foreign policy delivers for the middle class. Three broad priorities stand out.First, foreign-economic policy needs to aim less at simply opening markets abroad, and much more directly at inclusive economic growth at home. For decades, the economic benefits of globalization and U.S. leadership abroad have skewed toward big multinational corporations and top earners. This needs to change.The U.S. government has to help ensure that the advantages of globalization are distributed more equitably, by supporting industries and communities disadvantaged by market openings. A crucial step is to create a National Competitiveness Strategy to guarantee that government—at all levels—plays a more active role in helping our people and our businesses thrive in the 21st-century global economy. Rather than focus simply on reducing the costs of doing business in the United States, we ought to emphasize enhancing the productivity of our workforce, investing in education, and reinvigorating research and development in biotechnology, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and other key pillars of our economy in the decades ahead.Another important dimension of this new approach is to think beyond the manufacturing sector—as important as it is—and also address the concerns of the majority of middle-class households whose members work in other sectors, including services. We need to modernize trade enforcement tools to ensure that we can take earlier, faster, and more effective action against unfair trade practices, and put the onus on government—not small and medium-size businesses—to initiate enforcement measures. The objective should be a far more resilient middle class, served by a foreign policy that helps it compete better, and cushions it against the impact of economic shocks overseas. U.S. foreign policy should also look beyond trade and prioritize other issues whose economic and social impacts are acutely felt at home. Diplomacy and international partnerships ought to be the first line of defense against the looming threats of climate change, cyberattacks, and future pandemics. A crucial component of immigration reform is active diplomacy that aims to help ensure border security, create safe gateways for the workers and immigrants who add dynamism to our economy and society, and anchor people in Central America and Mexico to a sense of security and economic possibility.[Read: Immigrants give America a foreign-policy advantage]Second, this is not a time for restorationist fantasies or grand bumper-sticker ambitions in foreign policy. The people interviewed in the Carnegie study had little appetite for a new, all-consuming cold war with China, or a cosmic struggle pitting democracies against authoritarian states. Those impulses would be the best way to widen, not narrow, the disconnect between Washington’s foreign-policy establishment and Americans beyond the Beltway.What the Americans we talked with seem to be looking for is a humbler foreign policy, more restrained about using military force and more disciplined about employing diplomacy first. Values and human rights matter, from their perspective, and America ought to invest in rebuilding the power of its example. But the U.S. should adopt a temperate agenda, forthright in standing up against repression, while honest about the limits of its capacity to transform other societies.Finally, accomplishing this agenda will require breaking down the silos in which domestic and foreign policy have long operated. That will demand organizational and cultural shifts. It will take time and effort to build a generation of practitioners with the fluency in both domestic- and foreign-policy making to manage their interaction effectively. And while efforts to integrate the security and economic dimensions of foreign policy have made some progress, they need to be accelerated and better fused with domestic-policy making.For individual agencies, such as the State Department, opportunities exist to deepen partnerships with state and local governments on global economic issues, as well as on problems of climate change and public health. A State Department urgently committed to diversity and reflecting the society it represents will deepen its domestic roots. And it can further strengthen its connections to its constituents through assignments in the offices of mayors and governors, and in businesses across America.Many years ago, when I was a young diplomat, Secretary of State George Shultz used to invite outbound U.S. ambassadors for a brief, predeparture chat. He would gesture to the large globe in his office and ask the new ambassador to “point to your country.” Inevitably, their mind on their new assignment, the ambassadors would put their fingers on the country to which they were headed. Shultz would gently steer their fingers back across the globe to the United States. He’d remind them never to forget where they came from, or whose interests they served. Not a bad reminder then, and even more important now.
Introducing five incoming college basketball freshmen who could be the next NBA stars
Who might be following in the college-to-NBA footsteps of Zion Williamson and Anthony Edwards? Here's a look at this year's top incoming freshman.
Power Up: Democrats hope Ginsburg’s passing will galvanize youth vote on reproductive rights
But some warn too much focus on abortion could splinter Biden's broad coalition.
Protests Flare Nationwide Over Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Decision; Two Officers Shot in Louisville
Scenes of protest in cities around the country Wednesday night.
UFC boss Dana White on Colby Covington backlash: 'We don't muzzle anybody here'
UFC president Dana White is standing firm in his stance that he's not here to censor his fighters.        Related StoriesIsrael Adesanya calls media out for hypocrisy when addressing Colby Covington's commentsReport: Rebook issues statement against Colby Covington's Black Lives Matter commentsUFC 253 faceoff video: Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa, Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Blachowicz
She wore a BLM mask to work at Whataburger. After a customer complained, she was fired.
Ma'Kiya Congious, 19, is the latest in a long series of employees who have been fired or disciplined for using their face masks to express support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
1 h
Rays beat Mets 8-5, clinch 1st AL East title in 10 years
Confetti instead of champagne. Silly string instead of beer.
1 h
Denver police detain driver after vehicle plows into Breonna Taylor protesters
A driver was detained in Denver on Wednesday night after allegedly plowing his vehicle through a crowd of Breonna Taylor protesters, according to reports.
1 h
Biden pleads for 'no violence' as protests continue after Breonna Taylor decision
Two Louisville police officers were shot after Joe Biden delivered his message on the Breonna Taylor decision.        
1 h
He's a Herro: Heat top Celtics, move a game from NBA Finals
Tyler Herro should still be in college. He's not, but is still a student.
1 h