Trey Grayson, who is completing his second term as secretary of state in Kentucky, has been named director of the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard University. Grayson will assume his post on Jan. 31.Grayson has garnered praise as one of the nation’s top new political leaders and a “rising star.” He was first elected Kentucky’s secretary of state in 2003 and then re-elected by a wide margin in 2007. He is prohibited by state term limits from running for a third term. Grayson launched a bid for the open U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky in 2010, but was defeated in the Republican primary election. At Harvard, Grayson will succeed former U.S. Sen. John C. Culver (D-IA), who has served as IOP interim director since July 2010.“Trey Grayson is exactly the right person to lead the IOP as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of my father’s presidency,” said Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation president and IOP Senior Advisory Committee interim chair. “He is an inspirational young leader committed to civic engagement, bipartisan cooperation, and civil debate. I look forward to working with him to inspire the next generation to answer President Kennedy’s call to service.”As director, Grayson will be charged with setting the strategic vision and budgetary priorities for the long-term direction and affairs of the institute. He will also oversee the myriad activities of the institute, which include a resident fellows program for individuals from active political life; student programs such as internships in public service, research awards, and special projects; educational seminars for elected officials; conferences designed to bring together academic, political, and governmental leaders; and a yearlong series of lectures in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.
“We want to restore democracy there,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week, walking just to the edge of declaring that regime change is the goal. “We think the Iranian people want that same thing.” – Advertisement – At Daily Kos on this date in 2018—What does Secretary of State Pompeo mean by ‘restore democracy’ in Iran? – Advertisement – In 2014 when he was just a Kansas congressman, Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state and one of the most pugnacious ideologues of the neoconservative club, bragged that it would take only “2000 [bombing] sorties to destroy the Iranian nuclear capacity.” Last month, he wrote in Foreign Affairs his view of how the reimposition of sanctions are meant to bring Iran to its knees and do Washington’s bidding, or be toppled by a populace disgruntled by a smashed economy. Colin H. Kahl, co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation, and a former national security and defense official in the Obama administration, dismantled what he calls Pompeo’s “dangerous delusion” in a subsequent essay in Foreign Affairs. I keep sensing an undercurrent of despair when talking to liberal partisans about the election, a sigh that beating Trump is not enough but all that can be done. Yes, Democrats are only an even-money shot, at best, to flip the Senate. And yes, even if they succeed, Mitch “Grim Reaper” McConnell can obstruct the majority with the filibuster, and it would not be up to the next president, but the 50th senator ideologically, someone like Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema, to agree to change the Senate rules to eliminate the 60-vote threshold for legislation. (There’s always budget reconciliation, but that limited path goes through the same conservaDems.)But this reality does not have to inspire progressive anguish. Anyone telling you that a Democratic victory next November would merely signal four years of endless gridlock hasn’t thought about the possibilities laid out in this issue. And if you doubt the opportunity for strong executive action, let me direct your attention to Donald Trump.MAKE NO MISTAKE: Trump is an autocrat, more than willing to break the law to realize his campaign promises. His invocation of inherent, extreme executive power, egged on chiefly by Attorney General William Barr, is in fact dangerous, as former Representative Brad Miller lays out for us later in this issue. Trump has asserted the right to ignore Congress’s oversight function, reinterpret laws based on his own preferences, hide information from lawmakers and the public, promise pardons before illegal actions take place, appoint acting heads of federal agencies without advice and consent from the Senate, and raise the specter of emergency to follow through on his campaign promises.But in a significant number of cases, Trump’s pathway has sprung from a simple proposition: When Congress gives the executive branch authority, the president, you know, can actually use it.[…]THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READINGWide Awake, by Rebecca Traister. The past four years have birthed a progressive movement so extraordinary it just might survive the forces that threaten its extinction.The Right-Wing Violence Trump Has Encouraged Has Deep Roots in American History, By Dolores Janiewski and Chad Pearson. The far-right violence that Donald Trump has stoked has deep roots in US history. Kicking him from office won’t change that — but it would deal a blow to right-wing vigilantism. The South Has Already Changed, by Adam Harris. Jaime Harrison lost to Lindsey Graham but expanded Democrats’ vision of what’s possible in the Deep South.TOP COMMENTSQUOTATION“In a democracy, someone who fails to get elected to office can always console himself with the thought that there was something not quite fair about it.” ~~Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War (411 BCE)TWEET OF THE DAYxNow seems like a good time to remind Trump appointees that destroying federal records is a crime. And it’ll be easier than you think to prove you did it.— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) November 4, 2020BLAST FROM THE PAST- Advertisement – Certainly, a truly democratic, socially liberal, non-aggressive Iranian government that puts a high value on human rights would be a welcome change from the brutal one now in charge. While Iran has some of the trappings of democracy, it’s a profoundly constrained one riven by corruption that favors the clerical elite, holds large numbers of political prisoners, engages in torture and other brutality, and has a long record of human rights abuses, one of the targets being gay people. It was obvious from the election protests in 2009 that many Iranians would like to see a different kind of government. For each one of the thousands of protesters who dared confront Iran’s pernicious religious zealots in the street, for every Neda Agha-Soltan murdered by government henchmen, there no doubt were dozens silently cheering them on from home but fearful to join the opposition. They deserve better.As do the Saudis. Yet neither Pompeo nor Trump are making any noises about sanctioning the royal autocracy of that kingdom. It doesn’t take any imagination to figure out why. David E. Sanger at The New York Times reports:
RelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Sanwo-Olu: We’re committed to fulfilling promises to Lagosians Premier League clubs have agreed to stage one of the return to training protocols which allows teams to start training in small groups from Tuesday.Clubs voted unanimously on the decision at Monday’s “Project Restart” meeting. Players must observe social distancing rules, and contact training is not permitted.The first stage “has been agreed in consultation with players, managers, club doctors, independent experts and the government”.The Premier League statement added: “Strict medical protocols of the highest standard will ensure everyone returns to training in the safest environment possible.“The health and wellbeing of all participants is the Premier League’s priority, and the safe return to training is a step-by-step process.“Full consultation will now continue with players, managers, clubs, the PFA and LMA as protocols for full-contact training are developed.” Tags: COVID-19EPLPremier LeagueProject Restarttraining