The Latest: Senate panel ends confirmation hearing for day | National politics

Feinstein and Democrats are expected to focus on healthcare during the hearings. Feinstein still faces criticism for her comments during Barrett’s 2017 confirmation hearing to be a federal judge. Feinstein had joined Republicans on the panel in asking Barrett about her Roman Catholic faith, but then went further by telling Barrett, then a Notre Dame law professor, that “when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you.″

Republicans are pushing to confirm Barrett before Election Day.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham says Judge Amy Coney Barrett is in a “category of excellence” as a law professor and legal scholar.

Graham, R-S.C., praised Barrett as he opened Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Republican-led panel. Barring a dramatic development, Republicans appear to have the votes to confirm the 48-year-old conservative appellate judge to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court.

Graham acknowledged “the

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Politics has no place in your 401(k) but that’s just what the U.S. government is trying to do

OUTSIDE THE BOX



a close up of text on a white background: The Department of Labor released its interim final rule about employer-sponsored retirement account statements.


© Getty Images
The Department of Labor released its interim final rule about employer-sponsored retirement account statements.

Investors are inundated with brochures that market the “ideal” approach to crating a portfolio that addresses environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns.

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ESG has a lot of room for individual interpretation in both meaning and application, so it would seem appropriate for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to provide guideposts for investors. Instead, two recent ESG-related proposals from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) are under consideration. Why the DOL? The agency regulates the massive $10+ trillion in employee benefit plans covered under ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act).

Individually, each of the two proposals seems to offer solid investor-first logic for the fiduciaries that run these plans. The first looks to provide rails around what the plans can hold in ESG-themed funds, while reiterating its ban

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Tight race in St. Louis County’s 6th District could help shape county government | Politics

Two other seats are up for grabs in strongly Democratic council districts. Incumbent Kelli Dunaway, the Democrat elected to replace Page in the 2nd District last year, and soundly defeated Creve Coeur Mayor Barry Glantz in the primary, faces Republican Jerry Bowen and Libertarian Arnold Trembley. Shalonda Webb, who upset incumbent Rochelle Walton Gray in the Democratic primary for the 4th District, faces Republican Curtis Faulkner and Libertarian Eric S. Harris.

Trakas has been in battle his entire term. The attorney from Oakville overcame a shadowy recall petition and a lawsuit to remove him from office on the theory that his legal work for outstate school districts disqualified him from serving — each of which he blamed on Stenger.

But the county also settled a sexual harassment complaint against Trakas by his former legislative aide, and Trakas has at times exploded at the county’s legal staff. And, in recent weeks,

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Politics has no place in your 401(k) but that’s just what the U.S. government is now trying to do

OUTSIDE THE BOX



a close up of text on a white background: The Department of Labor released its interim final rule about employer-sponsored retirement account statements.


© Getty Images
The Department of Labor released its interim final rule about employer-sponsored retirement account statements.

Investors are inundated with brochures that market the “ideal” approach to crating a portfolio that addresses environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns.

Loading...

Load Error

ESG has a lot of room for individual interpretation in both meaning and application, so it would seem appropriate for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to provide guideposts for investors. Instead, two recent ESG-related proposals from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) are under consideration. Why the DOL? The agency regulates the massive $10+ trillion in employee benefit plans covered under ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act).

Individually, each of the two proposals seems to offer solid investor-first logic for the fiduciaries that run these plans. The first looks to provide rails around what the plans can hold in ESG-themed funds, while reiterating its ban

Read More

Coronavirus pandemic and election-year politics collide, eroding trust in science

The positive development immediately became entangled in election-year politics, with President Trump repeatedly making false and exaggerated claims about the new therapeutics. He called them a cure, which they’re not. He said he was about to approve them — a premature promise given that the FDA’s career scientists are charged with reviewing the applications.

This has been the 2020 pattern: Politics has thoroughly contaminated the scientific process. The result has been an epidemic of distrust, which further undermines the nation’s already chaotic and ineffective response to the coronavirus.

The White House has repeatedly meddled with decisions by career professionals at the FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other science-based agencies. Many of the nation’s leading scientists, including some of the top doctors in the administration, are deeply disturbed by the collision of politics and science and bemoan its effects on public health.

“I’ve never seen anything that closely

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Democrat’s praise of strict gun law roils Kansas Senate race | National politics

“They have no guns. They don’t allow them. They just took them all away,” Bollier told her audience. “And you know what? It’s pretty darn safe.”

Bollier also noted that Australia imposes licensing and training requirements for gun owners. Kansas law allows adults to carry weapons openly, and it allows them to carry concealed firearms without a permit — a policy Bollier opposed as a legislator when it was enacted in 2015.

“Who thinks you can just go out and have a gun? Seriously,” Bollier said. “You can’t drive a car without training. You can’t basically do anything without some kind of training. This is a lethal weapon.”

As the video clip began circulating, Bollier tweeted Sunday afternoon: “I do not support gun confiscation. I never have. I never will.”

Republicans have not lost a Senate race in Kansas since 1932, but Bollier has flooded the airwaves with ads that

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Judge throws out Trump campaign’s challenge to Pennsylvania’s poll-watching law | National politics

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Election 2020 Lawsuits Glance

In this Sept. 29, 2020, file photo Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke fills out an application for a mail-in ballot before voting at the opening of a satellite election office at Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania has seen a frenzy of election-related lawsuits as state officials prepare for some 3 million people, about half the expected turnout, to cast mail-in ballots. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)




HARRISBURG, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Saturday threw out a lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump’s campaign, dismissing its challenges to the battleground state’s poll-watching law and its efforts to limit how mail-in ballots can be collected and which of them can be counted.

Elements of the ruling by U.S. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan could be appealed by Trump’s campaign, with barely three weeks to go until Election Day

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Social media impacts our elections, protests, and politics

Last April, states began to sporadically reopen after weeks of being shut down. Georgia was among the first to begin the process, while some states didn’t start lifting restrictions until June. The uncoordinated reopening caused chaos, according to Sinan Aral, director of MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy.

Why? Because Georgia pulled in hundreds of thousands of visitors from neighboring states — folks hoping to get a haircut or go bowling.

Aral was tracking Americans on social media, and it became clear to him that having uncoordinated policies for the coronavirus doesn’t make sense. As people watched their social feeds fill with images of people heading back outside, they stepped out too — even if their state wasn’t at the same phase.

Aral, the author of “The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health — and How We Must Adapt,” has used social media

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The Zero-Sum Game of Syrian Politics

On September 28, 1961, Syrian military officers led by Abdul Karim al-Nahlawi altered the course of Syrian and Arab history. With a military coup, they ended the political union between Egypt and Syria known as the United Arab Republic (UAR). Enacted in early 1958, the UAR had been the first step towards the ultimate Arab nationalist dream: the unification of Arab countries into a single state after Ottoman occupation and European colonial division. The 1961 coup ended that dream on a practical level; never again would anyone seriously attempt to unite two major Arab countries. The move also upended the political consensus that had governed Syria since the earliest days after independence in 1946: the desire to create a pan-Arab state. But one other aspect of this coup lives on in Syria to this day, reflected in the political maneuverings that followed the coup.

The coup’s success was short-lived,

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This government’s incompetence is no accident. It’s inevitable | Politics

The serial incompetence of Boris Johnson’s government is not an accident. It may look like haplessness, but that is to mistake the symptom for the cause. Instead this government’s ineptitude is a function of both the character of the man at the top and the defining creed of his administration.

Reminders of our rulers’ clumsiness arrive with such regularity that it’s easy to become inured. This week we had the prime minister “misspeak” as he botched an attempt to explain the new regulations imposed by the government he leads. Perhaps that’s an easy mistake to make, considering the ever-shifting nature of the advice, best captured by that short video of Matt Lucas channelling the PM as he tells Britons, “Go to work, don’t go to work. Go outside, don’t go outside.”

But it hardly excuses the repeating pattern of errors that has blighted the government’s response to coronavirus from

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