US Sen. Maria Cantwell faces former head of Wash. state GOP
By RACHEL LA CORTE
Friday, September 21
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Democrat Maria Cantwell has easily won re-election to the U.S. Senate from Washington state in previous years, but as she seeks her fourth-term this November she is facing her most recognizable opponent.
Republican Susan Hutchison, who spent two decades as a Seattle TV news anchor before leading the state Republican party for five years, says people are looking for change.
“Eighteen years is a long time for anyone,” said Hutchison, a strong supporter of President Donald Trump who drew national attention in 2016 after confronting Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at the Republican National Convention and calling him a traitor for not endorsing Trump in his convention speech.
While Cantwell is a strong favorite to win in November, she says she’s not taking anything for granted. She captured more than 54 percent of the vote on last month’s primary ballot, in which she appeared with 28 challengers. Hutchison secured her spot in the general election with 24 percent of the vote.
Cantwell said voters value experienced representation in Congress and this year are paying attention to everything from the trade debate to health care and access to public lands.
She noted she’s fought the Trump administration on efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but also cited bipartisan bills she’s worked on, including a low-income housing tax credit she co-sponsored with Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch.
“I do think you have to be collaborative, I do think you have to work across the aisle,” said Cantwell, who’s known for her work on energy and environmental issues and is the top Democrat on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Cornell Clayton, director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy at Washington State University, said even though Hutchison is a recognized name in the state, she has an uphill battle in not only trying to take on a Democratic incumbent in a state where Democrats hold most statewide offices, but doing so in a year where Democratic voters appear to be turning out in force.
It’s been nearly a quarter century since the GOP has captured a major statewide race in Washington. The last time voters sent a Republican to the U.S. Senate was 1994, when Sen. Slade Gorton was re-elected to his final term before being ousted by Cantwell in 2000. The last Republican governor of Washington state, John Spellman, was elected in 1980. Republicans hold both the secretary of state and state treasurer’s offices.
Cantwell has also outraised her challenger, drawing about $7.5 million to Hutchison’s $545,000, according to the latest campaign finance data.
Cantwell, a former tech executive who previously severed one term the U.S. House and six years as a state representative in the Washington Legislature, beat Gorton in that 2000 race by just 2,229 votes. Her win margin increased significantly in her next two elections, and she garnered more than 60 percent of the vote in her 2012 re-election bid.
Voter Bonnie Blake from Chehalis said that she supports Cantwell because she agrees with her stances on the environment and women’s issues. She said she believes there is greater enthusiasm among Democratic voters in House and Senate races across the country this year “because many of us believe our democracy is at stake.”
“We’re losing the checks and balances that is part of our Constitution, part of our history,” she said.
Hutchison said some of the top issues she would address if elected are military readiness and strengthening immigration laws. She doesn’t think Republican candidates face additional challenges this year because of the current tenor of national politics.
“I definitely think that the president’s policies are affecting all of us and they’re affecting us for the good,” she said. “When you look at the economy, it’s gangbusters.”
Maureen Branstetter of Spokane said that she was voting for Hutchison because she’s impressed with both her values and previous work for the state party.
“She can voice her opinions well,” Branstetter said. “She is not intimidated by getting out in public.”
The Washington State Debate Coalition has scheduled two debates between the candidates next month, which Hutchison has said she will attend. The Cantwell campaign said that due to the current vote schedule in the Senate she can’t confirm participation with the coalition debates, but said that other invitations are being considered and that her intention is to participate in two debates before the election.
AP writer Nicholas K. Geranios contributed from Spokane, Washington.
LICKING COUNTY: I-70 WB Lane Closure Next Week
Ohio Department of Transportation
I-70 WB Lane Closure Next Week
On Tuesday, September 25, at 4:00am, I-70 WB will be restricted to one lane between SR 668 and SR 13 to set up temporary barrier wall on the pavement shoulder for a upcoming rock scaling project.
Estimated completion: Tuesday, September 25, at 12:00 pm.
Dublin Women’s Philanthropic Club to Host Oct. 3 “Dublin Hop” to Benefit Dress for Success
DUBLIN, OHIO (Sept. 21, 2018) — Dublin Women’s Philanthropic Club (DWPC) invites members of the community to participate in an Oct. 3 “Dublin Hop” outing to benefit Dress for Success Columbus. The evening begins at 6 p.m. at Harvest Pizzeria, 45 N. High St. in historic Dublin, and continues with appetizers, gift card drawings and more via stops at Dublin Toy Emporium, Daso Custom Cabinetry and The Avenue, all in the historic downtown Dublin. The evening concludes at 8:45 p.m. There is no charge to attend, but participants are asked to bring a new or gently-used handbag or accessories for Dress for Success.
Dress for Success Columbus empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. All programs are free of charge. Since opening in 2007, Dress for Success Columbus has empowered more than 9,000 women to achieve their potential in central Ohio. Dress for Success Columbus is an affiliate of Dress for Success Worldwide, with more than 140 sister affiliates in 20 countries across the globe.
Guests do not need to be members of DWPC to attend the Dublin Hop, but space in the event is limited and RSVPs are requested. Please respond to DWPC Vice President Kim Penzone via email@example.com or call Kim at 614.442.6256.
DWPC is a nonprofit organization of nearly 100 dedicated women, founded in 1978 and devoted to philanthropic educational access and families in need. Additional information can be found at http://dublinwomensclub.com.
Drugging detained children is like using a chemical straitjacket
September 19, 2018
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
PhD Candidate in Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz
Jerry Flores received funding from the Ford Foundation.
Katherine Barahona-Lopez receives funding from the Research Program on Migration and Health (PIMSA) Graduate Student Grant, University of California Consortium on Science and Law Summer Fellowship and the Lionel Cantú Memorial Award. She is currently a Senior Case Manager for the Central American Resource Center (CARECN) in San Francisco, CA, working with unaccompanied minors and migrant families.
University of Toronto provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation CA.
University of California provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.
There are almost 13,000 detained migrant children in the United States, according to several recent news reports. This number has increased six-fold since 2017, despite the successful reunification of some families.
You might remember the horrifying images of children inside chain-link fences with flimsy aluminum foil blankets from earlier this summer. Digital media and cable news broadcast close-ups of these children’s faces, tears streaming down their cheeks; these same images were then shared millions of times on social media.
While the number of children detained in this way is shocking, the mistreatment that many face after being forcibly removed from their families is even worse. One of the least visible and most potent forms of abuse is the use of medication to forcibly sedate them.
As researchers who investigate incarceration and mental health, we have studied the patterns of psychotropic medication use in prisons and detention centres in the U.S. to control the behaviours of youth.
Preliminary findings from this research show the negative effects of coerced medication, or what we describe as “pharmaceutical violence.”
Recently, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ruled that the government broke the law when officials in Texas sedated children who had been separated from their migrant parents. We applaud her recent ruling even as we remain concerned about the recurrence of such a practice.
We are also concerned about the fate of the approximately 13,000 migrant children who have not yet been reunited with their parents, especially as the Trump administration works to replace the Flores settlement which limits the length of time children can be detained.
A chemical straightjacket
While the Trump administration’s forced separation immigration policies have since been suspended, and some of the children returned to their families, the long-lasting impacts of such treatment remain troubling.
Judge Gee’s recent decision mandates that the government must obtain consent or a court order in order to administer psychotropic medications to children, barring an emergency. She also ruled that officials must tell children in writing why they are in a secure facility.
Her ruling was in response to a lawsuit launched by the Centre for Human Rights and Constitutional Law. According to the lawsuit, the medications serve as a “chemical straitjacket.” In other words, officials were sedating children who had no existing psychological conditions.
According to several reports, children at Shiloh Treatment Facility in Texas have been given up to 15 different pills a day. Those who refused were threatened with further time in confinement. Moreover, children in other locations who complained about missing their parents, begged to leave or who staff deemed to be a “problem,” were sent to Shiloh to be medicated.
Detention drugs lead to street drugs
Sadly, we’ve seen this dynamic in the past. Detention centres are infamous for overly medicating incarcerated individuals in order to obtain their cooperation.
Ethnographic studies of American prisons, from the 1940s up until the present day, reveal the misuse of medications by detention staff as a common problem.
In a milestone case, Walter Harper sued the Washington State government arguing that they could not medicate him without his consent. This led to the Washington v Harper Supreme Court ruling in 1990 that allows detention centres to medicate incarcerated individuals.
While conducting fieldwork with incarcerated young women in southern California recently, we discovered a similar pattern. Officials in detention centres were dosing women in their care.
These young women were diagnosed with mental health disorders and compelled to take drugs while in detention. They became chemically dependent. Upon leaving prison, they were barred from access to the medications they had in custody, leading them to take street drugs, drink and engage in other high-risk behaviours.
Most young women reported feelings that prison staff prescribed psychotropic medication to regulate their actions, behaviours and personal freedom. In other words, these detainees, many of whom were Latina, were fitted with the same “chemical straitjackets” used on migrant children today.
Medication of detained children must stop
It is imperative to limit the detention of migrants and to immediately end the use of psychotropic medications on children.
Furthermore, qualified medical staff must be present in centres where children are housed.
Detention centres, funded by tax dollars, must be open for public scrutiny. As the public continues to bear witness to new images of imprisoned children, people should examine the misuse of medical technology that confines not only the bodies but the minds of those made to inhabit these places.
Additionally, we need to stop incarcerating children.
Bill Hulet: “Recently, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ruled that the government broke the law when officials in Texas sedated children who had been separated from their migrant parents. We applaud her recent ruling even as we remain concerned about the recurrence of such a practice.”
So which official who ordered this ended up in prison for this grotesque activity? Or did the “teflon effect” on government behaviour protect him?
David Jenkins: Is a prescription not required for these drugs to be administered? If so then is this drugging not a violation of medical ethics?
I-71 between SR 95 and SR 97
7 AM MONDAY 9/24/18: I-71 NB will be reduced to two lanes for pavement repairs.
4 PM: All lanes open.
Lavrov says Russia won’t interfere in Bosnia Oct. 7 election
By RADUL RADOVANOVIC
Friday, September 21
BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Russia won’t interfere in next month’s elections in Bosnia, an ethnically-divided Balkan nation where Moscow maintains strong influence among the country’s Serbs, Russia’s foreign minister insisted Friday.
Sergey Lavrov said after talks with officials in Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, that Russia will respect the outcome in the Oct. 7 general election and won’t be backing any party.
Analysts have warned that Lavrov’s visit ahead of the vote could be seen as support for the nationalist Bosnian Serb President Milorad Dodik, an ally of Moscow.
“We will always respect the Bosnian people’s choice and will work with anyone they elect,” Lavrov insisted. “We never give advice to other countries’ people as to whom they should vote for.”
Lavrov also called for closer cooperation with Bosnia, pledging support for the country’s territorial integrity.
Muslim-Croat and Serb entities were established in a U.S.-brokered peace agreement that ended Bosnia’s bloody 1992-95 conflict. Over 100,000 people died in the war.
The West has been alarmed with Russia’s mounting influence in the Balkans, particularly among the Bosnian Serbs and in neighboring Serbia.
Reflecting strong pro-Russian sentiments, thousands gathered later on Friday to greet Lavrov as he arrived in the main Bosnian Serb town of Banja Luka.
Huge Serb and Russian flags were on display along Lavrov’s route in the town and the highest security measures were in force.
At a joint press conference in Banja Luka with Dodik, Lavrov said the West is imposing a “false choice” on nations in the region between membership of the European Union or close relations with Russia.
He also rejected Western claims that Russia was trying to interfere with the Sept. 30 referendum in Macedonia to change the country’s name and qualify for NATO membership.
“We are not saying anything that can be seen as meddling in (Macedonia’s) internal affairs,” Lavrov said in comment translated from Russian by an official interpreter.
Dodik, who has advocated a separation of the Serbs from the rest of Bosnia, is running for office in Bosnia’s three-member presidency, described ties with Russia as “very fair” while criticizing Western influence in the country.
He said he was “proud” that Bosnian Serbs have blocked the possibility for Bosnia to join Western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.
“I love and respect Russia, that’s true,” said Dodik. He added he “didn’t talk about the voters or the election” with Lavrov and that the timing of the visit was accidental.
Lavrov also visited the construction site for a future Serb-Russian church — the two nations are Orthodox Christian.
The US will have to accept second-class status in the Middle East
September 21, 2018
Professor Emeritus, American University School of International Service
Gordon Adams does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
American University School of International Service provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
You may not have noticed it – the chair that wasn’t there.
The seven-year long Syrian civil war is ending with a government victory, aided by Russia and Iran. Talks to end to the war are accelerating.
Who is at the table in those talks? Russia, Turkey and Iran. Noticeably, not the United States.
The missing U.S. was starkly obvious from recent photos of the leaders of Iran, Turkey and Syria negotiating the next steps.
Yet despite the major military presence of the U.S. in the region and a legacy of deep involvement in the Middle East, the U.S. is not among the faces of those who are determining Syria’s fate.
As a scholar and practitioner of foreign affairs, I believe that nowhere is the erosion of U.S. global power more evident than in the upheavals in the Middle East.
The power shifts are not temporary. The old order, in which the U.S. was the most influential force in the region, cannot be rebuilt, and the U.S. is going to have to adjust to this diminished status.
The region remembers
The decline of the U.S. as the regional balancer, some argue, is the result of President Barack Obama’s decision not to enforce his red line in Syria after President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons in 2013.
Others say it is President Donald Trump’s fault for taking sides in some of the region’s central conflicts.
Both are wrong.
Obama’s leverage in Syria was always weak unless he was willing to deploy U.S. ground forces.
A one-off U.S. missile strike on Syria in 2013, after Assad attacked his citizens with chemical weapons would have had no more effect on the outcome of the war than the Trump administration’s strike after a similar incident in 2017.
And Trump’s policies simply accelerate the rebalancing already well under way.
It’s time for realism. Power has shifted in part as a direct result of U.S. policies and actions that for at least 50 years supported autocrats and undermined democratic efforts in the Middle East. Those actions are long remembered in the region.
The U.S was not alone in supporting autocrats. The United Kingdom and France joined the U.S. in supporting strongmen in the region for decades and fiercely opposed anti-colonial nationalists like Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser. The U.S. and U.K. joined to overthrow the democratic, reformist government of Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran in 1953. The region remembers how the CIA helped overthrow him and put in place Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was heavily dependent on the U.S. as leader of the country.
The best-laid plans
The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was facilitated by U.S. planning for a regional military role that had been underway for some time. That newly assumed role, intended to restore order or overthrow regimes, led to military actions that had negative consequences for U.S. standing in the region.
As a foreign policy scholar, I visited the Tampa, Florida, headquarters of the Joint Rapid Deployment Task Force in the early 1980s for an unclassified briefing. I learned about the planned network of bases, landing and overflight rights, storage facilities and military exercises that would make U.S. intervention in the region possible.
Through these plans, Spain, Libya, Egypt and countries in the Gulf region would allow U.S. fighters and bombers to fly to the heart of the Middle East. They would provide storage locations for American military equipment, fuel for American operations and joint exercises that would enable them to operate with U.S. forces.
Using this network, the U.S. military was able to eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991. This intervention included the first ever U.S. military deployment in the region. The network also paved the way for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, which overthrew Saddam’s regime, unraveling the regional balance of power. This intervention and the presence of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia provided a propaganda godsend to al-Qaida, the Islamic terrorist organization first led by Osama bin Laden.
The 2003 invasion, regime change and disastrous occupation opened a Pandora’s box of troubles, destroying U.S. credibility and any capability it had to stuff the troubles back into the box.
The subsequent chaos from Iraq to Syria to Lebanon had many parents, including national, religious and ethnic forces repressed by authoritarian leaders.
But the massive strategic blunder of invading Iraq and the declaration of a “Global War on Terror,” gave Iran and al-Qaida huge incentives to expand operations, rebalancing power in the region.
Removing Moammar Gadhafi in Libya spread the chaos further. No amount of reconstruction strategy and funding after he left could prevent it. The parallel effort to bring democracy to the Middle East revealed the ineptitude and ignorance of U.S. policy. The region remembers.
Trump administration policy has further distanced the U.S. from a leading role.
Withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement has not changed Iranian policies or actions; it has only reinforced the extremists.
Proposing a U.S.-Israel-Saudi Arabia-Gulf states alliance to confront Iran exacerbates the Arab-Persian confrontation and elevates Saudi Arabia and Israel as regional powers.
Picking fights with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has alienated the Turks.
Trump’s policies are an “accelerant,” hastening the decline of U.S. credibility across the Middle East and stimulating further rebalancing.
Who’s in charge?
The old regional order is dying fast. The rising powers are Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Russia.
Only the Saudis and Israelis are close to the U.S. and it seems they, not Trump, are driving U.S. policy. Iran is not contained. Its influence in the region was clearly enhanced by the removal of Saddam Hussein.
Iran’s extension of political and military power across Syria to Lebanon and Hamas, partly a defensive response to the U.S., has made it a player.
Turkey, supposedly a U.S. ally, has clearly moved away, taking an independent stance on Syria, building friendly relations with Russia, and exploring stronger security ties with China.
Russia has long been a player in Syria. Despite the overall decline of Russian power since the USSR disappeared, Putin plays a weak hand well, expanding Russia’s influence more broadly in the region.
US continued interest
In my view, the U.S. will not roll back these changes, though it still has a stake in the region.
Terror attacks are a threat to the U.S. and others. The use of force to eliminate terrorist organizations by the U.S. has increased, rather than diminished this threat. An uninterrupted flow of Middle Eastern oil continues to be an important goal, and it is a shared interest of producers and consumers around the globe. Preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons is critical, which is why others support the Iran nuclear agreement.
Trump’s confrontational strategy is a counterproductive approach to promoting these interests. The only way back to the table, I believe, is for the U.S. to step back to a more neutral position, shrink its military presence, engage all the parties – including Iran – and commit to multilateral approaches.
Peace will not come soon to the Middle East. U.S. influence demands a dramatic change in attitude and approach. Power has shifted and other parties now have the biggest stake and role in the outcome.