The Washington Post — Democracy Dies in Darkness
Trump attacks Kasich over Ohio race — and Kasich welcomes the attention
by Robert Costa August 13
President Trump taunted Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Monday, asserting that his increasingly vocal Republican rival is “very unpopular” and a “failed presidential candidate,” and to blame for the narrow margin in last week’s special congressional election in the state.
Kasich responded with an impish tweet: an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin breaking into a grin and laughing.
The salvos were the latest in the feud between Trump and Kasich, who is considering challenging Trump in the 2020 presidential race and has become one of the president’s sharpest GOP critics.
Trump’s attack, while demeaning, gave Kasich something his allies say he needs: a burst of national attention as he mulls whether to take on Trump and seek the party’s presidential nomination.
“It elevates Kasich,” said Bill Kristol, a conservative commentator and anti-Trump organizer. “What helps Trump the most is the idea that 85 percent of Republicans support him, so how could anyone run against him? The exchange with Kasich gets at Trump’s problems with general-election voters.”
Kristol added, “After the midterm elections in November, the whole party is going to ask whether it makes sense, politically, to stick with Trump. Trump knows that moment is coming, and so does Kasich.”
Kasich has been busy making the case that Republicans should be wary of following Trump’s lead. He told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the Aug. 7 election in Ohio’s heavily Republican 12th Congressional District was a reaction to the “chaos” he says voters see in Trump’s Washington, from the president’s conduct to Trump’s hard-line stances on trade and immigration.
“What you had is, I think, a message from the voters to the Republicans that you’ve got to stop the chaos and you’ve got to get more in tune and stop alienating people,” Kasich said. “It wasn’t a good night.”
Troy Balderson, the Republican nominee in the central Ohio district, remains neck-and-neck with Democrat Danny O’Connor in the race, which has not yet been called nearly a week after voters went to the polls. Regardless of who wins the election, the two candidates will square off again in November.
Trump swept into Ohio the weekend before the special election for a rally, and in a tweet last week, he moved to take credit for Balderson’s tally at the time, which showed him slightly ahead of O’Connor.
Still, many GOP strategists viewed the results in Ohio and in several primaries nationally last week as a dark omen three months before Election Day, saying they illustrate the limits of Trump’s ability to lift his party, particularly in suburban areas where the president’s popularity has suffered.
Trump, however, singled out Kasich on Monday as the reason for Balderson’s underwhelming showing, arguing without evidence that Kasich’s concerns about Balderson’s embrace of Trump — Balderson spoke alongside Trump at the closing rally — affected Republican turnout.
“The very unpopular Governor of Ohio (and failed presidential candidate) @JohnKasich hurt Troy Balderson’s recent win by tamping down enthusiasm for an otherwise great candidate,” Trump tweeted. “Even Kasich’s Lt. Governor lost Gov. race because of his unpopularity. Credit to Troy on the BIG WIN!”
Ohio’s lieutenant governor, Mary Taylor, lost her race for Ohio’s Republican gubernatorial nomination in May.
A Quinnipiac poll in June showed Kasich far outpacing Trump in terms of approval among Ohio voters. Fifty-two percent of registered Ohio voters approve of the job Kasich is doing as governor, while 43 percent approve of Trump’s performance as president.
Kasich’s top advisers welcomed the president’s scorn as a sign that Trump is keeping close watch on the threats he may eventually confront in his own party.
“They had been pretty disciplined about not attacking Kasich for the last two years or so,” Kasich strategist John Weaver said in an interview, referring to the Trump White House. “But the president is watching TV, and he’s not just watching Fox, and he’s hearing the footsteps behind him.”
Trump’s tweet Monday also reflects his eagerness to deflect blame for Republicans’ lackluster showing in the special election regardless of whether he perceives Kasich as a legitimate threat or just another critic to be rebuked for speaking out against him.
Kasich, 66, sought the 2016 Republican presidential nomination yet struggled to loosen Trump’s grip on the party’s base voters and never mounted a formidable challenge. At political stops since then, Kasich has regularly cast himself as a pragmatic and compassionate politician who holds hawkish views on foreign policy. Kasich has plans to return to New Hampshire, which holds the first presidential primary, in November.
During his years in the U.S. House, Kasich was known as a budget-cutting conservative, but he has since developed a more moderate persona due to his criticism of Trump and his decision to accept the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio as part of President Obama’s health-care law.
Unlike a crowd of prominent Republicans who were critical of Trump in the final weeks of the 2016 race, such as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Kasich has remained critical and frequently called out Trump and the president’s agenda.
“It’s been pretty lonely out here,” Kasich told The Guardian in July. “Most of the people have been upset with [Trump], and then endorse him and then they get upset with him. I just have not operated that way.”
Several modern Republican presidents have faced primary battles of varying degrees of seriousness. Incumbent Gerald Ford was challenged by Ronald Reagan in 1976, and George H.W. Bush was challenged by conservative leader Patrick Buchanan in 1992. Both Ford and Bush went on to fend off those challenges but were defeated in the general election after being hobbled.
Some historians are skeptical of a potential Kasich campaign, framing a challenge from the center as far more difficult than running against a president from the right.
“Reagan had deep roots in the conservative movement long before 1976,” said conservative author Craig Shirley, who has written extensively about Reagan’s run against Ford. Citing Reagan’s national radio commentaries in the 1970s and his relationships throughout the GOP’s activist wing, Shirley said “Kasich is not Reagan and has no such national following and no signature issue.”
Kasich was coy on Sunday when asked about a 2020 run.
“Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. I don’t know,” he said.
Weaver, who served as Kasich’s strategist during the 2016 race, said the governor’s retort on Monday — a wry graphic of Putin on Twitter — was a message meant for the president.
“We’re not going to be trifled with,” Weaver said. “We’re going to bring a machete to a knife fight.”
White House officials dismissed Weaver’s remark.
“He’s cursing the darkness,” said one senior administration official, who was not authorized to speak publicly. “Who’s showing up to that fight? No one.”
Felicia Sonmez and Emily Guskin contributed to this report.
Robert Costa is a national political reporter for The Washington Post. He covers the White House, Congress, and campaigns. He joined The Post in January 2014. He is also the moderator of PBS’s “Washington Week” and a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.
Maegan McClintock graduates from Delaware Valley University
News from Delaware Valley University
DOYLESTOWN, PA (08/15/2018)— Dr. Benjamin Rusiloski, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Delaware Valley University, announced that Maegan McClintock of Westerville, OH, graduated from Delaware Valley University in May 2018 (MBA).
DelVal is an independent, comprehensive university with more than 1,000 acres in Bucks and Montgomery counties. Founded in 1896, DelVal emphasizes experiential and interdisciplinary learning and provides small class sizes where students learn on a first-name basis. Through the innovative Experience360 Program, all DelVal students gain real-world experience in their fields. Located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, DelVal combines the comfort of small-town living with the excitement of big-city access. DelVal offers more than 25 undergraduate majors in the sciences, humanities, and business, more than five master’s programs, a Doctor of Education, and a variety of adult education courses. Learn more at delval.edu.
Sex and gender diversity is growing across the US
July 6, 2018
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Georgiann Davis 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.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
This week, Christine Hallquist, a transgender woman from Vermont, made history as the first openly trans person to ever win the nomination of a major political party for governor.
Sex and gender diverse people were once only able to be their authentic selves in gay and lesbian spaces.
Today, from Danica Roem in Virginia to Betsy Driver in New Jersey to Hallquist in Vermont, they are running and winning major political posts throughout the United States.
While it might be a surprising to see sex and gender diverse candidates run and win in political elections, with sex and gender diversity growing across the United States, this is likely only the beginning.
More people of all ages are identifying as something other than male or female.
According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, which studies sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, the percentage of trans adults — an umbrella term used to describe those whose gender does not match with the sex they were assigned at birth — has doubled in the last 10 years from 0.3 percent to 0.6 percent.
In 2006, a survey discovered that 1.2 percent of Boston high school students identified as trans.
And in a recent issue of the journal Pediatrics, researchers showed that 2.7 percent of Minnesota’s youth identify as trans and gender-nonconforming. Similar to trans, gender-nonconforming describes those who reject gender expectations that assume only females can do femininity while only males can do masculinity.
I’m a sociologist and for more than 10 years, I have been studying sex- and gender-diverse people in the United States. I’ve witnessed researchers analyze everything from brain differences to the hormones a fetus is exposed to during gestation to explain the growth of sex and gender diversity.
Looking to human anatomy and physiology alone is inadequate in explaining the demographic sex and gender changes that are rapidly occurring throughout our society. Does culture also play a role?
Evolution? Not so fast
Historical accounts of sex- and gender-diverse people date as far back as the 18th and 19th centuries in the U.S. and elsewhere.
But why is it that we are now witnessing a growth in the percentage of people publicly identifying as sex- and gender-diverse? Did human anatomy and physiology change overnight? Or is it that people are now more comfortable rejecting the simplicity of “We’re all just male or female”?
What the rising statistics likely reveal is that thanks to activists and their allies across various movements, more people, especially millennials, are now aware that people are more complex than male or female. And they are embracing this complexity by not only choosing sex- and gender-diversity for themselves, but by also sharing their life experiences in stories across print media and on television.
Activists are organizing in the streets and fighting in the courtroom for rights. This is not recent news: For example, earlier generations of activists demonstrated against police brutality in the 1960s in what is now known as the Stonewall Riots. But the activism has accelerated and spread.
Pride celebrations seem to be everywhere these days. And in the courtroom, transgender teenager Gavin Grimm is currently in the middle of a lawsuit against his Virginia high school that wouldn’t allow him to use the boy’s bathroom. That suit has raised Grimm’s profile and put him at the “center of the national debate,” according to The Washington Post.
This activism lets the public know there is life beyond male or female.
People now have customizable sex and genders to choose from on everything from Facebook to the dating site OkCupid. On OkCupid, one can identify as male, female, transgender, nonbinary, genderfluid or genderqueer, or choose up to five categories from many other options.
It is not a coincidence that sex and gender diversity is also flourishing in the media. There is “Transparent,” the popular award-winning dramedy series about a family patriarch who gender transitions from man to woman. And then there is the critically acclaimed film “Tangerine,” where we see a transgender woman navigate relationship turmoil.
Trans issues are at the center of these scripts, but the filmmakers also skillfully give us more. The main characters are trans, but the trans aspect of the characters are only one part of the storyline. This is a shift in popular culture.
There is no question that the internet’s expansion has also fueled the transgender movement and other similar sex- and gender-diverse movements.
The internet makes it easier for people to identify as something other than what they were assigned at birth. A teenager in the rural Midwest can use the internet to connect with similar people around the world. And they can learn strategies about how to navigate medical care, school, and even disclosing to their family if they choose to change their sex and/or gender identity.
The parents of sex- and gender-diverse youth who support their child are also able to find community and resources on the internet from home. New sociological research published by Ann Travers with New York University Press as well as by Tey Meadow with the University of California Press shows supportive parents do exist. They affirm their child’s gender identity by, for example, using their child’s chosen pronouns and new name if applicable, enlisting gender-affirming medical care and more.
This is not to say that those who identify as something other than a typical male or female person will have an easy road ahead of them.
It is possible the number of sex- and gender-diverse people in the population is underestimated. Not all will feel it is safe to identify as something other than male or female. Many sex- and gender-diverse people are emotionally harmed by societal rejection. And, as sociologists Lisa R. Miller and Eric Anthony Grollman documented, there are “social costs of gender nonconformity.”
One study specifically reported that 41 percent of sex and gender diverse adults have attempted suicide compared to 1.6 percent of the general population. Similarly, a 2016 study published in the journal Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, found that 30.3 percent of transgender youth between the ages of 12 and 22 years had attempted suicide, with nearly 42 percent reporting they had tried hurting themselves, such as deliberately cutting their skin.
Sex- and gender-diverse people are at the battleground of political and legal debates across the country. Their access to public bathrooms has been challenged from North Carolina to Texas. It is not easy, or in many cases even legally possible, for sex- and gender-diverse people to obtain driver’s licenses, birth certificates or passports that match their sex and gender identities.
Despite the challenges sex- and gender-diverse people face navigating their lives, I believe their numbers will keep growing.
This will happen as sex- and gender-diverse movements get stronger. More people will gain access to the internet and connect with other marginalized sex- and gender-diverse people. And with such demographic shifts, there will likely continue to be a growing representation of sex and gender diversity in popular culture.
There is no way to predict how large the sex- and gender-diverse population will get. But there is evidence that society is changing from the simplicity of male or female.
Opinion: Obscure Rule Change Will Lead to Skyrocketing Oil Prices
By Ross Marchand
The constant fluctuation in the price of oil affects virtually everyone across the globe, making and breaking entire nations. While peaks and valleys occur because of well-publicized geopolitics (for example, threats to close the Strait of Hormuz), there are times when obscure developments disrupt the normal operation of oil.
The decision by the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) to phase out sulfur from ship fuels by 2020 is one such case. This move threatens to wreak havoc on the global oil market.
In 2016, the IMO agreed to lower the limit on sulfur from the current maximum of 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent. IMO’s mandate, slated for implementation in 2020, was affirmed last month as members agreed on critical sulfur testing and verification issues. But refineries’ inability to lead a dramatic shift toward low-sulfur blends will cause significant turmoil, leading to higher fuel prices and fewer opportunities for billions of citizens.
As a taxpayer-funded International Governmental Organization, IMO doesn’t exactly command the headlines. For example, games played by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries get far more attention and are front and center of President Trump’s promise to lower gas prices across America. But prices are just as beholden to the maneuverings of obscure, unaccountable organizations that hold taxpayer dollars hostage.
On the surface, the IMO appears to be a harmless organization tasked with “safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships.” But pollution reductions are achieved by changing shippers’ fuel content, making life difficult for the refineries struggling to keep up.
Shippers, who currently make up around 5 percent of global demand for oil, will likely have to switch over to diesel or gasoil to comply with the 2020 mandate. This change in demand will lead to pressure for refineries to ramp up production of sulfur and gasoil. The end result will be that many refineries will fall behind. As economist Philip K. Verleger explains in a recent report, “As many as half of world refineries cannot produce fuel that meets the new regulation. … They cannot reprocess a high-sulfur diesel fuel to a low-sulfur diesel because their facilities are inflexible.”
Verleger goes on to explain that, while refineries could survive the transition by processing a different type of oil (called “light sweet” crude), supply is limited and primarily comes from conflict-ridden Nigeria. By virtually putting all the oil eggs in one basket will, at the very least, increase disruptions, making it difficult for refineries to keep their head above water.
And these aren’t the hypothetical musings by a rogue economist. A similar scenario happened in 2007-2008, when excessive bidding on low-sulfur fuels caused the price of oil to skyrocket. If many refineries lose out on the scramble and close, the gap between supply and demand will only grow with prices further hiked.
To officials at the IMO and many environmental advocates, these developments are a necessary tragedy to wean the maritime industry off dangerous pollutants. Health officials and experts claim that sulfur caps can save more than 100,000 lives because of lower air pollution. But if shippers no longer have any use for high-sulfur fuels, demand (and prices for certain blends) will certainly nose dive. Perhaps companies in heavily polluting nations will buy up supplies for cheap, merely shifting around pollutants to areas with denser populations.
Something similar happened when the United States adapted the Acid Rain Program in 1990, leading to a collapse in price for coal with high-sulfur content. While sulfur-dioxide emissions collapsed in the United States, China and other developing nations simply bought up cheap, dirty American coal, and imported the resulting pollution.
At least in the American example, the U.S. government could claim a narrow victory in clamping down on pollution. But the world’s seas and oceans are different. As a global commons, merely shifting pollution elsewhere would do nothing to make the problem better. And to the billions of people stuck with a new, gargantuan gas bill, the IMO’s decision makes life far more difficult. By committing to more open markets and lower tax burdens, the IMO can clear the air and promote opportunity for all.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Ross Marchand is the director of policy for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.