Beacon Extra 1/28/20

Detroit's Grand Mufti holds the line, Harvard's got a real gem, and an important impeachment update

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IMPEACHMENT UPDATE … Donald J. Trump is still President of the United States.

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POLLING UPDATE …

KULAKS BAND TOGETHER … "Worried Democratic Operatives Scramble to Fund a Network to Take Down Bernie Sanders," via DAILY BEAST: "It’s not any one group of people" trying to build the anti-Sanders effort, said one of the Democratic sources. "It is a loose network of people who think he would be very problematic as a nominee. There is, at this stage, calls to, and conversations with, donors and organizations that might support such an effort. But as far as I can tell nobody has found sufficient financial support to get it off the ground."

The conversations have been driven by fear that Sanders could all but wrap up the nomination early in the campaign without having faced much pushback.

PA DEMS BALK AT ECO SUICIDE PACT … "In Crucial Pennsylvania, Democrats Worry a Fracking Ban Could Sink Them," via NYT: "In Pennsylvania, you’re talking hundreds of thousands of related jobs that would be—they would be unemployed overnight," said [Lieutenant Governor John] Fetterman, who endorsed [Sen. Bernie Sanders] in 2016 … "Pennsylvania is a margin play," he added. "And an outright ban on fracking isn’t a margin play." …

[Pittsburgh mayor Bill] Peduto said "the Warren-Sanders, ban-all-fracking-right-now" position would "absolutely devastate communities throughout the Rust Belt" and pit environmentalists against workers at a time when Democrats need both.

SHOULD HAVE GOOGLED ‘INCOGNITO MODE’ … "Michael Avenatti googled ‘Nike put options,' ‘insider trading' before allegedly trying to extort $25M," via FOX BUSINESS: Disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti may have been looking into how to make stock market riches off his alleged attempt to extort up to $25 million from the sneaker giant Nike, court papers show …

A put option is a contract that gives the owner the right, but not the obligation, to sell a security at a specific price by a certain date. The price at which the security can be sold at is called the "strike price." It is unclear what strike prices Avenatti was searching, so it cannot be determined if they would have panned out.

EATING THEIR OWN … "John Hickenlooper Goes Face to Face With Environmental Activist in Tense Confrontation," via MEDIAITE: "Can you respond to and also apologize for suing Longmont for family voters trying to ban fracking in their community?" asked the activist, as Hickenlooper shouted, "No, no, no," and then shushed the man.

"Shhh! Hold on, hold on. Don’t shout at me, don’t shout at me," Hickenlooper continued, as he moved his face near the face of the activist. "Will you listen to me? Will you listen to me?"

EARTH TO POCAHONTAS … "Dem Voters Don't Want to Defund Charter Schools," by WFB’s Charles Fain Lehman: Surveying 1,275 likely voters, the poll found that 58 percent of respondents would be less likely to support a candidate who wants to eliminate federal charter school funding. That figure includes 56 percent of Democratic voters, as well as 62 percent of black respondents and 65 percent of Latino respondents …

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) have sought to differentiate themselves from the pack in their vociferousness for defunding charter schools, a move unlikely to win them praise within the party's rank and file.

KREMLIN LIFELINE LIFTS MADURO … "How Putin Outfoxed Trump in Venezuela," via WSJ: The Trump administration’s bid to replace Venezuela’s authoritarian leader Nicolás Maduro hit a roadblock after a meeting with Russian officials in Rome last year—and has never recovered …

This month, in a sign of how much the opposition is floundering, Venezuela security forces blocked [Juan] Guaidó from entering the National Assembly building, where he was seeking re-election as leader. Mr. Guaidó, in a blue suit, tried and failed to scale the spiked iron fence.

GRAND MUFTI OF DETROIT HOLDS FIRM … "‘Vicious Lie’: ADL CEO Demands Rashida Tlaib Apologize For Spreading ‘Blood Libel’," via DAILY CALLER: Tlaib retweeted an unverified story on Twitter Saturday alleging that "a Herd of violent #Israeli settlers" kidnapped, assaulted and threw a 7-year-old Palestinian boy into a well.

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said Sunday that Tlaib must apologize for promoting the wild accusation. "This is an example of how the blood libel works in 2020," Greenblatt wrote on Twitter.

PEDO PRINCE STONEWALLS … "In Epstein investigation, Prince Andrew has provided ‘zero cooperation’ to U.S. law enforcement, prosecutor says," via WAPO: U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman made the assertion outside of [Jeffrey] Epstein’s New York City mansion at a news conference meant to raise awareness about a state law that provides a window for those sexually abused as children to sue their abuser even if the statute of limitations has expired …

Epstein, a politically connected multimillionaire with ties to both President Trump and former president Bill Clinton, was arrested in July on federal charges that he abused dozens of young girls at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Fla.

THANKS, CHICOMS … "More than 100 tested for coronavirus in the U.S.; just 5 cases confirmed so far, CDC says," via NBC NEWS: As the coronavirus outbreak rages on in China, at least 110 people in the United States are undergoing testing for the new respiratory illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday …

Officials said the health risk to the general American public remains low. "We're being aggressive and cautious in tracking those close contacts," Messonnier said. "So far, we have not seen any human-to-human transmission in the U.S."

DEMOCRACY DIES IN DARKNESS … "The Post’s misguided suspension of Felicia Sonmez over Kobe Bryant tweets," via WAPO: The Post has suspended reporter Felicia Sonmez following her social-media activity over the death of NBA great Kobe Bryant. Here’s the explanation from Managing Editor Tracy Grant: "National political reporter Felicia Sonmez was placed on administrative leave while The Post reviews whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy. The tweets displayed poor judgment that undermined the work of her colleagues."

What did Sonmez do to deserve this brushback? She tweeted out a very good story from the Daily Beast.

END OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION … "Yale Will Eliminate a Beloved Introductory Art Class for Being Too White, Male, and Western," via REASON: According to the Yale Daily News, the art department has decided that the class might make some students uncomfortable due to the "overwhelming" whiteness, maleness, and straightness of the artists who comprise the Western canon (though that last label may be dubious). Indeed, the focus on Western art is "problematic," course instructor Tim Barringer told the student newspaper …

In its final iteration, the course will "consider art in relation to questions of gender, class, and race and discuss its involvement with Western capitalism," according to the latest syllabus. Art's relationship to climate change will also be a "key theme."

MEANWHILE, AT HARVARD, OUR CHILDREN IS LEARNING …  

NASTY MAN … "Bernie the Nasty Campaigner," by WFB’s Andrew Stiles: As far back as the 1980s, [Bernie] Sanders was waging bizarre attacks against Democratic politicians. In 1986, while serving as mayor of Burlington, Vt., Sanders took shots at the state's first (and only) female governor, Madeleine Kunin, a Democrat who was running for reelection. "He claimed to be a better feminist than I was," Kunin said of Sanders during a recent interview. "It shocked me at the time."

DAYS SINCE JOE BIDEN DID A SUNDAY SHOW: 1,143. Come back, Joe!

"You know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden." —Former President Barack Obama

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