CARACAS, Venezuela — Leaders of Venezuela’s opposition claimed victory ahead of official results in Sunday’s crucial legislative elections that could alter the country’s balance of power after 17 years of socialist rule. Hours after polls closed, several opposition leaders took to the Internet to announce that they had won a majority of seats in the National…
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By Courtney Anderson
When South Carolina native Bakari Sellers was elected to the state’s General Assembly in 2006, he made history.
He was the one of the youngest people and the youngest black person to ever be elected to the position.
Sellers was 22, only a year or so out of Morehouse College.
Sellers was in elected office from 2006-2014.
And during those years, Sellers worked with the Obama campaign in 2008 and earned a law degree from the University of South Carolina.
It is a career path many politicians would hope to reach by the time they hit their 40s and 50s, and it is one that got Sellers a spot in TIME’s “40 under 40” a few years back.
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Now Sellers is no longer in the South Carolina General Assembly. In 2014, he ran for the Lieutenant Governor office, a race he alluded to in that same TIME article.
“I do love our lieutenant governor’s office. That would be a good window to look out of,” Sellers said in 2010. “And the governor has a nice house. But we’ll see.”
Sellers lost the race for lieutenant governor, a rare setback for one of the leading progressive voices in South Carolina.
Sellers again demonstrates how he’s different than many politicians: a loss like this would throw a wrench in most political plans.
But not for Sellers.
“I lost up, actually,” Sellers said in an interview with RISE NEWS.
Sellers still doesn’t have a particularly strict five-year or 10-year career path. He is all about using his career and positions to stand up for people he feels aren’t being heard.
“I think I have options,” Sellers said. “Right now, I’ve been able to give a voice to the voiceless.”
Standing up for the voiceless is in Sellers’s blood. His father, Cleveland Sellers, was a civil rights activist who is still dedicated to social justice. He is the younger Sellers’s inspiration.
“My father would say ‘History isn’t changed unless you push it,’” Sellers said. “And I rely on those life lessons every day.”
Family, Sellers said, is the one thing that has managed to stay consistent throughout his changing career.
His wife, Ellen Rucker Sellers, and their 11-year-old daughter, Kai Michelle, are always by his side.
Sellers and Rucker got married in the summer of 2015.
“They’ve always given me the courage to keep going,” Sellers said.
And Sellers has to keep going. He doesn’t have any time to waste.
He is an attorney at Strom Law Firm, and a member of the Democratic National Convention rules committee.
He recently argued for equal protection for unmarried same-sex couples under South Carolina’s criminal domestic violence laws. Sellers is also urging people to pay attention to criminal justice reform and issues of wealth distribution of black families in America.
When he is not dealing with all of the responsibilities of being an attorney, he is trying to keep up with the rapid twists and turns of the 2016 election.
“I have to keep up with the 24/7 news cycle because I’m a part of it now,” Sellers said.
Sellers is a commentator on CNN, which he is said is one of his most fun jobs. It has also put him in the national spotlight, next to luminaries like David Axelrod and Donna Brazile.
“That’s my family,” Sellers said. “That’s my daily.”
CNN isn’t the only place Sellers has visited. He has also appeared on the Steve Harvey Show and The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.
He has even given an interview on The Breakfast Club national radio program, paying his good friend Charlamagne Tha God a visit. Not exactly the most common place to find a CNN contributor.
“We’re both trying to change the world in different veins,” Sellers said of Charlamagne. “We’re hoping to inspire someone to dream big, with their eyes open.”
So far so good for the 31 year old Sellers on that front.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.Post Views: 1,004
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By John Massey
While only, approximately, 235 million people have the opportunity to vote for President of the United States of America, that does not make interest in the outcome of that contest a solely American interest.
The President of the United States is uniquely powerful in affairs outside the borders of the United States, and will thus often impact the lives of a great number of non Americans.
Thus, it may be of at least passing interest to perspective voters who their peers across the world endorse as the next President.
A caveat before I begin, this list will not examine all 192+ sovereign countries on the Earth, but a handful relevant to American interests. It should also be noted that, just as in the United States, no country is politically homogenous. There are some attempts to reflect this, but the law of averages tells us that there was probably someone in India who was disappointed when Lincoln Chaffee dropped out.
Out of 450 respondents, most identified with Republican candidates, and a whopping 38% with Donald Trump. In a subsequent poll launched by Mr. Hartzell on Zhihu, the candidates feelings on various issues were briefly expounded upon, resulting in both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders trouncing the Republican field.
These findings seem to contradict various Chinese bloggers, according to Foreign Policy, who claim that Clinton is unfairly critical of China. These harsh feelings would also likely extend to both Sanders and Ted Cruz who have both supported anti-Chinese legislation during their tenure in the Senate.
Trump has also been stridently anti-China, despite saying that he has lots of Chinese tenants in some of his buildings.
China probably doesn’t have much of a favorite in this field of leading Presidential candidates.
The cooperative mood between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump has been well documented, and likely assisted by Trump’s anti-NATO stance.
The endorsement of President Putin likely influences Mr. Trump’s popularity among Russians, based on Putin’s own approval ratings. State news entity Sputnik News has published a number of articles praising Trump.
France’s government has presented a consistent anti-Trump front.
Shortly after Mr. Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim Immigrants, Prime Minister Manuel Valls tweeted, “Trump, like others, stokes hatred and conflations: our ONLY enemy is radical Islamism”.
The ” others” being referred to is France’s own nativist party, the National Front. The ever delightful French Ambassador to the United States, Géraud Araud, also frequently bashes Trump and the similar National Front movement in his own country. It should then come as no surprise that National Front founder, and political kindred spirit on: trade, immigration, and NATO, Jean-Marie Le Pen offered his support for a Trump Presidency.
However, if the results of France’s recent regional elections are any indicationLe Pen’s support is worth little.
France24, one of France’s premiere international news sites, is pretty scant on individual coverage for the other Republican candidates, though John Kasich received some praise for his positions following his second place showing in New Hampshire.
On the Democratic side, Clinton seems to be more popular than Sanders. Nicholas Sarkozy, head of Les Republicains and presumptive candidate for President of the center right party, offered his support for her candidacy.
Meanwhile, Sanders appears to be an after thought on France24’s search algorithms. This may be more reflective of the Senator’s more recent rise to prominence than his agreeability to the average Frenchman however.
Israel & Palestine:
Starting with Palestine, it is safe to assume that Cruz and Rubio competing during debates over who has more disdain for the Palestinian national movement does not endear them to Palestinians.
Kasich and Trump likely would not fair better, due to the former justifying illegal settlements in the West Bank and the latter’s support for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in addition to anti-Muslim comments over the past year.
The consensus among Fatah, the Arab Center for research and Policy Decisions, and Al-Najah National University, among others, appears to be that Clinton, while no friend to the Palestinian national movement, is preferable to her Republican competition, according to Al-Monitor.
Sanders in the past has expressed solidarity with Palestinians as well as opposition to military aid to Israel, though his position seems to have shifted to a position that equivocates violence between Israel and Palestine.
Never the less, it seems that Sanders is the more palatable candidate for Palestinians at large.
Among Israelis, national polling done by The Times of Israel found that 38% of Israelis would favor a President Clinton, followed by 23% endorsing a Trump Administration. Sanders, Cruz, and Rubio brought up the rear with 7, 5, and 4 respectively, and leaving 23% of respondents unsure.
This seems to reflect that the opinions of Prime Minister Netanyahu are not influential on Israeli opinions on American Presidential candidates, as the Prime Minister has shamed Mr. Trump for his anti-Muslim comments, whilst presumably being very friendly with Senator Cruz who was among the first to congratulate Netanyahu on his recent electoral victory.
This small sample size of four countries, and one aspirant country, is not representative of the world at large, but is representative of a few of the places most relevant to American interests.
It would be wise then as American voters to consider the political opinions of our friends and rivals abroad, including those not mentioned here, so as to best mold the world in a positive way over the next four years.
Is there a country that we missed that you would be interested in learning more about? Tell us in the comments below!
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!
Cover Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond/ Flickr (CC by 2.0)Post Views: 708
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By James Kardys
The war between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is over.
The former has unofficially clinched the Republican nomination, and Cruz is back in the Senate, preparing his 2018 bid for re-election. However, as one war ends, another one begins.
No, I am not speaking about the war between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who is very likely to be the Democratic nominee.
I’m speaking about the war between Hillary Clinton and a still-defiant Bernie Sanders, who is fighting to the death to gain the upper hand as the last few primaries, notably the critical California primary, emerges.
This war has reached levels as to where Sanders has now officially endorsed Tim Canova, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s opponent in the Democratic primary for Florida’s 23rd Congressional District, in response to Schultz’s perceived bias in favor of the Clinton campaign.
However, it is not the Debbie Wasserman Schultz issue that should be of concern if you are a Democrat and/or a liberal.
What should be of concern, in this case, is if Bernie Sanders could end up giving the White House to Donald Trump, because some of his supporters declined to vote for Clinton out of spite.
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This does not seem like a far-fetched scenario here.
According to a poll jointly conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News that was published on Tuesday, 31% of Sanders supporters say they may not or will not support Clinton in the general election. 64.5% of that 31% (or 20% of all Sanders supporters) say that they will vote for Trump.
When you take into account that 43.4% of all Democrats support Sanders (according to the latest RealClearPolitics average), this translates into 13.5% of all Democrats refusing to vote for Clinton, and 8.7% of all Democrats voting for Trump.
And remember, this poll was taken before the convention, whose outcome is now going to be determined by superdelegates, because of how close the race has been.
Many Democrats may not know this, so if they see the convention fight play out on national television, these numbers are likely to go up.
In response to this development, I ran a theoretical scenario where Trump manages to unite the Republicans, but the disgruntled Sanders supporters carry out their threats at the above rates in every state.
Here’s what plays out, based on the latest RCP averages in individual states (and assuming that the RCP averages assume that Clinton unites the party):
-Trump wins every swing state, except possibly Nevada (which has no recent poll data on the site).
He also wins Connecticut, a state that is normally considered to be a Democratic-leaning one, and comes within two points of winning New Jersey, Oregon, and Wisconsin, three other Democratic-leaning states.
He may also win New Mexico, another Democratic-leaning state that could come into play in this scenario, but does not have recent poll data on RCP.
This leaves him with as many as 349 electoral votes (assuming he wins Nevada and New Mexico), and Clinton with as few as 189.
In the process, New Hampshire votes Republican for the first time since 2000; Connecticut, Michigan, and Pennsylvania vote Republican for the first time since 1988; and Minnesota votes Republican for the first time since 1972.
In other words, Clinton would be blown out of the water.
If you are a Democrat and/or a liberal, this should be a wake up call for you.
If you are a Republican and/or a conservative, this should be a wake up call for you.
Sanders is becoming the spoiler that may determine the election. It is time for the candidates who want to win to go after his voters.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Phil Roeder/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 592
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