Primary recap: Kansas voters uphold abortion rights, Trump-backed candidates win in Arizona

Primary recap: Kansas voters uphold abortion rights, Trump-backed candidates win in Arizona

This post was originally published on this siteKansas voters upheld the right to an abortion, the first such vote after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Arizona and more also held votes.     

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Rusty Bowers, who testified in Jan. 6 hearing, defeated as Trump-backed candidates surge in Arizona

Rusty Bowers, who testified in Jan. 6 hearing, defeated as Trump-backed candidates surge in Arizona

This post was originally published on this siteTrump’s sway among Arizona Republicans appears intact as his picks for governor, Congress, Arizona attorney general and secretary of state pull ahead.     

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OPEC+ meeting to test Biden’s Saudi oil entreaty

OPEC+ meeting to test Biden’s Saudi oil entreaty

This post was originally published on this site The OPEC+ group of major oil exporters meets Wednesday to discuss its output strategy after US President Joe Biden lobbied Saudi Arabia to boost production to tame energy-fueled inflation. The cartel led by Saudi Arabia and Russia has resisted US pressure to...

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Takeaways from primaries in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Arizona

Takeaways from primaries in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Arizona

This post was originally published on this siteA surprise show of support for abortion in Kansas, and election deniers in Arizona have a good night.

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Percent of Americans without health coverage hits new low

Percent of Americans without health coverage hits new low

This post was originally published on this site The proportion of the US population with no health insurance in the United States reached a new low in early 2022 at eight percent, President Joe Biden’s administration said Tuesday. The rate of uninsured people began to fall sharply after the Affordable...

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What is the Inflation Reduction Act?

What is the Inflation Reduction Act?

This post was originally published on this site Last week US Senator Joe Manchin and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer unexpectedly announced the reconciliation bill that had been declared dead was back. US Senator Kyrsten Sinema and various conservative Democrats could still decide to blow it up. But if all goes...

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A Senate proposal would give CFTC responsibility for policing bitcoin, ethereum

A Senate proposal would give CFTC responsibility for policing bitcoin, ethereum

This post was originally published on this siteOversight of the remaining cryptocurrencies would be divided between the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Should Pelosi have gone to Taiwan?

Should Pelosi have gone to Taiwan?

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) officially landed in Taipei, Taiwan Tuesday evening, prompting outrage (and even a military show of force) from Chinese officials. Furious the speaker of the House is using her trip to Asia to diplomatically engage with a territory Beijing considers its own, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has claimed the visit damages “the political foundation of China-U.S. relations,” “seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” and “gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” it said in a statement released after she landed. And it’s not like Beijing didn’t know the speaker was coming —  such a Taiwan stopover has been speculated about for weeks. But at the end of the day, however, should Pelosi even be doing this? Do the pros of her visit, slated to end Wednesday, outweigh the cons? Here’s a taste of what experts and pundits have to say about the island expedition, the first for a House speaker in 25 years:
Think of Ukraine
For starters, Pelosi’s visit risks further complicating the war in Ukraine, especially considering U.S. attempts to ensure China’s neutrality. Beijing and Moscow are allies, but the Biden administration has, “by all indications,” successfully convinced the former to hold off on providing Russian President Vladimir Putin with military aid that might perhaps bolster the chances of his invasion. “Given all of that,” Thomas Friedman argued in The New York Times, “why in the world would the speaker of the House choose to visit Taiwan and deliberately provoke China now … ?”
The Ukraine war is “SO not over, SO not stable, SO not without dangerous surprises that can pop out on any given day,” Friedman continued. “It is Geopolitics 101 that you don’t court a two-front war with the other two superpowers at the same time.”
Think of China, too
Not only might the trip exacerbate the war in Ukraine, it could also serve as the “single spark that ignites the “combustible situation” between the U.S. and China, Bonnie Glaser of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and Zack Cooper of the American Enterprise Institute wrote for the Times.
“Neither side needs a war. And from a U.S. strategic standpoint, this is a particularly bad issue to pick a fight with China over,” they said.
Plus, will this even help?
Meanwhile, one also has to wonder what Taiwan might get out of all this attention. Yes, it’s true the visit from Pelosi will likely signal U.S. support for the island, but outside of that, how does Taiwan benefit, if at all?
“Other than grandstanding, there are no tangible benefits attached to Pelosi’s visit,” Defense Priorities fellow Daniel DePetris wrote for Time. “The costs, however, will be a U.S.-China relationship that continues to travel down the path of a full-blown strategic rivalry, where responsible competition and dialogue are increasingly viewed by both sides as a sign of weakness.”
Writing for the Los Angeles Times, political science professor Dennis Hickey appeared to share DePetris’ attitude: “It is difficult to understand how a Pelosi trip would help Taiwan. If the dispute over Pelosi’s travel plans spirals out of control, the biggest loser will be Taiwan.” 
Instead of “high-profile but ultimately empty visits,” added the Financial Times Editorial Board, the U.S. “should in future focus on carefully-coordinated actions that have genuine value in shoring up Taiwan’s security,” like bolstering weapons supplies and training.
It’s a gamble, but it’s her right
Pelosi’s visit puts the Biden administration in a tough spot — even if White House officials preferred she hadn’t gone, urging her to cancel the trip could’ve played right into Beijing’s hands and convinced them they won the stand-off. And President Biden couldn’t come right out and publicly encourage the speaker to delay either, lest he look too wishy-washy on Taiwan. Ultimately, the best-case scenario may have been some sort of compromise between Pelosi and the Biden team — but either way, the speaker has every right to fly to Taiwan and every right to visit the island, posited Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin.
“In democracies, the people and their representatives can visit other democracies whenever they want, without being punished by neighboring dictatorships,” Rogin wrote. “That’s a strength, not a weakness, of free societies.” 
She should have gone eventually — but maybe not now
Pelosi has both a right and an obligation to “express solidarity with democratic Taiwan as she sees fit,” The Washington Post Editorial Board argued, but “[t]here is a time and a place for everything.” And that moment was … maybe not right now. It probably won’t be soon, either, “but it should be eventually, when her presence will do the most to support Taiwan’s legitimate aspirations and the least to reinforce China’s illegitimate bullying.”
Arguing somewhat similarly, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board opted to address not the timing of Pelosi’s visit but instead how it underscores the need to better address and handle Taiwan as a “U.S.-China flashpoint.” Regardless of how the speaker’s trip plays out, “China’s military threats show that the status of Taiwan and its protection are fast becoming emergencies,” the board said. For the U.S., the “best response” here would be “at long last” to take the defense of the island “seriously.”

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Sinema leaves Democrats in suspense

Sinema leaves Democrats in suspense

This post was originally published on this siteSen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has Democrats and Republicans on the edge of their seats. With the clock ticking down to the August recess, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) desperately wants to pass a bill that would tackle climate change and make significant...

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