Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Get to know Hakeem Jeffries

Gun Rights

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Interesting thread, can also be read here.

David Weigel/Semafor:

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The final lessons of the 2022 midterms

It’s over. The re-election of Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock last week wrapped up the 2022 midterms. A few days later, California actually finished counting ballots, and a recount in Colorado confirmed the narrow victory of Rep. Lauren Boebert.

So, we have new clarity on what turned out to be the strongest midterm election for a party holding the White House in 20 years. There was a national shift toward the GOP, but not everywhere. The red wave was strongest in Florida, New York, and parts of California; it was a dribble, or less, in swing states like Michigan. Here are a few key things we’ve learned.

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Michael Lange/Substack:

The Making of Hakeem Jeffries

From Insurgent Challenger to Insulated Incumbent: A deep dive on the new House Democratic Leader’s storied rise through Brooklyn Politics

Early on, Jeffries allied himself with Rep. Joe Crowley, not only a Congressional colleague, but the Chairman of the infamous “Queens Machine.” Crowley, the House Democratic Caucus Chair, was laying the groundwork to succeed California Rep. Nancy Pelosi as Speaker – either via Pelosi’ retirement, or a direct challenge. A rising star from the neighboring borough, Jeffries was a fundamental building-block to any coalition Crowley hoped to assemble. Given that Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn – the three ranking Democrats above him on the leadership ladder – were a generation older, Crowley was in pole position to benefit from a changing of the guard in leadership.

You all know what happened next.

Crowley’s stunning defeat at the hands of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez marked a watershed moment in Democratic Party politics. Insurgent leftism had broken the door down, causing a tremor that rippled from Junction Boulevard to Capitol Hill – leaving Jeffries, not even six years into his tenure in Washington, with a golden opportunity to fill the power vacuum.

A deep dive, indeed! Very detailed and very interesting!

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John Stoehr/ Editorial Board:

Kyrsten Sinema doesn’t get the credit she deserves

Yeah, she’s annoying. That’s democratic politics for you

Politics is complex and made more complex by the desire for it to be simple. The political discourse around US Senator Kyrsten Sinema is no exception. She drives Democrats crazy! They make her out to be a ghoul. She isn’t, though. That makes the political discourse complex.

Democratic normies have come to believe that Sinema, in cahoots with US Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have time and again “hijacked” the president’s legislative agenda, “forcing major concessions that include changes and cuts to tax, health and climate legislation,” according to Arizona Republic editorial writer Elvia Diaz.

This is taken as obviously true.

This is neither obvious nor true.

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Puts our mostly improving economic news in perspective.

Stephen Witt/New Yorker:

The World-Changing Race to Develop the Quantum Computer

Such a device could help address climate change and food scarcity, or break the Internet. Will the U.S. or China get there first?

Classical computers speak in the language of bits, which take values of zero and one. Quantum computers, like the ones Google is building, use qubits, which can take a value of zero or one, and also a complex combination of zero and one at the same time. Qubits are thus exponentially more powerful than bits, able to perform calculations that normal bits can’t. But, because of this elemental change, everything must be redeveloped: the hardware, the software, the programming languages, and even programmers’ approach to problems.

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Katelyn Jetalina/Substack:

Musk, Fauci, trust in science, and how to make it survive

Any forward-facing scientist can tell you that receiving dangerous messages has been a common occurrence throughout the pandemic. But the hate, resentment, frustration, and anger was crystallized in one instance over the weekend: Elon Musk—the world’s richest man and new owner of Twitter—wrote the post below.

Five words, that were wrong on so many levels, garnered more than 1.17 million “likes,” 177,000 retweets, and international attention in mass media. Anyone who dared to disagree received a wave of truly grotesque comments. Even Musk noticed as he followed up on his original tweet with: “Truth resonates…”

Jennifer Rubin/WaPo:

Pelosi’s blunt talk about abortion rights skewers U.S. bishops

Sitting in the historic Board of Education room at the Capitol where Speaker Sam Rayburn once held court and where then-vice president Harry S. Truman learned that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had died, Pelosi displays more emotion about the abortion issue than almost every other topic: “If there’s one issue that is about disrespect, about turning back the clock on women and their opportunities in life and the rest, it’s this issue.”

She pulls no punches when it comes to the Catholic Church, specifically the American bishops who have for decades fought abortion tooth and nail. “They all have decided when life begins,” she says, but observes that the Catholic Church had debated this issue for centuries. “It’s a women’s rights issue in addition to a women’s health issue,” she insists. “We have to prevail.” She also decries the church’s position on in vitro fertilization. “In vitro fertilization, you’d think they would embrace that, right? That, I don’t get,” she says.

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Jill Lawrence/USA Today:

Black Santa isn’t woke opportunism gone rogue, it’s just good old American capitalism

Republicans think they’re economic geniuses, but too many are hostile to immigration and diversity. That’s a drag on US firms trying to find workers and make money.

The Republican brand is business-friendly, but conservatives often draw the line at corporations they consider “woke.” GOP lawmakers in Georgia punished Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines for ending discounts to the National Rifle Association after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Congressional Republicans tried to punish Major League Baseball when it pulled the All-Star Game from Georgia over voting restrictions.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis punished Disney – famous for its popular “Gay Days” – for opposing a law limiting classroom discussion of LGBTQ issues. He says a new federal law protecting same-sex marriage could encroach on religious liberty and “there was certainly no need” for it. And he’s among many Republicans working to restrict what teachers and corporate trainers can say about race.

And for the record:

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