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Why the New York Coup Matters to You


Have you heard a little about what's happening in the New York Senate, which has suddenly become controlled by the Republicans even though there are more Democrats in the chamber?The internal rules of state senates can be just as complicated and arcane as those of the U.S. Senate, but it seems as though the Republicans called a procedural vote on who controlled the body. At first glance, this vote would seem like a useless endeavor because there are more Democrats then Republicans; a vote to install the Republicans as the minority leaders of the Senate seemed doomed to failure.But wait! The Republicans had a trick up their sleeve. Two tricks, in fact, in the form of Democratic Senators Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens. After weeks of secret negotiating, they voted with the Republicans, putting them in charge of the Senate, despite not having a majority.Why does this matter to people not in New York (or even, really, to people in New York). Well, for one, both Espada Jr. and Monserrate are under investigation, and seemingly close to being jailed (for the mismanagement of a health-care nonprofit and domestic abuse, respectively) and expelled from the Senate. Their political careers are living on borrowed time, and yet they've decided to upset the will of the voters and switch the balance of power-which is their prerogative, surely, but New Yorkers especially should know that these were less votes of conscience and more votes of political expediency; a desperate attempt to gain power and influence before probably going to jail.For the rest of the country, the New York government was set to enact a series of liberal reforms, most prominently legalizing same-sex marriage. It wasn't a given, but it was very close, and it would have added a major state to the list of states where gay people can marry (see our infographic on the subject here). So, if you're pro-same-sex marriage, you should know that a major milestone was just hijacked by two alleged criminals. If you're against it, you have some savvy allies in the New York Senate Republicans, but remember, you've just jumped in bed with a guy who stabbed his girlfriend in the face with a broken glass bottle. Desperate times, I guess.Photo by Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
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Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

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This election cycle, six women threw their hat in the ring for president, but is their gender holding them back? Would Americans feel comfortable with a woman leading the free world? Based on the last election, the answer is a swift no. And a new study backs this up. The study found that only 49% of American men would feel very comfortable with a woman serving as the head of the government. By comparison, 59% of women said they would feel comfortable with a woman in charge.

The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which measures attitude towards women leaders, evaluated the attitudes of those living in the G7 countries as well as Brazil, China, India, and Russia. 22,000 adults in those 11 countries were surveyed on their attitudes about female leadership in 22 different sectors, including government, fashion, technology, media, banking and finance, education, and childcare.

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

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via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

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"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

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Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

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