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Greener Pastures: “This is going to be the New Deal, the Great Society, the moon shot, the civil-rights movement of our generation,” Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said of a climate-policy proposal that’s recently gained momentum in the Democratic Party. The so-called Green New Deal sets targets for cutting American carbon emissions and promises to secure jobs for Americans, from making electric vehicles to retrofitting coastal infrastructure, in a nationwide turn toward this new industry. What makes this policy different, and perhaps more promising, than attempted climate bills in years past?
Power Move: Something is off in the state of Wisconsin. The state’s GOP passed legislation to hobble the powers of the incoming Democratic governor Tony Evers, who defeated Scott Walker in last month’s midterm elections. Republican lawmakers also scaled back early voting in the state, and nudged more power back into the Republican-controlled legislative branch, away from the Democrat-controlled executive branch. What are the implications for Wisconsin voters?
For two months, Russia embarked on a Kremlin-backed, crowdsourced campaign to rename 47 airports after Russian historical figures, in an effort to answer a more existential question: What is Russia’s identity, exactly, and what does it mean to be Russian?
The project, approved by Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, began as President Vladimir Putin faced his lowest approval ratings in six years, stemming from his unpopular pension-reform plan, which raises the age of retirement by up to eight years. Rallying Russians around a nationalistic project that purports to give ordinary citizens a degree of political autonomy might be just what Putin needs.
“It was important for the Kremlin to redirect the attention of the general public away from issues like ‘economic development’, ‘corruption’ and ‘general frustration’ to something neutral,” Anton Barbashin, an editor at an online Russian-affairs journal, said in an email. Renaming airports could be, he added, something “entertaining and seemingly important.” …
Another, more cynical motive was behind the project. Its website said that it would operate on the principle of “one vote - one airport - one name,” giving Russians the sense of participating in an important democratic process. But, Barbashin added, “much like with Russian elections, there is a state filter that determines if the candidate is eligible.”