The push to protect cops and other commentary

Eye on Albany: The Push To Protect Cops

With many now calling for reforms to ease public access to police discipline records, The Empire Center’s Ken Girardin points out that for years New York’s Legislature has sought to make it harder to discipline officers at all. Just last year, the state Senate unanimously passed a bill to “make the final determination of disciplinary penalties a subject of collective bargaining.” Police unions have been pushing for such measures ever since a 2006 ruling by the state’s top court affirmed “the New York City police commissioner’s ultimate power over disciplinary matters in the NYPD.” Govs. George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson and Andrew Cuomo have all vetoed proposed laws “to make all stages of police discipline a mandatory subject of collective bargaining.” The police union’s 2019 attempt even won the support of progressives like Sen. Zellnor Myrie; the latest version is sponsored by Sen. Andrew Gounardes.

Radical watch: Antifa Grabs Its Opportunity

Radicals in “the extreme anarchist-communist” group antifa took the George Floyd as a pretext to “push their ambitious insurgency,” warns Andy Ngo at The Spectator USA. Soon after the Floyd video began circulating on the Web, “militant antifa cells across the country mobilized,” first to Minnesota and then to cities all over the nation, leaving “smoldering ruins where businesses once operated.” Local police and the National Guard have “struggled to respond.” These militants want “the breakdown of society” and don’t “care who or what has to be destroyed in the process” — and, because of the pandemic, see “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to exploit an economically weakened America.” We must stop underestimating “the training and capability of left-wing extremists,” Ngo urges: The United States “is not invincible.”

Science desk: The US Reenters the Space Race

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Saturday launch of two astronauts made history, cheers The National Post’s Matt Gurney: It was “the first time NASA used a private company,” SpaceX, as “a transportation provider.” Since 2011, Americans have depended on “Russian cooperation for access to orbit” — something this launch ends, “hopefully for good.” SpaceX’s plans were “the stuff of sci-fi only a few short years ago,” but the company has now shown that private business is “capable of launching paying customers into orbit.” Thanks to this success, the moon is “in reach” again, and Mars — and “beyond” — is “an ever more realistic goal.” For now, “the US is back in the business of crewed spaceflight, with realistic hope of a new space age on the horizon.”

Campaign beat: Joe Biden’s Hard Left Turn

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden offered “familiarity and experience rather than radicalism” during the primaries — but now, Newsweek’s Steve Friess points out, he’s calling for “the boldest, most ambitious proposals” ever to “reshape the US economy.” Biden wants “trillions in new spending,” new “regulations on banks and industry” and “devil-may-care deficits,” among other “progressive agenda items.” Recently, he started invoking President Franklin Roosevelt, who responded to the Great Depression with the “bold, unprecedented initiatives” of the New Deal. Biden is counting on Americans wanting “dramatic New Deal-like ideas” to “restore the country to economic health” after the coronavirus crisis. It all adds up to “the most liberal platform in the history of the Democratic Party.”

Election monitor: A Mostly Mail-In November

The flap over Twitter’s flagging of President Trump’s tweets on mail-in ballots obscures the main facts, John McCormack reports at National Review. “Twenty-nine states already have no-excuse absentee voting,” including battlegrounds Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona. In April’s Wisconsin Democratic primary, “only one-quarter of voters cast ballots in person on Election Day.” Virus fears this fall likely mean “the overwhelming majority will choose early mail-in or curbside voting.” But that won’t “necessarily hurt Republicans in November” — indeed, it may be best for GOP-leaning elderly voters. Best to focus on ballot security — and the fight in Congress against “Democrats who want to force states to adopt a uniform policy on how to conduct elections.”

— Compiled by Mark Cunningham & Karl Salzmann

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