Morning Links for October 30, 2014.

The South.

  1. Thanks to rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court, the death penalty is being rolled back considerably across the country, according to Matt Ford at The Atlantic. Nowhere is this more evident than Texas, which has executed fewer people this year than it has in the last two decades. While this is a good thing, Texas has still executed ten more people than any government populated by human beings should.
  2. Patrik Jonsson writes in The Christian Science Monitor about the struggles of the Democratic Party in the South, and how the “demography as destiny” argument constantly put forth by strategists is far from reality. The fact remains that you have to put forth policies and rhetoric that suggests you actually care about communities of color before they will consider voting for you. Running candidates that cannot even tell voters whether they supported President Obama in 2012 is not the best way to go about doing that, as small a step as that is.

Labor.

  1. In one more example of the heartless nature of unrestrained capitalism in the United States, Steven Greenhouse at The New York Times discusses fast food wages in Denmark, and how restaurateurs seemingly find a way to pay their workers enough to live on. Amazing to think about all the things the rest of the West can take for granted that workers in the world’s richest nation have to fight tooth-and-nail for.

America.

  1. Andrew Cuomo is taking his lumps today. Good.
  2. One of my friends once told me that every time Charles Barkley opens his mouth, he sets Black folks back 50 years. With comments like these, it is not hard to understand why.

Canada.

  1. Two great stories from Ricochet: the first dealing with the increasing circumscription of abortion in New Brunswick, and the second describing the need for dissenting voices in the wake of the Ottawa shooting. Amazing how much these stories sound like they could have been written in the United States; that should scare everyone living north of the border.
  2. All Fired Up In The Big Smoke has a postmortem on the Toronto elections, followed by a post outlining the hopes that the blog has for the next term of the city council, Mayor-elect John Tory, and the future of Toronto politics. The disappointment is palpable; yet another Tory (party, not individual) as Mayor and the return of Rob Ford to his old council seat would give any leftist or progressive heartburn. But, as the post notes, there was a very diverse group of candidates in the running, and maybe this marks the beginning of a new Toronto: one where its communities are not simply seen, but also heard as well.

The World.

  1. The race for leader of the Scottish Labour Party has begun in earnest, reports Libby Brooks in The Guardian. The leadership contest will feature a candidate from the right of the party (Jim Murphy, an MP thought to be favored by Ed Miliband), the center of the party (Sarah Boyack, former transport minister), and the left of the party (Neil Findlay, shadow health secretary and member of the Campaign for Socialism group). This is really a race for the soul of the Labour Party in Scotland, and the stakes could not be higher: if a candidate from the center or right wins, they would have to take on an ascendant Scottish National Party with a new leader and surging popularity. The next Holyrood election could decide whether Labour can make a comeback in Scottish politics, or whether the SNP will cement their domination for a generation. It is hard to see a Scottish Labour Party that is led by Blairites rising to the challenge.
  2. An American diplomat calls Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit”. The rest of the world replies, “Duh.”