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[阅读小分队] 【Native Speaker每日训练计划】No.2848 文史哲

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发表于 2020-7-23 12:00:09 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
内容:Smiling Sima 编辑:Smiling Sima

Wechat ID: NativeStudy  / Weibo: http://weibo.com/u/3476904471
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Part I: Speaker


Timeline The Unraveling Of U.S.-China Relations

By John Ruwitch and Nishant Dahiya
July 22, 2020
Heard on All Things Considered

[Rephrase: 4:21]




Source: NPR
https://www.npr.org/2020/07/22/893767828/timeline-the-unraveling-of-u-s-china-relations




Part II: Speed




Two Trump Judges Broke Ethics Rules to Stop Up to 1 Million Floridians From Voting in November
Senate Democrats are demanding to know why

By MARK JOSEPH STERN
JULY 22, 2020

[Time 2]
A breach of judicial ethics may have prevented up to 1 million Floridians from voting in November. On July 1, a federal appeals court lifted an order that had blocked Florida from imposing a poll tax on people convicted of felonies. The U.S. Supreme Court then declined to step in. If two judges appointed by President Donald Trump had complied with the judicial Code of Conduct, Florida’s discriminatory and unworkable poll tax might well have remained blocked through Election Day. And Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are now demanding that these judges explain their justification for flouting their ethical duties.

The two judges in question, Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck, have served on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since late 2019. Trump elevated them to the 11th Circuit from the Florida Supreme Court, where each had served for less than a year. During their brief time on the state court, the justices heard a case about a constitutional amendment passed in 2018 that restored voting rights to Floridians who had been convicted of a felony. The amendment granted suffrage to individuals who have completed “all terms of their sentence including parole or probation.” Florida Republicans then dramatically limited who could benefit by requiring ex-felons to pay all court-imposed fines and fees before regaining their right to vote. Their scheme essentially imposed a poll tax—or, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor later put it, a “voter paywall.”
[238 words]

[Time 3]
Because Florida funds its criminal justice system by charging defendants a mind-boggling array of fees, this paywall would prevent a huge number of people from voting in 2020. Between 750,000 and 1.1 million Floridians are believed to have court debt, though the state does not keep track of these records and cannot identify how much money most individuals actually owe. To shore up the scheme’s legality, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis—a vocal opponent of the voting rights expansion—asked the Florida Supreme Court to provide a definitive interpretation of the law.

The Florida Supreme Court held oral arguments on the matter, in which Lagoa and Luck energetically participated. Lagoa was particularly combative: Sounding more like an advocate than a jurist, she repeatedly argued that voters understood the amendment to encompass court fines and fees. At one point, she even read aloud a Miami Herald op-ed that allegedly supported her position. “I have reams here of op-ed pieces and editorials from different papers all over the state of Florida,” Lagoa proclaimed, “that made it clear” the amendment included fines and fees.

But neither Lagoa and Luck ever formally ruled in the case. They joined the 11th Circuit shortly before the Florida Supreme Court handed down its decision in January declaring that the state constitution permitted a poll tax on ex-felons. Nonetheless, both judges almost certainly discussed the case with their colleagues and voted on the outcome. Moreover, one or both judges may have participated in the initial stages of drafting the opinion.

Judges who have participated in a case are required by the judicial code of ethics to recuse themselves from hearing related matters. But Luck and Lagoa, newly appointed to the 11th Circuit, got another chance to weigh in on Florida’s law. After the state Supreme Court handed down its ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that the poll tax violated the federal Constitution by conditioning the right to vote on wealth.
[323 words]

[Time 4]
Hinkle also found that Florida had no idea how much court debt was owed and no way to find out. In response, he crafted an injunction that ensured formerly incarcerated Floridians could vote if they were too indigent to pay court fines and fees or if the state could not say how much they owed. Hinkle’s ruling had huge implications for the November election: If upheld, it could grant roughly 1 million Floridians access to the ballot box, potentially turning the swing state blue.

But Hinkle’s ruling was not upheld. Instead, the 11th Circuit blocked it by exploiting an exceptionally rare procedural maneuver. In the federal judiciary, virtually every appeal is heard first by a three-judge panel; occasionally, the full court, sitting en banc, reviews a case first heard by a panel. This time, though, the 11th Circuit agreed to hear the case en banc first, bypassing the three-judge panel entirely. In the process, the full court swept away Hinkle’s injunction without any explanation.

When a court manipulates procedural rules to alter the composition of a swing state’s electorate in the runup to a presidential election, it had better be on sound ethical footing. The 11th Circuit was not. Given the composition of the court, it’s likely that Lagoa and Luck cast the decisive votes to lift Hinkle’s injunction.

Their participation is deeply troubling. Federal law requires a judge to recuse from “any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” And under the Code of Judicial Conduct, judges must recuse from a case when they have “participated as a judge (in a previous judicial capacity)” at “other stages of litigation.” Lagoa and Luck plainly “participated” in the litigation around Florida’s poll tax at “other stages of litigation”: They heard arguments about the proper interpretation of the law upon which the federal dispute turns. Their impartiality can certainly be questioned in light of their pontifications about the poll tax scheme on the Florida Supreme Court. Thus, both should have promptly recused from the federal case.
[336 words]

[Time 5]
The 11th Circuit still has to hear arguments and decide this case on the merits. The plaintiffs have urged Lagoa and Luck to recuse themselves from further consideration of the case. All 10 Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee also sent both judges sharp letters on Tuesday demanding an explanation for their non-recusal. These letters noted that Luck told the committee he would recuse “from any case where I ever played any role.” Lagoa promised to “recuse myself from any case in which I participated as a justice on the Supreme Court of Florida.” There is no real question that the federal challenge to the state’s poll tax is a case “involving” the Florida Supreme Court’s decision on the matter.

Unfortunately, no reliable mechanism exists to force either judge’s recusal. The federal judiciary largely relies on appellate judges to police their own ethics. Most do follow the rules; in fact, two judges on the 11th Circuit recused themselves from the en banc vote: Robin S. Rosenbaum, a Barack Obama appointee, and Andrew Brasher, a Trump appointee. Rosenbaum did not explain her recusal but presumably has a relationship with one of the many lawyers on the case. Brasher did not participate in the en banc vote because he had joined the court just hours before. He has since recused himself from the case altogether because his former employer, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, filed an amicus brief.
[237 words]

[Time 6]
If Lagoa and Luck had recused too, the court would’ve been divided 4–4 between Democratic and Republican appointees. The deadlocked court would have left Hinkle’s injunction in place as the case progressed through the normal appeals process. That process would have taken months, and the court probably wouldn’t have reached a decision by November. As a result, Floridians with outstanding fines and fees could still have participated in the upcoming election.

If the 11th Circuit had kept Florida’s poll tax on ice, perhaps the Supreme Court would have stepped in to reinstate it. Or maybe the justices would have hesitated to reverse the appeals court and take ownership of the mass voter suppression that would follow. Either way, at least Floridians would know that the judges respected minimal ethical standards. But Lagoa and Luck have simply waved those standards away. They have tainted this litigation with their own ethical breaches, making it even more difficult to swallow the 11th Circuit’s peculiar and disturbing treatment of this case.
[168 words]

Source: News and Politics
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/07/11th-circuit-florida-fines-fees-judicial-ethics.html





Twitter Is Finally Going After QAnon

BY ELLIOT HANNON
JULY 22, 2020

[Time 7]
Twitter announced Tuesday the social media platform has removed thousands of accounts associated with QAnon, a conspiracy-minded collective that spreads ludicrous, unfounded theories online. Twitter said the removal of 7,000 accounts is part of a broader push to eradicate QAnon content that has unfortunately picked up a more mainstream following on the right. The web of QAnon conspiracy theories is based on the belief that an anonymous insider in the American government is leaving bits of information about sweeping, nefarious Deep State plots against Donald Trump and the United States. The conspiracies pushed by QAnon-associated online trolls have taken many evolving forms, though usually pro-Trump in some tangential way, often accusing a vague global cabal of generalized pedophilia or murderous plots. Adherents to QAnon believe life is one big cover-up for something far more sinister that they alone are piecing together online to expose the rich and powerful’s truth-subverting acts ranging from government overthrow to coronavirus vaccine conspiracies. You can see where this is going.

While conspiracy peddling started online, its boundaries have worringly bled into real life, ultimately prompting Twitter to act. “We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm,” the company announced Tuesday. “In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called ‘QAnon’ activity across the service.” QAnon shirts and placards started showing up at Trump events. The FBI has tabbed the group a potential threat to commit acts of domestic terrorism, but the group has flourished and its absurdist claims have been amplified with an elite-level conspiracy theorist in the Oval Office. A slew of Republican candidates claiming QAnon affiliation is now running for office in 2020, including the GOP’s Senate candidate in Oregon. There will almost certainly be a QAnon believer in the next Congress. In response, Twitter said it is cracking down on QAnon content, including the myriad of accounts that are used to amplify its messages, often resulting in its outlandish theories landing on the site’s trending topics, making them much more visible to average users.

“We will permanently suspend accounts Tweeting about these topics that we know are engaged in violations of our multi-account policy, coordinating abuse around individual victims, or are attempting to evade a previous suspension—something we’ve seen more of in recent weeks,” Twitter said. “In addition, we will:
1. No longer serve content and accounts associated with QAnon in Trends and recommendations;
2. Work to ensure we’re not highlighting this activity in search and conversations;
3. Block URLs associated with QAnon from being shared on Twitter.” Twitter told NPR that it expects the effort will impact more than 150,000 accounts all told.
[451 words]

Source: News and Politics
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/07/twitter-removing-qanon-content-ban-accounts-conspiracy-theory.html




Part III: Obstacle





Break Up the Department of Homeland Security
Trump has turned a Bush-era bureaucratic blunder into his personal goon squad.

BY FRED KAPLAN
JULY 22, 2020

[Time 8]
Many lessons and warnings can be drawn from President Trump’s dispatch of heavily armed federal agents to put down protesters in Portland, Oregon, but one of them is that it’s time to bust up the Department of Homeland Security.

The DHS was a sham from the get-go. It was the brainchild of Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who proposed the new department in late 2001, just after the 9/11 attacks, as a way of showing that the Republicans in the White House weren’t the only ones trying to tackle terrorism. President George W. Bush opposed the idea, seeing it as burdening the government with another bureaucratic layer. But then, the 9/11 Commission hearings revealed that al-Qaida succeeded in toppling the World Trade Center in part because the FBI, CIA, and other agencies hadn’t shared intelligence about the hijackers’ movements prior to the attack. Coordination and consolidation were suddenly seen as nostrums to our problems.

So, under pressure, in late 2002, Bush signed Lieberman’s idea into law. DHS wound up subsuming 22 agencies from eight federal departments—with a combined budget of $40 billion and a payroll of 183,000 employees—into one hydra-headed behemoth.

Ironically, the agencies that had mishandled intelligence before 9/11 were not included in this roundup. The CIA and FBI were powerful enough to retain their independence, though they did strengthen or create counterterrorism bureaus and tighten lines of communication. Instead, the components of DHS—FEMA, the Secret Service, the Coast Guard, various immigration and customs bureaus, and a Pentagon agency devoted to cybersecurity, among others—had been performing distinct functions. Piling them into one entity didn’t make fighting terrorism, or performing any other mission, more efficient.

In fact, it made the government less efficient. For instance, before the consolidation, the head of FEMA had been a Cabinet-level official—a member of the National Security Council who attended interagency meetings and enjoyed direct access to the president. Now this official is an undersecretary of DHS. The secretary of DHS can closely follow only a few of the dozen or so issues the department covers. If emergency management is one of the top priorities, then that particularly undersecretary at least has indirect access to the top; if it isn’t, the mission goes largely ignored. This may have been one reason the Bush administration responded so sluggishly to the great natural disaster of 2005, Hurricane Katrina.

Before DHS, the jobs of U.S. Customs and Border Protection—which is supplying most of the men brandishing heavy arms and firing tear gas at the protesters in Portland—were handled by two separate agencies: U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services. These were independent, fairly professional agencies, with clear authority over limited jurisdictions. Now, fused into Customs and Border Protection and shunted into DHS, it’s a large law enforcement agency with a mandate as narrow or as broad as the secretary of homeland security decides. And since the current secretary, Chad Wolf, is an acting secretary, whose nomination has not been submitted to the Senate and who therefore has no accountability to Congress or the public, the CBP’s armed agents can behave as Trump’s goon squad.

Is what they’re doing in Portland illegal? Probably. Who will order them to cease and desist, or block Trump from sending similar troops to cities across America, as he has threatened to do? We will see.

In any case, Trump would have had a hard time doing this if DHS didn’t exist. The head of CBP—or the heads of customs and INS, if they were still independent agencies—would not have been so wide open to political pressure from the White House and might have resisted such pressure on the grounds that quelling disorder in American cities (if there is disorder) doesn’t fall within those agencies’ purview.

There are already federal bodies, outside the DHS, that are mandated and trained to help control urban crime, if called upon to do so. The FBI can step in to investigate or stop violations of federal law. The Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives can stop the illegal sale of guns.* But that’s not what Trump is doing in Portland. He says he has unleashed the DHS troops to stop protesters from vandalizing federal buildings and statues—acts that hardly justify a quasi-military response in any case.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has expressed worries about this response. “There are some law enforcement that wear uniforms that make them appear military,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said on Tuesday. “The secretary has expressed a concern of this, within the administration, that we want a system where people can tell the difference.”

Esper has been dissociating himself from some of Trump’s actions ever since protests began, two months ago, over the police killing of George Floyd. He ordered active duty armed forces, who had been deployed near Washington, to return to their home bases. More recently, he banned the display of Confederate flags from U.S. military facilities and has said he’d be open to renaming the 10 Army bases currently named after Confederate generals—a now-popular demand that Trump ardently opposes. (Trump has said he would veto this year’s defense authorization bill if it orders a renaming. The House has passed a bill that does that; the Senate bill, to be voted on soon, contains a similar measure.)

A more explicit establishment critique of Trump’s actions in Portland comes from Tom Ridge, former Republican governor of Pennsylvania and—more pertinent—Bush’s first secretary of homeland security. In a radio interview on Tuesday, Ridge said that DHS “was established to protect America from the ever-present threat of global terrorism. It was not established to be the president’s personal militia.”

The department was never well designed to perform the former mission, and it’s easy enough for an autocratic president, like Trump, to use it as the latter. It’s time to tear it apart.
[984 words]

Source: News and Politics
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/07/department-homeland-security-portland-border-patrol.html

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发表于 2020-7-24 00:31:29 | 显示全部楼层
OBSTACLE:9.37
解散祖国安全部门
许多教训和警告可以从川普总统让军队镇压反对者中得到,也许是时候关闭祖国安全部门了。介绍了DHS的起源,说明一开始BUSH是反对成立DHS的,但迫于压力在2002年统一成立DHS。但讽刺的是,DHS的功能性并不好,让政府变得没效率,说明了原因。在DHS之前,CBP是独立,公平专业的,但现在成了川普的打手。如果没有DHS,川普很难做到打压波特兰反抗者。在DHS之外,已经又能处理波特兰事件的联邦主体了,但川普却没利用这些主体,而是动用准军事手段回应,国防部长ME对这种回应是担忧的,对川普更明确的批评来自TR,这个部门失去了最初设计的任务,容易成为总统的独裁工具,是时候解散了。
发表于 2020-7-24 01:25:42 发自手机 Web 版 | 显示全部楼层
T2 1:16
T3 1:37
T4 1:22
T5 1:14
T6 43‘
Obstacle 5:01
发表于 2020-7-24 11:03:35 | 显示全部楼层
Two Trump judges broke ethics rules to stop up to 1 million Floridians from voting in November
[Time2]2’45
[Time3]2’41
[Time4]3‘04
[Time5]1’27
[Time6]1’04

Two judges who were appointed by Donald Trump were required to explain their justification for flouting their ethical duties to pass a policy which imposed a poll tax on Floridians. Because of the complicated criminal justice system in Florida, nearly 1 million Floridians are believed to have court debt, which means that they are unable to vote in the election under such a policy. Hinkle came up with a injunction to address such a problem but failed. The passage holds a critical attitude to the two judges’ behavior.

Breach: broken promise/rule 违反承诺/违反规定
Felony: serious crime which can be punished by one or more years in prison
Flout: to intentionally not obey a rule, law, or custom 无视,违背
Suffrage: the right to vote in an election, especially for representatives in a parliament or similar organization
Grant suffrage
Ream: reams of sth 大量
Indigent:贫穷的
Recuse: to remove (oneself) from participation to avoid a conflict or interest
Injunction : an official order given by a court of law, usually to stop someone from doing sth
Combative: eager to fight or argue
发表于 2020-7-25 21:51:41 | 显示全部楼层
Speaking:
it was really short on detail
getting tough on China as one of its pillars
It's reacted often in kind but mostly with restraint.
doubled down on the idea
bipartisan
paramount
OB:
bust up
The DHS was a sham from the get-go
brainchild
succeeded in toppling the World Trade Center
wound up subsuming
Piling them into one entity
shunted into DHS
to cease and desist
to cease and desist
发表于 2020-7-26 16:40:10 | 显示全部楼层
T2:1'29''
T3:2'12''、
T4:1'40''
T5:1'00
T6:57''
T7:2'01''
conspiracy:阴谋
ludicrous:可笑的,荒谬的
plaintiffs:起诉人,原告
发表于 2020-7-27 22:54:30 发自手机 Web 版 | 显示全部楼层
OB: 8’46
发表于 2020-7-28 22:26:39 | 显示全部楼层
T2: 2'05
T3: 2'53
T4: 3'10
T5: 2'14
T6: 1'32
发表于 2020-8-2 14:54:49 | 显示全部楼层
T2 1'56
T3 2'01
T4 2'27
T5 1'45
T6 00'51
T7 3'24
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