Millenials, beware: Jon Ossoff as a cautionary social media tale

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Jon Ossoff in a campaign attack ad linking him to Al Jazeera. AJC file

Jon Ossoff, the 30-year-old Democratic candidate backed by his party’s top leadership in the Sixth District congressional race, is getting some recognition from his alma mater, Georgetown University.

But is recognition of a cautionary nature. The Hoya, the university’s campus newspaper, points to the Republican use of video that features Ossoff’s Han Solo-like antics:

Georgetown students and those familiar with the university’s culture will likely find these videos innocuous — in fact, they did not appear to dent Ossoff’s 25 percent lead in the polls, which has increased nine percent since the advertisement first ran.  Nevertheless, the release of these videos signals a chilling precedent for millennials, who make up the first generation to seek entry into the political field while contending with the inconvenient staying power of social media.

 

Now we have crossed a threshold where documentation of one’s college experience can be weaponized, ripped from social media, stripped of context and deployed to inflict untold damage on the careers of unsuspecting millennials. There is no telling how many of Georgetown’s future members of Congress, judges and CEOs will be felled by unflattering screenshots saved on their friends’ phones.

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While we’re on the topic, Politico.com says some Democrats are worried that emotional investment in long-shot races could backfire on the party:

The race for Georgia’s Sixth District has suddenly become a focal point, viewed as a chance to send Donald Trump a message by channeling the party’s grass-roots rage, energy and frustration into a single contest. But party leaders are growing increasingly frustrated by the nationalization of this race and another in Montana — and worried about unrealistic expectations in Republican-friendly seats where the Democrats are at a decided disadvantage…

 

“I would caution heavily against resting the entire future of a party on the outcome of a special election,” warned Rebecca DeHart, the Georgia Democratic Party’s executive director.

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Former state Sen. Dan Moody has a second ad on the airwaves in the race for Georgia’s Sixth District. And this one isn’t quite so heavy on the elephant imagery.

See for yourself:

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President Donald Trump hasn’t been afraid to dangle various carrots and sticks in front of House Republicans in recent days in order to get them on board with his health care bill. One of his most recent tactics has included warning GOP lawmakers that they could lose their seats during the next election, as well as the House majority, if they don’t repeal and replace Obamacare.

The message doesn’t seem to trouble David Perdue, one of his top allies in the Senate. The Georgia Republican said Tuesday that Trump is “genuinely trying to listen and find out what it’s going to take to get this deal done”:

“That’s just the demeanor of this president. He wants to get this done. I didn’t hear that as a threat. I think that’s a statement of reality. This is a two-year probation period in my mind for both parties. It’s not a mandate. And so it’s imperative that Republicans, being in the majority in the House and the Senate, move a bill that we can vote on.”

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Count Georgia’s four House Democrats out of the Congressional Black Caucus’ meeting with Trump later today.

Leaders from the group will be huddling with the president to discuss “issues affecting the African-American community, including proposed budget cuts, the ACA repeal and replace bill, education, including HBCUs, criminal justice reform, infrastructure, and economic opportunity for urban and rural communities.”

Spokesmen for U.S. Reps. John Lewis, David Scott, Sanford Bishop and Hank Johnson said the Georgia lawmakers won’t be there — because they aren’t members of the CBC’s leadership team.

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Emory University historian Carol Anderson is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, in the category of criticism, for her 2016 book “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.” From the press release:

Anderson…traces the thread of white rebellion from anti-emancipation revolts through post-Reconstruction racial terror and the enactment of Black Codes and peonage, to the extraordinary legal and extralegal efforts by Southern officials to block African Americans from fleeing repression during the Great Migration. She continues connecting the dots to contemporary legislative and judicial actions across the country that have disproportionately criminalized blacks and suppressed their voting rights.

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Here’s an easy prediction: President Donald Trump’s construction of a wall on our southern border with Mexico will ignite a very hot debate over the federal government’s use of eminent domain. From the Washington Post:

Much of the border, especially in Texas, snakes through farms, ranches, orchards, golf courses, and other private property dating back to centuries-old Spanish land grants. As a signpost to the troubles ahead, the government has still not finished the process from the last such undertaking a decade ago.

 

Trump, in his recent budget proposal, is calling for the addition of 20 Justice Department attorneys to “pursue federal efforts to obtain the land and holdings necessary to secure the southwest border.” The Justice Department would not expand upon the details. Of the department’s 11,000 attorneys, fewer than 20 currently work in land acquisition. Trump’s budget would double that.


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