Too little, too late on R. Kelly… and other commentary

From the best: Sherrod Brown Is Biden’s Biggest Worry

Watch out for Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown: He’s already planning journeys to the early 2020 main states. If he runs, warns The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein, he would current “the most direct threat” to Joe Biden’s potential candidacy. Like Biden, Brown appeals to working-class voters, having received three statewide elections in red-leaning — and election-critical — Ohio. Yet he stays “one of the most liberal members of the Senate” and has “found a way to wrap progressive ideology in the sort of patriotic language often employed by Republicans.” Nor does he have any of the liabilities that put Biden “at odds with the young, energetic liberal wing of the party.” Brown is “far from a slam dunk,” however “if I were on Biden’s team, I would be most worried.”

Foreign desk: France’s Macron Is Making Putin Look Soft

French President Emmanuel Macron’s makes an attempt to appease the Yellow Vest protests have didn’t cease the common eruptions of violence. So now, experiences Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky, he’s “decided to wield a heavier stick.” And that’s elevating eyebrows, since Macron’s new guidelines are more durable than then strategies that Vladimir Putin’s regime makes use of to suppress political opposition. Which is especially ironic, provided that France “is the birthplace of the freedom of assembly,” courting again to shortly after the 1789 revolution. Yet “not even in Russia, however, can police simply put someone on a list of people banned from public protests,” as Macron desires to do. What France wants proper now, says Bershidsky, is “enough manpower and equipment to curb fighting, burning and looting, not the power to search or ban anyone headed to a rally.”

Mideast watch: Israel’s Missing Election Issue

Israel’s election marketing campaign has simply begun, however as Evelyn Gordon notes at Commentary, one key situation is notably lacking: peace with the Palestinians. That will likely shock many Americans, nevertheless it’s develop into “a very low priority for most Israeli voters.” That’s a latest growth — however even these on the left now rank the problem under “corruption and closing socioeconomic gaps.” Fact is, Israelis throughout the board “have stopped believing peace is possible anytime soon,” and understandably so. Because “Israel’s ostensible peace partner, the Palestinian Authority, educates its people to an almost pathological hatred of Israel.” And there are “too many issues where government policy really matters for Israelis to waste their votes on something beyond the government’s power to change.”

Culture critic: Too Little Too Late on R. Kelly

Each day brings new particulars about underage sexual accusations in opposition to R&B singer R. Kelly and yet one more celeb disavowing the music icon. One downside, fees Britt McHenry at The Federalist: “This is a decades-old story. The call to action is, disgustingly, about 15 years too late.” Worse nonetheless, “it’s occurring only after a recent Lifetime docuseries, ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ aired.” Even then, nearly no artists who’d collaborated with him would seem on-camera. (John Legend was the lone exception, calling Kelly a “serial child rapist.”) In the tip, says McHenry, “our society’s distorted concept of fame, hesitation and fear have allowed a man repeatedly accused of being a predator to evade serious repercussions.”

Albany vet: Please Stop Killing Upstate

“Welcome to Albany and congratulations on your victory,” The Albany Times-Union’s Chris Churchill greets new members of the state Legislature. “But before you get too comfortable, we need to talk about upstate New York,” with its “graying towns and languishing cities” racked by joblessness and opioids. The major pink indicator the brand new lawmakers should reverse, Churchill argues, is the flight of residents from the area: “Since the 2010 census, the population has fallen in 42 of the 50 upstate counties.” And the primary offender for that: Democratic lawmakers who “imposed mandates and tax burdens that throttle upstate businesses” and who by no means understood that “while New York City can survive and even thrive under the nation’s highest tax burden, Buffalo and Binghamton and Broadalbin can’t.” Ignore these realities, he warns, and Upstate merely “can’t survive.”

— Compiled by Eric Fettmann and Sohrab Ahmari

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