Erdogan Leads as Turkish Election Goes to Runoff-The Monday AM Quickie 5/15/23

I have finished all the papers, presentations, and assignments required for my master’s degree in public policy. Feels good.- Robert

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Turkish Election Likely Headed to Runoff

A contentious first-round election between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and opponent Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has produced no clear winner, triggering a runoff in two weeks. As of Sunday evening, Türkiye’s state news agency has Erdoğan just below 50 percent of the vote total with Kılıçdaroğlu at 44 percent, according to Middle East Eye.

Eerily mirroring America’s 2020 election, the vote count itself became a point of conflict. The mayors of Istanbul and Ankara accused Türkiye’s state-run news of reporting results Sunday in a manner that exaggerated Erdoğan’s early lead, according to Politico. It also appears that vote counting may have been purposely slowed in areas thought to be strong for Kılıçdaroğlu. Early-reporting rural areas gave Erdoğan the early lead in the vote tally, while Kılıçdaroğlu regained ground in cities.

An end to Erdoğan’s 21-year rule would mark an epochal shift in Türkiye. Erdoğan has steadily cemented his power over the years while “targeting perceived government critics and political opponents, profoundly undermining the independence of the judiciary, and hollowing out democratic institutions,” according to Human Rights Watch. The Progressive International, despite not directly endorsing Erdoğan's opponent, has stated that defeating Erdoğan is "essential if the country is going to turn away from permanent authoritarian rule."

Erdoğan’s opponent Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, a career bureaucrat, has tried to position himself as an “everyman,” according to the New York Times, promising to leave office after his first term to spend time with his grandchildren. He’s gone after Erdoğan for Türkiye's eye-popping inflation, and blamed him directly for the lax construction standards that contributed to the devastating death toll of February’s earthquake. But Kılıçdaroğlu himself isn't a great humanitarian; he’s pledged to deport the 3.5 million Syrian refugees currently residing in the country within his first two years of office, according to the BBC.

Border Crossings Peak and Fall in Week of Title 42 Expiration

Early last week daily southern border crossings peaked at 10,000 individuals a day before falling to 4,200 by Saturday, according to Customs and Border Patrol data reported by the New York Times. A new rule that makes it easier for CBP to deport asylum seekers may be responsible for lower-than-predicted crossings. Another candidate is a glitchy CBP mobile app for asylum applications the Biden administration rolled out to decrease crowding at the border. Per one migrant quoted by the Times:

“Everybody is trying to cross to the United States, but we have heard that if you cross before your appointment date, it may be considered illegal crossing and it may hurt our case,” Ms. [Osiris Yamilet] Ochoa said as she took a break from selling gum in the streets to buy baby milk for her 8-month daughter, Milagros. “I don’t want to risk it. We have been here for three months. We can wait a few more days.”

The app currently allows for 1,000 appointments to be made daily. I’m no mathematician, but that is wholly inadequate.

E. Jean Carroll May Sue Trump For Defaming Her on CNN

Despite what chumps like Susan Collins think, Trump is incapable of learning any lessons. After being held liable for $5 million for sexual abuse and defamation of E. Jean Carroll, Trump called her story “fake” and “made up” while calling Carroll herself a “wack job” during a CNN town hall. The New York Times reports that Carroll is now weighing whether to file her third lawsuit against Trump.


  • Right-wing Vigilantes Plan to Terrorize Migrant Families at Southern Border These QAnon adherents are targeting humanitarian volunteers who are providing migrants with water. via the Intercept.
  • Biden Calls White Supremacy the Greatest Terrorist Threat to the United States Watch the people who get mad about that statement tell on themselves. via the Washington Post.
  • Private Equity ER Practice Envision Healthcare Files for Bankruptcy The company innovated on surprise billing and understaffing of group homes. Good riddance. via the Prospect.
  • GOP Congressional Staffer is Neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes Acolyte The staffer works as Paul Gosar’s (R-AZ) digital director. via Talking Points Memo.


67 million

That’s how many ARC Automotive airbags were recalled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency said these airbags contain fragments of metal that can injure the driver when these airbags are deployed. via BBC.


5/15: Happy Monday! Sam hosts Kidada E. Williams, associate professor of history at Wayne State University, to discuss her recent book I Saw Death Coming: A History of Terror and Survival in the War against Reconstruction.


USA Officially Declares COVID Emergency Over, But Is It Really?

This pandemic could have been a learning opportunity, but the federal government is determined to dismantle our ability to respond to future pandemics.

EXPLAINED: Who's To Blame For Current Border Crisis As Title 42 Expires?

America’s inhumane immigration system is a bipartisan failure.


“[T]he idea that a Republican president could ban all abortions is not being honest with the American people, any more than a Democrat president could ban these pro-life laws in the states.”

-- Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley explaining why she won’t support a national abortion ban. Notice her objection is merely on procedural grounds, not that it’s a bad idea. via NBC News.

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