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Vox Sentences: The Yellow Vests set France aflame

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Republicans across the US are trying to exploit lame-duck sessions before they leave office; France is in the midst of its worst riots in 50 years.

The disaster conservatives

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  • Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, is pushing for one last power grab in his final month in office, a move that may signal a larger GOP agitation over newfound Democratic power in some purple states. [The Nation / John Nichols]
  • Shortly after the midterm election, Walker is moving ahead with a sweeping lame-duck agenda, hoping to slash early voting, change the election calendar to favor the GOP, and shrink the power of the state attorney general, an incoming Democrat. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / Molly Beck and Patrick Marley]
  • Another proposed bill would limit the power of Gov.-elect Tony Evers to enact administrative rules that implement state laws. [AP / Scott Bauer]
  • Evers, who narrowly edged out Walker by some 30,000 votes in a key toss-up race for the Democratic Party, and Josh Kaul (the attorney general-elect) both slammed the moves. Evers notably said: “It is an embarrassment for the state and I think we can stop it.” [Madison State Journal / Riley Vetterkind]
  • Marc Elias, a high-powered Democratic attorney who served as general counsel on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and recently traveled to Florida to oversee the recounts in the Senate and governor races, threatened Wisconsin Republicans with a lawsuit, tweeting that they won’t cut early voting “without a fight.” [Twitter / Marc E. Elias]
  • But the Wisconsin GOP is not alone in this effort. Michigan state Rep. Rob VerHeulen introduced a bill to allow the state House of Representatives and Senate to intervene in any legal proceedings involving the state, a task currently taken care of by the state attorney general and governor. Both these positions will be assumed by Democrats come January. [Detroit Free Press / Kathleen Gray]
  • There’s a long history of opposition parties attempting to use lame-duck sessions to advance their agendas. Notably, Wisconsin Democrats unsuccessfully tried to push through public union contracts in 2010 ahead of Walker’s gubernatorial tenure. [Reuters / Joseph Ax]

Anti-Macron sentiment burns through France

  • People in France are rioting over a fuel tax increase that will go into effect on January 1, with some saying this is becoming the nation’s most volatile period of civil unrest since the landmark May 1968 protests. [Vox / Alex Ward]
  • The “gilets jaunes,” so nicknamed for the yellow safety vests protesters sport in the French streets, first emerged earlier this fall demanding a repeal of the green tax on diesel. Now, though, the group has grown and is expanding its platform to seek a higher minimum wage and to hold new elections. [NPR / Jake Cigainero]
  • The protests this weekend drew roughly 136,000 people. In the past month, hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to chant, “Macron quit!” in riots that have led to 412 arrests. [NYT / Alissa J. Rubin]
  • President Emmanuel Macron, who is deeply unpopular among non-urbanites, held a Cabinet security meeting Sunday after his return from the G20 summit in Argentina. He told Europe 1 radio the government is considering imposing a state of emergency. [UPI / Danielle Haynes]
  • Here are the French riots in 17 striking images. [Vox / Alex Ward and Kainaz Amaria]


  • The Grammy nominations announcement has moved to from Wednesday to Friday, December 7, to avoid conflicting with the scheduled memorial services for former President George H.W. Bush. [Pitchfork / Noah Yoo]
  • Spotify may soon allow Android users to import their own music on the streaming app. [Engadget / Jon Fingas]
  • A new vegan milkshake made from hummus is hitting stores, and, well, it’s proving to be a really hard sell. [Twitter Moments]
  • A Dutch court rejected a 69-year-old man’s request to legally change his age to 49, saying he failed to show how he suffered from age discrimination in his everyday life. [AP / Mike Corder]


“I will still have a job in two weeks’ time.” [British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed confidence that she’ll survive the historic Brexit deal vote in an interview with ITV’s This Morning]

Watch this: George Bush’s broken promise that changed the Republican Party

Bush’s pledge to not raise taxes led to repercussions still felt in conservative politics today. [YouTube / Liz Scheltens, Mallory Brangan, and A.J. Chavar]

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