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Saturday, June 03, 2017

[Susan] Rice turns back to face Judge Mark Bennett as he enters. The federal courtroom is silent except for the clang of shackles on Rice's wrists and ankles and her muffled sobs. What is surprising -- almost stunning -- is the emotion coming from the bench. Bennett is about to sentence Rice for a crime that she admits committing, one for which she believes she deserves punishment. It's the severity of the punishment that has her and her family flabbergasted -- and the judge frustrated. read more


Monday, May 29, 2017

A deepening budget crisis here has forced schools across the Sooner State to make painful decisions. Class sizes have ballooned, art and foreign-language programs have shrunk or disappeared, and with no money for new textbooks, children go without. Perhaps the most significant consequence: Students in scores of districts are now going to school just four days a week. read more


Friday, May 12, 2017

The White House did not anticipate that the Russian government would allow its state news agency to post photographs of an Oval Office meeting between President Donald Trump, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russia's ambassador to the US, a White House official said.

Photos of Wednesday's meeting, taken by a Russian state news media photographer one day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey amid questions about possible Trump campaign collusion with Moscow, were ultimately posted by Russia's news agency, TASS.


Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Eli Lake, Bloomberg: For the Washington establishment, President Donald Trump's decision to make General H.R. McMaster his national security adviser in February was a masterstroke. Here is a well-respected defense intellectual, praised by both parties, lending a steady hand to a chaotic White House. The grown-ups are back. But inside the White House, the McMaster pick has not gone over well with the one man who matters most. White House officials tell me Trump himself has clashed with McMaster in front of his staff. read more


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tom Nichols, USA Today: Not surprisingly, [Donald] Trump is at this point the most unpopular new president in the history of modern polling. What is bewildering is that at the same time, 96% of Trump voters say they have no regrets about their choice. How can this be? Is it just partisanship, with Americans so divided that they will simply cheer on their own team and stay loyal beyond all rational thought? The wide disagreement among Americans on the president's performance, however, is more than partisanship. It is a matter of political literacy. The fact of the matter is that too many Trump supporters do not hold the president responsible for his mistakes or erratic behavior because they are incapable of recognizing them as mistakes. They lack the foundational knowledge and basic political engagement required to know the difference between facts and errors, or even between truth and lies. read more


Comments

I suspect that the thing that most characterizes conservative/Trump voters is their social intolerance (i.e. their anti-gay, anti-black, anti-hispanic, anti-women, anti-any-religion-other-than-protestant). As a result, dems will not be able to win over those people irrespective of the dems economic message. The best that dems can hope for at the presidential level is to win back the Obama voters that defected to Trump. They can do that with a more inclusive economic message. That message must include a strong anti-free trade component. It must also include a strong commitment to bringing back jobs and/or severely penalizing companies that off shore its manufacturing operations. IOW, steal/beg/borrow from the language of Trump re: trade.

At the congressional level, it is going to be much more difficult for the dems because of gerrymandering. Of course it will be easier in those districts that voted for Clinton yet voted for a republican congress(wo)man. To win over those voters, dems must denounce the use of immigrants taking over high paying jobs (ala H-1B) so that their college educated children can finally move out and start their lives. Dems must also appeal to those residents sense of fairness, the need for sound environmental policies, the need to rebuild relationships with traditional allies. And most importantly, dems must appeal to their need to "save the country" from Trump and Trump enablers. IOW, project onto a democratic challenger, the qualities that people in those districts saw in Clinton.

Finally, in those districts that voted Trump and voted in a republican congress(wo)man, the strategy should be to GOTV. Increase voter registration, knock on doors, provide transport to the polls, etc. Promise to restore sanity to Washington!

To often, problems endured by those that are marginalized within our society are associated with some type of character flaw or behavioral characteristic endemic to their lifestyle, culture, etc. As a result, sufficient resources aren't brought to bear fast enough to deal with the problem before it "infects" those not within the marginalized class. Two examples come to mind: illicit drugs for blacks and HIV/AIDS for gays.

Drugs have ravaged the black community for generations. However, the solution was not more treatment programs. The solution was to get tough on crime; build more jail cells; etc. However, now that we have an opiod crisis, it seems as if not enough can be done to address the issue. A solution for the crisis is not at hand but if media coverage and attention by politicians is any indication, resources will be brought to bear to deal with the problem.

When HIV/AIDS hit, gays and intravenous drug users were dying in droves. Supposedly, people afflicted with the disease were being punished for their bad behavior. Somehow, they were deserving of all the bad things that happened to them. However, as more and more hetersexuals and non drug users became infected, the conversation began to change. Through the lobbying efforts of the gay community and its supporters, scientific and financial resources were finally brought to bear on the problem and now there are treatments that have substantially reduced the death rate. Some (ala Magic Johnson) seem to be living a productive life.

My point is that those who are marginalized should be thought of as "the canary in the coal mine". If something bad happens to the canary, it just a matter of time before it happens to the rest of society. To often in America, the canary gets sick, and society at large hardly notices.

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