Thursday Reads: The Tide Has TurnedPosted: October 6, 2016 Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: demographic data, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Mike Pence, Mitt Romney, poll data, Tim Kaine 17 Comments
Following the first presidential debate last week, Hillary is flying high in the polls and many in the media seem to have turned against Donald Trump. I’m reminded of what happened in 2012 after Romney’s “47%” gaffe was revealed. Once you become a laughing stock, it’s hard to change people’s minds. Trump’s loss in that debate may turn out to be his downfall, and now his running mate has his own horrendous gaffe–“That Mexican thing.”
Daily Kos has a great summary of the latest poll data: Daily Kos Elections 2016 forecast: Hillary Clinton’s victory odds now back up to 83 percent.
What a difference a week makes! When we looked at the model on Monday, September 26 (the day of the first presidential debate), Hillary Clinton’s odds of winning were 64 percent. There had been some subtle improvements in the previous week in Clinton’s national polling numbers (as Pneumonia-ghazi started to fade from view) but that hadn’t really trickled down into the state-level polls, which is what our model is based on. By Thursday, September 29, that improvement was starting to filter into the state polls, and our model ticked up to 68 percent … but that was still based only on polls with a pre-debate field period.
On the morning Monday, October 3, we had a few post-debate polls under our belt … and Clinton’s overall odds were up to 72 percent … but we were still left wondering why everything was so quiet on the polling front. By the end of Monday, though, the deluge had arrived, and with one exception (Quinnipiac’s Ohio poll), everything was very good news for Clinton: among others, a Clinton +11 poll from Monmouth in Colorado,another Clinton +11 poll in Colorado from Keating Research, polls from Quinnipiac with Clinton +5 in Florida and +3 in North Carolina, a Clinton +9 poll in Pennsylvania from Franklin & Marshall, a Clinton +3 poll in Nevada from Hart Research, and a Clinton +7 poll in Virginia from Christopher Newport Univ.
It may well have been her single best polling day of the cycle, and by Tuesday her odds had jumped to 82 percent, a one-day gain of 10. That matches the largest single-day gain our model has seen since we started running. That other gain of 10 happened between August 8th and 9th; in case you’re wondering what was happening then, that was the Monday after the Democratic convention ended, when the post-DNC polls started to show up. So you could say that the debate was one of the most momentous events of the campaign: if your metric is the effect it had on our model, she got a convention-sized bounce out of it.
The subsequent days have seen even more strong poll results, most notably two different polls on Wednesday (from Monmouth and Anzalone Liszt) giving Clinton a 2-point lead in Ohio, which isn’t a lot but serves to counteract the Quinnipiac poll that had her down 5. The subsequent polls weren’t enough to really move the model much higher; it currently places Clinton’s odds at 83 percent. But they do continue an impressive little winning streak: out of the several dozen polls of swing states released since the debate, only one of that entire stack had Donald Trump leading (again, that Quinnipiac Ohio poll). And that stack covers every major swing state except Iowa (and Wisconsin, if you even consider that a swing state in the first place).
More details at the link.
What about demographic data?
Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight: Trump’s Doing Worse Than Romney Did Among White Voters.
Donald Trump’s strategy in this campaign has been fairly clear from the beginning: Drive up Republican support among white voters in order to compensate for the GOP’s shrinking share among the growing nonwhite portion of the electorate. And Trump has succeeded in overperforming among a certain slice of white voters, those without a college degree. But overall, the strategy isn’t working. Trump has a smaller lead among white voters than Mitt Romney did in 2012, and Trump’s margin seems to be falling from where it was when the general election began.
Four years ago, Romney beat President Obama among white voters by 17 percentage points, according to pre-election polls. That was the largest winning margin among white voters for any losing presidential candidate since at least 1948. Of course, even if Trump did just as well as Romney did, it would help him less, given that the 2016 electorate will probably be more diverse that 2012’s. And to win — even if the electorate remained as white as it was four years ago — Trump would need a margin of 22 percentage points or more among white voters.
But Trump isn’t even doing as well as Romney. Trump is winning white voters by just 13 percentage points, according to an average of the last five live-interviewer national surveys.1 He doesn’t reach the magic 22 percentage point margin in a single one of these polls.
NBC News: Clinton Holds 41-Point Lead Over Trump Among Asian-American Voters: Survey.
The Fall 2016 National Asian American Survey, taken between Aug. 10 and Sept. 29 in 11 different languages, found that 55 percent of registered voters intended to vote for Clinton compared to 14 percent for Trump. Eight percent intended to vote for a different candidate, and 16 percent had not yet decided, according to the survey. Seven percent of registered voters declined to give an answer.
When taking into account voters leaning one way or the other, Clinton’s lead grows to 43 points, with 59 percent of registered voters intending to or leaning toward voting for Clinton compared to 16 percent for Trump and 16 percent who were undecided or refused to answer.
“The big takeaway is a continuation of what we saw in the Spring 2016 survey— an Asian-American population that was become more Democratic over time,” Karthick Ramakrishnan, the survey’s director, told NBC News. “We see that Trump is likely a significant reason for that shift. Trump’s unfavorables are like nothing we’ve seen before.”
Marc Caputo at Politico: Clinton dominating Trump among Florida Hispanics in new poll.
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 24 points among likely Hispanic voters in Florida, according to a new poll that shows a significant number of Republican Latinos are unsure of their nominee for the White House.
Clinton’s 54-30 percent lead over Trump with Hispanic voters stands in marked contrast to the U.S. Senate race, where bilingual Republican incumbent Marco Rubio is ahead of Democratic U.S. Rep Patrick Murphy by 48-39 percent, a TelOpinion Research survey conducted for the conservative-leaning Associated Industries of Florida business group shows.
Clinton’s huge advantage over Trump is buoyed by strong support among Democrats (whom she carries 75-13 percent) and independents (among whom she wins 61-20 percent) in the poll of 600 likely Latino voters. Trump’s 63-19 percent lead over Clinton among Republican Hispanics could be much bigger, but 14 percent are undecided. That’s double the number of undecided Latino Democrats.
Those numbers worry Republicans because the polls show Trump is already under-performing 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s final margins with Florida Hispanics — yet there’s a month of campaigning left and Clinton is outgunning Trump in paid Spanish-language TV ads that are playing in heavy rotation in the Miami area.
What about the fallout from the vice presidential debate? Immediately after it ended, cable talking heads pronounced Mike Pence the winner because he was able to lie repeatedly in a calm voice. By yesterday his performance wasn’t looking so good.
Abby Phillip at The Washington Post: Clinton debate prep is focused on what happens once the debate is done.
Sen. Tim Kaine may have awakened Wednesday to poor reviews after the first and only vice-presidential debate, but his acerbic performance in Farmville, Va., revealed that the Clinton campaign’s strategy for these debates extends far beyond the stage.
Armed with pre-planned Web videos, television ads and tweets, the campaign has used key debate moments this week and last as a cudgel against the Republican ticket, showing a level of discipline and organization largely absent from Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s campaign.
“Kaine had a very clear and simple plan for the debate: remind a national televised audience of all of the offensive things Trump has said and done in this campaign,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to President Obama. “The Clinton campaign was smart enough to know that who ‘wins’ or ‘loses’ the VP debate doesn’t move votes. Instead it’s an opportunity to communicate a message to a very large audience.”
“I don’t see a single thing that Pence did that moved the needle for Trump in any way,” he added.
And then there was that awful Pence gaffe that many outside of the Latino community didn’t pick up on right away.
Vox: How the Clinton campaign is making #ThatMexicanThing a thing, explained.
Sen. Tim Kaine made a point during the vice presidential debate of reminding the American public of that time Donald Trump called Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers.
“He started his campaign with a speech where he called Mexicans rapists and criminals,” Kaine said, listing Trump’s most controversial campaign statements. “I cannot imagine how Gov. Pence can defend Donald Trump.”
At first, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence responded with a laugh and a shrug — a seemingly implicit defense of Trump implying Kaine’s attack was unfounded (despite the fact that Trump really has said these things). But Pence’s initial lack of response didn’t stop Kaine. He used the same line four times Tuesday night. And by the fourth time, Pence had had enough.
“Senator, you whipped out that Mexican thing again,” Pence retorted. “There are criminal aliens who have come into this country illegally, who are perpetrating violence. He also said, ‘and many of them are good people.’ Sen. Kaine, you keep leaving them out of your quote.”
And then Twitter exploded.
The Clinton campaign also seized on it quickly: www.thatMexicanthing.com now redirects to Hillary Clinton’s campaign website, and Clinton’s campaign is doing its darnedest to make the hashtag #ThatMexicanThing the takeaway from Tuesday’s debate.
It’s an illustration of just how savvy campaigns can be in the face of a losing performance, but it is also a reflection of what Kaine was trying do all night: sink Pence down to Trump’s level.
Vox isn’t so sure the strategy worked, but that’s not what Latino leaders are saying.
You’ve probably seen several videos from Clinton and groups supporting her with clips of Pence denying that Trump said the things he said, but this morning CNN put one out.
I really do think the tide has turned in Hillary’s favor, and the final blow could come in the second presidential debate on Sunday night.
What else is happening? What stories are you following today?
Tuesday ReadsPosted: March 22, 2016 Filed under: Barack Obama, Foreign Affairs, morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: Arizona primary, Bernie Sanders, Brussels attacks, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Idaho caucuses, ISIS, Mitt Romney, Mormon women, Mormonism, Obama in Cuba, Salah Abdeslam, Ted Cruz, terrorism, Utah caucuses 53 Comments
A series of terrorist bombings took place in Brussels, Belgium early this morning just days after the capture of Salah Abdeslam, the last surviving member of the group that perpetrated the attacks in Paris last November. This is a breaking story.
NPR: Terrorist Bombings Strike Brussels: What We Know.
At least 26 people are dead and more than 100 wounded, after explosions struck Brussels during the Tuesday morning rush hour, Belgian officials say. Two blasts hit the international airport; another struck a metro station. Belgium has issued a Level 4 alert, denoting “serious and imminent attack.”
“What we feared has happened, we were hit by blind attacks,” Prime Minister Charles Michel said at a midday news conference Tuesday. He added that there were many dead and many injured.
Citing Minister of Social Affairs and Health Maggie De Block, Belgian media say 11 people died in the airport attack. Transit and other officials say 15 people died at the metro station. Those same sources say there were 81 injured at the airport and 55 hurt in an attack on a train near the Maelbeek station.
French President Francois Hollande says, “terrorists struck Brussels, but it was Europe that was targeted — and all the world that is concerned.”
Obviously, the number of dead and injured could go up as authorities learn more. See live tweets with photos at the link.
Slate is posting updates on a live blog.
Three explosions rocked Brussels on Tuesday morning, killing more than two dozen people and injuring an untold number of others, according to local authorities and reports from the ground. While the cause of the blasts—two at the city’s airport and then one in its subway system about an hour later—remain unknown, officials are treating them as acts of terrorism. The carnage comes only days after Belgium police arrested Salah Abdeslam, the man believed to be the sole remaining survivor of the 10 men who carried out the terrorist attacks in Paris this past November that killed 130 people.
The latest update says “several of the apparent attackers may still at large.”
CNN reports: Brussels eyewitness: ‘A lot of people were on the floor.’
Jef Versele, from the Belgian city of Ghent, was making his way to check-in for a flight to Rome at Brussels Airport Tuesday morning when he heard a loud noise emanating from several floors below him.
“At first I was not aware that it was a bomb,” he told CNN. “I had the idea that an accident had happened in a food court or something like that.”
The explosion set off a panic, with people screaming and running through the terminal, before it was followed by a second explosion, “which was in my eyes much more powerful than the first one.”
The second blast, which blew out windows at the airport and brought ceiling panels down, left people collapsed on the floor and triggered even greater panic.
“It was quite a mess,” he told CNN.
He said although he was two floors above the source of the explosions — at least one of which was a suicide bombing, according to Belgian prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw — many people around him were injured by the blast. He said there about 50 to 60 injured on his level of the airport, while the scenes on the lower levels were worse.
“A lot of people were on the floor. They were injured,” Versele said. “I think I was lucky, I was very lucky. I think I have a guardian angel somewhere.”
More eyewitness accounts at the link. Brussels is now on lockdown, according to the Boston Globe, which is also posting live updates.
President Obama is still in Cuba with his family, but he has been briefed on the attacks in Brussels. The Washington Post: Obama to address the Cuban nation in historic Havana visit.
President Obama will address the Cuban people directly Tuesday, delivering a speech that will be televised live on state television.
The address in Havana’s newly renovated Gran Teatro, before an audience of invited guests of the U.S. and Cuban government, is the keystone event in Obama’s two-and-a-half-day visit to the island. His top advisers said it represented his best chance to outline his vision of the future to ordinary citizens here, and to Cuban Americans at home.
White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters Monday the speech was “important because it’s the one chance to step back and to speak to the Cuban people, and all of the Cuban people,” including “Cubans in the United States.”
One of Obama’s overarching goals in fostering a diplomatic thaw with America’s longtime adversary, Rhodes said, was “reconciliation of the Cuban American community to Cubans here on the island.”
Still, even the speech’s setting spoke to the ongoing challenge the United States faces when it comes to engaging in a public dialogue in Cuba. American officials had originally hoped to do the address in an open-air setting, which would have allowed more ordinary citizens to attend. Instead, the national theater accommodates roughly 1,000 people, and the two governments evenly divided the tickets.
And even as the president seeks to highlight how his approach to Latin America has paid dividends, a series of blasts at Brussels’s airport and a metro station Tuesday served as a powerful reminder that terrorism overseas continues to threaten global stability. The apparently coordinated strikes have killed at least 26 people.
Back in the USA, Arizona is holding a presidential primary today and there will be caucuses in Idaho and Utah. (In Idaho, the Republicans have already voted.) On the Democratic side, Arizona, with 75 delegates, is the biggest prize.
NBC News: Clinton, Sanders in Primary Showdown for Arizona’s Latino Vote.
PHOENIX, Ariz. — Guadalupe Arreola can’t vote in the Arizona primary Tuesday because she is undocumented, so she has spent the last few weeks encouraging Latinos who can to vote for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. On Sunday, she hosted a phone bank at her house. More than 50 people showed up.
“There are people who still don’t know Bernie Sanders, and I want to raise awareness of who he is,” said Arreola, whose daughter Erika Andiola is Sanders’ Latino media spokeswoman.
Martin Hernandez said he likes Clinton’s stance on a number of issues important to Latinos, including healthcare and immigration. An organizing director for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 99, hesaid he especially likes that that she seems to understands the needs of Latino workers.
“I want somebody in the presidency who is going to help workers, especially those in our immigrant community,” he said. “They are the ones who face the most abuse. Many of them are underpaid and their rights are violated by their employers.”
Arreola and Hernandez represent the split that exists among Latino Democrats in Arizona on whether Sanders or Clinton should be the Democratic nominee for president. Both candidates have the backing of prominent Latino leaders, some of whom have appeared in television and radio ads being broadcasted across the state.
I’m not sure if NBC is just trying to make the primary look close or not. According to the Real Clear Politics average, Clinton is leading Sanders in Arizona 53-23, but FiveThirtyEight says there hasn’t been enough polling for them to project a winner. From everything I’ve heard, I think Hillary will win Arizona, and Sanders could win the Iowa and Utah caucuses.
However, there’s a wild card in Utah, according to Al Giordano (from privately distributed newsletter). He says that more and more Mormon women are voting Democratic, and it’s possible they could caucus for Clinton. Mormons absolutely hateand fear Donald Trump, so Giordano argues that it’s even possible that Utah could turn blue in November if Trump is the GOP nominee.
From McKay Coppins (who is a Mormon) at Buzzfeed: Mormon Voters Really Don’t Like Donald Trump — Here’s Why.
So far in 2016, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have proven to be one of the most stubbornly anti-Trump constituencies in the Republican Party — a dynamic that will likely manifest itself in Utah’s presidential caucuses next week.
National polling data focused on Mormon voters is hard to come by, but the election results speak for themselves. Even as Trump has steamrollered his way through the GOP primaries, he has repeatedly been trounced in places with large LDS populations.
In Wyoming, the third-most-heavily Mormon state in the country, Trump was able to muster just 70 votes in the low-turnout Republican caucuses there — losing to Ted Cruz by a whopping 59 points.
In Idaho, the country’s second most Mormon state, Trump lost the primary by 18 points.
And in the Mormon mecca of Utah, the most recent primary poll has Trump in third place — more than 40 points behind Cruz and 18 points behind Kasich.
The pattern holds at the county level as well. As New York Times data journalist Nate Cohn illustrated, the larger the proportion of Mormons in a given county, the worse Trump has generally performed in the primary contest there.
Much more at the link.
Philip Bump at The Washington Post: Why Utah hates Donald Trump (Hint: it’s not just about Mormonism).
Donald Trump is getting crushed in Utah.
First, the state’s adopted son, Mitt Romney, went gunning for Trump for weeks on end, and eventually revealed that he was backing Ted Cruz in the upcoming caucuses. Utah is adjacent to Idaho and Wyoming, where Trump has seen two of his biggest losses so far, both to Cruz. In a poll from Y2 Analytics released over the weekend, Trump comes in third, 42 points behind Cruz. (If Cruz wins more than half of the votes in the state, he gets all of the state’s 40 delegates.)
What’s even more remarkable, though, is that another poll suggested that Trump would lose to either Democrat in Utah in the general election. Utah is, of course, one of the reddest states — if not the reddest state — in the country. “Any matchup in which Democrats are competitive in the state of Utah is shocking,” Brigham Young University’s Christopher Karpowitz said to the Deseret News about that result.
Why? Mormon voters, of course; but polling (see lots of graphics at the link) show that people of any religion who are regular church-goers are more likely to be anti-Trump.
What may be prompting the stiff resistance to Trump, then, isn’t just that Utah is home to a lot of Mormons — it’s that those Mormons are more religious and that religious voters are more likely to view Trump with hostility.
The good news for Trump is that most of the states with the largest groups of regular churchgoers have already voted. Most are in the Bible Belt, as you might expect — a region where Trump did very well. Political beliefs are more complicated than they might appear at first glance. Sort of like religious ones.
It’s an interesting wild card, and something to keep an eye on. I’d certainly expect Jewish voters to be frightened by Trump’s strong-man campaign.
So . . . lots of things happening around the world today. What stories are you following? Dakinikat will post a live blog this evening for us to discuss primary and caucus results.
Friday ReadsPosted: December 11, 2015 Filed under: 2016 elections, Afternoon Reads | Tags: Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Every Child Succeeds, Mitt Romney, No Child Left Behind, Republican Brokered Convention, Senator Al Franken, US Education Reform 9 Comments
There’s actually a bit of good news this week hidden among the atrocities. “No Child Left Behind” has been replaced with “Every Child Succeeds”. That sounds like one replacing one bit of jargon for another. However, there’s some substantive changes and there’s some hope it will be good for teachers, students, and taxpayers.
The testing and accountability regime–which really led to a layer of bureaucracy, massive testing and costs–has been criticized by the education community since its inception. I remember hearing it called “No Teacher Left Standing” by friends teaching in the Public Education system. It’s a function of corporate bureaucrat think which basically frames all situations in terms of no one can be trusted but a report-generating middle man who basically just ensures every one does their jobs based on some really bizarre set of standards invented by Corporate CEOS like Romney, Fiorino and Trump who notably have no clue what they’re doing in their own companies let alone a school system.
Select “educational outcomes” were boiled down to the most base things and it resulted in teaching to a particular test because teachers feared for their jobs. The idea of developing a child’s critical thinking skills, their ability to work with others, and their basic nature of surging, fixating and mastering one content area using a variety of different senses was ignored. As a result, “No Child Left Behind” represented the worst of American Business practices. Trivial outcomes were emphasized. Control was paramount. The humanity of teachers and students was ignored. Bureaucratic managers and unnecessary consultants raked in money as Districts struggled to implement and report results.
Unfortunately, this mindset has also crept into Higher Education and I can tell you that my job has switched from teaching to constantly grading stuff, reporting on outcomes, and paperwork. It’s not a good situation for any one. It creates a really stressful, negative environment too.
Here’s a good basic outline by USA Today on what’s changing. This was a bipartisan effort which has been extremely rare given the pledge by Republicans to thwart any possible Obama-backed law.
No Child Left Behind:
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, signed by President Lyndon Johnson, was a civil rights law that provided education funding to states and attempted to ensure that every student had access to an education. The law would expire every three to five years, requiring Congress to reauthorize it. In 2001, Democrats and Republicans in Congress became increasingly concerned by the growing achievement gaps that left poor and minority students in failing schools, and devised a system of testing and accountability to fix it. “The fundamental principle of this bill is that every child can learn, we expect every child to learn, and you must show us whether or not every child is learning,” President George W. Bush said in the Jan. 8, 2002, signing ceremony.
Every Student Succeeds Act: The new law tries to preserve the spirit of No Child Left Behind, while fixing what were widely perceived as its one-size-fits-all approach.“The goals of No Child Left Behind, the predecessor of this law, were the right ones: High standards. Accountability. Closing the achievement gap,” Obama said Thursday. “But in practice, it often fell short. It didn’t always consider the specific needs of each community. It led to too much testing during classroom time. It often forced schools and school districts into cookie-cutter reforms that didn’t always produce the kinds of results that we wanted to see.”
NPR has some interesting analysis on the law.
The new law changes much about the federal government’s role in education, largely by scaling back Washington’s influence. While ESSA keeps in place the basic testing requirements of No Child Left Behind, it strips away many of the high stakes that had been attached to student scores.
The job of evaluating schools and deciding how to fix them will shift largely back to states. Gone too is the requirement, added several years ago by the Obama administration, that states use student scores to evaluate teachers.
The new law, which passed the House and Senate with rare, resounding bipartisan support, would also expand access to high-quality preschool.
Before the signing, President Obama made clear that he believed the goals of NCLB — namely high standards, accountability and closing the achievement gap — were the right ones. But in practice, he said, the law fell short.
“It often forced schools and school districts into cookie-cutter reforms that didn’t always produce the kinds of results that we wanted to see,” Obama said.
NCLB was signed by President George W. Bush in early 2002 and was, itself, an update of a much older law — the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. While ESSA officially marks the end of the NCLB era, the majority of states have for several years received waivers from the Obama administration, exempting them from some of the law’s toughest requirements.
Minnesota Senator Al Franken was a key supporter and mover for the change. You can see his speech to the Senate encouraging a yes vote on the bill on his web page. Minnesota is a state that is consistently one of the best for educational outcomes and has a vibrant public school system.
Now, this bill is not perfect. But it’s a huge improvement over NCLB. Over the last 13 years, we learned that the one-size-fits-all approach to fixing failing schools wasn’t working. That’s why this bill is designed to find a balance between giving states more flexibility while still making sure that states intervene and fix schools where students are not learning.
Over the last several years, I’ve met with principals, teachers, students, parents, and school administrators in Minnesota. These conversations have helped me develop my education priorities to help improve our schools, our communities, and our nation’s future. I worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common ground, and I’m very pleased that many of my priorities to improve student outcomes and close the achievement gap are reflected in the legislation that is before us today.
These priorities include things like strengthening STEM education, expanding student mental health services, increasing access to courses that help high school students earn college credit, and improving the preparation and recruitment of principals for high need schools. I also successfully fought to renew the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program which provides critical after-school learning activities for students. Another one of my priorities helps increase the number of counselors and social workers in our schools.
And my provision to allow states to use Computer Adaptive Tests will go a long way toward improving the quality of assessments used in our schools and will give teachers and parents more accurate and timely information on their students’ progress.
I was also able to include a new Native language immersion program because I believe language is critical to maintaining cultural heritage and helping Native American students succeed. In addition, I wrote a provision to provide foster children who move to new school districts the opportunity to stay at their current school if it’s in their best interest.
Again, I’m very pleased that these priorities have been included in the legislation we are considering today, and I thank my colleagues for working with me on them. These provisions will help hundreds of thousands of students in Minnesota and across the country reach their full potential.
So one of the most interesting things that has just come out of the battle royale that is the republican presidential primary campaign is the news that a supposed “secret” meeting took place among establishment Republicans like Dick Cheney. There is now official talk of a brokered convention. Establishment Republicans have been concerned about the rise of both Donald Trump and Ben Carson and the incredible chaos that’s occurred because of differences in priorities between insurgent and establishment Republicans. We may be looking at an event that hasn’t happened for some time.
Will there be a contested convention?
Republican officials and leading figures in the party’s establishment are preparing for the possibility of a brokered convention as businessman Donald Trump continues to sit atop the polls in the GOP presidential race.
More than 20 of them convened Monday near the Capitol for a dinner held by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, and the prospect of Trump nearing next year’s nominating convention in Cleveland with a significant number of delegates dominated the discussion, according to five people familiar with the meeting.
Weighing in on that scenario as Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) listened, several longtime Republican power brokers argued that if the controversial billionaire storms through the primaries, the party’s establishment must lay the groundwork for a floor fight in which the GOP’s mainstream wing could coalesce around an alternative, the people said.
The development represents a major shift for veteran Republican strategists, who until this month had spoken of a brokered convention only in the most hypothetical terms — and had tried to encourage a drama-free nomination by limiting debates and setting an earlier convention date.
Now, those same leaders see a floor fight as a real possibility. And so does Trump, who said in an interview last week that he, too, is preparing.
Ben Carson has had a public hissy fit over the news and is threatening to leave the Republican Party.
Ben Carson on Friday blasted the Republican National Committee following a Washington Post report that nearly two-dozen establishment party figures were prepping for a potential brokered convention as Donald Trump continues to lead most polls.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus held a dinner in Washington, D.C., on Monday, and, according to five people who spoke with the Post, the possibility of Trump heading into the Cleveland convention with a substantial number of delegates was a topic of discussion. Some attendees suggested the establishment lay the groundwork for a floor fight that could lead the party’s mainstream wing to unite behind an alternative. Carson rejected this approach.
“If the leaders of the Republican Party want to destroy the party, they should continue to hold meetings like the one described in the Washington Post this morning,” Carson said in a statement released by his campaign.
Carson said he prays the Post’s report is incorrect and threatened to leave the GOP. “If it is correct, every voter who is standing for change must know they are being betrayed. I won’t stand for it,” said Carson, who added that if the plot is accurate, “I assure you Donald Trump won’t be the only one leaving the party.”
The retired neurosurgeon said that next summer’s Cleveland convention could be the last Republican National Convention if leaders try to manipulate it.
“I am prepared to lose fair and square, as I am sure is Donald,” Carson said. “But I will not sit by and watch a theft. I intend on being the nominee. If I am not, the winner will have my support. If the winner isn’t our nominee then we have a massive problem.”
Establishment Republicans fear that Donald Trump–as their presidential nominee–means that Democratic party will have a real chance at taking back the Senate and even the House. The Cook Political Report explains that this might be an overreaction.
To most Republican strategists, there’s no bigger nightmare than Donald Trump as the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2016. This week, just about every Democrat running for president, Senate, House, and their respective campaign committees sought to tie Republicans to Trump and brand them one big bunch of xenophobes. Talk of a down-ballot Republican apocalypse has reached fever pitch.
Even setting aside the remoteness of a scenario in which Trump would face Hillary Clinton in a one-on-one contest, such talk is premature and possibly overblown.
Given Trump’s unpopularity with the electorate overall, there’s a possibility he could end an era of very close and competitive presidential elections and suffer a landslide defeat (by modern standards). But what would that mean down-ballot? If Trump becomes his own radioactive island, GOP candidates in swing districts would have no choice but to renounce him and run far away for cover.
The challenge in assessing their odds for survival in such a scenario is that there hasn’t been a blowout presidential election in a very long time. However, history is on the GOP’s side.
Since 1960, there have only been three elections in which one candidate prevailed by a double-digit margin in a presidential race: Lyndon Johnson over Barry Goldwater in 1964 (by 22.6 percent), Richard Nixon over George McGovern in 1972 (by 23.2 percent), and Ronald Reagan over Walter Mondale in 1984 (by 18.2 percent). In all three instances, Democrats retained control of the House.
Despite the predictable outcome of each of the three landslides, there is scant evidence the losing side’s demoralized voters stayed home in huge numbers or bolted their party en masse down-ballot compared to the previous presidential cycle. In each case, voters seemed to evaluate presidential candidates on a case-by-case basis but stuck with their core party preferences for Congress.
So, if you want some real conspiracy theory/gossip. The establishment plan is to put Mitt Romney into nomination on the floor. (GAG)
With Donald Trump’s ruinous domination of the Republican primary polls showing no signs of abating, top leaders in the GOP are reportedly now preparing for the possibility of a contentious brokered convention next year in Cleveland.
If that happens, a small group of wealthy donors and die-hard loyalists close to Mitt Romney will be ready with a strategy to win him the nomination from the convention floor.
Romney thought seriously about entering the 2016 race earlier this year, and ultimately decided against it. But as I report in my new book, The Wilderness, when the former Republican nominee informed friends, family, and a few close allies late in January that he was going to announce his decision to bow out, some urged him to reconsider:
The Republicans have seriously lost it. All I can say is that Nixon’s Southern Strategy has caused the vultures to come home to roost.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Sunday Reads: Joan Leslie, Workers’ Comp and DubyaPosted: October 18, 2015 Filed under: 2016 elections, A My Pet Goat Moment, morning reads, Republican politics, Tea Party activists, the GOP, worker rights | Tags: Climate change, Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Joan Leslie RIP, Mitt Romney 22 Comments
A few days ago we lost an actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Joan Leslie, who starred in films with James Cagney…Fred Astaire. Gary Cooper, Ida Lupino, and others….(my favorites being Sargent York and The Hard Way.) She was 90 years old.
Joan Leslie, a Hollywood Girl Next Door, Dies at 90 – The New York Times
Joan Leslie, an actress remembered for fresh-faced ingénue roles in movies of the 1940s, including “High Sierra,” “Sergeant York” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” died on Monday in Los Angeles. She was 90.
Her family confirmed the death.
Ms. Leslie, who was known in private life as Joan Leslie Caldwell, began her career in a vaudeville act with her two older sisters. Before she was out of her teens she had become known for film roles including Velma, the young disabled woman with whom Humphrey Bogart falls in love in “High Sierra” (1941); Gracie, the love interest of Gary Cooper in “Sergeant York” (1941), a role she landed on her 16th birthday; and Mary, the bride of George M. Cohan (played by James Cagney) in “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” released in 1942.
The young, red-haired Ms. Leslie was admired by moviegoers for the girl-next-door innocence she brought to the screen.
“In my case, I really was a nice girl; my family sheltered me,” she told The Toronto Star in 1990. “Once, at a reception for exhibitors, Errol Flynn approached me” — he was a notorious roué — “and the photographers clicked away. Studio head Jack Warner was furious. He ordered the pictures destroyed, because it might damage my good-girl reputation!”
Joan Leslie Dead at 90: Starred in Sergeant York, Yankee Doodle Dandy | Variety
Born in Detroit, Michigan on January 26, 1925, Leslie’s career began when her family relocated to Burbank, after Leslie’s older sister Mary was signed to a contract at MGM. Her first role was an uncredited part in George Cukor’s “Camille” at age 11.
After marrying physician William G. Caldwell in 1950, Leslie shifted her focus to family, with occasional appearances on television shows and in commercials.
Leslie died on Oct. 12 in Los Angeles, her family announced. Funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:00 am on October 19 at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church.
On a personal note:
In March 1950, she married William Caldwell, an obstetrician. Their identical twin daughters, Patrice and Ellen, were born on January 7, 1951. Both daughters eventually became doctors.
Leslie was in the business of designing clothes, with her own eponymous brand. William died in 2000. A year later, she founded the Dr. William G. and Joan L. Caldwell Chair in Gynecologic Oncology for the University of Louisville. Leslie was an adopted alumna of the university for over 32 years. She was involved with charity work for the St. Anne’s Maternity Home for more than 50 years.
Joan Leslie dies at 90; actress of Hollywood’s Golden Age – LA Times
In the 1941 film noir classic “High Sierra,” Humphrey Bogart plays a tough guy who falls in love with a seemingly sweet, naive teenager played by Joan Leslie.
The Bogie character later finds out, to his dismay, that the girl is not as naive as he thought.
The film industry made the same mistake about Leslie.
Though demure in most of her teen roles, as a young woman Leslie filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. to get her out of a contract she described as “slavery.” And she persevered for years until studio executives finally gave in.
“They know I put up a fight for what I believed as right,” she said in a 1949 Times interview. “They know I didn’t weaken, and they don’t consider me now a perpetual ingenue.”
Leslie was a show business veteran by the time she got the role in “High Sierra.” When she was child, she and her two older sisters had a vaudeville singing and dancing act that toured widely in the U.S. and Canada. And she had several small, mostly uncredited parts in movies.
But getting that plum role in the film that also starred Ida Lupino (then a bigger star than Bogart, and thus top billed), directed by Raoul Walsh and co-written by John Huston, was a life-changer.
“I was only 15, you know,” she said in a 1994 interview with a fan, Barry Iddon, while in London to support a children’s hospital. “I wish I had gotten it a little bit later in my career. I think I could have done better by it.”
But she was entirely believable as Velma, a partly disabled small-town girl traveling west with her family in a beat-up car when they have an encounter with Roy “Mad Dog” Earle, played by Bogart.
In a memorable, tender scene early in the film, the two gaze at the stars and he talks about how the earth feels “like a little ball that’s turning through the night, with us hanging on to it.”
“Why that sounds like poetry, Roy,” she tells him. “It’s pretty.”
When Leslie was 16, Warner Bros., which had her under contract, gave her a new Buick and more importantly, the female lead part opposite Gary Cooper in the biopic “Sergeant York,” about an unlikely World War I hero.
Despite the car, she was still treated by some, including Cooper, as a child. “Gary gave me a doll on the set,” Leslie said in a 1990 Toronto Star interview. “That’s how he saw me.”
Her screen persona was even immortalized in song. In the wartime “Hollywood Canteen” (1944), the Andrews Sisters sang “Corns for My Country” about the condition of their feet after dancing long hours with soldiers on leave. One line of the song:
We’re not petite as sweet Joan Leslie.
But by the mid-1940s, Leslie had had it with the roles Warner Bros. gave her, and when the studio refused to offer her meatier parts, she sued, claiming the contract she signed as a teenager was invalid. She won her case in lower courts, but the studio won in the state Supreme Court.
Leslie pushed on, saying she would file a $2-million civil suit against Warner Bros. The studio gave in, canceling her contract. “I hope this will present me as an entirely new personality,” she said in the Times interview.
But the damage was done to her career, in part because she had been out of the public eye while the court battle dragged on. “I couldn’t work those two years, not even on radio,” she told the Toronto Star. “It was a huge setback for me.”
Remembering Joan Leslie | Leonard Maltin
I was saddened to hear of Joan Leslie’s death earlier this week at the age of 90. She was one of my favorite interviews in recent years. She was incredibly nice, yet at the same time she belied her screen image as a sweet young thing, as you’ll see in this excerpt from our conversation. She had savvy and ambition, and it was no accident that she succeeded in Hollywood. (You can read the complete interview in the book Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy, compiled from back issues of my newsletter of the same name.) She even endured a studio blackballing in the 1950s after leaving her longtime home at Warner Bros. and was forced to work at Republic Pictures—which she did, without complaint.
In 1940 the pretty, adolescent Joan Brodel won the leading role in a Warner Bros. short-subject called Alice in Movieland about a girl’s dreamlike experience in Hollywood: spotted on the set, given the lead in a major movie, becoming a star and winning an Academy Award. Never was casting more ironic—or prophetic—because Brodel’s real-life story wasn’t so different from that piece of fluffy fiction. After several years of appearing in tiny roles she was signed by Warner Bros. and, as Joan Leslie, costarred with Gary Cooper in Sergeant York, Humphrey Bogart in High Sierra, James Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy, and Fred Astaire in The Sky’s The Limit—all before she turned eighteen! (Not so incidentally, Warner Bros. reissued Alice in Movieland and re-filmed the main titles to feature Leslie’s “new” name as well as her star billing. You can see the short on Turner Classic Movies, or on the Warner Home Video DVD of The Sea Hawk)
Joan Leslie gave many interviews about her career and her notable costars—she adds a great deal to the hour-long DVD documentary on the making of Yankee Doodle Dandy—but I was curious about her earliest experiences in Hollywood, and I wanted to learn more about day-to-day life as a contract player under the studio system. She was happy to oblige, in 2006, although when I made the mistake of referring to her as a onetime extra she politely but firmly corrected me.
Be sure to look at that link and read the interview. it is great….
Okay, remember during the debate I mentioned how Bernie Sanders reminded me of Larry David’s George Steinbrenner?
Well, check this out…
Larry David Just Played Bernie Sanders on SNL—And the Internet Is Going Nuts Over It | Mother Jones
“We’re doomed!” Larry David plays the best Bernie Sanders yet on “Saturday Night Live” – Salon.com
When Larry David was on “Saturday Night Live” he only got one sketch on the air and the audience didn’t laugh. Thirty years later, the Seinfeld creator returned as Bernie Sanders and the Internet lost its mind with David trending on Twitter well into this morning. […]
The sketch mocked the first democratic debate with a smiley Lincoln Chafee talking about how fun it was to be a senator, Alec Baldwin as Jim Webb who was angry, of course, because he didn’t get to talk before he was introduced, the Hillary Clinton her staff put together for the debate, and Bernie “We’re Doomed” Sanders.
With a perfect Sanders accent and broad hand gestures and finger points, David shouted about revolution asking why the hell the big banks chain all their pens to the desk. His solution for Wall Street reform was to break up the big banks into little pieces and then flush them down the toilet. “Then ya make the bankers pay for college for everyone, and America is fixed! Hey!” he said shrugging and gesticulating wildly. Hillary puts a damper on the idealism saying Bernie is promising a “golden goose” but Bernie assured the debate audience he’s found geese before and he can find them again. “They congregate near ponds. It’s not rocket science!”After Bernie repeated the famous email line Hillary shook his hand and thanked him, commenting that it must be nice to scream and cuss in public. “I have to do it into tiny little jars.”
Bernie Sanders to Larry David: Come join on me campaign trail! – Salon.com
Bernie Sanders has a pretty good sense of humor. He responded to Larry David’s “Saturday Night Live” impression of him by telling George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” that he’d like to take him out campaigning with him.“I think we’ll use Larry at our next rally. He does better than I do,” Sanders said.
Now that is all for laughs, because the next link is disturbing as hell.
Opting out: Inside corporate America’s push to ditch workers’ comp – ProPublica
This is an important article, read it in full. I think a this quote will be a good example:
Minick and other proponents say while plans can make exceptions, such rules ensure workers get medical care as soon as possible, speeding their recovery.
But public health experts say workers might not report minor injuries right away for valid reasons: They fear looking like troublemakers or worry about child care if they need to see a doctor or stay late filling out forms.
Or, like Rebecca Amador, they simply might not realize an injury’s severity.
Amador, a nursing assistant, was helping a patient transfer to a wheelchair at a Stephenville, Texas, nursing home in November 2013, when the chair’s brake unlocked, causing her to support the patient’s weight.
“I felt like a pinch in my back and I thought well, it’s been a long day, I’m tired,” said Amador, then 51. “So I paid no mind to it. I figured it would go away. Usually it goes away.”
She took a hot shower and went to bed. By the next morning, she remembers being in so much pain she could hardly breathe.
As soon as she got to work, Amador told her supervisor, who sent her to the hospital. Only 19 hours had passed. But her employer, Fundamental Long Term Care, rejected her claim, saying she had failed to report it by the end of her shift.
The company’s decision left Amador in a Catch-22. Even though her injury happened at work, the company’s Texas plan wouldn’t cover it. But because it was work-related, neither would her health insurance or short-term disability plan. Had she worked for Fundamental in one of the other states where it operates, her personal injury would have been covered under workers comp.
Amador sought help at a publicly funded health clinic, where her doctor recommended a specialist. But she couldn’t afford one. She tried light-duty work until her doctor warned she could do further damage.
Since then, Amador said, she’s been living off her son’s Social Security benefits and borrowing from a lawsuit settlement fund set up for him after his father died of mesothelioma. Her daughters help pay for medications, and she’s applying for Social Security disability.
Sitting in her trailer nearly two years after the incident, she said her back burns like she’s in a fire, and she can’t even carry a two-liter soda bottle.
“I would probably still be working there” if Fundamental had workers’ comp, Amador said. “Maybe I could have gotten better, maybe I could have gotten my therapy done, and I wouldn’t be in the situation I’m in.”
That story is mild compared to some of the others….
More stories of horror here, from March of this year:
The Fallout of Workers’ Comp ‘Reforms’: 5 Tales of Harm – ProPublica
Injured workers share their stories, revealing the real-life impact of rollbacks that have been spreading across the country.
Price Check: How Companies Value Body Parts
Injured workers are entitled to compensation for permanent disabilities under state workers’ comp laws. But Texas has long allowed companies to opt out and write their own benefit plans. Benefits for the same body part can differ dramatically depending on which company you work for.
And a couple other articles from the series, these from earlier in the year.
The Demolition of Workers’ Compensation – ProPublica
Over the past decade, states have slashed workers’ compensation benefits, denying injured workers help when they need it most and shifting the costs of workplace accidents to taxpayers.
How Much Is Your Arm Worth? For Workers’ Compensation, That Depends on Where You Work – ProPublica
Each state determines its own workers’ compensation benefits, which means workers in neighboring states can end up with dramatically different compensation for identical injuries.
For the entire series of articles, photos and updates:
Insult to Injury – ProPublica
There are 17 articles at that link. You can spend a shitload of time at that page….
The rest of the links below in dump fashion, because the day is getting late.
Was George W. Bush President On 9/11? An Investigation Into The Controversy Tearing The GOP Apart | ThinkProgress
On Friday, Donald Trump generated substantial controversy when he asserted that George W. Bush was president at the time of the 9/11 attacks.
“When you talk about George Bush, I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time,” Trump said. “He was president, O.K.?”
Jeb Bush immediately pushed back, calling Trump’s comments “pathetic” and insisting “my brother kept us safe.”
The media jumped on to the burgeoning controversy. According to The New York Times the idea that Bush was president on 9/11 and failed to stop the attack is a “break from the GOP.”
CNN host destroys Jeb Bush: You blame Hillary for Benghazi but insist brother blameless for 9/11
epublican presidential candidate Jeb Bush struggled on Sunday to explain how he could blame Hillary Clinton for the attacks in Benghazi while insisting that George W. Bush was blameless for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
While speaking to Bloomberg last week, Trump reminded the interviewer that George Bush was president when the World Trade Center was attacked in New York.
“He was president, OK?” Trump said. “Blame him, or don’t blame him, but he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign.”
The comments sparked Bush to respond by calling Trump “pathetic” in a Twitter post. And on Sunday, he continued to defend the 43rd president during an interview with CNN.
“My brother responded to a crisis and united the country, he organized our country and he kept us safe,” the GOP hopeful told Tapper. “And there’s no denying that. And the great majority of Americans believe that. And I don’t know why he keeps bringing this up.”
Tapper wondered if Bush’s loyalty to his brother “might be in some ways a political or policy liability blinding you to mistakes he made.”
“It’s what you do after that matters,” Bush insisted. “Does anybody actually blame my brother for the attacks on 9/11? If they do, they’re totally marginalized in our society. It’s what he did afterwards that mattered, and I’m proud of him. And so are a bunch of other people.”
“Obviously al Qaeda was responsible for the terrorist attacks of 9/11,” the CNN host pressed. “But how do you respond to critics who ask if your brother and his administration bear no responsibility at all, how do you then make the jump that President Obama and Secretary Clinton are responsible for what happened at Benghazi?”
Bush stammered in response: “Well, I — the question on Benghazi, which we will now finally get the truth to, is was the place secure? They had a responsibility at the Department of State to have proper security.”
“And how was the response in the aftermath of the attack?” he continued. “Was there a chance that these four American lives could have been saved? That’s what the investigation is about, it’s not a political issue… Were we doing the job of protecting our embassies and our consulates, and during the period, those hours after the attacks started, could they have been saved?”
“That’s kind of proving the point of the critics,” Tapper noted. “You don’t want you brother to bear responsibility for 9/11 — and I understand that argument and al Qaeda is responsible — but why are the terrorists not the ones that are responsible for these attacks in Libya?”
“They are!” Bush replied. “But if the ambassador was asking for additional security and they didn’t get it, that’s a proper point. And if it’s proven that the security was adequate compared to other embassies, then fine, we’ll move on.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper Exposes Republicans’ Double Standard In Assigning Blame For 9/11 And Benghazi | Video | Media Matters for America
Jeb Bush, Donald Trump continue 9/11 fight – Business Insider
Jeb Bush: Trump’s 9/11 comments prove he’s an ‘actor’ in candidate’s clothes | US news | The Guardian
Would-be Speaker could lose his House seat next year | TheHill
Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) is running full-steam ahead in his long-shot bid for Speaker, while looming redistricting plans in his state threaten his congressional seat.
Webster’s reelection chances in his current district suffered a severe blow Oct. 9 when a circuit court judge give tentative approval to a redistricting proposal favoring Democrats in his area.
While the map plans have yet to be finalized, it raises the prospect that if successful in his leadership bid, Webster could assume the Speaker’s gavel without having solid reelection prospects.
Well, it turns out that Hillary’s emails do contain some scandalous info. The Daily Mail:
A bombshell White House memo has revealed for the first time details of the ‘deal in blood’ forged by Tony Blair and George Bush over the Iraq War.
The sensational leak shows that Blair had given an unqualified pledge to sign up to the conflict a year before the invasion started.
It flies in the face of the Prime Minister’s public claims at the time that he was seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
He told voters: ‘We’re not proposing military action’ – in direct contrast to what the secret email now reveals.
The documents, obtained by The Mail on Sunday, are part of a batch of secret emails held on the private server of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton which U.S. courts have forced her to reveal.
Breathless tabloid prose aside, it’s still pretty funny that perhaps the most important discovery from a committee that has held almost as many hearings as the 9/11 committee concerns one of W’s fuckups.
Miss. judge: People charged w crimes are criminals | Al Jazeera America
Hillary bashes closures of AL driver’s license offices in black communities as ‘blast from Jim Crow past’
Former mistress of GOPer David Vitter claims he got her pregnant and asked her to abort
Mitt Romney: I’m Glad I’m Not In The 2016 GOP Race
California mudslides and chaos offer a preview of what El Niño could bring – LA Times
Reputed NY mobster faces trial for 1978 ‘Goodfellas’ heist
For nearly four decades, it remained one of America’s most infamous unsolved crimes: on Dec. 11, 1978, a crew of masked men stole $6 million in cash and jewelry from a Lufthansa Airlines cargo building at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.
The brazen heist, which helped inspire the gangster movie “Goodfellas,” left authorities largely frustrated until last year, when federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged Vincent Asaro, a member of the Bonanno organized crime family, with participating in the theft.
His criminal trial is set to begin on Monday in Brooklyn federal court before an anonymous jury.
Most of the other suspected participants in the robbery disappeared, were killed or died, making it difficult for authorities to piece the case together.
“Once you kill one guy, you gotta kill them all, because otherwise they’ll get scared,” said Howard Abadinsky, an organized crime expert and a professor at St John’s University in New York. “He’s one of the few guys that’s still alive.”
In Honor of Angela Lansbury’s 90th Birthday, Here Are 90 Photos of Angela Lansbury
Pictures of Joan Leslie: (5) JOAN LESLIE 1925-2015 on Pinterest | Dandy, Actresses and Photo Galleries
So what are you all reading about today?
Sunday Reads: Pigs and LadiesPosted: June 28, 2015 Filed under: 2016 elections | Tags: abortion, Barack Obama, Bobby Jindal, Confederate flag, Gay Marriage, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Racism, Republicans, Rick Santorum, SCOTUS 18 Comments
I hope that everyone is enjoying the last couple of days, the decision is not the final say in the matter of GLBT issues, but it is a damn big deal….There are a few states holding out, and refusing to grant licenses and perform marriages to same sex couples.
The hate filled rhetoric is strong in some areas, like here in Banjoville. Add to this tension, the anger over taking away these right-wing christian racist asshole flags of confederate heritage, with a dose of Obamacare is a-go from last week, and you got yourself a power keg waiting to explode. It is frightening, the hate I am seeing. These people mean business.
I think things are going to get worse, did you see this? Who’s burning black churches? Arsonists hit at least 3 Southern congregations in the last 7 days
ur black churches burned overnight this week, and at least three have been attributed to arson.
Last week’s shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel AME was perhaps the deadliest attackon a black church since the 1963 church bombing by the Klan in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four children. Since then, another specter from America’s violent racist history is again rearing its head – setting black churches ablaze.
At least three have been intentionally set on fire in recent days, according to a surveyof news reports compiled by the Daily Kos.
On Tuesday, God’s Power Church of Christ in Georgia was intentionally set on fire, authorities told ABC News. Electronics and other equipment were also stolen in early morning fire. Authorities told reporters there is “no evidence” of a hate crime.
On Wednesday, Briar Creek Baptist Church in North Carolina burned in the middle of the night, causing $250,000 in damage, NBC News reports. Authorities are investigating whether the blaze was a hate crime. It took 75 firefighters to bring it under control.
On Friday, Glover Grove Missionary Baptist Church in South Carolina, was virtually destroyed in an overnight blaze, the Aiken Standard reports. While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, the FBI has been called in.
Another blaze on Friday morning in Florida at predominantly-black Greater Miracle Apostolic Holiness Church caused $700,000 in damage. The fire is under investigation but fire officials believe it to be accidental, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
Burning black churches has historical significance that harkens back to the civil rights era, according to the Atlanta Black Star.
“From slavery and the days of Jim Crow through the civil rights movement and beyond, white supremacists have targeted the Black church because of its importance as a pillar of the Black community, the center for leadership and institution building, education, social and political development and organizing to fight oppression,” David Love writes.
The Ku Klux Klan has ramped up recruiting activity in the days since the Charleston shooting. Residents in California, Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia woke last weekend to find bags in their lawns filled with candy and Klan flyers seeking new members.
Oh and they will find plenty of eager members.
White supremacist calls Charleston ‘a preview of coming attractions’ | US news | The Guardian
One of the shadowy figures who appears to have influenced alleged Charleston killer Dylann Roof is Harold Covington, the founder of a white separatist movement and, within supremacist circles, an influential sci-fi author. Covington, the latest in a long line of rightwing sci-fi writers, has been linked to racist crimes in the past and this week called the massacre “a preview of coming attractions”.
The racist manifesto and photos apparently posted by Roof makes mention of the Northwest Front, created by Covington, a former member of the American Nazi party who traveled to South Africa and Rhodesia in order to agitate for white power. In the accompanying photos, Roof wore patches with Rhodesian and apartheid-era South African flags on them.
Covington, if you believe his website, runs a growing enclave of white supremacists near Seattle called the Northwest Front. The non-profit group is reflected in a series of sci-fi novels, authored by Covington, about a dystopian future in which a white nation is the only answer to US economic and racial woes.
Pat Hines: Booth Waited Too Long to Kill Lincoln | Mediaite
Days after appearing on CNN and calling efforts to remove the Confederate battle flag from state grounds an act of “cultural genocide,” League of the South state chairman Pat Hines went on Alan Colmes‘ Fox News radio program and celebrated the 150-year-old assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
Transcript of the exchange below, via:
COLMES: Now the League Of The South in April had an event celebrating the assassination of President Lincoln.
HINES: That’s right.
COLMES: You support that?
HINES: Yes I do.
HINES: He was the most murderous, treasonous President that ever existed.
COLMES: So you honor the actions of John Wilkes Booth?
HINES: John Wilkes Booth was a Confederate agent, who sadly, he didn’t fulfill his mission for almost 2 1/2 years. But he was assigned to kill Lincoln. And it’s too bad that he took as long as he did to do it.
COLMES: You’re upset that it took John Wilkes Booth as long as it did to kill Abraham Lincoln?
COLMES: Why would you favor the assassination of an American President?
HINES: Well he was an United States President. Well, he was Commander-in-Chief, which makes him a legitimate target immediately.
COLMES: Is any Commander-in-Chief a legitimate target?
HINES: Well they are.
Why don’t these people get called out for what they are? At least paypal stopped the donations to Council of Conservative Citizens…
PayPal appears to suspend donations to group in ‘Dylann Roof manifesto’ | US news | The Guardian
But you know that this Council of Conservative Citizens has donated thousands to the campaigns of GOP politicians…‘Supremacist’ Earl Holt III and his donations to Republicans – The Washington Post
News came Monday that Holt had donated about $65,000 over the years to Republican campaign funds. He gave about $25,000 to Republican candidates in 2012 including former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) and Sens. Ted Cruz (Tex.) and Rand Paul (Ky.).
These people are giving the money away to charity, etc.:
Four Republican hopefuls return money after ‘Dylann Roof manifesto’ revelation | US news | The Guardian
Four presidential hopefuls are among 23 Republicans who have given up more than $36,000 in campaign contributions from the leader of a white nationalist group said to have influenced the Charleston church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.
Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum led a GOP group spanning Congress and statehouses who said they would donate to charity or return money from Earl Holt, following the publication of a Guardian article on Sunday.
Many other Republicans who took money from Holt declined to comment on the contributions. Josh Mandel, Ohio’s state treasurer, said he would not return $1,500 Holt gave to his failed 2012 US Senate campaign, as it had been spent. Mandel’s campaign still has almost $50,000 in the bank.
Holt, the president of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), has contributed more than $74,000 to Republican candidates and committees in recent years, according to public filings, while making dozens of racist statements online.
What Is the Council of Conservative Citizens, the White-Supremacist Group That Inspired a Racist Manifesto? – The Atlantic
…the CCC has become the largest white-supremacist group in the nation, according to some observers. Members have donated thousands of dollars to politicians; some national politicians have joined, and dozens have spoken to CCC meetings, often regretting it later. On Monday, Republicans around the country hastened to give back cash they’d received from the CCC’s president, Earl Holt III. Yet despite its size, influence, and unabashed espousal of white separatism, the CCC seems to often go unnoticed, surfacing mostly at times of high racial tension.
The CCC is now, according to the SPLC, the nation’s largest white nationalist group and at its peak boasted 15,000 members. Though the CCC is sometimes described as “thinly veiled” white supremacists or the like, that’s misleading—it makes little secret of its agenda. (Nonetheless, Ann Coulter has previously stepped forward to defend the group from the white-supremacy attack.) In a statement of principles, the group says:
We believe that the United States derives from and is an integral part of European civilization and the European people …. We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.
New members also receive a pamphlet about Martin Luther King Day co-written by the late racist Senator Jesse Helms. The Anti-Defamation League collects other examples of ties to hate groups and extremists.
The group also maintains ties overseas; in 1998, according to the white supremacist site American Renaissance, a delegation from the group “had the pleasure of presenting Jean-Marie Le Pen with a Confederate flag that had flown over the South Carolina state capitol.” Le Pen founded France’s far-right National Front, but was recently suspended from the party by its current leader—his daughter—for remarks casting doubt on the Holocaust.
The CCC also prominently protested in 2000 when South Carolina lawmakers moved the Confederate battle flag from atop the statehouse—where it had flown since 1961—to a site elsewhere on the capitol grounds in Columbia.
After Confederate flags start coming down, hundreds rally to keep the hate symbol flying
Mass Hysteria on the Right After Supreme Court’s Progressive Rulings — 6 Biggest Freakouts | Alternet
GOP’s gay marriage, Confederate Flag views may hurt party – NY Daily News
Alabama Wal-Mart gets bomb threat over Confederate flag sales | AL.com
Charleston exposes ugliest truth of our time: Our society places little value on black life – Salon.com
Shots Fired at San Francisco Pride Parade [Update]
‘Gone with the Wind’ should go the way of the Confederate flag | New York Post
13 of the South’s Most Racist Monuments | Mother Jones
Confederate battle flag: What it is and what it isn’t – CNN.com
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest – Voices – The Independent
The Power and Sadness of a Black President’s Call for Grace
History News Network | The Shameful History of the Mistreatment of LGBT Teachers
How Is Jim Hoft Making His Readers Stupider And More Hate-Filled Now? | Crooks and Liars
Graham: Keeping Marriage Amendment In Party Platform Will Hurt GOP In 2016 | Crooks and Liars
Clarence Thomas: Cruelty Incarnate? | Lev Raphael
Straddling Old and New, a South Where ‘a Flag Is Not Worth a Job’ – NYTimes.com
Open Thread – Even In Texas. | Crooks and Liars
And more cartoons for you.
Here’s how cartoonists celebrated the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision
Now for some other news links:
This is far disturbing to see:
WATCH: Mob of Philly cops assault man holding crying baby for not paying his $2.25 transit fare
Transit officers working for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority are under investigation after several of them were recorded by a cell phone pushing and shoving an African American man holding onto a baby for reportedly not paying his $2.25 fare.
According to WPVI, SEPTA officials say they are reviewing their policies and procedures after the video — recorded Thursday night — went viral, calling attention to the officer’s actions.
In the video, three transit police can be seen talking to the man as he stays seated in the car holding a very small child. After another officer arrives and handcuffs the man, he is escorted off the rail car and then can be seen being shoved against the wall with the baby still in his arms.
As bystanders attempt to intervene, more than a dozen officers descend upon the platform pushing the crowd back as one man yells , “He still has his daughter in his hands!” as the baby can be heard crying in the background.
More officers arrive forming a cordon around the cops wrestling with the man and forcing bystanders onto the train and away from the struggle.
Addicting Info – Detroit Cops’ Chase Kills Two Children, They Keep Going And Injure Three More
Detroit police chasing a fleeing car decided it would be appropriate to continue the chase into a residential neighborhood. Due to their poor decision-making and inability to let a minor offense go, two small children died and three more were seriously injured.
On June 24, police were chasing what eyewitnesses believed to be a red Charger when they “tapped” the car on the rear bumper. That caused the red car to lose control, hitting and instantly killing Makiah Jackson, 3, and her six-year-old brother, Michaelangelo Jackson. Witness Alisha Jackson told the Voice Of Detroit:
“[The police] were right on their rear, the police car bumped their tail a little bit, and the car flew up in the air. There was no need for the police to be that close. I yelled ‘watch out!’ but it was too late. When the car hit them, both of them just looked at me. They screamed. It just keeps re-playing in my head. I ran down there, I yelled out their names, but they were gone. Makiah’s eyes were wide open, they died on impact.”
Police could have — SHOULD have — stopped right then. But even after this horrific scene, the chase continued onto another residential street. There, the red car crashed into a driveway, hitting three children. Darius Andrews, Jr., 3, Isaiah Williams, 5, and Zyaire Gardner, 7, were critically injured and a 22-year-old woman was also injured.
The car police were chasing was driven by a man who is on parole but neglected to report to his Parole Officer. Now, that’s certainly against the law and Lorenzo Harris should be held accountable. But to chase him into a residential neighborhood, where children are playing and families are out in their yards, is so irresponsible as to beggar belief. What the hell were they thinking? And to then continue to chase the car after two children were run down? Outrageous!
Detroit Police Chief James Craig must know that this is inexcusable because he is scrambling. He’s changed his story several times. First he said that the police in the car had suspended the chase after they “lost sight of the car.” Witnesses blew a hole in that lie. Then he said that a supervisor had ordered the chase to end. There is nothing documented to prove this. Then he said that Harris had a gun. Then he said he didn’t. The cops had “made eye contact” with Harris and a passenger and we all know that if a black man makes eye contact with a cop, that’s all she wrote. That cops will have compliance no matter what. Even if it kills small children.
What the hell….
More news stories:
The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s glaring double standard – Salon.com
Obama’s new pact provides legal rights to corporations that it does not extend to unions and public interest groups
People thinking that the SCOTUS ruling will change the status of medicaid expansion…think again.
Georgia’s Obamacare stalemate deepens | www.myajc.com
Now that President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law has twice been upheld by the nation’s highest court, Georgia’s state and federal leaders are coming to the begrudging recognition that the legislation won’t be changed any time soon.
But the well-dug trenches remain unmoved: Most Democrats insist on a Medicaid expansion in the state as the only path forward. Most Republicans are determined to repeal the law.
Meanwhile, a small cadre of lawmakers hope that Georgia’s involvement in a controversial waiver program could provide a new, and less contentious, path forward to bring in more federal funding for health care.
In the wake of Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling to maintain health insurance tax credits in states such as Georgia that did not create their own exchanges, the political and policy status quo remained unmoved.
Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston both signaled they don’t intend to step into what they see as a federal matter, and they called on Congress to give states more flexibility to use federal funding.
On the issue of Reproductive Rights:
What the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling means for reproductive rights – Salon.com
There’s a little Easter egg in Friday’s marriage equality ruling that could have major repercussions for reproductive rights activists — if and when the Supreme Court takes up the issue of abortion again.
In his opinion for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy references the interplay of “personal choice” as it relates to same-sex marriage. But, in doing so, he also acknowledges the way individual autonomy relates to other life decisions, such as the right to use contraception or have a baby:
A first premise of the Court’s relevant precedents is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy. …Like choices concerning contraception, family relationships, procreation, and childrearing, all of which are protected by the Constitution, decisions concerning marriage are among the most intimate that an individual can make.
Let’s string some things together here: “choices concerning contraception…procreation, and childrearing…are protected by the Constitution.” It’s a single line, but it’s no throwaway — especially not in a SCOTUS decision that affirms equal access to happiness and control over one’s own life. It could set a precedent that’s invaluable to the fight to secure reproductive rights once and for all.
Oh if this could only be a good sign!
Gynotician Alert of the Week: June 20-26
Check that link out…
Dutch campaigners fly abortion pills into Poland – BBC News
The group, Women on Waves, flew the aircraft from Germany to highlight Poland’s restrictive laws against terminating pregnancies.
Waiting for the drone on the other side were two Polish women who took the pills, used to induce a miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy.
Abortion was legal in Poland in the Communist era, but outlawed in most cases in 1993.
It is only permitted in cases of rape or incest, in cases of irreversible foetal malformation, or if the mother’s life is at risk.
On the interest of the mob:
The Wheels of Crime Are Greased With Olive Oil – The Atlantic
New questions about why more women than men have Alzheimer’s | Tampa Bay Times
CDC report: 1 in 8 Americans with HIV don’t know they have the virus
And other newsy stories:
Newly disclosed Hillary Clinton emails may undercut her earlier claims | Reuters
Teenage boy bitten by shark in North Carolina in sixth attack in two weeks | US news | The Guardian
USA can play soccer: five things we learned from the 1-0 win over China | Football | The Guardian
A Catholic Schoolgirl Tells Her Side About An Outdated And Intolerant System | Unwritten
The ballet dancers growing older gracefully | Stage | The Guardian
History News Network | The Countess Who Bested Shakespeare
History News Network | Why I believe Meriwether Lewis Was Assassinated
Defying violence by weaving in the Philippines – Al Jazeera English
Over 150,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced in the region of Mindanao during the armed rebellion that has shaken up southern Philippines for over four decades.
But there is more to Mindanao than war. Weaving, a centuries-old tradition, has become a refuge for some women in the conflict-ridden community. Weaving has helped these women to heal their wounds as they say that the stories of their land are revealed in their patterns.
But challenges are making it more difficult for these women to continue their work. The skills are not being passed on to the younger generation, and women often lack the financial capacity to continue.
A three-metre long mat takes at least two months to make. The patterns are created individually, no pattern is the same. Made from pineapple and abaca fabrics, they are dyed using tree bark and herbal extracts.
Eugene Strong, from the department of Agriculture, told Al Jazeera that “materials are expensive, there are only a few weavers left, and there are only a few buyers as well”.
“For example, here in Basilan, the fabrics are expensive, so not a lot of people buy. We are now looking at where to market it and luckily we have people who help us in the industry.”
Asdinan Baladji is a weaver who, despite the economic challenges, is teaching her daughter Myazare how to weave. “Life is not great but between household chores and a small income I am happy. We do the best we can.”
Video at the link.
The best link for last:
Rats dream about the places they want to go, apparently | Metro News
Considering that they’re known for crawling through the sprawling subterranean networks of the world, it should come as no surprise that rats actually dream about the places they want to go.
That’s according to researchers from University College London – who claimed that when the rodents are shown an inaccessible food treat, they’re likely to dream about how they can get it when they nod off to sleep.
Or as lead researcher Hugo Spiers put it: ‘It’s like looking at a holiday brochure for Greece the day before you go – that night you might dream about the pictures.’
Rats Dream About the Places They Want to Explore – D-brief
Rats, like humans, have dreams about the future.
When they see a treat they can’t reach, rats’ later dreams depict them walking toward it, researchers have found. The discovery may one day provide some insight into what happens in the human mind during sleep.
Maps in the Brain
Scientists already knew that after a rat has explored an area, certain neurons in the hippocampus called “place cells” replay those patterns while the rat sleeps.
“Place cells” in both rats and humans help us store memories about location and form mental maps. When you’re in one spot, a set of place cells fires; when you move to another spot, a different set of place cells fire to mark the new location. If scientists can record the activity of specific brain cells, then, they can spy on how the mind maps new places. So far, that kind of recording requires implanting tiny electrodes on very thin wires into the brain, which can’t be done with human subjects for ethical reasons, but it’s possible with rats.
This is how the scientist found out:
First, researchers let rats explore a T-shaped track. The rats could run along the center of the T, but the arms were blocked by clear barriers. While the rats watched, researchers put food at the end of one arm. The rats could see the food and the route to it, but they couldn’t get there.
Then, when the rats were curled up in their cages afterwards, scientists measured their neuron firing. Their brain activity seemed to show them imagining a route through a place they hadn’t explored before. To confirm this, researchers then put the rats back into the maze, but this time without the barriers. As they explored the arm where they had previously seen the food, the rats’ place cells fired in the same pattern as they had during sleep.
This mental mapping process made up about 8 percent of the rats’ brain activity during sleep. That may not sound like much, but neuroscientist Hugo Spiers, a co-author on the study published in eLife, says it’s a significant amount of activity for the brain to devote to a single task during rest.
That is something to think about.
The rats’ activity may shed some light on what goes on in the human mind during sleep. Sleeping does seem to improve human performance on memory tasks – a finding which has been used to argue against all-night study sessions. And desire is also a crucial part of that process for people. “People are much better at doing the stuff that they’ll make more money on after they’ve slept,” said Spiers. “Something about sleep is using that desire information: that you do want to do better.”
Rats will also become cannibalistic, sort of like humans will…in a figurative sense.
Sorry this is so damn late….think of it as an open thread.