We'll see soon enough

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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 19 Nov 2016, 11:31 am

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*Hillary Clinton, the gift that keeps on giving...and for how long, who the fuck knows?
As I have said before as many have, this guy has stated he admires Cheney as a role
model and how he was an active VP. Liberals and Independents will need to reach
out to Libertarians like never before, imo:






Mike Pence Will Be the Most Powerful Christian Supremacist in U.S. History

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/15/mik ... s-history/
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 19 Nov 2016, 11:40 am

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Hamilton’ Had Some Unscripted Lines for Pence. Trump Wasn’t Happy.

By CHRISTOPHER MELE
and
PATRICK HEALY
NOV. 19, 201
“Hamilton,” the hit Broadway musical about colonial rebels shaping the future of an unformed country, took an even more political turn at the end of its performance on Friday night.
With Vice President-elect Mike Pence attending the show, the cast used the opportunity to make a statement emphasizing the need for the new administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump, a Republican, to work on behalf of all Americans.

It was a deeply felt and altogether rare appeal from the stage of a Broadway show — and it drew a surprisingly sharp rebuke from Mr. Trump on Saturday morning. The president-elect tweeted that the “Hamilton” cast had “harassed” Mr. Pence by making the statement and had been “very rude.”
“Apologize!” Mr. Trump wrote at the end of one of two tweets on the matter.

As the play ended, the actor who played Aaron Burr, Brandon Victor Dixon, acknowledged that Mr. Pence was in the audience, thanked him for attending and added, “We hope you will hear us out.”

“We, sir — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights,” he said. “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/19/us/mi ... ilton.html
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 20 Nov 2016, 12:31 am

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* Nothing good to see here, nothing at all..sigh:

Tempers Flare At Texas Capitol Amid Racially-Charged Protests
By Nicole Barrios, Taylor Goldenstein and Asher Price – American-Statesman Staff
Posted: 5:13 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016
Eight people were arrested and riot police were summoned to the Texas Capitol as members of a White Lives Matter group, some of them armed, faced off against a variety of opponents at the Capitol midday Saturday.
About 20 White Lives Matter protesters had shown up at the Capitol to protest hate crime laws that they say favor minorities: “Equal justice under law” was a sign held up by one man, dressed all in black and with what appeared to be a Kalashnikov semi-automatic rifle slung on his shoulder.
But they were shouted down by more than 300 counter-protesters yelling “Nazi scum!” and other insults.
Riot police were summoned, with about 60 state troopers on the scene and a state Department of Public Safety helicopter buzzing overhead. Perhaps a dozen mounted police from the Austin Police Department were also involved.
http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/tempers-flare-at-texas-capitol-amid-racially-charg/ntBTg/
4 Charged In Beating Of Man As Others Yell Anti-Trump Words
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police say four people have been charged in the videotaped beating of a man as bystanders yelled “Don’t vote Trump.”
Authorities say 26-year-old Julian Christian, 21-year-old Rajane Lewis, 20-year-old Dejuan Collins and a 17-year-old girl who wasn’t identified were each charged with vehicular hijacking in the Nov. 9 incident. Christian is from Broadview, Illinois, and Lewis and Collins are from Chicago.
Forty-nine-year-old David Wilcox says he was attacked after another car scraped his. He says he was beaten after parking and asking the other driver if he had insurance. Someone drove off with Wilcox’s car during the attack on Chicago’s West Side.
Wilcox acknowledges he supports President-elect Donald Trump, but says he told no one in the crowd that.
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/11/19/4-charged-in-beating-of-man-as-others-yell-anti-trump-words/
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 20 Nov 2016, 12:37 am

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* Holy cow.

Pentagon and intelligence community chiefs have urged Obama to remove the head of the NSA
November 19

snip* The heads of the Pentagon and the nation’s intelligence community have recommended to President Obama that the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, be removed.

The recommendation, delivered to the White House last month, was made by Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., according to several U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Action has been delayed, some administration officials said, because relieving Rogers of his duties is tied to another controversial recommendation: to create separate chains of command at the NSA and the military’s cyberwarfare unit, a recommendation by Clapper and Carter that has been stalled because of other issues.

The news comes as Rogers is being considered by President-elect Donald Trump to be his nominee for director of national intelligence to replace Clapper as the official who oversees all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies. In a move apparently unprecedented for a military officer, Rogers, without notifying superiors, traveled to New York to meet with Trump on Thursday at Trump Tower. That caused consternation at senior levels of the administration, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal personnel matters.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/pentagon-and-intelligence-community-chiefs-have-urged-obama-to-remove-the-head-of-the-nsa/2016/11/19/44de6ea6-adff-11e6-977a-1030f822fc35_story.html?wpisrc=al_alert-nationa
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 20 Nov 2016, 1:21 am

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The Stark Contrast Between GOP’s Self-Criticism in 2012 and Democrats’ Blame-Everyone-Else Posture Now

November 18, 2016

It is not an exaggeration to say that the Democratic Party is in shambles as a political force. Not only did it just lose the White House to a wildly unpopular farce of a candidate despite a virtually unified establishment behind it, and not only is it the minority party in both the Senate and House, but it is getting crushed at historical record rates on the state and local levels as well. Surveying this wreckage last week, party stalwart Matthew Yglesias of Vox minced no words: “The Obama years have created a Democratic Party that’s essentially a smoking pile of rubble.”
One would assume that the operatives and loyalists of such a weak, defeated, and wrecked political party would be eager to engage in some introspection and self-critique, and to produce a frank accounting of what they did wrong so as to alter their plight. In the case of 2016 Democrats, one would be quite mistaken.
Image
Graphic: The New York Times
At least thus far, there is virtually no evidence of any such intention. Quite the contrary, Democrats have spent the last 10 days flailing around blaming everyone except for themselves, constructing a carousel of villains and scapegoats — from Julian Assange, Vladimir Putin, James Comey, the electoral college, “fake news,” and Facebook, to Susan Sarandon, Jill Stein, millennials, Bernie Sanders, Clinton-critical journalists, and, most of all, insubordinate voters themselves — to blame them for failing to fulfill the responsibility that the Democratic Party, and it alone, bears: to elect Democratic candidates.

This Accept-No-Responsibility, Blame-Everyone-Else posture stands in stark contrast to how the Republican National Committee reacted in 2012, after it lost the popular vote for the fifth time in six presidential elections. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called Mitt Romney’s loss “a wake-up call,” and he was scathing about his party’s failures: “There’s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; our primary and debate process needed improvement. … So, there’s no one solution: There’s a long list of them.”

The RNC’s willingness to admit its own failures led to a comprehensive 1oo-page report, issued only a few months after its 2012 defeat, that was unflinching in its self-critique. One of the report’s co-chairs, GOP strategist Sally Bradshaw, warned upon issuance of the “autopsy” that “public perception of our party is at record lows. Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the party represents and many minorities think Republicans don’t like them or don’t want them in our country.”

The report itself also took aim at the GOP’s chosen candidate, containing analysis that was “pointed in its critique of Mitt Romney, specifically pointing to his ‘self deportation’ comment as turning off Hispanic voters.” The report began by warning that at the federal level, the GOP “is increasingly marginalizing itself, and unless changes are made, it will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win another presidential election in the near future.” Rather than maligning the voters who rejected his party, Preibus accepted responsibility for losing them: “To those who have left the party, let me say this, we want to earn your trust again, to those who have yet to trust us, we welcome you with open arms.”

One irony of 2016 is that the candidate who won the GOP nomination, and ultimately the presidency, not only ignored many of the autopsy’s core recommendations but embodied everything it warned against. Nonetheless, the reaction of Republican officials after 2012 was to accept responsibility for their loss, admit their own fundamental errors, and vow to fix what was wrong with themselves: the exact antithesis of the instinct Democrats have thus far displayed in the face of a much more sweeping and crushing defeat.

The self-exonerating mentality of Democrats is particularly remarkable in light of how comprehensive their failures have been. After the 2012 election, the GOP immersed itself in unflinching self-critique even though it still held a majority in the House and dominated governorships and state houses. By rather stark contrast, the Democrats have now been crushed at all levels of electoral politics, yet appear more self-righteously impressed with themselves, more vindicated in their messaging and strategic choices, than ever before.

While Democrats point fingers at anyone they can find, the evidence mounts that all critical sectors of their party’s apparatus fundamentally failed. Their renowned strategic geniuses were blinded with arrogance and error: “David Plouffe, who ran Obama’s 2008 campaign, said that Clinton was a ‘one hundred per cent’ lock and advised nervous Democrats to stop ‘wetting the bed,’” reports The New Yorker’s David Remnick this week. The party’s operatives and pundits used bullying tactics to clear the field for an obviously weak and vulnerable candidate, and then insisted on nominating her despite those weaknesses, many of which were self-inflicted, and in the face of mountains of empirical evidence that her primary-race opponent was more likely to win; Remnick writes:
In a retrospective mood, staffers said that, as Obama told me, Clinton would have been an “excellent” President, but they also voiced some dismay with her campaign: dismay that she had seemed to stump so listlessly, if at all, in the Rust Belt; dismay that the Clinton family’s undeniable taste for money could not be erased by good works; dismay that she was such a middling retail politician.

Clinton’s campaign staff, drowning in a sense of inevitability and entitlement (again), ignored pleas from worried local officials for more resources to states that proved decisive. The Democratic Party’s last two chairs were compelled to resign in scandal (one from CNN, the other from the DNC itself). And the party is widely perceived to be devoted to elite Wall Street tycoons and war-making interests at the expense of pretty much everyone else, and chose a candidate who could not have been better designed to exacerbate those concerns if that had been the goal. As Steve Bannon put it: “Hillary Clinton was the perfect foil for Trump’s [anti-establishment] message.”

In sum, there is a large list of fundamental, systemic problems with virtually every aspect of the Democratic Party. Those are the deficiencies that explain its monumental electoral defeats. Acknowledging one’s own responsibility for failure is always difficult, which is why scapegoating and finger-pointing at others is so tempting.
Image
The Democrats’ failures need not be permanent. The two parties’ fortunes are often cyclical; after 2004, many Republicans believed they had created a permanent majority, and then many Democrats believed the same after their own sweeping victories of 2006 and 2008. Democrats have won the popular vote in six out of the last seven elections. Had Clinton won the electoral college as expected, and been able to control the next Supreme Court appointment(s), Democrats would have controlled two of the three branches of government, and one could have plausibly argued that they were the dominant political faction in the U.S., at least at the federal level. So none of this is irreversible.

But as is true of anyone who wants to reverse their own failures, Democrats need to accept responsibility and blame, and stop pretending that they were just the victims of other people’s failures and bad acts. They’re not divinely entitled to support from voters, nor to an unimpeded march to victory for their preferred candidate, nor to a press that in unison turns itself into Vox or a Saturday morning MSNBC show by suppressing reporting that reflects negatively on them and instead confines itself to hagiography. In fact, this entitlement syndrome that is leading them to blame everyone but themselves should be added very near the top of the list of self-critiques they need to begin working promptly to address.

Correction: November 18, 2016
This article erroneously noted that the GOP controlled the House and Senate after the 2012 election; it has been edited to reflect that while they did control the House, they won Senate control in 2014.

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/18/the ... sture-now/
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 22 Nov 2016, 9:42 am

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KING: Dear Democrats, you must stop blaming Hillary’s loss on black folk and Bernie supporters

I thought this would happen.
As Democrats begin to deal with the severe emotional reality of a Donald Trump presidency and a conservative Congress, they need someone to blame. They are good at that.
No doubt, many people blew this election, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic establishment chief among them, but black folk and Bernie Sanders supporters simply don’t deserve one iota of blame.

No single demographic in this country showed up bigger for Hillary than African-Americans. At least 88% of black voters supported her. That’s more than any other ethnic group in America. So when I hear people criticizing Colin Kaepernick for saying he didn’t vote for either candidate, as if that had anything whatsoever to do with the outcome of the election, I call scapegoating.

KING: No, Trump and Clinton are not two sides of the same coin
Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush looked at their choices for President and drew the same conclusion that Colin Kaepernick came to. They didn’t vote for any presidential candidates either, despite voting in other races, but little criticism came their way.
In essence, if 100% of African-Americans don’t vote for the Democratic presidential candidate, blame and criticism is assigned. It’s ridiculous.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nationa ... -1.2882569
Last edited by Henry_ on 22 Nov 2016, 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 22 Nov 2016, 9:44 am

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*Where is Obama's voice on this mess? Silence.

Dennis Kuchinich on Standing Rock
Dennis Kucinich
7 hrs ·
I have just sent this message to the United States Attorney General regarding recent developments at Standing Rock:
November 21, 2016
Loretta Lynch
Attorney General
United States of America
Dear General Lynch,
As a former member of Congress and former chair of the Committee on Domestic Policy, I hereby request you open an immediate investigation of police authorities in Standing Rock, North Dakota for conspiring against the civil and constitutional rights of protestors, in violation of 42 U.S.C., Section 1983, which reads, in part, “Every person who, under color of any statute…causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law. . . .”
It has been reported that police, as part of a strategy of crowd control, deliberately used water cannons, in subfreezing temperatures, against protestors, subjecting protestors to risk of serious injury and depriving them of their First Amendment right of free speech, the right to protest.
I am requesting that you use the power of your office to investigate this incident, to determine the participants and to take such action to enjoin the offending parties from further violation of the US Constitution and applicable federal law.
Thank you,
Dennis J. Kucinich
Member of the US Congress
1997 – 2013
#NoDAPL #WaterProtectors
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 22 Nov 2016, 9:49 am

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November 21, 2016
Anti-Trump Protests Continue Nationwide
Protests were held in New York, DC, and Austin over the weekend, while students in Portland walked out of class Monday







http://therealnews.com/t2/story:17775:A ... Nationwide
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 22 Nov 2016, 10:34 am

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The Republican Deficit Hawks Abandon Their Religion Monday, 21 November 2016 00:00
By Dean Baker, Truthout | Op-Ed


Remember all those times the Republicans in Congress shut down the government and threatened to default on the debt? The ostensible cause was the out of control deficit. Back in the day when President Obama was drafting the budget, these Republicans were arguing that the national debt threatened the well-being of our children and grandchildren. They claimed to view deficit reduction as a sacred cause.

Well, we're about to see a religious conversion of world historic size as the Republican Party, and its congressional leader Paul Ryan, convert from deficit hawks to big spenders. With Donald Trump in the White House, we're going to discover that they think large deficits are just fine.
The basic story is straightforward. Trump has promised both an infrastructure program and large tax cuts which will primarily benefit the rich. On some days he has also promised big increases in military spending, but it's not clear where this commitment stands.

In any case, he is talking about substantial increases in spending and a large cut in revenue. According to the analysis of the Tax Policy Center at the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, his tax plan will reduce revenue by more than $9 trillion (close to 4 percent of GDP) over the course of the next decade. This tax cut plan would effectively add close to $800 billion to the annual deficit when it first takes effect, with the amount increasing over time.
While the plan that gets submitted to Congress may look somewhat different than what Trump proposed in his campaign, there is no doubt that it will lead to a large increase in the size of the budget deficit. Under their former faith in balanced budgets, Speaker Ryan and his Republican caucus would be expected to strongly oppose this massive increase in budget deficits.
But there is an important difference between the origins of the Trump deficit and the deficits the Republicans fought under President Obama. While the cuts sought by the Republicans targeted programs that benefited large segments of the US population, according to the Tax Policy Center, more than half of Trump's tax cuts will go to the richest 1 percent of the population. The richest 0.1 percent will get tax cuts that average almost $1.5 million annually.

The Trump tax cut is consistent with the fundamental principle of the Republican Party, and unfortunately many Democrats, of putting as much money as possible in the pockets of the rich. In this context, a budget deficit of any size is no big deal. We saw that under President Reagan, the second President Bush and now under Donald Trump.

We can be sure that the Republicans will deny that their tax cuts will lead to large deficits, claiming that they will be offset by faster growth. In economics, this is called "lying." There is a massive amount of research on this point. There is no reason to believe that the incentives created by lower tax rates will have a substantial impact on savings, investment or work.
When he was head of the Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a conservative economist who has advised many Republican candidates, did a study of the possible effects of tax cuts on growth. Analyzing a wide range of models he found that additional growth could at best reclaim a small fraction of the revenue lost to the tax cuts. In many of the models the tax cuts actually reduced growth, adding further to the deficit.

In addition to this sort of modeling exercise, we actually did this experiment, twice. In 1981, President Reagan cut income taxes sharply and the deficit soared. In 2001 the second President Bush sharply reduced taxes and the deficit soared.

In short, there is zero reason to think that additional growth from tax cuts will offset the lost revenue to any noticeably effect. We know this based on both careful economic research and two real world experiments. This means when our Republican deficit hawks claim that their tax cuts for the rich won't add to the deficit because of the additional growth they will produce, they know they are not telling the truth.

As I've written many times, the additional stimulus to the economy provided by Trump's tax and spending plans may actually be a good thing, even if the composition of the spending and the targeting of the tax cuts is really bad. We need larger deficits to allow the economy to reach its potential and to get closer to full employment. This is what I've argued for years.

But the Republican deficit hawks have been saying the exact opposite. When it comes to giving tax dollars to the rich, they no longer care about deficits. It would be nice if the media called attention to the incredible hypocrisy of Speaker Ryan and the Republican caucus. Maybe they could take away a little time from covering Hillary Clinton's emails.
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/3 ... r-religion

* Author, Dean Baker bio and reviews for Rigged:

Rigged:
How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer
By Dean Baker
There has been an enormous upward redistribution of income in the United States in the last four decades. In his most recent book, Baker shows that this upward redistribution was not the result of globalization and the natural workings of the market. Rather it was the result of conscious policies that were designed to put downward pressure on the wages of ordinary workers while protecting and enhancing the incomes of those at the top. Baker explains how rules on trade, patents, copyrights, corporate governance, and macroeconomic policy were rigged to make income flow upward.
snip*
"The era in which all economic policy discussion started from conservative premises that lent themselves to conservative solutions is coming to an end. Conservatives have become caricatures, warning of nonexistent inflation and promoting tax cuts for the rich as the solution to every problem. We are poised for a new progressive era of thinking and policy to deal with festering problems, such as rising inequality and slowing productivity growth, that conservatives are incapable of grasping, let alone dealing with. This book represents fresh thinking for a new progressive era. It may be for the Left what George Gilder’s “Wealth and Poverty” was for the Right."
Bruce Bartlett, Former aide to Ron Paul and Jack Kemp (U.S. Congress), Ronald Reagan (White House/OPD) and George H.W. Bush (Treasury Dept/Economic Policy)

http://deanbaker.net/books/rigged.htm
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 22 Nov 2016, 11:26 am

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* I have complained about this problem over and over again..what good ever came from it with respect
to ensuring a functioning democracy? It will be reversed? I wish I could believe it was possible.


Democracy in Peril: Twenty Years of Media Consolidation Under the Telecommunications Act Thursday, 11 February 2016


By Michael Corcoran, Truthout

President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act, which was bought and paid for by the corporate media lobbies, in 1996. In the current presidential race, media industry giants have donated much more to Hillary Clinton than to any other candidate. (Photo: Television Broadcast via Shutterstock; Edited: LW / TO)

Wall Street's sinister influence on the political process has, rightly, been a major topic during this presidential campaign. But, history has taught us that the role that the media industry plays in Washington poses a comparable threat to our democracy. Yet, this is a topic rarely discussed by the dominant media, or on the campaign trail.
But now is a good time to discuss our growing media crises. Twenty years ago this week, President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The act, signed into law on February 8, 1996, was "essentially bought and paid for by corporate media lobbies," as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) described it, and radically "opened the floodgates on mergers."

The negative impact of the law cannot be overstated. The law, which was the first major reform of telecommunications policy since 1934, according to media scholar Robert McChesney, "is widely considered to be one of the three or four most important federal laws of this generation." The act dramatically reduced important Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on cross ownership, and allowed giant corporations to buy up thousands of media outlets across the country, increasing their monopoly on the flow of information in the United States and around the world.

"Never have so many been held incommunicado by so few," said Eduardo Galeano, the Latin American journalist, in response to the act.
Twenty years later the devastating impact of the legislation is undeniable: About 90 percent of the country's major media companies are owned by six corporations. Bill Clinton's legacy in empowering the consolidation of corporate media is right up there with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and welfare reform, as being among the most tragic and destructive policies of his administration.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is not merely a regrettable part of history. It serves as a stern warning about what is at stake in the future. In a media world that is going through a massive transformation, media companies have dramatically increased efforts to wield influence in Washington, with a massive lobbying presence and a steady dose of campaign donations to politicians in both parties - with the goal of allowing more consolidation, and privatizing and commodifying the internet.

This issue has not been central in the 2016 presidential election. But it is deeply concerning that, of all the presidential candidates running in 2016, the Big Media lobby has chosen to back Hillary Clinton. Media industry giants have donated way more to her than any other candidate in the race, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. In light of this, we must be mindful of the media reform challenges we face in the present, as we try to prevent the type of damage to our democracy that was caused by the passing of this unfortunate law.

A Threat to Democracy: The Telecommunications Act and Media Consolidation

When President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act into law, he did so with great fanfare. The bill, which was lobbied for in great numbers by the communications and media industry, was sadly a bipartisan misadventure - only 3 percent of Congress voted against the bill: five senators and 16 members of the House, including then-Rep. Bernie Sanders.

At the time, President Clinton touted the law as "truly revolutionary legislation ... that really embodies what we ought to be about as a country." House Speaker Newt Gingrich boasted of projected consumer savings and private job growth. Rep. John Dingell (D-Michigan) "thanked God" for the bill that would "make this country the best served, the best educated and the most successful country ... in all areas of communications."

Despite all of these glowing words, the consequences of the bill were disastrous. The act "fueled a consolidation so profound that even insiders are surprised by its magnitude," said one trade publication, according to Robert McChesney, in his book, Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times.

"Before the ink was even dry on the 1996 Act," wrote S. Derek Turner, research director of Free Press, in a 2009 report proposing a national broadband strategy, "the powerful media and telecommunications giants and their army of overpaid lobbyists went straight to work obstructing and undermining the competition the new law was intended to create."

Media consolidation was already an extremely pressing concern long before 1996. In 1983, Ben Bagdikian published his groundbreaking book, The Media Monopoly, which revealed that just 50 corporations owned 90 percent of the media. That number gradually dwindled over the coming 13 years and was accelerated by the Telecommunications Act. This has led us to the aforementioned crisis where more than 90 percent of the media is owned by just six companies: Viacom, News Corporation, Comcast, CBS, Time Warner and Disney.

Radio has seen an equally appalling consolidation, which has been horrendous for both news media and music. In 1995, before the Telecommunications Act was passed, companies were not allowed to own more than 40 radio stations. "Since passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, Clear Channel [now called iHeartMedia] has grown from 40 stations to 1,240 stations - 30 times more than congressional regulation previously allowed," according to a report from the Future of Music Coalition.

Local newspapers, too, have been stung by these deregulations. Gannett, for instance, owns more than 1,000 newspapers and 600 print periodicals. Layoffs have been the norm for the company, including at USA Today, the paper with the largest circulation in the country, where layoffs were described as a "total bloodbath" in the American Journalism Review.

Save the Internet: The Next Big Media Battle
in full: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/3478 ... ations-act
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 22 Nov 2016, 12:14 pm

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*This is well written and exemplifies yet another negative consequence of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.


Media Stars Agree to off the Record Meeting with Trump, Break Agreement, Whine About Mistreatment

November 22 2016, 7:26 a.m.

A glittering array of media stars and network executives made pilgrimage on Monday to the 25th floor of Trump Tower to meet with the president-elect. They all agreed that the discussions would be “off the record”: meaning they would conceal from their viewers what they discussed. Shortly after the meeting ended, several of the stars violated the agreement they made, running to the New York Post and David Remnick of the New Yorker to whine about Trump’s mean behavior. “The participants all shook Trump’s hand at the start of the session and congratulated him,” Remnick reported, “but things went south from there.” It’s difficult to identify the shabbiest and sorriest aspect of this spectacle, but let’s nonetheless try, as it sheds important light on our nation’s beloved media corps and their posture heading into a Trump presidency.
To begin with, why would journalistic organizations agree to keep their meeting with Donald Trump off the record? If you’re a journalist, what is the point of speaking with a powerful politician if you agree in advance that it’s all going to be kept secret? Do they not care what appearance this creates: the most powerful media organizations meeting high atop Trump Tower with the country’s most powerful political official, with everyone agreeing to keep it all a big secret from the public? Whether or not it actually is collusion, whether or not it actually is subservient ring-kissing in exchange for access, it certainly appears to be that. As the Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone put it: “By agreeing to such conditions, journalists expected to deliver the news to the public must withhold details of a newsworthy meeting with the president-elect.”
in full: https://theintercept.com/2016/11/22/med ... treatment/
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 22 Nov 2016, 1:05 pm

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November 21, 2016
Exclusive Video: #noDAPL Protestors Share Experiences of Police Repression
Hundreds needed medical attention after being tear gassed and sprayed with water cannons during a Sunday protest in North Dakota. Lauretta Prevost with Mirrors and Hammers Productions

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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 23 Nov 2016, 10:51 am

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Hillary’s Threat to Wage Continuous War on the Working Class via Austerity Proved Fatal Posted on
November 22, 2016



By William K. Black
Bloomington, MN November 22, 2016

I’ve come back recently from Kilkenny, Ireland where I participated in the seventh annual Kilkenomics – a festival of economics and comedy. The festival is noted for people from a broad range of economic perspectives presenting their economic views in plain, blunt English. Kilkenomics VII began two days after the U.S. election, so we added some sessions on President-elect Trump’s fiscal policy views. Trump had no obvious supporters among this diverse group of economists, so the audience was surprised to hear many economists from multiple nations take the view that his stated fiscal policies could be desirable for the U.S. – and the global economy, particularly the EU. We all expressed the caution that no one could know whether Trump would seek to implement the fiscal policies on which he campaigned. Most of us, however, said that if he wished to implement those policies House Speaker Paul Ryan would not be able to block him. I opined that congressional Republicans would rediscover their love of pork and logrolling if Trump implemented his promised fiscal policies.

The audience was also surprised to hear two groups of economists explain that Hillary Clinton’s fiscal policies remained pure New Democrat (austerity forever) even as the economic illiteracy of those policies became even clearer – and even as the political idiocy of her fiscal policies became glaringly obvious. Austerity is one of the fundamental ways in which the system is rigged against the working class. Austerity was the weapon of mass destruction unleashed in the New Democrats’ and Republicans’ long war on the working class. The fact that she intensified and highlighted her intent to inflict continuous austerity on the working class as the election neared represented an unforced error of major proportions. As the polling data showed her losing the white working class by staggering amounts, in the last month of the election, the big new idea that Hillary pushed repeatedly was a promise that if she were elected she would inflict continuous austerity on the economy. “I am not going to add a penny to the national debt.”

The biggest losers of such continued austerity would as ever be the working class. She also famously insulted the working class as “deplorables.” It was a bizarre approach by a politician to the plight of tens of millions of Americans who were victims of the New Democrats’ and the Republicans’ trade and austerity policies. As we presented these facts to a European audience we realized that in attempting to answer the question of what Trump’s promised fiscal policies would mean if implemented we were also explaining one of the most important reasons that Hillary Clinton lost the white working class by such an enormous margin.

Readers of New Economic Perspectives understand why UMKC academics and non-academic supporters have long shown that austerity is typically a self-destructive policy brought on by a failure to understand how money works, particularly in a nation like the U.S. with a sovereign currency. We have long argued that the working class is the primary victim of austerity and that austerity is a leading cause of catastrophic levels of inequality. Understanding sovereign money is critical also to understanding why the federal government can and should serve as a job guarantor of last resort. People, particularly working class men, need jobs, not simply incomes to feel like successful adults. The federal jobs guarantee program is not simply economically brilliant it is politically brilliant, it would produce enormous political support from the working class for whatever political party implemented it.

At Kilkenomics we also used Hillary’s devotion to inflicting continuous austerity on the working class to explain to a European audience how dysfunctional her enablers in the media and her campaign became. The fact that Paul Krugman was so deeply in her pocket by the time she tripled down on austerity that he did not call her out on why austerity was terrible economics and terrible policy shows us the high cost of ceasing to speak truth to power. The fact that no Clinton economic adviser had the clout and courage to take her aside and get her to abandon her threat to inflict further austerity on the working class tells us how dysfunctional her campaign team became. I stress again that Tom Frank has been warning the Democratic Party for over a decade that the policies and the anti-union and anti-working class attitudes of the New Democrats were causing enormous harm to the working class and enraging it. But anyone who listened to Tom Frank’s warnings was persona non grata in Hillary’s campaign. In my second column in this series I explain that Krugman gave up trying to wean Hillary Clinton from her embrace of austerity’s war on the working class and show that he remains infected by a failure to understand the nature of sovereign currencies.

What the economists were saying about Trump at Kilkenomics was that there were very few reliable engines of global growth. China’s statistics are a mess and its governing party’s real views of the state of the economy are opaque. Japan just had a good growth uptick, but it has been unable to sustain strong growth for over two decades. Germany refuses, despite the obvious “win-win” option of spending heavily on its infrastructure needs to do so. Instead, it persists in running trade and budget surpluses that beggar its neighbors. England is too small and only Corbyn’s branch of Labour and the SNP oppose austerity. “New Labour” supporters, most of the leadership of the Labour party, like the U.S. “New Democrats” that served as their ideological model, remain fierce austerity hawks.
http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2016 ... more-10725
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  10,973 23 Nov 2016, 10:59 am

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* Krugman wrote some of the most baseless expressions of misinformation about Sanders
and excused the Obama/Clinton political "vision" she was projecting..it was shameful.

Krugman’s Failure to Speak Truth to Power about Austerity

By William K. Black
Bloomington, MN November 22, 2016
In the first column in this series I explained how Hillary Clinton, during the closing 40 days of her campaign, showcased repeatedly her promise to assault the working class with continuous austerity. I explained that her threat represented economic malpractice – and was insane politics. I showed that the assault on the working class via austerity was such a core belief of the New Democrats that their candidate highlighted that assault even as the polls showed massive, intense rejection of her candidacy by the white working class. I also noted that in this second series in the column I would discuss the failure of her campaign team, and her de facto surrogate, Paul Krugman to speak truth to power about the dual idiocy of her campaign promise to wage continuous war on the working class through austerity forever.

The broader point is the one made so often and so well by Tom Frank – it is morally wrong, economically illiterate, and politically suicidal for the New Democrats to continue to assault the working class via austerity, “free trade” (sic) deals, and financial deregulation. The only thing worse is to then insult the working class for reacting “badly” to being pummeled for decades by the Party that once defined itself as the party of working people. The New Democrats decided to insult the white working class in response to polls showing that the white working class was enraged at Hillary Clinton. Arrogance and self-blindness are boon companions.
I grew up in the Detroit-area and saw George Wallace win the Democratic Party primary for the presidential nomination, so none of this is new to me. We all know that the New Democrats are never going to listen to my warnings or Tom Frank’s warnings. But the leaks show that Hillary had many competent staff who raised difficult questions. Why wasn’t any senior campaign staffer willing to tell her that her austerity threats were economically illiterate and politically suicidal? Krugman warned President Obama several times that austerity was a terrible economic policy.
John Boehner, March 2009:
It’s time for government to tighten their belts and show the American people that we ‘get’ it

Barack Obama, yesterday:
“At a time when so many families are tightening their belts, he’s going to make sure that the government continues to tighten its own,” Obama said. “
We’ll never know how differently the politics would have played if Obama, instead of systematically echoing and giving credibility to all the arguments of the people who want to destroy him, had actually stood up for a different economic philosophy. But we do know how his actual strategy has worked, and it hasn’t been a success

Why did he cease speaking truth to power as the election came down to the wire?
The New Democrats Were Locked Into Austerity
Ever since the birth of the New Democrats, their adherents have embraced austerity. This act of mutual economic and political self-destruction has become so core to their identity that Hillary unhesitatingly made it one her most important closing pitches during the last 40 days of her campaign against Trump. At the very moment when her pollsters were warning her that she could lose due to working class hostility, she chose to showcase her hostility to the working class by promising to inflict eight more years of austerity on them. In your face working class! This is a political strategy that has no upside, but a toxic downside. Despite intense criticism from progressives of her austerity threats, Paul Krugman never urged her publicly to promise to end austerity’s assault on the working class. Similarly, no one on her official campaign team had the courage and strength to tell her to stop and reverse her position.
Part of Krugman’s problem was that while he has come some distance from his long-held support for austerity, his reflexes are still wrong because he does not understand sovereign money. A November 14, 2016 Krugman column revealed the hold his past dogmas still had on him.
Eight years ago, as the world was plunging into financial crisis, I argued that we’d entered an economic realm in which “virtue is vice, caution is risky, and prudence is folly.” Specifically, we’d stumbled into a situation in which bigger deficits and higher inflation were good things, not bad. And we’re still in that situation — not as strongly as we were, but we could still very much use more deficit spending.
Many economists have known this all along. But they have been ignored, partly because much of the political establishment has been obsessed with the evils of debt, partly because Republicans have been against anything the Obama administration proposes.

Krugman still does not understand sovereign money. A budget deficit for a government with a sovereign currency is not a moral issue. Budget surpluses are not a “virtue” and deficits are not a “vice.” The economic issue is strictly pragmatic – what size budget deficit or surplus is best for the overall economy? The political issue is the one Krugman made in his criticism of President Obama’s embrace of the self-inflicted wound of adopting your opponents’ economic illiteracy.

in full: http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2016 ... erity.html
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 23 Nov 2016, 11:02 am

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Nikki Haley Chosen as U.N. Ambassador
By MAGGIE HABERMAN
NOV. 23, 2016


President-elect Donald J. Trump on Wednesday named Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina as his choice to become ambassador to the United Nations, adding to his prospective cabinet a former critic with whom he had sparred bitterly.
Ms. Haley’s name had previously been mentioned as a possible contender to become Mr. Trump’s secretary of state, and she met with Trump transition officials last week in New York.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/us/po ... .html?_r=0
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 23 Nov 2016, 11:05 am

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Hedge Fund Managers Expect a Return on Their Investment in Donald Trump
November 22 2016, 6:44 p.m.
David Daven

“The hedge fund guys didn’t build this country,” Donald Trump told “Face the Nation” in August 2015. “These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky.”
In fact, the paper-pushers got extremely lucky when Donald Trump was elected. Trump’s victory has facilitated one of the most audacious hedge fund plays in recent U.S. history — one poised to pay off in billions of dollars. Billionaire investors are buying worthless stocks in the hope of bullying the government into re-animating them. And now the government just might grant their wish.

The holdings in question are mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which the government put into federal conservatorship in 2008. The Treasury Department in 2012 changed the terms of the deal, sweeping all of Fannie’s and Freddie’s profits into the government.

After these maneuvers, shareholders were thought to have been wiped out. But hedge funds continued to buy stock in the companies. They wanted to force the government to recapitalize Fannie and Freddie and release them back into the private sector. In that event, the stock price would shoot up (before the financial crisis, each traded at $60 a share), giving investors an astronomical return on their investment. Hedge funds don’t have to disclose their stakes in individual stocks, but reports indicate that just one, Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital, has $475 million invested in the companies.

The hedge funds mounted pressure on several fronts to ensure they’d win their bet. They lobbied Congress to privatize the mortgage companies. They built advocacy groups to argue for their position. They fought Treasury’s profit sweep in a series of lawsuits. And this year, they embarked upon buying themselves a president.

John Paulson, one of the largest investors in the Fannie and Freddie play, has a history of getting rich off the housing market. He famously worked with Goldman Sachs in 2007 to short subprime mortgage bonds, without informing investors on the other side of the bet about the poor quality of the underlying loans. That was worth $4 billion.

Since profiting off homeowner misery, Paulson has struggled with uneven returns. In the first quarter of this year, his main two funds each fell 15 percent, and his assets under management have dropped from $36 billion to $13 billion in just six years. But Paulson still had his Fannie and Freddie play, and he donated millions to the effort to influence the government on its behalf. Besides, Donald Trump, one of Paulson’s fund investors and business partners (Paulson was one of the owners of the Doral Golf Club when Trump purchased it), happened to be running for president.

Paulson cozied up to Trump. He hosted a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in New York City. He served as an economic adviser to the Trump campaign. And he personally gave $330,000, the maximum donation, to the effort. Since the election, the market has recognized that this close relationship to Trump likely equals an end to the Fannie and Freddie profit sweep, a partial or total privatization of the mortgage giants, and a personal benefit for John Paulson.

On November 8, Fannie Mae was priced at $1.64 a share and Freddie Mac at $1.55. Since then, both have nearly doubled. Fannie has dropped slightly from its Monday peak at $3.15 but is still significantly higher ($3.07 by the close of Tuesday), while Freddie is at $3.03. The run pushed the stocks to their highest levels of the year.
Paulson, explicitly selected as Trump’s economic adviser for his expertise in housing, would presumably have significant sway over the resolution of Fannie and Freddie and the future of housing finance. His hedge fund told Bloomberg in a statement that Treasury’s profit sweep in 2012 “violated the rights of thousands of shareholders across America… We look forward to an outcome that restores the rights of shareholders in these companies.”

Other Trump advisers share Paulson’s perspective. Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, overseeing domestic policy in the Trump transition, publicly accused the Treasury Department in 2014 of “a theft of private property” with the Fannie/Freddie profit sweep. Blackwell is a director of the Coalition for Mortgage Security, one of the many shadow groups advocating for privatization of the companies. Carl Icahn, a longtime Trump friend and business partner, has invested at least $50 million in Fannie and Freddie. Bruce Berkowitz, CEO of Fairholme Capital Management, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against the government over the 2012 profit sweep, donated $125,000 to Trump’s campaign.

Hedge fund managers may even get one of their own installed as Treasury secretary. Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s national finance chair and the co-founder of the hedge fund Dune Capital, has been listed as a finalist for Treasury since the election. Mnuchin serves on the board of directors of Sears with Berkowitz, of Fairholme Capital. He also led an investment group to purchase failed lender IndyMac from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 2009, renaming it OneWest Bank and taking over as CEO. That investment group included John Paulson. In 2014 OneWest was sold to CIT Bank, making Paulson and his fellow investors over $3 billion.

The other main candidate for Treasury, House Financial Services Committee chair Jeb Hensarling, introduced a bill in 2013 that would phase out Fannie and Freddie within five years, leaving the housing market to private interests. That would help traditional banks but not the hedge fund profit-seekers.
Paulson and his fellow influencers appear determined not to let that happen.
remainder: https://theintercept.com/2016/11/22/hed ... ald-trump/
Last edited by Henry_ on 23 Nov 2016, 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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  10,973 23 Nov 2016, 11:10 am

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Donald Trump’s Big Ethics Move Is to Replace Lobbyists With Former Lobbyists

November 22 2016, 1:01 p.m.

Donald Trump, implementing what one news outlet called a “tough lobbying ban“, swept several registered lobbyists out of his transition team last week — only to replace them on Monday with new officials heavily involved with lobbying for the same industry interests.

The junk food lobbyist overseeing the agency that is responsible for the federal school lunch program will be replaced — by a former junk food lobbyist.
The Koch Industries lobbyist who was overseeing transition efforts on energy and the environment will be replaced — by a former Koch Industries lobbyist who leads a think tank funded by Koch Industries.

The Trump transition-team ethics standards requires officials to deregister as lobbyists and agree to a five-year lobbying ban. But the rules do not preclude officials who have recently worked in the lobbying industry or currently work in the lobbying industry without having explicitly registered as lobbyists.

The rules prompted three Trump transition officials to depart on Friday: Michael Torrey, Michael Catanzaro and Mike McKenna, all of whom are registered lobbyists.
Torrey was set to handle the handoff at the Department of Agriculture, which manages the school lunch program and other food programs such as SNAP, but he currently counts a number of junk food companies as clients, including the American Beverage Association, which represents soda companies like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, as well as Dean Foods.
Torrey’s replacement, announced on Monday, is Joel Leftwich, a congressional staffer who just last year worked as a senior lobbyist for PepsiCo, which not only makes soda products, but is also the maker of brands like Cheetos, Doritos, and Frito-Lay. Leftwich previously helped his firm weaken nutritional standards from the agency he will now help shape.

Leftwich earned $354,041 from PepsiCo as the company’s senior lobbyist, according to his ethics disclosure, but left his lobbying position in 2015, qualifying him for a seat on the Trump transition this year.

Michael Catanzaro, who was set to oversee the transition at the Department of Energy, is a registered lobbyist for fossil fuel giant Koch Industries.
Catanzaro’s departure on Friday made way for Thomas Pyle as his replacement.

Pyle is currently the president of the Institute for Energy Research, a think tank founded directly by Charles Koch, the chief executive of Koch Industries, and also funded by Koch-backed nonprofits. IER broadly supports more drilling and mining of fossil fuels, and regularly criticizes climate change scientists for daring to call for controls on pollution. Before joining IER, Pyle worked as a registered lobbyist for Koch Industries and served as the Koch Industries Director of Federal Affairs, a lobbying job, from 2001

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/22/tru ... bbyists-2/
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 23 Nov 2016, 11:23 am

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* NO surprise here, Obama fighting against the progressive way out of the failures of his neo-liberalism policies?
The WH neutral? lol Complete bullshit.

The war continues:


White House unsure about Rep. Keith Ellison heading Democratic National Committee President Obama's loyalists, uneasy with the progressive Ellison, have begun casting about for an alternative.

By Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman New York Times November 22, 2016 — 10:31pm

Image

WASHINGTON
– Struggling to respond to Donald Trump’s victory, a group of shellshocked Democrats moved swiftly to endorse Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, hoping he would be a fresh face for a party with a depleted bench.

But after steadily adding endorsements from leading Democrats in his bid to take over the party, Ellison is encountering resistance from a formidable corner: the White House.
In a sign of the discord gripping the party, President Obama’s loyalists, uneasy with the progressive Ellison, have begun casting about for an alternative, according to multiple Democratic officials close to the president.

The battle pits the titans of the Democratic Party against one another, with Obama’s camp at odds with figures like Chuck Schumer of New York, the new Senate Democratic leader, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Obama’s advisers, some of whom discussed the party leadership race at a White House meeting last week, have talked about whether Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and former Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan would be willing to run for the post. Perez met with Vice President Joe Biden last week and had lunch Tuesday in the White House Mess with Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s senior adviser, while also visiting with David Simas, Obama’s political director.

Some in Obama’s circle were even holding out hope that Biden himself could be persuaded to step into the chairmanship, but Biden’s office said Tuesday that he was not interested.
The tumultuous tenure of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who was forced out as party leader in July, convinced a wide range of Democrats that whoever takes over the committee must make it their sole focus.

“There’s too much at stake for us not to have somebody working in a full-time capacity,” said Michael Blake, a New York assemblyman and veteran of both of Obama’s campaigns, who is considering a DNC vice chairmanship.

But there are other reasons for the discomfort with Ellison that illustrate lingering divisions after a bruising presidential primary fight and a general election in which Hillary Clinton suffered deep losses among working-class whites and could not match Obama’s support among young and nonwhite voters.

Some Democrats, in Obama’s orbit and beyond, believe that elevating Ellison would amount to handing the party to Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s primary opponent, and his liberal followers.

Ellison was a high-profile backer of Sanders’ presidential campaign, and Sanders has been rallying support for Ellison’s DNC bid. He ignited new controversy this week by saying the party needed to “go beyond identity politics.”

Some top Democrats had hoped to pre-empt a contest by backing Ellison’s bid. Schumer, Warren and an array of House members and unions were lining up behind him even before he formally entered the race.

But along with his inability to do the job full-time and his ties to Sanders, Ellison’s past criticism of Obama and praise for Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, worry some Democrats looking for a figure to lead the opposition to Trump.

Ellison, a Muslim, defended Farrakhan in the 1990s, saying he was “not an anti-Semite,” and has positioned himself on the left flank of congressional Democrats on Israel.
Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, called Ellison “an important ally in the fight against anti-Semitism” but said he had taken positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “on which we strongly differ and that concern us.”

The AFL-CIO has been considering an endorsement of Ellison but delayed its decision, in part because organized labor has a good relationship with Perez. Perez called Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, to tell him he was seriously considering a run, according to three Democratic officials.

An Obama spokesman declined to comment on the race and said the administration was neutral. Perez and Granholm, who both declined to discuss whether they intended to run, were early supporters of Clinton’s campaign, which could turn the DNC race into the Clinton-vs.-Sanders proxy war that some Democrats want to avoid.
http://www.startribune.com/white-house- ... 402567445/
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  10,973 23 Nov 2016, 11:32 am

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Lashing Out at ‘Identity Politics,’ Pundits Blame Trump on Those Most Vulnerable to Trump

By Adam Johnson

Over the past two weeks, pundits from all ends of the spectrum have been scrambling to explain Clinton’s unexpected loss, with reasons spanning from the plausible to the highly dubious; WikiLeaks, Bernie Sanders, fake news, Jill Stein, Russia, bad algorithms and the FBI have all been accused of having sole or part responsibility. Lately, however, a new, entirely bogus culprit has emerged from center and center-left circles: “identity politics” and its close cousin, “political correctness.”

It began days after the election, when evergreen PC-hater Bill Maher (Real Time, 11/11/16) lashed out at “political correctness” for Trump’s win, based on what appears to be a gut feeling he had:
You’re outrageous with your politically correct bullshit and it does drive people away. And Islam. You know? Islam. Democrats, there is a terrorist attack, and Democrats’ reaction is “don’t be mean to Muslims,” instead of how can we solve the problem of shit blowing up in America. And, you know, that’s not a good way to get votes.

Even by the standards of TV blowhards, little argument was offered. Maher, like the others advancing this trope, just took his pre-existing hang-up—in his case, what he sees as liberal coddling of Muslims—and projected it onto the electorate. Since Trump sold himself as “politically incorrect,” it logically follows that some original PC leftist sin helped fuel his rise.
Even by the standards of TV blowhards, little argument was offered. Maher, like the others advancing this trope, just took his pre-existing hang-up—in his case, what he sees as liberal coddling of Muslims—and projected it onto the electorate. Since Trump sold himself as “politically incorrect,” it logically follows that some original PC leftist sin helped fuel his rise.
Two days later, Vox (11/15/16) would run a softball interview with Jon Haidt, a noted NYU social psychologist and diversity skeptic, headlined “Why Social Media Is Terrible for Multiethnic Democracies. ” Vox Editor Ezra Klein teed up by tweeting, “Interesting: Jon Haidt on why ‘diversity, immigration and multiculturalism’ are ripping apart Western democracies.” Clouded in academic trappings and qualifiers, Haidt advances some fairly toxic victim-blaming:
Multiculturalism and diversity have many benefits, including creativity and economic dynamism, but they also have major drawbacks, which is that they generally reduce social capital and trust and they amplify tribal tendencies.

The academic basis for such a claim aside, Haidt has made a leap from “multiculturalism and diversity” to the specific instance of Trump’s election, based on vague notions of “amplified tribal tendencies.” Who helps amplify those tendencies, and who profits from our history of white “tribalism,” isn’t broached, much less dissected. It’s simply an inevitable law of sociology, and no one—save, of course, the minorities guilty of “identity politics”—are held liable. Haidt continued:
A multiethnic society is a very hard machine to assemble and get aloft into the air, and if you get it just right, you can get a multiethnic society to fly, but it easily breaks down. And identity politics is like throwing sand in the gears.
Politics is always about factions, always about competing groups. At the time of the founders, those groups involved economic interests—the Northern industrialists versus the Southern agrarians and so on.

But in a world in which factions are based on race or ethnicity, rather than economic interests, that’s the worst possible world. It’s the most intractable world we can inhabit, and it’s the one that will lead to the ugliest outcome.

Interviewer Sean Illing lets these highly contestable, downpunching claims go unchallenged, namely the false dichotomy asserted by Haidt—and one very common in this backlash—that economic populism and identity politics are somehow mutually exclusive.
This, of course, isn’t true. Advancing economic populism while understanding that particular groups have specific concerns—such as freedom from discrimination—has always been a mainstay of left politics. Those insisting it has to be either/or likely care about neither, and are content maintaining the status quo.
This was followed by three anti–identity politics pieces published on the same day in the two leading centrist establishment newspapers:
“The Danger of a Dominant Identity” (David Brooks, New York Times 11/18/16)“Higher Education Is Awash with Hysteria. That Might Have Helped Elect Trump” (George Will, Washington Post, 11/18/16)“The End of Identity Liberalism” (Mark Lilla, New York Times 11/18/16)

Brooks began by positioning a strawman: that “pollsters reduced complex individuals to a single identity” and assumed they would all vote accordingly:
Pollsters assumed women would vote primarily as women, and go for Hillary Clinton. But a surprising number voted against her. They assumed African-Americans would vote along straight Democratic lines, but a surprising number left the top line of the ballot blank.
The pollsters reduced complex individuals to a single identity, and are now embarrassed. But pollsters are not the only people guilty of reductionist solitarism. This mode of thinking is one of the biggest problems facing this country today.

But Brooks never cites a single pollster that actually did this—likely because none did. Pollsters argued that certain groups would have a greater or lesser tendency to vote for Clinton, not that they any would vote uniformly. Never mind, though—Brooks has a pre-existing grievance with identity politics, and showing it somehow tricked pollsters is essential to contriving this grievance into his piece.
In typical Brooks fashion, he went on to equate anti-racism with racism:
But it’s not only racists who reduce people to a single identity. These days it’s the anti-racists, too. To raise money and mobilize people, advocates play up ethnic categories to an extreme degree.

To fight back, people targeted by racists occasionally “raise money and mobilize people” who, like them, are also targeted by racists. The horror! “Why isn’t there a White History Channel?” inanity has its most influential booster, and he’s a bespectacled “moderate” at the New York Times.
George Will, whose piece is too lazy to examine in depth, does what George Will has been doing for 30 years: He lists off some anecdotes of ostensibly goofy political correctness, then tacks on a half-assed concluding paragraph about how it “might have” led to Trump.
Mark Lilla’s op-ed is much longer and far more pernicious. The Columbia historian doesn’t even bother to attach his statements to sociology, instead speaking in solipsistic terms about his own trip to Europe. Like Haidt, he engages in false dichotomy, presenting Clinton’s appeal to blacks and LGBTQ as somehow dismissive of the “white working class”:
But when it came to life at home, she tended on the campaign trail to lose that large vision and slip into the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, LGBT and women voters at every stop. This was a strategic mistake. If you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them. If you don’t, those left out will notice and feel excluded. Which, as the data show, was exactly what happened with the white working class and those with strong religious convictions.

Lilla provided no evidence, even anecdotally, that the white working class felt “left out.” It’s just something he asserts, but never connects the dots.
He went on to glibly dismiss writing that focused on specific communities, mocking stories about transgender people in Egypt:
However interesting it may be to read, say, about the fate of transgender people in Egypt, it contributes nothing to educating Americans about the powerful political and religious currents that will determine Egypt’s future, and indirectly, our own. No major news outlet in Europe would think of adopting such a focus.

Except one European paper, the Guardian, did adopt such a focus last year (in a wonderful piece everyone should read). Lilla’s screed can’t seem get its straw liberals in order.
Similarly, he laments “high school curriculums” that focused on “the achievements of women’s rights movements” while ignoring “the founding fathers’ achievement in establishing a system of government based on the guarantee of rights.” No evidence is offered of these high schools that have erased the “founding fathers” from history classes, nor is it clear why it’s so urgent women’s rights studies pay due deference to Thomas Jefferson and Co. over the scores of other philosophers who’ve written on the issue of rights.
Others, such as the Des Moines Register’s Froma Harrop (11/15/16), Reason’s Robby Soave (11/9/16) and Damon Linker and Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, both at The Week (11/16/16, 11/18/16), also piled on—as did “new atheist” personality David Rubin and popular comedy writer Seth MacFarlane. These 11 high-status observers agreed: The PC police fueled the Trump backlash.
There’s only one problem: There isn’t really any evidence provided. No studies proffered, no exit poll dissecting, no empirical basis for this conclusion at all. It’s just a vague feeling, something that seems true. There’s a supposed problem—an excess of political correctness and identity politics—but it’s not connected to the topic at hand: the election of Donald J. Trump.
But let’s be generous. Even if, for the sake of argument, one accepts the premise that “political correctness” fueled Trump’s success, what’s missing from the conversation is that few people—the above pundits not excepted—derive their ideas of political correctness from first-hand experiences.
Often the perception of “political correctness” is heavily filtered through Fox News and right-wing radio’s cartoon version of it. Day in and day out, center and center-right outlets highlight and distort the most obscure excesses, typically on college campuses, to feed a narrative to its audience that white men are under siege by conspiratorial liberal forces. But the majority of Trump’s supporters haven’t been to college in decades, nor are they interfacing first-hand with these academic enclaves; rather, they’re presented with anecdotes on television and a bustling market of anti-liberal films that stoke a vision of a dystopian PC police state.

To this extent, liberals couldn’t really dial down the “identity politics” in an effort to assuage white conservatives even if they wanted to; the Murdochian echo chamber will just move the goalposts and cherry-pick new outrages. Centrists and liberals accepting the premise of out-of-control political correctness as something that can be dialed down have done all of the heavy-lifting for the right wing—and, increasingly, white supremacist forces—without critically analyzing whether the average voter’s perception of “safe spaces” and “thought-policing” is at all connected to objective reality.

Same with immigration, terrorism and a whole host of right-wing soft spots: They are serious issues, to an extent, but they are racialized and then magnified a thousandfold by a partisan media machine that feeds off and profits greatly from white grievance. Playing into its hands by telling the most vulnerable populations to shut up and table their pursuit of rights won’t prevent these panics; it’ll only feed into the basic premise that it’s a problem in the first place—all the while putting the burden of fighting Trumpism on the backs of those most vulnerable to its ugly effects.

A lack of sufficient economic populism on Clinton’s part is a reasonable critique, and one some of these pundits are perhaps hinting at. But absence of populism isn’t evidence that “identity politics” is to blame; it’s evidence that Clinton’s economic outlook is centrist, and would be regardless of whether she said “black lives matter” or targeted messages to the LGBTQ community.

Every one of the above pundits who is blaming identity politics and political correctness for Trump, it can’t be stressed enough, hated identity politics to begin with, and would have regardless of who won. They’re jamming a long-held dislike into a topical and convenient narrative—an act that could be dismissed as cynical self-flattery if it wasn’t, in the face of an upsurge of reactionary politics, also helping provide ideological cover for racists and demagogues.
http://fair.org/home/lashing-out-at-ide ... -to-trump/
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Posted by Henry_
  10,973 23 Nov 2016, 7:38 pm

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Trey Gowdy Eyed For Fourth Circuit Seat

By FITS - November 18, 2016

SOURCES: CONGRESSMAN LIKELY CHOICE FOR FEDERAL JUDGESHIP

It’s been quite the whirlwind of speculation surrounding U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy of late, but we may have finally landed on the correct answer …
Gowdy, who is about to begin his fourth term in the U.S. Congress, has been dying to get out of Washington, D.C. for some time now. In fact those close to him say he never really wanted to be there in the first place.

At least not as a member of Congress …
Anyway, Republicans in the S.C. House of Representatives were eager to grant Gowdy his wish by getting him elected chief justice of the S.C. Supreme Court – but his endorsement of establishment U.S. Senator Marco Rubio dashed those hopes.

Well, that and the fact liberal justice Donald Beatty didn’t get the federal job he wanted (blocking Gowdy’s path to the top spot on the state court).
The latest speculation involving Gowdy? That he might run as a South Carolina lieutenant gubernatorial candidate in 2018 on a ticket headed by U.S. Senator Tim Scott.
According to our sources, that’s not going to happen …

Why not? Because Gowdy is headed to the U.S. fourth circuit court of appeals.
“It is being held very close,” a source familiar with the situation told us. “There is something sacred about judicial appointments.”
Based in Richmond, Virginia, the fourth circuit handles cases from five southern states – Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. It is comprised of fifteen judges (not including two active judges currently on senior status).

Six of its judges were appointed by U.S. president Barack Obama, while four were appointed by former president Bill Clinton.

Sources close to Gowdy tell us he has long-coveted a judicial appointment – and that his ultimate goal is to one day serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Assuming he receives this appointment, he would be one step away from achieving that goal.
http://www.fitsnews.com/2016/11/18/trey ... cuit-seat/
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