Home country: USA
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Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 03:01 PM
Number of posts: 10,496
Home country: USA
Current location: Switzerland
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 03:01 PM
Number of posts: 10,496
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I was hoping that the recount would affect all races on the ballot. But you are probably right that it won't.
Posted by BlueMTexpat | Thu Nov 24, 2016, 08:17 PM (0 replies)
This is one of the best essays I have seen about this issue. As someone who grew up in rural America - so rural that it didn't even qualify as "fly-over," I can agree with just about every word.
"... The problem isn’t that I don’t understand these people. The problem is they don’t understand themselves, the reasons for their anger/frustrations, and don’t seem to care to know why.
In deep red, white America, the white Christian God is king, figuratively and literally. Religious fundamentalism is what has shaped most of their belief systems. Systems built on a fundamentalist framework are not conducive for introspection, questioning, learning, change. When you have a belief system that is built on fundamentalism, it isn’t open to outside criticism, especially by anyone not a member of your tribe and in a position of power. The problem isn’t “coastal elites don’t understand rural Americans.” The problem is rural America doesn’t understand itself and will NEVER listen to anyone outside their bubble. It doesn’t matter how “understanding” you are, how well you listen, what language you use…if you are viewed as an outsider, your views are automatically discounted. I’ve had hundreds of discussions with rural white Americans and whenever I present them any information that contradicts their entrenched beliefs, no matter how sound, how unquestionable, how obvious, they WILL NOT even entertain the possibility it might be true. Their refusal is a result of the nature of their fundamentalist belief system and the fact I’m the enemy because I’m an educated liberal. At some point during the discussion, “That’s your education talking,” will be said, derogatorily, as a general dismissal of everything I said. They truly believe this is a legitimate response because to them education is not to be trusted. Education is the enemy of fundamentalism because fundamentalism, by its very nature, is not built on facts. The fundamentalists I grew up around aren’t anti-education. They want their kids to know how to read and write. They are anti-quality, in-depth, broad, specialized education. Learning is only valued up to the certain point. Once it reaches the level where what you learn contradicts doctrine and fundamentalist arguments, it becomes dangerous. I watched a lot of my fellow students who were smart, stop their education the day they graduated high school. For most of the young ladies, getting married and having kids was more important than continuing their learning. For many of the young men, getting a college education was seen as unnecessary and a waste of time. For the few who did go to college, what they learned was still filtered through their fundamentalist belief system. If something they were taught didn’t support a preconception, it would be ignored and forgotten the second it was no longer need to pass an exam."
Much more at the link.
Posted by BlueMTexpat | Wed Nov 23, 2016, 01:55 PM (5 replies)
Montana voters typically throw their support behind Republican presidential candidates, and Trump figures to win the state this year. But that doesn't mean down-ticket Republicans can rest easy: In the last three presidential elections, Montana voters have elected the Democratic candidate as governor while picking the GOP presidential candidate.
But Trump is not a typical Republican candidate, and this is not a typical election year, Saldin said.
"If I were on one of these, any of these, campaigns, I'd be worried about that. Just the general chaos and uncertainty that's been caused by the presidential campaign and how that's going to affect things down-ballot," he added.
Bullock, the state's attorney general before being elected in 2012 as one of only 18 Democratic governors in the U.S., has framed himself as a coalition builder and a champion of protecting public access to lands and waterways. He shrugged off what effect Trump may have on his bid for a second term.
"I control those things that I can control, and that's actually getting out there and talking to voters," Bullock said.
I think that McClatchy misses these facts, among others: a) Bullock is a popular governor, whatever his party designation; and b) MT women voters might have a greater effect on the race than some think. Judging by my anecdotal experience of friends and family in MT, many in both parties are excited about Hillary's candidacy and they are also excited about sending Denise Juneau, an excellent Dem woman candidate, to the US House of Representatives for the second time since Jeannette Rankin won a seat there 100 years ago.
Whatever happens in the Presidential race in MT, I am hoping very much that BOTH Bullock and Juneau win their respective elections. But it would be absolutely WONDERFUL if MT defied all expectations and Hillary won there too.
Posted by BlueMTexpat | Tue Nov 8, 2016, 08:50 AM (2 replies)
X posted from GD-2016 - where, as anticipated, it got very little traction, which tells you something about posters in that group - even today.
Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite writers.
Posted by BlueMTexpat | Tue Nov 8, 2016, 02:36 AM (0 replies)
While Clinton holds her head high, why are we not exploding with anger at Donald Trump’s bullying?
Hillary Clinton has honoured the rules of civic duty and met the prerequisites for a candidate, bringing a lifetime of pertinent experience, an inquiring mind, a record of compassionate service and a sound grasp of our nation’s every challenge, from international relations to climate change; her stated desire is to work hard for our country and its future.
Her opponent has no political experience, a famously childish temperament, no interest in educating himself on any subject, a manifest record of shortchanging employees, bankrupting businesses, cheating on wives, dodging taxes and serving absolutely no one but himself. His mission is to elevate the self-regard of some Americans by degrading many others, including Muslims, Mexican immigrants, people with disabilities, residents of African-American communities, women he finds beautiful and women he does not.
I’m horrified to watch the bizarre pageant of my nation pretending these two contenders are equivalent. No one really imagines Donald Trump applying himself to the disciplines of the presidency, staying up late reading reams of legislation, instead of firing off juvenile tweets. It’s even harder to imagine Clinton indulging in the boorish self-aggrandisement, intellectual laziness, racism and vulgar contempt for the opposite gender that characterise her opponent. If anyone still doubts that the inexperienced man gets promoted ahead of the qualified woman, you can wake up now.
The men orchestrating this misogynistic horror show have combed every inch of Clinton’s lifetime of service looking for some dark deed, finding nothing worse than a mistake about email handling for which she has accepted responsibility and submitted to an exhaustive investigation that found no harm done. (I marvel at her decades of perfect caution. What other person alive could come through such scrutiny without deeper embarrassments?) They’ve broken into her private exchanges, the legal equivalent of burgling and rifling the drawers of her home, dragging stolen goods through the public forum with barefaced entitlement. Through it all, Clinton holds her head high and carries on as if this is the way of campaigns.
Posted by BlueMTexpat | Mon Nov 7, 2016, 05:23 PM (20 replies)
Three sets of data point in the same direction:
- The state poll-based Meta-Margin is Clinton +2.6%.
- National polls give a median of Clinton +3.0 +/- 0.9% (10 polls with a start date of November 1st or later).
- Early voting patterns approximately match 2012, a year when the popular vote was Obama +3.9%.
Based on this evidence, if Hillary Clinton does not win on Tuesday it will be a giant surprise.
An obvious contrast with PEC’s calculation is the FiveThirtyEight win probability, which has been in the 60-70% range. As a prominent outlier this season, FiveThirtyEight has come under fire for their lack of certainty. Its founder, Nate Silver, has fired back.
Let me start by pointing out that FiveThirtyEight and the Princeton Election Consortium have different goals. One site has the goal of being correct in an academic sense, i.e. mulling over many alternatives and discussing them. The other site is driven by monetary and resource considerations. However, which is which? It’s opposite to what you may think.
With all that prelude (whew!), let me explain how the Princeton Election Consortium achieves such a high level of confidence.
Much more at the link.
Posted by BlueMTexpat | Mon Nov 7, 2016, 03:21 PM (1 replies)
NBC Nightly News made a trip to Montana to cover Denise Juneau’s historic bid for the U.S. House of Representatives, calling the race “unexpectedly tight.”
“In this red state Juneau has chipped away at lead to the extent that House Speaker Paul Ryan came to campaign for Zinke last week,” reporter Janet Shamlian said.
“There’s no question that part of her appeal, especially for the progressive base, lies in those aspects of her identity that are unique by Montana standards,” political scientist Rob Saldin told NBC News.
Posted by BlueMTexpat | Mon Nov 7, 2016, 08:58 AM (0 replies)
The United States' first female Attorney General has died at the age of 78
Janet Reno, the first female Attorney General of the United States, who served for eight years after being nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993, has died at the age of 78 from complications related to Parkinson’s disease. Here, six milestones in the no-frills lawyer’s legacy:
1. Becoming the first woman to serve as Attorney General
During her 15 years as prosecutor in Miami’s Dade County, where voters returned her to the office five times, Reno gained plenty of experience on cases with national implications, including on narcotics, immigration and corruption. The Ivy League law graduate also had a reputation as an innovator who introduced a special court for drug offenders that mixed punishment with treatment.
She was nominated and confirmed as the first woman to serve as the U.S. Attorney General in March 1993 after Clinton’s first two choices, Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood, were withdrawn for previously employing illegal immigrants as domestic help. Reno remained Attorney General for the remainder of Clinton’s presidency, which made her the longest-serving in the whole of the twentieth century.
That year, she appeared on the cover of TIME, with the strapline reading ‘Reno: The Real Thing’. “When I was nominated, I was told that the White House had some people they wanted in position,” Reno said, in the interview that accompanied her cover. “I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to be able to live with that if I don’t particularly care for somebody or if I want somebody.’ They said, ‘We’ll work it out.’ And I’ve been entirely satisfied ever since.”
Much more at the link.
Posted by BlueMTexpat | Mon Nov 7, 2016, 08:55 AM (2 replies)
This post gives the Arab case for Hillary Clinton - one major reason why Clinton lost the MI primary was because many Arab-Americans supported Bernie Sanders, for many of the reasons mentioned here.
But Arab-Americans are NOT insane. Like this poster, many now support Hillary. So I am not as worried about MI as some of those now "concerned."
By and large, Arab ambivalence towards Trump and this race is based on a deep dislike, at times outright hatred, for Hillary Clinton. Hillary is seen as a huge supporter of Israel, a hawk whose policies resulted in the collapse of Libya and Syria, a supporter of the Iraq war in 2003, and worse. As Clinton put it at the end of the first debate: “I think by the end of the night I will be blamed for everything!”
Many Arabs fear that the Washington establishment is pushing and praying for a Hillary victory because she will embark on many more military adventures in the region. This fear is real. Almost all American interventions in the Arab world have been perceived to be on the wrong side of history and justice! American interventions have served Israeli interests and regional dictatorships, or both at the same time. Americans should never believe the lie, repeated mindlessly by politicians and mainstream media, that America has sided with the forces of democracy and freedom; at least not in the Arab world. That was never the case.
However, any attempt to paint Hillary as a neocon interventionist is misguided and unfair. In fact, the neocon US establishment has been battling Hillary relentlessly since 1992, doing everything they could to disqualify her, or even imprison her! If she is so much the neocon standard bearer, it doesn’t stand to reason that she would be the subject of so much vitriol and plotting by that very establishment.
The defense of Hillary, from an Arab perspective, can be focused on debunking the following lies:
Much more at the link. It's worth a read and was shared on FB today by a former colleague, who is Jordanian. Unfortunately, he can't vote in the US election. But he knows many who can!
Posted by BlueMTexpat | Sun Nov 6, 2016, 03:44 AM (12 replies)
... I’m tired of educating strangers on basic Feminism 101 points that they could have learned within (a) their first week of an Intro to Women’s Studies class, or (b) their first twenty-four hours on Tumblr. I’m tired of having to explain why it’s sexist for men to tell me how to do my feminism “right,” why they shouldn’t impose their self-declared authority on my liberation. I’m tired of explaining why barring women’s access to public life, penalizing their public voices through tactics like harassment and intimidation, is integral to the functioning of patriarchy. I’m tired of explaining why demonizing powerful women — calling Hillary Clinton a murderer, a criminal, a hag, a witch, a bitch, etc — is a tactic as old as witch-burning. I’m tired of explaining why “likability” is a trap designed to make women worry more about other people’s feelings than they do about their own lives — and why no powerful woman will ever be “likable,” because the only “likable” thing she can do is give away her power. I’m tired of reading shitty divide-and-conquer thinkpieces about the catfight between “old” feminists (evil, capitalist, wear pantsuits, loathe the young and wish to feast on their economically disempowered flesh) and “young” feminists (hot, cool, hip, fun, down with male power because they understand these silly identity-politics struggles don’t get us anywhere and sometimes men are just smarter, am I right, girls?) and I am supremely tired of looking at that thinkpiece, and others like it, and seeing a male fucking byline on it. But mostly, I am tired of even having to bring it up. I’m so, so, so tired.
Because you know what the kicker is, don’t you? You know what the fun, Black-Mirror-style twist in this story turns out to be? After months and months of painstakingly arguing that (a) sexism was real and (b) sexism played a role in the election, trying to get people ready for the uniquely gendered opposition a female candidate for the presidency would face — “the current Hillary-hate is an overture: A fraction of the sheer tonnage of misogyny and dishonesty that’s going to come if and when she wins the nomination,” I wrote, back in November of 2015 — and being willfully misunderstood or attacked for it about half the time, well, Hillary Clinton’s feminist supporters were proven right. Now, a year later, in October of 2016, there is nary a progressive-aligned person who would not agree that yes, in fact, sexism does play a role in this election. A very large, very disturbing role, for that matter. We were right. We were vindicated. We won. And it happened in the worst way possible.
Being right should at least feel good, but it doesn’t. I should have enjoyed the debates — seeing that, finally, many of my Clinton-doubting friends got what I saw in her; her grace under fire, her merciless tough-bitch baiting of his insecurities, her ability to take a man who’d bulldozed over a dozen Republican candidates and make him look like a screaming, pouting toddler — but I didn’t. It isn’t just an insult to Hillary Clinton that she wound up facing Trump. It’s an insult to all women; it’s confirmation of our darkest suspicions about sexism, that while women are killing ourselves to do better and be smarter and work harder, while we’re building resumes, accumulating qualifications, going to classes, applying for extra credit, the only thing all that excellence does, at the end of the day, is to put us on equal footing with some male idiot who’s done precisely none of the work. It isn’t fun, realizing that the most qualified candidate in modern history is considered roughly equivalent to a barely literate game-show host with no government experience, just because she’s female. It doesn’t feel good, knowing that even Hillary Clinton has to stand there and get screamed at by some Twitter troll, just because she’s trying to get a job.
It is not fun, was not fun, has never been and could never be fun, spending nearly two years “debating” my own humanity through the lens of the biggest news story in the country. It has not been fun realizing that this matter was up for debate. I mean: By my count, Donald Trump currently has twelve standing allegations of sexual assault. Now, thanks to the magic of modern polling, I can see exactly how many of my countrymen don’t give a shit. According to FiveThirtyEight, the number of Americans who would rather elect a rapist than a female human being stands at around 45 percent.
Posted by BlueMTexpat | Fri Nov 4, 2016, 04:17 AM (9 replies)