HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Scuba » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 211 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 46,010

Journal Archives

Political Stuff

My sister sent me this in email. As usual, she's spot on.

What I've learned from Drew Westen's book "The Political Brain":

The biggest problem liberals have is our ineffective messaging. We use facts and logic to argue our case (the limbic system though neo-cortex to amygdala route), but those who buy into the Republican message are influenced by things that jerk their emotional chain (limbic system straight to the amygdala):
1) fear (especially fear of losing face by admitting they've been wrong);
2) resentment of the so-called 'elite' (which the GOP has defined as 'educated' rather than as 'filthy rich'), and of anyone who gets anything from taxes (public employees and anyone being helped by a government safety net program).

What we have to do is play the GOP cards against them, but honestly. (Don't give them too many facts -- facts don't impress them; fear and resentment do.)

Resentment: Talk about the huge government subsidies to corporations making billions -- and their bosses (the filthy rich). Talk about the legislators who work a handful of days a year, give themselves raises, are being paid nearly $200,000 a year and have gold-standard benefits for life -- from tax dollars (the lazy bums). Talk about the pork going to any state other than the one your 'listener' lives in (their tax dollars supporting others).

Fear: (Fit your argument to the circumstances of the person you're speaking with.) Loss of Social Security and Medicare. Another trillion dollar unwinnable war financed with money borrowed from China. Loss of income to local businesses as the middle class shrinks and low-wage workers can't afford to patronize them. Their children unable to afford college. Their hunting and fishing public property sold to private companies.

Above all, avoid causing them to lose face. Talking to them feels like they're being preached to; talking with them shows respect. Ask them questions and listen respectfully to their answers -- sometimes they actually talk themselves out of what they think, because in order to talk about it, they have to think about it. Create a conversational environment which says that anybody can be deceived by a really slick operator, it doesn't mean they're stupid.

The Democrats' messaging is the major reason we've lost elections, with the result that the GOP winners have been able to rig the election system to ensure they win. We have a lot to overcome now. I highly recommend Westen's book!

Westen's book reviewed here.

Gov. Scott Walker: Answer for Climate Censorship in Wisconsin


Gov. Scott Walker: Answer for Climate Censorship in Wisconsin
Petition by Emily Southard, Forecast the Facts

To be delivered to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Publicly condemn the measure banning staff from working on “climate change,” recently passed by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, and demand that the three board members of the Commissioners of Public Lands reverse the ban immediately.


A Wisconsin state agency has barred staff from working on climate change, posing real threats to the state’s public lands and showing a deeply troubling trend among conservative state governments to establish climate denial as de facto policy.

Sign on to demand that Governor Scott Walker oppose climate censorship — and we’ll hand-deliver the petition to his office next week.

Confused Hillary accidently utters line from Goldman Sachs speech while speaking in public.


“Slowly over time, it’s become more difficult, more expensive, more red tape, unnecessary regulation that has put a damper” on economic growth, she said.

Wisconsin: Resources for advocating for saving the state's land conservation funds


Take Action Today Governor Walker has proposed freezing the Stewardship Program until 2028. The land cannot wait. Nor can the communities that depend on the benefits the land provides. The time to protect our lands and waters is now while they are intact and healthy and the opportunity exists to do so. We are stronger together. In fact, the only way to save Stewardship is to let decisions makers know how important it is to each of us.

10 Ways to Save Stewardship

1. Call your legislators: Dial ‘em up, tell them why the Stewardship Program is Important to you. A phone call is most persuasive, but all communication helps!

2. Write your legislators: Send them your written thoughts. Personal, heartfelt letters are best. Here are a few templates. Also, consider sending them one of these powerful stories.

3. Put the cost of Stewardship in context: Legislators are voicing concern that Stewardship costs the state and taxpayers too much money. Familiarize yourself with these talking points to help enlighten them.

More at the link.

Maybe this would help. Every cop's gun should include a camera that can't be turned off.

See ya later, DU, I gotta go vote ...

... for Ann Bradley for State Supreme Court and against the referendum to rig same court.



I'll make government so small, it won't matter how incompetent I am. #RejectedRandPaulSlogans

I'll make government so small, it won't matter how incompetent I am.

I'm not a bigot, but I support your right to be one.

I've changed all my crazy positions to GOP boilerplate!

Orange you glad I didn't say marijuana.


One Walker legacy: making the political process more favorable to GOP


Since they came to power in 2011, Walker and his party have not only changed the way the state is governed, but they have changed the political playing field. In a few big ways and lots of little ways, they have seemingly made it easier for Republicans and harder for Democrats to win elections. Whichever way the pendulum swings next year, the 2016 race will be contested under a different set of political rules than those of previous decades, rules adopted by one party over the ardent opposition of the other.

The most consequential of these changes involve redistricting, which has given the GOP a virtual lock on the Legislature, and Act 10, which disarmed a critical Democratic election ally, public employee unions. But the changes also involve an extensive rewrite of the state’s election rules.


Early Voting Curtailed. The window for early in-person voting used to be three weeks, and included the three weekends before Election Day. Now it runs just two weeks, with no weekend voting. Among other things, that ends Democratic “souls to the polls” Sunday voter drives in Milwaukee’s African-American churches. Democrats view the early voting curbs as an effort to suppress urban turnout.


Campaign finance. One final piece of the story is the loosening of rules for raising and spending money in state elections. This shift has been driven more by court decisions than by legislation. But Republicans plan to rewrite Wisconsin’s campaign finance law as a result of those court decisions. They’re expected to raise limits on individual contributions to candidates and liberalize rules for corporate spending.

Also noted in the article: Voter ID.

The Weaponization of Religious Exemptions


If there’s a pattern to shifts in my uncertainty, though, it’s probably that I find myself drifting toward a more restrictive approach. In watching the politics of the Indiana law and its backlash, I think I’m getting a better sense of why that’s the case. What’s currently underway is what I’ll call the weaponization of religious exemptions. To explain what I mean by this, here are some classic examples of requests for religious exemptions: permission to use otherwise illegal substances for religious ceremonies, such as the Smith plaintiffs and Peyote, Catholics and sacramental wine during prohibition, Rastafari and marijuana);exemptions from zoning laws for the construction of Sukkahs and rules regarding the religious use of public property for the constructions of eruvs; exemption from mandatory military service, schooling requirements, or vaccinations; exemptions from incest laws (regarding Uncle/Niece marriages for some communities of Moroccan Jews); Native American religious groups seeking privileged access to sacred spaces on federally owned land;exemptions to Sunday closing laws for seventh-day Sabbatarians. I find some of these easy to support and others profoundly problematic, but they collectively share a common feature: they are fundamentally defensive in character. Their primary objective is to protect a practice or tradition or community, and little more. These exemptions are political but not in the sense that their exercise is directed toward the larger community in any concrete, meaningful sense. In these cases, the end sought in pursuing the exemption is, more or less, the exemption itself.

The requested accommodation in City of Boerne is a kind of transitional case. The exemption sought was to modify a church in a Historical District where such modifications were not permitted. While the exemption was clearly sought for the purpose of the exercise of religious activity, it wasn’t really a religious exemption per se—they wanted a bigger, more modern facility for more or less the general kind of reasons a private business or homeowner might have liked an exemption—accommodate more people, better amenities, etc. There was no connection between their status as a religious group and the nature of the particular exemption they were seeking; in essence they were arguing that the RFRA gives them license to avoid a law they found inconvenient. (Hypothetically, if a religious organization sought an exemption to historic zoning on grounds that their religion prohibited worshiping in buildings over a certain age for ceremonies, this case would have more merit.) Turning religious exemptions into a license for religious groups to evade general laws when inconvenient seems entirely deserving of pushback.

But this is only a partially weaponized use of religious exemptions; they’re being used as a weapon to advance the Church’s goals, but not striking against their political enemies. The quintessential case of a weaponized religious exemption is, of course, Hobby Lobby; Obamacare was to be the subject of a blitzkrieg, to be hit with any and every weapon imaginable, and that’s what the RFRA provided. Their efforts to make the claim appear credible could hardly be lazier or more half-assed. One possible check on weaponization, in a better and more decent society, could conceivably be a sense of embarrassment or shame; exposing one’s religious convictions as a cynical political tool to be wielded against one’s political enemies might be hoped to invoke enough embarrassment that it might be avoided, but we were well past that point. A remarkable document of this trend is this post from Patrick Deneen–fully, openly aware of the fundamental absurdity of Hobby Lobby’s case, cheering them on nonetheless. I mean, you’d think they’d at least have found a company owned by Catholics.

In light of that case, the transparent push for a super-RFRA deployable in private torts is not quite as egregious. It’s passing a bill that is by no means guaranteed to get them the results they want (my understanding is that no attempt to defend discriminatory behavior under any RFRA has yet been successful), and has plenty of other potential applications, some of which may be salutary. But the politics of it are undeniable; as in Kansas, Arizona and elsewhere, it’s plainly the case that this is simply the latest effort in the longstanding war on full social equality for gay and lesbian people. (If not having an RFRA at the books on the state level is such a grave threat to religious liberty, why haven’t we been hearing more about this since 1997, seeing as most states have no such law?) That this is a considerably less ambitious project in denying social equality than most previous battles fought in this war merely reflects the ground they’ve lost recently.

Fox News will now describe the lack of racism in America

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 211 Next »