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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Amherst. MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 17,558

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How did our politics get so harsh and divisive? Blame 1968.

Review of "American Maelstrom: The 1968 Election and the Politics of Division" by Michael A. Cohen

By Carlos Lozada June 30 at 10:00 AM

AMERICAN MAELSTROM: The 1968 Election and the Politics of Division

By Michael A. Cohen

Oxford University Press. 427 pp. $29.95

When the world starts feeling chaotic — and yes, the summer of 2016 is making a strong play for chaos — it’s tempting to look back for reference points and precursors, to some past time that can explain why things turned out this way, that maybe can give us someone to blame.

Michael A. Cohen’s “American Maelstrom” chronicles a bygone presidential election featuring a fear-mongering, race-baiting candidate stoking white resentment; a long-shot lefty whipping up collegiate frenzy with his anti-status-quo message; and an establishment front-runner who, recovering from a painful electoral defeat eight years earlier, was hoping to prove just likable enough to win. Voters cast their ballots against a backdrop of political assassinations, police brutality and a seemingly endless war, one that Americans did not want to lose but did not care to continue waging.

Cohen, a political columnist for the Boston Globe, does not draw direct parallels between particular candidates in 1968 and today; no, that would be too easy. The true link is not the politicians, he contends, but the politics. The presidential campaign would fracture the nation’s post-World War II “liberal consensus” — the understanding among Republican and Democratic elites that the federal government should provide economic opportunity and security at home and remain vigilant against communism abroad. In its place, he argues, appeared the polarization now so pervasive in our politics, as “the ideologically committed wings of each side began to more forcibly assert themselves.”

The result was not just a Nixon presidency that would end in disgrace, it was “four decades of division, incoherence, and parochialism in American politics.”

Cohen tells this unhappy story through the strategies and fortunes of the men contending for the presidency: former vice president Richard Nixon, Gov. Ronald Reagan, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and Gov. George Romney on the Republican side; Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Sen. Robert Kennedy, Sen. Eugene McCarthy and (at times) President Lyndon Johnson for the Democrats; and former Alabama governor George Wallace, the Democrat-turned-independent who was “so willing to tap into the dark pools of popular alienation.”


Benghazi is over. But the search for proof of Clinton’s perfidy continues.

By Paul Waldman

Are you ready for tomorrow’s Republican conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton? Well here you go:

Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with former president Bill Clinton at the airport in Phoenix this week — an encounter that she described as “primarily social,” but one that drew instant attention because of the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into the email practices of his wife, Hillary, while she was secretary of state.

Lynch confirmed the meeting, first reported by ABC15 and others, publicly saying it occurred at the airport where she had just landed for a stop on her nationwide tour of law enforcement agencies. She said that she, her husband and the former president discussed their travels, the former president’s grandchildren and the golf he had played in Arizona.

“No discussions were held on any cases or anything of that,” Lynch said, “and he didn’t raise anything about that either.”

Sure, they say they were just talking about grandchildren and golf. And they say it just happened because they happened to cross paths at the airport. But the truth is far more sinister. We know that because the truth with the Clintons is always more sinister. Isn’t it obvious? Despite the fact that there were other people standing around, Clinton probably ordered Lynch to quash the investigation into his wife’s emails, and she agreed to comply. Maybe it was a Jedi mind trick. You’re going to hear this story on Fox, and on Rush Limbaugh’s show, and probably from Donald Trump before long.


U.S. District Judge strikes down Mississippi’s ‘religious freedom’ law

By Neely Tucker July 1 at 2:33 AM
JACKSON, Miss. — U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves late Thursday night issued an injunction blocking a bill by the Mississippi legislature that would have allowed private citizens and some public officials professing a “sincere religious belief” to deny services to gays and lesbians.

Just minutes before House Bill 1523 was to take effect at midnight, Reeves eviscerated the bill — the most sweeping attempt by a state to undermine the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to legalize gay marriage — as being in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

“The State has put its thumb on the scale to favor some religious beliefs over others. Showing such favor tells ‘nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and . . . adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.’ ” Reeves wrote, citing precedent. “And the Equal Protection Clause is violated by HB 1523’s authorization of arbitrary discrimination against lesbian, gay, transgender, and unmarried persons.”

“The plaintiffs’ motions are granted and HB 1523 is preliminarily enjoined.”

Coupled with a ruling Reeves filed earlier in the week — preventing circuit clerks from denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples — the proposed law is, for the moment, stillborn.


Barack Obama has made America great again

By Daniel W. Drezner

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a regular contributor to PostEverything.

The word “populism” has had a good week, but President Obama took issue with the meaning of that word Wednesday in Ottawa:

-snip- (6+ minute video)

It’s a bit long-winded, but we here at Spoiler Alerts applaud the president for challenging conceptual premises. Indeed, the hard-working staff here at Spoiler Alerts likes to look at public opinion polls to see if things are actually popular. For example, despite claims to the contrary, it’s not at all obvious that the American people have turned super-protectionist.

I bring this up because Pew Global Attitudes has just released a survey that offers up some powerful ammunition showing that in the eyes of Americans and the rest of the world, no one needs to make America great again — America is already there:

As he nears the end of his presidency, Barack Obama continues to enjoy a broad degree of international popularity. A new Pew Research Center survey conducted in 10 European nations, four major Asia-Pacific countries, Canada and the United States finds that half or more of those polled in 15 of 16 countries express confidence in the American leader.

Three charts from Pew help to explain the legacy that Barack Obama leaves for the next administration. The first is confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing in world politics:


When ‘telling it like it is’ exposes ‘lazy’ thinking about blacks - By Jonathan Capehart


According to the Reuters-Ipsos poll, “Supporters of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump are more likely to describe African Americans as ‘criminal,’ ‘unintelligent,’ ‘lazy’ and ‘violent’ than voters who backed some Republican rivals in the primaries or who support Democratic contender Hillary Clinton.”

According to the Pew Research Center’s survey on race, “About six-in-ten (59%) white Republicans say too much attention is paid to race and racial issues these days, while only 21% of Democrats agree.”

That folks harbor anti-black views is nothing new. An Associated Press poll from 2012 showed that negative views of African Americans jumped from 48 percent in 2008 to 51 percent in 2012. And that number jumped to 56 percent when implicit racial attitudes were factored in. But the Reuters-Ipsos poll still shocks the conscience.

-snip- (charts and diagrams)

Trump’s supporters are overwhelmingly white. Many of them proudly say he won them over by “telling it like it is” and “not being politically correct” with his racist, xenophobic and nativist presidential campaign. So, I’m hardly surprised that the followers of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee lead the pack in thinking that African Americans are “less ‘intelligent’ than whites” (32 percent), “more ‘lazy’ than whites” (40 percent), “more ‘violent’ than whites (nearly 50 percent) and “more ‘criminal’ than whites (nearly 50 percent).


Donald Trump starts a trade war — with the Republican Party

By Sean Sullivan and Jenna Johnson June 30 at 8:52 PM

The unusual battle between Donald Trump and much of the Republican establishment on international trade is rapidly escalating, as the presumptive GOP nominee rails against business groups and members of his own party while defenders of sweeping free-trade pacts rebuke him.

The rift deepened on Thursday when Trump called out the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by name for the second straight day and pilloried the North American Free Trade Agreement and the ­Trans-Pacific Partnership, two landmark trade agreements broadly supported by Republicans.

“I’m messing with bad deals that we could make good,” Trump said in his speech at a shuttered manufacturing plant in Manchester, N.H. “I could make good deals. Why would somebody fight that? I mean, the U.S. Chamber fights. They said, ‘Oh, Trump wants to stop free trade.’ I don’t want to stop free trade. I love free trade, but I want to make great deals.”

The mogul’s comments followed a flurry of insults throughout the week aimed at advocates of broad trade accords, which have been championed by Republican leaders for decades as crucial engines of capitalism. Trump accused TPP backers, for example, of wanting to “rape” the United States.


The Politics of Intimidation - Donald Trump is trying to discredit the media to get what he wants.

By Kenneth T. Walsh | Contributor
July 1, 2016, at 6:00 a.m.

Donald Trump is lashing out at the media again, trying to discredit his journalistic antagonists and undermine their attacks on his credibility. He is also expanding his communication team by hiring two veteran media strategists. Jason Miller will be his senior communications adviser and Michael Abboud will take charge of rapid response and "daily messaging." These staff changes don't signal a change in Trump's bash-the-media approach but instead likely represent an effort to improve his spin and bypass or outmaneuver the mainstream media in more effective ways.

This is more than a media issue. It's actually reflective of a larger reality about Trump – his belief in the politics of intimidation. He has used intimidation throughout his career as a real-estate developer and dealmaker, attempting to bully and bulldoze his opposition in order to get his way. His attempts to elbow the media are part of that pattern.

Trump and his aides recently banned reporters from Politico and the Guardian from his press conference and tour of a golf resort he owns in Scotland. Trump representatives said that these news organizations are biased against the Republican presidential candidate. But he has done this before. Among the organizations that he has blacklisted in the past – by refusing them admittance to Trump events – have been Buzzfeed, the Des Moines Register, The Washington Post and Univision.

A recent poll by CNN/ORC found that nearly three-quarters of Americans disapprove of Trump's refusal to grant press credentials to news outlets he says are unfair. Seventy-one percent of voters including 53 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of independents and 87 percent of Democrats describe Trump's decision to deny credentials as "inappropriate."


REVEALED: Trump bankrolled a racist ad campaign against Native Americans to protect his casino biz


The Los Angeles Times reports that when the St. Regis Mohawk tribe announced plans to build a casino near a racetrack in the Catskills, Trump decided to bankroll an ad campaign aimed at convincing local communities to kill the project.

Trump plunged $1 million into a purported “grassroots” anti-gambling organization called the New York Institute for Law and Society that warned the casino would bring “increased crime, broken families, bankruptcies and, in the case of the Mohawks, violence.” But that’s not all: Documents obtained by The Los Angeles Times show that Trump personally signed off on a strategy devised by longtime ally Roger Stone to depict the Mohawks as a violent people who would bring ruin to everyone else in the area.

“Roger, do it!” Trump scrawled on a proposed flier that said the Mohawk tribe was well known for being a violent group that sold drugs and smuggled undocumented immigrants into the country.

Trump and his associates were ordered by the New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying to pay $250,000 for deceptive advertising by not disclosing the fact that Trump almost single handedly funded the New York Institute for Law and Society, despite the fact that the organization falsely boasted it had raised funds from more than 12,000 donors.

full article:

Trump Doesn't Think Voters Know What 'Xenophobe' Or 'Nativist' Means

Donald Trump reportedly brushed off rival Hillary Clinton's charge that he was a "xenophobe" by questioning whether the American people even understood the term.

Trump's reaction was relayed by his supporter and Boston radio talk show host Howie Carr in a piece he wrote for the Boston Herald on Thursday. “Hillary’s called me a ‘xenophobe’ a few times," Trump said, according to Carr. "How many people even know what the word means? Same with ‘nativist.’ ”

Carr made his own headlines Wednesday after he mocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-MA) Native American heritage by breaking into a mock war whoop while introducing Trump at a campaign rally in Maine.

Carr also noted that after he did the faux war whoop, a Trump ally showed him a Politico story recapping his gesture. He wrote that Trump told him to not say sorry. “Whatever you do, don’t apologize,” Trump said, according to Carr. “You never hear me apologize, do you? That’s what killed Jimmy the Greek way back. Remember? He was doing okay ’til he said he was sorry.”



Trump Finally Weighs In On SCOTUS Abortion Ruling With Some Bad Math

Source: Talking Points Memo

After several days of silence regarding the Supreme Court's ruling against a Texas anti-abortion law, Donald Trump on Thursday finally weighed in on the decision and claimed that such a ruling would not occur if he were to appoint the next Supreme Court justice.

"Now if we had — Scalia was living or if Scalia was replaced by me, you wouldn’t have had that. Okay? It would’ve been the opposite," Trump told conservative radio host Mike Gallagher.

To be clear, the Supreme Court voted 5-3 against the Texas law, and a ninth justice would not have been enough to change the court's opinion.

In the case, the Supreme Court struck down Texas provisions that required abortion clinics to have admitting privileges to nearby hospitals and mandated that the clinics meet the same standards as surgical centers.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-scotus-abortion-texas
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