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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Switzerland
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 03:01 PM
Number of posts: 10,801

Journal Archives

Switzerland's answer to the Dutch:

Now the Swiss want to be second too!

There are a lot of creative minds in Europe!

The Curious World of Donald Trump's Private Russian Connections


Because this article dates from Dec 16, 2016, it may have been posted on DU before. If so, it is worth repeating, especially in light of the recent report from US intelligence agencies. It also provides some excellent background showing that the US does not necessarily have "clean hands."

Even so, NOTHING justifies foisting someone like Trump, not only on the US, but on the world. The stakes are just too high.

This is a long and excellent read.

From the introduction:

As veteran investigative economist and journalist Jim Henry shows below, a robust public record helps explain the fealty of Trump and his family to this murderous autocrat and the network of Russian oligarchs. Putin and his billionaire friends have plundered the wealth of their own people. They have also run numerous schemes to defraud governments and investors in the United States and Europe. From public records, using his renowned analytical skills, Henry shows what the mainstream news media in the United States have failed to report in any meaningful way: For three decades Donald Trump has profited from his connections to the Russian oligarchs, whose own fortunes depend on their continued fealty to Putin.

We donít know the full relationship between Donald Trump, the Trump family and their enterprises with the network of world-class criminals known as the Russian oligarchs. Henry acknowledges that his article poses more questions than answers, establishes more connections than full explanations. But what Henry does show should prompt every American to rise up in defense of their country to demand a thorough, out-in-the-open congressional investigation with no holds barred. The national security of the United States of America and of peace around the world, especially in Europe, may well depend on how thoroughly we understand the rich network of relationships between the 45th President and the Russian oligarchy. When Donald Trump chooses to exercise, or not exercise, his power to restrain Putinís drive to invade independent countries and seize their wealth, as well as loot countries beyond his control, Americans need to know in whose interest the President is acting or looking the other way.

If Ryan Zinke (R-MT)

is appointed as Secretary of the Interior, there is one possible silver lining on the horizon.



The big and well traveled hat belonging to rancher and well known musician Rob Quist was thrown in the ring today for the Democratic nomination for the special election for the U.S. House of Representatives. Quist joins Democratic legislators Rep. Amanda Curtis, Kelly McCarthy, and Casey Schreiner, in seeking their partyís nomination, which will be made at a special nominating convention after Rep. Ryan Zinke is confirmed as Donald Trumpís Secretary of the Interior.

Quist said heís running because:

I have spent a lifetime traveling the state working with and getting to know the concerns and the needs of my fellow Montanans. This is a time of great polarity in our nation and I feel that my skills as a communicator and a consensus builder working for all Montanans could be an asset for our state on a national level.

He will, he promises, work to protect Social Security and Medicare; protect public lands; develop new energy technologies; streamline and simplify the tax code so that it works for everyone; provide higher pay for teachers; support labor and unions; help farmers and ranchers obtain higher prices for their products.


There are some other good Dem candidates in the running as well.

It looks like he won't be able to steal it.

I was hoping that the recount would affect all races on the ballot. But you are probably right that it won't.

On Rural America: Understanding Isnt The Problem


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 isnít that I donít understand these people. The problem is they donít understand themselves, the reasons for their anger/frustrations, and donít 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 isnít open to outside criticism, especially by anyone not a member of your tribe and in a position of power. The problem isnít ďcoastal elites donít understand rural Americans.Ē The problem is rural America doesnít understand itself and will NEVER listen to anyone outside their bubble. It doesnít matter how ďunderstandingĒ you are, how well you listen, what language you useÖif you are viewed as an outsider, your views are automatically discounted. Iíve 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 Iím the enemy because Iím an educated liberal. At some point during the discussion, ďThatís your education talking,Ē 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 arenít 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 didnít 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.

Chaotic presidential race could affect turnout in Montana


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.

End this misogynistic horror show. Put Hillary Clinton in the White House

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.

End this misogynistic horror show. Put Hillary Clinton in the White House


While Clinton holds her head high, why are we not exploding with anger at Donald Trumpís 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 nationís 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.

Iím 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. Itís 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 Clintonís 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?) Theyíve 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.

Is 99% a reasonable probability?


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 PECís 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? Itís 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.

NBC Nightly News Features Denise Juneauís Historic Run For Congress


NBC Nightly News made a trip to Montana to cover Denise Juneauís historic bid for the U.S. House of Representatives, calling the race ďunexpectedly tight.Ē

ďIn this red state Juneau has chipped away at lead to the extent that House Speaker Paul Ryan came to campaign for Zinke last week,Ē reporter Janet Shamlian said.

ďThereís 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,Ē political scientist Rob Saldin told NBC News.

Go Denise!
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