HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » TomCADem » Journal
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 46 Next »

TomCADem

Profile Information

Member since: Thu May 7, 2009, 11:59 PM
Number of posts: 9,223

Journal Archives

WaPo - Trumps Carrier deal is right out of Putins playbook

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-carrier-deal-is-right-out-of-putins-playbook/2016/12/01/f0456af6-b7e6-11e6-a677-b608fbb3aaf6_story.html?tid=paid_outbrain&utm_term=.c5135855c063


The article, by Post correspondent David Filipov, describes how government-controlled television continually features Russia’s president interrogating or berating factory directors and petty officials.

“If prices have spiked, or salaries are low, or costs have gone way over budget, then Putin lays into the unfortunate bureaucrat — ‘What’s wrong with your head?’ ‘Are you crazy?’ ‘What are you saying?’— as the cameras roll and the Russian president’s quarry stammers and squirms,” the article explains. Putin has “positioned himself as the one person in the country to whom citizens can turn at a time when faith in government institutions is low.”

The persona of “fixer-in-chief” — the phrase comes from Putin biographer and Brookings Institution expert Fiona Hill — may work politically for Putin, though any public opinion poll should be taken with several grains of salt in a country where honest criticism can get you jailed or shot. It may be appealing as a model to America’s president-elect, too.

The problem is that it doesn’t work. Russia’s economy is shrinking, year by year, and no matter how many factory directors Putin humiliates, it won’t start growing again without structural and political reform.

The Global Gender Gap Report Index - U.S. is #45

I guess it is fitting that we have sexist and misogynist as our President-Elect. Iceland, Finland and Norway are at the top of the list. Heck, even Philippines is in the top 10, which makes sense since they have had several women Presidents.

http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2016/rankings/

35 Canada 0.731
36 Cape Verde 0.729
37 Bahamas 0.729
38 Poland 0.727
39 Colombia 0.727
40 Ecuador 0.726
41 Bulgaria 0.726
42 Jamaica 0.724
43 Lao PDR 0.724
44 Trinidad and Tobago 0.723
45 United States 0.722
46 Australia 0.721
47 Panama 0.721
48 Serbia 0.72
49 Israel 0.719
50 Italy 0.719
51 Kazakhstan 0.718
52 Austria 0.716
53 Tanzania 0.716
54 Botswana 0.715
55 Singapore 0.712

"I Know Why Poor Whites Chant Trump, Trump, Trump" - Must Read Article Gets It!

President Lyndon B. Johnson once said, "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." Martin Luther King also gave a sermon, The Drum Major Instinct, about how racism is used to oppress and exploit poor whites.

Now, we have Donald Trump who ran the most overtly racist and hateful campaign in recent memory, yet he is labeled a populist because he won a huge percentage of the poor white vote even though his actual policies are extremely harmful to the poor and middle class. Is this a new phenomena?

The answer, as the article ably explains, is that this tactic is well rooted in American history dating back to the days of slavery. Yet, the corporate media is reluctant to note how the economic elites have often used racism to oppress not just minorities who were the subject of the racism, but the poor whites whose hate was nurtured and exploited.

What the Democrats need to do is not to just denounce racism, sexism and xenophobia, but they need to bear witness to the harm caused by Republicans policies and expressly call out Republicans for using hate to not just oppress minorities and women, but to mislead and oppress white men.

http://www.theestablishment.co/2016/05/24/i-know-why-poor-whites-chant-trump-trump-trump/

What is it about a flamboyant millionaire that appeals to poor white conservatives? Why do they believe a Trump presidency would amplify their voices? The answer may lie in America’s historical relationship between the wealthiest class and the army of poor whites who have loyally supported them.

From the time of slavery (yes, slavery) to the rise of Donald Trump, wealthy elites have relied on the allegiance of the white underclass to retain their affluence and political power. To understand this dynamic, to see through the eyes of poor and working class whites as they chant, “Trump, Trump, Trump,” let’s look back at a few unsavory slices of America’s capitalist pie.

* * *
As the British labor market improved in the 1680s, the idea of indentured servitude lost its appeal to many would-be immigrants. Increasing demand for indentured servants, many of whom were skilled laborers, soon bumped up against a dwindling supply, and the cost of white indentured servants rose sharply. Plantation owners kept skilled white servants, of course, often making them plantation managers and supervisors of slaves. This introduced the first racial divide between skilled and unskilled workers.

Still, African slaves were cheaper, and the supply was plentiful. Seeing an opportunity to realize a higher return on investment, elite colonial landowners began to favor African slaves over white indentured servants, and shifted their business models accordingly. They trained slaves to take over the skilled jobs of white servants.

An investment in African slaves also ensured a cost-effective, long-term workforce. Female slaves were often raped by their white owners or forced to breed with male slaves, and children born into slavery remained slaves for life. In contrast, white female servants who became pregnant were often punished with extended contracts, because a pregnancy meant months of lost work time. From a business perspective, a white baby was a liability, but African children were permanent assets.

As the number of African slaves grew, landowners realized they had a problem on their hands. Slave owners saw white servants living, working, socializing, and even having babies with African slaves. Sometimes they tried to escape together. What’s more, freed white servants who received land as part of their freedom dues had begun to complain about its poor quality. This created a potentially explosive situation for landowners, as oppressed workers quickly outnumbered the upper classes. What was to prevent freed whites, indentured servants, and African slaves from joining forces against the tyranny of their masters?

As Edmund S. Morgan says in his book American Slavery, American Freedom, “The answer to the problem, obvious if unspoken and only gradually recognized, was racism, to separate dangerous free whites from dangerous slave blacks by a screen of racial contempt.”

Robert Reich - Trumps Trickle-Down Populism

What Robert Reich does not address is that Trump could go further by bribing companies by offering to water down working class protections like minimum wage and OSHA and benefit protections. It will be a race to the bottom.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trumps-trickle-down-populism_us_5844686ee4b017f37fe53db8

Last Thursday, President-elect Donald Trump triumphantly celebrated Carrier’s decision to reverse its plan to close a furnace plant and move jobs to Mexico. Some 800 jobs will remain in Indianapolis.

“Corporate America is going to have to understand that we have to take care of our workers,” Trump told The New York Times. “The free market has been sorting it out and America’s been losing,” Vice President-elect Michael Pence added, as Trump interjected, “Every time, every time.”

So what’s the Trump alternative to the free market? Bribe giant corporations to keep jobs in America.

Carrier’s move to Mexico would have saved the company $65 million a year in wages. Trump promised bigger benefits. The state of Indiana will throw in $7 million, but that’s just the start.

* * *

In other words, Trump will get corporate America to take care of “our workers” by bribing them with government contracts, tax cuts, and relief from regulations. The art of the deal is to Increase corporate profits, and assume that corporations will reciprocate with good American jobs.

Salon - Forget Jill Steins recount! Its yet another distraction...

I agree that Jill Stein's recount crusade is not only hypocritical, since the Green party has attacked Democrats as being no different from Republicans, but it ignores and distracts from the voter suppression and hacking that is clearly provable. Why chase after ghosts when you have monsters staring at you right in the open?

http://www.salon.com/2016/11/28/forget-jill-steins-recount-its-yet-another-distraction-from-the-deep-structural-problems-that-led-to-president-donald-trump/

Then there’s the demonstrable problem of state-run voter fraud, that is, the various states that have passed onerous paperwork laws that make it difficult or impossible for certain voters to cast ballots. You get one guess which party such laws tend to favor. On top of it all, there is compelling evidence that the Russian government was behind efforts to hack the email accounts of prominent Democrats, maybe in an effort to help Trump and perhaps to just stoke confusion and paranoia.

So yes, it’s safe to say that Trump, with a big assist from the outdated institution of the Electoral College and the brand-new phenomenon of foreign hackers, did not win this election by means that most people would consider fair and square. But the way he did it is right out in the open, not lurking in the data of some Wisconsin voting machine.

It’s unwise for Democrats to be put their time and energy and hopes into a recount effort that’s almost certainly not going to reveal any evidence of secret, widespread fraud, much less flip the election to Hillary Clinton.

There’s a real danger that voting machine paranoia will distract liberals from looking at the real reasons that Republicans have been able to grab a stranglehold on power in Washington, even though their agenda on economic issues, foreign policy and human rights is broadly unpopular. This has been going on for decades now, and Trump is just coasting into the White House on years of Republican efforts to undermine our democratic systems.

Martin Luther King Speech - The Drum Major Instinct - MLK Speaks The Truth Re Poor Whites

At 21:20 of this video, Martin Luther King gets to the heart of how the rich elite often use racism and prejudice to oppress not only minorities, but poor white people. Trump did not win because he was a populist. He won by appealing to drum major instinct of poor whites and giving them an easy scapegoat for their struggles: Muslims, minorities and successful, educated women.

The other day I was saying, I always try to do a little converting when I'm in jail. And when we were in jail in Birmingham the other day, the white wardens and all enjoyed coming around the cell to talk about the race problem. And they were showing us where we were so wrong demonstrating. And they were showing us where segregation was so right. And they were showing us where intermarriage was so wrong. So I would get to preaching, and we would get to talking—calmly, because they wanted to talk about it. And then we got down one day to the point—that was the second or third day—to talk about where they lived, and how much they were earning. And when those brothers told me what they were earning, I said, "Now, you know what? You ought to be marching with us.( (Yes) And all you are living on is the satisfaction of your skin being white, and the drum major instinct of thinking that you are somebody big because you are white. And you're so poor you can't send your children to school. You ought to be out here marching with every one of us every time we have a march."

Now that's a fact. That the poor white has been put into this position, where through blindness and prejudice, (Make it plain) he is forced to support his oppressors. And the only thing he has going for him is the false feeling that he’s superior because his skin is white—and can't hardly eat and make his ends meet week in and week out. (Amen)


Martin Luther King On How Racism Is Used to Oppress Poor Whites - Still True Today

Much of the discussion in the MSM poses the presents the question of racial and gender equality as being mutually exclusive of reaching out to the white working class. Indeed, in an effort to avoid discussions of race, Trump's victory is portrayed as a triumph of populism even though his policies are extremely anti-poor and anti-working class. Tax cuts for the rich? School vouchers? Privatizing medicare?

So, do Democrats need a new paradigm? Do we need to walk away from fighting racism and sexism in an effort to reach out to the white working class? The answer is no. Democrats do not need a new paradigm. They just need to return to an old one.

Here is Martin Luther King's sermon explaining how racism and prejudice are used not only to oppress minorities, but to oppress and distract working class whites by giving them a scapegoat as the focus of their problems. To fight the racism and oppression being pushed by the right, we need to reach out and bear witness to the Republican base that notwithstanding the election of Donald Trump, their lot has not improved, but with huge tax cuts to the rich and cuts in benefits, their lives will suffer, and all Trump has given them is a scapegoat.

http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_the_drum_major_instinct/

Now the other thing is, that it leads to tragic—and we've seen it happen so often—tragic race prejudice. Many who have written about this problem—Lillian Smith used to say it beautifully in some of her books. And she would say it to the point of getting men and women to see the source of the problem. Do you know that a lot of the race problem grows out of the drum major instinct? A need that some people have to feel superior. A need that some people have to feel that they are first, and to feel that their white skin ordained them to be first. (Make it plain, today, ‘cause I’m against it, so help me God) And they have said over and over again in ways that we see with our own eyes. In fact, not too long ago, a man down in Mississippi said that God was a charter member of the White Citizens Council. And so God being the charter member means that everybody who's in that has a kind of divinity, a kind of superiority. And think of what has happened in history as a result of this perverted use of the drum major instinct. It has led to the most tragic prejudice, the most tragic expressions of man's inhumanity to man.

The other day I was saying, I always try to do a little converting when I'm in jail. And when we were in jail in Birmingham the other day, the white wardens and all enjoyed coming around the cell to talk about the race problem. And they were showing us where we were so wrong demonstrating. And they were showing us where segregation was so right. And they were showing us where intermarriage was so wrong. So I would get to preaching, and we would get to talking—calmly, because they wanted to talk about it. And then we got down one day to the point—that was the second or third day—to talk about where they lived, and how much they were earning. And when those brothers told me what they were earning, I said, "Now, you know what? You ought to be marching with us. (laughter) You're just as poor as Negroes." And I said, "You are put in the position of supporting your oppressor, because through prejudice and blindness, you fail to see that the same forces that oppress Negroes in American society oppress poor white people. (Yes) And all you are living on is the satisfaction of your skin being white, and the drum major instinct of thinking that you are somebody big because you are white. And you're so poor you can't send your children to school. You ought to be out here marching with every one of us every time we have a march."

Now that's a fact. That the poor white has been put into this position, where through blindness and prejudice, (Make it plain) he is forced to support his oppressors. And the only thing he has going for him is the false feeling that he’s superior because his skin is white—and can't hardly eat and make his ends meet week in and week out. (Amen)

Two More: Josh Putnam and Desart

Given the wide disparity among the various quants, it will be interesting who among them is closest to the final electoral vote count. Nate Silver has been very cautious about Hillary Clinton's chances, which may be an over correction to his insistence during the summer that there was no way Trump would win the RNC primary.

Josh Putnam (Frontloading HQ) - http://frontloading.blogspot.com/
Hillary Clinton: 340
Donald Trump: 198

Desart (Utah Valley) - http://research.uvu.edu/DeSart/forecasting/november.html
Hillary Clinton: 347
Donald Trump: 191

Judge Kozinski on prosecutorial misconduct - Helps Explain Late Election FBI Leakfest

Here are excerpts of an article by Judge Alex Kozinski discussing examples of prosecutorial misconduct. Perhaps not surprisingly, several of his examples involve the pursuit of political leaders in the midst of an election. The fact that it happens among prosecuting attorneys is bad enough. However, investigating agents may have even less checks on their ambitions to bring down a big fish. At least prosecuting attorneys are constrained by the fact that they will ultimately need to prove their cases beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

In contrast, an investigator has more leeway to investigate before clear evidence of wrong doing has been discovered. Of course, the prospect of bringing down a big target can lead to abuses similar to those described below, which is becoming increasingly apparent in the FBI with the desperate last minute leaks of damaging information against Hillary Clinton.

http://georgetownlawjournal.org/files/2015/06/Kozinski_Preface.pdf

Prosecutors hold tremendous power, more than anyone other than jurors, and often much more than jurors because most cases don’t go to trial. Prosecutors and their investigators have unparalleled access to the evidence, both inculpatory and exculpatory, and while they are required to provide exculpatory evidence to the defense under Brady, Giglio, and Kyles v. Whitley, it is very difficult for the defense to find out whether the prosecution is complying with this obligation.

Prosecutors also have tremendous control over witnesses: They can offer incentives — often highly compelling incentives — for suspects to testify. This includes providing sweetheart plea deals to alleged co-conspirators and engineering jail-house encounters between the defendant and known informants.

Sometimes they feed snitches non-public information about the crime so that the statements they attribute to the defendant will sound authentic. And, of course, prosecutors can pile on charges so as to make it exceedingly risky for a defendant to go to trial. There are countless ways in which prosecutors can prejudice the fact-finding process and undermine a defendant’s right to a fair trial.

This, of course, is not their job. Rather, as the Supreme Court has held, “A prosecutor is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor — indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones.

All prosecutors purport to operate just this way and I believe that most do. My direct experience is largely with federal prosecutors and, with a few exceptions, I have found them to be fair-minded, forthright and highly conscientious.

But there are disturbing indications that a non-trivial number of prosecutors — and sometimes entire prosecutorial offices — engage in misconduct that seriously undermines the fairness of criminal trials. The misconduct ranges from misleading the jury, to outright lying in court and tacitly acquiescing or actively participating in the presentation of false evidence by police.

Prosecutorial misconduct is a particularly difficult problem to deal with because so much of what prosecutors do is secret. If a prosecutor fails to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense, who is to know? Or if a prosecutor delays disclosure of evidence helpful to the defense until the defendant has accepted an unfavorable plea bargain, no one will be the wiser. Or if prosecutors rely on the testimony of cops they know to be liars, or if they acquiesce in a police scheme to create inculpatory evidence, it will take an extraordinary degree of luck and persistence to discover it — and in most cases it will never be discovered.

There are distressingly many cases where such misconduct has been documented, but I will mention just three to illustrate the point. The first is United States v. Stevens, the prosecution of Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican Senator in history.

Senator Stevens was charged with corruption for accepting the services of a building contractor and paying him far below market price — essentially a bribe. The government’s case hinged on the testimony of the contractor, but the government failed to disclose the initial statement the contractor made to the FBI that he was probably overpaid for the services. The government also failed to disclose that the contractor was under investigation for unrelated crimes and thus had good reason to curry favor with the authorities.

Stevens was convicted just a week before he stood for re-election and in the wake of the conviction, he was narrowly defeated, changing the balance of power in the Senate. The government’s perfidy came to light when a brave FBI agent by the name of Chad Joy blew the whistle on the government’s knowing concealment of exculpatory evidence.


Did the government react in horror at having been caught with its hands in the cookie jar? Did Justice Department lawyers rend their garments and place ashes on their head to mourn this violation of their most fundamental duty of candor and fairness? No way, no how. Instead, the government argued strenuously that its ill-gotten conviction should stand because boys will be boys and the evidence wasn’t material to the case anyway.

It was only the extraordinary persistence and the courageous intervention of District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who made it clear that he was going to dismiss the Stevens case and then ordered an investigation of the government’s misconduct that forced the Justice Department to admit its malfeasance — what else could it do? — and move to vacate the former senator’s conviction. Instead of contrition, what we have seen is Justice Department officials of the highest rank suffering torn glenoid labrums from furiously patting themselves on the back for having “done the right thing.”

* * *

While most prosecutors are fair and honest, a legal environment that tolerates sharp prosecutorial practices gives important and undeserved career advantages to prosecutors who are willing to step over the line, tempting others to do the same. Having strict rules that prosecutors must follow will thus not merely avoid the risk of letting a guilty man free to commit other crimes while an innocent one languishes his life away, it will also preserve the integrity of the prosecutorial process by shielding principled prosecutors from unfair competition from their less principled colleagues.

WaPo Editorial - Donald Trump "Represents a Danger to the Republic."

Nice editorial that reviews some of the biggest Donald Trump whoppers. Of course, WaPo itself jumped on the bandwagon with the Comey letter announcing a whole lot of innuendo, but this is still a good article.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-only-way-trump-can-win/2016/11/02/1512d15c-a07c-11e6-a44d-cc2898cfab06_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.580bdffe99ca

“If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely.”

This lie is emblematic, for two reasons. First, Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his returns is an unprecedented sign of contempt for voters; every major-party nominee of the modern era has respected this basic norm of transparency.

Second, this early lie presaged a campaign built on lies. Mr. Trump went on to deceive about almost everything else: whether American Muslims celebrated the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, whether he opposed the invasion of Iraq, whether he mocked a disabled reporter, whether his tax plan would benefit him, whether accusations from women he groped have been debunked, and so on and on and endlessly on.

Most politicians are caught in falsehoods from time to time. Mr. Trump revels in them, and when caught simply repeats the lie, more loudly. Similarly, he trades in conspiracy theories that he must know to be false, the more lurid the better: that President Obama was born in Kenya, that Vincent Foster and Antonin Scalia were murdered, that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. The campaign even lies about his initial lie, denying that Mr. Trump ever promised to release his returns.
Go to Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 46 Next »