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fleur-de-lisa

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Current location: New Orleans, LA
Member since: Fri Jul 20, 2012, 10:48 AM
Number of posts: 2,745

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Robert Reich: Sign my Petition for more Dem debates

Saturday night's Democratic presidential primary debate was striking. It was all about substance and logic -- in sharp contrast to Republican debates that have been all name-calling and posturing.

It was the kind of debate that could have really gotten voters excited about the Democratic Party. But because of when it was scheduled, almost nobody saw it.

The Saturday night before Christmas vacation isn't exactly prime time for television watching. In fact, only 6.71 million saw the debate -- that's by far the lowest rating for any debate televised this cycle for either the Democrats or the Republicans.

And the bad scheduling looks like it is just going to keep getting worse. The next Democratic debate will be Sunday, January 17 -- on a three-day holiday weekend, scheduled at the same time as a major NFL playoff game.

The Democratic National Committee seems to have gone out of its way to make sure that America misses these debates. That's a shame.

If Democrats are going to win the White House in November, they need to be making their case to the American people NOW -- and the debates are one of their best opportunities to do so.

The DNC is running out of time to schedule additional debates. Will you join me and Democracy for America -- and sign my petition to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC asking for more weeknight, prime time Democratic debates so America can learn more about our candidates?

http://act.democracyforamerica.com/sign/DNCdebates/?t=1&akid=7130.3313489.s4bJn8

By scheduling debates at times few people are likely to watch, the DNC isn't just making it harder for Bernie to challenge Hillary. It's also allowing the Republicans to dominate the news and fill the airwaves with their right-wing rants and big lies.

The Republican National Committee has scheduled twice as many debates as the DNC, and all of them are occurring during weekdays in prime time. As a result, the GOP candidates are getting significantly more media attention than the Democratic candidates -- giving them more opportunity to shape the agenda for the general election in the press and the minds of millions of potential voters.

All three of our Democratic candidates are talking about things that matter to working families -- issues like raising wages, expanding paid family leave and making college debt-free. But because of the DNC's poor scheduling, nobody is hearing their message. And that's bad politics.

I found it extremely refreshing to see three presidential candidates discussing important policy differences on Saturday without stooping to bigotry. I have to believe that the rest of America would feel the same way -- if they were given the opportunity to actually watch.

We don't just need more debates. We need more debates that are scheduled when Americans are actually home and able to watch them. Please join me and DFA and sign my petition asking Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC to give us more weeknight, prime time debates now.

Many thanks, and best wishes for the new year.

Robert Reich
Former Secretary of Labor
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Wed Dec 23, 2015, 10:05 AM (7 replies)

E-mail message from Jeff Weaver, Bernie's Campaign Manager, re: DNC dirty tricks

Here's the truth: from the first day of this campaign, our success has shocked many of the Democratic Party Establishment who would have preferred a coronation over a competitive campaign.

And the reality is that the huge turnouts that we've had at our meetings, our strong fundraising, our volunteer base, and quick rise in the polls have caused the Democratic National Committee to place its thumb on the scales in support of Hillary Clinton's campaign.

You see that fact evidenced in their decision to bury the Democratic debates on weekends during nationally televised football games. It's more or less an open secret.

This week, due to a fault in their own technology platforms, the DNC took unprecedented steps to take away our access to data accumulated through tens of thousands of voter contacts made by our volunteers -- supporters like you who power our political revolution. In essence, the Democratic Establishment is effectively shutting down our ability to access the information we need for field campaigns and volunteer activities just six weeks before the Iowa Caucuses. And they haven't told us when they will turn it back on.

In other words, the leadership of the Democratic National Committee is attempting to undermine our insurgent campaign. This is not acceptable. We can and must respond.

Sign our petition telling the Democratic National Committee -- in no uncertain terms -- that you expect a level playing field in this primary campaign. This is important.

That the Democratic Party would deny our staff and volunteers access to data needed to contact voters in Iowa and New Hampshire on the day we reached two million individual contributions and received two of our most prominent endorsements is disconcerting.

We hope they'll do the right thing for us, and for our supporters, quickly. But so far they haven't listened to our campaign. But I am hopeful they'll listen to you.

Send a powerful message to the DNC by adding your name to our petition today:

https://go.berniesanders.com/level-the-field

We'll be in touch soon as this situation evolves. You are the power behind this campaign. We are doing something unprecedented, and that has a lot of people scared.

In solidarity,

Jeff Weaver
Campaign Manager
Bernie 2016
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Fri Dec 18, 2015, 05:24 PM (4 replies)

I've seen a ton of Bernie bumper stickers in recent weeks . . .

not just in New Orleans proper (which always votes blue), but also in the outlying portions of the Greater New Orleans area that tend to vote republican. I was in Mississippi a few weeks back and even witnessed a lot of Bernie love there!

GO BERNIE GO!

Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Fri Dec 18, 2015, 04:16 PM (9 replies)

I have been on a ton of DU juries this week . . .

I can't wait for primary season to be over!
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Fri Dec 18, 2015, 03:19 PM (16 replies)

I have put a sh*tload of people on ignore this morning . . .

I usually don't mind most of the back and forth between Bernie, MOM and HRC supports on DU, but this shit today has pushed me over the edge.

I just donated to Actblue for Bernie a couple days ago, but I'm so sick of this DWS shit that I donated again.

Every time DWS and the DNC try to fuck Bernie's campaign, I will donate to him again!
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Fri Dec 18, 2015, 02:39 PM (42 replies)

Anyone on DU live in a 'tiny house' . . .

or know someone who does?

The concept fascinates me. Although my house is modest by American standards, about 1500 sf, I can't imagine living in a house measuring 500 sf or less.

My house has only 2 bedrooms and (I hate to admit it) 2.5 bathrooms. I could easily make do with 1 bath, but the price was right, in the neighborhood I wanted, and I was tired of searching for a home.

I watch the tv shows that feature tiny homes and I applaud the people who are building and buying these houses, many of whom are married and have kids! I think it shows great commitment to sustainability, recycling and conservation.

But I don't know if I could actually live in a tiny house. I'm not exactly claustrophobic, but I have an utter disdain for tight spaces. Like all of my family members, I'm rather tall and it makes me uncomfortable to be in small spaces, especially those with low roofs.

Anyone here have any experience with "tiny homes"?
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:01 PM (89 replies)

Shit Is About to Get Real in California, El Niño Report Predicts

After four years of drought, Californians are bracing for another potentially destructive weather event: El Niño. Earlier this week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, released a disaster plan including what to expect from the upcoming rainy season. Here are the key takeaways:

This may be the strongest El Niño on record. Weather reports indicate that this year will be warm and wet—perhaps even more so than the winter of 1997-1998, which is currently the strongest recorded El Niño. That year, California evacuated 100,000 people.

The dry conditions mean more flooding. The lack of soil moisture has made the soil "harden and act like cement," making it, paradoxically, less likely to soak up the rain. The chance of flooding is far higher than usual, especially in the productive farm country of the Central Valley and the surrounding area—including the state's capital. "The primary risk areas are in populated areas mostly notably in Sacramento," the report reads—and because of that, "a major flood situation would have significant impact on the economic, cultural, and political life of California." Additionally, a catastrophic levee failure in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would jeopardize a major source of water for 60 percent of California homes and for a portion of the state's agricultural industry." One in five Californians lives in a flood zone.

Wildfires in the summer mean more landslides in the winter. The wildfire season this year was devastating in California, scorching more than 300,000 acres. Mudslides are common in these scorched areas, called "burn scars," because water quickly runs off and there aren't trees to keep the soil, rocks, and other debris in place. Southern Californians got a little taste of what this might look like when rain led to severe landslides in October.

King Tides, El Niño, and the Blob mean higher sea levels and more potential damage. Sea levels typically rise a few inches during El Niño, but this winter, scientists predict that the giant swath of warm water off the West Coast—dubbed the Blob—will lead to a rise of between 8 and 11 inches. State officials are particularly concerned about the potential damage caused by storms toward the end of both December and January, when the highest tides of the winter, called King Tides, are expected.

The rains may ease the drought but won't solve it. All this water will certainly ease the drought and raise levels in the state's depleted reservoirs. But because the state is so behind on precipitation, it's very unlikely that it will make up for the state's now four-year water deficit.

http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/12/fema-preparing-el-nino-heres-what-californians-can-expect
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Fri Dec 11, 2015, 04:41 PM (54 replies)

How the Bitter White Minority in the South Ended Up With Huge Power in Washington

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/how-bitter-white-minority-south-ended-huge-power-washington

Donald Trump’s recent failed attempt to surprise the political world with a sizable group endorsement by black ministers occasioned a very sharp observation from Joy Reid on The Last Word. After Jonathan Allen noted that Trump was desperately looking for “a racial or ethnic or any other type of minority that he can go to and not already have basically poisoned the well,” Reid helpfully clarified the why of it all: “Republican primary, that’s not about black and Latin voters, because there really aren’t any in the Republican primary,” Reid said. “That’s about white suburban voters who want permission to go with Donald Trump.”

Trump’s situation is anything but unique—it’s just a bit more raw than it is with other Republicans. Ever since the 1960s, as Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy was being born, there’s been a ongoing dilemma (if not huge contradiction) for the erstwhile “Party of Lincoln” to manage: how to pander just enough to get the racist votes they need, without making it too difficult to deny that’s precisely what they’re doing.

There are a multitude of cover stories involved in facilitating this two-faced strategy, but one of the big-picture ways it gets covered is with a blanket denial: It wasn’t Nixon’s race-based Southern Strategy that got the GOP its current hammerlock on the South, it was something else entirely. Say, the South’s growing affluence, perhaps, or its “principled small-government conservatism,” or the increased “leftism” of the Democratic Party on “social issues”—anything, really, except racial animus. Anything but that. (It’s akin to the widespread beliefs that the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery, or that the Confederate flag is just a symbol of “Southern pride.”)

Most who make such arguments are simply mired in denial, or worse, but there are several lines of argument seemingly based on objective data in the academic literature. But a new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper that Sean McElwee recently referred to should put an end to all that.

“Why did the Democrats Lose the South? Bringing New Data to an Old Debate,” by Ilyana Kuziemko and Ebonya Washington, does three key things: First, it uses previously overlooked data—matching presidential approval against media coverage linking President Kennedy to civil rights—to shed light on a key transition period—broadly, from 1961-1963, narrowly, the spring of 1963—when the Democratic Party clearly emerged as the party of civil rights. Second, it uses another new source of data—responses to the “black president question” (first asked by Gallup in 1958), whether someone would support a black (originally “negro”) candidate for president, if nominated by their party—as a measure of “racial conservatism” to analyze the contrast between the pre- and post-transition periods.

As McElwee reported, the paper “find that racism can explain almost all of the decline of Southern white support for Democrats between 1958 and 2000.” Indeed, it explains all of the decline from 1958 to 1980, and 77% of the decline through 2000. (The authors prefer the 1958-1980 time-frame, since Jesse Jackson’s candidacy in 1984 and 1988 “may have transformed the black president item from a hypothetical question to a referendum on a particular individual.”) Third, the paper looks at the other explanations—the cover stories—and finds they have only a marginal impact, at best. (Although its focus is Southern realignment away from the Democratic Party, the GOP has obviously been gaining strength at the same time as a direct result.) It also sheds light on an early phase of dealignment, starting when Truman first came out for civil rights in 1948, leading to the Dixiecrat revolt.

As McElwee reported, the paper “find that racism can explain almost all of the decline of Southern white support for Democrats between 1958 and 2000.” Indeed, it explains all of the decline from 1958 to 1980, and 77% of the decline through 2000. (The authors prefer the 1958-1980 time-frame, since Jesse Jackson’s candidacy in 1984 and 1988 “may have transformed the black president item from a hypothetical question to a referendum on a particular individual.”) Third, the paper looks at the other explanations—the cover stories—and finds they have only a marginal impact, at best. (Although its focus is Southern realignment away from the Democratic Party, the GOP has obviously been gaining strength at the same time as a direct result.) It also sheds light on an early phase of dealignment, starting when Truman first came out for civil rights in 1948, leading to the Dixiecrat revolt.

Before turning to the paper itself, I want to recall a point I made last year: so-called “principled conservatism” is itself heavily determined by anti-black attitudes. Southern racial conservatives had been closely tied to the Democratic Party for generations before Truman came out for civil rights in 1948, but the 1960s stand out as a decisive turning point. Among other things, I pointed out (a) that George Wallace himself had disavowed explicit racism by the end of 1963, turning to a classic articulation of anti-government/anti-“elite” conservative themes, (b) that there are both international and U.S. data showing that welfare state support declines as minority populations increase, and (c) that even attitudes related to spending to fight global warming are strongly influenced by anti-black stereotypes.

With all that in mind, there’s no reason at all to assume that any form of conservatism in America can be separated from white supremacism. We can pretend otherwise for the sake of running thought experiments, data-analysis, etc. and there can be some value is doing this—or I wouldn’t find this paper so important. But we should never forget the larger reality: we are not operating in blank-slate situation, where all hypothesis may be considered equally, in abstract purity. White supremacy is the default condition for everything in America, only the strength and salience of its impact varies from situation to situation.

Keeping all that in mind, let’s now turn to the important lessons this new paper has to tell us. As I said, it does three key things—sheds light on the 1961-1963 transition period, contrasts the pre- and post-transition periods to show the overwhelming impact of race, and examines other explanations, finding their impacts to be marginal, at best. The second of these is key, but is only possible as a result of identifying the transition point, which is crucial to making sense of everything else—both the central role of race, as well as the relative insignificance of other factors.

Keeping all that in mind, let’s now turn to the important lessons this new paper has to tell us. As I said, it does three key things—sheds light on the 1961-1963 transition period, contrasts the pre- and post-transition periods to show the overwhelming impact of race, and examines other explanations, finding their impacts to be marginal, at best. The second of these is key, but is only possible as a result of identifying the transition point, which is crucial to making sense of everything else—both the central role of race, as well as the relative insignificance of other factors.

more at link . . .
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Fri Dec 11, 2015, 04:29 PM (8 replies)

Climate Change Could Force Out Residents Of This Small U.S. Island

I visited Tangier Island several times a year when I lived in Virginia. A very serene place . . . bikes and golf carts are the primary mode of transportation. - Fleur

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tangier-island-climate-change_566a90b9e4b080eddf57cd5a

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Islanders in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay could be among the first "climate change refugees" in the continental United States as rising seas claim their historic fishing village, a report released Thursday concludes.

The research published in the journal Scientific Reports says residents of steadily shrinking Tangier Island will have to abandon their fishing community in approximately 50 years.

As the U.N. climate talks continue an ocean away in Paris, "Tangier is kind of ground zero," said oceanographer David M. Schulte, lead author of the research.

The peer-reviewed research was funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has said millions in new infrastructure such as breakwaters could shield Tangier Island and extend its life.

Tangier's threatened existence is not news to islanders, who have seen their island and others nearby retreat through the decades. Uppards Island was abandoned nearly a century ago, but the skeletal remains of those who once lived there are occasionally coughed up during storms, such as Hurricane Sandy.

Carol Pruitt-Moore, a seventh generation Tangier islander, said the half-century lifespan forecast for Tangier seems rosy to her.

"I think it'll be less than 50 years," Pruitt-Moore said. "We are one storm away from being washed away or being forced to evacuate."

Low-lying Tangier is particularly susceptible to climate change and rising seas and the sinking of the bay — called subsidence. The sinking is a remnant of the last ice age and glaciers north of the bay. As the ice melted, the land rebounded, while the bay began to sink. Tangier, Schulte said, "is just getting the double-whammy."

Approximately 700 people live on Tangier, nearly half its peak population. Island watermen are prodigious fishermen, hauling in a disproportionate amount of the bay's signature crabs and oysters.

Islanders get around on golf carts and homes are clustered atop ridges to keep them beyond the reach of rising waters. Graves have had to be interred and remains moved to avoid being swamped.

Because of its isolation, many residents have retained over centuries the linguistic traces of the island's settlers, primarily from Cornwall along England's southwest coast. Jamestown settler Capt. John Smith is believed to be the first white man to set foot on the island more than 400 years ago.

By the researchers' calculations, only one-third of the island's land mass remains from what was there in 1850.

Climate-change scientists have long predicted a limited future for Tangier Island, in part because the sinking land mass of the bay area atop rising seas. It has made places like Norfolk — home of the world's largest naval base — one of the most vulnerable to climate change in the U.S., behind only New Orleans.

The research published in Scientific Reports is the most definitive to date on Tangier Island, said Schulte, who co-authored the report with two other Corps scientists. "It's been studied but never to this detail," he said.

The authors analyzed maps and aerial photographs of the islands from 1850 through 2013 and constructed a model to predict the future lifespan of the islands.

At the current rate, one island near Tangier, called Goose, will be flooded by 2038. As for Tangier, it will be splintered into three low-lying uninhabitable marshes.

The report states the construction of breakwaters and other measures, at a cost of $30 million to $40 million, could extend Tangier's lifespan by perhaps another 50 years. The report adds that "climate change is upon us and that adaption to climate change is 'not optional.' "

"The Tangier Islands and the town are running out of time, and if no action is taken, the citizens of Tangier may become the first climate change refugees in the continental USA," the report concludes.

Pruitt-Moore said it's frustrating that projects to protect the island have not been funded.

"There's so much history here," she said. "It's like America's forgotten us."

But she's not leaving Tangier anytime soon.

"I was born on the island and I've lived here for 53 years and I'll probably die here," she said.
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Fri Dec 11, 2015, 11:11 AM (2 replies)

When will the R establishment pull out the nude photos of Melania Trump?

I personally don't care if anyone chooses to pose in the buff. Hell, I'm fine with legalizing prostitution, as long as all involved are consenting adults. Give them health care and a pension plan and I'm cool with it.

But knowing what hypocrites the republicans are, and knowing how badly the establishment wants to get rid of tRump, I keep wondering when someone will pull out the nude photos. I can't believe Jeb! hasn't tried this already. This seems like exactly the slimy kind of stunt he and his staff would pull.

Of course, the die-hard tRump supporters would probably love him even more.

I may be wrong, but I think if tRump were to win, Melania would be the only FLOTUS to have posed nude (not that there's anything wrong with that).
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Fri Dec 11, 2015, 10:05 AM (20 replies)
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