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Profile Information

Name: David Allen
Gender: Male
Hometown: Washington, DC
Home country: USA
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 63,313

Journal Archives

Real or satire? McSweeney's publishes Donald Trump's Black History Month monologue





I just called my Senators to express my opposition to Neil Gorsuch... NOW IT'S YOUR TURN

Don't put it off... DO IT NOW while you can still make a difference.

The phone numbers you need are all right here:


Don't worry, DU will still be here when you get back.

North America's Zoos and Aquariums are Having a #CuteAnimalTweetOff

Because you need a break from the trainwreck in Washington...











Lots more at #CuteAnimalTweetOff

I just took these photos of President Obama flying away in Marine One

From the balcony of a friend's place here in DC.

So long, Mr. President.

The 2016 Postmortem Forum Will Close on Friday 1/20

As you all know, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as our next president this Friday, January 20. With this in mind, it is time for DUers to stop fighting about the 2016 presidential election and start coming together to face the threat of a Trump Presidency. I know this news will be a disappointment to the small minority of DUers who REALLY REALLY REALLY want to convince the rest of us that Hillary Clinton and/or Bernie Sanders is totally the worst thing that ever happened EVER, but the rest of us will be relieved to put an end to the infighting.

Here's what's going to happen:

The 2016 Postmortem forum will shut down.
It will be saved as a read-only archive so we can go back from time-to-time and remind ourselves how pointless and annoying these arguments really were.

We will bring back the "Don't keep fighting primaries" rule.
You may remember that before the November election we had a rule against re-hashing the Democratic primary. Now that the postmortem period is over, that rule is going to come back. For the record, here is the text of the rule:

Don't keep fighting the last Democratic presidential primary
Regardless of whether you supported a winning candidate or a losing candidate, do not prolong the agony of the last Democratic presidential primary by continuing to pick fights, place blame, tear down former primary candidates, bait former supporters, or do anything else to pour salt on old wounds.

Why we have this rule: Most of our members want this to be forward-looking, friendly community that is focused on creating a better future for our country. Continuing to rehash old fights that have already been resolved is divisive and counter-productive.

If you read that rule and think to yourself, "For fuck's sake, how will I be able to insult supporters of Hillary Clinton and/or Bernie Sanders NOW?!?!?!" then you are precisely the person this rule was intended to thwart. I am already pre-ignoring your impotent howls of protest.

The impending Trump administration is going to be an unmitigated disaster for America. Let's come together here on DU to fight it.

NYT: Is Donald Trump a Threat to Democracy?

This op-ed on the New York Times does a good job explaining why I find Trump so alarming. Worth reading the whole thing...


Donald J. Trump’s election has raised a question that few Americans ever imagined asking: Is our democracy in danger? With the possible exception of the Civil War, American democracy has never collapsed; indeed, no democracy as rich or as established as America’s ever has. Yet past stability is no guarantee of democracy’s future survival.

We have spent two decades studying the emergence and breakdown of democracy in Europe and Latin America. Our research points to several warning signs.

The clearest warning sign is the ascent of anti-democratic politicians into mainstream politics. Drawing on a close study of democracy’s demise in 1930s Europe, the eminent political scientist Juan J. Linz designed a “litmus test” to identify anti-democratic politicians. His indicators include a failure to reject violence unambiguously, a readiness to curtail rivals’ civil liberties, and the denial of the legitimacy of elected governments.

Mr. Trump tests positive. In the campaign, he encouraged violence among supporters; pledged to prosecute Hillary Clinton; threatened legal action against unfriendly media; and suggested that he might not accept the election results.

More: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/16/opinion/sunday/is-donald-trump-a-threat-to-democracy.html

The 10 most badass moments of the Obama presidency

After eight years, President Barack Obama's term in the Oval Office is finally coming to an end. And throughout the ups and downs of Obama's historic presidency, there's one thing that has become overwhelmingly clear: Our president is a badass.

Read more: https://mic.com/articles/161135/the-10-most-badass-moments-of-obama-s-presidency-show-exactly-why-so-many-will-miss-him

Memo to Democrats: Look to the Southwest and Southeast, Not Midwest

Hidden in the wreckage of the election there may be some good news. But I must admit I'm skeptical. I'm not sure if the places we improved our margins are specific to 2016 or if they indicate a longer-term trend. Still, an interesting perspective...

A common lesson drawn from this November’s presidential elections is that to win the presidency, the Democratic Party has to start paying much closer attention to white working-class voters in the Midwest states who delivered the Electoral College majority to Republican Donald J. Trump.

Three weeks after election day, and the once-renowned “blue wall” of Democratic states in the Midwest is in shambles — Trump is the first Republican nominee since the 1980s to win either Michigan, Wisconsin or Pennsylvania, and not since Ronald Reagan’s reelection campaign has a Republican won all three.

But Trump’s Midwestern victories shouldn’t have shocked anyone. Democrats have been struggling there for a generation. Wisconsin has elected Democrats in just two of their last eight gubernatorial elections, and the GOP has held a state assembly majority for 19 of the last 21 years. In Michigan, Republicans have won five of the last seven gubernatorial races, and have held an uninterrupted state senate majority for more than 30 years. Even in Minnesota, which Clinton won, Democrats have won just two of the last seven gubernatorial elections.

The Midwest isn’t safe Democratic territory, but truth be told, the hand-wringing about the Democrats’ woes misses a larger truth. Lost in much of the analyses this year is just how significantly the Trump-Pence ticket underperformed among many traditionally Republican-leaning groups and in some GOP-dominant areas — and of what this possibly portends in future elections. Voting trends suggest a possible realigning of the electorate at work that can bring back the big prize to the Democrats despite their increasingly difficult Electoral College status.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/11/democrats-electoral-map-midwest-southwest-southeast-demographics-214489

Move two state borders and Hillary Clinton wins

I'm not trying to make excuses by posting this. But it does provide some interesting context. Exact same votes, totally different post-election narrative...

Here's a fun little thought experiment demonstrating the fundamental arbitrariness of the electoral college: Had two state borders been drawn just a little bit differently, shifting a total of four counties from one state to another, Hillary Clinton would have won the election.

Take a look at the imaginary map above, which comes from an nifty online tool called Redraw the States. It was created by Kevin Hayes Wilson, a mathematician and data scientist working in computer science education.

This map moves Lake County, Ill. to Wisconsin, turning that state blue. It moves Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties from the Florida panhandle to neighboring Alabama. That's enough to turn Florida blue. With victories in Wisconsin and Florida, Clinton squeaks to victory in the electoral college, 270 to 268.

Exact same votes, slightly different borders, radically different outcome: the capriciousness of the electoral college laid bare

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/29/how-the-electoral-college-gerrymanders-the-presidential-vote/

Without free and open elections a government leader is not legitimate.

You can talk all you want about Cuba's record on literacy and health care. But there is no ignoring the fact that the Cuban people do not have any legitimate mechanism to peacefully select those who rule them.

You might think Fidel was swell, but there is no legitimate way of knowing whether the Cuban people thought so. Because Fidel never had the guts -- or the respect for his own people -- to stand for free, fair and open elections.

Yes, I know what the Cuba-apologists are going to say. You are going to claim that the sham one-party elections in Cuba where candidates must get approval from the government to run unopposed are more democratic than the American system because electoral college, campaign contributions, hacked voting machines, Trump, imperialist Yankee propaganda. And I don't doubt you believe it. But that doesn't make it true.

Elections. There is no substitute.
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