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Member since: Thu May 7, 2009, 11:59 PM
Number of posts: 16,355

Journal Archives

Richard Spencer's [White Supremacist] appearance at Texas A&M draws protests

Source: CNN

The room felt like a tinder box, ready to devolve any given moment into conflict, only to be calmed diffused by security.

Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who helped found the so-called alt-right movement, embraced the conflict as he spoke at Texas A&M Tuesday night.

For roughly two hours, Spencer delivered his message of white supremacy to a room of 400 people, the vast majority of whom were there in protest. "At the end of the day, America belongs to white men," Spencer said.

* * *
As the speech continued, followed by a tense Q&A, Spencer continued to provoke the crowd as he called for white people to "have a goddamn identity." "Race is the foundation of identity," he said. "The word racist is a fake word. No one identifies with the word racist."

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/06/politics/richard-spencer-texas-am/

While the MSM pushes the meme that Democrats need to get away from "identity" politics, the elephant in the room is that Trump won the election by catering to white men as a racial identity group, and white nationalist groups embraced that.

Also, the use of the term "identity politics" implies a false equivalency between groups like NOW, the NAACP or La Raza that are fighting for voting rights, equality under the law and equal opportunity versus groups like the Ku Klux Klan that are fighting for racial supremacy and the exclusion of non-white people from the U.S.

Study: Clinton-Trump coverage was a feast of false equivalency

I actually think the study may understate the issue, since it ignores the plethora of fake right wing news being distributed by paid purveyors of propaganda.


U.S. media organizations are locked into such a negative mind-set that they portrayed Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as equally pernicious and scurrilous pretenders to the presidency. That, at least, is the conclusion of a study by Thomas E. Patterson in the fourth of his series of studies on media coverage of the presidential campaign for the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.

“False equivalencies abound in today’s reporting,” writes Patterson. “When journalists can’t, or won’t, distinguish between allegations directed at the Trump Foundation and those directed at the Clinton Foundation, there’s something seriously amiss. And false equivalencies are developing on a grand scale as a result of relentlessly negative news. If everything and everyone is portrayed negatively, there’s a leveling effect that opens the door to charlatans.” This chart from the Harvard study puts things into perspective:


As the fine print relates, this equivalency hovers over the category of presidential “fitness for office” and includes themes such as “policy positions, personal qualities, leadership abilities [and] ethical standards.” Consider that the time period for these figures spanned from mid-August to the day before Election Day — which is to say, the weeks during which The Washington Post published the now-famous “Access Hollywood” tape that had Trump boasting about sexual assault, and the resulting flood of on-the-record allegations from women that he did just that. That the media somehow produced an equivalent amount of negative stories regarding Clinton would appear to cement its dedication to the proposition that they’re all bastards.

* * *
False equivalency is tough to prove in the macro, in large part because the media is such a sprawling and almost uncharacterizable beast. The Shorenstein Center has tried to bring a finite sanity to the chore by limiting its examination to the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and USA Today and just the primary newscasts: ABC’s “World News Tonight,” “CBS Evening News,” CNN’s “The Situation Room,” Fox News’s “Special Report” and “NBC Nightly News.” On the mirco level, this blog highlighted a couple of the campaign’s more egregious false-equivalency fouls, such as the time that two top journalists with the White House Correspondents’ Association wrote a USA Today op-ed under the headline, “Trump, Clinton both threaten free press.” A better version would have said, “Trump poses mortal threat to First Amendment, Clinton prone to secrecy.”

Study: negative media coverage of Clinton soared in the last two weeks of the campaign

Source: Vox

Ten of America’s most prominent media outlets ramped up their negative coverage of Hillary Clinton in the final two weeks of the presidential campaign while also writing fewer positive stories about her, according to a new report released today by Harvard University researchers.

From late September to the middle of October — around the time of the presidential debates — the ratio of critical coverage of Clinton was roughly three positive stories for every two negative ones.

But as the election headed to a close, that gap dramatically widened. In the final two weeks, there were closer to seven negative pieces about Clinton for every two positive pieces, according to the report from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy.

Of course, part of that change was driven by new facts on the ground — like the revelations about the FBI’s decision to briefly reopen an investigation into Clinton’s private email server, and the WikiLeaks disclosures — that Donald Trump voters may regard as legitimate reasons for more negative stories. But whatever the cause, according to the Harvard report, talk of Clinton’s alleged scandals hit their peak right before Election Day.

Read more: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/12/7/13872580/media-coverage-presidential-election

New study from Harvard confirms how the election was corrupted by a combination of FBI meddling in the election along with Russian sourced disclosures to wikileaks.

WaPo - Trumps Carrier deal is right out of Putins playbook


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.


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.


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.


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.
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