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hueymahl

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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Member since: Mon Sep 24, 2012, 11:07 AM
Number of posts: 1,233

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538: The One County in America that Voted both Trump and Obama in a Landslide

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-one-county-in-america-that-voted-in-a-landslide-for-both-trump-and-obama/

In the year since President Trump pulled off his stunning upset of Hillary Clinton, Democrats have blamed the result on all kinds of factors: James Comey’s letter, Russian hackers, voter suppression, Jill Stein’s candidacy and depressed African-American turnout, to name a few. The truth? In an election decided by fractions of percentage points, it’s easy to call just about anything a difference-maker.

But none of that gets at the heart of why so many people who cast a ballot for former president Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 — and who saw Trump as unqualified to be president — nonetheless voted for him. Although it’s far from a microcosm of the nation, there’s one place that I believe illustrates what happened in 2016 better than anything else.


. . .

Contrary to the “Trump Country” stereotype, Howard County isn’t drowning in manufacturing job losses, high unemployment or an opioid crisis. In fact, its unemployment rate the month before the election was just 2.9 percent. The main gripe? Stagnant wages — and a gnawing feeling that people have been working harder and for longer hours while other parts of the country reaped much bigger rewards during the recovery from the Great Recession.

“When Trump said, ‘What the hell do you have to lose?’ a lot more people heard it than just African-Americans,” said Pat Murray, a Democrat who worked 29 years as a press brake operator at Donaldson and now serves on the Howard County Board of Supervisors. “Our wages have been stagnant, and our insurance has gone backwards,” he told me, citing the union-sponsored health plan’s surging deductibles. “We work 50, 60 hours a week because there’s no one to hire.”

Clinton came to be seen as establishment and dishonest in a year when a plurality of voters wanted change. But in a baffling display of obliviousness, she spent much of the fall jetting between big-city rallies, which were often followed by closed-door, high-dollar fundraisers. She spent precious little time making her economic case before people in midsize cities or small towns like Cresco. And even though she outspent Trump $6.5 million to $2.2 million on Iowa’s airwaves, her ads were more about Trump’s antics than about how she would raise voters’ wages or how Trump might lower them — effectively ceding that ground to Trump’s utopian jobs promises and inescapable slogan.


. . .

Howard County wasn’t always a train wreck for Clinton. Ironically, in the epic 2008 Democratic primary campaign, Clinton ran as the candidate of labor and small-town America, rallying union halls, downing whiskey and beer for the cameras, and blasting Obama’s speeches as “elitist and out of touch.” She came in third place statewide and only carried 22 of Iowa’s 99 counties in that year’s caucuses. But Howard was one of the 22 she won.

By 2016, however, Howard County morphed into Sanders territory. The Vermont senator struck a nerve with his calls for a working-class revolution and his attacks on Clinton’s Wall Street ties and shifting rhetoric on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.


. . .


To rebuild lost trust and win support, future Democrats face the twin challenges of, first, persuading voters that Trump is on track to negatively affect their livelihoods and, second, reclaiming the mantle of working-class hero that every successful Democratic nominee has embraced since vaudeville ruled the stage at the Cresco Theatre.

“My dad told me, ‘You’ll never be rich enough to be a true-blue Republican,’” Bigley recalled. “Now there’s too much darn money in politics, on both sides.” His advice to his party? “Get out here in the sticks and roll around with us common folks for a week or two.”


This is a really interesting article. I imagine a bunch of folks will want to shout down its points and yell about Russian influence and voter suppression. Those are real issues. But so is the Democratic Party's disconnect with rural voters. I know a lot of these people. Howard County is not an outlier. If average, working Americans buy into this "both sides are elitist" arguments (they are) and just want to "shake things up", we need to do a helluva better job selling our message. Because the Democratic message is the opposite of elitist when it comes to economic issues.

See a Nazi, Punch a Nazi

AP: Democrats Attempt Rebranding with Populist New Agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic leaders believe they lost to President Donald Trump partly because voters don't know what the party stands for. So they're trying to rebrand themselves with a new slogan and a populist new agenda as they look ahead to the 2018 midterms.

It's called "A Better Deal" and House and Senate Democratic leaders are rolling it out Monday afternoon in Berryville, Virginia. They're intentionally traveling outside the Beltway, and into the district of one of the GOP House members they hope to defeat next year, Barbara Comstock.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, along with other top House and Senate Democrats, are making the presentation after months of internal debate and analysis of polling and focus groups.
Democrats think of themselves as the party of working people and were surprised when Trump was able to steal working-class voters from them. They subsequently figured out that voters don't know what the party stands for, and the new effort is aimed at changing that.

Schumer acknowledged on Sunday that Democrats were partially to blame for the American people not knowing what the party stands for.

"When you lose an election with someone who has, say, 40 percent popularity, you look in the mirror and say what did we do wrong? And the number one thing that we did wrong is we didn't have -- we didn't tell people what we stood for," Schumer said on ABC's "This Week."

. . . .

There are three overarching goals: raising wages, lowering costs for families, and giving working Americans better skills for the 21st century economy.

Detailed planks will be rolled out over time. On Monday, three are being unveiled:

—Lowering prescription drug prices. Suggestions include a new agency that could investigate drug manufacturer price hikes, and they would allow Medicare to negotiate directly for the best drug prices.
—Cracking down on corporate monopolies. Democrats would enact new standards to limit large mergers, and create a new consumer competition advocate.
—Creating millions more jobs. The agenda includes proposals for expanding apprenticeships and providing a tax credit to employers to train and hire new workers.


https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-07-24/democrats-attempt-rebranding-with-populist-new-agenda

About damn time our party leaders are putting out a unified message that reflects the reality of the last election. I think this is something we can all get behind. I know I can.

At Ninth Circuit, Big Law Makes Its Stand Against Trump Travel Ban

Source: Daily Report

A whirlwind of briefing began the morning of Feb. 4, and several major law firms, including Hogan Lovells, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, Mayer Brown, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld have not shied away from rumbling with the Trump administration.

All the Big Law briefs back the states of Washington and Minnesota in their bid to uphold Robart's ruling. The amicus campaign comes as some large-firm lawyers have organized to raise funds and recruit lawyers to represent those targeted for removal and puts the firms in alignment with at least some corporate clients; nearly 100 companies represented by Mayer Brown signed an amicus brief opposing the travel ban.

In the Ninth Circuit case, a Jones Day team led by New York appellate specialist Meir Feder weigh in on behalf of professors from Boston University, Yale Law School, University of Texas School of Law, and New York University School of Law.

"In this case, the unusual selection of seven countries whose nationals are precluded from using the valid visas that they have or from obtaining visas for a period of time, coupled with the apparently extensive evidence that the seven countries were selected because of the religion of their citizens, raises a host of constitutional questions as to the rationality of the executive order and as to its discriminatory impact," Feder wrote.

Read more: http://www.dailyreportonline.com/id=1202778575308/At-Ninth-Circuit-Big-Law-Makes-Its-Stand-Against-Trump-Travel-Ban?mcode=1202617074542&curindex=0&curpage=ALL



This is important, folks. The power of big law should not be underestimated. Too often it is used as a tool of corporations. In this one instance, corporate interests (mainly tech) are aligned with the good of society.

This story comes from the Daily Report, the biggest and most reputable news source for the legal profession. Unfortunately, this story is behind a paywall. But they do have a free initial signup if you want to see it. Or send me a PM and I will copy it for you.

Georgia GOP Chairman owes Law Firm $340k for defense of Discrimination Charge

John Padgett has gotten sued again, this time by the law firm that was defending him on a charge of race discrimination:

The head of the Georgia GOP has reneged on more than $340,000 in outstanding legal fees owed to a law firm that’s representing him in a high-profile discrimination lawsuit, according to a legal complaint filed this month.

The Atlanta law firm Fisher & Phillips said in the complaint filed in Athens-Clarke County Superior Court that John Padgett refused to pay the fees he incurred after he was sued by former Georgia GOP employee Qiana Keith. In a lawsuit, Keith claimed the organization’s employees humiliated her and referred to her with a racial slur.


http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2016/06/24/georgia-gop-chief-faces-more-legal-trouble/

Poor, poor Padgett.

Why do we still support Saudi Arabia?

It is almost a rhetorical question, but it is a real one. I know the pat answer is Oil and security, but could there be a more crooked, immoral regime? There are literally hundreds of examples of this, but this one stood out to me today:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/17/raif-badawi-saudi-blogger-lashes-prison-ensaf-haidar

The man himself could not be made out in the video. But I saw clearly that he was striking Raif with all his might. Raif’s head was bowed. In very quick succession he took the blows all over the back of his body: he was lashed from shoulders to calves, while the men around him clapped and uttered pious phrases. It was too much for me. It’s indescribable, watching something like that being done to the person you love. I felt the pain they were inflicting on Raif as if it was my own.


A heartbreaking story about a journalist/blogger in Saudi Arabia sentenced to 10 years and 1,000 lashes. The story is from the perspective of his wife who fled the country.

The inhumanity of it is simply shocking. Words fail.

And we fail as a nation by continuing to prop-up this evil, evil regime.

Nest cam livestreams bald eagle parents feeding a cat to their eaglets

“While many may cringe at this, the eagles bring squirrels, rabbits, fish (and other animals) into the nest to eat multiple times each day,” the society said. “To people, the cat represents a pet but to the eagles and to other raptors, the cat is a way to sustain the eaglets and help them to grow.”


The cat should not have been outdoors. Who knows how many smaller birds and other animals it killed before it found its place in the food chain.

If you are a cat lover, please keep them indoors - for their sake and for the sake of all the other animals out there.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/04/29/nest-cam-livestreams-bald-eagle-parents-feeding-a-cat-to-their-eaglets/

Life imitates DU

Came across this article about the "Sanders Surge." Great points overall, but I swear every one of them has been made, and made more elegantly in many cases, right here on DU. Still a great read, and pretty damn on point.


Berserk Clinton Bigwigs Launch Nixonian Attack Against Surging Sanders


In an astonishing political development, as a CNN/WMUR poll shows Bernie Sanders defeating Hillary Clinton by an astounding 27 points in the New Hampshire primary and an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds him defeating Donald Trump in the general election by a whopping 15 points, a long list of prominent Clinton supporters has launched an all-out negative attack against Mr. Sanders reminiscent of the red-baiting attacks Richard Nixon once deployed against liberals.


Second, an observation on the meaning of the Sanders surge: these and other polls demonstrate what I have long argued is the great truth that will be revealed in the 2016 election. There is a progressive populist majority in America that exists beneath the tectonic plates of American politics that Mr. Sanders to his advantage is galvanizing in his campaign and Ms. Clinton to her disadvantage has been resisting in hers.

Third, a word of advice to Team Clinton: calm down and back off the panicked attacks against Mr. Sanders that are highlighted in a New York Times story in which one Democratic Senator who supports Ms. Clinton, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, reached a new low by suggesting that Republicans will run an ad against Mr. Sanders alongside the hammer and sickle which, in other words, would paint him as a communist.


Eleventh, Mr. Trump can continue to boast of his poll ratings, but it is media malpractice for any journalist to not directly challenge him about why Mr. Sanders is kicking is butt in general election match-ups in a number of recent polls, and why Ms. Clinton has begun to kick his butt as well in those polls, though (and this is important) by a smaller margin than Mr. Sanders.

Ladies and gentlemen, we now have a real campaign where the voice of the people will now be heard. Let the real debate begin and let the voters decide.

The progressive populist message is now front and center on the great stage of national politics, and this is good news for Democrats and great news for America.


http://observer.com/2016/01/berserk-clinton-bigwigs-launch-nixonian-attack-against-surging-sanders/

So Glad Bloom County is back

Berkeley Breathed has been on a roll.

If we may take a quick break from inter-party sniping, What We Really Should Be Focused On:

The threat of ANY republican getting the presidency. I am a proud Bernie supporter, but lets not forget the true evil, as so ably laid out by Matt Taibbi

The GOP Clown Car Rolls On
On the campaign trail with the most dishonest, bumbling and underqualified pack of presidential candidates in history


http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-gop-clown-car-rolls-on-20151117

Not one of them can win, but one must. That's the paradox of the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, fast becoming the signature event in the history of black comedy.

Conventional wisdom says that with the primaries and caucuses rapidly approaching, front-running nuts Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson must soon give way to the "real" candidates. But behind Trump and Carson is just more abyss. As I found out on a recent trip to New Hampshire, the rest of the field is either just as crazy or as dangerous as the current poll leaders, or too bumbling to win.

Disaster could be averted if Americans on both the left and the right suddenly decide to be more mature about this, neither backing obvious mental incompetents, nor snickering about those who do. But that doesn't seem probable.

Instead, HashtagClownCar will almost certainly continue to be the most darkly ridiculous political story since Henry II of Champagne, the 12th-century king of Jerusalem, plunged to his death after falling out of a window with a dwarf.



If it was another country this was happening too, it GOP primary would be most excellent Kabuki theater. But it is happening here, and it should scare the bejesus out of us. So my modest plea to DU citizens. Fight hard for your candidate, but fight fair. Make sure it is only non-mortal wounds you inflict, as it is going to take us all pulling behind our nominee to stop the crazies from taking control.
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