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AntiBank's Journal
AntiBank's Journal
May 27, 2016

Who Would Host a Trump-Sanders Debate? ‘We Have Heard from Every Network’ (Bidding War)


It’s entirely unclear if Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders really plan on debating each other, but this much is certain: if they do, the news networks are lining up for the chance to host the show.

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said a Sanders-Trump face-off would be the political “event of the season,” and asked by Blitzer if, by chance, any news networks had expressed interest in hosting, Weaver said “we have heard from every network.”

The debate was floated by ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Wednesday night, who asked Trump about debating Sanders. “If he paid a sum toward charity I would love to do that,” Trump said. That was followed quickly by a tweet from Sanders saying “game on. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7th primary.”

Time magazine reports Trump was “just joking” about agreeing to the debate, while Weaver said he believed Trump had been serious and hoped he would not “chicken out.”

In a separate interview with MSNBC, Weaver said “back-channel conversations” were underway between the Sanders and Trump teams.
May 26, 2016

Donald Trump would allow Keystone XL pipeline and end Paris climate deal

Source: The Guardian UK

Donald Trump pledged to cancel the Paris climate agreement, endorsed drilling off the Atlantic coast and said he would allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built in return for “a big piece of the profits” for the American people.

At an oil and natural gas conference in North Dakota on Thursday, just minutes after he had celebrated hitting the 1,237 delegate mark needed to formally clinch the party’s nomination, Trump gave a speech on energy policy that was largely shaped by advice from Kevin Cramer, a US representative from the state. In a press conference before the event, Trump praised the advice of oil tycoon Harold Hamm. Hamm and Cramer then introduced him onstage.

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club environmentalist group, was taken aback by Trump’s address.
“I have never heard more contradiction in one hour than I heard in the speech,” he told the Guardian. “There are pools of oil industry waste water that are deeper than Trump’s grasp of energy.” Trump gave the speech – which Brune also called “a jumbled collection of oil industry talking points that are devoid from reality in the market place” – in a packed arena that generated an atmosphere more like that of a campaign rally than a staid industry conference.

As he hit a number of familiar talking points, a crowd filled with his supporters raised chants of “build the wall”.......

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/26/donald-trump-environmental-policy-climate-change-keystone-xl

May 25, 2016

Hillary Clinton Violated Email Policy, State Dept. Says

Source: ABC News

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and some of her predecessors violated the government's policies on email use and records retention, the State Department's inspector general says.

The department's investigative office made the conclusion in a report released only to members of Congress and obtained by ABC News. The report examined the email practices of five U.S. secretaries of state and found that there was "a limited ability to retrieve email records, inaccessibility of electronic files, failure to comply with requirements for departing employees and a general lack of oversight."

Clinton's campaign for president has been dogged by questions surrounding last year's revelation that she used a private email server to send official correspondence during her entire tenure as secretary of state. She has since turned over many of the messages from her private account but deleted others she deemed irrelevant to her professional work. The FBI is investigating the handling of sensitive information on that server to determine whether there was any criminal wrongdoing.

About Clinton specifically, the report says that she should have preserved federal records she created and received on her personal account and that sending emails from the personal account to other employees at the department was "not an appropriate method of preserving" federal records. Secretary of State John Kerry and former Secretaries Madeline Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice participated in interviews with the inspector general’s office, but Clinton and her aides denied requests to be interviewed.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/hillary-clinton-violated-email-policy-state-dept/story?id=39366354

May 25, 2016

There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks

Machine Bias


N A SPRING AFTERNOON IN 2014, Brisha Borden was running late to pick up her god-sister from school when she spotted an unlocked kid’s blue Huffy bicycle and a silver Razor scooter. Borden and a friend grabbed the bike and scooter and tried to ride them down the street in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Coral Springs.

Just as the 18-year-old girls were realizing they were too big for the tiny conveyances — which belonged to a 6-year-old boy — a woman came running after them saying, “That’s my kid’s stuff.” Borden and her friend immediately dropped the bike and scooter and walked away. But it was too late — a neighbor who witnessed the heist had already called the police. Borden and her friend were arrested and charged with burglary and petty theft for the items, which were valued at a total of $80.

Compare their crime with a similar one: The previous summer, 41-year-old Vernon Prater was picked up for shoplifting $86.35 worth of tools from a nearby Home Depot store.

Prater was the more seasoned criminal. He had already been convicted of armed robbery and attempted armed robbery, for which he served five years in prison, in addition to another armed robbery charge. Borden had a record, too, but it was for misdemeanors committed when she was a juvenile.

Yet something odd happened when Borden and Prater were booked into jail: A computer program spat out a score predicting the likelihood of each committing a future crime. Borden — who is black — was rated a high risk. Prater — who is white — was rated a low risk.

Two years later, we know the computer algorithm got it exactly backward. Borden has not been charged with any new crimes. Prater is serving an eight-year prison term for subsequently breaking into a warehouse and stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of electronics.

Scores like this — known as risk assessments — are increasingly common in courtrooms across the nation. They are used to inform decisions about who can be set free at every stage of the criminal justice system, from assigning bond amounts — as is the case in Fort Lauderdale — to even more fundamental decisions about defendants’ freedom. In Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, the results of such assessments are given to judges during criminal sentencing.

May 24, 2016

Bernie Sanders Argues He's Not 'Harming' Democratic Party by Staying in the Race

Source: ABC News

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders argued today that he's "absolutely not" harming the Democratic Party by staying in the 2016 primary race, but rather "invigorating" the party.

"I don't think I'm harming the Democratic Party," Sanders said in an interview on ABC's "The View." "I think I'm invigorating American democracy and invigorating the Democratic Party. The establishment obviously doesn't like it. They would like us to go away and do things in the same old, same old."

The Vermont senator, who continues to battle Democratic rival Hillary Clinton despite her delegate lead, also asserted that he's brought in more voters and suggested that his candidacy has helped the Democratic Party achieve an "unprecedented increase in voter registration among young people, among Latinos."

Sanders also clarified remarks he made in a recent interview with The Associated Press in which he said that the convention would be "messy."
"People in America have the right to demonstrate," Sanders said on "The View." "It's kind of what the Constitution of the United States is."

"It goes without saying ... that I will condemn any and all forms of violence," Sanders said, adding, "I don't see anything wrong with a vigorous debate."

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/bernie-sanders-argues-harming-democratic-party-staying-race/story?id=39337863

May 23, 2016

We must weed out ignorant Americans from the electorate (Washington Post Op-Ed)


Never have so many people with so little knowledge made so many consequential decisions for the rest of us.

A person need only survey the inanity of the ongoing presidential race to comprehend that the most pressing problem facing the nation isn’t Big Business, Big Labor, Big Media or even Big Money in politics.

It’s you, the American voter. And by weeding out millions of irresponsible voters who can’t be bothered to learn the rudimentary workings of the Constitution, or their preferred candidate’s proposals or even their history, we may be able to mitigate the recklessness of the electorate.

No, we shouldn’t erect physical barriers to ballot access. Let’s purchase more voting machines, hire additional poll workers, streamline the registration process, mail out more ballots for seniors and produce more “Rock the Vote” ads imploring apathetic millennials to embrace their civic duty.

At the same time, let’s also remember that checking a box for the candidate whose campaign ads you like best is one of the most overrated obligations of the self-governed. If you have no clue what the hell is going on, you also have a civic duty to avoid subjecting the rest of us to your ignorance.

Unfortunately, we can’t trust you.

Now, if voting is a consecrated rite of democracy, as liberals often argue, surely society can have certain minimal expectations for those participating. And if citizenship itself is as hallowed as Republicans argue, then surely the prospective voter can be asked to know just as much as the prospective citizen. Let’s give voters a test. The citizenship civics test will do just fine.


wow, just wow
May 20, 2016

Neocon-Bashers Headline Koch Event as Political Realignment on Foreign Policy Continues


IN THE LATEST example of how foreign policy no longer neatly aligns with party politics, the Charles Koch Institute — the think tank founded and funded by energy billionaire Charles Koch — hosted an all-day event Wednesday featuring a set of speakers you would be more likely to associate with a left-wing anti-war rally than a gathering hosted by a longtime right-wing institution.

At the event, titled “Advancing American Security: The Future of U.S. Foreign Policy,” prominent realist and liberal foreign policy scholars took turns trashing the neoconservative worldview that has dominated the foreign policy thinking of the Republican Party — which the Koch brothers have been allied with for decades.

Most of the speakers assailed the Iraq War, nation building, and regime change. During a panel event also featuring former Obama Pentagon official Kathleen Hicks, foreign policy scholar John Mearsheimer brought the crowd to applause by denouncing American military overreach.

“We need to pull back, stop fighting all these wars. Stop defending rich people who are fully capable of defending themselves, and instead spend the money at home. Period. End of story!” he said, in remarks that began with a denunciation of the dilapidated state of the Washington Metrorail system.

May 20, 2016

I asked 5 fascism experts whether Donald Trump is a fascist. Here's what they said.


Is Donald Trump a fascist?

It's becoming a common question, and prominent neoconservative columnist Robert Kagan is the latest to lob the accusation, declaring, "This is how fascism comes to America, not with jackboots and salutes (although there have been salutes, and a whiff of violence) but with a television huckster, a phony billionaire, a textbook egomaniac 'tapping into' popular resentments and insecurities, and with an entire national political party — out of ambition or blind party loyalty, or simply out of fear — falling into line behind him."

Kagan is wrong. Donald Trump is not a fascist. "Fascism" has been an all-purpose insult for many years now, but it has a real definition, and according to scholars of historical fascism, Trump doesn't qualify. Rather, he's a right-wing populist, or perhaps an "apartheid liberal" in the words of Roger Griffin, author of The Nature of Fascism. He doesn't want to overthrow the existing democratic system. He doesn't want to scrap the Constitution. He doesn't romanticize violence itself as a vital cleansing agent of society. He's simply a racist who wants to keep the current system but deny its benefits to groups he's interested in oppressing.

Griffin, who is a professor of history and political theory at Oxford Brookes University, puts it best: "You can be a total xenophobic racist male chauvinist bastard and still not be a fascist."

Fascism requires the rejection of democracy

But sometimes you have to keep certain parts of the state around
General Photographic Agency/Getty Images
Benito Mussolini addresses the Italian parliament in 1938, long after he'd rendered it irrelevant.
Defining fascism is a notoriously difficult scholarly task. There are enough differences between the relevant fascist regimes — Nazi Germany, Mussolini's Italy, perhaps Francoist Spain — that identifying commonalities that do not in turn implicate plenty of clearly non-fascist regimes is tricky. But there is general agreement about some requirements.


I post this to help people accurately attack Trump and not get blindsided by incorrectly labelling him.
May 18, 2016

Conservative Candidate Leaves Porn Tabs Up On Presentation

It’s important to close your porn tabs before posting screenshots to your Facebook page. Especially when you’re running for office as a family values conservative Republican. Congressional candidate Mike Webb is learning this the hard way. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

"Mike Webb is a conservative candidate for the United States Congress (VA-8) and he’s hoping to bring “responsiveness and accountability” to Washington, D.C. From hiscampaign announcement:

“If we succeed in winning this race as a conservative Republican in the most liberal district in the nation and the most Democratic in the South, that will be a real revolution that will have national implications,” he said in a press release.

He is campaigning with a hands-on approach, insisting he does all of his own social media:

Webb claims that many residents are looking for responsiveness and accountability from their elected and appointed leaders. “One way to do that is to personally respond on social media. Talk and engage with people. Joke and chide. Engage in dialogue. That is what it is all about.”

Unfortunately for Mike Webb, he’s probably now wishing he had someone running his social media. He shared a screenshot of his computer screen while trying to make a point (that was partial conspiracy theory) about trying to find employment and he forgot to close out a couple of tabs…”*

Read more here: http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/...

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