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Member since: Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:29 PM
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Journal Archives

"We have legalized political corruption" - Ezra Klein show

A great discussion on the history of campaign finance, how elections are awash in money, and how our problems today are due to the ability of the wealthy to buy politicians.

Podcast from Ezra Klein at Vox talking to Zephyr Teachout. (Use link below or subscribe to the Ezra Klein show, it's the most recent episode.)


This episode is a must-listen, in my view.

Anyone know where to find a transcript of this?
Interested to hear people's opinions of this discussion.

The president is doing Putin's bidding (TPM/Marshall)

This is a good article. Josh Marshall has been cautious about making direct accusations. But this article is strong and direct.


Whether Vladimir Putin has something on Donald Trump or somehow has him in his pay hardly matters. If he doesn’t, he apparently doesn’t need to do since Trump insists on doing more or less exactly what Putin would want of him entirely on his own. Does this sound hyperbolic. Yes, it absolutely does. I’m even surprised I’m writing it. But look at the evidence before us. A simple statement on a decades old security commitment is the simplest, most pro-forma thing to do. And yet he refuses. Again and again.

Something is very wrong here. But we don’t know yet its origins or where it’s taking us.

How Fox News handled a week of major Trump scandals (Video will make you angry. Or sad for America)


America's for-profit media corporations catastrophically failed us


America's for-profit media corporations failed in their duty to society in 2016 to a catastrophic degree.
There will be a reckoning.
-Eric Garland

He's talking about the Washington Post article by Palmieri, where she said the Clinton campaign tried to get the attention of the media about Russia and no one in the mainstream media was interested. And he's talking about the ratings-seeking behavior of CNN and CBS and NBC, not just Fox NC. (CBS CEO: "Trump is bad for America but great for CBS- the money is rolling in!!".

Ken Tremendous (creator of Parks and Rec, an amazing piece of progressive entertainment) is on the same page:

NYTimes/Haberman amplify Trump's lies

Why does the media just replay Trump's comments without proper context?
There is now ample evidence that when he speaks to the media, his goal is to mislead, not to give facts.

Maggie Haberman at the NYT got called by Trump after the AHCA failed. What did she do? Repeat Trump's words.
Maggie, read this:
Media instructions: Talk about the truth, note diversion, go back to real issues] [link:Lakoff link

Here's the Haberman tweet below. It should have said:
"TRUMP tries to blame Democrats for AHCA failure and he will try to blame further failure on them".

Instead she says:

Excellent by Schiff: The Rise of the Autocrats. Our challenges, both short- and long-term

Excellent long article by Schiff, including historical and foreign perspectives on the challenges America faces.

Worth a read.

This is the kind of stuff that could launch Schiff into the Presidential race.


How far-right media took over American public debate

In a time where so much is happening, this article does a good job of reminding us how much right wing talk radio, Fox NC, and right wing internet media hurts American society (and prevents investigations, advances Gorsuch, and smears Obama).


...perhaps the weightiest issue influencing Donald Trump's rise [Ed: and keeping him in place today!]. More than fake news, more than filter bubbles, more than insane conspiracy theories about child sex rings operating out of the backs of Washington DC pizza shops, the biggest media story to emerge from the 2016 election was the degree to which far-right media were able to set the narrative agenda for mainstream media outlets (This point is ably argued by internet scholars Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, Hal Roberts, and Ethan Zuckerman).

What Breitbart did, what conspiratorial far-right radio programs did, what Donald Trump himself did (to say nothing of what the silent contributors to the political landscape did), was ensure that what far-right pundits were talking about became what everyone was talking about, what everyone had to talk about, if they wanted to keep abreast of the day's news cycle. Alt-right antagonisms—their "trolling"—was one cloud among many in this gathering storm, one roaring towards the mainstream from the far-far right.

Democrats gather in DC this week to plot the resistance


The Democratic Party’s top officials will meet with some of their wealthiest donors in Washington, D.C., this week to plot the Trump resistance, according to documents obtained by The Daily Beast.
The chairs of the Democratic National Committee and the party’s House and Senate campaign arms will huddle with activists, operatives, and deep-pocketed Democratic financiers at a biannual conference hosted by the Democracy Alliance, a leading left-wing donor collaborative at Washington’s ritzy Mandarin Oriental hotel.

Donate to Steve King's opponents, not the DCCC? (Blue America email -comments?)

I just got the following email from Blue America. Is this right?!!!?!


Maybe you got an email filled with outrage over Steve King's latest racist statement this week. The DCCC sent one out, asking for contributions. There's a problem with that though. Steve King isn't just some loud-mouthed crackpot and bigot; he's an actual congressman from western Iowa. And, the DCCC won't use the contributions they solicit to beat Republican Steve King. They'll waste the contributions trying to elect even more Blue Dog and New Dem garbage-crats like Josh Gottheimer (NJ) and Tom O'Halleran (AZ), on whom they spent $3.5 million and $2.6 million, respectively.

"I’ve learned that there are great people in the 4th District who are hungry for a representative who will focus on solutions, not division. During my campaign, I talked about ways we can improve the lives of all our neighbors. I know that this battle won’t be easy, but deeply believe it is one worth fighting and one that we can win IF I can get the support I need. - Kim Weaver
Last year there was a progressive Democrat running against Steve King, the O'Brien County Democratic Party chairwoman, Kim Weaver. The DCCC collected a lot of money by sending out e-mails telling Democrats how horrible Steve King is back then, too. How much of the money collected for IA-04 did the DCCC give Kim? ZERO. They did absolutely nothing to help her at all.

The thing is, even without any help from the DCCC, Kim earned more votes than Hillary Clinton in every single county in IA-04-- all 39 of them-- and even won the biggest county in the district! It's worth noting here that Kim out-performed Chuck Schumer's handpicked corporate conservative Senate candidate, Patty Judge, in all 39 counties as well.

This year Kim is taking on King again. And what is the DCCC doing? You probably guessed it-- sending out more letters demonizing King and collecting cash to use to elect more conservaDems while offering nothing at all to Kim Weaver. We're sick of it.

Blue America endorsed Kim this week and we're asking our members to contribute directly to her campaign.

Kim told us that "the most disappointing aspect of the campaign was being told time and again that although I was a 'great candidate,' various organizations declined to support me because I wasn’t 'viable.' Most organizations didn’t even respond to my applications for assistance. Additionally, whenever my opponent would say some new horrific thing, I would get emails after emails from organizations asking for money to 'help defeat Steve King.' Not a single one of those organizations passed along any of that support. King was a big money maker for them, and it appears that he still is."

The DCCC doesn't want to understand that it takes real effort and investment over time to defeat entrenched incumbents like King. It's beyond their scope of endeavor, which is why the House Democrats have hemorrhaged dozens and dozens of members since Rahm Emanuel set his reactionary strategic and tactical ideas into stone.

2018 is the greatest opportunity we have to defeat Republicans in Congress in decades. But, please, when you want to defeat a Steve King, contribute directly to his Democratic opponent, Kim Weaver. And when you want to defeat a Darrell Issa or a Lamar Smith, donate to Doug Applegate or Tom Wakely, and not to a DCCC that will continue to waste those contributions on their own questionable agenda.

(Factchecking!) 'That's not how it works': Trump's grasp of Nato questioned

A brilliant headline from the Guardian.

All US media should use this format for reporting on Trump's distracting tweets.

State the real issue first
Note the distracting tactics
Come back to the real issue.

Here the real issue is that Trump doesn't understand NATO. Thank you, Guardian!!

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