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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
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Trump and Stephen Miller capitalize on white America's fear its racial identity is losing value

Emily Walton Trump and Stephen Miller capitalize on white America's fear its racial identity is losing value
Racial identity threat is at the heart of racial division in this country, as whites strive to hold on to a narrow definition of cultural citizenship.
Dec. 16, 2019, 4:43 AM EST
By Emily Walton, associate professor of sociology at Dartmouth College

At a recent rally in Florida, President Donald Trump got cheers from his supporters as he positioned himself and his administration as an important line of defense in the supposed “War on Thanksgiving,” an evocative image of the threat posed by progressives to America’s cherished cultural traditions, as they wish to include a more inclusive narrative of the holiday’s history.

An even clearer example of the racially divisive attitudes harbored and perhaps even enabled by this administration is represented by White House adviser, Stephen Miller. Miller was recently found to have written hundreds of emails demonstrating his support for white nationalist ideology. Although some Democrats have called for Miller’s resignation, one of the main architects of Trump’s hardline immigration policies has so far faced zero consequences.

Whether spinning wild conspiracy theories about Thanksgiving or pushing xenophobic policy proposals, Trump officials have done little to foster racial and socioeconomic solidarity. So why are such extremist views tolerated in America — including at the highest branches of government?

As a sociologist who studies race relations, I argue that feelings of racial identity threat are behind this tolerance. These feelings are not limited to white people but occur among both those in the cultural majority and those on the cultural margins as they work to hold onto and attain cultural citizenship.

Cultural citizenship is the achievement of full, unabridged membership in a social group. These days, many white people sense their claim to cultural citizenship — which has long been assumed to be automatic — is slipping away. And yet at the same time, people of color strive for, but rarely achieve, cultural citizenship because it has historically been based on a narrow definition of whiteness. These seem like competing, even antagonistic, efforts. But both the holding onto and the striving for a claim to cultural citizenship are driven by similar fears.



Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 17, 2019, 12:46 PM (3 replies)

If the Senate trials turns out to

not seek or question any witnesses, why would it take two weeks to get done? That's the time frame I'm hearing; will this be just lip service to prove they considered the matter, or are they going to try to bore us to death with lies?
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 17, 2019, 11:45 AM (1 replies)

Republican election strategists launch anti-Trump project ahead of 2020


Republican election strategists launch anti-Trump project ahead of 2020

A group of top Republican election strategists announced Tuesday a project to defeat President Trump and those who support his ideology in the 2020 elections in a New York Times op-ed.

The big picture: Called the Lincoln Project, the effort is "aimed at persuading enough disaffected conservatives, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in swing states and districts to help ensure a victory in the Electoral College, and congressional majorities that don’t enable or abet Mr. Trump’s violations of the Constitution."

The players:

George Conway, a Republican lawyer who has launched similar efforts already against the administration and is the husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.

Steve Schmidt, John McCain's chief strategist in 2008.

John Weaver, a strategist for John Kasich's 2016 run who also worked on McCain's 2008 and 2000 campaigns.

Rick Wilson, a Republican political strategist who was one of the leading figures in the "Never Trump" movement during the 2016 election.

What they're saying:

Trump "has neither the moral compass nor the temperament to serve. His vision is limited to what immediately faces him — the problems and risks he chronically brings upon himself and for which others, from countless contractors and companies to the American people, ultimately bear the heaviest burden."

"[N]ational Republicans have done far worse than simply march along to Mr. Trump’s beat. Their defense of him is imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander those who have shed blood for our country, who have dedicated their lives and careers to its defense and its security, and whose job is to preserve the nation’s status as a beacon of hope."

"Mr. Trump and his fellow travelers daily undermine the proposition we as a people have a responsibility and an obligation to continually bend the arc of history toward justice. They mock our belief in America as something more meaningful than lines on a map."

The bottom line: The group says that they'll push this message "even if that means Democratic control of the Senate and an expanded Democratic majority in the House."
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 17, 2019, 09:42 AM (2 replies)

Trump fatigue is real -- but here are five reasons to pay attention to impeachment anyway

Live TV
Trump fatigue is real -- but here are five reasons to pay attention to impeachment anyway
Analysis by Stephen Collinson and Caitlin Hu, CNN
Updated 10:30 PM EST, Mon December 16, 2019

Editor's Note: (This story was originally published in the December 17 edition of CNN's Meanwhile in America, the daily email about US politics for global readers. Sign up here to receive it every weekday morning.)

(CNN) Let's face it, Trump fatigue is real.

If you're American, you can vote next year to kick the US President out -- or keep him. But the rest of the world has no say in what happens next to the tweeter in chief who barged into everyone's lives and hijacked their news bulletins with Ukraine-this and impeachment-that.

Everyone knows how it ends in the short term: The Republican lawmakers who control the Senate are already boasting that they will acquit Donald Trump of his impeachment charges. So why not stop watching this esoteric, American political process? Here are a few reasons:

Trump is not going to see his brush with political mortality as a lucky escape. Taking it as vindication for his wild political persona, he's likely to become more impulsive, vindictive and destructive of political convention than ever. World, watch out.

Facts no longer matter: Trump defenders ignore a thick record of evidence, so the President is almost certain to get away with a seemingly obvious abuse of power. When a strongman leader in the US can shirk accountability, it sets an ominous example for the rest of the democratic world.

Trump apparently tried to coerce a weak US ally, Ukraine, to dig up dirt on a domestic political rival with aid paid for by US taxpayer cash. If Republican senators vote to acquit Trump of impeachable offenses next year, they will effectively make a statement that such conduct is permissible. A future president might take note and put the squeeze on more vulnerable small nations.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 17, 2019, 09:37 AM (1 replies)

'Banks May Get Leeway To Label NFL Stadium Funding As Aid To Poor'


12/16/19 1:25pm
'Banks May Get Leeway To Label NFL Stadium Funding As Aid To Poor'
The Trump administration weaves their web once again.
By Ed Scarce

'Banks May Get Leeway To Label NFL Stadium Funding As Aid To Poor' Image from: Nick Wass/Getty Images

That's the direct title from the Bloomberg story, and it's a good one because that's exactly what the Trump administration is trying to pull off, more tax breaks for the billionaire NFL owners with these sort of cagey loopholes. Obscene.

Source: Bloomberg

For decades, the U.S. has required banks to steer a portion of their money to people in poor neighborhoods. Now, under proposed rule changes, banks may finance upgrades to sports stadiums, call it helping the poor -- and potentially even get a generous tax break.

That scenario might seem oddly specific, but it’s what two regulators appointed by President Donald Trump said last week they may allow as they undertake the most significant rewrite of the Community Reinvestment Act in a quarter-century. The agencies drafted a long list hypothetical ways banks could seek to meet their obligations, including this sentence on page 100 of their proposal:

“Investment in a qualified opportunity fund, established to finance improvements to an athletic stadium in an opportunity zone that is also an LMI census tract.” (LMI refers to low- or moderate-income.)

There are well over a dozen NFL venues nestled in so-called opportunity zones. They include M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, home of the National Football League’s Ravens, which this year completed $120 million in upgrades such as a new sound system. In Denver, there’s Empower Field at Mile High, where the Broncos play. And in Las Vegas, a new stadium is being built for the Raiders. There also are facilities for professional baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey teams in the zones.

A spokesman for one of the agencies, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., declined to comment on any of the examples it listed while the proposal is open for public comment. Officials at the agency said such scenarios typically stem from their experience in tracking compliance with the reinvestment act and that they are eager to receive public feedback on what to allow in the final rule.

Posted by babylonsister | Mon Dec 16, 2019, 07:16 PM (1 replies)

Senate Republicans want a short trial for one reason and one reason only: Trump's guilty as sin


Senate Republicans want a short trial for one reason and one reason only: Trump's guilty as sin
Kerry Eleveld
Daily Kos Staff
Monday December 16, 2019 · 1:49 PM EST

Remember when GOP Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado got buttonholed by a couple of local journalists asking him whether he thought, hypothetically speaking, it's okay for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival? Gardner gave every dodge known to man in the process of creating some riveting video in which he never actually answered the question. And he never answered it because the only reasonable response would have boxed him into implicating Donald Trump.

This is exactly why Senate Republicans are hoping to rush through a show trial, in as few as a couple of weeks, that includes zero witnesses. Trump is guilty, and a lengthy trial with witnesses will only serve to reinforce just how guilty he is and highlight the GOP's complicity in failing to protect the Constitution and hold Trump to account.


The strategic disadvantage for Republicans of a longer trial with witnesses is exactly why Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has begun pushing to hear from witnesses close to Trump, such as acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton.

Multiple polls have shown that the vast majority of Americans (on the order of 70%) think that what Trump did regarding Ukraine was "wrong"; multiple other polls have found that a majority of those voters believe Trump's offenses are impeachable (53% in Civiqs) even if some of those same voters don't support impeachment. The last thing Republicans need—not to mention Trump—is to spend five to seven weeks reminding voters of just how glaringly guilty Trump is and how eager he was to sell out the country for his own personal gain.

Even Trump himself could end up more vulnerable to defeat in 2020 following a lengthy Senate trial. Indeed, the December Civiqs poll found that of the 44% of respondents who currently support Trump for reelection, only 30% said nothing could change their minds between now and next November, while 14% said they are still open to changing their minds (that compares to 48% of voters who both oppose Trump and said nothing could change their minds). That means Trump's support is still somewhat fluid among a decent portion of people who currently plan on voting for him. Hearing incriminating testimony from someone like Bolton certainly won't improve Trump’s prospects any.

In the meantime, every Senate Republican should have to answer the question of whether, hypothetically speaking, they think it’s okay for a president to solicit help from a foreign government in order to win reelection.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Dec 16, 2019, 06:46 PM (0 replies)

Congress reaches deal to fund gun violence research for first time in decades

Research?? Better than nothing, I suppose.

Congress reaches deal to fund gun violence research for first time in decades
By Jessie Hellmann - 12/16/19 12:49 PM EST

Federal agencies will receive $25 million from Congress to study gun violence in a government spending deal reached by House and Senate negotiators — a major win for Democrats who have long pushed for dedicated funding to research the issue, a source told The Hill.

"Democrats have broken the ban on funding for the first time in decades," the source said.

The deal includes $12.5 million each for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health to study gun violence and ways to prevent it.

It’s the first time in more than 20 years that Congress has appropriated money for gun violence research.

“Taking action should never have taken more than 20 years," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who helped secure the funding.

"The significance of this achievement cannot be understated, and it follows on the progress we made earlier this year by holding the first hearing on gun violence research in more than two decades."


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Dec 16, 2019, 05:54 PM (2 replies)

Democrats tell court they need Mueller grand jury documents for impeachment trial

Democrats tell court they need Mueller grand jury documents for impeachment trial
By John Kruzel - 12/16/19 02:24 PM EST

Lawyers for the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee told a federal appeals court on Monday that secret grand jury materials from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe are needed for President Trump’s impeachment inquiry and likely Senate trial.

House Democrats, who have repeatedly pushed the Justice Department for the urgent release of the redacted materials, made the case for the documents’ continued relevance, even as the impeachment scope has narrowed. The Justice Department is arguing that the House should not have access to the documents.

"The Department of Justice (DOJ) takes extraordinary positions in this case,” the House Judiciary Committee told the D.C. Circuit Court in a court filing on Monday. “It does so to avoid disclosing grand-jury material needed for the House’s impeachment of President Trump and the Senate’s trial to remove him from office.”

Counsel for the Judiciary Committee have long held out the possibility that Trump’s alleged obstruction of Mueller’s nearly two-year probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign could prove critical to the impeachment inquiry.

The Monday court filing shows Democrats doubling down on that argument even as the impeachment process moves quickly and after the House committees involved unveiled two impeachment articles that focused narrowly on Trump’s alleged abuse of power over his dealings with Ukraine and the administration’s obstruction of Congress.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Dec 16, 2019, 05:10 PM (7 replies)

'Dems In Disarray' Is Still Favorite Media Narrative

‘Dems In Disarray’ Is Still Favorite Media Narrative
Eric Boehlert
December 16, 2019

Poised to pass two articles of impeachment in the full House this week, Democrats have remained extraordinarily united throughout the process while nearly half the country stands in favor of taking the drastic action of removing Donald Trump from office. Yet press coverage in recent days has suggested (surprise!) that Democrats are in a state of disarray, a favorite fallback position for much of the Beltway media, where Democrats are constantly portrayed as scrambling and being outsmarted by Trump and the GOP. In the process of focusing on Democrats and the alleged struggles impeachment presents, news outlets continue to eliminate Republicans from the entire process. The GOP, apparently, faces no impeachment fallout, only Democrats.

Stressing “the quiet hand-wringing” that now consumes Democrats, The Washington Post last week insisted the party was bracing for Democratic defections when the articles of impeachment are soon voted on by the full House. Democrats are bracing? Really? From a political perspective, I’d suggest that if 10 or 20 percent of the Democratic caucus in the House balked on impeachment and voted no, that would represent a stinging defeat for party leadership. Ten or 20 percent of the 233-member caucus today would mean 20-40 Democratic no’s. But how many Democrats are poised to vote no on Trump impeachment? According to the Post, possibly six members will vote no, or roughly 3 percent of the Democratic caucus. Sorry, but that just doesn’t qualify as big news.

Yet the press seems obsessed with the idea of a sizable impeachment fracture among Democrats. Previously, when 231 out of 233 Democrats voted in favor of starting an impeachment procedure, one of the two Democrats voting no turned into a media darling overnight. Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey has been showered with media attention for months now (see: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) as the press doggedly tracks down one of only two Democrats not currently onboard with impeaching Trump. But again, that’s not news and it certainly doesn’t suggest Democrats are in disarray regarding Trump.

The truth is, Democrats remain extraordinarily unified on the question of impeachment—more united, in fact, than any other party overseeing such a inquiry. Back in 1998 when Republicans in the House impeached Bill Clinton, they offered up four articles of impeachment. In the vote on the first article, which accused Clinton of lying under oath while being interviewed by independent prosecutor Ken Starr, five Republicans voted no. On the second article, 12 Republicans voted no. On the third article, 28 voted no. And on the fourth article, nearly one-third of the Republican caucus joined with Democrats and voted no.

Can you imagine what the Beltway media meltdown would look like today if one-third of House Democrats decided to vote against one of pending articles of impeachment that Trump now faces?


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Dec 16, 2019, 02:58 PM (6 replies)

Trump Attacks Bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates

Might be easier to list what he doesn't attack...Putin, for starters, followed closely by Saudi Arabia.


Trump Attacks Bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates
Emma Tucker
Published Dec. 16, 2019 10:49AM ET

President Trump tweeted on Monday morning that he is looking forward to debating the “lucky person” who “stumbles across the finish line in the little watched Do Nothing Democrat Debates,” and then claimed that as president, “the debates are up to me.” He went on to attack the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which is a nonprofit corporation jointly sponsored by both parties, calling it “very biased” with “nasty politics” and “stacked with Trump Haters & Never Trumpers.” The commission was established in 1987 to ensure “for the benefit of the American electorate, that general election debates...Are a permanent part of the electoral process” for the offices of the president and vice president, according to its website. Trump also wrote that the CPD was “forced to publicly apologize for modulating my microphone in the first debate against Crooked Hilary” in 2016, which the commission actually described as an unspecified technical malfunction. The president added that the CPD is “NOT authorized to speak for me,” or Republicans.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Dec 16, 2019, 12:51 PM (6 replies)
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