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Member since: Tue Apr 5, 2005, 09:55 AM
Number of posts: 6,837

Journal Archives

Academic: Kaine was the logical choice as Hillary Clinton’s vice president

By Andra Gillespie

Hillary Clinton has selected Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate.

While this news was not surprising – Kaine had long been suspected to be a top choice and made President Obama’s short list in 2008 – it does raise questions about Secretary Clinton’s choices. In an extremely polarized election contest where her own liberal bona fides were questioned, why would she pick a centrist Democrat as her running mate?

Those who study the vice presidency usually concede that the veep pick has a negligible impact on the ticket’s eventual vote totals. John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin in 2008 may be an exception. Researchers estimate she may have cost the campaign as much as 1.6 percentage points. However, the choice of a running mate still reflects a nominee’s judgment and sends signals about which groups campaigns they feel they need to target in a general election.

Both Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had to balance the demands of base constituencies with their own need to find complementary partners for the campaign.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/kaine-was-the-logical-choice-as-hillary-clintons-vice-president/

Risk of nuclear catastrophe might be greater now than during Cold War

“Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War,” warns William Perry, “and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.”

A former U.S. defense secretary from 1994 to 1997, Perry has been an inside player in the business of nuclear weapons for over 60 years. And his book, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, is a sober read. It’s also a powerful counterpoint to NATO’s current European strategy, which envisions nuclear weapons as a deterrent to war: The purpose of nukes “is to prevent major war, not to wage wars,” argues the Alliance’s magazine, NATO Review.

But as Perry points out, it’s only by chance that the world has avoided a nuclear war — sometimes by nothing more than dumb luck — and, rather than enhancing our security, nukes “now endanger it.”

The 1962 Cuban missile crisis is generally represented as a dangerous standoff resolved by sober diplomacy. In fact, it was a single man — Russian submarine commander Vasili Arkhipov — who countermanded orders to launch a nuclear torpedo at an American destroyer that could have set off a full-scale nuclear exchange between the Soviet Union and the United States.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/risk-nuclear-catastrophe-might-greater-now-cold-war/

Trump delivers dark vision of America, brands himself as law and order candidate

Donald Trump delivered a dark vision of an America under siege Thursday, branding himself the law-and-order candidate in a lengthy speech laden with references to terror and violence in the streets.

Speaking on the last night of a convention unlike any in decades, Trump described a country on the brink of anarchy, one beset by ISIL and immigrant hordes, with an economy crumbling under the weight of crooked free-trade deals.

"Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation," Trump said early in the speech. "The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country."

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/donald-trump-delivers-dark-vision-america-branding-law-order-candidate/

Death penalty executions at a 25-year high, Amnesty International reports

The number of people executed around the world has reached a sobering new record. New figures released by Amnesty International show a 50 per cent rise in executions in 2015.

More than 1634 people were condemned to death in 25 countries worldwide, that’s 573 more than in 2014. The human rights watchdog said it marked an alarming development, and the real figures could be even higher, as the numbers for China are unknown.

“The dramatic rise in executions that we recorded in 2015 was down to huge increases, primarily huge increases, in just three countries – Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Together these three countries accounted for almost 90 percent of all the executions that we recorded in 2015, again, excluding China,” explained Audrey Gaughran, Director for Global Issues and Research, from Amnesty International.

The report notes that China regards death penalty figures as a state secret. When asked about the report a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry claimed that Amnesty released ‘unfair’ statements about the country.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/death-penalty-executions-25-year-high-amnesty-international/

Republicans misrepresenting policy for sake of entertainment

True to his promise of a more entertaining convention, Donald has "Trumpified" the Republican National Convention, replacing politicians with reality TV stars for the sake of ratings - and, perhaps, because there aren't many politicians who want to share a stage with Trump.

Apart from a plagiarized prime-time speech delivered by Melania Trump, Monday night's "Make America Safe Again" event was anchored by actors Antonio Sabato Jr. and Scott Baio, who lectured the crowd on how the GOP nominee will strengthen national security. (Who knew appearing on Happy Days taught you so much about politics?)

In Sabato's speech, for instance, the Italian-born actor detailed how he came to the United States legally and then became a naturalized citizen, saying, "others who want to come to the U.S. to live and work should follow the same rules" that he did.

But when a man whose claim to fame is appearing on a medical soap opera is rallying the convention crowd on the issue of immigration, it's clear that Trump's speakers serve little purpose other than erasing the convention presenting concrete policy points. This is consistent with Trump's equally policy-averse time on the primary campaign trail.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/republicans-misrepresenting-policy-sake-entertainment/

America’s huge racial wealth gap is not an accident

By Josh Hoxie

Party platforms are dense and often morosely boring documents filled with wonkish policy proposals and partisan jeers at the other side.

At over 40 pages, this year’s Democratic Party platform lives up to its predecessors in length and ennui. However, it also includes a section not yet seen in platforms from either side: an acknowledgement of the racial wealth gap.

Wealth has been unfairly distributed since our nation’s founding, and that unfairness has always had a racial bent. It goes something like this: White families have more; black and Latino families have less. (Asian and Arab Americans have more complex economic histories.)

The gap is far larger than you might expect.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/americas-huge-racial-wealth-gap-no-accident/

Imagine if you will...

... a Democratic candidate for president. He's been married three times. The third wife is a former lingerie/soft-porn model who was raised in a communist country. She makes a speech that plagiarizes a Republican first lady and Rick Astley.

Imagine how the Republicans would react.

Freak show begins: With mix of put-downs and a floor fight, GOP opens raucous national convention

Mixing put-downs with protest, Republicans opened their national convention Monday still working to reconcile themselves to the takeover of their party by business tycoon Donald Trump, who put his unmistakable stamp on the program.

Onstage in a hall bathed in red, white and blue, a parade of speakers sung Trump's virtues, portraying him as strong and decisive, canny and compassionate, unbeholden to Washington and selfless in a way the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, is not.

Instead of "a woman who somehow feels that she's entitled to the presidency ... we can go for Donald Trump, a man doing this from the goodness of his heart (who) genuinely wants to help," said actor Scott Baio, one of a grab bag of speakers that included Trump's wife, Melania, but few of the political stars who normally populate the convention stage.

Breaking with the usual protocol, which calls for him to absent himself until his Thursday night acceptance speech, Trump swooped in from Manhattan to offer a brief introduction of his wife, calling her "an amazing mother, an incredible woman."

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/gop-opens-raucous-national-convention/

Trump ghostwriter: ‘Sociopath’ candidate could ‘end civilization’

The aura of Donald Trump – such as it is – largely began with the autobiography "The Art of the Deal," a work that has defined the real estate mogul's public person. But the man who served as a ghostwriter for Trump's 1987 screed has come out publicly as an ardent critic of the now presumptive Republican nominee for president.

Tony Schwartz, who was a prominent magazine writer at the time the book was published, feels a "deep sense of remorse" he helped create Trump, he told the New Yorker magazine in a tell-all feature. "'The Art of the Deal' made America see Trump as a charmer with an unfailing knack for business. Tony Schwartz helped create that myth—and regrets it," the magazine notes.

"I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization," Schwartz told the New Yorker.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/trump-ghostwriter-sociopath-candidate-end-civilization/

Important clarification from the NRA

When we in the gun-nut community said it was the duty of all Americans to take up arms against the government whenever he/she feels personally "oppressed" by it, we were talking only about white people who rise up to oppose tyrannies such as universal health care, gay rights or transgender people in restrooms.

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