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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Charlotte, NC
Member since: Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:15 AM
Number of posts: 13,679

Journal Archives

Clever ad from Raphael Warnock


I told you the smear ads were coming, but Georgians will see Sen.
’s ads for what they are.

Trump's legacy may be an increasingly authoritarian Republican Party

I hope that President Trump’s outrageous attempt to overturn the results of an election that he lost by 74 electoral college votes and more than 6 million popular votes will be the last gasp of a pathetic presidency in its dying days. But I fear that it might represent only a middle chapter in the Republican Party’s transformation, as a Swedish research institute has warned, into an authoritarian party similar to the Fidesz party in Hungary, the Law and Justice party in Poland, the Justice and Development Party in Turkey and the Bharatiya Janata Party in India.

The impetus for the GOP’s growing aversion to democracy is clear: It has lost the popular vote in seven of the past eight presidential elections. That is a streak of futility unmatched in U.S. history. To maintain power — and avert the Venezuela-style apocalypse that many conservatives fear will result from Democratic dominance — the GOP must rely on institutions such as the electoral college and the Senate that give outsize weight to red states. That, in turn, has allowed Republicans to fill the federal courts with judges who will perpetuate their policy preferences for decades to come.

The problem is being exacerbated by the tendency of the U.S. population to cluster in a handful of large states that are either already blue (California, New York) or moving that way (Georgia, North Carolina). “By 2040,” as my colleague Philip Bump noted, “the 15 most populous states will be home to 67 percent of the U.S. population and represented by 30 percent of the Senate.”

The Republican Party could respond — and still may — by retooling its message to appeal to a more diverse electorate. But so far the GOP has instead moved in a more populist direction that leaves it increasingly incapable of governing (the past two Republican presidencies ended in economic meltdowns) or appealing to most voters outside its core constituency of Whites without college degrees. Even before Trump came along, Republicans had shown their willingness to use any means necessary to exercise power. Look at the bare-knuckle efforts in the 2000 election — from the “Brooks Brothers Riot” to a blatantly political Supreme Court decision — to stop the Florida recount and avert a possible Al Gore victory. Or look at the refusal by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky) to give a vote to President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee in 2016 on the grounds that it was an election year, while rushing through the confirmation of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee just days before the 2020 election.


GOP leaders’ embrace of Trump’s refusal to concede fits pattern of rising authoritarianism, data shows

“The Republican Party in the U.S. has retreated from upholding democratic norms in recent years,” said Anna Lührmann, a political scientist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and a former member of the German parliament. “Its rhetoric is closer to authoritarian parties, such as AKP in Turkey and Fidesz in Hungary.”

Lührmann is deputy director of the university’s V-Dem Institute, which compiled the data. For the project, researchers recruited more than 600 political scientists around the world to make annual assessments of political parties’ adherence to a number of key small-D democratic values.

The Democratic Party, by contrast, hasn’t changed much. This is a prime example of what political scientists call asymmetric polarization — a growing partisan gap driven almost entirely by the actions of the Republican Party.

While V-Dem’s data only runs through 2018, that asymmetry has only become more apparent in the aftermath of this election, Lührmann said: “It is disturbing that most leading Republicans are still not objecting to President Trump’s baseless claims of electoral fraud and attempts to declare himself the winner.”


Tony Blinken's story of his stepfather is a remarkable piece of history


The following is a true story. It's an American story. Maybe the most American story.

Stick around to the end.


In the spring of 1945, in a Nazi slave labor camp 50 miles from Dachau, convict No. B-1713 heard powerful explosions pierce the night air.

The guards said the "enemy" was advancing and herded the prisoners together to be marched back to Dachau.

They marched for most of three days. At dawn, on the third day, a squadron of Allied fighter planes, coming upon what they thought was a column of Nazi troops, swooped low to strafe them.

As the SS-troops hit the dirt and began firing their machine guns, one of the prisoners shouted "run for it!" A group of them ran towards the forest for the trees. The explosions caught most of them, but six, including convict No. B-1713, made made it into the forest alive.

He hid in the hayloft of an abandoned Bavarian barn. Days passed. And then one afternoon he peaked through a crack in the wooded slats and saw a huge tank leading an armored convoy heading toward him.

He looked for the swastika on its side. Instead, he saw a five-pointed white star. He ran from the barn, charging toward the tank, screaming and waving his arms.

From the tank's hatch emerged CPL Bill Ellington, of the all-Black 761st, son of a slave.

B-1713, who had lost his family and survived four years in the camps, fell to his knees before Ellington and repeated the few English words he knew: God Bless America! God Bless America!


Ellington lifted him into the hatch--and into freedom.

Convict No. B-173 was named Samuel Pisar. He became an American citizen, a successful lawyer.

His stepson, Tony Blinken (
), will become America's next Secretary of State.

God Bless America! God Bless America!


Trump's attempt to remain in power failed because the military told him to fuck off


Trump's attempt to overturn the election and remain in power has failed. It failed for many reasons, including simple ineptitude, but we should not overlook that it failed primarily because America has a professional, apolitical military that told him to fuck off. (1/7)


The way this tends to go in politically unstable countries is the side with the military wins. Trump never had the military. And as much as people make fun of being "saved by the generals," we kept the Republic because our generals were adamant about playing no role. (2/7)

At the height of the chaos in June, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley sent a memo to the military emphasizing it. He included this handwritten note:

"We all committed our lives to the idea that is America — We will stay true to that oath and the American people." (3/7)

The handwritten note was a signal and it was a turning point for Trump. It was only *after* that that he shifted away from trying to co-opt the military and began using unmarked and very willing DHS agents to carry out his dirty work. (4/7)

Using DHS agents worked fine for isolated protests, but it was never going to be enough to maintain an anti-democratic grip on power. Not without the military. (5/7)

Our military has many shortcomings, but the way it has behaved this year, under these circumstances, in the context of world history, is notable.

It stood in stark contrast to DHS and even local police departments that chose to follow Trump every step of the way. (6/7)

I hope Americans appreciate that and don't take it for granted. Flag of United States (7/7)

This letter from Emily Murphy to Biden is whiny and self-pitying

Janet Yellen is Biden's pick for Treasury



Brilliant, experienced, kind, concerned with questions of inequality and fairness, both respected and well-liked by her peers, and a good manager and consensus builder.

Trump fired her from the Fed because she was too short. Seriously.

GM flips to California's side in pollution fight with Trump


General Motors says it will no longer support the Trump administration in legal efforts to end California's right to set its own clean-air standards. CEO Mary Barra urged other automakers to do the same.

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says it will no longer support the Trump administration in legal efforts to end California’s right to set its own clean-air standards.

CEO Mary Barra said in a letter Monday to environmental groups that GM will pull out of the lawsuit, and it urges other automakers to do so.

She said the company agrees with President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to expand electric vehicle use. Last week, GM said it is testing a new battery chemistry that will bring electric-vehicle costs down to those of gas-powered vehicles within five years.

Barra sent the letter after a Monday morning conversation with Mary Nichols, head of California’s Air Resources Board, the company said. The board is the state’s air pollution regulator. “We believe the ambitious electrification goals of the President-elect, California, and General Motors are aligned, to address climate change by drastically reducing automobile emissions,” Barra said in the letter.


DC is full of smart, talented people who are also jerks


This town is full of smart, talented, and experienced people who are also jerks. The unifying theme of Biden's picks thus far are reputations for decency, kindness, and integrity.

How Trump Hopes to Use Party Machinery to Retain Control of the G.O.P.

As President Trump brazenly seeks to delay the certification of the election in hopes of overturning his defeat, he is also mounting a less high-profile but similarly audacious bid to keep control of the Republican National Committee even after he leaves office.

Ronna McDaniel, Mr. Trump’s handpicked chairwoman, has secured the president’s support for her re-election to another term in January, when the party is expected to gather for its winter meeting. But her intention to run with Mr. Trump’s blessing has incited a behind-the-scenes proxy battle, dividing Republicans between those who believe the national party should not be a political subsidiary of the outgoing president and others happy for Mr. Trump to remain in control of it.

While many Republicans are hesitant to openly criticize their president at a moment when he is refusing to admit he has lost, the debate crystallizes the larger question about the party’s identity and whether it will operate as a vessel for Mr. Trump’s ambitions to run again in four years.

Mr. Trump will have no political infrastructure once he leaves office except for a political action committee he recently formed, and absent a formal campaign, he is hoping to lean on the R.N.C. to effectively give him one, people familiar with his thinking said. The continuing influence of Mr. Trump could also have implications for some of the national committee’s most critical assets: Its voter data and donors lists contain thousands of names of contributors and detailed information about supporters. The voter data in particular is a focus of attention, after distrust arose between the committee and the Trump campaign over the data’s use in the final months of the campaign.


B-52's from Minot AFB sent to Middle East


MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. (KMOT) - B-52 Stratofortress crews assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base conducted a “short-notice, long-range mission” in the Middle East Saturday, according to U.S. Central Command.

According to CENTCOM, the mission was intended to “deter aggression and reassure U.S. partners and allies.”

The mission comes less than a week after the Pentagon announced reductions of troops to 2,500 in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to Bill Urban, a spokesman for CENTCOM, the bombers integrated with at least four other national defense elements.

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