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Member since: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 03:21 PM
Number of posts: 16,104

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Fareed's take on 'Shakespeare in the Park' and the 'Special Safe Place'

The country is frighteningly polarized. This is why.

Source: Washington Post, by Fareed Zakaria


Today, everything becomes fodder for partisanship. Consider the now-famous production of the Public Theater’s “Julius Caesar” in Central Park, in which Caesar resembles President Trump. Conservatives have pilloried the play, raising outrage among people who have never seen it, saying that it glorifies the assassination of a president, and seeking to defund the production. Since I tweeted a line praising the production, I’ve received a barrage of attacks, many of them quite nasty. In 2012, a production of the same play had an Obama-like Caesar being murdered nightly, and no one seemed to have complained.

In fact, the central message of “Julius Caesar” is that the assassination was a disaster, leading to civil war, anarchy and the fall of the Roman Republic. The assassins are defeated and humiliated and, racked with guilt, die horrible deaths. If that weren’t clear enough, the Public Theater play’s director, Oskar Eustis, has explained the message he intended to convey: “Julius Caesar can be read as a warning parable to those who try to fight for democracy by undemocratic means.”

Political theater is as old as human civilization. A sophisticated play by Shakespeare — that actually presents Caesar (Trump) in a mixed, somewhat favorable light — is something to be discussed, not censored, and certainly not to be blamed for the actions of a single deranged shooter, as some on the right have suggested.

I recently gave a speech at Bucknell University in which I criticized America’s mostly liberal colleges for silencing views they deem offensive, arguing that it was bad for the students and the country. The same holds for conservatives who try to mount campaigns to defund art that they deem offensive. Do conservatives now want Central Park to be their own special safe space? I, for one, will keep arguing that liberals and conservatives should open themselves to all kinds of opinions and ideas that differ from their own. Instead of trying to silence, excommunicate and punish, let’s look at the other side and try to listen, engage and, when we must, disagree.

President Trump's Cuban mistake (yes, even Alabamians 'get it'!)

By the editorial board of The Anniston Star


Don’t believe the bluster coming from Trump and the Florida Republicans who influenced this decision. This isn’t about causing change in Cuba. It’s about Trump’s desire for affirmation that comes from attacking the landmark policies of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

It’s laughable, if not foolish, to accept Trumpian logic that says reverting to Cold War-era restrictions on Cuban trade, travel and business will force the Castro government to end its repressionist policies. They won’t. From the 1960s until this decade, every White House blocked Cuba from American money and tourism. Significant change didn’t happen, and a collection of smart people — educators, historians, politicians — realized a dusty Cold War policy was doing more harm than good.

That was behind the Obama administration’s loosening of those restrictions. Its policy was smart, not soft, since warmer relations would help both nations — particularly in trade, and especially for Gulf Coast states such as Alabama — and facilitate negotiations. Our state already ships 7,000 tons of poultry a month to Cuba, The Star reported earlier this week. Chicken, considered a humanitarian item, hasn’t been banned under the trade embargo.

Trump, however, obsesses about winning, whatever the costs, and protecting his presidential image. Rolling back anything carrying Obama’s signature is a splendid way to increase that image among Republican voters who couldn’t wait for the 44th president’s final term to end. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, told USA Today that the island nation “is a natural market for our nation’s farmers and ranchers — and when we don’t sell to Cuba, another country does.” That a bipartisan list of congressional members is against Trump’s Cuba mistake says a great deal about the motivation and merit of the president’s decision.

Where to see Malcolm Nance live tonight!

G.O.P. Senators Might Not Realize It, but Not One State Supports the A.H.C.A.

We're supposed to call this a democracy?



"Everything Now" - Arcade Fire is back!

We better start getting our country back!

6 Democratic states!

We really are the "Democratic underground," aren't we?


Kindergarteners reacting to 'Wonder Woman' will make your day

to the Daily Dot!

Director Patty Jenkins passed this on!


Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein: 10 AM ET

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Justice Department’s budget request for fiscal year 2018. He’s also likely to face questions on the ongoing Russia probe.

CSPAN link: https://www.c-span.org/video/?428833-1/deputy-attorney-general-testifies-justice-department-budget-russia-probe

Democrats in Split-Screen: The Base Wants It All. The Party Wants to Win.


Source: New York Times, by Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin

Democrats are facing an open breach between the demands of their political base and the strict limits of their power, as liberal activists dream of transforming the health care system and impeaching President Trump, while candidates in hard-fought elections ask wary independent voters merely for a fresh chance at governing.


It may be essential for Democrats to reconcile the party’s two clashing impulses if they are to retake the House of Representatives in 2018. In a promising political environment, a drawn-out struggle over Democratic strategy and ideology could spill into primary elections and disrupt the party’s path to a majority.


In a special election that has become the most expensive House race in history, Mr. Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional aide, presented himself as essentially anti-ideological. Greeting suburban parents near a playground and giving a pep talk to volunteers, he stressed broadly popular policies like fighting air and water pollution and preserving insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.


The tension between Mr. Ossoff’s message and the appetites of the national Democratic base has not appeared to hinder his bid for Congress. He has raised more than $23 million, an astonishing sum, largely in small online donations from Democrats seeking to put a dent in the Republicans’ House majority. Several polls over the last week showed Mr. Ossoff leading his Republican opponent, Karen Handel, though both parties agree that the race remains a tossup.


Read it all at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/11/us/democrats-midterm-elections.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

Protesters plan 'die-in' at Trump National in Bedminster Sunday

To highlight opposition to health care proposal

Source: Bernardsville News/Bedminster Township Website


Dozens of activists are expected to participate in the motorcade, according to the group's press release, followed by the staged demonstration at the corner of Route 206 and Lamington Road near the Dillon Library. That site has been designated by township police as a staging area for protests of the Trump Administration. It has been the site of several political gatherings in recent weeks.

Activists will initially convene at Ten Eyck Park, 1005 Route 28, Branchburg, at 2 p.m. to decorate their cars for the motorcade. The die-in will occur outside of the Dillon Library starting at 3 p.m.

Participating groups will include the NJ Working Families Alliance, We the People NJ-07, Branchburg Indivisible, Westfield 20/20 and NJ 7 Forward.

The group said the motorcade will feature a sizeable number of cars with banners and signs driving around Trump National.

Read it all at: http://www.newjerseyhills.com/bernardsville_news/news/protesters-plan-die-in-at-trump-national-in-bedminster-sunday/article_4798b872-63c9-59e0-a624-5e82726ff16b.html
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