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

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11 facts about gun violence in the United States

Source: Vox, edited by Dylan Matthews

One fact:

"Guns don't kill people. Americans with guns kill people." -- Michael Moore

More facts at: http://www.vox.com/cards/gun-violence-facts/gun-homicide-decline-crime-drop

Hillary Clinton's new book underscores Democratic Party's leftward shift since 1992

By Edward Mejia Davis, CNN

Twenty-four years after Bill Clinton published "Putting People First," Hillary Clinton is about to produce her own policy tome: "Stronger Together: A Blueprint for America's Future."

The 249-page book, which was co-written with her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, is set to be published on Sept. 6 by Simon and Schuster (list price $15.99), the day after Labor Day, the traditional kick-off of the fall campaign.

The book -- which includes policy prescriptions on everything from strengthening the economy to defeating ISIS -- is intended to provide a contrast with Donald Trump, whose campaign has been light on policy details.

But when read alongside the book that her husband and Al Gore published in 1992, it offers a glimpse into the many ways that the Democratic Party has drifted to the left over the past quarter-century on everything from crime to trade, from Social Security and welfare to Israel and the Middle East.


Read the rest at: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/02/politics/hillary-clinton-book-democratic-party-leftward-shift/index.html

In praise of negative partisanship

Why voting out of disgust is as American as apple pie

Source: The Week, by Paul Waldman

Political scientists call this "negative partisanship," and it's about more than just one election. In fact, Americans now define their political identities less by which party they feel represents them and more by which party repels them. As Alan Abramowitz and Steven Webster observe, over the last few decades voters have come to feel more and more antipathy toward the other side, even as their affection for their own party has remained stable.

There are multiple reasons, among them the increased ideological coherence of the two parties in the wake of the realignment that occurred when conservative Southern Democrats became Republicans, and the rise of partisan media that reinforce their audiences' existing beliefs. The result can be a vicious cycle: "Confrontational politics in Washington and in many state capitols is causing Democratic and Republican voters to develop increasingly negative views of the opposing party and to vote along party lines from the top of the ticket to the bottom. Negative views of the opposing party among voters, in turn, encourage political elites to adopt a confrontational approach to governing." We've seen the consequences in the last few years.


In the same way, voting against someone is an act of modesty and realism on the voter's part. I know things aren't going to be spectacular if my guy wins; instead, I'm more interested in averting disaster, and hope we can make some reasonable progress along the way. This plays into the human propensity for "loss aversion" ó we're more motivated to avoid losing something than we are to win something, even if the two are the same (like losing or winning the same amount of money). That can make us irrational if we're at a casino, but it may be helpful when we're picking a president, especially if the magnitude of the potential loss really is greater than the potential gain.

There's a related feature of our psychology that also makes us vote against rather than for a candidate: negativity bias. Put simply, we put more stock in the bad than the good. That doesn't mean we're all pessimists, but we tend to remember bad things that happen to us for longer than good things, we pay closer attention to negative information, and we're highly focused on threats to our well-being (which makes perfect sense from an evolutionary standpoint). Some studies have shown that conservatives tend to have a greater negativity bias than liberals, but that doesn't mean liberals don't feel it, too.

Read it all at: http://theweek.com/articles/646449/why-voting-disgust-american-apple-pie

Log off, Elliot: Mr Robot's female characters are the show's driving force *SPOILERS*

The cult show has become a true ensemble piece in its second series with the well-drawn Joanna, Angela, Dominique and Darlene plotting its course

Source: The Guardian, by Abigail Chandler

It would have been so easy for a show about hacking that centres on the relationship between two male characters (well, one, but you know what we mean) to have no women in it whatsoever. They could wheel out the old True Detective defence: ďBut itís about two guys, and besides, women donít even work in this industry!Ē The women could have been relegated to love interest status. But not on Mr Robot.

Fsociety is currently two girls and a guy (plus some peripherals), the FBI is on their tail in the shape of another tough woman and former will-they-wonít-they fodder Angela Moss is now the iciest badass on TV. And once you add Joanna ďLady MacbethĒ Wellick and Whiterose into the mix, youíve got one of the best collections of female characters on TV right now.

The role of women in the show was a slow-burner. In season one they were on the sidelines, with Elliot even becoming embroiled in a rape-revenge storyline in a failed attempt to save his girlfriend. But in season two, creator Sam Esmail set out to fix that. Angela in particular has been a highlight of season two, becoming a mantra-reciting corporate stooge in the belly of the beast, whose end goal is worryingly ambiguous, both for us and for her. She even managed to break the heart of the undercover FBI agent keeping tabs on her.


Elliot is on his way back to the world of Mr Robot, and itís a far richer world than the one he left behind now that the female characters have been allowed to escape from his shadow and grow in surprising ways. We hope Elliot and Mr Robot are ready to share the limelight, because this isnít a two-horse show any more Ė and itís all the better for it.

Read it at: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/aug/31/mr-robot-female-characters-joanna-angela-dominique-darlene

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