Ari: Dems. crushed Trump in biggest midterm blowout in 40 years 6

I agree with this analysis. The Democrats were the primary winners in this election by a significant margin. They flipped the House, multiple governorships, and multiple state legislatures. Votes on referendums like weed legalization and felon voting rights generally went liberal (although abortion related issues in some red states were an exception). The diversity count increased as well with the number of female Congress people increasing, record numbers of ethnic minorities, women, gays, Muslims, the youngest ever Congressperson, etc. all being elected. The Senate has always been one of the more conservative institutions, and that’s true today because the “red zones” get a sum total greater amount representation there. The left/liberal/progressive/whatever side is definitely winning as a far as the big picture is concerned.

Plus, I see Trump as far more liberal than his predecessors. He was a Democrat for most of his life, married a former Playboy model, bangs porn stars, seems to have no problem with legalizing weed or gay marriage, pardoned some black drug offenders, hangs out with rappers and Hollywood celebrities,etc. If he had been the President 20 years ago the religious right types would be going ape shit insane over his lack of morals and character. His actual instincts on a lot of foreign policy and economic issues seem more “liberal” than the normal Republicans and many Democrats. His stance on immigration was “normal” 20 years ago. He’s no stricter on “law and order” than Bill Clinton was. Nowadays, liberals don’t seem to appreciate just how good they’ve got it.

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In a Special Report, Ari Melber breaks down how Democrats had a decisive victory in the 2018 midterm elections, winning more House seats than they have in 40 years. Melber examines the myth of divided Government and shows how Americans have not been going back-and-forth in deciding which party should win the White House, but have in fact, by popular vote, preferred a Democrat for President in 6 of the last 7 Presidential races.

WATCH HERE

Vote or Don’t (the Brick and the Ballot Box) Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

Like any twilight empire, America has some strange and perverse rituals that are generally excepted as normal by our unblinking masses. There’s the fascist war prayer of the National Anthem, which you can lose your livelihood for betraying with a knee. There’s the Kidz Bop chant version known as the Pledge of Allegiance, my own childhood protest of which had my archdiocese contacting the nearest exorcist. Then of coarse there’s the incessant soldier worship which mandates us all to repeatedly thank everyone who has ever served in our colossal armed services for preserving our “freedoms”, regardless of whether they launched drone strikes from Las Vegas cubicles or shot Cuban gardeners on golf courses in Grenada. But all of that jingle brained jingoism pales in comparison to the peer-pressure-palooza that is the right to vote.

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Slavoj Žižek: Trump’s rise is a symptom of a dark and subtle force Reply

A leading Marxist philosopher says what I have been saying for (at least) 20 years. Interesting.

By Stephen Johnson

Big Think

  • Slavoj Žižek and British political writer Owen Jones recently spoke about American politics, the left and global capitalism.
  • Žižek sees the success of President Donald Trump as proof that the left needs a major overhaul.
  • Žižek said one positive aspect of Trump’s presidency could be the rise of a new movement on the left.

The crucial battle in American politics today is what’s happening within the Democratic Party, not what’s happening against President Donald Trump, according to the philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek.

Žižek recently sat down with political commentator Owen Jones for an interview that covered the changing nature of global capitalism, the successes and failures of modern leftist movements, and the best ways to change existing political structures.

Žižek, a frequent critic of both capitalism and the shortcomings of the modern left, said liberals focus too much on social issues, such as LGBT rights and racism, and on new right-leaning factions. The cost? The majority of working-class voters may not hear what’s in it for them.

“The crucial event today is not the rise of the New Right,” he said. “The crucial thing is the disintegration of the central-left welfare consensus. This is why the crucial battle in the U.S. today, it’s not against Trump, it’s what happens within the Democratic Party.”

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Larry Krasner’s Campaign to End Mass Incarceration Reply

I’m inclined to say “I’ll believe it when I see it” but is this a case of the system actually working?

By Jennifer Gonnerman

The New Yorker

Krasner asked his young prosecutors, “Who here has read Michelle Alexander?”

Photograph by Jeff Brown for The New Yorker

Until Larry Krasner entered the race for District Attorney of Philadelphia last year, he had never prosecuted a case. He began his career as a public defender, and spent three decades as a defense attorney. In the legal world, there is an image, however cartoonish, of prosecutors as conservative and unsparing, and of defense attorneys as righteous and perpetually outraged. Krasner, who had a long ponytail until he was forty, seemed to fit the mold. As he and his colleagues engaged in daily combat with the D.A.’s office, they routinely complained about prosecutors who, they believed, withheld evidence that they were legally required to give to the defense; about police who lied under oath on the witness stand; and about the D.A. Lynne Abraham, a Democrat whose successful prosecutions, over nearly twenty years, sent more people to death row than those of any other D.A. in modern Philadelphia history.

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Five Tribes of American Voters Reply

This research more or less confirms the findings of the “Hidden Tribes” researchers with some slight variations.

By Carl M. Cannon

Real Clear Politics

“Every difference of opinion,” Thomas Jefferson warned in his first inaugural address, “is not a difference of principle.” Speaking to his countrymen after an election every bit as bitter as the one that put Donald J. Trump in the White House, Jefferson was trying to soothe the reigning animosity between the nation’s two dominant political parties. “We are all Republicans,” he added. “We are all Federalists.”

Not anymore. In 21st century America, any notion that election results end the argument, however temporarily, is an anachronism. So, too, is the conceit that a nation this large and diverse is divided neatly along “50-50” lines, with half of America’s 253 million adults supporting Democrats, and the other half backing Republicans.

Today, slightly more than one-fourth of registered voters in the United States have political views and social attitudes placing them in the camp of the “Resistance” — to President Trump and the Trump-era Republican Party.

This is one of the five American “tribes” identified in a sweeping new public opinion survey conducted by RealClear Opinion Research, a new service offered by RealClearPolitics. The survey of 2,463 registered voters, conducted Sept. 18-28, was overseen by John Della Volpe, co-founder of SocialSphere Inc., a public opinion and analytics firm based in Cambridge, Mass.

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The Democrats’ Left Turn Is Not an Illusion Reply

The research that is cited in this article, along with the “Hidden Tribes” report that came out recently, seems to confirm what I have long suspected, i.e. that “political correctness” is the ideology of the mostly white, educated, affluent, left-wing of the upper middle class. This is probably one of the more interesting parts of this article:

“In fact, white liberals are well to the left of the black electorate on some racial issues.

Take the issue of discrimination as a factor holding back African-American advancement. White liberals are to the left of black Democrats, placing a much stronger emphasis than African-Americans on the role of discrimination and much less emphasis on the importance of individual effort.

Among white liberals, according to Pew survey data collected in 2017, 79.2 percent agreed that “racial discrimination is the main reason why many black people can’t get ahead these days.” 18.8 percent agreed that “blacks who can’t get ahead in this country are mostly responsible for their own condition,” a 60.4 point difference, according to a detailed analysis of the Pew data provided the Times by Zach Goldberg, a doctoral candidate in political science at Georgia State University.

Among blacks, 59.9 percent identified discrimination as the main deterrent to upward mobility for African-Americans, and 32.0 percent said blacks were responsible for their condition — in other words, blacks are more conservative than white liberals on this issue.?”

By Thomas B. Edsall

New York Times

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Political Correctness Is Apparently Widely Unpopular Among All Americans Reply

The recently released study indicating the deep unpopularity of political correctness, as well as the marginal nature of both PC partisans and the hard right, carries certain implications for the ATS strategy and program. First, there is no need whatsoever to capitulate or kowtow to PC, and that the strategy that I have been pursing for years now of bashing PC to the max is a winning strategy (in fact, it’s probably brought me a larger audience than anything else I have ever done). However, a second implication is that the far left and far right are only peripheral and unpopular elements that are soundly rejected by most Americans. But the catch is that the rival ruling class factions attempt to build a loyal base for themselves by pandering to far left and far right extremists. Therefore, those of use who are committed to an authentically revolutionary perspective must necessarily position ourselves as a radical center that not only rejects the ruling class in its entirety, but also rejects the marginal right and marginal left with equal fervor. When it comes to the Antifa, “anarcho”-Marxists, neo-Commies, PC progressives, Alt-Right/Lite, WN/NS,  neo-fascists, or religious theocrats, our attitude should simply be, “Fuck ’em. We don’t ’em.” Instead, our target audience should be the “exhausted majority” who are tired of both ruling class malfeasance, and the crap on the margins.

Elections, Power, and the DSA: The Failure of the Left in Power 1

A left-anarchist discusses the limitations of social democracy. Listen here.
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Illustration of Ocasio-Cortez flanked by DSA fist and image of crowd of workers with firsts united into one large first.

The discussion itself was very good, although I found the intro monologue to be something of a turn off in the sense that it sounded like a barrage of buzzwords and catchphrases (kind of like reciting the Apostles’ Creed in church). The point the guy being interviewed seemed to be making was “We should use grassroots direct action rather than electoral politics to A) get more free ice cream days and B ) oppose things leftists don’t like.” For instance, at one point he actually praises Nixon for creating the EPA and OSHA (“More centralized state bureaucracies! Yay! Vivia de Anarchia!”). He seems to be mostly regurgitating what David Graeber called “small ‘a’ anarchism” or “social movement anarchism.” In fact, he sounds a lot like what my anarchist friends and I would have been talking about 25-30 years ago.

I don’t think his point of view is “wrong” in the same sense that I don’t necessarily think Alexander Reid Ross’ “anarcho-MSNBC” perspective is “wrong” in the sense that it’s fine to have an anarchist tendency that’s merely about opposing Trump, the “far right” or official enemies of the US like Russia or Syria like Reid-Ross’ crowd, and it’s not “wrong” to have anarchist tendencies that are just about “social movement left-activism” like these “DSA anarchists” or whatever they are. But I view anarchist philosophy and politics as much bigger than all that.

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Elections Are a Fraud: If You Vote, You’re Wasting Your Time Reply

It is interesting to see a quote from Emma Goldman in an article originally published in Forbes in 2012.

By Lawrence Hunter

Forbes

Elections are a fraud. If you go to the polls, you are wasting your time, or worse, deluding yourself that you are actually making a difference.

From this, it follows that if you are making campaign contributions or donating to front groups who spend your money on behalf of candidates, you’re wasting your money, or worse, diverting your resources away from political action that actually could make a difference. There’s more to political life than elections although you wouldn’t know it from Karl Rove’s brave new world of perpetual campaigns.

Take it from someone who worked as a Republican apparatchik for many years inside the Washington machine, the American political system is an exercise in mass deception and mass delusion. Elections stupefy the people and give political cover to what Will Rogers called “America’s only native criminal class” (viz., Members of Congress) to commit all manner of felonies in the name of the public interest.

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The Maps That Show That City vs. Country Is Not Our Political Fault Line 2

“Why the differences? I’ve long argued that United States politics resolves around the tension between advancing individual liberty and promoting the common good. The regional cultures we think of as “blue” today have traditions championing the building and maintenance of free communities, today’s “red” ones on maximizing individual freedom of action. Our presidential contests almost always present a clear choice between the two, and the regions act accordingly.

The 2016 election was an exception, largely because Mr. Trump did not campaign as a traditional laissez faire Republican. Rather, he promised government would rebuild infrastructure and the manufacturing sector, shield workers from imports and migrant workers, replace the Affordable Care Act with “something terrific” and protect Social Security and Medicare. This delivered critical dividends in rural parts of the communitarian-minded Midlands and Yankeedom, flipping scores of counties that had voted for Mr. Obama twice, most of them in the Upper Mississippi Valley, northern New England and upstate New York.”

11 Regions Underlying the 50 States

How rival colonizers spread across the continent and set patterns that influence modern politics and culture.

By Colin Woodward

New York Times

FREEPORT, Maine — Contrary to conventional wisdom, the most significant and abiding divide in American politics isn’t between city and countryside, but rather among regional cultures. Rural and urban places certainly have distinct interests and priorities, but in our awkward federation their differences have taken a back seat to the broader struggle between our constituent regions.

Sectionalism isn’t, and never has been, as simple as North versus South or an effete and domineering East against a rugged, freedom-minded West. Rather, our true regional fissures can be traced back to the contrasting ideals of the distinct European colonial cultures that first took root on the eastern and southern rims of what is now the United States, and then spread across much of the continent in mutually exclusive settlement bands, laying down the institutions, symbols and cultural norms later arrivals would encounter and, by and large, assimilate into.

Understanding this is essential to comprehending our political reality or developing strategies to change it — especially as we approach a momentously consequential midterm election.

Centrist Dems begin arguing against far-left agenda as 2020 play 1

It’s interesting how the neconservative/neoliberal political establishment is being challenged by the neo-Nixonian Trumpians from the right, and by the neo-Roosevetlians like Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez from the left. If these insurgencies continue, the power elite will mostly certainly move to coopt them, which they have already done in the case of the Trumpians. It is likely that many within the power elite have come to understand that the neoconservative approach to foreign policy has created too much international instability, and seek to move toward a more realist perspective via Trumpism. It is also possible that many elites are recognizing that neoliberal economics have created too much domestic instability, and are seeking to move toward a more conventional New Deal-era liberalism in response. If so, politicians like Sanders and Ocasia-Cortez would be an effective means of advancing such a perspective.

If the neo-Nixonians were to eventually displace the neocons on the right, and the neo-Rooseveltians were to displace the neoliberals on the left, the US would largely return to the paradigm that existed during the 1970s before the ascendancy of Reaganism and Clintonism, both of which involved sharp turns to the right on a wide range of issues. Essentially, it would be a return to an American politics dominated by Rockefeller Republicans and New Deal Democrats.

By Alex Roarty

McClatchydc.Com

Leading moderate Democrats forcefully argued this week that the party can embrace a robust agenda of change while still praising capitalism and downplaying income inequality.

In other words, everything the empowered liberal base has spent a year and a half mobilizing against.

Democrats gathered here in Ohio’s capital city on Thursday and Friday in what was an opening salvo of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, part of a conference organized by the center-left think tank Third Way.

The longtime Washington-based group was unveiling the findings of a year-long assessment launched after the 2016 election, hoping to convince potential presidential contenders that they don’t have to adopt the hard-left agenda and style of a Bernie Sanders progressive.

Trump’s Working Class, Conservative, Populist Realignment Reply

One of the best and most thorough analysis of Trump voters I have seen to date. Trump ran a Ross Perot-like campaign, and was able to take the Rust Belt away from the Democrats. That’s how he won. The question is how sustainable will that be over time in light of demographic and cultural change?

By Robert W. Merry

The American Conservative

Bonnie Smith is a 63-year-old bakery entrepreneur in Jefferson, Ohio, in Ashtabula County. She begins her day in the bakery at 2:30 a.m., making doughnuts, then moving on to breads and pies “or whatever I have going out.” Married with three grown children, she started her business two years ago after more than three decades at the county sheriff’s office, where she rose from cook to dispatcher and then to deputy. Like nearly all her neighbors throughout Ashtabula County, she is a lifelong Democrat. Her parents were Democrats. She married a Democrat. She worked exclusively for Democratic county sheriffs.

But in 2016 she voted for Donald Trump. “I’ve seen the job losses here,” she says, “the rise in crime, the meth and heroin problem, society essentially losing hope; something just gave in with me.”

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Reflections on Idiocracy 1

A Facebook reader comments:

“The original Black Panthers were pretty awesome too. I haven’t seen any leftist groups that are even on their level either these days. Even the 70’s radical groups were more respectable. I rate The Weathermen who were the most notorious toilet bombers of that time more highly. Granted, I think they may have had more malevolent intentions than they claim now, for instance, Cathy Wilkerson trained FALN members how to make bombs and they actually did blow up people. But also George Jackson, Raymond Levasseur. I am sure I can think of others. Those guys were not effete pussies. Granted, their violence did more harm than good imo, they caused the government to pass more restrictive laws and since people don’t tend to like extremists and violence, they pushed voters to the right resulting in that scumbag Reagan being elected.

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Reflection on the Condition of U.S. Politics Reply

Recently, a reader asked for me for an assessment of the present condition of the Alt-Right due to my past associated with that particular milieu. Here is my response:

Regrettably, the Alt-Right has become a mirror image of the Left in the sense of operating as a self-marginalizing freak show.

As I see it the entire range of domestic US politics-far left, far right, center left, center right-is largely just a collection of tribes motivated by ressentiment and victimology, and which are increasingly oriented toward self-parody. The public persona that many Alt-Right leaders have created for themselves is essentially that of wrestling heel characters, which fits well with the cartoonist nature of US politics generally, and the blending of political and celebrity entertainment culture that we see going on right now. And the same is true of the public persona of leading figures of all the other tribes.

The Alt-Right/Lite configuration and the Antifa/SJW/Left configuration are merely the self-parody wings of the Red Tribe and Blue Tribe respectively, with the two established tribes largely being a self-parody of themselves.

US politics is basically just a glorified version of the WWE, and it’s perfectly appropriate that the US head of state is a guy is who actually in the WWE Hall of Fame. And the hardcore partisans (i.e. folks who take all this shit seriously) are like wrestling fans who think it’s all a real sport as a opposed to a theatrical production. In many ways, the blissfully ignorant like the folks in this Mark Dice video are the most sensible (and probably the largest) political faction, because they at least have the inclination to be indifferent to it all.

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez: Trump Isn’t Ready For A Girl From The Bronx 5

That this candidate won shows that people really are fed up with business as usual in US politics. More maverick candidates will probably be achieving victories in the future. Her actual politics are just those of a moderate social democrat, not particularly radical, although it’s possible she may help open the door for more radical people in the future.

Trevor Noah thinks Kim Kardashian would make a better president than Donald Trump 1

Kanye and Kim 2024. Make it happen.

By Eileen Rivers

USA Today

Is America going to cheer for Kim Kardashian for president in 2020?

After the Keeping up with the Kardashians reality TV star took a photo with another reality TV star in the Oval Office, late-night comic Trevor Noah couldn’t help but think about who appeared more presidential. His conclusion? The Kardashian beat the Donald.

Kardashian met with President Trump at the White House this week to talk about prison reform and to request that the president pardon Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother in her 60s who was sentenced to life after a first-time nonviolent drug offense.

Noah also takes a look at various Oval Office photos and deems several others more presidential than Trump. Take a look at today’s Best of Late Night, above, to find out who they are.

Jimmy Kimmel isn’t ready to accept that the meeting between Kardashian and Trump actually happened. He’s wondering if we’ve all been Ambiened.

Take a look at our favorite jokes from last night’s late-night lineup, then vote for yours in the poll below.

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Image result for kim and kanye  2024

Image result for kim and kanye  2024

The Real Revolution Has Nothing To Do With Donald Trump 2

Like all presidents, Trump is just an administrative manager for the power elite (much to his own frustration, I would imagine).

By Caitlin Johnstone

Medium

It’s been a weird last couple of days. I wrote an article about WikiLeaks’ dismissal of “QAnon”, the anonymous 8chan poster that hundreds of thousands of conspiracy newbies believe is sharing secret, coded information about Donald Trump’s heroic war against the US deep state.

Ever since I hit publish I’ve been getting a bunch of angry Q enthusiasts in my social media notifications accusing me of being a shill for the establishment. Because I don’t believe someone who says that we should all trust the President of the United States. Blind faith in the executive branch of the US government is anti-establishment now.

As bizarre as these interactions have been, they are still vastly more pleasant than my typical interactions with the faction I see as QAnon’s mirror image, the Russiagaters. Though enthusiasts of the Russiagate conspiracy theory are far more nasty and vituperative than the Q crowd, there are many similarities. Like QAnon, Russiagate is fueled by about ten percent information and ninety percent desperate need to believe. Like QAnon, Russiagate is so thinly substantiated it doesn’t begin to look legitimate until you’ve spent weeks crawling down the rabbit holes of its bulletproof echo chambers and squinting just right at everything you see until it feels true. Like QAnon, the evangelists of Russiagate center their revolutionary sentiment around President Donald Trump. Like QAnon, they shouldn’t.

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Dave Rubin Handles Protesters at University of New Hampshire 6

Dave goes back and forth with protesters during his entire speech to students at the University of New Hampshire. Due to security threats the University moved the venue from a 300 seat room to a 7500 seat hockey rink – without informing all of the attendees. This event was hosted by Turning Point USA.