[VIDEO] Americans Gather Near U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to Protest Trump’s Travel Ban 日本のアメリカ大使館前で入国制限令に対するデモPosted: February 6, 2017
TOKYO – Ayako Mie reports: A group of demonstrators gathered Tuesday morning near the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending the entry of refugees and restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Roughly 50 people, mainly Americans living in Japan, gathered near the embassy in Minato Ward at around 8 a.m. They held signs with slogans like “Build bridges, not walls,” “No Muslim ban” and “Immigrants make America great.”
“We will protest in solidarity with these individuals, including refugees from war-torn nations, as we stand against this unlawful, immoral and unjust action,” the organizers said in a Monday news release.
“We urge the Trump administration to cancel this executive order and to obey federal court orders against its implementation, and we ask all elected officials and world leaders to speak out against this despicable act,” it said.
Organizer Jesse Glickstein, an American lawyer living in Japan, said the demonstration was part of the global backlash against the immigration clampdown. Protests flared up around the world soon after the policy was implemented last Friday, which is also International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Glickstein, who is Jewish, said his grandparents immigrated to the U.S. after surviving the Holocaust.
“This, to me, is possibly the most offensive thing a president can do,” Glickstein said before the protest began.
“I think this is important so that the Japanese people understand that the majority of Americans are not in agreement with this,” he said. “We welcome refugees, we welcome diversity, and this administration honestly is basically … waging war on this concept.”
Protester Alexander Gonzalez said he rejects the policy because it targets specific citizens. Read the rest of this entry »
The government is rushing to compile details of its financial burden to host U.S. forces in Japan in preparation for a meeting of the defense chiefs of the two countries on Saturday, as well as for a separate meeting of the leaders scheduled for Feb. 10.
The U.S. side has intimated that it has no intention of demanding an increase in Japan’s share of the costs of stationing U.S. forces during the defense chiefs’ talks. However, the unpredictability of the U.S. administration under President Donald Trump is spurring the Japanese government to maintain a vigilant stance.
Defense Minister Tomomi Inada spoke at a press conference on Tuesday about her upcoming meeting with new U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis. Although she declined to reveal whether the costs of hosting U.S. forces are on the agenda, Inada did say, “I intend to convey Japan’s position firmly and I hope the meeting will allow us to exchange opinions candidly.”
Pentagon spokesperson Jeff Davis had said the aim of Mattis’ visit to Japan was to strengthen ties and not to submit a list of demands. This has led some to believe that the state of Japan’s financial burden with regard to U.S. bases will not come up at the ministerial meeting.
Trump, however, did refer to increasing Japan’s burden during the U.S. presidential campaign. “We’re preparing to be ready to explain that Japan already has a heavy load, in case there is a demand,” a source inside the Defense Ministry said.
Costs of stationing U.S. forces in Japan include land prices and other costs relevant to providing facilities and sites. These are paid for by the Japanese side in keeping with the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, while all other costs, in principle, are covered by the United States.
However, since fiscal 1978, the Japanese side has been expanding the range of its expenses based on demands from the United States. Currently, personnel costs for base employees as well as lighting, heating and water costs are also funded by the Japanese side. Read the rest of this entry »
Nick Gillespie: Thanks, Liberals! You Applauded Obama’s Imperial Presidency, and Now We’ve Got Trump RexPosted: January 9, 2017
If Trump makes good on his promise to ‘bomb the shit out’ of ISIS without even token approval from Congress, we’ll know where he got the idea.
Nick Gillespie writes: On Jan. 20, Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. Along with the nation’s nuclear codes, he will be gifted presidential powers that have been vastly increased by Barack Obama.
Thanks a lot, liberals. It’s all well and good that Joe Biden is now lecturing us that “the worst sin of all is the abuse of power,” but where the hell was he—and where were you—for the past eight years, when the president was starting wars without Congressional authorization, passing major legislation with zero votes from the opposing party, and ruling almost exclusively through executive orders and actions?
“Hell, in the early months of Obama’s presidency, The New York Times’s Thomas Friedman held up China’s ‘one-party autocracy’ as the model to emulate.”
Mostly exhorting Obama to act “unilaterally” and “without Congress” on terrorism, immigration, guns, and whatever because you couldn’t dream of a day when an unrestrained billionaire reality-TV celebrity would wield those same powers toward very different ends. Hell, in the early months of Obama’s presidency, The New York Times’s Thomas Friedman held up China’s “one-party autocracy” as the model to emulate.
“Faced with recalcitrant Republicans and flagging public support, champions of Obama’s policy agenda voiced few qualms about a power grab that created an imperial presidency on steroids.”
There’s an old libertarian saw that holds “any government powerful enough to give you everything is also powerful enough to take everything away.” The same is even more true for the president, the single most-powerful actor in the government. Faced with recalcitrant Republicans and flagging public support, champions of Obama’s policy agenda voiced few qualms about a power grab that created an imperial presidency on steroids. “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation,” Obama crowed in 2014, proclaiming a “year of action.” “I’ve got a pen… and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions.”
Consider his willingness to wage war. As The Cato Institute’s Gene Healy writes in the latest issue of Reason, Obama didn’t just commit the U.S. military to action in Libya without any sort of Congressional authorization, he did so after campaigning on the statement that “the president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” But when it came time under the War Powers Act to either seek retroactive buy-in from Congress or pull out, Obama simply asked around the executive branch until he found a State Department lawyer who, unlike his attorney general and others, said dropping bombs on Libya didn’t require authorization.
If and when Donald Trump makes good on his promise to “bomb the shit out” of ISIS—and god knows who else—without even getting token approval from Congress, we’ll know where he got the idea. Ditto for “secret kill lists” and drone strikes in countries with whom we’re not at war.
And still, Obama has the temerity to counsel the president-elect not to overdo it with executive orders and actions, telling NPR recently that “going through the legislative process is always better in part because it’s harder to undo.” Unless, of course, actually working to build consensus keeps you from getting what you want. In fact, it is vastly easier to undo unilateral action, as Obama himself could tell you. Read the rest of this entry »
Peter Hasson reports: WikiLeaks’ publication of emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta revealed the close ties between prominent journalists and the Clinton campaign. Many of those same journalists will now be covering the Trump White House.
Harwood told Podesta to “watch out” for Dr. Ben Carson during the Republican primary. “Ben Carson could give you real trouble in a general,” Harwood warned, including video clips of Carson’s political positions.
In a December 2015 email to Podesta, Harwood claimed the Republican Party was “veering off the rails” and bragged about provoking Trump during a Republican presidential debate, where he asked Trump if he was running “a comic book version of a presidential campaign.”
“I imagine…” Harwood titled the email, continuing in the body: “…that Obama feels some (sad) vindication at this demonstration of his years-long point about the opposition party veering off the rails.”
“I certainly am feeling that way with respect to how I questioned Trump at our debate.”
As CNBC’s chief political correspondent, Harwood will play a central role in the network’s coverage of the Trump administration. Harwood has yet to respond to repeated requests from TheDC regarding his email exchanges with the Clinton campaign. Read the rest of this entry »
WaPo: 50% of Clinton Voters Believe Russia ‘Tampered with Vote Tallies in Order to get Donald Trump Elected’Posted: December 29, 2016
The story deals largely with the fact that party breakdown determines the conspiracy theories people are willing to believe or not. Interestingly enough, when looking at the results, Republicans (in particular, Trump voters) are less likely to believe conspiracy theories than Hillary voters. For example, the ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy that said leaked emails from the Clinton campaign talked about a pedophilia ring run out of pizza parlor, shows 46% of Trump voters believe it but 53% do not.
Bitter Clinton voters are more easily persuaded, however, especially when it comes to the belief the Russians hacked our voting systems to help Trump:
Trump voters and Clinton voters also look differently at two Election Day conspiracy theories: that Russia actually hacked the votes to change the election results, and that there were, as Donald Trump suggested, there were “millions of people who voted illegally.”
Half of Clinton’s voters think Russia even hacked the Election Day votes (only 9% of Trump voters give that any credibility at all). Six in ten Trump voters believe there were millions of illegal votes cast on election day. Read the rest of this entry »
Steve Kornacki looks at Hillary Clinton’s double digit lead against Donald Trump in four consecutive national polls, and trends developing in state polls, as evidence of a potential for a landslide outcome to the 2016 presidential election.
Phillip Stucky reports: Campaign staffer Jason Miller for Donald Trump recently turned down a job working as Director of Communications, but new information has surfaced that could explain Miller’s decision, according to a Politico report Monday.
Miller allegedly had an affair during the course of the campaign, according to Politico’s report. The allegations come from transition aide A.J. Delgado, who tweeted congratulations to the “baby-daddy” for his promotion, calling Miller the “2016 version of John Edwards.”
“When you try to put a brave face and tweet about nonsense to distract, your feed looks like @JasonMillerDC’s,” Delgado wrote Twitter. “When people need to resign graciously and refuse to, it’s a bit … spooky.” Delgado then clarified who she was talking about, “Jason Miller, who needed to resign … yesterday.” Read the rest of this entry »
You can almost taste the delicious liberal tears.
Donald Trump won the electoral college on Election Night, which means he is going to be the next president. That’s because the electoral college—not the popular vote — is the only thing that matters in our presidential elections.
The electoral college participants formally cast their votes on Monday. Some liberals had hoped enough of the electors would change their votes to deny Trump the presidency. That didn’t happen. Read the rest of this entry »
TRUMPAGEDDON 2.0: For all of the hype about electors switching their vote from reports, the majority of those electors who cast protest votes were supposed to vote for Hillary Clinton.
For all of the hype about electors switching their vote from reports: Trump to anyone but Trump, the majority of those electors who cast protest votes were supposed to vote for Hillary Clinton.
Four electors in Washington state who were supposed to vote for Clinton instead voted otherwise: three for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and one for a Native American leader. In contrast, just two electors in Texas voted against Trump.
— The Hill (@thehill) December 19, 2016
The rules vary by state. In 29 states, electors are legally bound to vote for the winner of their state. The rest are not.
Voters who fail to vote the will of their state are known as faithless electors. “That occurrence is nothing new,” said Paul Sracic, a Youngstown State University political scientist and expert in the electoral college. “There have been approximately 157 electors have done just that in the past 200 plus years.” Read the rest of this entry »
President-elect Donald Trump won more than enough votes in the Electoral College on Monday to secure his White House victory, as the latest – and perhaps last – stop-Trump movement failed to gain traction in state capitals.
A fervent push by anti-Trump forces to persuade electors to defect had turned the normally mundane civic procedure into high drama.
But the representatives designated to cast ballots in accordance with their states’ Nov. 8 decision mostly adhered to the results of the election. With several states still voting, Trump had 304 votes and Hillary Clinton had 169.
It takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. Texas put Trump over the top, despite two Republican electors casting protest votes.
Elector antics were few and far between, with most the disruptions occurring on the Democratic side. A Democratic elector in Maine tried to vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders, but switched to Clinton after it was ruled improper. Another who tried to vote for Sanders in Minnesota was replaced; a Colorado elector who tried to back Ohio Gov. John Kasich likewise was replaced. One of the biggest deviations was in Washington state, where three electors voted for Colin Powell and one voted for “Faith Spotted Eagle;” the remaining eight went to Clinton, the state’s winner.
It marked the first time in four decades the state’s electors broke from the popular vote. Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman vowed to work with the state attorney general and charge the four unfaithful electors with a violation of Washington state civil law. Such violations carry a fine up to $1,000.
With Trump’s win now secured, a joint session of Congress is scheduled for Jan. 6 to certify the results.
Trump’s undisputed Electoral College victory could serve to deter any further last-ditch efforts to effectively nullify his November win and prevent his inauguration, though the battle could shift next to his Cabinet picks.
Few expected the “faithless elector” push to imperil Trump’s victory on Monday. Only one Republican elector – Texas’ Chris Suprun – publicly stated he would vote for an alternative candidate. More than three dozen would have had to abandon him to complicate his path to the presidency.
But GOP electors still faced immense pressure — with some even receiving threats — from Trump foes in the run-up to Monday’s Electoral College vote. Those urging disorder in state capitals often cited Clinton’s popular-vote win, by roughly 2.6 million votes, over Trump in November.
Celebrities made public appeals to electors to use the arcane process to upend Trump’s victory, as some Democratic electors tried to persuade their Republican counterparts to defect. Reports that U.S. intelligence officials determined Russia interfered in the election to boost Trump – findings disputed by Trump himself – only fueled efforts to wield the Electoral College vote as a political circuit-breaker. Read the rest of this entry »
The Founding Fathers got it right, and California is proof.
Consider this: Hillary Clinton’s 2.3-million-popular-vote plurality over Trump depends on the votes in a single state.
James E. Campbell writes: Shocked and appalled by the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, some supporters of Hillary Clinton have turned to minimizing and even delegitimizing Trump’s election. In an era of severe political polarization, in an election with two candidates seen from the outset in highly unfavorable terms, after the most brutal campaign in modern history, and with an outcome that astonished just about everyone, these reactions are understandable, but wrong.
Many diehard Clinton supporters cannot bring themselves to believe their candidate could lose to Donald Trump. They think: How could such a crude and inept con man be elected president? Even after it has happened, it is unthinkable, a nightmare. So, the election must not have been fair.
Those on the fringe raise the specter of diabolical Russians hacking away at our democracy. More grounded Clintonians have less malevolent bogeymen — our Founding Fathers. As they see it, the election’s outcome should be blamed on a dysfunctional and archaic electoral-vote system. Hillary won the national popular vote. She should be president. It is as simple as that. The Electoral College should go the way of Trump University.
They are right about one thing: Clinton did win the popular vote, by some 2.8 million votes, as the most recent data show.
Yet Clinton has only 232 electoral votes (in 20 states plus Washington, D.C.) to Trump’s 306 (in 30 states plus one from Maine), making him the president-elect. So Trump’s election without a popular-vote plurality is regarded as an injustice. Some Democrats claim a moral victory as victims of an electoral-vote system that once again horribly “misfired.” Their claim, however, neglects two facts.
First, had the election been conducted with rules awarding the presidency to the popular-vote winner, the candidates and many voters quite probably would have acted very differently, and the popular vote might not have been the same. Trump and Clinton would have campaigned in the “safe” states. Potential voters in those states would have felt more pressure to turn out and to vote for “the lesser of two evils” and not to waste their votes on third-party candidates. Some additional Clinton voters would probably have shown up, but gains on the Trump side would probably have been larger as more reluctant Republicans would have been pushed to return to the fold, particularly in big blue states like California, New York and Illinois. Read the rest of this entry »
The mainstream media is the biggest purveyor of fake news.
Debra Heine writes: You gotta love our liberal media. Their entire modus operandi for at least the past two decades has been to shamelessly disseminate false left-wing narratives to the masses in their ongoing effort to discredit conservatism and further a progressive agenda. It’s what they do.
But since the election of Donald Trump, they have been obsessed with a new pet narrative: that a so-called “fake news” epidemic is occurring on the right.
This is partly because, I’m convinced, they resent the fact that some people on the alt-right are making inroads on their turf. But the “fake news” excuse also functions as a soothing balm for their wounded egos after their devastating 2016 election losses. It helps them deal with the uncomfortable fact that the electorate just rejected the hell out of the candidates for whom they blatantly shilled.
This happens every time the mainstream media’s favored party suffes a massive defeat at the polls, by the way. In 1994, they blamed their losses on the “angry white male.” After the 2010 “shellacking,” they attributed it to a menacing “climate of hate,”as personified by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.
And now we are asked to believe that fringe conspiracy theories like “PizzaGate” swung the 2016 election for Donald Trump. That may make the left feel better about losing, but their pathetic “fake news” narrative is a conspiracy theory in and of itself.
PizzaGate refers to a spectacular conspiracy theory surrounding Comet Ping Pong, a Baltimore pizza parlor that some internet sleuths claim is at the center of an international child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton and the Podesta brothers. This month, a man with an assault rifle walked into Comet Ping Pong to “self-investigate,” and reportedly fired the rifle at least once inside the restaurant. Luckily, no one was injured.
If only one could say the same about the countless left-wing fake news narratives that have been pushed by the MSM over the years.
For example, the PizzaGate conspiracy theory festered online only in places like 4Chan, Infowars, and Reddit.
But the “hands up, don’t shoot” conspiracy theory — which suggested a racist white cop shot an unarmed black teenager for no reason at all in Ferguson, Missouri — was propagated all over the mainstream news: CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, and others. It even was heavily spread by elected members of the Democratic Party.
That fake news led to riots, and it’s no stretch of the imagination to assume that the ensuing murdered policemen were the result of some bad actors feeling justified in retaliating.
Here is a list of ten memorable fake news stories from the mainstream media.
CBS did its own investigation in the matter, and determined there were several serious breaches of handling this story, among them failure to identify the sources of the documents properly; failure to document the chain of custody of the documents; failure to establish the credibility of the documents.Those that tendered their resignations on request were: Senior Vice President Betsy West, the supervisor of primetime programs for CBS News; Josh Howard, the executive producer of Wednesday’s version of 60 Minutes; Mary Murphy, senior broadcast producer and Howard’s deputy. Mary Mapes, the actual producer of the Killian documents story, was terminated, in part for calling a senior official in John Kerry’s presidential campaign (Joe Lockhart) and offering to put him in touch with Burkett. The CBS panel called Mapes’ action a “clear conflict of interest that created the appearance of political bias.”
Unbowed and still convinced of the document’s authenticity, Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit against CBS and its former corporate parent, Viacom on September 19, 2007, claiming he was made a “scapegoat”. A day later, Mapes wrote a column in the Huffington Post, claiming that far-right blogs have “pronounced themselves experts on document analysis, and began attacking the form and font in the memos. They screamed objections that ultimately proved to have no basis in fact … They dominated the discussion by churning out gigabytes of mind-numbing internet dissertations about the typeface in the memos, focusing on the curl at the end of the “a,” the dip on the top of the “t,” the spacing, the superscript, which typewriters were used in the military in 1972. It was a deceptive approach, and it worked”.
In a clear contradiction of her rant, Mapes did in fact have prior knowledge of Bush’s guard service in her hands but chose to ignore it. In a press release on January 10, 2005, Accuracy in Media reported that the internal investigation conducted by CBS into the “Rathergate” matter revealed that Mapes had documented information on hand which detailed Bush’s attempt to volunteer for duty as a fighter pilot in Vietnam but was denied by his superiors at the time due to his inexperience. Accuracy in Media Editor Cliff Kincaid explained:
“Mapes, who was very close to Rather and enjoyed his confidence, had the evidence exonerating Bush of this malicious charge. The report shows that there were multiple credible sources to prove that Bush did not try to avoid Vietnam by going into the National Guard and that he was in fact willing to go to Vietnam as a pilot. However, CBS News deliberately kept this information from its viewers and conveyed an opposite impression because Rather, Mapes & Company were trying to depict Bush as a coward who, as Commander-in-Chief, was sending American soldiers to their deaths in Iraq.”
The truth is that Bush, the alleged slacker, had volunteered to go to Vietnam while in the Texas Air National Guard, but was he was turned down because he didn’t have enough flight hours to qualify.
On January 8, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire on a Safeway parking lot in Casas Adobes, Arizona, shooting U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in the head, and eighteen others. Six people died, including a federal judge, one of Rep. Giffords’ staffers, and a nine-year-old girl. Read the rest of this entry »
Craig Bannister writes: The pre-election predictions of communications professionals surveyed by PRWeek proved to be unanimously – and embarrassingly – wrong. Could every PR executive in the U.S. have been so off, or was this a case of media bias in choosing the “experts?”
On Nov. 8, PRWeek published “They’re with her: PR execs predict a resounding Clinton victory,” in which reported the pre-election predictions of 22 communications professional – not one of whom predicted Donald Trump would win the election. Not only were their predictions wrong, they were embarrassingly wrong, with some apparently more influenced by personal opinion than science.
As a result of the overwhelming inaccuracy of the experts surveyed, PRWeek’s “biggest lesson” for PR executives proved wrong:
“The greatest irony here and the biggest lesson for communications professionals: Donald Trump may lose tomorrow because millions of Latino, Muslim, and women voters he vilified – Democrats and Republicans among them—help push Hillary to victory.”
No, the “greatest irony here” is that those who make a living as barometers, and drivers, of public opinion could all be so far off.
Here are ten of their most outrageously bad predictions – and the wimpiest one.
Most Wildly Inaccurate:
“I believe that my former boss Hillary Clinton will make history and become the first woman POTUS and she will win by an Electoral College landslide of 322 to 216. That includes Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina.” – Kris Balderston, president of global public affairs and strategic engagement, FleishmanHillard
So, PRWeek surveyed a former Clinton employee, who picked Clinton. And, while Clinton did take Nevada’s six electoral votes, she lost 29 in Florida and 15 in North Carolina.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton will be our next leader and that the Democrats will take back the Senate. My prediction is that we will be awed by the numbers.” – David Landis, president, Landis Communications Read the rest of this entry »
CARLSON: Thank you. So, it what — Look, I mean everyone makes screwups like this, and I’m not here to mock you for that. It’s the content of it that was unbelievable. And it’s so unbelievable actually that I have got to put it on the screen. I want to read part of the introduction to the “Madam President” edition. It describes this:
… “as the tone of the election grew darker and more bizarre by the day, President-Elect Hillary Clinton ‘went high’ when her opponent and supporters went even lower.”
“’Fear and hate-based conservatism.’ It’s breathless. It’s not even hagiographic. It’s pornographic. It’s Soviet in its devotion to Hillary Clinton. Who wrote this?”
“No stranger to trudging through the mire of misogyny in her career as First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, President Clinton managed to push for an issues-based campaign, even as a handful of Trump’s deplorable supporters, seeing the wide margin she held among female voters, called for repealing the 19th Amendment.”
It goes on and on. Read the rest of this entry »
Dr Jill Stein Appeared on Fox New Sunday with Chris Wallace. Wallace immediately grills Jill Stein On the recount efforts asking “why not New Hampshire”. Why Only States that Clinton lost? Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace engaged in a pretty combative exchange today while discussing Stein’s recount efforts, with Wallace trying to get Stein to admit that there have been no recounts that have switched tens of thousands of votes.
Steven Crowder writes:
“At the end of the day, Jill Stein isn’t changing any hearts or minds over this. The longer this charade of a ‘recount’ continues, the more ridiculous leftists are going to look in regard to the election. Which is hard to do. At this point, Democrats are pulling a Usain Bolt in that they’re only breaking their own records. In this case, records in national embarrassment. They’ve already racked up the top ten highest scores. Looks like Stein wants to go for an even twenty.”
The interview started with Wallace wanting to know why Stein hadn’t requested a recount in New Hampshire even though Hillary Clinton carried that state by a much more narrow margin than the three states she did request recounts in. Stein explained that it was because the deadline had passed for New Hampshire.
After Stein noted that she would look to expand the recounts to other states if they see a systemic issue regarding machine error and hacking, Wallace asked Stein if she knew the highest number of votes that had been switched via a recount. When she brought up a situation with Toledo in 2004 where 90,000 votes were erroneously marked blank — she has brought this up before — Wallace explained that officially, the biggest change had been roughly 1200 during the 2000 Florida recount in that year’s presidential election. ‘There’s not a chance in the world here, Dr. Stein, that the vote is going to change in those three states,” Wallace exclaimed, pointing out the margin in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Read the rest of this entry »
‘While this book is about Appalachia, it’s a story of class warfare’
Brad King writes: I’m writing a book about Appalachia. More specially, I’m writing a memoir of my family, which helped settled what is now the poorest county in the country: Clay County, which The New York Times dubbed “The Hardest Place to Live in America.” The book, called So Far Appalachia, is almost done. You can sign up for the newsletter if you’re interested in more discussions about what I guess we’re now calling the “poor, white, rural voters.”
That’s the context for why we’re here.
I’m writing this post because since the Presidential election, in which our country choose Donald J. Trump as our next leader, so many of my liberal friends have been struggling to understand why — WHY? — so many working class white folks voted against Sec. Hillary Clinton.
More specifically, on Friday, December 2 I posted this NPR piece “In Depressed Rural Kentucky, Worries Mount Over Medicaid Cutbacks” on my Facebook page. Predictably, the new code phrases that signal disdain for Appalachians appeared. You know them: “low information voters” and “voting against their self interest.”
Instead of fighting on the Internet— which nobody enjoys— I promised that I’d dig into the book’s draft, pull out a few bits and pieces that explain why those white, rural, poor folks didn’t vote against their self interest, and wrap it up with this little introduction.
There are two things to note:
- I’ve left all the social science out of this post. This is the exposition from the book that explains all the social science. I’ll follow up with another one giving my science-minded friends — the evidence-based crowd — the opportunity to stop spinning conspiracy stories, and instead read up on all the social science that’s been done on the region; and
- I’ve written an entire book on the subject. This problem is complex and complicated. This post is really a distillation of some of the larger themes in the book. But really there’s so much more.
Before We Move Forward: A Note
I need to frame this discussion — and the book. What I’m doing is very simple: explaining, not excusing. Great writing and storytelling help us see and understand worlds that are different than ours.
Great stories do not whitewash away the rough edges. I can’t write a book about Appalachian culture without dealing with this important idea.
I love Appalachia, but we’ve got to recognize that racism and misogyny are deeply — deeply — embedded within the culture. Blacks and African-Americans have been nearly wiped away from the history of the region, and so too were women from all backgrounds. This isn’t a book meant to prop up the noble Appalachian working class. Nobility isn’t bestowed on any class. Not Appalachians. Not the working class. Not anyone. Nobility, where it exists, does so within individuals, in tiny moments in their lives. My family — and Appalachians — aren’t noble. My family owned slaves. There is no way around that. We did, and that’s a shame that we must bear and own.
But there’s two points that we need to clear up right now. The first is that neither of those issues is inherent only to Appalachia. The second is addressing issues of race and gender are deeply important to the future of our country. But neither will be part of this book.
While this book is about Appalachia, it’s a story of class warfare.
A Hypothetical Conundrum to Begin
Let’s begin with a hypothetical. Read the rest of this entry »
Do you understand what the Electoral College is? Or how it works? Or why America uses it to elect its presidents instead of just using a straight popular vote? Author, lawyer and Electoral College expert Tara Ross does, and she explains that to understand the Electoral College is to understand American democracy.
Liberals liked executive authority as long as Obama wielded it. Now they’ve set a precedent.
Glenn Greenwald writes: Liberals are understandably panicked about what Donald Trump can carry out. “We have a president-elect with authoritarian tendencies assuming a presidency that has never been more powerful,” Franklin Foer wrote this past week in Slate. Trump will command not only a massive nuclear arsenal and the most robust military in history, but also the ability to wage numerous wars in secret and without congressional authorization; a ubiquitous system of electronic surveillance that can reach most forms of human communication and activity; and countless methods for shielding himself from judicial accountability, congressional oversight and the rule of law — exactly what the Constitution was created to prevent. Trump assumes the presidency “at the peak of its imperial powers,” as Foer put it.
“After Obama took office, many liberals often tolerated — and even praised — his aggressive assertions of executive authority. It is hard to overstate how complete the Democrats’ about-face on these questions was once their own leader controlled the levers of power.”
Sen. Barack Obama certainly saw it that way when he first ran for president in 2008. Limiting executive-power abuses and protecting civil liberties were central themes of his campaign. The former law professor repeatedly railed against the Bush-Cheney template of vesting the president with unchecked authorities in the name of fighting terrorism or achieving other policy objectives.
“After just three years of the Obama presidency, liberals sanctioned a system that allowed the president to imprison people without any trial or an ounce of due process.”
“This administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide,” he said in 2007. Listing an array of controversial Bush-Cheney policies, from warrantless domestic surveillance to due-process-free investigations and imprisonment, he vowed: “We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers.”
“Blinded by the belief that Obama was too benevolent and benign to abuse his office, and drowning in partisan loyalties at the expense of political principles, Democrats consecrated this framework with their acquiescence and, often, their explicit approval. This is the unrestrained set of powers Trump will inherit.”
Yet, beginning in his first month in office and continuing through today, Obama not only continued many of the most extreme executive-power policies he once condemned, but in many cases strengthened and extended them. His administration detained terrorism suspects without due process, proposed new frameworks to keep them locked up without trial, targeted thousands of individuals (including a U.S. citizen) for execution by drone, invoked secrecy doctrines to shield torture and eavesdropping programs from judicial review, and covertly expanded the nation’s mass electronic surveillance.
“Beginning in his first month in office and continuing through today, Obama not only continued many of the most extreme executive-power policies he once condemned, but in many cases strengthened and extended them.”
Blinded by the belief that Obama was too benevolent and benign to abuse his office, and drowning in partisan loyalties at the expense of political principles, Democrats consecrated this framework with their acquiescence and, often, their explicit approval. This is the unrestrained set of powers Trump will inherit. The president-elect frightens them, so they are now alarmed. But if they want to know whom to blame, they should look in the mirror.
Obama’s approach to executive power flipped so quickly and diametrically that it is impossible to say if he ever believed his campaign-era professions of restraint. As early as May 2009, Jack Goldsmith, a Justice Department official under George W. Bush, celebrated Obama’s abandonment of his promises to rein in these authorities, writingthat “the new administration has copied most of the Bush program, has expanded some of it, and has narrowed only a bit.” He added that the “Obama practices will be much closer to late Bush practices than almost anyone expected in January 2009.”
“Obama’s approach to executive power flipped so quickly and diametrically that it is impossible to say if he ever believed his campaign-era professions of restraint.”
By putting a prettier liberal face on these policies, and transforming them from a symbol of GOP radicalism into one of bipartisan security consensus, the president entrenched them as permanent fixtures of the American presidency. As Goldsmith put it, Obama’s actions were “designed to fortify the bulk of the Bush program for the long-run.”
“In fact, a new Democratic Party orthodoxy took hold under Obama: the right of a president to detain people, or even assassinate them, without charges or a whiff of judicial oversight. This included even American citizens.”
Liberals vehemently denounced these abuses during the Bush presidency. From 2001 through 2008, Democrats called them the embodiment of tyranny, an existential threat to democracy, a menacing expression of right-wing radicalism. Read the rest of this entry »
A fortune-telling billy goat has predicted who the next President of the USA will be. Boots the goat does stunts normally tackled by performing dogs – and he has one trick up his sleeve that even the pooches won’t attempt.
Animal trainer Sue Zacharias, 49, taught the three-year-old pedigree Golden Guernsey to predict the future of guests at their shows. Boots, who lives on a farm near Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, correctly foresaw the result of the Brexit vote in June. And the goat has now predicted that Hillary Clinton will finish ahead of Donald Trump in the US presidential race. Read the rest of this entry »
…Trump leads in Florida by a minuscule 0.2 percent as I write this; in New Hampshire, it’s Clinton by 0.6 percent, and that’s helped along by the dubious 11-point lead she had in the WMUR poll of the state that was released this morning. The long and short of this is that if literally one more poll of NH were to drop showing Trump ahead by a few points, the average would shift and that state would probably also favor him very narrowly. And in that case, he’d be at … 270 electoral votes. He’s that close to being a perilously slight favorite to win the election per RCP’s polling averages. And note that RCP’s miss on Florida in 2012 involved a larger margin than either FL or NH are experiencing now. That year, Romney finished 1.5 points ahead in the Florida average and lost the state on Election Day by less than a point. Trump would be president with a more modest miss than that in New Hampshire this year.
That said, there’s a question mark on this map. Observers of Nevada’s early voting like Jon Ralston swear that Dems have piled up enough ballots there to put the state all but out of reach for Trump, notwithstanding his lead in the polls. If that’s true then flipping NH on the map above doesn’t win it for him after all.
We end up with Clinton winning 274/264. And it’s not obvious which remaining blue state Trump could flip to tilt the election back to him. He’s already won Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and New Hampshire in this scenario. He’s close-ish in Michigan and Colorado, but they’re not as much of a coin flip as FL and NC are. Unless Ralston’s wrong about Nevada, even one of the rosiest maps for Trump still requires him to pull off one more major upset somewhere.
And this assumes, naturally, that you take RCP’s polling average as definitive rather than another site’s. Each election modeler chooses to include and exclude certain polls for their own reasons. Some, like FiveThirtyEight, choose to weight polls according to how accurate the pollster’s been in the past so that some polls count more than others. FiveThirtyEight currently has Clinton ahead by more than three points in New Hampshire’s polling average, making that state more durable for her; that being so, Trump is stuck at 266 even with Florida and Nevada in his column. The Upshot also has Clinton by three in New Hampshire and gives Clinton a better than 80 percent chance of winning the election. Read the rest of this entry »