owenblacker + republicans   44

Republicans' Quest for a White America Is Destroying America
Already, Trump and the Republicans have severely harmed the institutional heft of checks-and-balances. But they’re not done. America’s international reputation and influence rest on enormous economic and military strength, as well as the intangible but all-important “soft power” brought on by a robust democracy. All three pillars are necessary to sustain America’s nearly global respect and position, yet — and this was the rub — all three are increasingly dependent on more than just whites in the United States to build and sustain. For white America to exist, America must die. And the Republicans have made their choice.
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Put simply, because Trump promises Republicans a return to white dominance, he is more important to the GOP and its base than the country those in power took an oath to support and defend.
by:CarolAnderson  from:Time  race  geo:UnitedStates  politics  Republicans  DonaldTrump  MitchMcConnell 
10 weeks ago by owenblacker
State Department to LGBT Married Couples: Your ‘Out of Wedlock’ Kids Aren’t Citizens
Last summer, the State Department issued new rules unilaterally changing the department’s interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a 1952 law that, along with the 14th Amendment, codifies eligibility for U.S. birthright citizenship.

“The U.S. Department of State interprets the INA to mean that a child born abroad must be biologically related to a U.S. citizen parent,” the State Department’s website says. “Even if local law recognizes a surrogacy agreement and finds that U.S. parents are the legal parents of a child conceived and born abroad… if the child does not have a biological connection to a U.S. citizen parent, the child will not be a U.S. citizen at birth.”

The Kivitis are each biologically related to their children. Under the policy, however, children born via gestational surrogacy and other forms of assisted reproductive technology (ART) are considered to be born “out of wedlock,” in the State Department’s words—even if their parents, like Roee and Adiel, are legally married.

“They basically take our marriage, and they say ‘It doesn’t mean anything. Your child was born out of wedlock,’” Adiel said. “We were there when she was born, she took her first breaths in our arms. Make no mistake: We are her parents—we are her only parents on her only birth certificate.”

Children born out of wedlock face higher legal and logistical hurdles to obtaining birthright citizenship: In addition to submission of DNA tests proving genetic links to U.S. citizen parents, their parents must be able to testify that they can support their children financially, and must prove that they have been present in the United States for at least five years prior to the child’s birth. Adiel, who was born in Israel, only recently became a naturalized U.S. citizen. He had lived in the United States since May 2015, and for one year in law school, but still fell short of five years.

“We are now in a very, very strange scenario,” Adiel said. “We are both American citizens; we live in the U.S.; I have a business here, Roee has his job here; we file our taxes as a married couple here... and the State Department is saying that our daughter isn’t entitled to U.S. citizenship because she was born ‘out of wedlock.’”
by:ScottBixby  from:TheDailyBeast  geo:UnitedStates  homophobia  citizenship  EqualMarriage  DonaldTrump  Republicans 
may 2019 by owenblacker
US threatens to veto UN resolution on rape as weapon of war, officials say
Even after the formal monitoring mechanism was stripped from the resolution, the US was still threatening to veto the watered-down version, because it includes language on victims’ support from family planning clinics. In recent months, the Trump administration has taken a hard line, refusing to agree to any UN documents that refer to sexual or reproductive health, on grounds that such language implies support for abortions. It has also opposed the use of the word “gender”, seeking it as a cover for liberal promotion of transgender rights.
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“If we let the Americans do this and take out this language, it will be watered down for a long time,” a European diplomat, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, said. “It is, at its heart, an attack on the progressive normative framework established over the past 25 years.”

“Until the Trump administration, we could always count on the Americans to help us defend it. Now the Americans have switched camp,” the diplomat said. “Now it’s an unholy alliance of the US, the Russians, the Holy See, the Saudis and the Bahrainis, chipping away at the progress that has been made.”
by:JulianBorger  from:TheGuardian  feminism  abortion  SexualAssault  SexualHealth  WarCrime  geo:UnitedStates  DonaldTrump  Republicans 
april 2019 by owenblacker
Kavanaugh Will Kill the Constitution — The legitimacy of the Supreme Court is on the line.
At a fundamental level, the attempt to jam Brett Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court closely resembles the way Republicans passed a tax cut last year. Once again we see a rushed, nakedly partisan process, with G.O.P. leaders withholding much of the information that’s supposed to go into congressional deliberations. Once again the outcome is all too likely to rest on pure tribalism: Unless some Republicans develop a very late case of conscience, they will vote along party lines with the full knowledge that they’re abdicating their constitutional duty to provide advice and consent.

True, Kavanaugh is at least getting a hearing, which the tax bill never did. But he’s bobbing and weaving his way through, refusing to answer even straightforward questions, displaying an evasiveness utterly at odds with the probity we used to expect of Supreme Court justices.

No, the real difference from the tax bill story is that last year we were talking only about a couple of trillion dollars. This year we’re talking about the future of the Republic. For a Kavanaugh confirmation will set us up for multiple constitutional crises.

After all, if Kavanaugh is confirmed, we will be trying to navigate a turbulent era in American politics with a Supreme Court in which two seats were effectively stolen. First Republicans refused even to give President Barack Obama’s nominee so much as a hearing; then they will have filled two positions with nominees chosen by a president who lost the popular vote and eked out an Electoral College win only with aid from a hostile foreign power.
by:PaulKrugman  from:TheNewYorkTimes  BrettKavanaugh  DonaldTrump  politics  geo:UnitedStates  SCOTUS  Republicans 
september 2018 by owenblacker
Democratic Party files lawsuit alleging Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks conspired to disrupt the 2016 campaign
“During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump’s campaign,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement.

“This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery: the campaign of a nominee for President of the United States in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidency,” he said.
by:TomHamburger  by:RosalindSHelderman  by:EllenNakashima  from:TheWashingtonPost  politics  geo:UnitedStates  DonaldTrump  USElection2016  treason  Republicans  Democrats  TomPerez  Wikileaks  JulianAssange 
april 2018 by owenblacker
'We're fighting for our way of life': Republican tax bill presents grave threat to Alaska's tribal groups
The 170,000-strong porcupine caribou herd, named after a river in the heart of a range the size of Wyoming, are hunted along their lengthy migratory route but the Gwich’in steer clear of them once they reach their coastal calving grounds each spring, so they can give birth and feast on lichen, moss and other foliage. More than 40,000 caribou are born each year before they trudge onward along the coast, to avoid the summer mosquitoes.

It’s in this nursery area on the coastal plan of the Arctic refuge, also known as the 1002 zone, that drilling is set to be permitted, with two lease sales for oil and gas to be sold off in the next decade. Scientists, aware of the refuge’s geography, where mountains and foothills press up against the coast, have warned that this narrow corridor could be broken up by new fossil fuel development.

“It’s probably one of the most significant wilderness areas left in the United States, if not North America,” said John Schoen, a wildlife biologist retired from the Alaska department of fish and game.
by:OliverMilman  from:TheGuardian  geo:Alaska  geo:UnitedStates  IndigenousCulture  NativeAmericans  oil  environment  Republicans  DonaldTrump  ClimateChange 
december 2017 by owenblacker
No Wonder Millennials Hate Capitalism
For older Americans, the collapse of Communism made it seem as though there was no possible alternative to capitalism. But given the increasingly oligarchic nature of our economy, it’s not surprising that for many young people, capitalism looks like the god that failed.

Nowhere is that clearer than in the wretched tax bill passed by the Senate in the early hours of Saturday morning, which would make the rich richer and the poor poorer.
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There is no coherent economic rationale for what Republicans are doing. Academic economists are basically unanimous that the Republican tax plan would increase America’s deficit, which Republicans used to pretend to care about. With unemployment low, many experts say the economy doesn’t need a stimulus. The tax cuts are likely to increase the trade deficit, which President Trump purportedly wants to reduce. Republicans often say they want to simplify the tax code, but as the accountant Tony Nitti argues in Forbes, the tax bill would make much of it more complex.

How to explain this smash-and-grab legislative looting, which violates all principles of economic prudence? Part of it is simple greed, but there’s also an ideology at work, one that sees the rich as more productive and deserving than others.
by:MichelleGoldberg  from:TheNewYorkTimes  economics  politics  Republicans  geo:UnitedStates  capitalism  Millennials 
december 2017 by owenblacker
The Danger of President Pence
Trump’s critics yearn for his exit. But Mike Pence, the corporate right’s inside man, poses his own risks.
by:JaneMayer  from:TheNewYorker  MikePence  Republicans  Christianity  hypocrisy  homophobia  abortion  politics  geo:UnitedStates  long-read 
october 2017 by owenblacker
Republicans, it’s time to panic
GOP denial about Trump has generally taken Ryan’s form. The president may be eccentric and divisive, but Republicans need to keep their heads down and think of tax reform. This assumes that the main challenge is to avoid distraction from essential tasks.

But the real problem has always been Trump’s fundamental unfitness for high office. It is not Trump’s indiscipline and lack of leadership, which make carrying a legislative agenda forward nearly impossible. It is not his vulgarity and smallness, which have been the equivalent of spray-painting graffiti on the Washington Monument. It is not his nearly complete ignorance of policy and history, which condemns him to live in the eternal present of his own immediate desires.
by:MichaelGerson  from:TheWashingtonPost  DonaldTrump  Republicans  geo:UnitedStates  politics 
october 2017 by owenblacker
No, White Friend—You Weren't “Embarrassed” by Barack Obama
I remember the day after the Election, a friend of mine who happens to be white, remarked on social media that he “finally wasn’t embarrassed of America and our President.”

I sprained my eyes rolling them and they have never fully recovered.

Since then I’ve heard this sentiment echoed by more white folks than I can count, especially in recent months; supposed relief at once again having a leader who instills pride.
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No. Of course you weren’t.

Honestly, I don’t believe you were ever embarrassed. That word implies an association that brings ridicule, one that makes you ashamed by association, and if that’s something you claim to have experienced over the past eight years by having Barack Obama representing you in the world—I’m going to suggest you rethink your word choice.

You weren’t “embarrassed” by Barack Obama.

You were threatened by him.
You were offended by him.
You were challenged by him.
You were enraged by him.
by:JohnPavlovitz  BarackObama  DonaldTrump  geo:UnitedStates  Republicans  race 
september 2017 by owenblacker
Is America Still Safe for Democracy?
But the challenges facing American democracy have been emerging for decades, long before Trump arrived on the scene. Since the 1980s, deepening polarization and the radicalization of the Republican Party have weakened the institutional foundations that have long safeguarded U.S. democracy—making a Trump presidency considerably more dangerous today than it would have been in previous decades.

Paradoxically, the polarizing dynamics that now threaten democracy are rooted in the United States’ belated democratization. It was only in the early 1970s—once the civil rights movement and the federal government managed to stamp out authoritarianism in southern states—that the country truly became democratic. Yet this process also helped divide Congress, realigning voters along racial lines and pushing the Republican Party further to the right. The resulting polarization both facilitated Trump’s rise and left democratic institutions more vulnerable to his autocratic behavior.
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Beginning in the 1890s, after the Civil War and the failure of Reconstruction, Democratic politicians in each of the 11 states of the old Confederacy built single-party, authoritarian enclaves. Having wrested some room to maneuver from the Supreme Court, the executive branch, and their national party, conservative Democrats disenfranchised blacks and many poorer white voters, repressed opposition parties, and imposed racially separate—and significantly unfree—civic spheres. Their goal was to ensure cheap agricultural labor and white supremacy, and they used state-sponsored violence to achieve it.

For half a century, southern states capitalized on their influence in Congress and the national Democratic Party to shield themselves from outside reform efforts. In 1944, however, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the region’s white-only Democratic primaries. Beginning with that decision, black activists compelled and capitalized on federal judicial rulings, congressional legislation, and national-party reforms to dismantle disenfranchisement, segregation, and state repression. By the early 1970s, the southern authoritarians had been defeated; today, some 6,000 black elected officials serve southern constituencies.

But American authoritarianism has not been just a southern phenomenon. From the time the FBI, the CIA, and the National Security Agency were created, presidents used them to monitor White House staff, journalists, political opponents, and activists. Between 1956 and 1971, the FBI launched more than 2,000 operations to discredit and disrupt black protest organizations, antiwar groups, and other perceived threats. It even provided Dwight Eisenhower with derogatory information about Adlai Stevenson, his Democratic rival in the 1952 election. Likewise, the Nixon administration deployed the U.S. Attorney General’s Office and other agencies against its “enemies” in the Democratic Party and the media. And congressional investigations into alleged subversion further threatened civil rights and liberties. Like southern authoritarianism, the abuse of federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies largely ended in the 1970s, in this case after the post-Watergate reforms.
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The triumph of democracy in the South not only polarized Congress ideologically; it also polarized voters along party lines. Starting in the late 1960s, Democratic and Republican candidates began staking out increasingly distinctive views on public policy, first on racial matters (such as affirmative action) and then on a wider range of issues. As the political scientist Michael Tesler has argued, racially coded campaign appeals encourage voters to evaluate government programs in terms of the social groups they imagine as benefiting from them. Over time, white voters’ racial attitudes have increasingly shaped their views about public policy, even on issues that seem unrelated to race, such as health care, Social Security, and taxes.
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Parties that view their rivals as illegitimate are more likely to resort to extreme measures to weaken them. Indeed, the Republican Party has increasingly abandoned established norms of restraint and cooperation—key pillars of U.S. political stability—in favor of tactics that, while legal, violate democratic traditions and raise the stakes of political conflict. House Republicans’ impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998 represented an early instance. Senate Republicans’ refusal to hold confirmation hearings for Obama’s Supreme Court nominee in 2016 marked another.

At the state level, Republicans have gone even further, passing laws aimed at disadvantaging their rivals. The most blatant example comes from North Carolina, where in late 2016, the lame-duck Republican legislature passed a series of last-minute laws stripping powers from the newly elected Democratic governor. Meanwhile, Republicans in more than a dozen states have introduced legislation to criminalize certain kinds of protests. Even more disturbing are new restrictions on voting rights, which have been justified as efforts to combat massive voter fraud, a problem that simply does not exist. These laws have been concentrated in states where Republicans have recently taken control of the legislature but hold only a slim majority, suggesting that their true purpose is to lower the turnout of voters likely to back Democratic candidates, such as nonwhites.
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The Trump presidency has punctured many Americans’ beliefs about their country’s exceptionalism. U.S. democracy is not immune to backsliding. In fact, it now faces a challenge that extends well beyond Trump: sustaining the multiracial democracy that was born half a century ago. Few democracies have survived transitions in which historically dominant ethnic groups lose their majority status. If American democracy manages to do that, it will prove exceptional indeed.
from:ForeignAffairs  by:RobertMickey  by:StevenLevitsky  by:LucanAhmadWay  democracy  geo:UnitedStates  DonaldTrump  race  Republicans  Democrats 
may 2017 by owenblacker
A new GOP bill would make it virtually impossible to sue the police
While Republicans are fond of touting principles like federalism and local control over criminal-justice policy when it comes to, say, federal oversight of abusive police, this bill would let a Trump-appointed district attorney overrule local officials if he or she didn’t like the way they were handling a case involving an assault or killing of a cop. For example, a number of jurisdictions across the country have recently elected district attorneys who promise a more reform-oriented approach to law enforcement. In a few places, such as Philadelphia, Chicago and Houston, the new DAs were elected specifically after campaigning on policing issues, or in response to a past incumbent’s inattention to police abuse. If this bill passes, a U.S. attorney more sympathetic to law enforcement could thwart those efforts by, for example, charging a high-profile victim of police abuse with the new federal crime of assaulting a police officer. It wouldn’t be difficult. We’ve seen plenty of video now where a clear victim of police brutality was initially arrested and charged with battering one of the officers who beat him.

A federal prosecutor might also pursue federal charges against someone like Henry Magee, the Texas man who was cleared by a grand jury after killing a police officer during a marijuana raid on his home. Magee said he didn’t know the raiding officers were cops, and fired his gun in self-defense. Or against Ray Rosas, who was acquitted by a jury after shooting at three police officers who raided his home in search of drugs.
by:RadleyBalko  from:TheWashingtonPost  PoliceState  PoliceBrutality  Republicans  politics  geo:UnitedStates 
may 2017 by owenblacker
Obamacare vote is the diagnosis -- now let's cure Congress
During my treatment, I learned that people like to speak of cancer as a battle. It is not. It is a disease of cellular biology, a progressive one, that strikes without warning and seemingly without logic. My National Institutes of Health-trained oncologist helped me understand that this wasn't a foreign terrorist enemy, so to speak, but my own native cells gone haywire. Like Congress. That shared body of representatives has one common job, to represent the well-being of our human American lives. How could they take an action that is so clearly against the most basic human interest, of remaining alive? I felt that same sense of betrayal about my body's own rogue cells. I needed chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. In my opinion, those heartless congressmen need tough medicine, too. And they need to start looking for new jobs.
by:XeniJardin  from:CNN  healthcare  geo:UnitedStates  Obamacare  Republicans  cancer  democracy 
may 2017 by owenblacker
Every Republican who voted for this abomination must be held accountable
I won’t mince words. The health-care bill that the House of Representatives passed this afternoon, in an incredibly narrow 217-to-213 vote, is not just wrong, or misguided, or problematic or foolish. It is an abomination. If there has been a piece of legislation in our lifetimes that boiled over with as much malice and indifference to human suffering, I can’t recall what it might have been. And every member of the House who voted for it must be held accountable.
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It is no exaggeration to say that if it were to become law, this bill would kill significant numbers of Americans. People who lose their Medicaid, don’t go to the doctor, and wind up finding out too late that they’re sick. People whose serious conditions put them up against lifetime limits or render them unable to afford what’s on offer in the high-risk pools, and are suddenly unable to get treatment.
Republicans  healthcare  politics  geo:UnitedStates  from:TheWashingtonPost  by:PaulWaldman 
may 2017 by owenblacker
Zombies of Voodoo Economics
Back in 1980 George H. W. Bush famously described supply-side economics — the claim that cutting taxes on rich people will conjure up an economic miracle, so much so that revenues will actually rise — as “voodoo economic policy.” Yet it soon became the official doctrine of the Republican Party, and still is. That shows an impressive level of commitment. But what makes this commitment even more impressive is that it’s a doctrine that has been tested again and again — and has failed every time.
by:PaulKrugman  from:TheNewYorkTimes  economics  politics  geo:UnitedStates  Republicans  DonaldTrump 
april 2017 by owenblacker
Climate change: China calls US 'selfish' after Trump seeks to bring back coal
Chinese state media has lambasted Donald Trump’s efforts to roll back many Obama-era environmental regulations, with a state-run tabloid saying that: “No matter how hard Beijing tries, it won’t be able to take on all the responsibilities that Washington refuses to take.”

In an editorial highly critical of Trump’s retreat on environmental regulation, the Global Times made it clear Beijing was uncomfortable taking over leadership of the fight against climate change and could not fill the vacuum left by the US.

“Western opinion should continue to pressure the Trump administration on climate change. Washington’s political selfishness must be discouraged,” the editorial said. “China will remain the world’s biggest developing country for a long time. How can it be expected to sacrifice its own development space for those developed western powerhouses?”
by:BenjaminHaas  from:TheGuardian  ClimateChange  politics  geo:UnitedStates  geo:China  DonaldTrump  Republicans 
march 2017 by owenblacker
Trump’s big new executive order to tear up Obama’s climate policies, explained - Vox
What’s notable about this chart is that that Trump’s executive order can’t halt all climate progress. Emissions would still decline gently in the coming years, thanks to market forces and policies that Trump can’t really touch.
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What Trump can do, however, is halt any momentum that may have been building toward deep decarbonization. If we want to halt climate change, it’s not enough for US emissions to continue to drop slowly or flatline. They have to drop dramatically. That would’ve been a huge challenge even if Hillary Clinton had been elected president — she was mainly planning to expand some of Obama’s EPA programs at the margins. But it now looks extremely unlikely under Trump.
by:BradPlumer  from:Vox  ClimateChange  geo:UnitedStates  DonaldTrump  politics  Republicans 
march 2017 by owenblacker
What is it that conservative voters just don't get yet?
We get it, the future in which white people are a minority makes you uneasy — but the problem isn’t who’s a minority, it’s that minorities are regarded and treated as second-class citizens by too many people. Fix that part, and everything has potential to turn out fine. Not fixing it means when we’re the minority, it’ll be our (or our grandchildrens’) turn to be treated as second-class, and we’ll deserve it when we have to protest about how White Lives Matter. Social justice isn’t about taking away white rights, it’s very much in our interests.

No, it’s not hypocritical when ‘tolerant’ liberals aren’t tolerant of intolerance or bigotry. It would be hypocritical if they were.

A lot of those jobs are never coming back, and politicians telling you they will aren’t your friends — you’re their marks.
by:ChrisJoosse  from:Quora  Republicans  politics  geo:UnitedStates  Conservatives 
february 2017 by owenblacker
How to stop an autocracy
"That Congress is not using its power is Congress’s fault, not Trump’s. Whatever danger Trump poses to the system is their fault as much or more than his — it is their job, after all, to check an out-of-control president.

To put it differently, Trump deserves a bit less attention, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz deserves a lot more.

A case study of congressional abdication: Jason Chaffetz
Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who chairs the House Oversight Committee, is an eager investigator. He’s dug into Benghazi, Planned Parenthood, and Hillary Clinton’s emails. And he was no fan of Trump’s. “I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president,” he said shortly after the Access Hollywood tapes were released. The reason, he explained, was that he had a 15-year-old daughter, and he could not look in her the eye and defend what Trump said about women.
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Last week, Chaffetz released the House Oversight Committee’s agenda for the next two years. It lists 43 items — none of which involve Donald Trump. Actually, that’s not quite right. Chaffetz does intend to investigate the Office of Government Ethics, which Republicans believe has been too outspoken in its concern over Trump’s conflicts of interest."
from:Vox  by:EzraKlein  DonaldTrump  JasonChaffetz  Republicans  geo:UnitedStates  politics  autocracy 
february 2017 by owenblacker
Donald Trump may have just destroyed the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare
We should begin with the assumption that nothing Trump says can be taken at face value; the “plan” that he claims is being devised could be no more real than the secret plan to defeat the Islamic State he used to claim that he had formulated. But that’s not the point. What matters is this: Donald Trump just emphatically promised universal health coverage. That’s an absolutely gigantic promise, and it’s one that Republicans have no intention of keeping.

But now they’re stuck with it. Democrats will be saying, “President Trump promised that everyone would be covered!” every day for as long as this debate goes on. Every time a congressional Republican is interviewed on this topic, they’ll be asked, “President Trump said that everyone would be covered. Does your plan do that?,” and they’ll have to bob and weave as they try to avoid admitting the truth.

That’s because the Republican plan, in whatever final form it takes, will absolutely, positively not cover everyone. Universal coverage isn’t even one of their goals. Republicans believe it’s much more important to get government as far away from health care as possible. In place of the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid and subsidies for the purchase of insurance that have extended coverage to 20 million more people than used to have it, they’ll be offering some tax credits and health savings accounts, which would be very good for the healthy and wealthy, but not so great for other people.
by:PaulWaldman  from:TheWashingtonPost  Obamacare  DonaldTrump  healthcare  geo:UnitedStates  Republicans  PaulRyan 
january 2017 by owenblacker
North Carolina legislative coup: public barred from chambers; reporter arrested.
The North Carolina General Assembly is currently debating a series of Republican-sponsored laws designed to strip power from the newly progressive governor and state Supreme Court. If passed, these measures would have far-reaching effects on the state, significantly curtailing judicial independence, loosening environmental standards, diminishing the quality of public education, and preserving unlawful voter suppression laws. However, the public was not able to witness the debate over this de facto legislative coup on Thursday afternoon after the Assembly decided to close the House and Senate galleries and arrest a group of protesters, as well as a reporter.
by:MarkJosephStern  from:Slate  geo:NorthCarolina  geo:UnitedStates  coup  Republicans  USElection2016  democracy 
december 2016 by owenblacker
Utah Passes Antidiscrimination Bill Backed by Mormon Leaders
With the backing of Mormon church leaders, the Republican-dominated Utah Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday night that would ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in housing and employment, while also protecting religious institutions that object to homosexuality.

The legislation, known as “the Utah compromise,” has been hailed by Mormon leaders and gay rights advocates as a breakthrough in balancing rights and religious freedom, and as a model for other conservative states. But leaders of some other churches oppose it, saying it would not sufficiently protect the rights of individuals who have religious objections to homosexuality.
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The bill would ban employers and landlords or property owners from discriminating against people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, adding those categories to Utah’s laws that already protect against discrimination on the basis of race, sex and age.

Religious organizations and their affiliates, such as colleges and charities, would be exempted. It also would exempt the Boy Scouts of America, which voted in 2013 to end a ban on gay scouts but still prohibits gay scout leaders. The bill also would protect employees from being fired for talking about religious or moral beliefs, as long as the speech was reasonable and not harassing or disruptive.
by:LaurieGoodstein  from:TheNewYorkTimes  homosexuality  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Utah  Mormons  Republicans 
october 2016 by owenblacker
Polling on Trump's supporters belief in his claims [from “Clinton leads in NC for first time since March”]
Donald Trump said a lot of different things last week so we polled to what share of his supporters bought into each of them:

● 69% of Trump voters think that if Hillary Clinton wins the election it will be because it was rigged, to only 16% who think it would be because she got more vote than Trump. More specifically 40% of Trump voters think that ACORN (which hasn't existed in years) will steal the election for Clinton. That shows the long staying power of GOP conspiracy theories.

● 48% of Trump voters think that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton deserve the blame for Humayun Khan's death to 16% who absolve them and 36% who aren't sure one way or the other (Obama was in the Illinois Legislature when it happened.) Showing the extent to which Trump supporters buy into everything he says, 40% say his comments about the Khans last week were appropriate to only 22% who will grant that they were inappropriate. And 39% of Trump voters say they view the Khan family negatively, to just 11% who have a positive opinion of them.

● Even though Trump ended up admitting it didn't exist 47% of his voters say they saw the video of Iran collecting 400 million dollars from the United States to only 46% who say they didn't see the video. Showing the extent to which the ideas Trump floats and the coverage they get can overshadow the facts, even 25% of Clinton voters claim to have seen the nonexistent video.

● Trump said last week that Hillary Clinton is the devil, and 41% of Trump voters say they think she is indeed the devil to 42% who disagree with that sentiment and 17% who aren't sure one way or the other.
DonaldTrump  propaganda  politics  geo:UnitedStates  stupid  Republicans  from:PublicPolicyPolling  polling  HumayunKhan  USElection2016 
august 2016 by owenblacker
Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy
Any one of these characteristics would be disqualifying; together, they make Mr. Trump a peril. We recognize that this is not the usual moment to make such a statement. In an ordinary election year, we would acknowledge the Republican nominee, move on to the Democratic convention and spend the following months, like other voters, evaluating the candidates’ performance in debates, on the stump and in position papers. This year we will follow the campaign as always, offering honest views on all the candidates. But we cannot salute the Republican nominee or pretend that we might endorse him this fall. A Trump presidency would be dangerous for the nation and the world.
from:TheWashingtonPost  by:TheWashingtonPost  DonaldTrump  Republicans  geo:UnitedStates  politics  dictatorship  fascism  democracy  USElection2016 
july 2016 by owenblacker
The Republican Party’s Unrequited Love of Rock Music - The New Yorker
Admission to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland, has been waived this week, presumably so Republican National Convention-goers can freely visit the “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power, and Politics” exhibit presently occupying its upper floors. This seems like a good idea. For decades, Republican campaigns have deeply misunderstood, often in hilarious ways, the most formative and essential ideologies of rock music, as evidenced by their endless dodging of cease-and-desist orders from musicians who don’t want their rebel yells associated, even temporarily, with conservative agendas.
by:AmandaPetrusich  from:TheNewYorker  Republicans  music  politics  geo:UnitedStates  BruceSpringsteen  PinkFloyd 
july 2016 by owenblacker
“I’m With The Banned”
What’s happening to this country has happened before, in other nations, in other anxious, violent times when all the old certainties peeled away and maniacs took the wheel. It’s what happens when weaponised insincerity is applied to structured ignorance. Donald Trump is the Gordon Gekko of the attention economy, but even he is no longer in control. This culture war is being run in bad faith by bad actors who are running way off-script, and it’s barely begun, and there are going to be a lot of refugees.
MiloYiannopoulos  by:LauriePenny  from:Medium  fascism  politics  geo:UnitedStates  Republicans  DonaldTrump  USElection2016 
july 2016 by owenblacker
Donald Trump. It's fun. Laughing at him…
The idea that a born-rich business man who is enmeshed in the financial system that fucked over poor Americans, is now using the anger this created to his own ends. It is genuinely genuinely funny. The way that he still says he wants to unify America. When he has managed to spew so much hatred he has alienated women, Mexicans, Muslims, the mentally ill (who he blames for gun crime and calls 'sickos'), and even his fellow Republicans. The idea that he can create peace when his own rallys become mini civil wars. And we are encouraged to laugh, because—underneath—we think he CAN'T become President. And even if he did, then, we are told, he's just an opportunist. Ted Cruz is worse, they say, because he actually has a belief system.

But wait. Wait wait wait. And wait again.
DonaldTrump  demagoguery  politics  geo:UnitedStates  Republicans  USElection2016  race 
march 2016 by owenblacker
Nancy Reagan Turned Down Rock Hudson's Plea For Help Nine Weeks Before He Died
Rock Hudson was desperately trying to get treatment for AIDS in France in 1985. Much of that story has been told, but one part hasn’t: After a simple plea came in for White House help to get Hudson transferred to another hospital, First Lady Nancy Reagan turned down the request.
by:ChrisGeidner  RonaldReagan  NancyReagan  RockHudson  homophobia  bigotry  HIV/AIDS  Republicans  evil  from:Buzzfeed  PeterStaley 
march 2016 by owenblacker
Measuring Donald Trump’s Supporters for Intolerance
Data from Public Policy Polling show that a third of Trump’s backers in South Carolina support barring gays and lesbians from entering the country. ¶¶ Similarly, YouGov data reveal that a third of Trump’s (and Cruz’s) backers believe that Japanese internment during WW2 was a good idea…. Trump’s coalition is also more likely to disagree with the 1948 desegregation of the military than other [GOP] candidates’ supporters are. ¶¶ According to PPP, 70% of Trump’s voters in S.C. wish the Confederate battle flag were still flying on their statehouse grounds. (It was removed last summer less than a month after a mass shooting at a black church in Charleston.) The polling firm says that 38% of them wish the South had won the Civil War. … Nationally, the YouGov data show a similar trend: Nearly 20% of Trump’s voters disagreed with the freeing of slaves in Southern states after the Civil War.
homophobia  DonaldTrump  geo:UnitedStates  politics  Republicans  slavery  AmericanCivilWar  internment  manumission  by:LynnVavreck  from:TheNewYorkTimes  USElection2016  race 
february 2016 by owenblacker
Looking Back: Antonin Scalia
Antonin Scalia, who died this month, after nearly three decades on the Supreme Court, devoted his professional life to making the United States a less fair, less tolerant, and less admirable democracy. Fortunately, he mostly failed. Belligerent with his colleagues, dismissive of his critics, nostalgic for a world where outsiders knew their place and stayed there, Scalia represents a perfect model for everything that President Obama should avoid in a successor.
AntoninScalia  obituary  bigotry  homophobia  Republicans  politics  geo:UnitedStates  by:JeffreyToobin  from:TheNewYorker  race 
february 2016 by owenblacker
The religious right formed around support for segregation, not against abortion.
As Randall Balmer, a Dartmouth professor writing for Politico magazine, shows, feelings about Roe vs Wade were mixed in the conservative Christian community in the early 1970s, with quite a few evangelical leaders agreeing with the court that abortion is a private matter. Desegregation, however, was a different issue altogether. Anger about forced desegregation of private schools galvanized conservative Christians. Bob Jones University stalled and resisted admitting black students, forcing the IRS to strip its tax exempt status in 1976, an event that spurred evangelical leaders to action. Jerry Falwell and Paul Weyrich, two conservative activists who had been seeking a way to marshal evangelicals into a Republican voting bloc, pounced.
from:Slate  RandallBalmer  JerryFalwell  PaulWeyrich  by:AmandaMarcotte  Republicans  segregation  politics  geo:UnitedStates  race 
february 2016 by owenblacker
Treason: Leaked wiretaps reveal Netanyahu bribed Republicans to sabotage Obama's Iran peace deal
The answers to Israeli proposals have yet to be fully revealed, but it is clear that favors were offered – bribes were proposed – and from the subsequent behavior of Republican lawmakers, we can only infer that our legislators accepted those bribes, from a foreign government in exchange for opposing the diplomatic efforts of the Obama Administration. At the very least, the very discussion itself indicates that they conspired with a foreign government to undermine the foreign policy agenda of their elected Commander-in-Chief, which certainly amounts to treason.
by:ColinTaylor  from:OccupyDemocrats  treason  politics  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Israel  geo:Iran  BarackObama  Republicans 
january 2016 by owenblacker
Will the Republican Party Survive the 2016 Election?
Something has changed in American politics since the Great Recession. The old slogans ring hollow. The insurgent candidates are less absurd, the orthodox candidates more vulnerable. The GOP donor elite planned a dynastic restoration in 2016. Instead, it triggered an internal class war. ¶ The contest for the presidency turns on external events as much as—or more than—internal party politics. George W. Bush’s team believed that the last-minute revelation of a 1976 drunk-driving arrest cost him the popular vote in the 2000 election. Jimmy Carter blamed his 1980 defeat on the debacle of the attempted rescue of American hostages in Iran. So anything can happen. But that does not mean anything will happen. Barring shocks, presidential elections turn on the fundamentals of economics, demography, and ideology.
politics  geo:UnitedStates  DonaldTrump  JebBush  Republicans  from:TheAtlantic  via:LaurieVoss  USElection2016 
december 2015 by owenblacker
Maddow Exposes GOP Candidates At ‘Kill The Gays’ Rally
Maddow continued: "It really was a ‘kill-the-gays’ call to arms. This was a conference about the necessity of the death penalty as a punishment for homosexuality."

The fact that presidential candidates like Cruz, Huckabee and Jindal feel free to share the stage with a dangerous religious zealot like Swanson is an ominous sign. There should be real political consequences for those Republican leaders who willingly share a stage with a man who openly advocates for the execution of gays and lesbians. The fact that there are no consequences for participating in such blatant hate speech should serve as a wake up call to all reasonable people.
TedCruz  BobbyJindal  MickHuckabee  Republicans  HateSpeech  politics  geo:UnitedStates  RachelMaddow  by:MichaelStone  from:Patheos  LGBTQ 
november 2015 by owenblacker
Charleston massacre: The latest American mass killing
A good summary of stating the obvious in the first quote, sure. But the second quote—the parting shot—should disgust any American who cares about their children and neighbours more than their guns. Unfortunately, none of those is ever going to exert political power, because of the dysfunction and corruption of American “democracy”. Maybe they’ll let us know when they wish to be considered a civilised country. 〚It has become clear since Sandy Hook that meaningful gun control is politically impossible…the power of lobbying organisations such as the NRA and the lock-step opposition of GOP in Congress have blocked all moves towards legislation.〛…〚Those who live in America, or visit it, might do best to regard them the way one regards air pollution in China: an endemic local health hazard which, for deep-rooted cultural, social, economic and political reasons, the country is incapable of addressing. This may, however, be a bit unfair. China seems to be making progress on pollution.〛
geo:UnitedStates  guns  from:TheEconomist  geo:Charleston_SC  Republicans  terrorism  democracy  corruption  NRA  race 
june 2015 by owenblacker
Sorry, GOP: Most Americans Support Gay People Over Businesses That Use Religion To Discriminate
Fifty-four percent of Americans say they believe businesses should serve all customers regardless of their religious beliefs, while little more than a quarter of the nation, 28 percent, think businesses should be able to refuse service to anyone. ¶ Those numbers, from a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken April 6–8, are in stark contrast to one commissioned by the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, and touted by conservative and Tea Party activists, which has far broader and misleading wording.
Republicans  from:TheNewCivilRightsMovement  religion  bigotry  geo:UnitedStates 
april 2015 by owenblacker
9 basic concepts [some] Americans fail to grasp
To hear the far-right ideologues of Fox News and AM talk radio tell it, life in Europe is hell on Earth. Taxes are high, sexual promiscuity prevails, universal healthcare doesn’t work, and millions of people don’t even speak English as their primary language! Those who run around screaming about “American exceptionalism” often condemn countries like France, Norway and Switzerland to justify their jingoism. Sadly, the U.S.’ economic deterioration means that many Americans simply cannot afford a trip abroad to see how those countries function for themselves. And often, lack of foreign travel means accepting clichés about the rest of the world over the reality. And that lack of worldliness clouds many Americans’ views on everything from economics to sex to religion.
geo:UnitedStates  politics  from:Salon.com  reference  Republicans  stupid  xenophobia 
march 2015 by owenblacker
GOP Hopefuls Cherry Pick When to Intervene
In fact, while these nine present and past governors and senators derided unwelcome regulatory actions out of Washington with such words as “top-down,” “overreach” and “dictates,” they described taxpayer-funded price and insurance subsidies as providing “predictability” and “stability.” ¶¶ However, the White House hopefuls didn’t bad-mouth government programs to rush high-speed Internet access to rural areas. And they found little to fault in taxpayer-backed crop insurance and commodity subsidies to lessen the risk in farming.
by:KenMcIntyre  Republicans  economics  farming  from:Newsweek  geo:UnitedStates 
march 2015 by owenblacker
Arkansas GOP Outraged About Voter Suppression After Candidate Gets Kicked Off The Voter Rolls
Voters around the country can sympathize with Rutledge on this point. Reports of confusion and misdirection by poll workers and elections officials emerged in several states during the 2012 election. In Ohio, for example, some voters have even been criminally prosecuted for fraud because they followed flawed instructions. During voter purges in Florida and Colorado, many eligible voters were removed for similar reasons Rutledge was; an outdated address or a typo was enough to flag voters as fraudulent.
ElectoralReform  geo:Arkansas  geo:UnitedStates  Republicans  funny  voting 
october 2014 by owenblacker
Red States Say No to Medicaid Expansion - by Benjamin Ryan
Regardless of the outcome of the troubled Obamacare rollout, a key uninsured population will remain out in the cold: the very poor living in Republican-dominated states. At press time, 25 states, largely controlled by GOP governors, had exercised their U.S. Supreme Court–validated right to opt out of the health care law’s expansion of Medicaid coverage. The Deep South has proved uniformly stubborn in its refusal to expand Medicaid, a fact that is particularly troubling to HIV advocates such as Killelea, considering the disproportionate impact of the epidemic in that region.
Republicans  geo:UnitedStates  Medicaid  Obamacare  from:Poz.com  from delicious
january 2014 by owenblacker
Messing With Texas — LadyBits on Medium — Medium
The Texas GOP very nearly stole a vote with 180,000 people watching. The Internet stopped it. Here’s what you didn’t see on TV. #standwithwendy
geo:UnitedStates  geo:Texas  abortion  Republicans  WendyDavis  #standwithwendy  fraud  date:2013-06-25  SpeculativeFiction  from delicious
june 2013 by owenblacker
The G.O.P.’s Existential Crisis
We are not having a debt crisis.

It’s important to make this point, because I keep seeing articles about the “fiscal cliff” that do, in fact, describe it — often in the headline — as a debt crisis. But it isn’t.

...

No, what we’re having is a political crisis. ... The modern Republican Party’s grand, radical agenda lies in ruins — but the party doesn’t know how to deal with that failure, and it retains enough power to do immense damage as it strikes out in frustration.
FiscalCliff  Republicans  politics  geo:UnitedStates  from delicious
december 2012 by owenblacker
Yesterday the Republicans lost a congressional seat in Mississippi's special election, in an intensely conservative district
I'm finding it pretty difficult not to find the collapse of the Republicans intensely amusing. Particularly given (a) they weren't elected to the Presidency and (b) the utter disaster they've been for both America and the world
politics  geo:UnitedStates  from:LaurieVoss  funny  geo:Mississippi  USCongress  Republicans 
may 2008 by owenblacker

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