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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
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Enough with the "both-sides" phony equivalence drama, please. Now we need beat reporters who ......

Hey, political reporters — get lost! This is not your moment
Enough with the "both-sides" phony equivalence drama, please. Now we need beat reporters who actually know stuff

NOVEMBER 11, 2020 3:00PM

Our top political reporters must be exhausted. I suggest they take some time off — like a year or two.

They are the worst people in the world to be setting the tone for a new presidency at a time of unparalleled challenges.

What the country needs now is a clean-slate, expertise-respecting, evidence-based, thoroughgoing examination of the policies required to address the pandemic, the crashed economy, climate change, systemic racism, crippling health care costs and our collapsing infrastructure — just for starters.

But political reporters hate writing about policy, because that demands actual knowledge of the subject matter. They also think it's boring, that readers don't care about it, and that it can come dangerously close to the dreaded "taking of sides."

Our top newsrooms should be focused on questions like: What are Biden's plans? Will they work? If they seem likely to work, what and who is standing in their way?

Instead, the nation's top political reporters — addicted to conflict and gamesmanship — find comfort only in storylines where there are two sides they can roughly deem equivalent. ..............(more)


'The most misunderstood state': why California's not as liberal as you think

(Guardian UK) It took mere minutes after California polls closed on election night for networks to call the state for Joe Biden. Millions of votes in America’s most populous state were still to be counted, but Biden’s wide victory in California was guaranteed – the state is, after all, seen as a liberal bastion.

But zoom in on its sprawling 58 counties, and the solid-blue picture of California is blurred. Even with a rousing race for the White House luring new voters to the ballot box this year, congressional conservatives held on to their seats and Republicans are poised to pick up more in close races they lost in the last cycle. Californians sided with corporations on the future of gig work, decided against affirmative action, and nixed both stronger rent control and a new business tax that benefits schools and local governments.

“California is the most misunderstood state in the country,” said the political scientist Bruce Cain, who teaches on the American west at Stanford University. “It has always been that way.”

California continues to produce some of the most influential and oppositional politicians on both sides. The Golden state is home to some of the most prominent conservative voices, including the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, and the Trump-allied congressman Devin Nunes. It is also home to the Democratic House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the House intelligence committee chairman, Adam Schiff – all of whom secured new terms this election. .............(more)


'Call off the legal dogs.' Some GOP donors aren't keen to help Trump with election lawsuits

(USA Today) WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s campaign is aggressively seeking donations to pay for lawsuits and recounts in a handful of states where Democrat Joe Biden won, but some GOP donors are already moving on to other fights, such as a pair of runoff elections in Georgia that may decide control of the U.S. Senate.

An abandonment of institutional Republican donors for Trump’s legal cause would leave the campaign in a tough spot as it vows to launch a series of legal battles in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and elsewhere – a multifront effort that would almost certainly require the party to shell out tens of millions of dollars in legal fees.

Three GOP donors speaking to USA TODAY on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations echoed an argument that has been raised by legal experts in recent days: Trump's effort to retain power through the courts may result in a few battles won but it won't win the war for his reelection absent some bombshell revelation. .............(more)


Conservatives Are Gearing Up to Falsely Blame Big Tech Censorship for Trump's Loss

(Slate) Despite Joe Biden being the projected winner of the 2020 election, Donald Trump continues to press unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Many of his initial election lawsuits focus on how mail-in votes are being processed, but he also claimed Thursday that he actually won despite “historical election interference” from Big Tech. That might seem like Trump searching for excuses, but there is reason to believe he and other conservative politicians are priming their constituents to think that Big Tech rigged the 2020 election in Democrats’ favor.

Contrary to repeated allegations, conservative voices are not silenced online, as my research has repeatedly indicated. Conservatism thrives on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Utilizing keyword curation and strategic signaling tactics, conservative pundits and politicians manipulate platforms to distract from events that hurt their political goals. These digital marketing techniques help to explain how seeking out more information about liberal phrases like “gender identity” or “social justice” on YouTube returns videos from conservative content creators like the Heritage Foundation, Jordan Peterson, and PragerU. Click on those videos, and YouTube doesn’t try to sneak in liberal ideas or steer the audience left—it autoplays a steady stream of videos that further support conservative perspectives. ...........(more)


Defeated Trump is already tearing our government apart

NOVEMBER 10, 2020 9:00AM

America is entering a very dangerous time. For his next 11 weeks in office, Donald Trump will be in a position to exact revenge.

It's a word that by his own account is his entire life philosophy.

We should all hope that he goes into one of his down emotional periods for an extended time so that lethargy, not blind rage, dominates his behavior until Jan. 20.

Through phony charges of ballot-box stuffing, firing officials, issuing pardons to friends and family and Trump can do great damage between now and Inauguration Day. On Jan. 20, his shield against criminal prosecution vanishes. He also can hobble the transition to a Biden administration.

Trump's first act of post-election political vandalism came in the wee hours Wednesday morning. He claimed the election was being stolen (video at 8:00) through "a major fraud on our nation." He has yet to show a scintilla of evidence to support that lie. ...........(more)


People who regularly eat chilli peppers live longer, research suggests

(Independent UK) Regularly eating chilli peppers could provide previously unrecognised health benefits helping to lengthen people’s lives, a new study suggests.

Chilli eaters may have a “significantly reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer”, according to preliminary research which will be presented this week at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2020.

While previous research has found consuming chillies has an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer and blood-glucose regulating effect due to capsaicin – which gives chilli its characteristic hot taste, the study is the first large scale effort to compare reported consumption of chilli with disease mortality. ..........(more)


How America is waving goodbye to a shocking, shameful era

Oliver Laughland
Mon 9 Nov 2020 05.00 ESTLast modified on Mon 9 Nov 2020 05.43 EST

(Guardian UK) As the result was finally called, the end of his presidency confirmed, Donald Trump teed off on a crisp, autumnal Saturday afternoon at his private golf club in Virginia.

The president was in the midst of a four-day mission to spread baseless misinformation about election integrity in an attempt to subvert US democracy.

“I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” he tweeted, falsely, hours before hitting the fairway.

Of the many false claims Trump has made over the past four years – lying about the size of his inauguration crowd, lying about the trajectory of a life-threatening hurricane, lying about the deadliness of the coronavirus – the lies about this election are the most farcical and grotesque.


This has been a polarising four years, leaving the US a more damaged and fractured society. While the majority of the country voted for Biden, more than 70 million Americans cast their ballot for Donald Trump. The president has created a new political paradigm, partly rooted in the country’s oldest sins but also fostered by a climate of conspiracy theories, disinformation and a cult of personality.

Reporting on this election has often felt like reporting on two different realities. .........(more)


Just an excuse to dip into the SuperPAC piggybank?

Scoop: Trump privately discussing 2024 run

President Trump has already told advisers he's thinking about running for president again in 2024, two sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the clearest indication yet that Trump understands he has lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden — even as the president continues to falsely insist that he is the true winner, that there has been election fraud and that his team will fight to the end in the courts. .............(more)


Don't go away mad. Just go away.

(Guardian UK) Ivanka Trump isn’t just losing her status as first daughter with her father Donald Trump’s defeat to Joe Biden – she’s also losing her job.

In her father’s White House, Ivanka Trump works as “advisor to the president”, purportedly focusing on “the education and economic empowerment of women and their families as well as job creation and economic growth through workforce development, skills training and entrepreneurship”.

Before that, she “oversaw development and acquisitions” for her father’s real estate company, the Trump Organization, and had a fashion clothing line. She also appeared as a boardroom judge on Trump’s reality show, The Apprentice. ...............(more)


Far Right Monitors Anxious About Lingering Possibility of Post-Election Violence

(Truthout) Despite much concern over far right armed rallies and voter intimidation, the election has unfolded relatively peacefully. But those who monitor the far right do not believe we are out of the woods yet. Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud have the potential to convince his base that Joe Biden’s election is illegitimate, and to energize Trumpists into further action.

Last week, Trumpist crowds gathered outside some voting count locations, such as in Maricopa County, Arizona. But Saturday, rallies which had been planned in advance became even more aggressive after the announcement of Biden’s victory. In several cities, Proud Boys appeared after their leader, Enrique Tarrio, announced that “we’re rolling out. Standby order has been rescinded.” (Trump has previously told the notoriously violent group to “stand back and stand by!”) Violence predictably followed as Proud Boys showed up to rallies in Salem, Oregon, and Sacramento, California. Armed militias also came to a rally of 2,000 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which attempted to disrupt a pro-Biden gathering. But state authorities have intervened to stave off more serious violence. For example, in Philadelphia, which has been one of the contested hot spots, two men were arrested last week for possession of unpermitted firearms after police were tipped off about threats against the ballot-counting location.

How long this comparative level of calm will last, however, is not clear. According to a researcher using the Twitter pseudonym AntiFashGordon, antifascists monitoring far right communications have been paying attention to “Boogaloo Boys prowling outside the Convention Center in Detroit, where the votes are being counted, and militias threatening to mobilize as soon as they receive the signal, except that they’re not sure what the signal might be. Their rhetoric continues to be ‘self-defense,’ but they consider a Democratic electoral victory to be an attack.” ..........(more)


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