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LAS14's Journal
LAS14's Journal
December 17, 2016

I hope worthy opinion leaders/policy makers read this book.

This review is from today's NYT, section C, page 27. Sorry no link.

"‘HITLER: ASCENT, 1889-1939’ By Volker Ullrich (Alfred A. Knopf). How did a man described as a “half-insane rascal” and “pathetic dunderhead” rise to power in the land of Goethe and Beethoven? Why did millions of ordinary Germans embrace him and his doctrine of hatred? How did this “most unlikely pretender to high state office” assume complete control of a once democratic country and set it on a monstrous course through history? In this insightful and revealing biography, Mr. Ullrich shows how Hitler used an arsenal of demagogic tools (lies, fake promises, theatrical rallies, mantralike phrases) to exploit a “constellation of crises” in post-World War I Germany, including economic woes, unemployment and political dysfunction. He argues that Hitler’s rise was not inevitable but that his domestic adversaries failed to appreciate his ruthlessness, while foreign statesmen naïvely believed that they could control his aggression. His book shows just how the unthinkable can happen. (Read the review.)"

December 16, 2016

Thanks, Mr. Obama, I'm waiting to hop on the train!!

I've been waiting for something to latch onto for the future, and I hope this is it. I got a glimmer when I heard that Obama planned to focus on gerrymandering. But here he is promising to be active in the future trying to bring his approach to the whole Democratic party. I was a Hillary supporter, but I think Sanders did us a service be revealing a stick-in-the-mud attitude toward our changing economy.

I tried to get our Massachusetts town committee to put "atttending to our middle-of-the-state rust belt" as a priority. I couldn't even get it on the list "priorities" for the coming years - a list of oldies but goodies. It was my first town meeting and it was an eye opener.

And so the question is, how do we rebuild that party as a whole, so that there's not a county in any state -- I don't care how red -- where we don't have a presence and we're not making the argument, because I think we have a better argument. But that requires a lot of work. You know, it's been something that I've been able to do successfully in my own campaigns.

OBAMA: It is not something I've been able to transfer to candidates in mid-terms and sort of build a sustaining organization around. That's something I would have liked to have done more of, but it's kind of hard to do when you're also dealing with a whole bunch of issues here in the White House. And that doesn't mean, though, that it can't be done, and I think there are gonna be a lot of talented folks out there, a lot of progressives who share my values, who are gonna be leading the charge in the years to come.
December 12, 2016

I never thought I'd be rooting for Mitch McConnell....

... but I can't see any down side to his deciding there really are three branches of government even if Trump is pres when the issue is Russian hacking.

December 11, 2016

How do we distinguish between "fake news" and honest mistakes?

I've been looking for something to latch on to and Hillary has come through again, with her call for legislation addressing the problem of fake news. Like Bill said, she always wants to DO SOMETHING.

One of the puzzles is how to distinguish out and out lies from nuanced mistakes. What should our answers be to this sort of thing?


December 11, 2016

How does this happen? (Getting something done in congress).

The following excerpt is from an Elizabeth Warren fundraising letter. Don't know how to post a link to it. How are we able to influence legislation this way? I hope we can do more of it.

With public attention, we changed a terrible provision in this bill that would have allowed Donald Trump to have complete control over how the opioid money would be spent. If Trump had wanted to punish states with terrible opioid epidemics that didn’t vote for him – like Massachusetts and New Hampshire – he could have denied us what little opioid crisis funding was in this bill. Thanks to your help, all states should now receive their fair share. That makes a real difference.

December 9, 2016

Do you think this has legs?

I'm really hungering for something to rally round.


December 9, 2016

Help me find the word!!

Not "piquant", not "poignant."

But what is a New Yorker writer doing identifying Chappaqua as Upstate New York??????


December 7, 2016

Has DU changed?

I find my posts/replies are reponded to much less frequently than before the election. Are there just more posts, so that things disappear from the front page more rapidly? Perhaps it's a matter of topic? Not much to actually "discuss" yet? Have people of like mind to me dropped out?

Has anyone else had this experience?

December 6, 2016

How far does this trend extend?

We've entered an era where there are nude pictures of the soon to be first lady circulating, where the P elect is filmed blah, blah.... I can think of Berlesconi. Have other countries had to contend with such outrageous behavior in their leaders? I'm not talking here about policy, just propriety.

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