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marmar

marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
June 14, 2024

Polls are little more than "vibes" now


Making sense of the post-Trump conviction polls
Examining the shifts in public opinion following Trump’s felony conviction

By CHAUNCEY DEVEGA
Senior Writer
PUBLISHED JUNE 14, 2024 5:45AM (EDT)


(Salon) Following Donald Trump’s historic criminal felony conviction for lying about hush money payments to hide potentially damaging information from voters before the 2016 election, I felt the urge to walk down to Trump Tower here in Chicago. It was raining outside. I did not use my umbrella. As I leaned up against Trump Tower, I watched an architecture boat tour travel down the Chicago River. I looked at the people walking past the building on the sidewalk above me. Many of them paused to look up, like me, at Trump Tower before they ambled along in the rain. I imagine we were all thinking the same thought: How did we get here and what happens now?

....(snip)....

My fantasy about Donald Trump being suitably punished and humbled for his many crimes signals a much larger dynamic about emotions, feelings, intuitions, and those so-called “vibes” that so many in the news media, punditry, and political class are obsessed with. There are so many “vibes” that I cannot keep track of them all. All across the mainstream news media there are “vibes” about the economy, “vibes” about President Biden and his age, “vibes” about the overall direction of the country, and “vibes” about a range of other matters of public concern – of varying importance or grounding in reality.

....(snip)....

On this, I agree with Charles Sykes at the Atlantic who recently warned: “In the age of Trump, it is also important that members of the media not be distracted by theatrics generally. (This includes Trump’s trial drama, the party conventions, and even—as David Frum points out in The Atlantic—the debates.) Relatedly, the stakes are simply too high to wallow in vibes, memes, or an obsessive focus on within-the-margin-of-error polls. Democracy can indeed be crushed by authoritarianism. But it can also be suffocated by the sort of trivia that often dominates social media.

....(snip)....

Despite how the mainstream news media and political class are committed to a belief in a “folk theory of democracy” and a “responsible electorate” and “normal politics”, most Americans are not politically sophisticated or ideological. They can be reasonably described as being inconsistent in their political thinking. The average American voter is also ignorant of factual matters about politics and policy. They instead rely upon intuitions and cues from elites and other opinion leaders and influentials to make their political decisions. ........................(more)

https://www.salon.com/2024/06/14/making-sense-of-the-post-conviction-polls/




June 14, 2024

After Supreme Court's abortion pill decision, Donald Trump is even more likely to ban abortion


After Supreme Court's abortion pill decision, Donald Trump is even more likely to ban abortion
The Christian right failed at a backdoor ban, so now their only path forward is winning the 2024 election

By AMANDA MARCOTTE
Senior Writer
PUBLISHED JUNE 14, 2024 6:00AM (EDT)


(Salon) For close court watchers, it wasn't surprising that the Supreme Court rejected an effort by Christian right forces to take away access to the abortion pill. The case was too ridiculous, even for the current iteration of the court, which is dominated by six Republican appointees fighting varying levels of corruption allegations. The lawsuit was brought by a group of doctors — and dentists — who do not prescribe the medication in question, mifepristone. It was based on a total lie, which is that the drug is dangerous. (All evidence shows it's safer than Tylenol. The risk of death from Viagra is 10 times higher.) And the argument was eye-rollingly silly: The plaintiffs claimed to be worried they'd be asked to treat abortion patients in an emergency, an instance that rarely comes up, due to the drug's safety. When it does, emergency room providers have a right to ask a pro-choice doctor to step in to handle it.

....(snip)....

This decision may not be the end of efforts by anti-abortion groups to force a nationwide ban through the courts, but it is undeniably a huge setback. It will be tempting to many pundits and politicians, therefore, to treat this as the end of the efforts to strip all Americans of abortion access. More than 60% of abortions in the U.S. are done with pills, in no small part because they can be sent through the mail, making it easier for patients to get access despite the patchwork of abortion bans that have sprung up across the nation since the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health in 2022.

....(snip)....

As alarming as the Democratic language is, it's arguably an understatement. If anything, we can now expect Republicans to redouble their efforts to ban abortion nationwide. Christian right activists have already made it clear to Donald Trump that they expect him to sign a national abortion ban if he returns to the White House. Now that pressure, which was already high, will skyrocket. And this time, Trump will owe them even more than he did when he won in 2016, because this time, he's running not just for president, but to stay out of prison.

Trump likes to make a lot of noise about leaving abortion "to the states," but his actions clearly signal to his fundamentalist followers that he will sign whatever abortion ban they get passed through Congress. On Monday, he spoke to the Danbury Institute, a group that not only calls for a total ban on all abortion but puts scare quotes around the term "women's rights." Trump is the single biggest reason that abortion bans are happening, as he appointed three out of the six justices who voted to overturn Roe. Like every other lie this notorious liar tells, Trump is not "moderate" on abortion, but will do the far-right's bidding on the issue every chance he gets. If he wins and Republicans hold majorities in the Senate and House, it's not a matter of "if" they ban abortion, but whether it's the first or merely second or third thing they do in office. ..............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2024/06/14/after-abortion-pill-decision-donald-is-even-more-likely-to-ban-abortion/




June 14, 2024

When MAGAts come to town.....

During a lunchtime stroll on this beautiful but steamy southeast Michigan afternoon, I saw something I haven't seen in downtown Detroit since vote count night 2020 - people in MAGA hats. Then of course they were trying to disrupt the proceedings at the TCF Center (now Huntington Place).
Ironically, that very same convention center will host the Turning Point Action political organizing conference this weekend, attracting wingnuts from every corner of the country (including Cheetolini).
Fine, whatever, they'll be gone by Sunday afternoon. I live downtown, but think I'll avoid all the restaurants and bars this weekend because I'm sure they'll be overrun with them.
But I couldn't help but overhear this today -- one of the young MAGA hat wearers commenting on the Pride flag flying next to Detroit City Hall, and the rainbow colors on a number of skyscrapers surrounding it: "Wow, Detroit seems to be really pushing this gay pride stuff," he said to one of his fellow MAGAs. "I feel like I'm back in California."
His friend responded, "That's why you left," to which he replied, "Yeah, that and the taxes, the crime" blah blah insert Fox News talking point here.....
And it just reminded me why we must defeat Trump and Trumpism.




June 14, 2024

'We define who we are. 'That woman from Michigan,' I took it and we made it our own.'


Whitmer talks economic proposals, abortion rights and Trump at Detroit conference
‘We define who we are. ‘That woman from Michigan,’ I took it and we made it our own.’

BY: JON KING - JUNE 13, 2024 10:11 AM




(Michigan Advance) For the second time in three days, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was a featured guest at a Detroit conference.

After appearing Monday at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for the Clean Economy and Impact Summit, the Democrat returned Wednesday to Motown for the Economic Security Project’s Guaranteed Income Now conference at the Gem Theatre in Detroit, where she talked about working to pass her economic agenda, prioritizing abortion rights, and dealing with Donald Trump, all while trying to deftly sidestep discussion about her national ambitions.

Whitmer sat down for a one-on-one interview with Emily Ramshaw, CEO and co-founder of the 19th News, who started off by acknowledging the purpose of the conference they were at: to promote the concept of a guaranteed income, in which direct cash payments are made to individuals without precondition as a means to, among other things, address gaps in the social safety net, especially those affecting communities of color. Ramshaw called it a “movement … under siege,” and asked Whitmer how her administration utilized economic opportunity to advance racial equity.

....(snip)....

Whitmer also tied economic progress to social justice, most notably on the issue of abortion, recalling that her comments at the 2022 Mackinac Policy Conference championing reproductive rights as a foundational issue that transcended traditional issue politics.

“If you don’t think abortion is about the economy, you probably don’t have a uterus,” she said, utilizing a tag line that has been deployed to great effect since her 2022 reelection, along with Democratic-majority Legislature being elected for the first time in about 40 years. ..................(more)

https://michiganadvance.com/2024/06/13/whitmer-talks-economic-proposals-abortion-rights-and-trump-at-detroit-conference/




June 14, 2024

Despite the supreme court ruling for the abortion pill, the battle is far from over


Despite the supreme court ruling for the abortion pill, the battle is far from over
Carter Sherman

Justices unanimously upheld access to mifepristone, but Missouri, Idaho and Kansas are likely to revive the case


(Guardian UK) The US supreme court has rejected an effort by anti-abortion activists to roll back access to a common abortion pill – but the battle over the pill is far from over, both in the courts and in legislatures.

In a 9-0 unanimous decision on Thursday, the US supreme court ruled that anti-abortion activists did not have standing, or the legal right to sue, over the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulation of mifepristone, one of two drugs typically used in a US medication abortion. But because the case turns on an interpretation of legal doctrine, the justices left open the possibility that someone else may challenge mifepristone in the future.

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a federal judge in Texas who first heard arguments in the case, has allowed Missouri, Idaho and Kansas to join the case as plaintiffs. Although the supreme court declined to let those states join the case once it was before Scotus, the states may continue litigating it at a lower-court level and evade the standing defects that doomed the case’s original plaintiffs.

....(snip)....

Mary Ziegler, a professor at the University of California, Davis who studies the legal history of reproduction, noted that “this ruling doesn’t preclude anyone else from bringing the same claim. ..............(more)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/jun/13/supreme-court-abortion-pill-mifepristone




June 13, 2024

What a fool believes: Donald Trump and America's bogus respect for "faith"


What a fool believes: Donald Trump and America's bogus respect for "faith"
How religious "freedom" has been twisted into an all-out attack on critical thinking and the rule of law

By MIKE LOFGREN
Contributing Writer
PUBLISHED JUNE 9, 2024 6:00AM (EDT)


(Salon) Last summer’s federal indictment of Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol released a flood of concern-trolling from the establishment media. The arguments revealed something sadly defective about the intellectual tenor of the present age, a mindset that cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy. It is the root cause of American political and social dysfunction.

....(snip)....

In the last several years, we’ve been inundated with similar claims: Refusing to get vaccinated is a matter of religious conscience; Jan. 6 rioters were honestly convinced the 2020 election was stolen; the anti-abortion crowd fervently believes that life is sacred; refusing service to a retail customer or firing an employee is dictated by sincere faith, burning like a pure flame, rather than mere spite or ill will.

These extraordinary claims have long been embedded in law, politics and social convention, and they are related to, or devolve from, a particular form of ideological advocacy: religion. Religion and its adherents, contrary to assertions that the faithful are beleaguered by the aggressions of secular society, have obtained extraordinary privileges well beyond their tax-exempt status.

....(snip)....

Precisely those people who rant about eternal values and verities have now lurched into nihilism, the diametric opposite of what they claim to espouse. This is nowhere more evident than in the fanatical devotion to Donald Trump expressed by nearly 80 percent of evangelical Christians. They have tossed overboard every tenet of decency, religious or secular, to embrace Trump’s hatred, because his burning torch of ill will, in their minds, is the royal road to the only thing they care about — power and domination. ..............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2024/06/09/what-a-fool-believes-donald-and-americas-bogus-respect-for-faith/




June 13, 2024

A 2,000-Mile Bangkok to Beijing Train Trip Gets Closer With Trial Run

(Bloomberg CityLab) Train travel between Bangkok and Beijing is inching closer as Thailand prepares to expand its rail network.

The Southeast Asian nation will run a trial service between Bangkok and Laos’ capital of Vientiane between July 13 and 14, according to the State Railway of Thailand. When up and running, the new link will improve transport between the two countries and China, Ekarat Sriarayanphong, an official at the railway agency, said in a statement.

The launch of the Thailand-Laos connection will mean it’s possible to travel by train from Bangkok to China’s capital via stops in Vientiane and the southern Chinese city of Kunming, where there is a separate semi-high speed service to Beijing.



The roughly 2,000-mile journey, though the area’s mountainous terrain adds to the distance, will take almost a full day. That compares with just short of five hours for a non-stop flight. ...............(more)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-06-12/a-2-000-mile-bangkok-to-beijing-train-trip-gets-closer-with-thai-expansion?srnd=homepage-americas




June 13, 2024

Tate takes stock of Democratic legislative achievements, seeks compromise where possible




(Michigan Advance) From Spartan Stadium to the speaker’s podium, Michigan House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) told the Michigan Advance during last month’s Mackinac Policy Conference that teamwork and compromise have served him well.

As elected officials and changemakers in the state converged on Mackinac Island in late May the Advance sat down with Tate to talk about his second year as House speaker as Democrats finish up the last months of the legislative session, the first bicameral Democrat- led legislature in nearly 40 years.

Being in leadership has been a challenge and a responsibility that Democrats have stepped up to, Tate said, adding that there’s several lessons that have carried him through to this moment from his time as Captain of the Michigan State University’s football team, competing in the NFL and his service in Afghanistan as a U.S. Marine.

....(snip)....

But in the last year and a half, the legislature has seen about 400 bills become law, Tate points out. Under Democratic leadership, Michigan has seen LGBTQ+ protections be added to the state’s civil rights laws, a nearly 100-year-old abortion ban be wiped from state law and several gun control bills become law. ..............(more)

https://michiganadvance.com/2024/06/12/tate-takes-stock-of-democratic-legislative-achievements-seeks-compromise-where-possible/






June 13, 2024

Rudy Giuliani's mug shot and Steve Bannon's prison sentence: Why MAGA loves to be seen as villains


Rudy Giuliani's mug shot and Steve Bannon's prison sentence: Why MAGA loves to be seen as villains
Most people see chronic criminality as a bad thing, but to the GOP base, it's something to celebrate

By AMANDA MARCOTTE
Senior Writer
PUBLISHED JUNE 13, 2024 6:00AM (EDT)


(Salon) Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon are once again facing handcuffs and jail cells, and boy do they want people to think they are ecstatic about it.

After a judge declined to indulge more of his delay tactics and ordered Bannon to start his prison sentence on July 1, the former top Trump aide took to his popular "WarRoom" podcast to bloviate at pomposity levels heretofore unimaginable. "The purpose of this is to shut down this show because this show has become such a powerful platform for MAGA and President Trump," he declared, with maximum self-drama. Journalist Jennifer Senior described Bannon's performance for The Bulwark: "He plumped like a sponge in front of the cameras," performing "how pleased he was" at the prospect of playing up his MAGA martyrdom.

....(snip)....

As Margaret Hartmann at New York magazine wrote, Giuliani has turned himself into "a real-life Batman villain." When a reporter asked if he regrets his alleged crimes (Giuliani is charged with a scheme to steal Arizona's electoral votes and replace them with fake ones) he was gleeful. "I’m very, very proud of it!"

....(snip)....

MAGA mistakes immorality for strength. This is a common refrain with fascists and authoritarians who love to talk a big game about how they need to break some rules — and break some skulls — to get things done. That's why Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., was so excited to tell that disturbing story about shooting her own dog. She portrayed it as "another unpleasant job needed to be done," as if she should be lauded for making "hard" choices that supposedly weaker people can't make. ................(more)

https://www.salon.com/2024/06/13/rudy-giulianis-mug-shot-and-steve-bannons-sentence-why-maga-loves-to-be-seen-as-villains/




June 13, 2024

What a fool believes: Donald Trump and America's bogus respect for "faith"

What a fool believes: Donald Trump and America's bogus respect for "faith"
How religious "freedom" has been twisted into an all-out attack on critical thinking and the rule of law

By MIKE LOFGREN
Contributing Writer
PUBLISHED JUNE 9, 2024 6:00AM (EDT)


(Salon) Last summer’s federal indictment of Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol released a flood of concern-trolling from the establishment media. The arguments revealed something sadly defective about the intellectual tenor of the present age, a mindset that cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy. It is the root cause of American political and social dysfunction.

....(snip)....

In the last several years, we’ve been inundated with similar claims: Refusing to get vaccinated is a matter of religious conscience; Jan. 6 rioters were honestly convinced the 2020 election was stolen; the anti-abortion crowd fervently believes that life is sacred; refusing service to a retail customer or firing an employee is dictated by sincere faith, burning like a pure flame, rather than mere spite or ill will.

These extraordinary claims have long been embedded in law, politics and social convention, and they are related to, or devolve from, a particular form of ideological advocacy: religion. Religion and its adherents, contrary to assertions that the faithful are beleaguered by the aggressions of secular society, have obtained extraordinary privileges well beyond their tax-exempt status.

....(snip)....

Precisely those people who rant about eternal values and verities have now lurched into nihilism, the diametric opposite of what they claim to espouse. This is nowhere more evident than in the fanatical devotion to Donald Trump expressed by nearly 80 percent of evangelical Christians. They have tossed overboard every tenet of decency, religious or secular, to embrace Trump’s hatred, because his burning torch of ill will, in their minds, is the royal road to the only thing they care about — power and domination. ..............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2024/06/09/what-a-fool-believes-donald-and-americas-bogus-respect-for-faith/




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Hometown: Detroit, MI
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