ONTD Political

Bernie Sanders may not have won the 2016 presidential election, but his supporters are beginning to fill elected seats across Donald Trump’s America.

Christine Pellegrino, a Sanders delegate in last year's Democratic primaries, defeated her Republican opponent in a New York state district that overwhelmingly voted for President Donald Trump. The new Democratic representative replaced Republican Joseph Saladino in a special election Monday night against challenger Thomas Gargiulo.

The upset victory comes at a time when members of Sanders’ "political revolution" are organizing across the country, running for office in local elections ahead of the 2018 midterms and 2020 presidential race. The progressive senator—and face of the Trump resistance—has also returned to the campaign trail, but not for himself: Sanders has been steadily endorsing a number of local candidates in elections where Democrats are seeing opportunities to flip reliably-red districts into Democratic strongholds under Trump.

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Iran's Rouhani wins 2nd term by a wide margin

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani won re-election by a wide margin Saturday, giving the moderate cleric a second four-year term to see out his agenda pushing for greater freedoms and outreach to the wider world.

The 68-year-old incumbent secured a commanding lead of 57 percent in a race that drew more than seven out of every 10 voters to the polls. His nearest rival in the four-man race, hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi, secured 38 percent of the vote.

As Rouhani appeared close to victory, some female drivers held out the V for victory sign and flashed their car lights on highways in Tehran's affluent north.

"We made the victory again. We sent back Raisi to Mashhad," his conservative hometown in northeastern Iran, said Narges, a 43 year-old beauty salon owner, who declined to give her full name. She said she spent more than three hours outside waiting to vote, "but it was worth it."

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you say politico i say potatoes
Macron to become next French president after beating back Le Pen and her populist tide

PARIS — France on Sunday shrugged off the siren call of right-wing populism that enchanted voters in the United States and United Kingdom, rejecting anti-E.U. firebrand Marine Le Pen and choosing as its next president Emmanuel Macron, a centrist political neophyte who has pledged to revive both his struggling country and the flailing continent.

The result brought to a close a tumultuous and polarized campaign that defied prediction at nearly every turn, though not at the end. Pre-election polls had forecast a sizable Macron victory, and he appeared to have delivered, with projections issued after polls closed showing him with around 65 percent of the vote.

In a statement to the AFP news service, Macron said the country had “turned a new page in our long history. I want it to be a page of hope and renewed trust.”

i keep seeing macaroons which probably means i just want a cookieCollapse )
source is WaPOW
Critics blast plan to track unaffiliated voters casting ballots in Colorado’s party primaries
The process is being closely watched as it could affect how many unaffiliated voters participate in primaries

A proposal backed by the Colorado secretary of state to track which primaries independents vote in is drawing fire from critics who say it could undermine the intent of two initiatives that opened party primary elections to unaffiliated voters.

If approved, it would allow Colorado’s political parties to obtain voter-specific data on who’s voting in each primary, much as they do with voters who register as Republicans or Democrats.

Supporters of such a move, including Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams and both political parties, say it’s needed to ensure the integrity of the state’s elections. But elections officials in Denver and Arapahoe counties dispute that line of reasoning, saying they don’t need to know that information to properly administer and audit an election.

The dispute stems from propositions 107 and 108, ballot initiatives approved by Colorado voters in November that open partisan primary elections in the state, including a re-established presidential primary, to unaffiliated voters.

Differences over how to effectively administer the new primaries have become a broader fight that’s partly motivated by politics. The procedure the state ultimately devises could affect how many unaffiliated voters decide to participate in next year’s gubernatorial primaries and beyond.

“They’re trying to confuse this issue, frankly,” said Amber McReynolds, the director of elections in Denver, of the Republican and Democratic parties. “What they want to know, ultimately, is specific people in the primary they participated in, and that isn’t for canvas and auditing, it’s for campaign purposes.”

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In completely open states, according to NCSL, voter privacy is maintained. In Colorado’s new system, it might not be.

“I’m an unaffiliated voter,” McReynolds said. “I have deliberately chosen not to put a label on my record. This is something voters are going to need to understand: Even though they’re not permanently affiliated, they’re getting a label.”

SOURCE The Denver Post
But Guyz Corporate Democrats Can Still Win by Leading with their Values.

How Rojava-inspired women's councils have spread across Europe

Could this little-known system provide a way forward for real democracy – from the bottom up – in our failing neoliberal political systems?

Every time I speak at public meetings in Britain about the gender equality and direct democracy experiment being carried out in Rojava, Northern Syria, I am invariably asked by an inspired audience what we can learn from there – and how can we implement it here.
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Meet the Radical Workers’ Cooperative Growing in the Heart of the Deep South
Cooperation Jackson is trying to build an alternative economy for the city’s majority-black residents.

On November 9, people across the left woke up and wondered, “What do I do now? Under total Republican control, how does one fight for progressive change?”
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The Next Generation of Democratic Socialists Has Started Winning Local Elections
Campaigning for economic and social justice, they are winning municipal races in states like Illinois and Georgia.

Democratic socialists have advised presidents and cabinet members; they have been elected as members of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, and as as state legislators, judges, sheriffs and school board members. But their primary service has been at the municipal level, as mayors and city council members—leading not just big cities such as Milwaukee but mid-sized cities like Reading, Pennsylvania, and small towns like Girard, Kansas.
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OP: I thought I'd make a post about this since no one else has yet and it is a pretty important election -in particular, the far-right 'Front National' (i.e. 'National Front') party has a chance at winning. (Also my family has been following this so...)

An important note about elections in France: there is the possibility of more than one round of voting.

From Al-Jazeera: "The first round of the French presidential election will be held on April 23. If none of the 11 candidates wins more than 50 percent, the vote goes to a second round. That run-off election will be held on May 7. The results will be announced at 8pm local time.

At the last election in 2012, won by outgoing President Francois Hollande , voter turnout was more than 80 percent, down slightly from the 2007 vote. Polls suggest turnout this year will be lower than usual. Once elected, the French president can serve a maximum of two five-year terms in office."
French election 2017: Who are the candidates?
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OP: And wow. What a NOT diverse buncha white folks there...
How Donald Trump Blew Up the Virginia Governor’s Race
The Democratic primary was teed up for Ralph Northam, then he got a surprise opponent who wants to make it a referendum on the soul of the party.

FAIRFAX, Va.—It’s St. Patrick’s Day, a Friday night at a Shriners Hall. The cream of the Northern Virginia Democratic establishment is here, and while they’re not exactly drunk, they’re on their way to killing four kegs of Harp and a couple of cases of Guinness. Lieutenant Gov. Ralph Northam is working the crowd of 1,200 buttoned-down post-Millennials. Actually, the crowd is working him, surging toward him not long after he enters the building. His staffers indulge in a beer or a glass of wine, but he doesn’t. The first rule of running for office is never be photographed holding a drink, even on St. Patrick’s Day, and people are taking a lot of photographs.

This fundraiser, hosted annually by Representative Gerry Connolly, is unquestionably friendly territory for a candidate who has made an appearance for the past four years straight—basically ever since Northam started running to succeed his boss, Governor Terry McAuliffe. “I have a lot of friends in here because I’ve been doing this for a while,” he says.

Northam, 57, has locked up the endorsement of nearly every politician who matters in Virginia, starting with McAuliffe, who sports an approval rating above 50 percent and in the 80s among Democrats. Both of Virginia’s Democratic senators, Mark Warner and former vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, have backed Northam. As has every Democrat in the state legislature and every Democratic congressman save Connolly, who is remaining neutral.

In a normal election year, that would add up to a free pass to the general election in November. But this isn’t a normal year. The Virginia governor’s race, which by a quirk of the election calendar is the first big contest after the presidential vote, has historically been seen as a referendum on the new occupant of the White House. And that occupant is Donald Trump, which explains the presence at Connolly’s party of another candidate, Representative Tom Perriello.

personally i want rick boucher BUT I CANT HAVE NICE THINGSCollapse )

fwiw i think Perriello's a big sweetheart which is probably one of the reasons why he is so unsuited for politics (he was voted in the big wave of '08 and ousted in the Tea Party raeg of '10 also Gillespie is more of a Libertarian than a Repub which is unusual and came daggone close to beating Warner so... it is gonna be an interesting year in virginia

Meet the Math Professor Who’s Fighting Gerrymandering With Geometry

Chronicle of Higher Education · by Shannon Najmabadi · February 22, 2017

[OP note: This educator is setting up workshops in four states as well as online training to fight Gerrymandering!]

Moon Duchin, of Tufts U., has helped create a program to train mathematicians to serve as expert witnesses in court cases over redrawn electoral districts.

A Tufts University professor has a proposal to combat gerrymandering: give more geometry experts a day in court.
Moon Duchin is an associate professor of math and director of the Science, Technology and Society program at Tufts. She realized last year that some of her research about metric geometry could be applied to gerrymandering — the practice of manipulating the shape of electoral districts to benefit a specific party, which is widely seen as a major contributor to government dysfunction.

At first, she says, her plans were straightforward and research-oriented — "to put together a team to do some modeling and then maybe consult with state redistricting commissions." But then she got more creative. "I became convinced that it’s probably more effective to try to help train a big new generation of expert witnesses who know the math side pretty well," she says.

“It's clear that this is the right moment to do this kind of work. We want to harness all that energy.”
In part, she says, that’s because court cases over voting districts have risen since a 2013 Supreme Court decision, Shelby County v. Holder, struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Former President Barack Obama is said to be making redistricting a focus after his presidency, and the former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. is leading a new Democratic group targeting gerrymandering ahead of 2021, the next time district lines will be drawn.

Before the Shelby decision, some states and localities with a history of racial discrimination were required to get federal clearance before redrawing electoral districts or making other changes in their election laws.

THis is why educated people are a danger to fascistsCollapse )

Shannon Najmabadi writes about teaching, learning, the curriculum, and educational quality.

Source thinks Science is Sexy
Political Party to Commit Mass Suicide to Appease the gods of Wall Street.

Trump: 0. Democrats: 0. The People: 1
Throughout the country, the Trump administration’s policies are being met by resistance — no thanks to Democratic elites.


Donald Trump was handed a major defeat a couple nights ago when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reinstate his travel ban. The three-judge panel, which included a George W. Bush appointee, unanimously rejected one of Trump’s key arguments: that when it comes to immigration and national security, the actions of the executive branch are not subject to judicial review.
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Dear Liberals: You Can’t Resist Trump Without Protesting Democrats Too
As an unprecedented wave of outrage swells against the Trump administration, Mnar Muhawesh, host of ‘Behind the Headline,’ wonders why people weren’t more outraged with Obama’s policies on mass surveillance, whistleblowers, and war.

MINNEAPOLIS — Remember our former commander in chief — Barack Obama? Well he’s on vacation. After eight years in the Oval Office, he’s decided to unwind with billionaire Richard Branson. His recent kitesurfing adventure seems to be the only news item competing with President Trump’s “Muslim ban” and the opposition to it and the contentious confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Education secretary.
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Hillary Clinton should absolutely not run for president in 2020. And Democrats should stop her if she tries.

There's a purposely provocative piece in Politico magazine this week that aims to make the case that Hillary Clinton is going to run for president for a third time in 2020. Citing the scaling back of the Clinton Global Initiative and her plans to write a seventh book as evidence, Matt Latimer concludes: “Yes, barring some calamity, Clinton is running. And this brave columnist will go one step further. Not only will Clinton run again, she has an excellent shot at getting the Democratic Party nomination again.”
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Democrats Need a Coherent and Powerful Message
Clinton’s communications director demonstrates how Democrats shouldn’t communicate…

One of the reasons Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election is that nobody had any idea what she actually wanted to do as president. Everyone knew what Trump wanted: to build the wall, bring back the jobs, and bomb the shit out of ISIS. But it was never clear what Hillary Clinton was actually proposing to do. The messaging from the Clinton campaign was entirely focused on who she was (an experienced and responsible person, rather than an unhinged and bigoted one) rather than any actual plan she had for how to fix the country’s problems.
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Experimental Four Eight Year Reality TV Show Has Negative Effect on Nation. Vending Machines Stealing Our Jobs!

Don’t Side With Neoliberalism in Opposing Trump
In opposing Trump, we must not slip into defending neoliberalism.

During the Bernie Sanders campaign I heard a high-level official give a powerful speech blasting the Trans-Pacific Partnership Act for the harm it would bring to workers, environmentalists and to all who cared about protecting democracy.
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“People are riveted.” How never-ending political turmoil is dragging down American workers’ productivity

Managers in many workplaces, watching their employees distracted by the political tensions of the 2016 campaign, probably thought they’d breathe a sigh of relief once the brutal and divisive election came to a close. People would refocus on their jobs, divisions between workers would quiet down, and the news cycle would settle into a manageable pace that didn’t fill employees’ desktop screens and mobile phones with the latest social media outrage every few minutes.
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Spotting a slot in the market led to Australia's first vending-machine-only shop

In a small shopfront in St Kilda, Hari Shotham​ thinks he's found the future of Australian retail.

Vending machines.
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