ONTD Political

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.

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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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Clinton Democrats Pretending Pitchforks and Torches are Decorative Props.

The End of Progressive Neoliberalism

The election of Donald Trump represents one of a series of dramatic political uprisings that together signal a collapse of neoliberal hegemony. These uprisings include the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, the rejection of the Renzi reforms in Italy, the Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic Party nomination in the United States, and rising support for the National Front in France, among others. Although they differ in ideology and goals, these electoral mutinies share a common target: all are rejections of corporate globalization, neoliberalism, and the political establishments that have promoted them. In every case, voters are saying “No!” to the lethal combination of austerity, free trade, predatory debt, and precarious, ill-paid work that characterize financialized capitalism today. Their votes are a response to the structural crisis of this form of capitalism, which first came into full view with the near meltdown of the global financial order in 2008.
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Progressives launch ‘Justice Democrats’ to counter party’s ‘corporate’ legislators

Cenk Uygur, founder of the Young Turks video network that has become virally popular among progressive voters, is launching a project called Justice Democrats to defeat members of the Democratic Party who have cast votes seen as unacceptable.
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DNC Promises It has Changed After Having One Last Money Orgy. (Golden Showers Postponed for the Time Being.)

Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent

In the biggest surge of mass protest since the forced disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa college students back in 2014, outrage over higher gasoline prices and related issues sweeps Mexico. Detonating the citizen uprising is a 20 percent price increase rolled out Dec. 27 by the Peña Nieto administration. Though Mexicans were immersed in the holiday season, protests began almost immediately but really picked up steam after the new year kicked in.
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The Next DNC Chair Must Abandon Color-Blind Politics
The DNC needs leadership that has the lived experience and cultural competence to build power in a highly racially charged environment.

Immediately after giving his victory speech in November 2008, Barack Obama said to Howard Dean, then chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), “I wouldn’t have won without you. Your fifty-state strategy laid the groundwork for my campaign.” Dean’s strategy, implemented in 2005, funded full-time DNC staff in every state so that the party had a presence and the capacity to do organizing everywhere. Now the Democrats are in the process of selecting a new chairperson for the party, and that new leader’s team, strategy, and work over the next four years can pave the path for a Democratic victory in 2020.
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When a Foreign Government Interfered in a U.S. Election — to Reelect FDR

Covert intelligence operations, propaganda, fake news stories, dirty tricks—all were used in a foreign government’s audacious attempt to influence U.S. elections. It wasn’t 2016; it was 1940, and the operations were employed not by a hostile adversary, but by America’s closest ally, the United Kingdom.

Though technology has advanced, and the two nations’ motives could not have been more different, critical aspects of Russia’s alleged covert efforts to bolster the campaign of Donald Trump echo the tactics that Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service pioneered seven decades ago. In 1940, as war raged in Europe, British intel officers in New York and Washington worked to elect candidates who favored U.S. intervention, defeat those who advocated neutrality, and silence or destroy the reputations of American isolationists they deemed a menace to British security. Scores—perhaps hundreds—of Americans who believed that fighting fascism justified unethical and, at times, illegal behavior, worked for British intelligence or cooperated with London’s efforts.

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source is politico
Russian Dog Hacks Owner's Laptop, Deletes their Homework. Nation Now under Red Hysteria Threat! May 2017 Be Less Nightmarish as 2016! We Are Doomed.

Russia Hysteria Infects WashPost Again: False Story About Hacking U.S. Electric Grid

The Washington Post on Friday reported a genuinely alarming event: Russian hackers have penetrated the U.S. power system through an electrical grid in Vermont. The Post headline conveyed the seriousness of the threat:

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It is entirely possible, as many have argued, that Hillary Clinton would be the president-elect of the United States if the F.B.I. director, James Comey, had not sent a letter to Congress about her emails in the last weeks of the campaign.

But the electoral trends that put Donald J. Trump within striking distance of victory were clear long before Mr. Comey sent his letter. They were clear before WikiLeaks published hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. They were even clear back in early July, before Mr. Comey excoriated Mrs. Clinton for using a private email server.

It was clear from the start that Mrs. Clinton was struggling to reassemble the Obama coalition.

At every point of the race, Mr. Trump was doing better among white voters without a college degree than Mitt Romney did in 2012 — by a wide margin. Mrs. Clinton was also not matching Mr. Obama’s support among black voters.

This was the core of the Obama coalition: an alliance between black voters and Northern white voters, from Mr. Obama’s first win in the 2008 Iowa caucuses to his final sprint across the so-called Midwestern Firewall states where he staked his 2012 re-election bid.

In 2016, the Obama coalition crumbled and so did the Midwestern Firewall.

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DNC Ready for 2020 2024 2028 Election Some Time in the Near Far Future. Future of The Left Is Still Uncertain...

The Regulatory Capture Of The Press

There is a phenomenon called “regulatory capture” that describes how government regulators come to be controlled by those that they are meant to regulate. The same idea applies to the press. And it’s easy to see in action.
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Want to Know How to Build a Progressive Movement Under Trump? Look to Standing Rock
Fighting against white supremacy and neoliberalism takes organizing—and lots of it.

One week after the election, when the world felt thick with despair, I spoke on the phone to LaDonna Allard. It was a jolt. Allard is the co-founder of the Sacred Stone Camp, on the border of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation in North Dakota, where water protectors have been gathered since April to block Energy Transfer’s Dakota Access pipeline. I was writing an article about how the Trump administration might bolster the pipeline and undercut the movement blossoming in her backyard. Was she worried?
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