ONTD Political

As was widely expected, Angela Merkel was re-elected to a fourth term as German chancellor on Sunday but the country’s election also saw the far-right nationalists make historic gains that likely cost her conservative coalition lots of votes. In what Der Spiegel describes as a “significant shift” for German politics, the anti-immigration, nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) surprised political analysts by winning 13.1 percent of the votes, according to the projected results. That means that a far-right party will get into Germany’s parliament for the first time in more than half a century.

If the results pan out they would represent a huge gain for AfD, which was recently polling at a paltry seven percent. Now the xenophobic party could send close to 90 lawmakers to the Bundestag.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party bloc was the clear winner with 33.2 percent, almost 10 points less than five years ago and its worst result since 1949. Merkel recognized that the victory was not quite cause for celebration. “Of course, we would have preferred a better result, that is completely clear,” she said. “But we mustn’t forget that we have had an extremely challenging parliamentary term behind us.”

Merkel’s party was not the only one that suffered. The Social Democrats (SPD) also received its worst result since the 1940s with only 20.8 percent support in what seemed to be a clear repudiation by voters of the two parties that have dominated German politics since World War II. SPD leader Martin Schulz said the results meant the end of the “grand coalition” with Merkel, calling Sunday a “bitter day” for Social Democrats.

Merkel is now likely to try to cobble together a tenuous coalition with the Greens and the pro-business liberal Free Democrats, which also surprised by receiving 10.5 percent of the vote. That party had already been part of Merkel’s coalition until 2013, when it lost all its seats in the last election. That possible three-way alliance has been widely referred to as the “Jamaica” coalition because the colors of the three parties—black, yellow, and green—match the Jamaican flag.

Alexander Gauland, one of the leaders of the AfD, vowed that “we will take our country back” and that the party “will change this country.” Beatrix van Storch, one of the party’s leaders confirmed the AfD planned to hit the ground running to change the conversation. “We'll start debates on migration, we'll start debates on Islam, we'll start debates on ever closer union,” she said.

Opponents of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) protest on September 24, 2017 in Berlin, Germany.

Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

As supporters of the far-righ party celebrated in their headquarters, protesters gathered outside to express their rejection of the AfD and its ideals. “All Berlin hates the AfD,” yelled the protesters.

Source: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/09/24/merkel_wins_in_germany_but_anti_immigrant_far_right_makes_big_gains.html

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case out of Wisconsin that could lead to a landmark decision determining whether or not Republicans or Democrats have drawn their state’s electoral districts in a way that gives their candidates an unconstitutional advantage.

The case, Gill v. Whitford, comes to the court after a panel of three federal judges ruled 2-1 last year that state lawmakers unconstitutionally drew the boundaries of state Assembly districts to benefit Republicans in 2011.

“A federal three-judge panel rightfully held that Wisconsin lawmakers drew maps for the benefit of their own political party, with little regard for the will of the voters,” Paul Smith, vice president of litigation and strategy at the Campaign Legal Center, who will argue the case before the Supreme Court, said in a statement.

“Partisan gerrymandering of this kind is worse now than at any time in recent memory. The Supreme Court has the opportunity to ensure the maps in Wisconsin are drawn fairly, and further, has the opportunity to create ground rules that safeguard every citizen’s right to freely choose their representatives,” Smith added.Read more...Collapse )

Source: HuffPost

Keeping my fingers crossed on thise, because gerrymandering fucking SUCKS.

Damn You Internet. Stop Changing Reality!

Corbyn-bashing 'centrist' media like the Guardian can jog right on
What we need right now is not more centrist op-eds from out-of-touch "liberal" media outlets. What we need is a shift in press so enamoured of its own interests.

What failing traditional media have lost in revenue and influence, they have certainly gained in accounts of their own decline. Such a piece last year by Guardian editor Katharine Viner was widely shared by media workers, those perplexed that no one seems to be listening to them any longer, or paying them much mind. It’s not an altogether rotten work, and it makes the important case, as others have, that diminished revenues diminish the capacity of news outlets.
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Young deeply pessimistic about social mobility, survey says
Young people are deeply pessimistic about their ability to get on in Britain's "us and them society", says social mobility tsar Alan Milburn.

He says they "increasingly feel like they are on the wrong side of a profound unfairness".

This is why, he suggests, young people turned out in record numbers to vote in the general election.

They were particularly worried about their finances, job security and housing prospects, he added.

Mr Milburn, who heads the commission that monitors progress towards improving social mobility, made the comments as he launched a new exploration of public attitudes to it.

This new Social Mobility Barometer was based on an in-depth survey of 4,723 UK adults.
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i.e., "I don't support a livable wage and like other Repugs I support cutting social safety net programs because fuck poor people."

WASHINGTON — Karen Handel, the Republican candidate for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, said Tuesday that she does “not support a livable wage.”

Among the questions posed to Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff during a televised debate was whether they favor of a minimum wage increase.

Ossoff, who came just shy of receiving enough votes in the April primary to avoid a June 20 runoff against Handel, said he does — that “the minimum wage should be a living wage.”

“Look, if somebody’s working a 40-hour workweek, they deserve the kind of standard of living that Americans expect,” Ossoff said. “That’s part of the American dream, and there are too many folks having trouble making ends meet.”

Handel followed up by saying the issue is “an example of the fundamental difference between a liberal and a conservative.”

I do not support a livable wage,” she said. “What I support is making sure we have an economy that is robust with low taxes and less regulation so that those small businesses that would be dramatically hurt if you imposed higher minimum wages on them are able to do what they do best: grow jobs and create good paying jobs for the people of the 6th District.”

Georgia’s minimum wage is $5.15 per hour, but the federal minimum wage of $7.25 applies in most cases. The minimum livable wage for a single adult in the three counties that make up Georgia’s 6th District is $12.01 per hour, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator.

Tuesday’s televised debate came exactly two weeks before Ossoff and Handel face one another in a June 20 special runoff election.

Handel repeatedly linked Ossoff to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), saying his “values are nearly 3,000 miles away in San Francisco.” Ossoff described Handel as “another career politician” and grilled her with questions related to her 2012 resignation from the nonprofit Susan G. Komen for the Cure in fallout over efforts to stop grants to Planned Parenthood.

By Chris D'Angelo. 06/06/2017 10:20 pm ET.

Never Ending Game of War on Terror is Good for Political Theater.

Libya’s Link to Manchester’s Tragedy
Whenever a horrific terror attack hits the West, the media/political etiquette rejects any linkage between the atrocity and the West’s wars in the Arab world, a blackout now applying to the Manchester bombing, notes John Pilger.

The unsayable in Britain’s general election campaign is this: The causes of the Manchester atrocity, in which 22 mostly young people were murdered by a jihadist, are being suppressed to protect the secrets of British foreign policy.
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A U.K. Politician Is Finally Telling the Truth About Terrorism

Considering decades of U.S.-U.K.-led wars of aggression in the Middle East — coupled with the arming and funding of jihadists as well as the arming and funding of the prime sponsors of these jihadist groups — has done nothing to make the world safer, it should be no surprise that a politician who advances a different anti-terrorism strategy altogether has been warmly welcomed by a disenfranchised public.
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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."

insert joke about millions of eeleagles being bused in from mexico cityCollapse )

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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