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Set aside the question of whether President Donald Trump’s rhetorical flirtations with white nationalism enabled Saturday’s mass shooting in Pittsburgh. What’s undeniable is that his administration has hobbled the infrastructure designed to prevent such murders.

In the waning days of Barack Obama’s administration, the Department of Homeland Security awarded a set of grants to organizations working to counter violent extremism, including among white supremacists. One of the grantees was Life After Hate, which The Hill has called “one of the only programs in the U.S. devoted to helping people leave neo-Nazi and other white supremacy groups.” Another grant went to researchers at the University of North Carolina who were helping young people develop media campaigns aimed at preventing their peers from embracing white supremacy and other violent ideologies. But soon after Trump took office, his administration canceled both of these grants. In its first budget, it requested no funding for any grants in this field.

It’s part of a pattern of neglect. The grants were administered by the Office of Community Partnerships, which works intimately with local governments and community organizations to prevent jihadist and white-nationalist radicalization. In Obama’s last year, according to the former director, George Selim, the office boasted 16 full-time employees, roughly 25 contractors, and a budget of more than $21 million. The Trump administration has renamed it the Office of Terrorism Prevention, and cut its staff to eight full-time employees and its budget to less than $3 million.



What has saved Republican majorities in Georgia for the past 14 years is the cumulatively significant rural turnout. Democrats have relied on the populated urban counties and have needlessly surrendered to Republicans the voter-rich areas in Central and South Georgia. This is particularly true for the Georgia black belt (a reference to the fertile soil).

The black belt constitutes approximately 50 counties in central Georgia stemming from Columbus in southwest Georgia through Macon to Augusta on the South Carolina line. Columbus, Macon and Augusta make up the largest non-Atlanta urban areas in the state. The other counties in this region range in size, but many are sparsely populated.

These black belt counties are diverse, ranging from 40 to 60 percent in minority population. Half of these 50 counties regularly go blue, yet there is potential not previously cultivated by the state Democratic Party or its candidates.

I’m a Democrat, a twice-elected countywide mayor in Georgia’s black belt. Other progressive-minded or Democratic leaders are solidly elected to top positions throughout this non-Atlanta region. I can attest to the fact that these voters just want good government, and many are sick of the shtick Republicans offer.

So, I have often wondered: what if the statewide candidates showed these voters a little love and tried to turnout the Democratic vote in the black belt, thereby shaving those rural red voting margins? Abrams has seen this opportunity, too. She has invested in the black belt and worked every county in Georgia for the first time in decades. As a result we seeing an over 300 percent increase in early voting in heavily Democratic urban counties like Clayton, and we are seeing big increases throughout the black belt.

Early voting numbers are reflecting the type of voting intensity Abrams needs precisely where she needs it. Should Abrams be able to pull out a victory on November 6 as the table is set for her to do, not only will she create history by being the nation’s first African-American female governor, she will have set an easy to replicate course for waves of Democrat statewide candidates. We’re not talking a blue wave in Georgia. But we are talking a reset of the political water table.


Not that Kemp will follow this advice, but it’s good that Carter is highlighting the problem.


Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who has also spearheaded election monitor in countries across the world for decades, has called on Brian Kemp—the Georgia Republican who is running for governor while also serving as Secretary of State—to resign from his post in order to ensure integrity of the state’s upcoming election.

With major purges of registered voters from the state’s roles sparking widespread condemnation and suppression efforts being challenged in court, Carter warned that Kemp operating as both a candidate and the top election authority is a violation of the “most fundamental principle of democratic elections.”


Need a law prohibiting this. Outright rigging. Legal. I know political “boss” machines have rigged for a long time, but this goes beyond even that.


Probably laws on the books but they are not being enforced. SOP with the FRightwingnut crowd.


I was happy to see this news. Thank you Jimmy Carter!

you are now overseeing the election in which you are a candidate

“This runs counter to the most fundamental principle of democratic elections — that the electoral process be managed by an independent and impartial election authority.”



The 50-State-Strategy only it’s adapted to a state and its counties. It. Works. If Abrams and Beto win, this will be a YUGGEE reason why. I think they will.


Some good polling news. The LA Times poll indicates that the right wing violence of recent days is having a negative affect on Republicans.


Many more young Americans — a cohort that disapproves of President Donald Trump by a wide margin — say they’ll definitely vote in the Nov. 6 midterm elections than have before the last two congressional midterms, a new survey shows.

If the young voters follow through with their intentions, they’re likely to turn out at the highest level in decades, according to the poll released Monday by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

The national survey shows that adults ages 18 to 29, as well as disapproving of Trump, overwhelmingly favor Democratic control of Congress and are more fearful than hopeful about America’s future.

Four in 10 young Americans eligible to cast ballots say they’ll “definitely vote” in elections to determine the makeup of the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as state legislatures and other down-ticket contests. That’s higher than at about the same point in 2010 and 2014, the two most recent midterm elections, when 27 percent and 26 percent responded to the Harvard survey that way.

“I’m pretty confident that it will surpass anything we have seen since 1986,” said John Della Volpe, the institute’s polling director. “There is a tremendous amount of passion and energy.”


Overall, this latest poll, conducted last week, finds Democrats leading 57% to 40% when likely voters were asked for which party’s candidates they plan to vote, a 17-point edge.

That’s a notable increase in Democratic support from the previous week, when the poll found Democrats with a 13-point advantage. The increase, which stemmed from small shifts among several groups of voters, may partly reflect timing. The final two days of the poll coincided with the arrest on Friday of a Florida man on charges of sending explosive devices to prominent Democrats and critics of President Trump, and the killing on Saturday of 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

A second measure in the poll that factors in voters’ estimates of how likely they are to cast a ballot also shows Democrats ahead by a narrower 52% to 42%.


This poll has Dems leading by 18 points after being ahead by only 9 points last month





Trump’s latest actions do not seem to be going over well with the public

Don midwest
Don midwest

i sure hope so

if they win both house and senate again, the coup will pick up steam and the response to their wreckage will inspire more protests, and that will be met with violent repression, and a cycle that could go over the top


One factor to consider are voters in areas damaged by recent storms, wildfires, etc. They are po’ed more than scared. The Panhandle krewe will be voting on the 6th. The majority get climate change, too. A lot will be new homeless as well. 🙁



Looks like he may have enough mo to even beat the machines. Woo hoo!


Go Beto!! El Paso rocks!


Beto makings up ground in this poll. Most of the poll was conducted before the MAGAbomber was apprehended and the synagogue shootings.


Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) has gained ground in the newest poll from Quinnipiac University. He’s now down 5 points (51-46) from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as opposed to his 9-point deficit (54-45) just three weeks ago.

Per Quinnipiac, Cruz is holding on to his lead due to his gender advantage: he is winning handily with men, while O’Rourke only has a modest edge with women.


Not clear if this was from the MAGAbomber or is a new threat


A suspicious package addressed to CNN was intercepted in Atlanta Monday morning, the news network announced.

CNN President Jeff Zucker said in a statement that the package was intercepted at an Atlanta post office near the CNN Center.

Zucker noted that all mail is currently being screened off-site, so the offices were not in imminent danger.

Just hours before CNN announced the suspicious package in Atlanta, Trump tweeted that the “Fake News” is the “true enemy of the people,” and blamed the media for causing “great anger” in the country.



someone else taking up the cause?


That may very well be something worse: a copycat. Dimwit needs to shut up.

Don midwest
Don midwest

Will Republicans ever repudiate Trump?

Since their long cherished goals of SS, medicare, environment trashing, … are getting done, they have a hard time standing up to Trump.

They are now the party of Trump and deserve all the wrath on all Republicans.

The strategy of “less bad” is getting better as the bad gets worse and worse.

However, as all who post here know, what if, what if, the dems ran on the New Deal policies of Bernie? And threw the Clintons out to pasture? And, ….


The young folks have the power to do it. I saw that in the Sanders campaign. The ones I worked with are voting, no matter what.


If they did that, with the fire in their bellies, they’d OWN the government and have the nation wildly cheering, like they do for Bernie, like we did for Obama when we thought he’d be the new FDR.



Yet, despite increasing profits, the French-owned corporation recently banned all union workers from the job site and posted a security detail at the company gates. The lockout began on August 2, six days after Imerys announced revenue of $2.6 billion (an 11.9 percent increase) in the first half of 2018 and the same day union members voted 28-7 to reject a contract that would have reduced overtime pay, frozen pensions, and eliminated health insurance for new retirees.

Tocci (pronounced toss-ee) and his colleagues were livid. “When you’re helping make the company millions of dollars,” he told me, “there’s no reason for them to take away benefits that have been in place for decades.”

Since then, Imerys’s actions have made headlines across Montana, and elected officials from both parties have urged the company to continue negotiations. But the strongest words of condemnation have come from Senator Jon Tester, a grain farmer and second-term Democrat who’s facing a tough re-election bid.

On Labor Day, he delivered a fiery speech from the back of a pick-up truck to a large crowd gathered at the picket line. “We’re tired of this crap!” he shouted, planting one cowboy boot on the wheel hub and pointing toward the mill. “It’s time to get pissed off, to stand up for these workers, and make ’em open those gates!”

It’s been 38 years since the last labor lockout in Montana, a state that went for Trump by more than 20 points and where the once powerful labor movement has long been in decline. Nevertheless, a 35-worker local is suddenly winning bi-partisan support, and their fight against a $4.2 billion corporation has become a flashpoint in a close election that could determine control of the US Senate.


Good! Maybe Tester will get back in the swing of fighting for the little guy.


The ones up there all know and worry about climate change. They’ve experienced it in their state.


Racist actual thief speaks


President Donald Trump attacked Democratic Florida governor candidate Andrew Gillum on Monday as a “thief,” and implied his lack of education as compared to the Republican candidate, Ron DeSantis.

Gillum attended Florida A&M University, where he majored in political science.

The education jab seems to be a variation of Trump’s favorite criticism of his black critics: questioning their intelligence.


Racist, proud of it, and the MSM is helping to spread it. Disgraceful. And we thought Nixon and Bush were as bad as it could get.


He has never been held accountable. The scariest part is he’s stupid, too.


After reading about Nikki Haley’s recent speech, it would appear that the bar could get lower still. 🙁


C’mon, dumbass. Call Andrew a “nigger.” That will guarantee a Gillum victory!


That got my blood boiling! I hope it backfires on him.

(and I hope Gillum sues Trump for defamation)


Does anyone know of a reliable source reporting on voter turnout nationwide?


Although this doesn’t answer your request I do find this site to be very informative with regards to the upcoming elections.

By clicking around the site it offers a treasure trove of information on the 3 levels of upcoming elections. Although its operator leans Republican the results are unbiased and have proven to be quite accurate in the past.



Thanks, humphrey. On my list.

Don midwest
Don midwest

Greg Palast has been an investigative journalist on elections since 2000.

Ari Berman writes for The Nation and had a recent article in NYT. Can get links from him.

I prefer Greg more than Ari

and there are other efforts like this one run by Pro Publica

I didn’t see a direct answer to your question


Thanks, Don. I know Berman and Palast and will check both out. There’s also a pollster out of Gainesville/U of FL who is highly respected. I don’t have his name. 🙁


As you are probably aware, one of the main reasons listed for Bolsonaro’s win was his anti-corruption platform. With that in mind:

Hidden History: The US “War On Corruption” In Brasil

The story of how an overlooked Bush-era Foreign Policy edict led to Brazil’s Coup of 2016 and its consolidation in the conviction of Former President Lula

January 28, 2018

(it’s a long-ish piece – so a couple of snippets)

Following Lula’s re-election, in 2007 with the new US “War on Corruption” displacing clumsy attempts to spread its spurious War on Terror to Brazil, Moro would visit the US again, this time on an official State Department fellowship, the “International Visitor Leadership Program“, liasing with U.S. agencies and institutions responsible for combating money laundering.

Around the same time as the Rio de Janeiro conference in 2009, new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave an address to the Council of the Americas in New York, which now feels prescient. In her speech to the David Rockefeller-founded Wall Street lobby, a grinning Secretary Clinton promotes a theme that “the ballot box is not enough” in Latin America, and that “sustainable democracies do more than have elections”. While pointedly reaffirming her commitment to democratic “ideals”, she suggests a “independent, capable judiciary” and “vibrant civil society” are what is really needed in the region for its democracies to mature.

The speech is all the more remarkable coming off the back of US loss of influence in the hemisphere following electoral defeats of its favoured candidates, and that in the intervening decade since, the US Government has gone on to bet on the most powerful, unelected arm of government in Brazil – the Judiciary – which is predominantly white, male and conservative, and now nicknamed “The Dictatorship of the Toga”.

Clinton’s predecessor John D. Negroponte (Council of the Americas Chairman Emeritus), as outgoing Director of National Intelligence, identified “Democratisation in Latin America” as a primary threat to US National Security


Well worth a read.


The real corruption is likely coming in the form of often hidden undertakings by the the CIA and the State Department and the OAS. The trumped ( pun not intended) charges on left leaning politicians in numerous countries. The continuous spreading of misinformation supported by the oligarchs and various government agencies helps to undermine any government that is oriented towards the majority of its population.


CIA involvement from the 1960s is well known.



And all signs are pointing to the oligarchs rubbing their hands in fevered expectation of profits from their future plundering of Brazil’s resources.


The Clintons are of a piece. As we are finding out so many of our “leaders” and leading institutions are.


And now for something completely different!

Don midwest
Don midwest

There Is No Earth Corresponding To The Globe
“There is no Earth corresponding to the Globe – An Interview with Bruno Latour”

I almost made it a whole day without mention of Bruno Latour. I don’t think I saw this article before. It was downloaded from academia.edu and I don’t think you have to join this free distribution of academic articles. This was published in 2016 and one of the authors is German working in political sociology.

I typically download these into a pdf article and bring up in acrobat.

Bruno Latour: I started working on Modes of Existence almost 30 years ago, long before I got interested in ecology. My main aim was to introduce ontological pluralism into the modernist constitution. And this idea came in handy when I developed my interest in ecology for a simple reason: What could be called “the ecological threat” seems to be difficult to handle in the very narrow ontological framework we have – “we”, the Moderns, who have never been modern in practice, but we are in theory since we oppose Nature to Society. In this sense the two strands that you are mentioning are related.

In my more recent work, including the exhibition Reset Modernity!, I became increasingly intrigued with Gaia. As a character Gaia is so interesting, so bizarre and has so many different features. In a way I am drifting away from my inquiry into the modes of existence because of the necessity to give a face to Gaia.3 This implies collaborations with chemists, hydrologists and geologists. Here, the crucial figure is of course that of the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene allows me to draw a connection between lots of things I did in the past: It contains the completely banal insight from actor-network-theory that humans and nonhumans are connected. Finally, everyone got the point, not because of me, of course, but because of the Anthropocene! More importantly, the Anthropocene forces us to rethink the notion of territory – like some of your work does as well.4 The Anthropocene reterritorializes or re-grounds politics, industry and economy in radically different ways. I found that so exciting that I am now drifting more and more back to the ground.

Later in the article

The “other collectives” include the non humans like the actor WATER

How does the distinction between politics and cosmopolitics relate to this?

Diplomacy, which is a key notion in Isabelle Stengers’ Cosmopolitics, is a meta-term in my enterprise. It should not to be mixed up with the political mode of turn taking, of moving in circles around matters of concern. Diplomacy is a skill that is needed in our current crisis to enter into relations with other collectives. If we now have to re-territorialize, to re-ground on earth, then we need the ability to negotiate with many other collectives who have gone through the same situation – that is, mainly through extermination and destruction. Diplomacy is therefore not a substitute for politics. It is a term for saying: If we have never been modern, but have come to understand ourselves according to the premise of ontological pluralism – as I have proposed in AIME – then we can approach collectives not as cultures, but in a different way.

This is slightly embarrassing for the Moderns, because we are now developing the possibility of saying: “Oh, you too have lived in the ruins, even for a longer time than us, so we might share some of the experience of what this is like.” This is Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s line, he is the specialist with regard to the extermination and rebound of the American Indians.12

Another couple of paragraphs say something like this: the left is organized around two utopias. The promise of the globe, of globalization has failed, so people retreat to the land of old. That no longer exists and “populists” arise who give people comfort but cannot fulfill what they think they want. Happening around the world.


I am very skeptical of the authenticity of this globe, for one its dating method is a little unusual (via the thickness of the shell) its material is far too fragile for something so valuable at the time (vellum and copper being more common materials of cartography at the time) and most worrisome is it resembles the Hunt-Lenox Globe far too much implying it was copied from it.


I’ll look into it further. The source seemed credible.


If you dig further there are many experts who are skeptical and the guy who owns the thing is one of the same ‘experts’ being used to verify it. Though i dont deal in globes per se as a rare book dealer I am in expert in authenticating such things and my personal experience has a lot of alarm bells going off on that piece.

Craftmanship back then was exceptional there is no reason for where the parts meet to be messed up, its near identical to the Hunt-Lenox globe, its dating is iffy at best and only pertains to the shell and not the carving anyway and its material is unheard of for the time and unusually fragile for something as special as a globe.

Lastly it has no provenance and has just appeared from thin air recently and its not the kind of thing you would dig up or find in a barn, it would have been in some collection to preserve it so long and there would be some record.

All in all i would bet money it turns out to be a fake or fabricated in some way.


One can only hope that this trend continues util next Tuesday!


President Donald Trump’s job approval rating plunged 4 percentage points last week amid a wave of violence, the latest troubling signal for Republican chances in upcoming midterm elections.

Forty percent of Americans approved of Trump’s performance as commander in chief, according to Gallup polling during the week ending Oct. 28. That was down from 44 percent the prior week, an unusually steep decline for the poll, which is based on a survey of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Monday through Sunday each week.


Quite the Family! LOL


President Donald Trump and his three eldest children cheated thousands of working-class Americans by promoting scam business opportunities in exchange for “lavish” secret payments, according to a new lawsuit.

The Trumps spent more than a decade operating a large and complex enterprise designed to cheat needy people seeking to invest in their education or start a business, according to the complaint. Victims lost hundreds or thousands of dollars each — “losses that many experienced as devastating and life-altering,” according to the complaint.

The suit by two men and two women identified only by pseudonyms comes just eight days before midterm elections that could cost the Republican Party control of at least one house of Congress. With detailed allegations of wrongdoing, it could refocus voter attention on the president’s private businesses and earlier claims that he cheated thousands.

The Trump Organization said the plaintiffs and “their political activist attorneys” timed the filing of the 164-page complaint for partisan advantage. “The motivations here are as plain as day,” the Trump Organization said in a statement to the New York Times, which first reported the suit. The company called the allegations “completely meritless.”


Although egomaniac Trump thrives on getting attention he might not like these.


More than 44,000 people have signed an open letter from progressive Jewish leaders saying President Trump is not welcome in Pittsburgh until he denounces white nationalism.

Eleven members of the Pittsburgh affiliate of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice penned a letter to Trump following Saturday’s shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue that left 11 congregants dead.

They invited others to sign the letter.

“Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted,” the group wrote in its letter. “You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country.”


The attorneys for a man convicted in a anti-Muslim hate crime on Monday asked the judge to consider President Trump’s campaign rhetoric as a “backdrop” to the case before sentencing.

Patrick Stein was found guilty in April of weapons of mass destruction and conspiracy against civil rights charges after taking part in a three-man conspiracy to kill Muslim refugees in Kansas before the 2016 election, HuffPost reported.

His attorneys, James Pratt and Michael Shultz, argued in a sentencing memo that Stein should be sentenced to 15 years in prison instead of a life sentence because of the current events at the time.

“2016 was ‘lit.’ The court cannot ignore the circumstances of one of the most rhetorically mold-breaking, violent, awful, hateful and contentious presidential elections in modern history, driven in large measure by the rhetorical China shop bull who is now our president,” they wrote in the memo obtained by HuffPost.


15 years for him, torture and death for others who may not even be terrorists. not that I want any of them to die or be tortured. i’d love to spend my tax money on real rehab for violent crimes. even if they never get out, their lives can change.

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