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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Prince's final days: few clues pointed to secret behind star's untimely death

Prince's final days: few clues pointed to secret behind star's untimely death

"But as soon as the sets were done, Prince was off. No after-party. No jam. He went directly to the airport to board a jet home – the same jet that would make an emergency landing two hours later with Prince apparently overdosed on an opiate painkiller and requiring a lifesaving safe shot of Narcan.

Within a week, he would be dead – from an overdose, investigators seem to believe, of the painkiller it now appears he had been taking for years to combat crippling arthritic hip pain, a condition he would not correct owing to strong religious-based resistance to medical intervention."

Recommended read from Salon.com: We must shame dumb Trump fans: The white working class are not victims

"Bill Moyers – one of those liberals who knows things and isn’t shy about showing it – remembers that when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, he was “euphoric.” Later that evening, Moyers found him in a “melancholy mood,” and asked him “what was troubling him.” The president answered, “I think we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time.”

The Voting Rights Act later aggravated white voters to the point of mania, but so did Johnson’s War on Poverty, and not because of bromides about “big government.” White voters in the decades leading up to the Great Society initiative had no objection to generous social programs of assistance for the poor, disabled and illiterate. The Homestead Act, the GI Bill, Social Security, the rural electrification policies of the New Deal, and other public aid programs were uncontroversial – popular with the white working class, because they were the sole beneficiaries of government largesse. It was not until the federal government started spending white tax dollars on anti-poverty relief for spics and niggers that low-income white voters went into hysterics about the evils of dependency. Up until the Great Society, most government programs were, like Southern hotels and diners, white only.

At one point, Rensin refers to the “evangelical revival” as one possible explanation for the rise of the right-wing white voter, but demonstrates no awareness of the hideous racial politics at the center of Christian Conservatism.

Randall Balmer, in his excellent biography of President Jimmy Carter,Redeemer, documents and describes how white evangelicals were largely apathetic and apolitical prior to the 1976 presidential election. They swarmed the polls in high numbers to help usher one of their own into office. Carter’s faith and testimony seemed genuine, and white evangelicals supported him for cultural and theological reasons, rather than anything having to do with politics or public policy. By 1980, those same voters were carrying placards for the “Reagan revolution.” As Balmer explains, “Although homosexuality and, eventually, abortion, would figure into their (white evangelicals) critique, the real catalyst for their disaffection was race, especially the issue of desegregation.”

Recommended read from Salon.com: We must shame dumb Trump fans: The white working class are not victims

Friday, April 29, 2016

Paul Ryan: Let's Bring Back Pre-Existing Conditions | Crooks and Liars

"U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan called on Wednesday for an end to Obamacare’s financial protections for people with serious medical conditions, saying these consumers should be placed in state high-risk pools."

Paul Ryan: Let's Bring Back Pre-Existing Conditions | Crooks and Liars

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Sanders Comeback Would Be Unprecedented | FiveThirtyEight



beckman-comeback-1



"Dear democratic socialists, political revolutionaries, Bern-feelers at large: We need to have a talk.



Let me begin by saying that I bear no ill will towards Mr. Sanders. Nothing that follows should be misconstrued as an attack on his policies, his track record, his electability in November or his character. I’m not a corporate media crony, or a plant from a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC. I’m just a guy who believes in the predictive power of cold, hard data.



And the unsexy truth is that, barring some catastrophic news event, Sanders will not win the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. In fact, most past candidates in Sanders’s position dropped out long before this point in the race, and those who stayed in made little pretense of winning. (The Sanders campaign, which announced Wednesday it was laying off a ton of staff, may be recognizing this.)



Historically speaking, Democratic primary races do not have many twists and turns. Rather, the eventual winner tends to take an early lead — on or before Super Tuesday — and stay there. Runner-ups can kick for a while, but they tend to concede the race by February or early March.



As it stands, Sanders is firmly in runner-up territory. He is losing 9 million to 12 million among those who have already voted, and polls show him lagging by an average of 8.8 percentage points in the states yet to vote1. Sanders has gained substantially in national polls but is still the less popular candidate (outside of the Bernietopia that is social media2)."

A Sanders Comeback Would Be Unprecedented | FiveThirtyEight

The Retreat From Voting Rights - The New York Times





"District Court in Winston-Salem, N.C., upheld legislation passed in 2013 that imposed far-reaching restrictions on voting across this state, including strict voter-identification requirements. Judge Schroeder justified his decision by claiming that robust turnout in 2014 proved that the law did not suppress the black vote. But in reality, his ruling defended the worst attack on voting rights since the 19th century.



That attack began almost immediately after a 2013 Supreme Court decision, Shelby County v. Holder, which weakened Section 5 of the landmark Voting Rights Act. Section 5 required federal pre-approval of changes to voting laws in places with a history of discrimination, including parts of North Carolina. Within hours of that ruling, lawmakers in Raleigh filed H.B. 589, proposing some of the toughest voting rules in the country. Referring to Shelby, one sponsor expressed his relief that curtailing voting protections could move forward now that the “headache” of the Voting Rights Act had been removed. The Legislature passed the bill, and it was signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican.



The law eliminated voting rules that had enabled North Carolina to have the fourth best per capita voter turnout in the country. In 2012, 70 percent of black voters used early voting — and cast ballots at a slightly higher percentage than whites. Although black voters made up about 20 percent of the electorate, they made up 41 percent of voters who used same-day registration.



The North Carolina Legislature set out to change those figures and suppress minority votes. Its many impediments to voting all disproportionately affect African-American and Latino voters. None of their attacks would have survived pre-clearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. A Republican official defended the law this way: “If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.”



There never was evidence of voter impersonation to justify the voter ID requirements established by the law. Yet the harm of those requirements is clear: At last count, 318,000 registered North Carolina voters — disproportionately African-Americans and Latinos — do not have a driver’s license or a state ID card.



But the term “voter ID” shortchanges the law’s broad scope and intent. It reduces the early voting period and eliminates same-day registration. It expands the ability to challenge voters at the polls. It eliminates a successful preregistration program for high school students."



The Retreat From Voting Rights - The New York Times

Cruz on Fiorina being a ‘desperate’ pick | MSNBC



Cruz on Fiorina being a ‘desperate’ pick | MSNBC

Trump invokes infamous 'America First' slogan | MSNBC



Trump invokes infamous 'America First' slogan | MSNBC

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

African-American Voters Have an Understandable Reason to Support Hillary Clinton | The Nation

African-American Voters Have an Understandable Reason to Support Hillary Clinton | The Nation

"Needless to say, I cannot speak for black voters or for any individual’s choice of candidate other than my own. But I think that Sanders supporters too frequently fail to understand the conditions facing African Americans today, especially in Republican-controlled states like South Carolina. If you are a black Carolinian you know that politics is almost entirely polarized along racial lines. You have seen your governor (supposedly a forward-looking Republican) reject the expansion of Medicaid, which would enormously benefit low-income people of all races, but especially blacks. Your legislature has enacted laws designed to discourage voting by non-whites. You know that half a century after “integration” in a state where blacks make up over a quarter of the population, they represent only 10 percent of the students at the University of South Carolina and 7 percent at Clemson, the flagship public universities.

For black Carolinians, the challenge today seems to be holding on to gains that are under assault rather than seeking further progress. 

Those with an interest in history note that public representations of the state’s past almost entirely ignore the black population and that large numbers of whites are dismissive of efforts to memorialize slavery, Reconstruction, or the Jim Crow era. On the grounds of the state Capitol the Confederate flag, once prominently displayed, has been removed, but in the two dozen or so remaining monuments and markers, including the lone “African-American History Monument,” the only black person mentioned by name is Essie, the mixed-race daughter out of wedlock of Senator Strom Thurmond. When local politicians—and jurists all the way up to the Supreme—invoke the idea of state sovereignty, African Americans hear the voice of John C. Calhoun, Ben Tillman, and Thurmond himself. “Why are some people urged to ‘never forget,’” asked one member of the audience, “while we are constantly being told to ‘get over it’?”

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Recommended read from Salon.com: Why Andrew Jackson never should have been on the $20 to begin with

Recommended read from Salon.com: Why Andrew Jackson never should have been on the $20 to begin with

"He is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Native Americans.

When it comes to Native American history, Jackson ranks right up there with the worst genocidal tyrants. Because white Southerners in the early 19th century craved the land inhabited by native tribes like the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Creek and Cherokee, they needed the government to expel the original inhabitants so they could seize the property for themselves. Although the law only permitted voluntary and peaceful removals of natives from their land, Jackson ignored the law (as well as the Supreme Court itself) and forcibly expelled the Choctaws and Creeks from their ancestral home. Thousands of them died during the brutal journey westward, prompting them to refer to their exodus as the “Trail of Tears.”

He was an open practitioner of cronyism.

Although the term “spoils system” became popular during Jackson’s presidency, this isn’t because he introduced the practice of firing existing government employees and replacing them with his own friends and supporters. Presidents and other democratic leaders had been doing this since the dawn of recorded history. But, without question, Jackson made the problem much worse. In his first annual message to Congress, Jackson openly advocated rotating public offices among party supporters, claiming that an applicant’s qualifications mattered less than avoiding the creation of a class of corrupt civil servants. While this position would have made sense had Jackson established an impartial hiring method in its stead, when he fired 20 percent of federal officeholders during his presidency, they were almost invariably replaced by pro-Jackson partisans without regard to their individual merits.

He was an imperialist.

Roughly a decade before the Mexican-American War annexed the West and increased America’s size by 500,000 square miles, Jackson sowed the seeds of discontent between our two countries. In keeping with his expansionist policies, Jackson sought to purchase the Mexican border province of Texas so that whites could acquire land there. Instead of outright invading Mexico, Jackson encouraged American settlement into Texas and attempted to purchase the territory through diplomatic overtures that only increased tensions between our two countries. When Sam Houston led a revolt against the Mexican government in 1835, Jackson avoided supporting either side, but he enthusiastically backedJames K. Polk (his protégé) when the latter ran for president on a platform that made outright war against Mexico inevitable."

Harriet Tubman replaces Jackson on $20 bill | MSNBC



Harriet Tubman replaces Jackson on $20 bill | MSNBC

20th Century Cocktail in honor of Harriet Tubman | MSNBC



20th Century Cocktail in honor of Harriet Tubman | MSNBC

Video Starshot Explainer - The Verge



The Verge

Why Won’t Hollywood Cast Asian Actors? - The New York Times

"Why is the erasure of Asians still an acceptable practice in Hollywood? It’s not that people don’t notice: Just last year, Emma Stone played a Chinese-Hawaiian character named Allison Ng in Cameron Crowe’s critically derided “Aloha.” While that film incited similar outrage (and tepid box office interest), no national conversation about racist casting policies took place.



Obviously, Asian-Americans are not the only victims of Hollywood’s continuing penchant for whitewashing. Films like “Pan” and “The Lone Ranger” featured white actors playing Native Americans, while “Gods of Egypt” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings” continue the long tradition of Caucasians playing Egyptians.



In all these cases, the filmmakers fall back on the same tired arguments. Often, they insist that movies with minorities in lead roles are gambles. When doing press for “Exodus,” the director Ridley Scott said: “I can’t mount a film of this budget" and announce that “my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such.”



When the screenwriter Max Landis took to YouTube to explain the “Ghost in the Shell” casting, he used a similar argument. “There are no A-list female Asian celebrities right now on an international level,” he said, admonishing viewers for “not understanding how the industry works.”



Mr. Landis’s argument closely tracks a statement by the screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. In a leaked email exchange with studio heads, he complained about the difficulty of adapting “Flash Boys,” Michael Lewis’s book about the Wall Street executive Bradley Katsuyama, because “there aren’t any Asian movie stars.”



Hollywood seems untroubled by these arguments. It’s not about race, they say; the only color they see is green: The reason Asian-American actors are not cast to front these films is because not any of them have a box office track record.



But they’re wrong. If minorities are box office risks, what accounts for the success of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, which presented a broadly diverse team, behind and in front of the camera? Over seven movies it has grossed nearly $4 billion worldwide. In fact, a recent study by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that films with diverse leads not only resulted in higher box office numbers but also higher returns of investment for studios and producers.



And Hollywood’s argument is circular: If Asian-Americans — and other minority actors more broadly — are not even allowed to be in a movie, how can they build the necessary box office clout in the first place? To make matters worse, instead of trying to use their lofty positions in the industry to push for change, Hollywood players like Mr. Landis and Mr. Sorkin take the easy, cynical path.





Why Won’t Hollywood Cast Asian Actors? - The New York Times

Friday, April 22, 2016

Bill Moyers Essay: The End Game for Democracy

In Hamilton’s Debt - The New York Times

 I know next to nothing about Hamilton the man and his life story. Nor, I’m sorry to say, have I managed to see the musical. But I have read Hamilton’s pathbreaking economic policy manifestoes, in particular his 1790 “First Report on the Public Credit,” a document that remains amazingly relevant today.



In that report, Hamilton proposed that the federal government assume and honor all of the debts individual states had run up during the Revolutionary War, imposing new tariffs on imported goods to raise the needed revenue. He believed that doing so would produce important benefits, which I’ll get to in a minute.



First, however, I think it’s interesting to ask how such a proposal would be received today.



On the left, it would surely be denounced as a bailout — a giveaway to speculators who had purchased devalued debt for pennies on the dollar, and would reap large capital gains. Indeed, a fair bit of the report is devoted to explaining why trying to prevent such windfall gains, via “discrimination between the different classes of creditors,” would be impractical and unwise.



Meanwhile, on the right — well, Hamilton was calling for a tax increase, which modern conservatives oppose under any and all circumstances. Luckily for him, there was no Club for Growth to demand his impeachment.



But why did Hamilton want to take on those state debts? Partly to establish a national reputation as a reliable borrower, so that funds could be raised cheaply in the future. Partly, also, to give wealthy, influential investors a stake in the new federal government, thereby creating a powerful pro-federal constituency.



Beyond that, however, Hamilton argued that the existence of a significant, indeed fairly large national debt would be good for business. Why? Because “in countries in which the national debt is properly funded, and an object of established confidence, it answers most of the purposes of money.” That is, bonds issued by the U.S. government would provide a safe, easily traded asset that the private sector could use as a store of value, as collateral for deals, and in general as a lubricant for business activity. As a result, the debt would become a “national blessing,” making the economy more productive.



This argument anticipates, to a remarkable degree, one of the hottest ideas in modern macroeconomics: the notion that we are suffering from a global “safe asset shortage.” The private sector, according to this argument, can’t function well without a sufficient pool of assets whose value isn’t in question — and for a variety of reasons, there just aren’t enough such assets these days.



As a result, investors have been bidding up the prices of government debt, leading to incredibly low interest rates. But it would be better for almost everyone, the story goes, if governments were to issue more debt, investing the proceeds in much-needed infrastructure even while providing the private sector with the collateral it needs to function. And it’s a very persuasive story to just about everyone who has looked hard at the evidence.



Unfortunately, policy makers won’t do the right thing, largely because they keep listening to fiscal scolds — people who insist that public debt is a terrible thing even when borrowing costs almost nothing. The influence of these scolds, their virtual veto over fiscal policy, somehow persists even though their predictions of soaring interest rates and runaway inflation keep not coming true.



The point is that Alexander Hamilton knew better.



Unfortunately, Hamilton isn’t around to help counter foolish debt phobia. But maybe reminding policy makers of his wisdom is one way to chip away at the wall of folly that still constrains policy. And having his face out there every time someone pulls out a ten can’t hurt, either.





In Hamilton’s Debt - The New York Times

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Homecoming, and a Triumph, for Hillary Clinton in New York - The New York Times

"She danced the merengue in Washington Heights. She slammed down a mean game of dominoes in East Harlem.

And in the East Village the day before the New York primary, Hillary Clinton broke her long-held rule of not eating in front of the news media by digging into an ice cream concoction named the Victory.

Mrs. Clinton seemed, for the first time in a rocky and unpredictable Democratic race, relaxed. “That’s what’s so great about being back here now for this primary,” she said at Mikey Likes It Ice Cream, where the owner had named the dessert in her honor. “I get to go to a lot of the places that I love. I get to meet new people and see people I’ve known for a long time.”

Mrs. Clinton has had dramatic highs and crushing lows in her political career and in this campaign. But since she first ran for office 16 years ago, New York has always been the state that loved her back, and on Tuesday it delivered one of her biggest boosts yet toward becoming the first woman to capture the Democratic Party’s nomination for president."

A Homecoming, and a Triumph, for Hillary Clinton in New York - The New York Times

Monday, April 18, 2016

Surprise: New York Democrats Like the Democratic Party! | The Nation

"I’ve been to a total of five Clinton events in Brooklyn, Washington Heights, and the Bronx in the last few weeks, and I can say conclusively: The biggest applause lines always have to do with Sanders’s recent status as a Democrat, and Clinton’s long history with the party. At all of these events, Clinton surrounded herself with local Democratic leaders, while Sanders has generally been promoted at his much larger New York rallies by a combination of grassroots activists and celebrities, not by local elected officials. To lefties convinced that such folks are corrupt post-Tammany hacks, this is no doubt a selling point for Sanders. But for ordinary people who consider themselves Democrats—and I’ve met a multiracial throng of avid Democrats who are home health workers, nannies, bus drivers, teachers, waiters, social workers, and museum administrators at Clinton rallies—it is part of why he will lose on Tuesday, and perhaps lose big."

Surprise: New York Democrats Like the Democratic Party! | The Nation

Clinton visits public housing after our... | MSNBC



Clinton visits public housing after our... | MSNBC

Taking Note - The Editorial Page Blog - The New York Times

“So we have basically 10 million, nine hundred thousand people that cannot be deported because there’s not enough resources, correct?” Justice Sotomayor said.



“That’s correct,” Mr. Verrilli replied.



“So,” Justice Sotomayor concluded, “they are here whether we want them or not.”



The state challengers to Mr. Obama’s actions keep trying to obscure this blunt, obvious reality. But in a debate whose outcome will directly affect the lives of millions of people and their families, it must not be forgotten. Mr. Obama took his actions only after years of failure by Congress to enact meaningful immigration reform. As he said at the time, the moves were necessary but not a substitute for federal legislation.



Meanwhile, the challengers clung to a single two-word phrase — “lawfully present” — that the Obama administration used in a legal memo setting out its 2014 policy.



Mr. Verrilli admitted that the term has “caused a terrible amount of confusion,” but that it has a specific meaning in the context of immigration law. It does not confer a new legal status on millions of people, he said; it only indicates that their presence will be “tolerated” temporarily. He invited the court to strike those two words from the memo, saying it would change nothing.



Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, sounding like two men aware of their imminent relegation to the court’s minority bloc, mocked the idea that words could have different meanings depending on context.



“Lawfully present does not mean you’re legally present in the United States,” Chief Justice Roberts said incredulously, before repeating the phrase for effect. “I’m sorry, that — just so I get that right.”



“I’m just talking about the English language. I just don’t understand it,” Justice Alito said. “How can it be lawful to work here but not lawful to be here?”



Mr. Verrilli responded gently, “let me just go through the reality here,” before explaining to Justice Alito that there are in fact millions of people who are already free to seek work authorization even though they are not in the United States legally.



In the end, the outcome of the case could turn on none of these issues, but rather on the preliminary question of standing: What gives Texas and the other 25 states the legal capacity to challenge Mr. Obama’s actions in the first place?



The court’s answer should be: nothing.



Texas claims it has that capacity, known as “standing,” because it has suffered a concrete injury — Mr. Obama’s executive actions mean that the state will bear the extra costs associated with providing driver’s licenses, which it already subsidizes heavily, to thousands of newly-protected immigrants. But no one is forcing Texas to provide licenses to these immigrants, or even to subsidize its licenses at all.



If states are allowed to run to the courts over any dispute they may have with the federal government, they will do so every day. “And before you know it,” Justice Stephen Breyer suggested, “power will be transferred from the President and the Congress, where power belongs, to a group of unelected judges.”



During his decade leading the court, Chief Justice Roberts has been a strong proponent of stricter standing rules. If he wants to avoid a chaotic 4-4 split in this extremely politicized case in the middle of a hotly contested election, the standing issue gives him an easy way out."



Taking Note - The Editorial Page Blog - The New York Times

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Trumpism and Clintonism Are the Future - The New York Times



This may turn out to be the most turbulent election year since 1968, but the source of the turbulence is different. The presidential election of 1968 was a milestone in partisan realignment — the breakup of the mid-20th-century Democrats and Republicans and the reshuffling of voter blocs among the two parties. In 2016, this half-century process of partisan realignment is all but complete. What we are seeing instead of partisan realignment is policy realignment — the adjustment of what each party stands for to its existing voter base.



We are accustomed to thinking of the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 as the beginning of a new era. But from the vantage point of 2016, both Reagan and Bill Clinton look more like transitional figures. During this period, the migration from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party of socially conservative, economically populist Democrats, like the supporters of the segregationist Democrat George Wallace’s independent presidential campaign in 1968, was not yet complete. Neither was the flow of moderate Rockefeller Republicans in the opposite direction.



In Ronald Reagan’s Republican Party, the traditional conservative wing focused on business and limited government was much stronger relative to the growing number of populist Reagan Democrats or Wallace Democrats. Like Barry Goldwater, Reagan was, in his economic views, much more of a classical liberal or libertarian than a populist. As a candidate, he denounced Social Security and Medicare, although as president he chose not to attack them. In 1986, he supported and presided over the first large-scale amnesty of illegal immigrants in American history.Although he benefited from the support of working-class whites who resented affirmative action, busing, mass immigration, sexual liberation and cultural liberalism, Reagan himself was animated by an optimistic individualism that had more in common with Chamber of Commerce boosterism than it did with the defensive and combative communitarianism of conservative populism.



Like Reagan, Bill Clinton was a transitional figure in an era of partisan flux. He himself had worked in the George McGovern campaign in 1972. Nevertheless, in the 1980s and 1990s, Reagan Democrats were important enough as swing voters that Bill Clinton, Al Gore and other New Democrats sought to distance themselves from the liberal left on the military, policing, the death penalty, censorship and other issues.



But in the midterm election of 1994, when the Republican party captured both houses of Congress, many centrist and conservative Democrats, particularly in the South and West, were replaced by Republicans. The Democrats who survived the slaughter were concentrated in New England and the West Coast, big cities and college towns, and majority black or majority Latino districts. The midterm elections of 2010 wiped out much of the remnant of centrist-to-conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats in the House.



Today’s Democratic base is, to simplify somewhat, an alliance of Northern, Midwestern and West Coast whites from the old Rockefeller Republican tradition with blacks and Latinos. To give one telling example, former Senator Jim Webb, the candidate who most fully represented the white Southern working-class base of the F.D.R.-to-L.B.J. Democrats, abandoned his campaign after receiving little support in a party that bears ever less resemblance to the New Deal Democrats.



Trumpism and Clintonism Are the Future - The New York Times

Friday, April 15, 2016

Ben Carson Says He Has No Memory of Running for President - The New Yorker





WEST PALM BEACH (Satire from The Borowitz Report)—Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, stirred controversy on Thursday by saying in a televised interview that he had no recollection of running for President of the United States.



Appearing on the Fox News Channel, Dr. Carson responded to host Sean Hannity’s question about his ten-month-long candidacy by saying, “I do not recall any of that occurring.”





“I’ve been told that I did it, but I find it impossible to believe,” he said. “I don’t think I’d forget a thing like that.”



Dr. Carson said he had seen photographs and videos of him campaigning for the Republican nomination but called them “the work of an evil person who is really good at PhotoShop and whatnot.”



He said he did not know who would create such an elaborate hoax to convince him that he had run for President “when I clearly did not,” but he speculated about the person’s motives.



“Someone is trying to mess with my mind,” he said. “And when I find out who is doing that I will make them pay dearly.”



While Carson insisted that “there is no way I ran for President,” he did not rule out running for the Republican nomination in the future.



Ben Carson Says He Has No Memory of Running for President - The New Yorker

The Sins of the Chicago Police Laid Bare - The New York Times





No one who is even passingly familiar with the history of the Chicago Police Department can claim to be surprised by a new report showing that the department is plagued by systemic racism and operates with utter disregard for the lives of the black citizens whom it batters, maims and kills.



Nevertheless, this report, issued on Wednesday by a task force appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, lays out with extraordinary clarity the department’s long record of racial profiling, torture and killings and makes scores of recommendations that might offer Chicagoans some hope.



The Sins of the Chicago Police Laid Bare - The New York Times

Southern Cities Split With States on Social Issues - The New York Times





Jackson may not register nationally as an outpost of bohemianism or urbane liberalism. But its city government, which is majority black and Democratic, refuses to fly the Confederate-themed state flag at municipal buildings, and this month voted unanimously to oppose a new state law that creates special legal protections for opponents of same-sex marriage. And it has a place for blue-haired singers — and their girlfriends.



Jackson is among a group of Southern cities from Dallas to Durham, N.C., where the digital commons, economic growth and a rising cohort of millennials have helped remake the culture. Many of these cities have found themselves increasingly at odds with their states, and here in a region that remains the most conservative in the country, the conflicts are growing more frequent and particularly pitched.



Southern Cities Split With States on Social Issues - The New York Times

Supreme court considers taking case of man given life in prison for growing pot | Society | The Guardian

Brooker has been subjected to strict sentencing mandatory minimum laws in Alabama because the cannabis offense involves a certain weight of the drug and comes on top of convictions for armed robbery more than 30 years ago.

The US supreme court is poised on Friday to decide whether to take on the case of a 76-year-old disabled army veteran handed a sentence of life in prison without parole for growing marijuana in his back yard to alleviate his own health problems.



If the court does not review the case, Lee Carroll Brooker is destined to die behind bars even though judges in his native Alabama have declared this was not an appropriate punishment.



Supreme court considers taking case of man given life in prison for growing pot | Society | The Guardian

The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on Our Nation's Schools | Southern Poverty Law Center

Our report found that the campaign is producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom. Many students worry about being deported.



The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on Our Nation's Schools | Southern Poverty Law Center

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Poll: Clinton's Lead in New York Grows - NBC News


In this most recent poll, Clinton leads among both women (60 percent to 37 percent) and men (53 percent to 44 percent), those 45 or older (67 percent to 29 percent) and non-whites (58 percent to 39 percent).



Sanders, meanwhile, is ahead among those under 45 (55 percent to 42 percent), plus those who consider themselves "very liberal" (53 percent to 46 percent) -- though the leads here are lower than they were in the earlier NBC/WSJ/Marist poll.

Geographically, Clinton enjoys a double-digit lead over Sanders in New York City and the suburbs, while the two are running even in Upstate New York -- essentially unchanged from the earlier NBC/WSJ/Marist poll.
Poll: Clinton's Lead in New York Grows - NBC News

Why New York's Democratic Debate Suddenly Seems A Lot More Important



Still, the folks at CNN, which is hosting the debate, would do the public a favor by asking basic, straightforward questions about how Clinton and Sanders would address the economy, health care, and other key issues. Yes, they covered this material before — at length, back when the campaign was getting underway. But at that time, everybody was sure Republicans would hold at least one house of Congress, making it impossible for either Democrat to win more than token legislative victories. In other words, the agendas that Clinton and Sanders were proposing seemed largely theoretical.
Now the political environment has shifted, in ways that put the GOP at a bigger disadvantage. The phrase “Democratic House” no longer evokes laughter among mainstream political professionals. It’s actually possible that Clinton or Sanders could get stuff done.

Why New York's Democratic Debate Suddenly Seems A Lot More Important

Note to Bill Clinton: There Is No Inherent Criminality | The Nation

Hillary Clinton will have to deal with her former statements that many of us see as racist on crime tonight.  I am sure she will be prepared, unlike her husband last week.  "Former President Bill Clinton caused a stir last week when, confronted by protesters at a campaign rally in Philadelphia, he offered this defense of the racist language deployed by then–first lady Hillary Clinton as justification for the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994:



I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped on crack and sent them out into the street to murder other African American children. Maybe you thought they were good citizens…. You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter. Tell the truth!



That Bill Clinton is now forcefully defending the same bill that, just last year, he admitted “made the problem [of mass incarceration] worse” does not come as a surprise. For the entirety of his political career, Clinton has attempted to sell regressive racist policies as a form of advancement for black communities, while enjoying a level of cultural cachet within those communities that has largely inoculated him from the criticism he deserves.



Those days are over—and we are finally reckoning with the damage done during Clinton’s presidency and demanding more from the Democratic Party. But Clinton’s comments still shed light on the way our 1990s conceptions of crime and justice influence how we understand those conceptions today.



Undergirding Clinton’s defense of the crime bill is the belief in the existence of a natural and permanent criminal class of citizens. If there are people who are going to commit crimes, logically it follows that we should have mechanisms in place to punish those people. As that class of people grows and shows more and more disregard for the law, logically it follows that we should invest more in those mechanisms of punishment while also making them harsher.



But there is no inherent criminality. First, crime is not a fixed category of behavior. Anything can be a crime if we pass the legislation to make it so. Sagging your pants is a crime in some places. If Republicans have their way, performing an abortion, a routine medical procedure, could become a crime. What is and isn’t illegal is not the best barometer for a behavior’s morality.



And with that, what is and isn’t illegal does vary from state to state, city to city. Consuming alcohol in public is illegal in some places, perfectly legal in others. Selling marijuana is illegal in most places, but, increasingly, legal in others. Does breaking a law in one state that isn’t illegal in another state make you a criminal? "



Note to Bill Clinton: There Is No Inherent Criminality | The Nation

Put The Gun Industry Out Of THe Consumer Handgun Business -The Newtown Families Just Won a Big Victory in Their Fight Against Remington Guns | The Nation

 A Connecticut judge ruled Thursday afternoon that a lawsuit against Remington Arms Company over the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School can move forward.
The ruling is a victory for the victims and families who brought what could be a landmark case against gun manufacturers—but it should be understood as a narrow procedural win that did not yet beat back the gunmaker-immunity law passed by Congress in 2005. Ultimately, the unprecedented immunity given to gun manufacturers may still shield Remington from any liability for the deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook in December 2012.
The families are arguing that Remington is liable for “negligent entrustment” of the Bushmaster XM15-E2S that Adam Lanza used to carry out the massacre. When Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), the highly controversial legislation that gave gun manufacturers broad immunity against civil suits, it wrote in an exemption for negligent-entrustment claims.
"But negligent-entrustment cases have commonly involved situations where a gun shop sells a weapon to someone it knows shouldn’t have it. The Sandy Hook families are making a novel claim that gun companies, and in this case Remington, are guilty of negligent entrustment by the very act of mass producing and marketing lethal, military-style weapons to the general public despite recurring evidence that assault rifles are used in mass killings—and that the gunmaker-immunity law does not apply.
If successful, their case would open the industry to waves of lawsuits over deaths caused by assault rifles. If the trial even got to the discovery phase, it might reveal fascinating information about how gun companies market their weapons, and what they truly believe about the lethality of their products."
Judge Barbara Bellis didn’t rule on the question of whether the families have a legitimate negligent-entrustment claim that gets past the PLCAA. Rather, she rejected a bold defense motion to dismiss the case that argued that the court doesn’t even have jurisdiction in the first place.
The Newtown Families Just Won a Big Victory in Their Fight Against Remington Guns | The Nation

Segregation Issue Complicates de Blasio’s Housing Push - The New York Times





Housing segregation was so widespread in NYC that I left Staten Island because I was repeatedly told that apartments I afterwards was told were vacant were supposedly occupied when I arrived and in Brooklyn and Manhattan my choice of neighborhood and buildings was severely limited. I will never forget when I moved to Atlanta to go to law school I asked the housing advisor, who was Black where I could live. She said anywhere. I told her "come on where can I live really" She repeated "anywhere". I said OK and left. It tuned out she was right. The Atlanta area did not have the housing discrimination issue that NYC has always had. Landlords caught discriminating should receive huge fines, large enough to force them to sell their property.

John H. Armwood


Segregation Issue Complicates de Blasio’s Housing Push - The New York Times

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Campaign Reality Check: Mexico & Trump's wall Lawrence talks to Jordan Weissmann, a senior business and economics correspondent for Slate, about the specifics of Donald Trump's plan to get Mexico to pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC



The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC

Waiting for a Clinton indictment? Don't hold your breath | MSNBC

Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Founders Day Dinner on April 2, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wis. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty)
"TPM’s Josh Marshall published a related piece in February, after speaking to a variety of law professors and former federal prosecutors about the Clinton story. “To a person,” Josh wrote, they agreed the idea of a Clinton indictment is “very far-fetched.”
 
So, why does such an unlikely scenario generate so much attention? I think there are probably a couple of things going on here.
 
The first is that Clinton has more than a few media critics, many of whom are a little too eager to embrace the idea of a new “scandal.”
 
The second, as Paul Waldman argued today, is that Republicans consider the idea of a Clinton indictment “too tantalizing,” even if they know it’s not going to happen.
For the most part, the Clinton email story has been a disappointment to Republicans. They were desperately hoping that the emails would reveal some kind of ghastly malfeasance on Clinton’s part, some smoking gun that would make all Americans realize that she should never be elected president. When that turned out not to be the case, they pinned their hopes on the idea that she would just have to be charged with a crime eventually. I have no doubt that people like George Will and Karl Rove now understand that that isn’t going to happen either.
 
But having gone this far, they need to keep up appearances, and they also know that just talking about her emails serves to convince people that something scandalous must have happened."



Waiting for a Clinton indictment? Don't hold your breath | MSNBC

Trump's race-clinching secret weapon potentially in Pennsylvania | MSNBC



Trump's race-clinching secret weapon potentially in Pennsylvania | MSNBC

Trump's race-clinching secret weapon potentially in Pennsylvania | MSNBC



Trump's race-clinching secret weapon potentially in Pennsylvania | MSNBC

This is all to do about nothing - Racially Charged Joke by Hillary Clinton and Bill de Blasio Leaves Some Cringing - First Draft. Political News, Now. - The New York Times

I often use this phrase to describe my Chinese inlaws. I say that Chinese people are also colored and Chinese starts with "C".  Losses up folks.

Racially Charged Joke by Hillary Clinton and Bill de Blasio Leaves Some Cringing - First Draft. Political News, Now. - The New York Times

Monday, April 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Bill de Blasio Joke About CP Time - I do not have a problem with this. The man has a Black family Jeez.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Credit Reports (HBO)

Donald Trump and New York Tabloids Pick Their Elaborate Dance Back Up - The New York Times

Donald Trump and New York Tabloids Pick Their Elaborate Dance Back Up - The New York Times



"It is also the ink-stained caldron in which Mr. Trump, over decades, honed the method of media management — cajoling, combating, at times dissembling — that he has unleashed, to potent effect, in this year’s national campaign. Some Americans have been caught off guard by Mr. Trump’s take-no-prisoners style, but New York’s media veterans detect the old Trump playbook at work.
“It was an early secret of his success that he embraced the media, that he recognized the tabloid circus was a natural arena for someone of his talents, or ego,” said George Rush, a former gossip writer for The New York Post and The Daily News. “What you’re seeing on the campaign trail is a style he perfected for years, in the course of doing battle in the press.”
Mr. Trump’s Republican opponents, Mr. Rush said, “may know more than him, they may have more experience, but they were not used to the mixed martial arts of Donald Trump.”

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bernie Sanders Should Keep Running—but Not Like This

Bernie Sanders Should Keep Running—but Not Like This

"Clinton supporters, including me, found these statements wildly provocative. But they’re actually different, in tone and in substance. The comment about Clinton’s “destructive” ambition was arrogant, condescending, and, yes, sexist. In response to Weaver, MTV’s Jamil Smith revived this on-point 10-year-old chestnut from The Onion: “Hillary Clinton is too ambitious to be the first female president.” Clinton and Sanders are running a spirited campaign for the presidency, which has been mostly high-minded and collegial, with occasional sharp elbows thrown by both parties. How did her ambition come to be the one that’s called “destructive”? (One guess.) Arguably, since Sanders is trailing in pledged delegates, in the popular vote, and even in the number of states won to date, and since he is the candidate that analysts give virtually zero chance of edging Clinton, one could argue that is his “ambition” that threatens to “destroy” the party."

Sanders, Trump, and the Rise of the Non-Voters - The New Yorker

Sanders, Trump, and the Rise of the Non-Voters - The New Yorker

"Non-voters, Leighley and Nagler found, favored much more progressive economic policies than voters did. They preferred higher taxes, and more spending on schools and health care, by margins that hovered around fifteen per cent. “The voters may be representative of the electorate on some issues,” Leighley and Nagler wrote, “but they are not representative of the electorate on issues that go to the core of the role of government in modern democracies.” That non-voters had the same partisan preferences as voters only seemed to strengthen the finding—they wanted more redistribution regardless of whether they were Democrats or Republicans."

Can Bernie Sanders Upset Hillary Clinton in New York? - The New Yorker

Can Bernie Sanders Upset Hillary Clinton in New York? - The New Yorker

"Clinton cut short her campaign in Wisconsin to concentrate on shoring up her home base. She kicked off her New York campaign with a rally atthe Apollo Theater in Harlem. She stumped at black churches in Brooklyn, where she talked about gun violence and accused Sanders of voting with the National Rifle Association. On Saturday, she attended an organizing event in Sunset Park, a heavily Hispanic part of Brooklyn, with Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and the Puerto Rican-American singer Toby Love. If Clinton can get large numbers of Latino and African-American voters, as well as women over forty, to turn out, Sheinkopf told me, “she  should swamp Bernie Sanders in New York City.”

Another factor playing into Clinton’s hands is that the primary is a closed one. In Wisconsin and other states with open primaries, Sanders drew in a lot of independent voters. But voting in New York will be restricted to registered Democrats, and the deadline for switching from independent to Democrat was last October, which means that some of Sanders’s supporters may not be able to vote."

Recommended read from Salon.com: Bill Clinton has lost his superpower: Why his confrontation with BLM was such a stunning mistake

Recommended read from Salon.com: Bill Clinton has lost his superpower: Why his confrontation with BLM was such a stunning mistake

"In the case of Clinton, he seems to have missed the point of Black Lives Matter so badly it was like seeing Kobe airball a layup. One aspect of campaigning where Clinton always excelled, where he was in fact the most talented politician on the national scene for so long, was in his ability to spin a narrative, to frame it and shape it and make his listeners believe in its truth. He was doing this as recently as the 2012 Democratic convention, when he made a meal of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan with the same enthusiasm and thoroughness with which he used to make a meal out of McDonald’s entire menu.

But it makes no difference if his defense of the crime bill and his role in shaping and signing it, was accurate. Or if he was overstating or understating the support the bill had in the African-American community in 1994. Like the original debate itself, the truth is a lot more complicated and could benefit from some context that our current political dialogue, conducted as it is in soundbites and 140 characters at a time on Twitter, does not allow for."

Mr. Trump Reopens the Wounds of a Hate Crime - The New York Times

There is no place that should welcome Mr. Trump’s politics, but the choice of Patchogue is particularly repellent. Patchogue is where Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant, was fatally stabbed in 2008 by a white teenager, one of a marauding gang of high school boys who had made a nighttime sport of assaulting Latino men. The Republicans will be toasting Mr. Trump in a dance hall called the Emporium, on the same street as the crime scene, steps away from where Mr. Lucero fell.



Mr. Trump Reopens the Wounds of a Hate Crime - The New York Times

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Bernie Sanders Is Even Less Competitive Than He Appears | FiveThirtyEight

Bernie Sanders’s supporters are fond of the hypothesis that Democratic superdelegates, the elected leaders and party officials who currently support Hillary Clinton by a lopsided-doesn’t-even-begin-to-describe-it 469 to 31, are going to bow to the “will of the people” if Sanders ends up winning more pledged delegates than Clinton by June.
There’s just one hiccup in this logic: Sanders fans seem to be conflating the pledged delegate count and the “will of the voters,” when in fact the two are far from interchangeable.
Sanders’s reliance on extremely low-turnout caucus states has meant the pledged delegate count overstates his share of votes. To date, Sanders has captured 46 percent of Democrats’ pledged delegates but just 42 percent of raw votes. So even if Sanders were to draw even in pledged delegates by June — which is extremely unlikely — Clinton could be able to persuade superdelegates to stick with her by pointing to her popular vote lead.
Sanders already has a nearly impossible task ahead of him in trying to erase Clinton’s pledged delegate lead. He’s down by 212 delegates, meaning he’d need to win 56 percent of those remaining to nose in front. He has dominated caucus states such as Idaho and Washington, but only two caucus states — Wyoming and North Dakota — remain on the calendar. What’s more, the biggest states left — New York and California — favor Clinton demographically.



Bernie Sanders Is Even Less Competitive Than He Appears | FiveThirtyEight

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Ted Cruz stumps for votes after disparaging remarks about the Bronx | New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV



Ted Cruz stumps for votes after disparaging remarks about the Bronx | New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV

Protesters Tell Cruz 'Get Out Of The Bronx'

Protesters Tell Cruz 'Get Out Of The Bronx'

‘Ted Cruz is not welcome in the Bronx’: Protester disrupts NYC campaign stop | New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV



‘Ted Cruz is not welcome in the Bronx’: Protester disrupts NYC campaign stop | New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV

Ted Cruz heckled in the Bronx: 'This is an immigrant community!' The Republican presidential candidate was not welcomed in the New York borough by some protesters as he made his way into a Bronx restaurant on Wednesday – one man called him a racist and asserted this was an immigrant community before the impromptu news conference – video | US news | The Guardian

Cruz Goes Delegate Hunting in Colorado | MSNBC



Cruz Goes Delegate Hunting in Colorado | MSNBC

De Blasio: ‘Clinton is one the most qualified people to ever run’ | MSNBC


De Blasio: ‘Clinton is one the most qualified people to ever run’ | MSNBC

Sanders' path to victory a steep climb Steve Kornacki, MSNBC political correspondent, shows Rachel Maddow the extremely difficult path by which Bernie Sanders could clinch the Democratic nomination for president. - The Rachel Maddow Show on msnbc – Latest News & Video





The Rachel Maddow Show on msnbc – Latest News & Video

Another Clinton email exaggeration A story that there are 147 FBI agents assigned to the Hillary Clinton email investigation turns out not to be true. It's 12.- All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC

Clinton: Sanders doesn't know own policies The Democratic frontrunner, reeling from losses in 7 of 8 states, takes a harsher tone against her rival.- All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC



All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Senator Elizabeth Warren at Banking Hearing on Consumer Finance Regulations

Delusion sets in at Camp Sanders

"But pretending that 1) we’re going to have a brokered convention, when the math literally says it’s impossible, and 2) pretending that the super delegates would abandon Clinton for him despite his historical and current antipathy toward the Democratic Party is simply delusional
His campaign can claim all it wants that it can still win the pledged delegate count. It won’t, but let it pretend. But to claim we’re going to have a brokered convention is … wait, now I’m just repeating myself." 

NYTimes: Donald Trump Settled a Real Estate Lawsuit, and a Criminal Case Was Closed

"But Mr. Trump made an exception when buyers of units in Trump SoHo, a 46-story luxury condominium-hotel in Lower Manhattan, asserted that they had been defrauded by inflated claims made by Mr. Trump, his children and others of brisk sales in the struggling project. He and his co-defendants settled the case in November 2011, agreeing to refund 90 percent of $3.16 million in deposits, while admitting no wrongdoing."

NYTimes: Donald Trump Settled a Real Estate Lawsuit, and a Criminal Case Was Closed

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Sanders lied about NYC Subways. Bernie Sanders Doesn't Know How to Ride the New York City Subway - US News




Sanders got caught by the New York Daily News lying.   Lol.
"Daily News: I know you've got to go in a second. When was the last time you rode the subway? Are you gonna a campaign in the subway?
Sanders: Actually we rode the subway, Mike, when we were here? About a year ago? But I know how to ride the subways. I’ve been on them once or twice.
Daily News: Do you really? Do you really? How do you ride the subway today?
Sanders: What do you mean, "How do you ride the subway?"
Daily News: How do you get on the subway today?
Sanders: You get a token and you get in.
Daily News: Wrong."

Despite Fears, Affordable Care Act Has Not Uprooted Employer Coverage - The New York Times

Despite Fears, Affordable Care Act Has Not Uprooted Employer Coverage - The New York Times

"The Affordable Care Act was aimed mainly at giving people better options for buying health insurance on their own. There were widespread predictions that employers would leap at the chance to drop coverage and send workers to fend for themselves.

But those predictions were largely wrong. Most companies, and particularly large employers, that offered coverage before the law have stayed committed to providing health insurance.

As it turns out, health care remains an important recruitment and retention tool as the labor market has tightened in recent years. Desirable employees still expect health benefits, and companies are responding, new analyses of federal data show.

“We’re more confident than ever that we’ll offer benefits,” said Robert Ihrie Jr., a senior vice president for Lowe’s Companies, the home improvement retailer."

Saturday, April 02, 2016

John Oliver Never Thought He'd Have To Care About Trump

Elizabeth Warren Goes Off On 'Loser' Trump

The rise of Donald Trump is a battle for the soul of the Republican party

The rise of Donald Trump is a battle for the soul of the Republican party

"After Mitt Romney failed to beat a vulnerable Barack Obama in 2012, a chastened Republican party arrived pretty quickly at the answer to their electability problem.

They were the party of old, angry white men, and in a much-heralded Washington DC press conference in March 2013, senior officials released an “autopsy report”concluding that to win back the White House, the party needed to appeal to young voters, women and minorities.

Three years later, Donald Trump, who is historically unpopular among every one of those demographics, is the frontrunner for the party’s nomination. To paraphrase David Byrne, how did the Republican party get here?"

Friday, April 01, 2016

Extended interview with Michelle Alexander | MSNBC






Extended interview with Michelle Alexander | MSNBC

Obama: Trump Doesn't Know Much About Nuclear Weapons, or the World - NBC News



Obama: Trump Doesn't Know Much About Nuclear Weapons, or the World - NBC News

It’s Probably First Ballot Or Bust For Donald Trump At The GOP Convention | FiveThirtyEight

Trump’s delegate problems stem from two major issues. One is his lack of organization: Trump just recently hired a strategist to oversee his delegate-selection efforts; Cruz has been working on the process for months. The other is his lack of support from “party elites.” The people who attend state caucuses and conventions are mostly dyed-in-the-wool Republican regulars and insiders, a group that is vigorously opposed to Trump. Furthermore, some delegate slots are automatically given to party leaders and elected officials, another group that strongly opposes Trump, as evident in his lack of endorsements among them.



It’s Probably First Ballot Or Bust For Donald Trump At The GOP Convention | FiveThirtyEight

Judge strikes down Mississippi's ban on same-sex adoptions | MSNBC

A federal judge struck down Mississippi’s ban on adoption by same-sex couples Thursday — making the practice legal nationwide.



“We are obviously thrilled with today’s ruling, but our clients are beyond ecstatic,” said Roberta Kaplan, lead attorney in the case for the Campaign for Southern Equality, a North Carolina-based activist group, which represented four Mississippi couples in the suit along with the Massachusetts-based Family Equality Council.



Judge strikes down Mississippi's ban on same-sex adoptions | MSNBC

Sanders, Trump, and the Rise of the Non-Voters - The New Yorker

Perhaps this explains some of the surface similarities of their supporters. Several weeks ago, Henry Brady, the dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, tried to make sense of new data from the American National Election Survey, an academic group that did extensive surveys of voters in the early primary states, along the lines of much more detailed exit polls. Brady grouped each voter’s responses according to the candidate that voter supported, and then plotted the candidates by ideology, from Sanders on the left to Cruz and Trump on the right. The graphs kept resolving into an elegant U-shape: For many questions, the responses of Sanders voters most resembled those of Trump voters. They were the youngest, and the least educated. On certain issues—“xenophobia, racism, nationalism,” Brady said—they occupied opposite extremes. On others, the differences between them were slight. “Trump voters are almost as worried about economic inequality as Sanders voters,” he said, and more worried about it than anyone else.



Sanders, Trump, and the Rise of the Non-Voters - The New Yorker

Cuba After Obama Left - The New Yorker

Cubans in the audience shouted “Viva, viva,” as if to acknowledge the shared triumph of Obama’s visit and the reconciliation under way between the two nations.Or so it seemed. Later that day, in a meeting with a friend who is a longtime loyalist of the Revolution, I asked her what she had thought of Obama’s speech. She wrinkled her nose. “Well,” she began. “He said a lot of nice things, and he was very polished, but let’s see what the reality is.” I noted that Raúl himself had applauded Obama in the Teatro. He hadn’t signalled any doubts, and indeed he had accompanied Obama to the Cuba-U.S. baseball game afterward; we had all seen the two of them chummily seated together, talking animatedly. Later, Castro, who had not been at the airport when Obama arrived, had seen him off, walking him to the foot of the stairway of Air Force One. So what was the real issue worrying her? My friend shrugged. It had all been a bit too much, she said. She couldn’t really explain.
My friend’s reaction was an early hint that Cuba’s deep state, in the form of its Communist Party hard-liners, was unhappy. Their pushback came swiftly, during that evening’s televised broadcast of a program called “Mesa Redonda” (“The Roundtable”), in which several apparatchiks sat around humorlessly dissecting the implications of the Obama visit. On Wednesday, Granma, Cuba’s official Communist Party newspaper, ran an editorial titled “What Obama Says and Doesn’t Say,” in which the writer pointed out that Obama had used a teleprompter during his speech—“something the people can’t see”—and questioned the sincerity of his intentions.
Cuba After Obama Left - The New Yorker