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In Redistricting, Big Say for Big Cities in DC Power Balance


As the political muscle grows bigger doesn’t always mean better. Just ask New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago every four years, when those cities mostly become irrelevant points on the Electoral College map.



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REWIND: CNN wouldn’t admit, or even verify if Hunter’s laptop was real; It was a Russian plot!



With incredibly late Politico “revelation” on the validity of 2020 New York Post stories on Hunter Biden’s laptop, it’s interesting to reflect on the sheer desperation on the part of much of the media to discredit this story as Russian disinformation. Among the funniest “legacy media” to memorize this story in coordination with Twitter, Facebook and much of social media was CNN.

CNN / PBS presenter Christiane Amanpour was openly contemptuous when she interviewed President Donald Trump’s spokesperson Liz Harrington as Tim Graham of New Brunswick. reported at the time. It’s not hard to imagine CNN Chairman Jeffrey Zucker shouting into his earpiece to squeeze the discussion out of the taboo laptop history Hunter Biden.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Are you comfortable with the President of the United States being close to a person like Rudy Giuliani who also says that he doesn’t care if any of the information comes from Russian hacking? What does it say?

LIZ HARRINGTON: Are you convinced CNN used Russian disinformation from a Russian asset to divulge it in order to subvert the peaceful transfer of power? This report on the case was complete …

AMANPOUR: Liz, Liz …

HARRINGTON:… full of verified Russian disinformation? Is not it? Is not it?

AMANPOUR: Liz, let’s just go back to the story.

HARRINGTON: Was the file real? Was the case real? Oh, that’s very relevant …

AMANPOUR: Can we go back to the present story?

HARRINGTON: —because all the Democrats have accused us of doing is what they themselves have done. Rudy Giuliani …

AMANPOUR: You know what, we always try, we …

HARRINGTON: —is not a Russian asset, and we’ve heard libel very well before.

AMANPOUR: It was the United States government that said it, not me and not CNN. The United States government has announced …

HARRINGTON: The FBI – OK. You know what the United States government also says, the FBI says, this laptop is not Russian disinformation.

So what are you talking about here, this laptop is real. It’s not just a laptop. There are other e-mails, there are text messages. They are real. So according to the US government …

AMANPOUR: OKAY. I know you’re trying to get everyone to watch this, but that’s not what we hear from the FBI.

HARRINGTON: Why don’t you want to report this? It is one of the most powerful families in Washington.

AMANPOUR: Liz, Liz, Liz–

HARRINGTON: You and the Biden family agree, you agree with our interest being sold for profit …

AMANPOUR: Liz?

HARRINGTON:… Joe Biden and his family as we suffer from a Communist China pandemic…

AMANPOUR: Yes. Absolutely, absolutely.

HARRINGTON: … and he’s doing some shady business …

AMANPOUR: Liz, as you know …

HARRINGTON: … with Communist China and you’re comfortable.

AMANPOUR: … perfectly fine, I am a journalist and reporter and I follow the facts. And there have never been any problems in terms of corruption. Now let me ask you this. Yesterday the FBI …

HARRINGTON: Wait, wait, wait.

AMANPOUR: The FBI …

HARRINGTON: How do you know that?

AMANPOUR: I’m talking about reports and any evidence. I’m talking to you now …

HARRINGTON: I would love for you to start digging and doing this check.

AMANPOUR: Now we are not going to do your job for you. I want to ask you a question…

HARRINGTON: It is the job of a journalist.

AMANPOUR: … contrary to what …

HARRINGTON: It is a journalist’s job to know if this is verified.

It’s understood? Christiane is a “journalist and reporter” who follows the facts … except when it comes to verifying the history of the Hunter Biden laptop. In this case, she said “we are not going to do your job for you”. It is not “their job” to confirm stories that make the Bidens appear corrupt. Amanpour believes that “his job” is to insist that “there have never been any corruption problems” and move on.

Hour after hour, CNN insisted that “the intelligence community” – a beautiful and vague anonymous source – claimed that the laptop story was Russian disinformation.

It now appears that the biggest disinformation effort in 2020 has been led by the CNN-run mainstream media acting on behalf of the Biden campaign.



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Ongoing war on women highlights roots of extremism in mainstream American culture and politics



If anyone needed more evidence that the war on women is raging in America, we received another substantial and unappealing help from such evidence earlier this month.

Most disturbing about this evidence is how it highlights how widespread acceptance of sexism and violence against women is.

While the anti-abortion legislation passed in Texas has been called an integral part of right-wing and Republican extremism, we should be mindful that recent events underscore the extent to which women’s second-class citizenship, even the lack thereof. personality, is in American culture and society.

This institutionalized and normalized sexism, we must understand, is precisely what allows what tends to be labeled as “extremism” in our political culture, fostering the dangerous illusion that this extremism is somehow completely extravagant and disconnected from the systems of politics. dominant American beliefs and values.

What we witnessed earlier this month with the Facebook scandal and the testimony of American gymnasts should disillusion us with this nefarious misconception.

Let’s start with the testimony of American gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing into the FBI’s mismanagement of the prolonged sexual abuse case of American gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

While Nassar is in prison and suffers some consequences for his behavior, many other institutions and individuals have in fact made Nassar’s behavior possible and allowed him to persist, including organizations created by Congress to protect athletes, such as USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles capture the scope of the wrongdoing quite directly and succinctly in his testimony, highlighting the lack of accountability beyond Nassar:

“We have suffered and continue to suffer because no one in the FBI, USAG or USOPC did what was necessary to protect us. We have failed and we deserve answers. Nassar is his place, but those who have held him to account. If they are not, I have no doubts that it will continue to happen to others in Olympic sports. “

The list of facilitators is long, and their behaviors and those of these institutions should not simply be blamed on incompetence or failure to follow procedures or policies.

These behaviors must be understood as rooted in a deep-seated sexism, a denial of personality to women, in American culture, society and politics.

Maroney said the FBI had “played down” the sexual abuse she had reported and also actively silenced and falsified reports.

Raisman testified that she repeatedly requested an interview with the FBI regarding Nassar’s abuse; however, it took them 14 months to respond. Even then, she says investigators treated the sexual abuse she reported as “didn’t matter and it wasn’t serious.”

She cites the negligence of the FBI, USAG and USOPC that allowed Nassar to “quietly escape through the side door” and continue to abuse new victims. “It was like serving innocent children to a pedophile on a silver platter,” she said.

These layoffs are not just examples of incompetence or poor performance. They are rooted in a powerfully ingrained belief that women just don’t matter and that abuse of them is okay.

Indeed, the testimonies of these gymnasts echo those of millions of people, perhaps the most infamous and recently that of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who testified at the Brett Kavanaugh hearing.

Her testimony of rape and sexual abuse was ignored, and a suspected sex offender was named to sit on the country’s highest court and be one of nine people to make decisions impacting hundreds of millions of people. lives. Sexism and sexual violence against women have been validated.

But we can’t just skewer conservative ideologues or Republicans for this sexist erasure of women’s personality and rights, even if we consider anti-abortion to be draconian. legislation The Republicans of Texas have passed through their state.

Do not mistake yourself. Clearly, the Republican Party, its accompanying ideologues, and the Supreme Court justices it appoints are doing a lot to deny rights to women and many other Americans.

But if we only look at Republicans, we are failing to diagnose how what these gymnasts are reporting and what just happened in Texas was made possible by a lingering and seemingly acceptable mainstream sexism in culture, society, and society. American politics.

And Facebook, as we learned with their recent scandal and as I’ve talked about for Politicus United States, knew her Instagram platform was harmful to teenage girls, but was sacrificing them well for $ 100 billion in profit.

And consider this recent history. In the November 2019 election, Virginia Democrats took control of the state legislature for the first time in 25 years. These electoral victories rekindled hopes that Virginia could become the 38e the state to ratify the ERA so that it could be sent to Congress where it wouldn’t go anywhere, which happened.

And put this supposed moment of hope in the context of more recent history. By the 1990s, Democrats also controlled the Virginia legislature and could have ratified the ERA.

They did not do it. Hmmm.

And here is the declaration in the ERA this nation trembles to validate:

“Equal rights under the law should not be denied or abridged by the United States or any other state on the basis of gender. “

The refusal to recognize women as constituents and as entitled to equal protection under the law allows and effectively validates sexism and violence against women.

Sexism is bipartisan indeed, but I hope it’s not the kind of bipartisanism Americans were hoping for.

Indeed, take the declaration by Garrison Keillor, widely regarded as a liberal voice, in October 2020 regarding Roe vs. Wade, a fundamental decision for the maintenance of women’s rights. He essentially capitulated to this fight, sacrificing women’s rights on a liberal political altar:

“I don’t think Roe v. Wade is worth fighting for right now. This is a question that has torn the country apart and what good is it? We can accept a state rights system, in which abortion is legal in some states, illegal in others, just as the death penalty is imposed in some states and others. “

Could we accept a system where racial discrimination and Jim Crow would be acceptable in some states?

But still, sexism is somehow more acceptable.

We need to understand this denial of equal rights as more than just Republican politics; the trends are deeply embedded in American culture and politics.

If we are to stop extremism, we must uproot the core values ​​and behaviors that underpin it.

Tim Libretti is professor of American literature and culture at Chicago State University. A longtime progressive voice, he has published numerous academic and journalistic articles on culture, class, race, gender and politics, for which he has received awards from the Working Class Studies Association, the International Labor Communications Association, National Federation of Press Women, and Illinois Women’s Press Association.



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For Schumer and Pelosi, the challenge of a career without margin for error



Ms. Pelosi has already experienced difficult situations. She had to coax enough anti-abortion Democrats to back the House’s version of the Affordable Care Act without losing the Liberals, who already feared the Senate’s exclusion of a new government-run plan, or ” public option ”, which would have competed with private insurance in the bill insurance market.

Then the Senate Democratic leaders abruptly lost their filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, after a Republican, Scott Brown, shocked Washington by winning the special election in Massachusetts to fill the seat of the United States. Senate vacated by the death of Edward M. Kennedy. Ms Pelosi had to persuade House Democrats to swallow their pride, forget months of laborious negotiations, and simply pass the Senate version of the Affordable Care Act because a House-Senate compromise would be blocked by Republicans.

“The Affordable Care Act was a pretty big challenge,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who led the group at the time. “I mean, embrace radical health care reform and completely transform the health care delivery system in this country?” Yeah, that’s what I would say comparable “to the current effort.

The Social Policy and Climate Change Bill does not create a whole new government function like the Health Act did, but as part of its ambitions, it might be even more difficult to achieve. It would extend revolutionary income support programs like the child tax credit passed this year, make universal preschool and community college nearly universal, create a federally paid family and sick leave allowance, and attempt to make the country steadfastly move away from oil, gas and coal. renewable fuels and electric vehicles, to name a few of its programs. And it would pay for all of this by taxing the rich and the corporations, perhaps in a way never tried before.

This created a number of bottlenecks that could sink the bill, given the narrow Democratic majorities. Oregon Representative Kurt Schrader said he wanted a bill that spends less than $ 1,000 billion over 10 years. Several members of the House say they cannot accept the bill’s strict approach to prescription drug prices. One of them, Representative Scott Peters of California, voted against the full package on Saturday as he stepped out of the budget committee, another bad sign for Democrats.

Ms. Sinema of Arizona has privately told her colleagues that she will not agree to any increase in the corporate or income tax rate. But recent discussions by Senate Democrats over adding a carbon tax to the bill to both tackle climate change and help replace that revenue have come up against concerns raised by three House Democrats. from Texas. In a letter to Ms Sinema and Ms Manchin, they expressed their opposition to several provisions of the bill aimed at tackling climate change, and also spoke out against increasing a minimum income tax to the foreign US companies above that set in 2017..



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Dr Fauci: Vax the unvaccinated to avoid “Dark, Bad Winter”


Appearing on CBS reporter Major Garrett’s “The Takeout,” Dr Anthony Fauci said that if the unvaccinated are not vaccinated, then we could be in a “dark and bad winter”. “You know, if we don’t vaccinate people who need to be vaccinated,” says Fauci, “and we understand that…



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Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: The plot thickens



Hello, everybody! Let’s dive right in.

Jamelle Bouie of The New York Times points out that the plan to overthrow the duly elected incoming United States government on Jan. 6 was indeed a plan—and it’s still ongoing.

[I]f Pence were to disregard the rules and the history and seize control of the counting process, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would presumably have suspended the joint session, which relies on the consent of both chambers of Congress. “With a stalled and incomplete count because of a standoff between Pence and Pelosi,” the legal scholar Ned Foley writes in a separate Election Law Blog post, “the Twentieth Amendment becomes the relevant constitutional provision.” Meaning, in short, that at noon on Jan. 20, Pelosi would become acting president of the United States. Pence would lose authority as vice president (and president of the Senate) and the joint session would resume, with Congress putting its stamp of approval on Biden’s victory.

And let’s not forget that a series of moves of the sort envisioned by Eastman would spark national outrage. The “howls” would not just come from congressional Democrats; they would come from the 81 million voters who Pence would have summarily disenfranchised. It is conceivable that Trump and his allies would have prevailed over mass protests and civil disobedience. But that would depend on the support of the military, which, if the actions of Gen. Mark Milley were any indication, would not have been forthcoming.

None of this should make you feel good or cause you to breathe a sigh of relief. Consider what we know. A prominent, respected member in good standing of the conservative legal establishment — Eastman is enrolled in the Federalist Society and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — schemed with the president and his allies in the Republican Party to overturn the election and overthrow American democracy under the Constitution. Yes, they failed to keep Trump in office, but they successfully turned the pro forma electoral counting process into an occasion for real political struggle.

Susan B. Glasser of The New Yorker writes that President Joe Biden’s agenda is in some trouble, but she also advises us not to count Biden out just yet.

President Biden’s response to this freak-out moment has been revealing. He has not, à la Trump, taken to Twitter to denounce the dissenting members of his party as “dinos,” though I’m sure Biden, like his White House predecessors, wishes he could dismiss those who are failing to fall in line as “Democrats in Name Only.” (Then again, what is more Democratic than fighting with one another?) He has not fired anybody or started lining up primary challengers to his own party’s members of Congress who have angered him. He has not called up MSNBC hosts in a panic for advice. (At least, not that I am aware of.)

Instead, Biden’s approach to the matter of the irreconcilable camps in his party is very similar to his approach to everything—a philosophy neatly summed up in his address to the U.N. General Assembly this week as “relentless diplomacy,” rather than “relentless war.” On Wednesday, Biden spent five hours with Democratic members of Congress, in various groupings, in search of an elusive deal, and will surely be working the phones right up until Monday’s deadline for the House vote on the infrastructure bill—and beyond. No one doubts that Biden is ready to talk this to death.

But diplomacy, like war, is a tactic, not an end in itself. The Biden Presidency, on both the foreign and domestic fronts, remains a jumble of aspirations—and retains a haze of uncertainty about how to achieve them. Much of his political problem, it seems to me, is a vast gap between his articulated goals and what is politically possible. The U.S. is no longer a lone superpower unchallenged abroad; the Democratic Party is barely a majority party in the U.S. Congress. It’s a fifty-fifty Senate, and a fifty-fifty world…

Josh Marshall of TalkingPointsMemo concedes the press coverage of President Biden’s major policy proposals has not been very fair, yet he notes that Democrats can do some things to address that.

We are now down to the crunch time on the Biden agenda. And we don’t know how it will turn out. But there are two aspects of the story which have been quite damaging for the Democrats. They’re worth discussing.

The first is one we’ve discussed before but in a different context. It’s largely a press failure. But it’s one Democrats could do more to fix. For months we’ve had this intra-party debate presented as one between “progressives” and “moderates.” Often that gets personalized as AOC and Bernie versus Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema. This is demonstrably false. The overall package is supported overwhelmingly by Democrats in both chambers and pretty much across all factions. There are some quibbles about SALT taxes and the scope of the climate package. Some more middle-of-the-road Dems resist making some of the social programs permanent. Those are real and potentially consequential differences. But they’re all negotiable. The important point is that this package is the consensus position, supported by virtually everyone. It is after all the President’s agenda. Literally. And, as much as these labels confound more than they clarify, President Biden isn’t from AOC’s wing of the party.

The reality is that this package is the consensus position supported overwhelmingly, close to universally, among congressional Democrats with the exception of two senators and maybe a dozen members in the House.

Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post describes how the election of Trump mobilized her and other Republican women.

I had always voted Republican for president — from my first vote, for Ronald Reagan, to my last, for Mitt Romney. I admired mainstream Republicans who were dedicated to victory in the Cold War. I looked to free markets for expanded economic opportunity and embraced free trade and robust legal immigration.

If I differed with “movement conservatives” on some issues, I appreciated their preference for incrementalism and resistance to allowing centralized power to bigfoot the “laboratories of democracy.”

[…]

I watched in horror in 2016 as Republicans embraced a racist bully bent on undermining our democracy and promoting White Christians’ quest for political dominance. I witnessed one conservative “intellectual” and “respectable” publication after another deny, then rationalize, then defend and then laud a detestable figure who repudiated principles and positions that once animated them.

I saw social conservatives who demonized Bill Clinton swoon at the feet of a serial liar, adulterer and racist whose cruelty became a central feature of his presidency. Republicans who once insisted character was a critical factor in selecting leaders seemed almost giddy when Trump unleashed his personal viciousness on their progressive opponents.

That’s true enough in the case of Rubin’s experience, I guess, but I have to point out that a majority of white women voted for Trump in 2016, and again in 2020. 

Jeffrey Sachs writes for CNN that U.S. culture itself, and Republican politicians specifically are responsible for the COVID-19 epidemic surpassing the 1918 flu epidemic this week as the deadliest in the nation’s history.

US culture has repeatedly showed itself to be too self-centered, shortsighted and poorly informed to forestall mass deaths and continued surges of infection.
Even with lifesaving vaccines in prospect or in hand, politicians — and notably Republican politicians — and too much of the public demanded complete, immediate and untrammeled personal freedom: the freedom to not wear face masks, the freedom to attend large gatherings, the freedom to eschew vaccines and the freedom to infect others.
Many right wingers have treated even the most modest and limited protections as an attack on freedom. No immediate gratification should be denied; no face masks warranted even in schools, where children face the threats of infection. The message is now, now, now, without a pause for informed reflection and safety.
The selfishness of it all has been staggering. Poor people and people of color in disproportionate numbers, and frontline workers, were repeatedly ordered to go to work in unprotected settings at workplaces where even basic face mask protections were widely flouted.

Usha Lee McFarling of STATnews does investigative reporting that indicates white medical researchers are “colonizing” health equity research—at the expense of Black and brown researchers.

[A] STAT investigation shows a disturbing trend: a gold rush mentality where researchers with little or no background or training in health equity research, often white and already well-funded, are rushing in to scoop up grants and publish papers. STAT has documented dozens of cases where white researchers are building on the work of, or picking the brains of, Black and brown researchers without citing them or offering to include them on grants or as co-authors.

A glaring example occurred in August when the Journal of the American Medical Association — a leading medical journal already under fire for how it handles issues of race — published a special themed issue on racial and ethnic health disparities in medicine. Meant to highlight JAMA’s new commitment to health equity, it served up an illustration of the structural racism embedded in academic publishing: Not one of the five research papers published in the issue included a Black lead or corresponding author, and just one lead author was Hispanic.

A JAMA spokesperson said its editors do not consider the demographics of authors in selecting research papers, but critics say that neutral stance perpetuates long-standing inequities rather than addressing them.

Jenn Higgins writes for Roll Call that there are not enough Black Americans participating in clinical trials for life-saving cancer therapies.

Disparities in clinical trials have been a concern for decades, but it’s generated more attention as the field of precision medicine has taken off. As targeted therapies become a reality — and as dozens of personalized medicines on the market help patients live longer lives — we must do more to consider differences between people of varying races, ethnicities and gender.

Certainly, some genetic mutations are more common among different demographic populations. For example, Black women in the U.S. are three times as likely as women of other ethnic or racial backgrounds to be diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancers, for which there still isn’t effective treatment. Underscreening is also responsible for higher cancer diagnoses and deaths among African Americans.

Still, a major contributor to this outcome disparity is the underrepresentation of African Americans in oncology clinical trials. Research shows that Black Americans, who make up roughly 14 percent of the U.S. population, account for only 3.1 percent of participants in clinical trials for cancer drugs — meaning Black enrollees are represented at only 22 percent of the expected level.

David Ignatius of The Washington Post is impressed with the steadiness and “no-drama” nature of U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Through this tumultuous nine months, Austin has been a no-drama official in a country that too often feels like a manic soap opera. White House officials, rocked by a summer of crises, uniformly speak highly of him. He proudly bears his mantle as the nation’s first Black defense secretary. He may not be a whiz-kid manager, but he’s a steady one. And he has taken some little-noted initiatives on China and technology that have helped fill some holes in his résumé.

Austin and Milley make an unusual but well-matched team. Where Milley is mercurial and outspoken, Austin remains quiet and deliberate. Both have spent many years as combat leaders during America’s two decades of war — Milley nearer to the raw carnage of the battlefield than any chairman in years. Together, they have the job of calming a military whose members mirror some of the political and social divisions that afflict the country.

The surprise about Austin is that although he’s a retired general, he is encouraging more of the civilian control the military needs. The White House is the overwhelmingly dominant voice in policy these days. The days of slow-rolling the president, which became a Pentagon art form during the Trump administration, are over. Biden wanted out of Afghanistan, and Austin, despite initial misgivings, followed the commander in chief’s orders.

Raphael Tsavkko Garcia reports for Al Jazeera that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s “Independence Day rallies” kinda flopped.

The protests were undoubtedly large – the largest organised by the far right since Bolsonaro took office – with more than 150,000 people in Brasilia and Sao Paulo alone taking to the streets to show their support for the president. Clad in the colours of the Brazilian flag, and chanting pro-Bolsonaro slogans, they made it clear that they still believe in their president and are ready to fight for him whenever necessary.

However, Bolsonaro and his allies were expecting not only thousands but millions of Brazilians to take to the streets in support of the president on that day. So, many in Brazil interpreted the lower than anticipated turnout as confirmation of what opinion polls have long been saying: Popular support for Bolsonaro is plummeting.

Moreover, despite the president’s best efforts, including his inflammatory speeches, the rallies had little effect on the Brazilian institutions resisting the excesses of the president and his allies. Indeed, Supreme Court Chief Justice Luiz Fux said on September 8 that “no one will shut down ” the Court and that he will not accept threats or intimidation. Those in Congress, meanwhile, once again voiced their determination to reject the president’s nominee for a vacant Supreme Court seat.

As it became clear that the Independence Day rallies not only failed to achieve their purpose but actually turned more Brazilians against the president, Bolsonaro went into retreat.

Rob Mudge of Deutsche Welle, reporting on today’s German elections, writes about the difficulty of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party to inaugurate change. 

A rock, a hill or a mountain is an immovable object. Applied to the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU), inflexibility and complacency in a post-Merkel world spell stagnation or a further downslide for this once-mighty Volkspartei (major party), reminiscent of the decline of the other major party, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).

On paper, at least, the Social Democrats and the Greens are emphasizing the need for fundamental change to meet the many daunting challenges ahead: notably, those of tackling the climate crisis and finally joining the digital 21st century. Despite the CDU’s assertions to the contrary, it still comes across as being mired in Merkel’s sedate weiter so (keep it up) politics.

But here’s the paradox: Though there is public recognition to a certain extent of the need for some form of change, German politics are steeped in conservatism and the tradition of not upsetting the status quo. Deep down, it will always be a bourgeois society. Change is welcome only when it doesn’t compromise wealth and prosperity.

The CDU’s claim that a possible coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party would somehow constitute a political shift to the radical left and spell doom for the country is misplaced fearmongering. It doesn’t get more mainstream and middle-of-the-road than the SPD and the Greens these days.

Finally, I liked this excerpt from Jessica Nordell’s new book, The End of Bias: A Beginning, published in The Atlantic, about a mathematics professor overcoming biased teaching methods with his math students.

Mathematics as an academic field is notoriously homogenous—mostly White or Asian and male—and though mathematicians are not seen as the epitome of masculinity, the culture is macho and aggressive. “Abusive language,” Ardila told me, “is completely normalized.” Although the elders of the field set this tone, the tradition is carried on by younger professors. Andrés Vindas-Meléndez, one of Ardila’s former grad students, described to me an experience he had as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley when he asked an adviser for a signature on the forms needed to declare the mathematics major. “You’re not going to be a mathematician,” the adviser had told him. As Vindas-Meléndez was walking out the door, the adviser said, “Don’t embarrass yourself. And don’t embarrass the department.”

To Ardila, now a professor at San Francisco State University, the problem was significant: 60 percent of his students come from ethnic minority groups. Nearly half are first-generation college students. So Ardila decided to do what mathematicians do when faced with a huge conundrum: begin by focusing on a smaller problem. He set out to create, in his own classroom, a new kind of math environment.

Everyone have a great day!



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For Schumer and Pelosi, the challenge of a career without margin for error



Ms. Pelosi has already experienced difficult situations. She had to coax enough anti-abortion Democrats to back the House’s version of the Affordable Care Act without losing the Liberals, who already feared the Senate’s exclusion of a new government-run plan, or ” public option ”, which would have competed with private insurance in the bill insurance market.

Then the Senate Democratic leaders abruptly lost their filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, after a Republican, Scott Brown, shocked Washington by winning the special election in Massachusetts to fill the seat of the United States. Senate vacated by the death of Edward M. Kennedy. Ms Pelosi had to persuade House Democrats to swallow their pride, forget months of laborious negotiations, and simply pass the Senate version of the Affordable Care Act because a House-Senate compromise would be blocked by Republicans.

“The Affordable Care Act was a pretty big challenge,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who led the group at the time. “I mean, embrace radical health care reform and completely transform the health care delivery system in this country?” Yeah, that’s what I would say comparable “to the current effort.

The Social Policy and Climate Change Bill does not create a whole new government function like the Health Act did, but as part of its ambitions, it might be even more difficult to achieve. It would extend revolutionary income support programs like the child tax credit passed this year, make universal preschool and community college nearly universal, create a federally paid family and sick leave allowance, and attempt to make the country steadfastly move away from oil, gas and coal. renewable fuels and electric vehicles, to name a few of its programs. And it would pay for all of this by taxing the rich and the corporations, perhaps in a way never tried before.

This created a number of bottlenecks that could sink the bill, given the narrow Democratic majorities. Oregon Representative Kurt Schrader said he wanted a bill that spends less than $ 1,000 billion over 10 years. Several members of the House say they cannot accept the bill’s strict approach to prescription drug prices.

Ms. Sinema of Arizona has privately told her colleagues that she will not agree to any increase in the corporate or income tax rate. But recent discussions by Senate Democrats over adding a carbon tax to the bill to both tackle climate change and help replace that revenue have come up against concerns raised by three House Democrats. from Texas. In a letter to Ms Sinema and Ms Manchin, they expressed their opposition to several provisions of the bill aimed at tackling climate change, and also spoke out against increasing a minimum income tax to the foreign US companies above that set in 2017..



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Saving stories and venerable open threads



Each of the writers brings their own special flavor to the mix, but as P Carey notes, all “specifically attempt to be welcoming and apolitical. We know that the comment sections of most posts can be intimidating and even hostile – certainly intellectually difficult – so we try to make sure that ideas are respected and that kindness and gentleness reign. We have fun conversations, bad and even sordid jokes, and heated discussions on a number of topics.

Officebss uses its Monday slot for poetry. “Too many people have had unhappy experiences with poetry in school, and they think they hate it,” she said. “So I ask, ‘Do you know all the words to your favorite song? Most people do, so they don’t really hate poetry. After all, Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize for Literature for his lyrics, because song lyrics are only one of many forms of poetry.

“What attracted me VERSUS in the beginning was music. sand bear75 noted. “But I quickly realized the real magic of VERSUS is diversity. I was always treated with something new or something that I really liked. From Fela Kuti or Charlie Mingus to Ralph Stanley or The Cure, I look forward to each morning. From grim visual descriptions of Vermont to double-spaced opossum poems of West Texas. Internal reflections from the Louisiana coast to the verbal sleight of hand of punk rock in Atlanta. Portland, Ore., Hilarity at Mississippi moral guidance. We came together and formed a stronger bond than anything I have experienced on the internet. Or maybe it’s just the lack of coffee so early in the morning.

“We’re having fun,” adds sandbear75. “We like to see beyond the walls that separate us and find common ground. We never know how we connected until we start tracking our Open discussions in the morning.”And they are always looking for new things VERSUS-leys, as the regulars are called. All of the regular writers started out as walk-in commentators who have stayed on.

The place grows on you, as they say.

NINE STORIES FROM 1PM PDT SEPT. 5 TO 1 P.M. PDT SEPT. 24, 2021

Community Spotlight’s mission is to ensure that the best stories of the Daily Kos community receive the attention they deserve. We encourage members who write great stories with original perspectives to continue writing by promoting their work. We further support a healthy community by not saving specific topics and stories designed to cause bitter or intractable fights, although we welcome strong arguments presented fairly and supported by credible sources.

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Remember: the numbers in parentheses after each author’s name indicate the year they joined Daily Kos, the number of stories they published, and the number we saved.

i am a patriot through BoiseBlue (2007-148-9)

“Patriotism” is a laden term in the United States inundated with flag paraphernalia. “Patriotism” displayed by flag fabric bikini or scalloped flag t-shirt and hat infuriates BoiseBlue. Patriotism is not about waving (or wearing) a symbol, it is about contributing to the well-being of your country. “Because patriotism is not about the flag. Patriotism is that ration coupon book that my great-grandmother didn’t use just because she could. Patriotism was the coupons she never cashed. Patriotism was my grandfather who joined the Air Force (that was one thing) when he was 18. It was his younger brother who was lying about his age to get the same role and become a fucking parachutist.

Be an election worker in California through sandijd54 (2020-1-1)

First-time writer Sandijd54 explains both the process and the rationale involved in working polls in the Golden State. A poll veteran after a decade of elections – moving from clerk to poll inspector and in charge of the demanding and essential work of democracy – this is the author’s first year of hostility at the polls. “The vote should have an atmosphere of comfort, not confrontation,” they write, explaining that Texas’ new election laws are dangerous because they will place supporters too close to voters.

Zorba the Greek: a kind of film review through rougy77 (2021-13-2)

Anthony Quinn’s role of a lifetime as Alexis Zorba is really part of a different movie but, according to rougy77, Quinn is the best reason to watch the movie: “These days Zorba’s character looks like to what is often referred to as the ‘manic pixie dream girl.’ He has a thirst for life that the central protagonist lacks, and his very presence adds spice to every scene. It may not be much when you add everything up, but by God, he knows how to live!

I am autistic. Why an autocracy scares me through boofdah (2005-212-12)

Boofdah poignantly describes spending a lifetime trying to fit in, adjusting to different communities before receiving Asperger’s diagnosis and building a successful marriage, family, and life. She worries about what will happen if authoritarianism takes over our government and the autocrats decide who is worthy to live in freedom and who is not. However, she is not worried about her own reaction: “I will not want to fit in, I will fight.”

A theory on why the Democratic Party in Texas got into trouble through Baal again (2015-20-3)

Baal still envisions the Democrats’ success in Georgia and wonders why the Democrats in Texas, with his strong progressive presence, failed to break the Republican grip on power like they did in Georgia. The reason, they suggest, may be because Texas is simply too big and its centers of power too scattered for a single politician like Beto O’Rourke or an organizer like Stacey Abrams to bring the whole population together. “The point is, the people of Houston, for example, don’t know much about the rising progressive political stars in those other cities. Even people like Royce West, a lifelong Texas legislator who hails from Dallas, aren’t really known statewide. In the comments, Texans (who know the state best) serve as expert witnesses.

In defense of sheep through LL Brun (2020-81-1)

LL Brown says sheep have a bad reputation. “They’re so smart they’ve managed to hide it from the average human, especially the non-vaxxed.” LL Brown tells us almost everything we need to know about sheep, but we were too busy to ask, especially when it comes to their intelligence: sheep recognize other sheep, they recognize human faces, and they know how to heal themselves. themselves. Their herd mentality isn’t stupid – it’s a defense mechanism. In fact, sheep are way smarter than the average Republican governor in the south.

The Eastman memo and what it may have triggered through Elwood Dowd (2005-205-?)

Elwood Dowd reviews the steps outlined in John Eastman’s Six Point Recipe for Reversing a Legitimate Election, a story that has been largely ignored by the mainstream media. The bill, presented to Donald Trump ahead of the certification of the Jan. 6 congressional vote, required Vice President Mike Pence to ban votes from the Electoral College of seven states. Pence would then ask the House of Representatives to elect the president in accordance with the 12th and refine the amendments to the Constitution. There is a near universal agreement, from Lawrence Tribe to Dan Quayle, which Pence had no power to reject. ‘State the vote matters. But who was going to stop him? Given that so many other democracy safety nets have failed under the Trump administration, if Pence had accepted the plot, the Jan. 6 insurgency would indeed have failed. could have been worse.

Stupidity like shibboleth through Solicited (2021-3-3)

Sollace equates current Republican loyalty practices of spreading false information, outright lies and other stupidities with the story of “Shibboleth” from the Book of Judges in the Tanakh, or the Old Testament. The Gileadites, who risked being infiltrated by members of the Ephraimite tribe, instituted a password, “shibboleth,” which the Ephraimites mispronounced, exposing themselves. Since then, passing a “Shibboleth” test is like saying something “correctly” as a group access code. “We humans have always favored social cohesion over the search for truth. The GOP faced such a choice not so long ago.” Today, stupidity, bad faith and disinformation are Republican shibboleths that weed out so-called RINOs and people who prioritize truth over group identity.

How did my school board become the enemy? through JKam83 (2016-2-1)

JKam83 chronicles researching and organizing with like-minded parents after their school board voted to apply an “optional mask” policy to public schools in their small town. The parent group found out how many overtly political and partisan decisions were made in a supposedly non-partisan and apolitical school board. “The reality here is that there are an abundance of questions regarding the board’s decisions on masking that cannot be answered truthfully because their” non-partisan “decisions are, in fact, based on Politics.” Partisanship may have started with a policy of masking, but it touches every corner of the school building and its curriculum; the author’s experience serves as a clear call to parents to investigate their board’s priorities before relying on trivial assurances.

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