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The Dark History and Destructive Legacy of Republican Fearmongering

By Melissa McEwan for Blue Nation Review

June 17, 2016

n his piece, Sickness: The Media and Republicans Have Done the Orlando Killer’s Bidding, Peter Daou explains how the media and Republicans are doing the killer’s bidding by elevating him to celebrity status and turning him into a martyr of a specific ideology. Here, I follow up with an exploration of how the Republican culture of cultivating a base around othering, scapegoating, and fearmongering – combined with reckless rhetoric on the necessity of guns for self-defense – ensures that the sort of violence we saw in Orlando keeps happening.

One of the limitations of a predominantly two-party system in a vastly diverse nation, comprised of many demographics with competing desires and needs, is that parties have to form their base by building coalitions.

There are challenges for both parties in bringing together disparate groups who share enough in common to work in concert to elect a majority. But the biggest challenge facing Republican elites has always been how you convince people who aren’t obscenely wealthy to vote for a platform designed to exploit them.

Over decades, they developed and fine-tuned a strategy based on appealing to bigotry, to othering and scapegoating and victim-blaming. And then they dressed it up in cynical language about morality, patriotism, and nostalgia.

Long before Donald Trump had the chutzpah to make it his actual campaign slogan, the Republican Party was promising to Make America Great Again.

Usually couched in the deceivingly pleasant language of “tradition,” Republican leaders have long traded on the conjured idea of an American golden era, circa 1945 to 1960, after boys who were ripped from the arms of their sweethearts, and sent to another continent to fight a great war against tyranny and despair, had returned home as men, as heroes, and set to work, every last one of them, making babies with doting wives and grabbing the American Dream with both hands in the dawn of suburbia.


Hillary Clinton: An open letter on Charleston

By Hillary Clinton

Friends --
One year ago today, our nation lost nine precious lives. They were mothers and fathers, students and coaches, pastors and choir members. They were men and women of faith, each filled with passion and love, and with so much left to give. For many, time has done little to dull the pain of their loss. I still remember my grief and confusion when I heard the news. But their deaths have not been in vain.

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things," Scripture teaches us. "Love never fails."

On that evening in the "Mother Emanuel" AME Church, Clementa, Cynthia, Susie, Ethel, DePayne, Tywanza, Daniel, Sharonda and Myra lived out the lessons of their faith, like always -- welcoming a stranger for prayer and fellowship, offering love without a second thought.
Their spirit of love remained long after they were gone. In court, one by one, grieving parents and siblings looked at the young man who had taken so much from them and said, "I forgive you." And the entire Charleston community -- black and white, Christian, Muslim and Jewish, and so many others -- came together to stand up to hate and bigotry, providing love to one another instead.

Filled with that love, we have made progress. The Confederate flag that flew on the South Carolina State House grounds has been removed. Young people have called out for much-needed reforms to our criminal justice system. Mothers who lost their children to gun violence are channeling their grief into action and turning their mourning into a movement for common-sense gun reform.

But we have much more to do.

Another mass shooting, in Orlando, broke our hearts earlier this week. An average of 90 people a day are killed by gun violence in our country. This must stop. A good first step is closing the "Charleston Loophole" in our gun laws, which allows a person otherwise prohibited from buying a gun -- such as a domestic abuser or other violent criminal -- to buy one if a background check isn't completed within three business days. This loophole allowed the alleged Charleston shooter to buy his gun despite his prior arrest record. How many more innocent people need to be cut down before we act and close this dangerous loophole?

On that terrible evening and every day since, Americans across the country have joined our hearts with the people of Charleston and South Carolina. Millions of Americans are still walking with them -- in grief, solidarity and determination.

In the spirit of the Charleston Nine, let's bridge our divides, fight for change and remember that love never fails.

With solidarity and warm regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

Hillary Rodham Clinton

This Primary Season, Clinton Won States With Highest Income Inequality

Earlier this year, we noticed a pattern in which states were voting for Hillary Clinton and which were voting for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic nominating contests. Sanders tended to win the states that had the highest income equality (as measured by the Gini index, a widely used measure of inequality), and Clinton tended to win states that were the most unequal.

Now that the primaries are over, we decided to look again. The trend held relatively well, as it turns out: With her win in the District of Columbia primary on Tuesday, Clinton won the most-unequal place in the nation, according to the Gini index. Sanders, meanwhile, tended to dominate among the more-equal states.

All of which is surprising, given that Sanders built his campaign message around battling inequality. Here's a look at our chart — this time with D.C. added on. The Washington, D.C., bar is the one on the far right of the chart.

Chart and analysis at the link NPR.com

Nate Cohn: Exit polls bias towards young voters ... Not "rigging"

Nate Cohn Verified account

Nate Cohn Retweeted Nate Cohn

Exit polls bias towards young voters likely a big part of why they lean towards Bernie. Not "rigging"


Nate Cohn Verified account

Exit polls had 65+ voters at 19% of the SC Dem primary electorate. Official vt history has it at 32%. 18-24 year olds just 2%, v. 7 in exits


31 Nights of "Hillary Clinton's Platform is Amazing!" -- Night 7: Making College Affordable


By Addison
2016/06/16 · 21:25

Hillary Clinton has 31 policy groups on her campaign’s “Issues” page, which outline her policy goals as president.

And, guess what, they’re great!

She is better helped, as a candidate, by improving her positives than increasing Trump’s negatives (he does that well enough on his own).

So why not highlight those positives, night after night, and promote a better sense of the progressive and popular choice that she is? It’s easy enough to do, she’s a great candidate with generally great positions on the issues Americans care about.

For Night 7, we’ll be looking at HIllary Clinton’s plans to make college more affordable for all students. This was an issue discussed by both candidates during the campaign, and so (as with other issues) there may be lingering feelings regarding Clinton’s plan. However, it is clear that is represents an improvement, and a very realizable one, over the current status quo that is failing so many would-be students who have a desire to learn, to train, and to succeed in today’s economic marketplace. It is something worth voting for, this November.

Continued at DailyKos

Former Goldman banker Gensler is Clinton's progressive beacon

Jennifer Epstein, (c) 2016, Bloomberg(c) 2016, Bloomberg

Over tea at Hillary Clinton's Washington home in late 2014, Elizabeth Warren warned her host that when it comes to Wall Street, what mattered most was the people Clinton surrounded herself with.

Months later, as Clinton launched her presidential campaign, Gary Gensler, who had been a Goldman Sachs banker before he became a senior policy aide and Bob Rubin protégé during the degulatory years of Bill Clinton's Treasury Department, came on board, in part to serve as a driving force behind her economic-policy shop. Remarkably, Warren would be one of his strongest supporters.

The deeper explanation is that Gensler is a financial-policy unicorn-a deregulator turned reformer. As head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Gensler became known as one of President Barack Obama's toughest regulators, willing to buck his friends and former colleagues to tighten rules on the $400 trillion swaps market following the 2008 crisis. His name became an expletive to many on Wall Street, to the delight of Warren and her allies.


"Gary is tough, smart, and principled, and he really understands what it takes to make our economy work better for hardworking families. During his time at the CFTC, he showed that he is willing to take on the big banks and fight to make our financial system safer," said Warren, who met with Clinton last week after endorsing the presumptive Democratic nominee. "I really respect him."

Full Article at ChicagoTribune.com

USA TODAY interview: Clinton says she'll call Trump unfit to handle economy

Heidi M Przybyla, USA TODAY 12:30 a.m. EDT June 16, 2016


Earlier this month in San Diego, Clinton delivered a blistering speech that cast Trump as too dangerous to serve as the nation’s commander in chief due to his proposed temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, lack of foreign policy knowledge and his temperament. She's continued those attacks in the days following Sunday's Orlando nightclub massacre, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

In a speech in Columbus next Wednesday, Clinton said she will make "a similar case on the economy that I did on foreign policy: that Donald Trump is erratic and temperamentally unfit to be responsible for the world's largest economy."

Clinton pointed to one example of Trump's "incoherent" economic argument by noting that the billionaire has built his populist appeal around leveling the playing field for lower-income Americans, even though she said his tax plan gives a $3 trillion break to millionaires and billionaires over the next 10 years.

She pointed out that his proposal would lower rates for hedge-fund and private equity managers by creating a new, lower 15% bracket. "They would actually see their carried interest rate cut by one-third, making the loophole worse rather than closing it," she said. Previewing her speech next week, she said, "He's either completely incoherent or he hasn't thought one bit about his plan."


Full Article at USAToday

“Hillary Clinton has proven herself as a champion of the labor movement."

Hillary Clinton Verified account

Hillary Clinton Retweeted AFL-CIO

“Hillary Clinton has proven herself as a champion of the labor movement."



Rafal Hill

DNC RULES If Sanders wants a prime time speech he has to concede BEFORE the Convention, says @GovEdRendell @hardball


George Takei: How the LGBT Community Can Lead America to a Sane Gun Policy


IT IS TIME 06.14.16 1:00 PM ET

George Takei: How the LGBT Community Can Lead America to a Sane Gun Policy

The longtime actor and LGBT activist writes about how, in the wake of the Orlando gay club massacre that left 49 people dead, the LGBT community can lead the charge on gun reform.

The terror attack in Orlando marks a rare nexus point in our politics. For the moment, the face of America’s tragedy is gay—and largely Latino—as we grimly identify those slain. And for the moment, the LGBT community, built on principles of acceptance and tolerance, grapples with the notion that this terrorist act was inspired by religious fanaticism.

No one on either side of the political divide is particularly comfortable with this narrative. But the moment does offer an uncanny opportunity, an alignment almost never seen, where elements on the farthest sides of the cultural spectrum suddenly find common cause.

After other recent mass shootings, solutions have proved elusive. The left blames guns; the right blames radical Islam, and we are back to where we began.

Or are we? It’s safe to assume none of us actually wants to see ISIS-inspired terrorists armed with semi-automatic rifles, able to attack at will within our own borders. But to prevent that, we must address a rather tricky question: How much liberty must we concede? This is often framed as a question of Second Amendment rights. But this particular attack in Orlando raises new questions, compelling a review of our values and priorities.

Continued at the Daily Beast
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