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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Switzerland
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:01 PM
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If Ryan Zinke (R-MT)

is appointed as Secretary of the Interior, there is one possible silver lining on the horizon.



The big and well traveled hat belonging to rancher and well known musician Rob Quist was thrown in the ring today for the Democratic nomination for the special election for the U.S. House of Representatives. Quist joins Democratic legislators Rep. Amanda Curtis, Kelly McCarthy, and Casey Schreiner, in seeking their party’s nomination, which will be made at a special nominating convention after Rep. Ryan Zinke is confirmed as Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Interior.

Quist said he’s running because:

I have spent a lifetime traveling the state working with and getting to know the concerns and the needs of my fellow Montanans. This is a time of great polarity in our nation and I feel that my skills as a communicator and a consensus builder working for all Montanans could be an asset for our state on a national level.

He will, he promises, work to protect Social Security and Medicare; protect public lands; develop new energy technologies; streamline and simplify the tax code so that it works for everyone; provide higher pay for teachers; support labor and unions; help farmers and ranchers obtain higher prices for their products.


There are some other good Dem candidates in the running as well.

It looks like he won't be able to steal it.

I was hoping that the recount would affect all races on the ballot. But you are probably right that it won't.

On Rural America: Understanding Isnt The Problem


This is one of the best essays I have seen about this issue. As someone who grew up in rural America - so rural that it didn't even qualify as "fly-over," I can agree with just about every word.

"... The problem isn’t that I don’t understand these people. The problem is they don’t understand themselves, the reasons for their anger/frustrations, and don’t seem to care to know why.

In deep red, white America, the white Christian God is king, figuratively and literally. Religious fundamentalism is what has shaped most of their belief systems. Systems built on a fundamentalist framework are not conducive for introspection, questioning, learning, change. When you have a belief system that is built on fundamentalism, it isn’t open to outside criticism, especially by anyone not a member of your tribe and in a position of power. The problem isn’t “coastal elites don’t understand rural Americans.” The problem is rural America doesn’t understand itself and will NEVER listen to anyone outside their bubble. It doesn’t matter how “understanding” you are, how well you listen, what language you use…if you are viewed as an outsider, your views are automatically discounted. I’ve had hundreds of discussions with rural white Americans and whenever I present them any information that contradicts their entrenched beliefs, no matter how sound, how unquestionable, how obvious, they WILL NOT even entertain the possibility it might be true. Their refusal is a result of the nature of their fundamentalist belief system and the fact I’m the enemy because I’m an educated liberal. At some point during the discussion, “That’s your education talking,” will be said, derogatorily, as a general dismissal of everything I said. They truly believe this is a legitimate response because to them education is not to be trusted. Education is the enemy of fundamentalism because fundamentalism, by its very nature, is not built on facts. The fundamentalists I grew up around aren’t anti-education. They want their kids to know how to read and write. They are anti-quality, in-depth, broad, specialized education. Learning is only valued up to the certain point. Once it reaches the level where what you learn contradicts doctrine and fundamentalist arguments, it becomes dangerous. I watched a lot of my fellow students who were smart, stop their education the day they graduated high school. For most of the young ladies, getting married and having kids was more important than continuing their learning. For many of the young men, getting a college education was seen as unnecessary and a waste of time. For the few who did go to college, what they learned was still filtered through their fundamentalist belief system. If something they were taught didn’t support a preconception, it would be ignored and forgotten the second it was no longer need to pass an exam."

Much more at the link.

Chaotic presidential race could affect turnout in Montana


Montana voters typically throw their support behind Republican presidential candidates, and Trump figures to win the state this year. But that doesn't mean down-ticket Republicans can rest easy: In the last three presidential elections, Montana voters have elected the Democratic candidate as governor while picking the GOP presidential candidate.

But Trump is not a typical Republican candidate, and this is not a typical election year, Saldin said.

"If I were on one of these, any of these, campaigns, I'd be worried about that. Just the general chaos and uncertainty that's been caused by the presidential campaign and how that's going to affect things down-ballot," he added.

Bullock, the state's attorney general before being elected in 2012 as one of only 18 Democratic governors in the U.S., has framed himself as a coalition builder and a champion of protecting public access to lands and waterways. He shrugged off what effect Trump may have on his bid for a second term.

"I control those things that I can control, and that's actually getting out there and talking to voters," Bullock said.

I think that McClatchy misses these facts, among others: a) Bullock is a popular governor, whatever his party designation; and b) MT women voters might have a greater effect on the race than some think. Judging by my anecdotal experience of friends and family in MT, many in both parties are excited about Hillary's candidacy and they are also excited about sending Denise Juneau, an excellent Dem woman candidate, to the US House of Representatives for the second time since Jeannette Rankin won a seat there 100 years ago.

Whatever happens in the Presidential race in MT, I am hoping very much that BOTH Bullock and Juneau win their respective elections. But it would be absolutely WONDERFUL if MT defied all expectations and Hillary won there too.

End this misogynistic horror show. Put Hillary Clinton in the White House

X posted from GD-2016 - where, as anticipated, it got very little traction, which tells you something about posters in that group - even today.


Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite writers.

End this misogynistic horror show. Put Hillary Clinton in the White House


While Clinton holds her head high, why are we not exploding with anger at Donald Trump’s bullying?

Hillary Clinton has honoured the rules of civic duty and met the prerequisites for a candidate, bringing a lifetime of pertinent experience, an inquiring mind, a record of compassionate service and a sound grasp of our nation’s every challenge, from international relations to climate change; her stated desire is to work hard for our country and its future.

Her opponent has no political experience, a famously childish temperament, no interest in educating himself on any subject, a manifest record of shortchanging employees, bankrupting businesses, cheating on wives, dodging taxes and serving absolutely no one but himself. His mission is to elevate the self-regard of some Americans by degrading many others, including Muslims, Mexican immigrants, people with disabilities, residents of African-American communities, women he finds beautiful and women he does not.

I’m horrified to watch the bizarre pageant of my nation pretending these two contenders are equivalent. No one really imagines Donald Trump applying himself to the disciplines of the presidency, staying up late reading reams of legislation, instead of firing off juvenile tweets. It’s even harder to imagine Clinton indulging in the boorish self-aggrandisement, intellectual laziness, racism and vulgar contempt for the opposite gender that characterise her opponent. If anyone still doubts that the inexperienced man gets promoted ahead of the qualified woman, you can wake up now.
The men orchestrating this misogynistic horror show have combed every inch of Clinton’s lifetime of service looking for some dark deed, finding nothing worse than a mistake about email handling for which she has accepted responsibility and submitted to an exhaustive investigation that found no harm done. (I marvel at her decades of perfect caution. What other person alive could come through such scrutiny without deeper embarrassments?) They’ve broken into her private exchanges, the legal equivalent of burgling and rifling the drawers of her home, dragging stolen goods through the public forum with barefaced entitlement. Through it all, Clinton holds her head high and carries on as if this is the way of campaigns.

Is 99% a reasonable probability?


Three sets of data point in the same direction:

- The state poll-based Meta-Margin is Clinton +2.6%.
- National polls give a median of Clinton +3.0 +/- 0.9% (10 polls with a start date of November 1st or later).
- Early voting patterns approximately match 2012, a year when the popular vote was Obama +3.9%.

Based on this evidence, if Hillary Clinton does not win on Tuesday it will be a giant surprise.
An obvious contrast with PEC’s calculation is the FiveThirtyEight win probability, which has been in the 60-70% range. As a prominent outlier this season, FiveThirtyEight has come under fire for their lack of certainty. Its founder, Nate Silver, has fired back.

Let me start by pointing out that FiveThirtyEight and the Princeton Election Consortium have different goals. One site has the goal of being correct in an academic sense, i.e. mulling over many alternatives and discussing them. The other site is driven by monetary and resource considerations. However, which is which? It’s opposite to what you may think.
With all that prelude (whew!), let me explain how the Princeton Election Consortium achieves such a high level of confidence.

Much more at the link.

NBC Nightly News Features Denise Juneau’s Historic Run For Congress


NBC Nightly News made a trip to Montana to cover Denise Juneau’s historic bid for the U.S. House of Representatives, calling the race “unexpectedly tight.”

“In this red state Juneau has chipped away at [Congressman Ryan Zinke’s] lead to the extent that House Speaker Paul Ryan came to campaign for Zinke last week,” reporter Janet Shamlian said.

“There’s no question that part of her appeal, especially for the progressive base, lies in those aspects of her identity that are unique by Montana standards,” political scientist Rob Saldin told NBC News.

Go Denise!

Yet another good one gone: 6 Things Janet Reno Will Be Remembered For


The United States' first female Attorney General has died at the age of 78

Janet Reno, the first female Attorney General of the United States, who served for eight years after being nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993, has died at the age of 78 from complications related to Parkinson’s disease. Here, six milestones in the no-frills lawyer’s legacy:

1. Becoming the first woman to serve as Attorney General

During her 15 years as prosecutor in Miami’s Dade County, where voters returned her to the office five times, Reno gained plenty of experience on cases with national implications, including on narcotics, immigration and corruption. The Ivy League law graduate also had a reputation as an innovator who introduced a special court for drug offenders that mixed punishment with treatment.

She was nominated and confirmed as the first woman to serve as the U.S. Attorney General in March 1993 after Clinton’s first two choices, Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood, were withdrawn for previously employing illegal immigrants as domestic help. Reno remained Attorney General for the remainder of Clinton’s presidency, which made her the longest-serving in the whole of the twentieth century.

That year, she appeared on the cover of TIME, with the strapline reading ‘Reno: The Real Thing’. “When I was nominated, I was told that the White House had some people they wanted in position,” Reno said, in the interview that accompanied her cover. “I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to be able to live with that if I don’t particularly care for somebody or if I want somebody.’ They said, ‘We’ll work it out.’ And I’ve been entirely satisfied ever since.”

Much more at the link.

I’m an Arab and I’m with her


This post gives the Arab case for Hillary Clinton - one major reason why Clinton lost the MI primary was because many Arab-Americans supported Bernie Sanders, for many of the reasons mentioned here.

But Arab-Americans are NOT insane. Like this poster, many now support Hillary. So I am not as worried about MI as some of those now "concerned."

By and large, Arab ambivalence towards Trump and this race is based on a deep dislike, at times outright hatred, for Hillary Clinton. Hillary is seen as a huge supporter of Israel, a hawk whose policies resulted in the collapse of Libya and Syria, a supporter of the Iraq war in 2003, and worse. As Clinton put it at the end of the first debate: “I think by the end of the night I will be blamed for everything!”

Many Arabs fear that the Washington establishment is pushing and praying for a Hillary victory because she will embark on many more military adventures in the region. This fear is real. Almost all American interventions in the Arab world have been perceived to be on the wrong side of history and justice! American interventions have served Israeli interests and regional dictatorships, or both at the same time. Americans should never believe the lie, repeated mindlessly by politicians and mainstream media, that America has sided with the forces of democracy and freedom; at least not in the Arab world. That was never the case.

However, any attempt to paint Hillary as a neocon interventionist is misguided and unfair. In fact, the neocon US establishment has been battling Hillary relentlessly since 1992, doing everything they could to disqualify her, or even imprison her! If she is so much the neocon standard bearer, it doesn’t stand to reason that she would be the subject of so much vitriol and plotting by that very establishment.

The defense of Hillary, from an Arab perspective, can be focused on debunking the following lies:

Much more at the link. It's worth a read and was shared on FB today by a former colleague, who is Jordanian. Unfortunately, he can't vote in the US election. But he knows many who can!
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