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TomCADem's Journal
TomCADem's Journal
March 9, 2021

Jacob Hacker And Paul Pierson: How The Right Rules

The authors of bestselling books that discuss how under the current Republican party you have plutocrats framing themselves as populists with pitchforks and how racism is being used to oppress the the white working class. In this discussion with EJ Dionne, they discuss their book:

Let them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality

March 9, 2021

Heather McGhee - "The Sum of Us" & The True Cost of Racism The Daily Social Distancing Show

Great recent segment on the Daily Show on Heather McGhee who wrote a bestselling book about racism hurts white people, as well as minorities who are the object of the racism:

Here is more academic lecture by McGhee giving a TED talk:

March 4, 2021

Fact check: Breaking down spending in the COVID-19 relief bill

Republicans are arguing that less than 10 percent of the bill is pandemic related based on the fact that this is the rough figure that goes to direct containment measures such as vaccines and testing, which is a pretty narrow definition of what is related to the pandemic. To the contrary, an analysis by a nonpartisan group found that about 85% of the bill is related to the coronavirus pandemic.


About 22% of the total bill comes from the $422 billion set aside for $1,400-per-person stimulus checks. Another 13% ($246 billion) is for extending additional unemployment funding of $400 a week.

A combined 12% is going to:

Subsidized COBRA for laid-off workers.
Affordable Care Act subsidies for the next two years.
Expanded nutrition assistance to replace school lunch programs during the pandemic.
Funding for testing and contact tracing.
Disaster Relief Fund increases and covering COVID-19-related funeral expenses.
Grants to airlines and contractors to freeze layoffs through September.
Defense Production Act funding for medical supplies.
Grants for restaurants and bars that have lost revenue in the pandemic.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance grants of up to $10,000 per business.

Another $519 billion – 27% of the total – is going to state and local governments and schools, much of which will make up losses related to the pandemic and help schools reopen. Republicans note much of the school funding, however, won’t be spent immediately.

If the government and school aid is included in this category, about 85% of the American Rescue Plan is pandemic-related, according to a breakdown by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
February 28, 2021

Why Poor, Non-Slaveholding White Southerners Fought In The Civil War

Most confederate soldiers in the civil war did not personally own slaves. Indeed, the existence of slavery helped to depress the wages of poor whites in the pre-Civil War South. With low wages and few schools, southern whites suffered a much lower land ownership rate and a far lower literacy rate than northern whites. So, why did poor Southern whites support secession from the United States prior to the civil war?

As the article below and quoted source material illustrates, racism not only oppresses the objects of racism, but it oppresses working class whites as well. With the funding and proliferation of racist, right wing media outlets like OANN, Newsmax and Fox News, we continue to see the use of racism as the ultimate con job on the working class.

Trump represents a modern example of this con job, a rich white male who literally lives in a country club whose biggest accomplishment is a tax cut to folks likes himself, yet he draws much of his support from working class whites whose benefits and health care he has repeatedly sought to cut.


As a Southerner with ancestors who fought for the Confederacy, I have been intrigued with the question of why my ancestors felt compelled to leave the United States and set up their own country. What brought the American experiment to that extreme juncture?

The short answer, of course, is Abraham Lincoln’s election as president of the United States. What concerned Southerners most about Lincoln’s election was his opposition to the expansion of slavery into the territories; Southern politicians were clear about that. If new states could not be slave states, went the argument, then it was only a matter of time before the South’s clout in Congress would fade, abolitionists would be ascendant, and the South’s “peculiar institution” – the right to own human beings as property – would be in peril.

It is easy to understand why slave owners would be concerned about the threat, real or imagined, that Lincoln posed to slavery. But what about those Southerners who did not own slaves? Why would they risk their livelihoods by leaving the United States and pledging allegiance to a new nation grounded in the proposition that all men are not created equal, a nation established to preserve a type of property that they did not own?

* * *
Non-slaveholders, a plantation owner predicted, were also in danger. “It will be to the non-slaveholder, equally with the largest slaveholder, the obliteration of caste and the deprivation of important privileges,” he cautioned. “The color of the white man is now, in the South, a title of nobility in his relations as to the negro,” he reminded his readers. “In the Southern slaveholding States, where menial and degrading offices are turned over to be per formed exclusively by the Negro slave, the status and color of the black race becomes the badge of inferiority, and the poorest non-slaveholder may rejoice with the richest of his brethren of the white race, in the distinction of his color. He may be poor, it is true; but there is no point upon which he is so justly proud and sensitive as his privilege of caste; and there is nothing which he would resent with more fierce indignation than the attempt of the Abolitionist to emancipate the slaves and elevate the Negroes to an equality with himself and his family.
January 11, 2021

Axios (Oct 2020): Russia eyes far-right U.S. social media networks

Is it any wonder that after Twitter and Facebook and other media outlets started to police disinformation operations on mainstream platforms, that Russia targeted alternative platforms favored by the far right, such as Gab and Parler. Likewise, Parler was used to organize the insurrection and riots this week. Yet, for all their talk about patriotism, watch Republicans like Devin Nunes rush to the defense of parler despite this weeks riots.


The Russian troll farm central to Moscow's 2016 U.S. election interference campaign appears to be behind a new operation targeting U.S. voters on Gab and Parler, social media platforms favored by the far right.

Why it matters: The shift by Russia's Internet Research Agency to more marginal platforms may signal that the techniques and strategies that paid off for Russia in 2016 are seeing declining returns. If Moscow is trying to influence a broad swath of U.S. voters, being relegated to platforms unknown to 99% of Americans simply won’t get the job done.

Driving the news: The move to Gab and Parler was documented in a report from social media analytics firm Graphika and an accompanying Reuters investigation late last week. This is Russia's first known use of these platforms.

Details: The fake network described by Graphika revolved around an ostensibly Europe-based website called the Newsroom for American and European Based Citizens (NAEBC).
December 13, 2020

Perspective: South Korea's Moon warns of toughest COVID-19 curbs after two days of record cases

Perhaps you have seen the headlines. A second wave of COVID cases is hitting South Korea. Sounds bad, right? Perhaps the U.S. is not the only one suffering from a surge. Heck, just like Trump making fun of New Zealand, perhaps Republicans will say, "Ha! That shows that wearing face masks and protective measures do not work!"

So, you would think that South Korea is also experience hundreds if not thousands of people dying each day given how densely populated South Korea is. In actuality, South Korea experienced 0.62 deaths per 1,000,000 people over the past 7 days.

What about the U.S.? The U.S. experienced 40.21 deaths per 1,000,000 people over the past 7 days.

To make this comparison even more clear, just north of the border, Canada experienced 16.25 deaths per 1,000,000 people over the past 7 days.

Yet, what is the Federal Government headed by the White House focusing in on? Overturning the election results.


SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in warned on Sunday that COVID-19 restrictions may be raised to the highest level after a second day of record increases in cases as the country battles a harsh third wave of infection.

Presiding over an emergency meeting at the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters for the first time since February, Moon urged vigilance and called for an all-out efforts to contain the virus.

“Unless the outbreak can be contained now, it has come to the critical point of considering escalating social-distancing measures to the third level,” he said, referring to the tightest curbs under the country’s five-tier system.

Greater Seoul, home to about half of South Korea’s 52 million people, is under level 2.5 restrictions. Gatherings of more than 50 people are banned and restaurants are prohibited from serving customers after 9 p.m.
December 5, 2020

The Failure of The Trump Administration - Covid Deaths Per Capita Comparison

While much talk is rightfully focused on the U.S.A. appears to be well on its way to over 300,000 COVID related deaths by January 2021, what is not discussed is how poorly the U.S. is doing compared to other developed countries. Even when adjusted for population, the U.S. is still among the top countries in deaths per a million despite its advantages in wealth and science and the fact that it is not as densely populated as countries in Europe or Asia. Even worse, if you were to focus on just the past seven days, the U.S. is still around the top 20.

This makes no sense unless you look at our leadership or lack thereof. Even today, as the pandemic starts a third wave, you have a White House that is primarily focused on engineering a coup, along with White House "experts" like Scott Atlas who continues to attack mask usage on popular cable channels like Fox News.

The irony is that you ready headlines about COVID-19 outbreaks in other countries, but their so-called outbreaks would be considered a success compared to the current situation in the United States.


Country / Deaths per million (total)
Belgium 1,483.19
Peru 1,109.67
Spain 977.93
Italy 962.53
United Kingdom¹ 897.98
Moldova 889.14
North Macedonia 886.51
Argentina 874.64
Bosnia and Herzegovina 851.86
Mexico 847.91
USA 838.08
Brazil 830.47
Chile 818.86
Czechia 809.86
France 797.79
Ecuador 783.48
Bolivia 780.15
Slovenia 762.47

October 31, 2020

Study links Trump rallies to more than 700 Covid deaths

Source: Politico

President Donald Trump's campaign rallies between June and September may have caused some 30,000 coronavirus infections and more than 700 deaths, according to a new study by Stanford University economists.

The working paper, released late Friday, examined the impact of 18 rallies held between June 20 and Sept. 30 by comparing spread of the virus after each event to parts of the country that didn't host rallies. The findings illustrate the risks of not heeding public health warnings to wear masks and avoid large gatherings to mitigate the risks of Covid-19, the authors -- including B. Douglas Bernheim, the chair of Stanford's economics department -- wrote.

"The communities in which Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death," they wrote. Fifteen of the 18 events studied were held outdoors.

Trump has drawn criticism for continuing to hold events with large, tightly packed crowds in states that are experiencing outbreaks. Many in attendance, including Trump, have not worn masks.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/study-links-trump-rallies-to-more-than-700-covid-deaths/ar-BB1azEsq?li=BBnb7Kz

Trump is definitely making a running for worse mass murderer in U.S. History. He already puts Typhoid Mary to shame and she was confined for decades for continuing to serve as a cook even though she had typhoid fever.
October 31, 2020

CNN: Trump's job losses are the worst of any American president on record

Are we better off then we were four years ago?


New York (CNN Business)President Donald Trump is heading into the general election with the worst jobs numbers of any president, based on records that go back to World War II.

That's not going to change in the two months between now and Election Day, no matter how the economy does.

The US economy is down 4.7 million jobs since January 2017 when Trump took office, according to the Labor Department.

The August jobs report released Friday showed employers added back about 1.4 million jobs, bringing the unemployment rate to 8.4%. That is still well short of what would be needed to give Trump a positive jobs record by November 3.
October 30, 2020


You can see why Republicans and conservatives are so threatened by someone like AOC or any of the other women of color in Congress. Also, this just goes to show that Trump is not alone in his racism and misogyny.


Her Republican colleagues had, up until then, been civil. But one day in late July, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stood on the steps of the U.S. Capitol while Representative Ted Yoho lost his shit. The Florida Republican, incensed by the New York congresswoman’s recent comments linking crime and poverty, jabbed his finger in her face, calling her “crazy” and “disgusting.” She froze. The situation felt dangerous, with Yoho towering over Ocasio-Cortez, who calls herself “five-five on a good day.” Congressman Roger Williams, a Texas Republican, bumbled next to him like a wind puppet at a used-car dealership. She told Yoho he was being rude and went into the Capitol to vote. As Yoho descended the steps, he called her a “fucking bitch.” A reporter nearby witnessed the exchange, and soon the whole world had heard the epithet.

This part hasn’t been reported: The next day Ocasio-Cortez approached Yoho and told him, “You do that to me again, I won’t be so nice next time.” She felt his actions had violated a boundary, stepping “into the zone of harassment, discrimination.” His mocking response, straight out of Veep: “Oh, boo-hoo.” Publicly, Yoho doubled down, issuing a non-apology on the House floor, citing his wife and daughters as character witnesses.

Ocasio-Cortez flashed back to one of her first jobs out of school, when a male colleague whom she’d edged out for a promotion called her a bitch in front of the staff. She had been too stunned to reply, and no one came to her defense. She wouldn’t let it happen again.

Forty-eight hours later, Ocasio-Cortez delivered one of the most eloquent dunks in political history, a “thank u, next” for the C-SPAN set, taking on not just Yoho but the patriarchy itself. She took care to enter “fucking bitch” into the Congressional Record. “I want to thank him for showing the world that you can be a powerful man and accost women,” she told the House. “It happens every day in this country.” And the line that spawned headlines, T-shirts, hashtags, and memes: “I am someone’s daughter too.”

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