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  • Open thread for night owls: How to organize to win
    on March 18, 2018 at 2:30 am

    This guy, Marshall Ganz, is singing my song at The Nation. That song is the 176,000-precinct strategy. Local organizing, year-round, even in non-election years. It’s a song about giving voters positive reasons to vote beyond mere attachment to a charismatic candidate every couple of years. Ganz, a former union organizer, writes—How to Organize to Win: Rebuilding the democratic infrastructure is too important to leave up to the consultocracy: This is an extraordinary moment. Tom Hayden once observed: “Change is slow, except when it’s fast.” In fast moments, chickens come home to roost, we confront inconvenient truths, small differences yield big changes, and the choices we make really matter. The promise of American democracy is at greater risk than at any time since the 1930s. The dangers we face are the result of reactive political responses to the challenges of globalization, financialization, and digitalization. Absent a compelling […]

  • Need proof the teen activists are winning? Watch the NRA do an about-face in new video message
    on March 18, 2018 at 2:00 am

    The NRA is feeling the heat from the uprising of teen activists and groups like Moms Demand Action. In a newly released video, NRA spokesman Chris Cox expresses support for “risk protection orders.” Also known as “red flag” laws, they help get guns out of the hands of people at risk to the community or themselves. A brief explainer from CNN: Such laws -- variously known as extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs), gun violence restraining orders and red-flag laws -- are in effect in Connecticut (enacted in 1999), Indiana (2005), California (2014), Washington (2016), and Oregon (2017). The laws differ state to state, but they generally allow specific people -- law enforcement officers and, in some states, relatives of the person in question -- to ask a judge to temporarily prohibit someone from having or buying firearms. This would be based not primarily on criminal history or mental health […]

  • Nuts & Bolts: How can Daily Kos help your activist efforts?
    on March 18, 2018 at 1:00 am

    Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D-I-Y’ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week, we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide. Over the years, I’ve used this group to talk about practices you can implement in your campaigns, your county and state organizations, and even how the national party works. If you’re reading this series, you are doing so in large part because of our platform. Daily Kos as a progressive entity is not just a website to read about the latest news from a progressive perspective. It also exists as a tool to help your efforts to turn out your vote and win, to inform your candidates, and to connect you to resources.  This week, I want to cover how you can use this platform—and associated tools—to help improve your activism efforts. […]

  • This week ... In Space! Space genes, Starman, and the mysterious 'Steve'
    on March 18, 2018 at 12:30 am

    Astronaut Scott Kelly spent a year in space, while his twin brother Mark Kelly — known to many around these parts as the husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords — stayed on the ground. After a year, the elevated Kelly brother returned to Earth and spent a lot of time in enclosures even smaller than the International Space Station so he could be tested for the effects that long term exposure to free-fall and other aspects of space flight had on his body. And, as you’ve likely heard if you watched the news at all this week, while in space, Scott Kelly’s genes changed. That phrase has been spoken with arched eyebrows and a big “ooooh” across the dial. The implication is that Kelly was exposed to something strange which did strange things to him up there in the void. Hosts from Fox to Today have made associations between this “gene change” and Kelly getting taller while in space. They’ve all but said […]

  • This week in science: Go south, young man!
    on March 18, 2018 at 12:00 am

    At a raging South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, one Elon Musk, cofounder of Paypal, Tesla, the Boring Company, and SpaceX had this to say about space exploration and technology in general: “There’s likely to be another dark ages... particularly if there’s a third world war,” Musk stressed, arguing that a Mars colony would stay away from the battle on Earth and carry the torch of human culture forward. He believes that the best way to ensure these dark ages are “shortened” is by having humans on other planets come back and rebuild. … “Mark my words,” Musk told the crowd, “AI is far more dangerous than nukes. So why do we have no regulatory oversight?” Well, scrap that idea, then. Given the current political environment, any hope of meaningful new regs on something as complicated as AI will disappear in a puff of quarterly earnings the first time an AI turns a profit and surprises “The […]

  • This week in the war on workers: What are state minimum wage increases doing to wage growth?
    on March 17, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Wage growth for low-income workers between 2013 and 2017 showed how important minimum wage increases are: Wage growth at the 10th percentile in states with at least one minimum wage increase from 2013 to 2017 was more than twice as fast as in states without any minimum wage increases (5.2 percent vs. 2.2 percent). As expected given women’s lower wages in general, this result is even stronger for women (5.1 percent vs. 0.8 percent). A favorite Republican argument against minimum wage increases is that they don’t want anyone to be making the minimum wage and if everyone was making more than the minimum, then it wouldn’t matter how low that was. But once again we’re reminded just how big a difference raising the minimum wage can make for the people who most need it. […]

  • Don Jr.'s wife reportedly hired a criminal attorney to represent her in their divorce case
    on March 17, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    Yesterday it was widely reported that Vanessa Trump had filed for divorce from Donald Trump Jr. in New York. Now gossip site Page Six has reported that Vanessa made a curious legal hire to represent her: Vanessa Trump hired a criminal defense attorney to represent her in her divorce from Donald Trump Jr. just as special counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaed the president’s family business, The Post has learned. White Plains, NY-based lawyer David Feureisen is representing Vanessa Trump, according to paperwork filed in Manhattan Supreme Court late Thursday. Feureisen is best known for securing the release of a New York man named Anthony DiSimone from federal prison in 2007 after a judge overturned a murder conviction related to a bar fight in 1994. The former couple say the divorce will be uncontested, which makes this hire even more curious. Only days ago, Page Six reported the pair were living separate lives and she was fed up with […]

  • 'I believed him': Former Carrier workers on Trump's betrayal
    on March 17, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    Donald Trump made big campaign promises about keeping Carrier from closing an Indianapolis plant and sending the jobs to Mexico. He made those promises to the country—promises to workers everywhere about what they could expect from his leadership. But most of all he made them to the workers who believed he would save their jobs. Hear from them, in their own words, as they look back on Trump’s promises and look forward, trying to figure out what to do with their jobs gone. (Watch the video below.) Renee Elliott: “That’s right, I did, I voted for Trump. I drove in the pouring rain to vote for Trump. I believed him when he came to Indianapolis and said ‘We’re not going to let Carrier leave.’” Duane Oreskovic: “I thought, Mike Pence being from Indiana, he would have our back. Well, apparently that didn’t happen. I was wrong, we were all wrong.” Frank Staples: “When they made the announcement that they were closing […]

  • This week at progressive state blogs: Walkout students call out politicians; deadly detention
    on March 17, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    This week at progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf. Here is the March 10 edition. Inclusion of a blog post does not necessarily indicate my agreement with—or endorsement of—its contents. At Blue Jersey, Bill Orr writes—Gov. Murphy’s Budget. Part VI: What he told us: March roared in like a polar bear, but Governor Murphy added some heat on Tuesday to the political arena. Some of this was because he did not endorse Sen. President Sweeney’s alternate plan to raise new revenue by taxing corporations. Instead Murphy stuck with his original plan to raise monies through a millionaire’s tax. This was one of the few opportunities where Sweeney did not clap his hands. There may be blood on the floor before this issue is resolved. Murphy began his speech saying, “Eight weeks ago today, I pledged to be a different type of governor. I pledged to […]

  • Via Facebook, Cambridge Analytica exploited data on 50 million persons for election purposes
    on March 17, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Both The New York Times and the Observer published major stories Saturday morning about Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics company that contracted with the Trump campaign. As Kurt Wagner at Recode pointed out, these stories made Facebook’s belated suspension of Cambridge a few hours earlier more understandable. But Facebook may have a difficult time shielding itself from the fallout from revelations like those described under this headline—50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach: The data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s election team and the winning Brexit campaign harvested millions of Facebook profiles of US voters, in one of the tech giant’s biggest ever data breaches, and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box. A whistleblower has revealed to the Observer how Cambridge […]

  • Saturday's midday open thread: Assaults spiked on Trump rally days; FEMA drops 'climate change'
    on March 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    233 days remain until the November election • What’s coming up on Sunday Kos … ° Throughout our history, we have persisted, by Susan Grigsby ° Juan Escalante, the persistent Dreamer, by Gabe Ortiz ° Republicans running out of excuses why they’re losing elections, by Sher Watts Spooner ° The incredible spirit and strength of the Puerto Rican people is unbreakable’—Sonia Sotomayor, by Denise Oliver Velez ° What can we learn from Conor Lamb’s victory in Pennsylvania, by Egberto Willies ° Seven questions for Rasleen Krupp, high school activist and founder of the Young Feminists Coalition, by David Akadjian ° The lesson of Conor Lamb's victory is clear. Unions still matter, by Ian Reifowitz ° 2020 Census brings up deeper questions of ethnicity, identity for blacks in America, by Kelly Macias • Researchers say assaults spiked on Trump rally days during campaign: New research reveals that, […]

  • Shameless: Watch this supercut of Fox News' reactions to Obama and Trump on IDENTICAL issues
    on March 17, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Calling Fox News hypocritical is like calling water “wet” or Donald Trump “an egomaniac.” It is redundant. But, every once in a while, watching the gratingly transparent, propagandist nature of a Fox News broadcast can be rather entertaining. NowThis put together a supercut of Fox News’ very specific attacks on President Barack Obama for his willingness to try to negotiate an end to the nuclear programs of United States foes like North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un. To a man and woman, the Fox News pundits see everything President Obama does as an affront to the United States with classic Fox News lines like: Palin: He [Obama] would meet with some of these madmen without any preconditions. These moments are juxtaposed with Fox News’ recent coverage of Donald Trump’s ill-advised decision to say he will meet with Kim Jung Un without anything agreed upon. Hannity: The commander-in-chief’s leadership is […]


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