The Moderate Voice http://themoderatevoice.com An Internet hub with domestic and international news, analysis, original reporting, and popular features from the left, center, indies, centrists, moderates, and right Fri, 29 Apr 2016 19:14:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.7 http://themoderatevoice.com http://themoderatevoice.com/media/favicon.ico The Moderate Voice A Clinton-Warren ticket? http://themoderatevoice.com/a-clinton-warren-ticket/ http://themoderatevoice.com/a-clinton-warren-ticket/#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:31:28 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215756 Fauxcahontas (1)

WASHINGTON — Running mates? It’s not even May, and already we’re talking running mates? Then let me toss Elizabeth Warren’s name into the mix. I’m making several assumptions here — in a year when assuming anything is dangerous. First, I believe Ted Cruz’s desperate gamble of adding Carly Fiorina to his “ticket” will fail. He [...]

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Fauxcahontas (1)

Fauxcahontas (1)

WASHINGTON — Running mates? It’s not even May, and already we’re talking running mates? Then let me toss Elizabeth Warren’s name into the mix.

I’m making several assumptions here — in a year when assuming anything is dangerous. First, I believe Ted Cruz’s desperate gamble of adding Carly Fiorina to his “ticket” will fail. He was right to throw some kind of Hail Mary, but I don’t see how Fiorina attracts enough new support for Cruz to win the Indiana primary on Tuesday. And if he loses there, he’s pretty much toast.

Donald Trump’s landslide wins this week in the Northeast gave him a bigger haul of convention delegates than even his most optimistic boosters had expected. If momentum still counts for anything in politics, Trump has it. And if he wins Indiana — polls show him with about a six-point lead — his path to the Republican nomination looks wide enough to taxi the rest of the way in his Boeing 757.

I’m also assuming that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. The delegate math is just brutal: There is simply no viable way now for Bernie Sanders to catch up. Sanders appeared to acknowledge reality this week when he announced that his campaign would lay off “hundreds” of paid staff members. He will use his clout at the convention, he said, to “put together the strongest progressive agenda that any political party has ever seen.”

Which is where Warren comes in.

It is absurd to claim that Clinton does not merit the “progressive” label; she has the scars from decades of attacks by the “vast right-wing conspiracy” to prove her bona fides. But on most issues — gun control being a glaring exception — Sanders is well to her left. And, as his surprising campaign has shown, that’s where the energy and excitement in the Democratic Party happen to be this year.

If there is a specific issue on which Clinton is weak with the Democratic left, it is not the FBI investigation of her emails. It is her perceived coziness with Wall Street, highlighted by the six-figure speaking fees she was paid by investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Sanders’ central theme is that the rich and powerful have distorted our political and economic systems to favor their own selfish interests. He blasts Clinton not only for the Goldman speeches but also for mining Wall Street for campaign cash. My assumption is that Sanders, should he fall short of the nomination, will give Clinton his full-throated support. But will his most ardent supporters follow?

As Clinton’s running mate, Warren could erase this potential weakness with the Democratic base. She has spent her Senate career becoming known as the scourge of Wall Street. No political figure is more closely identified with efforts to curb the excesses of the financial system.

Warren would also help address another potential vulnerability. If the general-election matchup is Trump vs. Clinton — and that seems increasingly likely — it is becoming clear that on the question of U.S. military involvement around the world, Trump will position himself to the left of Clinton.

The foreign policy speech that Trump delivered Wednesday was, for the most part, vague and anodyne. His overarching theme is “America first,” he said. To the extent the phrase means anything, it seems to promise that a President Trump would be extremely reluctant to deploy U.S. combat forces in any sort of “world’s policeman” role. Trump has even questioned the viability of NATO in its present form.

Clinton is a foreign policy traditionalist. As secretary of state, she was more hawkish than President Obama — she pushed for more vigorous intervention in Syria, for example. She has long since apologized for her vote to authorize the Iraq War, but Sanders continues to attack her for it. Trump would surely do the same.

Warren wasn’t in Congress when the Iraq War began, and national security isn’t the issue with which she is identified. But her views fit squarely with those of the party’s progressive wing.

Warren also has a compelling personal story of having risen from modest beginnings to become a Harvard professor and then a U.S. senator. The fact that she and Clinton would be the first all-female major party ticket should be irrelevant, but isn’t. To many voters, it would be thrilling.

I can think of several other potential running mates for Clinton. Funny, but I draw a blank when trying to come up with a suitable partner for Trump. Maybe he’ll just go it alone.

Eugene Robinson’s email address is eugenerobinson@washpost.com.

(c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

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Turns Out Trump is Right a Lot (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/turns-out-trump-is-right-a-lot-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/turns-out-trump-is-right-a-lot-guest-voice/#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:20:32 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215754 Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

Turns Out Trump is Right a Lot Raging Moderate by Will Durst As evidenced by his hair, Donald J. Trump is pretty much wrong all the time. Every time. About everything. Except when he isn’t. One example is, should he become president, Mexico indeed will build a wall – to control our immigration. “Get me [...]

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Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com
Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com


Turns Out Trump is Right a Lot
Raging Moderate by Will Durst

As evidenced by his hair, Donald J. Trump is pretty much wrong all the time. Every time. About everything. Except when he isn’t. One example is, should he become president, Mexico indeed will build a wall – to control our immigration. “Get me the hell out of here. Por favor?” Hell, Canada might have to build one as well. “Hey, let me in dere, ya hoser. S’il vous plait, eh?”

Trump is also right about America becoming more religious under his reign, because upon his election, people are going to start praying, “like you wouldn’t believe.” All over the world. The seismic shock caused by millions dropping to their knees on January 21st might crack open a chasm in the planet deep enough to swallow a few of the Seven Seas.

After being aced out by Ted Cruz for all the Colorado and Wyoming delegates, Trump flailed like a boat- bound goose trying to fly south with its feet nailed to the deck, screaming all the while about the system being rigged.

You know what? He’s right about that one, too.

It’s finally sinking in – this isn’t about democracy. This is much more important: this is party politics. In an effort to keep their voices preeminent, the bigwigs have rigged and rerigged the system like a 30-year-old trailer park sound system.

On the other side of the aisle, Bernie Sanders is hearing similar ugly distortions. He’s finding the Dems have rules more shady, murky and malleable than a catfish trap in the Mississippi Delta made out of cellophane. Perhaps this helps to explain why the Vermont senator eschewed becoming a Democrat until recently.

The Donald also occasionally stumbles into the lobby of the Correctomundo Hotel by embracing such a variety of stances that it wouldn’t be surprising to find Trump University offers a course that teaches the Art of the Blind Squirrel/ Nut Finding Deal.

First he supported an assault weapons ban and background checks, then turned against them. He told Larry King he was a fan of universal health care, and now, not so much. The man has adopted more positions than a ballet dancer on a cruise ship, sometimes during the same interview.

He calls his 180-degree head snapping turns “evolving.” Ever since Ronald Reagan characterized his conversion from Hollywood liberal as an “evolution,” that’s the go-to, buzz-word for politicos. People don’t change their minds anymore. They evolve. Over time. Even people who don’t believe in evolution, evolve.

Since 1999 Trump has gone from Republican to Independent to Democrat to Independent to Republican again. He’s the centrifugal candidate. Started out pro-choice, became anti-choice and now seems to be multiple-choice. And why do his supporters love him? Because he tells it like it is.

No matter what side of an issue you’re on, Trump has been there, done that. Less of a Man for all Seasons than a Man for all Reasons. A businessman too comfortable with the lesions of treasons. Whoa. Too much?

And now Paul Manafort, the shiny new senior advisor, told GOP insiders Trump is simply playing a role and will tone it down for the general election. Trump must be praying that we the voters will totally forget to play our roles of people who can’t stand him.

——-

Copyright © 2016, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comedian and former Pizza Hut assistant manager. For sample videos and a calendar of personal appearances including his new one-man show, Elect to Laugh: 2016, appearing every Tuesday at the San Francisco Marsh, go to willdurst.com.

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Attack of The Drones: ISIS May Soon Target City Crowds http://themoderatevoice.com/attack-of-the-drones-isis-may-soon-target-city-crowds/ http://themoderatevoice.com/attack-of-the-drones-isis-may-soon-target-city-crowds/#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:15:25 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215752 isis-flag (2)

We need to talk about drones. A passenger plane flying over London earlier in April was thought to be hit by a hobbyist drone in what would have been the first incident of its kind. Although the object later turned out to have been a plastic bag, not a drone, such incidents serve as a [...]

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isis-flag (2)

isis-flag (2)

We need to talk about drones. A passenger plane flying over London earlier in April was thought to be hit by a hobbyist drone in what would have been the first incident of its kind. Although the object later turned out to have been a plastic bag, not a drone, such incidents serve as a warning…

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American please don’t drop kindness like a bad habit (Guest Voice: http://themoderatevoice.com/american-please-dont-drop-kindness-like-a-bad-habit-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/american-please-dont-drop-kindness-like-a-bad-habit-guest-voice/#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:09:48 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215751 14748840760_20c3da6cdb

Jesus Christ said anyone that builds on his rock is a wise man and those that choose to build on sand are foolish. Discrimination and prejudice is breaking the foundation of the American Dream and putting it on quicksand. If you’ve ever played video games you know even the most stark superhero cannot overcome quicksand. [...]

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14748840760_20c3da6cdb

14748840760_20c3da6cdb

Jesus Christ said anyone that builds on his rock is a wise man and those that choose to build on sand are foolish. Discrimination and prejudice is breaking the foundation of the American Dream and putting it on quicksand. If you’ve ever played video games you know even the most stark superhero cannot overcome quicksand.

Our country has been built on the divine standards of protecting liberties and opportunities. Laws are to defend our daily lives from asinine abuses. Policies are to save us from immense inequality. Put into practice these written precepts are to preserve the beauty of America without any neglect of care on purpose.

Studies say that we have become increasingly anti-Arab and racially snobbish as a whole since the early 2000s. Also, according to the FBI the percentage of hate crimes where Arabs are victims has raised exponentially since early this Millenium. That is when the September 11th, 2001 World Trade Center attacks happened. We are trying to sell quicksand to Arabs and other minorities to build on.

Most Arab-Americans are not Islamic-extremists. About 75 percent of them are Christians and the remainder are Muslims. Arab-Americans in general don’t hate Americans. Most Arabs are not oil-rich as faulty generalizations would suggest. They get ashy just like anyone else.

However, our country’s togetherness is diminishing day by day with how we are interfacing others. There should be some hazard signs and red lights for us to screen chary people for our safety. But there should be the green lights of freedom that keep America wonderful forever more.

14748840760_20c3da6cdb

Jordan Thomas Cooper is a 2015 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in History and a 2010 graduate of the Real Estate School of Success in Irmo. He is the first African-American to serve in both the governor and lieutenant governor’s office as an aide and first to serve in the Inspector General’s Office in S.C. (Haley) He is also the first person to serve in the top three offices in the gubernatorial line of succession in South Carolina (Haley, Bauer, McConnell). His research indicates he happens to be the second black presidential campaignspeechwriter in American History and the first for a GOP presidential campaign (Bush 2015). He also played football for Coach Steve Spurrier.

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Brazil losing forest the size of two soccer fields each minute http://themoderatevoice.com/215749/ http://themoderatevoice.com/215749/#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:04:41 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215749 An aerial view of a deforested plot of the Amazon at the Bom Futuro National Forest in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

By Chris Arsenault RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Latin America’s largest country is still losing tropical forests the size of two soccer fields every minute, despite attempts to tackle illegal logging and improve local land rights, a former head of Brazil’s forestry service has said. Deforestation rates in Brazil, home to the world’s [...]

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An aerial view of a deforested plot of the Amazon at the Bom Futuro National Forest in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
An aerial view of a deforested plot of the Amazon at the Bom Futuro National Forest in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

An aerial view of a deforested plot of the Amazon at the Bom Futuro National Forest in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

By Chris Arsenault

RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Latin America’s largest country is still losing tropical forests the size of two soccer fields every minute, despite attempts to tackle illegal logging and improve local land rights, a former head of Brazil’s forestry service has said.

Deforestation rates in Brazil, home to the world’s biggest expanse of tropical forests, slowed significantly between 2004 and 2010, but have picked up again in recent years due to a lack of innovation and government planning, Tasso Azevedo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Preserving forests is a key way to reduce emissions of planet-warming gases and combat climate change, as trees suck carbon out of the atmosphere. Forests are also home to hundreds of thousands of people who depend on them for their livelihood.

“In some cases, we are walking backwards,” warned Azevedo, citing poor cooperation between competing government departments and civil society in Brazil.

“This is not a problem with one ministry – it’s a problem with how the government has been structured in the last couple of years,” he said.

Government bodies are less willing to accept help from civil society, he said, and within official environmental agencies there is reduced openness to new ideas and strategies.

As part of its national action plan submitted for the new global deal to curb climate change, Brazil has pledged to eliminate illegal deforestation, and restore and reforest 12 million hectares (29.7 million acres) of land, both by 2030.

The rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon dropped by nearly 80 percent between 2003 and 2013, according to a study published last year in the journal “Global Change Biology”.

But the deforestation rate has crept back up, jumping 16 percent in the year to July 2015.

Today the country is losing about 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles) of Amazon forest annually, one of the largest absolute declines of any country, Azevedo said.

Brazilian government officials say the country is working hard to reduce deforestation and climate change.

For example, it recently launched a R33.7 million ($9.6 million) program for projects to support recovery, conservation and sustainable use of the Amazon, according to Eduardo dos Santos, Brazil’s ambassador to Britain.


SAVVY LOGGERS

About 80 percent of the deforestation happening in the Amazon rainforest comes from illegal activity, Azevedo noted, citing government statistics. Authorities need to improve enforcement techniques to stop it, he added.

Illegal loggers are changing their strategies by moving wood from one region to another to hide its point of origin, he said. And efforts to track supply chains have not kept pace with savvy criminals, said Azevedo, who now directs the environmental group MapBiomas.

While authorities are gathering satellite information showing illegal logging on a monthly basis, they have stopped publishing these updates regularly, he said, although the reason is unclear.

That makes it more difficult to get the public involved in pressuring companies and politicians to act urgently, he said.

Some conservationists worry that Brazil’s current recession – the worst since the 1930s – will lead politicians to relax environmental rules and protection for land rights, so that more natural resources can be exploited to boost growth.

But Azevedo believes growth and environmental stewardship can happen at the same time.

“We have learned over the years that this connection between economic growth and deforestation is not real,” he said.

“The period when we saw the fastest economic growth in Brazil is the same period when we saw the biggest decrease in deforestation.”

(Reporting by Chris Arsenault; editing by Megan Rowling; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit www.trust.org)

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(Update) Aleppo, Syria Hospital Strike – Kunduz, Afghanistan Hospital Strike Follow-Up http://themoderatevoice.com/u-s-commander-in-afghanistan-takes-responsibility-for-strike-on-hospital-in-kunduz/ http://themoderatevoice.com/u-s-commander-in-afghanistan-takes-responsibility-for-strike-on-hospital-in-kunduz/#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 01:00:23 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=209469 Gen. Campbell press briefing

Note: This story that originally appeared in October 2015 is updated in light of the air strike on an Aleppo, Syria, hospital Thursday and the pending announcement of disciplinary action against U.S. military for the October 2015 air strike on a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Updates: Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on the [...]

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Gen. Campbell press briefing

Gen. Campbell press briefing


Note:

This story that originally appeared in October 2015 is updated in light of the air strike on an Aleppo, Syria, hospital Thursday and the pending announcement of disciplinary action against U.S. military for the October 2015 air strike on a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Updates:

Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on the Kunduz Investigation Report:

After a thorough and transparent investigation, U.S. Central Command released today the final report on the tragedy that resulted from a mistaken attack on a Doctors Without Borders field hospital in Afghanistan last October. I want to once again express my deep condolences and regret for the loss of innocent life.

In light of the report’s finding, I support the actions taken by General John Campbell and General Joseph Votel, and I want to thank them for the careful attention they devoted to their reviews of the facts. I also want to thank General John Nicholson, our new Commander in Afghanistan, who recently traveled to Kunduz to express his condolences and pledge the United States’ full support to helping Doctors Without Borders rebuild a hospital there should they so choose.

The U.S. military takes the greatest care in our operations to prevent the loss of innocent life. When we make mistakes we must own up to them and hold individuals accountable as necessary. Learning from the past and applying that knowledge to improve how we operate in the future is also a core value of the Department of Defense. That is why, after consulting with Chairman Dunford, I am directing the Combatant Commanders and Service Chiefs to take a number of specific actions to improve our Joint Force and mitigate the potential for similar incidents in the future. This report provides important and painful lessons, and as I have directed senior leaders across the Department, we will now act upon them.

-.-

The day after an airstrike killed at least 14 people and injured many more at a hospital in Aleppo, Syria, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that, on Friday, the Pentagon will announce that it has disciplined 16 service members — including a two-star general, the crew of an Air Force AC-130 attack aircraft, and Army special forces personnel — for the U.S. attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, last October.

The tragic U.S. strike, described and updated in an October 2015 post, below, killed 42 people, including 14 medical staff and 24 patients.

A redacted copy of the results of the six-month investigation into the airstrike will be released Friday along with the announcement of the punishments by Gen. Joseph L. Votel, head of U.S. Central Command. The LA Times adds, “No names will be released because all those disciplined are still deployed overseas.”

On the Aleppo hospital strike yesterday, the LA Times reports that the hospital, which Doctors Without Borders supports, “was reduced to rubble…”

The Times:

The nationality of the warplane that launched the strike remained unclear. Both the Syrian government and its ally Russia have conducted airstrikes on rebel-held areas in recent days.

For nearly a week there have been an average of 15 strikes a day in Aleppo,” Osama Teljo, a member of the opposition’s Aleppo city council, said in an interview via social media.

A military source quoted by Syrian state media insisted “there was no truth” to accusations that the Syrian air force had targeted the hospital, and said that rebel shelling of government-controlled neighborhoods of the city on Thursday had killed and wounded dozens.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense also denied responsibility for the strike, saying that its planes had not conducted any sorties over Aleppo in the last few days.

====

Original story and updates

Update III:

Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on Kunduz Condolence Payments

The Department of Defense believes it is important to address the consequences of the tragic incident at the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. One step the Department can take is to make condolence payments to civilian non-combatants injured and the families of civilian non-combatants killed as a result of U.S. military operations. Under the Commanders’ Emergency Response Program (CERP), U.S. Forces-Afghanistan has the authority to make condolence payments and payments toward repair of the hospital. USFOR-A will work with those affected to determine appropriate payments. If necessary and appropriate, the administration will seek additional authority from the Congress.

Update II:

President Obama has apologized to Doctors Without Borders for the airstrike on a hospital in Kunduz.

“This morning from the Oval Office, President Obama spoke by telephone with Doctors Without Borders International President Dr. Joanne Liu, to apologize and express his condolences for the MSF staff and patients who were killed and injured when a US military airstrike mistakenly struck an MSF field hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan over the weekend,” White House Press Secretary Earnest said in a White House briefing.

“When we make a mistake, we’re honest about it, we own up to it, we apologize where necessary as the president did in this case,” Earnest added. “We implement the kinds of changes that make it less likely that those kinds of mistakes will occur in the future,” according to ABC News.

Update I:
Calling the U.S airstrike on its hospital in Kunduz an “attack on the Geneva Conventions,” Doctors Without Borders — or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) — is calling for an independent investigation on the deadly bombing.

The investigation would be carried out by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, a commission that has been in existence since 1991 but has not been called upon to-date.

According to the Washington Post,

The aid group, also known also as Medecins Sans Frontieres , or MSF, said the proposed commission would gather evidence from the United States, NATO and Afghanistan. After that, the charity would decide whether to seek criminal charges for loss of life and damage.

“If we let this go, we are basically giving a blank check to any countries at war,” MSF International President Joanne Liu told reporters in Geneva. But she noted there was no commitment yet on official cooperation with an independent investigation.

According to CNN, “It requires a request by one of the 76 nations that have signed on to it for it to begin its work. Its job is to investigate whether international humanitarian law has been violated.”

Doctors Without Borders — also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF — has said it believes the bombing was a war crime.

“Governments up to now have been too polite or afraid to set a precedent,” Dr. Joanne Liu, president of Doctors Without Borders, said Wednesday. “The tool exists, and it is time it is activated.

Read more here and here.

Original Post:

In what the New York Times calls “as direct…as any official has been to date,” the American commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Gen. John F. Campbell, in testimony today before the Senate Armed Services Committee said, “A hospital was mistakenly struck.”

Referring to the airstrike against a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, General Campbell “took responsibility for the sustained bombardment of the medical facility, which he said took place in response to an Afghan call for help,” according to the Times and said the strike was the result of “a U.S. decision made within the U.S. chain of command.”

While offering few details, General Campbell said that the military had received a request for air support from Afghan troops trying to retake Kunduz from the Taliban. “Even though the Afghans request that support, it still has to go through a rigorous U.S. procedure,” the Times quotes the general.

The Times:

The incident in Kunduz, as well as the faltering attempt by Afghan forces to recapture the city, has renewed questions about the shape and scope of the American mission in Afghanistan. Most of the roughly 10,000 troops American troops now there are focused on training and advising Afghan troops, and the White House placed broad limits on when and where the Americans could use force after the American combat mission ended last year.
.
At the same time, it has given General Campbell a wide amount of discretion to do what he deems necessary to aid Afghan troops. For the most part, that has meant using air power.
.
But the fighting in Kunduz over the past 10 days has illustrated the limits of air power, and offered a tragic reminder of the danger airstrikes pose to civilians, who have been repeatedly killed by American aerial bombardment since the outset of the war 14 years ago.
.
American officials have said they were reluctant to use air power to stop the Taliban from seizing Kunduz on Sept. 28 because they feared the possibility of killing civilians. But with forces struggling to retake the city, American troops responded to a call for help on Saturday by dispatching an AC-130 gunship, a powerful and precise attack aircraft.
.
General Campbell said on Tuesday that the gunship had been in communication with American advisers on the ground in Kunduz. But he did not say whether anyone involved in the strike realized they were targeting a hospital, or if the Americans could even see the intended target or were relying on Afghan forces to identify the building they wanted hit.

Read more here

Lead photo: Army Gen. John F. Campbell, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, conducts a press briefing at the Pentagon, Oct. 5, 2015. DoD photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

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What Hillary and Bernie need to do http://themoderatevoice.com/215736/ http://themoderatevoice.com/215736/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 19:54:34 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215736 image

While Sen. Bernie Sanders may have said some moderately annoying things lately about it not being his job to deliver his supporters to Hillary Clinton, should she be the nominee, it is in fact precisely his job. He knows that and is now coming around to saying things that make it clear he understands what [...]

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image

imageWhile Sen. Bernie Sanders may have said some moderately annoying things lately about it not being his job to deliver his supporters to Hillary Clinton, should she be the nominee, it is in fact precisely his job. He knows that and is now coming around to saying things that make it clear he understands what is at stake.

Exhibit A: Comments to MSNBC yesterday.

I will do everything I can, and I think Hillary Clinton and I agree on this, that we will do everything we can to make sure that a Republican does not win the White House. I will knock my brains out, I will work seven days a week to make sure that that does not happen if I am the nominee and if I am not the nominee.

Though Sanders’ supporters may say that such a statement diminishes his negotiating position with Mrs. Clinton and the Democratic Party, it does not.

He had earned the right to, for example, play a prominent role at the convention. He will and should have something to say about how Mrs. Clinton campaigns, as he already has. He will, no doubt, effectively weigh in on the party platform.

Sen. Sanders is now a force in the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton and the party leadership will want to make him as happy as is consistent with effectively waging a general election campaign. His enthusiastic support will be invaluable.

If we take him at his word, what he wants is the best shot at ensuring a Democrat sits in the White House again. Although there will inevitably be some disagreement about how this can best be achieved, I am confident that Sen. Sanders will be a team player and that Mrs. Clinton will respectfully welcome his participation.

As for how Sen. Sanders can help the Democratic cause, it will be in encouraging his supporters that he and Hillary Clinton disagree mostly on the speed with which change can be achieved, but do not disagree about the basic direction, especially considering the GOP alternative.

He needs to address the more noxious commentary among his supporters that Clinton is running a sort of false flag candidacy, that she is the enemy. She is not.

Creating an atmosphere in which his supporters, many of whom are participating in the political process for the first time, don’t decide that it is nobler to simply stay home on Election Day, will be essential.

He and his team may have said, may still be saying, things about Mrs. Clinton that cannot be easily unsaid. Passions run high in campaigns. That’s the way it goes, and others have pointed out that this has hardly been the most contentious campaign that would have to morph into a display of solidarity.

This is one more reason that politics is like few other endeavours in life. My enemy yesterday is my best friend today.

Bernie Sanders has changed the Democratic Party. He has changed Hillary Clinton.

The challenge, which Sen. Sanders will surely be up to, is to find a language that enables him to frame Clinton as an ally, though perhaps an overly cautious one.

The challenge for Clinton will be to acknowledge more passionately that Sen. Sanders is right on a range of issues, and then to pivot somewhat to talk about achieving many of these goals in a way that is not so stodgy, bloodless, and bureaucratic.

Yes, it can be dangerous to over-promise in politics, but politics hardly deserves the name without some over-promising.

In a battle between idealism and pragmatism, she has clearly won the day, if barely. If she makes an attempt to meet him part of the way, to acknowledge that she has learned something from him, that we should also talk about the nearly impossible because it is right and it is galvanizing, she might make his job of energizing his supporters a little easier.

If both sides are smart about this, something good could happen.

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Hillary Can Show Bernie How to Lose With Grace (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/hillary-can-show-bernie-how-to-lose-with-grace/ http://themoderatevoice.com/hillary-can-show-bernie-how-to-lose-with-grace/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 19:33:25 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215740 Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Hillary Can Show Bernie How to Lose With Grace by Dick PolmanCopyright 2016 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Dick Polman is the national political columnist at NewsWorks/WHYY in Philadelphia (newsworks.org/polman) and a “Writer in Residence” at the University of Pennsylvania. Email him at dickpolman7@gmail.com.

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Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Hillary Can Show Bernie How to Lose With Grace
by Dick Polman
Copyright 2016 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Dick Polman is the national political columnist at NewsWorks/WHYY in Philadelphia (newsworks.org/polman) and a “Writer in Residence” at the University of Pennsylvania. Email him at dickpolman7@gmail.com.

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This Thai dish is so delicious, it just might kill you http://themoderatevoice.com/this-thai-dish-is-so-delicious-it-just-might-kill-you/ http://themoderatevoice.com/this-thai-dish-is-so-delicious-it-just-might-kill-you/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 19:25:08 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215738 pia (1)

Editor’s note for queasy readers: Some of the images below might turn your stomach. The first forkful of “laab dib,” one of upcountry Thailand’s most coveted dishes, is a sharp blast of bitterness. That’s the raw cow bile. Then, the flavor fades into a grassy tang. That’s literally the taste of grass, partially digested, drained [...]

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pia (1)

Editor’s note for queasy readers: Some of the images below might turn your stomach. The first forkful of “laab dib,” one of upcountry Thailand’s most coveted dishes, is a sharp blast of bitterness. That’s the raw cow bile. Then, the flavor fades into a grassy tang. That’s literally the taste of grass, partially digested, drained from…

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HRC v. Trump: Epic Blowout? http://themoderatevoice.com/hrc-v-trump-epic-blowout/ http://themoderatevoice.com/hrc-v-trump-epic-blowout/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 18:56:13 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215684 24394210670_a4c37d32e9_z

  Now that the 2016 Presidential primaries seem to be settling on a Clinton-Trump election, Josh Marshall has a couple of articles up on Talking Points Memo suggesting an epic blowout. The first (CORRECTION: by Tierny Sneed, not Josh Marshall) describes Trump’s abysmal poll numbers with women. When it comes to Donald Trump’s women problems, [...]

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Now that the 2016 Presidential primaries seem to be settling on a Clinton-Trump election, Josh Marshall has a couple of articles up on Talking Points Memo suggesting an epic blowout.

The first (CORRECTION: by Tierny Sneed, not Josh Marshall) describes Trump’s abysmal poll numbers with women.

When it comes to Donald Trump’s women problems, the top-line polling numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.

The real estate mogul’s sexist rhetoric coupled with his clumsy posturing on policy issues that already hamstrung Republicans with female voters have exacerbated a gender gap that helped President Obama defeat Mitt Romney in 2012.

It’s no secret that Trump — whose latest antagonization was his insistenceTuesday night that Hillary Clinton was relying on the “woman card” — is turning off women in huge numbers. But Trump is not just angering the women who were maybe leaning Democratic anyway.

Current polling shows Trump is turning off the subset of women voters who are typically up for grabs in elections and who in other cycles have swung races towards Republicans. He is even alienating the type of dependable Republican female voters who turned out for Romney the last time around. To make matters worse for him, Trump’s deficit among women are blunting some of the vulnerabilities Clinton would be facing if pitted against a less controversial Republican.

The second deals with a different voting group where Trump figures to do worse than other Republicans.

One of the key voting blocs that has gone Democratic over the last fifty years is professionals. It’s a census category and after the November election, there will be surveys that will allow us to chart their vote, but in the meantime, you can get a rough estimate by looking at voters with advanced degrees. These are not the same as voters with the highest income. They make up about a fifth of the electorate nationally and close to a quarter or more in states like Maryland, Oregon, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Obama won these voters over Romney by 55 to 42 percent in 2012. If you look at the Republican primary results this year, they are the one group that Trump does not do well among. In Pennsylvania yesterday, Trump got only 38 percent of these voters. Kasich got 32 percent and Cruz 25 percent. And they made up 20 percent of the electorate. (By comparison, Trump got 70 percent of the voters who had no more than a high school diploma.) In Michigan, another swing state in November, Trump got only 23 percent of these voters and Kasich got 37 percent.

In a contest between Clinton and Trump, this group may flee the Republican party en masse. There is almost nothing that Trump is saying that will appeal to them. I would expect something like 60-40 or 62-38 percent margins. And that could make it very difficult for Trump in many swing states. And it could also hurt down-ballot Republicans in states like Pennsylvania, New Hampshire or Illinois where there will be competitive senate races.

Cross-posted from The Sensible Center

http://thesensiblecentercom.blogspot.com/2016/04/hrc-v-trump-epic-blowout.html

caricature by donkeyhotey via flickr

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Oklahoma’s Barney Fife Convicted Of Manslaughter http://themoderatevoice.com/oklahomas-barney-fife-convicted-of-manslaughter/ http://themoderatevoice.com/oklahomas-barney-fife-convicted-of-manslaughter/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:56:18 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215724 Barney Fife

It took only 3 hours for an all-white jury in Tulsa County to convict Oklahoma’s Barney Fife for the shooting death of an unarmed black man. This particular case had the potential of becoming another Ferguson, MO.* The man who died was face-down on the ground, handcuffed and held by four law officers when Tulsa [...]

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Barney Fife

Barney Fife

It took only 3 hours for an all-white jury in Tulsa County to convict Oklahoma’s Barney Fife for the shooting death of an unarmed black man.

This particular case had the potential of becoming another Ferguson, MO.* The man who died was face-down on the ground, handcuffed and held by four law officers when Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Robert Bates shot the man in the back.

The 73-year-old Bates thought that he was holding a taser instead of a gun when he pulled the trigger.

[*This particular case had the potential of becoming another Ferguson, MO because an acquittal would have resulted in a protest circus that would have made national news and brought the race hustlers to town.]

As the New York Daily News reports, Fife’s Bates’ lack of training was a factor in this case: “The disgraced wannabe cop was required to complete 480 hours of field officer training, but it was revealed he was never qualified to carry a weapon, including the revolver used in the deadly shooting. Bates had never even been in a situation with a fleeing suspect before, the trial revealed.”

During his defense of Bates, attorney Clark Brewster tried a Hail-Mary pass by insisting that the deceased died of a heart attack that just so happened to take place immediately after the deceased was shot.

However, as one Tulsa resident observed, the jury wasn’t baffled by bovine excrement.

bovine excrement comment

This isn’t the first time that Clark Brewster tried to baffle a jury with bull. Prior to defending Mister Bates, Brewster defended Oklahoma’s infamous penis-pump judge.

If Austin Powers ever needs a lawyer . . .

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[Featured Image is a screenshot from a video posted on YouTube.]

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Trump’s crazy attempt not to sound crazy http://themoderatevoice.com/215732/ http://themoderatevoice.com/215732/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:37:32 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215732 gkk

WASHINGTON — Mr. Trump came to Washington to meet the establishment he has demonized the past 10 months. It was not love at first sight. His campaign left nothing to chance for his coming out as a general-election candidate Wednesday, the day after primary wins in five states made him the all but inevitable Republican [...]

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WASHINGTON — Mr. Trump came to Washington to meet the establishment he has demonized the past 10 months. It was not love at first sight.

His campaign left nothing to chance for his coming out as a general-election candidate Wednesday, the day after primary wins in five states made him the all but inevitable Republican presidential nominee.

Trump, who routinely mocks President Obama and Hillary Clinton for using a teleprompter and who said that presidential candidates “should not be allowed to use a teleprompter,” used a teleprompter.

He carefully read a speech somebody else had written, demonstrated both by his lack of familiarity with the content — he pronounced Tanzania as “Tan-ZANY-uh” — and by its un-Trumpian phrases such as “the false song of globalism” and “the clear lens of American interests.” This speech was at an eighth-grade comprehension level, five years beyond Trump’s usual.

The campaign also selected its audience carefully, inviting luminaries such as Bob Woodward and Judy Woodruff but turning back others at the door. One pernicious practice of the Trump campaign is to screen journalists covering his events by requiring them to apply for credentials for each event and then deciding which to admit. (The event host, the Center for the National Interest, let me in after the Trump campaign ignored my credential request.)

Trump did not repeat his most inflammatory positions: banning all Muslims from entering the country, getting his foreign policy advice from TV shows, bombing the [excrement] out of the Islamic State, letting South Korea and others get nuclear weapons, imposing a 45 percent tariff on China, returning the use of torture and condoning the killing of innocents, suggesting refugees could be a “Trojan Horse” for terrorists and forcing Mexico to finance a border wall.

But even then it was not a warm and fuzzy reception for Trump. A protestor outside the Mayflower Hotel, the event site, held a “Trump [equals] Nazi” sign, and others chanted in the hotel lobby before the event. Trump’s hosts, a conservative foreign policy think tank dedicated to Nixonian realism, were only somewhat more hospitable. Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the center’s publication, The National Interest, has written that “a Trump presidency would likely be a foreign policy debacle.”

The group’s vice chairman, Dov Zakheim, signed a letter with other GOP foreign policy leaders calling Trump and his policies “unmoored,” a “recipe for economic disaster,” “inexcusable,” “hateful,” “unacceptable,” “fundamentally dishonest” and “a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States” and calling him “utterly unfitted” to be president.

“He’s got to do a lot more than give a speech,” Zakheim, who was out of town on vacation, told me by phone Wednesday. “It’s not us he has to convince — it’s the world.”

The reality TV star probably wasn’t trying to win over the foreign policy mandarins anyway. In his remarks, he said he would prefer “new people” rather than those who “look awfully good writing in The New York Times or being watched on television.”

More likely, he was using the foreign policy graybeards as props to show voters he isn’t as crazy as he seems. His campaign had asked the think tank to host the event.

In his own fashion, Trump was reassuring. He said Ronald Reagan was “very special” and the Islamic State is “very bad.” He pledged to work “very closely with our allies in the Muslim world” and said that “we desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China.”

“War and aggression will not be my first instinct,” this new version of Trump declared. “I will seek a foreign policy that all Americans, whatever their party, can support — so important — and which our friends and allies will respect and totally welcome.”

Some were — or wanted to be — relieved by what they heard. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called it “a very good foreign policy speech in which he laid out his vision for American engagement in the world.”

Engagement, eh? Trump began his speech by invoking “America first,” a phrase associated with opposition to U.S. involvement in World War II. “‘America first’ will be the major and overriding theme of my administration,” Trump said.

Perhaps the most unnerving promise Trump made was his determination to be erratic. “We must as a nation be more unpredictable,” he said. “We have to be unpredictable, and we have to be unpredictable starting now.”

On this vow, Trump has already made good — and that’s just the problem.


Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank. (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

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Cartoons: Carly Foisted http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-carly-foisted/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-carly-foisted/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:32:28 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215730 sfsf

Carly Foisted by Clay Jones Didn’t Ted Cruz lose FIVE primaries Tuesday night? So why in the blue blazes of Hell is he picking a running mate? He referred to her as his “nominee.” I’m not sure she can be a nominee until he’s a nominee. But hey, I’m looking for logic where there isn’t [...]

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Carly Foisted
by Clay Jones

Didn’t Ted Cruz lose FIVE primaries Tuesday night? So why in the blue blazes of Hell is he picking a running mate? He referred to her as his “nominee.” I’m not sure she can be a nominee until he’s a nominee. But hey, I’m looking for logic where there isn’t any.

Cruz announcing his veep selection is like bringing office decorations to your job interview. If he loses Indiana next week is he going to start appointing ambassadors?

So why is Ted Cruz announcing a running mate now, before he has the nomination? Probably because he has very little chance of winning the nomination. Maybe this will get more votes. He also wants to talk about something else besides getting his ass kicked Tuesday. He doesn’t want anyone to be reminded that Trump won over 50% of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Delaware, and Connecticut, a feat Cruz has been boasting Trump could not accomplish in any state. Trump carried every single county in Pennsylvania, a very diverse state. Maybe Ted need someone on his ticket who’s more delusional, less successful, less ethical, and a bigger liar than he is. After she sang during her speech he might have picked someone creepier. OK, he didn’t..but close.

Maybe he wanted a pretty face. Uhh…..yeah. I shouldn’t go there. Ted went there. He reminded us several times while announcing Carly that a lot of people don’t think she’s attractive.

Ted says we need to select a leader with good judgement. He picked Carly Fiorina. He says A people pick A people and B people pick C people. Ted showed us what a F person chooses.

Carly is more delusional than Ted to accept this offer. Most people won’t accept his phone calls. Ted picked a person who doesn’t have any great accomplishments. She ran a company into the ground, dropped their stock, and fired a massive amount of people. Let’s not forget her highly unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in California. As Trump points out, you don’t see her getting any job offers. That is, except from Ted Cruz, and this one doesn’t pay.

Even if this was to be taken seriously, Fiorina does not balance the ticket. She has zero foreign policy experience. No legislative experience. Her hardcore conservatism is a mirror image to Cruz. They both enjoy lying about Planned Parenthood. She’s Cruz without the penis, we think. She can’t even deliver California, where she doesn’t live anymore. Cruz may have tried to pick someone who wouldn’t overshadow him with charisma.

I only have one question for anyone who supports this ticket: Why do you hate America?

Cruz and Fiorina are ugly and disgusting. I’m talking about their personalities, policies, and what they intend to do to this country. So yeah, I made fun of their physical features to express that.

This cartoon and post by Clay Jones are from his website www.claytoonz.com

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2 US Psychologists took 80M for Torture Program. Chickens Coming Home to Roost. http://themoderatevoice.com/2-us-psychologists-took-80m-to-devise-torture-program-the-chickens-are-coming-home-to-roost/ http://themoderatevoice.com/2-us-psychologists-took-80m-to-devise-torture-program-the-chickens-are-coming-home-to-roost/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 10:48:02 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215721 salim

There is a Hall of Shame for most every profession: Priests, Congress, Mayors, Senators, Governors, Teachers, Coaches… and Psychologists, Nurses, Doctors, Ministers… and more. In George Bush’s Secret and not so secret torture ideal, aimed at innocents and those never proven guilty… there was a Presidential ok on the CIA hiring of two American Psychological [...]

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salim

salim

There is a Hall of Shame for most every profession: Priests, Congress, Mayors, Senators, Governors, Teachers, Coaches… and Psychologists, Nurses, Doctors, Ministers… and more.

In George Bush’s Secret and not so secret torture ideal, aimed at innocents and those never proven guilty… there was a Presidential ok on the CIA hiring of two American Psychological Association members in ‘good standing.’ Though many persons including this writer/psychoanalyst petititioned APA to absolutely desist and to denounce any support of such heinous endeavor by persons who are supposed to be dedicated in their workplace, to helping and healing. Not torture.

It was beyond The Pale, that APA declined to dismiss or discipline the two psychologists, declined to issue a clear statement of ethics that absolutely forbid any member to participate in harming other human beings. We did not know until years later, that some of the APA hierarchy appeared to be colluding with the CIA program.

This week, three of the men/families harmed by the torture aggression [one man froze to death], and their court case brought by ACLU against US Government and more, was NOT thrown out of Federal Court, but will progress according to the decree of a Federal Judge. In other words, for now, the fact of George Bush’s torture program, the two psychologists who participated willingly, and others, are NOT being swept under the rug. After years of being swept under the rug.

Why, you might ask would two unknown psychologists be interested in entering the dark, shaming, maiming and murderous ways of Torquemada, to hang out with persons whose darkest fantasies are forcing people to tell them anything they want to hear, in order to be free of excruciating pain. Not to mention a long recovery and lifelong injuries from the effects of torture, including global injury to the lungs, kidneys, heart, closed head injuries, and more.

Good question.

From an article by Shaun Mullen:

“Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen were looking for businesses opportunities. The military retirees, both psychologists, found a lucrative one at the CIA, which was looking for a veneer of respectability for its interrogation program in the post-9/11 world. Never mind that neither man had ever carried out real interrogations, their PhD dissertations were on family therapy and high blood pressure, and they had no language skills or knowledge of Al Qaeda.

“In addition to their psychology credentials, what Jessen and Mitchell did have was knowledge of the brutal treatment regime used by Chinese communists on American prisoners of war in Korea, and that fit the CIA bill.
The psychologists’ fall from grace was as rapid as their rise. Today their lucrative business — Mitchell Jessen and Associates — which operated out of an historic building in downtown Spokane, is empty, their CIA contract suspended and they are in the crosshairs of the ACLU suit.

“Like a radio wave reaching earth from some cosmic calamity millennia ago, a federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by victims of the Bush Torture Regime may move forward.

“Not a single ranking official has been punished for their complicity in what is unarguably the darkest element of the darkest era in modern American history — the Bush administration’s secret endorsement of the use of torture on enemy detainees by and in conjunction with the CIA in violation of U.S. and international law. These Nazi-like interrogation techniques included waterboarding, imprisonment in small boxes, slapping and punching, sleep deprivation, being doused with icy cold water, mock execution, threats that detainees’ children would be killed and their mothers sexually assaulted, and forced rectal feeding.

“But now a senior federal judge in Washington state had green lighted an ACLU lawsuit for possible trial on behalf of a Tanzanian fisherman, an exile from the regime of Libyan strongman Mummer Gaddafi and an Afghan refugee who died of hypothermia while in captivity. All were held for years and subjected to torture although they were never accused of being members of Al Qaeda or any other terrorist organization, nor charged with any crimes.”

Read the rest of the article along with the three detainees’ bios and the rest of the egregious background here.

One of the few outcomes that is good that has come from this is that APA being themselves attacked and attacked, pleaded with and pleaded with by stalwart and ethical APA members and other concerned helping professionals, after YEARS, finally opened itself to an investigation, and several in the hierarchy were found to have colluded and supported the two APA members whom they knew were involved in the torture devisement. There is more at Mullins article on that also.

In terms of accountability, George Bush and the CIA present at that time, remain at large.

******The image is from Kiko’s House site, of one of the plaintiffs, SULEIMAN ABDULLAH SALIM “a Tanzanian fisherman who was abducted by the CIA and Kenyan security forces in 2003 and rendered to a CIA prison codenamed COBALT, then to a second prison known as the “Salt Pit,” and finally to a prison at Bagram Air Base. He was released after four years of being held in solitary confinement and tortured.”

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The only man who can stop Trump http://themoderatevoice.com/the-only-man-who-can-stop-trump/ http://themoderatevoice.com/the-only-man-who-can-stop-trump/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 01:12:03 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215719 24394210670_a4c37d32e9_z

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump has decided that sexism in the quest for victory is no vice. Trump’s supporters have regularly asked why his long string of primary successes has not led his Republican opponents to accept him as “the presumptive nominee,” the phrase he used about himself Tuesday night. The candidate helpfully answered the question [...]

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WASHINGTON — Donald Trump has decided that sexism in the quest for victory is no vice.

Trump’s supporters have regularly asked why his long string of primary successes has not led his Republican opponents to accept him as “the presumptive nominee,” the phrase he used about himself Tuesday night. The candidate helpfully answered the question by showing that there is nothing normal about his campaign for the presidency.

A candidate on the verge of taking it all is usually gracious about his foes inside the party and conscious of the need to broaden his appeal beyond it. But graciousness is not a Trumpian concept.

On his most glorious night so far, he again showed Republicans why choosing him would produce an avalanche of Democratic votes from American women — and from many men who respect women more than Trump seems to.

“If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote,” Trump said of a woman who happens to have been, among other things, secretary of state and a twice-elected U.S. senator from New York. “The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card. And the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her.”

But nothing is more likely to bring women her way than attacks from a brute, and Clinton made no effort to disguise her eagerness to join the brawl Trump started.

“If fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card,” she said with a broad smile, “then deal me in!”

Far from backing away on Wednesday from his gender war, Trump escalated it, “I haven’t quite recovered — it’s early in the morning — from her shouting that message,” Trump said on “Morning Joe.” And, yes, Trump said, he knew he was courting charges of sexism. “I know a lot of people would say you can’t say that about a woman,” he added, “because of course a woman doesn’t shout.”

It’s helpful when your opponent underscores your own talking points.

For good measure, Trump took a preemptive shot on “Good Morning America” at Carly Fiorina, even before Ted Cruz announced that she would be his vice presidential running mate. Trump’s criticisms of her, of course, were “not because she’s a woman.”

Trump is the champion of subliminal messaging. He loves to remind us that his candidacy depends on the regular mobilization of intolerance.

All this is why — despite his big wins on Tuesday in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island, despite his large delegate lead, and despite the manifest weaknesses of his two remaining opponents — Trump is still no sure thing for the GOP nomination. Next Tuesday’s primary showdown in Indiana is crucial. So are the still widespread fears among Republicans that a Trump nomination would lead to a November bloodbath for their party.

For all the talk of hard feelings between Bernie Sanders and Clinton, whose four wins this week effectively sealed her nomination, the Republican Party is more divided ideologically and less sanguine about its front-runner.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll earlier this month found that while 78 percent of Democrats said they could see themselves supporting Clinton, only 61 percent of Republicans said this of Trump.

Trump consistently loses to Clinton in hypothetical matchups because of her 20- to 30-point margins among women. Trump seems determined to make that gap even wider.

And if Sanders’ strong showing among young voters defines a Clinton problem for the fall, Trump is the obvious solution.

A poll of 18- to 29-year-olds released on the eve of Tuesday’s primaries by Harvard’s Institute of Politics showed that among voters under 30, Clinton received 61 percent to 25 percent for Trump.

Trump has exposed the timidity of the GOP’s leadership class and the bankruptcy of an old conservative ideology that can no longer rally the faithful. For their part, Ted Cruz and John Kasich aren’t doing a very good job of cooperating even though their survival depends upon it.

But Trump has yet to kick his habit of reinforcing for all but his most loyal supporters how unsuitable he would be as a nominee. He made another stab Wednesday at looking presidential with an “America first” foreign-policy speech offering bits of specificity that most serious candidates would have put forward months ago.

The fact that Hillary Clinton is beaming is why so many in Trump’s party are frowning with apprehension. There remains one man who can beat the front-runner. His name is Donald Trump.


E.J. Dionne’s email address is ejdionne@washpost.com. Twitter: @EJDionne. (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

caricature by donkeyhotey via flickr

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Daryl Cagle Cartoon: Bernie and Hillary http://themoderatevoice.com/daryl-cagle-cartoon-bernie-and-hillary/ http://themoderatevoice.com/daryl-cagle-cartoon-bernie-and-hillary/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 01:04:09 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215717 Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com
Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Why Sanders will ultimately back Clinton http://themoderatevoice.com/why-sanders-will-ultimately-back-clinton/ http://themoderatevoice.com/why-sanders-will-ultimately-back-clinton/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 00:58:44 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215715 ,mmkjj

WASHINGTON — Eight years ago, I spent an election night in a basement gymnasium in Manhattan, watching Hillary Clinton and her campaign advisers take up residence in a parallel universe. It was June 3, 2008, and Barack Obama had just clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, making official a victory that had seemed inevitable for months. [...]

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,mmkjj

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WASHINGTON — Eight years ago, I spent an election night in a basement gymnasium in Manhattan, watching Hillary Clinton and her campaign advisers take up residence in a parallel universe.

It was June 3, 2008, and Barack Obama had just clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, making official a victory that had seemed inevitable for months. But Terry McAuliffe, then the campaign chairman and emcee of this Clinton “victory” party, recited a list of Clinton’s primary wins and introduced her as “the next president of the United States.”

Clinton that night made no mention of her defeat, boasting that she won “more votes than any primary candidate in history.”

Yet four days later, Clinton graciously bowed out of the race. In a concession speech at the National Building Museum in Washington, she said she and her supporters would “do all we can to help elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States.” Some in the hall booed — but Clinton delivered her supporters to Obama in November.

Recalling this serene end to the bitter and extended 2008 Democratic primary battle, I’m not inclined to join in all the hand-wringing about the damage Bernie Sanders is doing to Clinton’s chances in November by remaining in the race.

Tempers flared this week after a Sanders supporter, actress Rosario Dawson, mentioned Monica Lewinsky at a campaign rally. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., a Clinton supporter, demanded Sanders tell his supporters “to stop providing aid and comfort to Donald Trump and the Republican Party.”

This, in turn, caused Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver to accuse the Clinton campaign and her supporters of using “language reserved for traitors to our country.”

Why the hysteria? It doesn’t matter if Sanders continues his candidacy until the last votes are cast in June. What matters is that he quits gracefully, and there should be every expectation that he will, for a simple reason: Sanders is not a fool.

Sanders showed no sign of retreat Tuesday night, even as Clinton extended her lead by winning the night’s biggest prize, Pennsylvania, as well as Maryland, Delaware and Connecticut; Sanders won only Rhode Island. He gave a defiant, hour-long speech in which he said he was “taking on the most powerful political organization in America.” The reference to Clinton drew boos.

Sanders sounded like an extortionist Monday night when he said Clinton, if she won the nomination, would have to earn his supporters’ votes by embracing single-payer health care, free college tuition and a carbon tax — all things Clinton rejected in her (successful) campaign against Sanders. But seconds later, Sanders, prodded by the moderator, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, added a qualifier: “I will do everything in my power to make sure that no Republican gets into the White House in this election cycle.”

That’s the crucial part. Sanders wants to exert maximum leverage to move Clinton toward his populist policies. But he is a practical man, and he certainly doesn’t wish to see a President Trump or President Cruz. This is why there’s no cause for all the fuss over him remaining in the race until he is mathematically eliminated.

Elimination is coming. Even before Clinton padded her lead with Tuesday night’s wins, Sanders needed to win 59 percent of remaining delegates, or 71 percent if you include superdelegates. That isn’t going to happen.

Clinton loyalists worry that Clinton will suffer general-election consequences from Sanders’ suggestions that she is unqualified and in Wall Street’s pocket. And Trump has echoed these attacks and said he’d like Sanders “to keep going.”

Still, this doesn’t qualify as ugly campaigning — particularly compared with a Republican race in which candidates have called each other liars and argued about genital size. Or compare it with the Obama-Clinton standoff of 2008 — a much closer contest. At a May 31, 2008, meeting of the Democratic National Committee, the two campaigns clashed with accusations of cheating. There were hecklers, howls and foul language, and extra security had to be called in to keep order. At the time, Clinton aides, sounding much like this year’s Sanders aides, were threatening that Obama “has work to do” to convince Clinton backers to go his way.

But a week later, Clinton was out, and the party was on a path to unity.

And so it will happen this time. Sanders, when he quits the race, can justifiably declare victory in moving the debate — and Clinton — in his direction on his key issues. His campaign has exceeded all expectations, and he isn’t about to jeopardize his movement by handing the presidency to Trump.


Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.(c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

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Cartoons: Cruz/Carly http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-cruzcarly/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-cruzcarly/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 00:50:25 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215713 Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Cruz’s Cynical Move http://themoderatevoice.com/215710/ http://themoderatevoice.com/215710/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2016 22:23:58 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215710 24872763479_f8d0f375ed

Senator Ted Cruz’s announcement that he has chosen Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate is both desperate and cynical. It’s a move clearly designed to create a speed bump in the California GOP primary. The “bump for Trump” is Cruz’s Hail Mary pass, thrown in hopes that Fiorina can draw enough Republicans in [...]

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Senator Ted Cruz’s announcement that he has chosen Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate is both desperate and cynical.

It’s a move clearly designed to create a speed bump in the California GOP primary. The “bump for Trump” is Cruz’s Hail Mary pass, thrown in hopes that Fiorina can draw enough Republicans in Cali to bring an upset.

Because Fiorina, who lost when she ran for the US Senate from California, has no chance of making the Golden State turn red in November, one can be sure that this move has nothing to do with the general election.

And unlike when Ronald Reagan announced his selection of Pennsylvania’s liberal Republican senator Richard Schweiker to be his running mate prior to the 1976 convention, Cruz has no realistic chance of stopping Trump as Reagan did have of stopping Ford back then. Furthermore, as journalist James Oliphant points out, Reagan’s move was designed to expand his base of support, surrounding incumbent President Gerald Ford from the right that Reagan occupied and from the left from which Schweiker came. Cruz’s choice of Fiorina doesn’t budge Cruz’s negligible appeal.

Cruz is only delaying the inevitable.

pho/a>to credit: Ted Cruz via photopin (license)<

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Hillary Clinton: What the Moment Requires http://themoderatevoice.com/215706/ http://themoderatevoice.com/215706/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2016 15:59:19 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215706 image

Many of us who have supported Hillary Clinton have done so with full knowledge that she represents a school of thought that believes one must first do well at the polls before one can do good as an elected official. That had meant her campaign has been full of positions cautious by design, which alienate [...]

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imageMany of us who have supported Hillary Clinton have done so with full knowledge that she represents a school of thought that believes one must first do well at the polls before one can do good as an elected official.

That had meant her campaign has been full of positions cautious by design, which alienate as few as possible, appeal to as broad a base as possible, while not over-promising.

For this she had been criticized by her opponents for “triangulation,” for being less than honest, for being manipulative. And while I have no doubt she has a strong core of progressive beliefs, it is also obvious that every expression of those beliefs is tempered by what it will take to win.

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders has been laying it all out, over-promising at ever opportunity, speaking as though the key is to lead the electorate and not simply pander to them. The technical aspects related to governing, to getting down-ballot allies elected, to understanding that every policy plank ought to come with at least a casual nod to how it gets done, none of that has seemed to concern him at all.

Good for him, I guess.

It’s all but over for Sanders, and in no small part due to the fact that Democrats decided they were more comfortable with someone who knows how to play the game, especially as Republican obstructionism in Washington has made Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign rhetoric on bi-partisanship sound more than a little naive.

Though not a particularly idealistic sentiment, I have always thought Hillary Clinton best equipped to fight the battles, make the laws, provide the leadership, build the coalitions, understand political power and its uses in ways that will improve the lives of the greatest number of Americans should she win the White House.

In his autobiography, David Axelrod, former Obama senior strategist, writes that voters don’t simply want a candidate for president to mimic the policies and strategies of a predecessor. They want perceived failings of the incumbent to be addressed by the new candidate, no matter how popular the incumbent may be.

Washington is a brutal and nasty place where thrilling speeches may have a place, but preparation, experience, and toughness are likely more important.

No knock on President Obama, who has done great things with what he was dealt, but Hillary Clinton, once she has frustrated so many of us by doing what it takes to get elected, will probably be able to do more in a Washington environment that is becoming more contentious by the day.

It is not an inspired view of politics, but it’s what we’ve got.

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Choosing the Lesser of Two Evils http://themoderatevoice.com/choosing-the-lesser-of-two-evils/ http://themoderatevoice.com/choosing-the-lesser-of-two-evils/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2016 14:59:36 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215707 abstract six line blue transparent vector

Here we go again. In a presidential election year, there are five candidates still running, three for the GOP nomination, two for the Democratic nod. Do any of the candidates inspire confidence and admiration, and the feeling that he or she would make a great president? At the moment, it looks like Hillary and The [...]

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ResDemCover-3Here we go again. In a presidential election year, there are five candidates still running, three for the GOP nomination, two for the Democratic nod. Do any of the candidates inspire confidence and admiration, and the feeling that he or she would make a great president? At the moment, it looks like Hillary and The Donald will be the final combatants in the general election, but politics is funny and you never know what might happen.

However, the overwhelming feeling is that Americans will have to choose between the lesser of two evils instead of someone who can be avidly supported by a majority of the voters. Looking across the nation’s northern border, citizens can see a young, smart and vigorous leader for the Canadians in Justin Trudeau, a man who fits the role in this age of the twenty-four hour news cycle and cameras everywhere. Why can’t America’s political parties find a candidate like that?

Assuming it’s Hillary and The Donald, aside from their policy differences what do we get looking at their pasts. In The Donald, Americans are given a bullying blowhard who has no knowledge of government or foreign affairs (though he might have had quite a few foreign affairs if you ask him- he likes to brag about his sexual prowess). Soon to be seventy years old, his qualifications for president are that he once had a television show where he had to select some assistants, and he owned a real estate business. He’s also willing to tell you that he knows how to make great deals and could do the same for the country if he’s elected president. The Trump brand is his as well, that he places on all kinds of products as well as various large buildings. (Wonder if the Trump stamp will go on the White House if he wins the election?)

The Donald has also had a series of bankruptcies since 1991 when some of his business ventures went sour. He doesn’t talk much about these, particularly since his investors lost a lot of money in these Trump enterprises and a lot of workers lost their jobs. Though Trump didn’t declare personal bankruptcy, Trump companies did- Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City in 1991, Trump Plaza Hotel in 1992, Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts in 2004, and Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009. The Donald did not suffer any financial losses in these bankruptcies according to him, and says it was just smart business. But it’s rumored that his personal wealth is a lot less than he brags about- still in the billions. (It’s also been rumored that if he left the money he inherited from his father in exchange funds or bonds instead of his investments, he would much wealthier than he is today after all of his great deals.) The Donald is also being sued by the New York Attorney General for fraud involving “Trump University,” an apparent scam that was supposed to teach students The Donald’s real estate techniques to get rich. For a fee of course. Does American want a guy like The Donald for president?

On the other hand, Americans have The Hillary, a sixty-eight year old woman with lots of experience and knowledge about government, but some questionable actions over the last forty years. None may have been illegal, but some may have crossed ethical boundaries or were unwise. Going back to her time in Arkansas there was her Whitewater investments with the McDougals and the failure of the Madison Guarantee Savings and Loan. (The McDougals and the governor who succeeded Bill Clinton in Arkansas were convicted of fraud in these cases with Bill and Hillary untouched.) Hillary also made money trading in cattle futures in Arkansas in 1978 and 1979, turning $1000 into nearly $100,000 in ten months with the help of a “friend” who worked with Tyson Foods. There was also some disputed work with the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock in the 1980s.

This feminist icon also blasted the women who accused her husband of sexual harassment and sexual affairs, accusing them of lying or blaming them for being sexual predators, taking the onus off the president. There was also the suicide of her close friend Vince Foster in unclear circumstances, and the disappearance of documents related to her past work and their sudden reappearance. What strange coincidences.

Then as Senator from New York, she voted for the Iraq War and was a big supporter of Wall Street, with the firms reciprocating and supporting her. During her stint as Secretary of State, she used a private server to receive and possibly transmit classified emails. Subsequently, she gave talks to Wall Street firms for large sums and has not released the transcripts of her talks.

Did she do anything illegal at any time? Probably not, but the ethics may have been borderline. Her handling of her emails appears to have been sloppy and her management of her other controversial activities was made worse by her lack of transparency and evasive answers.

So neither of the possible candidates offered to Americans are great. Who should citizens vote for? As has been done many times in the past, with the dearth of decent candidates, Americans have to vote for the lesser of the two evils. And that means Hillary. At least she’s someone with experience in foreign and domestic affairs and someone not likely to go off the deep end if things don’t go her way, like The Donald. So hopefully, it’s Hillary as the lesser of two evils. This is American democracy (politics) in action.

Resurrecting Democracy

www.robertlevinebooks.com

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Cartoons: Clinton and the “Woman Card” http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-clinton-woman-card/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-clinton-woman-card/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:04:28 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215703 cjones04272016 (1)

Clinton and the “Woman Card” by Clay Jones Despite rarely using a teleprompter Donald Trump usually sticks to a usual script which is full of lies. Mexicans, wall, Lyin’ Ted, make America great again, huge, blah, blah, blah. Even with the same routine you never know what Trump’s going to pull out next. He was [...]

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Clinton and the “Woman Card”
by Clay Jones

Despite rarely using a teleprompter Donald Trump usually sticks to a usual script which is full of lies. Mexicans, wall, Lyin’ Ted, make America great again, huge, blah, blah, blah. Even with the same routine you never know what Trump’s going to pull out next. He was on a roll Monday calling Cruz a “pain in the ass” and insulting Kasich for the style in which he chooses to eat pancakes. I was in hysterics.

During his victory speech Tuesday night he said the only reason Hillary Clinton was doing so well is because she’s a woman and that she plays the woman card. I would totally put my money on that woman kicking Trump’s ass, figuratively and literally. She’s a lot tougher than Trump. Let’s see Donald sit through twelve hours of b.s. questions from a partisan senate panel. With that in mind it’s really bizarre that Trump says Clinton won’t make a good president because she doesn’t have “the strength and stamina.”

Trump also states that he’s doing great with women and he’ll get their vote, and women don’t like Clinton. That’s a bigger lie than Trump Steaks. This guy also believes he’ll win New York. Dude, you didn’t win Manhattan, where you live. You lost your neighborhood to John Kasich, you know him. Mr. One in 41.

I wonder if there’s an alternate universe where there is a normal Trump and we got stuck with the Bizarro version.

This cartoon and post by Clay Jones are from his website www.claytoonz.com

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The final two: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton http://themoderatevoice.com/215701/ http://themoderatevoice.com/215701/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2016 04:12:45 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215701 image

The final bracket may not be completely set, but the people who are paid to have well-informed opinions are starting to talk and write like it will be Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton. Yes, Trump won all five of the so-called I-95 Republican primaries in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, and Clinton won [...]

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imageThe final bracket may not be completely set, but the people who are paid to have well-informed opinions are starting to talk and write like it will be Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton. Yes, Trump won all five of the so-called I-95 Republican primaries in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, and Clinton won all of those, minus Rhode Island, on the Democratic side.

As for Trump, as Chris Cillizza at the Washinton Post writes:

The simple fact is this: Trump just keeps winning and, increasingly, winning across all subgroups and demographics within the GOP. He still isn’t a numeric lock to get to the 1,237 delegates he needs. But man oh man is he sitting pretty right now.

And then there is Hillary Clinton, whose position was well characterized by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow who said, “She [Clinton] has effectively put this out of reach.”

No, Bernie Sanders is not mathmatically eliminated and if he chooses to fight on, which is likely, the only interesting question remaining is the timing and extent to which he embraces the role of loyal Democrat.

Donald Trump is also not gauranteed a path to the delegates needed to secure the GOP nomination on the first ballot, with Indiana and California among a handful of states standing between him and his goal. Still, the margins of his recent victories and the fairly diverse makeup of his support seem to suggest he’ll get there.

Since Donald Trump securing the GOP nomination is almost impossible to get comfortable with, I hasten to completely accept that an effort to stop him is necessarily doomed to fail, but I suspect we all need to get used to the new reality as declared by Donald himself, “I consider myself the presumptive nominee, absolutely.”

Who would have believed so many months ago that Hillary Clinton would have to fight so hard to be her party’s nominee and that Donald Trump would ever be anything other than a sideshow?

This is not going to be boring.

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SLEEP … The Underused Secret Weapon to Maintain and Improve Health http://themoderatevoice.com/sleep-the-underused-secret-weapon-to-maintain-and-improve-health/ http://themoderatevoice.com/sleep-the-underused-secret-weapon-to-maintain-and-improve-health/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:16:35 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215696 Disneyland

By Dr. Kevin Purcell, DC Over decades I have find when I begin to experience a loss of motivation I am usually tired. Not traditionally tired; I mean deep Central Nervous System (CNS) fatigue. Our brains have built in survival and protective mechanisms that will attempt to over ride ‘things’ when it needs to. Survival [...]

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Disneyland

By Dr. Kevin Purcell, DC

Over decades I have find when I begin to experience a loss of motivation I am usually tired. Not traditionally tired; I mean deep Central Nervous System (CNS) fatigue.

Our brains have built in survival and protective mechanisms that will attempt to over ride ‘things’ when it needs to. Survival takes precedent when it comes to the CNS. This is as true for world class athletes as it is for us mature folks.

If you don’t feel right consider a bit more sleep.

Recall, there are limits to human endurance. Be kind to yourself. Avoid making “forced rest” the only time you get enough rest. Think ahead. Perhaps you have an objective advisor who can share objective advice before you lose choice.

Many of us would benefit trying to find another thirty minutes of sleep each day. It’s been my experience that when I suffer from sleep deprivation I am not just a worse athlete and less healthy, I am less capable.

Possible sleep aides:

Darkness (curtains).

No TV in your bedroom.

No phone.

Limit caffeine.

Routine; go to bed and get up as part of a routine.

There is a saying; NAPSRULE.

I have never been able to do master planned naps. When I nap I am already in deep trouble: like this image of my four year old driving home from a day at Disneyland twenty five years ago!

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Stopping Trump with Cruz? Seriously? http://themoderatevoice.com/215690/ http://themoderatevoice.com/215690/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 17:40:32 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215690 image

As a politics watcher, I try very hard to bracket my own politics when analyzing what I think is going on “out there.” It’s not easy to do, but if one is going to try to say something meaningful, it is necessary. Thus the whole question of a candidate’s “likeability” is a thorny one. For [...]

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imageAs a politics watcher, I try very hard to bracket my own politics when analyzing what I think is going on “out there.” It’s not easy to do, but if one is going to try to say something meaningful, it is necessary.

Thus the whole question of a candidate’s “likeability” is a thorny one. For example, I loathe Donald Trump but have to admit that for a certain kind of voter, apparently many of this type, he’d quite the guy: plain spoken, earthy, a truth talker (apparently), but mostly, even though he’s a billionaire and most others are not, a relateable and accessible fellow. He’s the kind of guy you could have over to the house to watch a football game and boy would he be a barrel of huks, giving everybody cute nicknames and talking about how much he loved women (maybe just as the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders took the field).

Though the Donald embarrasses me greatly and I can barely tolerate listening to him, I get that he makes a lot of people feel comfortable and even happy maybe because he validates their prejudices instead of challenging them. And who needs some high and mighty ass on stage telling us we need to do a better job of caring for the less fortunate or being mindful that differences in other people rarely do us harm, and that we would should all chill? Who needs that kind of buzz kill?

There are no flies on Trump supporters and he is there to tell them that he is one of them, and they only need to keep on doing what they are doing and he will, through the application of common sense, make the country and the world bend to what his supports know is right.

What’s not to like? The consummate salesman can figure out what a customer “needs,” and make said customer fall in love with said saleman for having the ability to look into the soul of the buyer to discover that a red sports car will solve all problems, including that pesky midlife crisis. The salesman is surely not going to introduce reality into the equation by pointing out that the car is not really affordable and that it won’t change anything life-wise. No, no, no.

Donald Trump is selling dreams, and that is some sweet stuff. What could make a person more likeable than saying things that are pleasant to hear, especially as they mask unpleasant realities?

While Donald Trump is good at tearing people down, he is also good at painting a picture of what might be, even though there are virtually no specifics provided including how to get anywhere from here. No matter, that is the sweet spot of politics. Tell them where you want to take them and they will follow you. Tell them it will be easy, and they will love you.

I get Trump and understand why his supporters love him. You know who I don’t get? Ted Cruz.

A lot of people are saying that for the Never Trump movement to have any traction, there has to be a viable alternative. Kasich is too far behind and Ted Cruz is just a mass of ugliness and negativity. Much as I revile Cruz’s politics, even if, in an act of pure imagination, I were to think like a movement conservative, I am sure I would find nothing compelling about Cruz, no reason to follow him, no reason to trust he could deliver on a vision.

I found it fascinating, therefore, to hear that he was vetting former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as a potential running mate remembering that, back in the day when there were seemingly countless GOP presidential contenders, Fiorina was probably the only candidate on that stage less likeable, less relateable, less human than Ted Cruz.

Could this be by design? Could it be that Ted Cruz is seeking a running mate who will make him seem other than what he obviously is by comparison?

I am a liberal democrat. I’m not voting for Donald Trump, or Ted Cruz, or Carly Fiorina. But I get Trump. I don’t get Ted Cruz, and I know he surprised in Texas when he became a senator though I’m having a very hard time imagining a lot of Republicans who are being asked to stop Trump also saying “Yeah, Ted Cruz, love that guy.”

Follow me on Twiiter @RichardKBarry1

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The Sinister Urge … Ed Wood’s ‘anti-porn’ film (Movie Review) http://themoderatevoice.com/the-sinister-urge-ed-woods-anti-porn-film-movie-review/ http://themoderatevoice.com/the-sinister-urge-ed-woods-anti-porn-film-movie-review/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 16:27:43 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215691 200px-The_Sinister_Urge

The Sinister Urge , 1960, 75 minutes, Headliner Productions; directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr., screenplay by Wood. Starring Kenne Duncan, Duke Moore, Jean Fontaine, Carl Anthony, Dino Fantini. By Doug Gibson The Sinister Urge is probably the least of Wood’s mainstream films — after he made it he started his slow slide into pornography [...]

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The Sinister Urge , 1960, 75 minutes, Headliner Productions; directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr., screenplay by Wood. Starring Kenne Duncan, Duke Moore, Jean Fontaine, Carl Anthony, Dino Fantini.

By Doug Gibson

The Sinister Urge is probably the least of Wood’s mainstream films — after he made it he started his slow slide into pornography — but it’s still a treat for cult movie fans, and Wood buffs who haven’t seen it are in for a big treat. The plot concerns two hard-working detectives (Duncan and Moore) doing their best Gannon and Friday imitations. They’re committed to smashing the smut picture racket, and in doing so viewers see several plump bathing beauties die at the hands of a teenage maniac (Fantini) who goes crazy when he sees an uncovered breast.

Many Wood regulars work in The Sinister Urge. Besides Duncan and Moore, there’s Anthony, Harvey B. Dunne, John Carpenter, Conrad Brooks and Wood also has a cameo. Duncan’s girlfriend at the time, a stripper named Betty Boatner, plays the murder victim in the opening scene. Fontaine, who acts as a sort of a Godmother of pornography, is hysterical. She spends half her time lolling around in bedtime garb, and carps hysterically in a cigarette-smoke-infested voice that s deeper than Clint Eastwood’s.

The whole film cost slightly more than $20,000, and its tightness shows that Wood — at least when sober — was a director who could turn in a film on budget and in time. Due to the cheapness, most of the film seems to revolve within a single small set that takes turns being a police station, living room, and office. There are a few outdoor scenes, which due to the tiny budget appear amateurish. Scenes from Wood’s never-finished film Hellborn were inserted into The Sinister Urge as part of a disjointed attempt to link the dangers of teenage violence into the plot of The Sinister Urge. It’s fun to watch Wood and Brooks playing teens fighting each other in this sequence.

The Sinister Urge was considered an exploitation film in 1960 but it’s very tame today. There are lots of chases but very little violence. It’s worth a rental and can easily be purchased from several companies. There is also a MST3K version that’s amusing.

Rudolph Grey’s oral biography of Wood, Nightmare of Ecstasy, has a lot of info on The Sinister Urge, including Wood’s shooting proposal — which is very detailed — that he gave to Headliner Productions head Roy Reid. A sequel was planned but never filmed. Much of the cast came from acting teacher Harry Keaton’s class. Keaton had a small role in the film. He was Buster Keaton’s brother. Duncan had a reputation as a heavy in the B-western films racket. Despie its low budget, The Sinister Urge is very competently directed. As mentioned, Wood shows he was capable of using discipline and following a budget. Star Fantini recalls seeing the film in New York City’s 42nd Street area. Fontaine had a nightclub act, according to Grey’s book on Wood. Watch a scene from the film below:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Doug Gibson is on the staff of the Standard-Examiner newspaper in Northern Utah. He has also co-hosted the Plan9Crunch cult movies blog for several years.This review has been cross posted from Plan 9 Crunch.

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Trump is no match for this tag team http://themoderatevoice.com/trump-is-no-match-for-this-tag-team/ http://themoderatevoice.com/trump-is-no-match-for-this-tag-team/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 15:25:28 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215687 Bill Schorr, Cagle Cartoons

WASHINGTON — Don’t call it strategy, call it strategery: Ted Cruz and John Kasich are going to cooperate to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination. Also, I don’t know, maybe a hurricane will dishevel Trump’s comb-over and reveal his bald pate, causing such mortification that he quits the race. Or maybe there will be an [...]

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Bill Schorr, Cagle Cartoons
Bill Schorr, Cagle Cartoons

Bill Schorr, Cagle Cartoons

WASHINGTON — Don’t call it strategy, call it strategery: Ted Cruz and John Kasich are going to cooperate to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination. Also, I don’t know, maybe a hurricane will dishevel Trump’s comb-over and reveal his bald pate, causing such mortification that he quits the race. Or maybe there will be an earthquake next week in Indiana, affecting only precincts where Trump has a lead.

The Cruz-Kasich pact comes at the 13th hour. Its announcement Sunday seemed orchestrated to distract attention from the fact that Trump is expected to sweep five more primaries Tuesday — in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island — making a contested GOP convention even less likely.

That Cruz and Kasich have joined forces merely illustrates what a paper tiger the “Never Trump” movement has been. Trump is right — I hate when I have to write those words — to call the arrangement an “act of desperation” by two candidates who are “mathematically dead” in the quest for a majority of delegates.

For weeks, Cruz has portrayed Kasich as nothing but a spoiler who has kept Republicans from rallying around the single candidate — Cruz himself, in his view — who can unite the party against Trump. Kasich, meanwhile, has scoffed at Cruz’s electability and portrayed himself as the only contender who can beat the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

In truth, the only way either man could become the nominee is at a contested convention. I remain deeply skeptical that delegates will seek to deny Trump if he arrives in Cleveland with, say, 1,100 of the 1,237 pledged first-ballot votes he needs. But following his landslide victory in New York last week, it became increasingly likely that Trump will secure his majority before the convention.

Cruz and Kasich would like everyone to look past the five “Acela corridor” states that vote Tuesday. But a total of 172 delegates are at stake in those contests; for comparison, that’s the same number that will be up for grabs in California on June 7. If Trump performs as well this week as polls suggest, his path to the nomination begins to look more like a cruise than a scramble.

Not so fast, the Cruz camp claims. It all supposedly comes down to Indiana, which votes May 3 and will award 57 delegates. If Cruz can win all or most of them, he says, Trump will no longer be able to reach 1,237. The nomination would be decided on the convention floor, where Cruz’s superior inside game would win the day.

To that end, Kasich has agreed to not compete in Indiana. In return, Cruz will not compete in Oregon and New Mexico, states where Kasich is the leading anti-Trump alternative.

But this scenario is full of holes. For one thing, the Real Clear Politics poll average gives Trump a solid lead over Cruz in Indiana, 39 percent to 33 percent. And a Fox News poll last week showed that even with Kasich out of the race, Trump would still have a narrow lead, 44 percent to 42 percent.

That can hardly be called great news for Cruz, who needs to win blowouts, not squeakers. And even if he managed to come away with almost all of Indiana’s delegates, Cruz still would not have a realistic path to a majority. Trump, by contrast, would.

Oh, and in other states yet to hold primaries, such as California and New Jersey, Cruz and Kasich would still be campaigning independently and presumably splitting the anti-Trump vote. This could change, I suppose — Cruz and Kasich could theoretically agree to target different congressional districts in California, for example. But come on. Both candidates have trouble getting across the message “Vote for me.” I seriously doubt they’ll do better with “You over here, vote for me. You over there, vote for this other guy, even if you don’t want him to win.”

The whole “Never Trump” thing is more like “Pretty Please Not Trump.” Establishment Republicans wring their hands, beat their breasts and wail about how awful Trump is, how uncouth, how unacceptable as the presidential candidate of the party of Lincoln — and then, when pressed, meekly say they’ll support him if he’s the nominee.

What are voters to think? Perhaps that career politicians speak out of both sides of their mouths. Perhaps that Trump is right when he claims an effort is underway to “steal” a nomination he is winning fair and square.

Let’s be honest: So far, Trump has run circles around his more experienced rivals. Why does anyone think this will suddenly change?


Eugene Robinson’s email address is eugenerobinson@washpost.com. (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

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Angry partisans now target neighborhoods, marriages, even teenagers http://themoderatevoice.com/215627/ http://themoderatevoice.com/215627/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 15:10:08 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215627 Angry protesters - CNN

Last year an experiment was conducted to determine the lengths to which people now engage in partisan discrimination, the lashing out against persons based on their label – Democrat or Republican. The results were disturbing. In a paper published by the American Journal of Political Science, the authors asked a random sample of 1,021 adults [...]

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Angry protesters - CNN

Last year an experiment was conducted to determine the lengths to which people now engage in partisan discrimination, the lashing out against persons based on their label – Democrat or Republican.

The results were disturbing.

In a paper published by the American Journal of Political Science, the authors asked a random sample of 1,021 adults to review the resumes of two fictitious high school students and determine which should receive a scholarship. The resumes offered equally qualified students, based on GPA and extracurricular activities, but one was president of the local Young Democrats and the other was the leader of the Young Republicans.

The adults chose the kid who shared their own political views 79 percent of the time. This partisan discrimination was even more prevalent than in a nearly identical experiment with racial differences among the two scholarship candidates.

Contempt for the other side of the political fight is so strong that adults are willing to punish kids in a very significant way for their political views.

David Broockman is not a high school student but in 2014, as a political science graduate student at UC Berkeley, he conducted a study of voters that may have subtly predicted the rise of Sanders and Trump voters in 2016.

Disengaged voters fuel the fire
Beyond strident partisanship, Broockman found that “disengaged and infrequent voters” were driving the politicians’ willingness to tap into the anger and hyper-partisanship among the electorate. The disengaged voters, often incorrectly associated with the moderate middle, were fueling the drift by politicians toward extremist views. Politically active voters are not the driving force, and the extremism in both parties relates to specific issues more so than a sudden, overall lurch to the right or left, Broockman concluded.

“Indeed, although each of the parties is out of step with public sentiment on some issues, neither consistently outflanks the public. For example, about 40 percent of Americans seem to have more liberal positions on tax policies than most Democratic elected officials, while much of the public would also prefer more conservative policies on immigration and abortion than most Republican elected officials would endorse,” he wrote in an Op-Ed column for The Washington Post.

Angry protesters - Trump rally

At the same time, a 2015 Stanford University study found this: “While Americans are inclined to ‘hedge’ expressions of overt animosity toward racial minorities, immigrants, gays, or other marginalized groups, they enthusiastically voice hostility for the opposing party and its supporters.”

The Pew Research Center and numerous scholars have found that the increasing trend of liberals living in liberal neighborhoods and conservatives in conservative communities has reached a tipping point. Many of the diehards on the left and right openly admit that they don’t want to associate with the other side.

This partisan segregation came through in a 2014 survey which found that 50 percent of self-identified “consistently conservative” people and 35 percent of the “consistently liberal” do not want to live among those who don’t share their political views.

Stay away from ‘those people’
A touchier subject going back to the days of veiled bigotry – whether a parent would be unhappy with one of their children marrying someone of a different race – has now come to the forefront in a blatantly political manner.

Pew found that three out of ten consistent conservatives said they would be unhappy if an immediate family member married a Democrat, and about a quarter (23%) of purist liberals said the same about the prospect of a Republican in-law.

Animosity toward same-party marriage is increasing rapidly as politics and partisanship play key roles in relationships. In a 2009 survey of married couples, only 9 percent consisted of Democrat-Republican pairs.

The Stanford study, also published by the American Journal of Political Science, reached this conclusion about partisan discrimination:

“Americans increasingly dislike people and groups on the other side of the political divide and face no social repercussions for the open expression of these attitudes.”

In a recent column for the New York Times, Arthur C. Brooks, president of the staunchly conservative American Enterprise Institute, pleaded with partisans to set aside their contempt and, on an individual basis, try to heal the ideological divide in America.

Brooks offered this warning:

There is a Polarization Industrial Complex in American media today, which profits handsomely from the continuing climate of bitterness. Not surprisingly, polarization in the House and Senate is at its highest since the end of Reconstruction in the 1870s.
Bigotry’s cousin is contempt. In the words of the 19th-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, contempt is “the unsullied conviction of the worthlessness of another.” Watch and listen to politically polarized commentary today, and you will see that it is more contemptuous than angry, overflowing with sneering, mockery and disgust.
Brooks views the road toward moderation and tolerance as a spiritual journey for the nation. He even cites some of the wisdom imparted on him by the Dalai Lama. He implored:
Each of us can be one part of the solution America needs to become a more pluralistic, tolerant country, in which differences are part of a competition of ideas, and not a ghastly holy war of ideologies.

We shall see if the final outcome of the rough-and-tumble 2016 campaign is an electorate willing to call a truce. God knows, we have enough holy wars already in our world.

Photos/CNN

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Drum: HRC and Bernie Will Unite Dems http://themoderatevoice.com/drum-hrc-bernie-will-unite-dems/ http://themoderatevoice.com/drum-hrc-bernie-will-unite-dems/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:14:56 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215544 shutterstock_116560858 (4)

  Kevin Drum explains why he thinks Clinton and Sanders will unite to defeat Donald Trump on Mother Jones. Speaking very generally, it’s obviously in Hillary Clinton’s interest to have Bernie on her side. But what kind of concessions can she make, if indeed Bernie demands some? She can’t credibly make any major policy switches, [...]

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Kevin Drum explains why he thinks Clinton and Sanders will unite to defeat Donald Trump on Mother Jones.

Speaking very generally, it’s obviously in Hillary Clinton’s interest to have Bernie on her side. But what kind of concessions can she make, if indeed Bernie demands some? She can’t credibly make any major policy switches, but perhaps she could make some minor ones. She could make concessions on future appointments, but that would have to be done privately, which is always a danger. What else?

My own take is that Hillary probably doesn’t have to do very much. Past candidates haven’t, after all. In theory, the difference this time is that Bernie’s followers are so loyal and committed that they’ll withhold their votes if Bernie even hints at it, but I just don’t buy that. By the time September rolls around, the prospect of a Trump presidency will have every liberal in the country fired up. Hillary’s weaknesses simply won’t seem important anymore. If Bernie seems even slightly less than completely enthusiastic about her campaign, that will reflect back on him, not Hillary.

So…I think there’s less here than meets the eye. Hillary and Bernie will make nice, because that’s what candidates do when primaries are over, and perhaps Hillary will make a few small concessions—either privately or otherwise. Then it will be all hands on deck to defeat Trump. No one who doesn’t want to be drummed out of the liberal movement entirely can afford not to be a part of that. Bernie Sanders, of all people, knows this very well. When the time comes, he’ll be there. He’s much too decent a person to sulk in his tent just because he lost a campaign that he never expected to win in the first place.

Cross-posted from The Sensible Center

http://thesensiblecentercom.blogspot.com/2016/04/drum-hrc-and-bernie-will-unite-dems.html

graphic via shutterstock.com

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Donald J. Trump is the antithesis of Abraham Lincoln (Guest) http://themoderatevoice.com/donald-j-trump-is-the-antithesis-of-abraham-lincoln-guest/ http://themoderatevoice.com/donald-j-trump-is-the-antithesis-of-abraham-lincoln-guest/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 04:00:24 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215680 25549297376_7c998d91fb_z

Donald J. Trump is the antithesis of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen Cooper In a February 29, 2016 article in The New Yorker exploring the meaning of leadership and the qualities people most associate with successful leaders, Joshua Rothman writes: “When we’re swept up in the romance of leadership, we admire leaders who radiate authenticity and [...]

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Donald J. Trump is the antithesis of Abraham Lincoln
by Stephen Cooper

In a February 29, 2016 article in The New Yorker exploring the meaning of leadership and the qualities people most associate with successful leaders, Joshua Rothman writes: “When we’re swept up in the romance of leadership, we admire leaders who radiate authenticity and authority; we respect and enjoy our ‘real leaders’. At other times, though, we want leaders who see themselves objectively, who resist the pull of their own charisma, who doubt the story they have been rewarded for telling.” In Rothman’s final analysis, it is “[a] sense of perspective [that] may be among the most critical [of] leadership qualities”.

This observation I respectfully submit, illustrates the catastrophic mistake the Republican Party – once the party of Abraham Lincoln – will make by nominating Donald J. Trump as their presidential candidate and standard-bearer.

More than eighty years ago, in 1932, Dale Carnegie, the late American writer, lecturer, and self-improvement guru – best known for his still popular book and 1936 bestseller, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” – wrote a book about President Abraham Lincoln called, “Lincoln the Unknown.” Working on the book for years, Carnegie eventually moved to Illinois (“The Land of Lincoln”) where he combed through old books and historical records and interviewed anyone alive with even the remotest connection to the former president. Carnegie was intent on unearthing the true essence of the tall, gangling man with the black stovepipe hat who so profoundly changed our nation for the better – imbuing it by his sheer strength of character with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all citizens – not just those with white skin.

Republicans prepared to go to the polls to elect Donald Trump ought to read Rothman’s recent article, but also, they really ought to find a copy of Carnegie’s old historical work and labor of love about President Lincoln, our 16th President and the first Republican to ever sit in the Oval Office as Commander in Chief. If they do and, if they pay close attention to Carnegie’s excellent distillation of Lincoln’s character, they’ll know just why they can’t elevate a man like Donald Trump to the White House.

They’ll know that a man who revels in self-promotion (think private commercial jet emblazoned with his name and decked out with gold accoutrements proclaiming “Trump” wherever the eye can see), a man who constantly prides himself with just how many billions of dollars he has acquired — is the complete antithesis of everything that President Abraham Lincoln stood for.

Take just one of Lincoln’s lesser-known quotes that Carnegie highlights (at page 23 of his book) from Lincoln’s first political speech as a candidate for Illinois State Legislature. Lincoln said: “I was born and have remained in the most humble walks of life. I have no wealthy or popular relatives or friends to recommend me . . . . But if the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined.”

Can anyone – a Democrat, a Republican, or anyone else — imagine Donald Trump uttering anything even remotely similar?

Trump wouldn’t know humble if his gilded plane somehow got stuck in Humble, Texas. Trump can’t stop bragging and beating us over the head with his high poll numbers and with the names of all of the alleged rich and famous people who support him — even those of dubious character (think Vladimir Putin, for one). Unlike Lincoln, Trump would not ever be content to allow himself to be kept in the background; he doesn’t believe, like Lincoln did, in the wisdom of the common man — or the wisdom any man or woman who makes less money than he does.

In short, borrowing both from Dale Carnegie and from the late four-time United States Senator from Texas and once democratic nominee for Vice President, Lloyd Bentsen, Jr.: Donald J. Trump is no Abraham Lincoln.

Stephen Cooper is a former D.C. and federal public defender. He has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers in the United States and overseas. He writes full-time and lives in Woodland Hills, California.

Caricature by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

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Poll: Clinton, Sanders close in CT/PA/RI; Trump Headed for Big Wins http://themoderatevoice.com/poll-clinton-sanders-close-in-ctpari-trump-headed-for-big-wins/ http://themoderatevoice.com/poll-clinton-sanders-close-in-ctpari-trump-headed-for-big-wins/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 03:38:01 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215683 shutterstock_140044387 (1)

A new Public Policy Polling poll shows former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a tighter race with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side than the GOP race that continues to suggest a blow out for billionaire showman Donald Trump: New Public Policy Polling surveys in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island conducted on [...]

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A new Public Policy Polling poll shows former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a tighter race with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side than the GOP race that continues to suggest a blow out for billionaire showman Donald Trump:

New Public Policy Polling surveys in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island conducted on behalf of VoteVets.Org Action Fund find the Democratic race for President in those states competitive, while on the Republican side Donald Trump is headed for blowout victories across the board.

The Democratic races in Connecticut and Rhode Island appear to be toss ups, with Clinton and Sanders each having a slight advantage in one of the states. In Connecticut Clinton has a narrow edge at 48/46, thanks in large part to a 63/24 advantage among African Americans. In Rhode Island it’s Sanders who has a 49/45 lead. Clinton’s up 54/40 with actual Democrats there, but Sanders is up 67/28 among independents planning to vote in the Democratic primary and that gives him the overall lead. Clinton has a wider lead in Pennsylvania at 51/41, although that still represents a closer race than most public polls have shown over the last few weeks.

State

Democratic Results

Connecticut

Clinton 48, Sanders 46

Pennsylvania

Clinton 51, Sanders 41

Rhode Island

Sanders 49, Clinton 45

AND:

Things aren’t nearly so competitive on the Republican side, with Donald Trump getting a majority of voters in each state. He’s strongest in Rhode Island where he gets 61% to 23% for John Kasich, and 13% for Ted Cruz. The numbers are very similar in Connecticut with Trump getting 59% to 25% for Kasich, and 13% for Cruz. Things are a little bit different in Pennsylvania where Trump’s share of the vote isn’t as high (51%) and Cruz edges out Kasich 25/22 for second place. None of these states are particularly amenable to the ‘Never Trump’ movement. Trump has the highest favorability rating of the GOP candidates in each state, and also handily wins head to head match ups with Cruz and Kasich in all three states. One thing that comes across in all these places is how unpopular Cruz is- he’s way under water even with Republican primary voters.

State

Republican Results

Trump Favorability

Cruz Favorability

Connecticut

Trump 59, Kasich 25, Cruz 13

66/27

26/61

Pennsylvania

Trump 51, Cruz 25, Kasich 22

59/36

35/51

Rhode Island

Trump 61, Kasich 23, Cruz 13

But here’s the reality:
1. Barring some major event, Clinton seems destined to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for 2016.

2. The outlook continues to be bleak for the stop-Trump forces in the Republican Party. Many analysts (some who can’t stand Trump) believe even if Trump falls slightly short of the needed total the Republican Party won’t risk losing his supporters.

graphic via shutterstock.com

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Austria’s anti-immigrant far right wins by a ‘landslide’ in presidential vote’s first round http://themoderatevoice.com/austrias-anti-immigrant-far-right-wins-by-a-landslide-in-presidential-votes-first-round/ http://themoderatevoice.com/austrias-anti-immigrant-far-right-wins-by-a-landslide-in-presidential-votes-first-round/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 01:49:31 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215678 2000px-Flag_of_Austria.svg

Anti-immigrant candidate wins presidential first round Shock result for Austria’s political establishment Austria’s far right Freedom Party has won the first round of a presidential election, with candidates for the two main parties failing to make next month’s run off. Norbert Hofer, who ran on an anti-immigrant and anti-Europe platform, won over 36% of the [...]

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Anti-immigrant candidate wins presidential first round Shock result for Austria’s political establishment Austria’s far right Freedom Party has won the first round of a presidential election, with candidates for the two main parties failing to make next month’s run off. Norbert Hofer, who ran on an anti-immigrant and anti-Europe platform, won over 36% of the vote…

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Cartoons: YOU NEVER HOLD MY HAND AND SKIP WITH ME http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-you-never-hold-my-hand-and-skip-with-me/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-you-never-hold-my-hand-and-skip-with-me/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 01:29:22 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215676 cjones04252016 (1)

You never hold my hand and skip with me by Clay Jones The Saudi kingdom is not very happy with President Obama or the United States right now. In the past, the Saudi king literally held hands with president Bush. They wouldn’t even meet Obama at the airport. The Saudis are unhappy with issues ranging [...]

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You never hold my hand and skip with me
by Clay Jones

The Saudi kingdom is not very happy with President Obama or the United States right now. In the past, the Saudi king literally held hands with president Bush. They wouldn’t even meet Obama at the airport.

The Saudis are unhappy with issues ranging from the conflict in Yemen, the role of Iran, Lebanon’s instability, the fight against ISIS, and falling gas prices. The most contentious of issues is a Saudi threat to dump U.S. assets if Obama signs into law a bill that could make the kingdom liable for damages stemming from the September 11 terror attacks.

The Saudis also believe we are devoting more attention to their rival, Iran, and Obama has described the Saudis as “so-called allies” and has complained their policies fuel anti-U.S. terror and regional chaos.

Obama should describe the situation as it actually exist. We always talk about freedom while we support a nation that isn’t even remotely free for the majority of its citizens. Saudi Arabia should put troops on the ground to fight ISIS before we make any sort of commitment and while they’re at it, take the anti-American curriculum out of its education system. Maybe in the future terrorists will have a harder time recruiting hijackers from Saudi Arabia than they did in 2001.

A grown man holding another grown man’s hand in public is a sign of friendship and respect in the Middle East. That’s fine, and I haven’t asked, but I doubt my best friend wants to do that with me. I’m not against grown men holding hands but right now, I’m not ready for another image of my president holding hands with a freedom-hating monarch.

I do miss drawing George W. Bush and that’s the only thing I miss about him.

This cartoon and post by Clay Jones are from his website www.claytoonz.com

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American Jewish Committee blasts Sanders’ Baltimore – West Bank comparison http://themoderatevoice.com/american-jewish-committe-blasts-sanders-baltimore-west-bank-comparison/ http://themoderatevoice.com/american-jewish-committe-blasts-sanders-baltimore-west-bank-comparison/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 22:15:08 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215674 26541907725_4643f10824

American Jewish Committe blasts Sanders’ Baltimore – West Bank comparison by Kenneth Bandler NEW YORK — The American Jewish Committee (AJC) criticized Senator Bernie Sanders for comparing socio-economic conditions in Baltimore to Palestinian communities in the West Bank. “What do the serious issues Baltimore’s leadership and population are confronting have to do with daily Palestinian [...]

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American Jewish Committe blasts Sanders’ Baltimore – West Bank comparison
by Kenneth Bandler

NEW YORK — The American Jewish Committee (AJC) criticized Senator Bernie Sanders for comparing socio-economic conditions in Baltimore to Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

“What do the serious issues Baltimore’s leadership and population are confronting have to do with daily Palestinian life in the West Bank?” stated AJC CEO David Harris.

“Inserting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into unrelated American political discourse serves only one purpose, to encourage those who are narrowly focused on assailing Israel for any shortcomings, failings by the Palestinian Authority,” Harris said.

“Furthermore, according to CIA statistics, infant mortality in the West Bank, at 13.08 deaths per 1,000 live births, actually compares favorably to most of the developing world,” said Harris. “Turkey’s rate is 18.87, Brazil’s is 18.60, and Iran’s is 38.04. The U.S. infant mortality rate, at 5.87, is far from where it should be, behind the United Kingdom, at 4.38, Australia at 4.37, France at 3.28, and Israel at 3.55.”

Sanders made his remarks during an address in Maryland ahead of Tuesday’s primary election. “People don’t know this. If you are born in Baltimore’s poorest neighborhoods, your life expectancy is almost twenty years shorter than if you are born in a wealthier neighborhood,” said Sanders, adding that “two [neighborhoods] have a higher infant mortality rate than the West Bank in Palestine.”

In addition, Harris continued, “life expectancy in the West Bank, according to the CIA World Factbook, exceeds that of Egypt and Jordan, not to mention many other countries.”

AJC is a 501(c)(3) organization that neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office.
*
Bandler is director of media relations for the American Jewish Committee. This article is reprinted from San Diego Jewish World which, along with The Moderate Voice, is a member of the San Diego Online News Association.

photo credit: 20160419-193237 via photopin (license)

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Cartoons: Cruz and Kasich team up against Trump http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-cruz-and-kasich-team-up-against-trump/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-cruz-and-kasich-team-up-against-trump/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 21:24:36 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215672 Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com
Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Cruz, Kasich Come Together To Stop Trump http://themoderatevoice.com/cruz-kasich-come-together-stop-trump/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cruz-kasich-come-together-stop-trump/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 20:33:55 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215671 DemocraticLogo

In an unprecedented effort to stymie Republican front-runner Donald Trump, his two remaining rivals, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced late Sunday that they would cede certain states to each other. The move is aimed at preventing Trump, who has had a massively successful run in recent weeks, from clinching [...]

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DemocraticLogo

In an unprecedented effort to stymie Republican front-runner Donald Trump, his two remaining rivals, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced late Sunday that they would cede certain states to each other. The move is aimed at preventing Trump, who has had a massively successful run in recent weeks, from clinching the…

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Almost 40 years since the Supreme Court relegitimized the death penalty; 30 since they said it’s OK that it’s racist (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/almost-40-years-since-the-supreme-court-relegitimized-the-death-penalty-30-since-they-said-its-ok-that-its-racist-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/almost-40-years-since-the-supreme-court-relegitimized-the-death-penalty-30-since-they-said-its-ok-that-its-racist-guest-voice/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 20:21:09 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215669 electric-chair-72283_640

Almost 40 years since the Supreme Court relegitimized the death penalty; 30 since they said it’s OK that it’s racist by Stephen Cooper Sometime soon in the 31 states that have not abolished the death penalty, leaders at the highest levels of state government, men and women — mostly men and mostly white — will [...]

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Almost 40 years since the Supreme Court relegitimized the death penalty; 30 since they said it’s OK that it’s racist
by Stephen Cooper

Sometime soon in the 31 states that have not abolished the death penalty, leaders at the highest levels of state government, men and women — mostly men and mostly white — will hold private, closed-door meetings, in which they will discuss the most secretive, most cost-effective, most media-friendly way to go about killing one (or more) of its citizens. Study after study shows that, more likely than not, this majority white group of deathly decision makers will be planning the killing of a man or a woman, though usually it’s a man, and usually it’s a black man.

These macabre meetings focused on sharpening the states’ machinery of death have been going on ever since the 1976 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Gregg v. Georgia. Gregg re-legitimized and restarted the wheel of state-sanctioned death — a wheel that stopped spinning four years earlier, in 1972, when in Furman v. Georgia, the high court declared Georgia’s death penalty statute (and by implication the death penalty statutes of 40 other states) unconstitutional; the Court held in Furman that the way the states were allowing juries and judges to decide who lives and who dies violated the 8th Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

But just four years later, after the Gregg decision sanctioned the states’ newly rewritten death penalty statutes, the wheel of death started spinning again. And ever since, overwhelmingly, the condemned strapped to that wheel (or gurney, quite literally) have been poor persons of color; most often their legal representation has been atrocious. Read famed capital defense attorney and Yale law professor, Stephen B. Bright’s disturbing article, Counsel for the Poor: The Death Sentence Not for the Worst Crime but for the Worst Lawyer, 103 Yale L.J. 1835 (1994), if you have any doubt about that.

Even more repugnant though, study after study shows that the poor, probably black, death row inmate will have landed on death row because he killed someone white. The most famous of these studies, the “Baldus” study, an extremely well-respected empirical study published in 1983, showed that even after taking into consideration 39 nonracial variables, defendants charged with killing white victims were 4.3 times more likely to receive a death sentence as defendants charged with killing blacks. The study also concluded, as quoted by Justice Powell’s decision in McClesky v. Kemp, that “black defendants were 1.1 times as likely to receive a death sentence as other defendants.”

That has to be unconstitutional, doesn’t it? It’s an Equal Protection Clause violation, right? Part of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Equal Protection Clause, which took effect in 1868, after the Civil War, provides that no state shall deny to any person (including a person of color) “the equal protection of the laws.” If, as the Baldus study convincingly showed, a defendant is more likely to get the death penalty solely because the victim was white instead of black, that would be a per seviolation of the Equal Protection Clause, right?

Wrong. In a decision that New York University School of Law professor and celebrated Supreme Court advocate Anthony G. Amsterdam called, “the Dred Scott decision of our time,” the Court held that because defendant McClesky, a black man, could not specifically prove “purposeful discrimination” had a discriminatory effect on him in his trial — the Baldus study his lawyers presented to show that the death penalty was racist, and whose findings the Court notably did not dispute — were irrelevant.

McClesky was executed in 1991. Beforehand he said: “I pray that one day this country, supposedly a civilized society, will abolish barbaric acts such as the death penalty.”

Twenty-four years have passed since McClesky’s last words, but still the majority-white death councils convene — and still, even 24 years later, even with a black President in the White House — their top quarry remains the poorest, darkest, worst-represented defendants.

When will it end?

When will African-Americans, white Americans, and Americans of all colors demand that each and every politician they elect take action, and take action now, to put a stop to it?

Stephen Cooper is former D.C. and federal public defender. He has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers in the United States and overseas. He writes full-time and lives in Woodland Hills, CA.

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Disenfranchising Large Segments of Americans http://themoderatevoice.com/disenfranchising-large-segments-of-americans/ http://themoderatevoice.com/disenfranchising-large-segments-of-americans/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 20:05:21 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215668 abstract six line blue transparent vector

by Walter Brasch Several hundred thousand American citizens won’t be voting in presidential primary elections—and it’s not their fault. In Pennsylvania, for example, a registered voter who needed an absentee ballot had to submit the request at least one full week before the election, and then return the ballot no less than four days before [...]

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by Walter Brasch

Several hundred thousand American citizens won’t be voting in presidential primary elections—and it’s not their fault.

In Pennsylvania, for example, a registered voter who needed an absentee ballot had to submit the request at least one full week before the election, and then return the ballot no less than four days before the election.

But, what if circumstances changed? What if that person became injured or had to leave the state after April 19, but before the election, Tuesday? If it was April 20, you could not receive an absentee ballot. You could still vote in person, but if you couldn’t get to the polls, you would be disenfranchised. There’s nothing you could do. In one week, you lost the right to vote because bureaucratic rules blocked you from receiving a ballot—even if you could get that ballot to your county registrar of voters by the end of the day of the election.

Let’s say you were injured a day after the deadline to request a ballot, and want to vote in person on Election Day. If you’re now temporarily in a wheelchair, can’t drive, walk, or get into a regular car, you’ll have to use a medical transport. That’s a minimum of $150 round trip from your home to the polls.

Politicians and their political parties say they want all American citizens to register and vote. There are voter registration campaigns at colleges, in bars, at fire halls, and street fairs. But, the politicians really don’t care about your vote.

In Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order to allow felons who completed their sentences to be again given the right to vote. This affects more than 200,000 persons. But, the Republicans are crying “foul.” They say that felons might vote for Democrats, and on that basis alone they want to keep felons from voting rights. Of course, the Republican establishment has no basis for its assumption—especially since there are a lot of Republican politicians who have been convicted of felonies.

Currently, only two states—Maine and Vermont—allow incarcerated prisoners the right to vote by absentee ballot. Twenty-four states allow felons the right to vote after they complete their incarceration and end of parole. Fourteen states allow felons on parole, but who completed their incarceration, to vote. In 10 states, anyone convicted of a felony permanently loses all right to vote, even if it’s decades after completing their sentences, even if they are now model citizens.

Giving the vote to Hispanics also annoys the Republican right wing. They believe people with dark skin and black hair must be illegal aliens and, thus, shouldn’t vote. Even those with legal status who are serving in the U.S. military should be banned from citizenship and voting, say the extreme right wing. Like the Republicans in Virginia, the Republicans in the Southwest vigorously object to citizenship and voting rights for anyone who might vote for those who aren’t Republicans.

It’s the same Republicans who have gone to great lengths to require all forms of identification in order to register and vote. They claim it’s to prevent voter fraud. But, the number of cases of voter fraud in the past two election cycles is about the same as the chance of being hit by a torpedo while rowing in the lake in New York’s Central Park.
It has become obvious in the past few years that voting is no longer a constitutional right—but a political football.

[Dr. Brasch’s latest book is Fracking America, the only comprehensive overview of the history, process, and effects of high volume horizontal fracturing. The book also looks at numerous social, economic, and political issues, including the relationship between the oil/gas industry and politicians.]

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Did climate change cause these ancient civilizations to collapse? http://themoderatevoice.com/did-climate-change-cause-these-ancient-civilizations-to-collapse/ http://themoderatevoice.com/did-climate-change-cause-these-ancient-civilizations-to-collapse/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 17:38:14 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215665 earth-1023859_640

Scientists have documented the environmental impacts of climate change — including melting ice sheets — and predicted rising sea levels. But can climate change also disrupt culture? Reporting in Science Advances, researchers say that climate change may have been a factor in the boom-and-bust cycles of ancient Southwest civilizations in the United States. “Droughts didn’t [...]

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Scientists have documented the environmental impacts of climate change — including melting ice sheets — and predicted rising sea levels. But can climate change also disrupt culture? Reporting in Science Advances, researchers say that climate change may have been a factor in the boom-and-bust cycles of ancient Southwest civilizations in the United States. “Droughts didn’t always…

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Bernie Sanders needs a primer on political parties http://themoderatevoice.com/215654/ http://themoderatevoice.com/215654/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 17:37:37 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215654 Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) appears on CBS News 'Face the Nation' in Washington DC May 10, 2015. REUTERS/CBS News/Chris Usher/Handout via Reuters 
ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO ARCHIVES. NO SALES.

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Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) appears on CBS News 'Face the Nation' in Washington DC May 10, 2015. REUTERS/CBS News/Chris Usher/Handout via Reuters 
ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO ARCHIVES. NO SALES.Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) appears on CBS News 'Face the Nation' in Washington DC May 10, 2015. REUTERS/CBS News/Chris Usher/Handout via Reuters  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. <img src=Bernie Sanders said over the weekend that no matter what happens now his campaign represents the future of the Democratic Party and that the issues he has raised will from now on be debated within the Democratic mainstream.

On Face the Nation, while discussing his appeal among younger voters, he said,

I think the ideas we are talking about (are) what the American people and the people in the Democratic Party want to hear. . . We are the future of the Democratuc Party, so I’m very proud of where we are and look forward to fighting this out through California.

He went on to say that he expects key issues of his campaign to be represented in the platform of the Democratic nominee.

Should Hillary Clinton win the nomination, he continued, issues like a $15 minimum wage, climate change, guaranteed health care, getting big money out of politics, and free college tuition should be a part of her agenda.

Make no mistake, Sen. Sanders has done remarkably well and will have much to bargain with, notably his enthusiastic support (or not) for the Democratic ticket. On the other hand, should Clinton be the nominee, it will mean he has lost. And, to be clear, losing means not winning.

I hope Sen. Sanders drives a hard bargain for his support, and I hope Hillary Clinton pushes back equally hard because she could, if not careful, find herself in the position of trying to deliver on promises impossible to keep largely because a president is not a queen, Congress is not without power, and state governments have significant authority on a range of issues.

In any case, there will be many discussions about heady things between the two camps. That’s politics, and I mean that in a good way. If in the end Sanders decides that he did not receive sufficient consideration for his full-throated support, no one will able to force him to do anything. If his supporters stay home on Election Day, that is their right.

These possibilities would, however, be unfortunate outcomes for the future he claims to want.

Parties matter greatly in politics, especially in a two party system. And because there are only two parties, coalitions within parties are essential.

If Sanders and his followers want to be the future of the Democratic Party, they should understand that there will come a time when they need the support of Democrats who are not completely on side with their vision. They will want and need that support to create something new.

Parties support those within the group precisely because they believe they have enough in common to hold the coalition together. Members and groups within a party will give those they may disagree with on many issues a chance to lead because they see themselves as within the same group.

Should Sanders and company play too cute in the coming months, they might refrain from being too surprised when the next “progressive” standard bearer finds it hard to get traction with the broader party.

Securing the future frequently requires playing nice with others, which can be very demanding. And if factions can’t be effectively managed, turnabout is always fair play, and usually ugly.

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2016’s scrambled coalitions http://themoderatevoice.com/215660/ http://themoderatevoice.com/215660/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 17:31:56 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215660 logo-politics1

WASHINGTON — Republicans are a more ideological party than the Democrats, but ideology has mattered less in the GOP primaries this year than in the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Clinton is in a nearly unassailable position to win her party’s nomination. But assuming she prevails, her primary fight with Sanders has underscored [...]

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WASHINGTON — Republicans are a more ideological party than the Democrats, but ideology has mattered less in the GOP primaries this year than in the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Clinton is in a nearly unassailable position to win her party’s nomination. But assuming she prevails, her primary fight with Sanders has underscored weaknesses she will have to deal with to win in November.

And Donald Trump’s moves toward moderation on social issues last week reflects not only his campaign’s understanding that he cannot win as a far-right candidate, but also his need to tread carefully to maintain the crazy-quilt coalition he has built in the GOP primaries.

New York and Massachusetts Republicans are quite different from the ones found in Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee. Trump carried all five states, bringing together some of the most extreme voters on the right end of his party with a large share of those who consider themselves moderate.

As the 2016 primaries reach their decisive moment, the results so far point to a scrambling of alliances inside both parties.

To earn her delegate lead, Clinton has built a significantly different coalition in 2016 than she did in 2008. The most important and obvious shift is among African-Americans, who formed Barack Obama’s base against her eight years ago and are now Clinton’s most loyal supporters. They will loom large in Tuesday’s primaries, particularly in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Clinton ran well behind Obama among voters under 30. She’s doing even worse among younger voters this year than Sanders.

She has done well among voters over 45, among those with a strong identification with the Democratic Party, and among the roughly one-third of primary voters who do not identify themselves as liberal (a group that includes many non-whites). In her New York victory, she carried moderate and conservative Democrats by 2-to-1. But even where she has lost, this group has come her way. In Michigan, for example, she carried the non-liberals, 52 percent to 43 percent.

Sanders speaks of increasing participation in Democratic primaries, but turnout this year has not exceeded the admittedly exceptional 2008. He does, however, seem to have mobilized more progressive voters: A comparison of the exit polls with surveys of Democrats nationally suggests that the primary electorate this year is more liberal than is the party as a whole.

Overall, turnout patterns have been mixed. They were down in many of the earliest states, such as New Hampshire, and sharply down in some later states, including Alabama, Texas and Ohio. But 2008 and 2016 turnouts were roughly comparable in other states, including New York, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

There is another factor in Sanders’ strength that points to a Clinton problem this fall: Even where she has won, she has run poorly among white men. In New York, Sanders got 57 percent of their votes; in Michigan, 62 percent. She has also regularly lost in rural areas.

White men as a whole would likely prefer any Republican over any Democrat this fall, but Clinton would have to find a way to cut her losses. Against Trump, at least, polls suggest she would so overwhelm him among women that she could triumph anyway. This would be less clear if she faced a different Republican.

An awareness of his need to improve his standing among women may have prompted Trump to insist last week — to the consternation of social conservatives — that the GOP’s traditional platform plank against abortion include exceptions for rape, incest and protecting a mother’s life. He also spoke out against North Carolina’s anti-transgender law.

Trump’s willingness to part with social conservatives (for now, at least) also reflects the ways in which his vote defies the old Republican patterns.

In primary after primary, he has split white evangelical voters with Ted Cruz. At the same time, Trump has performed as well among moderates as he has among conservatives. A partial exception is New York, where Trump ran best among self-described conservatives. But even there, the exit polls still showed him defeating John Kasich narrowly, 46 percent to 42 percent, among moderates.

The failure of both movement conservatives and established Republican politicians to stop Trump so far arises from their inability to imagine that someone could appeal simultaneously to moderates — they see Trump more as a manager and leader who could get things done — and to the party’s most hard-core right-wingers on immigration and race, and also in the ferociousness of his opposition to Obama.

Trump’s GOP foes have six weeks to topple him from his high wire.


E.J. Dionne’s email address is ejdionne@washpost.com. Twitter: @EJDionne. (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

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New poll of millennial voters shows clear shift toward Democrats, away from Trump http://themoderatevoice.com/new-poll-of-millennial-voters-shows-clear-shift-toward-democrats-away-from-trump/ http://themoderatevoice.com/new-poll-of-millennial-voters-shows-clear-shift-toward-democrats-away-from-trump/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 17:09:26 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215658 shutterstock_140044387 (1)

Republicans long have worried about how to survive as conservative GOP voters die off and are replaced by more liberal younger Americans. A new national poll of millennial voters suggests that the 2016 presidential race has only hastened the shift they have feared. The preference of voters younger than 30 for a Democrat over a [...]

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Republicans long have worried about how to survive as conservative GOP voters die off and are replaced by more liberal younger Americans. A new national poll of millennial voters suggests that the 2016 presidential race has only hastened the shift they have feared. The preference of voters younger than 30 for a Democrat over a Republican…

graphic via shutterstock.com

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If we can’t elect a Garfield, maybe we each can be a Garfield http://themoderatevoice.com/if-we-cant-elect-a-garfield-maybe-we-can-be-a-garfield/ http://themoderatevoice.com/if-we-cant-elect-a-garfield-maybe-we-can-be-a-garfield/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 05:01:38 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215652 abstract six line blue transparent vector

On Saturday, returning from a daylong meeting with church members, someone mentioned the name of an Ohio town. “Isn’t that where Garfield was from?” I asked, realizing in an instant that people would think I was referring to James A. Garfield, America’s twentieth president, and not to the orange cat in comic strips. Garfield doesn’t [...]

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On Saturday, returning from a daylong meeting with church members, someone mentioned the name of an Ohio town. “Isn’t that where Garfield was from?” I asked, realizing in an instant that people would think I was referring to James A. Garfield, America’s twentieth president, and not to the orange cat in comic strips.

Garfield doesn’t come up often in conversation and the only biography I’ve read of him wasn’t very good.

But most people who know a little about him remember that he was assassinated. (That was the subject of an excellent recent installment of the PBS series, The American Experience.)

Others will know that Garfield was an ordained minister, the only such person to ever be president.

None of that came up during the Saturday drive. But having briefly mentioned Garfield one day, I was surprised the next day to find an article in Christianity Today‘s The Local Church about Garfield.

According to Brannon Marshall, the writer of the piece, Garfield also exemplified humility, being one of the few people elected president who didn’t actually want the job. (I’ve talked before how much I would love for us to elect people to public office who aren’t desperately grasping for power.)

In this, Marshall asserts, Garfield has a lot to teach modern Christians (and, I’d say, others):

Garfield’s modesty would make him seem wildly out of place in today’s political arena, but it fits his role as a lay-minister well. Of the church leaders I’ve known, those who have contributed the most to those in their care have achieved their influence as a result of character that’s unseen and humility that’s steady. It’s never been done through declarative muscle; instead, like Garfield, they faithfully followed the humble path and have inspired others to do the same. They’re the pastors who hang around after everyone’s gone, get out the mop, and clean up red Kool-Aid stains in the church kitchen without thought of recompense or recognition. They’re the tired-but-tireless Sunday school teachers who are in their fifth decade of helping children understand what Jesus meant when he said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” They’re everywhere—but rarely rewarded. And that’s probably how they want things to be…

Garfield’s relative anonymity in history shouldn’t surprise us—an
assassin’s bullet tragically ended his life less than seven months into
his term. His legacy, however, is important because his story relates an
enduring lesson: true, dignified influence is often achieved not
through force or compulsion, but through quiet humility.

In the midst of this year’s wretchedly depressing presidential campaign, as we watch more than a few candidates pander, grovel, assault, and misconstrue the records or beliefs of others, it would be refreshing to be surprised by the nomination of a Garfield, a candidate not seeking the office, but seeking to do the first thing all leaders must do, serve. It’s something to pray for.

But barring that miracle, maybe we who follow Christ could pray that, like Garfield, we could learn what it means to humbly follow the crucified and risen Jesus. We probably won’t ever be elected president. But filled with the power of our Lord, God may use us to change the lives of the people we encounter each day for the better. And doing that would be a great ambition for each of us to hold.

[This was cross posted at Mark Daniels’ blog.]

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“Among the founders, Hamilton was probably the most passionate advocate of national unity… http://themoderatevoice.com/among-the-founders-hamilton-was-probably-the-most-passionate-advocate-of-national-unity/ http://themoderatevoice.com/among-the-founders-hamilton-was-probably-the-most-passionate-advocate-of-national-unity/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 03:52:52 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215648 Hamilton_small (2)

…He wanted people to think of themselves as Americans, not as citizens of separate states.” Alexander Hamilton was among the foremost purveyors of New York Values, says Cass Sunstein. I think he’s right. And one part of those values is the very American idea that we need not be trapped by our heritage, that we [...]

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He wanted people to think of themselves as Americans, not as citizens of separate states.”

Alexander Hamilton was among the foremost purveyors of New York Values, says Cass Sunstein. I think he’s right.

And one part of those values is the very American idea that we need not be trapped by our heritage, that we can be more than an indifferent world or so-called fate would have us be. (An idea that we need to extend to more people if we are to fulfill the promise of America.)

This is precisely the story of Hamilton, the illegitimate son of a man who eventually abandoned him, born in the Caribbean, a immigrant to America, where he graduated from King’s College (now Columbia University), became a leader in the Revolutionary War, wrote the lion’s share of The Federalist Papers, and, while serving as George Washington’s secretary of the treasury, created the American economy.

That economic system has led not only to the nation with the most sustained prosperity in world history, it also was one major factor in fostering American national unity.

That represents another of Hamilton’s New York Values. He saw himself more as an American than as a New Yorker. Like Washington, he understood the importance for the nation that fought a revolution for liberty to complete that revolution by a commitment to mutual dependence and accountability, resulting in the US Constitution.

Hamilton’s commitment to nationhood and his conception of what it means to be a federalist puts the lie to those who squawk about states’ rights as a means of avoiding full participation in American national life (liberty and mutual accountability) and undermining America. As Sunstein writes:

Most politicians who run for national office develop a deep affection for the nation’s diverse states, with all their unique quirks and histories. It’s much worse than bad politics for a candidate to complain about “Vermont values,” “Nebraska values,” “Georgia values,” “Ohio values,” or the values of any of the states. In light of the nation’s hard-won unity, it’s a betrayal of the great motto of the United States, which can also be found on our currency: E pluribus unum (from many, one).

Yep.

Hamilton was in a very real sense not only the quintessential New Yorker, but because of his commitment to New York Values, was, along with the Virginian Washington, one original member of a new species that has been around now for more than two centuries. Hamilton was an American.

This was cross posted on Mark Daniels’ blog.

Graphic the US Treasury (www.treas.gov), and cropped., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=250976

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The Mainstream Media’s Big Disconnect: Why They Don’t Get Middle America (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/the-mainstream-medias-big-disconnect-why-they-dont-get-middle-america-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/the-mainstream-medias-big-disconnect-why-they-dont-get-middle-america-guest-voice/#comments Sun, 24 Apr 2016 21:12:10 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215644 Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump shows off the size of his hands as Fox News Channel moderators Brett Baier (L) and Megyn Kelly (R) look on at the U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate in Detroit, Michigan, March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Embed from Getty Images The Mainstream Media’s Big Disconnect: Why They Don’t Get Middle America by Neal Gabler The top journalists covering the elections are out of touch. No wonder they’re missing this year’s big stories. To their everlasting discredit, most of the MSM Big Feet, which is what the late journalist Richard Ben Cramer [...]

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Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump shows off the size of his hands as Fox News Channel moderators Brett Baier (L) and Megyn Kelly (R) look on at the U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate in Detroit, Michigan, March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

The Mainstream Media’s Big Disconnect: Why They Don’t Get Middle America
by Neal Gabler

The top journalists covering the elections are out of touch. No wonder they’re missing this year’s big stories.

To their everlasting discredit, most of the MSM Big Feet, which is what the late journalist Richard Ben Cramer labeled the self-important, pontificating political reporters and pundits who dominate our press, got it all wrong about Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

That is no small thing when you consider those two are the big stories this campaign season. It’s like a weatherman missing a Category Five hurricane. Of course, if a weatherman had blown that call, he probably would be fired. With pundits, getting it wrong never seems to matter.

To their credit, a few of those Big Feet have fessed up to their errors. New York Times columnist David Brooks, one of the most contrite, admitted that he realized he had been living in a bubble and had to get out in the country a bit more – “change the way I do my job,” is how he put it — to understand the American psyche.

Brooks is right that a huge disconnect exists between the people who report on our politics and the people who participate in them. My own sense is that by and large political journalists are a smug bunch, but they come by it naturally. If they seem to have contempt for us, it is because they really do have different experiences and inhabit a different world from the vast majority of their fellow Americans. The most powerful of them – the ones you read, see and hear the most – constitute an elite so far removed that it could only understand us through the most aggressive sympathetic imagination.

And that is not going to happen.

For one thing, journalists as a whole don’t look like the rest of America. “The typical U.S. journalist is a 41 year-old white male,” began a 2006 report by the Pew Research Center. When that report was updated in 2013, that typical journalist had become a 47 year-old white male, and the median age had risen not only at newspapers, where one might expect journalists to be aging along with their institution, but also at TV and radio stations and even online news sites.

As for the “white” part, journalists are overwhelmingly white in a nation that is increasingly diverse. Roughly 37 percent of Americans are minorities – a number that is growing rapidly. But by one study, minorities possessed only 22 percent of television journalism jobs, 13 percent of radio jobs and 13 percent of daily newspaper jobs. Another study, by Indiana University, puts the percentage of minority-held journalism jobs much lower: 8.5 percent in 2013.

And as for the “male” part, while the number of women in journalism has been increasing ever so gradually, only one-third or so of full-time journalists are women – a fraction that has held more or less steady since the 1980s.

So here is the situation: A country that is increasingly younger, darker and half female is being reported on by a press corps that is older, whiter and more male. A gaping demographic gulf separates the press from the people – a gulf that undoubtedly affects the kinds of stories chosen and the way in which they are covered.

And there are other dredges that widen the gulf. Although journalists are obviously scattered throughout the country, they are not geographically apportioned equally. As one might expect, the news centers are New York, Washington and, to a lesser extent, Los Angeles. Of the 40,000 journalists in America, nearly a quarter live in these three areas, which is staggering when you think about it, and which certainly skews the news coverage. It also seems to confirm the familiar gripe of middle America that media elites consider most of the country a fly-over from LA to NYC.

I love New York, and I am fond of Los Angeles and Washington, too, but I would hardly say that these three are microcosms of America. While all three rank highly among American cities in a rubric of racial and ethnic diversity, as determined in a study by Wallethub.com (NYC at #6; LA at #54 and DC at #78), all three are middling in income diversity (DC at #86; NYC at #157; LA at #183). That means most Big Feet reporters live in economically stratified cities, and many of them, almost by definition, live in the upper income strata.

The average reporter or correspondent doesn’t make very much money, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2015 – a little less than $50,000. By comparison, the mean household income in the US generally is just about $52,000. But remember those BLS figures include all reporters and correspondents in the country, including folks in the boondocks where salaries are low. If you focus on the Big Three cities, the picture is somewhat different. The mean annual wage for a reporter in NY is $69,000, in the metro DC area $75,000, and in LA $48,000, actually under the general mean, which suggests how much the major news media outlets are really concentrated in the East.

Of course, those figures very likely underestimate what national correspondents earn, much less what the Big Feet – the reporters and pundits who wield the most influence – get. We don’t know exactly what their salaries are because they aren’t going to tell us, but we don’t have to exercise too much imagination to believe that they are extremely well paid, as in “one percent” well paid.

This matters because the widest gulf between the press and the people is probably not politics (over 50 percent of reporters call themselves independents, so they aren’t pitched at the political poles) or race or ethnicity or geography or even the culture that is forged by a combination of these – though all are important and all contribute to a press corps that neither resembles America nor, in many respects, thinks like most Americans.

Rather, the widest gulf may be economic. It is very possible that reporters – especially the Big Feet – dismissed Trump and Sanders because journalists couldn’t possibly fathom the deep, seething, often unspoken economic discontent that afflicts so many Americans and that has helped fuel both the Trump and Sanders movements. They couldn’t fathom it, perhaps, because they haven’t experienced it. I know because I have.

When you put their geographical proximity together with their class solidarity, it is entirely likely that MSM reporters will huddle, the way most geographic and economic cohorts do. They are more likely to see the same things, attend the same parties and events, mingle with the same people, draw on the same sources and send their children to the same schools, which adds up to their seeing the world in similar ways and reporting the same stories in the same ways. In short, the MSM is not only an elite, it is a kind of economic and cultural clique. And that clique is not us.

So David Brooks can leave his bubble and attempt to find the soul of America. It is an admirable objective. But like all Big Feet, he would have to do more than change the way he does his job. To do it right, he would have to give up his home, his salary, his friends, his comfort, his inevitable sense of privilege. That is the only way he might truly feel, and thus fully comprehend, the pain and anger that is at the heart of this strange campaign year.

Neal Gabler is an author of five books and the recipient of two LA TImes Book Prizes, Time magazine’s non-fiction book of the year, USA Today’s biography of the year and other awards. He is also a senior fellow at the Lear Center for the Study of Entertainment and Society and is currently writing a biography of Sen. Edward Kennedy. This article is reprinted from BillMoyers.com

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Cruz means “sleaze” http://themoderatevoice.com/cruz-means-sleaze/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cruz-means-sleaze/#comments Sun, 24 Apr 2016 20:36:38 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215641 26036520655_a8eb12958e_z

At the start of the presidential campaign, Ted Cruz told voters he would be the only “consistent conservative” in a crowded Republican field. Then he confronted the modern GOP — a fractured party, in which each faction has a different definition of what “conservative” means. To consistently please all of them, Cruz has had to [...]

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At the start of the presidential campaign, Ted Cruz told voters he would be the only “consistent conservative” in a crowded Republican field.

Then he confronted the modern GOP — a fractured party, in which each faction has a different definition of what “conservative” means.

To consistently please all of them, Cruz has had to be inconsistent with himself.

Time and again he has shifted, shaded or obfuscated his policy positions — piling on new ideas which sometimes didn’t fit with the old. …WaPo

Why does this seem so dumb? So unnecessary?

Because it’s old news. But even if you’d been stuck in a snowdrift for the past six months, out of touch, zenning out at the top of Kilimanjaro, one look at the guy’s face and deportment should be enough. Only because his rival is Donald Trump would you even think about Ted Cruz as an acceptable candidate for the presidency. No, really.

Post reporters go on to track Cruz’s policy shifts during recent months. “Sleaze” seems insufficient as a description. Just look at that face.

___

OOPS! I’m being unfair to faces!

Queen Elizabeth has it. So does fashion designer Victoria Beckham. And actress Kristen Stewart — poor thing, she’s practically the poster girl.

Among the slew of pop culture icons said to be afflicted with so-called Resting Bitch Face (alternatively known as Bitchy Resting Face), the vast majority are women, though Kanye West is among the male examples. All of them have been mocked by Internet commenters for having a certain unintentional expression when their faces are not in motion — a look best described as vaguely annoyed, maybe a little judgy, perhaps slightly bored. …WaPo

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You want that face in our White House? In our daily news for four to eight years? On a stamp?

___

…Like Dick Cheney, Cruz is a warmonger. He’s made it clear that he has no qualms about launching yet more wars in the Middle East. With Cruz, it’s like the lessons of the disastrous Iraq War never even happened. For him, war is always the policy of first resort. Cruz is like Cheney on steroids. What makes Cruz even more scary is his extreme right-wing interpretation of the Bible and his enthusiasm for embracing what would essentially be a theocracy in America. Like many far-right evangelicals, he has no qualms about ramming his twisted interpretation of “Christianity” down the throats of the rest of us. Say what you want about Trump, but he is clearly no extremist right-wing evangelical. …MarcMcDonald,BeggarsCanBeChoosers

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather

Caricature by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Photo credit: Ted Cruz via photopin (license)

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These images say a lot about the state of violence against women in Mexico http://themoderatevoice.com/these-images-say-a-lot-about-the-state-of-violence-against-women-in-mexico/ http://themoderatevoice.com/these-images-say-a-lot-about-the-state-of-violence-against-women-in-mexico/#comments Sun, 24 Apr 2016 20:16:45 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215639 Flag_of_Mexico_(reverse)

Tourists found dead. Video cameras filming under skirts. An attempt to take off a woman’s underwear mid-stride. And a “pandemic” of femicide — all in Mexico. For these reasons and many others, a group of women in Mexico is organizing a state-wide day of action against sexual violence. Nos Queremos Vivas, “we want to stay [...]

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Tourists found dead. Video cameras filming under skirts. An attempt to take off a woman’s underwear mid-stride. And a “pandemic” of femicide — all in Mexico. For these reasons and many others, a group of women in Mexico is organizing a state-wide day of action against sexual violence. Nos Queremos Vivas, “we want to stay alive,”…

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Long friendship got trumped by politics (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/long-friendship-got-trumped-by-politics-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/long-friendship-got-trumped-by-politics-guest-voice/#comments Sun, 24 Apr 2016 20:09:35 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215637 25146024234_407cdafdde

Long friendship got trumped by politics by Malcolmb D. Gibson A good friend died the other day. Years ago we began with the same political views. Independent was the label we preferred. No dogma. No narratives. No political correctness. Then came Trump. We thought he was the right medicine for our country. A guy who [...]

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Long friendship got trumped by politics
by Malcolmb D. Gibson

A good friend died the other day.

Years ago we began with the same political views. Independent was the label we preferred. No dogma. No narratives. No political correctness.

Then came Trump.

We thought he was the right medicine for our country. A guy who wasn’t afraid to say what he thought. Who befuddled political pundits by having supported both Democrats and Republicans. Who drove the media nuts.

You could put him nose to nose with Putin. He would never crack.

We listened to him as we carpooled to work. It felt good. We reveled in the idea of being winners. It had been a while. Sure he was a bully, but he was our bully.

It was easy to like him. No matter that he was a demagogue. There was little risk of him winning.

When he finished strongly in several primaries, that all changed. My friend was elated. Me, less so.

Trump’s presence in the races lowered the bar for everyone. Instead of examining issues, the candidates began trading insults.

Trump’s so-called straight talk had felt good for a while. Now it seemed mean and shallow. I’d known guys like this in the schoolyard.

I thought my friend would come around. Instead, he doubled down on The Donald. “Leadership,” he said, “is all that counts.” He wanted to believe that Trump’s approach could work. But, deep inside I knew he was struggling.

I switched to a moderate candidate. Not likely to win, but at least civil.

When I broke the news to my friend it strained our relationship. We stopped having dinner.

The more bombastic Trump became, so too did the other candidates. I felt my friend’s stress level rising.

The other day we stopped for a drink after work. In the background on an overhead TV, Trump bombarded the other candidates with personal attacks. They responded in kind. It sounded like a gaggle of drunken teenagers.

My friend was unusually quiet.

He placed his arms on the bar and lay down his head. When it happened, no one called an ambulance. My friend just slipped away, leaving me alone with the maelstrom raging in the background.

I didn’t cry. I knew we were both better for it because, you see, he was also me.

Malcolm D. Gibson is a Houston attorney.

photo credit: Donald Trump via photopin (license)

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Cartoons: 400 years after Shakespeare http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-400-years-after-shakespeare/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-400-years-after-shakespeare/#comments Sun, 24 Apr 2016 19:28:44 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215635 Patrick Chappatte, Le Temps, Switzerland

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Patrick Chappatte, Le Temps, Switzerland
Patrick Chappatte, Le Temps, Switzerland

Patrick Chappatte, Le Temps, Switzerland

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Your Favourite Characters On Television Were Probably Influenced By Shakespeare – Check Out How http://themoderatevoice.com/favourite-characters-television-probably-influenced-shakespeare-check/ http://themoderatevoice.com/favourite-characters-television-probably-influenced-shakespeare-check/#comments Sun, 24 Apr 2016 18:57:05 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=215633 WILLIAM-SHAKESPEAR_2122089b (1)

Though Shakespeare’s death didn’t attract much attention in 1616, it’s big news today. To mark its 400th anniversary, there has been no end of events, whether it’s the Folger Library’s First Folio Tour to all 50 states or a production of “Hamlet” that, to date, has been performed in 196 countries. As far away as [...]

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WILLIAM-SHAKESPEAR_2122089b (1)

Though Shakespeare’s death didn’t attract much attention in 1616, it’s big news today. To mark its 400th anniversary, there has been no end of events, whether it’s the Folger Library’s First Folio Tour to all 50 states or a production of “Hamlet” that, to date, has been performed in 196 countries. As far away as Tehran,…

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