Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Last Call For Reparation Nation

The history of slavery in the United States justifies reparations for African Americans, argues a recent report by a U.N.-affiliated group based in Geneva.

This conclusion was part of a study by the United Nations' Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, a body that reports to the international organization's High Commissioner on Human Rights. The group of experts, which includes leading human rights lawyers from around the world, presented its findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, pointing to the continuing link between present injustices and the dark chapters of American history.

"In particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent," the report stated. "Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching."

Citing the past year's spate of police officers killing unarmed African American men, the panel warned against "impunity for state violence," which has created, in its words, a "human rights crisis" that "must be addressed as a matter of urgency."

The panel drew its recommendations, which are nonbinding and unlikely to influence Washington, after a fact-finding mission in the United States in January. At the time, it hailed the strides taken to make the American criminal justice system more equitable but pointed to the corrosive legacy of the past.

"Despite substantial changes since the end of the enforcement of Jim Crow and the fight for civil rights, ideology ensuring the domination of one group over another, continues to negatively impact the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of African Americans today," it said in a statement. "The dangerous ideology of white supremacy inhibits social cohesion amongst the US population."

Such masterful understatement on the part of the Post's Ishaan Tharoor.

In all seriousness, this is going to go straight to the top of Trump's list of things to talk about here in the last few weeks of the election, Alex Jones and company are going to have a field day with this and the "nonbinding" report will almost certainly draw another round of GOP outrage to attempt to defund the UN, all while screaming that the One World Gubment is going to tax white America at 95% to pay for 400 years of sins.

Me, I'd settle for 75%.

The Shutdown Countdown Returns

Don't look now, but we've got about three days and change for GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan and GOP Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to get their crap together and stop the government from shutting down at midnight on Friday night, and it doesn't look likely at all that Republican leadership can even get their own party on board.

Congress has until midnight on Friday to pass legislation funding the government as the fiscal year draws to a close. The process could get a little messy. 
Many Senate Democrats — and some Republicans — have said they intend to oppose a short-term funding bill proposed by Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader, setting the stage for a legislative scramble to avoid a government shutdown. 
Among other things, Democrats are objecting that the legislation provides no money to deal with water contamination in Flint, Mich., located in a state with two Democratic senators, while it includes funds that could go for flood relief in Louisiana, which is represented by two Republicans. A test vote is set for Tuesday, and a rejection of the McConnell plan could make it difficult to find a new compromise in time to avert a shutdown. 
Mr. McConnell will no doubt do what he can to avoid that situation, since he has made it a priority to evade such government disruptions, particularly with the election just over a month away. Democrats, aware of his predicament, will try to use their leverage to the full extent possible. 
The fight is something of a surprise since it initially appeared that lawmakers would provide the funding to keep the government open until Dec. 9 with little conflict.

Sure, that was until Republicans in the right-wing Freedom Caucus realized in the era of Trump that they could blow up the place and still get all the praise.  I'll keep an eye on this of course but I would think that Paul Ryan isn't exactly going to be able to handle this very well, and Republicans stiffing Flint in an election year will pretty much wreck the notion that Trump and the GOP give a damn about "working class America", not that they ever did.

Please proceed, gentlemen.

The Great Debate Debate

Last night's debate was one of the most watched in history, and what ten of millions of American voters saw was Hillary Clinton winning...or more accurately, Donald Trump getting stomped.

PPP's post debate survey, sponsored by VoteVets Action Fund, finds that voters nationally think Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in the debate, 51/40.

Perhaps most important for Clinton is that among young voters, who she has under performed with, 63% think she won the debate to only 24% for Trump. 47% of voters in that age group said the debate tonight made them more likely to vote for her, to only 10% who say it made them less likely to vote for her. For Trump with that group on the other hand, only 23% said the debate made them more likely to vote for him to 39% who said it made them less likely to.

Clinton also won the debate by particularly wide margins with women (54/36) and voters who are either African American or Latino (77/13). Among white voters the debate was basically a draw with Trump coming out ahead 47/45.

Clinton emerges from the debate with clear advantages over Trump on temperament, preparedness to be President, and whether she can be trusted with nuclear weapons:

-By a 17 point margin, 55/38, voters say Clinton has the temperament to be President. On the other hand, by an 11 point margin, 42/53, voters say Trump does not have the temperament to be President. Among independents the gap is even wider- by a 56/36 spread they say Clinton has the temperament for the job, while by a 41/54 spread they say Trump does not.

-By an 11 point margin, 52/41, voters say Clinton is prepared to be President. On the other hand, by a 10 point margin, 42/52, voters say Trump is not prepared to be President.

-By a 21 point margin, 56/35, voters say they think Clinton can be trusted with nuclear weapons. On the other hand, by a 9 point margin, 42/51, voters say they think Trump can not be trusted with nuclear weapons.

It was that bad, folks.  Trump spent the first half-hour interrupting Clinton relentlessly, while Clinton baited Trump time and time again and he could not resist, all but admitting he paid no federal taxes because he was bragging about how "smart" he was to dodge the IRS, advocating for the invasion of North Korea, and completely mangling America's nuclear policy.

In other words, if Trump's plan was to capitalize on the recent polls and take the lead, he ran into cold, hard reality last night.  Clinton pushed his buttons and by the end of the night Trump was screaming at her.

Even Politico's Glenn Thrush thought Trump got smoked.

There were a couple of not-so-very-subtle signals here inside of Hofstra University that Donald Trump lost Monday night’s highly-anticipated debate against Hillary Clinton, and badly.

The first was the audible sound of groaning by some of his supporters (picked up by my attentive colleague Steve Shepard) inside the debate hall as Trump meandered self-defensively through a succession of answers against a very focused, very energized and very well-rehearsed Hillary Clinton.

Another tell: After the 90-minute sparring match finished, Clinton’s team practically bounded into the spin room – more in glassy-eyed disbelief than visible elation that things had gone so much better than expected. The GOP nominee’s people, by contrast, dribbled into the media pen like surly seventh-graders headed for homeroom the day before summer vacation. “F—k, let’s do this,” a prominent Trump surrogate said before diving into a scrum.

Trump and his new-ish messaging team have labored mightily to turn the avatar of populist rage into a reasonable facsimile of someone who you could see sitting in the Oval Office. But this best-laid plan unraveled on Monday – amid Clinton’s steely assault and the dignified interrogation of NBC’s Lester Holt, who struck a deft balance between facilitator, BS detector and lion tamer.

Within minutes of the opening bell, Clinton’s attacks forced domesticated Donald to go feral – he bellowed, interrupted her repeatedly, grunted, and toward the bedraggled end, became muted and pouty.

Another debate like that and the Village might even stop picking on Clinton for a while. 

We'll see.  The next clash is on Oct. 9 at Washington University, with the VP debate a week from today on Oct. 4th at Longwood University in Virginia.


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