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President Obama wishes America a happy Thanksgiving

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 10:01

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President Obama used this week’s taped address to wish America a happy Thanksgiving:

On this uniquely American holiday, we also remember that so much of our greatness comes from our generosity.  There’s the generosity of Americans who volunteer at food banks and shelters, making sure that no one goes hungry on a day when so many plates are full.  There’s the generosity of Americans who take part not just in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but Giving Tuesday – recognizing that in the holiday season, what you give is as important as what you get.

… and to remind Americans that “the world is still full of pilgrims.”

Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims – men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families.  What makes America America is that we offer that chance.  We turn Lady Liberty’s light to the world, and widen our circle of concern to say that all God’s children are worthy of our compassion and care.  That’s part of what makes this the greatest country on Earth. 

To read the transcript in full, check below the fold or visit the White House website.

Cartoon: Meet ISIS's newest recruits

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 09:30

Follow @RubenBolling on Twitter and Facebook.

Please join Tom the Dancing Bug's subscription club, the INNER HIVE, for early access to comics, and more.

You can get both EMU Club Adventures books, signed, sketched and delivered→  here.

Republicans oppose Obama on double turkey clemency

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 09:00

If you needed more proof that Republicans are totally irrational when it comes to President Obama and his actions, look no further.

The examples of the GOP's reflexive opposition to President Obama's agenda are many but this may be the best one yet: by a 27 point margin Republicans say they disapprove of the President's executive order last year pardoning two Thanksgiving turkeys (Macaroni and Cheese) instead of the customary one. Only 11% of Republicans support the President's executive order last year to 38% who are opposed- that's a pretty clear sign that if you put Obama's name on something GOP voters are going to oppose it pretty much no matter what. Overall there's 35/22 support for the pardon of Macaroni and Cheese thanks to 59/11 support from Democrats and 28/21 from independents.

Or maybe they just support maximum turkey death.

There are a couple of things in this PPP poll that show we haven't totally devolved into irrational partisanship.

Overall 54% of voters say it's too early to be playing Christmas music to 34% who think it's fine. There's very little partisan deviation on this issue with independents (59/20), Democrats (53/35), and Republicans (51/38) all saying to hold it on the Christmas music. Men are especially likely to say it's too early for Christmas music (59/29), while women are more closely divided (49/39).

Please, just let us have Thanksgiving first.

Cheers and Jeers: Happy Family Dysfunction Awareness Day

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 08:30


Among the things I'm thankful for: that 80-something bloggers and "best friends for sixty years and counting" Margaret (the Mainer) and Helen (The Texan) are still at it. Helen is having the clan over for turkey again, and setting out some rules. Some snips from her annual letter:

Dear Family,

This will be my first Thanksgiving without my gallbladder.  And I just learned that we have one more special needs eater in the family. I’ll tell you what, this year I will meet you all halfway.  I’ll make the same meal I make every year and those of you with vegitarian, vegan and gluten issues can stop eating halfway through the meal.  Problem solved.

The other rules around the house will be a little lax this year as well.  What can I say? I’m feeling generous.

Margaret and Helen blog photo Happy Thanksgiving, ladies!

1. I have new floors. If it’s raining outside, leave your shoes outside.  If it’s not raining, leave your shoes outside. Molly, those spikes you call heels better not come near my floors.  Leave them at home because if you leave them outside the kids might use them for lawn darts.

2. If you have children, then you are called a parent which means you should be parenting.  Just because you don’t care what your house looks like, doesn’t mean I don’t care about mine.  Keep an eye on your kids so I don’t have to keep an eye on my things. […]

5. Upon arriving at my house look for the basket on the entry table. Deposit all cell phones in that basket.  Upon departure, you can take the damn thing with you, but in the meantime maybe you can try having an actual relationship with your loved ones.  […]

8.  Unlike the Trumps' table, everyone is welcome at mine.  Just let me know in advance if you are bringing guests so I can make sure we have enough food to go around. 

10. If you want to talk politics come sit next to me.  There’s a good chance I’ll either convince you to change your politics or change your desire to talk about politics.  And if neither happens, I can always turn off my hearing aids.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I am thankful to still be here.  I mean it really.

Read the whole letter here. As usual, I'm disappointed there won’t be any livestreaming.

Happy Gobble Gobble, everyone (and Happy Birthday, Sir Meteor Blades). A few more goodies, including a Molly Ivins Thanksgiving mini-feast, below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Better in its original German

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 07:30

That was a classic from the great Molly Ivins in 1992, but Donald Trump is doing his best Pat Buchanan-George Wallace mind meld in 2015, and we might have to dust it off and use it again.

Roger Simon

Saturday, a black man began shouting during a Trump speech in Birmingham, Alabama. People shout during Trump speeches all the time. But there are things you are allowed to shout, like: “We love you, Donald!” And there are certain things you are not allowed to shout, like: “Trump is a racist!”

The Constitution says both are allowed as free speech. But the Constitution does not rule at Trump rallies. Security rules. Just as he promised.

And so the black man was kicked and punched. Trump looked down upon him with lofty disdain. “Get him the hell out of here!” Trump said. “Throw him out.” The man was led away.

Trump will protect us from such people. Just as he will protect America from all its enemies.

The price we pay will be tiny. We will give up a civil liberty here, a freedom there.

Certain people will be registered. Their houses of worship will be spied upon. Names will be taken down. But as long as these people are not Christians, do you really care? Trump is betting you do not.

Karen Tumulty

Donald Trump’s offensive comments and flat-out falsehoods just keep coming.

Yet the celebrity billionaire continues his unlikely reign as the front-runner of the 2016 GOP presidential field. Which raises the question: Will Trump eventually cross the line — or is he proof that lines no longer exist?

The political world is beginning to conclude that no one will know the answer to that question until Republicans actually start voting in February.

It increasingly appears that the GOP electorate may be the party’s only remaining means of stopping him, as voters begin to imagine what it would be like to have Trump as their standard-bearer, or maybe even in the White House.

To date, however, his flame­thrower rhetoric has seemed to make his supporters love him all the more.

Note the use of “flat-out falsehood”, preferred to “he’s a liar”. See Philip Bump for why:

Why the media won’t say Donald Trump is lying

The (ahem) congressional work ethic: How does your lawmaker stack up?

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 23:25

Clearly one of the biggest perks of being a member of Congress is the cushy schedule: The week you get off for every federal holiday, the six weeks for "August" recess. In fact, the House had no five-day work weeks scheduled this year. In 2014, they spent just 29 weeks in session, and each had a long weekend on either side.

So you'd think showing up on the handful of actual work days wouldn't be such a challenge. Sometimes it is, and sometimes missing votes is kind of a big deal. So lawmakers—in the House, at least—get to explain, officially, why they missed those votes. And now, thanks to ProPublica, we can read all their excuses

ProPublica has collected all of the Personal Explanations filed since 2007 — some 5,058 in all, covering 21,176 votes—and created a database that lets readers look up their representatives’ missed votes, as well as their explanations. These statements are by no means required—only one in six absences are explained—but they document a little-discussed aspect of the lives and work of lawmakers, and provide hints at the competing priorities and difficulties of a system that, to many, seems chronically dysfunctional. […]

The record is full of stories documenting the working lives of Representatives: Marcy Kaptur, a Democratic congresswoman from Ohio, missed a 2008 House vote because she was searching the Capitol for high school students visiting from her district. Jeff Landry, a Louisiana Republican, "completely lost track of time" and missed two votes in 2011. For Ben Ray Lujan, Democrat of New Mexico, an "operational issue" with a House voting machine meant that a 2012 vote wasn't recorded.

Here are two of my favorites.

Open thread for night owls: Ah, Thanksgiving, when pie fights are only about who gets the last slice

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 23:01

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Tweet of the Day x

Final reminder to pay your homeowners insurance premiums and God bless to everyone deep-frying a turkey in their garage.

— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) November 24, 2015

Blast from the Past

At Daily Kos near this date in 2009Gobble Gobble ... ROAR!

Millions of us will be sitting down to enjoy a good meal and great company today, followed by gravy drenched sandwiches for the rest of the week. The centerpiece of the traditional Thanksgiving feast on many US tables will be a stuffed and roasted Meleagris gallopavo, better known as the domestic descendant of the American wild turkey. It's an appropriate choice. M. gallopavo was highly valued by Native Americans and is a true blue, red-blooded American meal. One founding father was so taken with it that he proposed the turkey as our national bird, instead of what he considered the less admirable Bald Eagle:

For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America ... a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.

-- Benjamin Franklin January 26, 1784

Birds have one of the most interesting evolutionary tales in all the animal kingdom. If it could be summed up in one word, that word might be ... dinosaur! It happens that early paleontologists were keen on the dino-bird relationship. But over the next few decades, as larger and less bird-like terrible lizards were unearthed, the dino-bird idea faded away. Now it's come roaring back and it's easy to see why. 

On today’s Kagro in the Morning showGreg Dworkin rounds up the horse race news, the lingering Trump factor, and continuing cluelessness on the Middle East. Armando follows up on yesterday’s discussion of how Trump baffles the media. And plenty, as always, on the dangers of “gun culture.”

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 High Impact Posts •

Woodrow Wilson is deserving of a re-examination

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 21:00

Black students at the University of Missouri “set it off” recently with their demand that the university’s president step down over the university’s less than stellar responses to racial hostility on campus. What began as a solidarity action with the #Mizzou students has now become a new student movement with demands specific to each campus. At Princeton in New Jersey, one of those demands from student protestors is “the removal of Woodrow Wilson’s name from anything named after him at the university.”

That’s a pretty tall order.

Jamil Smith, writing in the New Republic, says Princeton students are attacking “a silent bigotry” that can be just as harmful as the racist slurs that are yelled at them. Indeed, microaggressions can affect the sense of well-being needed to successfully navigate something as already stressful as a college existence.

Richard Cohen, opinion writer for the Washington Post, says “Woodrow Wilson was racist, but he deserves our understanding.” Cohen makes Wilson’s racism sound benign, saying he was a man of his time, a product of his environment. Which is true, so, no argument there.

But the 28th president of the United States didn’t have to invite friends over to the White House to watch one of the worst pieces of “falsified white supremacist propaganda” ever created. He didn’t have to do that, thereby giving a legitimacy to one of the most heinous terrorist organizations ever to spring from U.S. soil. Nah. He didn’t have to do that. Something else he didn’t have to do was dismiss the legitimate racial concerns of a group of Black leaders at the White House because he didn’t like their tone.

He didn’t have to do that either. He didn’t have to do it because it’s a hallmark of white supremacist privilege, and he didn’t have to do it because it wasn’t like the dude he was dealing with had just been born. He had been around the block a few times.

We could say that one of the reasons that Wilson does not deserve some understanding because, as the Black students at Princeton know all too well; similar to what Black folks who don’t go to Princeton or any school also know all too well, is that the same understanding never seems to be readily forthcoming to Black people. Characterizations of the numerous victims of police violence, as well as the communities—and families—these individuals come from rarely, if ever, contain the empathy and compassion that is given to others. 

Perhaps the main reason why Wilson is underserving of such forgiveness and redemption is because “he believed in white supremacy as government policy, so much so that he reversed decades of racial progress,” as Gordon Davis eloquently laid out in Tuesday’s New York Times. The students at Princeton who have made this demand know this. And they aren’t the only ones.

Large Boise, Idaho, crowd rallies to welcome refugees

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 20:31

Hundreds of Idahoans gathered on a bright, cold Saturday to reiterate to the state’s leaders that Idaho is a place for everyone, including Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Speakers included state Rep. Hy Kloc, "who was born in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany and came to the U.S. with his family after World War II. Apart from his parents and brother, Kloc lost his entire family in the Holocaust, and after three years in the camp, finally made it to America."

"And just like the refugees of today," Kloc said, "that was the only thing we could do, there was no going back." Kloc recalled the shameful history of the passenger liner Saint Louis, which in 1939 reached American waters with nearly a thousand European Jews aboard, but was turned back, because "America First." After the ship returned to Europe, half the Jewish passengers were killed when Hitler overran the continent.

"There is a reality of fear today in our country that is similar to the fear in 1939," said Kloc. "We are not that country; we are not those people. We do not want to repeat that history."

Of course, there was a contingent who are those people, and they did the best to drown out the message from Kloc and the refugees who spoke. They were a loud but distinct minority. That’s them, across the street in this picture.


View from the 4th floor of the Capitol: #refugeeswelcome pic.twitter.com/FHe5qrWg9o

— Emily Walton (@Walton_Emily) November 21, 2015

'Reckless eyeballing' really is a thing for Megyn Kelly

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 19:30

With all that has happened over the past 48 hours in the U.S. (never mind the rest of the world), Fox News once again sinks to the occasion with indignation at another so-called injustice. Amidst angry protests over Chicago’s release of the Laquan McDonald execution video, Fox News’s Megyn Kelly, anchor of The Kelly File, was appalled at a protestor who stared down a Chicago police officer.

Kelly had a real problem with what the young man was doing, saying that she didn’t think it was appropriate. Because, you know, Black folks aren’t supposed to look white people in the eyes. Not during the era of enslavement; not immediately after; not way, way after; and not today. “Reckless eyeballing” is actually a thing. And Megyn Kelly is mad about it.

This is not something that some white folks take lightly. That’s evidenced by this report from October on a 12-year-old black child who was suspended from his Catholic school after engaging in a staring contest with a fellow student. The student happened to be a white female. Or this report from August of this year, when a man in Dayton, Ohio, recorded his interaction with a police officer. The man was stopped for “making direct eye contact” with the officer. Or this report from two years ago when a 14-year-old boy was brutally restrained for giving a cop “dehumanizing stares.”

For the record, Kelly also didn’t think it was appropriate for Jason Van Dyke to shoot Laquan McDonald 16 times. Thank goodness.

Most Republicans fail on climate change report card

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 18:30

This year is shaping up to be the warmest on record and some scientists are already predicting next year will be worse. But you probably wouldn’t know that if all you listened to were the views of each and every Republican running for their party’s 2016 nomination. That sad fact was well illustrated this week when eight well-known accomplished climate scientists rated the Democratic and GOP presidential fields for their knowledge on the science of climate. The criteria? The candidates’ own words. The results are both depressing and predictable even though this was no political stunt intended to damage anyone or any party. It was done as seriously and as objectively as it possibly could be:

At the request of The Associated Press, eight climate and biological scientists graded for scientific accuracy what a dozen top candidates said in debates, interviews and tweets, using a 0 to 100 scale.

To try to eliminate possible bias, the candidates' comments were stripped of names and given randomly generated numbers, so the professors would not know who made each statement they were grading. Also, the scientists who did the grading were chosen by professional scientific societies.

You’ll have to go the AP Story to get the full results, but Clinton scored highest and all the democrats made at least a “B” or better. By contrast the highest scoring Republican was Jeb!, the only GOP hopeful who even passed with a solid “D!” Ted Cruz scored the lowest of the lot, with a pitiful six points. A climate scientist friend quipped to me that they’d be willing to give a five-point curve to students on a comparable quiz, just for getting their name right.

Maybe the best way to manifest Thanksgiving spirit ever?

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 18:07

Meet George Dimopoulos, owner of George’s Senate Coney Island Restaurant in Northville, Michigan, who believes no one—no one!—should be alone on Thanksgiving. A sign in the window of his restaurant makes that clear: “George’s Thanksgiving Day Dinner. If anyone is home alone, come eat with us for free! All day.”

Dimopoulos, who immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 23, truly walks the Thanksgiving walk in America:

At 12 years old, Dimopoulos went to Athens and said he was homeless for some time, depending on the kindness of strangers.

For the past decade, the 69-year-old Greek owner has made a tradition of dishing up free food on Thanksgiving to homeless and lonely people.

“It makes my heart feel good to do it, and help a little bit,” he told the TV station.

The full video news story about Dimopoulos’ tradition of generosity can be viewed below.

Where have all the homeless vets in Virginia gone?

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 18:05

Who could have predicted that housing homeless veterans could end homelessness for that group?

Virginia has become the first state in the U.S. to be certified as effectively ending homelessness among military veterans.

By incorporating the principles of Housing First throughout the commonwealth, and providing support services to help veterans maintain stability, 1,432 homeless veterans have been housed since October 2014.

The state’s governor, Terry McAuliffe, announced in a ceremony last week that there is more permanent housing for any other veterans who may be found to be in need, and officials are moving to address homelessness in the general public next.

Cities have reached the state of housing all homeless vets before—New Orleans being the most publicized—but never before has a whole state managed the feat. And McAuliffe vows to tackle homelessness in the general state population next. Could Virginia be the first state to eradicate it?

The really amazing thing about the principles behind Housing First that were applied in Virginia is that they were devised by conservatives in one of the most conservative states in the nation—Utah. Mother Jones published a terrific in-depth look at the Utah program earlier this year that is well worth a read. We can only hope other states get the clue.

Walmart workers to presidential candidates: 'Are you with us?'

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 18:00

The effort to organize Walmart workers and pressure the retail giant for improved wages and working conditions has shifted in recent months, focusing more on a media and advertising campaign than on in-person mass activism. That’s why you may have noticed less talk about strikes and protests on Black Friday, like the one pictured above. But the change in organizing tactics doesn’t mean a change in the mistreatment and exploitation workers face, or their desire for change.

About 100 workers committed to some form of fasting in the weeks before Thanksgiving, and a worker who can’t fast for medical reasons petitioned the company for a year-round employee discount on food as well as the $15 minimum wage workers have been fighting for. Earlier this year, Walmart announced it was raising its minimum pay, but fell well short of $15.

The effort to pressure Walmart to do better—something it can afford to do—is also in the air, with an ad airing during a Democratic presidential debate.

Republicans admit they hate children

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 17:59

Lest you think the official Republican zeal for repealing Obamacare is dead, check out the Republican National Committee's official page for collecting email addresses from rubes expressing their undying hate for the law.

And if you take a gander at the banner on that page, you can see what they really hate.

Screenshot of RNC petition page featuring famous picture of President Obama signing Obamacare with child looking on

Yep. Sign up with the GOP to take healthcare away from adorable children. Way to go, GOP.

Rep. Steve King: Muslim immigrants are 'incompatible' with Americanism

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 17:53

If you want to know what all the respectable racists will be saying tomorrow, look to Rep. Steve King. He milked a demand for English-Only laws into a career in the House. He was certain brown-skinned immigrants were all drug-runners long before Donald Trump piped up with it. Now he's shifted into proclaiming Muslim-Americans to be the true menace, because to Steve King, racism is like fashion sense. You gotta keep up with the latest trends. And so now it is Muslim-Americans who will never, ever "assimilate" into American culture, because, Steve King says, just look at them.

"[N]o one has shown me an example of large groups of people that have settled into America from that part of the world that have assimilated into the broader American society," King responded.

He listed places like Dearborn, Michigan, and Little Mogadishu in Minneapolis and said that those communities appear to be similar to Middle Eastern cities.

Will somebody get Steve King a damn ticket to Dearborn, Michigan, already? According to every American racist and the good people at Fox News—but I repeat myself—Dearborn, Michigan, is a nightmarish "no-go-zone" land in which the laws of America do not apply and religious law trumps traffic lights. Cats terrorize dogs, toilets swirl in the wrong direction, and hamburgers eat people. If even half of the people who publicly opine on Dearborn, Michigan, were loaded onto a bus and dropped off in the most muslim-y portion of town, we would get somewhere. They would either learn something or immediately have aneurisms and die, and frankly either outcome would improve things.

Hayes asked if King felt that those communities with concentrated populations of immigrants were different from Chinatown in New York City.

"Of course I do," King responded. "They bring with them Sharia law, which is completely contradictory to the Constitution itself. It’s incompatible with the Americanism."

Truly, a fascinating tale. Chinatown good: Muslims bad. Why? Because Steve King doesn't like Muslims, that's why.

When pressed by Hayes about whether he thinks all Muslims are incompatible with American democracy, King then said, "I think that if they are willing to reject Sharia law, then we can talk. But until they do that, their view of Sharia law trumping constitutional law is incompatible with Americanism and eventually will break down the rule of law in our country."

Obamacare linked to increase in early detection of cervical cancer

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 17:00

Here's some good news on the healthcare front—there's been a substantial increase in early detection of cervical cancer among young women under 26 in recent years, likely because in 2010 the Affordable Care Act began allowing them to stay on their parents’ insurance. Between 2010 and 2014, the number of women aged 19 to 25 who were uninsured dropped 13 points, from 34 percent to 21 percent. Sabrina Tavernise reports on the new study:

Researchers used the National Cancer Data Base, a hospital-based registry of about 70 percent of all cancer cases in the United States. They compared diagnoses for women ages 21 to 25 who had cervical cancer with those for women ages 26 to 34, before and after the health law provision began in 2010. Early-stage diagnoses rose substantially among the younger group — the one covered by the law — and stayed flat among the older group.

About 79 percent of the younger group had an early-stage diagnosis in 2011-12, up from about 71 percent in 2007-09. For the older group, the percentage dropped to 71 percent from 73 percent, a change that is not statistically meaningful.

Catching cervical cancer in its earliest stages greatly increases the chances of successful treatment and survival rates, along with improving the chances that a woman maintains her fertility. 

Are you ready to buy American-made for the holidays?

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 17:00

Why buy American? There are lots of reasons—but let’s start off by saying jingoism is a bad reason to buy American. We should always, always support better wages and working conditions for people not just in the U.S. but around the world, and buying things made here shouldn’t mean anything different. But there are still good reasons to buy stuff from here.  According to the Alliance for American Manufacturing:

Americans will spend $720 on average for holiday gifts this year. But if each of us spent just $64 on American-made goods this season, we could create 200,000 new jobs, right here in the United States!

You may not be spending the average or anywhere close to it. You may not be able to find U.S.-made versions of what you’re looking for. American-made doesn’t always mean great labor practices, and imported doesn’t always mean terrible labor practices. But supporting American manufacturing—especially American union manufacturing, when you can—is worth a shot, to support jobs and the economy here and to push back on the global race to the bottom in however tiny and personal a way, (And make no mistake, it is a small and personal act, even if it’s worth doing.

There are a number of resources for finding U.S.-made and union-made gift ideas, from basic to quirky, budget to high-end. And not just gifts. Labor 411 is one good source for information about what products are union made, and that includes foods, including chocolate and alcohol, you could serve at your holiday meal. You could also serve your holiday meal on union-made dishes like Fiesta or Bennington Potters.

Okay, so you're not as food-obsessed as some of us. You're looking for games for the kids. You're in luck: How about Candyland, Operation, Risk, Pictionary, or Scrabble?

But maybe you want to go a little more quirky and adult in your gift-giving. You’ll want to check out the Alliance for American Manufacturing’s gift guide, which gives one or two manufacturers in every state in the country. Alabama to Alaska takes you from environmentally friendly paper goods to knives based on Eskimo design. Want belts, wallets, and purses made from recycled bike inner tubes? Washington’s Alchemy Goods has you covered. Yarns, blankets, and more from a woman-owned company? Check out Wyoming’s Mountain Meadow Wool. Vintage-inspired lingerie? This list has that, too, in Missouri’s Sassy Chassis.

Of course, if you’re thinking small and close to home, don’t forget the Kos Katalogue. (I will never not suggest a Pootie Pad [scroll down] for the cat in your life.) Closer to home in the strict geographic sense, you’ll probably find a holiday craft fair in a town near you. The point is, U.S.-made goods aren’t as easy to find as the first thing you see on the shelf in the first store you walk into, but they’re still out there, and if you start to make a habit of finding them, you’ll find it gets easier. And at holiday time, the search can even be fun.

Trump asks his supporters to report on their neighbors. 'Most likely you'll be wrong, but that's OK'

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 15:31

There is no bad historical idea that Donald Trump will not embrace. Or pat on the back, or lick roughly across the face, from left ear to right eyeball, in front of the gathering crowds.

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump said late Tuesday that everyday Americans should monitor their neighbors for questionable behavior. [...]

“You’re pretty smart, right?” he asked his audience. "We know if there’s something going on, report them. Most likely you’ll be wrong, but that’s OK.

There is a line between keeping a weather eye out for trouble and SWATing your new neighbors because you don't think a true American would pair that couch with those drapes. This statement sits nebulously in the middle, except that the most likely you'll be wrong but that's OK part is a bit too glossy-overy of putting the rest of the families in your neighborhood on a terrorist watch list if you think you might be a'feared of them.

We know, of course, the sort of people that support Donald Trump are afraid of. They are afraid of Latinos, Muslims, and black people. Clean-shaven Biff and his storage shed full of ammonium nitrate will not be garnering undue attention, but walk down the street with a certain style of headcovering and you'll have Donald Trump supporters bolting their doors and wondering if they've stocked up on enough canned goods to hold out while you make your way to the corner store and back.

Donald Trump, for example, knows exactly where your suspicions should be placed:

He also criticized President Obama late Tuesday for not monitoring the nation’s Islamic worship centers for extremism.

“There’s something going on in the mosques and other places,” Trump said. "There’s some nastiness, there’s some meanness there.

Not really a dog whistle, that.

All of this is seemingly unnecessary, given that Donald Trump himself continues to declare that he personally has terrorism-predicting powers. Powers which he continues to not use to predict terrorism because, we must assume, he's just been too darn busy. So he is outsourcing it to you, dear frightened Trump supporters. I'm sure that will go well.

Midday open thread: 2015 will be hottest year ever, until 2016; Woodrow Wilson's racist impact

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 15:00

Today’s comic by Matt Bors is America's drunk uncle:

Comic teaser panel

What’s coming up on Sunday Kos …

  • Another barrier to Democratic downballot majorities: Are Democratic voters more 'bipartisan'? by Steve Singiser
  • This is fascism, and we should say it clearly ... while we can, by Mark Sumner
  • 'At long last, have you no decency, Mr. Trump?' Rubio, Cruz and Jeb aren't brave enough to ask that, by Ian Reifowitz
  • A red, white and blue zone for Muslims in America, by Jon Perr
  • The hidden social costs of violent videos, by Vann R Newkirk II
  • The women of Daesh, by Susan Grigsby
  • Some millionaires are fighting the good fight, by Egberto Willies
  • We went to Howard - not Harvard, by Denise Oliver Velez

2015 likely to be hottest year on record. But just wait until 2016:

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced today that 2015 is likely to top the charts as the hottest year in modern observations, with 2011-15 the hottest five-year period on record.

With two full months still to add in, the global average surface temperature for January to October in 2015 was 0.73C above the 1961-1990 average. This already puts it a long way above 2014, in which average global temperature reached 0.57C above the 1961-1990 average.

Thanksgiving Flight Patterns:

Thanksgiving is known as a time to return home to family, with the holiday calling to mind images of grandmother’s house. But for many Americans, it’s also now a chance to go on vacation.

This week, Florida will see a surge in the number of people arriving by plane. Las Vegas is another popular destination. Much more than is commonly realized, Thanksgiving is a time to seek out sun (and gambling), in addition to (or possibly instead of) catching up with loved ones.

These conclusions emerge from The Upshot’s analysis of search data from Google Flights. In all, more than 3.6 million Americans — or slightly more than 1 percent of the country’s population — are expected to take a flight for Thanksgiving.

The fight of Woodrow Wilson at Princeton in light of what he did to my grandfather​: Wilson is widely viewed as a far-sighted, progressive internationalist, but he was also an avowed racist who put those views into policy during his time in White House (which, in 1915, hosted a showing of the Klan-adoring Birth of a Nation:

Most notably, his administration oversaw the segregation of the federal government, destroying the careers of thousands of talented and accomplished black civil servants — including John Abraham Davis, my paternal grandfather. [...]

Over a long career, he rose through the ranks from laborer to a position in midlevel management. He supervised an office in which many of his employees were white men. He had a farm in Virginia and a home in Washington. By 1908, he was earning the considerable salary — for an African-American — of $1,400 per year.

But only months after Woodrow Wilson was sworn in as president in 1913, my grandfather was demoted. He was shuttled from department to department in various menial jobs, and eventually became a messenger in the War Department, where he made only $720 a year.

Activists begin Thanksgiving fast at fence perimeter in support of closing Guantánamo military prison: The protesters are all members of Witness Against Torture, a group which campaigns to have Guantánamo shut down. They plan to set up camp as close as they can to the 107 remaining detainees still being held at the facility. They will then begin a fast on Thanksgiving in symbolic solidarity with the 47 men inside the prison who have been cleared for release but are still trapped in legal limbo having never been charged with any crime, many of whom have been on hunger strike.

Senate Dining Room workers want a raise, saying they are living in poverty:

Elected members of the U.S. Senate don’t have to look very far to see fresh signs of the national Fight For $15 movement: It’s made its way from the McDonald’s hamburger joints back home to their own cozy Capitol Hill dining room.

The cooks and waiters working for a catering company that operates the Senate restaurant are speaking up for better wages and the right to unionize, even as they serve up luxurious meals to well-paid politicians and their well-heeled guests, say labor activists in Washington, D.C. Their efforts have persuaded some 34 members of the Senate to support the campaign, and are once again highlighting the need for the federal government to clean its own house and raise labor standards for its own contract employees.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin rounds up the horse race news, the lingering Trump factor, and continuing cluelessness on the Middle East. Armando follows up on yesterday’s discussion of how Trump baffles the media. And plenty, as always, on the dangers of “gun culture.”

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