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Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 08:40

Woooooo! How about that Big Game that you can get in trouble for talking about if you don’t have the express written permission of the National Football League, or whatever? Yes, this was our year, fellow waiting-what-seems-like-forever-for-an-opiate-constipation-ad fans!

Turns out there was also another debate over the weekend, too. So I guess we’ll have to discuss that, as well.

And let’s dispel with this fiction that Marco Rubio didn’t know that the word he was looking for was “dispense,” not dispel. He knew exactly what he was doing.

And let’s dispel with this fiction that Marco Rubio didn’t know that the word he was looking for was “dispense,” not dispel. He knew exactly what he was doing.

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Is it “PING!” or is it “DING!”? David Waldman welcomes both sides of the debate for the KITM Friday Weekend Sendoff: Greg Dworkin saw last night’s Democratic debate, as well as Wednesday’s forum and loved them both. Both threw great punches, and stayed substantive as usual, and we all won. Both candidates are winners in the polls as well, depending on where you look, and what you are looking for. Where do Americans look for news, anyhow? More are winning in the US economy as today’s job numbers show. Is it now time to debate and dream of possible VPs? It is now time to lust after Tesla’s new product, The Powerwall. If you just want to eat your vegetables, but don’t want to cut back on calories, McDonald’s can help. David explores a puff piece on the meanest, ruthless, most remorseless clone of Karl Rove that ever pretended to be tough.

(Thanks again to Scott Anderson for the show summary!) Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.

Cheers and Jeers: Monday

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 08:18

Monday Morning Perspective

“Suddenly, from behind the rim of the Moon, in long, slow-motion moments of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth … home.”

- Edgar Mitchell -

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Sad to learn of the passing of #EdgarMitchell, coincidently 45 years after he walked on the moon. A true pioneer. pic.twitter.com/sXQOnm8iBq

— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 6, 2016

“We went to the Moon as technicians; we returned as humanitarians.”

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“Look at that, you son of a bitch." pic.twitter.com/JyeiOV7lgv

— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) February 6, 2016

If it’s any help, I’ve got a catapult I’d be happy to loan NASA for the task. And a list of candidates who should go first.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Morning Digest: Arizona Republican Paul Babeu slammed for abuse of students at school he ran

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 08:00

Leading Off:

AZ-01: Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu was already one of the most despicable human beings running for Congress this year, but now he's cemented his hold on the very bottom spot. Before moving to Arizona, Babeu served as headmaster of the DeSisto School, a private school for troubled youth in his home state of Massachusetts. The school, known for treating students with an "intense discipline regimen," was a nightmarish disaster that shut down in 2004, after state investigators found massive violations of basic dignity like these:

The probe resulted in a court order to stop specific activities, including punishments that put students in chairs facing corners for hours at a time, withholding food from students and strip-searching. The court also ordered the school to stop group showers and allow students to use the bathroom in private.

That was all well-known when Babeu first sought the Republican nomination in Arizona's 4th Congressional district back in 2012—a bid that was derailed when a former lover of Babeu's, an unauthorized immigrant, alleged that Babeu had threatened him with deportation if he did not remain quiet about their relationship. Babeu denied the allegations but acknowledged he was gay and quit the race a few months later.

Babeu's now waging a second congressional bid (this time in the swingy 1st District), and his DeSisto history has re-emerged thanks to a home video obtained by a local TV station, ABC15, in which Babeu spoke highly of the harsh punishment of the children under his care. ABC15 had investigated Babeu's tenure back in 2012, after which Babeu denied knowing anything about the school's abusive practices and had his lawyers send a threatening letter to the station.

But in this newly emerged video, taken at a family Christmas gathering in 1999, Babeu goes into great detail about what went on at DeSisto. He calls his students "bonkers" and explained, among other things, that they could be made to sit in a chair facing the corner of a room "for weeks." He also indicates that food might be withheld, saying students "have to be free of anything, any distraction, like food to TV, radio." To get better, he insists, "They need to feel hopeless and feel depression and complete failure." Babeu's claims to have known nothing about what was going on under him wouldn't have absolved him of responsibility even if true, but in any event, they are now rendered indisputably false.

And in a remarkable coincidence, the Massachusetts state attorney who ran the investigation of DeSisto is someone Babeu is now hoping will be his colleague a year from now: Democratic Rep. Katherine Clark. Should Babeu prevail, though, Clark's welcome won't be warm. In new comments, Clark accused Babeu of trying to "stonewall" her inquiry and just absolutely lacerated him:

"It was really just a cesspool of really horrendous practices towards children. I think it's rather appalling to think that he is overseeing people with badges and guns, and that he thinks he is fit to run for Congress." […]
"It was ritualistic child abuse—a sort of lord of the flies situation, where some of the children were groomed into positions of disciplining other children, including some really egregious things like students strip searching other student when they arrived at the school."

Added Clark, "The things that went on at that school still really haunt me, and I think they should haunt him." Babeu, however, continues to dispute just about everything, claiming yet again that he had "no involvement in discipline or student affairs." That's utterly belied by this new video, and it's going to be a hard line to keep taking. If there's any justice, he'll ride it to another ignominious failure.

Abbreviated pundit round-up: Dumping the cash-bail system; Hillary goes left on climate change

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 07:30

E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post writes—The governors exact their revenge on Marco Rubio:

The politicians from both parties who ran the states tended to be a pragmatic lot. They were pro-business because they wanted their people to have jobs, but they championed government spending in the areas that contribute to economic development, starting with education and transportation.

Democratic governors still largely behave that way, but many of their Republican peers have followed their national party to the right and now run far more ideological administrations. North CarolinaKansasand Wisconsin are prime examples of this break from a longer GOP tradition.

But in a pivotal debate here on Saturday night, the old solidarity among Republicans in charge of statehouses made a comeback of convenience. Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio and former Florida governor Jeb Bush are competitors, but they had no qualms about creating an ad hoc alliance that might be called Governors Against Callow and Outrageous Candidates.

They took on both Donald Trump and, indirectly, Sen. Ted Cruz. But their central target was Sen. Marco Rubio, who had a chance to put all three governors away with a strong performance. Instead, thanks to the pugilistic Christie, Rubio wilted.

Open thread for night owls: Oil tax may spark needed conversation, but no way will Congress pass it

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 22:45

John H. Cushman Jr. at the Pulitzer-winning InsideClimate News writes—Obama's Oil Tax: A Conversation Starter About Climate and Transportation, but a Non-Starter in Congress:

President Obama’s proposal to impose a $10 tax on every barrel of oil and spend the money on advances in transportation is one of the most comprehensive attempts yet to address the climate impacts of moving people and freight from place to place.

Ghost_Owl_2.jpg

Linking climate policy and public works programs, however, is attempting to pave the way for a project not yet shovel-ready.

No lame duck president whose party is the minority in both houses of Congress seriously expects dramatic, ideologically laden new policies to pass.

And if there are two things that are hard to imagine Congress including in the budget for the fiscal year 2017, they are a broad new policy to control climate change and a big tax increase, let alone one hitting down-and-out producers of fossil fuels.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, whose Energy Committee has a bipartisan policy bill on the Senate floor, said that because Republicans are in the majority, nobody should "worry about this becoming law." [...]

As Brad Plumer pointed out on Vox, there are similarities between an oil tax and the fuel taxes that have traditionally funded highways, mass transit, and aviation programs – but there are differences too. Still, "the most radical part" of this plan is its link between 21st century transportation and climate policy.

Elana Schor wrote on Politico that however adamant the Republicans are in declaring the proposal dead on arrival, it will reverberate among Democrats and their green allies. She predicts it will help push the debate toward ever more hawkish climate policies in the wake of fights over the Keystone XL pipeline and other thorny issues.

HIGH IMPACT STORIES • THE WEEK’S HIGH IMPACT STORIES  

TOP COMMENTS • OVERNIGHT NEWS DIGEST

TWEET OF THE DAY

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I am enjoying this year's blanket ad theme of "wall to wall lizard brain horror"

— Holly Anderson (@HollyAnderson) February 8, 2016

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2008Day 1743: Supporting the troops:

This story is getting way too old.

A North Dakota manufacturer has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a suit saying it had repeatedly shortchanged the armor in up to 2.2 million helmets for the military, including those for the first troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Twelve days before the settlement with the Justice Department was announced, the company, Sioux Manufacturing of Fort Totten, was given a new contract of up to $74 million to make more armor for helmets to replace the old ones, which were made from the late 1980s to last year.

Just to make sure this is very, very clear. The Defense Department knew the company provided defective armor and in fact sued the company over it. They knew that the kevlar the company was using in the helmets it created did not meet "critical" minimum standards. But while that very suit was pending, they ordered more armor.

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio."

The machines that improve our lives can also ruin them

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 21:30

Once upon a time, a long time ago, we feared that computers would take over. We’d been conditioned, you see, by everything from the slightly obscure, like Colossus: The Forbin Project, to blockbusters like The Terminator. With the clarity of hindsight in 2016, considering where humans are leading the world and that we still don’t have flying cars, Colossus doesn’t look like such a bad fate anymore. Computers and their ill-begotten networks have done wonderful things. As a kid I had a World Book Encyclopedia, which was like a primitive Internet small enough to fit on a bookshelf. Today we have the real McCoy—more facts and stories and funny videos than you can possibly see in a lifetime, all at our fingertips.

But our technology has its limits: We sure don’t have to worry about computers taking over the world, not overtly anyway, and not for a long time. My PCs are hopelessly confused trying to search or proofread anything with a hyphen or an apostrophe in it, so world domination is probably a ways off. I don’t fear computers, but I’m starting to hate them, and if you sometimes feel the same way then join me below for a nice winter rant, and let me count some of the ways they deserve to be hated …

Incrementalism has outlived its usefulness

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 20:16

I’m not hostile to incrementalism. As an engineer I know that large gradients can lead to catastrophic failures. And President Obama has been as transformational a president as incrementalism, or a belief in gradual change, allowed. That’s not a knock on the president—it’s just a fact.

President Obama has navigated the political waves to get many laws passed that Americans wanted. His signature accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, likely saved my life. The ACA also afforded my wife, who has the preexisting condition of Lupus, the right to purchase health insurance under the same terms as any healthy American. Why? The president made the incremental choice to remove preexisting conditions as a part of insurance companies' risk management. That one move helped millions, and in the process likely saved millions of lives.

Incrementalism was necessary because neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party would run the risk of of upsetting their wealthy benefactors or the corporatocracy. Americans got expanded access to healthcare while insurance companies ensured they maintained the biggest fraud on the American population: Collecting a hefty fee to pay a bill at best, or deny care at worst.

Incrementalism in solving the student debt problem provided relief for some. However, those with private loans were left in the cold. They can’t even get relief from bankruptcy.

The American middle class had been asked to accept incrementalism for decades. Why? To make change palatable for the wealthy, for the oligarchy, for the plutocracy. That one-sided compromise was bearable as long as the trajectory of the middle class followed some modicum of upward mobility.

But I am no longer an incrementalist. Politicians preaching incrementalism as pragmatism have failed us all. Incrementalism isn't pragmatism. It isn't a logical acceptance of the possible. It is the coercion of a population paralyzed by fear. It is mental enslavement of a people who simply cannot visualize their innate collective power. In effect, incrementalism has turned into virtual suicide.

Essential reading: Jane Mayer's 'Dark Money'

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 19:00

Indian Wells is a posh desert town in the Coachella Valley, neighbor to Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, and known as much for its tennis stadium and golf courses as for its multimillion dollar homes. As Jane Mayer tells us in the introduction to her masterful and disturbing new book, Dark Money, it was the perfect place for the Koch brothers’ secretive semi-annual meeting of wealthy conservative donors in January 2009. Among the millionaire attendees there were also 18 billionaires whose combined fortunes in 2015,exceeded $214 billion. And while they may have had some differences:

The glue that bound them together, however, was antipathy toward government regulation and taxation, particularly as it impinged on their own accumulation of wealth.

They knew that with a Democrat in the White House, in the House speaker’s chair, and as the Senate’s majority leader, they had some work to do in order to rebuild the Republican Party. Mayer gives us a fly-on-the-wall view of the debate that was staged as part of the seminar between Sens. Jim DeMint and John Cornyn over the best way to move forward. According to Cornyn, the second-most conservative member of the Senate, the party needed to reach out and attract more members (even moderates) to become a big tent party if necessary. DeMint, on the other hand, argued that rather than expanding, the party needed to purify itself and become more committed to conservative principles. DeMint insisted that they must resist every policy that the new president proposed, to obstruct, in every way possible, the programs of the man that the people had just elected. Cornyn lost the debate.

Appetite for destruction: Biology, psychology, socialization, and the Republican mind

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 17:46

Many of us live in the same country, but inhabit different worlds.

I have struggled to watch the GOP presidential debates. Mocked their candidates’ positions as necessary. Tried to restrain my glee at the human freak show in Iowa that produced what was basically a three-way tie between a theocrat, a proto-fascist, and an Ayn Rand/Koch Brothers marionette. And as I’ve tried to understand the appeal of Donald Trump to his angry, white, working-class voters, the basic truth of my initial observation has become ever clearer. 

Political scientists use language such as “polarization” and “sorting” to grapple with these divides in party and ideology. Historian and political scientist Richard Hofstadter incisively observed how during the 1950s and 1960s, movement conservatism was a type of dangerous “political religion” and orthodoxy. His analysis and conclusions are devastatingly true in the Age of Obama. 

Reasonable people can have reasonable disagreements about politics. They are also able to resolve those differences of opinion in a peaceful way that—hopefully—serves the common good. This is the beauty of a functioning, healthy, cosmopolitan, democracy.

But what of a society where common ground is increasingly hard to find, differences of opinion seem insurmountable, and people of different political orientations are unable to agree upon basic facts of empirical reality? Is this a chasm that is too great to be crossed?

The importance of fighting with someone on something

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 16:30

In 1954, social psychologist Muzafer Sherif ran an experiment that could not be repeated today. Sherif was investigating prejudice and contesting Freud’s model of prejudice as an acting out of unresolved childhood conflicts.

At the Robbers Cave Boy Scout camp, Sherif wanted to test whether he could take a group of people, without any inherently hostile attitudes towards each other, and create conflict by introducing competition.

What Sherif found was not only that he could, but that he could also resolve the conflict if he introduced a shared goal. As I talk to people about politics and work for change, I always try to remember the importance of fighting with someone on something. 

Democrats once resisted 'liberal' label, now fight to claim 'progressive' mantle: That's progress

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 15:15

Remember when “liberal” was a dirty word? Democrats used to run from it faster than Marco Rubio runs from his support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. In 1988, when George Bush characterized Michael Dukakis as a liberal, the Democrat accepted his party’s nomination by replying

This election isn't about ideology; it's about competence. It's not about meaningless labels; it's about American values - old-fashioned values like accountability and responsibility and respect for the truth.

Dukakis’s statement may be more coherent than Sarah Palin’s recent stylings, but in terms of content, it’s just as empty.

Four years later, Bush the Elder similarly sought to label Bill Clinton a liberal, and Clinton rejected the term, replying: “Your plan and my plan...do not involve liberal versus conservative, left versus right, big government versus little government...That's a load of bull we've been paralyzed with for too long. Your plan and my plan are about big ideas versus old ideas.” In 2004, and even in 2008, the campaigns of John Kerry and Barack Obama were, at times, less than fully enthusiastic about being called liberal, even though they didn’t reject the term to the same degree Dukakis and Clinton did.

The back and forth this week between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton shows just how much times have changed.

Hillary Clinton pays a lot in taxes. She’s proposing to pay even more.

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 14:42

As his presidency neared its end, George W. Bush unveiled his plans for life after the White House. "I'll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol' coffers," the multi-millionaire told Robert Draper, adding, "I don't know what my dad gets—it's more than 50-75" thousand dollars a speech, and "Clinton's making a lot of money."

As it turns out, both Bill and Hillary Clinton have been making a lot money. But while Bush gets up to $175,000 for his behind-closed-doors speeches to groups like the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America, the similarities end there. As a share of their earnings, the Clintons give much more to charity and pay much more in taxes. And if candidate Hillary Clinton gets her way, she and Bill will be paying even more.

As the issue of Secretary Clinton's speaking fees heated up after this week's Democratic debate with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, CNN documented the windfall:

Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, combined to earn more than $153 million in paid speeches from 2001 until Hillary Clinton launched her presidential campaign last spring, a CNN analysis shows.

In total, the two gave 729 speeches from February 2001 until May, receiving an average payday of $210,795 for each address. The two also reported at least $7.7 million for at least 39 speeches to big banks, including Goldman Sachs and UBS, with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic 2016 front-runner, collecting at least $1.8 million for at least eight speeches to big banks.

To be sure, those audiences and those dollar figures don't exactly present the greatest optics for Hillary Clinton. But more context, which CNN itself reported last year, tells a somewhat different story. Unlike most wealthy Americans (and wealthy presidential candidates, "she and her husband paid an effective federal tax rate of 35.7 percent and a combined federal, state, and local effective rate of 45.8 percent last year."

In a lengthy statement and on her campaign website, Clinton detailed that she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, paid more than $43 million in federal taxes from 2007 to 2014, over $13 million in state taxes and donated nearly $15 million to charity over the same period.

Socialism, fascism, and other philosophies conservatives don't understand

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 12:45

Since 2008 we have seen conservatives call President Obama a socialist, a fascist, a Nazi, a communist, and all of the above. Who knows where the American right comes up with this stuff, because even the communists aren’t communists anymore.

Fascism, socialism, communism, National Socialism, Marxism, Islamofascism, and democratic socialism: Today’s conservatives, in their search for a bogeyman equal to the former Soviet Union, have thrown all these words around as if they all mean the same thing. But they are all different philosophies on how to govern (except for Islamofascism and National Socialism—more on those later). That is where the similarities between them end. The mental gymnastics required to think that fascism and socialism are the same philosophy are beyond belief. So to help our confused conservative friends, below is a primer of what each of these philosophies really are (hint: Obama is not any of them). Please keep in mind, this is just a brief overview of these philosophies and not an in-depth look.

Fascism: What is it? Think Mussolini—he is the poster child for what a fascist is. While he started out as a socialist, he did not stay one, denouncing socialism in December 1914. The formal definition of fascism is a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual, and stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. Fascism is usually placed on the far right within the traditional left/right political spectrum.

Young black men in Chicago: Out of work, out of school, and out of luck

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 11:30

Chicago isn’t a safe or profitable place for young men of color, especially on the West and South sides. That in itself is nothing new. But a new report on black youth unemployment, coupled with recent sky-high shooting and murder rates, doesn’t leave young black men with many options. Nearly half of all black males in Chicago between the ages of 20 and 24 are neither working nor getting an education.

The statistics also were dismal for the city’s black teenagers. The jobless rate for black 16- to 19-year-olds was 88 percent. Rates for these demographic groups are higher than state or national rates, or than rates in other large cities such as Los Angeles and New York. And all of Chicago’s highest unemployment rates for black teens and young adults were on the West and South sides, just as they are for older adults.

These facts and figures are from a report titled Lost: The Crisis of Jobless and Out of School Teens and Young Adults in Chicago, Illinois, and the U.S. It’s from the Great Cities Institute, an initiative at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs. Its mission is to link academic resources with partners to address urban issues by providing research, policy analysis, and program development. The report was produced for the city’s Alternative School Network in conjunction with the Chicago Urban League.

The jobless numbers provide only half the story. The Chicago Tribune is among those that keep track of the city’s shootings and murders. Its online tally, updated a few times per week, shows daily, monthly, and annual totals of shootings and shooting deaths. So far in 2016, Chicago has had nearly 300 shooting victims and more than 50 homicides (there were nearly 3,000 shooting victims in 2015).

Now compare that map to a map from the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services that shows unemployment rates in neighborhoods throughout the city. Notice the overlap. The areas with the highest number of shootings are the city’s poorest and most segregated areas and the neighborhoods with the highest unemployment rates.

It doesn’t take a genius to connect the dots. Young black men with few options are getting shot in high numbers—and that’s in the middle of the winter. Usually these kinds of totals are more common in the summer, when hot weather drives people outside.

Marco Rubio is no moderate

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 10:15
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In the years before he became legendary for delivering the thirstiest State of the Union response ever, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was peddling another legend. On his path to becoming speaker of the Florida House, Rubio often told Sunshine State audiences he was "the son of exiles" forced to flee their beloved island of Cuba after the "thug" Fidel Castro took power. As it turned out, Rubio's parents didn't come to America to escape terror and persecution from the Castro regime after it toppled dictator Fulgencio Battista in 1959. Instead, they arrived in 1956 as immigrants seeking opportunity, not exiles running for their lives.

Now, a new myth—Marco the Moderate—is enveloping the 2016 White House hopeful in the wake of his surprisingly strong third-place showing in last week's Iowa Caucus. "In doing so," Politico's Glenn Thrush gushed, "he established himself as (in the eyes of many party elders and himself) the Republican with the most potential crossover appeal in a general election." After weeks of growing panic about Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, David Brooks rejoiced that "the amazing surge for Marco Rubio shows that the Republican electorate has not gone collectively insane." Rubio, Reuters declared, "emerged as the champion of the battered Republican establishment," and made a strong case that "supporters of other moderate, establishment candidates such as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Ohio governor John Kasich should throw their support, and their money, behind him."

As it turns out, there's only one problem with the Marco the Moderate Myth: It simply isn't true.

As a quick glance at his past record and proposals for the future shows, Marco Rubio is a reactionary ideologue whose extremism has only increased during his short tenure in the Senate. A man who now opposes access to abortion even in cases of rape and incest, Sen. Rubio also followed John McCain's well-worn path in condemning his own immigration reform bill. A one-man wrecking ball who single-handedly cost hundreds of thousands of Americans their health insurance plans, the ersatz moderate is a reckless foreign policy adventurer committed to sabotaging the nuclear deal with Iran and dramatically increasing U.S. defense spending. And at a time of record income inequality, President Rubio would take on trillions in new debt to deliver a massive tax cut windfall for the wealthy. Nevertheless, Mr. Moderate is demanding a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, even as he refuses to raise the debt ceiling.

So when Marco Rubio asks "are you ready for a New American Century?" he apparently means the 15th century. Consider, for example, his views on abortion.

The courage of Autherine Lucy

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 09:00

Finding the courage to walk through a screaming, angry white mob that swelled to almost 3,000 racists all calling for your death, shouting racial epithets, throwing rotten produce, setting fires, and rampaging is an onerous task for even the most committed non-violent civil rights activist.

Autherine Juanita Lucy, now Autherine Lucy Foster, was not a trained civil rights worker prepared to suffer harm or die. She was a young black woman who had applied to the University of Alabama to acquire a second degree. She was accepted—then rejected when the administration discovered she was not white. After several years of court proceedings initiated by the NAACP, a court order forced the hand of the university and she was admitted.

This is what she faced.

She attended her first class on Friday February 3, 1956. On Monday February 6, 1956 riots broke out on the campus and a mob of more than a thousand men pelted the car in which the Dean of Women drove Lucy between classes. Threats were made against her life and the presidents home was stoned. The police were called to secure her admission. These riots at the university were what was, to date, the most violent post-Brown anti-integration demonstration

During Black History Month, we often see profiles of well-known African Americans who were leaders of different civil rights actions. It’s important that we also honor the courage of individuals who were not heading up organizations, whose courage in the face of adversity opened the doors for others, and helped achieve changes that are still in place today. We are currently watching black students and their allies demonstrate on college campuses across the U.S., so the task is not yet done. However, we should remember those black students who opened the doors where none had gone before.

Autherine Lucy Foster is one of those students.

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 07:00

You might have read in the news about four new elements being added to the periodic table, but did you know how many names of elements have been revised or plain old rejected? If you’re having trouble reading the version above, check out Compound Interest for a larger version.

Mary Sanchez asks a question that’s going to become more important over the next couple of weeks.

Bill Clinton, so the saying goes, was America’s first black president.

Novelist Toni Morrison dubbed him so...

His wife is not blessed with the same attributes. This became starkly apparent in 2008 when she faced a formidable political challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination and lost as African-American voters flocked to him.

This go-around, it’s not an upstart biracial senator from Illinois who is challenging Hillary Clinton for the coveted prize in this election cycle. It’s a 74-year-old white guy with a Mister Rogers appeal. …

I kind of get a more Bill Nye vibe from Bernie, though I can see him kicking off the shoes and getting comfortable when he comes through the door. Clinton cannot take black voters for granted. Sanders may not win enough African-American support to snag the Democratic nomination away, but he'll give her a considerable run for it, even in Southern states like South Carolina, whose Democratic primary will take place at the end of the month. Sanders’ appeal is that he acknowledges something that African Americans know viscerally: There is no post-racial America. He has also offered a forthright critique of wealth and income equality in America, along with measures to rectify it. All he has to do is package his message right.

If Bernie would get past the idea that helping the poor, including those who happen to be black, is an adequate response to calls for restitution, maybe he could land more than “enough” African-American support. There’s still time for him to move on this.

And now it’s time for you to move. Below the fold, where the rest of today’s pundits are waiting.

Sunday Talk: Corn is for closers

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 00:41

In the final days leading up to the Iowa caucuses, things were looking good for Donald Trump.

So good, in fact, that he was openly musing about maybe trading in some of his "New York values" for a nice farm in "Corn Country."

But a funny thing happened on the way to Trump's corn-o-nation; Republican caucus-goers decided not to make America great again, opting instead to make America Canadian.

And so it came to pass that, at approximately 9:30 PM (local time) Monday night—just as Ben Carson was (reportedly) preparing to depart the race state to pick up some clean clothesTed Cruz was crowned "King Corn" (a title that Marco Rubio would try to claim for himself).

Shortly thereafter, Trump took the stage to concede—and, oh, what a concession it was!

Well, not really.

Truth be told, he looked like a beaten man—a loser (dot-com).

The self-described "Ernest Hemingway of Twitter" then took a brief respite from hurling insults, before moving on to bigger (yuger!) and better things—like the beautiful lawsuit(s) he might file against Cruz.

Open thread: Moderation, destruction and essential reading

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 00:01

What’s coming up on Sunday Kos …

  • The importance of fighting with someone on something, by David Akadjian
  • Appetite for destruction: Biology, psychology, socialization, and the Republican mind, by Chauncey DeVega
  • Incrementalism has outlived its usefulness, by Egberto Willies
  • Marco Rubio is no moderate, by Jon Perr
  • The courage of Autherine Lucy, by Denise Oliver Velez
  • Democrats once resisted 'liberal' label, now fight to claim 'progressive' mantle. That's progress, by Ian Reifowitz
  • The Daily Kos Elections guide to every key international election in 2016, by Daily Kos Elections International
  • Young black men in Chicago: Out of work, out of school, and out of luck, by Sher Watts Spooner
  • Essential reading: Jane Mayer's 'Dark Money,’ by Susan Grigsby
  • The machines that improve our lives can also ruin them, by DarkSyde
  • Socialism, Fascism, and other philosophies conservatives don't understand, by Mark E Andersen

Fiction / On Whetsday / Episode 2

Sat, 02/06/2016 - 23:21

So here it is again—fiction, right on the front page. And by “again” I mean there was an Episode 1 last week in this space (same Kos channel, same-ish Kos time).

Though a couple of people gently rapped my fingers with a metaphorical baseball bat for spilling my novel in the middle of the primary-a-thon, for the most part folks were very kind. I really appreciate that. Some of you even expressed a desire for more. That’s what this is. More.

Last week we met Denny, a young guy dancing for the odd tossed token on a planet in a tight orbit around a pair of smallish stars. And we met the long, pointy-toothed dasiks, and a couple of snobby hard-shelled cithians, and an old chug with a great many eyes. This week, a few more people, both human and otherwise.

As with last week, there’s a podcast of the episode read by Raymond Shinn (doing yoeman work in the critical “please don't make me listen to the yokel who wrote this” category) and more utterly great artwork from Amy Jones, who is also Ashes of Roses around these parts.  If you haven’t already listened to last week’s podcast, give it a try. You can rest your eyeballs and exercise your… earballs? Sure. Why not.

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