THE NEW “PARTY OF NO”

partyofnoFrom an article in the New York Times:

Immediately after the November election, Democrats were divided over how to handle Mr. Trump, with one camp favoring all-out confrontation and another backing a seemingly less risky approach of coaxing him to the center with offers of compromise.

Now, spurred by explosive protests and a torrent of angry phone calls and emails from constituents — and outraged themselves by Mr. Trump’s swift moves to enact a hard-line agenda — Democrats have all but cast aside any notion of conciliation with the White House. Instead, they are mimicking the Republican approach of the last eight years — the “party of no” — and wagering that brash obstruction will pay similar dividends.

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LEFT, RIGHT & CENTER

leftrightcenter

Being retired allows me the luxury of time. Some of that time I devote to reading the news, especially the political news, from a variety of news sources. This has allowed me to form some impressions of where various news sources fall in terms of reliability and ideological bias. If you are interested, here’s my (not entirely unbiased) take on left-right-center news organizations. BTW, I don’t do television; these are all online media.

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IS DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK?

wethepeopleA great many Americans are alarmed that the Trump administration appears to be undercutting the key institutions that define and preserve American democracy, and is doing so in small increments, each of which appears minor, but which taken together trend toward a strong-man state similar to what we see in Russia, in which one man rules behind the curtain of democratic-looking institutions. (I’ll bet you thought the “Wizard of Oz” was just a children’s story, with no political message.) How do we know which of his actions, if any, are detrimental to a healthy democracy? And how would we know when we were approaching a red line, beyond which it is no longer possible to save our democracy.

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TRUMP ON NUKES

nukeblastDonald Trump says he wants to renegotiate some of our long-standing nuclear arms reduction treaties with Russia. He says they are unfair to us. I guess that’s because they target nuclear equity between the two nations. Trump says he wants us to have the biggest and best nuclear arsenal. The man demonstrates yet again that he is clueless when it comes to the topic of nuclear weapons.

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SANCTUARY CITIES

sanctuarycitiesWhat is a Sanctuary City? The name conjures of images of safe places where the city will protect illegal immigrants from federal immigration officers. But that’s not it at all. A Sanctuary City is a city that chooses not to utilize its government employees as agents of the federal immigration services. It’s a very passive thing. Sanctuary Cities typically give four reasons for taking this stance.

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TERRORISM IN AMERICA

terrorisminamericaNot surprisingly, there has been a lot of research on terrorist attacks within the United States. It turns out that, contrary to the propaganda you are likely to see on television, terrorist attacks by right-wing Christian extremists are at least as prevalent as terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists. The implication of this is that if our country is serious about fighting terrorism on US soil, our counter-terrorism efforts need to be directed toward both kinds of terrorism. Furthermore, the motives, ways and means are different between the two, meaning that a one-size-fits-all approach is bound to fail.
Here’s an article on a recent study: Terrorism In America.