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Centrist Discussions for the 60% in the Middle
      Psychologists have explained quite a lot about Donald Trump ’s political invincibility and the unconditional allegiance of his followers. One well-supported explanation is that the president keeps his base loyal by keeping them fearful. Through persistent fear-mongering, with scary messages like, “Illegal immigrants are murderers and rapists,” and “Islam hates ....
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      Bruni--Opinion | A ‘Disgusting’ Yale Professor Moves On


          I was outraged at the outrage a few years back. Frank Bruni of the NYTimes lays out why a Yale Professor and his wife were so unjustly attacked (not physically, happily) and why the professor's book, Blueprint*, deserves attention:

          * https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/nichola...


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          On Your Mark! Get Set! Go!


              The Race For 2020: The Early Stages.

              By Dajuan Candle

              What we are witnessing now, as we slowly inch forward to the full on 2020 campaign, are the candidates and their "get to know me better campaigns". PR.

              This early in, each candidates PR machine goes to work with at least a two fold effort: The main effort is about face and name recognition; "Please remember me. Tell others about me!" The second effort is all about raising funds: "Please, now that you know more about me and my concerns and causes, please help me by donating a small amount to my campaign. The more of you donate the more I can get my face and ideas in front of the people and tell them more about, my ideas, concerns, and causes."

              Image result for bernie sanders

              Some of the candidates enter into the race for the White House with more face and name recognition than others do, which gives them the advantage. And it also affords them the ability to get their funding machine going much sooner than the lessor known candidates.

              The entry part of the campaign, as we are witnessing now, is less pronounced and engaging than what is to come. This is the warm up before the game.

              It isn't possible to choose the best candidate before the candidates have put themselves before the people and spoken their truths, and of their ideas. Getting to know them, and whom of them could possibly be the best candidate in the minds of the voters, is the main focus of the early entry process.

              Image result for beto o'rourke

              Are some of the candidates more known going into the gate than some of the others? Yes. But the better known can't be chosen as the best candidate, from the get go, without all others being heard first. If that were the case Barack Obama shouldn't have entered the race in 2007. Everybody knew that Hillary, the supposed top candidate, would be running wild horses out the gate for the office of President in 2008. But he didn't, he didn't turn and go home, he got his face and name and ideas known. Got them out before the people. Then when the gates opened, he ran his race and strode into the lead down the home stretch, never looked back, and won the Democratic nomination.

              Another truth about the selection process, is who, of the contestants, can handle the media best. Those who do will get more face time, which is a doubled edged sword. That advantage goes to those with more experience and more name recognition, same as mentioned earlier. Yet a talented, fresh faced, new comer to the national stage, can work some magic in public and create an aura about them.

              In 2016 the Dem's were over confident. Once it were known who the Republican nominee for President would be, they just went through the motions until the appointed hour in November. Trump? He can't win. He doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell. This is going to be a shoo in for our candidate. Hillary versus Trump, thank you Jesus! What a laugh.

              Image result for pete buttgeig

              But the laugh was on them. Surprise, surprise.

              This time around there will be no surprises, Trump is known. Trump just maybe the most known man the world has ever known. Infamous. All the Dem's need to do is point at him and promise not to be like that and their candidate should skate into the White House.

              My name is John Q. Public and I'm running for President of the United States of America!!!

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              Another Open Letter From TheResistanceGOP To Our Fellow Republicans


                  "While the manifesto was filled with obvious trolling likely inspired by time spent on the 8chan board — like statements saying he was radicalized by the video games Spyro the Dragon 3 and Fortnite — he said that while he didn’t view President Trump as an effective policymaker and leader, he did see him as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” - Gritpost

                  The coalition that brought Trump to the Oval Office remains the home for the worst of White Nationalists, and the Republican Party continues to refuse that the single greatest source of domestic terrorists is living amongst us in plain sight.

                  And the view is becoming clearer every day.

                  The threatening words regarding the strong support he has from bikers, police and the military delivered by the beleaguered Trump will likely contribute to the further escalation of horrible acts. To claim that the GOP partymembers that turn a blind eye to all that the ill-souled Trump behaviors to the rising tide of racial and religious violence - both in America and abroad - do not support evil rhetoric and despicable actions from its members is simply absurd.

                  If you are not speaking out against the vile speech and outrageous writings of White Nationalists, my fellow Republicans, you are silently endorsing the attacks that have already lead to the deaths of hundreds of American legal residents and citizens.

                  "Of 263 incidents of domestic terrorism between 2010 and the end of 2017, a third — 92 — were committed by right-wing attackers, according to The Post’s analysis. Another third were committed by attackers whose motives were either unknown or not clearly political. Islamist terrorists committed 38 attacks. And left-wing attackers were responsible for 34 attacks — about 13 percent." - Washington Post, utilizing the federally funded "Global Terrorism Database" from the University of Maryland.

                  We Republicans who are true to our nation's history must do our utmost to curtail the violent and growing element that our misguided party leadership and policy makers have encouraged to act out - both passively and openly. To do nothing is to accept the GOP's role as reckless endangerers at best and unindicted co-conspirators at worst.

                  Which is one of the rising concerns the Australians should have, given the reaction of one of their "finest" Senators provided. Fits right in with Grassley and Rep King. Heck, they probably want him to help them campaign next time around.

                  Geoffrey S. Jade Barrett, Chairman SANE60 and TheResistanceGOP


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                  Pundit Post
                      Angelica Frude and Naomi Scissors, middle school students in Silver Spring, MD, won honorable mention in a a C-Span documentary contest for "Indivisible: The Pledge of Allegiance and its Controversy," and--though I've not seen the other entrants--theirs is quite professionally done. I appear in it but, wisely, they featured my friend Rob Boston with more lines and time before the camera.

                      It's only 5 or 6 minutes long and deserves your attention:


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                      Opinion | The Court And The Cross


                          Secularism, church-state, and religious liberty are often in the news, often in major news stories and Supreme Court cases--and will soon be again. The Bladensburg Cross case has already made news but is about to make much more.

                          Any who're interested (and nearly everyone should be) ought to read the attached (especially some of the comments) and should come to the American Atheists convention next month in Cincinnati. What's the connection? 1. The Friday night banquet will feature a talk from attorney Edward Tabash, an expert on secularism and the Supreme Court, and (thanks to a very generous donor) is free for the first 500 convention registrants.(I think there are still some slots, but I'm no longer involved with operations.) 2. American Atheists board member Steven Lowe is a lead plaintiff in this case. 3. American Atheists attorney Alison Gill is also extraordinarily knowledgeable about secularism, as is President Nick Fish.


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                          Ilhan Omar’s "Anti-Semitism"

                              I'm a very long way from having expertise on the Middle East, from deep understanding of Palestinian v. Jewish conflicts, etc. I have strong positive appreciation of ancient Jewish culture, and somewhat similar (though even less well informed) appreciation of ancient Islamic culture. I'm not a politician or ever likely to be one. I'm an atheist and therefore don't accept Jewish or Islamic ideas of any gods--and Jews and Muslims, however friendly with me, can probably never fully accept me because of my infidel status.

                              But the ongoing brouhaha over Representative Ilhan Omar and her alleged anti-Semitic remarks seems quite ridiculous and unjust to me. And I admit I'm glad to find that many Jews have joined in the critique of those who conflate anti-Semitism and criticism of Israeli policies and actions. Examples:

                              From the NYTimes letters to the editor:


                              Anti-Semitism Charges Roil Democrats

                              Readers discuss comments by Representative Ilhan Omar, the influence of a pro-Israel lobbying group and divisions within the Democratic Party.

                              March 7, 2019

                              To the Editor:

                              Re “Rift Over Israel Has Democrats Divided by Age” (front page, March 6):

                              Of course Democrats are more aggressive in combating prejudice within their own party. It’s both human nature and good diplomacy to hold your own family to higher standards than outsiders or adversaries (otherwise, you’d just look partisan and hypocritical).

                              As an older American Jewish Democrat, I am as aghast as younger American Jews at Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinians. I encourage speaking out against it and I applaud Jewish-Palestinian collaboration. But anti-Semitic tropes about the power of Jewish money and the dual allegiance of American Jews are inexcusable aspersions in the face of what might otherwise be valid concerns.

                              Jewish Democrats are fairly defending themselves against such tropes; if other groups — people of color, Muslims, Palestinians — criticize Jewish Democrats for not speaking up more forcefully on their behalf as well, that is fair, too. But why aren’t those other groups equally concerned about anti-Semitism?

                              James Berkman

                              To the Editor:

                              “Concerns Raised Over Power Wielded by a Pro-Israel Lobbying Giant” (news article, March 5) provides useful information about the tactics the pro-Israel lobby uses to pressure and intimidate members of Congress. Until now, these methods have largely accomplished their goal: an almost total and unconditional refusal in Congress to question Israel’s human rights violations against Palestinians or the $3.8 billion in military aid we give to Israel each year.

                              When Representative Ilhan Omar, one of only two Muslim congresswomen, dares to question this, she is pilloried and falsely accused of anti-Semitism. This is a disgrace.

                              I am one of thousands of American Jews who applaud Ms. Omar for her courage and honesty and stand with her in objecting to Israel’s brutal and worsening policies toward Palestinians.

                              Ms. Omar speaks simple truth. Isn’t unconditional support of another country no matter its actions a form of allegiance to that country?

                              Rosalind Petchesky
                              New York
                              The writer is professor emerita of political science at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY.

                              To the Editor:

                              I am deeply shaken by the fault lines that have been exposed by the recent controversy around the influence wielded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac. It is not anti-Semitic to hold Israel to the same standards as we do other nations. Many Jewish people, myself included, disagree with the current policies of the Israeli government, particularly with regard to the human rights of the Palestinian people, the occupied territories and the settlements.

                              Identity politics perpetuate stereotypes and prejudice and ultimately dehumanize us. We need to take a breath and have honest, good-faith discussions without throwing around accusations of anti-Semitism when we disagree.

                              J. Sarah Posner
                              York, Pa.

                              To the Editor:

                              I continue to applaud the election of two Muslim women to Congress, even though their presence and remarks have exacerbated tensions over Israel and anti-Semitism. They present us with a marvelous opportunity.

                              As a rabbi on Long Island for many decades, I was very proud of my congregation’s establishment of an ongoing dialogue with a nearby mosque. The friendship that emerged enabled us to discuss many inflammatory subjects including Palestinian/Israeli crises, growing Islamophobia and the complicated distinction between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism, which lies at the heart of the current controversy.

                              Now is the time for synagogue and mosque leaders to reach out to each other, building trust and understanding. The Democrats can resolve their rift with patience and tolerance. American Jews and Muslims, natural allies facing a resurgence of racial and religious hatred, can do so, too.

                              Jerome K. Davidson
                              New York

                              Michelle Goldberg's column, with which I only mostly agree, is on point as well:

                              And there is this on AlterNet:


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