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A Photo for Friday

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“Layers” Knoxville, TN 9/10/16

I Always Feel Like Someone is Watching me

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Via The Atlantic: All the Ways Your Wi-Fi Router Can Spy on You: A system called “WiKey” presented at a conference last year could tell what keys a user was pressing on a keyboard by monitoring minute finger movements. Once trained, WiKey could recognize a sentence as it was typed with 93.5 percent accuracy—all using nothing but […]

A Photo for Friday

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“Purple” June 21, 2016 Pike Road, AL

Looking to Peace with the FARC

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By me at ORIGINS: Current Events in Historical Perspective Colombia: On the Brink of Peace with the FARC?

Deplorable and Illogical

us-politics

Rudy Giuliani on This Week this weekend: STEPHANOPOULOS: They do emerge from September 11th. And one of the things that Donald Trump also said on Thursday night, again, is that we should’ve taken the oil of Iraq. Even if you could do that practically, and most experts say you couldn’t, wouldn’t that just be theft? […]

An Odd Definition of “Low Demographic Diversity”

I will admit that the following paragraph from Matthew Dowd writing at the WSJ is not well constructed, so perhaps I am missing something, but he seems to have an odd definition of low demographic diversity (at least in terms of a likely Clinton electoral coalition): 2. On Election Day it is highly likely that the […]

Reading Recommendation on the Roots of White Nationalism in the Current Debate

us-politics

Two key questions about the Trump candidacy are:  what does it say about the Republican Party/conservative movement, and where does the party/movement go from here? Along these lines is a lengthy piece in the The Guardian that I would recommend: The dark history of Donald Trump’s rightwing revolt. The piece focuses on the division between establishment conservatives and […]

Kids these Days! (Feats of Strength Edition)

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Who knew Tim “The Toolman” Taylor was a columinist at NRO? (Will kids these days get that reference?).

Some Thoughts on HRC

Clinton CFR Speech

An amplification on the question of likability.

A Photo for Friday

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“On Lake Michigan” June 25, 2016

Some Alt-Right Basics

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Via RawStory:  The Alt-Right Dictionary: 7 terms you need to know to understand Trump’s most hateful supporters. And, straight from two of the self-proclaimed leaders of the movement from back in March at Breitbart:  An Establishment Conservative’s Guide To The Alt-Right.  

Trump’s Speaking Style

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Tara Golshan has an interesting piece at Vox:  Donald Trump’s strange speaking style, as explained by linguists which is worth a read. I will say that it includes a quote that may qualify for Understatement of the Year: “His speeches are full of non sequiturs,” says Kristin Kobes Du Mez, a Calvin College historian Of the passages […]

Filing Deadlines

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If you are curious as to the filing deadlines for the presidency, Ballotpedia has the list.

Let the Unskewing Begin!

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Via RawStory:  ‘Polling can be skewed’: Four Trump surrogates go on CNN for mass denial of Trump’s lousy polls. Many apparently did not learn the lessons of 2012.

New ABC Poll: Trump Weaknesses and Post-Convention Info

us-politics

The new ABC News/Washington Post poll has some interesting data, including an extensive comparison of pre- and post-convention numbers across an array of variables. Of the things that struck was the following paragraph: Trump’s ratings in general haven’t worsened — they just haven’t improved since he claimed the Republican nomination. And the trouble list is […]

Kasich on Trump and Ohio

us-politics

“There will be sections he will win because people are angry, frustrated and haven’t heard any answers. But I still think it’s difficult if you are dividing to be able to win Ohio. I think it’s really, really difficult.”–Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio). 538’s Now-cast give Trump a 16.4% chance to win the state at the […]

A Photo for Friday

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“Chicago Skyline” July 25, 2016 Chicago, IL

A Basic Observation on Trump (as Candidate and Potential President)

Donald Trump Victory

If you think that once elected Trump will be corralled by cooler heads and experts, I would submit to you that this week underscores this will not be the case.

No, the Party can’t “Do Something” about Trump

Trump And GOP Elephant

The nature of US parties means that Trump more or less is the GOP at the moment, and hence the GOP will do nothing about Trump.

More Irresponsible Rhetoric from Trump

Donald Trump Speaking Closeup

Basic trust in process is essential for democratic governance to function and major party nominees ought not be undercutting that trust for cynical gain.

The Deepening Disaster in Venezuela

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Via CNBC:  Venezuela calls for mandatory labor in farm sector The government of Venezuela has issued a decree that “effectively amounts to forced labor” in an attempt to fix a spiraling food crisis, according to a new report from Amnesty International. A Venezuelan ministry last week announced Resolution No. 9855, which calls for the establishment […]

A Photo for Friday

“Over the Tennessee” Florence, AL June 29, 2016

A Photo for Friday

“Uncertain Path” June 28, 2016 near Cleveland, AL.

Leadsom Withdraws from UK PM Race

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Or, more accurately, she withdrew from the race to be leader of the Conservative Party, which would have lead to her being PM had she won. The BBC reports:  Theresa May set to be UK PM after Andrea Leadsom quits In a speech earlier on Monday setting out her leadership campaign platform, Mrs May – […]

Today in Strange Reasoning (Trump Semi-Support Edition)

Donald Trump Speaking Closeup

Comments on a pro-Trump (well, sorta) column.

The Philippines’ Disturbing new President

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Via Guardian:  Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte urges people to kill drug addicts Following a measured speech after taking his oath before a small audience inside the presidential palace, the outspoken leader paid an evening visit to a Manila slum and unleashed profanity-laden threats against drug traffickers in front of a crowd of about 500 people “These […]

Farange Makes his own Exit

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Another Brexit leader is making their own exit (via the BBC):  UKIP leader Nigel Farage stands down. So, Boris Johnson will not stand for the Prime Ministership and now Farange is quitting as leader of UKIP.  On the one hand, I can’t say that the UK is worse for either move, but it is striking […]

A FARC Primer

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For anyone interested in more on the FARC as the peace process progresses, here are two useful BBC pieces from about a week ago: Who are the Farc? and Colombia’s Farc rebels – 50 years of conflict.

Another Anti-Trump Republican

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This time it is Mark Salter, “the former chief of staff to Sen. John McCain and […] senior adviser to the McCain for President campaign”:  Why This Republican Won’t Vote for Trump.  He concludes a column that is basically a long list of troubles with Trump with the following: Whatever Hillary Clinton’s faults, she’s not ignorant […]

The Trump Campaign: One Huge Political Science Experiment

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If anything, the Trump campaign is going to provide some interesting data for future political scientists who study campaigns.

On the Usage of “Radical Islam”

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Via Vox:  I worked in the CIA under Bush. Obama is right to not say “radical Islam.” When I directed the Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program at the CIA in the early 2000s, I frequently interacted with senior Bush administration policymakers about how to engage Muslim communities and, when doing so, which words and phrases […]

A Photo for Friday

“Untitled” From the Gardens at Ivy Green (Birthplace of Helen Keller) Tuscumbia, AL 6/29/16

From the “You Can’t Make this Stuff up File”

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Via AL.com: Man wearing skeleton costume, 2 others steal erectile dysfunction drugs from Alabama pharmacy.

Trump: The Pro-Torture Candidate

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Via the BBC:  US election: ‘I like waterboarding a lot’, says Donald Trump “We have to fight so viciously and violently because we’re dealing with violent people,” Mr Trump said. At one point, he asked the crowd: “What do you think about waterboarding?” They cheered as he gave his answer: “I like it a lot. […]

One Major Step Closer to Peace in Colombia

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The final major piece of the negotiations between the FARC and the Colombian government appears to be in place.

Info on the Panama Canal Expansion

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A nice set of inforgraphics:  Weekly Chart: Panama Canal Trade before and after the Expansion

Scotland and the Aftermath of the Brexit Vote

Scotland and UK flags

Is Scotland next?

What’s Next with the Brexit?

Brexit Puzzle Pieces

A British political scientist lays out some of the political and institutional factors that will be relevant going forward.

When the NRA is Talking More Sense than Trump…

us-politics

Via the NY Post:  NRA says Trump’s Orlando comments ‘defy common sense’ Donald Trump’s suggestion that armed clubgoers could have prevented the worst mass shooting in modern US history “defies common sense,” according to the National Rifle Association — which is backing the tycoon for president but on Sunday had two of its top officials taking rare […]

Two Stunning Graphs about the State of the 2016 Campaign

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Via WaPo: The brutal numbers behind a very bad month for Donald Trump   Could Trump really believe that he can run a national campaign on rallies and free media via the news? And lest anyone think it is working, see the full piece which shows Trump’s current poll status in historical context.  Also note this: The […]

History Has its Eyes on You (Trump Edition)

us-politics

Timothy Egan in the NYT: A Week for All Time They will remember, a century from now, who stood up to the tyrant Donald Trump and who found it expedient to throw out the most basic American values — the “Vichy Republicans,” as the historian Ken Burns called them in his Stanford commencement speech. The shrug from […]

An Accurate Description of Trump/the State of the GOP

us-politics

Matthew Continetti on the Trump: It’s a joke. All of it: his candidacy, the apparatus of propaganda and grift surrounding it, the failures of governance and education and culture that have brought us to this place. What disturbs me most is the prospect that Donald Trump is what a very large number of Republican voters want: not a wonk, […]

SBC also Passed Resolution on Refugees

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I meant to note this yesterday along with the battle flag resolution via WaPo:  Southern Baptist Convention urges churches to welcome refugees In the midst of a political season in which political leaders have frequently decried refugees as a security threat to the United States, the nation’s second-largest religious group sent a different message about refugees […]

Another GOP Defection

us-politics

Via Politico:  Exclusive: Armitage to back Clinton over Trump Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state under George W. Bush, says he will vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, in one of the most dramatic signs yet that Republican national security elites are rejecting their party’s presumptive nominee. Armitage, a retired Navy officer who […]

Southern Baptists Vote to Condemn Confederate Battle Flag

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Via WaPo:  Southern Baptist Convention votes to condemn Confederate battle flag The Southern Baptist Convention, once founded as a pro-slavery denomination that aligned itself with the Confederacy, voted Tuesday to condemn the Civil War battle flag of the South. “It’s not often that I find myself wiping away tears in a denominational meeting, but I just […]

Trump and Utah

us-politics

Via WaPo:  This new Utah poll is amazingly bad for Donald Trump No state voted more heavily for the GOP presidential nominee in 2012 than Utah. And in 2008, it was the third-most Republican state in the union. A new poll shows that Donald Trump is tied with Hillary Clinton in Utah. We’re not quite saying, of course, […]

Trump the Presumptive Nominee (Some of What I got Wrong)

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In case anyone noticed: I got the Trump nomination wrong.

Today in “Unclear on the Concept”

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The subject in question is prison with the persons who are unclear being the Bundys (via TPM):  Shocker: Bundy Bros Discover That Jail Inmates Have Fewer Freedoms Ryan Bundy wrote in the document that “my rights are being violated. My right to life is being violated. All of my First Amendment rights are being violated. […]

Plagiarism Plague in Russia

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Via Slate:  The Craziest Black Market in Russia.  Apparently, a lot of Russians are paying for dissertations: In the past few years alone, there have been credible allegations of dissertation plagiarism made against Russia’s minister of culture, the governor of St. Petersburg, and the head of the country’s top federal investigating authority. Just in the past […]

The Horror of War and the Challenge of Peace in Colombia

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If Colombia makes peace, the post-conflict era will be rife with challenges.

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