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August 3rd, 2014
thesmithian

…examines the four turbulent years from 1972 to 1976, the bridge from Nixon’s very visible demise to Reagan’s increasingly visible triumph. All three have a trademark style. They are prodigiously researched; they are long; they are funny; and, in their zeal for narrative, they owe more to the high-quality journalism of a David Halberstam or a Theodore White than to the footnoting, the theorizing, and the narrowed focus of academic historical writing. In addition, Perlstein’s…books trace a single argumentthat the conservative movement divided the nation.

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July 10th, 2014
thesmithian

'A powerful government workers' union will end its support for the United Negro College Fund after the group accepted $25 million from the conservative powerhouse Koch brothers and the college fund's president appeared at a Koch event. In a letter made public Thursday, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said it will no longer partner with or raise funds for the fund, known for its iconic motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”'

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June 30th, 2014
thesmithian

'He hit the black diners, barbeques and churches. The gentleman’s message: You know me. I bring home the bacon and will look out for your interests. The harsh, anti-government tea party will excoriate and eschew your causes. And the Democratic nominee can’t win a general election in a conservative, GOP-dominated state like Mississippi. They listened. Tuesday’s runoff posted a record African-American turnout in a Mississippi GOP primary. They didn’t stay home. They did not fall for the knee-jerk mantra, vote Democrat, Democrat, Democrat. Instead, African-American voters stepped up in their best interest. It was a sophisticated and strategic statement.'

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May 18th, 2014
thesmithian
…anybody who stops and says “What the hell is going on here?” is a chump. No one wants to be led back, everybody wants to go forward. So the rich and educated buy insurance. Putting the money they already have in hedge funds where the proprietors are taxed at capital gains rates while you and me pay through the nose. If they’ve got to work, they get jobs most people can’t even understand. The rest of us try to get on reality TV, or develop apps, or get on TV singing shows. Did you see they were dying? Because people would rather watch “Shark Tank.” That’s the American dream, coming up with something to strike it rich. But not everybody wants to play the odds, some people just want to live comfortably. But unions are anathema and the left wing says to bring manufacturing back but isn’t about to give up $200 flat screens. So we’ve got a wealth of disinformation and where does this leave me? Like John Lennon said, the dream is over. Face it. We’re all chumps. Except for the few winners. Do I expect it to go on forever? No, the Fox News audience is aging out. The rich have become embattled, that’s why they hide behind walls. And the poor are uneducated and uninformed. But everybody’s pissed that they can’t get an abortion, health care, welfare, that there’s no safety net. Of course there is one, but it’s not extensive like it used to be, they’re pulling the rug out from under you. How am I supposed to pick myself up by my bootstraps if there’s no OPPORTUNITY?
April 25th, 2014
thesmithian
When I tell people that my upbringing in Tucson was rarely marred by anti-black racism, many don’t believe me. How could a city so white, in a state that makes headlines monthly for its extreme conservatism, not also be an inhospitable place for black families? I attribute this not to the fact that Tucson was ever a haven of equality, of course, but to the fact that racism is about power arrangements, and the lack of black residents made it clear that we were not a threat to the city’s status quo. Instead, it seemed as if most of the white people with whom I interacted reserved their racial animosity for Tucson’s large population of Latinos, like when a high school teacher I had always respected allegedly told a friend that his job as a restaurant dishwasher was one better suited for “wetbacks.”
Cord Jefferson, at Tuscon Weekly
April 24th, 2014
thesmithian

'…that would entail acknowledging that safety-net opposition and voting-rights opposition and other conservative policies draw political sustenance from sources other than heady libertarianism.'

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April 7th, 2014
thesmithian
I often wonder what will be the defining moment for those on the right. What will it take to get them to accept people as they are?
March 21st, 2014
thesmithian
Paul Ryan’s claim to have made a mistake will be granted because he is white and male. The errors of prominent (as well as rank and file) African-Americans for example, are never excused away or viewed as aberrations or outliers. No. When black folks are ‘inarticulate’ or ‘misspeak’ the white racial frame deems such moments as indications of incompetence, or proof that people of color are somehow ‘not qualified’ or as ‘intelligent’ as white people. The white gaze does not view black Americans as individuals. When a black person makes a mistake it becomes the focus of a ‘national conversation’ about the black community, one in which ‘black leaders’ are forced to publicly explain and condemn the actions of other black people. There is not an equivalent ritual for white people. White conservatives and the white community will not be forced to condemn Paul Ryan.
March 19th, 2014
thesmithian

'…the RNC’s “Black Trailblazers” event at the Howard Theatre in DC was packed with black conservatives. But that will only get Republicans so far…'

They say they want black votes, but they are still trying to make it difficult for blacks to vote (see Ohio and … Wisconsin). They know their electoral salvation rests in the hands of Latino voters. They know that comprehensive immigration reform will secure it. But they continue to block any action on comprehensive immigration reform…

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March 12th, 2014
thesmithian

Erika Harold doesn’t fit neatly into the taxonomy of today’s Republican factions: She is not a middle-of-the-road Republican. Nor is she a neocon, a Tea Partier or a strict libertarian cribbing Ayn Rand quotes. She calls herself a constitutional conservative. She is anti-abortion rights, pro-gun, believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. She does not support marijuana legalization. She wants to repeal Obamacare. She also is against the death penalty…

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February 9th, 2014
thesmithian

'After the 2012 elections, when Repubs…spent more than $1 billion…failing to unseat Pres. Obama and win back the Senate, they concluded that they had fallen dangerously behind Democrats in…technology. Now, with midterm elections just nine months away, the right is investing tens of millions of dollars to match the interactive platforms, grass-roots databases and sophisticated data analytics that allowed Democrats to identify voters, reach them with precision and persuade them to vote.'

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January 16th, 2014
thesmithian

…the rich have consistently voted more often than the poor for the past four decades, and that voters are substantially more conservative in their economic views than nonvoters. They find that women are now more likely to vote than men, that the gap in voting rates between blacks and whites has largely disappeared, and that older Americans continue to vote more than younger Americans.

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…the rich have consistently voted more often than the poor for the past four decades, and that voters are substantially more conservative in their economic views than nonvoters. They find that women are now more likely to vote than men, that the gap in voting rates between blacks and whites has largely disappeared, and that older Americans continue to vote more than younger Americans.

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December 24th, 2013
thesmithian

For decades now a Wonder Woman movie has been chattered about, longed for, plotted, scuttled…At this point it’s not so much an unrealized project as an ongoing taunt…proof that the more things change, the more they remain the same, at least in Hollywood, whose superficially progressive politics mask overwhelmingly conservative business instincts.

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+++++

art: by Mark Boomershine

December 1st, 2013
thesmithian

Maybe Americans want public policy to reflect their moral judgments as much as ever, but they no longer regard smoking marijuana or casino gambling…as morally suspect…

At the same time, maybe jurisdictions are implementing tough new laws in other areas—mandates to recycle, laws against dog-fighting, marital-rape statutes, trans-fat bans—because people still favor codifying their moral beliefs into law. Citizens don’t harbor suspicion toward moralism so much as toward parts of traditional morality.

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