Showing posts with label Jimmy Carter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jimmy Carter. Show all posts

Saturday, January 15, 2022

January 15: Climate Change, Civil War, Jimmy Carter

How a Handful of Prehistoric Geniuses Launched Humanity’s Technological Revolution
Next Week You’ll Be Able to Eat ‘Chicken’ Made From Plants at KFC
H2 Clipper Will Resurrect Hydrogen Airships to Haul Green Fuel Across the Planet
These 2021 Biotech Breakthroughs Will Shape the Future of Health and Medicine
A Chinese Company Says It Will Be Selling Driverless Cars by 2024

The Capitol Police and the Scars of Jan. 6 For many officers, their bodies, minds and lives will never be the same after the attack.
The Boy King of YouTube Ten-year-old Ryan Kaji and his family have turned videos of him playing with toys into a multimillion-dollar empire. Why do so many other kids want to watch?
This Isn’t the California I Married The honeymoon’s over for its residents now that wildfires are almost constant. Has living in this natural wonderland lost its magic?

An Evangelical Climate Scientist Wonders What Went Wrong

Are We Really Facing a Second Civil War? interviewed many people who’ve lived through civil wars, and she told me they all say they didn’t see it coming. “They’re all surprised,” she said. “Even when, to somebody who studies it, it’s obvious years beforehand.” .......... to some of those, like Walter, who study civil war, an American crackup has come to seem, if not obvious, then far from unlikely, especially since Jan. 6. ..........

this country is closer to civil war than most Americans understand

......... “I’ve seen how civil wars start, and I know the signs that people miss. And I can see those signs emerging here at a surprisingly fast rate.” ....... “The United States is coming to an end,” Marche writes. “The question is how.” ........ “By 2025, American democracy could collapse, causing extreme domestic political instability, including widespread civil violence,” he wrote. “By 2030, if not sooner, the country could be governed by a right-wing dictatorship.” ......... “Serious people now invoke ‘Civil War’ not as metaphor but as literal precedent.” ......... he knows many civil war scholars, and “very few of them think the United States is on the precipice of a civil war.” Yet even some who push back on civil war talk tend to acknowledge what a perilous place America is in. .........

The fact that speculation about civil war has moved from the crankish fringes into the mainstream is itself a sign of civic crisis, an indication of how broken our country is.

............ an academic definition of “major armed conflict” as one that causes at least 1,000 deaths per year. A “minor armed conflict” is one that kills at least 25 people a year. By this definition, as Marche argues, “America is already in a state of civil strife.” ......... extremists, most of them right-wing, killed 54 people in 2018 and 45 people in 2019. ........ most common in what she and other scholars call “anocracies,” countries that are “neither full autocracies nor democracies but something in between.” Warning signs include the rise of intense political polarization based on identity rather than ideology, especially polarization between two factions of roughly equal size, each of which fears being crushed by the other. ........... Instigators of civil violence, she writes, tend to be previously dominant groups who see their status slipping away. “The ethnic groups that start wars are those claiming that the country ‘is or ought to be theirs’” .......... “Left-wing radicalism matters mostly because it creates the conditions for right-wing radicalization.” ..........

many on the right are both fantasizing about and planning civil war

.............. Some of those who swarmed the Capitol a year ago wore black sweatshirts emblazoned with

“MAGA Civil War.”

............... The Boogaloo Bois, a surreal, violent, meme-obsessed anti-government movement, get their name from a joke about a Civil War sequel. Republicans increasingly throw around the idea of armed conflict. ........... In August, Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina said, “If our election systems continue to be rigged and continue to be stolen, then it’s going to lead to one place and that’s bloodshed,” and suggested he was willing, though reluctant, to take up arms. ........... Citing the men who plotted to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Walter writes that modern civil wars “start with vigilantes just like these — armed militants who take violence directly to the people.” ....... the threat of America calcifying into a Hungarian-style right-wing autocracy under a Republican president seems more imminent than mass civil violence ............ increasingly, the right is rigging our sclerotic system so that it can maintain power whether the voters want it to or not. ........... most of Marche’s narratives seem more imaginable than a future in which Jan. 6 turns out to be the peak of right-wing insurrection, and America ends up basically OK.

Jimmy Carter: I Fear for Our Democracy One year ago, a violent mob, guided by unscrupulous politicians, stormed the Capitol and almost succeeded in preventing the democratic transfer of power. All four of us former presidents condemned their actions and affirmed the legitimacy of the 2020 election. There followed a brief hope that the insurrection would shock the nation into addressing the toxic polarization that threatens our democracy. However, one year on, promoters of the lie that the election was stolen have taken over one political party and stoked distrust in our electoral systems. These forces exert power and influence through relentless disinformation, which continues to turn Americans against Americans. ........... 36 percent of Americans — almost 100 million adults across the political spectrum — agree that “the traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it.” .......... 40 percent of Republicans believe that violent action against the government is sometimes justified. ......... Politicians in my home state of Georgia, as well as in others, such as Texas and Florida, have leveraged the distrust they have created to enact laws that empower partisan legislatures to intervene in election processes. They seek to win by any means, and many Americans are being persuaded to think and act likewise, threatening to collapse the foundations of our security and democracy with breathtaking speed. I now fear that what we have fought so hard to achieve globally — the right to free, fair elections, unhindered by strongman politicians who seek nothing more than to grow their own power — has become dangerously fragile at home. .......... I have also seen how new democratic systems — and sometimes even established ones — can fall to military juntas or power-hungry despots. Sudan and Myanmar are two recent examples. .......... while citizens can disagree on policies, people of all political stripes must agree on fundamental constitutional principles and norms of fairness, civility and respect for the rule of law. Citizens should be able to participate easily in transparent, safe and secure electoral processes. Claims of election irregularities should be submitted in good faith for adjudication by the courts, with all participants agreeing to accept the findings. And the election process should be conducted peacefully, free of intimidation and violence. ............... we must resist the polarization that is reshaping our identities around politics. We must focus on a few core truths: that we are all human, we are all Americans and we have common hopes for our communities and our country ..........

We must find ways to re-engage across the divide, respectfully and constructively, by holding civil conversations with family, friends and co-workers and standing up collectively to the forces dividing us.

............. we must act urgently to pass or strengthen laws to reverse the trends of character assassination, intimidation and the presence of armed militias at events .......... and engage in a national effort to come to terms with the past and present of racial injustice. .........

Our great nation now teeters on the brink of a widening abyss. Without immediate action, we are at genuine risk of civil conflict and losing our precious democracy. Americans must set aside differences and work together before it is too late.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Barack Obama's Greatness

Jonathan Chait is making tremendous sense.

The Case for Obama: Why He Is a Great President. Yes, Great.
I supported Obama because I judged him to have a keen analytical mind, grasping both the possibilities and the limits of activist government, and possessed of excellent communicative talents. I thought he would nudge government policy in an incrementally better direction. I consider his presidency an overwhelming success. ........ Obama’s résumé of accomplishments is broad and deep, running the gamut from economic to social to foreign policy. The general thrust of his reforms, especially in economic policy, has been a combination of politically radical and ideologically moderate. The combination has confused liberals into thinking of Obamaism as a series of sad half-measures, and conservatives to deem it socialism, but the truth is neither. Obama’s agenda has generally hewed to the consensus of mainstream economists and policy experts. What makes the agenda radical is that, historically, vast realms of policy had been shaped by special interests for their own benefit. Plans to rationalize those things, to write laws that make sense, molder on think-tank shelves for years, even generations. They are often boring. But then Obama, in a frenetic burst of activity, made many of them happen all at once. .......... It is noteworthy that four of the best decisions that Obama made during his presidency ran against the advice of much of his own administration. ....... On Libya, Obama’s staff presented him with options either to posture ineffectually or do nothing; he alone forced them to draw up an option that would prevent a massacre. And Obama overruled some cautious advisers and decided to kill Osama bin Laden. ............ The latter three decisions are all highly popular now, but all of them carried the risk of inflicting a mortal political wound, like Bill Clinton’s health-care failure and Jimmy Carter’s attempted raid into Iran. (George W. Bush, presented with a similar option, did not strike bin Laden.) In making these calls, Obama displayed judgment and nerve. ............. the pervasive disillusionment felt by Obama’s supporters. It is a sentiment that has shadowed every Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt, and even Roosevelt provoked long bouts of agony and disillusionment among his supporters. ..... Obama can boast a record of accomplishment that bests any president since Roosevelt, and has fewer demerits on his record than any of them, including Roosevelt. The only president that comes close in gross positive accomplishment is Lyndon Johnson, whose successes were overwhelmed by his failures to such a degree that he abandoned his reelection campaign. ........ September 14, 2008, when the U.S. financial system imploded. ... Obama managed to stabilize the financial system and, through the stimulus, avert a total collapse in consumer demand. ...... Voters reward or punish incumbents based on the weather or the success of local sports teams. ...... In 2004, Romney dismissed any attempt to blame George W. Bush for the decline of jobs under his watch as “poppycock.” ....... the Republicans' leadership in Congress grasped early on that its path to returning to power required Obama to fail, and that they could help bring this about by denying his initiatives any support ......... What can be said without equivocation is that Obama has proven himself morally, intellectually, temperamentally, and strategically. In my lifetime, or my parents’, he is easily the best president.

The Case Against Romney: At Heart, He’s a Delusional One-Percenter
The different iterations of his career differ so wildly, yet comport so perfectly with his political ambitions of the moment, that it is simply impossible to separate his panders from his actual beliefs, the means from the ends. ....... what Romney believes in above all is himself ...... when his campaign appeared hopeless, Romney approaches politics like a business deal: “Just do and say what you need to do to get the deal done, and then when it’s done, do what you know actually needs to be done to make the company a success.” ...... Romney truly believes in his own abilities ... He is a highly intelligent, accomplished individual. ...... that, once in office, he will craft sensible and data-driven, and perhaps even bipartisan, solutions to our problems — surely accounts for his political resurrection ....... a vote for Romney is a vote for his party ..... The party has almost no capacity to respond to the conditions and problems that actually exist in the world. ...... In the face of a consensus for short-term fiscal stimulus, they have turned back to ancient Austrian doctrines and urged immediate spending cuts. In the face of rising global temperatures and a hardening scientific consensus on the role of carbon emissions, their energy plan is to dig up and burn every last molecule of coal and oil as rapidly as possible. ....... Ryan’s frequently proclaimed belief that society is divided between “makers” and “takers.” It also informed Romney’s infamous diatribe against the lazy, freeloading 47 percenters. It is a grotesque, cruel, and disqualifying ethical framework for governing. ...... Both his fealty to his party and his belief in his own abilities point in the same direction: the entitlement of the superrich to govern the country.
Romney’s Nevada Bluff
Obama’s lead in the electoral college is persistent, but rests on very narrow advantages. ...... the polls miss the impact both of Reid’s turnout operation and the strength of the Latino vote. (Most polls don’t ask questions in Spanish, and thus miss the Spanish-speaking vote, which is expanding in size.) ...... their leaks about internal polling and the electoral map are a cultivated plan to project a false optimism.
Romney Says He’s Winning — It’s a Bluff
Romney is carefully attempting to project an atmosphere of momentum, in the hopes of winning positive media coverage and, thus, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. .... Last week, for instance, Romney’s campaign blared out the news that it was pulling resources out of North Carolina. The battleground was shifting! Romney on the offensive! On closer inspection, it turned out that Romney was shifting exactly one staffer. ....... 2000 .. Bush even spent the final days stumping in California, supposedly because he was so sure of victory he wanted an icing-on-the-cake win in a deep blue state. ........ Adding to his base of uncontested states, Nevada, Ohio, and Wisconsin would give Obama 271 electoral votes. According to the current polling averages compiled at, Obama leads Nevada by 3.5 percent, Ohio by 2.9 percent, and Wisconsin by 4 percent. Should any of those fail, Virginia and Colorado are nearly dead even. ....... he is leading, his lead is not declining, and the widespread perception that Romney is pulling ahead is Romney’s campaign suckering the press corps with a confidence game.
A Zombie Is a Slave Forever
For the slave under French rule in Haiti — then Saint-Domingue — in the 17th and 18th centuries, life was brutal: hunger, extreme overwork and cruel discipline were the rule. Slaves often could not consume enough calories to allow for normal rates of reproduction; what children they did have might easily starve.
Gov. Christie: Obama has been 'outstanding'
Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey normally isn't effusive about President Obama. .... The two politicians will tour storm damage together on Wednesday afternoon..... Obama will join Christie to talk to New Jersey residents affected by the superstorm and to thank first responders.
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

A President Is Like A Political Billionaire

Extrapolations To Reshma 2016
Larry Ellison

There are about 50 or so billionaires just in this city, although I know the name of only one of them. (Independent For Bloomberg) But there have been less than 50 individuals who have gone on to become President Of The United States. Becoming president is a big deal. Such a political office has never existed before. The office is at once utmost powerful, and benign. Jimmy Carter looks so harmless hammering nails into Habitat houses.

Becoming president is a bigger deal than becoming a billionaire. And I talk in money terms because people on average understand money better than they understand power. I know power like Bill Gates knows software. But I have to use the money metaphor. I am being nice.

To become president is like becoming a top billionaire. But to become a president like Lincoln is to possibly even become a trillionaire. The world of business has never seen a trillionaire. The world of politics has seen a few trillionaires. Gandhi and Lincoln might be the only two so far.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Political Office, Political Essence

US president Jimmy Carter and Governor-Elect B...Image via WikipediaJimmy Carter was President Of The United States. Bill Clinton was a first term Governor of a small state occupied by "four men and a dog." Their political offices did not even compare. But even then Jimmy Carter was able to see Bill Clinton was a bigger deal than him. Jimmy Carter's political office was bigger, but Bill Clinton's political essence was bigger, and Carter could sense that already. And so he did the natural thing to do, he shit on Clinton. He unleashed a whole bunch of Cuban refugees on Arkansas costing Bill Clinton reelection. Bill Clinton was Jimmy Carter's chosen one. Carter wanted Clinton to feel the pain of an electoral loss. It is not much fun being a one term president. You are not even considered for greatness by historians if you are a one termer.

It can be argued Jimmy Carter was Bill Clinton's Charlie Rangel. (Charlie Rangel: Motherfucker)

Barack Obama has surpassed Bill Clinton in the greatness department. Barack has been wading FDR waters since the passage of health care reform.

My Progressive Political Religion
Positivity, Excellence, Dark Matter
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Monday, September 28, 2009

To Me This Is About Race

Facebook removes "Should Obama be killed?" poll

Jimmy Carter said this was about race. Obama said no, it was not about race. I am siding with Carter on this one. This is about race, or it would have happened also to Bush and Clinton, if it were partisan.

JIMMY CARTER: TRAFFICKING IN HATE SPEECH: he s...Image by roberthuffstutter via Flickr

I have confidence in the Secret Service. But this is not just about the life of someone whose candidacy I was so invested in. This is about race as it might play out day to day. I feel taunted. This is about people who are not president, or even remotely close. Of course this is about race. As if we were being told, you can have the highest office in the land, but don't you think racism as an ideology is going anywhere. This is problematic.

Granted this is a tough economy, granted health care as an issue arouses many emotions. Granted it has been a big leap for the country to elect a black man, but I did not read about gun toting protesters at Clinton and Bush rallies. Of course this is about race.

Gun Toting Protestors: Racist

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