I continue to improve and am still trying to get as much rest as I can, so I don’t regress, as I usually do at this time of year.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:36 (average 4:58). To do it, click here. How did you do?
They could have and should have won this one. They beat themselves with their own mistakes.
From Daily Kos: Roy Moore “would not be the horse you would want to bet on first,” opined an anonymous source of Steve Bannon’s. Bannon’s goal as self-appointed GOP kingmaker was to remake the party in his own image, starting with getting Roy Moore elected after a divisive and passionately fought primary against Luther Strange. Bannon saw Moore as being the first of many right wing candidates that he endorsed that would be victorious at the polls. Unfortunately, with Moore in disgrace and Democrat Doug Jones leading in Alabama, it’s all gotten topsy turvy in Bannon World and the campaign is starting to come off the rails. First and foremost, the RNC announced they were pulling funding for Moore’s campaign a few days ago and lo and behold GOP mega donors are jumping ship as well. Washington Post:
Early this month, GOP mega-donor Robert Mercer announced that he was stepping down as co-chief executive of his hedge fund and selling his stake in Breitbart to his daughters.
In doing so, he wrote a letter distancing himself from Bannon in which he expressed concern that he at times had been mischaracterized in the press as “a white supremacist or a member of some other noxious group” and made clear that he would be making his own decisions about candidates to support financially.
A person familiar with Mercer’s thinking said in the past week that he does not plan to be “joined at the hip” with Bannon in his Senate efforts. In some cases, there could be overlap, but in other cases they could part ways, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak about private conversations.
Mercer’s not the only one to entertain second thoughts about this Senatorial make-over of Bannon’s creation. Las Vegas casino tycoon and major GOP contributor Sheldon Adelson went on record last week as saying that he did not support Bannon’s efforts to recast the Senate and was instead, “supporting Mitch McConnell 100%.”
If the Plutocons and Corporacons are abandoning Bannon, the Theocons and the InsaniTEA wing of the party won’t be able to give him long-term control of the Republican Reich. RESIST!!
From Media Matters: "I think media activism is one of the most important parts of this whole resistance," Bill McKibben, influential climate activist and journalist, told Media Matters in a recent interview. His new novel, Radio Free Vermont, puts a spotlight on the importance of independent media.
"Just as we have got to go about the work of building a fundamentally healthy energy system, and a fundamentally healthy agriculture system, we have to go about the long, patient, crucial work of building a healthy information system again on this planet," he said.
McKibben has published more than a dozen nonfiction books, many of them about climate change and environmental issues, but Radio Free Vermont is his first foray into fiction. It features a band of activist pranksters in Vermont who find creative ways to fight against corporate control and the big retail chains that push out locally owned businesses. The novel’s protagonist, Vern Barclay, is spurred to become a rabble-rouser because the local radio station where he works is taken over by a corporation based in Oklahoma.
McKibben says this aspect of the book was partly inspired by a frightening event that happened in Minot, ND, in 2002. In the middle of the night, a train derailment caused a dangerous chemical release into the town’s air, ultimately killing one resident. When police tried to reach someone at the local radio station that was designated as the town’s emergency broadcaster, they couldn’t get ahold of anyone. Clear Channel Communications, a Texas-based conglomerate, owned that station and all five of the other commercial stations in Minot, and piped in prepackaged content from remote locations.
"That really struck me," said McKibben.
Clear Channel, now known as iHeartMedia, is the largest operator of radio stations in the U.S., with more than 850 in its control. Meanwhile, in the TV market, Sinclair Broadcast Group owns more stations than any company in the U.S. and is poised to acquire many more, which would enable it to squelch local voices and spread its right-wing messaging to the biggest media markets in the country.
We have far too much media concentrated in far too few and far too Republican hands. RESIST!!
From NY Times: Mr. Moore, long a controversial and polarizing figure, stands accused of molesting or making unwanted advances toward numerous young women and girls, one as young as 14, when he was in his 30s. That has rendered him radioactive for national Republicans and led The Birmingham News to bellow on Sunday’s front page: “Stand for Decency, Reject Roy Moore.”
And the Democratic candidate, Mr. Jones, is a respected former prosecutor best known for convicting two Ku Klux Klan members for the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, who was raising the possibility of a truly competitive race even before the accusations against Mr. Moore.
But opportunity has knocked on the door of a Democratic operation with the lights out. With a fairly anemic state party, there is little existing infrastructure for routine campaign activities like phone banks or canvassing drives. National Democrats, while helping to pour in money, are taking pains to keep the race at arm’s length, figuring their presence could hurt rather than help Mr. Jones. There are no beloved statewide officeholders or popular party elders to rally the troops.
“The Democratic Party is not behind him pushing him up the hill to victory, because they don’t have a wagon for him to ride in right now,” said Mark Kennedy, a former state Supreme Court justice and erstwhile chairman of the Democratic Party. “He’s got to do it all by himself.”
I agree that a strong national Democratic presence now could be self-defeating, because we have been AWOL for much too long. Grass-roots is the best we can do today, but we need to build a strong party infrastructure in all 50 states in time for 2018. RESIST!!
We need more here.