OT: Trump/Russians/Robert Mueller

BearDevil
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Saw a clip from a recent focus group (in Ohio?). The most die hard Trump supporter was a woman who believes there was Russian collusion, but it was to benefit HRC. Trump's most ardent House enablers (Nunes, Meadows, Jordan) are all in safe gerrymandered seats. Several of the 'Pubs on the Senate Intelligence Committee will be primaried and a couple of wingnuts will win and promptly become general election roadkill. Post Palin, the GOP nominated several nutty Senate candidates (Witch, Akin, Mourdoch, Moore) in winnable states. Dodged a recent bullet in WV, but should have more Senators than they have and the Trump true believers will drag them down for a few more cycles to avenge Trunp.
B.A. Bearacus
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bearister said:

Whose house are we meeting at tomorrow to celebrate the one year anniversary of this thread?

Concordtom has commemorated the one-year anniversary of this thread by starting a brand new one. That's gangsta.
BearNIt
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Looks like Mueller has another cooperating witness. Manafort's former son in-law has agreed to plead guilty to federal crimes and act as a witness in other investigations.
Another Bear
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The TNT crew did this last night to Sir Chuck, related to the "laurel" or "yanny" thing.

https://twitter.com/NBAonTNT/status/996904996531724288/video/1

Today the WH did the same gag, with Dotard hearing covfefe. This might have been funny...if it was original.

https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/997255568782852096/video/1


These sad turds can't even tell their own jokes.
bearister
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/12/mueller-protests-trump-fires-special-counsel-march-numbers?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
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concordtom
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That's a bad idea.
It normalizes the concept of a mueller firing.

Trump will be like, "oh, is that all? 300,000 marching for a day? I can survive that."
bearister
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concordtom said:

That's a bad idea.
It normalizes the concept of a mueller firing.

Trump will be like, "oh, is that all? 300,000 marching for a day? I can survive that."

But what if they throw in free pink meow meow hats for the first 10,000 thru the turnstiles?
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concordtom
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I actually bought a bunch of pink yarn and fabric so I can sew a hat for the next event.

I'm showing up with a pitchfork, at the Bastille. (For the record, that's just an analogy for expressed sentiment, in case anyone takes it as real.)
Another Bear
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David Gergen: "This is an all out propaganda war. Hand to hand conflict" CNN Senior Political Analyst @David_Gergen says the Trump White House is doing everything they can to discredit Robert Mueller and they are willing to fight dirty


bearister
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This is what happens when a low IQ guy starts thinking he is a player....and this is why they are calling it Really Stupid Guy Watergate.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/19/donald-trump-jr-meeting-saudi-arabia-united-arab-emirates-report?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other





https://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/8knlop/report_suggests_blackwater_founder_erik_prince/?st=JHDX0CEZ&sh=b18ad7c6
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Another Bear
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Following the Trump circus and shyt show is tiring...but that's by design. I think a weekly summary of W T F just happened during the week is more productive, less tiring. So what happened this week in the shyt show?

A) The NYT analysis said the Trump communication method is based on chaos, to help the cover-up.
B) Rudy Guiliani is taking Dotard's place as the main chaos mouthpiece. He's talking out of his a$$ and farting at the same time.
C) It's been discovered an 'informant' was use by the FBI to get info from the GOP during the election per the Aussie tip off of Russkie
D) Trump is calling the informant a SPY and the GOP are actively trying to out the informant
E) Michael Cohen's lawyers are trying to disqualify Avenatti from working in NY
F) Torture Girl got confirmed as CIA chief
G) Trump met with the Post Master General and request Amazon's rates be doubled...he didn't understand the idea that there was a contract in place...and POTUS should NOT exact revenge this way.

Looks like we're in for another year of this. I think August is when the shyt hits the fan, and the mid-term election should be very interesting to observe.. Also look for an October surprise by Trump...that backfires without Russkie help.
Anarchistbear
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The informant is Stefan Halper long time operative known previously for running a spy operation on behalf of Reagan in 1980

https://theintercept.com/2018/05/19/the-fbi-informant-who-monitored-the-trump-campaign-stefan-halper-oversaw-a-cia-spying-operation-in-the-1980-presidential-election/
BearNIt
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Watching Trump, Gulliani, Nunes, The Freedom Caucus, and other Trumpettes twist themselves in knots as they try to discredit Mueller, the FBI, and the Justice Dept. is laughable. If they succeed in discrediting the institutions of the Republic, the Republic will be destroyed and will matter to no one.
BearDevil
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Only 13% still find Trump honest and trustworthy. Don't see how that translates to a 40% approval rating. Jim Jordan claims he's never heard Trump lie!?!
bearister
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BearDevil said:

Only 13% still find Trump honest and trustworthy. Don't see how that translates to a 40% approval rating. Jim Jordan claims he's never heard Trump lie!?!

Because as long as he is pushing the agenda of his base there is no level tRump can sink to that would be disqualifying in their minds. In fact, I would surmise that his supporters find it humorous that tRump is a pathological liar. For them that conduct constitutes thinking outside the box, three dimensional chess and jamming up the establishment with Gish Gallop. Hee, hee, hee.
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Anarchistbear
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Israel soccer team names itself after Trump

https://www.thenation.com/article/israels-most-racist-soccer-club-renames-itself-after-donald-trump/
golden sloth
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bearister said:

BearDevil said:

Only 13% still find Trump honest and trustworthy. Don't see how that translates to a 40% approval rating. Jim Jordan claims he's never heard Trump lie!?!

Because as long as he is pushing the agenda of his base there is no level tRump can sink to that would be disqualifying in their minds. In fact, I would surmise that his supporters find it humorous that tRump is a pathological liar. For them that conduct constitutes thinking outside the box, three dimensional chess and jamming up the establishment with Gish Gallop. Hee, hee, hee.

The most surprising thing I find about his base, and how they seemingly don't care at all about the blatant corruption, lack of financial transparency, and misappropriation of government funds. Apparently 'Draining the Swamp' meant diverting funds to the Trump family, which is what the overlooked 'forgotten man' of the American rust belt really wanted all along.
Another Bear
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I blame society for the Trump base...for failing to provide an informed citizenry. Yes, that's part of the right's destruction of education and science...and it seems to have worked FOR NOW. Have to push back those f'tards. Education is the basis of an informed society.
golden sloth
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golden sloth said:


The most surprising thing I find about his base, and how they seemingly don't care at all about the blatant corruption, lack of financial transparency, and misappropriation of government funds. Apparently 'Draining the Swamp' meant diverting funds to the Trump family, which is what the overlooked 'forgotten man' of the American rust belt really wanted all along.

Case in point: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-personally-pushed-postmaster-general-to-double-rates-on-amazon-other-firms/2018/05/18/2b6438d2-5931-11e8-858f-12becb4d6067_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.03e6e47b6d0f
Quote:


President Trump has personally pushed U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan to double the rate the Postal Service charges Amazon.com and other firms to ship packages, according to three people familiar with their conversations, a dramatic move that probably would cost these companies billions of dollars.

Brennan has so far resisted Trump's demand, explaining in multiple conversations occurring this year and last that these arrangements are bound by contracts and must be reviewed by a regulatory commission, the three people said. She has told the president that the Amazon relationship is beneficial for the Postal Service and gave him a set of slides that showed the variety of companies, in addition to Amazon, that also partner for deliveries.
The president of the United States should not be allowed to settle a personal vendetta through the use of governmental powers and institutions. This should be grounds for dismissal, but the overarching concern to me is the continued war on the dissenters (which are also the majority).
blungld
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Another Bear said:

I blame society for the Trump base...for failing to provide an informed citizenry. Yes, that's part of the right's destruction of education and science...and it seems to have worked FOR NOW. Have to push back those f'tards. Education is the basis of an informed society.
Uneducated is a big part of the problem.

Another is that we have ALL become trained creatures of materialism and immediate gratification. So we don't have patience for deeper thought or seeing issues at the meta level. We think at surface level. Simplistic problem solving. We also bias towards the solution that begets spending power and access to entertainment. We elect an entertainer for President. We vote for materialism in the character of Trump. And we vote for "tax reform" that makes nominal reduction in personal taxes for most while expanding income inequality and no big picture sense that taxes pay for benefits and the public good (so you saved 100 bucks to spend on more consumer goods but your schools fall apart).

But let's not forget another sad part of this equation, It's a hard truth that many of the uneducated and disenfranchised have simple become bitter aholes, and in that bitter ahole mentality they resent the "elitism" of education and the people who are happy or see the world with empathy. They want a person in the White House who as much of an ahole as they are. They set the bar at their own worst nature and enjoy destroying more than they value creating or building. Aholes don't want to make America great. They don't know greatness in the slightest.
mikecohen
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Does anyone have any ideas how to break the strangle-hold on our politics of the Trump Supporters and their predecessors who, in various forms have, as a persistent evil thread flowing through our country's history, promoted and supported the most opprobrious inhumanity in our society? I don't suppose there is much likelihood of many of those people being able to cross over from the dark side.
sonofabear51
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The only thing I can say is to promote more higher education, but that just doesn't seem to be the rethugs goals, these days. Education matters, as does character.
Especially the quality of character. The current administration has no character whatsoever, let alone education. Mike, I am not answering question, just putting my opinion out there. Always looking for feedback.
BearNIt
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Anarchistbear said:

Israel soccer team names itself after Trump

https://www.thenation.com/article/israels-most-racist-soccer-club-renames-itself-after-donald-trump/
UnF***ing Believable.
mikecohen
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sonofabear51 said:

The only thing I can say is to promote more higher education, but that just doesn't seem to be the rethugs goals, these days. Education matters, as does character.
Especially the quality of character. The current administration has no character whatsoever, let alone education. Mike, I am not answering question, just putting my opinion out there. Always looking for feedback.
A couple of thoughts:

(1) Almost universally, conservatives (and universally for Trumpist base people) speak only in gross over-generalizations, almost all of which have no real basis in fact [e.g.: Attributing evils to "illegal" immigrants, who commit substantially fewer of those evils than almost anybody else -- e.g., jobs vs. owls, when clean energy is a jobs growth area - just take anything that Trump says, especially condemning anything from the Obama Administration, e.g., the ACA, DACA, NAFTA, the Iran Deal, the TPP, meaningless balance of trade, when the undoing (as well as most of the other undoing) just makes things exponentially worse --- all of which can easily be explained on looking at any detail].

So, a universal cultural pattern, to be applied at every possible opportunity, at every level, by every person who has the privilege of communicating with anyone who speaks such generalizations, of, at first, simply asking for specifics, then, when those specifics reveal themselves to be false, contradicting the lies with the truth.

For example:

OVERGENERALIZATION: Illegal Immigrants sop up our tax money.

TRUTH: Not only is there a direct correlation between areas of the country with heightened immigrant populations and superior economic performance, but, strictly speaking about truly illegal immigrants, the major pattern is one of getting jobs by giving false social security numbers such that they never get tax returns (above and beyond all the local and excise taxes they pay) - all of which outweighs any use of taxpayer government benefits (much of which illegal immigrants either are barred from receiving or, even if eligible, are too often too afraid of detection to take advantage of).

(2) Somehow (in ways which Frank Luntz could figure out if he wasn't working for the Devil, but which I'm not very good at):

Each Democratic Policy (essentially none of which is in the slightest radical) must receive a clearly understandable articulation, all of which policies really do benefit the vast majority of people (like Universal, Single Payer, Health Care, which, thoroughly implemented would benefit the whole body politic in so many ways - by making everybody healthier, and therefore less needful of costly medical care, by eliminating the inefficient vast proliferation of billing bureaucracies with their duplicative staffs and duplicative requirements for health care providers, by un-burdening especially businesses (and especially small and medium sized businesses, but certainly individuals and families) of the massive costs of health care, by spreading those costs throughout the whole society in the form of taxes (which would amount to a much lower expenditure than the private taxes, called premiums and individual healthcare payments).

The Sanders Campaign made a couple of those points (free higher education, single payer health care). But those slogans needed to, but didn't, contain something of the explanation/justification behind those policies (which meet the standard Republican cant about them, e.g., tax & spend)

It is my understanding that the Democrats who have been successful so far in Special Elections have found a way to do both the above modest type things, while keeping them local, and seeking to articulate the local benefits of such policies; and I believe that this (what the new Alabama Senator called "staying in my lane - i.e., avoiding ad hominem attacks (no matter how richly deserved they may be) simple, direct, issues making, Proliferated through the mid-term, could be generally effective, plus be key to re-establishing some modicum of sanity to our politics.
concordtom
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Anarchistbear said:

Israel soccer team names itself after Trump

https://www.thenation.com/article/israels-most-racist-soccer-club-renames-itself-after-donald-trump/
Misleading?

They aren't naming themselves after him, truthfully, are they?
They are just aligning themselves (better said) with trump, no?

Jerusalem's most successful soccer team, Beitar Jerusalem, has announcedin celebration of the US embassy relocation to Jerusalem and assumedly in triumph following the 60 Palestinians in Gaza who were massacred protesting the movethat they are now naming themselves after Donald Trump. In a message posted on their Facebook page, the soccer club wrote, "For 70 years has Jerusalem been awaiting international recognition, until President Donald Trump, in a courageous move, recognized Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel."

This article doesn't say what the new team name will be. I think the author must have overstated things.

EDIT: Well, here's more, and some graphics showing Breitar Trump Jerusalem.
Will it stick? Or is it a short term thing?

http://time.com/5275814/israel-beitar-jerusalem-soccer-trump
concordtom
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The man must be stopped.



bearister
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/20/donald-trump-jon-meacham-soul-of-america?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
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concordtom
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Is panic a proportional response to Donald Trump? It may be, but I'd like people to read this book and then perhaps at least decide whether or not they want to hit the 'panic' button as opposed to the 'concerned' button."

1. Yes, it is
2. No thanks. I'm plunging the button without reading the book at all.

bearister
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It is my next book. In the meantime:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/20/trump-russia-review-le-carre-mario-puzo-moscow-manhattan?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
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concordtom
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I was just reading about Claus von Stauffenberg.
concordtom
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Last paragraph of your article:

And Le Carr has said on NPR that he believes "it's perfectly possible that Trump was taken into what I call a honey trap that he had ladies found for him, and he misbehaved in Russia."


Allow me to add a personal story to how such a thing might work.
In Jan of 1990, I participated in a sort of Citizens Summit with a group of Americans who travelled to Moscow for a week. We stayed at the Hotel Cosmos. We were given full liberty to travel about, and I had a liberal friend who was an excellent translator there take us all around Moscow during off hours.

We'd wave down taxis with cigarette packs, rode the subway, walked here and there; we had complete freedom of movement. It was a VERY different Moscow than today, from what folks tell me - in terms of consumer product availability (translator's mom-in-law spent all day every day standing in lines for food, milk, bread, etc. - standing lines shopping was her job for the family).

On the floor in our hotel there was a lady who stayed by the elevator - all the time. She even had a bed there, and it was super odd, like, zero privacy! She was like a cleaning maid.

Well, on the last night of our trip there was a guy in our group who got very drunk and had sex with her in the elevator late at night. I don't know if money was paid or how that all happened... we heard about it. But when all this Trump golden shower thing came out I remembered this story and thought, "Oh, I bet there were cameras and official KGB notes taken so as to entrap this person in the future should it ever become necessary to do so."

And I had initially thought it was just a hooker type situation.
Another Bear
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Seems Dotard went on a massive twitter shtt storm this morning, more so than usual, reacting to the FBI report that there were also foreign agents from Russia and the United Arab Emerites at the infamous Trump Tower meeting.

Which leads to a basic question: when will Dotard Donnie Small Hands crack and finally lose his shtt? A friendly betting pool should be created. My guess is during the dog days of August when the humidity is at 100% on the East Coast, so swamp gets extra MOIST and funky with another massive purge of the arse right before the election. The midterm is going to crank up the pressure on Dotard to 11.11 on the noise dial.
bearister
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concordtom said:

I was just reading about Claus von Stauffenberg.


Then you would find the story of Otto Skorzeny interesting too. He was such BMF that the Israelis hired him for some "wetwork" after the war.
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golden sloth
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mikecohen said:

Does anyone have any ideas how to break the strangle-hold on our politics of the Trump Supporters and their predecessors who, in various forms have, as a persistent evil thread flowing through our country's history, promoted and supported the most opprobrious inhumanity in our society? I don't suppose there is much likelihood of many of those people being able to cross over from the dark side.

Quote:

I blame society for the Trump base...for failing to provide an informed citizenry. Yes, that's part of the right's destruction of education and science...and it seems to have worked FOR NOW. Have to push back those f'tards. Education is the basis of an informed society.

I don't have any proposed solutions, but I found the following series of articles interesting in trying to understand why the divide happened (which seems like a good place to start).

I found the interview below interesting. They discuss Neil Postman's book 'Amusing Ourselves to Death' which was written in 1985, but discusses how text-based information versus image-based information changes the interpretation of events from a rational contemplative response to an emotional response, and that initially the internet was thought to be a return to the text-based response, when it actually is far more image-based than television,

https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/5/8/15440292/donald-trump-politics-culture-neil-postman-television-media:

Quote:

His argument rested on two main issues. One is image culture. Television, being image-based, is not conducive to rationality or really any kind of logical discourse. It's good for evoking emotional responses but not for deep thought and reflection.

One of the reasons people thought that digital media and computers were different was that so much of it was actually text-based. But what we see is that as the technology has evolved and progressed more and more, we have the graphical user interface, we have the use of icons, emojis, and of course a tremendous amount of video that now dominates the web. So all of that really indicates that contemporary technologies have amplified the image orientation that was present with television.

The other part of it was the immediacy. All forms of electronic communication move very quickly. We have instantaneous communication which gives us a kind of telegraphic discourse. And Twitter is just the latest form of this telegraphic discourse.

To the extent that we use language, we use it in this very abbreviated way, and that again is not conducive to logical or extended discourse. It's very good for slogans and jokes, and for trivial matters. But it feeds this tendency to turn things over quickly. We don't stay on a subject for very long. Like, say, the news cycle itself, we just shift mindlessly from one story or subject to another.
Ultimately, we've overwhelmed with a flood of information and imagery. There is no time for reflection, for careful thought, for serious study.

I also found the blurb on the 24 hour news networks relying on immediacy and moment based images to fill 24 hours of news rather than providing in-depth reporting, interesting.


This article interesting tries to discern why people don't believe the news (which is choosing to be uneducated). https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/5/9/13771462/news-deserts-explained
Quote:

When I've talked to rural white voters since the 2016 election, I've found it surprisingly difficult to discuss any stories from the "mainstream" media and sometimes even from Fox News. Many rural voters tend to dismiss facts presented in the national news media because those facts don't square with the world they see. (I wrote a lot more about this in the wake of the 2016 election.)

A lot of what these voters believe is drummed up by hysterical conspiracy-mongering, rooted in racism. The famous claim (boosted by Trump himself!) of 3 million undocumented immigrants voting in the recent election started out on Infowars (run by the conspiracist Alex Jones) and then spread like wildfire through long social media chains filled with people who are apt to believe the worst about undocumented immigrants.
But in local communities, there are also facts that don't seem to square at all with what the national media itself reports. If you're living in a place with an unprecedented heroin addiction epidemic, the national news media saying that crime is down nationwide which was trueuntil a very recent uptick might seem suspect. And even if the national media has become more interested in the opioid crisis in the wake of 2016, it still has a whiff of too little, too late.

But national trends reported on in national publications can also fail to square with local trends that might be reported on in local publications. Take unemployment numbers. In communities where within living memory it was possible to make a real, living wage at a plant or factory, those jobs have often been replaced with service industry jobs that rarely pay as well (as outlined brilliantly in Amy Goldstein's book Janesville). And that's not to say those jobs can't be good jobs, but, instead, to say that they're not at the center of these communities' identities in the way those old factory jobs were. Remember factory towns?


This creates a divide between the news media which nationalizes a little more with every year and is primarily produced by people who live in urban, often coastal areas, where economic output is up and smaller, rural communities. Even if you believe what you read in the national media is true in a rural community, it's easy to believe it's not true for you. In the past, this meant turning to the local paper or TV station to reflect your local experiences. But in the 2010s, those outlets are less robust than ever.
And although this comes from a pop-humor site (which is usually my go-to for that 5-10 minutes of bathroom time, I found Number 5 interesting, which talks about how in 1976 (20) states were within a (5) point margin in the presidential election, but by 2012 that number dropped to (4).:

http://www.cracked.com/article_25589_5-unexpected-ways-1990s-were-different-from-today.html

And on to a more anecdotal and non-factual theory.
I also believe that population shifts also play a big part in the increasing divide. The young people and the people advocating for change have consistently moved to the big cities over the last 20 years. The loss of the potential moderating influences allows rural people to live in an increasing bubble. People no longer want to work at their father's factory, partly because those factories don't exist anymore, and partly because they believe they can do better. Those that stayed behind in the various small town rust belts feel left behind, and their ego is hurt, because people moving away is a means of rejecting the life they live and is offered in their town. These are people without much, other than their community, and droves of young people have rejected that community.

Finally, I liked this article, which argues that with every step forward, America takes a half step backwards prior to taking two more steps forward. And that with the change of the Obama era (gay marriage, environmental protections, consumer protections) Trump is a natural but temporary backslide, and that change has always led to friction and fracturing, but America has pulled through every time.

https://www.vox.com/2018/5/10/17147338/donald-trump-illiberal-undemocratic-elections-politics

It should also be noted, that it is easy to sit here loft bombs at the 'uneducated', the 'rural gun nuts', or 'the others' in general, but we should also evaluate ourselves, and whether or not we live in a different bubble prone to the same downfalls as those we no longer understand.
Another Bear
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Michelle Wolf at the WHCD nailed it, she said the media was in bed with the Trump coverage and reporters were making extra $$$ doing the TV shows. Of course 90% of US media is corporately owned.

If you want to break the stranglehold...break the media, because that's Trump's main tool, TV media. Noam Chomsky got a lot right in Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. It's the institute that binds all the crap together.

Another thing, the conservatives have long been willing to work with symbolism and symbiotics/media. Whereas the mainstream prefers FACTS and information. This is one of the Dems' problems, they deal with facts and details but miss the big concept stuff that is easy to get bites. Bill Clinton's rapid response team was close, but again their point and aim was to partly dispel the opposition using facts. Still no big tent message of economics.
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