Donald Trump’s Strongest Supporters: A Certain Kind of Democrat – Nate Cohn, The New York Times

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“Donald Trump holds a dominant position in national polls in no small part because he is extremely strong among people on the periphery of the Republican coalition.From Our AdvertisersHe is strongest among Republicans who are less affluent, less educated and less likely to turn out to vote. His very best voters are self-identified Republicans who nonetheless are registered as Democrats. It’s a coalition that’s concentrated in the South, Appalachia and the industrial North, according to data provided to The Upshot by Civis Analytics, a Democratic data firm.Mr. Trump’s huge advantage among these groups poses a challenge for his campaign, because it may not have the turnout operation necessary to mobilize irregular voters.

It’s too soon to declare that he’s the G.O.P. front-runner. Road to 2016: How Donald Trump Could Win, and Why He Probably Won’t The Tax Policy Center estimated that Donald Trump’s tax cut plan would lose $9.5 trillion in revenue over a decade. Fiscal Free Association: A Trillion Here or There: The Details Aren’t What Matter in Trump’s Tax Plan. But it is just as big a challenge for the Republican Party, which has maintained its competitiveness in spite of losses among nonwhite and young voters by adding older and white voters, many from the South. These gains have helped the party retake the House, the Senate and many state governments. But these same voters may now be making it harder for the party to broaden its appeal to nonwhite and younger people — perhaps even by helping to nominate Mr. Trump.”

DL: Trump’s map of support doesn’t match that of Ross Perot, but of concentrations of Google searches by probable racists.

Source: Donald Trump’s Strongest Supporters: A Certain Kind of Democrat – The New York Times

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Climate Chaos, Across the Map – Justin Gillis, The New York Times

Inconvenient News Worldwide

“What is going on with the weather?From Our AdvertisersWith tornado outbreaks in the South, Christmas temperatures that sent trees into bloom in Central Park, drought in parts of Africa and historic floods drowning the old industrial cities of England, 2015 is closing with a string of weather anomalies all over the world.The year, expected to be the hottest on record, may be over at midnight Thursday, but the trouble will not be. Rain in the central United States has been so heavy that major floods are beginning along the Mississippi River and are likely to intensify in coming weeks. California may lurch from drought to flood by late winter. Most serious, millions of people could be threatened by a developing food shortage in southern Africa.

The Westlands Water District’s western edge borders the parched Diablo Range in California’s Central Valley. The Parched West: Farmers Try Political Force to Twist Open…

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Cleveland’s Terrible Stain – The New York Times

“Tamir Rice of Cleveland would be alive today had he been a white 12-year-old playing with a toy gun in just about any middle-class neighborhood in the country on the afternoon of Nov. 22, 2014.But Tamir, who was shot to death by a white police officer that day, had the misfortune of being black in a poor area of Cleveland, where the police have historically behaved as an occupying force that shoots first and asks questions later. To grow up black and male in such a place is to live a highly circumscribed life, hemmed in by forces that deny your humanity and conspire to kill you.Those forces hovered over the proceedings on Monday when a grand jury declined to indict Officer Timothy Loehmann in the killing and Timothy McGinty, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor, explained why he had asked the grand jurors to not bring charges. Mr. McGinty described the events leading up to Tamir’s death as tragic series of errors and “miscommunications” that began when a 911 caller said a male who was “probably a juvenile” was waving a “probably fake” gun at people in a park.”

Source: Cleveland’s Terrible Stain – The New York Times

One of the comments I recommended: Bruce Rozenblit is a trusted commenter Kansas City 16 hours ago

“Murder is the act of taking a human life. Under no legal definition of the act does a

….a tragic series of errors and miscommunications…

provide immunity from culpability from the act of murder.

Wearing a badge does not relinquish one from the crime of murder. Neither does poor judgement. The “I was in fear for my life” excuse is often nothing but a cowardly cover up for incompetence or homicide. If the shooter was truly in fear for his life, he wouldn’t have driven right up on top of the boy. He would have used distance to provide a defensive safety factor. No one in his right mind would attempt to gun down an active shooter from a few feet away when he could fire from a much safer distance. The shooter had to have realized that possibility as he approached.

Either the shooter was so incompetent that he did not understand basic principles of police work and put himself in a potentially dangerous situation which caused him to overreact and shoot immediately.

Or, he didn’t care about proper procedure because in his mind he was going after black male killer on the loose and started blasting away because that is the only way you handle those people.

Either case is murder. One is with malice aforethought and one without. This was voluntary manslaughter at a minimum and quite possibly second degree murder.

This black life didn’t matter or an indictment would have been made. No more excuses. A boy died. There is no excuse for that.”

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Blood, Sweat and Trump The Republican front-runner’s latest swipes, at Hillary Clinton, reveal some exceedingly strange hang-ups. nytimes.com|By Frank Bruni

Saw Star Wars 7 last night. I saw why it has an 83 on Meticritic. One of it’s producers is Bad Robot!
Frank Bruni is my favorite Bad Boy Pointy Headed Republican Apologist. But now that David Brooks and Hillary Clinton are attacking Donald Trump directly, Frank is the next to pile on on December 23rd. I had no idea he could be so funny. It starts:

“Everybody pees.

That’s actually the name of a public service campaign by the National Kidney Foundation, and I thought it a needless statement of the obvious until Donald Trump brought me to my senses. Apparently some people think that the laws of urology don’t apply to them. Apparently Trump is in this category.

On Monday he said this of Hillary Clinton’s mid-debate bathroom break: “I know where she went. It’s disgusting. I don’t want to talk about it. No, it’s too disgusting.”

He didn’t specify why. But it’s difficult to find anything indecorous about Clinton’s behavior unless you see it as entirely volitional and utterly controllable — something you do to indulge yourself, something that can be put off for hours or forever, an emblem of your weakness. I guess in Trump’s world, only “low energy” people need to go.

That would make sense, given how fantastical his cosmos is. It’s a place where thousands of Muslims in New Jersey publicly cheer the fall of the World Trade Center; where a stretch of the Potomac River alongside a Virginia golf club of his magically becomes a Civil War site; where his own net worth changes by an order of billions from one moment to the next, in accordance with his need to puff up his chest.”

The Republican front-runner’s latest swipes, at Hillary Clinton, reveal some exceedingly strange hang-ups.
nytimes.com|By Frank Bruni

Put Reforms Into State Prison Guards’ Contract – The New York Times

   “The union contract has presented serious obstacles to investigating cases like this one. A particularly egregious provision allows guards to essentially obstruct investigations by refusing to answer questions from police agencies. When the State Police investigated the Williams beating, 11 of the 15 guards they sought to question simply declined to cooperate.Inmates who had witnessed the assault were fearful that the same thing would happen to them. To get their stories, the corrections department had to relocate five of them to other prisons.”

Source: Put Reforms Into State Prison Guards’ Contract – The New York Times

Political Dark Money Just Got Darker – The New York Times

“In the new budget bill, Republicans inserted a provision blocking the Internal Revenue Service from creating rules to curb the growing abuse of the tax law by thinly veiled political machines posing as “social welfare” organizations. These groups are financed by rich special-interest donors who do not have to reveal their identities under the tax law. So much for effective disclosure at the I.R.S.In another move to keep the public blindfolded about who is writing big corporate checks for federal candidates, the Republicans barred the Securities and Exchange Commission from finalizing rules requiring corporations to disclose their campaign spending to investors. It was Citizens United that foolishly envisioned a world in which: “Shareholders can determine whether their corporation’s political speech advances the corporation’s interest in making profits, and citizens can see whether elected officials are ‘in the pocket’ of so-called moneyed interests.” ”

Source: Political Dark Money Just Got Darker – The New York Times

A Handful of Christmas Miracles – Timothy Egan, The New York Times

“Obama finds his voice. Well, and then he lost it after the Paris attacks. Over all, the prez had a very strong year. His leadership was crucial in what could be breakthrough pacts to lessen climate change and keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. But I say “could be,” because both agreements might still unravel. If they work, the world will be safer, and more livable.And it’s a minor Christmas miracle that the American economy continues to purr along, while those of Europe and China stumble. Over a 69-month streak of growth, the economy has added 13.7 million new jobs, while the unemployment rate has fallen to 5 percent. Bravo.”

Source: A Handful of Christmas Miracles – The New York Times

Moments of Grace in a Grim Year There is ample reason to feel weary and worried, but there are also reasons to believe in the persistence of better values. nytimes.com|By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Christmas Day, Part One
Here is an extraordinary editorial from the New York Times, which I will use here as my Christmas Letter. It includes:
“There is ample reason to feel weary and ill at ease. Today, though, it might help to look skyward, upon the Christmas full moon and, through an act of willful optimism, to swivel the mind away from the worst of this fading year. To tune out the rancor and find reasons to believe in the persistence of better values: humility, conciliat

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There is ample reason to feel weary and worried, but there are also reasons to believe in the persistence of better values.
nytimes.com|By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Things to Celebrate, Like Dreams of Flying Cars Technology is finally back to advancing our ability to produce and deliver things. nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

Christmas Day Part two. Gratitude to Paul Krugman for the following wonderful column, which includes:
“Everyone who isn’t ignorant or a Republican realizes that climate change is by far the biggest threat humanity faces. But how much will we have to sacrifice to meet that threat?”

Technology is finally back to advancing our ability to produce and deliver things.
nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman