“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
“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 California’s TapsDEC. 30, 2015 Cranes tried to right the capsized cruise ship Oriental Star in southern China in June. Investigators Blame Violent Weather for Yangtze Cruise Ship DisasterDEC. 30, 2015 Dawson Newbold, 16, made a call on Wednesday while taking a break from sandbagging the swollen Meramec River in Fenton, Mo. Record Floods Affect Millions in the MidwestDEC. 30, 2015 Residents collecting water in Setlagole. Drought Deepens South Africa’s Malaise DEC. 26, 2015 Emergency workers waded through a flooded street in York, England, on Monday. Prime Minister David Cameron defended the government’s record on flood defenses during a visit there, saying that it had committed to spend 2.3 billion pounds. David Cameron Defends Flood Record as Northern England Is Drenched. DEC. 28, 2015
A soldier inspected the site of a fire in the central Kalimantan region of Indonesia on Wednesday. Rain in Indonesia Dampens Forest Fires That Spread Toxic HazeOCT. 28, 2015 A fire east of Esperance in Western Australia this week. A prolonged fire season could strain the largely volunteer firefighting forces in Australia and destroy crops, livestock and farms. Record Heat Puts Australia at Risk of Intense Fire Season.
NOV. 20, 2015Scientists say the most obvious suspect in the turmoil is the climate pattern called El Niño, in which the Pacific Ocean for the last few months has been dumping immense amounts of heat into the atmosphere. Because atmospheric waves can travel thousands of miles, the added heat and accompanying moisture have been playing havoc with the weather in many parts of the world.”
Source: Climate Chaos, Across the Map – 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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“KABUL, Afghanistan — Farkhunda had one chance to escape the mob that wanted to kill her. Two Afghan police officers pulled her onto the roof of a low shed, above the angry crowd.From Our AdvertisersBut then the enraged men below her picked up poles and planks of wood, and hit at her until she lost her grip and tumbled down.Her face bloodied, she struggled to stand. Holding her hands to her hair, she looked horrified to find that her attackers had yanked off her black hijab as she fell. The mob closed in, kicking and jumping on her slight frame.Continue reading the main storyRelated Coverage Kabul residents at the riverbank Friday where a woman’s body was set afire after she was stoned and beaten to death the day before. A Day After a Killing, Afghans React in Horror, but Some Show ApprovalMARCH 20, 2015 Afghan women protested outside the Supreme Court in Kabul on Tuesday, demanding justice for a woman named Farkhunda who was beaten to death last week after being falsely accused of blasphemy. Open Source: Afghan Protesters Demand Justice for Woman Killed by MobMARCH 24, 2015 Rika, whose stepmother poured acid on her face when she was a girl, in her room in the Women for Afghan Women shelter in Kabul. A Thin Line of Defense Against ‘Honor Killings’MARCH 2, 2015 Police training in Kabul. The hiring of policewomen has been a priority for Western funding organizations. Afghan Policewomen Struggle Against CultureMARCH 1, 2015The tormented final hours of Farkhunda Malikzada, a 27-year-old aspiring student of Islam who was accused of burning a Quran in a Muslim shrine, shocked Afghans across the country. That is because many of her killers filmed one another beating her and posted clips of her broken body on social media. Hundreds of other men watched, holding their phones aloft to try to get a glimpse of the violence, but never making a move to intervene. Those standing by included several police officers.”
Source: Flawed Justice After a Mob Killed an Afghan Woman – The New York Times
“QADIYA, Iraq — In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God,” she said in an interview alongside her family in a refugee camp here, to which she escaped after 11 months of captivity.Continue reading the main storyRelated Coverage Yazidi Girls Seized by ISIS Speak Out After EscapeNOV. 14, 2014 Alex, a 23-year-old Sunday school teacher from rural Washington State, spent hours a day online learning about Islam from supporters of the Islamic State. ISIS and the Lonely Young AmericanJUNE 27, 2015 Persecuted Yazidis Again Caught in Larger StruggleAUG. 11, 2014 Aishan Ali Saleh, 40, at a refugee camp. She had lived in Kojo, one of the southernmost villages on Mount Sinjar, which was overrun by Islamic State fighters. Kidnapping and Sex Slavery: Covering ISIS’ Religious Justification for RapeAUG. 14, 2015The systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution. Interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped the Islamic State, as well as an examination of the group’s official communications, illuminate how the practice has been enshrined in the group’s core tenets.”
Source: ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape – The New York Times
The very richest are able to quietly shape tax policy that will allow them to shield billions in income.
Source: For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions
“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