September 14, 2020

Posted by orrinj at 5:41 PM


"I wouldn't be shocked": Why Joe Biden has an actual shot at winning deep-red Texas (ALEX HENDERSON, SEPTEMBER 14, 2020 , Salon)

"It's a majority minority state," Druke explains. "So, the state is about 41% white, 40% Hispanic, 13% black and 5% Asian. You would think, looking at those numbers, that the state is already Democrat. But here's the deal: the electorate in Texas is majority white -- about 55% of the electorate, in fact."

There are some nuances in the demographic figures that Druke cites. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the "41% white" is non-Hispanic whites, and the "40% Hispanic" includes some white Latinos -- for example, Sen. Ted Cruz. His father was from Cuba, and the 49-year-old senator was born Rafael Edward Cruz on December 22, 1970. Texas has its share of white Latinos, but at this point, non-Hispanic, non-Latino whites comprise only about 41% of Texas' population.

A big problem for Democrats in Texas, as Druke points out, is the fact that many of the state's Latinos don't vote.

According to Druke, "The Texas electorate is majority white in large part because Latinos only make up about a quarter of voters even though they're about 40% of the population . . . Turnout among Latinos, in general, is lower in Texas. Then, among those who do turn out, about a third reliably vote for Republicans. So, Texas is a very diverse state."

Druke goes on to cite some figures that illustrate the progress Democrats have been making slowly in Texas. The FiveThirtyEight pundit notes that in 2012's presidential race, Republican Mitt Romney won Texas by 16% -- whereas Trump won Texas by only 9% in 2016. And when Cruz was reelected in the 2018 midterms, Druke adds, he defeated Democrat Beto O'Rourke by only 2%.

"College-educated white voters," according to Druke, are making Texas more Democrat-friendly -- and only 30% of that demographic voted for Trump in Texas in 2016. Then, in 2018, Cruz won only 10% of college-educated whites.

Posted by orrinj at 5:38 PM


The Specter Haunting Marxism (Andrew Latham, September 14th, 2020, Imaginative Conservative)

[M]arx and Engels were racists, plain and simple. This claim goes far beyond the intellectual faults and fantasies laid out above. This is a claim that these two icons of the Left--these revolutionaries admired so unquestioningly by so many--were, in fact, racists in the plain sense of the word: They hated and loathed the racialized, immutably inferior, Other. They systematically attributed to racialized groups certain innate or biological character traits, then placed those groups on a hierarchical scale, with some being naturally inferior and others superior. They believed that those 'races' endowed with superior qualities were 'bearers of progress,' while those endowed with inferior ones tended to hold humanity back. In their fundamental assumptions regarding the human condition, historical progress, and the communist utopia, they were racists through and through.

In this, both Marx and Engels reflected and perpetuated the scientific racism of their time. This racism used skin-color variations to divide humanity into a limited number of races, each endowed with specific and immutable characteristics and ranked hierarchically, with white on top and black at the bottom. The 'inferior' races--the Indian, the 'Bushman or Australian Negro,' the Slav, etc.--were regarded either as degenerations from a single common race of humans (the monogenic view) or as independently evolving distinct skin-color races (the polygenic view). Whatever the sources of this racial differentiation, it was understood to be an immutable characteristic of the human race. Marx and Engels drank deeply at this racist trough.

Based on the historical evidence we have, this claim is simply incontrovertible. To be sure, the evidence of racism in the writings of Marx and Engels is scattered and haphazard. It is to be found in their private correspondence, works that went unpublished during their lifetimes, such as The German Ideology, and major published works such as Marx's Capital and Engels' The Condition of the Working Class in England. But, whatever the genre and however scattered the references, there is a consistency to their treatment of race. And it is this consistency that allows us to reconstruct their half-articulated 'theory' of race and lay bare the racist assumptions built into both their scholarly theories and their personal beliefs.

Let us begin with their views on the innate character of the races. First, Marx and Engels viewed the white race as the most evolved and its societies as the most advanced. Disturbingly, but undeniably, there is more than a hint of Aryanism their talk about relations of production and class struggle. By Aryanism, of course, I do not mean the 4th-century Christian heresy launched by the Alexandrian priest Arius. Rather, I am referring to the ideas of the 19th-century scholar A.J. de Gobineau as set forth in his manifesto, The Inequality of the Races. In this work, which was hugely popular and which set the stage for a 19th-century regrounding of racism in 'science,' Gobineau argued that all the most worthy ancient and modern civilizations were the creation of the white race, which was naturally at the apex of the world's racial pyramid, and was the driving force of human progress. It was Gobineau's writing that gave form to the already half-baked ideas of 'Aryan superiority,' then circulating in Europe--'Aryan genius,' 'Aryan creativity,' and 'Aryan blood'--that were ultimately to have such a murderous career both within and beyond their European birthplace. And it was Gobineau's ideas that, beneath a light mantle of historical materialist jargon, were to find their way into the collective thought-system of Marx and Engels. The white race was the vanguard of human development; the white working class, the agent of historical progress. All other races either had to submit to the redemptive ministrations of the white historical vanguard or be exterminated.

It is in this light that one must view Marx's and Engels' reference in A Contribution to Critique of Political Economy and elsewhere to 'civilized' and 'uncivilized' races. Similarly, it is impossible to make of Engels when he writes in The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, that the Germans are a 'highly gifted' branch of the Aryan race, or when he tries elsewhere to explain the Germans 'superior development' as a race, without reference to the ambient Aryanism of his time and place.

Posted by orrinj at 5:35 PM


Florida Latinos are being flooded with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories ahead of the election (BEN SALES, SEPTEMBER 14, 2020, JTA) 

Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are spreading among Florida's Latino communities ahead of the presidential election, amplified by social media and messaging apps as well as respected mainstream outlets.

According to a report in Politico, much of the anti-Semitism stems from QAnon, the growing, false conspiracy theory that claims Democrats and the "deep state" run a pedophile ring and are working to take down President Donald Trump. Purveyors of the theory often traffic in classic anti-Semitic tropes, claiming that powerful Jews control the anti-Trump cabal.

The exact origin of the messages -- which are circulating in groups on WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging app, or on social media -- is unclear. But they reflect both the themes in the QAnon theory and  rhetoric deployed widely on the right that urges voters to fear disorder if Trump is unseated.

Posted by orrinj at 2:31 PM


Trump campaign cancels ads in key battleground states amid poor fundraising - Biden expands buys (David Badash, 9/14/20, Raw Story)

The Donald Trump campaign has canceled millions of dollars in ad buys in critical battleground states, including Iowa, Nevada, and Ohio, while the Joe Biden campaign, after posting historic fundraising results, is expanding its ad buys.

Bloomberg News reports the Trump campaign "is scaling back its television advertising spending and in some cases abandoning it altogether for now in key states, facing a cash crunch brought on by huge investments in staff and operations."

Posted by orrinj at 2:25 PM


In exclusive interview, Trump slams Sisolak, defends indoor rally (Debra J. Saunders, 9/14/20, Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Trump said in his interview with the Review-Journal that he is not afraid of getting the coronavirus from speaking at the indoor rally.

"I'm on a stage and it's very far away," Trump said. "And so I'm not at all concerned."

Posted by orrinj at 12:14 PM


Posted by orrinj at 12:06 PM


Police Tackled and Arrested an NPR Reporter to the Ground While She Was Doing Her Job (Trone Dowd, September 14, 2020, vice News)

Though police were initially quiet about the details of the arrest, the Sheriff's Information Bureau later claimed that Huang not only didn't identify herself as a member of the press, but accused her of interfering with a lawful arrest and refused to adhere to commands to back away, according to LAist.

But footage of the arrest shot both by a nearby ABC7 Eyewitness News crew and by Huang herself shows a different order of events. 

In one of many videos she posted on Twitter, Huang is seen filming officers following the protesters from a distance for an extended period of time without reprimand.

This continues until police begin arresting a protester and begin to walk him to a nearby police vehicle. Then, at least three different officers ask Huang to back up. In a second video, which Huang says was shot immediately afterward, the camera immediately falls to the ground as Huang is heard repeatedly telling the officers that she is a reporter and screaming for help. 

Footage shot by the nearby news crew shows at least five officers pinning her to the ground and handcuffing her. As officers stand her up and walk her to a nearby patrol car, Huang's press credentials can be seen hanging from around her neck. Another video shot by OnScene.TV shows Huang backing away from officers as they grab her and take her to the ground.

It is her job--showing the truth about their behavior--that they can't tolerate. A free press is their enemy.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Rudy Giuliani collaborated on smear of Joe Biden with "active Russian agent"Giuliani promoted false charges about Biden made by Ukrainian legislator who's now under U.S. Treasury sanctions (ROGER SOLLENBERGER, SEPTEMBER 14, 2020, Salon)

The sanctions target Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker who has ties to Russian intelligence that date back more than a decade. Treasury now accuses Derkach of running a "covert influence campaign" aimed at the 2020 U.S. presidential election since late 2019.

Giuliani met with Derkach last year in Ukraine in the former mayor's role as Donald Trump's attorney, during a trip aimed at digging up dirt on Joe Biden, then viewed as the Democratic frontrunner and now the party's presidential nominee. Derkach and Giuliani discussed the much-debunked allegations about Biden in a segment on One America News Network (OAN), which Giuliani replayed on his personal podcast this March.

According to the Treasury Department, Derkach was pushing "false and unsubstantiated narratives concerning U.S. officials in the upcoming 2020 presidential election" into U.S. media via press conferences, interviews and other statements.

His efforts include releasing edited audiotapes that purport to document improprieties by Joe Biden in his dealings as vice president with the Ukrainian government.