[News] Post a Political News Story

Ongoing discussion of the political news of the day. This thread is for 'smaller' stories that don't call for their own thread. If a story blows up, please start a new thread for it.

oilypenguin wrote:

I have literally nothing to add to this story.

Please click here and be impressed.

I think it would be ok to refer to SC republican law makers as parody legislators.

Have you seen who we put in Congress?

And right now a number of state legislators are under investigation. One of mine (who has a few things around Columbia named for him) goes on trial next month on corruption charges.

First you liberals were all "we have to do something about the fact that the Russians led a massive misinformation campaign against our democracy!" but when Ajit Pai tries to do something about that by destroying the internet you're against him all the sudden. Make up your mind people!

Kansas Scrambles To Change Rules After 6 Teens Enter Governor's Race

There are a lot of requirements if you want to vote in Kansas. You must be 18 years old. You need to show a photo ID at your polling place and show proof of U.S. citizenship when you register to vote. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says the state's voter ID laws are among the strictest in the nation.

But when it comes to the rules about who can run for state office? There are no rules.

"Under Kansas law, there is no law governing the qualifications for governor, not one," Bryan Caskey, director of elections at the Kansas secretary of state's office, told The Kansas City Star last year. "So there's seriously nothing on the books that lays out anything, no age, no residency, no experience. Nothing."

NathanialG wrote:

Kansas Scrambles To Change Rules After 6 Teens Enter Governor's Race

There are a lot of requirements if you want to vote in Kansas. You must be 18 years old. You need to show a photo ID at your polling place and show proof of U.S. citizenship when you register to vote. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says the state's voter ID laws are among the strictest in the nation.

But when it comes to the rules about who can run for state office? There are no rules.

"Under Kansas law, there is no law governing the qualifications for governor, not one," Bryan Caskey, director of elections at the Kansas secretary of state's office, told The Kansas City Star last year. "So there's seriously nothing on the books that lays out anything, no age, no residency, no experience. Nothing."

The best part is any changes won't apply until after this election.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
NathanialG wrote:

Kansas Scrambles To Change Rules After 6 Teens Enter Governor's Race

There are a lot of requirements if you want to vote in Kansas. You must be 18 years old. You need to show a photo ID at your polling place and show proof of U.S. citizenship when you register to vote. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says the state's voter ID laws are among the strictest in the nation.

But when it comes to the rules about who can run for state office? There are no rules.

"Under Kansas law, there is no law governing the qualifications for governor, not one," Bryan Caskey, director of elections at the Kansas secretary of state's office, told The Kansas City Star last year. "So there's seriously nothing on the books that lays out anything, no age, no residency, no experience. Nothing."

The best part is any changes won't apply until after this election.

For once the news here recently makes me feel happy.

Even better if one of the teens win.

NathanialG wrote:

Kansas Scrambles To Change Rules After 6 Teens Enter Governor's Race

There are a lot of requirements if you want to vote in Kansas. You must be 18 years old. You need to show a photo ID at your polling place and show proof of U.S. citizenship when you register to vote. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says the state's voter ID laws are among the strictest in the nation.

But when it comes to the rules about who can run for state office? There are no rules.

"Under Kansas law, there is no law governing the qualifications for governor, not one," Bryan Caskey, director of elections at the Kansas secretary of state's office, told The Kansas City Star last year. "So there's seriously nothing on the books that lays out anything, no age, no residency, no experience. Nothing."

Having no requirements to be governor of Kansas does explain an awful lot.

WizKid wrote:

Even better if one of the teens win.

I have never before wished i lived in Kansas.

thrawn82 wrote:
WizKid wrote:

Even better if one of the teens win.

I have never before wished i lived in Kansas.

/narrator And he never will again

thrawn82 wrote:
WizKid wrote:

Even better if one of the teens win.

I have never before wished i lived in Kansas.

"So there's seriously nothing on the books that lays out anything, no age, no residency, no experience. Nothing."

I believe in you, thrawn82. You have my support.

Jolly Bill wrote:
thrawn82 wrote:
WizKid wrote:

Even better if one of the teens win.

I have never before wished i lived in Kansas.

"So there's seriously nothing on the books that lays out anything, no age, no residency, no experience. Nothing."

I believe in you, thrawn82. You have my support.

makes me wonder if I can run as a GWJ avatar

Congresswoman claims most mass shooters are Democrats

"It's interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats," Tenney said. "But the media doesn't talk about that."
-
Tenney, who is an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, was responding to a point made by Dicker that the majority of gun victims come from the inner cities, not in mass shootings.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second Amendment. They mocked the notion that rape victims might want to arm themselves for protection. There were calls of “murderer.” Rubio was compared to a mass killer. There were wild cheers for the idea of banning every single semiautomatic rifle in America. The discourse was vicious.

It was also slanderous. There were millions of Americans who watched all or part of the town hall and came away with a clear message: These people aren’t just angry at what happened in their town, to their friends and family members; they hate me. They really believe I’m the kind of person who doesn’t care if kids die, and they want to deprive me of the ability to defend myself

The CNN town hall might in other circumstances have been easy to write off as an outlier, a result of the still-raw grief and pain left in the wake of the Parkland shooting. But it was no less vitriolic than the “discourse” online, where progressives who hadn’t lost anyone in the attack were using many of the same words as the angry crowd that confronted Rubio and Loesch. The NRA has blood on its hands, they said. It’s a terrorist organization. Gun-rights supporters — especially those who oppose an assault-weapons ban — are lunatics at best, evil at worst.

This progressive rage isn’t fake. It comes from a place of fierce conviction and sincere belief.

Unfortunately, so does the angry response from too many conservatives:

While I don’t live in New York and D.C., I do interact with quite a few members of the mainstream media — from cable hosts to producers to print reporters — and I can assure you that this sentiment is every bit as slanderous to their characters as the claim that gun-rights supporters “don’t care” when kids are gunned down in schools.

Moreover, videos like this run alongside the NRA’s hard turn toward Trump and its angry ads that blur the lines between peaceful resistance and Antifa riots while condemning the “violence of lies” from gun-control advocates.

One thing’s for sure: Every single conservative who argues that such rhetoric is merely “fighting fire with fire” or making the enemy play by its own rules is matched by a progressive who argues the same darn thing. If you’re looking for one, you’ll never have trouble finding a reason to demonize your opponents.

My colleague Kevin Williamson has long argued that the gun-control debate isn’t a matter of policy but of “Kulturkampf.” The mutual disdain isn’t limited to vigorous disagreement about background checks; it extends to a perceived way of life. As Kevin says, some progressives believe that firearms are little more than “an atavistic enthusiasm for rural primitives and right-wing militia nuts, a hobby that must be tolerated — if only barely — because of some vestigial 18th-century political compromise.” They simply do not grasp — or care to grasp — how “gun culture” is truly lived in red America.

This loathing isn’t one-sided. It’s simply false to believe that the haters are clustered on the left side of the spectrum, and the Right is plaintively seeking greater understanding. Increasingly, conservatives don’t just hate their liberal counterparts; they despise the perceived culture of blue America. They’re repulsed by the notion that personal security should depend almost completely on the government. The sense of dependence is at odds with their view of a free citizenry, and — to put it bluntly — they perceive their progressive peers as soft and unmanly.

This divide won’t go away, and it has the potential to break us as a nation.

A So-Called Expert’s Uneasy Dive Into the Trump-Russia Frenzy

Whenever the Internet Research Agency is in the news, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. I was one of the first U.S. journalists to report extensively on the St. Petersburg-based “troll farm,” which was named in the indictment that Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, issued last Friday. As a result, I am often portrayed as an expert on the Internet Research Agency and Russian online propaganda. In this, I am not alone. The endless unfurling of the Trump-Russia story has occasioned an explosion in the number of experts in “information warfare,” “online influence operations,” “disinformation,” and the like. One reason for this is that the Russians’ efforts tend to be framed as a kind of giant machine, in which talking points generated by the Kremlin are “amplified” through a network of bots, fake Facebook pages, and sympathetic human influencers. The machine, we are told, is so sophisticated that only an expert, well-versed in terms such as “exposure,” “feedback loops,” and “active measures,” can peer into the black box and explain to the layperson how it works.

The thing is, I don’t really want to be an expert on the Internet Research Agency and Russian online propaganda. I agree with my colleague Masha Gessen that the whole issue has been blown out of proportion. In the Times Magazine article that supposedly made me an authority, I detailed some of the Agency’s disturbing activities, including its attempts to spread false reports of a terrorist attack in Louisiana and to smear me as a neo-Nazi sympathizer. But, if I could do it all over again, I would have highlighted just how inept and haphazard those attempts were. That the Agency is now widely seen as a savvy, efficient manipulator of American public opinion is, in no small part, the fault of experts. They may derive their authority from perceived neutrality, but in reality they—we—have interests, just like everyone else. And, when it comes to the Trump-Russia story, those interests are often best served by fuelling the fear of Kremlin meddling. Information-security consultants might see a business opportunity in drawing attention to a problem to which they (for a fee) can offer a solution. Think-tank fellows may seek to burnish their credentials by appearing in news articles—articles written by journalists who, we all know, face many different kinds of pressures to promote sensational claims. (How viral is the headline “Russian Internet Propaganda Not That Big a Deal”?) Even academic researchers, to secure funding, must sometimes chase the latest trends.

But couldn’t I be the sort of expert who tries to downplay the problem, offering a counterweight to others’ opinions? This might be appealing if the issue were being hashed out in obscure scholarly journals, rather than in an atmosphere in which every skeptical utterance about Trump-Russia becomes pro-Trump propaganda. Rob Goldman, Facebook’s vice-president for advertising, learned this lesson the hard way. Late last Friday, he argued on Twitter that, because the majority of the Internet Research Agency’s Facebook ads were purchased after the election, the group’s goal must have been not to elect Donald Trump but “to divide America by using our institutions, like free speech and social media, against us.” Perhaps Goldman hoped that, by portraying the Russians’ machinations as nonpartisan, he could appear to take the problem of online disinformation seriously without offending Trump’s supporters. But Goldman’s caution backfired. Trump triumphantly retweeted him, writing, “The Fake News Media never fails. Hard to ignore this fact from the Vice President of Facebook Ads, Rob Goldman!” In the next few days, Goldman was pilloried by the President’s critics; many pointed out that, according to the Mueller indictment, the Agency’s specific aim was to undermine Hillary Clinton and boost Trump. Goldman later apologized to his company in an internal message.

You can see how wielding my expertise has always felt like a lose-lose proposition. Either I could stay silent and allow the conversation to be dominated by those pumping up the Russian threat, or I could risk giving fodder to Trump and his allies. So, last week, when the Agency once again became the focus of the Trump-Russia story, I ignored the many media requests in my in-box and wrote a couple of short articles instead, including one about a brief telephone conversation I’d had with the alleged executive director of the Agency, Mikhail Burchik. Then, on Monday afternoon, I received an e-mail from a booker for “All In with Chris Hayes,” on MSNBC. They wanted to have me on to talk about Burchik. Figuring, naïvely, that in discussing this one development I’d be able to avoid dealing with knottier questions, I agreed.

The segment began innocuously enough. Hayes asked me about an appearance I had made on the Longform podcast, in 2015, in which I mentioned offhand that many of the accounts I had followed while reporting my Times Magazine story had switched from posting negative information about Obama to positive information about Trump. The Agency, I’d suggested with a laugh, must be pursuing “some kind of really opaque strategy of electing Donald Trump to undermine the U.S.” The fact that I was considering this possibility struck me at the time as a worrying sign that I had internalized the paranoia that defines Russian propaganda itself, which sees in every bad thing that happens to Russia the hidden hand of the United States. Both the Trump campaign and the idea of a Russian troll operation to elect him seemed like a joke back then, and I said as much to Hayes.

The last question was the one I had hoped to avoid. “It seems like, in some ways, it’s a remarkably effective model,” Hayes said, referring to the Agency’s operation. “You don’t have to pull off some enormous thing. You just have to kind of be in people’s consciousness enough, constantly, in this sort of irritant way, with ninety people you’re paying, running an operation that doesn’t cost that much money. It does seem like a good bang for your buck.” I disagreed. I said I didn’t think that what amounted to a social-media marketing campaign—one whose supposed architects had a rudimentary grasp of the English language—could sow so much discord on its own. One could argue that ninety people is about what it would take to run the digital operation of a modern Presidential campaign—to shift votes in a candidate’s favor. But numbers tell only a part of the story. In the indictment, Mueller’s team reveals that the Agency didn’t discover the idea of targeting “purple states” until June, 2016, when a Texas-based conservative activist introduced them to the term. Cambridge Analytica this is not.

The morning after the Hayes interview, I woke up to find that a journalist named Aaron Maté had clipped the video and tweeted it, along with the comment “OMG, a sober/informed Russia take on MSNBC!” (Last April, Maté argued in The Intercept that Rachel Maddow, the network’s most popular host and a strong advocate of the notion that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, was leading her viewers on “a fruitless quest.”) The clip, which I retweeted, spread faster than anything I’d written or said about the Agency since the original article. Within a few minutes, I had been retweeted by Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who relentlessly promotes skepticism about Russian influence. (WikiLeaks, of course, played a role of its own in the 2016 election.) After Assange, various right-wing social-media influencers piled on, including Jack Posobiec, a pusher of the Pizzagate conspiracy. Some current and former employees of RT, the Kremlin-backed news network, picked the clip up, too. It was also shared by many journalists and liberals who cast it as a welcome bit of reason amid the rising frenzy. Still, I could feel my words slipping away, becoming the foundation for someone else’s shakily constructed argument. The fact that I had been given the rare opportunity to share an opinion on national television seemed pretty much cancelled out by the ways its online audience had put it to use.

National Review wrote:

This loathing isn’t one-sided. It’s simply false to believe that the haters are clustered on the left side of the spectrum, and the Right is plaintively seeking greater understanding. Increasingly, conservatives don’t just hate their liberal counterparts; they despise the perceived culture of blue America. They’re repulsed by the notion that personal security should depend almost completely on the government. The sense of dependence is at odds with their view of a free citizenry, and — to put it bluntly — they perceive their progressive peers as soft and unmanly.

This divide won’t go away, and it has the potential to break us as a nation.

I hate the fact that, while this is true, one of these two sides is trying to stop thousands of deaths per year and the other isn't. This issue may include the fact that there is a culture war going on but it is not limited to it.

To be completely fair, they are trying to stop those deaths, it's just a fundamental disagreement on the methodology of how to do so that divides each side, and the divide is so wide that it does not appear to be able to be crossed.

Prederick wrote:

To be completely fair, they are trying to stop those deaths, it's just a fundamental disagreement on the methodology of how to do so that divides each side, and the divide is so wide that it does not appear to be able to be crossed.

I think I'm being completely fair by saying they are not trying to stop those deaths. For the most part they aren't campaigning on facebook and twitter for more gun research or training or ANYTHING. I am not willing to say that arming more people is somehow ethically or morally sound as an option for reducing gun related deaths in this country. They might feel upset by those deaths, they might be outraged, but they are not in good faith trying to stop them.

Edit: I am open to being proven wrong there... most conservative media I am exposed to is not showing any attempt to reduce gun deaths, only to defend gun ownership.

It sure doesn't help that the Russian bots are stirring the gun debate pot.

BBC wrote:

Twitter accounts suspected of links to Russia have turned their attention to the contentious issue of US gun control in the wake of the mass shooting in Florida, researchers suggest.

Two companies which track online disinformation have found that bots began tweeting about the Parkland shooting shortly after the tragedy.

It included tweets about the mental health of suspect Nikolas Cruz.

Gun control is one of the most divisive issues in America.

Experts from New Knowledge - which tracks disinformation campaigns - said that suspected Russian bots are increasingly picking up on controversial issues.

"The bots focus on anything that is divisive for Americans - almost systematically," Jonathon Morgan, chief executive of New Knowledge told the New York Times.

He said that the gun control tweets followed a typical pattern of stoking both sides of an argument and casting public doubt on institutions such as the police or the media.

As the above article I posted on the Trump-Russia Frenzy goes into, I just don't buy into the amazingly manipulative effectiveness of the Russian trolls. I wouldn't argue they had zero effect, but the vast majority of this stuff is by us and on us.

Jolly Bill wrote:
Prederick wrote:

To be completely fair, they are trying to stop those deaths, it's just a fundamental disagreement on the methodology of how to do so that divides each side, and the divide is so wide that it does not appear to be able to be crossed.

I think I'm being completely fair by saying they are not trying to stop those deaths. For the most part they aren't campaigning on facebook and twitter for more gun research or training or ANYTHING. I am not willing to say that arming more people is somehow ethically or morally sound as an option for reducing gun related deaths in this country. They might feel upset by those deaths, they might be outraged, but they are not in good faith trying to stop them.

Hence the issue with any broken philosophy, you have people that (most likely incorrectly) believe in good faith that if someone there had a gun they could action movie the situation under control. It has been pedaled as the solution pretty hardcore since the 80's on. Before I am not sure but as long as I have been alive I have heard both sides of this argument and i have found my self riding the fence for a long time. Now I find we need to do a lot of what people are suggesting here in the shooting thread. Heck, after Columbine 2 kids were expelled from our school for having that initial discussion of let's plan a shooting and kill an English teacher who pissed us off. It was a sensitive time like now so thankfully someone reported the kids and they were kicked out, made public apologies and were hopefully sent into get some anger management help.

Half of my extended family is so pro gun that they feel it is their God given right to have these weapons, good luck ever passing legislation as they will probably dig in and parts of this country will break up into pro gun anti gov sections.

One thing I have noticed is that we cannot just lob "how dumb" insults at them, we will need to put aside our internet rhetoric and easy answers and have a damn near civil rights like slow conversation with them. This is going to be a slow burn now matter how it shakes out but we need to be civil and persistent.

Gov. Greitens indicted for felony invasion of privacy

JEFFERSON CITY
Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted Thursday afternoon by a St. Louis grand jury on felony invasion of privacy.

The charges stem from a 2015 affair and allegations that he threatened to release a nude photograph of the woman, taken while she was blindfolded and her hands were bound, if she ever spoke publicly about the affair.

Hobear wrote:

One thing I have noticed is that we cannot just lob "how dumb" insults at them, we will need to put aside our internet rhetoric and easy answers and have a damn near civil rights like slow conversation with them. This is going to be a slow burn now matter how it shakes out but we need to be civil and persistent.

This is what i worry about, because where I live, that civil rights issue is far from settled and there is still a significant portion of the population who would dance in the streets at having those reforms repealed, and I'm not just referring to the now elderly folks who lived it. That slow conversation never reached them, and it never reached their kids and grandkids.

Tanglebones wrote:

Gov. Greitens indicted for felony invasion of privacy

JEFFERSON CITY
Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted Thursday afternoon by a St. Louis grand jury on felony invasion of privacy.

The charges stem from a 2015 affair and allegations that he threatened to release a nude photograph of the woman, taken while she was blindfolded and her hands were bound, if she ever spoke publicly about the affair.

Whoooooooooole lot goin' on today. Yowza.

thrawn82 wrote:
Hobear wrote:

One thing I have noticed is that we cannot just lob "how dumb" insults at them, we will need to put aside our internet rhetoric and easy answers and have a damn near civil rights like slow conversation with them. This is going to be a slow burn now matter how it shakes out but we need to be civil and persistent.

This is what i worry about, because where I live, that civil rights issue is far from settled and there is still a significant portion of the population who would dance in the streets at having those reforms repealed, and I'm not just referring to the now elderly folks who lived it. That slow conversation never reached them, and it never reached their kids and grandkids.

Unfortunately true, I didn't mean to imply it was over, our city has been rocked by the recent events plenty for me to know this isn't over yet either. this isn't going to be easy.

Prederick wrote:

To be completely fair, they are trying to stop those deaths, it's just a fundamental disagreement on the methodology of how to do so that divides each side, and the divide is so wide that it does not appear to be able to be crossed.

I'm not sure how fervently you need to ignore existing evidence--and restrict acquiring new evidence--about the best ways to stop a problem before you don't get to claim you're trying to stop that problem anymore, but I'm pretty sure that kicks in at some point, and I think that we're well past it.

Maybe you could still make the case that guns are necessary to keep a country free, we've only had dozens and dozens of democracies for several decades, maybe the jury is still out. Maybe, maybe you could say they have a semi-legitimate case that children being gunned down in their classrooms is the price we pay for freedom, but I'm less sure you would have a legitimate case that they can say that they are really trying to stop it from happening.

FWIW, Slate did an interview with the writer of this piece that's at least some food for thought. I don't agree with all of it (I snorted rather loudly at the part referencing Philando Castille), but I did find this part, at the end, interesting.

I feel like I go online every day and someone is complaining about a college kid who says he was spoken to in the wrong tone of voice and was offended, and everyone laughs at him. But it feels like we are constantly being asked by the people who mock those kids to tiptoe around gun owners or the white majority. “Don’t say it in that tone of voice or you will upset them.” Are we all snowflakes?

[Laughs.] Everyone is a hypocrite on the snowflake issue. That’s the first thing you have to realize. Everyone’s a hypocrite on snowflakery. The question is: Is the model mobilization or is the model persuasion? And I think we are reaching a point in this country where the default political model is mobilization, not persuasion. And then things like respectability politics or an even tone, moderate discourse, can sometimes be seen as counterproductive. Rather, you want to turn it up to 11. It applies to every issue, and this one is that much more poignant because it is an actual issue of life and death, as opposed to say net neutrality. When you turn that up to 11, it is so much more potent.

He is correct that, at this point, this is purely a mobilization issue (one which gun rights advocates have been able to win on for the last 20-30 years).

If the Republicans (or the right) were at all serious about limiting deaths, there's a long list of things they could try that would perfectly align with conservative values. (I posted a list in the other thread.) Instead they're attempting to offer ridiculous ideas like forcing the teachers on to the front lines while the NRA stokes racial resentment and tries to spark a civil war.

National Review wrote:

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second Amendment.

That would be the same Dana Loesch who headlines those NRA videos where she describes "their schools" as threats that don't respect the president?

National Review wrote:

They mocked the notion that rape victims might want to arm themselves for protection.

Sidenote, but this plays into several myths about rape. Most rapists know their victim and a gun won't help. (Oh, hey, there's Dana Loesch again. Exploiting rape victims to peddle guns is pretty scummy.)

National Review wrote:

There were calls of “murderer.” Rubio was compared to a mass killer. There were wild cheers for the idea of banning every single semiautomatic rifle in America. The discourse was vicious.

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was from 1994 to 2004, and it's an idea that has pretty widespread support.

National Review wrote:

It was also slanderous. There were millions of Americans who watched all or part of the town hall and came away with a clear message: These people aren’t just angry at what happened in their town, to their friends and family members; they hate me. They really believe I’m the kind of person who doesn’t care if kids die, and they want to deprive me of the ability to defend myself

If that's what David French saw when he watched it, maybe our discourse is irreparably broken.

I recognize that he goes on to complain about the right as well, but he fails to recognize that the spokesperson for those NRA ads was standing on that stage. (And repeats some more myths about the left along the way).

There's a number of reasons I can no longer consider myself a Republican; the disingenuousness of many of the National Review's writers didn't help.

Prederick wrote:

As the above article I posted on the Trump-Russia Frenzy goes into, I just don't buy into the amazingly manipulative effectiveness of the Russian trolls. I wouldn't argue they had zero effect, but the vast majority of this stuff is by us and on us.

I mostly agree that the Russia thing is overblown, in that they certainly didn't invent these problems. But the Russian gameplan is clearly to exploit existing fault lines; it certainly doesn't help us that they're pouring money into making the divisions worse. (And from a legal standpoint I'm far more interested in the President's money laundering activities.)

National Review lost the last vestiges of credibility they had with me in the last week, that article was the kicker.

I so want to read conservative thought that sparks a conversation and leads to debate rather than demonizing the other side but it's all "what about x" and "the real victim is me." It's awful. It's just awful.

Jolly Bill wrote:
National Review wrote:

This loathing isn’t one-sided. It’s simply false to believe that the haters are clustered on the left side of the spectrum, and the Right is plaintively seeking greater understanding. Increasingly, conservatives don’t just hate their liberal counterparts; they despise the perceived culture of blue America. They’re repulsed by the notion that personal security should depend almost completely on the government. The sense of dependence is at odds with their view of a free citizenry, and — to put it bluntly — they perceive their progressive peers as soft and unmanly.

This divide won’t go away, and it has the potential to break us as a nation.

I hate the fact that, while this is true, one of these two sides is trying to stop thousands of deaths per year and the other isn't. This issue may include the fact that there is a culture war going on but it is not limited to it.

The Second Amendment says absolute f*ckall about personal security. That's a perverted--non-originalist in conservativespeak--viewpoint that the NRA cooked up in recent decades.

That said I kinda get that the same people who have a tremendously hard time seeing or understanding white privilege also can't grok how their hobby is contributing to gun crime and gun violence.

There are few words that our government introduced into their (our?) lexicon in the last 18(ish) years that rub me the wrong way more than czar and homeland. Having said that, words matter, intent matters. I cannot even...

Nation of immigrants? According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, not so much.

America is no longer a nation of immigrants.

Old USCIS Mission Statement:
"USCIS secures America's promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system."

New USCIS Mission Statement:
"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation's lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values."

*EDIT* Removed the "last 18 years" context as I was incorrect about use of czar in the US timeline. Point still stands about usage of the word.