Who are they? –> A new RAND Corp. survey of Trump voters shows how little their ideas overlap with Jeb! Bush-type conservative Republicans and publications like National Review. Trump supporters aren’t necessarily against the social safety net policies that GOP leaders commonly denounce as big government, and they aren’t necessarily against laws to protect workers and labor unions. Put simply, they just don’t like minorities and immigrants. Michael Tesler writes for The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog.
Vast right-wing conspiracy –> Vox’s Matt Yglesias outlines the theory that “establishment Republicans aren’t choosing Trump over Cruz because they prefer Trump to Cruz. They are backing Trump over Cruz because they think doing so is the best way to stop Trump.” The idea is that crippling Cruz, who is likely to come in first or second in Iowa, will help whoever comes in third and give them a fair shot at beating Trump in New Hampshire or South Carolina later that month. Then the race becomes establishment vs. Trump again, and GOP moneymen once more have a horse in the race.
“Extraordinary rendition… with Chinese characteristics” –> Emily Rauhala and Simon Denyer at The Washington Post: “Amid extraordinary moves to rein in criticism at home, Chinese security personnel are reaching confidently across borders… A string of incidents, including abductions from Thailand and Hong Kong, forced repatriations and the televised ‘confessions’ of two Swedish citizens, has crossed a new red line, according to diplomats in Beijing. Yet many foreign governments seem unwilling or unable to intervene, their public response limited to mild protests.” At Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow writes, “It’s a Made-in-China version of America’s extraordinary rendition program, but with Chinese characteristics — notably, the public appearance of dissidents after their kidnapping to make gestures of remorse for their ‘crimes’ against China.”
Calling out the trolls –> The Nation’s national affairs correspondent Joan Walsh has come out in support of Hillary Clinton (although the magazine endorsed Sanders) and is speaking out against the online trolling she’s encountered from those who dislike Clinton on both the right and the left. “It’s forced me to recognize how little society respects the passion of the many young women — and men — who are putting their souls into electing the first female president,” she writes.
Making history –> At The Atlantic, Russell Berman reflects that if Bernie Sanders were to win in either Iowa or New Hampshire early next month, “he’ll become the first Jewish candidate to win a nominating contest in either major party.”
Crisis continues –> At Grist, Aura Bogado notes that undocumented immigrants in Flint are not able to access clean water or lead testing. AND: In a TalkPoverty column also posted at our site, Michigan-raised social justice campaigner Art Reyes III explains that Flint is just one of many poor Michigan cities to experience disasters under emergency managers appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder: “In Muskegon Heights, an emergency manager dissolved the public school system and turned it over to a for-profit charter school, only to have the company bail on the contract because, as the emergency manager put it, ‘the profit just simply wasn’t there.'” Reyes calls for Snyder to resign.
Push for transparency –> In response to a request by the Campaign Legal Center, the Sunlight Foundation and Common Cause, the FCC will today consider a rule requiring cable, satellite and radio broadcasters to post online information about which groups are running political advertising on their air. Broadcast television stations are already required to upload this info, but often do so in the form of PDFs that aren’t searchable. The three groups want that to change as well.
Keep it in the dark –> Dave Levinthal at the Center for Public Integrity: “Three of the nation’s leading trade associations have a message for their member corporations: Resist activists who demand you disclose more details about your politicking than the law requires. ‘The strategy of pressuring companies to voluntarily disclose the details of their spending on public policy engagement for the purpose of reducing that engagement is, in fact, their ultimate goal,’ wrote U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue, Business Roundtable President John Engler and National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons in a letter dated Oct. 13 and obtained by the Center for Public Integrity.”
The Kochs’ smear campaign –> Jim Dwyer at The New York Times looks at a section of New Yorker writer Jane Mayer’s book on the Koch brothers, Dark Money, in which she describes their attempts to smear her: “Ms. Mayer began to take the rumored investigation seriously when she heard from her New Yorker editor that she was going to be accused — falsely — of plagiarism, stealing the work of other writers.” Now, apparently, someone is at it again — America Rising PAC, a conservative group that self-identifies as a Koch ally, “has set its sights on Jane Mayer, shopping around accusations that she has ideological bias,” writes Hadas Gold at Politico.
Good place to hide –> Jesse Drucker at Bloomberg: “After years of lambasting other countries for helping rich Americans hide their money offshore, the U.S. is emerging as a leading tax and secrecy haven for rich foreigners. By resisting new global disclosure standards, the U.S. is creating a hot new market, becoming the go-to place to stash foreign wealth. Everyone from London lawyers to Swiss trust companies is getting in on the act, helping the world’s rich move accounts from places like the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands to Nevada, Wyoming, and South Dakota… states promoting low taxes and confidentiality in their trust laws.”
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