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Series | A Nation Under Trump, Part 5 - What have the Democrats learned since Trump's election?

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A voter registration sign for the Democratic Party is seen during the March for Science in Sacramento, California, on April 22. (Dreamstime/Alessandra Rc)

  • The Series: As the anniversary of Donald Trump's election as president of the United States approached, the NCR staff wondered if the calls to action that persisted immediately following the election remained as urgent.
  • Part 5: Unless the Democrats get their act together, there is no reason to think that Trump, with a strong economy at his back, will not be the odds-on favorite for re-election. You would think that grim prospect alone would be enough to galvanize Democrats toward change. And you would be wrong.

Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter (NCR)

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Dead%20Red%2C%20White%2C%20%26%20Blue%20Donkey.jpgNovember 3, 2018 | We continue our election anniversary series by posing the question: What have the Democrats learned in the past year?

It is tempting to answer in one word: Nothing.

The Democrats lost the presidency last year, and before that they had lost control of Congress, and before that they had lost control of most state legislatures and governor's mansions. You would think it would have dawned on them that they are out of sync with the American electorate, but no. The party remains a congeries of special and particular interests with no compelling political and moral narrative.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Michael%20Sean%20Winters%2C%20NCR.jpgMichael Sean Winters covers the nexus of religion and politics for NCR.

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Previously in this Series:

Part 4 - Poverty issues gain traction in first year of Trump presidency

Part 3 - Trump has put anti-immigrant campaign promises into action

Part 2 - The Trump presidency and Europe's dilemma

Part 1 - What has the GOP learned since Trump's election?


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The entire series can be found here.
 

The Problem Isn’t Just Trump. It’s Our Ignorant Electorate.

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  • It is not effete snobbery or elitist condescension to note that ill-informed voters contributed to the current mess.
  • Trump is a problem of our own creation. We must become the solution.
  • Related: How America Lost Its Mind

Ron Reagan, the Daily Beast

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 http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Paul%20Combs%20%7C%20Americans-%20Serious%20Thinkers%3F.jpg03.06.18 | For many of us, mornings have taken on a certain nauseating sameness. We roll out from beneath the blankets and, before the scent of coffee has reached our nostrils, we are checking the news feeds for the latest semi-literate tweet coughed up by the ranting, traitorous squatter occupying the Oval Office.

The rest of the day is spent in a kind of horrified suspension, holding our breath, waiting for whatever outrage will inevitably belch forth from the White House—once a bastion of seriousness and decorum, now ground zero for the demise of western democracy. How many lies will Trump spew today? Which dictators will he suck up to? Will he smear a Gold Star family? Attack a woman who dares to call out his smarmy predations? Unveil a puerile, racist nickname for a Senator or member of his own cabinet?

https://img.thedailybeast.com/image/upload/v1520366027/RonReagan-headshot_o0x1c7.jpg Ron Reagan: the rebel son of President Reagan, is an author and political commentator.

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Related:

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Classical%20Statue%20Head%20in%20Hand_1.jpgHow America Lost Its Mind, Kurt Andersen, the Atlantic

R. Kikuo Johnson

  • The nation’s current post-truth moment is the ultimate expression of mind-sets that have made America exceptional throughout its history.
  • This article has been adapted from Kurt Andersen’s book Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire—A 500-Year History, to be published in September by Random House.
  • Related: America's Embrace of Willful Ignorance
     

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Why American Collapse is Only Just Beginning (Not Ending); How Do You Solve a Problem Like Collapse?

  • Part 1: Why American Collapse is Only Just Beginning (Not Ending)
    • Six Megatrends That Will Shape the Future
  • Part 2: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Collapse?
    • Or, Why A Collapsing Society is Like a Broken Heart, not a Broken Machine

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: Why American Collapse is Only Just Beginning (Not Ending)


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Six Megatrends That Will Shape the Future

umair haque‬, Medium Eudaimonia

Feb 27, 2018 | There are many beliefs America holds that the rest of the world finds gruesome and strange: guns, capitalism, greed, cruelty. But among these is a new one: that this dark period in American history is an anomaly — and therefore, things will revert to normal. Sorry. American collapse is not an anomaly — it is the very opposite: the culmination of decades-long trends. Those trends, which I’ll discuss in this essay, have not ended — and so collapse has barely only really begun.

Let me begin by dashing your hopes. There’s much talk of a “Blue Wave” — excited and hopeful talk. Alas, when we look closely at the wave of politicians that are to turn the country around, it’s all too easy to see that there is no transformative agenda that unites them — mostly, they stand for minor incremental changes, not exactly a New Bill of Rights. And as they are elected, they will quickly meet the reality of American politics: lobbying dollars which control a two-party system that offers the barest illusion of choice. Would you prefer armed teachers — or merely armies at school? Would you like greed with a sugarcoating — or lethally savage capitalism? And so on. The Blue Wave has as little chance of turning America around as Houdini might actually turning water into wine.

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/fit/c/120/120/0*lI5-avJvcBbQDmA2.jpeg umair haque, vampire

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Part 2: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Collapse?

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Or, Why A Collapsing Society is Like a Broken Heart, not a Broken Machine

umair haque‬, Medium Eudaimonia

Feb 28, 2018 | “I love your writing. But please, please, give us some solutions!!”

Sure. How about this?

On one level, the solutions to American collapse are obvious. Social investments in the public goods that are the primary determinants of quality of life  — which, because it’s collapsing, is turning people away from democracy, and towards extremism, tribalism, and authoritarianism. Healthcare, education, income, savings, retirement, “safety nets” and so on. Create a social contract like the rest of the rich world. Pretty easy, right?

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/fit/c/120/120/0*lI5-avJvcBbQDmA2.jpeg umair haque‬, vampire

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Kushner, Conflicts of Interest, and the Culture of Corruption (2)

 

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Part 1: Kushner and the Culture of Corruption
It’s clear that the Trump Administration’s culture of corruption comes at a steep cost to the country.
Part 2: Conflicts of Interest
Here’s are five of the most recent instances where Trump is likely violating some of the most basic government ethics rules.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: Kushner and the Culture of Corruption

The Progress Report, Center for American Progress Action Fund

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/03/01/business/01kushner-print/merlin_134678906_1b50bb34-08f9-484a-a3af-e4ba0514f7a9-superJumbo.jpg March 1, 2018 | Just days after Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser, had this security clearance downgraded, and had it reported that foreign countries pegged him as vulnerable for exploitation because of his debt, he’s under scrutiny again for meetings he took with private equity firms and banks at the White House. According to a report from the New York Times, after Kushner met with Apollo Global Management at the White House, his family business, Kushner Companies, received a desperately-needed $184 million loan. Additionally, Kushner Companies received a whopping $325 million loan from Citigroup, whose executives also held meetings at the White House.

Experts agree that there “is little precedent for a top White House official meeting with executives of companies as they contemplate sizable loans to his business.” (Both Kushner and the companies deny any wrongdoing.) While Kushner got his loans, these companies were amongst the biggest beneficiaries of loopholes mysteriously kept in the tax bill. And they’re not done: Apollo is seeking to gain profits under Trump’s infrastructure proposal.

Whether it’s on tax policy, infrastructure, or secret international diplomacy (Kushner’s role in the Russia crisis remains under suspicion), it’s clear that the Trump Administration’s culture of corruption comes at a steep cost to the country.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan policy institute and advocacy organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country.





Part 2: Conflicts of Interest

The Progress Report, Center for American Progress Action Fund

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/503D/production/_92614502_hi036530794.jpg During the 2016 presidential campaign, one of the biggest concerns raised by voters was Trump’s potential conflicts of interest involving his family’s business. More than a year after the election, those worries turned out to be well founded and often times not readily apparent to most Americans. Here’s are five of the most recent instances where Trump is likely violating some of the most basic government ethics rules.
• Last week, Donald Trump Jr. was in India, promoting the Trump Organization. During the trip, ads promised a meeting with Trump Jr. if they invested $38,000 in the Trump Organization. And one panel led by Trump Jr. was entitled, “Reshaping Indo-Pacific Ties: The New Era of Cooperation,” which sounds a bit too close to a government official’s words.
The Trump Organization claims it donates profits from foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury—but it’s refusing to share any details.
• President Trump’s reelection campaign has launched, and its home is the Trump Tower in Manhattan. The rent is $37,000 a month, and who’s footing the bill? The Republican National Committee.
• One of the leading ethics watchdogs in D.C.—Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)—has charged the Trump administration with accepting gifts from foreign governments, which would be a clear violation of the emoluments clause.
• Some of CREW’s concerns revolve around Trump’s business in Panama, which is now subject to an investigation by Panama’s federal prosecutors.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan policy institute and advocacy organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country.

Related:

Romano: The moral corruption of Florida politicians, John Romano, Tampa Bay (FL) Times 

http://www.tampabay.com/storyimage/HI/20180301/ARTICLE/303019982/AR/0/AR-303019982.jpg?MaxW=950&cachebuster=399378Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk on the floor of the House during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in January. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay (FL) Times]

  • A lot of it has to do with districts that are drawn in a way that favors one party over another. A lot of it has to do with voters who do not pay attention and give elected officials a free pass.
  • It’s ugly. It’s corrupt. It’s Florida.
  • Related: America’s Descent Into Madness

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Series | 1968 Reduxed and Revisited: Look How Far We’ve Come (That Was Sarcasm) — Part 3 of 5

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  • The Series: As the country approaches the 50th anniversary of one of the most controversial, volatile, and important years in our country’s history, We the People of the United States of America find ourselves facing many of the same issues that led us to the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel, the bloodiest year of the Vietnam War, screams of “the whole world is watching” at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the floor of the Ambassador Hotel, and Black fists being raised in the air at the Mexico Summer Olympics. So much has changed, true. We’ve come so far, but in a lot of ways, we’re right back where we started and even further behind.
  • Part 3: The Revolution Will Not Be Instagrammed. How the ghost of Stokely Carmichael haunts modern social movements.

John Fisher, Medium

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https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1000/1*SxiDL0rsTFEY0qAByK9JrA.jpegStokely Carmichael and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Photo: Vanderbilt Special Collections and University Archives

Dec 19, 2017 | A little more than 50 years ago, on July 28, 1966, Stokely Carmichael, the newly appointed chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, screamed two words into a microphone at a crowded rally in Greenwood, Mississippi:

Black. Power.

Those two words would change Carmichael’s life and send the civil rights movement veering in a new direction. Until that moment, Carmichael had been a relatively unknown but successful community organizer, responsible for helping to register thousands of Black voters in Mississippi and Alabama. After that moment, he would become the leader of a movement that would spawn a new, more militant and radical approach to the issue of race by young Blacks in America and around the world.

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/fit/c/100/100/1*-ADGrYIbqY29NX_74xROyw@2x.jpeg John Fisher: I’m sorry if you’re in a rush. Don’t let me hold you up or intervene or interrupt …

Full story … 

Previously in This Series:

Series | 1968 Reduxed and Revisited: Look How Far We’ve Come (That Was Sarcasm) — Part 2 of 5


Series | 1968 Reduxed and Revisited: Look How Far We’ve Come (That Was Sarcasm) — Part 1 of 5
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Series | A Nation Under Trump, Part 4 - Poverty issues gain traction in first year of Trump presidency

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Volunteers with Catholic Charities' St. Maria's meals program in Washington serve dinner March 8 to people who are homeless. (CNS/Chaz Muth)

  • The Series: As the anniversary of Donald Trump's election as president of the United States approached, the NCR staff wondered if the calls to action that persisted immediately following the election remained as urgent.
  • Part 4: With united voice Christian groups fight cuts to safety-net programs

Heidi Schlumpf, National Catholic Reporter (NCR) 

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-- David Culver, Founder & Publisher





Nov 3, 2017 | In the year since Donald Trump was elected U.S. president, Catholic Charities has seen a small decrease in the number of people served at its food pantries, medical and legal clinics, domestic violence shelters, afterschool programs and senior centers. This good news mirrors overall dips in poverty and hunger, as the U.S. economy continues to recover from the 2008 recession. 

Now for the bad news: The wealthy have recovered more quickly than poor and middle-class Americans, leading to widening income inequality; more Americans still face food insecurity than before the recession; some workers have dropped out of the labor force altogether; and decades-long income and wage stagnation persists, leaving more than 40 million Americans — more than one in 10 — in poverty.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Heidi%20Schlumpf%2C%20NCR.jpgHeidi Schlumpf is NCR’s national correspondent, based in Chicago. She has three decades of experience covering religion, spirituality, social justice and women’s issues, and is the author/editor of three books, including Elizabeth A. Johnson: Questing for God (Liturgical Press, 2016).

Full story … 

Previously in this Series:

Part 3 - Trump has put anti-immigrant campaign promises into action

Part 2 - The Trump presidency and Europe's dilemma

Part 1 - What has the GOP learned since Trump's election?

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Romano: The moral corruption of Florida politicians

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Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk on the floor of the House during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in January. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay (FL) Times]

  • A lot of it has to do with districts that are drawn in a way that favors one party over another. A lot of it has to do with voters who do not pay attention and give elected officials a free pass.
  • It’s ugly. It’s corrupt. It’s Florida.
  • Related: America’s Descent Into Madness

 

John Romano, Tampa Bay (FL) Times 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20icon.jpg Evergreene Digest Editor's Note: It's not just Florida that's corrupt. This exact same story could've been written about any state in the country. Only the faces are different.

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March 1, 2018 | In times like these, you often hear Florida’s Legislature described as tone-deaf. I’m sorry, but that’s a sadly charitable portrayal.

Calling lawmakers tone-deaf implies they don’t understand the current mood surrounding them. I think they fully understand it. They just choose to ignore it.

Take a moment to consider what’s happened in recent days.

John Romano, Tampa Bay (FL) Times  Columnist

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Related:


https://philoforchange.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/fear_anthony-frieda1.jpg?w=720[Credit: Anthony Frieda.]

America’s Descent Into Madness, Henry Giroux, Counterpunch

  • America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War. – John le Carré
  • The Politics of Cruelty
  • The Corporation as Psychopath

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