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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

What’s behind fewer African-American voters at the polls

"Like the majority of African-Americans in their 70s, Mr. Mohammad, a retired math professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta, saw the Democrats as liberators for striking a deal on civil rights in the mid-1960s. He’s been a staunch Democratic voter ever since – until, he says, now."

“I’m done voting," he says, because it doesn’t do any good. Then adds: “Maybe you gotta be black to understand.”

"Disillusioned by what he calls unmet promises of the Obama era, evidence of state-sponsored disenfranchisement at the polls, and the rise of a new ethno-nationalist vanguard in Washington, he has joined the ranks of what some have called the vanishing black voter."

Michael Moore: Dems have ‘no message, no plan, no leaders’

"Liberal activist Michael Moore lashed out at national Democrats on Wednesday after the party fell short in a special House runoff election in Georgia despite spending tens of millions of dollars on a race that was viewed as a referendum on President Trump."

"Moore and others on the left are furious with what they view as a rudderless Democratic Party that has failed to develop a new strategy or message in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s surprising election loss in November."

"Moore ripped the Democratic National Committee and its House campaign arm for having “no message, no plan, no leaders.” Democratic leaders “hate the resistance,” Moore said, underscoring the lingering tension between the party’s grassroots base and the establishment in Washington."

NBC News Exclusive: Memo Shows Watergate Prosecutors Had Evidence Nixon White House Plotted Violence

It states that “an extensive investigation” found evidence that Nixon operatives plotted an “assault on antiwar demonstrators” at a rally at the U.S. Capitol featuring Ellsberg and other anti-war "notables.” The anti-war demonstration occurred near a viewing of recently deceased FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. An accompanying memo by Akerman summarizes his interview with Stone, who said he helped organize young Republicans to join the counter-demonstration but who had no apparent knowledge of the White House plot on Ellsberg.

The attack would be on "long-haired demonstrators, in particular Ellsberg,” the prosecutors' memo states, with the objectives of impugning Ellsberg for protesting near to Hoover lying in state and "simply having Ellsberg beaten up.”

Extremism experts are starting to worry about the left – VICE News

"Experts in homegrown extremism say it’s not so simple — Hodgkinson had no known association to any left-wing extremist group. But they also say that the past few months have seen enough of a rise in politically motivated violence from the far left that monitors of right-wing extremism have begun shifting their focus, and sounding the alarm. They see indications that the uptick in extremist rhetoric and anti-government activism that characterized the early years of the Obama presidency are beginning to manifest on the far left in the early days of Trump’s, and that the two sides are increasingly headed for confrontation."

The burning monk, 1963

"June 11, 1963, Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk Thích Quang Duc burned himself to death at a busy intersection in Saigon. He was attempting to show that to fight all forms of oppression on equal terms, Buddhism too, needed to have its martyrs. John F. Kennedy said in reference to a photograph of Duc on fire: “No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one”. Photographer Malcolm Browne captured the scene in Saigon for the Associated Press, and the stark black and white image quickly became an iconic visual of the turbulent 1960s."

"The self-immolation was done in protest to the South Vietnamese Diem regime’s pro-catholic policies and discriminatory Buddhist laws. In particular this was a response to the banning of the Buddhist flag, just 2 days after Diem had held a very public ceremony displaying crosses; earlier in his rule he had dedicated Vietnam to Jesus and the Catholic Church. The growing resentment of Buddhists under Diem was one of the underlying issues of South Vietnam, and eventually led to a coup to put in place a leader who would not alienate Buddhists, who made up 70-90% of Vietnam’s population."

IN PICS: German Carnival floats show Trump no mercy

"Carnival is know as die fünfte Jahreszeit (the fifth season) in German. It is a time when the usual rules of polite society are thrown out the window.

In the major cities of the Rhine region the inhabitants become Narren (jesters) for a week, mocking the political establishment of the day with satirical floats which parade through the city centres.

The past twelve months have clearly provided plenty of ammunition to the west German satirists.

In Düsseldorf one of the central floats on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) showed US President Donald Trump standing next to French presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen, Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders and Adolf Hitler - all of them sporting carefully coiffed blond manes.

The four populist leaders of past and present held a banner reading “Blond is the new brown”.

‘The Trump 10’: Packing On The Pounds In An Age Of Stressful Politics

"Ever heard of the freshman 15? Nowadays, some people who are unhappy with the current political environment are complaining of the "Trump 10."

We first heard this term from actress Jane Krakowski, who recently told late night TV host Stephen Colbert, "Now that I've put on my Trump 10, I've got to work out a little." When Colbert said he hadn't heard of the term, she replied, "You know — like the freshman 15," referring to the weight gain typical during the first year of college."

‘Covfefe’ tells you all you need to know about Donald Trump

"At 12:06 a.m. ET, the President of the United States tweeted this: "Despite the constant negative press covfefe."

By 6 a.m., that tweet had been deleted. Shortly after, Trump tweeted this: "Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!"

To be clear: This is, on its face, dumb. Trump seemed to be trying to type "coverage" and misspelled it. As he often does. Then he fell asleep and didn't correct the mistake until he got up in the morning. We've all been there! (OK, not all of us. But me.)"

Trump’s obsession over Russia probe deepens

"Two White House officials said Trump and some aides including Steve Bannon are becoming increasingly convinced that they are victims of a conspiracy against Trump's presidency, as evidenced by the number of leaks flowing out of government — that the crusade by the so-called “deep state” is a legitimate threat, not just fodder for right wing defenders."

I’m not really into politics nor do I follow every news story or tweet, but my grotesque obsession over Donald Trump continues. He’s one part horror show, one part freak show, one part agent of change. I can’t decide if I hate or love the man or for that matter have much of an opinion of his presidency.

There are some things I think are just awful about Trump. He seems to have a very poor understanding of economics, international relationships, climate change and science. It’s fine to have an opinion and be a conservative, but you should have a basic understanding of the concrete facts your dealing with as our nation’s chief executive. Sometimes liberals insist on policy outcomes not based on the facts but their own values without considering values and priorities of other Americans — but they sometimes are more grounded in reality rather then rhetoric.

And I think Trump is just wrong on immigration. Immigrants are the fabric of our community, and while illegal immigration is problematic, we should find solutions to integrate immigrants already here, and go after employers who break immigrant law. Immigrants rarely take American’s jobs, because most of the lowest skilled jobs aren’t that attractive to Americans. If we want more jobs, we should have taxpayer-support of public colleges and training, so people can get the skills needed to succeed in our economy. We shouldn’t discourage international trade, we should encourage fair trade.

At the same time, I like the idea that Donald Trump is pushing a smaller government – I think the government at all levels had gotten too involved in too many people’s lives, pushing the trendy social causes of the day, spending too much time and money to save puppies and cute children. Government has core responsibilities, but we should empower private citizens rather then state to mediate conflicts. We don’t need more laws, we just need simpler, more enforceable laws, and fewer of them. Government needs to spend less time trying to stop the next so-called tragedy, and focus on making people’s lives better today.

To that matter, I am not that horrified by his budget proposal, as much as I’m amused by it, even if it spends too much on military defense and the police state. We need an honest discussion of government programs, and those that are absolutely necessary, Congress should reinstate.  Sometimes it’s better to start at ground zero, and build back up. Maybe they shouldn’t keep doing things the same way in government, because that’s the way they’ve always done it.

To be sure, I’m not thrilled by Donald Trump. I thought Barack Obama had a better grasp of the facts, and delivered a healthcare program, while not perfect, helped out a lot of people. But as they say, there is always more to do. Mr. Trump has three years left to prove himself, and ultimately governing is not defined by who has the best rhetoric, but who gets the best results. People need to learn that things need to change, so we can make life better for people.

nycmap $id

Interview: The Pitfalls of ‘Buy American’

"Like people in the 1970s, people today want to return to the so-called “Golden Age” when there were lots of jobs in heavy industry that were union, paid really well, and provided excellent benefits. They imagine that “Buy American” might help to bring all that back."

"The problem is that employers have long since turned on the labor movement and driven down working conditions so far that is very hard to return to that world. The strategy being pursued by employers today is totally different from what unions faced in the 1950s and 1960s, when the Steelworkers and Auto Workers had these great jobs."

"And, of course, that seeming “Golden Age” puts the focus on only one particular sector. Steel jobs were not naturally wonderful jobs with pensions and health care and high salaries. They had been hideous jobs where people worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, until the Congress of Industrial Organizations built powerful unions in the 1930s and changed all that."

"Manufacturing is only 8 percent of all employment in the United States. What we need is a massive grassroots movement that makes all jobs—whether they are in manufacturing, or in service, or in agriculture—into really great jobs with union protections."