MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en No, Hillary, Edward Snowden Didn't Have Whistleblower Protections <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>When CNN's Anderson Cooper asked the Democratic presidential candidates if they considered National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden to be a "hero", former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton <a href="" target="_blank">said this</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>&ldquo;He broke the laws of the United States. He could&rsquo;ve been a whistleblower ... He could&rsquo;ve raised all the issues that have been raised ... He stole very important information that has fallen into the wrong hands. I think he should not come up without being made to face the music.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2015/10/no-hillary-edward-snowden-didnt-have-whistleblower-protections"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics Wed, 14 Oct 2015 03:28:03 +0000 AJ Vicens 286816 at Clinton and Sanders Just Came Out Hard on the Issue Republicans Refuse to Talk About <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Republicans are largely silent on climate change. Democrats shout it loud. That's the message from tonight's debate in Las Vegas that was broadcast on CNN. Climate change <a href="" target="_blank">was an awkward, 11th-hour topic</a> in the second GOP debate last month that nobody seemed to want to talk about, in an exchange that lasted for only about four minutes. On Tuesday night, climate change roared into focus. Global warming was introduced as a big, banner election theme for the Democrats onstage. All but one spoke about it during opening remarks.</p> <p>"I want to address climate change, a real threat to our planet," said former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee in the opening minutes of the debate.</p> <p>"We must square our shoulders to the great challenge of climate change and make this threat our opportunity," former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley told the audience. "The future is what we make of it. We are all in this together. And the question in this election is whether you and I still have the ability to give our kids a better future."</p> <p>Then, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, went even further. "Today, the scientific community is virtually unanimous," he said. "Climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and we have a moral responsibility to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy and leave this planet a habitable planet for our children and our grandchildren." Later, Sanders described climate change as the greatest national security threat.</p> <p>Hillary Clinton, the current Democratic front-runner, framed climate change as an economic opportunity. "I've traveled across our country over the last months listening and learning," she said. "And I've put forward specific plans about how we're going to create more good-paying jobs: by investing in infrastructure and clean energy, by making it possible once again to invest in science and research, and taking the opportunity posed by climate change to grow our economy."</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Climate Change Climate Desk Energy Hillary Clinton Top Stories bernie sanders Wed, 14 Oct 2015 02:15:29 +0000 James West 286811 at Bernie Sanders Just Explained Why Hillary’s Email Scandal Is Such a Sideshow <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Anderson Cooper did not lead off with a question for Hillary Clinton about her email problem. But it didn't take long for the CNN host to get to this topic during the first debate for Democratic presidential candidates.</p> <p>"I've taken responsibility for it, I did say it was a mistake," Clinton told Cooper, before pivoting to a political defense. "This [Benghazi] committee is basically an arm of the Republican National Committee." She pointed to the recent remark by almost-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who foolishly boasted publicly that the Benghazi investigation had driven down Clinton's poll numbers.</p> <p>When Cooper pointed out that there's an FBI investigation into the matter, Clinton responded: "I never said it wasn't legitimate. I've said I've answered all the questions. I think it would be really unfair not to look at the entire picture."</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2015/10/hillary-email-democratic-debate-sanders-omalley"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics Wed, 14 Oct 2015 02:05:24 +0000 AJ Vicens 286786 at Here's the Sanders-Clinton Exchange on Gun Control Everyone Is Talking About <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Over a 10-minute stretch in Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton&mdash;with an assist from former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley&mdash;threw down over gun control, a subject that Clinton has made a central part of her campaign over the last few weeks.</p> <p>Watch:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>CNN moderator Anderson Cooper got things started by asking Sanders about his previous support from the National Rifle Association, and votes he cast against gun control legislation. Sanders pushed back hard:</p> <blockquote> <p>Let's begin, Anderson, by understanding that Bernie Sanders has a D-minus voting record from the NRA. Let's also understand that back in 1988 when I first ran for the United States Congress&mdash;way back then&mdash;I told the gun owners of the people of Vermont and I told the people of Vermont, a state that has virtually no gun control, that I supported a ban on assault weapons. And over the years, I have strongly supported instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole, and I think we've got to move aggressively at the federal level in dealing with straw-man purchases. Also, I believe, and I've fought for, to understand that there are thousands of people in this country today who are suicidal, who are homicidal, and who can't get the health care they need, the mental health care, because they don't have insurance, or they're too poor. I believe that everybody in this country who has a mental crisis has got to get mental counseling immediately.</p> </blockquote> <p>But Cooper followed it up: "Do you want to shield gun companies from lawsuits?"</p> <p>"Of course not," Sanders said.</p> <blockquote> <p>This was a large and complicated bill. There were provisions in it that I think make sense. For example, do I think that a gun show in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I don't. On the other hand, where you have manufacturers and where you have gun shops knowingly giving guns to criminals or aiding and abetting, of course we should take action.</p> </blockquote> <p>Cooper then asked Clinton if Sanders was being tough enough on guns. She replied:</p> <blockquote> <p>No, not at all. I think we have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day from gun violence. This has gone on too long, and it's time the entire country stood up against the NRA. The majority of our country supports background checks, and even the majority of gun owners do. Senator Sanders did vote five times against the Brady bill. Since it was passed, nearly 2 million illegal purchases have been prevented. He also did, as he said, vote for this immunity provision. I voted against it. I was in the Senate the same time. It wasn&rsquo;t that complicated to me. It was pretty straightforward to me that he was going to give immunity to the only industry in America&mdash;everybody else has to be accountable, but not the gun manufacturers, and we need to be able to stand up and say enough of that, we're not gonna let it continue.</p> </blockquote> <p>Sanders responded:</p> <blockquote> <p>As the senator from a rural state, what I can tell Secretary Clinton is that all the shouting in the world is not gonna do what I would hope all of us want, which is to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns, and end this horrible violence that we are seeing. I believe that there is a consensus in this country. A consensus that says we need to strengthen and expand instant background checks, do away with this gun show loophole, that we have to address the issue of mental health, that we have to deal with the straw-man purchasing issue, and that when we develop that consensus we can finally do something.</p> </blockquote></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections bernie sanders Wed, 14 Oct 2015 01:52:52 +0000 Tim Murphy 286796 at Georgia Deputies Allegedly Beat This College Kid and Tased Him in the Groin. Then He Died. <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>A <a href="" target="_blank">disturbing video</a> obtained by NBC News shows sheriff's deputies in Georgia using a stun gun to shock a mentally ill black college student in the groin after handcuffing him to a chair.&nbsp;</p> <p>The student, Matthew Ajibade, died shortly after the incident early on January 2. Two sheriff's deputies and a nurse at Chatham County jail in Savannah were charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death, and the video was shown in court proceedings on Friday.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="500" scrolling="no" src="" width="635"></iframe></p> <p>Ajibade had been taken into custody after being accused of domestic violence during what his family described as a bipolar episode, <a href="" target="_blank">according to NBC</a>. He was also <a href="" target="_blank">accused</a> of battery and obstruction of an officer.</p> <p>In another video shown in court last Wednesday, several officers can be seen throwing Ajibade to the floor in a pre-booking area of the jail and beating him after he allegedly resisted their instructions to sit down, according to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Savannah Morning News</em></a>.</p> <p>Once subdued, officers placed a spit mask over Ajibade's mouth and handcuffed him to a restraining chair in an isolation cell, NBC reported. In the minute-long video of the stun gun incident, Ajibade can be heard screaming after discharge from the stun gun hit his flesh. He was then allegedly left unattended for an hour and a half before being found unresponsive. A coroner in June ruled his death a homicide by <a href="" target="_blank">blunt-force trauma</a> suffered during the struggle in the pre-booking room. An <a href="" target="_blank">autopsy report</a> cited "a combination of abrasions, lacerations, [and] skin injuries about the head and some other areas of the body."</p> <p>Nine deputies who were on duty at the time of the incident were fired, according to NBC. Jason Kenny, the deputy who used the stun gun on Ajibade, is currently standing trial along with Maxine Evans, another deputy, and Gregory Brown, a nurse at the jail. On Tuesday a superior court judge in Chatham County acquitted Brown of the involuntary manslaughter charge, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>Savannah Morning News</em></a>, but he still faces charges of committing public records fraud and giving a false statement to investigators, after he allegedly signed a restraint chair log for Ajibade without reading it.</p> <p>Ajibade's family is being represented in court by Mark O'Mara, the attorney who successfully defended George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in 2012. Of the treatment of Ajibade in custody, <a href="" target="_blank">O'Mara told NBC</a>, "It is nothing less than torture. It's sadism."</p></body></html> Politics Crime and Justice Human Rights Wed, 14 Oct 2015 00:15:06 +0000 Samantha Michaels 286771 at We're Live-Blogging the First Democratic Presidential Debate of 2015 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/demodebate.gif"></div> <p>This was a very collegial debate. There were a few shots taken, but not many, and the few that were taken were pretty mild. Is this because Democrats are nicer than Republicans? Is it because there's no Donald Trump in this debate? No. I think it's because no one on the stage truly believes they can beat Hillary Clinton. So why bother making enemies?</p> <p>Here's how I think everyone did:</p> <p><strong>Lincoln Chafee</strong> had an odd, stuttering style of speech, and failed to distinguish himself at all. His lame excuse for voting to repeal Glass-Steagall will haunt him. He needs to drop out.</p> <p><strong>Jim Webb</strong> did better than Chafee, but also failed to distinguish himself. His main themes were China bashing and Wall Street bashing. But Hillary Clinton has a plenty tough reputation on foreign policy, and Bernie Sanders obviously has Webb beat on hating Wall Street. So what's the point of voting for him?</p> <p><strong>Martin O'Malley</strong> did pretty well. He has a nice affect, and he gave pretty solid answers, even if he did mention "a clean electric grid by 2050" a wee bit too often. He'll probably improve his poll standing just by virtue of not imploding, but only by a little bit.</p> <p><strong>Bernie Sanders</strong> was fine, but he didn't say anything that would change anyone's mind about him. If you want the most dovish candidate on foreign policy and the most hawkish candidate on Wall Street, he's your man. <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_debate_clinton_2015_10_13.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">But everyone knew that before. I don't think he'll lose any support, but it's hard to see this performance gaining him any.</p> <p><strong>Hillary Clinton</strong> was very polished. She obviously benefited from the reluctance of everyone else to really attack her, especially over the email server affair. She scored a few points against Sanders, but they were done lightly enough to draw a useful contrast without making her seem nasty. I don't think she made any mistakes, and she came across as reasonable and well briefed. She benefited from the obvious fact that others on the stage respected her and the audience liked her. There was very little focus on her negatives (the email server, Benghazi, trustworthiness, etc.). At the very least, this will keep her poll numbers from sliding any further. My guess is that she'll gain a little ground.</p> <p>Overall, it's hard to see this debate changing the dynamics of the race by much. There were no big blunders, no memorable zingers, and no sharp attacks. FWIW, I'll predict a small bounce for Clinton and O'Malley, and that's about it.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Transcript here.</a></p> <hr width="30%"><p>Soon this space will be filled with lively banter about the first Democratic debate of the year. Come back a little before 8:30 Eastern and the festivities will begin.</p> <p><strong>10:55 -</strong> It's fun question time! What enemy are you most proud of? Chafee: coal lobby. O'Malley: the NRA. Clinton: health insurance companies, drug companies, Iranians, Republicans. Sanders: Wall Street. Webb: the enemy soldier who wounded me.</p> <p><strong>10:49 -</strong> Sanders: The only way to get things done is by having millions of people come together. Meh. But there's no real answer to the question of how to get Republicans to cooperate about anything, so I suppose it's as good an answer as any.</p> <p><strong>10:46 -</strong> Clinton not willing to take a stand on legalizing marijuana. Wants to wait and see how things work out in Colorado and Washington.</p> <p><strong>10:45 -</strong> Sanders says he "suspects" he would vote for Nevada initiative to legalize recreational marijuana.</p> <p><strong>10:43 -</strong> Some good Republican bashing from Clinton. Lotsa cheers. It's only Rs who say we can't have nice things. Everyone else agrees.</p> <p><strong>10:39 -</strong> Everyone wants to address climate change except for Jim Webb, who prefers a bit of China bashing instead.</p> <p><strong>10:29 -</strong> What's the one Obama policy you'd change? Chafee: end the wars. O'Malley: rein in big banks. Clinton: I'd be female. Wants to "build on" Obama's successes. Sanders: need to make government work for all of us, not just millionaires. Webb: less executive authority.</p> <p><strong>10:17 -</strong> Hillary: Republicans suck on immigration.</p> <p><strong>10:15 -</strong> There's been very little in the way of even weak attacks on other candidates. It's not quite a lovefest, but close.</p> <p><strong>10:08 -</strong> Chafee is defending his vote to repeal Glass-Steagall by saying he had just entered the Senate and his father had died. OMG.</p> <p><strong>10:07 -</strong> Minnows like Webb should stop whining about not getting enough time. If it were up to me, he wouldn't even be on the stage.</p> <p><strong>10:03 -</strong> Clinton obliquely refers to shadow banking again. Would love to hear more detail about that.</p> <p><strong>10:02 -</strong> Clinton "went to Wall Street" in 2007 and told them to "cut it out." I guess that didn't work.</p> <p><strong>10:01 -</strong> Clinton talks about shadow banking. Good for her. Not sure what she'd actually do about it, though.</p> <p><strong>10:00 -</strong> O'Malley wants to reinstate Glass-Steagall. That's a weak idea for reining in big banks.</p> <p><strong>9:58 -</strong> Cooper is now just inviting candidates to give a 1-minute version of their stump speeches.</p> <p><strong>9:52 -</strong> Cooper: "Do you want to respond?" Clinton: "No." I guess that shows how much she cares about Lincoln Chafee.</p> <p><strong>9:49 -</strong> Sanders naturally agrees with Clinton. Nobody wants to give the Benghazi committee any legitimacy. "Let's talk about the real <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_clinton_sanders_debate_handshake.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">issues." <em>Huge</em> cheers. Hillary and Bernie practically hug each others.</p> <p><strong>9:46 -</strong> Clinton: the Benghazi committee is just a partisan attempt to bring down her poll numbers. Big cheers.</p> <p><strong>9:44 -</strong> What is the biggest threat to America's national security? Chafee: chaos in the Middle East. O'Malley: nuclear Iran. Clinton: nuclear weapons. Sanders: climate change. Webb: China, cybersecurity.</p> <p><strong>9:38 -</strong> O'Malley: we need better humint. Yeah, yeah. Everyone wants better humint. How do you plan to get that?</p> <p><strong>9:34 -</strong> Webb is <em>really</em> eager to denounce China. He probably could have waited.</p> <p><strong>9:32 -</strong> Clinton: "I'm in the middle here."</p> <p><strong>9:26 -</strong> Hillary's response to voting for Iraq war: Obama values her judgment. Interesting attempt to tie herself to Obama, who's pretty damn popular in this hall.</p> <p><strong>9:23 -</strong> Sanders: Syria is a "quagmire in a quagmire." I'd probably add one more quagmire to that, but he has the right idea.</p> <p><strong>9:21 -</strong> Chafee wants to talk to Wayne LaPierre in order to "find common ground" on gun control. Good luck with that.</p> <p><strong>9:16 -</strong> Hmmm. Hillary was pretty tough on Sanders's stand on gun control. A sign of things to come?</p> <p><strong>9:11 -</strong> O'Malley's speaking style is oddly warbly.</p> <p><strong>9:07 -</strong> Cooper after asking Sanders about democratic socialism: "Anyone else on this stage not a capitalist?" Hillary barges in. She loves Denmark and small businesses, but hates rising income inequality.</p> <p><strong>9:04 -</strong> Sanders: "We need to learn from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway."</p> <p><strong>9:02 -</strong> "Some people say you're...." This is the worst possible kind of question. Vague and trivially easy to answer. Hillary is having no problem with accusations of flip flopping.</p> <p><strong>8:59 - </strong>I guess we're all agreed: the middle class is really important.</p> <p><strong>8:48 -</strong> Chafee: "I have high ethical standards." Good to know.</p> <p><strong>8:43 -</strong> Is it just me, or was that a pretty bad rendition of the national anthem? Just me, I suppose.</p> <p><strong>8:38 - </strong>Is this intro <em>meant</em> to be a parody?</p> <p><strong>8:36 -</strong> Marian won't be joining me tonight. She's watching the ballgame instead. Smart.</p> <p><strong>8:35 -</strong> I think this debate is scheduled to last two hours, but I don't know for sure. Apparently it's a state secret. But I read a few items saying that CNN had decided to cut it from 3 hours to 2.</p> <p><strong>8:32 -</strong> ZOMG, Joe Biden appeared in the background a couple of times in Obama's prerecorded message! What does it mean?</p> <p><strong>8:28 -</strong> Wolf says that President Obama might watch some of the debate!</p></body></html> Kevin Drum 2016 Elections Elections Top Stories Tue, 13 Oct 2015 23:55:18 +0000 Kevin Drum 286751 at Donald Trump Is Live-Tweeting the Democratic Debate <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Predicting that tonight's Democratic debate is going to be a total snoozefest, Donald Trump has heroically volunteered to spice things up by live-tweeting the event. What type of deep analysis will the bombastic GOP candidate be providing? Try MoJo's Donald Trump <a href="" target="_blank">insult generator</a> to get an idea. We'll be gathering Trump's best&mdash;and worst&mdash;tweets here. Stay tuned.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="">@realDonaldTrump</a> Glad you'll be watching. It's going to be "huge."</p> &mdash; Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) <a href="">October 13, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>It begins:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">We will all have fun and hopefully learn something tonight. I will shoot straight and call it as I see it, both the good and the bad. Enjoy!</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">October 14, 2015</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align center" lang="en">&nbsp;</blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Putin is not feeling too nervous or scared. <a href="">#DemDebate</a></p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">October 14, 2015</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">&nbsp;</blockquote> <p>On Trump's imagination:</p> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align center" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Can anyone imagine Chafee as president? No way.</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">October 14, 2015</a></blockquote> <p>Imitation sometimes is not all that flattering:&nbsp;</p> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align center" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">"<a href="">@Iamnewhere</a>: Webb is trying to be <a href="">@realDonaldTrump</a> and its not working." He is not doing well!</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">October 14, 2015</a></blockquote> <p>After Sen. Bernie Sanders discredited the importance of Hillary Clinton's email controversy:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align center" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Good move by Bernie S.</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">October 14, 2015</a></blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">@realDonaldTrump</a> ISIS</p> &mdash; Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) <a href="">October 14, 2015</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align" lang="en">&nbsp;</blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align" lang="en">&nbsp;</blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align center" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Sanders said only black lives matter - wow! Hillary did not answer question!</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">October 14, 2015</a></blockquote> <p>On immigration reform:&nbsp;</p> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align center" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Notice that illegal immigrants will be given ObamaCare and free college tuition but nothing has been mentioned about our VETERANS <a href="">#DemDebate</a></p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">October 14, 2015</a></blockquote> <p>And then the time when he may have stopped watching altogether:&nbsp;</p> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align center" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Wow, I am giving a speech on OAN. Much more exciting than debate!</p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">October 14, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Elections Top Stories Tue, 13 Oct 2015 22:43:14 +0000 Miles E. Johnson 286766 at Yes, Americans Have Become More Ideologically Polarized (Since 1994) <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><a href="" target="_blank">Over at the Monkey Cage,</a> political scientists Seth Hill and Chris Tausanovitch argue that despite what it looks like, the American public hasn't actually gotten more polarized over the past 50 or 60 years. Lawmakers have, but ordinary citizens haven't.</p> <p>But I'm not sure their own data backs this up. Unfortunately, the chart I want to talk about is a little complicated, so bear with me. The authors measure polarization by looking at answers to questions on the American National Election Studies survey, which is conducted every two years. In the chart below, they look at what percentage of respondents are as extreme as the most extreme 5 percent from the previous survey. If it's 5 percent, then nothing has changed. If it's 6 percent, then the relative number of extremists has gone up. <a href="" target="_blank">Here's the chart:</a></p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_polarization_hill_tausanovitch.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 15px 7px;"></p> <p>The thing to notice is that these changes are cumulative because each year is measured relative to the previous survey. Take a look at the left-hand chart, which measures the polarization of ordinary people. Just by eyeballing and adding up the differences from 5 percent,<sup>1</sup> I get a cumulative change of +0.7 percent between 1956 and 1992. That's a change of +0.02 percent per year, which is virtually nothing.</p> <p>But if you add up the years between 1994 and 2012 (in red), you get a cumulative change of about 6.6 percent. That's a change of +0.4 percent per year.</p> <p>For senators, the story is a little different. They've been getting steadily more polarized all along, but in 2004 the changes get much bigger, with no low points and certainly no negative points.</p> <p>But it's ordinary people that I want to focus on. The authors look at the entire period from 1956-2012 and see little evidence of increased polarization. I think this misreads things. There's little evidence of consistently increasing polarization <em>through 1992</em>. But starting in 1994, which coincides with the Gingrich revolution, polarization gets steadily stronger. (For some reason there's no data for 2006 and 2010, but I suspect those are years of increasing polarization anyway.) It may be true that Congress has gotten even more polarized than the public&mdash;partly because of ideological sorting and partly because politicians tend to take politics more seriously&mdash;but ever since 1994 the public has indeed been getting more polarized too.</p> <p><sup>1</sup>This is not the right way to measure cumulative change, but it's good enough to make my point. I think you'd see the same thing if you did the arithmetic correctly.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Tue, 13 Oct 2015 22:28:43 +0000 Kevin Drum 286776 at Fox's Shepard Smith Just Tore NBC Apart for Inviting Donald Trump to Host SNL <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>On Tuesday morning, NBC announced that Donald Trump would be the host of Saturday Night Live on November 7. Shortly afterward, Trump confirmed the announcement on his Twitter account and expressed his excitement.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align center" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">It was just announced that I will be hosting Saturday Night Live on Nov. 7th -- look forward to it! <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">October 13, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Trump seemed an odd choice, if only because in June NBCUniversal, <a href="" target="_blank">responsible</a> for Trump's hit show&nbsp;<em>The Apprentice </em>and a <a href="" target="_blank">stakeholder</a> in the Miss Universe Organization,&nbsp;announced with much fanfare that it was cutting ties with the real state mogul and GOP candidate, following his&nbsp; <a href="" target="_blank">controversial comments</a> describing Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals.</p> <p>"At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values," the network said in a <a href="" target="_blank">press release</a>. "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump."</p> <p>Trump retorted that NBC was "weak" and "foolish" for not understanding the "serious illegal immigration problem" facing the United States.&nbsp;</p> <p>This afternoon, Fox News' Shepard Smith weighed in on Trump's SNL invite, tearing into the network for cutting business ties to Trump but inviting him to host the popular show. "Nice job, NBC," Smith said. "You made a stand, you stood for your values, you did what you must, forget the money, no more Trump! Except, more Trump. Dumb, dumb, dumb."</p> <p>Neither the Trump campaign nor NBC Universal responded to a request for comment. We'll update the post if we hear back.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Film and TV Immigration Top Stories Tue, 13 Oct 2015 21:17:11 +0000 Miles E. Johnson 286761 at This Aunt Is Suing Her 12-Year-Old Nephew for an "Unreasonable" Hug <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><strong>Update, October 13, 3:51 p.m. EST:</strong> Jennifer Connell <a href="" target="_blank">lost</a> her lawsuit. It took the jury just 20 minutes to decide to decline awarding her the $127,000 she sought in damages against her 12-year-old nephew. Here she is leaving the courthouse:</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">PHOTO: Jennifer Connell, 54, leaving court after suing her 12-year-old nephew for wrist inj. She gets $0. <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Kevin Galliford (@KallMeKG) <a href="">October 13, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>Today's spotlight for some internet outrage can be directed toward Jennifer Connell, a human resources manager who hails from New York.</p> <p>According to the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Connecticut Post</em></a>, 54-year-old Connell has filed a lawsuit against her 12-year-old nephew claiming he acted "unreasonably" after giving her a hug that caused her to fall and break her wrist.</p> <p>The unabashed display of affection happened four years ago at her nephew Sean Tarala's eighth birthday. He is the only defendant identified in the lawsuit, which claims his "negligent" hug caused her serious harm.</p> <p>"All of a sudden he was there in the air, I had to catch him and we tumbled onto the ground," Connell <a href="" target="_blank">testified</a> before a jury last Friday. "I remember him shouting, 'Auntie Jen, I love you,' and there he was flying at&nbsp;me."</p> <p>She says she did not complain to her nephew at the time because she didn't want to hurt his feelings, she told jurors. But four years later, Connell is now seeking $127,000 in damages, which include compromising her ability to eat gracefully at social occasions.</p> <p>"I was at a party recently," she explained. "And it was difficult to hold my hors d'oeuvre plate."</p> <p>On Friday, local media <a href="" target="_blank">reported</a> Tarala sitting next to his father in court looking "confused." His mother died last year.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Tue, 13 Oct 2015 18:00:57 +0000 Inae Oh 286726 at