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Kali Holloway – Where Does Your City Rank? The Most Liberal—and Conservative—Cities Around the Country

Remember when Sarah Palin said she [3] loved to visit “the real America”—as if there are parts of the country that are less authentically American than others? A more articulate person might’ve said she preferred visiting the more conservative swaths of the country to the liberal ones. It’s still a politically unwise admission, but unwise is pretty much Palin’s middle name. In any …

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Leid Stories – 12.15.15

‘Terrorism’ Bolsters Republican ‘Debate’ and CNN’s Bid for Campaign Ad Dollars
The fifth—and, gratefully, last—Republican big-media Q&A (it’s not a debate) for 2015 airs tonight. Staged at The Venetian, the resort hotel and casino in Las Vegas, the Q&A is actually a two-parter—an undercard of four candidates who didn’t quite make the cut in the polls, and the main event featuring nine others who did. It shouldn’t surprise that “terrorism” and related issues—immigration, homeland security, ISIS and, of course, the “good” Muslims/”bad” Muslims racist canard—will dominate the discussion; it’s the kind of political hash that presidential hopefuls would feast upon and willingly share out to voters. But big media is after big money, and CNN gets to make the point tonight to all pols and parties concerned why it deserves the lion’s share of the $5 billion in campaign advertising industry analysts say is up for grabs in the 2016 election cycle, the costliest in U.S. history.

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Tana Ganeva – 10 Cities With the Most Struggling People

As the media obsess over Donald Trump’s latest ploy to make the media obsess over him, here are some issues getting less attention: 22 percent of U.S [3]. kids live in poverty, including 39 percent of African-American children. One in 7 Americans [4] can’t afford to feed themselves without relying on food banks, which are struggling to meet their needs. A Pew poll released last week …

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Karl Grossman – Why Is Gas Suddenly $2 a Gallon? OPEC and the Frackers

Wondering why the price of gasoline has plummeted to around $2 a gallon? It is largely an attempt to quash one of the most odious of energy processes–fracking–by a most odious of energy organizations, OPEC. Hydraulic fracturing or fracking has in recent years caused a revolution in petroleum extraction. Using a new technique to split underground shale formations, it has …

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Mark Hertsgaard – The Fate of the World Changed in Paris—but by How Much?

Thanks a lot, Republicans. You weren’t in Paris physically, but you still managed to prevent last week’s global climate summit from reaching an agreement that would give humanity a better than iffy chance of avoiding catastrophic sea-level rise, scorching temperatures, and killer floods and drought in the years ahead. An iffy chance is better than none, and government and civil-society …

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IAN MILLHISER – Donald Trump Has An Absolutely Terrifying Plan For The Supreme Court

Early in his campaign for the White House, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump suggested that his nominees to the Supreme Court may be unexpectedly moderate — he said that his sister Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, a left-of-center Clinton appointee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, would make a “phenomenal” justice. Speaking at a South Carolina political …

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Matt Taibbi – It’s Too Late to Turn Off Trump

Some people in the news business are having second thoughts this week about their campaign strategy. They’re wondering if they created a monster in Donald Trump. The LA Times published a piece about how the tone of Trump’s TV appearances has changed, now that’s he’s fully out of the closet as an aspiring dictator, with his plans to ban all Muslims and …

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Mark Bowden – Donald Trump Really Doesn’t Want Me to Tell You This, But…

 spent a long, awkward weekend with Donald Trump in November 1996, an experience I feel confident neither of us would like to repeat. He was like one of those characters in an 18th-century comedy meant to embody a particular flavor of human folly. Trump struck me as adolescent, hilariously ostentatious, arbitrary, unkind, profane, dishonest, loudly opinionated, and consistently wrong. He …

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Channeling Nation’s Ugliness, Trump More American Than You Think

Much has been made of how Donald Trump’s racist remarks on the 2016 presidential campaign trail are “un-American,” outlandish, and—incredibly to some—giving him a bump in the polls. But others say it’s time for a reality check. Trump is “definitely not an outlier,” Erika Lee, director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, told The Hill. …

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Chris Hedges – Capitalism’s Cult of Human Sacrifice

HOUSTON—Bryan Parrasstood in the shadows cast by glaring floodlights ringing the massive white, cylindrical tanks of the Valero oil refinery. He, like many other poor Mexican-Americans who grew up in this part of Houston, struggles with asthma, sore throats, headaches, rashes, nosebleeds and a host of other illnesses and symptoms. The air was heavy with the smell of sulfur and …