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Category Archives: Liberal

Outgrowing the cosmetic left: A liberal plea for fake liberalism to grow up – Salon

Posted: February 25, 2017 at 3:49 pm

We tell ourselves stories in order to live. Joan Didion said that in 1979, and it is the phrase Ive had pounding in my head as America endures the early stages of the Trump administration. An uncharitable reading of Didions statement is We lie to ourselves to feel important but that feels reductive. Lies are tiny mistruths, told for profit or to shift blame. Stories are necessary fictions, and the meanings they create are as valid as the truths created from chaos. But which stories we tell ourselves matter. Occasionally, our stories get repeated so often, we forget to challenge them.

For instance, youve heard this one,that 2016 was the worst year in human history! Yes, in 2016 the death camps of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen were in full effect, the American slave trade raged on, manifest destiny created the Trail of Tears, the World Trade Center imploded, the trench warfare of the first world war kills thousands every day, as Pol Pot, Josef Stalin and Chairman Mao murder millions of dissenters, and that was before an assassins bullet passed through Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, before lodging itself into the gas tank of the plane carrying Richie Valens, the Big Bopper and Buddy Holly, which then exploded into the city of Hiroshima incinerating thousands. Im not positive that all of those events happened in 2016, but George Michael died, and that caused a lot of well-paid pundits to declare it the worst year in history.

Of course, we all know 2016s mortal sin. Donald Trump promised the world an ocean of shit, and America decided to snorkel in it. President Barack Obama was an imperfect leader heading an imperfect system, but even his critics concede hes intelligent, thoughtful and doesnt routinely talk about how badly he wants to have sex with his children. We traded that for a man who treats women the way an arcade claw treats a stuffed animal.

Since the inauguration, great swaths of the left have accomplishedimpressive feats. The width and breadth of the protests has been staggering. The town hall protests are enlivening and reinvigorating debate. Still, while actual liberals are forming a resistance to Donald Trumps America, the fake liberalism of the cosmetic left as represented and served back to its audience by many online-media platforms, including at times this lovely website here tells us to double down on what weve been doing all along. Sure, it may not help anyone, but at least we can warm ourselves in the beaming light of our own smirk.

The legacy of the 2016 election is that it turned too many of us into a nation of children. Its hard to argue for our nations maturity when our leader tweets like an unmedicated preteen and thinks, No puppet! Youre the puppet! is a cogent debate response. But leftists have acted as tribal as conservatives. Am I saying liberals are more childish than conservatives? No, but if our reaction is They did it first it doesnt help our argument. But I am saying if liberals dont change who we are forget about the right-wingers were doomed to look back at 2016 as a golden age of nuance and tolerance. We are telling ourselves the wrong stories.

* * *

Donald Trump is a child, but he was elected because too many of us became children. How many times did you hear harmonica-playing Tim Kaine being called Americas stepfather? Or how Hillary Clinton talked to the electorate like a substitute teacher? Pundits say this with a smirk: The humor stems entirely from the assumption that we share their upper-class urban backgrounds. Every time I would hear this, Iwould look at the newscaster and think, But youre 40. Why are you talking like a child? Why do we look to the authority figures of our childhood when we talk about politics? Because, like children, we observe society and wait for it to be handed to us.

Our politicians treat us like children, our media talks to us like children, and so how does the cosmetic left react? By rolling their eyes and saying Ugh! and Thats not OK! With think pieces about multicultural emojis and by reveling in how many famous people agree with them. You know, like adults.

After President Barack Obama was re-elected, Republicans did an election postmortem and came up with a strategy to appeal to a broader base. They then ignored it and won with Donald Trump. Forthe 2016 postmortem, liberals, because we tend to lean toward compassion, blamed the poor. We didnt phrase it that way, of course. We blamed hillbillies, rednecks, trailer trash, as though this hasnt always been prep-school code for poor people. How, we asked, could they vote for someone so opposed to their own interests?

I dont understand why we look down on people who vote against their own interests. For one, why do you assume you know their interests? If you believe every abortion is the systemic murder of a child by the state, then whether you get an earned income credit on your taxes seems unimportant. Also, putting the good of the country ahead of your own pocketbook? I salute you, my noble friend, and wish you had a less idiotic idea of whats good for the country.

Because we are inundated with childish stories, we interpret reality in childish ways. Conservatives werent the people who disagree with us. In superhero movies or cowboy melodramas set in space, the bad guys dont disagree with the good guys as much as they want them sacrificed to their dark lord. Because were certain were the heroes, the election becomes about defeating an evil culture.

Culture matters. In fact, in politics, its all that matters. How many positions would Trump have to change for you to vote for him? When Trump said hed replace Obamacare with health care for everybody, did your mind change? We vote to tell others the sort of person we want to be. Thats why pollsters know who youre voting for by the music you listen to, the neighborhood you live in and a thousand other elements that have nothing to do with whether or not you read the news. Its why the next time Beyonc releases an album or Woody Allen releases a movie, you already know how your favorite websites will react. In art criticism, the aesthetic quality of the work matters less than what our opinion of the art says about us. In politics, the policy doesnt matter; its what our vote says about us.

* * *

Are people who voted for Donald Trump racist? Its tempting to look at a Confederate flag at a Trump rally and extrapolate that to symbolizing everyone there. When a couple of Bernie Sanders supporters waved a hammer and sickle flag to protest a Trump speech, did that delegitimize Sanders message? If people think Bernie Sanders is advocating communism and point to that hammer and sickle flag as proof, wed call that hysteria.

Trumps supporters say they are worried about jobs, about economic insecurity, but we, the enlightened we, know better. Really, they are racists, whether they know it or not. We have reached the saturation point of calling things we dont like racist, but havent offered a succinct, coherent definition of racist. All people have inherent biases, which surface even when we fight against them. If thats the qualification for racism, then the word racist is a useless adjective, as it can apply to any person or piece of art. It also defangs the word. Trump still believes the Central Park Five are guilty even after they were exonerated. That is so racist. Like in the way A Christmas Story was racist? Or are we talking white-women-who-belly-dance levels of racism?

Look, Donald Trump has been an asshole ever since he crawled out of his mothers asshole. Im not forgiving the racism of the Muslim ban, the border wall or his equivocating on David Duke. But the Washington Redskins have a racist name, and that doesnt mean their fans are racist. To say everyone who voted for Trump is racist is the logical equivalent of saying, If you voted for Clinton, you support the Iraq War. Maybe you personally didnt support the Iraq War, but by voting for a woman who voted for the war, you support carpet bombings and drone strikes. Its worth noting that as toxic as Donald Trump has been, he has not as of yet done anything as bad as voting for the Iraq War.

* * *

On her first show after the election, Samantha Bee, the comedic equivalent of a Facebook share if you agree post, said, America has done the diplomatic equivalent of installing an above-ground pool. Even in the best case scenario and it doesnt seep into the foundation, our neighbors will never look at us in the same way again.

Who has above-ground pools? Poor people of all races. Rural people with yards. The joke is simply Poor people who try to act rich are tacky. People who dont have the money to get a proper pool are an embarrassment, and they should be more concerned with the judgment of neighbors than their own happiness.

Does that attitude matter to people? One of my best friends a woman from West Virginia who organizes labor unions and has received commendations from the Obama White House said when she heard Bees above-ground pool joke, she instantly felt like the poorest kid in class. She organizes unions and had everything at stake in Clinton winning, but to Bee she was just the stupid, poor kid from astupid, poor state. That is the flip side of identity politics. It doesnt matter what she does only who she is.

Obviously, whites arent underserved by the media. But rural people who arent just white, Im embarrassed to have to remind the press are wildly underserved by the media.

Do you remember the storms last summer in Washington that caused flash flooding, killing 23 people and destroyed 1,200 homes? No? Because it didnt happen in Washington; it happened in West Virginia. As such, it was the fourth leading story on CNN, and it disappeared from the national news in a day.

But do you remember Hurricane Sandy battering New York and New Jersey four years ago? The storm that not only helped alter the 2012 election, but also the 2016 Republican primary? The one that led coverage of every TV channel and was on the cover of Time despite it being right before a presidential election? Of course you do because it happened to New York. Thirty-seven people died in Hurricane Sandy, and I dont want to minimize that loss but isnt there something unequal about the attention paid to an urban tragedy and to a rural tragedy? A neutral observer would conclude that a city life is more valuable than a country life.

The media is created in a few pockets of America but only in cities. If an actor plays a character from South Boston with a Worcester accent, they get savaged by critics and professional wiseasses for years. Yet when actors play characters from anywhere from southern Maryland to San Antonio, they throw the exact same accent think Foghorn Leghorn after drinking a bourbon laced with Rohypnol that no human has ever had and they walk away with Oscars. These are small slights, but they matter. These are subtle ways to tell people theyre unworthy of accurate representation.

The great secret about the white working class is that it doesnt exist. It is an arbitrarily divided subset of the working class, akin to the right-handed working class. Donald Trump did better with blacks and Latinos than Mitt Romney. Trump did worse with whites than Barack Obama. Im not dismissing the role race played in this election, but when we think about it in simplistic terms my side versus racists we tell ourselves a false story. We identify false separations: the white working class versus the black working class versus the Hispanic working class. We neglect the very real division between urban and rural or wealthy and the poor.

The rich people who run your favorite left-wing websites arent really liberal. At best, theyre progressive fashion police. Constant carping about which movies get awarded, which jokes are acceptable, which millionaire celebrities we lionize isnt about improving anyones lives. Its about identifying a uniform.

Uniforms are childish. They invite judgment and show pride. Our culture is our uniform, but what has our cosmetic-left culture given us? Half-wit comedians making endless jokes about poor people, dumbass websites that repost celebrity gossip as breaking news, flaccid sarcasm, corporate feminist lip service, circle-jerk op-eds about Star Wars and Ghostbusters? All of which are so persuasive that we have Donald Trump as our president? Im a liberal, but I dont want to wear this liberals uniform.

* * *

So what now? While smoke was still rising from the wreckage of the election, they told us to fight. Dont give an inch. Stay strong and fight. The people asking us to fight are the same people who lost the election. The method of fighting involves giving money.

Im done fighting. Im done with militaristic language. When we give our police tanks and automatic weapons and treat them like soldiers, they think the neighborhoods they police are war zones. If we talk about politics as a war zone, then we think of the other side as our enemy. Im fine regarding Donald Trump as my enemy. But what about someone who feels left out of the Obama recovery or who disagrees about the carbon tax? What about someone who hasnt forgiven Clinton for her Iraq War vote, or someone who, already insecure about her place in society, felt insulted when Clinton said deplorable? I disagree, but they arent my enemy.

Id rather work than fight. How do you work for a more humane, interesting and complex leftism? The same way you fight for it which is to say, I dont know. Theres a reason why the details of the fight turn as foggy as dreams as soon as anyone asks for specifics. Because they are basically telling you to keep doing what youre doing. Dig deeper into your culture. Feel more pride.

The cosmetic liberal believes this kiddie-pool tidal wave of snark, outrage and self-gratification is the only thing holding back the abyss. But if the fight consists of watching TV and yelling problematic! then what good is our fight?

On Sunday during the Oscars, we will more likely hear from someone who believes that the intergalactical lord Xenu sent aliens down to populate the Earth than hear from someone who supports Trump. You already know the jokes tiny hands, weird hair, Yuuuge and you already know the headlines. Celebrity DESTROYS Donald Trump. You also know no one will challenge the crowd or show actual courage.

When Meryl Streep lambasted Donald Trump at the Golden Globes, did she risk anything? She spoke to a crowd of people whoidolize her and already agree with her. That doesnt make her wrong but dont pretend she showed an iota of courage. But where this sort of fight turns from useless to insidious is when Streep takes pains to insult football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts. I plead ignorance to mixed martial arts, but I imagine the practitioners are born with natural gifts and then work to hone their talents until they can ply their trade professionally. That is no different than what an actor or a football player or a writer or a drummer or a dancer does. Why does Streep exclude football players and martial artists? Because their art makes too much of a difference, it touches too many people, many of whom dont already agree with her. Streep is the greatest actor Hollywood has ever produced, but does she think more people watch Florence Foster Jenkins than a random Week 7football game? Football has millions more blue-collar fans, more black fans, more female fans, more Hispanic fans, more gay fans than August: Osage County or whatever semi-compelling Oscar-bait movie shell be nominated for next year. But to reach them, we have to respect them enough to persuade them. That takes effort, so its better to dismiss that art and that culture.

Ive always thought that conservatives lived in a bubble. They do. That bubble isnt so close to reality that it brings the property values down, but its the suburb of realitys city. But this election has made me know I live in a bubble as well. My bubble is in reality (close, at least our kids go to the same school and we see each other in the grocery store) but it distorts my thinking. Understanding that and knowing that my story is subjective, I can meet the Trump administration like an adult.

Ultimately, thats the lesson of our election. Our media and our politicians treat us like children, and we subsequently act like children. Those squabbling about Ghostbusters or the Oscars, who genuinely think theyre improving the world by doing so, may be right or wrong, but they are childish. If we tell ourselves stories in order to live, lets also tell ourselves stories in order to grow.

When we blame a year, were blaming ghosts. When we regard our opponents as devils, were engaging in magic. I dont know the efficacy of marches or sit-ins. I dont know if financial boycotts will work, but if refusing to stay at Trump hotels, or not buying any product that advertises on far-right websites, or hiring Polish rather than Russian prostitutes to pee on you makes you a kinder and more complex person, then follow that path. I can say an activism that consists of hashtags, catchphrases, GIFs, celebrity worship and disdain for the poor is neither liberal nor effective. The cosmetic left needs to grow the fuck up.

Donald Trump isnt something that happened to us; its something we created. The Americans who disagree with you arent your enemies but your co-authors. Theyre struggling through the current moment as well, but whatever we create together, we will own forever. Instead of creating a false world of self-congratulations, of the personal affirmation of the like button, instead of the relentless promotion of who we are, lets talk about what we do. The cosmetic left embraced the simple story, with flawless heroes, predictable jokes and snarling villains. But if America is our creation and we are flawed but honest storytellers it deserves a complicated story rather than a morality tale.

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Outgrowing the cosmetic left: A liberal plea for fake liberalism to grow up – Salon

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Liberal Activists’ Prank Had Some at CPAC Waving Russian ‘Trump’ Flags – NBCNews.com

Posted: at 3:49 pm

President Donald Trump got an eyeful of red, white and blue after two liberal activists handed out nearly 1,000 Russian flags to unwitting attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Ryan Clayton, 36, and Jason Charters, 22 both members of Americans Take Action handed out the Russian Federation flags inside and outside of CPAC, which they emblazoned with the word “TRUMP” in gold letters.

Clayton and Charters said the prank went better than expected because most of the wavers did not recognize the flag’s country of origin, forcing CPAC staffers to confiscate the free “souvenirs.”

“The amount of people who didn’t know the flag was astonishing,” said Charters, who added that most attendees were excited to be given the flags.

Director of Communications for the American Conservative Union Ian Walters, the organization that puts on the conference, did not immediately respond for comment.

The two liberal organizers said the plot was hatched because they wanted to bring attention to the allegations that the Russian government was involved in an operation to interfere in the American election, which U.S. intelligence officials have said evolved into an attempt to help Trump win.

“It makes a great point. We shouldn’t have foreign powers picking our president,” said Clayton, who heads Americans Take Action.

“Some call it a false flag operation,” Clayton added. “I like to call it a true flag operation because Trump’s definitely the wrong kind of red, white and blue.”

While Clayton and Charters handed out flags, they used Russian accents and shouted comparisons of Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

They said the prank was well-received by many who have reached out to them since it went viral on social media.

“Most people are telling us, ‘Thank you for being our voice in that place to Donald Trump,'” Clayton said.

CPAC staffers kicked out Clayton three times from the conference, and Charters got the boot once. Charters was escorted outside by security after he stood up during Trump’s speech and called Trump “Putin’s puppet” and a “fascist.”

“We think his values are fundamentally un-American and he is a danger to the issues we most care about,” Charters said.

Americans Take Action is a liberal activist group that strives to have the president impeached and for three additional goals. They question the fairness of American elections and aim to better their quality, support a purpose-driven economy and want to fight any threat to internet freedom.

Charters and Clayton believe that the majority of Americans are worried that there is an unexplored relationship between the president and Russia. Trump said at a press conference last week that he has no deals with the country, and “I have nothing to do with Russia.”

“Most Americans feel like something is wrong here,” Charters said. “They feel it in their gut. There is a weird connection between this guy in the Oval Office and the people in Russia.”

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll said the two might not be wrong. More than half of Americans believe that Congress should investigate whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign had contact with the Russian government in 2016.

Their immediate future isn’t quite clear, but this isn’t the final statement for Americans Take Action. According to Charters and Clayton, they’ll continue as long as Trump is in office.

“We’ve been doing these types of actions for a while,” Clayton said. “And we’ll continue to do them until President Trump gets impeached.”

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Liberal Activists’ Prank Had Some at CPAC Waving Russian ‘Trump’ Flags – NBCNews.com

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Ex-Clinton spokesman: ‘Ellison too liberal to run DNC’ – The Hill (blog)

Posted: at 3:49 pm

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Ex-Clinton spokesman: ‘Ellison too liberal to run DNC’ – The Hill (blog)

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Russia’s Liberal Media’s Foreign Sponsors – Center for Research on Globalization

Posted: at 3:49 pm

The hysteria concerning the alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election appears to be a mirror projection of techniques that have been used against Russia, with little or no success, with the aim of interfering in its political processes. While the propaganda campaign aimed at Russia has sought to foster the impression that the countrys media is strictly controlled, in actuality the liberal opposition newspapers and radio stations have in the past run articles and stories that, due to their nature, would be unthinkable in the free West. Controversial stories over the last few years have included:

These media outlets main audience is not the Russian public but rather Western funders and supporters. Novaya Gazeta funding sources include the Netherlands and the Soros Foundation. The Dozhd TV Channel financing is opaqueits owners claim they are financing the project using own funds, which must be bottomless considering the channel has not turned a profit since it began operating. Ekho Moskvy is receiving financial support from the Voice of America Broadcasting Board of Governors, which is also supporting other liberal news outlets. These and other Russian media outlets figure prominently in the Fiscal Year 2017 proposed federal budget appropriation for the US State Department. Moreover, journalists working for these outlets have received a broad array of awards for journalism issued by a number of Western governments and West-controlled so-called non-governmental organizations.

Another example of a Internet media outlet created in order to push the pro-liberal agenda is Meduza. It was financed by opposition oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovskiy and so-called anonymous investors. In spite of Meduza being registered and based in Latvia, it focuses on the Russian audience and is promoting globalist agenda in Russia.

In addition to resources which are openly promoting anti-Russian propaganda, there is an array of major media outlets whose informational policy demonstrates they are pursuing political goals quite divorced from Russias interests as a sovereign state.

In the meantime, genuinely accomplished investigative journalists such as Julian Assange are facing politically motivated prosecutions, and there are efforts to exclude English-language Russia-based media such as RT and Sputnik from Western markets for allegedly spreading propaganda.

This state of affairs also raises the question why is the Russian government tolerant of media beholden to foreign sponsors. Part of the answer lies with the guarantees of the freedom of speech and press contained in the Russian Constitution, though the support of these outlets by important factions of the economic and political elite also plays a rolethe Ekho Moskvy radio station is part of the Gazprom Media Holding, for example. Ultimately, however, the relatively unfettered existence of these media is a reflection of the Russian governments confidence in its policies and its popular support, in sharp contrast to the panicked fake news reaction to the loss of Hillary Clinton that resulted in widespread calls to limit the freedom of speech in Western countries, lest the wrong candidates win elections.

Still, this is an intolerable state of affairs, a leftover from the 1990s era of Russias political and economic weakness, when it seemed it might become nothing more than a politically impotent supplier of raw materials to the West. Any genuine reset of Russia-West relations will require the West to respect the inviolability of Russias political institutions and processes in the same way that the West demands respect for theirs.

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Russia’s Liberal Media’s Foreign Sponsors – Center for Research on Globalization

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Michael Photios resigns as the leader of NSW Liberal’s dominant left faction – The Sydney Morning Herald

Posted: at 3:49 pm

NSW Liberal powerbroker, boss and lobbyist Michael Photioshas resigned as the leader of the party’s dominant left faction, surprising even his close allies.

At a meeting on Saturday afternoon Mr Photios surprised factional colleagues by resigning his post as chairman of the board of the party’s most dominant faction, the moderates also known as the left, Liberal sources confirmed.

Mr Photios received a standing ovation for his more than a decade in a post that carries considerable formal influence over party policy and preselections.

Combined with a stint in the faction’s deputy leadership dating back to the 1980s, Mr Photios had three decades leading the moderate wing of the Liberals, during which time they rose from the bottom to the top of politics in Australia’s largest state.

Mr Photios told friends he had been planning to take them by surprise and wanted to resign at the top of his political game, following the recent ascension of members of his factionto the Prime Minister’s and Premier’s jobs.

The move also comes as the role of lobbyists within the party has come under increasing scrutiny, particularly Mr Photios and his firm, Premier State, which enjoys large, $20,000-plus monthly retainers from major corporate clients including Telstra, the Hotels Association and The Star casino.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott told the ABC last year that lobbyists had too much control.

“If you are making money out of the people whose preselections you control or influence, there is obviously a potential for corruption,” Mr Abbott said.

The NSW Liberals’ state director, Chris Stone, wrote to lobbyists asking them to resign from the party’s state conference, a policymaking forum, after that criticism was raised last August.

Mr Photios’ decision also follows the ascension of leading moderate Gladys Berejiklian to the premiership of NSW last month.

Talkback radio king Alan Jones was among those who said Ms Berejiklian was too close to the party’s behind-the-scenes operators, including Mr Photios.

In 2013 Mr Photios resigned from the ruling NSW Liberal state executive after then premier Barry O’Farrell passed an edict banning party officials from lobbying members of his government.

Mr Photios’ role as the leader of the moderates will instead be assumed jointly by newly appointed Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean and Trent Zimmerman, the federal MP who won the right to succeed Joe Hockey in his northern Sydney seat.

The moderates, beaten into submission by the party’s hard right last decade, have come to assume greater and greater supremacy within the Liberal Party and the largest single share of the votes on its ruling state executive.

“He’s been the most successful chairman we’ve seen since the Greiner years,” one senior moderate member said. “It will leave a huge hole.”

Another source queried whether the faction’s new leadership would be able to keep centrist and left-wing members recruited under Mr Photios together in one faction.

Mr Photios resigned from the NSW parliament after more than a decade in 1999. He served as Minister for Ethnic Affairs and Multiculturalism in the Fahey government.

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Michael Photios resigns as the leader of NSW Liberal’s dominant left faction – The Sydney Morning Herald

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Liberal International writes EU to seek help for De Lima – ABS-CBN News

Posted: at 3:49 pm

Senator Leila De Lima waves from a police van after appearing at a Muntinlupa court on drug charges in Muntinlupa, Metro Manila. Erik de Castro, Reuters

MANILA – The president of an international federation of liberal political parties has joined the fray in defending the cause of embattled Senator Leila de Lima, writing to the leadership of the European Union (EU) in the lawmakers behalf.

In a statement issued earlier this week, Liberal International (LI) extended its support to the Liberal Party of the Philippines (LPP), and said it is deeply concerned about De Limas arrest, as well as the deteriorating human rights situation in general.

The Philippines, under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte is turning rapidly into an illiberal state, where there is no respect for the law whatsoever. I have asked written questions to HRVP (High Representative/Vice-President) [Federica] Mogherini in order to see what action the EU can take, said Hans Van Baalen, LIs president of honor.

Markus Leoning, the chair of LIs human rights committee meanwhile said that Duterte should respect and defend Philippine laws, as well as the rights of his people.

He stressed that liberals across the world call for De Limas immediate release, especially as she is viewed as a highly respected human rights activist fighting against corruption and the rule of law.

The Philippines Liberal Party has condemned the arrest of De Lima as the result of a political vendetta, and has no place in the justice system that upholds the rule of law.

The lawmaker was detained at the Philippine National Polices custodial center in Camp Crame. On Friday, she was presented to the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 204 after her arrest.

Commission on Human Rights chair Chito Gascon described her as “in high spirits” despite her incarceration.

Liberal International was founded in 1947, and stands for free and fair elections, social justice, tolerance, and free trade, among others.

On Thursday, Duterte’s chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo said karma was only catching up with the former justice chief. Duterte’s allies believe the Aquino administration resorted to political persecution.

Panelo said De Lima’s impending arrest was different from the time when the then-justice chief effected the arrest of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2011. A Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge issued the arrest warrant against Arroyo after she was charged with electoral sabotage by the Commission Elections (Comelec).

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Liberal International writes EU to seek help for De Lima – ABS-CBN News

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FARAGE: I ‘Lived Like Virtual Prisoner’ Due to ‘Liberal Media’ ‘Demonisation’ – Breitbart News

Posted: at 3:49 pm

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Appearing on ITVs Piers Morgans Life Stories, he was asked about David Silvester, a former UKIP councillor who said the 2013 flooding was Gods punishment for gay marriage. This was a deliberate media campaign to make UKIP out to be something that it wasnt, explained Mr. Farage.

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Mr. Silverster had been a councillor for the Conservatives before defecting to UKIP, during which time he has said similar things without them ever being reported. Mr. Farage continued:

It is because of these irrelevant people, who held no position, they happened to join an organisation, and because of these irrelevant people, being demonised by liberal media.

Ive had to live years, frankly, of being frightened of walking out into the street all because the media picked out these people. And because these people attempted to demonise me and give me a bad name, Farage said.

And youre surprised three years on, when I have to live like a virtual prisoner, that Im not happy about it? Will I ever forgive the British media for what theyve done to me? No.

Mr. Farage said UKIPs aim was to advance common-sense policies in which people would struggle to find anything racist.

He was also questioned on former UKIP Member of the European Parliament, Godfrey Bloom, who was recorded using the phrase Bongo Bongo Land. Mr Farage said the wording was wrong, but Mr. Blooms wider point was correct.

Was he right about us sending foreign aid to corrupt regimes all over the world when we could spend it better at home? Of course he was right, he said.

When Mr. Morgan asked about rumours he could move to the U.S., Mr. Farage said he wouldnt consider going anywhere until he is certain Brexit would be implemented fully.

Asked if he would ever consider running for Prime Minister, Mr. Farage added: If this political class let us down on Brexit, then anything can happen.

Ive got to see the Brexit process through, we won the war but we must win the peace. Ill see out my time in the European Parliament, so Ill be there until 2019, he added.

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FARAGE: I ‘Lived Like Virtual Prisoner’ Due to ‘Liberal Media’ ‘Demonisation’ – Breitbart News

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Researchers Say 80% Of Self-Proclaimed ‘Psychics’ Are Liberal – Daily Caller

Posted: at 3:49 pm

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Roughly80 percent of practicing witches and psychics are politically liberal with 55 percent being strongly liberal, according to a new survey published Thursday.

This Politics of the Paranormal survey polled 1,756attendees at UFO and paranormal conferencesin the U.S. and found that the biggest group of conspiracy theorists were left wing. The seven-month survey asked attendees to identify aseither conservative, strongly conservative, liberal, strongly liberal, or none of the above

Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed self-identified as strongly liberal and a little under 10 percent being liberal. However, the conspiracy theory community is heavily polarized, as roughly 33 percent are strongly conservative and another 8 percent are conservative with roughly 10 percent identifying as neither.

The only major group of conspiracy theorist represented who were conservative were Bigfoot Hunters. The most politically non-aligned group at the conferences was UFO aficionados, 30 percent of whom had no strong political preferences.

Researchers behind the survey admit they were surprised by these results.

Conspiracy kooks were commonly believed to lean right politically, states a summary of the research in Journal of the Bizarre. Yet, when you stop to think about the most popular conspiracies of our time, from the JFK assassination to the 9/11 conspiracy, these conspiracies were championed by liberals.

Liberals arent the only people to believe in psychics however

A Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) data dump contained 1,864 instances in which the agencyseriously investigated psychic phenomena, including the use of psychics by law enforcement, research with the Pentagon, using psychics to spy on the Soviet Union and attempts to debunk scientists skeptical of psychic powers.

CIA scientists even tested celebrity psychic Uri Geller in 1973, but the agencys research intopsychic powers does a lot more to prove its shoddy research methods than it does to demonstrate the actual existence of psychic phenomena

The CIAs scientific investigation of psychic power likelyindicate that any science that heavily relies on statistics may have a powerful placebo effect. Researchers are able to remember the hits and forget the misses simply by repeating testing until it produces experimental evidence that meets typical scientific standards for statistics purely by chance.

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Pence to CPAC: Obamacare Will Fall Despite ‘Liberal Activists’ – NBCNews.com

Posted: February 24, 2017 at 6:56 pm

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Susan Walsh / AP

The comments were red meat to conservatives but varied only slightly from Pence’s usual stump speech.

Pence echoed campaign trail promises from then-candidate Donald Trump that the replacement to Obamacare would allow Americans to buy healthcare over state lines. Congressional Republicans released a broad outline of a

The vice president also pushed for a states’ rights approach to health care that allows local governments “to take care of the least fortunate in the best way that will work in their state and their community.”

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The vice president also spoke passionately about Israel, promising that “under President Trump, America will stand with Israel.” He did not elaborate on the Trump administration’s vision for an end to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Pence mixed comedy with conservative bluster in his remarks and used part of the speech to whet the audience’s appetite for Trump’s speech at the conference Friday morning.

Contrasting himself with the president, Pence quipped that Trump was “known for his bigger than life personality, charm, and charisma. And I’m, like, not.”

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How one liberal group is trying to help Democrats win back the House in 2018 – PBS NewsHour

Posted: at 6:56 pm

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats join activists at a gun control rally at the Capitol last year. A new liberal group, Swing Left, is working to help House Democrats pick up seats in the 2018 midterm elections. Photo by REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Ethan Todras-Whitehall was disappointed when Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. After his victory, sitting on your hands and just reading the news was intolerable, said Todras-Whitehall, a 36-year-old freelance writer and GMAT tutor from Amherst, Massachusetts. It still is.

So in the weeks after the election, Todras-Whitehall called two friends, Joshua Krafchin and Miriam Stone, and proposed a plan of action: creating a grassroots organization aimed at helping Democrats win back control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections.

The result is Swing Left, part of a loosely-connected network of liberal groups, like Indivisible, that pundits across the political spectrum are calling the lefts answer to the conservative Tea Party movement that emerged after President Barack Obamas victory in 2008.

Democrats havent been as focused on the House because weve held the presidency, Todras-Whitehall said. But now that Republicans control the White House along with both chambers of Congress, he said, regaining control of the House went from the last thing [liberal activists] think about to being a top priority.

To that end, Swing Left was specifically designed to target competitive House races, while leaving safe Democratic seats alone. Volunteers sign up by entering their ZIP code. From there, Swing Left points them to the closest swing district, in the hopes of boosting engagement in areas where Democrats have the most potential to pick up seats.

The model is based on the idea that its easier for people to volunteer close to home, where they feel they can make a difference on a regular basis, Todras-Whitehall said.

The group is targeting 52 House districts where the winners margin of victory in 2016 was 15 points or less. If the party wins 80 percent of those races, Democrats can regain a majority in the House, the group says.

Republicans currently hold 238 seats in the House, the GOPs largest majority in eight decades. Democrats control 198 seats; there are four vacancies.

Given those numbers, flipping control in the House is a tall order for groups like Swing Left, whose founders dont have much political organizing experience. Krafchin and Stone have never worked on a campaign; Todras-Whitehill did some phone banking for John Kerrys presidential campaign in 2004 and ran a small get-out-the-vote campaign in Ohio in 2008.

Most political experts agree the Democrats chances of regaining control of the House and Senate next year are slim.

No one thinks they can take back the House or the Senate in 2018, Republican strategist Brendan Steinhauser, a former Tea Party organizer, said.

Congressional Republicans have taken note of the energy on the left since Trumps election, said Matt Gorman, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOPs campaign arm.

But House Republicans plan to stick to their agenda in the face of the top-down effort from liberal activists to oppose Trumps presidency and make gains in Congress, Gorman said.

Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event last August in Ashburn, Virginia, a town in GOP Rep. Barbara Comstocks district. Swing Left is targeting swing districts like Comstocks in the 2018 midterms. Photo by REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Despite Swing Lefts long odds, the group is gaining traction. Roughly 300,000 volunteers have signed up with the group, Todras-Whitehall said.

Linda Keuntje said when she saw an advertisement for Swing Left on her Facebook newsfeed after the election, she immediately signed up to volunteer in Virginias 10th congressional district, a swing seat now held by Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock.

My coping strategy is to act, said Keuntje, a Democrat who lives in Arlington, Virginia. I feel like Im doing something to improve the situation.

Experienced organizers including some former Clinton campaign staffers have also signed up with Swing Left, Todras-Whitehall said.

Swing Left is helping volunteers plan house meetings next week so activists can meet in person and start organizing. After that, Todras-Whitehall said he hopes volunteers will begin canvassing, knocking on doors and registering voters in swing communities.

I want people to know their local swing district better than they know their own [district], he said.

In addition to targeting swing districts, Swing Left also plans to play defense in Democratic seats where voters shifted right and voted for Trump, like Rep. Matt Cartwrights district in eastern Pennsylvania. Obama carried the district in 2008 and 2012. But in 2016, Trump won the district and Cartwright was narrowly re-elected by a 7.6 percent margin.

Voters in his district are desperate for economic change and backed Trump because he effectively painted himself as the economic candidate, Cartwright said in a phone interview.

Nevertheless, I dont intend to change my messaging one iota, Cartwright said. Those are core values for me, and theyre not going to change cause the wind changed directions.

Political observers said it was too early to tell if liberal groups had the kind of organizing Democrats need to defend districts like Cartwrights and make further gains in the House.

Its really easy to join a march, sign a petition, said Emily Ekins, a research fellow at the right-leaning Cato Institute. Its quite another [thing] to do the hard tedious work of local and political activism.

But Steinhauser, the Republican strategist, said he saw some similarities between the Tea Party movement and the grassroots activism growing on the left today.

When [voters think they] see a disaster coming, you fight like hell to say no, Steinhauser said.

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