Are American Progressives Making The Same Mistakes About Trump We Did About Thatcher?

NewImageBrian Dooley:

’Choosing the right candidate to beat Trump is obviously a massively important decision, but American progressives look like they’re making the same mistakes that we on the left in Britain made in the 1980s in responding to Margaret Thatcher.
At the age of 16 I campaigned in the 1979 general election against Thatcher. Despite my endearing appeals across hundreds of doorsteps, she won, ushering in 18 years of continuous Conservative Party rule.
During the early 1980s I was a local Labour Party activist in Britain, and like many others on the left responded to Thatcher’s win by deriding those who had voted for her. It’s a mistake I see happening in America now.
We thought we would win by making it socially unacceptable to support Thatcher, and we focused on proving how uncool it was to vote Conservative. We called Thatcher supporters much worse things than deplorables, and felt good mocking their narrow nationalism.…’

Via Medium

Could Don McGahn lead a Trump exodus?

Republican lawyers may be readying jump from sinking ship:

‘…The founders had in mind that the three branches would jealously guard their own prerogatives, so it would be unlikely they would ever allow a president to defy them as blatantly as Trump is doing. Obviously, they didn’t expect such slavish devotion from a president’s allies as we see in the current Congress.

There is one faction of the Republican party that may be peeling off, however, and it’s the faction that Trump has been counting on to keep the Democrats at bay. I’m speaking of conservative lawyers, some of whom seem to feel a bit queasy about what they saw in the Mueller report and Trump’s reaction to it…’

Via Salon

Insulin prices are killing people

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’“Nobody cared or nobody understood that without this next vial of insulin, I wouldn’t live to see another week,” said 28-year-old Kristen Whitney Daniels.

She started rationing her insulin after she was kicked off her parents’ insurance plan two years ago.

“I can’t really explain how isolating and how terrifying it is,” she said.

She’s now a patient at the Yale Diabetes Center, where a recent Journal of American Medical Association study found one in four patients reported “cost-related underuse.” Dr. Kasia Lipska treats patients at the clinic, and was the study’s lead author. She testified on Capitol Hill last week.

“This vial of insulin cost just $21 when it first came on the market in 1996. It now costs $275,” she said.…’

Via Boing Boing

A Short Summary of the Contemporary Republican Party’s Strategy

Images’In a recent interview, Noam Chomsky gave a short summary of how the modern Republican Party coalition between the rich and the religious, white working class was built, decade by decade.

They have a primary constituency, a real constituency: extreme wealth and corporate power. That’s who they have to serve. That’s their constituency. You can’t get votes that way, so you have to do something else to get votes. What do you do to get votes? This was begun by Richard Nixon with the Southern strategy: try to pick up racists in the South. The mid–1970s, Paul Weyrich, one of the Republican strategists, hit on a brilliant idea. Northern Catholics voted Democratic, tended to vote Democratic, a lot of them working-class. The Republicans could pick up that vote by pretending — crucially, “pretending” — to be opposed to abortion. By the same pretense, they could pick up the evangelical vote. Those are big votes — evangelicals, northern Catholics. Notice the word “pretense.” It’s crucial. You go back to the 1960s, every leading Republican figure was strongly, what we call now, pro-choice. The Republican Party position was — that’s Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, all the leadership — their position was: Abortion is not the government’s business; it’s private business — government has nothing to say about it. They turned almost on a dime in order to try to pick up a voting base on what are called cultural issues.

Same with gun rights. Gun rights become a matter of holy writ because you can pick up part of the population that way. In fact, what they’ve done is put together a coalition of voters based on issues that are basically, you know, tolerable to the establishment, but they don’t like it. OK? And they’ve got to hold that, those two constituencies, together. The real constituency of wealth and corporate power, they’re taken care of by the actual legislation…

Appealing to those fears and issues has been very effective and has been joined in recent years by conservatives and conservative media eroding trust in many of America’s familiar institutions, such as the scientific community, journalism, and government (some of which erosion, to be fair, has been self-inflicted). Keep in mind that as recently as 10 years ago, Republicans believed in climate science until their constituency (aka the wealthy industrialists) steered them away from that path.…’

Via Kottke

Why Traffic Flow Suddenly Morphs into Traffic Jam

UnknownNot one driver’s fault, but everybody’s:

’…[P]hantom jams are not the fault of individual drivers, but result instead from the collective behavior of all drivers on the road. It works like this. Envision a uniform traffic flow: All vehicles are evenly distributed along the highway, and all drive with the same velocity. Under perfect conditions, this ideal traffic flow could persist forever. However, in reality, the flow is constantly exposed to small perturbations: imperfections on the asphalt, tiny hiccups of the engines, half-seconds of driver inattention, and so on. To predict the evolution of this traffic flow, the big question is to decide whether these small perturbations decay, or are amplified.

If they decay, the traffic flow is stable and there are no jams. But if they are amplified, the uniform flow becomes unstable, with small perturbations growing into backwards-traveling waves called “jamitons.” These jamitons can be observed in reality, are visible in various types of models and computer simulations, and have also been reproduced in tightly controlled experiments.…’

Via Nautilus