Why do people vote for a party that works against them?

One of the perennial puzzles that political observers in the US have struggled to understand is how it can be that a political party like the Republicans that is so nakedly supportive of the interests of the plutocracy manages to win so many elections. The Republicans consistently advance policies that are harmful to practically everyone except the very wealthy and yet they currently have majorities in the US Senate, House of Representatives, governorships, and state legislatures.
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The absurdity of Trump’s border wall proposal

If you are asked to name a single concrete issue that is singularly identified with any of the presidential candidates, then on the Democratic side Bernie Sanders’s call for free tuition at public colleges and to expand Medicare to cover everyone stands out. On the Republican side, the only one that comes to mind is Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall along the entire US-Mexico border and round up and forcibly deport every undocumented immigrant in the country That is his signature issue that he harps on over and over again, starting with his speech announcing his candidacy:
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Leave aging celebrities alone

The public has a love-hate relationship with celebrities, idolizing them when they are at their peak and then turning on them when they inevitably decline with age. That thought occurred to me when I looked at the sponsored advertisements at the bottom of each post. It is depressing to see the number of them that have titles like Gross: See Photos Of 35 Celebrities Who’ve Aged Horribly and Celebs Who Went From Bombshell to Bummer. Since these ads are designed to be click-bait, it is clear that there is a market to simply see people who are no longer as young and conventionally attractive as they once were.
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Exciting news from Egypt for Ben Carson

Researchers in Egypt have turned up some exciting news.

Egypt on Saturday said there is a 90% chance that hidden chambers will be found within King Tutankhamun’s tomb, based on the preliminary results of a new exploration of the 3,300-year-old mausoleum.

Researchers say the discovery of a new chamber could shine new light on one of ancient Egypt’s most turbulent times, and one prominent researcher has theorized that the remains of Queen Nefertiti might be inside.

British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves theorizes that Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut, who died at the age of 19, may have been rushed into an outer chamber of what was originally Nefertiti’s tomb. Famed for her beauty, Nefertiti was the subject of a famous 3,300-year-old bust.

Reeves reached his theory after high-resolution images discovered what he said were straight lines in King Tut’s tomb. These lines, previously hidden by color and the stones’ texture, indicate the presence of a sealed chamber, he said. The images were later broadcast live on national television last September.

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Desperately seeking – Nixon?

One senses an increasing level of panic in the Republican party as the durability of Donald Trump’s popularity confounds expectations that he was some kind of summer flower whose bloom would fade as winter approached and people started thinking seriously about the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. If he wins both on February 1 and February 9 respectively, and current polls indicate that he well might, party insiders fear that he will be unstoppable.
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Film review: Gaslight (1944)

Last night I watched this old film that won an Academy Award for Ingrid Bergman. She played Paula Alquist, an orphan who was raised by her aunt, a famous opera singer who was strangled in her London home by a killer in pursuit of expensive jewelry that had been gifted to her as a reward for her performance. The case was never solved and the jewels never found. Paula was just 14 at the time and she was immediately sent away to Italy to study music under her aunt’s tutor, and the London house was mothballed but not sold or rented.
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Busybody neighbors

When we travel, we leave Baxter the Wonder Dog with a retired couple who live in another suburb and have their own dog. It is no doubt a source of some small income to them though given that they live in an upper-middle class area, I doubt that they really need the money. They will take up to one or two extra dogs at a time but most of the time Baxter has been their only guest. We like keeping Baxter in a home rather than a more impersonal kennel because he has the run of the house, gets walks and treats, and can play with their own dog.
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