There is no typical Trump voter

There has been quite a cottage industry of political commentators trying to figure out how a dangerous buffoon like Donald Trump could get enough votes to be elected president. The popular version is that he was propelled into office by low-information, rural and working class angry voters. But this article says that that stereotype is false and that there really is no typical Trump voter.
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They like me! They really like me!

When we switched over to the new server last week, there were some glitches about comments. Marcus Ranum alerted me to the fact that some comments by long time commenters were going straight to the spam folder and not even being queued for moderation, so I went into that folder and rescued them. While doing so, I had to read a lot of genuine spam and two things struck me. One is the sheer volume of spam and the other is the quirky nature of so many of the comments, their peculiar choice of words (‘fastidious’ and ‘peer’ seem to be popular for some reason) and their general lack of grammar and coherence.
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The Noah’s Ark story is one big mess

A young-Earth creationist geologist by the name of Dr. Andrew Snelling is suing the National Park Service to be allowed to take 60 rocks out of the Grand Canyon so that he can prove that the Great Flood of Noah actually happened. He is being supported in his legal battle by a conservative Christian legal group known as the Alliance Defending Freedom. Candida Moss uses that case to anchor her article about why that famous story is far messier than what the Bible actually says.
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All hail the Dear Leader!

Donald Trump had his first full cabinet meeting yesterday, almost five months into his administration, with that fact alone showing how poorly his administration is run. And to top it off, the meeting seemed designed to praise the Dear Leader in a manner that would have made even North Korea’s Kim Jong Un blush. Stephen Colbert describes what happened, and it is interesting (if gag-inducing) to see how far people, even those who are arrogant in other settings, are willing to debase themselves when they are close to someone with power over them.
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People are very good at predicting the past

The Book of Revelation is something that biblical scholars have been trying to interpret for centuries. As with all such documents that consist of a nutty blend of grotesque and vivid but opaque imagery, it provides plenty of opportunities for imaginative people to come up with fanciful scenarios. The usual Christian view is that it portends what will happen in the so-called End Times when Jesus returns and metes out bloody justice.
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Why did Qatar suddenly become the new enemy?

One of the most surprising geopolitical developments occurred recently when the tiny kingdom of Qatar suddenly became viewed as a US enemy. We have to remember that Qatar is a monarchy like many of the countries in that region that the US is allied with and yet suddenly seven nations in the region have decided to withdraw their ambassadors and stop flights to and from that country, and the US is hailing the move. The list of nations that have done so consists of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, and the Maldives, a set that includes some of the most reactionary and despotic nations in the world.
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John Oliver on the Trump-Comey exchange and the British elections

In addition to reviewing James Comey’s testimony and Donald Trump’s bizarre response to it, he also gives his take on the British elections and the complicated nature of the upcoming Brexit negotiations that begin this week. Theresa May said that she called elections three years early in order to be in a stronger position to negotiate. But now May’s failed gamble makes her weaker since her loss of a majority means she will need to get the approval of the DUP for her positions. He explains the difference between what is being called ‘hard Brexit’ and a ‘soft Brexit’. We also learn a lot more about Lord Buckethead who challenged Theresa May for her seat.
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ICC Champions trophy update: India and Pakistan get into semi-finals

In the final group games, India easily beat South Africa and Pakistan beat Sri Lanka, the latter being a see-saw game in which the ever-mercurial Pakistan did well to restrict Sri Lanka to a low score of 236 and then seemed to be cruising towards a comfortable victory at 92/1 before experiencing a batting collapse that left them reeling at 162/7. But a stout rearguard action saw them reach the target.
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Fighting the Trump shock agenda

Naomi Klein is one of the most astute observers and analysts of the American political scene. She is the author of the book Shock Doctrine and has just released a new book No Is Not Enough that discusses how the newly energized protest movement can be more effective. I was glad to see that The Intercept has snapped her up as a columnist. In her recent piece she warns us that the circus-like atmosphere surrounding the Trump administration should not distract us from the fact that he will use any major event on the global scene to ram through his substantive actions.
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