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Midwest Primary Voters At Crossroads

WI faces a political crossroads Tuesday. Which way will it go? NYT: “Wisconsin’s urgent struggle to define — or redefine — its political direction is part of a larger identity crisis that has rippled across the Upper Midwest since 2016. Like Wisconsin, union-rich Michigan had been seen as a given for Democrats in presidential years, but narrowly sided with Mr. Trump, revealing the possibility of a shifting set of concerns and priorities and a changed political landscape. Minnesota, which is also holding primary elections on Tuesday, stayed in the Democratic column in 2016, but Mr. Trump lost by a far slimmer margin than expected, setting off a flurry of re-examination there. Much is at stake for Democrats in November. Losing Ms. Baldwin’s seat would mark an end of any real sense that Wisconsin remains purple, and that possibility has stirred more urgency for both parties. On the flip side, the prospect of regaining some measure of influence — if not the governor’s job, then control of the State Senate — would give Democrats a stake in state policy that they have been all but excluded from since Mr. Walker arrived.”

Far-Right Rallies Fizzle

Unite the Right 2018 was a pathetic failure. Vox: “It was supposed to be the start of another show of force by white nationalists: Unite the Right 2, the follow-up to last year’s disastrous and violent demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, which concluded with a Nazi sympathizer ramming his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, injuring several and killing one. But Dan, who said he was a supporter of ‘peaceful’ ethnic cleansing, was the only white nationalist to be seen at the march’s starting point, the Foggy Bottom metro station in Washington, DC. This was around 5 pm, when the march was supposed to start toward Lafayette Square for a two-hour rally. I asked Dan, who said he had turned 19 on Sunday, where his friends were. ‘I don’t know.’ What are you going to do now? ‘I don’t know.’ What Dan didn’t know was that his friends had already left. A couple of hours before the march was supposed to start, around 20 to 25 white nationalists, led by rally organizer Jason Kessler, had arrived at Foggy Bottom. Instead of waiting around, and swarmed by media, police, and a lot of counterprotesters, they had forged ahead on the march route hours earlier than scheduled. There, Kessler complained to reporters about the police in Charlottesville and counterprotesters, and then left.”

Peaceful Protests Dwarf White=Nationalist Hatred

Counter-protesters dwarfed a White Nationalist rally in DC. Time: “The several dozen white supremacists who showed up outside the White House on Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of their movement’s violent gathering in Charlottesville, Va., were overwhelmingly outnumbered by thousands of counter-protesters. For the anti-racist and anti-fascist demonstrators, it was a successful attempt to wrest the narrative away from the alt-right, who had initially expected the gathering — called Unite the Right 2 and organized by prominent white nationalist Jason Kessler — to draw as many as 400. ‘It’s one of the few things they’re afraid of: being outnumbered,’ Nick Wood, a 30-year-old demonstrator affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement, told TIME outside of the park. ‘I was a Marine, and I see these guys as domestic enemies of the Constitution, so.’ The gathering was a non-event in part because of the rigor of local and federal law enforcement agencies, who kept the blocks surrounding the White House under tight control in the hours preceding the rally. But more than anything else, it was the simple fact that not that many white supremacists showed up.”

ICE Targets Law-Abiding Immigrants

Under Trump arrests of undocumented immigrants with no criminal record have tripled. NBC: “Federal arrests of undocumented immigrants with no criminal record have more than tripled under President Donald Trump and may still be accelerating, according to an NBC News analysis of Immigration and Customs Enforcement data from his first 14 months in office. The surge has been caused by a new ICE tactic of arresting — without warrants — people who are driving or walking down the street and using large-scale “sweeps” of likely immigrants, according to a class-actionlawsuit filed in June by immigration rights advocates in Chicago. ICE arrests of immigrants without criminal convictions have spiked 203 percent in the first full 14 months of his presidency compared to the final 14 months of the Obama administration, growing from 19,128 to 58,010, according to NBC’s review of ICE figures. During the same time period, the numbers show that arrests of undocumented immigrants with criminal records grew just 18 percent.”

Rents Fall For Rich, Rise For Poor

In expensive cities, rents fall for the rich — but rise for the poor. WaPo: “U.S. cities struggling with soaring housing costs have found some success in lowering rents this year, but that relief has not reached the renters most at risk of losing their housing. Nationally, the pace of rent increases is beginning to slow down, with the average rent in at least six cities falling since last summer, according to Zillow data. But the decline is being driven primarily by decreasing prices for high-end rentals. People in low-end housing, the apartments and other units that house working-class residents, are still paying more than ever. Since last summer, rents have fallen for the highest earners while increasing for the poorest in San Francisco, Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Pittsburgh, Washington and Portland, Ore., among other cities. In several other metro areas — including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston and Miami — rents have risen for the poor and the rich alike.”

Economists Assess Risk Of Economic Meltdown

The end really is near: a play-by-play of the coming economic collapse. Salon: “ince June, 2009, the pit of one of the biggest recessions in American history, the U.S. economy has been growing, slowly but steadily. That’s just over nine years of uninterrupted growth. If the good times roll for another year — and most economists expect they will — this expansionary period will go down as the longest ever in American history, surpassing the 120-month-long period during the ‘90s tech boom. But don’t be so quick to pop bubbly and send the confetti raining down. There’s precedence for unprecedented growth: It always ends. The economy, of course, moves in cycles. And no matter how you slice it, it would seem there’s only so much more climbing before a fall. But what will set off a downturn? How bad will it be? And when will it actually happen? To answer these questions and more, Salon consulted with five economists, three of whom (Peter Schiff, Steve Keen and Dean Baker) predicted the 2008 financial crisis before it hit.”

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