👓 We tracked the Trump scandals on right-wing news sites. Here’s how they covered it. | Vox

We tracked the Trump scandals on right-wing news sites. Here’s how they covered it. by Alvin Chang (Vox)
We’re experiencing these historical events very differently.
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How Hollywood Remembers Steve Bannon | The New Yorker

How Hollywood Remembers Steve Bannon by Connie Bruck (The New Yorker)
He says that, before he became a senior adviser to the President, he was a successful player in the film industry. But what did he actually do?

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📺 Charlie Rose: GOP Health Care Bill; March Madness

GOP Health Care Bill; March Madness - Charlie Rose (Charlie Rose, 03/15/2017)
Journalists Bret Stephens of the WSJ and Reihan Salam of The National Review on the growing divide within the GOP over health care. A preview of the NCAA's March Madness with NY Times columnist William Rhoden, Washington Post sportswriter John Feinstein, and Joe Nocera of Bloomberg View.

Taking a quick lunch break to exercise the mind a bit.

The discussion on politics here is very smart and sober and lays out a better path for what the Republican party and the executive branch should be doing right now to have a chance to keep their seats in the quickly approaching midterm elections.

I was leery about the NCAA March Madness conversation, but it actually managed to be the shining star of the episode–a difficult task given the strength of the first half!

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What a Failed Trump Administration Looks Like | New York Times

What a Failed Trump Administration Looks Like by David Brooks (New York Times)(Duration: PT1H41M2S)
Without grown-ups in charge, the government could stop working.

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Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying | New York Times

Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying by Charles J. Sykes (New York Times)(Duration: P2DT20H31M37S)
In the conservative media, we conditioned people not to trust facts or mainstream news outlets.

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📖 5.27% done with American Amnesia by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson

📖 Read loc 1-682 of 12932 (5.27%) of American Amnesia by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson

This portends to be very interesting in that they plan to show what has changed over much of the 1900’s to indicate the drastic evolution in American politics, life, and philosophy over the recent decades. In light of the political battles between the left and the right over the past several years, this could provide some much needed help and guidance.

Their basic thesis seems to be that a shift away from a mixed economy has slowed American growth and general prosperity. While they do seem to have a pointed (political) view, so far it’s incredibly well documented and footnoted for those who would like to make the counter-argument. They’ve definitely got some serious evidence to indicate how drastic the situation is, but I’m curious if they can directly tie their proposed cause to the effect. If nothing else, they’ve created a laundry list of problems in America which need to be addressed by some serious leadership soon.

In some sense I’m torn about what to think of a broader issue this touches upon and which I mentioned briefly while reading At Home in the Universe. Should we continue on the general path we’ve struck out upon (the mixed economy with government regulation/oversight), or should we continue evolving away? While we can’t see the complexity effects seven levels further in, they may be more valuable than what we’ve got now. For example Cesar Hidalgo looks at the evolution along a continuum of personbyte to larger groups: firms (firmbyte), governments, and mega-corporations in Why Information Grows, so I can easily see larger governments and corporations like Google drastically changing the world in which we live (operating at a level above what most humans can imagine presently), but the complexity of why and how they operate above (and potentially against) the good of the individual should certainly be called into question and considered as we move forward.

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Gorsuch and the Senate — and the ghost of Garland | Medium

Gorsuch and the Senate — and the ghost of Garland by Lawrence Lessig (Medium)
In normal times, with a normal (right wing) president, Neil Gorsuch would be a fine nominee for the Supreme Court. One can disagree with…

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Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Going to Run for Office | The Atlantic

Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning to Run for Office by Ed Yong (The Atlantic)
… and they’ve got help.

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Trump’s voter fraud expert registered in 3 states | Associated Press

Trump's voter fraud expert registered in 3 states by Garance Burke (AP News)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man who President Donald Trump has promoted as an authority on voter fraud was registered to vote in multiple states during the 2016 presidential election,

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man who President Donald Trump has promoted as an authority on voter fraud was registered to vote in multiple states during the 2016 presidential election, the Associated Press has learned.

Gregg Phillips, whose unsubstantiated claim that the election was marred by 3 million illegal votes was tweeted by the president, was listed on the rolls in Alabama, Texas and Mississippi, according to voting records and election officials in those states. He voted only in Alabama in November, records show. Continue reading “Trump’s voter fraud expert registered in 3 states | Associated Press”

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📺 Watched Face The Nation Episode aired on 12-25-16

Face the Nation (CBS, December 25, 2016)
CBS' "Face the Nation" reflects back on 2016 and looks ahead to the coming year, with guests Stephen Colbert, host of "The Late Show," and our panel of CBS News correspondents.

I’ve been sitting on this for a few weeks and glad I kept it. Colbert gives a much more serious interview than I would have anticipated. His concept of not playing for teams is an interesting one.

Colbert’s tip for interviewing: “Don’t hold a pen.”

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Best of Enemies | Documentary about Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr. Debates | Independent Lens | PBS

Best of Enemies | Documentary about Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr. Debates | Independent Lens | PBS (Independent Lens | PBS; originally aired October 3, 2016)
Best of Enemies captures the legendary 1968 debates between two ideological opposites: leftist Gore Vidal and neoconservative William F. Buckley.

What a great view into where much of our current politics and media coverage of it have sprung. I highly recommend this to everyone.

Chris Aldrich is reading “How Donald Trump’s business ties are already jeopardizing U.S. interests”

How Donald Trump's Business Ties are Already Jeopardizing U.S. Interests by Kurt Eichenwald (newsweek.com)
The president-elect is issuing statements to world leaders that radically depart from U.S. foreign policy, and benefit his family’s corporate empire.

Already, there is a situation in which the president of the United States could be blackmailed by a foreign power through pressure related to his family’s business entanglements.

And this from the candidate whose only real campaign message was to call his opponent “crooked” and insinuate with no clear lines or proof of any sort that she used her position of power to line the pocket of her non-profit and thus herself. Though he came far from beating her in the popular vote, he’s completely and soundly beat her in the appearance of corruption.

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🔖 The New Minority by Justin Gest (OUP, 2016)

The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality by Justin Gest (global.oup.com)
It wasn't so long ago that the white working class occupied the middle of British and American societies. But today members of the same demographic, feeling silenced and ignored by mainstream parties, have moved to the political margins.

Suggested reference in several Foreign Affairs articles recently.

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Chris Aldrich is reading “Trump’s Breezy Calls to World Leaders Leave Diplomats Aghast”

Trump’s Breezy Calls to World Leaders Leave Diplomats Aghast by Mark Landler (nytimes.com)(Duration: PT17H30M16S)
The president-elect’s unfiltered exchanges prompted the White House to urge him to seek the State Department’s expertise in his encounters with foreign leaders.
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