👓 In tweet storm, Trump decries ‘illegal leaks’ and asserts ‘all agree’ he has complete power to pardon | Washington Post

In tweet storm, Trump decries ‘illegal leaks’ and asserts ‘all agree’ he has complete power to pardon by Ashley Parker and David Nakamura (Washington Post)
The president said a Post report of Attorney General Jeff Sessions's discussions with the Russian ambassador was based on leaks that “must stop.”

I suspect there would be a revolution if Trump pulled out pardons for family or campaign aides much less himself.

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👓 Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show | Washington Post

Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show by Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller (Washington Post)
The accounts from Sergey Kislyak to his superiors, intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, contradict public assertions by the attorney general.
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📺 Global Political Expert and Author Dr. Brian Klaas on Tavis Smiley (PBS)

Global Political Expert and Author Dr. Brian Klaas by Tavis Smiley from PBS
The political expert and author discusses his latest book, The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding & Abetting the Decline of Democracy. Dr. Brian Klaas is an expert on global democracy, democratic transitions, American politics, Western foreign policy, political violence, and elections -- and the security and economic risks of all these challenges. Klaas is the author of The Despot's Accomplice: How the West is Aiding & Abetting the Decline of Democracy. He is a Fellow in Global and Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics. Klaas has advised governments, US political campaigns, the European Union, multi-billion dollar investors, international NGOs, and international politicians.

It seems like every time I watch this show I need to buy another book. This time it’s The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding & Abetting the Decline of Democracy.

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📺 Journalist and Author Naomi Klein – Part 1 of 2 on Tavis Smiley (PBS)

Journalist and Author Naomi Klein – Part 1 of 2 by Tavis Smiley from PBS
The journalist and author discusses her latest book, No is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need. Part 1 of 2. Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the international bestsellers, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate (2014), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and No Logo (2000). In 2017, Klein became Senior Correspondent for The Intercept. She is also a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and contributor to the Nation Magazine. Recent articles have also appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, the London Review of Books and Le Monde. Her latest book is called No is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need.

An interesting little episode. I’m glad there are two parts, but I already find myself wishing there were three.

👓 I Found HanAssholeSolo’s anti-Semitic Posts. Then, the Death Threats Started. | Politico

I Found HanAssholeSolo’s anti-Semitic Posts. Then, the Death Threats Started. by Jared Yates Sexton (Politico Magazine)
This is what it’s like to report on extremism in the Trump era.
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📺 Gerrymandering: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) | YouTube

Gerrymandering: Last Week Tonight by John Oliver from HBO
Lawmakers often reshape voting districts to shift the balance of political power. That's unfair to voters, even those of us with questionable judgment.

Gerrymandering has become a very precise science, and interestingly it’s one of the few remaining types of science in which the republican party currently believes.

–John Oliver

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👓 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?

Continue reading “How Hollywood Remembers Steve Bannon | The New Yorker”

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📺 Charlie Rose: GOP Health Care Bill; March Madness

GOP Health Care Bill; March Madness - Charlie Rose from 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)(1 hour 41 minutes 2 seconds)
Without grown-ups in charge, the government could stop working.

Continue reading “What a Failed Trump Administration Looks Like | New York Times”

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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)(2 days 20 hours 31 minutes 37 seconds)
In the conservative media, we conditioned people not to trust facts or mainstream news outlets.

Continue reading “Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying | New York Times”

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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.

Continue reading “Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Going to Run for Office | The Atlantic”

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