🎧 The Daily: Deployed in the U.S., Just Waiting for the Caravan | The New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Deployed in the U.S., Just Waiting for the Caravan by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The midterm elections are over, and President Trump’s talk of the migrant caravan has dwindled. But thousands of troops sent to the southwest border are still there.

At nearly every turn, President Trump’s own generals tried to persuade him not to deploy active-duty troops to the United States border with Mexico. So what are 5,000 troops doing there?

On today’s episode:

Background reading:

He’s seriously deployed troops for a political reason and they’re going to be drawn down before the reason they’re supposed to be there happens?!

This is just the height of stupidity and government waste. Government institutions keep being eroded by Trumps ineptitude and fear-mongering. This is money and deployment help that would have been far better spent in Puerto Rico for the hurricane.

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📑 How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross | New York Times

Annotated How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross (New York Times)
Politicians, she believes, “owe us an answer,” and so she, in her own very Terry Gross way will “keep asking and re-asking and asking, and maybe I’ll ask it in separate ways, and maybe I’ll point out that they haven’t yet answered the question.”  
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📑 How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross | New York Times

Annotated How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross (New York Times)
“Well, I don’t think it is in my self-interest to tutor people on how to dodge a question,” Ms. Gross said. But, when pressed — perhaps regretting the previous advice she gave to this interviewer about how to get people to answer questions they don’t want to answer (“keep asking”) — she suggests using honesty. Say, “I don’t want to answer that,” or, if that’s too blunt, hedge with a statement like, “I’m having a difficult time thinking of a specific answer to that.” Going the martyr route with something like, “I’m afraid by answering that I’m going to hurt somebody’s feelings and I don’t want to do that,” is another option.  
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👓 How the GOP Gave Up on Porn | Politico

Read How the GOP Gave Up on Porn (POLITICO Magazine)
Once, the fight against pornography was the beating heart of the American culture war. Now porn is a ballooning industry—and maybe a harmful one—with no real opponents. What happened?
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🎧 The Daily: An Unexpected Upset in Florida | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: An Unexpected Upset in Florida from New York Times

After a surprise outcome in the primary, the Florida governor’s race is shaping up to be a litmus test for 2020.

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🎧 The Daily: Nancy Pelosi’s Dilemma | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Nancy Pelosi’s Dilemma by Michael Barbaro from New York Times

Under fire from both parties, the longtime House Democratic leader faces an uncertain political future.

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👓 Two Charts Show Trump’s Job Gains Are Just A Continuation From Obama’s Presidency | Forbes

Read Two Charts Show Trump's Job Gains Are Just A Continuation From Obama's Presidency by Chuck Jones (Forbes)
When you look at the numbers (and graphs) the gains in employment under President Trump are essentially a continuation from President Obama‘s last six years in office.
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🎧 The Daily: Paul Ryan’s Exit Interview | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Paul Ryan’s Exit Interview by Michael Barbaro from New York Times

As speaker of the House, the Republican lawmaker should be at the peak of his powers. Instead, he’s walking away.

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🎧 The Rise of Michael Avenatti | The Daily | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The Rise of Michael Avenatti from nytimes.com
The lawyer’s self-sure ways and penchant for media spectacle have led some to characterize him as the anti-Trump.

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🎧 The Daily: The Democrats’ Comeback Plan | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The Democrats’ Comeback Plan from nytimes.com
The party’s seemingly narrow strategy for the 2018 midterm elections belies its big hopes for the future.

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🎧 The Daily: The Battle for Missouri, Part 1: The Anti-Abortion Democrat | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The Battle for Missouri, Part 1: The Anti-Abortion Democrat from nytimes.com
As the Democratic Party struggles to establish its identity in Missouri, the issue of abortion has taken center stage.

👓 ‘By whatever means necessary’: The origins of the ‘no platform’ policy | Hatful of History

Read ‘By whatever means necessary’: The origins of the ‘no platform’ policy by Dr Evan Smith (Hatful of History)
Recently the concept of ‘no platform’ was in the news again when there were attempts to cancel a talk by Germaine Greer at Cardiff University. While there is no doubt that the use of ‘no platform’ has expanded since its first use in the 1970s, the term is bandied about in the media with little definition and understanding of how it was developed as a specific response to the fascism of the National Front (and later the British National Party). This post looks back at the origins of the term and how it was developed into a practical anti-fascist strategy.

hat tip: Kevin Marks

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👓 The Persistent Myth of Insurmountable Tribalism Will Kill Us All | Hapgood

Read The Persistent Myth of Insurmountable Tribalism Will Kill Us All by Mike CaulfieldMike Caulfield (Hapgood)
You know what I don’t see in my classes — in a Republican district, where a nontrivial number of students don’t believe in climate change? Any reaction of the sort that you “can’t trust the site because declining sea ice and climate change is a myth.” Not one. It’s not just a Republican thing. We find the same thing with prompts for liberal hot-button issues on GMOs. Students — many of whom are very committed to “natural” products and lifestyles — make accurate assessments of the lack of credibility of sites supporting their opinions. They believe this stuff, maybe, but admit the given site is not a good source.

After some of the depression of reading the entire Knight Foundation paper last night, this short vignette about Mike’s work in the trenches gives me a lot of hope. I wish I had read it last night before retiring.

I’ll be bookmarking some additional sources today/tomorrow from the paper as well as from Mike’s work and various links.

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👓 The Man Who Broke Politics | The Atlantic

Read The Man Who Broke Politics (The Atlantic)
Newt Gingrich turned partisan battles into bloodsport, wrecked Congress, and paved the way for Trump's rise. Now he's reveling in his achievements.

An interesting look back at the history, and it seems a bit surprising to me because Gingrich has always seemed so calm, reasonable and staid in his television appearances. Apparently he wasn’t quite so behind the scenes.

What I find false in some of his assumptions however is that while his idea about killing or being killed from an evolutionary standpoint is broadly true, humans have been able to do so much more by possessing logic and civility than the base “animals” he apparently idolizes. His premise has brought down our democratic structures and is causing us to devolve backwards instead of forwards–both within the larger animalistic structure he proposes as well as among our fellow people of the world. While Americans are infighting among ourselves, we’re losing ground to other countries who are rapidly catching up to us.

Somehow I feel like Gingrich is missing a chunk of modern history and the value of a Western liberal democracy, by which I’m talking about the philosophical version of liberal, and not his version of liberal meaning Democrat or “enemy.”

While he may think the Republicans are “winning” presently, what is generally happening is that a larger rift is opening up within the democracy and the two sides which really aren’t very apart are moving even further apart, particularly in their fighting. As a result, we’re spending far more time and energy fighting each other rather than competing against countries externally. From a game theoretic perspective each side fights harder in opposite directions, but the equilibrium point doesn’t really move very much for all the extra effort. Meanwhile, we’re exhausting our resources (and general happiness) which we could be employing to better ourselves, and particularly with respect to all the external factors (foreign powers, climate change, etc.) we should be working against.

He can continue to look at things from the Nixonian “man in the arena” perspective of his youth, but I would submit he should be looking at it from the wider “person in the world” perspective we’re all operating in in this millennia.

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