Watched Meet the Press - December 29, 2019 from NBC News
Masha Gessen, Dean Baquet, Michael McFaul, Marty Baron, Clint Watts, Kara Swisher, Joshua Johnson, Susan Glasser, and Matthew Continetti
Not the episode I quite expected this week after the Rolling Stone interview, but at least a reasonable nod. Some great guests helped things along.
Listened to The Dead Consensus from On the Media | WNYC Studios

The latest on Trump's impeachment, its parallels to the Andrew Johnson trial, and the rise of the "illiberal" right.

As House leaders begin drafting articles of impeachment, examples from the Nixon and Clinton eras abound. This week, On the Media rewinds to the 19th century — and the turbulent impeachment of Andrew Johnson. Plus, what a debate between two right-wing intellectuals means for the future of conservatism.

1. Brenda Wineapple, author of The Impeachers, on the acrimonious trial of Andrew Johnson. Listen.

2. Matthew Sitman [@MatthewSitman], co-host of the Know Your Enemy podcast, on the rise of illiberalism among the conservative intelligentsia. Listen

Listened to Tribalism, Anger and the State of Our Politics from On the Media | WNYC Studios

An extended conversation with Lilliana Mason about tribalism, anger and the state of our politics.

If solidarity and the recognition of mutual self-interest are the keys to moving past our fractious moment, it can be hard to see how we'll get there. Anger and tribalism appear to be at an all-time high, creating political and societal rifts that seem unbridgeable. Indeed, it is hard to believe that only 70 years ago, the country was deemed by political scientists to be not polarized enough. In 1950, the American Political Science Association put out a report that suggested that the parties were not distinct enough and that it was making people's political decision making too difficult.

Over the next few decades, they became distinct alright. Lilliana Mason is a political psychologist at the University of Maryland. When we spoke to her last fall, she told us that most people think they know exactly what each party stands for — leaving us with two camps that both seek to destroy the other. 

Listened to Curiouser and Curiouser from On the Media | WNYC Studios

A close-up on John Solomon's role in the impeachment saga, and the black nationalist origins of Justice Clarence Thomas.

President Trump’s concerns about corruption in Ukraine began, in part, with a series of articles in a publication called The Hill. On this week’s On the Media, a close-up on the columnist whose dubious tales may lead to an impeachment. Plus, the black nationalist origins of Justice Clarence Thomas’s legal thinking.

1. Paul Farhi [@farhip], Washington Post media reporter, and Mike Spies [@mikespiesnyc], ProPublica reporter, on John Solomon's role in the impeachment saga. Listen

2. Corey Robin [@CoreyRobin], writer and political scientist at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, on all that we've missed (or ignored) about Justice Clarence Thomas. Listen

This is a fascinating thesis about Justice Clarence Thomas and who he really is. I totally want to read The Enigma of Clarence Thomas now.
Listened to The Daily: How Impeachment Consumed a Governor’s Race from New York Times
Kentucky’s unpopular Republican governor was facing a losing battle. So he turned to President Trump, and a polarized political landscape, for help.

Watched Supreme Revenge from FRONTLINE | PBS
Inside the no-holds-barred war for control of the Supreme Court. From Brett Kavanaugh to Robert Bork, an investigation of how a 30-year-old grievance transformed the court and turned confirmations into bitter, partisan conflicts.
Oh, if only politicians played with the perspective of a veil of ignorance just a bit more…

🎧 The Daily: Trump Wanted to Scrap Obamacare. His Party Didn’t. | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Trump Wanted to Scrap Obamacare. His Party Didn’t. from New York Times

The latest scuffle over health care shows a sea change in the Republican stance heading into the 2020 elections.

👓 Republicans Are Trashing the Law to Keep Trump’s Taxes Secret | Intelligencer | NYMag

Read Republicans Are Trashing the Law to Keep Trump’s Taxes Secret by Jonathan Chait (Intelligencer)
Congress has a clear legal right to examine Trump’s taxes. Republicans could not care less what the law says.
When a bad Democrat comes to power, the Republican party will have lost any moral authority for calling for ousters… We can’t have two sets of rules for our politicians. Either they follow the rules and mores or they don’t and Trump is wreaking a horrible precedent.

👓 Governor Admits He Was in Racist Yearbook Photo | New York Times

Read Governor Admits He Was in Racist Yearbook Photo (New York Times)
Ralph Northam, the governor of Virginia, said he was “deeply sorry” for the decision to appear in the photo but resisted calls for his resignation.
I’ll bet that the Republicans who have let Trump’s racism slide will crow the loudest for his ouster.

🎧 The Daily: What a Border Sheriff Thinks About the Wall | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: What a Border Sheriff Thinks About the Wall from New York Times

A sheriff in Arizona tells us how President Trump’s immigration policies have played out in his county, and why his interpretation of the president’s message has changed.

👓 The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine critical of Trump, to shutter after 23 years | CNN

Read The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine critical of Trump, to shutter after 23 years (CNN)
The Weekly Standard, the magazine that espouses traditional conservatism and which has remained deeply critical of President Donald Trump, will shutter after 23 years, its owner Clarity Media Group announced Friday morning. The magazine will publish its final issue on December 17.
Alas there goes the last bit of logic to the center of the old party. Trump’s transformation of the Republican Party is almost complete.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Watering Down Democrats’ Power in Wisconsin | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Watering Down Democrats’ Power in Wisconsin from New York Times

Across the country, Democratic candidates for governor and attorney general have won seats that had long been held by Republicans. But Republican-controlled legislatures in some states are resisting that transfer of power.

This kind of crap really drives me crazy and is very non-democratic.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: A 30-Year Plan to Transform the Courts | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: A 30-Year Plan to Transform the Courts from New York Times

Republicans have created a pipeline of conservative lawyers to help carry out a sweeping reconfiguration of the federal judiciary.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Why Peter Strzok Wanted to Testify | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Why Peter Strzok Wanted to Testify from New York Times

We look at what happened when the embattled F.B.I. agent appeared before lawmakers to explain his controversial text messages.