Archive for the ‘Politics+War’ Category

The New Uppity


(New Yorker) – Jelani Cobb:

Amid Trump’s nuclear brinksmanship and social-media provocation toward North Korea, amid the swollen gorges of water streaming through Puerto Rico, amid the craven and indefensible attempts to gut health care, amid the slower-moving crises of voting access, economic inequality, and climate change—amid all these things, Trump yet again found a novel way to diminish the nation he purportedly leads. He has authored danger in more ways than there are novel ways to denounce it. This is his singular genius. When this moment has elapsed, when some inevitably unsatisfactory punctuation has concluded the Trump era, we will be left with an infinitude of questions. But Trump, we will assuredly understand, is a small man with a fetish for the symbols of democracy and a bottomless hostility for the actual practice of it. …

newyorker new-uppity

NFL players kneeling protest


How Trump is Helping to Save Our Democracy


(WP) – E. J. Dionne, Thomas E. Mann, and Norman J. Ornstein:

The election of Donald Trump could be one of the best things that ever happened to American democracy.

We say this even though we believe that Trump poses a genuine danger to our republican institutions and has done enormous damage to our country. He has violated political norms, weakened our standing in the world and deepened the divisions of an already sharply torn nation.

But precisely because the Trump threat is so profound, he has jolted much of the country to face problems that have been slowly eroding our democracy. And he has aroused a popular mobilization that may far outlast him. …

washingtonpost 2017/09/22 f1076f6d6152

E. J. Dionne, Jr., Norman J. Ornstein, and Thomas E. Mann: One Nation After Trump - A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported

Jimmy Kimmel’s Rise as a Reluctant Health-Care Crusader


(NewYorker Culture) – Ian Crouch:

A public quarrel with a Republican sponsor of the Senate’s Graham-Cassidy bill has put Jimmy Kimmel at the center of a national debate over health-care legislation. …

newyorker health-care-crusader

Jimmy Kimmel in health care debate

How Germany is Integrating its Refugees


(Economist) – It seems to be managing. …

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Statistics for refugee education in Germany

The Madness of King Donald


(FTB) – Mano Singham:

Matt Taibbi attended Donald Trump’s rally last month in Phoenix and said the occasion was one in which Trump’s descent into what looks like madness became quite marked.

Most of Taibbi’s article is spent exploring Trump’s increasingly bizarre behavior and speculating on whether it is sufficient to warrant his removal from office and if so, how that might happen. But in the middle he points out that Trump, for all his weirdness, is not a total outlier but is a reflection of America itself. I am going to quote from those passages at length because such a brutal self-examination of America is not something one sees very often. …

singham 2017/09/20 madness

Victor Juhasz on Donald Trump: cave insanus

Trump vs. Diplomacy


(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

It seems like everyone’s got a solution for North Korea. Naturally, I like my own the best: diplomacy. But that doesn’t work for authoritarians.

Authoritarians have to see you bow when they say “bow.” They aren’t interested in diplomacy, or peace – they want compliance. That’s why North Korea is a problem; down in the back of the authoritarian’s mind they are thinking “hey, if someone publicly disobeys me, then everyone may publicly disobey me, and then where would I be!?” Authoritarians cast this as “credibility” but that’s just shorthand for obedience. …

stderr 2017/09/19 medieval

Starvation in Leningrad

Mueller Rents Giant Warehouse to Store Evidence Against Trump


(New Yorker::The Borowitz Report) – Andy Borowitz:

Robert Mueller is renting a massive warehouse facility in suburban Virginia to accommodate the approximately forty cubic tons of evidence against Donald Trump that the independent counsel’s investigation is generating on a daily basis.

“It’s like a city all its own,” one warehouse worker said. “There are people working in the Michael Flynn section who’ve never met the people working in the Paul Manafort section.” …

borowitz-report giant-warehouse


What Happened


(Atlantic Politics) – James Fallows:

Hillary Clinton‘s What Happened is the rare interesting work by a politician – and it offers an important critique of the press. …

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Hillary Rodham Clinton: What Happened

What Ta-Nehisi Coates Gets Wrong About American Politics


(Atlantic) – George Packer:

There’s a lot to admire in Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new essay. It’s one of those pieces that grabs you with its first paragraph and never lets go. The argument keeps gathering force, building on the striking imagery (“Trump cracked the glowing amulet open”) and the caustic scouring of the polemics (opioids are treated as a sickness, crack was punished as a crime), to the very end. At its heart is the undeniable truth that racism remains fundamental in American politics. …

But the style of no-compromise sacrifices things that are too important for readers to surrender without a second thought. It flattens out history into a single fixed truth, so that an event in 2016 is the same as an event in 1805, the most recent election erases the one before, the Obama years turn into an illusion. It brushes aside policy proposals as distractions, and politics itself as an immoral bargain. It weakens the liberal value of individual thought, and therefore individual responsibility, by subordinating thoughts and individuals to structures and groups. …

theatlantic 2017/09 539976

White Donald Trump

White House Rejects Supremacist Label


(New Yorker::The Borowitz Report) – Andy Borowitz:

It’s grossly unfair that Ms. Hill sought to portray Donald Trump as an upholder of white supremacy, when everything he says or does directly undermines that whole concept,” White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “Anyone who thinks that Donald Trump is on some mission to make white people look good hasn’t been paying attention.” …

borowitz-report not-superior

Sarah Huckabee Sanders