Extra Bonus Quote of the Day
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 19:07
“You know what these proceedings look to me like right now? They look like the Kavanaugh hearing without the vagina hats.” — Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), quoted by Bloomberg, on the House impeachment inquiry.
Trump Falls Apart And Stages a Re-Enactment of His Sondland Conversation
by Sarah Jones on November 20, 2019 at 19:02
“This is the final word from the president of the United started. I want nothing,” President Trump told reporters on the White House lawn Wednesday, after making sure their cameras were rolling.
Former Baltimore Mayor Charged with 11 Counts
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 19:00
“Federal prosecutors have charged former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (D) with 11 counts of fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy in what they allege was a corrupt scheme involving her sales of a self-published children’s book series,” the Baltimore Sun reports.
DAYS OF IMPEACHMENT: A funny thing happened to American discourse!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 20, 2019 at 18:57
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2019All silly, wherever you looked: A funny thing happened to the American experiment on its way through the first few decades of the 21st century.In November 2016, in part due to the nation’s peculiar electoral system, Donald J. Trump was elected president. He had highly unusual views concerning America’s role in the world and, on an alternate track, he often engaged in peculiar conduct and made extremely peculiar statements.Roughly one year into his term, it was decreed that the national press should not discuss the possibility that his behavior was caused by some form of mental illness, psychological disorder or cognitive impairment. Instead, the nation’s influencers agreed to be “shock, shocked” on a daily basis by whatever peculiar thing the disordered president had most recently said.The president’s intellectual disorder tracked that which had prevailed in the upper-end press corps for decades. By the time of the days of impeachment, assessments of this type were commonly being made:GIVHAN (11/20/19): The uniform did what uniforms are designed to do.When Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman appeared before the House Intelligence Committee, his striking presence in his serviceable eyeglasses and his military uniform exuded authority, ferocity and patriotism. As one of the Democratic committee members noted admiringly, Vindman was wearing a Purple Heart on his uniform. He also had a Combat Infantry Badge pinned on the left side of his chest, indicating he’d been involved in active ground combat. For civilian viewers, it was helpful to understand the meanings of some of the insignia on his jacket. But even without the details, anyone looking at the vast collage of medals spread across his chest could understand the story they told: that Vindman is one of the many dedicated individuals who choose to stand guard so that others might sleep easily.In the case of this particular witness, it wasn’t just his military uniform which let the nation’s influencers assess his character. His “serviceable eyeglasses” let hapless citizens “understand the story” too.Normal intellectual standards had almost completely disappeared. On the highest-rated “corporate liberal” cable TV program, viewers put up with self-referential nonsense like this as the days of impeachment started:MADDOW (11/14/19): Tomorrow will be a big day. Not only is tomorrow a Friday in the year 2019, tomorrow’s going to be day two of the impeachment hearings. Marie Yovanovitch, ousted as Ukraine ambassador, her testimony and that second impeachment hearing will start at 9:00 a.m. Eastern. Also tomorrow, a closed door deposition from somebody named David Holmes. He’s the first of potentially two staffers from Kiev who heard President Trump on a phone call to Ambassador Gordon Sondland in a restaurant in Ukraine asking Sondland about the investigations into the Bidens that he wanted Ukraine to do. I should also tell you that tomorrow, we will be awaiting a jury verdict in the Roger Stone trial. The jury is already out deliberating in that case. It’s going to be a big day tomorrow. We’ll see you then. That does it for us tonight. Now, it’s time for The Last Word, where Joy Reid is in for Lawrence tonight. Good evening, Joy.REID: Good evening, Rachel. So, I can tell you that as of tomorrow, you can officially class me as a shut-in. I will not leave my home. No one is to call me. Do not text me. I will not answer. I am so ready for this. I’m so fascinated by it. I don’t know if you’ve responded to it the same way. I cannot stop watching it.MADDOW: I have to tell you I’m already nervous now about how fast I need to sleep so I can be awake and do all my business, like have breakfast and have a shower and have a shower and walk the dog and do all the things I need to do so that I’m seated and paying attention by 9:00 because 9:00 a.m. is not my key time of day. REID: I’m with you.MADDOW: We’re stressed about it.REID: It’s hard because I have insomnia, really bad insomnia. MADDOW: I know you do.REID: So I’ve been trying to trick myself to fall asleep at 11:00, so I can be up at 8:00. So, I’m like trying tricks. I’ve got like the calm app going because I’m like–my poor husband, I’m like I’ve got to be asleep. I need to sleep in like ten minutes. I’ve got to get up at 8:00. You know, it’s really bad. At least with me, it`s really not been easy this week. (LAUGHTER)MADDOW: Also I love how you and I have the same approach to sleeping. Like, “Must sleep now, focus, sleep fast.”REID: Turn on Matthew McConaughey app where he reads me a story now. Like it`s really bad.MADDOW: Yes, and then you scream at it and it’s weird, it doesn’t relax you but you just sleep. I know. We’re terrible people. But at least you and I are in the same boat. Thank you, my friend.REID: There are at least two of us. There are two of us. So, I don’t feel alone.MADDOW: I think there’s more. You and I will both be awake all night and sleep on Saturday. Fair? REID: There you go. Sounds good.MADDOW: Fair, thanks, my friend. All right.REID: All right, have a good night. Bye.Just for the record, we’d have insomnia too, if we were willing to behave that way night after night, on national TV, for very large corporate pay checks. You aren’t allowed to know how large. But in such ways, the multimillionaire “chattering class” had long since agreed to chatter. Nothing was clear as impeachment proceeded, except that Candidate Warren had flipped on Medicare for all. She had instead decided to propose a public option, even as she agreed to pretend that she still had a plan to pursue the original proposal in Year 3 of her term.The gods on Olympus had long since stopped laughing at what was transpiring. It was embarrassing all the way down, as even these great gods acknowledged.Tomorrow: Maria Butina’s boyfriend to jail! Plus, NBC’s Watergate theme song!
Gantz Fails to Form Government In Israel
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 18:56
“Benny Gantz, the chief political rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Wednesday that he had failed to form a new government ahead of a looming midnight deadline, propelling a deeply divided Israel into a new, uncharted phase of political chaos and increasing the likelihood of a third election in a year,” the New York
Sondland Implicates Pence In Ukraine Scandal
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 18:49
“Vice President Pence was informed just before meeting with the president of Ukraine in September that a U.S. ambassador believed that stalled military aid to Ukraine would likely not be released until Ukraine agreed to announce political investigations sought by President Trump,” the Washington Post reports. “Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union,
Gordon Sondland Just Did a Full John Dean
by John Nichols on November 20, 2019 at 18:48
John Nichols In extraordinary testimony, a key Trump appointee provides testimony that will underpin articles of impeachment. The post Gordon Sondland Just Did a Full John Dean appeared first on The Nation.
Doom Arrives For Trump Cult As They Are Told That Impeachment Is Coming
by Sarah Jones on November 20, 2019 at 18:43
Fox News has had the highest ratings of any cable outlet carrying the impeachment inquiry., and they told Trump’s cult that their leader will be impeached.
Trump World Spins During Sondland’s Testimony at Impeachment Hearing
by Jared Holt on November 20, 2019 at 18:37
Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, appeared Wednesday before the House Intelligence Committee and testified that there was, in fact, a quid pro quo involved in President Donald Trump’s request that Ukraine announce it would investigate a potential 2020 political opponent. CNN reported that the GOP and the White House were particularly anxious about
Busted Mike Pence Just Fell Into The Democrats’ Trap On Impeachment
by Jason Easley on November 20, 2019 at 18:22
Gordon Sondland testified that Vice President Mike Pence knew about the Ukraine plot weeks before the Trump/Zelensky phone call.
Impeachment Witnesses Decry Trump’s Pressure on Ukraine to Probe the Bidens
by Melody Ng on November 20, 2019 at 18:11
There is no disagreement among the witnesses that what President Trump did was wrong.
Sondland: Top Trump Administration Officials All in the Loop in Ukraine Scandal
by Melody Ng on November 20, 2019 at 18:08
Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland delivered an explosive opening statement for his impeachment testimony.
Trump Holds Bonkers Press Briefing With Sharpie Notes
by Frances Langum on November 20, 2019 at 18:08
How does one even begin to describe what happened this morning outside the White House? Donald Trump, reading from large print Sharpie notes, yelled to reporters “I WANT NOTHING!” If Gordon Sondland’s testimony was this year’s stupid Watergate’s John Dean moment, then Trump’s appearance outside the White House was the “Pray with me, Henry” meltdown. Trump yelled his notes to reporters: “I say to the Ambassador in response: ‘I want nothing, I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky, President Zelensky, to do the right thing.'” And regarding Sondland, of course Trump doesn’t know him. “I don’t know him very well. I have not spoken to him much. This is not a man I know well. Seems like a nice guy though. But I don’t know him well. He was with other candidates.” Trump with Melania and Sondland, Sondland and Trump chatting before boarding Air Force One, Sondland speaking aboard Air Force One while traveling with Trump, Sondland and Trump walking toward Air Force One: https://t.co/H2GT8ga6Bc pic.twitter.com/ZmqxBecUMe
Trump Regularly ‘Can’t Remember’ Things
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 18:00
Newsweek: “Much of the nearly 260 pages of the anonymous official’s tome, A Warning, which hit bookshelves on Tuesday, has been dedicated to sounding the alarm about Trump’s alarming behavior.” “While the anonymous author, who is described only as a senior official in the Trump administration admits they are not ‘qualified to diagnose the president’s
At Private California Fundraiser, Pete Buttigieg Explains Limited Black Support
by Akela Lacy on November 20, 2019 at 17:59
At a Palm Springs fundraiser, Buttigieg said former Vice President Joe Biden is polling ahead among black voters in South Carolina because of “familiarity.” The post At Private California Fundraiser, Pete Buttigieg Explains Limited Black Support appeared first on The Intercept.
Fox News Tells Trump He Committed Bribery And Will Be Impeached
by Jason Easley on November 20, 2019 at 17:54
Fox News’s Ken Starr gave Trump a dose of reality by making it clear that the President Of The United States will be impeached.
On Trans Day of Resilience, Artists Show Us a Future of Liberation
by Merula Furtado on November 20, 2019 at 17:45
Five poets and five visual artists honor trans lives lost to violence and tell us what resilience means to them.
The Folly of the Iraq War Has Never Been Clearer
by Maj. Danny Sjursen on November 20, 2019 at 17:44
New Iranian intelligence leaks have laid bare just how pointless the invasion truly was. As a former soldier, it’s almost too much to bear.
Giuliani Defends Himself
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 17:35
With Ambassador Gordon Sondland putting him at the center of the Ukraine scandal, Rudy Giuliani defended himself on Twitter: I came into this at Volker’s request. Sondland is speculating based on VERY little contact. I never met him and had very few calls with him, mostly with Volker. Volker testified I answered their questions and
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 17:33
President Trump made comments outside the White House on the impeachment hearings and his notes were visible to reporters.
Chairman Adam Schiff Finally Gets Mad
by Aliza Worthington on November 20, 2019 at 17:27
We’ve seen Rep. Adam Schiff play it cool under circumstances that would make the calmest of us break into a Devin Nunez flop sweat. The so-called President of the United States mocks and derides him, even sliding into anti-Semitism with the nickname he’s chosen for Schiff. Schiff barely raises an eyebrow. He is the choreographer of the public Impeachment hearings as head of the Intelligence Committee, which he has handled with the deftness, suspense and storytelling grace of Jerome Robbins. When the GOP members whine about having to follow the rules (written by THEM) or waste their time by talking over witnesses or interrupting for meaningless parliamentary inquiries, Schiff handles their tantrums with the zen firmness of the parent I’d always wished I’d been. “No, you can’t have more time.” “You know the rules.” “I’ve already explained that.” When the rest of us would be screaming “GGGAAAHHHHHHH THIS IS WHY PARENTS EAT THEIR YOUNG!!!” Yesterday, though, at the end of a long Day 3 of hearings, Chairman Schiff got mad. He raised his voice, even. In his closing statement, addressing Ambassador Volker, he thanked him for finally telling the whole truth about Ukraine. But turning to focus on his Republican colleagues, we finally saw the fire.read more
House Lawmakers Extend Illegal Collection of Americans’ Sensitive Data
by Melody Ng on November 20, 2019 at 17:26
The extension of surveillance legislation was covertly included in a must-pass, short-term funding bill.
In Rare Move, N. Carolina County Removes Confederate Statue
by The Associated Press on November 20, 2019 at 17:25
The state has been at the center of the debate over what to do with such monuments, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Trump Is Watching As Gordon Sondland Gets Him Impeached
by Jason Easley on November 20, 2019 at 17:11
The White House admitted that Donald Trump is watching as his EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland is getting him impeached.
Take Action Now: Stop the EPA’s Assault on Our Natural Resources
by NationAction on November 20, 2019 at 17:10
NationAction Tell Congress to ban toxic pesticides and support lawyers tackling EPA rollbacks, plus call on the Senate to hold a fair impeachment trial. The post Take Action Now: Stop the EPA’s Assault on Our Natural Resources appeared first on The Nation.
Nikki Haley Is All In on Trump
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 17:00
New York Times: “Ms. Haley remains close with the president’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, and they warned her to be more careful talking about Mr. Trump, according to two people familiar with the conversation. A spokeswoman for Ms. Haley said she never received such a warning.”
I’ve Given Up All Hope in Senate Republicans Voting to Impeach
by Melody Ng on November 20, 2019 at 16:42
Apparently, nothing can convince Republicans to abandon their support for Trump.
Wrong Time to Go Off the Record
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 16:40
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) asked a group of reporters: “Let me go off the record for just a second.” He apparently did not realize he was being broadcast live on C-SPAN.
Live Chat: November 20 Debate Night
by The Nation on November 20, 2019 at 16:39
The Nation Join The Nation’s national-affairs correspondents and contributing writers during tonight’s Democratic debate for up-to-the-minute commentary and analysis. The post Live Chat: November 20 Debate Night appeared first on The Nation.
For a Third Time, Chris McDonald and Mark Taylor Smear Tom Hanks as a Pedophile
by Kyle Mantyla on November 20, 2019 at 16:34
For the third time in recent months, right-wing commentator and radical conspiracy theorist Chris McDonald used his nightly “The MC Files” program to baselessly assert that actor Tom Hanks is “one of the biggest pedophiles in Hollywood.” During Monday night’s broadcast, McDonald, who frequently hosts Republican Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee on his program, said
White House Tried to Get Heads Up on Testimony
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 16:30
Washington Post: “White House lawyers pressed in recent days to learn from Sondland’s legal team what the ambassador would tell Congress about the president and claims of a ‘quid pro quo’ in his much anticipated testimony today.” “Sondland’s lawyers declined however to provide the White House with an early peek into the account that this
Giuliani Should Be Prosecuted for Bribery And Pompeo Impeached
by Sarah Jones on November 20, 2019 at 16:28
It’s not just Trump who’s in deep trouble after bombshell testimony on Wednesday. Rudy Giuliani, AG Bill Barr, and Secretary Pompeo are going down as well.
Will Today’s Hearing Move Public Opinion?
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 16:22
Nathaniel Rakich: “Today’s hearing strikes me as having the potential to actually change people’s minds about impeachment. So far, we don’t have a lot of evidence that the hearings have done so.” “We’ve only seen a few polls conducted after last week’s hearings. The Economist/YouGov found that Americans support the House impeaching Trump by 5
Gordon Sondland Says ‘Everyone’ Knew of Quid Pro Quo
by LISA MASCARO, MARY CLARE JALONICK and ERIC TUCKER / The Associated Press on November 20, 2019 at 16:06
Testifying before Congress, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union admits he pushed for a deal with Kyiv at the president’s request.
Senators Press Amazon for Answers on Ring’s Sloppy Security Practices
by Sam Biddle on November 20, 2019 at 16:00
Five Democrats demand answers on private footage accessed in Ukraine. The post Senators Press Amazon for Answers on Ring’s Sloppy Security Practices appeared first on The Intercept.
Trump Didn’t Care About Actual Investigations
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 15:59
When explaining the quid pro quo with Ukraine, Ambassador Gordon Sondland said President Trump was mainly interested in the announcement of investigations by Ukraine President Zelensky into the Bidens. Said Sondland: “He had to announce the investigations, he didn’t actually have to do them, as I understood it.” He later added: “The only thing I
For-Profit Colleges Tap a Fox News Host to Influence Trump
by by Isaac Arnsdorf on November 20, 2019 at 15:50
Brian Kilmeade Does Not Understand How Phones Work
by Frances Langum on November 20, 2019 at 15:49
Oh, Brian Kilmeade, you are more entertaining than a rotting stump, but you are not more intelligent than one. This morning’s Fox and Friends has given up trying to parse serious matters in the Impeachment inquiry. Good call! So Brian Kilmeade wonders aloud about Gordon Sondland’s Ukrainian restaurant phone call with Donald Trump. (Transcript via Media Matters): BRIAN KILMEADE: I also find it hard to believe that people just accept that you can hear both sides of a phone call three thousand — or five thousand miles away. AINSLEY EARHARDT: Unless it’s on speakerphone. KILMEADE: I’ve never heard both sides of a phone call when you have it to your ear.
Bonus Quote of the Day
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 15:42
“That sounds like something I would say. That’s how Trump and I communicate. A lot of four-letter words. In this case three letters.” — Ambassador Gordon Sondland, confirming he told President Trump that Ukraine President Zelensky “loves your ass, he’ll do whatever you want” while talking to him on a cell phone at a Kiev
Ken Starr On Fox: Will GOP Senators Ask Trump To Resign?
by Frances Langum on November 20, 2019 at 15:39
If you don’t think today testimony is a huge nail in the coffin of the Trump presidency, switch over to Fox for a minute. There you’ll note that Ken Starr, yes, the Clinton impeachment Ken Starr, is wondering aloud if Republican Senators are considering a “walk to the White House” the way Republican senators headed over to tell Nixon that it was time to quit in 1974. “Are senators going to now say, in light of what we hear today….we need to make a trip down to the White House—that historic example set during the Nixon presidency,” said Starr. If dawn is breaking over Fox News, you can bet Republican Senators are squirming. “President Pelosi” is trending on Twitter. Ken Starr, lead prosecutor in Clinton impeachment hearings: “There is now proof that the President (Trump) committed the crime of bribery…This has been one of those bombshell days.” — Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) November 20, 2019
Sondland Goes Full John Dean And Lays Out The Ukraine Quid Pro Quo
by Jason Easley on November 20, 2019 at 15:38
Gordon Sondland is using his testimony to go full John Dean and is showing Congress where all the bodies are buried in the Ukraine scheme.
The Spirit of the Indigenous Occupation of Alcatraz Lives On, 50 Years Later
by Melody Ng on November 20, 2019 at 15:34
In 1969, Indigenous activists occupied Alcatraz Island, demanding that their treaties be honored.
‘Wow. Sondland Flipped’: Ambassador Testifies Trump Inner Circle All ‘In the Loop’ During Explosive Opening Statement
on November 20, 2019 at 15:26
Julia Conley, staff writer”Everyone was in the loop,” Sondland told the committee. “It was no secret.”
A John Dean Moment
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 15:25
Since the start of the impeachment probe, President Trump has insisted that there was no quid pro quo with Ukraine, there were no conditions placed on a White House meeting and no strings attached to releasing U.S. military aid. Trump has repeatedly claimed it’s just another “witch hunt” or “hoax” perpetrated by Democrats. Republicans have
On Universal Children’s Day, It’s Time to Stop Imprisoning Kids Everywhere
by Merula Furtado on November 20, 2019 at 15:20
Let’s use the momentum against migrant child detention to end U.S. complicity in locking up kids everywhere.
Sondland Blames Inconsistent Testimony on Administration
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 15:17
Ambassador Gordon Sondland blamed inconsistencies in his previous testimony saying repeatedly that the State Department and the White House didn’t allow him access to the things he needed to provide accurate previous testimony. Said Sondland: “I have not had access to all of my phone records, State Department emails and other State Department documents. And
Gordon Sondland Drops Bombshell That Trump Ordered Ukraine Extortion
by Jason Easley on November 20, 2019 at 15:02
EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified that Trump ordered, Rick Perry, Kurt Volker, and himself to work with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine.
Oh Boy, Gordon Sondland’s Testimony Has Republicans In A Panic
by Susie Madrak on November 20, 2019 at 14:46
The Republicans weren’t AT ALL prepared for Sondland’s testimony, and it sure is fun to watch. Even the White House didn’t know what was coming: Gordon Sondland: “I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ With regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.”#ImpeachmentHearings — (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) November 20, 2019 NEWWWSWorried White House tried to get a sneak peak at what “wild card” Amb. Sondland would say … they were politely rebuffed. Me @jdawsey1https://t.co/QAWETihdBr — Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) November 20, 2019
Ohio Farmer Who Left The GOP Over Trump’s Trade War Is Planning To Run Against Jim Jordan
by Sean Colarossi on November 20, 2019 at 14:23
An Ohio farmer who left the Republican Party after getting destroyed by Donald Trump’s trade war is planning to challenge Rep. Jim Jordan
Sondland Throws Giuliani, Pompeo, And Trump Under The Bus
by Frances Langum on November 20, 2019 at 14:18
We’ll have video in a bit. Meanwhile, enjoy this transcript of Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s opening statement, released to the media this am: AMBASSADOR GORDON SONDLAND: First, Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the President of the United States. We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt. We all understood that if we refused to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine. So we followed the President’s orders. Second, although we disagreed with the need to involve Mr. Giuliani, we did not believe that his role was improper at the time. As I previously testifed, if I had known of all of Mr. Giuliani’s dealings or of his associations with individuals now under criminal indictment, I would not have acquiesced to his participation. Still, given what we knew at the time, what we were asked to do did not appear to be wrong.read more
Because Stephen Miller Is ‘A Verified White Supremacist Controlling US Immigration Policy,’ Says Ocasio-Cortez, He Must Leave White House
on November 20, 2019 at 14:12
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”This is not to be dismissed. People’s lives are at risk. He needs to go now.”
Sondland Throws ‘Everyone’ Under the Bus
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 14:01
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland will give explosive testimony before the House Intelligence Committee this morning. He will say that “everyone” knew about a quid pro quo demanded of Ukraine for military aid and that the scheme was explicitly directed by President Trump. Said Sondland: “We followed the president’s orders.” From his
LIVE STREAM: Amb. Gordon Sondland Testifies In Impeachment Inquiry
by Karoli Kuns on November 20, 2019 at 14:00
This morning’s testimony comes from Gordon Sondland, one of the lead actors in the effort to extort Ukraine into investigating the Bidens. Sondland is the Ambassador to the EU. Ukraine is not part of the EU, but he nevertheless insinuated his way into their affairs on orders of Donald Trump, or so he says. Sondland also had a conversation with Donald Trump the day after Trump’s call to President Zelenskiy, in which he was overheard saying that Ukraine would investigate. He also told diplomat David Holmes that “Trump doesn’t give a shit about Ukraine” and the only thing Trump cares about is “big stuff” like “investigating Joe Biden.” This one should be interesting. Watch with us and leave your comments below.
Stockholm Syndrome: The Nobel Prize Organization Is Now Fully Engaged in the Business of Genocide Denial
by Peter Maass on November 20, 2019 at 13:58
The Swedish Academy, which chose Peter Handke for the Nobel literature prize, issued a letter casting his Bosnia war books as reasonable. The post Stockholm Syndrome: The Nobel Prize Organization Is Now Fully Engaged in the Business of Genocide Denial appeared first on The Intercept.
Impeachment Hearings Continue
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 13:45
The House Intelligence Committee begins its most consequential hearings in the impeachment inquiry at 9 a.m. ET. Ambassador Gordon Sondland is scheduled to testify in the morning session. Laura Cooper and David Hale will testify in the afternoon session. Leave your reactions in the comments.
Biden Coasts as Opponents Face Firing Squad
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 13:31
Politico: “Michael Bloomberg is under fire for his stop-and-frisk policy. Deval Patrick is facing questions about his lucrative business career. Elizabeth Warren lost ground in a major Iowa poll as her Medicare for All plan revived questions about her electability. “And Joe Biden is sitting back and watching the show.” “Biden — who since April
Top Economist Robert Pollin Answers Key Questions on the Emerging Divide Between Sanders and Warren on Medicare for All
on November 20, 2019 at 13:25
Jon Queally, staff writer”I clearly don’t think it is premature to have detailed discussions on funding Medicare for All,” says co-author of 200-page study on that exact subject. “How Sanders or Warren should handle the matter politically,” he adds, “is another matter.”
WATCH LIVE: Day 4 of Trump Impeachment Hearings
on November 20, 2019 at 13:21
Common Dreams staffGordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, “will most likely be the day’s most consequential witness.”
Trump’s Removal Can’t Wait for Impeachment
by Paul Street on November 20, 2019 at 13:13
Legal procedures designed by 18th-century slaveholders won’t save us. Only mass civil disobedience can sweep our fascist regime from power.
Republicans Are Lying: Impeachment Ratings Have Not Plummeted
by Sarah Jones on November 20, 2019 at 13:01
Public polling does not show what people are watching on TV. To understand that, we turn to this thing called “television ratings.”
Forget About Plans, Which Candidate Can Get Things Done?
by Rashad Robinson on November 20, 2019 at 13:01
Rashad Robinson The question debate moderators need to ask tonight is not what changes candidates want to make but how they will make them happen. The post Forget About Plans, Which Candidate Can Get Things Done? appeared first on The Nation.
Where There’s Smoke…
by Matt Wuerker on November 20, 2019 at 13:00
Matt Wuerker Fossil fuel’s climate change lies. The post Where There’s Smoke… appeared first on The Nation.
Why I’m Endorsing Elizabeth Warren
by Ady Barkan on November 20, 2019 at 12:57
Ady Barkan Elizabeth or Bernie? It’s a difficult and wonderful choice to have. The post Why I’m Endorsing Elizabeth Warren appeared first on The Nation.
Gordon Sondland Testifies
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 12:56
Playbook: “Theoretically, he should be a great witness for Democrats: He’s the man who, in their telling, was leading the effort to get Ukraine to commit to investigating the Bidens in exchange for aid and a visit with Trump.” “Here is the Republican game plan to discredit Sondland: The GOP will try to paint Sondland
“We followed the president’s orders”: Sondland gives up Trump — and everyone else
on November 20, 2019 at 12:45
Former Trump loyalist Gordon Sondland rats out Trump and multiple senior White House officials in Ukraine scheme
NYT: Sondland Reported Details Of Ukraine Blackmail Scheme To Mike Pompeo
by Susie Madrak on November 20, 2019 at 12:42
Whomp, there it is! Despite Republicans efforts to pin the whole Ukraine mess on the hapless Gordon Sondland as some kind of loose cannon, truth is leaking out around the edges. Turns out good old senator-wannabe Mike Pompeo was informed every step of the way, according to the New York Times: WASHINGTON — Gordon D. Sondland, the diplomat at the center of the House impeachment inquiry, kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo apprised of key developments in the campaign to pressure Ukraine’s leader into public commitments that would satisfy President Trump, two people briefed on the matter said. Mr. Sondland informed Mr. Pompeo in mid-August about a draft statement that Mr. Sondland and another American diplomat had worked on with the Ukrainians that they hoped would persuade Mr. Trump to grant Ukraine’s new president the Oval Office meeting he was seeking, the people said. Later that month, Mr. Sondland discussed with Mr. Pompeo the possibility of pushing the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to pledge during a planned meeting with Mr. Trump in Warsaw that he would take the steps being sought by Mr. Trump as a way to break the logjam in relations between the two countries, the people said. Mr. Pompeo expressed his approval of the plan, they said, but Mr. Trump later canceled his trip to Poland.read more
How One Town Developed a New Way to Police
by Glenn Nelson on November 20, 2019 at 12:30
Glenn Nelson Renton, Washington, has become a national model for inclusive governing. The post How One Town Developed a New Way to Police appeared first on The Nation.
Sondland Kept Pompeo Informed
by Taegan Goddard on November 20, 2019 at 12:23
New York Times: “Gordon Sondland, the diplomat at the center of the House impeachment inquiry, kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo apprised of key developments in the campaign to pressure Ukraine’s leader into public commitments that would satisfy President Trump.” “Mr. Sondland informed Mr. Pompeo in mid-August about a draft statement that Mr. Sondland and
Today, Navy Officials Will Try To Eject Criminal SEAL Pardoned By Trump
by Susie Madrak on November 20, 2019 at 12:17
(Watch the video. It’s five months old, but still fresh.) Edward Gallagher, the Navy SEAL who was just pardoned by Trump, has been ordered to appear before Navy leaders this morning, and is expected to be notified that the Navy intends to oust him from the elite commando force, according to the New York Times: The move could put the SEAL commander, Rear Adm. Collin Green, in direct conflict with President Trump, who last week cleared the sailor, Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, of any judicial punishment in the war crimes case. Military leaders opposed that action as well as Mr. Trump’s pardons of two soldiers involved in other murder cases. Navy officials had planned to begin the process of taking away Chief Gallagher’s Trident pin, the symbol of his membership in the SEALs, earlier this month. But as he waited outside his commander’s office, Navy leaders sought clearance from the White House that never came, and no action was taken. Admiral Green now has the authorization he needs from the Navy to act against Chief Gallagher, and the formal letter notifying the chief of the action has been drafted and signed by the admiral, the two officials said. One thing is clear: Green knows this action is likely to end his career. But he’s not alone:read more
When Asked How They’ll Pay for Their Plans, Democrats Should Answer Just as Trump Does: Mexico
by Mehdi Hasan on November 20, 2019 at 12:00
At Wednesday’s debate, Democrats should refuse to play the GOP’s “How will you pay for it?” game. The post When Asked How They’ll Pay for Their Plans, Democrats Should Answer Just as Trump Does: Mexico appeared first on The Intercept.
When It Comes to Being Gay-Friendly, Women’s Sports Are Ahead of the Game
by Payal Dhar on November 20, 2019 at 12:00
Payal Dhar Women’s leagues have become much safer spaces for queerness, while men’s sports are still trapped in a culture of repression. The post When It Comes to Being Gay-Friendly, Women’s Sports Are Ahead of the Game appeared first on The Nation.
Stephanie Grisham’s Lies And The Anonymous Lying Liars Who Back Up The Liar’s Lies
by Steve M. on November 20, 2019 at 11:52
Hey, Stephanie — pics or it didn’t happen. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham claimed on Tuesday that departing former aides to President Barack Obama left notes saying “you will fail” and “you aren’t going to make it” for the incoming staff of Donald Trump. Former Obama aides quickly denied Grisham’s claim, reacting to a tweet from a CNN reporter that Grisham had said during an earlier radio interview, “Every office was filled with Obama books and we had notes left behind that said ‘you will fail,’ ‘you aren’t going to make it.'” At the Daily Mail, Republican apparatchik David Martosko writes: Stephanie Grisham told a Virginia radio host at the White House on Tuesday about finding the notes, and office cabinets brimming with Obama-authored books.read more
Massive blow to Trump: Gordon Sondland pins Ukraine “quid pro quo” on president
on November 20, 2019 at 11:43
EU ambassador describes Ukraine “quid pro quo” to Congress: “Everyone was in the loop. … The answer is yes”
As President, Pete Buttigieg Wants to Give 25 Percent of Federal Contracts to Minorities. As Mayor, He Gave 3 Percent.
by Akela Lacy on November 20, 2019 at 11:33
Even as Buttigieg pushes diversity efforts as mayor, less than 3 percent of South Bend’s business in 2018 went to minority- and women-owned firms. The post As President, Pete Buttigieg Wants to Give 25 Percent of Federal Contracts to Minorities. As Mayor, He Gave 3 Percent. appeared first on The Intercept.
The Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Climate Change: Worker Power
by Kate Aronoff, Alyssa Battistoni, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Thea Riofrancos on November 20, 2019 at 11:30
Kate Aronoff, Alyssa Battistoni, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Thea Riofrancos Capitalists created the climate crisis. But a low-carbon labor movement can help solve it. The post The Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Climate Change: Worker Power appeared first on The Nation.
“Nunes read the wrong opening statement”: GOP strategy flops as Sondland throws Trump under the bus
on November 20, 2019 at 11:04
“Nunes’ opening statement suggests GOP didn’t know Sondland was flipping until the last minute,” one reporter notes
Ghosts of Mossadegh: The Iran Cables, U.S. Empire, and the Arc of History
by Intercepted on November 20, 2019 at 11:01
Iranian-American author and analyst Hooman Majd is this week’s guest. The post Ghosts of Mossadegh: The Iran Cables, U.S. Empire, and the Arc of History appeared first on The Intercept.
Fixing the US Economy Isn’t Just About Money
by Joelle Gamble on November 20, 2019 at 11:00
Joelle Gamble To make meaningful changes to our unequal economy, organizers, politicians, and candidates must target who has power. The post Fixing the US Economy Isn’t Just About Money appeared first on The Nation.
Army steps up protection of Vindman as White House pushes talking points attacking service member
on November 20, 2019 at 10:50
The Trump administration attempts to discredit Vindman, even though he still works at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Evo Morales Urges United Nations to ‘Denounce and Stop This Massacre’ as Bolivian Military Guns Down Protestors
on November 20, 2019 at 10:29
Jake Johnson, staff writerThe former Bolivian president accused coup leaders of carrying out “genocidal policies” against indigenous people.
Are Republicans even trying to defend Trump? Or just doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding?
on November 20, 2019 at 10:25
Trump’s Ukraine extortion scheme is now clear — but the entire Republican Party has become a Russian asset
Blame Over Justice: The Human Toll of the Navy’s Relentless Push to Punish One of Its Own
by by Megan Rose on November 20, 2019 at 10:00
Make Dental Care a Health Care Benefit
by Jess Pernsteiner on November 20, 2019 at 08:04
Dental care is not a luxury—it is essential for overall health.
House of Representatives Finally Recognizes Armenian Genocide
by Stephen Zunes on November 20, 2019 at 07:03
It is shocking that it has taken this long for even one house of the U.S. Congress to recognize this historic tragedy. Somehow it is always a “bad time” to upset the government of Turkey.
Media proclaims Bolivia’s election fraudulent, embraces coup — but where’s the evidence?
on November 20, 2019 at 07:00
Major U.S. media supported a right-wing coup in Bolivia — but their claims of election fraud don’t hold up
Democratic candidates demand investigation into NBC’s “toxic culture” ahead of MSNBC debate
on November 20, 2019 at 06:00
Given the dozens of “credible” allegations against Trump, Dems want party to take a stand on misconduct cover-ups
‘Se eu me debatesse, eles poderiam me dar um tiro’: a história da advogada presa durante audiência
by Valéria Santos on November 20, 2019 at 05:03
Todo advogado negro é vítima de racismo, mas muitos não falam nada. Desde o primeiro dia de aula no curso de Direito até o ponto de ser algemada e arrastada na frente de uma cliente. The post ‘Se eu me debatesse, eles poderiam me dar um tiro’: a história da advogada presa durante audiência appeared first on The Intercept.
Rachel Maddow Says GOP-Called Impeachment Witnesses Only Confirmed Trump’s Corruption
by Sean Colarossi on November 20, 2019 at 03:01
If the GOP was hoping two of their witnesses would save their crumbling impeachment defense, they likely left Tuesday’s hearing feeling quite discouraged.
Adam Schiff Closes Impeachment Hearing With A Fiery Takedown Of GOP Committee Members
by Sean Colarossi on November 20, 2019 at 01:59
Rep. Adam Schiff delivered a fiery takedown of Republicans on Tuesday at the conclusion of the day’s public impeachment hearings.
The GOP’s Hand-Picked Witnesses Just Sealed Trump’s Impeachment
by Sean Colarossi on November 20, 2019 at 01:00
Two witnesses hand-picked by Republicans flopped in a big way on Tuesday, and it may have sealed Donald Trump’s impeachment.
GOP-Requested Witness Rejects Trump ‘Conspiracy Theories’
by COLLEEN LONG and ERIC TUCKER / The Associated Press on November 20, 2019 at 00:21
The former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine calls allegations against Joe Biden “self-serving and non-credible.”
Jim Jordan Defends Trump By Confirming He’s A Crazy Conspiracy Theorist
by Jason Easley on November 20, 2019 at 00:18
The Republican defense of Trump has turned into admitting that the President Of The United States believes conspiracy theories about Ukraine.
Hong Kong Was Never Built to Stand Up to China
by Yukiko Kobayashi Lui on November 19, 2019 at 23:53
Yukiko Kobayashi Lui The power of the territory’s courts was dismissed by Beijing this week—proving just how weak Hong Kong’s rule of law has always been. The post Hong Kong Was Never Built to Stand Up to China appeared first on The Nation.
Democrats Get Big Win As Judge Grants Rush Judgement On Don McGahn Testimony
by Jason Easley on November 19, 2019 at 23:34
House Democrats got a big win on Tuesday evening as a judge granted a rush judgment on the question of whether Don McGahn will have to testify in the impeachment hearings.
Quid Pro Uh-Oh: Ukraine Cooperating With Criminal Probe Of Giuliani
by Jason Easley on November 19, 2019 at 23:04
The Ukrainian state-run gas company executives are cooperating with the criminal investigation into Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
Right Wing Round-Up: Trump’s Not Sick, The Media Is
by Kyle Mantyla on November 19, 2019 at 22:34
Emily Singer @ The American Independent: GOP smears Purple Heart recipient by suggesting he has dual loyalties. Andrew Prokop @ Vox: Kurt Volker, impeachment witness requested by Republicans, debunks many of their arguments. Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: Chick-fil-A Slowly Backtracks on New Charity Policy Excluding Anti-LGBTQ Groups. Joe Jervis: Laura Loomer Rakes In US
Devin Nunes Humiliates Himself By Accusing Democrats of “Drug Deal”
by Jason Easley on November 19, 2019 at 22:33
Rep. Devin Nunes claimed at the Tuesday afternoon impeachment hearing that Democrats are cooking up a “drug deal” on impeachment.
Right Wing Bonus Tracks: A Monstrous Hate Crime
by Kyle Mantyla on November 19, 2019 at 22:30
Bryan Fischer says that the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is “a big, monstrous, taxpayer-funded hate crime.” Brenden Dilley is not a fan of “weaselly, treasonous fuck” Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the combat-decorated national security specialist who testified today as part of the impeachment inquiry. The American Family Association seems to have changed its
Long day’s journey into toothache!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 19, 2019 at 22:25
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2019Could someone buy Castor an ice cream?: We’re afraid that we’ve spent the bulk of the day watching the bulk of the hearings. Our principal finding:Watching Steve Castor interview anyone is a deeply painful experience. That may well be part of the plan.Several days of this punishment lie ahead. We may be forced to rethink our approach.
Half of American Men Can’t Handle the Prospect of a Woman President
by Ilana Novick on November 19, 2019 at 22:21
Even other women aren’t so sure.
Trump Should Give Roger Stone a Pardon and a Presidential Medal of Freedom, Says Ed Martin
by Peter Montgomery on November 19, 2019 at 22:12
Right-wing activist, pundit, and unsuccessful political candidate Ed Martin said on his radio show Monday evening that Roger Stone’s recent seven-count conviction was “so wrong,” and he called on President Donald Trump to pardon Stone and award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the same day. In a Tuesday morning email promoting the segment, Martin included
Climate Groups Applaud Newsom’s Temporary Fracking Ban in California, But Say Other ‘Critical Next Steps’ Still Needed
on November 19, 2019 at 22:10
Julia Conley, staff writerAnti-fracking advocates were cautiously optimistic Tuesday after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a moratorium on fracking in the state and new steps to mitigate the disastrous public health effects that extractive industries have on communities.
The GOP’s Own Impeachment Witness Buries Giuliani and Praises Biden
by Jason Easley on November 19, 2019 at 21:59
Kurt Volker painted Rudy Giuliani as a conspiracy nut while praising Joe Biden, and he is a witness that Republicans wanted to testify.
Tucker Carlson: Immigration Has Turned Into ‘A Fake Civil Rights Issue’
by Jared Holt on November 19, 2019 at 21:51
Fox News host and Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson told Breitbart radio listeners Tuesday morning that the policy debate on immigration has been turned “into a fake civil rights issue.” Carlson joined Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow for an interview on “Breitbart News Daily” on SiriusXM Patriot to discuss topical news items, including immigration—which both Marlow
Ocasio-Cortez: ‘I Was Sent Here to Safeguard and Protect People,’ Not the Profits of Private Equity
on November 19, 2019 at 21:40
Jessica Corbett, staff writerDuring a U.S. House Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez railed against private equity firms for “wiping out tens of thousands of jobs” and having “undemocratic impacts on media companies.”
Facebook Won’t Say If Breitbart News Is Still ‘Trustworthy’ After Taking Orders From Stephen Miller
by Jared Holt on November 19, 2019 at 21:00
Facebook did not respond to an inquiry from Right Wing Watch asking the company whether new evidence showing that White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller directed Breitbart News coverage in 2015 and 2016 with the help of the site’s editors was congruent with the platform’s policies for which publishers it treats as credible news
Stephen Strang: Christians ‘Have No Choice’ but to Support Trump in 2020
by Kyle Mantyla on November 19, 2019 at 20:34
Stephen Strang appeared on the American Pastors Network’s “Stand In The Gap” radio program last week to discuss APN’s “52 Tuesdays” election prayer effort, which was created to mobilize “Christians to pray for America as never before” heading into the 2020 elections. During the discussion, Strang said that Christians “have no choice” but to vote
Trump Is Using Taxpayer Money To Smear Lt. Col. Vindman
by Jason Easley on November 19, 2019 at 20:18
Trump has hijacked the official White House Twitter account and is using the taxpayer-funded tool to smear Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.
Rep. Ilhan Omar Asks Judge to ‘Show Compassion’ for Hateful Man Who Threatened to Put Bullet in Her Head
on November 19, 2019 at 19:55
Common Dreams staffIn response to a man accused of threatening her life pleading guilty to the crime in a U.S. District Court a day prior, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Tuesday released publicly a letter she wrote to the federal judge presiding over the case asking that he “show compassion” in his sentencing.
Robert Reich: Medicare for All or Bust
by Robert Reich on November 19, 2019 at 19:54
Every Democratic hopeful’s proposal would be vastly superior to our current system, but only one guarantees health care as a human right.
Who is behind the right-wing Bolivian botnet?
by Keith A. Spencer on November 19, 2019 at 19:52
After a violent coup in Bolivia, Twitter bots tried to nudge Americans to the side of the Bolivian far-right
‘Naked Violation’ of Human Rights: Global Condemnation Over New US Position on Israeli Occupation
on November 19, 2019 at 19:43
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”The American government’s decision to jettison international law and to legitimise the illegal Israeli settlements is probably the very last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution.”
Tortured by CIA and Detained at Gitmo Without Trial, Ahmed Rabbani Gives Haunting Review of ‘The Report’—a New Film He’ll Likely Never See
on November 19, 2019 at 19:32
Jessica Corbett, staff writerA victim of the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program who has spent over 15 years locked up in the U.S. military prison at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba shared his thoughts on a new film entitled The Report in an op-ed published Tuesday by USA Today.
Little Kids, Locked Away
by Jennifer Smith Richards, Jodi S. Cohen and Lakeidra Chavis / <a href="https://features.propublica.org/illinois-seclusion-rooms/school-students-put-in-isolated-timeouts/">ProPublica</a> on November 19, 2019 at 19:29
A new investigation finds that children are being isolated against their will in schools across Illinois. Often, it’s against the law.
White House Slams ‘Illegitimate’ Hearing
by The Associated Press on November 19, 2019 at 19:29
Press secretary Stephanie Grisham further charges that Democrats are “blinded by their hatred for Donald Trump ….”
Even the Republican witnesses make Donald Trump look like a depraved criminal
on November 19, 2019 at 19:15
GOP-called witnesses Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison portray Trump as a conspiracy theorist who must be controlled
The Many Lies and Untruths We’re Being Told About the Bolivian Coup
by Gregory Shupak / <a href="https://fair.org/home/unpacking-media-propaganda-about-bolivias-election/">FAIR</a> on November 19, 2019 at 19:01
Corporate media would have us believe that Evo Morales was a dictator in the making. The facts on the ground tell a very different story.
Two prison guards tasked with monitoring Jeffrey Epstein charged after sex offender’s suicide
on November 19, 2019 at 19:01
The two correctional officers are charged with making false records and conspiring to defraud the U.S.
Backing Call for Prime Time Impeachment Hearings, Petition Signed by Nearly 100K Delivered to PBS
on November 19, 2019 at 19:01
Julia Conley, staff writerIn a petition delivered by the grassroots group Common Cause, nearly 100,000 Americans on Tuesday joined veteran journalist Bill Moyers’s call for PBS to re-air the impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump in their entirety during prime time.
Jim Jordan Doubles Down On Attacking Purple Heart Recipient Vindman
by Sarah Jones on November 19, 2019 at 18:58
Instead of siding with the U.S., these Republicans, like Jim Jordan, are doubling down attacking Vindman in the basest way possible.
Republicans Urge Americans to Follow Them Through the Fox News Looking Glass on Ukraine
by Robert Mackey on November 19, 2019 at 18:53
To defend Donald Trump, Republicans in the House are trying to discredit Sergii Leshchenko, who helped expose Paul Manafort’s corruption in Ukraine. The post Republicans Urge Americans to Follow Them Through the Fox News Looking Glass on Ukraine appeared first on The Intercept.
Regardless of Party, Poll Shows 66% of Key Early State Voters Support ‘Ending Production of Fossil Fuels’
on November 19, 2019 at 18:38
Jake Johnson, staff writer”These results show that there is public support for a steadfast leader who is willing to take on the fossil fuel industry—so candidates shouldn’t be afraid to put forth progressive policies.”
Jim Jordan Just Had An Epic Meltdown During Vindman’s Testimony
by Jason Easley on November 19, 2019 at 18:30
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was added to the impeachment hearings to be Trump’s ringer, but instead, he had a meltdown during Lt. Col. Vindman’s testimony.
Intensified US Sanctions Bolster Iran’s Hardliners and Fuel Angry Protests
by Merula Furtado on November 19, 2019 at 18:16
At least 12 Iranian protesters have been killed while demonstrating in response to rising gasoline prices.
Why Do Two of the Whitest States Vote First for Presidential Candidates?
by Melody Ng on November 19, 2019 at 18:15
The U.S. is becoming more diverse, but the nomination process remains heavily weighted toward Iowa and New Hampshire.
Senate Investigates IRS Whistleblower Complaint That GOP Hid From Democrats
by Melody Ng on November 19, 2019 at 18:08
A career IRS official has alleged improper interference on audits of Trump’s or Pence’s tax returns.
Frontline’s “For Sama” does its part to close the immigration empathy gap
on November 19, 2019 at 18:07
A Syrian mother bears witness to the war for her child’s sake, and to stand for refugees suffering everywhere
Rex Tillerson says it is “wrong” for a president to use foreign aid as collateral for personal gain
on November 19, 2019 at 17:40
The former secretary of state clashed with Trump while serving in the Cabinet, allegedly calling him a “moron”
Adam Schiff Masterfully Uses Vindman Testimony To Nail Trump
by Jason Easley on November 19, 2019 at 17:37
With a series of questions to Alexander Vindman, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) nailed Donald Trump.
Jim Jordan’s attacks on Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman at impeachment hearing badly backfire
on November 19, 2019 at 17:30
Jordan and the GOP tried to raise doubts about Vindman’s credibility and loyalty. The Army officer brought receipts
GOP senator: The Trump impeachment inquiry is like the “Kavanaugh hearing without the vagina hats”
on November 19, 2019 at 17:23
Kennedy falsely calmed that “this will be the only partisan impeachment proceeding in the history of the” U.S.
Bribery Bomb Confirmed as Vindman Testifies The Trump Demands Were Explicit
by Sarah Jones on November 19, 2019 at 17:07
Vindman testified that Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland raised all three elements of Biden, Burisma, and 2016 in the July 10th meeting with Ukrainians and that it was “explicit what he was calling for.”
In “Ernie & Joe,” cops help the suicidal or mentally ill without criminalizing them
on November 19, 2019 at 17:00
In HBO’s doc, the San Antonio Police Department intervene to keep people alive, from harming others & out of jail
“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade tells President Trump not to tweet about impeachment inquiry
on November 19, 2019 at 16:44
Democrats accused the president of “witness intimation” following his tweets aimed at those testifying in the probe
After Week of Violence and Unrest, Warren Criticized for Conciliatory Remarks on Post-Coup Bolivia
on November 19, 2019 at 16:31
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re going to call yourself a progressive who stands up for the little guy you might want to start calling a right wing coup that’s resulted in the curbing of democratic freedoms and onslaught of violence… well, a right wing coup.”
Behind the scenes on Andy Warhol’s “Women In Revolt”
on November 19, 2019 at 16:30
Penny Arcade explains how Warhol accidentally ended up producing a feminist movie when he meant to skewer feminism
On Eve of NBC-Hosted Debate, Sanders, Warren, Harris, and Booker Join Call for Network to Allow Outside Probe of Sexual Violence
on November 19, 2019 at 16:25
Julia Conley, staff writerExpressing concern that the Democratic Party must clearly align itself with survivors rather than corporate entities which protect and enable people accused of abuse, four presidential candidates called on NBC and its parent company, Comcast, to commit to an independent investigation into the network’s “toxic culture” before Wednesday’s Democratic primary debate.
Rep. Ilhan Omar asks judge sentencing the man who threatened to murder her to show “compassion”
on November 19, 2019 at 16:21
Patrick Carlineo Jr. faces a fine of up to $250,000 and a prison sentence of up to 10 years after threatening Omar
With Assange on Verge of Extradition to US, Sweden Drops Years-Long Rape Investigation Into WikiLeaks Founder
on November 19, 2019 at 16:13
Jessica Corbett, staff writerA Swedish prosecutor announced Tuesday that her office is ending a years-long investigation into a 2010 rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently being held in a British prison as he battles the U.S. government’s effort to extradite him.
Vindman Smacks Down Nunes As GOP Impeachment Disaster Worsens
by Jason Easley on November 19, 2019 at 16:10
Devin Nunes got smacked down by the witness when he disrespected Lt. Col. Vindman, then he tried to out the whistleblower.
Un hospital cobra a una de sus enfermeras casi $900,000 tras dar a luz a una bebé prematura
by por Marshall Allen on November 19, 2019 at 16:00
The Furor Over Medicare for All Ignores a Key Question
by Katrina vanden Heuvel on November 19, 2019 at 15:59
Katrina vanden Heuvel Do we have the courage to make health care a right, not a privilege? The post The Furor Over Medicare for All Ignores a Key Question appeared first on The Nation.
Chris McDonald: John Brennan ‘Is Going to Hang From a Noose’
by Kyle Mantyla on November 19, 2019 at 15:40
Upset by former CIA director John Brenna’s reply to President Trump’s tweet disparaging former U.S.ambassador to the Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, last week, right-wing commentator and radical conspiracy theorist Chris McDonald declared that Brennan is “going to hang from a noose.” During Yovanovitch’s testimony on the second day of the public impeachment hearings into Trump last
Vindman Just Destroyed Trump’s Ukraine Call Cover Story
by Jason Easley on November 19, 2019 at 15:40
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified on Tuesday that he listened to both of Trump’s Ukraine calls, and corruption was never mentioned.
WATCH LIVE: Day 3 of Trump Impeachment Hearings
on November 19, 2019 at 15:39
Common Dreams staffTestimony on Wednesday came from two key witnesses Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams in the morning. In a separate afternoon hearing, testimony was provided by Ambassador Kurt Volker, former U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine and Timothy Morrison, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia, National Security Council.
‘Disqualifying’: Buttigieg Faces Backlash for Praising Right-Wing Tea Party Movement in Resurfaced 2010 Video
on November 19, 2019 at 15:38
Jake Johnson, staff writer”I believe we might find that we have a lot in common,” Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said during an event hosted by Citizens for Common Sense.
Trump assails Nancy Pelosi for impeachment quote — but it actually came from Fox News
on November 19, 2019 at 15:15
“She wants to change our voting system. Wow, she’s CRAZY!” Trump declared
Trump Is an Aggressive Arms Dealer. So Were His Predecessors.
by William D. Hartung on November 19, 2019 at 15:00
William D. Hartung America has been dealing arms to the Middle East since Nixon, fueling a lucrative and disastrous kind of foreign policy. The post Trump Is an Aggressive Arms Dealer. So Were His Predecessors. appeared first on The Nation.
Trump Wants to Treat Undocumented Migrants Like Enemy Combatants
by Sasha Abramsky on November 19, 2019 at 15:00
Sasha Abramsky But US soldiers who commit war crimes? They’re “deserving individuals” who deserve “second chances.” The post Trump Wants to Treat Undocumented Migrants Like Enemy Combatants appeared first on The Nation.
Letters From the December 2/9, 2019, Issue
by Our Readers, Eric Alterman on November 19, 2019 at 14:40
Our Readers, Eric Alterman The truth about lies… Fixing a supreme injustice… The post Letters From the December 2/9, 2019, Issue appeared first on The Nation.
From ‘outside voices, please’
by Valerie Hsiung on November 19, 2019 at 14:30
Valerie Hsiung The post From ‘outside voices, please’ appeared first on The Nation.
Lindsey Graham, Legal Scholar
by Calvin Trillin on November 19, 2019 at 14:20
Calvin Trillin The post Lindsey Graham, Legal Scholar appeared first on The Nation.
by Jen Sorensen on November 19, 2019 at 14:17
Jen Sorensen The post Comix Nation appeared first on The Nation.
Vindman responds to “vile” attacks on impeachment witnesses: “I will be fine for telling the truth”
on November 19, 2019 at 14:17
Fox host Laura Ingraham was among those who questioned Vindman’s loyalty to America after he contradicted Trump
Impeachment: There goes Trump’s “hearsay” defense; GOP tries to out whistleblower
on November 19, 2019 at 13:25
Lt. Col. Vindman and Williams blow a hole through another Trump defense — and implicate Pence in Ukraine scandal
The Other Americans: Indigenous Guatemalans Mobilize to Denounce Coup in Bolivia
by Jeff Abbott on November 19, 2019 at 13:09
Repression against indigenous Bolivians has spurred protests across the Americas.
Up in Smoke
by Paul Karasik on November 19, 2019 at 13:00
Paul Karasik Vaping manufactures hit their target market. The post Up in Smoke appeared first on The Nation.
‘What Momentum Looks Like’: Sanders Becomes Fastest Presidential Candidate in History to Reach 4 Million Individual Donations
on November 19, 2019 at 12:45
Jake Johnson, staff writer”This is damn impressive,” said progressive strategist Rebecca Katz.
The Songs of Canceled Men
by Joe Bucciero on November 19, 2019 at 12:30
Joe Bucciero A new book revisits the lives of artists like James Brown, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra and asks how music criticism can reckon with the lives of immoral artists. The post The Songs of Canceled Men appeared first on The Nation.
Sweden drops rape investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
on November 19, 2019 at 12:28
Assange is currently in jail in the U.K. for breaching his bail conditions in 2012 at a hearing related to the case
Supreme Court temporarily blocks subpoena for President Trump’s tax returns from House Democrats
on November 19, 2019 at 12:17
The court issued a temporary stay on a ruling that requires Trump’s accounting firm to turn over his tax returns
Surviving Indonesia’s Antigay Clampdown
by Nicole Einbinder, Gabriela Bhaskar on November 19, 2019 at 12:00
Nicole Einbinder, Gabriela Bhaskar They met, fell in love, and were nearly torn apart in a country where LGBTQ people are increasingly persecuted. The post Surviving Indonesia’s Antigay Clampdown appeared first on The Nation.
GOP’s impeachment antics backfire: Maybe Elise Stefanik just wants to lose
on November 19, 2019 at 11:31
Stefanik’s fall: Why did a congresswoman from an upstate New York purple district just set herself on fire?
Ted Chiang’s Sci-Fi Goes Beyond the Promise of Technology
by Stephen Kearse on November 19, 2019 at 11:30
Stephen Kearse In his short story collection Exhalation, he builds social worlds where every character and object is deeply intertwined in history and in future possibility. The post Ted Chiang’s Sci-Fi Goes Beyond the Promise of Technology appeared first on The Nation.
Third official testifies that Mike Pompeo called Fox News host Sean Hannity about Marie Yovanovitch
on November 19, 2019 at 11:05
A Fox News analyst claims that Hannity is being “smeared,” even though a State Dep’t official confirmed the call
What the Iran Cables Tell Us About the U.S.-Made Hellscape in Iraq
by Intercepted on November 19, 2019 at 11:01
The Intercept’s Murtaza Hussain and New York Times reporter Farnaz Fassihi discuss the Iran Cables. The post What the Iran Cables Tell Us About the U.S.-Made Hellscape in Iraq appeared first on The Intercept.
A Deadly Game of Chicken in Iraq and Lebanon
by Thanassis Cambanis on November 19, 2019 at 11:00
Thanassis Cambanis Popular revolts in the Middle East are pitting people against regimes. The post A Deadly Game of Chicken in Iraq and Lebanon appeared first on The Nation.
The Quiet Rooms
by by Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, and Jodi S. Cohen and Lakeidra Chavis, ProPublica Illinois on November 19, 2019 at 11:00
by Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, and Jodi S. Cohen and Lakeidra Chavis, ProPublica Illinois This investigation is a collaboration between ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune. ProPublica Illinois is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to get weekly updates about our work. The spaces have gentle names: The reflection room. The cool-down room. The calming room. The quiet room. But shut inside them, in public schools across the state, children as young as 5 wail for their parents, scream in anger and beg to be let out. The students, most of them with disabilities, scratch the windows or tear at the padded walls. They throw their bodies against locked doors. They wet their pants. Some children spend hours inside these rooms, missing class time. Through it all, adults stay outside the door, writing down what happens. In Illinois, it’s legal for school employees to seclude students in a separate space — to put them in “isolated timeout” — if the students pose a safety threat to themselves or others. Yet every school day, workers isolate children for reasons that violate the law, an investigation by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois has found. Children were sent to isolation after refusing to do classwork, for swearing, for spilling milk, for throwing Legos. School employees use isolated timeout for convenience, out of frustration or as punishment, sometimes referring to it as “serving time.” For this investigation, ProPublica Illinois and the Tribune obtained and analyzed thousands of detailed records that state law requires schools to create whenever they use seclusion. The resulting database documents more than 20,000 incidents from the 2017-18 school year and through early December 2018. Of those, about 12,000 included enough detail to determine what prompted the timeout. In more than a third of these incidents, school workers documented no safety reason for the seclusion. State education officials are unaware of these repeated violations because they do not monitor schools’ use of the practice. Parents, meanwhile, often are told little about what happens to their children. The Tribune/ProPublica Illinois investigation, which also included more than 120 interviews with parents, children and school officials, provides the first in-depth examination of this practice in Illinois. Because school employees observing the students often keep a moment-by-moment log, the records examined by reporters offer a rare view of what happens to children inside these rooms — often in their own words. Without doubt, many of the children being secluded are challenging. Records show school employees struggling to deal with disruptive, even violent behavior, such as hitting, kicking and biting. Workers say that they have to use seclusion to keep everyone in the classroom safe and that the practice can help children learn how to calm themselves. But disability advocates, special-education experts and administrators in school systems that have banned seclusion argue that the practice has no therapeutic or educational value, that it can traumatize children — and that there are better alternatives. No federal law regulates the use of seclusion, and Congress has debated off and on for years whether that should change. Last fall, a bill was introduced that would prohibit seclusion in public schools that receive federal funding. A U.S. House committee held a hearing on the issue in January, but there’s been no movement since. Nineteen states prohibit secluding children in locked rooms; four of them ban any type of seclusion. But Illinois continues to rely on the practice. The last time the U.S. Department of Education calculated state-level seclusion totals, in 2013-14, Illinois ranked No. 1. Although state law requires schools to file a detailed report each time they use seclusion, no one is required to read these accounts. Several school district officials said they had not reviewed seclusion reports from their schools until reporters requested them. The Illinois State Board of Education does not collect any data on schools’ use of isolated timeout and has not updated guidelines since issuing them 20 years ago. “Having a law that allows schools to do something that is so traumatic and dangerous to students without having some sort of meaningful oversight and monitoring is really, really troubling,” said Zena Naiditch, founder and leader of Equip for Equality, a disabilities watchdog group that helped write Illinois’ rules in 1999. Informed of the investigation’s findings, the Illinois State Board of Education said it would issue guidance clarifying that seclusion should be used only in emergencies. Officials acknowledged they don’t monitor the use of isolated timeout and said they would need legislative action to do so. This investigation, based on records from more than 100 districts, found seclusion was used in schools across every part of the state and by a range of employees, from teachers and aides to social workers and security personnel. Some districts declined to provide records or gave incomplete information. Others wouldn’t answer even basic questions, saying the law did not require them to. Of more than 20 districts reporters asked to visit, only three said yes. “Is this something that we’re ashamed of? It’s not our finest,” said Christan Schrader, director of the Black Hawk Area Special Education District in East Moline, which documented about 850 seclusions in the time period examined. Schrader said she thinks her staff generally uses seclusion appropriately but acknowledged room for improvement. She met with reporters at the district’s administration building but wouldn’t let them see the seclusion rooms in the school across the parking lot. “Nobody wants to talk about those things because it doesn’t reflect well,” she said. “I’m Crying Alone” About 20 minutes after he was put in one of his school’s Quiet Rooms — a 5-foot-square space made of plywood and cinder block — 9-year-old Jace Gill wet his pants. An aide, watching from the doorway, wrote that down in a log, noting it was 10:53 a.m. on Feb. 1, 2018. School aides had already taken away Jace’s shoes and both of his shirts. Jace then stripped off his wet pants, wiped them in the urine on the floor and sat down in the corner. “I’m naked!” Jace yelled at 10:56 a.m. Staff did not respond, the log shows, except to close the door “for privacy.” By 11 a.m., Jace had also defecated and was smearing feces on the wall. No adults intervened, according to the log. They watched and took notes. “Dancing in feces. Doing the twist,” staff wrote at 11:14 a.m., noting that the boy then started pacing back and forth. “I need more clothes,” he called out. “We know,” an aide answered. Jace banged on the walls and tried to pry open the door. He sat against the wall, crying for his mom. 11:42 a.m.: “Let me out of here. I’m crying alone.” The incident began that morning when Jace ripped up a math worksheet and went into the hallway, trying to leave school. Jace was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 and began having epileptic seizures at 5. In first grade, officials at his local school referred him to the Kansas Treatment and Learning Center, a public school in east-central Illinois for children with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Jace’s mother, Kylee Beaven, had heard about the Quiet Rooms at Kansas and had strong reservations about the concept, even before she took a school tour and stepped inside one. She recalls being told he would never be shut inside alone. “I remember standing there and thinking, like, if I was a kid, how would I feel if I was in this room by myself?” she said. In the years Jace spent at the Kansas TLC, he was placed in the Quiet Rooms again and again — at least 28 times in the 2017-18 school year. Once, he was shut in after he pushed a book off his desk, said “I hate reading,” raised his fist and tried to leave the classroom. Another day, he refused to get out of his grandmother’s car at school drop-off, so a staff member took him straight to a Quiet Room. After he went into a Quiet Room on Feb. 1, a staff member took notes every one or two minutes. The handwritten incident report stretches nine pages on lined paper. Jace spent more than 80 minutes in the room before someone stepped inside to hand him a change of clothes, wipes to clean his feet and some lunch. A mental-health crisis worker arrived to talk to him, but he wouldn’t answer her questions. He was not released until his grandmother — his “Gammy” — came to pick him up at 2:07 p.m. Jace’s mother remembers this incident, in part because she was surprised to learn that he had defecated in the room. Hadn’t she been told he wouldn’t be alone? When reporters showed her the lengthy report, she read and reread it for at least 20 minutes, tears falling onto the pages. “I didn’t know it was like this. I didn’t know they wrote this all down,” Beaven said. “None of it should have happened.” In the nearly 50,000 pages of reports reporters reviewed about Illinois students in seclusion, school workers often keep watch over children who are clearly in distress. They dutifully document kids urinating and spitting in fear or anger and then being ordered to wipe the walls clean and mop the floors. Kansas TLC is operated by the Eastern Illinois Area Special Education district, which serves students from eight counties and is based in Charleston. Illinois has about 70 regional special-education districts that teach students who can’t be accommodated in their home districts. Eastern Illinois officials ultimately released roughly 10,000 pages of records chronicling nearly 1,100 isolated timeouts. Analysis of those records shows more than half of seclusions there were prompted by something other than a safety issue. When students at any of the three schools have been disrespectful or disruptive, they are required to take a “head down” — to lower their heads and remain silent for a set number of minutes. If they refuse, they often are sent to a Quiet Room — sometimes for hours — until they comply. Zayvion Johnson, 15, remembers how it felt. He used to go to the Kansas school, too, and spent time in the same rooms as Jace. “They told us it was there to help us, but it just made everybody mad,” said Zayvion, now a sophomore at Charleston High School who plays running back and middle linebacker on the football team. “The Quiet Room, it irritates people. … You’re isolated from everybody else. You can’t talk to anybody else.” The Eastern Illinois district’s executive director, Tony Reeley, said he had not grasped how often seclusion was being used in his schools until he read some of the documents requested by reporters. “Looking at a stack of 8,000 pages at one time really did kind of hit home,” Reeley said when he met with reporters in the spring. He has not responded to recent requests for comment, including about specific incidents. Reeley and assistant director Jeremy Doughty said they were surprised and concerned about how frequently staff used seclusion rooms after students were disobedient but not physically aggressive. “When we read it, it reads punitive,” Doughty said. “We have to do something to address this,” said Reeley. In October 2018, Jace died at home in rural Paris of a seizure in his sleep. He had not returned to Kansas TLC that fall; his family had decided to home-school him, in part to keep him out of the Quiet Rooms. In the family’s living room, Jace’s mom shared photos of him at a Wiggles concert, in a Spider-Man costume, sitting on Santa’s lap. A favorite image features the family wearing “Team Jace” T-shirts at an autism walk; Jace’s shirt reads “I’m Jace.” “He loved his dad and loved me and he loved his Gammy,” his mother said. “He had issues, but they weren’t his fault. He couldn’t control it.” A Boy in a Plywood Box The plywood box in the middle of Ted Meckley’s special-education classroom was 3 feet wide, 3 feet deep and 7 feet tall. The schools around Pontiac had been using boxes to seclude students for years, and Ted, a nonverbal 16-year-old with developmental disabilities, was routinely shut inside. In 1989, Ted’s mother, Judith, started speaking out. Newspapers published stories, people got upset, and the boxes were removed. Judith Meckley joined a state task force to examine the use of seclusion. After a brief ban on the practice, the state Board of Education issued guidance and then, a few years later, rules that carried the weight of state law. The Illinois rules accepted the need for seclusion, a practice already used in psychiatric hospitals and other institutional settings. After Congress enacted a 1975 law guaranteeing a free public education to children with disabilities, the colleges and universities that trained teachers sought guidance from behavioral psychologists on how to manage these potentially challenging students. At the time, some researchers favored using cattle prods and electric shock to discourage unwanted behavior. Another method was to move the misbehaving patient into an environment with fewer stimuli — someplace calmer. “It gave a psychological justification for seclusion,” said Scot Danforth, a professor at Chapman University in California who studies the education of children with disabilities and believes seclusion is ineffective. Illinois’ rules, now 20 years old, require that school employees constantly monitor the child and that they be able to see inside the room. Locks on the doors must be active, meaning they have to be continuously held in place. That’s so a child can’t be trapped during a fire or other emergency. But the rules also cemented the use of seclusion in Illinois’ public schools. “Essentially the regulations legitimized practices that place students at risk of serious harm and trauma,” said Naiditch, of Equip for Equality. The Illinois law also lists reasons children can be physically restrained, a practice sometimes used in conjunction with seclusion. But the law is less precise about seclusion than about restraint, leaving room for misinterpretation by school officials. “It makes it even more dangerous because schools are widely using it as punishment,” Naiditch said after reading some of the incident reports obtained by ProPublica Illinois and the Tribune. School administrators who use seclusion say they need it to deal with students whose behavior is challenging, disruptive and, at times, dangerous. “If (students are) committed to hurting someone, that room is a way to keep them safe,” said Alicia Corrigan, director of student services for Community Consolidated School District 15, which operates a therapeutic day program in Rolling Meadows for 40 students with disabilities. Students there were secluded about 330 times in the time period reporters examined. But “that’s the smallest part of our day,” Corrigan said. “That is not what we do all day.” The Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative, near St. Louis, has two timeout rooms. Scratch marks are visible in the blue padding inside and on the windows in the heavy, locking doors. “Does it actually teach them anything or develop a skill? Absolutely not,” said Jeff Daugherty, who heads the cooperative. He allowed journalists to tour the Pathways school and see timeout rooms. “It’s never pleasant. I do believe it’s a necessary tool for our line of work with our students.” The U.S. Department of Education warned in 2012 that secluding students can be dangerous and said that there is no evidence it’s effective in reducing problematic behaviors. A few school districts in Illinois prohibit seclusion, including Chicago Public Schools, which banned it 11 years ago. But these districts often send students with disabilities to schools that do use it, such as those operated by most of Illinois’ special-education districts. Danforth said seclusion goes unexamined because it largely affects students with disabilities. To put children in timeout rooms, “you really have to believe that you’re dealing with people who are deeply defective. And that’s what the staff members tell each other. … You can do it because of who you’re doing it to.” Ted Meckley, whose experiences in Pontiac’s timeout box as a teenager helped change the practice of seclusion, is now 45 and living in a group home. When a reporter told his mother that seclusion still is widely used, she gasped. “No!” Meckley said. “My goodness. That is the most discouraging thing. I spent six years of my life fighting on this very issue. It’s so discouraging to think that, 25 years later, here we are. No progress.” In fact, reporters identified several schools that have added more seclusion rooms in the past year or so. North Shore School District 112 converted two coat closets to isolation rooms. The McLean district in Normal opened two rooms in an elementary school. And at Dirksen Elementary School in Schaumburg, two new 6-by-6 rooms are in use. They’re called “resolution rooms.” The Revolving Door By 8:35 a.m. on Dec. 19, 2017, all five of the timeout “booths” at Bridges Learning Center near Centralia were already full. School had been in session for five minutes. Each booth is about 6 by 8 feet, with a steel door. That day, one held a boy who had hung on a basketball rim and swore at staff when they told him to stop. In another, a boy who had used “raised voice tones.” Two boys were being held because they hadn’t finished classwork. Inside the fifth room was a boy who had tried to “provoke” other students when he got off a bus. Staff told him he’d be back again “to serve 15 minutes every morning due to his irrational behavior.” None of those reasons for seclusion is permitted under Illinois law. Yet, over the course of that one day, the rooms stayed busy, with two turning over like tables in a restaurant, emptying and refilling four times. The other three were occupied for longer periods, as long as five hours for the boy who hung off the basketball rim. In all, Bridges staff isolated students 20 times. Seclusion is supposed to be rare, a last resort. But at Bridges, part of the Kaskaskia Special Education District in southern Illinois, and at many other schools, it is often the default response. Bridges used seclusion 1,288 times in the 15 months of school that reporters examined. The school has about 65 students. According to the Tribune/ProPublica Illinois analysis of Bridges records, 72% of the seclusions were not prompted by a safety issue, as the law requires. “There were kids there every day,” said Brandon Skibinski, who worked as a paraprofessional at Bridges for part of the 2018-19 school year. “I didn’t think that was the best practice. I don’t know what the best practices are, though.” Cassie Clark, who heads the Kaskaskia Special Education District, did not respond to requests for comment about the district’s practices. In nearly 6,000 of the incidents reporters analyzed from schools across the state, students were secluded only because they were disruptive, disrespectful, not following directions, not participating in class or a combination of those reasons. “That is clearly not good practice,” said Kevin Rubenstein, president of the Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education, which represents 1,200 public and private special-education administrators in the state. “To the extent there is bad practice going on across the state, we need to fix that.” The Kaskaskia district’s revolving-door use of the timeout booths stands out, but some other districts seclude children nearly as frequently. The Special Education District of Lake County used isolated timeout about 1,200 times over the 15-month period reporters examined. Northern Suburban Special Education District in Highland Park put children in seclusion more than 900 times. Some traditional school districts also relied on seclusion. For example, Valley View School District 365U in Romeoville and Schaumburg District 54 each secluded students more than 160 times in the time period examined. Wilmette District 39 put students in isolated timeout 361 times in 2017-18 alone. Illinois’ seclusion rules are more permissive than federal guidelines, which say seclusion should be used only in cases of “imminent danger of serious physical harm.” In Illinois, children can be secluded for physical safety concerns regardless of the threat level. The state law also doesn’t encourage staff to try other interventions first. And while federal officials suggest that seclusion should end as soon as the problematic behavior stops, Illinois law allows a child to be secluded for up to 30 minutes more. Even with these looser rules, the ProPublica Illinois/Tribune investigation found that Illinois schools regularly flout and misinterpret state law. Some schools use seclusion — or the threat of it — as punishment. At the Braun Educational Center in south suburban Oak Forest, a classroom door features a sign saying: “If you walk to the door or open it you WILL earn” a visit to the “isolation and reflection” space. The school’s director said the sign is not a threat but a visual reminder that leaving is a violation of school rules. Others won’t release children from seclusion until they apologize or sit against a wall or put their heads down. The Tri-County Special Education district in Carbondale routinely made children write sentences as a condition of release, records show. Students there often were kept in isolation long after the safety threat was over, sometimes even starting their next school day in a timeout room. Tri-County Director Jan Pearcy told reporters those practices ended this year. Administrators in some districts have decided that putting a child in a room is not an isolated timeout if there is no door or the door is left open — even though the student is being blocked from leaving. State law does not say an isolated timeout requires a closed door. “We only consider something isolated timeout if a student is in the room with the door shut and magnet (lock) held,” said Kristin Dunker, who heads the Vermilion Association for Special Education in Danville. “I understand this isn’t going to look good for us.” At Bridges, records show how staff violated the state’s rules. Schools aren’t supposed to put students in seclusion for talking back or swearing, but Bridges did repeatedly. Workers also shut many students in booths for hours after the child’s challenging behavior ended. One boy argued with Bridges workers as they tried to force him into isolation in March 2018 for being uncooperative. “I don’t want to go in a booth,” he said. “You’ll lock me in there all day.” He was kept in the booth for nearly five hours. Laura Myers saw Bridges’ timeout booths during school meetings and told administrators they should never be used on her 6-year-old son, Gabriel. A tiny, giggly boy with bright red hair, Gabriel has autism and is nonverbal, though he can sign a few words, including “blue,” “green” and “truck.” “There’s a metal bench, the lock and key, the whole nine,” Myers said. “The sad part is there are parents there who don’t know it’s wrong and don’t know how their children are being treated.” She was assured Gabriel would not be secluded. But she started to worry when he came home signing “timeout.” Now, she’s fighting for a different school placement. Harm to Children Darla Knipe could hear it when she walked toward the timeout room in her son’s school: a thudding sound, over and over. She turned to a school aide and asked: “‘What is that noise?’” It was her 7-year-old son, Isaiah. The first grader was banging his head against the concrete and plywood walls of the timeout room at Middlefork School in Danville. Knipe was shocked. He didn’t do that at home, she said. Documents from Isaiah’s school, part of the Vermilion Association for Special Education, show that he was put in the timeout room regularly beginning in kindergarten. He started banging his head in first grade and continued through third, doing it nearly every time he was secluded. “Isaiah states he has headache and ringing in his ears,” according to a report from Dec. 8, 2017. “Nurse filling out concussion form.” Then, a month later: “Nurse is concerned he has been head banging several times, even slower to answer than usual, he was dizzy when he stood up, almost fell over.” Sitting in his home last spring, Isaiah, now 10, looked down when asked why he hits his head. “I tell the teachers why,” he said. “The timeout room … I don’t like it.” Records and interviews show how seclusion can harm children. Students ripped their fingernails or bruised their knuckles hitting the door. Their hands swelled and bled from beating the walls. In some cases, children were hurt so badly that ambulances were called. Several parents said their children became afraid of school. Some said their children didn’t want to sleep alone. Other families said the rooms were so distressing that their children would not talk about them. Angie Martin said her 9-year-old son now sees himself as such a bad child that he believes he belongs in seclusion. In less than three weeks at the start of this school year, he spent 731 minutes — more than 12 hours — in isolated timeout, records show. “My concern is the damage that has been done, socially, emotionally and physically,” said Martin, whose son went to school in the Lincoln-Way Area Special Education district program in Chicago’s southwest suburbs. He now attends a private school. The Tribune/ProPublica Illinois analysis found that the median duration of a seclusion was 22 minutes; in at least 1,300 cases the student spent more than an hour in isolated timeout. One incident lasted 10 hours, with the student kept inside from breakfast into the evening. Ross Greene, a clinical child psychologist and author of the book “The Explosive Child,” said repeated seclusion fuels a harmful cycle. Children who are frustrated and falling behind academically are taken out of the classroom, which makes them more frustrated and puts them even further behind. “You end up with an alienated, disenfranchised kid who is being over-punished and lacks faith in adults,” Greene said. Amber Patz, whose 11-year-old son Dalton was repeatedly secluded at The Center, an elementary school in East Moline for children with disabilities, said spending so much time in isolation put him behind academically and did not help him regulate his behavior. “Putting you in this little room while you get red-faced does not work for him,” she said. “You have to think outside the box, but instead we are literally putting them in a box.” Parents often do not know the details of what happens in seclusion. Though state law requires schools to notify families in writing within 24 hours each day a child is secluded, that doesn’t always happen. While some notices describe the incident, others are form letters with just a checked box to indicate that a child was secluded. The law requires only that parents be notified of the date of the incident, whether restraint or seclusion was used, and the name and phone number of someone to call for more information. Some parents said they got such abbreviated notices they didn’t know what seclusion meant or how long their child had been in a room. Others said staff used euphemistic language to describe seclusion, making it hard to understand what really happened. Crystal Lake school employees have suggested to Kayla Siegmeier that her son, Carson, who has autism, might benefit from time in a “Blue Room,” she said. “It turns out the Blue Room is a locked, padded room,” she said. She read Illinois’ isolated timeout law and got a doctor’s note last year that prevented the school from secluding Carson, now a second grader. “Hard stop,” she said she told the school. Crystal Lake school officials acknowledged they could be more transparent with parents and said they use the rooms only in emergencies. In Danville, Darla Knipe knew that her son Isaiah was frequently in seclusion, but she didn’t know the school kept detailed incident reports each time it happened until reporters showed them to her. “I never got anything like this,” Knipe said. When she requested the reports from the district, she said, officials told her she could have asked for them any time. “Why would I ask for an incident report I didn’t know about to begin with?” she said. The district gave her 212 reports, and she didn’t tackle the huge pile of paper right away. Then one night she woke up at 2 a.m. and stayed up for hours reading them. She learned what set Isaiah off and how he reacted. “If we had talked after three, five, six of these, was there something I should have been doing?” she wondered. She said she would have shared the reports with doctors who were working to diagnose the cause of his behavioral challenges. “I think about how different that boy could have been.” Dunker, the district director, said that although parents don’t get minute-by-minute reports, they are notified by phone and then in writing after a seclusion. “I feel like that is just fine in terms of what a parent needs,” she said. A Better Way There are school districts in Illinois — and all across the country — where seclusion isn’t the response to defiant or even aggressive behavior. In fact, it’s never an option. Jim Nelson, who took over the North DuPage Special Education Cooperative in July 2016, said he put in a maintenance request on his first day to take the door off the seclusion room at Lincoln Academy, a therapeutic day school for students with emotional and behavioral difficulties. The year before, the school in suburban Roselle, which has an enrollment of about 30, had placed students in the room 181 times, federal data shows. The space now has a lava lamp, fuzzy pillows, a beanbag and puzzles, and students go there on their own when they need a break, Nelson said. He said he thinks all schools could get rid of seclusion and still be able to educate students. Since ending the practice, the North DuPage district has not seen an increase in the number of students transferred to more restrictive schools, he said. “We have outbursts every day,” Nelson said, but “you are now trying to figure out what is the root of this outburst: Is it a home issue, a bus issue, a peer issue, a relationship issue, environment or fluorescent lights? We have to problem solve.” Administrators at schools that have closed their rooms say the cultural shift takes a lot of effort and training. Eliminating seclusion generally requires two steps: first, embracing the philosophy that isolating children is unacceptable; second, teaching staff members how to identify and address the causes of challenging behavior before it reaches a crisis point. Zac Barry, who teaches a system based at Cornell University called Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, said staff often get into a power struggle when students don’t obey, even over trivial matters. “Don’t argue with them,” Barry said at a recent training session in Peoria for people who work with children. “If they don’t want to sit down, don’t try to make them sit down!” Among other strategies, TCI teaches that it’s more effective to back away from an upset student, giving him space, than to move in closer. Teachers are trained how to stand in a nonthreatening way. In Naperville School District 203, the rooms formerly used for isolated timeout are now sensory areas stocked with weighted stuffed animals and sound-blocking headphones. Christine Igoe, who oversees special education in the 16,000-student district, said eliminating seclusion helps teachers and other staffers build relationships with students. Without seclusion as an option, she said, students and staff are less likely to be on high alert and anxious that situations will escalate. “When you change your lens from ‘the student is making a choice’ to ‘the student is lacking a skill,’ everything changes,” Igoe said. Kim Sanders, executive vice president of the Grafton behavioral health network in Virginia, which includes private therapeutic day schools, said schools there overhauled their approach after employees were injured in confrontations with students so frequently that the district lost its workers’ compensation insurance. “Our outcomes were not great,” she said. “It was horrible for our staff morale.” Since then, Grafton has developed a behavior model called Ukeru that it now sells to other schools. It’s based on the idea that staff should attempt to comfort, not control, children. When a child becomes violent, the system suggests staff use cushioned shields to protect themselves. “If seclusion or restraint worked,” Sanders said, “wouldn’t you have to do it once or twice and you’d never have to do it again? It’s not working.” Little Kids, Locked Away Illinois schools secluded an 8-year-old boy who got upset when he couldn’t ride the green bike during recess, a first grade boy who didn’t want to stop playing tag and a third grader who didn’t get the prize he wanted. Even preschool children spent time in isolated timeout, records show. The majority of incident reports reviewed for this investigation did not specify the grade of the child. But ProPublica Illinois and the Tribune identified more than 1,700 incidents when the student being secluded was in fifth grade or younger. Hundreds of seclusions involved kids in preschool, kindergarten or first grade. One 7-year-old boy named Eli spent 1,652 minutes — 27½ hours — in the “reflection rooms” as a first grader at a school called The Center in East Moline, school records show. Still learning to say some of his letters, Eli calls the spaces the “flection” rooms. When his mom, Elisha, gently corrects him, he snuggles into her side. “It’s hard to really say,” he explained. Eli was referred to The Center, which offers a program for children with behavioral and emotional disabilities, when he was in kindergarten. Records show he sometimes had trouble coping with the frustrations of elementary school — not unlike many other Illinois children who were secluded after outbursts common for their age. When staff told him he couldn’t play with toys, he started to tip desks and chairs. Because he didn’t want to come inside from recess, he began “flopping,” refused to walk and was “being unsafe.” He “could not continue to play nice” with blocks and started to hit and tried to run out of class. Sometimes, he would kick staff or throw objects around the room. According to records from the school district and his family, Eli was secluded more than a dozen times in kindergarten, beginning when he was 5. In first grade, it happened 49 times. His longest timeout was 115 minutes. “There is no reason my child should be in a timeout room for two hours,” said his mother, who asked that the family’s last name not be published. Elisha pulled her son out of The Center at the end of last school year after noticing bruises on his arm and a fingernail indentation that broke the skin. Records show Eli was physically restrained by three staff members and put in isolated timeout that day. He now attends a private school. Schrader, director of the Black Hawk Area Special Education District, which operates The Center in northwestern Illinois, said staff at the school use the seclusion room “on a case-by-case basis, incident by incident” to help students learn strategies to calm themselves. She declined to comment on Eli’s case or that of any specific child. “We use it more as a way to help the student learn to deescalate themselves and constant supervision to maintain their safety,” she said. When a reporter asked Eli whether the calm down rooms helped him calm down, he shook his head no. How did he feel when in the room? “Mad,” he said quietly. Movie Day The seclusion rooms inside Braun Educational Center in Oak Forest look like so many others across Illinois: blue padding along the walls, a small window where staff can look in. The red button outside that locks the door. A mirror in the upper corner to give a fuller view. In one room, three long tear marks were visible in the padding of the door — left there, the principal said, by a student with autism. About 150 elementary through high school students with disabilities attend programs at Braun, which is operated by the Southwest Cook County Cooperative Association for Special Education. Gineen O’Neil, the co-op’s executive director, described many as troubled and challenging; some are homeless, abuse drugs, get pregnant or struggle with mental illness, she said. Some, she said, “run the streets” at night. “People have to realize they get educated somewhere, and this is where it is,” O’Neil said. Over 1½ school years, staffers isolated students nearly 500 times. O’Neil said students are not secluded as punishment. But the Tribune/ProPublica Illinois analysis found that in 46% of seclusions at Braun, staff documented no safety reason that preceded the isolation. O’Neil said some of these incidents could have involved a safety issue despite the lack of documentation, but she also described the findings as “disturbing” and ordered a review of practices. “You are making 1,000 judgment calls a day, you know what I mean?” O’Neil said. “You don’t always call them right.” On a recent Friday afternoon, it was quiet in the halls. Most of the children had gathered to watch a movie and eat popcorn. They had earned the reward for good behavior. But one boy didn’t qualify — and he was mad. The principal, Kristine Jones, said that after the rest of his class left for the movie, he shouted: “This place sucks. I’m leaving.” He didn’t actually leave. But the boy was a “runner” when upset, Jones said, and they wanted to “pre-correct” his behavior. So they took him to an isolation room.
How We Reported This Story
by by Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, and Haru Coryne, Jodi S. Cohen and Lakeidra Chavis, ProPublica Illinois on November 19, 2019 at 10:59
The Federal Government Collects Data on How Often Schools Seclude Children. The Numbers Don’t Add Up.
by by Lakeidra Chavis and Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica Illinois, and Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune on November 19, 2019 at 10:59
Handing Trump ‘Terrifying Authoritarian Surveillance Powers,’ House Democrats Include Patriot Act Reauthorization in Funding Bill
on November 19, 2019 at 10:17
Jake Johnson, staff writer”Wow. House Democrats are ignoring civil liberties and including a three month straight reauthorization of the Patriot Act (with zero reform) in the continuing resolution.”
Nonprofit Workers Join the Movement to Unionize
by Sarah Jaffe on November 19, 2019 at 10:12
Increasing numbers of people in mission- and passion-driven fields are waking up to the fact that they are, despite the trappings of middle-class-ness, still workers doing a job.
Inside Purdue Pharma’s Media Playbook: How It Planted the Opioid “Anti-Story”
by by David Armstrong on November 19, 2019 at 10:00
We Asked the 2020 Contenders How They Plan to Tackle Inequality
by Sam Pizzigati on November 19, 2019 at 09:30
Sam Pizzigati A surging egalitarian current is shifting the Democratic Party’s policy mainstream—so we asked the presidential candidates about it. The post We Asked the 2020 Contenders How They Plan to Tackle Inequality appeared first on The Nation.
What the Frack? New Mexico Wants to Recycle Radioactive Wastewater
by Frances Madeson on November 19, 2019 at 07:06
The state’s famous green chiles may be hot for a whole new reason.
Senate investigates IRS whistleblower complaint that GOP hid from Democrats
on November 19, 2019 at 07:00
The whistleblower, a career IRS official, has alleged improper interference on Trump, Pence tax returns
Trump’s still pushing the CrowdStrike conspiracy theory: But why, and where did it come from?
on November 19, 2019 at 06:00
Republicans are probably just pretending to believe’s Trump’s crazy 2016 conspiracy theory. But that’s no excuse
Fake news a R$ 25 mil por mês: como o Google treinou e enriqueceu blogueiros antipetistas
by Rodrigo Ghedin on November 19, 2019 at 05:02
Grupo de blogueiros aproveitou a onda do impeachment e as instruções da empresa para lucrar com anúncios. The post Fake news a R$ 25 mil por mês: como o Google treinou e enriqueceu blogueiros antipetistas appeared first on The Intercept.
Climate activists occupy Nancy Pelosi’s office, launch global hunger strike
on November 19, 2019 at 05:00
Extinction Rebellion to Pelosi: “Meet with us or leave us to starve while you jet to your Thanksgiving feast”
New Jersey Political Boss Defends Tax Breaks, Denounces “King George” Critics
by by Jeff Pillets and Nancy Solomon, WNYC on November 19, 2019 at 01:48
Right Wing Round-Up: Pardoning War Criminals
by Kyle Mantyla on November 18, 2019 at 22:32
Amy Russo @ HuffPost: Barr Rips ‘War Of Resistance Against’ Trump In Partisan Rant. Cristina Cabrera @ Talking Points Memo: Trump Made A Mysterious Unscheduled Hospital Visit. Here’s What We Know. Connor Mannion @ Mediaite: Stephanie Grisham, Jeanine Pirro Praise Trump’s Health After Unexpected Checkup: ‘He’s Almost Superhuman!’ Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Ignoring
Trump ‘Pandering to His Extremist Base’ on Israeli Settlements, Says Bernie Sanders
on November 18, 2019 at 21:52
Eoin Higgins, staff writerSanders was one of a number of critics who saw the Monday announcement that the White House won’t treat the settlements as illegal as another attack on the Palestinian people.
If You Care About Medicare for All or a Green New Deal, Here’s the Senate Primary That Matters
by Ryan Grim on November 18, 2019 at 21:25
Coons, a devotee of bipartisanship, is being challenged by Jess Scarane, who was inspired by progressive Kerri Harris’s 2018 Senate campaign. The post If You Care About Medicare for All or a Green New Deal, Here’s the Senate Primary That Matters appeared first on The Intercept.
Fueling Concerns of Approaching Catastrophic ‘Tipping Point,’ Deforestation of Brazilian Amazon Hit Highest Level in Decade
on November 18, 2019 at 21:17
Andrea Germanos, staff writer”These figures confirm what we feared, namely that 2019 has been a dark year for the rainforest in Brazil.”
Colin Kaepernick Refused to Bend to Roger Goodell’s Will
by Dave Zirin on November 18, 2019 at 20:29
Dave Zirin The quarterback remade the NFL’s hastily called league-wide tryout and demanded transparency. The post Colin Kaepernick Refused to Bend to Roger Goodell’s Will appeared first on The Nation.
Driven by Anti-Science Agenda, Trump Agencies Defying Mandate to Save Endangered Species From Climate Risk
on November 18, 2019 at 20:26
Julia Conley, staff writerA new study exposes serious gaps in the U.S. government’s commitment to fighting the effects of the climate crisis on endangered species, which federal agencies are required by law to protect.
The Pentagon Is Not Ready to Face Our Biggest National Security Threat
by Michael T. Klare on November 18, 2019 at 20:00
Michael T. Klare Our military’s obsession with Russia and China is proving to be dangerously distracting in the face of accelerating climate change. The post The Pentagon Is Not Ready to Face Our Biggest National Security Threat appeared first on The Nation.
‘There Is No More Two-State Solution’: Trump Administration to Further Soften Opposition to West Bank Settlements
on November 18, 2019 at 19:57
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”How the hell is it possible for the U.S. policy to be any softer?”
It’s been obvious for a long time!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 18, 2019 at 19:15
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2019No, we aren’t making this up: Earlier today, we discussed the so-called “dullard journalism” currently being popularized by the New York Times.Principally, experts use that term to refer to a type of journalism which avoids facts and information in favor of novelized storylines—supersimplified renderings which may even border on fable and fairy tale.Why is American health care spending so astoundingly high? Within the school of “dullard journalism,” a question like that will never be answered, and the reason is simple:In the world of “dullard journalism,” the basic statistics defining that problem will never be reported!Increasingly, the Times is becoming famous for its adoption of this Hamptons-based school, sometimes known as “the new anti-journalism.” Basic data are never reported concerning even the most basic topics. Preconceived novelizations prevail. How dumb can “dullard journalism” become? What effect can it have on a newspaper’s readers?You’re asking important questions! This morning, on the Times’ “reimagined” page A3, this feature appeared (print editions only):The ConversationFOUR OF THE MOST READ, DISCUSSED AND SHARED POSTS FROM ACROSS NYTIMES.COM[…]4. It Was Obvious from Day 1This Vows column told the story of Ariel Shepherd-Oppenheim and Eliza Ladensohn, who were married Oct. 26 in California. The first time someone asked them how long they had been together, it was the very first day they met.Key point! What follows isn’t meant as a reflection on the couple in question. That said, consider this:Consider everything which was reported over the weekend “from across NYTimes.com.” Then, try to imagine how this item could possibly be one of “the most read, discussed and shared posts” from across the vast sweep of national and world events.In truth, we find it hard to believe that the item in question actually was one of the most read, discussed and shared posts. We’ll assume that someone within the New York Times structure selected this item as some sort of branding exercise.For what it’s worth, this item was the only “fluff” item included in today’s “most read” listing. By way of contrast, the third item looked like this:3. How FedEx Cut Its Tax Bill to $0In the 2017 fiscal year, FedEx owed more than $1.5 billion in taxes, an effective tax rate of 24 percent. The next year, it owed nothing, thanks to the Trump administration’s signature tax cut—and had not made good on its promises to invest in new equipment and other assets, this Times article found.This article appeared on the front page of the Sunday Times. Assuming the reporting is accurate, it concerns a very serious topic—the decades-long attempts to rig the system in favor of American oligarchs.Our questions:What are the chances that this report will ever be discussed on “liberal cable?” In our view, it’s much more likely that cable will continue with its standard diet of easy-listenin’ topics—Trump Trump Trump, impeachment impeachment, polls polls polls polls polls.Second, average citizens, red and blue voters alike, are undermined by this kind of rigging. Why can’t liberals and Democratic pols use such topics as a way to build red/blue political coalitions?This question will never be discussed at any time in any forum. With the modern liberal world, we’re trained to avoid and loathe The Others, full-satisfying-stop.That tribal training is another part of “dullard journalism.” According to future experts, the practice of this style of journalism was very good for short-term profits, but helped bring on Mister Trump’s War.Just for the record: Below, you see an excerpt from one of the “most read, discussed and shared posts from across NYTimes.com:”VARIAN (11/15/19): A few nights later, at Ms. Ladensohn’s suggestion, they met for drinks at Palihouse in West Hollywood. Ms. Shepherd-Oppenheim, just 23 at the time, was impressed by the hotel’s stylish lounge and rooftop view of Hollywood Hills. Ms. Ladensohn took notice of Ms. Shepherd-Oppenheim’s drink order.“I was ordering a vodka club soda, but Ariel was ordering all these really fun drinks off the cocktail menu,” Ms. Ladensohn said. “I remember thinking this is cool, she’s adventurous.”For ourselves, we don’t believe that actually was one of the most-discussed posts. Remarkably, someone within the New York Times doesn’t see what a slander they’re performing against the newspaper’s readers.Our upper-end culture is hopelessly daft. Future experts sometimes refer to this culture as “the dumbnification of everything.”A modern society can’t function this way. At the Hamptons-based New York Times, people aren’t able to see this.
Bolivia’s Coup Is Still Happening
by Zeeshan Aleem on November 18, 2019 at 18:46
Zeeshan Aleem Everything you wanted to know about Bolivian politics, but were afraid to ask. The post Bolivia’s Coup Is Still Happening appeared first on The Nation.
Trump’s Child Separation Policy “Absolutely” Violated International Law Says UN Expert
on November 18, 2019 at 18:31
Andrea Germanos, staff writerThe way the Trump administration was “separating infants from their families only in order to deter irregular migration from Central America to the United States of America, for me, constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment.”
House Impeachment Investigators Probing Whether Trump Lied to Mueller
on November 18, 2019 at 18:24
Jake Johnson, staff writer”The House is trying to determine whether the current president should remain in office. This is unbelievably serious and it’s happening right now, very fast.”
‘Time Is Up’: Campaigners Occupy Pelosi’s Office, Launch Global Hunger Strike for Climate Action
on November 18, 2019 at 17:11
Julia Conley, staff writerThe global grassroots movement Extinction Rebellion is resorting to a hunger strike Monday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as its primary target in the United States, demanding that the Democratic leader embrace bold climate action as progressive lawmakers have.
‘Just Not a Serious Opinion in 2019’: Critics Pan Joe Biden Claim That Marijuana Is a Gateway Drug
on November 18, 2019 at 17:07
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”Perpetuating unsubstantiated theories like this hurts people.”
What Could Happen if a $9.4 Billion Chemical Plant Comes to “Cancer Alley”
by by Lylla Younes on November 18, 2019 at 17:00
FLINT AND FICTITION: Terrify the children well!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 18, 2019 at 16:20
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2019Whole city poisoned, she said: In July of 2018, their column appeared on the op-ed page of the New York Times.Who wrote the column in question? According to the Times’ identity line, “Dr. Gómez and Dr. Dietrich are experts in toxicology and environmental health.” Indeed, where their column appears on line, the Times describes their credentials further:Hernán Gómez, an associate professor at the University of Michigan, emergency medicine pediatrician and medical toxicologist at Hurley Medical Center, was the lead author of the study “Blood Lead Levels of Children in Flint, Michigan: 2006-2016.” Kim Dietrich, a professor of epidemiology and environmental health at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, is the principal investigator of the Cincinnati Lead Study. None of this means that Gomez and Dietrich will automatically be right in every assessment they make. That said, their column appeared beneath a striking headline—a headline which sought to refute several years’ worth of irresponsible, scary claims delivered on MSNBC:The Children of Flint Were Not ‘Poisoned’Outrageously, Gomez and Dietrich were stating an outrageous view. The children of Flint had not been poisoned, the pair of experts now said!Are Gomez and Dietrich allowed to make such statements? Their thoroughly outrageous column outrageously started like this:GOMEZ AND DIETRICH (7/23/18): Words are toxic, too. Labeling Flint’s children as “poisoned,” as many journalists and activists have done since the city’s water was found to be contaminated with lead in 2014, unjustly stigmatizes their generation.Let’s be clear. It’s unacceptable that any child was exposed to drinking water with elevated lead concentrations. We know that lead is a powerful neurotoxicant, that there is no safe level, that the very young are particularly vulnerable and that long-term exposure to low to moderate levels of lead is associated with decreased I.Q.s and other cognitive and behavioral problems, including criminal behavior.But there is no reason to expect that what happened for a year and a half in Flint will inevitably lead to such effects. The casual use of the word “poisoned,” which suggests that the affected children are irreparably brain-damaged, is grossly inaccurate. In a city that already battles high poverty and crime rates, this is particularly problematic. “Words are toxic too,” the pair of alleged experts said. In their most outrageous statement, they even said this:With regard to the children of Flint, the casual use of the word “poisoned” is grossly inaccurate.So the experts said. And as you can see from what we posted, they also said this, right at the start of their column:There’s no reason to expect that the Flint water problem will inevitably lead to “decreased I.Q.s and other cognitive and behavioral problems, including criminal behavior.As President Trump himself might have asked, where do they get these jokers? But uh-oh! As Gomez and Dietrich continued, they began presenting some of the basic data which seem to be relevant here. If we care about the children of Flint, we need to consider these data:GOMEZ AND DIETRICH (continuing directly): In the mid-1970s, the average American child under the age of 5 had a blood lead level of 14 micrograms per deciliter. The good news is that by 2014 it had fallen dramatically, to 0.84 micrograms per deciliter, largely because of the banning of lead in paint and the phaseout of lead in gasoline, among other measures.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers a blood lead level in children of 5 micrograms per deciliter and higher to be a “reference level.” This measure is intended to identify children at higher risk and set off communitywide prevention activities. Good grief! As recently as the mid-1970s, when many cable news watchers were young, the average American child had a blood lead level of 14 micrograms per deciliter. Today, though, thanks to improved environmental factors, the average reading, nationwide, is less than 1 microgram per deciliter.Today, the experts seemed to say, kids are considered to be at higher risk if their reading goes above 5 micrograms per deciliter. That’s way below the average reading for the average American child in the 1970s—and as they continued, Gomez and Dietrich reported what happened in Flint:GOMEZ AND DIETRICH (continuing directly): After Flint’s water was switched from Detroit’s municipal system to the Flint River, the annual percentage of Flint children whose blood lead levels surpassed the reference level did increase—but only from 2.2 percent to 3.7 percent. One of us, Dr. Gómez, along with fellow researchers, reported these findings in a study in the June issue of The Journal of Pediatrics, which raised questions about how risks and statistics have been communicated regarding this issue. Before Flint’s water problem started, 2.2% of the city’s kids had readings above the 5 micrograms per deciliter “reference level.” As a result of the water crisis, that percentage did indeed increase—but only to 3.7 percent of the city’s kids.Ideally, you wouldn’t want any kids to display such blood/lead levels. But might we repeat the basic point of comparison offered by Gomez and Dietrich? In the mid-1970s, the average reading, across the whole country, was almost three times that high!Might these data help us put the Flint water problem in in some sort of perspective? As they continued, Gomez and Dietrich tried to make it so clear that even the modern “cable news star” would be able to puzzle it out:GOMEZ AND DIETRICH: For comparison, consider the fact that just 20 years ago, nearly 45 percent of young children in Michigan had blood lead levels above the current reference level. If we are to be consistent in the labeling of Flint children as “poisoned,” what are we to make of the average American who was a child in the 1970s or earlier? Answer: He has been poisoned and is brain-damaged. And poisoned with lead levels far above, and for a greater period, than those observed in Flint. Gomez and Dietrich were making a basic point. They were suggesting that people were overstating the actual situation when they kept saying that the children of Flint had been “poisoned.” As they continued, they made their most outrageous statement of all—and they tried to inform the public about some basic facts:GOMEZ AND DIETRICH (continuing directly): People were understandably dismayed by the government’s apparent failure to act quickly to switch back the water once concerns were raised in Flint. But based on this more comprehensive view of the data, we are forced to admit that the furor over this issue seems way out of proportion to the actual dangers to the children from lead exposure.Furthermore, the focus on Flint seems to be distracting the public from a far more widespread problem. Although blood lead levels have long been declining nationwide, there remain many trouble spots. Right now in Michigan, 8.8 percent of children in Detroit, 8.1 percent of children in Grand Rapids and an astounding 14 percent of children in Highland Park surpass the C.D.C. reference level. Flint is at 2.4 percent. A comprehensive analysis of blood lead levels across the United States reveals at least eight states with blood lead levels higher than Flint’s were during the water switch.Are Gomez and Dietrich permitted to say such things? The experts claimed that “the furor” over the problem in Flint seemed to be “way out of proportion to the actual dangers to the children.” And ohourgod, they even said this:Blood lead levels are substantially higher in other cities, and are even higher across entire states. Does anyone give a flying fig about the children who live in those places? The answer to that question is obvious, as has been for a long time. That said, this is the way our species functions, anthropologists have glumly said.In their article from July 2018, Gomez and Dietrich were reporting remarkable data about lead exposure in the recent American past—in the decades before leaded gasoline was outlawed. They explained that the lead exposure in Flint had been dwarfed, across the country, by the exposure to lead of that recent past.They were also reporting that undesirable lead exposure exists in many communities. “It is clear that lead exposure is not one city’s problem, but the entire nation’s,” they said.For the record, none of this information was new when this column appeared. Kevin Drum had reported similar data, again and again, in his blog at Mother Jones. We’ll link you to this one post again. You can google up many more such discussions by Drum.All that said, so what? On MSNBC, the corporate channel’s leading star kept saying that the entire city of Flint had been “poisoned” during the water crisis. Despite her status as Our Own Rhodes Scholar, she never told her misused viewers about the wider range of actual facts which Drum and others had bruited.In our view, that cable star’s judgment is so poor that she shouldn’t be on the air. Her treatment of Flint was especially gruesome because it was so obvious that she was mainly interested in using the topic as a way to get the Republican governor of Michigan thrown into jail. (In such ways, we liberals get pandered to, tribally pleasured, on this particular TV show.)Along the way, a reporter for the New Yorker had reported the way the children of Flint were being affected by all the exciting hyperbole. This is part of what happens people like Maddow sift facts in the way Maddow does:STILLMAN (1/15/17): Key shared a personal story about the son of a family friend who had begun acting out in school. The boy’s mother had come to Key for help. When Key asked the boy what was going on, he replied, “Well, they said I’m not going to be smart anyway.”“These kids are internalizing the messages about how the lead is affecting them,” Key said.[…]As their last day in Flint drew to a close, Shankar and Tucker-Ray hurried to a final meeting. They had arranged to talk with a disabled Gulf War veteran and community activist named Art Woodson, who didn’t think much of the federal government. At a local municipal building, where an enlarged photograph of corroded lead pipes adorned one wall, Woodson told Shankar about his worry that local kids would give up when lead’s symptoms surfaced, or even before. “What I see,” he said, “is hopelessness.”Thanks to people like Maddow (and her corporate bosses), the public was being massively misinformed—and children were becoming convinced that they were irreparably damaged. Gomez and Dietrich finished their column by raising this basic point:GOMEZ AND DIETRICH: In the case of Flint, even when taking into account the change in the water supply, the decrease in blood lead levels over the last 11 years has actually been a public health success. The Journal of Pediatrics study found that between 2006 and 2015, the percentage of Flint children testing above the reference level decreased substantially, to 3.7 percent from 11.8 percent.It is therefore unfair and inaccurate to point a finger at Flint and repeatedly use the word “poisoned.” All it does is terrify the parents and community members here who truly believe there may be a “generation lost” in this city, when there is no scientific evidence to support this conclusion.We should stop scaring the children well, the experts outrageously said.That said, our upper-end journalism runs on fictitions; it has done so for many years. Our journalists love their simpleton story lines and their studied avoidance of information. At present, they especially seem to enjoy pretending that they care about black kids.The New York Times is the leading proponent of this so-called “dullard journalism.” And so, it came to pass, as the gods of fictition decreed that it must:There’s nothing but damaged kids in Flint! So this ridiculous newspaper said, atop its front page, on Thursday, November 7.As we await the start of Mister Trump’s war, information and data no longer exist. It’s nothing but silly fictitions now, or so leading experts have said.
Indiana Teachers to Rally for Better Pay, Better Schools
by Sarah Lahm on November 18, 2019 at 16:11
The notoriously conservative, right-to-work state has proven to be fertile ground for market-based education reform policies—and teacher discontent.
Comedian Jeff Garlin isn’t afraid of political correctness
on November 18, 2019 at 16:00
The “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Goldbergs” actor talks about dreams, donuts, and his new Netflix special
Congressional Survey on Hate Crimes
by by Rachel Glickhouse and Derek Willis on November 18, 2019 at 15:45
by Rachel Glickhouse and Derek Willis See the responses.
Jeffrey Epstein Isn’t Going Away
by Jeet Heer on November 18, 2019 at 15:33
Jeet Heer In the absence of a full reckoning, conspiracy theories about Epstein fester and allow the far right to exploit the popular mistrust of elites. The post Jeffrey Epstein Isn’t Going Away appeared first on The Nation.
‘Fear of Victory’ for Sanders or Warren in 2020 Driving Bloomberg and Patrick Bids, Say Progressive Critics
on November 18, 2019 at 15:26
Jake Johnson, staff writer”There’s clearly anxiety from parts of the Democratic Party establishment and donor class about becoming a party that is unapologetic about taking on oligarchs, whether they’re Donald Trump or Jeff Bezos.”
Can ‘Climate Sanctions’ Save the Planet?
by Nicholas Mulder on November 18, 2019 at 15:00
Nicholas Mulder Economic pressure can be a force for environmental good—if it targets companies, not countries. The post Can ‘Climate Sanctions’ Save the Planet? appeared first on The Nation.
Don’t Suppress Votes of New Citizens
by Terri Gerstein on November 18, 2019 at 14:54
A new kind of voter suppression is being perpetrated by the federal government and flying largely under the radar: a multi-faceted effort to prevent legal immigrants from becoming citizens in time to vote.
Press Watch: Why was Trump rushed to the hospital? Count on the media to swallow official lies
on November 18, 2019 at 14:30
An unexpected hospital visit is legitimate news. But the White House lied, and the press corps just swallowed it
Sign of the Times
by Ileana Doble Hernandez on November 18, 2019 at 13:00
Ileana Doble Hernandez Elementary education. The post Sign of the Times appeared first on The Nation.
Mati Diop’s ‘Atlantics’ Is a Startling Study of Power
by Namwali Serpell on November 18, 2019 at 12:30
Namwali Serpell As the contemporary film landscape heralds the coming of a class war, Diop’s beautiful movie reckons with capital and labor in groundbreaking fashion. The post Mati Diop’s ‘Atlantics’ Is a Startling Study of Power appeared first on The Nation.
How Should We Remember the Puritans?
by Andrew Delbanco on November 18, 2019 at 12:30
Andrew Delbanco In his new book, Daniel Rodgers not only offers a close reading of Puritan history but also seeks to rescue their early critique of market economy. The post How Should We Remember the Puritans? appeared first on The Nation.
Yang Doesn’t Add Up
by John Nichols on November 18, 2019 at 12:00
John Nichols The presidential candidate is great at identifying problems, but his policy proposals need a lot of work. The post Yang Doesn’t Add Up appeared first on The Nation.
Smart Ass Cripple: When Pot Is Legal, Except in Public Housing
by Mike Ervin on November 18, 2019 at 11:49
As the holidays approacheth, and pot becomes legal in my state, I’m considering reviving my Dysfunctional Family Christmas tradition.
Secret US Intelligence Files Provide History’s Verdict on Argentina’s Dirty War
by Peter Kornbluh on November 18, 2019 at 11:30
Peter Kornbluh Recently declassified documents constitute a gruesome and sadistic catalog of state terrorism. The post Secret US Intelligence Files Provide History’s Verdict on Argentina’s Dirty War appeared first on The Nation.
‘Pinochet-Style Dictatorship’: Bolivia’s Coup Government Threatens to Arrest Leftist Lawmakers and Journalists
on November 18, 2019 at 10:42
Jake Johnson, staff writer”Bolivia is living through a violent, regressive, completely undemocratic power grab. All governments must sever relations with this illegal regime.”
Vazamento inédito revela os detalhes da espionagem do Irã no Iraque
by Tatiana Dias on November 18, 2019 at 09:57
Mais de 700 telegramas do serviço secreto iraniano revelam como o país se aproveitou do caos após a queda de Saddam Hussein para influir no Iraque. The post Vazamento inédito revela os detalhes da espionagem do Irã no Iraque appeared first on The Intercept.
The Story Behind the Iran Cables
by Betsy Reed on November 18, 2019 at 05:11
A note from the editors and a video discussion hosted by Jeremy Scahill. The post The Story Behind the Iran Cables appeared first on The Intercept.
From the Rubble of the U.S. War in Iraq, Iran Built a New Order
by Jeremy Scahill on November 18, 2019 at 05:11
The chaos unleashed by the U.S. invasion allowed Iran to gain a level of influence in Iraq that was unfathomable during the reign of Saddam. The post From the Rubble of the U.S. War in Iraq, Iran Built a New Order appeared first on The Intercept.
Iran’s Quds Force and the Muslim Brotherhood Considered an Alliance Against Saudi Arabia
by James Risen on November 18, 2019 at 05:10
An Iranian intelligence document describes a meeting between Iran’s Quds Force and the Muslim Brotherhood in a Turkish hotel. It didn’t go well. The post Iran’s Quds Force and the Muslim Brotherhood Considered an Alliance Against Saudi Arabia appeared first on The Intercept.
While U.S.-Led Forces Dropped Bombs, Iran Waged Its Own Covert Campaign Against the Islamic State
by Murtaza Hussain on November 18, 2019 at 05:10
In many ways, the Iranian intelligence campaign against ISIS mirrored the U.S. strategy for dealing with Iraq. The post While U.S.-Led Forces Dropped Bombs, Iran Waged Its Own Covert Campaign Against the Islamic State appeared first on The Intercept.
Leaked Iranian Intelligence Reports Expose Tehran’s Vast Web of Influence in Iraq
by James Risen on November 18, 2019 at 05:10
Seven hundred pages of leaked documents reveal how Iranian spies have infiltrated every aspect of Iraqi political life. The post Leaked Iranian Intelligence Reports Expose Tehran’s Vast Web of Influence in Iraq appeared first on The Intercept.
Democrats Not Headed Too Far Left, Says Ocasio-Cortez, ‘We Are Bringing the Party Home’
on November 17, 2019 at 20:28
Jon Queally, staff writer”I want to be the party of the New Deal again,” says the progressive congresswoman from New York. “The party of the Civil Rights Act, the one that electrified this nation and fights for all people.”
‘Too Clever for Its Own Good’: Progressives Concerned Over Warren’s New Medicare for All Strategy
on November 17, 2019 at 19:05
Jon Queally, staff writer”The idea that the next Democratic president could pass a major public option bill and then, perhaps after the 2022 midterm elections, be in a position to pass actual Medicare for All is just not tenable. It’s just not.”
With 67% of the Vote, California Young Democrats Endorse Bernie Sanders for President
on November 17, 2019 at 17:27
Jon Queally, staff writerSanders received more than twice the number of votes as Elizabeth Warren and while Pete Buttigieg received just one vote, former Vice President Joe Biden received zero.
Texas Court Halts Rodney Reed Execution Over Questions of Withheld Evidence, False Testimony
by Jordan Smith on November 17, 2019 at 16:52
In a dramatic turn of events, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued an indefinite stay of execution for Rodney Reed on November 15. The post Texas Court Halts Rodney Reed Execution Over Questions of Withheld Evidence, False Testimony appeared first on The Intercept.
Did Obama Make a Mistake by Deporting 3 Million People? Bernie Sanders: ‘Yes’
on November 17, 2019 at 15:22
Jon Queally, staff writer”We’re not talking about tearing down the system—we’re fighting for justice,” said 2020 candidate in response to former president’s reported warning that some Democrats moving too far left.
A Novel Retells the Assassinations that Marked the End of the Cold War in El Salvador
by Jefferson Morley on November 17, 2019 at 13:00
“November,” a newly translated novel by Jorge Galán, retells the execution of six Jesuit priests by El Salvador’s U.S.-backed right-wing military. The post A Novel Retells the Assassinations that Marked the End of the Cold War in El Salvador appeared first on The Intercept.
Novo projeto de poder de Bolsonaro, a Aliança pelo Brasil é o primeiro partido neofascista do país
by João Filho on November 17, 2019 at 11:51
Após abandonar um um partido nanico alugado para se eleger, o bolsonarismo inaugura uma nova sigla que resgata valores integralistas e não tem qualquer apreço pela democracia. The post Novo projeto de poder de Bolsonaro, a Aliança pelo Brasil é o primeiro partido neofascista do país appeared first on The Intercept.
Left Twitter Responds With Viral #TooFarLeft Hashtag After Obama Counsels Democrats to Tamp Down Progressive Ambitions
on November 16, 2019 at 20:03
Jon Queally, staff writer”I launched the #TooFarLeft tag,” declared Peter Daou, “because I’ve had it with Republicans, media elites, and corporate Dems enabling fascists while denigrating those who seek economic and social justice as ‘too far left.’ I’d like to ONCE hear them complain America is too far right.”
While Warning of Nazi-Like Fascism and Corporate Crimes, Pope Francis Proposes Adding ‘Ecological Sin’ to Church Teachings
on November 16, 2019 at 17:55
Jon Queally, staff writerIn remarks at the Vatican, the leader of the Catholic Church condemned “the large-scale delinquency of corporations.”
Extinction Rebellion Members Blockade Private Jet Terminal Used by Wealthy Elites in Geneva
on November 16, 2019 at 17:01
Jon Queally, staff writer”We want to denounce this completely absurd means of transport since a private jet emits twenty times more CO2 per passenger than a conventional airplane.”
The Post explores the scarf and the brooch!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 16, 2019 at 16:34
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2019Embarrassed experts complain: With apologies, it has happened again—and according to expert anthropologists, it tells “the ultimate story.”The article appears on the front page of this morning’s Style section, the only part of the Washington Post anyone actually reads. The article explores an important part of yesterday’s impeachment hearing. Rather, it provides a novelized account of same, appearing beneath this headline:CRITIC’S NOTEBOOKAt hearing, former ambassador’s scarf is draped with symbolismBy Robin Givhan On Thursday morning, the New York Times had teased a vast amount of meaning from George Kent’s bow tie. That ridiculous piece, by Vanessa Friedman, had been published as an actual news report in the Times’ National section.This morning, the Washington Post asked Givhan to fabulize in similar ways about the wardrobe selections of former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. The headline focused on her scarf, but after some introductory sputtering, Givhan started with the various things we could learn from her brooch:GIVHAN (11/16/19): She entered the room with her American flag sparkling and sabers flying.Former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch sat before the House Intelligence Committee already speaking the language of diplomacy with its peculiar mix of calm, bluntness and symbolism. Before she uttered a single word, she had already announced her patriotism, toughness, experience and individual humanity, all with her style.[…]Her clothes sketched out the broad strokes of her identity as a veteran of Washington. “The woman,” as President Trump referred to her in a July 25 phone call, had slipped off her red coat to reveal a sizable American flag brooch glittering from the lapel of her dark jacket. It was striking because of its size, but also because it was a classically feminine accessory with its sparkly stones and its swirling lines. It was notable in the room, because the lapels of the mostly male panel—which was separated by party—were adorned with their congressional pins. Those little round discs rooted them in politics, in the inescapable talking points, inevitable grandstanding and poisonous unctuousness.Yovanovitch signaled that she was there for country, for elusive, nonpartisan facts. Her brooch was in the stylish tradition of former secretary of state Madeleine Albright who built an entire diplomatic vocabulary on the symbolism of her many and varied pins.Before she’d uttered a single word, Yovanovitch had defined herself—had signaled her intentions—through the lines of her sizable brooch, which borrowed from Albright’s diplomatic vocabulary. The tribalized conclusion was inevitable:Through the magic of her brooch, Yovanovitch had somehow “signaled that she was there” to provide “nonpartisan facts.” She wasn’t there for grandstanding or even for poisonous unctuousness!Given the messages conveyed by her brooch, it’s odd to think that Yovanovitch had been required to take any questions at all! At any rate, Givhan now transferred her anthropologically meaningful mind-reading act to the former ambassador’s scarf:GIVHAN (continuing directly): In addition to her jewelry, Yovanovitch was also wearing an oversize scarf draped around her neck. It wasn’t tied. It wasn’t prim. The scarf was like a silken billboard. The eye was drawn to the gold, military references in its formal design. The scarf appeared to be a “grand uniforme” design by Joachim Metz for Hermès. In the center of a red border, there are eagles and crowns and references to sabers. It’s not a ghoulish or overtly violent pattern. It’s a stately declaration of military might, of a willingness to fight for one’s honor and the importance of respected traditions.To those who would fabulize in these ways, that oversize scarf was no scarf at all. The oversize scarf was a billboard, and it wasn’t ghoulish at all!The Post has allowed Givhan to fabulize and dream in these ways since 1995, with a four-year “sanity break” starting in 2010. On this occasion, the fabulizing was so extreme that even the Princeton grad briefly took a step back, taking stock of her procedures:GIVHAN (continuing directly): Is that reading too much into a few feet of silk? When committee chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) asked Yovanovitch to assess her work abroad, she noted, “I actually think where I’ve served over the years, I and others, have made things demonstrably better.” And then, she quietly but firmly pointed out that credit for improvements in areas where she was stationed goes to “the work of the United States and to me as the ambassador.”Yovanovitch did not come before Congress to deny, play down or shrug off her professional acumen and her experience. She was prepared to defend her reputation because it was a presidential assault on it that had brought her there in the first place. And as she stood up for herself, she also tried to protect the country she served. Her scarf was a billowing reminder of the value of the state—the beauty of it, even.Even Givhan briefly wondered if she might be “reading too much into a few feet of silk.” Quickly, though, we got her answer—Hell no!Stating the obvious, “journalism” of this type lies just this side of madness. The same was true of the New York Times’ bow tie exegesis, which it published as a news report in the paper’s “National” section.Anthropologists pulled us aside, then glumly denounced the foolishness. “They might as well be running news reports about the witnesses’ horoscopes,” these despondent future exoerts exclaimed.The disconsolate scholars despondently told us what this sort of thing means. “Our species was never the ‘rational animal,’ ” these future credentialed experts said, exhibiting a slightly embarrassed tone. “The impulse toward building tribalized fictitions was in fact always bred in the bone,” these scholars despondently told us. Any impulse toward “rational” conduct was especially likely to disappear at times of major tribal warfare, these experts despairingly said.Indeed, novelized stories are everywhere as impeachment looms. Next week, we’ll be covering “The Impeachment Monologues” at this site, with some emphasis on the excited, self-involved presentations of Our Own Rhodes Scholar.That said, the stone-cold flight from “Enlightenment values” is now on display wherever you look. Or so these experts have told us. For ourselves, we almost “got Schwedeled” today when Slate offered a link to the latest exploration by its most puzzling journalist. (“A Viewer’s Guide to the Conspicuously Hot Guy Who Comes Out of Nowhere in Charlie’s Angels.”) For our anthropologists, though, the note of sadness was brought in when Andrew Sullivan discussed Ibram X. Kendi’s current best-seller, which apparently includes this proposal for an antiracist constitutional amendment:KENDI: It would establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.To those who thought the DMV was occasionally poorly run, this proposal may seem unwieldy.Wryly, Sullivan notes that these “formally trained experts on racism” would “presumably all [be] from critical race-theory departments.” He also notes that these formally trained experts would be “unelected”—and according to our future experts, therein lies the ultimate illogic of Kendi’s proposal:Who would choose these “formally trained experts on racism?” Who would decide that these formally trained experts were actually “experts” at all? Such questions take us back to the dawn of the west, to the western world’s first halting attempts at logic, when Plato suggested rule by philosopher kings.”There’s no escaping this hard-wired mess,” embarrassed anthropologists have told us. Persistently, these scholars lament their failure to speak in real time.Coming next week: Next Monday, we’ll finish our series on the fictitions which have flowed out of Flint. At that point, it will be on to impeachment.That said, we plan to transfer soon to “The Rational Animal Files.” One thinks of Plato’s despair in the Seventh Letter. We still think that Professor Lee has it just about right:PLATO: The existing constitution, which was subject to widespread criticism, was overthrown…and a committee of Thirty given supreme power. As it happened some of them were friends and relations of mine and they at once invited me to join them, as if it were the natural thing for me to do. My feelings were what were to be expected in a young man: I thought they were going to reform society and rule justly, and so I watched their proceedings with deep interest. I found that they soon made the earlier regime look like a golden age. Among other things they tried to incriminate my old friend Socrates, whom I should not hesitate to call the most upright man then living, by sending him, with others, to arrest a fellow-citizen, and bring him forcibly to execution; Socrates refused, and risked everything rather than make himself a party to their wickedness. When I saw all this, and other things as bad, I was disgusted and withdrew from the wickedness of the times.Is it all anthropology now? Yes, but this opens the door to the humor of despair. Bring on Lord Russell’s wonderfully comical “set of all sets not members of themselves!” Or so we jauntily cry, in these last few final days before we meet Mister Trump’s War.
Police in Bolivia Pepper Spray Journalist ‘On Purpose’ During Live Coverage of Anti-Coup Protests
on November 16, 2019 at 14:45
Jon Queally, staff writer”I hate to be the story because we are here to report on what is happening to the people in the amazing country,” said Al-Jazeera English senior correspondent Teresa Bo. “I hope it helps denounce that such practices cannot be tolerated. Not here not anywhere.”
The Chicago Teachers Strike Was a Lesson in 21st-Century Organizing
by Sarah Jaffe on November 16, 2019 at 13:39
Sarah Jaffe Despite the Janus decision and years of labor losses, the Chicago Teachers Union has figured out how to organize—and win. The post The Chicago Teachers Strike Was a Lesson in 21st-Century Organizing appeared first on The Nation.
‘Grand American Tradition of Immunizing Its War Criminals’ Continues as Trump Pardons US Soldiers
on November 16, 2019 at 06:05
Jon Queally, staff writer”A shameful use of presidential powers,” said the ACLU. “It sends a clear message of disrespect for the law, morality, the military justice system, and those in the military who abide by the laws of war.”
Rodney Reed Lawyers ‘Relieved and Thankful’ After Stay of Execution Granted by Texas Court
on November 16, 2019 at 05:31
Jon Queally, staff writer”Reed’s execution should not just be delayed, but canceled,” said Bernie Sanders. “Real criminal justice reform must include joining every other major democracy in eliminating the death penalty.”
‘This is What a Dictatorship Looks Like’: Bolivian Security Forces Open Fire on Indigenous Protesters in City of Cochabamba
on November 15, 2019 at 22:36
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”State violence in Bolivia.”
Putting ‘Health of All Species’ in Danger, Trump EPA Proposal Guts Restrictions on Toxic Herbicide Linked to Birth Defects
on November 15, 2019 at 22:20
Andrea Germanos, staff writer”The pro-industry zealots now running the EPA’s pesticide office are making a mockery of science and eliminating key safety measures, all for company profits.”
Attempted Bribery Is Bribery
by John Nichols on November 15, 2019 at 22:11
John Nichols The Constitution’s authors had an understanding of bribery that legal scholars say “not only encompasses Trump’s conduct—it practically defines it.” The post Attempted Bribery Is Bribery appeared first on The Nation.
The latest stupidity from Donald J. Trump!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 15, 2019 at 21:19
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2019It didn’t begin with him: We spent the bulk of the day watching the impeachment hearings. Tomorrow, we’ll finish our current report, Flint and Fictition.For today, we thought we’d insert a word about Donald J. Trump’s tweet this morning. It started off like this:”Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go?”For the record:Yovanovitch was posted to Somalia in 1986. It was one of her first postings with the foreign service. She was 28 or 29 at the time. Needless to say, she wasn’t in charge of the American mission. For a list of American ambassadors to Somalia during that period, you can just click here. Stating the obvious, disasters which happened in Somalia weren’t their fault or doing either.In his tweet, Trump presented the latest example of the blinding stupidity which dominates so much of the American discourse. In fairness to Donald J. Trump, the blinding stupidity of our American discourse didn’t begin with him. He’s just made it more extreme, more constant.The modern era of public stupidity involves some of our own liberal team’s biggest stars. At the start of the MSNBC era, these stars served under an American oligarch, GE chairman Jack Welch, to whose wishes they deferred and under whom they became very wealthy.How much money have they been paid? Under our own tribe’s oligarchic arrangements, we aren’t allowed to know such things, and they’d prefer that we didn’t ask.Hillary Clinton was like Nurse Ratched! When our own stars would say such things, we liberals kept forgetting to complain. Soon, Jack Welch’s Lost Boys moved ahead to their next task, electing George W. Bush, and Nicolle got busy helping him set up all those anti-gay marriage ballot measures.Eventually, this headlong public stupidity gave us Donald J. Trump. The stars who called Hillary Clinton “Nurse Ratched” were very, very upset with his bad conduct today.We assume that Trump is mentally ill. What’s our tribe’s excuse?
Break Free From Plastic Movement Blasts Big Polluters on Industry-Backed ‘America Recycles Day’
on November 15, 2019 at 20:21
Jessica Corbett, staff writerMembers of the global Break Free From Plastic movement on Friday marked the annual “America Recycles Day” by highlighting criticism of the industry-backed event and pressuring corporate polluters to “reduce the production of plastics, instead of focusing on cleaning it up after the fact.”
Irish Youth Activists at First-Ever Climate Assembly Implore Govt to Listen to Science
on November 15, 2019 at 20:00
Andrea Germanos, staff writerLawmakers were told they must “work on our behalf to ensure that we—and you—have a future.”
Amnesty International Amplifies Clemency Demand for Rodney Reed as Supreme Court Considers Taking Up Case
on November 15, 2019 at 20:00
Julia Conley, staff writerAs the Supreme Court debated whether to take up the case of death row inmate Rodney Reed, Amnesty International on Friday demanded that Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott grant clemency to Reed days before he is set to be executed despite mounting evidence that he did not commit the crime he was convicted of two decades ago.
Massive Anti-Coup Protests Explode Across Bolivia ‘Against the Many Violations to Democracy’
on November 15, 2019 at 19:26
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”Do you think we are ignorant?”
‘Pure Propaganda’: New York Times Condemned for Comparing Sanders Green New Deal to Trump Border Wall
on November 15, 2019 at 19:01
Jake Johnson, staff writer”Article misses a key ‘expert’ perspective: The climate scientists who are saying we need to radically transform every aspect of our economy in the next decade if we want even a 50 percent chance of averting catostrophic climate crisis.”
We Need to Support Students Who Are Still Learning English
by Scott Lee on November 15, 2019 at 18:50
Scott Lee It’s easy to forget that the United States has no official language. The post We Need to Support Students Who Are Still Learning English appeared first on The Nation.
‘A Victory for the Whole Country’: Chile to Hold Referendum on Rewriting Constitution
on November 15, 2019 at 17:07
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”We are here thanks to many Chileans that have risked their lives to make Chile a fairer country.”
To Ensure ‘Genuine Public Service for All,’ UK Labour Party Proposes Free, Nationalized Broadband
on November 15, 2019 at 16:38
Andrea Germanos, staff writer”Instead of you forking out for your monthly bill, we’ll tax the giant corporations fairly—the Facebooks and the Googles—to cover the running costs.”
Must-See Labour Ad Shows When Right Wing Blames Immigrants for Everything ‘You Know They’ve Run Out of Ideas’
on November 15, 2019 at 16:38
Julia Conley, staff writerAhead of next month’s general election, the British Labour Party released an ad Thursday ridiculing Conservative claims that immigrants—not austerity policies and corporate greed—are to blame for failing schools, long wait times for medical care, and a frayed social safety net.
Applauding His Record of Standing Up to ‘Charter Billionaires,’ United Teachers Los Angeles Endorses Bernie Sanders
on November 15, 2019 at 16:30
Jake Johnson, staff writer”Critically, like UTLA, Sen. Sanders believes in building a national movement for real, lasting change.”
The Foreign Policy Establishment Is Hijacking Impeachment
by Jeet Heer on November 15, 2019 at 15:38
Jeet Heer Trump should be impeached for using his office for corrupt purposes—not for challenging the national security consensus. The post The Foreign Policy Establishment Is Hijacking Impeachment appeared first on The Nation.
5 Ways to Debunk the GOP’s Defense of Donald Trump
by Elie Mystal on November 15, 2019 at 15:04
Elie Mystal The Republican anti-impeachment arguments are weak but pernicious. Here’s how to counter them. The post 5 Ways to Debunk the GOP’s Defense of Donald Trump appeared first on The Nation.
Under Trump, We’re All Alice in Blunderland
by Tom Engelhardt on November 15, 2019 at 13:00
Tom Engelhardt The president has taken us—and the US empire—down the rabbit hole. The post Under Trump, We’re All Alice in Blunderland appeared first on The Nation.
by Alessandra Mondolfi on November 15, 2019 at 13:00
Alessandra Mondolfi Fire emergency. The post Burning Planet appeared first on The Nation.
Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy Isn’t Just Cruel, It’s Illegal
by Sasha Abramsky on November 15, 2019 at 12:30
Sasha Abramsky As the administration continues its war on asylum seekers, a former asylum officer says forcing applicants to wait in Mexican camps violates international law. The post Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy Isn’t Just Cruel, It’s Illegal appeared first on The Nation.
American Graffiti: My Cousin and the California Mass Shooting
by Kevin Powell on November 15, 2019 at 12:15
This shooting was especially jarring for me because one of my cousins, LaShawn, lives in that area.
My Friend’s Husband Joined the Racist Brexit Party. Help!
by Liza Featherstone on November 15, 2019 at 12:00
Liza Featherstone Another reader asks why they got fired after they’d already quit. The post My Friend’s Husband Joined the Racist Brexit Party. Help! appeared first on The Nation.
Who Gets to Tell the Story of a Lost Music Culture?
by David Hajdu on November 15, 2019 at 11:30
David Hajdu A new archival collection of little-heard music from the Balkans prompts questions of how and why we recover sounds from history. The post Who Gets to Tell the Story of a Lost Music Culture? appeared first on The Nation.
What Readers Told Us About Our Story, “The Legend of A-N-N-A”
by by Logan Jaffe on November 15, 2019 at 10:00
Cap and Trade Is Supposed to Solve Climate Change, but Oil and Gas Company Emissions Are Up
by by Lisa Song on November 15, 2019 at 10:00
Devin Nunes’ Imagined Worlds
by Mark Fiore on November 15, 2019 at 09:49
If you can’t justify what your insane president has done, just confuse the jury with nonsense.
New EPA Rules Aim to Reduce Toxic Emissions. But Many “Cancer Alley” Chemical Plants Won’t Have to Change.
by by Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune and The Advocate on November 14, 2019 at 21:30
Kent praises all the other George Kents!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 14, 2019 at 20:03
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2019His bow tie sets him apart: For the record, we assume that everything Donald Trump does is likely to be disordered, deranged and corrupt.Unfortunately, we don’t think that’s the main issue at this point. The issue is the dangerous tribalization within which we all now live, along with the tribal propaganda which flowed so freely last night.Throw in the sheer inanity routinely displayed by our upper-end elites and you may have a bit of a dying culture. If only for entertainment’s sake, let’s start with that upper-class dumbness. For that, we direct you to Vanessa Friedman’s analysis of George Kent’s bow tie in today’s New York Times. Friedman is fashion director and chief fashion critic for the Times. “No one was saying [that Kent’s bow tie] was the most important detail of a historic day—of course it wasn’t,” she wrote in this morning’s Times. But then, she went on to say this:FRIEDMAN (11/14/19): But it was impossible for many to ignore because, like the moment itself, it was singular; an anomaly in an anomalous time. And in that sense, it almost seemed to symbolize not just Mr. Kent himself, but also the whole experience.There you see the silly, novelistic dreamscape within which this upper-class guild has long dwelled. Within this silly upper-class dreamscape, any chosen item or incident can come to symbolize—no, to seem to symbolize—anything the daft insider wants. What did Kent’s bow tie seem to symbolize—no, almost seem to symbolize—to this ridiculous newspaper’s barmy fashion director? We’ll let Friedman tell you herself, although it’s a very old tale:FRIEDMAN (continuing directly): The bow tie, at least onscreen, appeared to be blue and yellow (some said orange, others ocher and turquoise), in a sort of chain/paramecium pattern. It was paired with a matching pocket square and was worn with a light blue shirt and gray plaid three-piece suit, complete with neatly buttoned-up vest.It also looked hand-tied, listing slightly as if to underscore its own authenticity—and, maybe, that of the man who wore it. It was the same bow tie that Mr. Kent wore for his portrait currently on view on the State Department website, a nod to both continuity and the fact that he was appearing in his professional capacity.Of course! As with Saints McCain and Bradley in 1999 and 2000, Kent’s hand-tied tie almost seemed to maybe symbolize the “authenticity” of Kent himself!Our upper-class scribes are constantly spotting “authenticity” in those with whom they’re aligned. As this dreamer allowed herself to dream, the possibly blue and yellow bow tie seemed to say something else:FRIEDMAN (continuing directly): Some speculation had it that it was his good-luck bow tie. Or his power bow tie, depending. Either way, it was definitely a signature tie. Mr. Kent adopted a similar look—a paisley bow tie and matching pocket square—during his closed-door testimony on Oct. 15.And, in its truncated shape, the opposite of the Trump tie, which is famously worn extending below the belt.Of course! The bow tie seemed to symbolize Kent’s obvious authenticity. Not coincidentally, it also struck Friedman as “the opposite of the Trump tie.” Thanks to the tie, she could see that Kent is highly authentic, and the opposite of Trump!In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche describes the dreamer calling out to himself, “This is a dream! And I want to continue dreaming!” This is the way our political discourse has worked at least since the determined stereotyping of the four major candidates in Campaign 2000, with Candidates McCain and Bradley cast as straight-shooting truth-telling straight-talkers and the heinous Candidate gore cast as the man who had “a problem with the truth.”(Just for the record, the pundits could tell that Gore lacked authenticity because he was wearing earth tones! People are dead all over Iraq because they behaved that way.)Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly and scribblers like this have to novelize. And sure enough! All over cable last night, our own tribe’s hirelings were telling us stories designed to set hearts at ease.One such story involved the moral purity of Kent and his fellow witness, William Taylor. To our eye and ear, the two men came across quite differently in yesterday’s hearing, but no such thought was allowed to intrude on our tribe’s cable reverie.Nicholas Kristof even bought the package this morning, midway through a column containing some very constructive work:KRISTOF (11/14/19): The first witnesses before the impeachment hearings were two distinguished foreign policy experts with a long commitment to public service and no history of partisanship. One, George Kent, noted that “there has been a George Kent sworn to defend the Constitution continuously for nearly 60 years.” And Ambassador William Taylor, a Vietnam veteran who was appointed acting ambassador to Ukraine by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, emphasized, “I am not here to take one side or the other, or to advocate for any particular outcome of these proceedings.”To Kristof, they were two of a kind. After the mandatory citation of Taylor’s service in Vietnam, Kristof seemed to praise that statement by Kent—Kent’s peculiar statement in praise of all the other George Kents. As we pondered the nation’s deadly tribal divide, Kent’s statement struck us quite differently. As he began his opening statement, these were his more extensive remarks in praise of his excellent breeding:KENT (11/13/19): Good morning. My name is George Kent, and I am the deputy assistant secretary of state for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. I have served proudly as a nonpartisan career foreign service officer for more than 27 years under five presidents, three Republican and two Democrat.As I mentioned in my opening comments last month in the closed-door deposition, I represent the third generation of my family to have chosen a career in public service and sworn the Oath of Office that all U.S. public servants do in defense of our Constitution. Indeed, there has been a George Kent sworn to defend the Constitution continuously for nearly 60 years, ever since my father reported to Annapolis for his plebe summer.After graduating first in his Naval Academy class in 1965, the year best known for his Heisman-winning classmate, Roger Staubach, my father served a full, honorable 30 years, including as a captain of a nuclear ballistic missile submarine during the height of the Cold War.Five great-uncles served honorably in the Navy and the Army in World War II. In particular, Tom Taggart was stationed in the Philippines at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He survived the brutal Bataan Death March, and three and a half years in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, unbroken. He returned to service as an Air Force judge advocate, upholding the rule of law until his death in 1965.That was the speech of a Harvard graduate (class of 1989)—and, in its tone, of an old-school Eastern elite. In completely irrelevant manner, he praised the several generations of Taggarts and Kents, not failing to mention five great-uncles, his father’s academic standing, and no aunts or mothers at all.Like his bow tie, his genealogy served to identify Kent to many Americans, we’ll guess in divergent ways. In our view, his speech in praise of his excellent breeding was completely unnecessary. In our view, so was the attitude and the manner we detected through the course of the day.We’ll guarantee you that many Trump supporters were quickly turned off by this guy. To us, he seemed the very embodiment of crusty old world upper-class self-admiration, in a way Ambassador Turner very much did not.Kent and Taylor seemed very different to us. On liberal cable, they were two peas in a pod. To the Times fashion director, Kent’s bow tie seemed to suggest his authenticity, and of course his difference from Trump.By way of contrast, we’ll guess that many Trump voters saw Kent as the essence of everything they don’t trust about our eastern elites, sometimes called the deep state. We thought his opening speech was strange, and a bit of a class offense. The fact that our cable helpers saw none of this is part of the era we live in.We live in a deeply dangerous tribalized time. Our tribe is perhaps just a tiny bit blind, as of course is theirs. For the record: They sold us this same silly twaddle at Vox. Just as a simple matter of fact, our tribe just isn’t real sharp.
Bernie and AOC’s Green New Deal for Public Housing Act Would Transform America
by Daniel Aldana Cohen, Julian Brave NoiseCat on November 14, 2019 at 19:42
Daniel Aldana Cohen, Julian Brave NoiseCat The proposed legislation would cut 5.6 million tons of carbon emissions and create 240,000 jobs. The post Bernie and AOC’s Green New Deal for Public Housing Act Would Transform America appeared first on The Nation.
Stop Comparing the Trump Impeachment Probe to Watergate
by Joan Walsh on November 14, 2019 at 17:51
Joan Walsh Our obsession with looking backward makes it seem we’re afraid to look forward. The post Stop Comparing the Trump Impeachment Probe to Watergate appeared first on The Nation.
A New Way to Memorialize Racial Violence
by Arvind Dilawar on November 14, 2019 at 17:48
Arvind Dilawar A proposed public art project in Chicago seeks to preserve the memory of the city’s worst race riot. The post A New Way to Memorialize Racial Violence appeared first on The Nation.
Why Are We in Ukraine?
by Stephen F. Cohen on November 14, 2019 at 16:02
Stephen F. Cohen Historically and even today, Russia has much in common with Ukraine—the United States, almost nothing. The post Why Are We in Ukraine? appeared first on The Nation.
Foreign Correspondent: A New Arab Spring in Lebanon and Iraq
by Reese Erlich on November 14, 2019 at 15:57
Once again, people in the Middle East want democratic reforms and an end to corruption and foreign domination.
FLINT AND FICTITION: To what extent were Flint’s kids harmed?
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 14, 2019 at 15:12
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2019Or should we just type up a novel?: To what extent were Flint’s children harmed by the Flint water crisis, or perhaps by the Flint water problem?We’d like to see a serious discussion of that important question. But then, there are other discussions we’d like to see. A few would go something like this:Health care spending: As you may know, we’d like to see a serious discussion of the source of these astounding statistics:Per capita spending, health care, 2018United States: $10,586Canada: $4974France: $4965Japan: $4766United Kingdom: $4070What explains all the “missing money” within our stumblebum “health care system?” Where does all that extra money go?We’d love to see a discussion of that extremely important question, but no such discussion is allowed within our stumblebum “press corps.” Presumably, Ukrainian-style “corruption” is involved in this systemwide code of silence. We hate corruption over there, practice it widely at home.Generational rise in Naep scores: We’d like to see a serious discussion of the rise in public school test scores over the past fifty years. For today, we’ll restrict ourselves to the past few decades and to the performance of black kids on the so-called “Main Naep,” as opposed to the Long-Term Trend Assessment:Average scores, Grade 8 math, NaepBlack students, U.S. public schools2019: 259.211993: 239.28According to a very rough but widely-used rule of thumb, today’s black eighth-graders are outperforming their counterparts from 1993 by roughly two academic years, even after a drop-off of several points from the high point of their performance in 2013.We’d like to see a serious discussion of this (apparently) very large score gain. That said, by common agreement, the very fact of this score gain is almost never reported in “newspapers” like the New York Times and the Washington Post. Readers aren’t told that these gains have occurred, let alone offered a discussion of their possible cause.Over the bulk of the past twenty years, entities like the Post and the Times have been steeped in an “education reform” fictitions according to which “nothing has worked in our public schools.” Possibly for that reason, but also of course because “statistics are boring and hard,” readers haven’t even been told about these, and other, large gains.Generational drop in homicide rates: We’d like to see a serious discussion of the large drop, across the nation, in violent crime, including homicides. Sticking with 1993 as an arbitrary point of comparison, the violent crime rate had essentially been cut in half by 2016.Just a guess: Most people have never seen a report of any such fact, let alone seen a serious discussion of the reasons for this major decline. For data from the leading authority on the subject, you can just click here, scroll to “Crime over time.”Public school achievement gaps: We’d like to see a serious discussion of our (apparently very large) public school “achievement gaps.” Below, you see one such set of gaps:Average scores, Grade 8 math, NaepU.S. public schools, 2019White students: 291.46Black students: 259.21Hispanic students: 267.96Asian-American students: 309.39Based on that very rough rule of thumb which we mentioned above, those are enormous gaps. Based on that rule of thumb, white kids outperformed their black counterparts by something resembling three academic years!We’d like to see a serious discussion of the actual size of those gaps; of the possible causes of those gaps; and of the implications for classroom instruction. Instead, the New York Times hires legacy children to hand you the silly novelized treatments of which Hamptons-based swells are currently very fond. (The thinking: Mommy was our gender editor. So “Sally”—not real name—surely knows all about schools!)The data which detail those very large gaps never appear in our major “newspapers.” Presumably, the size of the gaps is too embarrassing to permit disclosure or discussion. Instead, we’re offered silly, childish attempts to pretend that the gaps are more illusory than real.Those are just a few of the serious discussions we’d like to see. Unfortunately, as Flint’s own Michael Moore once said, “We live in fictitious times.” Our “news reporting” is constantly built around silly, novelized story lines. These story lines satisfy an array of tribal longings and/or industry or interest group imperatives. All too often, our “news” is fiction all the way down. In his best-selling book, Sapiens, Professor Harari has glumly suggested that this is the best our stumblebum species can sensibly hope to achieve!It was against this background that we encountered last Thursday’s front-page report in the New York Times. It tickled our longing for a serious discussion of the following questions:To what extent were the children of Flint harmed by the Flint water crisis? Was the typical child actually harmed at all?If the typical child in Flint was harmed, was he or she harmed to an extent that anyone would be likely to notice? To what extent have the kids of Flint had their life prospects affected?These questions popped into our head because we’d already spent six years reading Kevin Drum’s work on the effects of exposure to lead. Drum’s reporting started with this “cover story” in the January 2013 Mother Jones. That detailed cover report preceded the Flint water problem by several years.As the Flint water crisis went center stage, Drum discussed it again and again at his Mother Jones blog. He offered fascinating data about the levels of exposure to lead which prevailed, across the nation and in Flint, before leaded gasoline was removed from the market.In yesterday’s report, we linked you to the post Drum authored after The New Yorker reported that children in Flint had begun to believe that they’d been deeply, irreparably damaged.This belief, in itself, was a tragedy, Drum wrote. He offered this general assessment that day, as he had done before:DRUM (1/26/17): Children in Flint had mildly elevated levels of lead in their bloodstream for about a year or two. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but the effects of this are fairly modest. To put it in terms most people will recognize, it means that some children in Flint will lose about one IQ point. Maybe two. That’s a tragedy, but it’s an even bigger tragedy if kids and their parents respond to this by thinking their lives are permanently ruined. The truth is that in nearly all children, the effects will be only barely noticeable.Drum is not the lord god Zeus, nor has he claimed to be. We’d like to see a serious discussion of the various data-driven assessments he has offered over the years, starting with that detailed cover report in January 2013. Drum is not the oracle at Delphi. As with any writer on any topic, his assessments could be wrong in some manner or to some extent—or not. That said, he also isn’t some local observer being quoted by the New York Times on a subject where she presumably has no expertise at all, with her sweeping statement being culled for use in a damaging front-page headline. Tomorrow, we’ll link you to some of Drum’s reports about lead exposure and its historical discontents. This will include his reports about what blood lead levels were like, around the country and in Flint, in the decades before the 2015 crisis.Why have national crime rates dropped? Why have national test scores risen? The legacy children at the Times won’t even report that such things have occurred, but both effects may be connected to lead exposure and lead abatement.We’d like to see a serious discussion of that possibility. But especially at the New York Times, our national discourse is largely fictitious. Our news is children’s fairy tales, pretty much all the way down.Tomorrow: Links and a scary word—”poisoned”
Puzzle No. 3516
by Joshua Kosman and Henri Picciotto on November 14, 2019 at 14:00
Joshua Kosman and Henri Picciotto The post Puzzle No. 3516 appeared first on The Nation.
We Investigated the Crisis in California’s Jails. Now, the Governor Calls for More Oversight.
by by Jason Pohl, The Sacramento Bee, and Ryan Gabrielson, ProPublica on November 14, 2019 at 13:30
by Jason Pohl, The Sacramento Bee, and Ryan Gabrielson, ProPublica This article was produced in partnership with The Sacramento Bee, which is a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. This story is part of an ongoing investigation into the crisis in California’s jails. Sign up for the Overcorrection newsletter to receive updates in this series as soon as they publish. Faced with a surge of homicides in some of California’s largest jails, inmates held in inhumane suicide-watch conditions and elected sheriffs who rebuff state inspectors, Gov. Gavin Newsom is crafting plans that would give the state more power to oversee local sheriffs and the lockups they run. The measure will be part of a broader criminal justice reform package he plans to introduce next year, he told The Fresno Bee editorial board last week. Also on the table: adding “step-down facilities” to bolster rehabilitation and reentry options for people being released from custody and, ultimately, shuttering one of the state’s 35 prisons. “I’m generally not satisfied with oversight, period. Across the board,” Newsom said, when asked whether he was content with the state’s supervision of county jails that house about 70,000 inmates. Local decision-making fosters “wonderful flexibility” in running governments, providing services and operating local criminal justice systems. But, he added, there’s “not a lot of accountability and oversight in terms of these issues and county jails.” He said his administration is studying what could change but did not offer specifics. A spokeswoman declined to offer additional information about the plans. She said Newsom would announce the changes in January when he reveals his state budget proposal. Newsom’s comments follow a yearlong investigation by McClatchy and ProPublica that exposed how county jails have struggled to handle an influx of inmates serving longer sentences after realignment, the 2011 series of reforms that diverted inmates from the state’s unconstitutionally overcrowded prisons to local facilities. Lawmakers created the California Board of State and Community Corrections to oversee the increasingly burdened jails and award funding for facility construction, but the news organizations found that the agency is toothless. The board does not monitor jail deaths, even as inmate-on-inmate homicides have soared in several local lockups. And it cannot force counties to construct new, safer facilities, even after it awards billions of dollars in state financing to help them replace decrepit facilities — projects that become mired in costly delays. Read More Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California Sixty-five jail construction projects, totaling $2.1 billion, were awarded funds since realignment. Only 11 have opened. Meanwhile, dangerous jails have become more deadly. No other county in California has seen a sharper increase in overall inmate deaths than Fresno. In the seven years since realignment began, at least 47 people have died in the county jail, more than twice the number who died in the seven years before the overhaul. Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims has said that the county jails hold many dangerous people, and that awful events, including deaths, are almost inevitable. Last week, McClatchy and ProPublica published an investigation of Kern County’s extreme use of isolation cells for inmates who deputies put on suicide watch. An inspector from the state corrections board cited the county last year for violating minimum jail standards when it locked suicidal inmates in closet-sized rooms with nothing but a grate in the floor for bodily fluids and a yoga mat to sleep on. The county’s sheriff, Donny Youngblood, rebuffed the inspector’s findings eight months later. Then his department purchased more mats. Kern County sheriff’s officials said their jails have used isolation to prevent suicide deaths for decades without criticism. After McClatchy and ProPublica asked questions about Kern County’s isolation practices and its use of yoga mats, the sheriff’s office replaced the mats with blankets that are resistant to rips. State corrections officials do not have the authority to make county leaders change, and they generally see themselves as partners, not regulators, said Allison Ganter, deputy director overseeing the inspection team. “We are not enforcement,” she said. Positioning himself as a Democratic counterweight to the Trump administration, Newsom has worked with a Democratically-controlled Legislature to press changes to the criminal justice system. This year, the governor signed legislation into law that tightens police use-of-force standards, and he penned an executive order placing a moratorium on the death penalty in the state. He has also moved toward abolishing private prisons. But challenging local sheriffs could prove more difficult. Read More A Jail Increased Extreme Isolation to Stop Suicides. More People Killed Themselves. The Kern County, CA Sheriff’s Office places hundreds of people into suicide watch each year. They’re held for days or weeks in rooms without mattresses and sometimes toilets. A bill that would have allowed counties to create oversight groups with subpoena power over county sheriffs was shelved this year after opposition from local law enforcement. The California State Sheriffs’ Association, which wields significant influence in public safety legislation, called that measure “unnecessary.” Cory Salzillo, a lobbyist for the sheriffs, made a similar statement Tuesday when asked about Newsom’s calls for additional oversight. “Sheriffs and jails are already overseen or monitored,” he said, referring specifically to the state corrections board, local elected officials and the courts. The bill’s author, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, vowed to make another try next year, citing the McClatchy and ProPublica investigation. “This report is yet another example of mental health abuses, negligence and lack of proper oversight by a county sheriff’s department,” he said. “This type of lax oversight results in lawsuits and settlements where taxpayers continue to foot the bill and pay for the misconduct of our sheriff’s departments across California.” ProPublica and The Sacramento Bee are spending 2019 examining overcrowding, resources and inmate treatment in county jails across California. Share your story with us here or get in touch with the reporting team by emailing CaliforniaJails@propublica.org or calling/texting 347-244-2134. And stay updated with our reporting by signing up for our newsletter. Jason Pohl reports on criminal justice for The Sacramento Bee. He has reported since 2011 on public safety, mental health and disasters for newspapers in Colorado and Arizona.
Facebook Logo Redux
by Paul Mavrides on November 14, 2019 at 13:00
Paul Mavrides Keeping a stiff Zucker lip. The post Facebook Logo Redux appeared first on The Nation.
‘Insanely Despicable, Ridiculously Stupid’ Attack on Education in Florida Continues
by Kathleen Oropeza on November 14, 2019 at 10:47
New governor Ron DeSantis is the ultimate #FloridaMan. His political games are an insult to the children, teachers, and parents who are the heart and soul of our public schools.
A Trump Tax Break To Help The Poor Went To a Rich GOP Donor’s Superyacht Marina
by by Justin Elliott, Jeff Ernsthausen and Kyle Edwards on November 14, 2019 at 10:00
First day of the hearings proceeds!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 13, 2019 at 22:10
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2019The other Conway speaks: We spent the bulk of the day watching the bulk of the hearings. We still haven’t seen the whole thing or had a chance to review certain things which were said.Adding to the excitement, George Conway appeared today as part of MSNBC’s standard Panel of The Like-Minded. At New York magazine, this early comment by Conway was being featured as of 9:37 A.M.:“I don’t frankly want to be on television, I just don’t get why people can’t see this and why people are refusing to see this. It’s appalling to me.”We’re always struck by commentators who make this type of comment. The ability to “get why people see things” the way they do is the essence of social and political intelligence. We’re always amused when people treat their inability to understand the viewpoints of others as a mark of their ultimate wisdom.We’re in favor of “getting” the viewpoints of others. It’s the way large societies work!You can’t understand the way people think? Citizen, fair enough! But if you can’t understand such things, what are you doing on television?
Police Don’t Do a Good Job Tracking Hate Crimes. A New Report Calls on Congress to Take Action.
by by Rachel Glickhouse on November 13, 2019 at 19:00
FLINT AND FICTITION: The bad judgment never ends!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 13, 2019 at 17:35
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2019A truly astounding quotation: Long ago and far away—actually, it was January 2017, the month in which Donald J. Trump ascended to power—a lengthy report in The New Yorker painted a deeply unfortunate portrait.The report was written by Sarah Stillman. She was reporting on the efforts of Maya Shankar, “an Obama staffer who was looking at ways that behavioral science might be put to work in Flint” in the wake of that city’s high-profile water problem.We’re quoting from Kevin Drum’s post concerning this unfortunate matter. And alas—below, you see the unfortunate state of affairs which emerged when Shankar discussed the children of Flint with Michigan State’s Kent Key. The children of Flint had begun to believe that they had been damaged beyond repair by their city’s water crisis:STILLMAN (1/15/17): Key shared a personal story about the son of a family friend who had begun acting out in school. The boy’s mother had come to Key for help. When Key asked the boy what was going on, he replied, “Well, they said I’m not going to be smart anyway.”“These kids are internalizing the messages about how the lead is affecting them,” Key said. The children of Flint were beginning to believe that they would never be smart. Flint’s children had heard, again and again, that they’d been “poisoned” by what had occurred. According to Key, they were now “internalizing the messages” about the damage which had been done.As Stillman continued, so did her portrait of this unfortunate state of affairs: STILLMAN: Shankar began contemplating aloud the possibilities. She said to Tucker-Ray, “Did you see how my eyes widened when he said that thing about the kids giving up because they think they’re going to be dumb?”….As their last day in Flint drew to a close, Shankar and Tucker-Ray hurried to a final meeting. They had arranged to talk with a disabled Gulf War veteran and community activist named Art Woodson, who didn’t think much of the federal government. At a local municipal building, where an enlarged photograph of corroded lead pipes adorned one wall, Woodson told Shankar about his worry that local kids would give up when lead’s symptoms surfaced, or even before. “What I see,” he said, “is hopelessness.” These were anecdotal reports, accompanied by subjective assessments, but they point to an obvious problem. When kids are told that they’ve been badly damaged, perhaps in ways which can’t be repaired, those kids will often believe what they’re told.Hopelessness and despair may set in. As of late 2016, Shankar seemed to believe that this was occurring in Flint.Question! To what extent have the children of Flint been harmed by the water crisis? We’ll consider that question tomorrow. To see one of Drum’s many assessments, you can read his post about that New Yorker report, atop which his headline said this:In Flint, We Are Laying Tragedy on Top of Tragedy on Top of TragedyAccording to Drum, the harm caused by the water crisis was nowhere near as large as was being described and imagined. Kids were being led to a state of “hopelessness” by loud, unintelligent shouting by various adults.How badly have Flint’s kids been harmed? Have the bulk of children in Flint likely been harmed in any significant or measurable way at all?We’ll examine those questions tomorrow. But we recalled that New Yorker report when we read last Friday’s New York Times—when we read an astounding above-the-fold, front-page report built around this deeply unfortunate statement by a veteran teacher:GREEN (11/7/19): “We have a school district where all that’s left are damaged kids who are being exposed to other damaged kids, and it’s causing more damage,” said Stephanie Pascal, who has taught in Flint for 23 years.”All that’s left are damaged kids who are being exposed to other damaged kids?” Incredibly, the New York Times built a major front-page report around that astonishing statement.Might we speak frankly just once? Despite the relentless branding to which we’re all exposed, the sheer stupidity never ends at the New York Times—and the paper’s decision to run with that statement is one of the all-time examples.Of one thing you can be sure—that remarkable statement will be repeated on every playground in Flint. Every child is going to hear that he or she is “a damaged kid”—a damaged kid who’s being exposed to other such kids, thereby creating more damage.Flint’s children will believe what they hear, as will many of their parents. Only a newspaper like the Times is too brain-dead, too clueless to understand this and exercise caution about the wild statements it prints.Every child in the city of Flint is going to hear that he, and every kid he knows, is damaged and causing more damage. Many kids will believe that crazy remark—and yes, that statement is crazy.How crazy is that high-profile statement? How crazy was the New York Times to publish such a wild statement, then use it as the basis for a front-page headline?How crazy was the Times? Let’s consider the type of “evidence” which surrounded that crazy statement in the Times report:GREEN (11/7/19): The contamination of this long-struggling city’s water exposed nearly 30,000 schoolchildren to a neurotoxin known to have detrimental effects on children’s developing brains and nervous systems. Requests for special education or behavioral interventions began rising four years ago, when the water contamination became public, bolstering a class-action lawsuit that demanded more resources for Flint’s children.That lawsuit forced the state to establish the $3 million Neurodevelopmental Center of Excellence, which began screening students. The screenings then confirmed a range of disabilities, which have prompted still more requests for intervention.The percentage of the city’s students who qualify for special education services has nearly doubled, to 28 percent, from 15 percent the year the lead crisis began, and the city’s screening center has received more than 1,300 referrals since December 2018. The results: About 70 percent of the students evaluated have required school accommodations for issues like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as A.D.H.D.; dyslexia; or mild intellectual impairment, said Katherine Burrell, the associate director of the center.“We have a school district where all that’s left are damaged kids who are being exposed to other damaged kids, and it’s causing more damage,” said Stephanie Pascal, who has taught in Flint for 23 years. “All that’s left are damaged kids?” To the extent that the Times’ Erica Green thought she should provide support for such a sweeping claim, she cited the fact that 28 percent of the city’s kids have now been assigned to special ed, up from 15 percent before the crisis began.Is 28 percent a lot or a little? Green made no attempt to answer this obvious question. But 28 percent isn’t everyone—it’s actually well less than half—and as she continued, Green seemed to say that this and other diagnostic increases may be more illusory than real:GREEN (continuing directly): Medical experts say there is no way to prove that the lead has caused new disabilities. Pediatricians here caution against overdiagnosing children as irreparably brain damaged, if only to avoid stigmatizing an entire city. The State Department of Education, in battling the class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the New Jersey-based Education Law Center, enlisted an expert who testified that the real public health crisis was not the lead-contaminated water but the paranoia of parents, students and teachers exposed to it.But Dr. Burrell said that proving the cause of the students’ problems was not the point. Many of the problems uncovered by the lead testing could certainly have existed before.Say what? “Medical experts say there is no way to prove that the lead has caused new disabilities?” It’s possible that the increase in testing and diagnosis has been caused, in part or in whole, by the post-crisis increase in screenings? By something resembling “paranoia?” It’s possible that this heightened state of concern has led to something like “overdiagnosing?” It’s possible that this is the cause, in part or in whole, for the jump in special ed diagnoses—a jump of some thirteen points?How much have the children of Flint been harmed by the water problem? We’ll discuss that problem tomorrow—and you may be surprised by Drum’s estimates, offered in many reports.For Drum’s original Mother Jones cover report about the problems caused by exposure to lead, you can just click here. That lengthy report predated the problem in Flint. For today, we’ll only say this:The bad judgment never ends at the New York Times. That said, we’ve never seen a worse decision than the decision to build a lengthy front-page report around a sweeping, deeply unfortunate claim by someone who isn’t an expert on the topic at hand.That said, we’ll guess that the irresponsible statement is being repeated on every Flint playground. On the brighter side, the Times has once again taken the chance to show how deeply it cares.Tomorrow: Remarkable statistics, past and present
Wisconsin’s Chronic Black-White Achievement Gap
by Alexandria Millet on November 13, 2019 at 15:09
The nation’s report card demonstrates yet again that students of color are underserved—and education reformers are all too eager to bank on the opportunity.
Follow the Money in the Ukraine Scandal
by by Katie Zavadski on November 13, 2019 at 09:00
by Katie Zavadski This story was co-published with WNYC. Stay up to date with email updates about WNYC and ProPublica’s investigations into the president’s business practices. The Ukraine scandal is mostly viewed through the prism of politics — an attempt by President Donald Trump to gain an advantage over a political opponent. But, as most things are, it’s also about money — and we found lots of it flowing between key players in the scandal. On this week’s episode of “Trump, Inc.,” we follow the money. First, Let’s Meet Our Cast of Ukraine Players Richest among them is Dmitry Firtash, an oligarch who has been battling to avoid an extradition flight to Chicago, where he faces federal charges of bribery. The Department of Justice has described Firtash as an “upper-echelon” associate “of Russian organized crime.” (He denies the charges and says the prosecution is politically motivated.) Firtash made his fortune as a behind-the-scenes middleman selling heavily marked-up Russian gas to Europe. So he wasn’t happy when Vice President Joe Biden pushed Ukraine to roll back corruption. After Biden gave a speech in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 2015 saying the energy sector “needs to be competitive, ruled by market principles — not sweetheart deals,” Firtash called it “repulsive.” Firtash hired attorneys Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova, who frequently appear on TV defending Trump over Ukraine. The two also represent journalist John Solomon, whose stories ended up spreading Ukraine disinformation. Dmitry Firtash (Herbert Neubauer/AFP via Getty Images) And then there’s Lev Parnas, who translated for Firtash’s legal team and is an associate of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. “I’m the best-paid interpreter in the world,” Parnas reportedly said. Parnas and his partner Igor Fruman were indicted in October over allegedly funneling foreign money into U.S. elections. (They deny the charges.) Firtash and the rest of the Ukraine players have all been busy with a flurry of intertwined business ventures. Let’s take a look: Business Venture No. 1: Natural Gas and the Firing of an Ambassador At the same time Parnas and Fruman were suddenly becoming big Republican donors, they were trying to leverage those new political connections to advance their needs in the natural gas industry in Ukraine. Their goals would have been very profitable for Firtash. It didn’t work. But they did get something else they were pushing for, specifically, the firing of U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. “They were interested in having a different ambassador at post, I guess for — because they wanted to have business dealings in Ukraine, or additional business dealings,” Yovanovitch testified. “I didn’t understand that, because nobody at the embassy had ever met those two individuals.” Get More Trump, Inc. Stay up to date with email updates from WNYC and ProPublica about their ongoing investigations. Business Venture No. 2: Submarines, Yachts, Real Estate and Other Things Rich People Like Fruman, we’ve learned, has an interesting company, Otrada Luxury Group, that appears to be catering to those with lots of disposable income. A partial list of goods, according to the company’s brochure: jewelry and expensive watches, yachts, speedboats, private planes, high-end real estate and, of course, submarines and amphibious vehicles. We went to the U.S. address listed on a brochure. It’s a rent-by-the-hour office. No one there seemed to know of Fruman or Otrada. Business Venture No. 3: Cybersecurity Consulting Starring Giuliani An intriguingly named company owned by Parnas, Fraud Guarantee, paid Giuliani $500,000 for consulting. The Wall Street Journal dug into the company and could find no actual business or customers. Giuliani said the money came from a domestic source, but he declined to say from whom. Business Ventures No. 4 and No. 5: Giuliani’s Podcasts Rudy Giuliani (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) As ProPublica has reported, Giuliani was also working on a podcast with The Hill, the publication that ended up passing along Ukraine disinformation. Giuliani said he was “never paid” for the work and said it was a “perfectly legitimate situation.” The Hill said it had been planning a “podcast network with a multitude of political voices from all sides.” Although nothing came of that effort, Giuliani is still apparently looking to get into the podcast game. He was overheard during a recent lunch discussing a potential podcast focused on the impeachment. “He is considering several options,” a Giuliani spokeswoman told CNN. “Many Americans want to hear directly from Rudy Giuliani.” And Then There Is the Jewish Refugee Charity Fruman is also at the helm of a U.S.-based nonprofit that raises money for a Jewish refugee settlement outside Kyiv. The nonprofit, American Friends of Anatevka, sponsored a trip Giuliani was planning to take to Ukraine to dig up dirt on Trump’s opponents. Giuliani is also the settlement’s honorary mayor. American Friends of Anatevka is currently advertising a million-dollar match for donations. Its tax returns show it had less than $1,500 in income in 2017. Listen to it all unfold here. You can contact us via Signal, WhatsApp or voicemail at 347-244-2134. Here’s more about how you can contact us securely. You can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And finally, you can use the Postal Service: Trump, Inc. at ProPublica 155 Ave of the Americas, 13th Floor New York, NY 10013
Candidate Biden calls Warren a schoolmarm!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 12, 2019 at 20:24
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2019″Whiff of sexism” found: Yesterday morning, the New York Times was concerned about Joe Biden’s sexism.Or was it? Frankly, we weren’t sure. Below, you see the way the Times report began. We’re including the hard-copy headline, because that’s where the piece got its “juice:”GLUECK AND KAPLAN (11/11/19): In Attacks by Biden, Some Warren Allies Detect a Whiff of SexismSenator Elizabeth Warren is “instructing” voters on what to believe. Her policy vision smacks of an “academic exercise.” Her advocacy style is “my way or the highway,” and she has displayed an “elitist attitude.”In ways overt and subtle, Joseph R. Biden Jr., his campaign and his allies have begun mounting personal attacks on his most formidable rival in the 2020 primary race, portraying her as embracing a rigid, condescending approach that befits a former Harvard professor with an ambitious policy agenda.It is a politically risky case to make against a leading female candidate, especially to a Democratic primary electorate that has so far signaled little appetite for intraparty warfare. Women historically make up a majority of Democratic primary voters, and for many, memories of attacks against Hillary Clinton in 2016 are still fresh.So the report began. According to the headline, it wasn’t that Candidate Biden was necessarily displaying sexism. The problem was that some supporters of Candidate Warren had detected “a whiff” of the attitude, which upper-end journalists finally turned against within the past few years.Meanwhile, we were puzzled. What was it about the specific “attacks” Biden had made which had produced this whiff? Based upon those first few paragraphs, we had little idea.According to Glueck and Kaplan, it was “politically risky” to say such things about “a leading female candidate.” Did that mean it would be OK to say that a man had displayed “an elitist attitude” or a “rigid approach?”Apparently, yes—that would be OK! But what was supposed to turn those claims into “sexist” attacks?As they started, Glueck and Kaplan had us puzzled. As they continued, though, they semi-quoted Warren herself. They said she’d been “denouncing criticism from ‘powerful men’ who try to tell women how to behave.”It sounded like Warren was saying that she had detected a whiff of sexism herself! But then the rubber hit the road! The scribes had come up with this:GLUECK AND KAPLAN: [Biden’s] criticism of Ms. Warren troubled some voters who came to see her on the campaign trail over the weekend.“I think it’s sexist,” Savannah Johnson, 49, a social worker who supports Ms. Warren and who attended a town hall she held in Goose Creek, S.C., on Saturday, said of Mr. Biden’s criticism.“I just don’t think that he’d be saying the same thing about a male candidate,” she added. “I think that all strong women kind of get labeled that unfairly.”Niamh Cahill, 21, a college student who also came to the town hall, said Ms. Warren would not be getting as much grief if she were a male candidate. “Yeah, she’s fired up, she’s angry, but for a good reason,” she said. “There are a lot of things that are wrong in this country.”So telling! The Times reporters had found two Warren supporters who thought Biden was being sexist! A 21-year-old college student seemed to suggest that Warren wouldn’t be criticized for being angry if she were a man.Citizens, can we talk? Reporters can run with any theme they want if that’s all it takes to trigger journalistic pushback. Only after quoting the two supporters did Glueck and Kaplan begin to explain the nature of Biden’s criticism, which he said was triggered in part by Warren’s courteous suggestion that Biden should be running for president in the Republican Party.Out of all this cock and bull emerged the scripted complaint. Continuing, Glueck and Kaplan reported that Biden had continued to criticize Warren’s “attitude” in a way “that struck some voters and political operatives as sexist.”Please don’t talk about a female candidate in such an unpleasant way! That said, has any male candidate ever been criticized for being too angry or for having the wrong attitude?Candidate Howard Dean, come on down! Back in 2004, Howard Dean was the angry candidate—and in a Warren-like manner, he kept saying that he represented “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.”Rightly or wrongly, Candidate Dean was widely assailed for his attitude and for his anger. Here, for example, was Tim Jones, in the Chicago Tribune. Anger-based headline included:JONES (2/18/04): Howard Dean: Tapping into party’s angerHoward Dean is seldom more than a few finger wags short of a scold.Repeal the tax cut, we can’t afford it, he argues. Bash China for American job losses if you will, he says, but admit your own complicity. Get angry about health- care costs, but cut down on the fast-food meals and start exercising.”We go to Wal-Mart and buy all that stuff that’s made in China, and then we wonder why our jobs are going someplace else. Think about that,” Dean tells supporters in Iowa recently. Then he later adds: ” . . . You can’t expect to be well and eat 27 gallons of french fries.”Such an odd way to run for president, shunning the cherished campaign tradition that Americans are blameless and embracing the medicinal logic—and the political illogic—that some popular things simply aren’t good for you.That’s part of the unorthodox campaign liturgy of Howard Dean, M.D., the former Democratic governor of Vermont, the self-styled populist Rottweiler.Candidate Dean was a male candidate, and he was assailed for his anger. Jones didn’t seem to like the anger, or the certitude, much at all:JONES: The fist-waving, finger-jabbing certitude of Howard Brush Dean II—opposing the war in Iraq, urging repeal of the federal tax cut, taking on a then-very popular President Bush—is the signature trait of a man who has tapped into Democratic voter anger and shocked his competition with early success. He is leading his rivals in polls and fundraising, and last week turned down public financing, enabling him to raise and spend as much as he can.Dean is on a mission to “take back America.” Just ask him. Or just wait a few moments and he’ll tell you.[..]Emerging from the scenic obscurity of Vermont to win the hearts and dollars of Democrats who like their politics served hot, with a couple of sides of outrage, Dean runs on high-octane anger. He rails against “Ken Lay and the boys” at Enron, the “petulance” of Bush, the fossilized Washington retainers and Democrats who are afraid to stand up and be Democrats.”Give him credit. He really understood that the real Democrats are pissed off at Bush,” said Frank Bryan, a University of Vermont political scientist who has known Dean for 20 years.This is the picture of Candidate Warren fifteen years later. But just as a matter of simple fact, Dean was widely assailed for his anger and his attitude, even though he was a male! Eventually, he was said to have shouted too loud at an Iowa rally. Famously, the mainstream press corps landed on him like a ton of bricks.In our view, Candidate Biden is a terrible candidate; Candidate Warren is too. They’re terrible in different ways, but they’re terrible candidates both.Also terrible is the gossipy way the New York Times covers politics. We won’t even attempt to discuss this report about the ways other candidates don’t like Candidate Buttigieg, the latest offering from the Times’ trademarked “mean girls (and mean boys)” school of pseudo-reporting.The “whiff of sexism” monologues concern a serious topic. As usual, the Times is sidling up to it in the dumbest possible way.They found a 21-year-old voter who didn’t remember the way the allegedly angry male candidate got hammered for his perceived anger when she was only 6. Her complaint let Times reporters run with their preferred “story.” Eventually, you pretty much knew that they would succumb to this:GLUECK AND KAPLAN: Mr. Biden’s attacks, in effect if not intent, include descriptions that some voters and researchers on women and politics see as sexist tropes about female politicians: portraying them as overbearing, schoolmarmish or different from the norm.Biden’s “attacks” have that effect if not that intent! Meanwhile, did Biden call Warren a schoolmarm?Actually no, that was the Times, employing the power of paraphrase—the power to put words the target didn’t say into the target’s mouth. This practice gives a report more color, and it sticks in the reader’s head.In upper-end press corps circles, it’s suddenly cool to pretend to care about this topic. The Times is going to dumb the topic down in the laziest possible way.
Giuliani Was Close to a Podcast Deal With the News Outlet That Spread His Ukraine Conspiracies
by by Mike Spies, Jake Pearson and J. David McSwane on November 12, 2019 at 18:16
FLINT AND FICTITION: New York Times to Flint: Drop dead!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 12, 2019 at 14:33
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2019Paper discards city’s children: You’re right! It’s pointless to criticize the New York Times for this kind of “reporting.”Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly—and the life-forms at the New York Times are hard-wired to produce this kind of “reporting.” According to future experts with whom we consult, this kind of reporting will continue through the first few days of the global conflagration they refer to as Mister Trump’s War.We refer to the pseudo-report which sat top the Times front page last Thursday morning. The hysteria was general within that report. In print editions, its four-column headline said this:A Legacy of Poisoned Water: ‘Damaged Kids’ Fill Flint’s SchoolsFlint, of course, is the city in Michigan which experienced a widely-publicized major water problem starting in 2015. That headline seemed to describe the outcome of this breakdown—and it seemed to describe a major disaster.Do “damaged kids” now fill Flint’s schools? And why do those two key words appear inside quotations marks?We’ll answer your second question below. For now, let’s describe the large photograph which ran across four columns at the top of the Times’ front page, right above that four-column headline.Readers, prepare for a good horror story! The kind of story we very much love, especially at this time of year!The photograph atop the front page showed an adult woman standing arm in arm with a boy who seemed to be ten years old. The caption ran across four columns. The photo’s caption said this:Nakiya Wakes’s son, Jaylon, has had 30 suspensions. “Soon, you’re going to have to suspend the whole school system,” she said. They’re going to have to suspend the whole school system! Whatever has happened inside Flint’s schools, it sounds like it was extremely dramatic—extremely dramatic, amazingly so, and very, very bad.The front-page report, by Erica Green, started, as all such reports apparently must, with an anecdotal account of one particular problem. Quoting a fuller statement by Wakes, Green described the problems Wakes’s son has faced in school in the past few years. That said, one struggling child isn’t a whole school system! Meanwhile, Green’s lengthy report would do very little to let readers know what’s actually happening across the sweep of the Flint public schools.Green’s report is wonderfully scary, but as an attempt at analysis, it’s spectacularly incompetent. That said, the report was based on a second wonderfully scary quotation—a scary quotation which was sampled in the headline we’ve already posted.The quotation appeared in paragraph 6 of Green’s lengthy report. It’s very, very, very hard to produce “journalism” which is worse than this: GREEN (11/7/19): “We have a school district where all that’s left are damaged kids who are being exposed to other damaged kids, and it’s causing more damage,” said Stephanie Pascal, who has taught in Flint for 23 years. Yes, that’s what we read that morning in our hard-copy New York Times. We read an astounding quotation from a veteran teacher in the Flint public schools—and this is what she said: We have a school district where all that’s left are damaged kids who are being exposed to other damaged kids!What a remarkable thing to say! But also, for present purposes, what a heinous statement to put into print!The veteran teacher the Times chose to quote may be the world’s finest person. That said, the Times committed a heinous act when it put that statement in print.Surely, everybody understands what will happen because of the Times’ exciting decision. That sweeping, irresponsible statement will be repeated again and again, on every playground in Flint.It will be repeated in every home. It will be repeated until every child in the city of Flint had heard that he or she is damaged goods—damaged goods who’s just producing more damage.Every 10-year-old child is going to hear that. So is every parent.To the extent that the statement can even be parsed, there is nothing in Green’s report which suggests, in any way, that this sweeping statement is actually accurate. But every child who lives in Flint is going to hear it.Who knows? Perhaps that teacher was having a very bad day when she delivered that deeply destructive statement. Perhaps she doesn’t understand the extent of the harm such sweeping statements can cause when they’re quoted by a nation’s most famous newspaper and sent out into the ether.That said, what can you say for the New York Times—for the paper which decided to publish that statement? For the paper which decided to insert that statement into a four-column front-page headline, atop a report which should have been written in crayon, given the level of analytical skill it put on display?Are Flint’s schools filled with “damaged kids?” Transitioning away from the type of language more suitable to tales of goblins and ghosts, how much harm may have been caused by the extensive water problem which took place in Flint?How much damage took place among the city’s children? You can search all through the Times report to find a serious attempt to answer that question. You see, that would require competent analysis, and at the Times they have a saying:Work like that is hard!How much actual harm may have been done to the children of Flint? In the next few days, we’ll try to offer a few of the basic facts which might help a serious person try to answer that question.We’ll be citing past work by Kevin Drum, starting with this cover report in Mother Jones about the effects of exposure to lead. That report appeared in January 2013, long before the problem in Flint got started. But at his blog for Mother Jones, Drum has offered many posts about the problems in Flint. We’ll link to some of those posts too.To what extent have Flint’s kids been harmed? Given the way our upper-end press corps tends to function, the information published by Drum might come as a bit of a surprise. But at the eternally hapless times, an unnamed editor knew what to do. He or she gave us the kind of scary story we very much seem to enjoy, especially at this time of the year.The Times used a couple of scary quotes to move the excitement along. In the process, Times readers received the greatest gift—we were gifted with the ability to feel that we actually care. In the process, we were deceived, as is the lot of this newspaper’s readers. On the brighter side, we were almost able to feel that it’s still 1619! At the present unsettled time, this is a great tribal joy.Meanwhile, a statement is being widely repeated by the children of Flint. We’re damaged goods, those children are saying.Times to Flint children: Drop dead!Tomorrow: Just amazingly dumb, as anybody can see
Sanctions Against North Korea Hurt Women
by Marie O’Reilly on November 12, 2019 at 11:50
“Maximum pressure” sanctions have failed to change policies in Pyongyang, and have had grave human costs.
Can Google’s Soul Be Saved?
by Michelle Chen on November 12, 2019 at 10:40
Rank-and-file Silicon Valley tech workers are using their leverage to push companies toward more ethical business models, or at least away from destroying the environment and undermining human rights.
The Way America Votes Is Broken. In One Rural County, a Nonprofit Showed a Way Forward.
by by Jessica Huseman on November 12, 2019 at 10:00
“They Want to Be Treated Like Men and Women, Not as a Subhuman”
by by ProPublica on November 11, 2019 at 20:26
by ProPublica As a community organizer with the criminal justice advocacy organization Silicon Valley De-Bug, Jose Valle helps incarcerated people and their families navigate the justice system. This includes both people in county jails, designed to briefly hold inmates awaiting trial or serving short terms, and in prisons that house people convicted of felonies and sentenced to years behind bars. In recent years, Valle has been hearing a surprising refrain from people being held in California’s Santa Clara County jails. “All the time we hear these guys telling us, ‘I can’t wait to go to prison,’” he said at a recent event held by ProPublica, The Sacramento Bee and the Stanford Criminal Justice Center at Stanford Law School. “I don’t think that’s what realignment was about.” “Realignment” is a policy passed by California lawmakers in 2011 to address overcrowding in the state’s prisons, under which people newly convicted of nonviolent, non-serious offenses are ordered to serve their sentences in county jails instead of state prisons. A ProPublica and McClatchy investigation found that while the prison population has declined, jails have often failed to keep inmates safe. Outdated facilities are ill-equipped to accommodate people serving long sentences, do not have enough staff and lack mental health resources. The problems are compounded by virtually nonexistent oversight. As a result, since 2011, homicides among incarcerated individuals have risen 46% in California’s county jails compared to the seven years before realignment, the ProPublica and Sacramento Bee analysis found. “Now you have individuals that are asking for more — and not because they’re spoiled or they want luxuries,” Valle said. “They’re asking for more basic human rights behind walls that are, believe it or not, sometimes a little better [in prison]. … They want to be treated like men and women, not as a subhuman.” Valle joined San Francisco Sheriff Vicki Hennessy and Sacramento Bee reporter Jason Pohl on a panel last week moderated by Stanford Criminal Justice Center executive director Deborah Mukamal. In an introductory summary, ProPublica reporter Ryan Gabrielson explained that problems with California county jails include decrepit facilities that make it very difficult to monitor what’s going on inside cells, homicides carried out without any systems in place to impede them, people at risk for suicide being held in “safety cells” that consist of four walls and a grate in the floor for bodily fluids, and no mental health care. While California officials created an agency to oversee the jails and revise standards, it has no authority to mandate changes or improve conditions. If the body, called the Board of State and Community Corrections, finds violations at a county jail, the county gets to decide whether to address the issues. “It almost reads more like an invitation than a mandate,” Pohl said. “And that’s coming from the oversight board, which we thought was pretty surprising.” San Francisco’s county jails, overseen by Hennessy, are not plagued by the same problems as many other jails. Her reforms include pretrial release for people who are accused but not yet convicted to stabilize the jail population, as well as working closely with the Department of Public Health to maintain the community’s standards of both physical and mental health. “The other thing is, in San Francisco, our people are in there mingling with people in jail,” Hennessy said. “They’re not up above in a capsule, so there’s a lot of contact.” While Hennessy declined to speak for other sheriffs, she said she would welcome a BSCC that had more authority, if lawmakers decided to pursue stronger state oversight. “I’d rather have a state organization do it in a way that’s thoughtful, that holds us to accountable standards, and then gives us the opportunity to correct those standards if we need to.” (While we invited several state lawmakers to join the discussion, they all declined.) “We come from this old thinking where, because you did something wrong, you’ve got to pay for it and have the worst experience possible,” Valle said. “And, somehow, because you have the worst experience possible, you’re going to have an epiphany and change. That might happen for some people, but the numbers obviously don’t add up to that.” Valle, however, sees an opportunity for change. “This is a great time period to say: ‘You know what, maybe we shouldn’t put people in the hole. Maybe we can look at incarceration differently. Maybe there’s a different way.’” Watch the Full Discussion
Healing the Desert Wounds that Trump’s Wall Is Opening
by Gary Paul Nabhan on November 11, 2019 at 16:52
On the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, here in the U.S. we gather to mourn the construction of a new border wall, and all the human and animal rights it threatens.
Candidate’s mouth washed out with soap!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 11, 2019 at 15:41
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2019Paraphrase conquers again: We’re treating today as a holiday, in part because it is.Tomorrow, we’ll consider this New York Times campaign report. One of our takeaways goes like this:Paraphrase conquers again!
STARTING TOMORROW: Flint and fictition!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 11, 2019 at 15:33
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2019All the world’s a novel: “All the world’s a stage,” William Shakespeare famously said, “And all the men and women merely players.”At the 2003 Oscars, Michael Moore went the bard one better. “We live in fictitious times,” the documentary filmmaker said.Moore was accepting the “best documentary” prize for his 2002 film, Bowling for Columbine. It was generally believed that he was referring to the presidency of George W. Bush. This interpretation was based on his fuller remarks:MOORE (3/23/03): I’ve invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us. They are here because they are in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction. We like nonfiction, and we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it’s the fictition of duct tape or the fictitious [sic] of orange alerts, we are against this war, Mr. Bush!Moore continued briefly from there.We’ve been told that Shakespeare has recently amended his famous remarks. We’ve heard it said that he’s recently been saying this:All our journalism’s a novel. And all the men and women who form it are merely typists of same.If Shakespeare has been saying that, he’s guilty of mild overstatement. But it isn’t hard to see where he may be getting these new ideas.As we’ve noted in recent weeks, press coverage of the “Stanford rape case” has been heavily novelized. Basic facts and basic logic have been rearranged and sanded down to produce a simplified version of events—to produce a simplified story which comes fairly close to the status of fable, or even fairy tale.That said, our journalism has worked this way for a very long time now. Or do you really believe that Candidate Gore “had a problem with the truth” in 1999 and 2000—a problem which emerged in all the weird statements journalists put in the candidate’s mouth?Is Shakespeare’s reported rethinking on target? Is it true that the people we think of as journalists are mainly involved in constructing novelized versions of our most important affairs?Starting tomorrow, we’ll apply this revolutionary theory to this front-page report from last Thursday’s New York Times. The report took us back to the water crisis which occurred in Flint, Michigan starting in 2014.We thought the Times showed very poor judgment with that front-page report—and a major disinterest in facts. Meanwhile, Michael Moore grew up in Flint! Is all the world a novel?We live in fictitious times, Moore said. Does that hold true, even now, as the Times says we’ll always have Flint?
on November 11, 2019 at 12:52
Evo Morales didn’t resign as the president of Bolivia. No one resigns with a gun to their head.
Democrats think the darnedest things!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 9, 2019 at 16:44
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2019Four items from that Times survey: What the heck do Trump voters think? When the occasional journalist decides to ask, we liberals tend to get mad. We tend to tell these journalists to stop.As part of a recent survey in the six states Trump won by the narrowest margins, the New York Times took a different approach. The Times asked Democratic voters in those states to state their view about several topics. We thought the answers those Dem voters gave were very much worth considering.In this report from yesterday’s Times, Nate Cohn reports what those Democratic voters said they think about a series of topics. He also reported the views of registered voters who lean Democratic but didn’t vote in 2016. By staying home in 2016, these Dem-leaners helped Trump win.What do Democratic voters in those swing states think? We’ll consider four different topics:So-called political correctness: In what struck us as a startling rate of response, 61 percent of Democratic voters said they agree with this statement: “Political correctness has gone too far.”Additionally, 68 percent of Democratic leaners who didn’t vote stated the same view.What do these people have in mind when they state this view? We can’t answer that question. But claims about “political correctness” largely originated, decades ago, as a fusillade from the right. When 61 percent of Democrats who voted for Clinton express that view about “political correctness,” we can only imagine how many votes may have been lost among others who hold such views.Media condescension: According to Cohn, 28 percent of Democratic voters said they think “the media looks down on people like them.” A walloping 39 percent of Dem-leaners who didn’t vote stated the same view.We don’t know what these people would say if they were asked to explain this view. For ourselves, we wouldn’t be inclined to respond to such a broad question.Racial discrimination: Citizens, get ready to howl! According to Cohn, 24 percent of Democrats who voted for Clinton in these states believe that “discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks.” 33 percent of Dem-leaning non-voters stated the same view.We don’t know what these people would say if asked to explain this view. But over here in our liberal tribe, we like to associate this view with the snarling racists widely found in the other tribe. For whatever reason, a large contingent of people who voted for Clinton say that they hold the same view.Likable hopefuls: The fourth question is one of those survey questions which seem to have been designed to separate us by tribe. On its face, the question is worded in such a convoluted way that you’d think it would mainly serve to separate thoughtful people like Us from horrible people like Them.In this case, that didn’t quite happen. According to Cohn, 25 percent of Democrats who voted for Clinton said they agree with this statement: “Sometimes, it feels like most women who run for President just aren’t that likable.” 37 percent of Democratic non-voters agreed.The statement these people were asked to assess includes a remarkable string of qualifiers. In theory, though, well-trained people will know that they shouldn’t agree with the statement. The Others would blunder ahead.In this case, one-fourth of Democrats who voted for Clinton said they agreed with the statement. Cohn doesn’t tell us how many Republican voters agreed with the statement, and no one was asked to respond to a similar question about candidates who are men.So how about it? What do we the Democrats think? In our view, the size of the response about “political correctness” is extremely striking. But all these matters should be examined further, unless our progressive thought leaders just don’t care what our “Joe and Jane Lunchbuckets” think.By the way, how many black and female Democrats agreed with the statements about discrimination and likability? It’s our impression that pollsters generally don’t publish such data.We Democrats think the darnedest things. But so do we people in general!Concerning some basic confusion: As we read Cohn’s report, we found its basic lack of clarity maddening. We’re especially thinking of the way he jumbled two separate questions together:How would Candidate Clinton have fared with a larger Democratic turnout? Versus, How would Candidate Clinton have fared with a larger overall turnout?Many people have said that Clinton failed to inspire a large turnout among Democratic constituencies. It seemed to us that Cohn created a lot of confusion when he seemed to run those two questions together.We struggled to make out what he was saying. Valuable minutes ticked away as we tried to figure things out!
Timothy Egan speaks to Trump voter!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 8, 2019 at 21:40
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2019In this case, it’s his sister: Why do various people vote for Donald J. Trump? Since 63 million people did, we’ll assume there are different reasons.The New York Times’ Timothy Egan has spoken to one such voter—his sister. His account of his sister’s outlook is almost surely worth thinking about. It may even align, to some minor extent, with our own report from this morning.That said, will our admittedly superior tribe ever get over itself and its greatness? Major top credentialed experts—and yes, they’re speaking to us from the future—inform us that the chances of that aren’t necessarily good.Addendum: An important point from Egan’s column:”It’s worth remembering that nearly two-thirds of all American adults do not have a four-year college degree.”Does that make these people “less?” Compare and contrast. Continue to carry the one.
DEATH BY NOVEL: These are a few of our favorite texts!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 8, 2019 at 17:20
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2019The worst we’ve ever seen: What do Joe and Jane Lunchbucket think? You know? The “average” people?Once in a while, the nation’s elites stop to ponder such questions. And sure enough! In this morning’s New York Times, an intriguing new fact has appeared.This intriguing fact appears in a somewhat confusing report by Nate Cohn. His report emerges from the Times’ recent survey of voters in seven swing states. We’ll plan to discuss Cohn’s fuller effort tomorrow. For today, we’ll restrict ourselves to this one finding:Among Democratic voters surveyed in those six of those states, 61 percent said they believe that “political correctness has gone too far.”Remember—those people are Democrats, and they’re people who voted. Even so, 61 percent agreed with the statement in question. Beyond that, 68 percent of nonvoters who lean Democratic stated the same view.What do these Biff Lunchpail types mean when they state such a view? We can’t necessarily answer your question. If would be interesting to see a selection of these run-of-the-mill people asked.Having said that, full disclosure! For ourselves, we wouldn’t have answered that question. We would have taken a pass.Dating back at least two decades, we’ve never engaged with the language of “political correctness.” We’ve always regarded that term as essentially propagandistic—as a term destined, or perhaps designed, to shed much more heat than light.We wouldn’t have affirmed that statement ourselves. But a wide swath of “Jill Average” types do—and they’re allowed to vote!What do Sluggo and Daisy Mae think they mean by that statement? We’ll now take a wild guess. Some may be thinking of cases like the so-called “Stanford rape case,” in which, in terms of California law, no rape ever occurred. (We can of course be thankful for that.)More precisely, some may be thinking of the way this case, and others like it, have been described in the upper-end press and have been handled on college campuses. This brings us back to Chanel Miller’s well-received new book, about which we’ll make a confession:Let’s be candid! A unanimous jury found that Miller was the victim of a sexual assault. As we’ve noted, their verdict seemed to work on a rather slender thread of logic. But no one wants to heap abuse on a young person whose case has been so adjudged, and who seems to have had a very tough time recovering from the experience and its aftermath.Sensible people will naturally want to cut such a person some slack. Having said that, we now make that confession:If we weren’t grading on such a curve, we’d have to say that Miller’s text is, on balance, one of the worst we’ve ever encountered.Don’t get us wrong—we love poorly-reasoned texts! We love them for the light they shed on the human condition. In Annie Hall, Alvy Singer’s books were the ones which all had “death” in the title. Our own favorite books would be the ones which, in the end, make no apparent sense.More widely, this would be true of our favorite texts. To wit:Fondly, we think of Nova’s attempt to explain Einstein’s seminal claim that “there is no absolute time.” But then, we think of Einstein’s attempt to explain the same point in his own “Einstein made easy” book, a project at which even the great Einstein failed.We think of Professor Goldstein’s attempt, a hundred years after the fact, to justify Lord Russell’s eternally comical views concerning “the set of all sets not members of themselves,” the foundation of Russell’s Paradox. This was part of Goldstein’s “Godel made easy” book, a project at which she failed. Descending to a less lofty realm, we think of Maureen Dowd’s last column before Election Day 2000, the column which opened with Candidate Gore exploring his bald spot in the mirror while singing “I Feel Pretty.”(Full disclosure: Children are dead all over Iraq because of columns like that!)We think of Chris Matthews trashing Hillary Clinton, calling her Evita Peron and Nurse Ratched, after she announced her run for the Senate from New York. We think of Matthews’ vast love for Gennifer Flowers and Kathleen Willey, so widely expressed on the TV machine. We think of the time when Matthews and Willey came this close to getting a journalist killed, thanks to a flatly false statement which brought a disordered person with a gun to the journalist’s home.We think of Matthews’ crazy faux attempts to explain the Buddhist temple, a clear forerunner of three thousand such episodes from President Donald J. Trump. We think of the appalling columns in which Dowd slimed Howard Dean’s physician wife, who wasn’t sufficiently coiffed.We think of Amy Chozick’s lengthy pseudo-discussion of the possibility that Candidate Obama was too skinny to get elected president. We think of Rachel Maddow’s heroic attempt to pretend she didn’t know why she’d been challenged on Meet the Press concerning the gender wage gap.So many favorite texts, so little time! So many deaths around the world because of the ways our journalists, being human, tend to play such games!In the end, we include every “Einstein made easy” book ever attempted, from Einstein’s own through the later attempts by Stephen Hawking and Brian Greene. And today, we add Chanel Miller’s book to the list of those favorite texts.It’s natural to cut Miller some slack as an adjudicated victim of a sexual assault. In the end, though, her book is so god-awful bad judged as a text that attention must be paid, lest the truth be dismissed.At the New York Times and at The New Yorker, reporters and editors will ignore the comically awful elements found on so many pages of Miller’s lengthy book. In an ultimate bit of amusement, they’ll even do what The New Yorker did in this passage:ST. FELIX (10/11/19): In 2015, Miller was a recent college graduate, working at a startup and living at home with her parents in the Bay Area. We meet her artful mother, a writer who wins awards for works that she publishes in China; her younger sister, Tiffany, who Miller feels a bracing need to protect; her gentle father, who cooks a meal of broccoli and quinoa for Tiffany, Miller, and Tiffany’s friend Julia, on January 17th, 2015, the night they decided to attend a party at the fraternity Kappa Alpha at Stanford. “I, to this day, believe none of what I did that evening is important, a handful of disposable memories. But these events will be relentlessly raked over, again and again and again,” Miller writes. Too funny! After meeting her artful mother, her younger sister and her caring father, we’re told that Miller believes that nothing she did that night is important.Since she can’t remember what she did that night, it’s hard to be entirely sure how she draws this conclusion. But this is the comical logic with which we’re often asked to live in this best of all possible press corps—and since The New Yorker eliminates all reference to any drinking that night at all, its readers will have no idea what type of conduct Miller is disavowing.(For herself, Miller says, again and again, that she was drunk that night. She refers to herself as having been “drunk” four different times in just her first five pages. Coming along behind her, The New Yorker cleaned that up.)What does any of this have to do with the views of the Less-Than-Ivy crowd concerning “political correctness?” Just this:As similar cases have emerged from college campuses, the occasional observer—one thinks of Emily Yoffe when she was still at Slate—has drawn one possible lesson: young people should perhaps avoid getting massively drunk in certain types of social settings.People should perhaps avoid getting blackout drunk. People should perhaps avoid getting so drunk that they end us passing out. People should perhaps avoid getting so drunk in public settings that they would register at more than three times the legal limit.As advice, this is blindingly obvious. But when people like Yoffe have breathed any such word, they have been assailed for slut-shaming and victim-blaming. Seeking the logic of fairy tale, our tiny minds tend to function this way. By the time these cases reach The New Yorker, no drinking occurred at all!The New Yorker’s account of Miller’s book is comically thus wonderfully awful in various ways. When we stop grading on the curve, Miller’s book is wonderfully awful too, viewed simply as a text.We’d list Einstein’s “Einstein made easy” book as one of our favorite failed texts. Having wrestled with it for the past four weeks, we’d put Miller’s remarkably writerly book on the shelf next to his.One sad note. The Lunchbucket crowd may not understand the lofty way we highly educated elites react to such texts, and to other such matters. Our insights tend to fly over the heads of these average types. This makes them more likely to vote for Donald J. Trump, and perhaps for his straight-talking son after that.On page after page after page after page, this young person’s book is deliciously flawed, unless we review on the curve. And in truth, our tribe is going to react on the curve to many things, again and again and again.The bulk of our crowd even seems to think that this impulse has gone too far. Even in some tiny way, could it be that they aren’t wholly wrong?
Why the Bronx Burned
by Mrill Ingram on November 8, 2019 at 12:22
In “Decade of Fire,”a South Bronx native puts an end to the narrative that blames the victims of ten years of urban conflagrations.
Jeff Sessions for Senate!
by Mark Fiore on November 8, 2019 at 09:00
This man should not be allowed to walk the streets, let alone run for Senate.
Pacific Gas & Electric on the Brink
by Harvey Wasserman on November 8, 2019 at 00:00
The campaign by local governments to break up and take over the utility could mark a turning point in the history of American energy.
New York Times drops bomb on Flint!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 7, 2019 at 19:01
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2019″Nothing but damaged kids left:” We can only hope that Kevin Drum will spend some time on this New York Times front-page report.That said, has there ever been such an unfortunate muddle? Early in this massive report, are we being told that the Flint water crisis has produced a lot of new disabilities among the children of Flint? Or are we being told that it’s all pretty much an illusion?GREEN (11/7/19): Five years after Michigan switched Flint’s water supply to the contaminated Flint River from Lake Huron, the city’s lead crisis has migrated from its homes to its schools, where neurological and behavioral problems—real or feared—among students are threatening to overwhelm the education system.The contamination of this long-struggling city’s water exposed nearly 30,000 schoolchildren to a neurotoxin known to have detrimental effects on children’s developing brains and nervous systems. Requests for special education or behavioral interventions began rising four years ago, when the water contamination became public, bolstering a class-action lawsuit that demanded more resources for Flint’s children.That lawsuit forced the state to establish the $3 million Neurodevelopmental Center of Excellence, which began screening students. The screenings then confirmed a range of disabilities, which have prompted still more requests for intervention.The percentage of the city’s students who qualify for special education services has nearly doubled, to 28 percent, from 15 percent the year the lead crisis began, and the city’s screening center has received more than 1,300 referrals since December 2018. The results: About 70 percent of the students evaluated have required school accommodations for issues like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as A.D.H.D.; dyslexia; or mild intellectual impairment, said Katherine Burrell, the associate director of the center.“We have a school district where all that’s left are damaged kids who are being exposed to other damaged kids, and it’s causing more damage,” said Stephanie Pascal, who has taught in Flint for 23 years.Medical experts say there is no way to prove that the lead has caused new disabilities. Pediatricians here caution against overdiagnosing children as irreparably brain damaged, if only to avoid stigmatizing an entire city. The State Department of Education, in battling the class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the New Jersey-based Education Law Center, enlisted an expert who testified that the real public health crisis was not the lead-contaminated water but the paranoia of parents, students and teachers exposed to it.But Dr. Burrell said that proving the cause of the students’ problems was not the point. Many of the problems uncovered by the lead testing could certainly have existed before.Under any circumstance, we think that quotation about all the damaged kids is heinous. In our view, the Times should never have run it.It’s especially heinous if the alleged new disabilities aren’t actually real. So how about it? Are these alleged new disabilities “real” or are they just “feared?” Are those disabilities actually new? Or are they pre-existing disabilities being turned up by extensive new testing? Is this whole thing “paranoia?”This report goes on at massive length, but it makes little attempt to address these basic questions. “Medical experts” are quoted in that one paragraph, and that’s pretty much where it’s left.For various reasons, this report strikes us as incompetent, thoughtless work. It’s tremendously winning, though, as a modern novel.Concerning Kevin Drum: Drum has done a lot of work on the effects of lead. He has reported, again and again, that the likely effects of the water in Flint were massively overstated. Also quite striking: His work on what blood lead levels were like, all over the country, when today’s adults were kids.Unfortunately, Drum kept citing basic statistics and the like as he discussed these topics. Perhaps for that reason, his work was ignored by C-minus orgs like the New York Times.
DEATH BY NOVEL: We were told to take what we need!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 7, 2019 at 17:59
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2019What we’ve been needing is fable: It’s a dangerous way to start a book. For that reason, we’ll post it again:MILLER (page vii): INTRODUCTIONThe fact that I spelled subpoena, subpeena may suggest that I am not qualified to tell this story. But all court transcripts are at the world’s disposal, all news articles online. This is not the ultimate truth, but it is mine, told to the best of my ability. If you want it through my eyes and ears, to know what it felt like inside my chest, what it’s like to hide in the bathroom during trial, this is what I provide. I give what I can, you take what you need. At the start of her well-received memoir, Chanel Miller—a talented though very young writer—laid out that dangerous plan. She was going to tell us how it felt. If we were after something more, we could look up the court transcripts and the press reports for ourselves.She was going to give what she could. We could take what we need. As it turned out, what we’ve been needing is novelized narrative, blending toward fable or fairy tale. We’ve been needing to sand away relevant facts looking for simplified stories.We’ve needed perfect heroes and heroines, along with perfect villains. For various reasons, the “Stanford rape case”—under California law, it involved no rape—became one of the most striking such cases in recent years.Stating the obvious, a vast complexity entered this case through the drunkenness which was involved. It isn’t just that our journalists don’t know what happened that night, the victim doesn’t know either!This adds complexity to the case. In service to fabulized fairy tale, that complexity has been disappeared.Alas! The victim had been blackout drunk for roughly an hour by the time the events in question occurred. She doesn’t know what she may have said and done during the course of that hour, but we liberals needed the perfect victim. And so, at upper-end sites like The New Yorker, her story is now told like this:ST. FELIX (10/11/19): Miller is a gifted storyteller who establishes her authority by stacking details, setting scenes…In 2015, Miller was a recent college graduate, working at a startup and living at home with her parents in the Bay Area. We meet her artful mother, a writer who wins awards for works that she publishes in China; her younger sister, Tiffany, who Miller feels a bracing need to protect; her gentle father, who cooks a meal of broccoli and quinoa for Tiffany, Miller, and Tiffany’s friend Julia, on January 17th, 2015, the night they decided to attend a party at the fraternity Kappa Alpha at Stanford. “I, to this day, believe none of what I did that evening is important, a handful of disposable memories. But these events will be relentlessly raked over, again and again and again,” Miller writes.In what feels like slow motion, Miller pieces together what happened to her, first at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, where she awakes to find herself sore, the backs of her hands crusted with blood. Two Swedish grad students had found Turner on top of her by a dumpster at Kappa Alpha; he fled when they yelled at him, but they detained him until police arrived. She was found, according to intake documents, with “no wallet, no I.D.” She fills out paperwork, administrative flotsam that unceremoniously informs of her new identity: “I stopped when I saw the words Rape Victim in bold at the top of the sheet.” As noted: Under terms of California law, Miller wasn’t a rape victim. But the novel is better this way.In our view, The New Yorker’s Doreen St. Felix “is a gifted storyteller” too, of the type our tribe most enjoys. We say that for this reason:When the New York Times profiled Miller’s forthcoming book, Concepcion de Leon was at least willing to say that Miller “remembers having some drinks” at the frat party in question.In fact, Miller had had so many drinks in the course of the evening in question that she was blackout drunk by roughly midnight; completely unconscious by roughly 1 AM; and was later assessed to have been slightly more than three times the legal limit. It is these facts which make the resulting events so complex, so hard to parse as both a moral and legal matter.That said, we liberals have increasingly come to need our fables neat. And so, the New York Times sanded the drunkenness all the way down. Miller had apparently had some drinks, then had somehow become unconscious, in a way we were left to speculate about.St. Felix goes that one better. There is no alcohol at all in her account of what happened that night. Comically, she quotes Miller’s defiant definitive statement—“I, to this day, believe none of what I did that evening is important”—without explaining what it is that Miller is refusing to own! In this perfectly managed account, Miller goes to the party and turns up unconscious with “drinks” playing no role at all.(For Miller’s account of “having some drinks,” see below.) For ourselves, we’d march the former president of Stanford away before we’d jail anyone else. Such august figures get very young people massively drunk, then send them off into the night. They then proceed be express vast shock when very bad outcomes (routinely) occur.We’d march that fellow off first. But the journalism surrounding this event has displayed our liberal world’s ongoing need for (intellectual) death by novel. In fairness, we’ve never seen a text as overwhelming as Miller’s vastly well-received, perhaps solipsistic book. In the vastness of its will to power, it’s hard to nail its sprawling text down. It has certainly overwhelmed us.As a text, the book is spectacularly flawed, right from that first unwise declaration on. In telling us “how it felt,” Miller vastly obscures the basic events which occurred, along with the complex logic of these complex events.Sadly, our journalists have been willing to play along. When we do this, an unusually complicated matter ends up a fairy tale.The 19-year-old male was very drunk. The 22-year-old woman was drunker. According to the jury’s logic, he was supposed to realize that she was way too drunk. With Victorian logic upon us again, we’d send Stanford’s former president off to jail, with reeducation for journalists to follow.Tomorrow: The dawn of the modern novelRemembers having some drinks: Here’s Miller’s account of “having some drinks” at the frat party, from Know My Name’s page 4:We discovered a plastic handle of vodka on the table. I cradled it like I’d discovered water in the desert. Bless me. I poured it into a cup and threw it back straight.This followed champagne and shots of whiskey at home, preceded some later stale beer. Given all the harm which ensued, we’ll admit that we find this attitude flippant.By the time The New Yorker arrived, such matters had been disappeared.
Midwest Dispatch: The Other Big Winners in the 2019 Election
by Sarah Lahm on November 7, 2019 at 11:32
Are the many successful local school funding requests a harbinger of change in 2020?
The Reality of Everyday Racism
by Kiki Monifa on November 7, 2019 at 09:00
For many black people, the most surprising thing about racism is that anyone is surprised it.
What people were told on Fox last night!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 6, 2019 at 18:57
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2019Donald Trump does the right thing: Let’s return to those opening lines from Robert Frost’s last great poem:Back out of all this now too much for us,Back in a time made simple by the lossOf detail, burned, dissolved, and broken offLike graveyard marble sculpture in the weather,There is a house that is no more a houseUpon a farm that is no more a farmAnd in a town that is no more a town.The road there, if you’ll let a guide direct youWho only has at heart your getting lost…Plainly, we’re currently living in a time which is “now too much for us”—a time which isn’t “simple” at all. Our three million local, state and federal laws are bewilderingly complex. So are our society’s three million “checks and balances.” The most basic facts—about health care spending, let’s say—are, by system-wide agreement, never reported or discussed. There are a wide array of players, foreign and domestic, in the various Trump/Rudy undertakings.Then too, we have our cable nets, which offer a wide array of contradictory accounts of the day’s leading events. Consider something we the people were told last night on Fox. The report concerned the amended testimony of Ambassador Gordon Sondland.On liberal cable, the amended testimony was treated as “explosive.” Beyond that, the amended testimony is described in this morning’s featured front-page reports in the New York Times and the Washington Post.In those precincts, the testimony was extremely significant. But people who were watching Fox received a vastly different impression at roughly 8:15 last night. Tucker Carlson was on the air. The full report went like this:CARLSON (11/5/19): Well, House Democrats released transcripts of the testimonies of two key figures in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Now, we’re not going to spend the next hour talking about this, because it’s not that interesting. We want to bring you up to date on what has happened. And so to do that, we’re joined tonight by Fox’s Gillian Turner. Gillian!TURNER: Hey, Tucker. So these two transcripts released by Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff today are really the first we’re seeing of, you know, what people who have firsthand direct knowledge of how President Trump has been conducting foreign policy towards Ukraine. And they’re pretty telling, Tucker.E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, asked about a meeting in the Oval Office with Secretary Perry and Kurt Volker, says President Trump repeatedly directed him to talk to Rudy Giuliani, saying, “He wasn’t even specific about what he wanted us to talk to Giuliani about. He just kept saying: Talk to Rudy. Talk to Rudy.”But he also says he called President Trump back in September and asked him point blank, What do you want from Ukraine? To which President Trump answered, “I want no quid pro quo. I want Zelensky to do the right thing.”Now, another key exchange from Ukraine Envoy Kurt Volker’s testimony highlights these major policy disagreements between President Trump and the diplomatic corps over U.S. military involvement in foreign countries.Volker was asked about moves to beef up Ukraine’s military defenses against Russia while he was serving as Special Envoy. The question goes, “How do you reconcile that with the decision to freeze military assistance to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars to Ukraine? Why did that not strike you as highly problematic to U.S. national security or to our national security interest?”To which Volker answers, “It did strike me as problematic and therefore I acted immediately to argue that this has to be reversed and we have to keep the assistance going.”Tucker, the next big ticket item everybody here on Capitol Hill is now waiting for is testimony from John Bolton that’s slated for Thursday. So far, his attorney has not said he is going to be a no show, so there is a little bit of hope that he is going to appear here today.But if the track record so far this week is anything to go by, we’re getting a lot of crickets over here on Capitol Hill. That was the full report. On MSNBC, the new transcripts were explosive. But for people watching Fox, there were “a lot of crickets over here on Capitol Hill.”Sundland said Trump had done the right thing. Volker said that he himself had behaved the same way. That was the full report.It’s impossible to run a modern society when news and information are dispensed in such ways. The most remarkable fact of all may be this:As a general matter, big news orgs like the New York Times don’t report, or critique, the various things which get said at orgs like Fox. When millions of people are given reports like the one we’ve posted above, that isn’t regarded as news.Early in this century, we repeatedly said that crazy claims by Rush and Sean should be reported as news. When millions of people are misinformed in significant ways, that needs to be treated as news.According to the Atlantic’s Jezelle Lanie, Frost’s poem depicts an enormous grief about the way “humans’ carefully built structures of order and meaning must give way to the indifferent natural laws of death, erosion, and decay.”The walls of our failing society have been crashing into the sea for decades now. A modern society simply can’t function in the face of such stressors as these.
DEATH BY NOVEL: In truth, the text is profoundly flawed!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 6, 2019 at 16:54
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2019Let us count (some of) the ways: We should have just said it from the start—judged by any normal standard, the text in question, however well written, is a major hot mess.For the record, the text to which we refer is the new memoir about an act which a jury unanimously found to have been a sexual assault. It’s natural to seek to give deference to the author of such a memoir—to the victim of that assault. It’s natural to do that. But in the end, this keeps us from seeing the problem with that person’s text. Much more significantly, it keeps us from marveling at the way this text has been reviewed by our upper-end news organs.What’s wrong with Chanel Miller’s text? Let’s us count a few of the major ways this text, if judged by normal standards, would qualify as a startling fail:She doesn’t know what happened: The problem starts with a basic fact—a basic fact which Miller never begins to acknowledge: Because she was, by her own account, “blackout drunk” on the evening in question, Miller doesn’t actually know what happened on that unfortunate night.Brock Turner says that Miller agreed to leave the frat party with him. He says they agreed to go to his dorm room, each of them very drunk. He says she consented to sexual conduct once they got outside. He says that he, being drunk himself, didn’t realize that she was too drunk to give consent.We have no way of knowing if those statements are true. But Miller, who was blackout drunk, also doesn’t know what she said and did, and she never begins to come to terms with this basic fact. Using her obvious talent as a writer, she constantly advances the impression that she didn’t do and say the things described by Turner. In fact, she doesn’t know if his statements are false. She simply keeps suggesting they are, often in ways which are remarkably fraught.She respects no other viewpoints: Has any author ever shown so little ability to respect the plausible viewpoints of others? Throughout the book, Miller directs fury and contempt at everyone who doesn’t instantly voice agreement with her viewpoint of the moment.She assails the (bald) male judge, whose sentence was too lenient. She assails the (female) probation officer who recommended the sentence the bald male judge imposed.(She also misparaphrases this female probation officer in an invidious manner. We know this because we took Miller’s advice and read the actual probation report, comparing it to the baldly unbalanced account offered in Miller’s book.)She assails the defense attorney when he engages in the most obvious types of courtroom behavior during Turner’s trial. She confronts us with images of her own victimization when these obvious bits of behavior occur. (Examples below.)She ridicules the academic who appears as an expert witness on blackout drunkenness. She assails the character witnesses who testify on Turner’s behalf during the sentencing hearing. She assails Turner’s family members, angrily denouncing his father when he doesn’t apologize to her on behalf of his son during this hearing.She assails the Washington Post, citing an article whose contents she flagrantly misrepresents. She assails the Stanford rep who offers her $150,000 to pay for her therapy and for the therapy of her sister (!). She gives this rep a mocking nickname, even after her family’s Stanford professor friend tells her the rep in sincere.Regarding Turner’s family and friends, she shows no sign of understanding an obvious fact—they may believe Turner’s account of what occurred that night, an account she herself is in no position to contradict.They may believe him when he says that Miller agreed to go to his room and consented to sexual activity when they got outdoors. They may believe him when he says he didn’t realize that she was impaired.We don’t know if his claims are true, but Miller doesn’t know either. But she’s never able to put herself in the place of these others, to imagine what they might understandably think and feel.Advertisements for self: Miller’s book starts with a lengthy advertisement for self. It’s presented as a chronicle of her alleged shyness, but it also positions her as the world’s most thoughtful person.These advertisements continue throughout the book. Speaking about her “baby sister,” she offers this at one point:”One time she became ill on a plane, lurching forward, and I held out my hands to catch her vomit before it could hit her lap.” Who knows—that could even be true! Other examples are offered.Starting in her Introduction, these self-descriptions sometimes take the form of noble claims that she’s only trying to help Brock—that she doesn’t want him or the judge or anyone else getting hurt. These claims are hard to reconcile with the overt hostility aimed at all comers throughout the course of the book.We could go on and on with this recitation. Miller’s flippant attitude about her own drunkenness is often striking, but she never accepts a fairly obvious supposition—except for her own massive drunkenness that night, there is no reason to think that any serious misconduct ever would have occurred.It isn’t wise to get so drunk that you first become “blackout drunk,” then lapse into unconsciouness. This is a blindingly obvious fact, but Miller is never willing to acknowledge even that.Then again, neither have the increasingly ridiculous voices of our own liberal world. As the complications of our world has increasingly become “this now too much for us,” we have increasingly turned to the realm of the novel, the fable, the fairy tale to let us “be whole again beyond confusion.”We simply discard the unwanted facts which make our experiences complex. We end up with a bald male judge who is outrageously sexist. In most cases, we disappear the two female probation officers whose recommendation he followed.This is the way our tiny minds work. It’s known as (intellectual) death by novel. It’s being practiced by our tribe and by our increasingly hapless upper-class news organs.ALSO THIS—Almost burned at the stake: Again and again and again and again, Miller is surprised by the way our legal system works. In one striking example, she writhes in pain as Turner’s defense attorney and the judge engage in what seems to be the most obvious courtroom conduct.In this sequence (see pages 165 and 166), Miller describes three incidents in which her statements on the witness stand are struck down as hearsay. The objections by the defense attorney seem completely obvious, as do the judge’s rulings. That said, Miller betrays no understanding of this fact. Instead, she paints herself, in overwrought ways, as a victim of physical violence as these rather obvious objections are sustained. In the first instance, she writes that she was “struck silent” by the judge’s ruling. After the defense attorney’s third objection, she says “the interruptions felt like being hit.” In her somewhat peculiar Introduction, Miller tells us that she will only be telling us how various incidents felt. This is her account of how it felt after the second of these rulings:MILLER (page 165): Defense: Objection. Move to strike. Hearsay.I was suddenly aware of the defense’s palm wrapped firmly across the top of my head, holding me underwater, saying, Don’t you come up again.That may be the way “it felt.” But as an account of what really occurred, that can only be called a strikingly subjective fail.It may not be surprising that an assault victim would write a book like this. But our major news orgs have cheered her on, as we’ll note tomorrow with reference to a passage from The New Yorker.Their conduct follows a decades-long pattern. Anthropologists, in the future, are calling this death by fable.
Don’t Cry for Me Manila: The Queen of Malacañang Palace
by Ed Rampell on November 6, 2019 at 10:00
In “The Kingmaker,” director Lauren Greenfield takes aim at Imelda Marcos and the family that ran one of the world’s most repressive dictatorships.
Why Trump Is in Worse Shape than Nixon on Impeachment
by Jud Lounsbury on November 6, 2019 at 01:15
It’s not really fair to Nixon to even make the comparison.
Leonhardt writes a peculiar column!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 5, 2019 at 19:28
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2019Upper-end journos at work: Yesterday, David Leonhardt wrote an unusual column. For starters, the column was unusual because, at least on line, it featured a version of the data shown below. As we’ve noted again and again, that’s simply never done:Health care spending per person, 2018United States: $10,586Germany: $5986Canada: $4974France: $4965Japan: $4766United Kingdom: $4070We draw those remarkable numbers from the OECD site to which Leonhardt links. To see Leonhardt’s less relevant version of the data, involving several less relevant smaller nations, you can just click here.For the record, those data didn’t appear in the hard-copy Times at all—but then, such numbers never do. The fact that those numbers appear on line makes Leonhardt’s column very unusual.That’s one thing which made Leonhardt’s column unusual. Those crazy numbers explain why this country has so much trouble creating a viable health care system.But those numbers about our gigantic health care spending are almost never shown to us the people. For the record, Leonhardt blows past them very quickly as his column proceeds.What made Leonhardt’s column downright peculiar? In our view, it was this paragraph, near the end of his piece:LEONHARDT (11/4/19): It’s important to remember that Medicare for All almost certainly is not happening in 2021 even under a President Warren. It faces too much opposition from congressional Democrats—unlike many of her other ambitious plans, on climate, taxes, education and more.Leonhardt spends his entire column evaluating Warren’s health care proposal. He then says this:It’s “important to remember” that Warren’s proposal isn’t going to pass!Let’s be fair! Leonhardt only says that Warren’s proposal won’t pass in 2021. He goes on to suggest the possibility that the proposal could pass into law at some later date. But if Warren’s proposal won’t pass in 2021 because congressional Democrats oppose it, what are the chances, in Leonhardt’s estimation, that it ever could pass at all? We can’t have health care in this country because of that unexplained massive over-spending. Despite this fact, the data about that crazy spending almost never appear—and when they appeared yesterday, they only appeared on line, and the author quickly blew past them.Meanwhile, Leonhardt spent his entire column evaluating Warren’s proposal. Only at the end did he tell us that the proposal can’t pass.Does any of this seem to make any sense? Our journalistic elites have been working this way for the past many years.”Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.” We believe Robert Frost said that!
DEATH BY NOVEL: All this now too much for us…
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 5, 2019 at 18:38
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2019…directs us to dumbness by fable: We’ve never really understood Robert Frost’s Directive.Written in 1947, it’s sometimes described as Frost’s last great poem. That said, it starts as shown below. If we imagine Frost as our guide, we’ll admit that he has us lost by the time he gets to those very large knees:Back out of all this now too much for us,Back in a time made simple by the lossOf detail, burned, dissolved, and broken offLike graveyard marble sculpture in the weather,There is a house that is no more a houseUpon a farm that is no more a farmAnd in a town that is no more a town.The road there, if you’ll let a guide direct youWho only has at heart your getting lost,May seem as if it should have been a quarry–Great monolithic knees the former townLong since gave up pretense of keeping covered… Say what? How can a road “seem as if it should have been a quarry?” And where do the great monolithic knees fit in? To whom do the knees belong?From that point on, we’re lost. That said, we’ve been thinking about that opening imagery quite a bit of late:”Back out of all this now too much for us?” As a society, hasn’t “all this” clearly become “too much for us” by this point in time? Hasn’t our time become too complex to navigate due to profusion of “detail?”As the poem continues, our guide continues to direct us, apparently to a place where we can “drink and be whole again beyond confusion.” We don’t know what Frost is talking about. But it sounds like a good idea!At any rate, our social confusion has been great in recent decades. Our liberal world’s reaction to this has been to start crafting novels.More precisely, we’ve been crafting simple-minded tales about race and sex which are little more complex than fables. Fables are perfectly fine in their place, but real-life events involve real people and real facts, and our tribe is increasingly sunk in the childish practice of rearranging basic facts to generate simple-minded escapes from our growing confusion.So it has been when our dumbest upper-class news orgs have tried to react to Chanel Miller’s memoir, Know My Name. Miller’s book is a very challenging text, and we don’t mean that as a compliment. Miller herself is very young. But what is our tribe’s excuse?We’ll try to complete our discussion of this topic in the next few days. If we exit the world of childish fable, it’s hard to get one’s arm around the absurdities of that widely-praised text.The Atlantic tackles Directive: Back in 2017, Jezelle Lanie tackled Directive for The Atlantic. Lanie said she loves the poem “for its depiction of a grief so enormous and incomprehensible that it can only be understood through the story the speaker tells.”In Lanie’s view, the speaker’s story is “a story of the impossibility of wholeness and the inevitability of loss—of how humans’ carefully built structures of order and meaning must give way to the indifferent natural laws of death, erosion, and decay.” We’ve been within that regime for decades now. Especially at its upper ends, our tribe hasn’t dealt with this well.
How Peter Morley Turns Pain into Purpose Fighting for Health Care
by Sari Beth Rosenberg on November 5, 2019 at 12:00
If the Trump Administration had its way, Americans would be completely unaware that the 2020 ACA enrollment period began on Friday, November 1. Enter Peter Morley.
William the Conqueror and CEO pay
by Sam Pizzigati on November 5, 2019 at 09:33
In 2018, fifty publicly traded U.S. corporations paid their CEOs more than 1,000 times what they paid their median workers.
Investigations Unearth Systemic Corruption in K-12 School Leadership—and Students and Teachers Lose Out
by Jeff Bryant on November 5, 2019 at 08:00
Much of the blame lies with an education reform movement that has exhorted schools to operate more like businesses and mimic corporate hiring processes.
We’re deferring to Jonathan Chait today!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 4, 2019 at 18:38
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2019Trump Trump Trump polls polls: It’s fairly obvious that Jonathan Chait isn’t in touch with Future Anthropologists Huddled in Caves, the disconsolate group of highly credentialed scholars who report from the no-longer-numbered years which lie on the far despondent side of the global conflagration they refer to as Mister Trump’s War.We say that because Chait still seems to think that he can convince our liberal team to cease and desist from our persistent attempts to re-elect Mister Trump. Chait is reporting discouraging news in some swing-state polling. He seems to think that information will affect the ways people behave.For ourselves, we don’t know who will win next year; we aren’t completely sure that Mister Trump will even let us have an election! But just as an objective matter, our candidates seem to be historically awful in various ways and, except for his attempts to slime Candidate Biden, Town Crier Trump hasn’t even started trying to slime them yet.Anyone could win next year, of course, assuming we have an election. But Chait is offering significant news, of the type you aren’t likely to hear on crowd-pleasing corporate cable.On reliable liberal cable, they spent two years telling us that Candidate Trump couldn’t possibly win. After that, they spent two years telling us that Mueller the God was obviously going to decimate Trump. Surely, he already had the tax records! All the former prosecutors were happy to tell us that!So it went on crowd-pleasing cable. Now they’re offering us a diet which goes something like this:Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump impeach impeach polls polls. Regarding the polls, they make poor Kornacki take off his jacket and roll up his sleeves whenever he goes to “the big board.” They do that because, not unlike the New York Times, they seem convinced that we’re all extremely dumb and that we’re subject to influence by the silliest kinds of theater.(Just a guess. It isn’t Kornacki’s fault!)Who is going to win next year if we have an election? We can’t tell you that. But we can report two things about Chait:He isn’t in touch with future scholars. He’s reporting significant facts.
DEATH BY NOVEL: The wages of fable are death!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on November 4, 2019 at 15:28
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2019We’re quoting from an old book: Even with an extra hour this weekend, we couldn’t figure out what to do with Chanel Miller’s new book, Know My Name: A Memoir.Know My Name may be the most fascinating text of the modern political era, the era which has ended up giving us Donald J. Trump. That said, let’s set Miller’s fascinating book to the side. Much more important is the inability of upper-end journalists to see that Miller’s memoir is actually a novel—is, in fact, a bit of crazoid fairy tale.There’s nothing wrong with fairy tales and the like, of course, as long as they’re kept in their place. To cite one example, Jesus spoke in parables. He offered no charts or graphs or accumulations of statistics or facts.Aesop reasoned in fables. Basic precepts can be conveyed through such forms. That said, Miller’s book concerns an actual real-life event, not an imagined race between a hare and a tortoise. It also concerns a very important social problem, one our struggling society is struggling to address.Simply put, Miller’s memoir doesn’t show a lot of respect for the importance of that deeply important problem. Much more significantly, people within professional guilds at upper-end orgs like the New York Times seem unable to notice this giant flaw with the widely-praised book Miller has offered.What’s wrong with the volume Miller has offered? As a starting point, we’d start where Miller did—with the very first paragraph in her Introduction.Miller starts with a discourse on method. Her paragraph reads like this:MILLER (page vii): INTRODUCTIONThe fact that I spelled subpoena, subpeena may suggest that I am not qualified to tell this story. But all court transcripts are at the world’s disposal, all news articles online. This is not the ultimate truth, but it is mine, told to the best of my ability. If you want it through my eyes and ears, to know what it felt like inside my chest, what it’s like to hide in the bathroom during trial, this is what I provide. I give what I can, you take what you need.Has Miller actually “told this story” “to the best of [her] ability?” We have no way of knowing, nor is that ultimately significant. We will suggest that that’s a slightly peculiar way to start a book about so important a topic. Beyond that, we’ll suggest that something odd is implied in that passage:If it’s information and facts we want, we can look up the transcripts and news reports ourselves. Miller will focus on how she felt at various times. As readers, we can “take what we need,” whatever that means, from the account she provides.For better or worse, Miller is writing about actual events which involve actual people and an array of very important subjects. Arguably, an author is possibly being a bit willful when she tells us that we can get the facts for ourselves while she tells us how she felt.Meanwhile, the weirdness of “subpoena/subpeena” is replicated all through Miller’s book. So is the instant sympathy grab in which it’s suggested that someone is saying that Miller isn’t qualified to tell this story because she once misspelled a word—in which we’re instantly asked to picture Miller “hiding in a bathroom” during Brock Turner’s trial.Miller is going to give what she can; we will take what we need! Arguably, this could be seen as a slightly flippant, notably weird approach to such an important topic.Then too, there’s the way this very young person started her Chapter 1. We posted this somewhat peculiar material two weeks ago. Today we’ll add one point:MILLER (page 1): 1.I am shy. In elementary school for a play about a safari, everyone else was an animal. I was grass. I’ve never asked a question in a large lecture hall. You can find me hidden in the corner of any exercise class. I’ll apologize if you bump into me. I’ll accept every pamphlet you hand out on the street. I’ve always rolled my shopping cart back to its place of origin. If there’s no more half-and-half on the counter at the coffee shop, I’ll drink my coffee black. If I sleep over, the blankets will look like they’ve never been touched.I’ve never thrown my own birthday party. I’ll put on three sweaters before I ask you to turn on the heat. I’m okay with losing board games. I stuff my coins haphazardly into my purse to avoid holding up the checkout line. When I was little I wanted to grow up and become a mascot, so I’d have the freedom to dance without being seen.In this somewhat peculiar opening passage, Miller rattles a list of points designed to let us know that she’s shy. This opening format—I am shy—continues through a third full paragraph, spilling over onto the second page of this very “writerly” book.As we noted previously, this passage doesn’t just tell us that Miller is shy; it also presents her as the world’s most self-effacing person. She’s perpetually putting others first, in every imaginable way. Such absurdly self-flattering portraits continue all through the book, often in the face of behaviors which might seem to contradict or challenge the self-flattering portraits we’re being “provided.”Something else is somewhat odd about that opening passage. In the second paragraph of Chapter 1, Miller tells us that she’s so shy that she wanted to grow up and become a mascot, so she’d have the freedom to dance without being seen.That may even be true! That said, by the time she describes the central event in her story, Miller is literally dancing on a chair, though possibly not on tables, at a drunken Stanford frat party. There’s nothing “wrong” with doing that, but we’re never told how this behavior comports with the humble-bragging self-portrait we’re “provided” as she opens her book.These points are trivial, a person might say, but that’s exactly the problem. This book is larded with humble-bragging, self-flattering trivia and is quite routinely contemptuous of actual persons and elementary facts. The author of these endless distractions is very young. Beyond that, she underwent a life-altering series of events starting on the night of that party. That said, no such excuse can be generated for the upper-end, upper-class pseudo-journalists who have somehow managed to read this book without seeing its giant, relentless flaws.Miller actually is a “gifted young writer,” as one such reviewer has said. She’s also very young and, perhaps understandably, is deeply self-involved.In even a slightly rational world, we would expect major journalist to be able to notice such facts. But we’ve been failed by our upper-class journalists for at least three decades now, and the wages of such incessant failure is intellectual death.We’re going to spend an additional week writing about this young person’s remarkably novelized memoir. Much more importantly, we’re going to think about the older, upper-class journalists who have taken what they needed from Miller’s novelized fairy tale.The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our upper-class culture is fatuous. Also, “the wages of sin is death,” an old book once alleged.The wages of our upper-class fatuity have already given us death all over the world. That said, our upper-class posers are going to continue to take what they need from noticeably peculiar books written by very young people.They’re going to take what they need, and what they seem to need is the simple-minded certainty of fable. They need their heroes and villains neat. Unfortunately, the wages of such childish behavior is intellectual death.Tomorrow: The various roads not traveled
Unequal Justice: Impeachment, Bill Barr, and the Reichstag Fire
by Bill Blum on November 4, 2019 at 13:25
Trump has dispatched Barr to promote a wacky rightwing conspiracy theory that could discredit the Mueller report, divert public attention from Trump’s manifold acts of corruption, and cripple the impeachment inquiry.
The Struggle for Emoji Equality
by Mike Ervin on November 4, 2019 at 10:00
If you’re not heavily represented on the emoji pallet, you’re nobody.
American Graffiti: Church, Cancer, and ‘Hate Faith’
by Kevin Powell on November 2, 2019 at 10:00
Spirituality is love. Religion, as often practiced now and through history, is a convenient partner of oppression, and can easily become what I call hate faith.
Foreign Correspondent: Boris, Brexit, and the British Elections
by Reese Erlich on November 1, 2019 at 12:16
Brexit presents a serious conundrum for left and progressive forces. Liberals and social democrats suddenly find themselves in bed with Britain’s largest capitalist corporations.
Long Denied a Voice in Local Schools, Camden Citizens Ready for Historic Vote
by Rann Miller on November 1, 2019 at 12:00
Past governance has been racist public policy in the form of municipal paternalism.
A Quarter Century Without Erwin Knoll
by Bill Lueders on November 1, 2019 at 07:00
We are all the poorer for it.
Candidate Rasheen Aldridge on Self-Care as Social Justice
by Sarah Jaffe on October 31, 2019 at 11:07
The twenty-five-year-old cut his teeth on the Fight for $15 in St. Louis. Now he’s looking to use those skills as a Missouri state legislator.
CTU Strike: Are Charter Schools the Solution, Rather than the Problem, in Chicago?
by Sarah Lahm on October 31, 2019 at 11:02
One party is selfish; the other is only interested in educating kids. Can you guess which is which?
by Mark Fiore on October 31, 2019 at 10:53
It’s a baby double agent!
Trump and Friends Revive Loyalty Attacks
by Leslie Hahner on October 31, 2019 at 00:00
In Donald Trump’s America, it seems that anyone who speaks against the president will be accused of treachery. But these claims echo those made one hundred years ago.
Trump Touts Farmers, Then Ignores Them
by Anthony Pahnke on October 30, 2019 at 14:40
At his campaign events, President Donald Trump often reserves time to talk about farmers. Yet, when farmers speak for themselves, the Trump administration doesn’t listen.
Lebanon’s Revolution Unites a Divided Country
by Nicholas Frakes on October 29, 2019 at 17:00
A long-sectarian society has come together as one people, bringing hope and some much-needed levity to the streets as they push for an end to their current government.
Is the Free Ride Over for America’s Mines?
by Tim Vanderpool on October 29, 2019 at 12:10
In the Rosemont copper mine decision, a federal judge upended a long-abused law, sparing a beautiful valley and making way for better protections for public lands.
How Soldiers Brought a Halt to the U.S. War Machine
by Roger Bybee on October 29, 2019 at 09:00
Opposition to the Vietnam war burst into a wide range of activism, including wearing anti-war buttons while in uniform, petitions and demonstrations, guerrilla theater, staging hearings about war crimes, and throwing away the medals they earned.
A Chicago Welcome for Mr. Trump
by Joeff Davis on October 29, 2019 at 00:00
Trump has drawn the ire of Chicagoland with the many insults he has directed at the Windy City, including calling the city a “total disaster.” On Monday, thousands of people showed up at Trump Tower to share some opinions of their own.
The Origins of Depravity: How the U.S. Helped Fuel Extremism in the Middle East
by Kathy Kelly on October 28, 2019 at 14:12
As part of a 2004 delegation to Camp Bucca, where Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was held for 10 months, I heard tales of horrific experiences. It was one of the most hellish spots I’ve ever encountered.
Midwest Dispatch: Is Worthington, Minnesota, the Center of the Universe?
by Sarah Lahm on October 25, 2019 at 10:00
One Midwestern town finds itself in a race war stoked by the gentry to preserve their own wealth. But there is a glimmer of hope here, too.
California Opens the Public Banking Floodgates
by Aaron Fernando on October 24, 2019 at 12:00
The move shifts power away from profit-motivated board members of corporate banks and into the hands of the people.
Get Over It!
by Mark Fiore on October 24, 2019 at 09:00
“The words I said were distorted to reflect what I said.”
Political ‘Lynching’: Misusing a Scourge of History
by Yohuru Williams on October 23, 2019 at 14:39
Trump’s habit of stirring up animosity toward people of color and other political enemies through his own irresponsible rhetoric is itself reminiscent of lynching times.
The Kill Team Kills Again
by Ed Rampell on October 23, 2019 at 10:00
The new film illustrates how Washington’s endless imperialist wars of aggression tragically pit Americans against not only overseas “enemies,” but one another.
How Chicago Teachers Built Power Between Strikes
by Sarah Jaffe on October 22, 2019 at 12:22
It’s easy to glamorize the seeming spontaneity of a “strike wave” and miss the long processes of union organizing.
The Charter-to-Prison Pipeline
by Alexandria Millet on October 22, 2019 at 08:00
The charter system that often paints itself as a better option for black parents does not acknowledge the harm rigid disciplinary policies can impose on black students.
MoveOn Criticizes Sen. Coons’ Reckless Comments on Iran
by Brian Stewart on September 16, 2019 at 20:57
After Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) appeared on Fox and Friends this morning and said military action may be called for against Iran, MoveOn had the following statement. Statement of MoveOn campaigns director Justin Krebs: “Senator Coons going on Fox and giving ammunition to Trump administration war hawks who are trying to push the U.S. into The post MoveOn Criticizes Sen. Coons’ Reckless Comments on Iran appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Fox guest on possible troop withdrawal from Afghanistan: “The solution is more blood, sweat, and tears”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 16:02
JOHN HANNAH (FORMER VP CHENEY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER): The president, you know, is signaling that he wants done with this. There may be some kind of remnant of counter-terror mission here, but I think the danger is that once we withdraw our support for the Afghan government on the basis of a very phony promise from the Taliban that they are not going to try and reestablish their jihadist tyranny — and in very much in cooperation still with Al Qaeda, that once that Afghan government is brought down, Taliban, Al Qaeda come back. It’s going to be infinitely hard for the United States to conduct an effective counter-terrorism mission without an Afghan government there. BILL HEMMER (CO-ANCHOR): I apologize for the interruption there. Do you have a better solution then, John? HANNAH: No, I mean, listen, the solution is more blood, sweat, and tears. I think the mission in Afghanistan, as frustrating and as long as it’s been, Bill, with those several thousand troops there supporting an Afghan government — we’re not in the front lines doing the fighting — I still think it’s a sustainable mission if you believe that things can actually get much, much worse. But it needs a president who actually believes that avoiding a Taliban/Al Qaeda resurgence in the place that spawned 9/11 is important enough to continue this kind of sacrifice. Previously: Fox & Friends guest says a war against Iran would be “pretty quick and easy” The Trump-Fox feedback loop could cause a war with Iran Tomi Lahren: “If the plan were to send a huge surge of land and war power to wipe out Iran and turn it into glass … that might actually solve the problem.”
Fox host defends Trump: “Just because you use harsh language doesn’t mean your intent is to denigrate another race”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 15:48
STUART VARNEY (HOST): Are you a racist if you criticize an African-American politician? The left says, oh, yes you are. The charge, Trump is a racist, is now an established theme in the Democrats’ 2020 campaign. I object. Just because you use harsh language doesn’t mean your intent is to denigrate another race. Throwing that word around, racist, shuts down the debate. You can’t solve problems if you can’t speak freely. The word racist is applied to just about anybody. It no longer has bite. Baltimore has brought the racist charge to a boil. In a series of tweets, the president has criticized Congressman Elijah Cummings. He is a Democrat who has represent a major — majority Black district for over 20 years. The president described Cummings’ district as quote, “A disgusting rat and rodent-infested mess where no human being would want to live.” Oh, that caused outrage. The media jumped on it, and from there on out, branded the president a racist and a bigot. Again, I object. The president was describing reality. Bernie Sanders has said exactly the same thing, but he wasn’t called a racist. Oh, no, he’s a socialist. Now we find that Congressman Cummings himself had used similar language. He said Baltimore was quote, “drug-infested, and the residents walked around like zombies.” He was saying same thing as the president. Nobody criticized him for telling it the way it is, but Trump is a racist. This smearing, this name calling is a deliberate political tactic, and I think it’s going to fail. The weak performance of Democrats running big cities can no longer be covered up. This president, unlike any other president, is prepared to call it how he sees it, and damn the consequences. The president wants the votes of African-Americans. He’s courting them. Instead of pandering with offers of money, he is asking what happened to the billions already spent? Baltimore got 1.8 billion just from the stimulus package. What happened to it? Where did the money go? The Democrats have opened Pandora’s Box without realizing it. They thought that calling him a racist would silence him. Wrong. They’ve given him a campaign theme. And that theme is, the Democrats failing their own supporters. Previously: Fox host defends Trump’s racist tweets: He was just saying Democrats and liberal policies have destroyed Baltimore Fox’s Brian Kilmeade on Baltimore: “I don’t think anyone passed statewide tests in some of these inner-city schools” Fox host makes bizarre defense of Trump’s racism: Trump “probably never watched The Wire ”
Fox News is talking more about abortion than the Democratic debates did
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 15:21
Melissa Joskow / Media Matters During the four nights of the two Democratic presidential primary debates in June and July, Fox News outpaced CNN and MSNBC in the amount of time it gave to abortion coverage even though the network didn’t host either debate. CNN moderators failed to ask a single question about abortion during the second primary debate this week. And even though MSNBC moderators asked the candidates questions about the topic during the network’s debate in June, Fox News spent more time discussing the issue than CNN, MSNBC, or the candidates themselves did. Right-wing media have been regularly dominating the conversation about abortion ahead of the 2020 elections, filling a void of abortion-related coverage by spreading misinformation and stigma about it. Fox News has been a frequent promoter of anti-abortion misinformation — including the allegation that Democratic support for abortion access is “extreme.” Given this emphasis, as well as the decreasing accessibility of abortion care across the United States, it is essential that moderators ask candidates specific and nuanced questions about abortion during the debates. This trend of right-wing media dominating abortion coverage continued during three of the four nights of the Democratic debates. Media Matters monitored both debates and live pre-debate and post-debate coverage on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News and found that Fox News discussed the topic for almost 26 minutes total. In comparison, the topic was discussed on MSNBC for 11 and a half minutes and on CNN for about six minutes; this count includes the time when abortion was discussed on the debate stage as well as during pre-debate and post-debate coverage. CNN’s moderators failed to ask the candidates any questions about abortion during the network’s two nights of debates. The only time abortion was discussed during CNN’s July 31 debate night was when Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked former Vice President Joe Biden about his different positions on the Hyde Amendment. Notably, even when discussing the Hyde Amendment (which prohibits federal funds from supporting abortion care except in cases of rape or incest), neither Harris nor Biden used the word “abortion.” The topic was also essentially absent from the July 30 debate. Even though abortion was discussed during both nights of the MSNBC debate in June as moderators questioned candidates about it, Fox News still discussed the topic more each night than the debate participants and commentators on MSNBC or CNN did. During the first night of the June debate, Fox News discussed abortion for about nine minutes and 19 seconds between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. In contrast, debate participants and commentators on MSNBC discussed the topic for only about four minutes and 15 seconds, and CNN commentators discussed abortion for only two minutes. This disparity was even greater during the second night of the MSNBC debate. During the same time period of 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., Fox discussed abortion for 15 minutes and 48 seconds, while debate participants and MSNBC commentators discussed the topic for four minutes and 44 seconds. Commentators on CNN discussed abortion for less than two minutes. Though there are many important topics that moderators should be raising during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary debates, Democratic voters are clear that they want to hear candidates discuss abortion. If moderators continue to prioritize optics, vacuous political theater, and right-wing talking points over substantive questions, right-wing media will continue dominating the discussion and will keep spreading anti-choice misinformation unabated on their own platforms. Methodology Media Matters searched the SnapStream video database for mentions of the following keywords: “abortion,” “Roe,” “reproductive rights,” “right to choose,” “pro-life,” “pro-choice,” “anti-choice,” “pro-abortion,” “decisions about her body,” “infanticide,” or “Hyde.” We searched on Fox News Channel, CNN, and MSNBC between 8 p.m and 1 a.m. for the June debates and between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. for the July debates due to the earlier start time. We timed segments, which we defined as instances in which a speaker in the debate or on a network discussed abortion or a related topic. Segments included host monologues, news reports or packages, interviews, and guest panels. We did not include teasers for upcoming segments or rebroadcasts.
<em>Fox & Friends</em> touts Trump’s “connections to Ohio” without noting they involve housing discrimination
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 15:21
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): The president of the United States was in Cincinnati last night. You saw the rally right here on Fox News Channel. There were 17,500 people there at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. The president has connections to Ohio, he’s talked about it in the past. Fifty years ago his father actually owned the Swifton Village housing complex in the Bond Hill area. So he’s got a connection, not only through his family, but also, he won Ohio last time. He needs to win Ohio again this time. … AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): He’s familiar with Skyline Chili and Graeter’s ice cream because he said to that entire audience, he said, “I worked for my dad in the Swifton Village.” He said, “Does anyone know where the Swifton Village is?” And some people, you know, clapped and got excited about it. It’s always nice when someone famous comes into your town and they can relate to the people, and that’s what he does there.
The only Black Republican in the House announced he will not seek reelection. Fox News covered it for 20 seconds.
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 14:32
Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) announced on August 1 that he is not seeking reelection in 2020. I have made the decision to not seek reelection for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas in order to pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security. https://t.co/GeZ4Hh264f — Rep. Will Hurd (@HurdOnTheHill) August 2, 2019 Politico described the importance of Hurd’s retirement: If you are a House Republican, this has been an absolutely gutting few weeks. And, truly, if someone is trying to spin you on how the political picture is not that bad for the House GOP right now — at this moment — you ought to discount them as a political professional or analyst. Because it’s really, really bad, deflating and discouraging. On Thursday night, Texas Rep. Will Hurd — the only black Republican in the House — announced he would not run for reelection. He beat Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones by fewer than 1,000 votes in 2018 in a large district that runs the stretch of the Texas-Mexico border — and she is running again. Republicans like to say this is an R+1 — fine, perhaps — but it’s an R+1 that Hillary Clinton won by 3 points, so it’s not much of an R+1. Others agreed. But while much of the political world is talking about the retirement announcement, Fox News is not as interested. Hurd was not mentioning at all during Thursday’s evening programming or Fox & Friends on Friday, and he has received only 20 seconds of coverage so far during Friday’s America’s Newsroom: Both CNN and MSNBC covered Hurd’s announcement on Thursday and Friday. Fox News has spent plenty of time touting President Donald Trump’s alleged support in the Black community despite polls showing widespread disapproval of the president. Hurd spoke about his decision not to run again with The Washington Post, calling out Trump’s racism: In an interview Thursday with The Post, Hurd criticized Trump’s racist tweets last month in which the president said four Democratic minority congresswomen should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Three of the women are from the United States; a fourth, Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), is a Somali refugee who became a U.S. citizen as a teenager. “When you imply that because someone doesn’t look like you, in telling them to go back to Africa or wherever, you’re implying that they’re not an American and you’re implying that they have less worth than you,” Hurd said. Hurd recently told Meet The Press, “I shouldn’t be the only African-American Republican in the House of Representatives.”
Fox’s Newt Gingrich complains about Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren: “I don’t remember us electing an angry president literally in my lifetime”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 14:31
BILL HEMMER (CO-ANCHOR): Go ahead and frame the argument that the president is making there from last night, sir. NEWT GINGRICH (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): Look, I think Kim Strassel did a great job with the column where she said the choice is between the left and the crazy left, and the crazy left is winning. I watched the first night. It was amazing the level of anger that you got out of Bernie Sanders and Senator [Elizabeth] Warren. I mean, these are really angry people, and it was kind of amazing to watch them. It’s the opposite of how people normally win the presidency. You go back and you watch Barack Obama with a big smile. You watch Ronald Reagan with a big smile. I don’t remember us electing an angry president literally in my lifetime. And yet you have these people who were almost in a rage. You also had the fact that they’re all drifting towards cloud cuckoo land. I mean, when you have a number of moderate Democrats on the stage — and they’ll all be gone soon because they’re not getting enough support to survive. But they’re on the stage and they’re saying — one of them said if we go down this road of taking away everybody’s health insurance we’ll be lucky to carry two states. Now that was a Democrat in the debate warning his follow Democrats that they could be throwing away the presidency. And I think we have to take that seriously. And of course, the president is watching all this and he’s exactly right, and he wants to stoke the fire a little bit about Obama. What’s turned out is that President Obama is no longer radical enough for the left wing of the Democratic Party. So you’re going to end up with Biden defending Obama while the rest of the party attacks him. The truth is, on things like deportation, President Obama deported more illegal immigrants than any other president in American history. In terms of the Affordable Care Act, which was not affordable, but it didn’t cover everybody that left-wingers want to cover. And so you can go down a list and you realize there’s a real fault line in the Democratic Party, and we’re watching it play out in these debates. Previously: After Democratic debate, Fox’s Newt Gingrich calls Democrats “an anti-American party” Fox’s Jason Chaffetz on Democratic debates: “They were doing everything they could to take away your freedoms” Fox & Friends complains that “the thing that was lacking” in Democratic debates over immigration “was the word illegal”
Fox’s Stuart Varney: Electing a Democrat as president will lead to an economic contraction
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 12:52
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): The president was touting the economy last night. STUART VARNEY (FOX BUSINESS HOST): No wonder the Democrats failed to mention the strong economy in their two debates this week, because they don’t have a growth plan, and obviously, President Trump does. The Democrats seem to me to have a contraction plan. No fossil fuels, no private health insurance. That’s a contraction of the economy, rather than the expansion that President Trump’s got. … EARHARDT: Stuart, you mentioned jobs reports, they’re coming out this morning. What can we expect? VARNEY: I think you’ll see the unemployment rate stay around 3.7%. EARHARDT: It’s amazing. VARNEY: Do you realize how low that is? I mean, I have lived in America for 40 odd years, I haven’t seen 3.7% before. Maybe [3.6%] under Trump, I don’t know, but that’s near historic level. EARHARDT: The president said 7 million Americans are off food stamps. Think about that. That’s wonderful. VARNEY: That’s right. That’s right. That’s right. And what is it, 125,000 extra employed people in the state of Ohio? STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): And the job number today is expected to be about 164,000 new jobs. VARNEY: About that. That’s still pretty strong. It might be stronger than that. But here’s something that was buried by the media. DOOCY: Shocking. VARNEY: Right. In the first two years of the Trump presidency, wages and salaries increased 42% more than in the last two years of the Obama administration. EARHARDT: That’s great. VARNEY: Forty-two percent more. EARHARDT: So people can ask themselves are you better off today? VARNEY: How about that? Yes. EARHARDT: Are you better off today and the answer for most people is yes. VARNEY: Well, it shows you — it’s the Trump presidency which turned the economy around. Don’t give me this, that Obama started the recovery. Well, maybe the recovery started in the Obama years, but the expansion, that started with President Donald J. Trump. Previously: Fox Business host Stuart Varney says repealing Trump’s tax cuts for the rich and corporations “would ruin the economy” After first Democratic debate, Fox’s Stuart Varney lashes out at candidates for promising to tax the wealthy: “They attacked the rich” Fox Business host blames stock market decline on House Speaker Pelosi’s press conference
New Bureau of Land Management head complained that federal employees aren’t held “personally responsible for the harm that they do”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 12:43
Melissa Joskow / Media Matters William Perry Pendley, the new head of the Bureau of Land Management, complained in a 2018 interview that employees like the ones he now manages aren’t held “personally liable” or “personally responsible for the harm that they do” regarding federal land management. He also said that one thing that would prevent such problems in the future “is the federal government owning less land.” President Donald Trump’s administration this week appointed Pendley, a right-wing lawyer and commentator, as the acting head of the Bureau of Land Management after he worked at the agency for just a few weeks. Media Matters documented that he has argued that climate science isn’t real, claimed that environmentalists want to “destroy” civilization, and once asked, “How many have died and how many more will die because of diversity and race-based decision making?” Conservation and environmental groups have heavily criticized Pendley’s hiring. Kayje Booker, the policy and advocacy director at Montana Wilderness Association, said: “It’s hard to imagine anyone in this position more dangerous or more conflicted than William Perry Pendley.” Members of the Blackfeet Nation have also criticized the appointment. As The Washington Post summarized, Pendley is “still the counsel of record representing an aging businessman, Sidney Longwell and his small company Solenex. Solenex leased 6,247 acres in northwest Montana in 1982 during the Reagan administration for about $1 an acre. Longwell wants permission to build a six-mile service road and bridge over the Two Medicine River on lands considered sacred by the Blackfeet tribe. Interior wants to cancel the lease. He would use the road to bring in drilling rigs and other oil exploration equipment.” Pendley takes over an agency that’s responsible for managing public lands even though he once wrote a 2016 National Review opinion piece which argued that the federal government should sell its public lands. In response to concerns about Pendley’s views, an Interior Department spokesperson claimed: “This administration has been clear that we are not interested in transferring public lands.” However, Pendley also said in a previously unreported television interview that one of the ways to solve alleged problems with land management is for the government to own “less land.” He also criticized his future employees, saying they’re not held “personally liable” or “responsible for the harm that they do.” Pendley appeared on the January 26, 2018, edition of the Colorado-based libertarian show Devil’s Advocate with Jon Caldara and talked about his cases against the federal government and the Bureau of Land Management. During the show, he said that “the federal government is the world’s worst neighbor. It absolutely is the worst neighbor.” Later during the program, Pendley said that unlike private individuals, the federal government can dodge responsibility for their problems, alleging: “These agencies, these employees, they’re not personally liable, they’re not personally responsible for the harm that they do. They’re going to move down the hall, they’re going to move across the country.” Pendley was then asked how to prevent such alleged problems with the federal government. He responded: “One of the things that prevents it is the federal government owning less land. We recognize the federal government, the United States government owns a third of the country, including especially here in the West.”
Sean Hannity says one of his main criticisms of Republicans is that they aren’t more like Rush Limbaugh
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 02:35
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I actually see similarities between you and Trump. Let me tell you what two of them are. Number one, you’ve got to be able to take a punch. You paved the way for a lot of us that are conservatives in the media. You’ve taken more than your fair share. And then, you’ve got to fight for what you believe. My biggest criticism of Republicans is they are weak, a lot of them, and timid and afraid to do what you do every day. To do what Trump is doing. You’re right, showing them the way. Just fight for what you say you were going fight for. … RUSH LIMBAUGH: This fear of the media, this fear of being called a racist, everyone needs to get over that now because all of us are racists. Everybody’s racist, they can’t talk about anybody now without labeling them racist. Previously: Rush Limbaugh has ramped up his Fox News appearances in 2019 On Fox News, Rush Limbaugh says that “climate change is what allows them to poison the minds of young kids” On Fox, Rush Limbaugh complains about efforts to address the climate crisis: “There is no man-made climate change”
On Fox, Rush Limbaugh complains about efforts to address the climate crisis: “There is no man-made climate change”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 02:13
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Three words I want to throw at you — Green New Deal. RUSH LIMBAUGH: Well, it’s — it is a trick, the Green New Deal. Even Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, her chief of staff, sackrat — sakreet — sakrot — whatever, Chakrabarti, admitted that it’s not even about the climate. It’s not even about the weather. It’s an economic plan, and it is. It’s designed to get massive federal power, grow the federal government, under the pretense that average Americans cannot be left to live their lives without ruining things, especially for the Democrat Party. It’s unaffordable, it will never happen, and the premise behind it is bogus. There is no man-made climate change. There is nothing we can do to stop whatever the weather is going to do. We can’t make it warmer, we can’t make it colder. We can’t change hurricanes’ directions, we can’t dissipate them. We can’t create them. And yet, they are campaigning and trying to convince people. I mean, look at millennials. It’s really sad, there’s a lot of young people that really think this planet is not going to be habitable by the time they hit 65. These people are ruining people’s lives, they’re ruining their futures all in the pursuit of power for themselves. It’s disgusting on one level to me, and I think that they need to be called out and I think they need — this stuff needs to be said point blank to them, because the media it is not — the media’s their best buddies, the media is their support group, and so forth. It’s a big battle. I’m just — I’m just optimistic, I’m confident that these people can be beat back. Previously: In Hannity segment attacking Green New Deal, climate denier Joe Bastardi says “people are ungrateful” for fossil fuels Hannity invites climate denier Joe Bastardi on his show to deny link between climate change and extreme weather — again Rush Limbaugh on Hurricane Florence: “The forecast and the destruction potential doom and gloom is all to heighten the belief in climate change”
On Fox News, Rush Limbaugh says that “climate change is what allows them to poison the minds of young kids”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 01:51
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Climate change is what allows them to poison the minds of young kids. To blame people for causing a problem and then offer them redemption, make them feel like they have meaning in their lives by saving the planet. Previously: Rush Limbaugh has dramatically ramped up his Fox News appearances in 2019 Less than 10% of questions were about climate change at CNN’s two-night debate in Detroit Rush Limbaugh shares fake story that sharks are flying around in Hurricane Florence
Lou Dobbs says Donald Trump can’t be racist because Mexico is helping the United States
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 01:02
LOU DOBBS (HOST): This fellow can’t be too much of a quote-unquote “racist,” in point of fact embracing Mexico, its president, its government, because of all of the help they are providing America, acknowledging it, and doing so warmly. Previously: Lou Dobbs laughs at Fox’s effort to restrain anti-Semitism on his show Lou Dobbs guest: “We’ve seen this in Europe, we’re seeing it here, and they are attempting to replace us” Lou Dobbs Says People Should Credit Obama’s Race For His Election Lou Dobbs attacks the media for reporting on DeSantis’ racist comments Lou Dobbs asks if it’s “time for the Trump administration to outright defy the activist” Supreme Court over census ruling
Tucker Carlson: Cory Booker was “trying to sound like a Nation of Islam recruiter”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 00:27
TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): Cory Booker meanwhile is in the process of transitioning to a brand-new identity, he spent most of the evening trying to sound like a Nation of Islam recruiter rather than the deeply privileged son of two IBM executives which is what he is. Previously: Tucker Carlson’s descent into white supremacy: A timeline Tucker Carlson touts hardline approach of far-right ethnonationalists to immigration Tucker Carlson and guest mock the term “person of color,” call it a racist term because “everyone has a color”
Amid unprecedented attacks on reproductive rights, CNN debate moderators completely ignore abortion
by Media Matters for America on August 1, 2019 at 23:28
Melissa Joskow / Media Matters During the July 30 and 31 presidential debates, CNN moderators Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, and Don Lemon failed to ask 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls a single question about abortion. Nationally, as state legislatures continue to push an increasing number of abortion restrictions — and with right-wing media already amplifying anti-abortion misinformation ahead of the 2020 elections — the primary debates are a crucial opportunity for moderators to ask precise, nuanced questions about how presidential candiates would protect abortion access. CNN’s failure to ask about abortion was out of step with what Democratic voters wanted to hear about during the debates and was a missed opportunity to break right-wing media’s dominance of abortion-related conversations on cable news. Abortion rights garnered hardly any recognition from moderators or candidates alike during the July 30 Democratic primary debate. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock briefly referred to himself as “pro-choice” in his opening statement. The only substantive conversation about abortion happened during the July 31 debate. On stage, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) confronted former Vice President Joe Biden over his past support of the Hyde Amendment, a legislative provision that forbids the allocation of federal funds for abortion care except in limited cases. This amendment disproportionately affects people of color and those of lower socioeconomic status who might depend on federal support to access health care. Although this short exchange was the only discussion of abortion during both nights of the CNN moderated debates, neither candidate said the word “abortion.” In fact, five hours of political discourse yielded a mere two minutes of abortion conversation without anyone — the 20 candidates or three moderators — saying the word “abortion.” This is not the first time CNN moderators have excluded discussion of abortion during presidential debates. After a 2016 Democratic primary debate, critics called out the network for not asking any questions about abortion despite coming days after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a case concerning anti-abortion restrictions in Texas. After this week’s debates, abortion rights groups were confounded again by the lack of action Given the already precarious state of abortion access, debate moderators need to ask candidates specific and nuanced questions on abortion — otherwise right-wing media and anti-choice outlets will continue to dominate the conversation with harmful misinformation.
Fox hosts shout down colleague Juan Williams when he notes that Trump’s racism is a fact
by Media Matters for America on August 1, 2019 at 22:20
JUAN WILLIAMS (CO-HOST): Let me tell you, it’s a fact, it’s a fact, it is a fact. GREG GUTFELD (CO-HOST): No, Juan, it’s an opinion, it’s an opinion. … That’s called an opinion Juan, it’s not a fact. I could keep saying it, he won’t listen. Previously: Fox & Friends guest attacks news outlets noting Trump’s racism: It is “an opinion, not a fact” Tomi Lahren previously pushed the same sexist smear about Kamala Harris on Fox Nation
MoveOn members demand Congress Close the Camps
by Heather Kachel on July 3, 2019 at 18:38
Every day immigrants are suffering from intentional inhumane conditions created by the Trump administration. News continues to pour out that the Trump administration’s escalation of brutal attacks against immigrants and refugees has reached new, even more horrific lows, with children being held in unspeakable conditions in concentration camps at the border. Just yesterday, more images and stories The post MoveOn members demand Congress Close the Camps appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Seven actions you can take right now to help close immigrant detention centers.
by Tillie McInnis on June 28, 2019 at 20:37
In the last eight months, six migrant children are known to have died after being taken into U.S. immigration custody. This tragic tally includes 16-year-old Carlos Hernandez Vásquez, 2 ½-year-old Wilmer Josué Ramírez Vásquez, 16-year-old Juan de León Gutiérrez, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin, 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo, and 10-year-old Darlyn Cristabel Cordova-Valle. And a 18-month-old The post Seven actions you can take right now to help close immigrant detention centers. appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Elizabeth Warren in First Place, Bernie Sanders In Second In MoveOn’s Latest Member Straw Poll
by Brian Stewart on June 25, 2019 at 10:00
Members say they want a candidate who ‘inspires the public with deep progressive values’ and ‘makes the connections between racial, social, and economic injustice.’ WASHINGTON, DC — Sen. Elizabeth Warren leads a new MoveOn straw poll with the support of 38% of members nationwide, followed by Bernie Sanders with 17%. Warren is also in first The post Elizabeth Warren in First Place, Bernie Sanders In Second In MoveOn’s Latest Member Straw Poll appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll Results, June 2019
by Brian Stewart on June 25, 2019 at 10:00
Nationwide First Choice Second Choice Elizabeth Warren 37.8% Bernie Sanders 16.5% Joe Biden 14.9% Pete Buttigieg 11.7% Kamala Harris 6.8% Undecided 2.2% Beto O’Rourke 1.8% Andrew Yang 1.1% Jay Inslee 1.1% Cory Booker 1.0% Amy Klobuchar 1.0% Tulsi Gabbard 0.8% Marianne Williamson 0.8% Someone Else 0.4% Michael Bennett 0.3% Julián Castro 0.3% John Hickenlooper 0.3% The post MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll Results, June 2019 appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Clinton’s Lost Votes
by Ron Chusid on May 30, 2019 at 17:57
Establishment Democrats love to blame third party voters for Clinton losing, but The New York Times recently had data… Posted by Ron Chusid on Monday, May 20, 2019 Establishment Democrats love to blame third party voters for Clinton losing, but The New York Times recently had data disputing this. They looked at people who voted for
What Mueller Did Not Say Today
by Ron Chusid on May 29, 2019 at 15:55
What Mueller did not say today:1) When he said Russia interfered in the election, he left out the important… Posted by Ron Chusid on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 What Mueller did not say today: 1) When he said Russia interfered in the election, he left out the important perspective that interference in foreign elections is common
Rahna Epting Will Be MoveOn’s Next Leader
by Nick Berning on May 29, 2019 at 14:06
MoveOn announced today that after an intensive multi-month search process, its boards have selected Rahna Epting to serve as the next executive director of MoveOn Political Action and MoveOn Civic Action, beginning this fall. The post Rahna Epting Will Be MoveOn’s Next Leader appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Castro, Gillibrand, Harris, Sanders, and Warren To Appear On Stage At MoveOn’s “Big Ideas Forum” June 1 In San Francisco
by Brian Stewart on May 9, 2019 at 17:02
2020 Democratic presidential candidates Secretary Julián Castro, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Elizabeth Warren will all appear on stage at MoveOn’s “Big Ideas Forum” in San Francisco, California, on June 1. At the event, each candidate will present “One Big Idea” that will change people’s lives for the better. The post Castro, Gillibrand, Harris, Sanders, and Warren To Appear On Stage At MoveOn’s “Big Ideas Forum” June 1 In San Francisco appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn’s First Endorsement of 2020 Cycle: Ilhan Omar for Congress
by Iram Ali on April 24, 2019 at 16:16
The results are in: With 77% of votes cast in favor, MoveOn members in Minnesota’s 5th District have voted overwhelmingly to endorse Ilhan Omar for re-election to Congress! Representative Ilhan Omar’s endorsement for re-election marks MoveOn’s very first endorsement for the 2020 cycle. Rep. Omar is a uniquely powerful, compelling member of Congress. She ran The post MoveOn’s First Endorsement of 2020 Cycle: Ilhan Omar for Congress appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
2020 Candidates Skip AIPAC!
by Iram Ali on March 22, 2019 at 21:28
After MoveOn members asked candidates to skip the AIPAC conference, no 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are yet publicly committed to attend the AIPAC conference in DC this weekend! The story comes after a number of leading candidates—Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Mayor Julián Castro, Governor Jay Inlsee, and Mayor The post 2020 Candidates Skip AIPAC! appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn: 2020 Presidential Candidates Should Not Attend AIPAC Conference
by Iram Ali on March 20, 2019 at 18:21
NEW SURVEY: Over 74% of MoveOn Members Believe 2020 Presidential Candidates Should Not Attend AIPAC Conference AIPAC conference to be headlined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Vice President Mike Pence, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Chuck Schumer & Rep. Kevin McCarthy A new survey from MoveOn Political Action asked members if they The post MoveOn: 2020 Presidential Candidates Should Not Attend AIPAC Conference appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:55
A Good Sign For Bernie
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:51
Russiagate And Censorship
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:47
Democrats Can’t Take Progressive Votes For Granted
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:45
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:43
How To Get Rid Of Donald Trump
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:41
A Younger, Fresher Progressive Candidate
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:39
Delegitimatizing Anti-War Candidates
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:36
Politician For Sale
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:34
The Damage From Russiagate
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:31
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:29
Mueller Wrapping Up Soon
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:28
I will be glad when we stop hearing Russiagate conspiracy theorists say “wait for Mueller to finish.” What will they say if he finishes and still has provided zero evidence to support their claims? Hopefully they will be satisfied with the overwhelming evidence that Trump is a crook, and drop the Russia conspiracy theories about
Con Men And Liars Of Hollywood
by Ron Chusid on February 25, 2019 at 16:59
PHOTOS: Amazing Fake Trump Emergency Protests
by Brian Stewart on February 19, 2019 at 02:58
277 events. 48 states. At least 50,000 attendees. That’s what power looks like. Donald Trump may control the White House for the moment, but we are not giving up on what this country can be. And on Presidents Day, tens of thousands of MoveOn members and allies hit the streets to build a vision of a country where all people—including those seeking The post PHOTOS: Amazing Fake Trump Emergency Protests appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn Statement on Deal to End the Government Shutdown with No Wall
by Brian Stewart on January 25, 2019 at 21:02
“Congress must not give into Trump’s demand for increased funding for a wall, his deportation machine, or border militarization in the next round of this fight” WASHINGTON, DC — Moments ago, Donald Trump announced a deal with Congress to end the government shutdown and reopen the federal government for three weeks with no funding for The post MoveOn Statement on Deal to End the Government Shutdown with No Wall appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
BREAKING: National Day of Action to #ShutDownTheWall, Open Government Announced for Jan. 29
by Brian Stewart on January 24, 2019 at 01:38
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 CONTACT: email@example.com MoveOn, United We Dream, Indivisible, and other groups call for national action on Tuesday, the day Trump intends to deliver a State of the Union address. WASHINGTON — During a television appearance tonight on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, Rep. Katie Hill (CA-25) announced that Tuesday, January 29 will be The post BREAKING: National Day of Action to #ShutDownTheWall, Open Government Announced for Jan. 29 appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn’s Executive Directors Announce They Will Depart in 2019 with MoveOn Positioned for Continued Impact
by Brian Stewart on January 17, 2019 at 17:34
Under Anna Galland and Ilya Sheyman’s 6 Years of Leadership, People-Powered MoveOn Has Grown Dramatically and Emerged As a Pillar of the Resistance Movement in Landmark Trump-Era Fights Galland and Sheyman Will Continue in Current Roles Until MoveOn’s Boards Conclude Search for New Director and Will then Assist Transition After six years leading MoveOn Civic The post MoveOn’s Executive Directors Announce They Will Depart in 2019 with MoveOn Positioned for Continued Impact appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
PPP Poll Shows Trump’s Shutdown Will Hurt Senate GOP in 2020
by Jayne Fagan on January 10, 2019 at 15:36
For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 10, 2019 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org New Poll: Government Shutdown Hurting Senate Republicans Up for Reelection in 2020 Voters would also oppose President Trump declaring a “National Emergency” to fund wall. Washington, DC – New polling from Public Policy Polling (PPP), commissioned by MoveOn and the Immigration Hub, shows the government shutdown The post PPP Poll Shows Trump’s Shutdown Will Hurt Senate GOP in 2020 appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
2018 MoveOn Year In Review
by Brian Stewart on December 28, 2018 at 23:44
In 2018, MoveOn members helped power spectacular victories at the ballot box, fought back against attacks on our democracy, and provided critical aid to those facing humanitarian crises at home and abroad. Millions of MoveOn members were part of a movement that ended Republican control of the House, marched against gun violence, fought brutality at The post 2018 MoveOn Year In Review appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Stop the War, Save the Kids | #YemenCantWait
by Iram Ali on December 13, 2018 at 20:35
BREAKING NEWS 56 Senators voted YES on S.J.Res. 54. On December 13, the Senate chose to move toward ending U.S. complicity in the Saudi-led attacks in Yemen by passing the Yemen War Powers Resolution. In a major move that will hold historical significance in the anti-war and peace movements, a bipartisan group of senators took The post Stop the War, Save the Kids | #YemenCantWait appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll: Support Up for Grabs Among Wide, Diverse Field
by Brian Stewart on December 12, 2018 at 17:38
The results of MoveOn’s first membership-wide straw poll and survey for the 2020 presidential elections are in: Support from members is up for grabs among a wide and diverse field of potential candidates. What’s not up for grabs is what MoveOn members hope for in the next president: The top factors MoveOn members said they The post MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll: Support Up for Grabs Among Wide, Diverse Field appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll: Field Wide Open; Members Want Strong Progressive Voice To Challenge Trump
by Brian Stewart on December 11, 2018 at 17:13
Group To Hold Series Of Events In Early 2019 In Early Primary States To Allow Candidates To Present Big Bold Ideas WASHINGTON, DC — The results of MoveOn’s first membership-wide straw poll and survey for the 2020 presidential elections found that support from its membership is up for grabs among a wide and diverse field The post MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll: Field Wide Open; Members Want Strong Progressive Voice To Challenge Trump appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll Results
by Brian Stewart on December 11, 2018 at 15:06
Someone Else / Don’t Know 17.89% Beto O’Rourke 15.60% Joe Biden 14.95% Bernie Sanders 13.15% Kamala Harris 10.02% Elizabeth Warren 6.42% Sherrod Brown 2.92% Amy Klobuchar 2.75% Michael Bloomberg 2.71% Cory Booker 2.63% Joseph Kennedy III 1.90% Stacey Abrams 1.16% Kirsten Gillibrand 1.09% Tulsi Gabbard 0.78% John Hickenlooper 0.71% Eric Holder 0.59% Eric Swalwell 0.54% The post MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll Results appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.