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Member since: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 04:21 PM
Number of posts: 16,104

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Trump isn't an evil genius

Source: Vox, by David Roberts

Whenever a reactionary populist regime takes power and begins doing illiberal things, the same question arises among its critics: How much of this is part of a master plan and how much is just flailing? What is the exact mix of incompetence and ill intent?


What authoritarian regimes do is blunder forward, grasping and grabbing power whenever and wherever they can, building secretive inner circles, surrounding themselves with supplicant state media, demonizing dissenting voices, and punishing enemies. They do this not because of some 12-dimensional-chess analysis of the political landscape, but because that’s what narcissism and zero-sum thinking do. They are more like animals driven by instinct than chess masters driven by strategy, though of course there’s a range (with Trump being on the far blinded-by-narcissism end).


So if we want to know what’s next with Trumpism, it’s not necessary to determine exactly how self-aware he is, the precise admixture of evil genius and rage addled amateur. An authoritarian-minded regime will continue trampling norms and accruing power as long as it can. It will blunder forward until restrained.

What will happen next depends not on Trump, but on America’s institutions and norms — the courts, the military, Congress, civil society, journalism. It is their strength, not his, that will determine how this story ends.

Read it all at: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/31/14442190/trump-is-no-evil-genius

John Hurt - Jabberwocky

What one Republican thinks:

There's one!


In First Interview as President, Donald Trump Rejects Reality

And Creates his Own

Source: Vanity Fair, by Emily Jane Fox


None of the millions of people who voted illegally, he explained without evidence, voted for him—they all voted for his opponent, Hillary Clinton. “Believe me. Those were Hillary votes. And if you look at it they all voted for Hillary. They all voted for Hillary. They didn't vote for me. I don't believe I got one,” Trump said, seeming to build momentum as he turned the idea over in his head. “Okay, these are people that voted for Hillary Clinton. And if they didn't vote, it would've been different in the popular.”

This alternate reality continued to shine through when the conversation turned to the wall Trump says he plans to build on the Mexican border. In this reality, it appears that Trump still believes that as president, he can get away with making huge promises without having a plan to back them up, as he did throughout the campaign. Now, of course, Trump isn’t offering mere campaign promises; he is actually able to effect change, and will be held accountable for doing so, or failing to do so. At the same time, Trump’s conversation with Muir suggested a third option: obfuscating his position to the point that he can never be held to account, no matter the outcome.

When Muir asked if the American taxpayer will pay for the wall at first, Trump’s response was that America will get reimbursed. Muir then pointed out that Mexico’s president has clearly stated that he won’t. “I think he has to say that. I’m just telling you there will be a payment. It will be a form, perhaps a complicated form.”

On the timing of the wall, Trump’s only clue was that it will happen “as soon as we can physically building….I would say in months, yeah.” And in explaining if people here illegally should worry about their future in the U.S., he offered a stunningly conflicting message. “They shouldn’t be worried. They are here illegally,” he said. But “they shouldn’t be worried. I have a big heart.”

Read it all at: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/01/donald-trump-david-muir-interview

How to Make America's Robots Great Again

More losing with Corrupt Trump's regressive policies.

Source: New York Times, by Farhad Manjoo

Here’s what you might call an alternative fact: American factories still make a lot of stuff. In 2016, the United States hit a manufacturing record, producing more goods than ever. But you don’t hear much gloating about this because manufacturers made all this stuff without a lot of people. Thanks to automation, we now make 85 percent more goods than we did in 1987, but with only two-thirds the number of workers.

Pushing a robotics revival in the United States would be more difficult than in China, where there hasn’t been much outcry from workers over the government’s embrace of automation.

“There is not a public conversation in China about the pluses and minuses of automation,” said Scott Kennedy, a China scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “They don’t talk about the losers in society from globalization or potential automation.”

In the United States, on the other hand, losing is all we seem to talk about. Mr. Trump rose to power in part because he crystallized a feeling among voters that we have lost our edge to China. He promised to bring jobs back to America. In a hot-take political climate that can’t stomach nuance, an investment in robots would be seen as a betrayal of the manufacturing workers he promised to save.

Read it all at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/technology/personaltech/how-to-make-americas-robots-great-again.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region

"White Women Elected Trump"


What happened when I took a “White Women Elected Trump” sign to the Women’s March

Read what she says at: https://twitter.com/mstharrington/status/823190136200593408

Sean Spicer slams media over inauguration crowd coverage

Oh, that freakin' liberal media!

Source: CBS News


Of crowd size estimates, Spicer said “no one had numbers...because the National Park Service” does not put any out.”

Despite the lack of numbers just cited, Spicer went on to assert “this was the largest audience to ever witness the inauguration period both in person and around the globe.”


Speaking to CBSN after Spicer’s statement, CBS senior White House correspondent Major Garrett said: “It is quite clear that this administration will make whatever representations it wants to on its impression and interpretation of the news and drive that right back at the news media if it thinks it is being unfair or inflicting damage on the image this White House wants to display.”

“I’ve never seen anything like this where it was so intense, so harsh and passionate right off the beginning,” said Garrett, “So much of it was about what the media got wrong from the interpretation of this White House and a declaration that this antagonism is going to continue because this president feels duty-bound, on behalf of this movement that Sean Spicer spoke about, to speak beyond the media and criticize it whenever he is justified in doing so.”


A combination of photos taken at the National Mall shows the crowds attending the inauguration ceremonies to swear in U.S. President Donald Trump at 12:01pm (L) on January 20, 2017 and President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, in Washington, DC, U.S.
/ REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (L), Stelios Varias TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTSWJVI


About 30.6 million people watched the inauguration, according to the Nielsen ratings, a smaller number than the 38 million who watched Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.

More at: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sean-spicer-media-coverage-inauguration-crowd/

C-SPAN streaming Women's March on Washington!

You can watch/listen while keeping an eye on DU!


"What the hell are all those women doing? Wasn't the inauguration yesterday?"


Forever stamps will cost more starting Sunday

If you use couriers to deliver emails, and tweets to deliver policy...

"I think the computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole, you know, age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on."

...then you probably won't notice this little cost increase. Goes great with $500 average increase to home loans for a number of us.

Thank you, Mr. Precedent.

Source: USA Today Network, Zlati Meyer, Detroit Free Press

It might be called a "Forever" stamp, but not when it comes to the price of buying one.

The cost of mailing a one-ounce first-class letter will return to being 49 cents, up from 47 cents, where it had been since April.

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