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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Charles Blow Explodes over Bannon: Don't Interrupt Me, Racism is A Probl...

'Bogus charges': Standing Rock activists say they face campaign of legal bullying | US news | The Guardian







'Bogus charges': Standing Rock activists say they face campaign of legal bullying | US news | The Guardian

The Truth About Young Immigrants and DACA - The New York Times



This is so important not just to these talented young people but to our country's future brain trust. "... As secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, I signed the June 15, 2012, directive that began, “I am setting forth how, in the exercise of our prosecutorial discretion, the Department of Homeland Security (D.H.S.) should enforce the nation’s immigration laws against certain young people who were brought to this country as children and know only this country as home.” On the same day, President Obama announced DACA from the Rose Garden in a message heavy on common-sense law enforcement — and hope.
I arrived in the department as a former United States attorney, attorney general and governor of a border state, and I already knew that many of our immigration policies made little, if any, sense because they did not prioritize the use of enforcement resources.
As secretary, I changed enforcement policies to focus on those immigrants who posed a national security or public safety threat, such as gang members and violent felons, and not on veterans, nursing mothers and those with longstanding ties to their communities.
Prioritizing the use of resources in law enforcement is nothing new. It is known as “prosecutorial discretion,” and we can see it all around us — from local police departments deciding whom to pull over instead of stopping every speeding car to federal prosecutors focusing on larger financial fraud instead of going after every bad check.
Indeed, the authority of the federal government to exercise prosecutorial discretion has been repeatedly recognized by the Supreme Court, including in a seminal opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia.
Our efforts to use immigration enforcement resources wisely made a real difference. But when it became clear that Congress was not going to take action on comprehensive immigration reform, I realized that more needed to be done with respect to one special population — Dreamers.
Dreamers, among other requirements, came to the United States as children, developed deep roots in the country and have become valuable contributors to their community. They must be in high school or have a diploma, or be a veteran, and they cannot have been convicted of a felony or major misdemeanor.
For this population, we developed DACA. Under this program, qualifying individuals apply for what is known as “deferred action,” which provides recipients security against removal and the ability to work lawfully for two years, subject to renewal.
Contrary to the sometimes overheated political rhetoric, the program is not the same as amnesty. Each case is assessed on its own merits to ensure the applicant meets the criteria and poses no security threat. This is similar, but not identical, to how a prosecutor decides to charge a case. The program does not grant categorical relief to an entire group.
Today, there are nearly three-quarters of a million Dreamers who no longer have to constantly fear an encounter with an immigration enforcement agent. Instead, they can live, study and work freely. Many are now studying at the system I lead, the University of California.
They are the Berkeley graduate who emigrated to San Francisco at the age of 9 and is now in the system’s medical school there. They are the U.C.L.A. student who, at the age of 12, worked in construction to help support his family, an experience that led him to study urban planning and community development.
Some of the debate about the future of DACA suggests that it provides Dreamers an official immigration status or a pathway to citizenship. As the memorandum establishing the program made clear, this is not the case. Only Congress has the power to confer those rights.
Rather, the program reflects the executive branch doing what it properly does every day — making decisions about how to best use resources within the framework of existing law. There is no reason to abandon these sensible priorities now....."




The Truth About Young Immigrants and DACA - The New York Times

Mr. Trump, Meet the Constitution - The New York Times

"... When Donald Trump, hand on the Bible on Jan. 20, swears to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, we the people will have good reason to doubt he knows what he’s talking about. Consider what he tweeted out on Tuesday:



“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”



Here’s where we explain what shouldn’t need explaining. Flag-burning is constitutionally protected speech. The Supreme Court has made this clear, in a ruling joined by Mr. Trump’s favorite justice, Antonin Scalia. It’s popular to want to punish flag-burners — pandering politicians, including Hillary Clinton, have tried. But the First Amendment exists to protect unpopular, even repulsive forms of expression. As the Supreme Court said in a 1990 decision finding a federal law against flag-burning unconstitutional, “Punishing desecration of the flag dilutes the very freedom that makes this emblem so revered, and worth revering.”



It’s interesting that so many of the people, like Mr. Trump, who are eager to punish flag-burners are at the same time so untroubled by speech that offends minorities, women and other Americans. They rail against any concern about that kind of speech as “political correctness.” But in this country, flag-burning is about as politically incorrect as anything you can do. Where is their courageous defense of speech now? Isn’t Mr. Trump the man who stood up for the freedom to say brutally unpleasant things? Who said, at the Republican convention: “I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.”



The court, by the way, has also declared that citizenship cannot be stripped away, not by Congress or the president, not in this democracy..."



Mr. Trump, Meet the Constitution - The New York Times

Monday, November 28, 2016

Donald Trump’s Lies About the Popular Vote - The New York Times

"...  On Sunday, President-elect Trump unleashed a barrage of tweets complaining about calls for recounts or vote audits in several closely contested states, and culminating in this message: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”



This is a lie, part of Mr. Trump’s pattern, stretching back many years, of disregard for indisputable facts. There is no evidence of illegal voting on even a small scale anywhere in the country, let alone a systematic conspiracy involving “millions.” But this is the message that gets hammered relentlessly by right-wing propaganda sites like InfoWars, which is run by a conspiracy theorist who claims the Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax — and whose absurdities Mr. Trump has often shouted through his megaphone, which will shortly bear the presidential seal. Mr. Trump added more fuel to the fire with the false claim of “serious voter fraud” in California, Virginia and New Hampshire — all states that went for Hillary Clinton.



In addition to insulting law-abiding voters everywhere, these lies about fraud threaten the foundations of American democracy. They have provided the justification for state voter-suppression laws around the country, and they could give the Trump administration a pretext to roll back voting rights on a national scale..."





Donald Trump’s Lies About the Popular Vote - The New York Times

Ohio State student identified as campus attacker, nearly a dozen hospitalized - The Washington Post





Ohio State student identified as campus attacker, nearly a dozen hospitalized - The Washington Post

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Why black Americans love Fidel Castro — Quartz







"When it came to matching words with deeds on the topic of racial equality, the most stalwart leader of the Western hemisphere, over the course of the 20th century, was Fidel Castro.



I say this as a black American who came to bond closely with Latin America as an adult, living in Mexico for almost two years, traveling and staying with families in the Dominican Republic, and making more than half a dozen visits to Cuba, where I strolled through its enchanting cities and drove into the far reaches of the countryside, forging relationships with its people, especially those of darker hue."





Why black Americans love Fidel Castro — Quartz

Bernie Sanders Gets Frustrated With CNN Host's Election Recount Questions | The Huffington Post




Bernie Sanders Gets Frustrated With CNN Host's Election Recount Questions | The Huffington Post

Fidel Castro's Horrific Record on Gay Rights - The Daily Beast

"Fidel Castro's Horrific Record on Gay Rights

Concentration camps for gays. Political prisons where they were treated like "beasts." Listen up liberals. Before you go celebrating the life of Castro, remember his victims.

James Kirchick

JAMES KIRCHICK



11.27.16 2:23 PM ET

Fidel Castro was many things: a revolutionary, a Communist, a garrulous orator. Amidst the fawning encomia released upon his long-overdue death at the age of 90, it should never be forgotten that he was also an oppressor, torturer, and murderer of gay people.

“We would never come to believe that a homosexual could embody the conditions and requirements of conduct that would enable us to consider him a true Revolutionary, a true Communist militant,” Castro told an interviewer in 1965. “A deviation of that nature clashes with the concept we have of what a militant Communist should be.”





Fidel Castro's Horrific Record on Gay Rights - The Daily Beast

Bernie Sanders meets Spike Lee: ‘Where do we go? Where is the hope?’ | Life and style | The Guardian







"SL You know what Malcolm X said? It was a famous quote that got him into trouble, but that comes to mind. He said, “Chickens come home to roost.” And it seems to me, all this stuff today was a reaction to day one, when Obama put his right hand on Lincoln’s bible. I think things started on the day a black man became president of the United States. This all happened eight years ago.

BS Well, I think, Spike, that’s part of it. I don’t think it’s the whole thing, though.
SL But I think it’s a large part of it.
BS Well, I think a number of people who voted for Obama once, or twice, voted for Trump. And I think the issue is that there are millions of people in this country who voted for Trump but do not accept… I’m not going to deny for a second that there’s a lot of racism and xenophobia and sexism out there; there certainly is. But there are a whole lot of other people who are just really, really hurting. They’re working two or three jobs, they’re worried about their kids, they can’t afford to send them to childcare or to college. And Trump comes along and says, “I’m a champion of the working class.” And he’s a good showman and a good entertainer, and people believed him.
But our job now, it seems to me, is in three areas. Number one: to fight him tooth and nail in any movement toward racism, xenophobia, sexism, trying to divide our country up. And number two: if he is at all sincere – and we will see if he is – in developing programmes to create jobs and raise wages, I think we should work with him. But I’ll tell you what also concerns me, not just for this country but the planet, is this guy thinks that climate change is a hoax. Well, let me tell you, it ain’t a hoax. Climate change is real, and if we don’t transform our energy system, the planet we leave for our kids and grandchildren may not be a pretty place."




Bernie Sanders meets Spike Lee: ‘Where do we go? Where is the hope?’ | Life and style | The Guardian

The Nun Murders and the Presidential Transition Team - The Daily Beast

"During the transition from Carter to Reagan, the Salvadoran death squads started targeting Americans. A cautionary tale about signals sent and messages received.

Christopher Dickey

CHRISTOPHER DICKEY



11.27.16 10:25 AM ET

PARIS — A new president had just been elected in the United States — a hard line president, who, it was said, had no patience with the vacillating, moralizing policies of his predecessor. Around the world thugs who would spit when they heard the phrase “human rights” suddenly took heart. With such a man in the White House, they thought, they had a license to kill.

This was November 1980, when the confused transition from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan opened the door to a bloodbath in the little Central American country of El Salvador; when, suddenly, anyone the military suspected of aiding the subversivos was liable to be tortured to death, and even Americans—even American nuns—were fair game.

Now 36 years later, we will soon mark the anniversary of the death of four American churchwomen kidnapped, raped and murdered in El Salvador on the night of December 2, 1980. "





The Nun Murders and the Presidential Transition Team - The Daily Beast

Why Did Americans Without College Degrees Vote For Trump? Even controlling for race and income, the concentration of college degrees was the strongest indicator of whether a county would back the Republican. - The Atlantic

"By now, you’ve heard about the great American divide that ushered Donald Trump into office. It’s probably been pitched as a matter of money and wealth— prosperous city dwellers against the rural poor, or the white working class versus everyone else.



But that’s the wrong place to look. Education mattered more than anything else, it appears, even when controlling for economic factors.



States submitting their final election returns have made it possible to dig deeper into local ballots, combining Census demographics and county-level turnout to make conclusions with statistical heft. The chart below tracks 15 demographic factors and the relative strength they held in this election, as modeled through linear regression (and controlling for total votes and Mitt Romney’s 2012 turnout, which strips away some predictable partisan patterns):



What Predicted Donald Trump's Success?
These are the county demographics that mattered most in the election, according to an analysis using county ballot counts and Census records. They're scaled to their relative importance, and split by statistical significance.

Some helped Trump, and others hurt him.
High significance
More college grads
Larger Asian population
Larger Hispanic population
Larger black population
Larger immigrant population
Median income dropped
Bigger manufacturing base
More homebodies
Lost manufacturing jobs
Hispanic population grew
Richer
Moderate significance
Unemployment rate, men
Low significance
Unemployment rate, women
Rate of drug overdose
Denser neighborhoods






 


Why Did Americans Without College Degrees Vote For Trump? - The Atlantic

Under Donald Trump, the US will no longer be the beacon of the free world | Richard Wolffe | Opinion | The Guardian

Richard Wolffe

..."Somehow Donald Trump manages to dumb down everything. Somehow he manages to lower the bar to the point where he can play by a different set of rules. And somehow the media and elected officials just shrug their shoulders and walk away.



By his own admission, the president-elect is negotiating business deals at a time when his predecessors were, you know, filling cabinet positions and transitioning to power. He met with his Indian business partners and the Trump Organization signed a Kolkata deal last week.



As Trump tweeted earlier this week, “Prior to the election it was well known that I have interests in properties all over the world. Only the crooked media makes this a big deal!”...





Under Donald Trump, the US will no longer be the beacon of the free world | Richard Wolffe | Opinion | The Guardian

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Black-White Wealth Gap In Cities - The Atlantic




"The wealth discrepancy between blacks and whites is one of the most stark examples of inequality in America. White American families have, on average, around $142,000 in savings and assets, minus debt. Black families’, meanwhile, amounted to only $11,000, according to a 2014 Pew Research study. The gulf between black and white wealth is the worst it has been since the 1980s. Put differently, an average white family has 13 times the wealth of an average black family.



But as though the median numbers for the country as a whole weren’t bad enough, things look much worse in America’s cities, according to a new paper from the Urban institute—even cities such as D.C. where the prevalence of public-sector jobs, a large black population, and a high share of black business owners might make it seem like a place that black families could thrive. But in Washington D.C., the median white family has a staggering 81 times as much wealth as the median black family.





D.C. is not an outlier: In general, urban areas have much more severe racial inequalities, in part because of the concentration of white wealthy people, and the fact that their wealth has not “trickled down” to poor and middle-class black families. According to a 2015  National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Colors, D.C.’s racial wealth gap falls just behind Los Angeles’s, where median wealth for whites was closer to 89 times as much as blacks’. In Miami it was 30 times as high; in Tulsa, 18 times."





Black-White Wealth Gap In Cities - The Atlantic

S Korea sees largest protests against President Park Geun-hye - BBC News

A protest in Seoul against South Korea's president



"Hundreds of thousands have rallied in South Korea for what is thought to be the largest protests so far demanding President Park Geun-hye steps down.

Ms Park is accused of allowing her friend, Choi Soon-sil, to manipulate power from behind the scenes.

The president has apologised twice on national television, but has so far resisted calls to resign.

Organisers said 1.3 million had gathered in capital Seoul on Saturday night, despite cold weather and snow.

They expect another half a million protesters to turn out in other regions.

However police put the turnout at about 260,000. About 25,000 officers were being deployed in the capital, local media said."






S Korea sees largest protests against President Park Geun-hye - BBC News

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro | Prime Minister of Canada

"The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro:

“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.
“Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.
“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.
“I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”


Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro | Prime Minister of Canada

Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at 90 - The New York Times





"Mr. Castro was perhaps the most important leader to emerge from Latin America since the wars of independence in the early 19th century. He was decidedly the most influential shaper of Cuban history since his own hero, José Martí, struggled for Cuban independence in the late 19th century. Mr. Castro’s revolution transformed Cuban society and had a longer-lasting impact throughout the region than that of any other 20th-century Latin American insurrection, with the possible exception of the 1910 Mexican Revolution.



His legacy in Cuba and elsewhere has been a mixed record of social progress and abject poverty, of racial equality and political persecution, of medical advances and a degree of misery comparable to the conditions that existed in Cuba when he entered Havana as a victorious guerrilla commander in 1959.



That image made him a symbol of revolution throughout the world and an inspiration to many imitators. Hugo Chávez of Venezuela considered Mr. Castro his ideological godfather. Subcommander Marcos began a revolt in the mountains of southern Mexico in 1994, using many of the same tactics. Even Mr. Castro’s spotty performance as an aging autocrat in charge of a foundering economy could not undermine his established image."



Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at 90 - The New York Times

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Populism Perplex, What Bernie Sanders Does Not Understand - The New York Times



"Recently Bernie Sanders offered an answer: Democrats should “go beyond identity politics.” What’s needed, he said, are candidates who understand that working-class incomes are down, who will “stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, to the fossil fuel industry.”

But is there any reason to believe that this would work? Let me offer some reasons for doubt.

First, a general point: Any claim that changed policy positions will win elections assumes that the public will hear about those positions. How is that supposed to happen, when most of the news media simply refuse to cover policy substance? Remember, over the course of the 2016 campaign, the three network news shows devoted a total of 35 minutes combined to policy issues — all policy issues. Meanwhile, they devoted 125 minutes to Mrs. Clinton’s emails.

Beyond this, the fact is that Democrats have already been pursuing policies that are much better for the white working class than anything the other party has to offer. Yet this has brought no political reward.

Consider eastern Kentucky, a very white area which has benefited enormously from Obama-era initiatives. Take, in particular, the case of Clay County, which the Times declared a few years ago to be the hardest place in America to live. It’s still very hard, but at least most of its residents now have health insurance: Independent estimates say that the uninsured rate fell from 27 percent in 2013 to 10 percent in 2016. That’s the effect of the Affordable Care Act, which Mrs. Clinton promised to preserve and extend but Mr. Trump promised to kill.

Mr. Trump received 87 percent of Clay County’s vote.

Now, you might say that health insurance is one thing, but what people want are good jobs. Eastern Kentucky used to be coal country, and Mr. Trump, unlike Mrs. Clinton, promised to bring the coal jobs back. (So much for the idea that Democrats need a candidate who will stand up to the fossil fuels industry.) But it’s a nonsensical promise.

Where did Appalachia’s coal mining jobs go? They weren’t lost to unfair competition from China or Mexico. What happened instead was, first, a decades-long erosion as U.S. coal production shifted from underground mining to strip mining and mountaintop removal, which require many fewer workers: Coal employment peaked in 1979, fell rapidly during the Reagan years, and was down more than half by 2007. A further plunge came in recent years thanks to fracking. None of this is reversible.

Is the case of former coal country exceptional? Not really. Unlike the decline in coal, some of the long-term decline in manufacturing employment can be attributed to rising trade deficits, but even there it’s a fairly small fraction of the story. Nobody can credibly promise to bring the old jobs back; what you can promise — and Mrs. Clinton did — are things like guaranteed health care and higher minimum wages. But working-class whites overwhelmingly voted for politicians who promise to destroy those gains.

So what happened here? Part of the answer may be that Mr. Trump had no problems with telling lies about what he could accomplish. If so, there may be a backlash when the coal and manufacturing jobs don’t come back, while health insurance disappears.

But maybe not. Maybe a Trump administration can keep its supporters on board, not by improving their lives, but by feeding their sense of resentment.

For let’s be serious here: You can’t explain the votes of places like Clay County as a response to disagreements about trade policy. The only way to make sense of what happened is to see the vote as an expression of, well, identity politics — some combination of white resentment at what voters see as favoritism toward nonwhites (even though it isn’t) and anger on the part of the less educated at liberal elites whom they imagine look down on them."...


The Populism Perplex - The New York Times

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Why Are Whites So Angry? - The New York Times

"To see the full picture, whiteness must be understood in light of our national history, specifically the use of state power to engineer preferential treatment for whites and deliberately impose cumulative disadvantage on blacks. Carol Anderson’s new book, “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide,” brings such a historical context sharply back into focus. This book is an extraordinarily timely and urgent call to confront the legacy of structural racism bequeathed by white anger and resentment, and to show its continuing threat to the promise of American democracy.



In August 2014, as the headlines from Ferguson focused on the eruption of black rage, Anderson, a professor of African-­American studies at Emory University, wrote a dissenting op-ed in The Washington Post arguing that the events were better understood as white backlash at a moment of black progress, a social and political pattern that she reminded readers was as old as the nation itself. Her essay became the kernel for this book, which expands and illustrates her thesis. “I set out to make white rage visible,” Anderson writes in her introduction, “to blow graphite onto that hidden fingerprint and trace its historic movements over the past 150 years.”



This time frame takes us back to Reconstruction, that tragic decade in the wake of the Civil War, which is where Anderson picks up her narrative. “America was at the crossroads,” she writes, “between its slaveholding past and the possibility of a truly inclusive, vibrant democracy.” She chooses to highlight President Andrew Johnson’s aggressive opposition to the enfranchisement of black Americans. She also details the horrors of paramilitary terrorism waged by the Klan and its affiliates. But we get only sketches here of the wide and brutal conflict in which Reconstruction “was overthrown, with impunity and audacity, in one of the bloodiest, darkest and still least-known chapters in American history,” which is how Stephen Budiansky put it in “The Bloody Shirt: Terror After Appomattox” (2008). With the Hayes-Tilden Compromise of 1877, Southern Democrats agreed to support Rutherford B. Hayes’s claim to the presidency in exchange for an end to Reconstruction — a collusion that plunged the South back into white supremacy.



Against these depredations blacks sought the protection of the Constitution. Anderson’s book is particularly acute in recalling the Supreme Court’s shameful role in repeatedly denying that relief, and in securing and ratifying the legal apartheid we know as Jim Crow.



Like a series of tableaus by Jacob Lawrence, Anderson’s survey links scenes that should be familiar to us, yet somehow keep falling by the wayside in the story of America we tell: There are the boxcars full of sharecroppers fleeing the South; the bellowing declarations of massive resistance to school integration after Brown v. Board of Education; the “Southern strategy,” Nixon’s playbook for using white anger over the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, enshrining race-baiting as a political maneuver; the Reagan administration’s machinations in the so-called War on Drugs; the vitriolic hatred directed at Barack Obama."





Why Are Whites So Angry? - The New York Times

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education Pick, Has Steered Money From Public Schools - The New York Times

"It is hard to find anyone more passionate about the idea of steering public dollars away from traditional public schools than Betsy DeVos, Donald J. Trump’s pick as the cabinet secretary overseeing the nation’s education system.



For nearly 30 years, as a philanthropist, activist and Republican fund-raiser, she has pushed to give families taxpayer money in the form of vouchers to attend private and parochial schools, pressed to expand publicly funded but privately run charter schools, and tried to strip teacher unions of their influence.



A daughter of privilege, she also married into it; her husband, Dick, who ran unsuccessfully for governor of Michigan a decade ago, is heir to the Amway fortune. Like many education philanthropists, she argues that children’s ZIP codes should not confine them to failing schools."







Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education Pick, Has Steered Money From Public Schools - The New York Times

The world leader who may be most like Donald Trump Chris Hayes looks at the parallels between Trump and Italy's longest-serving prime minister - Silvio Berlusconi - All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC




All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hillary Clinton urged to call for election vote recount in battleground states


"A growing number of academics and activists are calling for US authorities to fully audit or recount the 2016 presidential election vote in key battleground states, in case the results could have been skewed by foreign hackers.

The loose coalition, which is urging Hillary Clinton’s campaign to join its fight, is preparing to deliver a report detailing its concerns to congressional committee chairs and federal authorities early next week, according to two people involved.

The new special relationship: what does Putin want from Trump?

The document, which is currently 18 pages long, focuses on concerns about the results in the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin."

Trump risks violating Constitution with foreign business | MSNBC



Trump risks violating Constitution with foreign business | MSNBC

Jon Stewart on the "gift" of "The Daily Show"

Trump Foundation admits to violating ban on ‘self-dealing,’ new filing to IRS shows


"President-elect Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has admitted to the Internal Revenue Service that it violated a legal prohibition against “self-dealing,” which bars nonprofit leaders from using their charity’s money to help themselves, their businesses or their families.

The admission was contained in the Donald J. Trump Foundation’s IRS tax filings for 2015, which were recently posted online at the nonprofit-tracking site GuideStar. A GuideStar spokesman said the forms were uploaded by the Trump Foundation’s law firm, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Racist segregationist politics not so far back in US history | MSNBC




Racist segregationist politics not so far back in US history | MSNBC

We need to talk about the online radicalisation of young, white men | Abi Wilkinson | Opinion | The Guardian

"For several years now, I’ve had a dark and fairly unusual hobby. When I’m alone and bored and the mood strikes me, I’ll open up my laptop and head for a particularly unsavoury corner of the internet.



No, not the bit you’re thinking of. Somewhere far worse. That loose network of blogs, forums, subreddits and alternative media publications colloquially known as the “manosphere”. An online subculture centred around hatred, anger and resentment of feminism specifically, and women more broadly. It’s grimly fascinating and now troubling relevant.



 In modern parlance, this is part of the phenomenon known as the “alt-right”. More sympathetic commentators portray it as “a backlash to PC culture” and critics call it out as neofascism. Over the past year, it has been strange to see the disturbing internet subculture I’ve followed for so long enter the mainstream. The executive chairman of one of its most popular media outlets, Breitbart, has just been appointed Donald Trump’s chief of strategy, and their UK bureau chief was among the first Brits to have a meeting with the president-elect. Their figurehead – Milo Yiannopoulos – toured the country stumping for him during the campaign on his “Dangerous Faggot” tour. These people are now part of the political landscape."









We need to talk about the online radicalisation of young, white men | Abi Wilkinson | Opinion | The Guardian

Sunday, November 20, 2016

NYTimes: How Fake News Goes Viral: A Case Study

"Eric Tucker, a 35-year-old co-founder of a marketing company in Austin, Tex., had just about 40 Twitter followers. But his recent tweet about paid protesters being bused to demonstrations against President-elect Donald J. Trump fueled a nationwide conspiracy theory — one that Mr. Trump joined in promoting.

Mr. Tucker's post was shared at least 16,000 times on Twitter and more than 350,000 times on Facebook. The problem is that Mr. Tucker got it wrong. There were no such buses packed with paid protesters.

But that didn't matter.

While some fake news is produced purposefully by teenagers in the Balkans or entrepreneurs in the United States seeking to make money from advertising, false information can also arise from misinformed social media posts by regular people that are seized on and spread through a hyperpartisan blogosphere."

Dreams of undocumented young people start to crumble after Trump victory | US news | The Guardian

"Fears that the imminent arrival of Donald Trump in the White House could force hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants back into the shadows have already started to materialize, as young Hispanics are giving up hope of acquiring legal status just days after the presidential election.



Immigration lawyers are advising undocumented youths, known as “Dreamers”, to stop applying for temporary work permits under a program introduced by Barack Obama on the grounds that it could expose them to potential deportation once Trump is in power. The president-elect has plans to scrap the scheme, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca), as one of his first acts in office.



The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is now giving standard guidance to all Dreamers that “if you do not currently have Daca and are considering whether to apply for it for the first time, we recommend that you NOT do so at this time”.



The evidence that undocumented young people are already turning away from the legal status program is the first sign that Trump’s victory has begun to push people into forms of hiding. It is also the first sign that Obama’s legacy, built partly around his attempt to bring the Dreamers into the light, has rapidly started to unravel."



Dreams of undocumented young people start to crumble after Trump victory | US news | The Guardian

Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Pick for Attorney General, Is a Fierce Opponent of Civil Rights | The Nation

"In January 1985, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the 39-year-old US Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, charged Turner, his wife Evelyn, and Hogue with 29 counts of mail fraud, altering absentee ballots, and conspiracy to vote more than once. They faced over 100 years in jail on criminal charges and felony statutes under the VRA—provisions of the law that had scarcely been used to prosecute the white officials who had disenfranchised blacks for so many years. The Turners and Hogue became known as the Marion Three. (This story is best told in Lani Guinier’s book Lift Every Voice.)



The trial was held in Selma, of all places. The jury of seven blacks and five whites deliberated for less than three hours before returning a not-guilty verdict on all counts.



Four months later, the Reagan administration, to the astonishment of civil-rights supporters, nominated Sessions for a federal judgeship on the District Court of Alabama. “Mr. Sessions’ role in the voting fraud case in Alabama alone should bar him from sitting on the bench,” Ted Kennedy said."



Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Pick for Attorney General, Is a Fierce Opponent of Civil Rights | The Nation

Obama Reckons with a Trump Presidency - The New Yorker

“This is not the apocalypse,” Obama said. History does not move in straight lines; sometimes it goes sideways, sometimes it goes backward. A couple of days later, when I asked the President about that consolation, he offered this: “I don’t believe in apocalyptic—until the apocalypse comes. I think nothing is the end of the world until the end of the world.”



Obama’s insistence on hope felt more willed than audacious. It spoke to the civic duty he felt to prevent despair not only among the young people in the West Wing but also among countless Americans across the country. At the White House, as elsewhere, dread and dejection were compounded by shock. Administration officials recalled the collective sense of confidence about the election that had persisted for many months, the sense of balloons and confetti waiting to be released. Last January, on the eve of his final State of the Union address, Obama submitted to a breezy walk-and-talk interview in the White House with the “Today” show. Wry and self-possessed, he told Matt Lauer that no matter what happened in the election he was sure that “the overwhelming majority” of Americans would never submit to Donald Trump’s appeals to their fears, that they would see through his “simplistic solutions and scapegoating.”





Obama Reckons with a Trump Presidency - The New Yorker

Undocumented in a Red State and Asking, “What Now?” - The New Yorker

"Trump’s victory has meant emotional whiplash for many across America, but few have as much at stake as the country’s estimated eleven million undocumented immigrants. From the very first day of his campaign, Trump had talked about his plan to “build a great, great wall” at the U.S.-Mexico border to keep out “rapists” and “people that have lots of problems,” and during a “60 Minutes” interview that aired on Sunday Trump vowed to waste no time deporting as many as three million people upon his Inauguration, starting with “people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers.” Following those deportations, the President-elect said, he’d focus on border security, and then assess which immigrants are “terrific people” and which deserve the boot—categories that, for Trump, may not be mutually exclusive.



That Fatima belongs in the “terrific” camp makes her, paradoxically, more vulnerable. She’s one of the Obama Administration’s “Dreamers”—the seven hundred thousand-plus undocumented youth who benefited from a program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or daca, which offered short-term protection from deportation, as well as the right to work. At a press conference on Monday, President Obama, who said that he would urge Trump to maintain the daca program, noted, “These are kids who were brought here by their parents. They did nothing wrong. They’ve gone to school. They have pledged allegiance to the flag. Some have enrolled in the military.… By definition, if they are part of this program, they are solid, wonderful young people of good character.” Yet to access daca’s safe haven, young people like Fatima had to turn over information to the government—their names, birth dates, addresses. Trump has railed against the executive action that gave young people this reprieve, and one early lesson of his victory now hovers over them: what executive authority gives, executive authority can take away."



Undocumented in a Red State and Asking, “What Now?” - The New Yorker

Trump’s Rural White America - The New York Times

"As I watched last week as protesters took to the streets in big cities, what struck me was the vast and growing divide between America’s rural and urban populations and their politics and sensibilities.



One look at county maps of this year’s election results and you see what looks like a handful of blueberries sprinkled on an endless spread of red sauce (between the blue coasts). And yet, it is likely that the final result will be that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, although Donald Trump won the electoral vote and therefore the election.



Part of the reason for this is that, as a census report noted last year: “U.S. cities are home to 62.7 percent of the U.S. population but comprise just 3.5 percent of land area.”





Trump’s Rural White America - The New York Times

America Elects a Bigot - The New York Times

"Donald J. Trump is president-elect of the United States. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.



Against all odds and against all forms of the establishment, he prevailed. He won, legitimately, including in many states that were thought to be safely blue. The pundits and the polls were wrong. There was more pent-up hunger for change — and also racial, ethnic and economic angst — than many models considered.



Mr. Trump will become this country’s 45th president. For me, it is a truly shocking fact, a bitter pill to swallow. I remain convinced that this is one of the worst possible people who could be elected president. I remain convinced that Trump has a fundamentally flawed character and is literally dangerous for world stability and injurious to America’s standing in that world.



There is so much that I can’t fully comprehend.



It is hard to know specifically how to position yourself in a country that can elect a man with such staggering ineptitude and open animus. It makes you doubt whatever faith you had in the country itself.



Also, let me be clear: Businessman Donald Trump was a bigot. Candidate Donald Trump was a bigot. Republican nominee Donald Trump was a bigot. And I can only assume that President Donald Trump will be a bigot.



It is absolutely possible that America didn’t elect him in spite of that, but because of it. Consider that for a second. Think about what that means. This is America right now: throwing its lot in with a man who named an alt-right sympathizer as his campaign chief."





America Elects a Bigot - The New York Times

Trump Embarrasses Himself and Our Country - The New York Times

"Early signs of what the Trump administration may look like: A man associated with white supremacy and misogyny will be White House chief strategist; a man rejected for a judgeship because of alleged racism will be attorney general; and an Islamophobe who has taken money from Moscow will be national security adviser.



No, this is not satire.



I’ve repeatedly noted that my side lost this election, that elections have consequences, and that President-Elect Donald Trump should be given a chance. He seems intent on blowing that chance.



The announcement that Trump has recruited Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser is particularly alarming. Flynn is smart and knows the world very well, but he was fired from his last government job for incompetence. Worse, he today is regarded by many Republican and Democratic foreign policy specialists as a kook."





Trump Embarrasses Himself and Our Country - The New York Times

Donald Trump Prepares Cold Open - SNL

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Jon Stewart on President-elect Trump, hypocrisy in America

After 'Hamilton' audience boos Mike Pence, cast addresses the VP-elect

No comments: Links to this post

Pure Evil - Jeff Sessions as Attorney General: An Insult to Justice - Jeff Sessions as Attorney General: An Insult to Justice


"In 1986, President Ronald Reagan nominated Jeff Sessions, then a United States attorney from Alabama, to be a federal judge. The Republican-controlled Senate rejected Mr. Sessions out of concern, based on devastating testimony by former colleagues, that he was a racist.

Three decades later, Mr. Sessions, now a veteran Alabama senator, is on the verge of becoming the nation’s top law-enforcement official, after President-elect Donald Trump tapped him on Friday to be attorney general.

It would be nice to report that Mr. Sessions, who is now 69, has conscientiously worked to dispel the shadows that cost him the judgeship. Instead, the years since his last confirmation hearing reveal a pattern of dogged animus to civil rights and the progress of black Americans and immigrants.

Based on his record, we can form a fairly clear picture of what his Justice Department would look like:

For starters, forget about aggressive protection of civil rights, and of voting rights in particular. Mr. Sessions has called the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a “piece of intrusive legislation.” Under him, the department would most likely focus less on prosecutions of minority voter suppression and more on rooting out voter fraud, that hallowed conservative myth. As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Sessions brought voter-fraud charges against three civil rights workers trying to register black voters in rural Alabama. The prosecution turned up 14 allegedly doctored ballots out of 1.7 million cast, and the jury voted to acquit.

Forget, also, any federal criminal-justice reform, which was on the cusp of passage in Congress before Mr. Trump’s “law and order” campaign. Mr. Sessions strongly opposed bipartisan legislation to scale back the outrageously harsh sentences that filled federal prisons with low-level drug offenders. Instead, he called for more mandatory-minimum sentences and harsher punishments for drug crimes. The one bright spot was his working with Democrats to reduce the 100-to-1 disparity between punishments for crack and powder cocaine offenses.

But Mr. Sessions can do plenty of damage without any congressional action. As attorney general, he would set the guidelines prosecutors follow in deciding what cases and charges to bring. In 2013, Eric Holder Jr. ordered his prosecutors to avoid the most severe charges in low-level nonviolent drug cases, which has helped cut the number of absurdly long sentences for minor players. Mr. Sessions could reverse that with the stroke of a pen. He could just as easily reverse Mr. Holder’s decision not to interfere with state marijuana laws, likely ramping up prosecutions even as states continue to legalize the drug for medicinal or recreational use. “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” he said at a Senate hearing in April.

Mr. Sessions has been the Senate’s most ardent opponent of fixing the immigration system. In 2015 he proposed a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for anyone re-entering the country illegally after being deported. That could increase the federal prison population by as much as 30 percent. As Mr. Trump’s chief law enforcer, he is likely to fully support efforts to enlist local law enforcement in a widening dragnet for people without papers. He also, during the campaign, endorsed the idea of a ban on Muslim immigrants.

Count Mr. Sessions, as well, among those Trump allies calling for a special prosecutor to continue investigating Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, a decision that, if he is attorney general, would be his to make.

Donald Trump ran a presidential campaign that stoked white racial resentment. His choice for attorney general — which, like his other early choices, has been praised by white supremacists — embodies that worldview. We expect today’s senators, like their predecessors in 1986, to examine Mr. Sessions’s views and record with bipartisan rigor. If they do, it is hard to imagine that they will endorse a man once rejected for a low-level judgeship to safeguard justice for all Americans as attorney general."

 Jeff Sessions as Attorney General: An Insult to Justice

Friday, November 18, 2016

Obama Is Warning America About Trump’s Presidency. Are You Listening? | New Republic

BY BRIAN BEUTLER

November 15, 2016
President Barack Obama’s remarks about Donald Trump in his Monday press conference contained some of the most ominous words I’ve heard since news networks began calling the election for Trump early last Wednesday morning. But you may not have heard them.

It is an understatement to say that Obama’s departure from the White House is occurring under unusual circumstances. He is managing a transition to the presidency of someone he believes is unfit for that office, who has empowered racist hate groups, wants to undo the Obama presidency, and shouldn’t be entrusted with nuclear weapons.

Despite all that, but also in a sense precisely because of all that, Obama is planning to play something like mentor to Trump over the coming weeks—something that doesn’t normally happen between outgoing presidents and incoming ones when the latter is acceptably disciplined and competent.

In a tense environment where reporters, government workers, world leaders, and anxious citizens and immigrants understandably are scrutinizing every Donald Trump tweet and utterance and leak, Obama’s closing thoughts on the presidency and his successor will be given short shrift. But the things he says about the transition contain critical information about its progress and his confidence that, on the other side of it, things will run smoothly.

His Monday comments suggests he has very little confidence that they will.

There is a text and a subtext to everything politicians say in public, even ones without more elections to run. It was the subtext of Obama’s press conference that unnerved me.

On the surface, his performance was reassuring. He was chipper. He did not doomsay. He searched for the generous and hopeful things to say about Trump and Trump’s designs on the presidency. But on close reading the sum total of his remarks was frightening—a stage-setting, at the very least, for an administration Obama expects will be hobbled by incompetence and likely to fail.

Obama kept returning to three basic themes: that Trump will be given every opportunity to succeed, thanks to the tutelage Obama and his team will be providing, and the fact Trump won’t be inheriting massive crises—which should give him the kind of running room Obama never enjoyed; that the work of a presidency is ceaseless, and much of it highly detail-oriented; and finally that Trump’s grasp of what he’s been elected to do is at best remedial.

Obama may be subtly trying to communicate to the Trump transition team that they need to make massive strides, and quickly, or they will be, in Obama’s words, “swamped.” But his expectation that Trump and his entourage will get their act together is clearly very low.

“The most important point I made,” Obama told reporters at the White House, referring to his conversation last week with Trump, “was that how you staff—particularly your chief of staff, your national security adviser, your White House counsel, how you set up a process and a system to surface information, generate options for a president, understanding that ultimately the president is going to be the final decision maker, that that’s something that’s going to have to be attended to right away.”

This was all accurate, but it was a way of saying that Trump is the first president in living memory not to have even passing knowledge of how a White House operation runs.

Obama repeatedly touted the fact that Trump will be inheriting many advantages: low unemployment, rising incomes and wages, a historically low uninsurance rate, stable financial systems, a high stock market, strong international alliances, and cheap gasoline. Given the baseline Trump will inherit, Obama’s reminder that “the American people will judge over the next couple of years whether they like what they see” suggests a suspicion that many of these metrics will worsen once Trump takes over.






Obama Is Warning America About Trump’s Presidency. Are You Listening? | New Republic

The nominatiob of this avid eacist is unaccetable. Donald Trump Selects Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General - The New York Times

While serving as a United States prosecutor in Alabama, Mr. Sessions was nominated in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan for a federal judgeship. But his nomination was rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee because of racially charged comments and actions. At that time, he was one of two judicial nominees whose selections were halted by the panel in nearly 50 years.  In testimony before the committee, former colleagues said that Mr. Sessions had referred to the N.A.A.C.P., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other civil rights groups as “un-American” and “Communist-inspired.” An African-American federal prosecutor then, Thomas H. Figures, said Mr. Sessions had referred to him as “boy” and testified that Mr. Sessions said the Ku Klux Klan was fine “until I found out they smoked pot.” Mr. Sessions dismissed that remark as a joke.  Mr. Sessions was also accused of speaking disparagingly of the Voting Rights Act and the stringent oversight it placed on Southern states.  Mr. Sessions, who was elected attorney general of Alabama in 1995, has long considered it a personal triumph that he was able to be elected to the Senate in 1997 and become a member of the panel that rejected his nomination to become a federal judge. Donald Trump Selects Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General - The New York Times





Donald Trump Selects Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General - The New York Times

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Democrats are already screwing up the Trump resistance.

"Warren and Sanders describe Trump’s effort as a populist campaign with an almost incidental use of racial prejudice. In this version, most Trump voters simply wanted a stronger, fairer economy. The attacks on immigrants, Muslims, and black Americans were regrettable, but not a part of the appeal.









Warren and Sanders are wrong, and in a way that signals a significant misreading of the landscape on the part of the most influential Democrats. The simple truth is that Trump’s use of explicit racism—his deliberate attempt to incite Americans against different groups of nonwhites—was integral to his campaign. It was part and parcel of his “populism” and told a larger story: that either at home or abroad, foreigners and their “globalist” allies were cheating the American worker, defined as a white working-class man with a factory job. To claw back the dominion he once enjoyed—to “make America great again”—Trump promised protectionism and “law and order.” He promised to deport immigrants, register Muslims, and build new infrastructure. This wasn’t “populism”; it was white populism. Writes historian Nell Irvin Painter for the New York Times: “This time the white men in charge will not simply happen to be white; they will be governing as white, as taking America back, back to before multiculturalism.”
It seems reasonable for Warren and Sanders to make a distinction between Trump as blue-collar populist and Trump as racist demagogue. But that distinction doesn’t exist. Supporting a Trump-branded infrastructure initiative as a discrete piece of policy where two sides can find common ground only bolsters a white-nationalist politics, even if you oppose the rest of Trump’s agenda. It legitimizes and gives fuel to white tribalism as a political strategy. It shows that there are tangible gains for embracing Trump-style demagoguery. Likewise, it seems reasonable to want to recast support for Trump as an expression of populism. But Trump’s is a racial populism—backed almost entirely by white Americans, across class lines—that revolves around demands to reinforce existing racial and status hierarchies. That’s what it means to “make America great again.” It has nothing to offer to working-class blacks who need safety from unfair police violence just as much as they need higher wages, or working-class Latinos who need to protect their families from draconian immigration laws as much as they need a chance to unionize."




The Democrats are already screwing up the Trump resistance.

I must disagree with the linked Nation Article. Please read it first. - Trump Reminds Us the Racial Justice Movement Is Growing | The Nation



I have to disagree with the author's contention that we are making progress on racial issues in America. Racial progress is and always has been cyclical in America. We had some racial integration among Black and White plantation workers in the Virginia colony in the 1600's before Bacon's multiracial plantation workers rebellion was put down in 1676. In reactionto the rebellion a racial caste system was put in place. Poor Whites gain the right to own property and slavery became a permanent status for all those of African decent. Between the end of the Civil War (1865) and the Tilden Hayes election of 1876 there was rapid racial progress. Blacks were in Congress and held judgeships. I know specific stories of this era derived from my own family documented history and oral readition. After a split decision in the election of 1876 wherein Rutherford B Hayes won the electoral college and Samuel Tilden won the popular vote. The South threatened to secede for a second times if Hayes was innaugerated as President. A compromise was reached in which Hayes was installed as President and the Northern occupation troops were removed from the South. They were removed from the South and charged with the genocidal removal of indigenous Americans from their lands throughout the lands conquered by America. A reign of terror arose in the South as Black Codes, Segregation and a new system of slavery was put into place based upon arresting Blacks for trumped up charges such as loitering or being without work leading them to be sold to plantations, steel mills and other industries in peonage slavery. This peonage system only ended during WWII when the U.S. Attorney General issued Circular 3591 in December 1941 outlawing all forms of slavery.including peonage which was not covered by the 13th Amendment.

Slow progress was made from the late 1940's (integration of the military) through the 1964 Civil Rights Act, The 1965 Voting Rights Act and The 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Reform Act.

This period of progress began to abate with George Wallace's campaign for the Presidency and the Southern Strategy put in place by Nixon and Lee Atwater in 1968 and was accelerated by the the election Ronald Reagan who attacked and ended the remnants of Johnson's War on Poverty and replaced it with the Drug War specifically attacking Blacks and Hispanics. His campaign was a forerunner of Trump's racist campaign. Reagan announce his candidacy just outside of Philadelphia Mississippi in the same County where two Jewish and one Black Civil Rights workers were murdered in an unsolved hate crime at that time. Reagan, is his speech declared his support for "States Rights" the anthem of both supporters of slavery and segregation dating back to the years before the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

Republican Presidents subsequently reshaped the Supreme Court from a progressive to a regressive institution which culminated in gutting the 1965 Voting Rights Act which resulted in the arbitrary closing of polling places and early voting in Black and Hispanic areas from North Carolina to Texas as well as disenfranchising thousands through unconstitutional redistricting.

Regretfully we are not making progress. We are stuck in a recurring Sisyphusian cycle of progress and retrenchment. Clearly now we are stuck in a period of fighting the downward roll of the rock of civil rights progress. The late law professor and Law School Dean wrote about this cycle in his various books, most notably "Faces At The Bottom Of A Well". Sadly though, like Sisyphus even if we know our sad history we are unable to break this fateful cycle. That led Derrick Bell to conclude that racism in America is permanent. I sadly must agree.


John H Armwood





Trump Reminds Us the Racial Justice Movement Is Growing | The Nation

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Confronts Trump in Person - The Daily Beast

"De Blasio, a Democrat, said he told Trump he was "very concerned" about Trump's "exclusionary polices toward Muslims," adding that "there are 900 Muslim members of the NYPD protecting all of us." He also decried Trump's "hurtful" rhetoric, especially the president-elect's decision to appoint Steve Bannon as a chief White House advisor, after Bannon's long track record publishing racist and sexist content as the head of Breitbart News.

"I made it very clear my deep concerns about Mr. Bannon," de Blasio said.

De Blasio has been an outspoken critic of Trump and his policies, encouraging protesters to continue demonstration outside Trump Tower, and stating that New York City would resist Trump's promised deportations. De Blasio has gone so far as to suggest destroying databases containing information on undocumented immigrants who obtained city identification cards. On Wednesday he did not elaborate on the suggestion of purging the databases."


NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Confronts Trump in Person - The Daily Beast

What the Great Gwen Ifill Meant to Black Women - The Daily Beast





"How Gwen Ifill gave me career advice that I’ve never forgotten—and that I’ve used as a measuring stick for myself ever since.
Keli Goff
KELI GOFF

11.15.16 11:05 AM ET
When most people lament larger-than-life legends that 2016 snatched from us too soon, they focus on names like Prince and David Bowie, figures so unrivaled in their contributions that collective mourning over their passing seemed to be among the few things to unite us during a divisive year.
But for those of us working in media, particularly those of us who are women of color, learning of Gwen Ifill’s passing was like losing Marian Anderson, Nina Simone, and Billie Holliday in the same day. Her contributions were that enormous, her shoes that big to fill, and her influence that far-reaching.
Much has already been written about Gwen’s extraordinary career. A few highlights include: moderating two vice-presidential debates, being part of the first all-female anchor team, and on Wednesday she would have been the first African American to receive the Columbia Journalism School’s John Chancellor Award.
But I want to take a moment to explain what she meant to some of us beyond her résumé.
Gwen was one of the greatest journalists working, but her contributions were not limited to her reporting.
She spoke openly of the racism she endured early in her career, and endure she did, ultimately climbing the ladder in our profession, and with every rung opening doors in media that all black women working today have walked through, myself included.
Her trailblazing extended beyond race. When women of color finally began securing on-air opportunities, many fit a certain mold early on. They were often lighter skinned, or had more Eurocentric features. Consider news legends Sue Simmons, Carole Simpson, and Dana Tyler—all stellar journalists in their own right whom I admire immensely. Their appearances, however, appealed to white standards of beauty. Gwen’s skin color, and trademark short do’ and the enormous acclaim she enjoyed, sent a message to all of us who aspired to follow in her footsteps that we could succeed based on the quality of our work and our work alone—even if we didn’t have fair skin or a tiny nose. (I have neither.)
But perhaps her greatest contribution was in showing us that you could maintain a career rooted in work with integrity. In an age when all of us working in this field feel pressure to worry about how many clicks or tweets something we write or say will get, we always knew Gwen was ultimately worried about things like truth and accuracy. Though our industry and the world changed—into one in which the Kardashians were deemed 60 Minutes worthy, and a reality-show host deemed president-elect—her standards never did change. Neither did the quality of her journalism. I know I am not the only person who felt that on those days that people poked at our profession like a piñata—often with good reason, particularly this election year—she was one of the beacons of light that made us proud, but also helped keep us accountable.


What the Great Gwen Ifill Meant to Black Women - The Daily Beast

It's time to stop being nice and be honest about what we're up against

"Many people will argue this election turned on Hillary Clinton’s flaws, the failure of the Obama coalition to turnout, or the Democratic party’s inability to connect with blue collar white voters and their frustrations. But, to me, this is the point in the movie where someone looks at the people who took 30 pieces of silver with utter disbelief and contempt. If, at the end of the day, the only rationalization a whole lot of white voters can manage for fucking over millions is the empty promises of a proven liar about nonexistent manufacturing jobs which he’ll protect from nonexistent Mexican murderers and rapists with his nonexistent wall, then that’s fucking despicable.

Moreover, I’m just tired. I’m tired of trying to reason with people who won’t be reasonable. I’m tired of trying to persuade people who see ignorance as a virtue. And, most of all, I’m tired of the people who make excuses for why this slice of America isn’t full of ignorant bigots. If we’re ever going to move forward, it’s time to fight lies with cold hard truths."


It's time to stop being nice and be honest about what we're up against

Megyn Kelly’s Cautionary Tale of Crossing Donald Trump - The New York Times

“The relentless campaign that Trump unleashed on me and Fox News to try to get coverage the way he liked it was unprecedented and potentially very dangerous,” she said, casual but animated behind her translucent desk. If he were to repeat the same behavior from the White House, she said, “it would be quite chilling for many reporters.”" ... “Trump wanted to make me a story line in the race,” she said. “I was trying for nine months to get myself off of the playing field and onto the sidelines, where a reporter belongs.”


Megyn Kelly’s Cautionary Tale of Crossing Donald Trump - The New York Times

Monday, November 14, 2016

INBOUND 2016: Ta-Nehisi Coates Keynote

Chili's expresses regret for taking back vet's free meal | THV11.com




Chili's expresses regret for taking back vet's free meal | THV11.com

Anti-Defamation League: Bannon hire 'troubling'




Anti-Defamation League: Bannon hire 'troubling'

Anti-Defamation League: Bannon hire 'troubling'





Anti-Defamation League: Bannon hire 'troubling'

Real Time with Bill Maher: November 11, 2016 (HBO)

President-Elect Trump: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Gwen Ifill, PBS Newshour anchor and veteran journalist, dies aged 61 | Media | The Guardian









"Gwen Ifill, the veteran journalist and co-anchor of PBS’ Newshour with Judy Woodruff, died Monday of cancer, the network said. She was 61.

“Gwen was one of America’s leading lights in journalism and a fundamental reason public media is considered a trusted window on the world by audiences across the nation,” Paula Kerger, the president and CEO of PBS, said in a statement.

“Her contributions to thoughtful reporting and civic discourse simply cannot be overstated. She often said that her job was to bring light rather than heat to issues of importance to our society,” Kerger said.

A former newspaper reporter – she reported for the Boston Herald, the Washington Post and the New York Times – Ifill switched to television and worked for NBC News and PBS.

Ifill took a leave from her nightly show for health reasons earlier this year, never making her illness public. A week ago she went on leave again, taking her away from election night coverage.

She moderated two vice-presidential debates in previous races, including 2008’s debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. In 2009 she penned the book The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.



"Gwen Ifill, the veteran journalist and co-anchor of PBS’ Newshour with Judy Woodruff, died Monday of cancer, the network said. She was 61.

“Gwen was one of America’s leading lights in journalism and a fundamental reason public media is considered a trusted window on the world by audiences across the nation,” Paula Kerger, the president and CEO of PBS, said in a statement.

“Her contributions to thoughtful reporting and civic discourse simply cannot be overstated. She often said that her job was to bring light rather than heat to issues of importance to our society,” Kerger said.

A former newspaper reporter – she reported for the Boston Herald, the Washington Post and the New York Times – Ifill switched to television and worked for NBC News and PBS.

Ifill took a leave from her nightly show for health reasons earlier this year, never making her illness public. A week ago she went on leave again, taking her away from election night coverage.

She moderated two vice-presidential debates in previous races, including 2008’s debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. In 2009 she penned the book The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama."





Gwen Ifill, PBS Newshour anchor and veteran journalist, dies aged 61 | Media | The Guardian

Veteran Journalist Gwen Ifill Passes Away at 61. RIP to both a groundbreaking and fabulous journalist. She was one of the bright lights of my generation and someone I always admired. She was the state of her art. We will sorely miss her and wish the best to her family.

Veteran Journalist Gwen Ifill Passes Away at 61

TrumpS Racism is confirmed by his appoinments. Donald Trump Picks Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff and Stephen Bannon as Strategist - The New York Times

Donald Trump Picks Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff and Stephen Bannon as Strategist - The New York Times

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Daily Show - Donald Trump Visits the White House

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Brilliant Speech on President-elect Trump

NAACP | NAACP STATEMENT ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

"Baltimore, MD – NAACP National President and CEO Cornell William Brooks issued the following statement regarding the results of the 2016 presidential election:

“Even as we extend our congratulations to President-Elect Donald J. Trump, the NAACP, as America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, must bluntly note that the 2016 campaign has regularized racism, standardized anti-Semitism, de-exceptionalized xenophobia and mainstreamed misogyny. Voter suppression, as the courts have declared, has too become rampant and routine.

From the day that General George Washington accepted the people’s charge to become their first commander-in-chief, to the day that we elected Barack Obama as our country’s first African-American president, America has come together to ensure a peaceful transition of power. This most recent presidential election must meet this distinctly American standard. President-Elect Trump’s victory speech avoided a divisive tone and thus invoked this standard.

During this critical period of transition, we are now calling upon the next president to speak and act with the moral clarity necessary to silence the dog-whistle racial politics that have characterized recent months and have left many of our fellow citizens snarling at one another in anger and even whimpering in fear. The more than 120 million Americans who cast ballots in this election – as well as the more than 100 million more eligible voters who declined to vote – deserve no less.

The NAACP stands ready to work with a new administration to realize the racial justice concerns that not only compelled millions of people to go to the polls on Election Day but also inspired millions to protest in the streets in the preceding days and months. Depending upon the new administration’s fidelity to America’s ideals of liberty and the NAACP’s agenda for justice, we will either be at its side or in its face. We will not let this election distract or dissuade us; the NAACP will continue to stand strong at the frontlines, advocating for voting rights, criminal justice reform and equality for all."


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NAACP | NAACP STATEMENT ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION