leereamsnyder + politics   434

No, I Will Not Debate You
“As a dear friend once told me, trying to bring someone over to your side by publicly demonstrating that their ideas are bad and that they should feel bad is like trying to teach a goat how to dance: the goat will not learn to dance, and you will make him angry. The ways people actually change their minds is by reading the mood of those around them and then going away and thinking about it, by being given permission to think what they were already thinking, or by being shamed into realizing how ignoble their assumptions always were.”
culture  speech  politics 
2 days ago by leereamsnyder
Could 36-Year-Old Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg Topple Trumpism? – Rolling Stone
“You’ll hear me talk all the time about freedom. Because I think there is a failure on our side if we allow conservatives to monopolize the idea of freedom — especially now that they’ve produced an authoritarian president. But what actually gives people freedom in their lives? The most profound freedoms of my everyday existence have been safeguarded by progressive policies, mostly. The freedom to marry who I choose, for one, but also the freedom that comes with paved roads and stop lights. Freedom from some obscure regulation is so much more abstract. But that’s the freedom that conservatism has now come down to.
Or think about the idea of family, in the context of everyday life. It’s one thing to talk about family values as a theme, or a wedge — but what’s it actually like to have a family? Your family does better if you get a fair wage, if there’s good public education, if there’s good health care when you need it. These things intuitively make sense, but we’re out of practice talking about them.
I also think we need to talk about a different kind of patriotism: a fidelity to American greatness in its truest sense. You think about this as a local official, of course, but a truly great country is made of great communities. What makes a country great isn’t chauvinism. It’s the kinds of lives you enable people to lead. I think about wastewater management as freedom. If a resident of our city doesn’t have to give it a second thought, she’s freer.”
government  politics 
24 days ago by leereamsnyder
Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki: what we know is damning - Vox
The big issue, at this point, isn’t what we don’t know; it’s that we have no idea what to do with what we do know.

The Trump campaign coordinated — privately or publicly or both — with Russia to steal documents from Democrats and win the election. In the aftermath, as president, Trump has pursued a pro-Putin foreign policy and fought efforts to investigate or punish Russia’s crimes in 2016. What is the remedy for that? And even if there was one, who has the incentive and credibility to impose it?
news  politics  america!  government 
10 weeks ago by leereamsnyder
Is 'Abolish ICE' a Viable Message for Democrats? - The Atlantic
”Imagine a candidate telling voters:

Trump postures as if his immigration policy is focused on stopping dangerous criminals like MS-13 members, but the truth is that under his watch ICE spends much of its scarce time and resources going after people who pose no danger. You’ve probably seen photos of elderly people, women, and young children being hauled away. Couldn’t you find better uses for the time of those ICE agents?

Trump himself avows that MS-13 is menacing American communities, and yet he persists in sending ICE after farm hands, restaurant workers, and stay-at-home moms. Does that sound like a man who is strong or whose priorities are in order?

Trump’s poseur, reality-TV approach squanders limited, expensive federal resources. Let’s reform ICE so that it better protects ordered liberty. That’s the right priority—not “looking tough” like Trump or making America white again like Stephen Miller, both of whom could be keeping American families safer but for their decision to chase those other goals. They’re spending a good bit of your tax dollars in order to chase them.

Couldn’t you think of 50 better ways to spend that money?”
politics  government  news 
10 weeks ago by leereamsnyder
Trump administration scandals: why it never ends - Vox
“This not only sends a signal to subordinates that bad behavior will be tolerated, it makes it essentially impossible for anyone in the broader conservative movement to attempt to insist on holding members of the Trump administration to a high standard of conduct.

Republicans hold a majority in the Senate at the moment and could easily confirm replacements for any officials who got fired in a house-cleaning. But nobody can articulate a plausible red line — on corruption, on sexual misconduct, on racism, on conspiracy theories, on honesty, or virtually anything else — that wouldn’t implicate the president and his family.

The result is a filthy White House that’s not going to be cleaned up any time soon.”
politics  government 
10 weeks ago by leereamsnyder
Scott Pruitt Wasn’t Corrupt Enough for Trumpistan
“Donald Trump is unequivocal proof that As hire Bs and Bs hire Cs, and Trump hires people without the judgment, qualifications, ethical foundations, and moral stature to run an underground bum-fighting operation. Scott Pruitt’s obvious money problems should have screamed out in any background check, to say nothing of a Senate confirmation hearing.

Pruitt is a man, like so many of Trump’s claque of low-rent hoodlums, bus-station conmen, edge-case dead-enders, and caged-immigrant child porn aficionados, utterly unsuited to a role of public trust and responsibility.”
politics  government  ethics 
11 weeks ago by leereamsnyder
The People Are the Problem | GQ
“That is a serious problem, because our greatest progress is often made when our leadership is at odds with its people. Lincoln was not exactly beloved for ending slavery. Sixty percent of Americans disapproved of MLK’s march on Washington. The passage of Obamacare likely cost Democrats control of Congress a few years ago. There is a bravery in doing the right thing that Trump, and his voters, have confused for bravery in doing the dumbest thing. There is very little profit in moral defiance in 2018 America, which is why you don’t see much of it from those in power.
So if our own leaders are too chickenshit to stand up to their own people, it’s gonna have to fall to you and me to defy them. We’re gonna need a lot more Red Hens. We’re gonna need more protests. We’re gonna need more boycotts. We’re gonna need (ugh) more Thanksgiving fights. We’re gonna need more unions. We’re gonna need an opposition party behind us that actually opposes this shit, and works at a structural level to take power away from our most feckless citizens. Trump voters are people who have complained over and over about being marginalized, but you and I know that was never true. They remain the most influential band of assholes in America, and I think it’s way past time for them to experience what true irrelevancy really feels like.”
politics  america! 
11 weeks ago by leereamsnyder
Cory Doctorow: Zuck’s Empire of Oily Rags – Locus Online
“A decade later, everything is on fire and we’re trying to tell Zuck and his friends that they’re going to need to pay for the damage and install the kinds of fire-suppression gear that anyone storing oily rags should have invested in from the beginning, and the commercial surveillance industry is absolutely unwilling to contemplate anything of the sort.

That’s because dossiers on billions of people hold the power to wreak almost unimaginable harm, and yet, each dossier brings in just a few dollars a year. For commercial surveillance to be cost effective, it has to socialize all the risks associated with mass surveillance and privatize all the gains.

There’s an old-fashioned word for this: corruption. In corrupt systems, a few bad actors cost everyone else billions in order to bring in millions – the savings a factory can realize from dumping pollution in the water supply are much smaller than the costs we all bear from being poisoned by effluent. But the costs are widely diffused while the gains are tightly concentrated, so the beneficiaries of corruption can always outspend their victims to stay clear.

Facebook doesn’t have a mind-control problem, it has a corruption problem. Cambridge Analytica didn’t convince decent people to become racists; they convinced racists to become voters.”
facebook  internet  culture  politics 
11 weeks ago by leereamsnyder
Donald Trump and norms: Resistance needs substance - Vox
“In fact, it’s extraordinarily dangerous for conventional liberals to simply cede the field of ordinary politics in favor of ruminating on the allegedly unique evils of Trump.”
history  politics  america!  government 
11 weeks ago by leereamsnyder
There is one way to fix the Supreme Court | The Outline
increasing the size of the Court is an entirely proportional response the GOP’s abuse of process. Gorsuch’s appointment alone justifies it. In shifting the Court from a potential 5 to 4 liberal majority to a 5 to 4 conservative majority, the Republicans effectively stole two votes. Increasing the Court’s size to 11 justices would merely rebalance what was taken.
government  politics  history  law 
12 weeks ago by leereamsnyder
There Is No Immigration Crisis - The Atlantic
“Politicians can’t be purists. But if political commentators are going to endorse such moral compromises, it’s crucial that they at least acknowledge those compromises for what they are. The truth is that in the United States today, immigration is a challenge but not a crisis—except to the degree Trump makes it one. The United States can expedite and improve its asylum process, and reduce the number of people coming across the border, without putting families behind bars. Immigration enforcement does not require inhumanity. And saying so has never been more important than it is now.”
politics  history  government 
12 weeks ago by leereamsnyder
This Is Just the Beginning
“Stop working for this man. Stop enabling him. Stop assisting him. Start fighting him. The people who are responsible for what is happening are not going to get out of this with their happy wealthy respectable lives unscathed. This is a country that locks poor people in cages for decades for trying to make $20. This is a country that is “tough on crime.” Remember? And the ones who make the laws are not going to like what happens when America starts to regard them as the criminals.”
politics  history  government  assholes 
june 2018 by leereamsnyder
Trump Only Has One Scandal - The Atlantic
“There are not many Trump scandals. There is one Trump scandal. Singular: the corruption of the American government by the president and his associates, who are using their official power for personal and financial gain rather than for the welfare of the American people, and their attempts to shield that corruption from political consequences, public scrutiny, or legal accountability.”
politics  history  government 
may 2018 by leereamsnyder
Paul Ryan isn’t a sellout: Donald Trump embraced his policy ideas - Vox
“Writers sending off Ryan, like Tim Alberta at Politico and Josh Barro at Business Insider, argue that the speaker’s career has had a tragic arc in which, in Albert’s words, “the battle for the GOP’s heart and soul is finished,” with Trump the victor and Ryan the loser.

The reality is the opposite.”
news  politics  government 
april 2018 by leereamsnyder
Can Donald Trump Be Impeached? - The New York Times

‘There is nothing in the Constitution’s formal operation that can prevent this. Impeachment certainly cannot. As long as one major political party endorses it, and a solid plurality of Americans support such an authoritarian slide, it is unstoppable. The founders knew that without a virtuous citizenry, the Constitution was a mere piece of paper and, in Madison’s words, “no theoretical checks — no form of government can render us secure.”’
government  history  usa  america!  politics 
march 2018 by leereamsnyder
Budget deal proves Republicans love deficits - Vox
“But at a minimum, the next time the economy falls into recession and really needs bigger deficits let’s not be played for fools again.”
politics  history  economics  government 
february 2018 by leereamsnyder
Wittes and Rauch: Boycott the Republican Party - The Atlantic
“We understand, too, the many imperfections of the Democratic Party. Its left is extreme, its center is confused, and it has its share of bad apples. But the Democratic Party is not a threat to our democratic order. That is why we are rising above our independent predilections and behaving like dumb-ass partisans. It’s why we hope many smart people will do the same.”
politics  history  government  elections 
february 2018 by leereamsnyder
The Civil War Between Trump and the FBI - The Atlantic
“This isn’t how any of this is supposed to work. Everyone is misbehaving. A man who campaigned for president as the candidate of “law and order” is sprinting headlong into releasing a memo that the head of the FBI—Trump’s own hand-picked director—and the deputy attorney general, another Trump pick, believe could mislead the public and damage law enforcement. Meanwhile, there’s a real possibility that Trump’s attacks on the FBI and Justice Department have inspired retaliatory leaks, meaning that the president would have effectively elicited just the deep-state conspiracy against him that he alleged in the first place.”
politics  government  legal  law 
february 2018 by leereamsnyder
Legends of the Ancient Web
“It is hard to accept that good people, working on technology that benefits so many, with nothing but good intentions, could end up building a powerful tool for the wicked.

But we can't afford to re-learn this lesson every time.”
history  internet  politics  technology  radio 
january 2018 by leereamsnyder
The Case for Corruption - The Atlantic

“In other words, in most political systems, the right amount of corruption is greater than zero. Leaders need to be able to reward followers and punish turncoats and free agents. Sometimes that will look sleazy, undemocratic, or both, but it is often better than the alternatives.”
politics  government  money  economics 
january 2018 by leereamsnyder
Is the world really better than ever? | News | The Guardian
“Ironically, given their reliance on cognitive biases to explain our predilection for negativity, the New Optimists may be in the grip of one themselves: the “anchoring bias”, which describes our tendency to rely too heavily on certain pieces of information when making judgments. If you start from the fact that plague victims once languished in the streets of European cities, it’s natural to conclude that life these days is wonderful. But if you start from the position that we could have eliminated famines, or reversed global warming, the fact that such problems persist may provoke a different kind of judgment.”
history  politics  psychology 
december 2017 by leereamsnyder
Democrats need to get a grip about the budget deficit - Vox
“Rather than lash out, Democrats ought to try to take stock in an honest way. Think about this tax bill that they rightly deplore. Now imagine if the bill was modified to drop the individual mandate repeal and make the Child Tax Credit partially refundable so that instead of costing 13 million people their health insurance it took a bite out of child poverty. That modified bill would be even more of a debt-raiser. But it would be a better bill. A lot better. Because child poverty is really bad, and lacking health insurance is really bad, and budget deficits at a time of low interest rates are not that bad.”
government  money  economics  politics 
december 2017 by leereamsnyder
Was the Democratic primary rigged? - Vox
“Still, I think Democrats made a mistake clearing the field in 2016. I even think Clinton’s campaign made a mistake clearing the field in 2016. Coronation isn’t a good look for anyone, and voters don’t like the feeling that someone is trying to make their choice for them. My guess is Clinton would’ve still won in a larger field, but the win would have felt more earned, more legitimate. And if she lost — if, unlike Sanders, Biden had decided the American people had not yet heard enough about the damn emails, and had run hard on them, and had taken Clinton down — Democrats might have been saved a debacle.

The reason it’s unwise for the party to try to decide as firmly and as early as Democrats did in 2016 is the party doesn’t have very good information that far before a general election. Candidates who look strong prove weak. Voters who seem satisfied prove restive. Competitive primaries surface unexpected information. If we’ve learned nothing else, it’s that political elites shouldn’t be so arrogant as to assume they can predict future elections.”
politics  elections 
november 2017 by leereamsnyder
Here's How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled White Nationalism Into The Mainstream
“Any successful media executive produces content to expand audience size. The Breitbart alt-right machine, embodied by Milo Yiannopoulos, may read most clearly in this context. It was a brilliant audience expansion machine, financed by billionaires, designed to draw in people disgusted by some combination of identity politics, Muslim and Hispanic immigration, and the idea of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in the White House. And if expanding that audience meant involving white nationalists and neo-Nazis, their participation could always be laundered to hide their contributions.”
journalism  politics  internet 
october 2017 by leereamsnyder
Our Moloch | by Garry Wills | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
Read again those lines, with recent images seared into our brains—“besmeared with blood” and “parents’ tears.” They give the real meaning of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning. That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector. Sometimes this is done by mass killings (eight this year), sometimes by private offerings to the god (thousands this year).

The gun is not a mere tool, a bit of technology, a political issue, a point of debate. It is an object of reverence. Devotion to it precludes interruption with the sacrifices it entails. Like most gods, it does what it will, and cannot be questioned. Its acolytes think it is capable only of good things. It guarantees life and safety and freedom. It even guarantees law. Law grows from it. Then how can law question it?
culture  religion  history  politics  guns 
october 2017 by leereamsnyder
Mark Zuckerberg's False Dream of a Neutral Facebook - The Atlantic
“If Facebook wants to be a force for good in democracy, it needs to answer some questions. Does maximizing engagement, as it is understood through News Feed’s automated analysis, create structural problems in the information ecosystem? More broadly, do the tools that people use to communicate on Facebook influence what they actually talk about?”
facebook  politics  internet  journalism 
september 2017 by leereamsnyder
The Conservative Revolution Killed Progressive Tax Reform - The Atlantic
What has been lost in American politics is a vision of public policy offering real mechanisms for reducing economic inequality and raising revenue on a fair basis. What has almost totally disappeared is political support for the kind of a progressive tax system that was in place during the most economically robust period in nation’s history—what we still call the American Century.
history  economics  politics  government  taxes 
september 2017 by leereamsnyder
A Nation of Snowflakes - The Atlantic
“Neither have some conservatives disdained to use of the power or authority of the state to censor free speech. Republican legislators have proposed “Blue Lives Matter” bills that essentially criminalize peaceful protest; bills that all but outlaw protest itself; and bills that offer some protections to drivers who strike protestors with automobiles. GOP lawmakers have used the state to restrict speech, such as barring doctors from raising abortion or guns with patients, opposition to the construction of Muslim religious buildings, and attempts to stifle anti-Israel activism.

There’s physical assault of a reporter by a Republican candidate in Montana; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s prosecution and re-prosecution of an activist who laughed at him during his confirmation hearing; his multiple public refusals to rule out prosecuting journalists; the president’s vows to imprison his political rivals; his encouragement of violence against protesters; Trump’s threat to tax Amazon because its owner Jeff Bezos is also the owner of The Washington Post, which has published coverage critical of the president; the White House’s demands that ESPN fire Jemele Hill, a black on-air host who called the president a white supremacist; and Trump’s attempt to chill press criticism by naming the media an “enemy of the people” have all drawn cheers from some conservative commentators.”
politics  speech  culture  government 
september 2017 by leereamsnyder
Kneeling for Life and Liberty Is Patriotic - The Atlantic
“They are kneeling in an effort to defend the very core of the Declaration of Independence. No political act is more patriotic than petitioning government for that purpose. If you dislike their tactics, apart from their message, consider them imperfect; I won’t object so long as you then ask yourself if you find it easy to forgive Thomas Jefferson for the imperfection of owning slaves while advancing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but hard to forgive young black men for merely kneeling while they try to advance life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in their time.”

“But I hope I would’ve knelt in solidarity with my fellow players if I was in the NFL Sunday, because it is far better to get the theatrics wrong in defense of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, than to master theatrics as adeptly as a reality-TV star, then marshal them to intentionally divide Americans against one another by shit-posting on Twitter, all while transgressing against life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
politics  protest  culture  america!  sports 
september 2017 by leereamsnyder
Equifax’s Maddening Unaccountability - NYTimes.com
“Even if they do get fired, it is likely that they will be sent off with millions of dollars in severance, which is common practice for executives. (I would like to note that I am available for such punishment any time.)”
business  software  politics  privacy 
september 2017 by leereamsnyder
The Art of the Heel | Mike Edison
“And, existentially, at least, Trump will still wear spandex when he mows the lawn. He can’t help himself, that’s just the kind of jerk he is.”

This is the most insightful analysis of Donald Trump
politics  sports  culture  psychology 
september 2017 by leereamsnyder
The President of Blank Sucking Nullity | The Baffler
“Every lie, every evasion, every massive and blithely issued shock to the conscience Trump authors will only ever be about him.”
politics  government  culture  psychology  excellent_lede 
august 2017 by leereamsnyder
Donald Trump’s True Allegiances | The New Yorker
“This is the inescapable fact: on November 9th, the United States elected a dishonest, inept, unbalanced, and immoral human being as its President and Commander-in-Chief. Trump has daily proven unyielding to appeals of decency, unity, moderation, or fact. He is willing to imperil the civil peace and the social fabric of his country simply to satisfy his narcissism and to excite the worst inclinations of his core followers.”
politics  culture  government 
august 2017 by leereamsnyder
Affirmative Action and the Myth of Reverse Racism - The Atlantic
“Reverse racism is a cogent description of affirmative action,” Fish wrote, “only if one considers the cancer of racism to be morally and medically indistinguishable from the therapy we apply to it.”
culture  politics  race 
august 2017 by leereamsnyder
Medicaid saved the Affordable Care Act. Liberals should take notice. - Vox
“But the newfound enthusiasm for Medicaid might suggest another answer: Programs that are expansive enough to support a substantial portion of the working poor — and not just the destitute — can do just fine. Medicaid began as a program for the very poorest, those eligible for welfare, but a series of expansions starting in 1989 nudged it slowly up into the range of the working poor. That had the additional effect of making the beneficiary population whiter and more familiar.”
economics  politics  health  insurance 
august 2017 by leereamsnyder
Donald Trump Eats First - The Atlantic
“In fact, White House staffers cannot change their culture, so long as the president continues to shirk his duties to the country, pick internecine fights, say stupid things about his team on Twitter, and act like a character in the 2004 movie Mean Girls. The president is the general. And it doesn’t take a military expert to see why he keeps failing as a leader. He cares less about governing than satiating grotesque appetites for attention, adoration, and domination. Many who voted him into office were starving for hope. But no matter what, Donald Trump eats first.”
politics  government 
july 2017 by leereamsnyder
The Trump administration isn’t a farce. It’s a tragedy. - Vox
“The actors in this drama are often comic, pathetic, and incompetent. But the damage they have done, and are doing, is almost beyond imagining. As often as this looks like farce, we should not forget it’s a tragedy.”
politics  government 
july 2017 by leereamsnyder
The Remaking of Donald Trump - Bloomberg
As unlikely as it sounds from the vantage point of today, Trump and The Apprentice, up through the end of the decade, were considered by advertisers and audiences alike to be a triumph of American multiculturalism.
advertising  race  culture  politics  television 
july 2017 by leereamsnyder
In the Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Koch Brothers’ Campaign Becomes Overt - The New Yorker
‘As the climate scientist Michael Mann put it to me in my book “Dark Money,” when attempting to explain why the Republican Party has moved in the opposite direction from virtually the rest of the world, “We are talking about a direct challenge to the most powerful industry that has ever existed on the face of the Earth. There’s no depth to which they’re unwilling to sink to challenge anything threatening their interests.” For most of the world’s population, the costs of inaction on climate change far outweigh that of action. But for the fossil-fuel industry, he said, “It’s like the switch from whale oil in the nineteenth century. They’re fighting to maintain the status quo, no matter how dumb.”’
government  politics  environment  history  money 
june 2017 by leereamsnyder
What right-wing populism? Polls reveal that it’s liberalism that’s surging. - Vox
“I hate to break it to America’s liberals, but — as I’ve argued before — there are considerable grounds for optimism about the American public and, by extension, the fate of the country. Now you may return to your regularly scheduled panic.”
politics  history  government 
may 2017 by leereamsnyder
Taibbi: Roger Ailes Was One of the Worst Americans Ever - Rolling Stone
“And when Ailes died this morning, he left behind an America perfectly in his image, frightened out of its mind and pouring its money hand over fist into television companies, who are gleefully selling the unraveling of our political system as an entertainment product.”
eulogy  politics  history  media  television  journalism 
may 2017 by leereamsnyder
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