Friday, December 16, 2016

News Nuggets 1560

The DAYLEE PICTURE: The sanctuary of Athena Pronaia at Delphi. From National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda

"In spite of the fact that he has no mandate, he will attempt to use his congressional majority to reshape America in his own racist, authoritarian, and corrupt image. If progressives are going to stop this, we must stand indivisibly opposed to Trump and the members of Congress who would do his bidding. Together, we have the power to resist - and we have the power to win."

The How-To for Resisting Trump

"From marching in the streets to calling members of Congress, here's how the Trump resistance is shaping up."

More Resistance Methods in the Age of Trump

What can you do? Resist. from Raw Story
"This is a frightening time in the United States of America. Many people are asking — What can I do? Here is one thing you can do: Help us hold Trump accountable by supporting the Trump investigative fund. ..."

Where to Fight Next: The States

The Best Way to Stop Trump Is at the Local Level (Joy-Ann Reid) from the Daily Beast
"Of course we think first about Congress. But Democratic governors, mayors, and state legislatures are the ones now with the real power to stop Trumpism."

Training Workers for the New Economy

Better Way to Help U.S. Victims of Free Trade (Ronald J. Daniels & Michael Trebilcock) from Bloomberg View
"The most successful programs, such as in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, tend to have a number of similar traits: They aggressively press workers into training programs, in some circumstances making it mandatory in order to receive other benefits. They engineer flexible opportunities with industry for workers including apprenticeships and short-term training opportunities. And they subsidize part-time opportunities for workers, to keep them in the workforce and their skills sharp while they look for new opportunities."

An Obama Media Empire?

"When Rolling Stone asked the president about his future plans, Obama said he would begin "organizing my presidential center," where a top subject would be, "How do we rethink our storytelling, the messaging and the use of technology and digital media, so that we can make a persuasive case across the country?" In recent days — even before Trump's surprising victory — Obama also mused openly about what he views as the dangerous state of media and his desire to play a role in fixing it."
I seriously doubt this is what's coming -- but who knows?

Sanctuary Cities Coming into Their Own

"Since his election, local officials in at least 18 major "sanctuary" cities have pledged to limit their cooperation with federal immigration officials. By one estimate, 12 of these cities account for roughly 20 percent of all undocumented immigrants in the United States."

What's Happening to the American Dream?

"Barely half of 30-year-olds earn more than their parents did at a similar age, a research team found, an enormous decline from the early 1970s when the incomes of nearly all offspring outpaced their parents. Even rapid economic growth won’t do much to reverse the trend. ... As wages stagnate in the middle class, it becomes hard to reverse this trend."

Syrian Refugees Land in the US

"The small city is struggling to figure out who it is and just how welcoming it wants to be."

The New Republican Party

"While the Russian president still has a net un-favorability rating among Republicans, his standing has improved dramatically – from a net negative of 66 points to a mere 10 points.  By comparison, only 17 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of President Barack Obama, the December poll found. Obama’s net negative among Republicans is 64 points – significantly worse than the party’s take on Putin."
What you have here is definitive proof (if any was still needed) that GOP voters have become (using a term I hate) unprecedentedly "tribal" -- which is to say they vote based on who their party nominates, not on any real issue or principle.  The issues and principles will shift to whatever the candidate advocates.  Republican lawmakers and talking heads will follow as well.  What this means looking ahead is that the segment of the electorate that is "persuadable" in the next cycle is VERY SMALL.  The only thing that unifies the Republican Party is ... their opposition to the Democratic Party.  They will exercise the power or no one will.

Pope Francis: Spreading Fake News is "a Sin"

"In an interview with a Belgian Catholic weekly publication released Wednesday, Pope Francis criticized the spread of fake news in graphic terms, comparing it to coprophagia, according to a translation of the transcript published by the Vatican.  Coprophagia is the act of eating one’s own feces. Francis also compared “disinformation” from the media to coprophilia, or an interest in feces, often for sexual arousal."

China Economy Nugget!!

"China won't be luring foreign tech talent any time soon. And its struggles hold a lesson for every other country hoping to become the Silicon Valley of the future: The competition for global talent will be won by countries that foster the culture of openness -- to new ideas and new people -- that defined the American tech business for decades before Trump."


Heat, Hunger and War Force Africans Onto a ‘Road on Fire' from the New York Times
"Scholars of migration count people like Mr. Bokoum among the millions who could be displaced around the world in coming decades as rising seas, widening deserts and erratic weather threaten traditional livelihoods. For the men who pour through Agadez, these hardships are tangled up with intense economic, political and demographic pressures."

Friday, December 2, 2016

News Nuggets 1559

DAYLEE PICTURE: Cold morning mist in a Dutch forest.  From National Geographic.
Well, it has been a while since I last posted and since the election.  Needless to say, the election results were a shocker to me and it caused me to reassess the whole role of the News Nuggets blog.  In retrospect, I think the blog had a similar impact as the analysis from the mainstream media -- which was to understate Trump's strength and overstate Hillary's chances of victory.  Given the result election night, my first reaction was to shut down the blog almost immediately and write it off as being more "part of a problem" rather than "part of a solution." Upon reflection, the blog is going to shift its emphasis towards news that promotes voter activism and empowerment looking ahead to 2018 and 2020.  

Today's set of postings exemplify what this will look like.  If you want to read about Trump's latest stupidity, his dopey appointments, his contempt for democratic norms and the constitution, etc., this blog may no longer be the place for you.  The goal here now is to give progressive voters actions, information and possibility that will empower them in what could easily be a dark, bleak period where people retreat into resignation, cynicism, and despair.  As Americans, that is not who we are.  We are people who fight for what we believe in -- and, God knows, the country has in the past faced down bigger challenges than a Trump presidency.  What we need are concrete actions, ideas, examples of people making a difference, and a clear eye on containing the damage Trump does. It is my goal to provide that kind of inspiration here.  Blog postings will continue to be periodic -- but when you get an announcement in your inbox, you will know what to expect when you check us out!  Thanks everyone for your ongoing interest and commitment to a better future.   Jared

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: For Dems -- Rediscovering the White Working Class

What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class (Joan Williams) from the Harvard Business Review
"“The thing that really gets me is that Democrats try to offer policies (paid sick leave! minimum wage!) that would help the working class,” a friend just wrote me. A few days’ paid leave ain’t gonna support a family. Neither is minimum wage. White Working Class men aren’t interested in working at McDonald’s for $15 per hour instead of $9.50. What they want is what my father-in-law had: steady, stable, full-time jobs that deliver a solid middle-class life to the 75% of Americans who don’t have a college degree. Trump promises that. I doubt he’ll deliver, but at least he understands what they need."
So far, this is the best examination I have seen about why the Dems lost the white working class so badly in this election.  A must-read for anyone looking to win them back.  Just one key point for Dems: STOP talking about minimum wage and parental leave!  Start figuring out how to deliver to the working class a middle class level of income and life as they had had in the 1950s and 1960s. This is what Trump promised and what Dems STOPPED promising 25 years ago. Impossible? We'll need to figure it out.

Will Congress Do Proper Oversight of Trump? If We Demand It!

House Oversight Committee Phones Jammed By Angry Calls Over Trump Conflicts Of Interest from the National Memo
"A social media storm calling for a congressional investigation into conflicts of interest between Donald Trump’s family members who will run his businesses while he serves, and his presidential transition team, jammed House Oversight and Government Reform Committee phone lines Friday. “The committee’s phones became jammed most of Friday after a Facebook post calling for an investigation into President-elect Donald Trump’s finances started to go viral,” the Washington Post reported."

Obama: A Passive Ex-President? Maybe Not

Obama says he may take on Trump from Politico
"The president refuses to say he’d hold to the tradition of avoiding public comment or political attacks on the successor."

What's Next for Obama Loyalists? BIG THINGS

Obama loyalists plot Trump resistance from Politico
"One attendee called the meetings “Obama Anonymous,” and while they largely started as impromptu commiseration, they’ve shifted to mobilization. It’s an early sign that Obama can continue to command a formidable movement and potentially launch a serious defense of his legacy as a private citizen."

Elizabeth Warren's Role

Elizabeth Warren fills the Democratic void from Politico
"The Massachusetts senator is making clear she intends to stand against Donald Trump every step of the way."

Michael Moore issues stark warning to Trump

Moore: 'You haven’t seen anything yet’ from Raw Story
"Michael Moore responded to the Hamilton controversy Monday, warning Donald Trump and Mike “Pencey” they “haven’t seen anything yet.”"

Building the Trump Corruption Argument Now

How Democrats Can Use Trump’s Corruption Against Him from the New Republic
"His conflicts of interest can help build the populist argument against him that Clinton's campaign failed to mount."

The Opportunity for Dems in 2018

Dems' secret 2018 weapon (Brent Bubowsky) from The Hill
"The secret weapon for Democrats in the 2018 elections, if they make the most of it, is that there will be races for governor in 36 states, 26 of which are now run by Republican governors. Democrats should begin — today — the largest early stage recruitment and fundraising operation in modern political history to find first-rate candidates to run for governor and seats in Congress."

Why Voters Vote the Way They Do?

Democrats need to focus on the gut, not the head (Fareed Zakaria) from the Washington Post
"The conclusion is clear. As Gabriel Lenz writes in his landmark 2012 book, “Follow the Leader?”, “Voters don’t choose between politicians based on policy stances; rather, voters appear to adopt the policies that their favorite politicians prefer.”  And how do voters pick their favorite politicians? It is a gut decision that is more emotional than rational."

Saving Obamacare

The Alternative to Obamacare Is Obamacare (Brian Beutler) from the New Republic
"If Democrats play their cards right, they can save the Affordable Care Act or even set the stage for moving health care in a more progressive direction."

Climate Change Progress in the Trump Era

How the Climate Movement Can Still Make Headway in the Trump Era from the Allegheny Front
"... I think it has [given] a lot of people who weren’t even thinking about climate change very much a new sense of urgency. One of the challenges that we face politically is a sense of despair and a sense of giving in and being cynical about politics. And we actually think that what [Trump] intends to do about climate change will jolt people out of that..."

Detecting Authoritarianism in the Next Administration

10 Ways to Tell if Your President Is a Dictator from Foreign Policy Magazine
"Given what is at stake, one of the most important things we can all do is remain alert for evidence that Trump and those around him are moving in an authoritarian direction. For those who love America and its Constitution more than they love any particular political party or any particular politician, I offer as a public service my top 10 warning signs that American democracy is at risk."

Figuring Out What is Going on with the Dakota Access Pipeline

Competing groups are trying to define the Dakota Access pipeline debate. So where does the truth lie? from the Los Angeles Times
"Opposing sides in the increasingly tense standoff over the Dakota Access oil pipeline have found little to agree on. But on this fact there is no dispute: Sometime between 3 and 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 21, a young woman demonstrating against the pipeine nearly had her arm blown off.  But agreement ends there"

Trump's "Weakness"

How to Manipulate Donald Trump (William Saletan) from Slate
"He’s an emotional weakling, and his recent interviews give us models for dealing with it."

The Role of "Weaponized Misinformation"

The Year Knowledge Died (Noah Rothman) from Commentary
"Weaponized misinformation is hardly a new phenomenon. Its effect on the 2016 presidential race has, however, been exceptionally ominous. A campaign of deliberate deceptions involving but not limited to foreign entities seeking to disrupt the American political process to their own ends should be ringing alarm bells for patriotic American voters. But there’s no one left to ring them; the stewards of objective discourse have been discredited in the minds of those this campaign has targeted. The age in which there was universally understood and incontrovertible truth is over. The information age has given way to something more closely resembling its antonym.?
I completely agree with this conservative columnist.  Read the whole thing. SPOT ON!

New Economy Nugget!!

Job Interviews Are Useless (Cass R. Sunstein) from Bloomberg View
"A lot of evidence suggests that in cases of this kind, employers will stubbornly trust their intuitions -- and are badly mistaken to do so. Specific aptitude tests turn out to be highly predictive of performance in sales, and general intelligence tests are almost as good. ... Unstructured interviews have been found to have surprisingly little value in a variety of areas."