Tuesday, October 18, 2016

News Nuggets 1558

Daylee Picture: Northern Italy near the Alps.  From National Geographic.

Today's BIG NUGGET: A Disturbing Profile of an Angry Trump Voter

‘Finally. Someone who thinks like me.’ from the Washington Post
"She was a 52-year-old woman who had worked 20 years for the railroad, had once been a Democrat and was now a Republican, and counted herself among the growing swath of people who occupied the fringes of American politics but were increasingly becoming part of the mainstream. Like millions of others, she believed that President Obama was a Muslim. And like so many she had gotten to know online through social media, she also believed that he was likely gay, that Michelle Obama could be a man, and that the Obama children were possibly kidnapped from a family now searching for them."
A VERY insightful look into the social meltdown that those profiled here have endured.  Sad, disturbing ... and NOT the stuff long-term movements are made of, at least not political ones.

The Trump Campaign: A "Half-Assed Ego Trip"?

The Fury and Failure of Donald Trump (Matt Taibbi) from the Rolling Stone Magazine
"Trump's shocking rise and spectacular fall have been a singular disaster for U.S. politics. Built up in the press as the American Hitler, he was unmasked in the end as a pathetic little prankster who ruined himself, his family and half of America's two-party political system for what was probably a half-assed ego trip all along, adventure tourism for the idiot rich."

This Election's "Lessons for Young Minds"

Burning Down the House (Timothy Egan) from the New York Times
"He’s made it O.K. to bully and fat-shame. He’s normalized perversion, bragging about how an aging man with his sense of entitlement can walk in on naked women.  Here’s his lesson for young minds: If you’re rich and boorish enough, you can get away with anything. Get away with sexual assault. Get away with not paying taxes. Get away with never telling the truth. Get away with flirting with treason. Get away with stiffing people who work for you, while you take yours. Get away with mocking the disabled, veterans and families of war heroes."

Voices of Trump Voters

Trump says the election is rigged — and his supporters are furious (Viser and Jan) from the Boston Globe
“We’re heading toward North Korea, without a doubt,” said Grant Reed, a Trump supporter wearing a shirt that said, “If you’re offended, I’ll help you pack.” Joe Cecil, a 39-year-old restaurant manager, said he has never voted before but is newly inspired by Trump. “If people are offended by the sexual stuff, what do they think is going to happen when Muslims come here, implement Sharia law, and start raping our women?” he asks."

The Tragic Future for Trump Voters

Trump’s Fans Have More to Lose Than Trump Himself (Michelle Cottle) from the Atlantic
"If anything, Trumpism has, in part, made the rest of the nation all the more eager to ignore the millions of white voters living on the edges of the economy. Many may now be written off without guilt, because they have shown themselves to be not just unfortunates but undesirables—irredeemable hate-mongers itching to reassert their cultural dominance. ... No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, this is a tragic outcome."
SPOT-ON analysis here from Michelle Cottle!

Dream the Impossible Dream: SPEAKER Pelosi!

Democrats dream the unthinkable: Speaker Pelosi: Donald Trump's nose dive has suddenly made it possible. from Politico
"As Donald Trump’s poll numbers tank, dragging the whole GOP down with him, the possibility that Pelosi could return to the speaker’s chair after a six-year absence has suddenly grown very real. No one has done anything like this since the legendary Sam Rayburn did 60 years ago, and it is still unlikely to happen. Yet the House is definitely in play, according to experts on both sides of the aisle, which means the 76-year-old Pelosi could be wielding the speaker’s gavel again come January."

For Blacks, the Persistence of the Wage Gap

African Americans are paid less than whites at every education level from the Economic Policy Institute
"As you can see from the chart below, while a college education results in higher wages—both for whites and blacks—it does not eliminate the black-white wage gap. African Americans are still earning less than whites at every level of educational attainment."

Evangelicals: Do NOT be Silent!!

Speak Truth to Trump from Christianity Today
"Evangelicals, of all people, should not be silent about Donald Trump's blatant immorality. ... He has given no evidence of humility or dependence on others, let alone on God his Maker and Judge. He wantonly celebrates strongmen and takes every opportunity to humiliate and demean the vulnerable. He shows no curiosity or capacity to learn. He is, in short, the very embodiment of what the Bible calls a fool."
At least one evangelical leader speaking out!

Our Industrialized Food System

Super Size: The Dizzying Grandeur of 21st-Century Agriculture from the New York Times
"Our industrialized food system nourishes more people, at lower cost, than any comparable system in history. It also exerts a terrifyingly massive influence on our health and our environment. Photographer George Steinmetz spent nearly a year traveling the country to capture that system, in all its scope, grandeur and dizzying scale. His photographs are all the more remarkable for the fact that so few large food producers are willing to open themselves to this sort of public view."

US Bases Abroad and Who Pays the Bills? Of Course Trump is Wrong!

Actually, Foreign Nations Pay Billions For U.S. Military Bases from the National Memo
"The Pentagon spends an estimated $10 billion a year on overseas bases. More than 70 percent of the total is spent in Japan, Germany and South Korea, where most U.S. troops abroad are permanently stationed. In return, the Pentagon receives various forms of compensation from the host countries, like rent-free real estate for the bases and cash payments to offset U.S. costs. ... "But we gain the most out of these alliances because it helps keep threats much farther from our shores than they otherwise would be," he said."

Post-election, What is Obama Up To? Something AWESOME!

Obama, Holder to lead post-Trump redistricting campaign from The Hill
"The former attorney general heads up a new Democratic effort to challenge the GOP's supremacy in state legislatures and the U.S. House. ... The new group, called the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, was developed in close consultation with the White House. President Barack Obama himself has now identified the group—which will coordinate campaign strategy, direct fundraising, organize ballot initiatives and put together legal challenges to state redistricting maps—as the main focus of his political activity once he leaves office."


Ken Burns or Instructors? from Inside Higher Education
"He said that he favored "certification," in which people could demonstrate competency or skills in certain areas through testing rather than earning degrees. ... Johnson also said the education system could become much more affordable by changing the role of instruction. "We’ve got the internet -- you have so much information available. Why do you have to keep paying different lecturers to teach the same course? You get one solid lecturer and put it up online and have everybody available to that knowledge for a whole lot cheaper? But that doesn’t play very well to tenured professors in the higher education cartel. So again, we need disruptive technology for our higher education system," he said. Johnson added, "One of the examples I always used -- if you want to teach the Civil War across the country, are you better off having, I don’t know, tens of thousands of history teachers that kind of know the subject, or would you be better off popping in 14 hours of Ken Burns’s Civil War tape and then have those teachers proctor based on that excellent video production already done? You keep duplicating that over all these different subject areas.""
Sadly, I think Johnson is spot-on here about the future of history (and several other subjects) in academe.  The constituency for maintaining the current faculty/resource heavy commitment to history, literature, philosophy, etc. is collapsing. One dynamic professor on video shown to thousands of students and given a quiz will do.  Then use an army of $10/hr adjuncts to grade the damn things.  Channel the savings to STEM.  Problems solved!

What It is Like for a Woman Reporter Covering Trump

My Crazy Year with Trump (Katy Tur) from Marie Claire Magazine
"The presidential hopeful has insulted reporter Katy Tur on national TV, called her names during interviews, and made his campaign seemingly impossible to cover. Here, her no-holds-barred account of trailing the most unlikely candidate in GOP history."

The Dark Side of the Sexual Revolution on Display

A Playboy for President (Ross Douthat) from the New York Times
"This is where you find Trump’s strongest (and, yes, strangest) fans. He’s become the Daddy Alpha for every alpha-aspiring beta male, whose mix of moral liberation and misogyny keeps the Ring-a-Ding-Ding dream alive."
A very valid critique of some of the seedier aspects of the sexual revolution ... and how Trump taps into them.

The Right Wing Media v. The MORE Right Wing Media

Donald Trump broke the conservative media from the Huffington Post
"... throughout the election season, it has appeared that Republicans have fielded more attacks from their supposed friends on the right than their political opponents on the left. It's an incidental twist, considering how Republicans helped foster the growth of the conservative news media in order to avoid the skewering of mainstream journalists.  Instead, it appears their plan of using friendly pundits to tap directly into the vein of red-blooded Americans sympathetic to their political views has backfired."

"A Way of Life Under Siege"

Trump, hillbillies and race (Fareed Zakaria) from the Washington Post
"The rage that is fueling the Trump phenomenon is not just about stagnant wages. It is about a way of life under siege, and it risks producing a “politics of cultural despair.” That phrase was coined by Fritz Stern to describe Germany a century ago. The key to avoiding that fate is not a series of public policies — whether tariffs or tax credits — but enlightened politics, meaning leadership that does not prey on people’s fears and phobias."

Trump's Long-term Impact -- Our On-the-Money Pundit of the Day!

Trump may cost the GOP a generation of voters (Michael Gerson) from the Washington Post
"I would venture that Trump’s failure among the young has something to do with his assault on the idea of tolerance, particularly racial and religious tolerance. Younger voters are less likely than other age groups to regard racially inclusive language as “politically correct.” They are less likely to believe in “reverse discrimination” and to embrace anti-immigrant attitudes."
This IS what is happening!

Where are Millennials? Where they should be!

Young voters flee Donald Trump in what may be historic trouncing, poll shows from USA Today
"Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is consolidating the support of the Millennials who fueled Bernie Sanders' challenge during the primaries, a new USA TODAY/Rock the Vote Poll finds, as Republican Donald Trump heads toward the worst showing among younger voters in modern American history."