Combative, Populist Steve Bannon Found His Man in Donald Trump -by Scott Shane – The New York Times

Important reading by Scott Shane to understand the election. Apparently, Bannon isn’t a racist, but perfectly willing to enlists the racists in his revolution.

“When Julia Jones arrived at her office in Santa Monica at 8 a.m. — by Hollywood screenwriter standards, the crack of dawn — she found Stephen K. Bannon already at his desk, which was cluttered with takeout coffees. They were co-writers on a Ronald Reagan documentary, but Mr. Bannon had pretty much taken it over. He had been at work for hours, he told her, writing feverishly about his political hero.

Today, with Donald J. Trump, whose election Mr. Bannon helped engineer, on the threshold of power, the 2004 film “In the Face of Evil” has a prophetic ring. Its trailer has an over-the-top, apocalyptic feel: lurid footage of bombs dropping on cities alternating with grainy clips of Reagan speeches, as a choir provides a soaring soundtrack. The message: Only one man was up to the challenge posed by looming domestic and global threats.

“A man with a vision,” the trailer says. “An outsider, a radical with extreme views.” ”

Source: Combative, Populist Steve Bannon Found His Man in Donald Trump – The New York Times

Chasing Abortion Rights Across the State Line – by Linda Greenhouse – The New York Times

“……Lloyd Gaines was a graduate of Lincoln University, Missouri’s state university for black students, who were excluded from the University of Missouri. He wanted to become a lawyer, but Lincoln University had no law school. He applied to the University of Missouri’s law school, for which his academic record qualified him, but his race did not. His application was rejected, and he was advised to apply for the scholarship that a state law made available to black students forced to leave the state in order to pursue their educational goals. In the language of the statute, university officials “shall have the authority to arrange for the attendance of negro residents of the state of Missouri at the university of any adjacent state to take any course or to study any subjects provided for at the state university of Missouri, and which are not taught at the Lincoln university, and to pay the reasonable tuition fees for such attendance.”

Mr. Gaines declined the offer. Represented by Charles Hamilton Houston, a pioneering lawyer for the N.A.A.C.P., he went to court. He lost in the Missouri Supreme Court, which noted that he could attend law school with full tuition paid and with only minor inconvenience at the state law schools of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa or Illinois, all of which accepted black students.

“We think that these matters are beside the point,” Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes wrote for the United States Supreme Court, overturning the state court’s ruling. “The basic consideration is not as to what sort of opportunities other states provide, or whether they are as good as those in Missouri, but as to what opportunities Missouri itself furnishes to white students and denies to Negroes solely upon the ground of color.” The chief justice went on to say that each state was “responsible for its own laws establishing the rights and duties of persons within its borders,” and that “it is an obligation the burden of which cannot be cast by one state upon another, and no state can be excused from performance by what another state may do or fail to do.” ”

…….. .

“The Gaines case is not well known today outside of Missouri, where the state university has a scholarship in his name and 10 years ago awarded him a posthumous honorary degree. But it has been rediscovered in the recent litigation over state restrictions on abortion. Two years ago, a federal district judge in Alabama, Myron Thompson, invoked the case in striking down the state’s requirement that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

Because most hospitals in Alabama refused to give admitting privileges to doctors who performed abortions, the requirement would have closed three of the state’s five abortion clinics. The state argued that women could go elsewhere. But “the state could identify no precedent for a court to consider conduct outside the political boundaries of a jurisdiction in order to justify the constitutionality of actions by that jurisdiction,” Judge Thompson wrote, citing the Gaines case.”

Source: Chasing Abortion Rights Across the State Line – The New York Times

Mothers in Prison – by Nicholas Kristof – The New York Times

“TULSA, Okla. — The women’s wing of the jail here exhales sadness. The inmates, wearing identical orange uniforms, ache as they undergo withdrawal from drugs, as they eye one another suspiciously, and as they while away the days stripped of freedom, dignity, privacy and, most painful of all, their children.

“She’s disappointed in me,” Janay Manning, 29, a drug offender shackled to a wall for an interview, said of her eldest daughter, a 13-year-old. And then she started crying, and we paused our interview.

Of all America’s various policy missteps in my lifetime, perhaps the most catastrophic was mass incarceration. It has had devastating consequences for families, and it costs the average American household $600 a year.

The United States has recently come to its senses and begun dialing back on the number of male prisoners. But we have continued to increase the number of women behind bars; two-thirds of women in state prisons are there for nonviolent offenses. America now incarcerates eight times as many women as in 1980, and only Thailand seems to imprison women at a higher rate.”

Source: Mothers in Prison – The New York Times

This is a magnificent piece by Nick Kristof. Read it and cry, and get involved in solutions.
One of my favorite comments:
Anires California 2 days ago

“There were so many strong points in this article, but perhaps my favorite was this:
“It’s time to change how we view addiction. Not as a moral failing but as a chronic illness.”

It’s easy to dismiss the women here and coldly say they got what they deserved. But a little compassion and understanding would really go a long way. It could have easily been me in prison had I not been blessed with a loving and economically stable family. As a society we should help them overcome the darkest moments of their life instead of making it impossible for them to become contributing members of society.

Thank you, for shedding light on this.”

122 Recommended

The Secret Agenda of a Facebook Quiz – by McKenzie Funk – The New York Times

More evidence that targeted dark, dishonest ads by the Trump social media team tilted the election in key states.

“No data point is very informative on its own, but profiling voters, says Cambridge Analytica, is like baking a cake. “It’s the sum of the ingredients,” its chief executive officer, Alexander Nix, told NBC News. Because the United States lacks European-style restrictions on second- or thirdhand use of our data, and because our freedom-of-information laws give data brokers broad access to the intimate records kept by local and state governments, our lives are open books even without social media or personality quizzes.

Ever since the advertising executive Lester Wunderman coined the term “direct marketing” in 1961, the ability to target specific consumers with ads — rather than blanketing the airwaves with mass appeals and hoping the right people will hear them — has been the marketer’s holy grail. What’s new is the efficiency with which individually tailored digital ads can be tested and matched to our personalities. Facebook is the microtargeter’s ultimate weapon.”


“While Hillary Clinton spent more than $140 million on television spots, old-media experts scoffed at Trump’s lack of old-media ad buys. Instead, his campaign pumped its money into digital, especially Facebook. One day in August, it flooded the social network with 100,000 ad variations, so-called A/B testing on a biblical scale, surely more ads than could easily be vetted by human eyes for compliance with Facebook’s “community standards.”

Perhaps out of necessity, the Trump team was embracing a new-media lesson: It didn’t have to build everything from scratch. Mark Zuckerberg and others had already built the infrastructure the campaign needed to reach voters directly. When “Trump TV” went live on Facebook before and after the second debate it raked in $9 million in donations in 120 minutes.

In the immediate wake of Mr. Trump’s surprise election, so many polls and experts were so wrong that it became fashionable to declare that big data was dead. But it isn’t, not when its most obvious avatar, Facebook, was so crucial to victory.

On Monday, after a similar announcement from Google, Facebook said it would no longer allow fake-news websites to show ads, on their own sites, from Facebook’s ad network — a half-step that neither blocks what appears on your newsfeed nor affects how advertisers can microtarget users on the social network. ”   ………

Source: The Secret Agenda of a Facebook Quiz – The New York Times

Donald Trump’s Demand for Love – Frank Bruni – The New York Times

“He sands down his edges. Modulates his voice. Bends.

That was perhaps the most interesting part of the meeting, the one that makes his presidency such a question mark. Will he tilt in whatever direction, and toward whichever constituency, is the surest source of applause? Is our best hope for the best Trump to be so fantastically adulatory when he’s reasonable that he’s motivated to stay on that course, lest the adulation wane?

The Trump who visited The Times was purged of any zeal to investigate Clinton’s emails or the Clinton Foundation, willing to hear out the scientists on global warming, skeptical of waterboarding and unhesitant to disavow white nationalists. He never mentioned the border wall.”

Source: Donald Trump’s Demand for Love – The New York Times

Bruni doesn’t disappoint. Well done young Frank.

At Lunch, Donald Trump Gives Critics Hope by Tom Friedman – The New York Times

“Well, that was interesting … Donald Trump came to lunch at The New York Times. You can find all the highlights on the news pages, but since I had the opportunity to be included, let me offer a few impressions of my first close encounter with Trump since he declared for the presidency.

The most important was that on several key issues — like climate change and torture — where he adopted extreme positions during his campaign to galvanize his base, he went out of his way to make clear he was rethinking them. How far? I don’t know. But stay tuned, especially on climate.”

Source: At Lunch, Donald Trump Gives Critics Hope – The New York Times

Here is a supportable comment, many near the top were terrible, mostly in dehumanizing Trump:

Bruce Rozenblit is a trusted commenter Kansas City, MO 10 hours ago

“Trump is all over the place. Obviously, he is a highly conflicted individual. He most definitely has some deep seated psychological problems. The guy needs to be in therapy, a lot. He could also use 10 hours of yoga a week. However damaged he is, Donald Trump is our President elect. We bought the whole package, with all of his conditions and failings.

It is becoming apparent that he is in way over his head. President Obama said that the job has a way of changing you. No kidding!

Much of the ridiculous and hateful things that Trump kept spewing out were largely based on ignorance. Trump didn’t and doesn’t have a clue. As President Obama said, markets move and armies march on what the President says. Trump is getting the security briefings. The gravity of the office is beginning to settle in. Even a bombastic egomaniac can grasp the magnitude of the most powerful office in the world.

So the rest of us are in panic mode trying to figure out what Trump is going to do. We are over analyzing every phrase, every word. I have news for you. Trump himself doesn’t know what he is going to do. He is a pile of tinker toys spilled out on the floor. Who knows what will be built with them.

It also appears that Trump responds to external stimuli. If good leaders can get close to him, this administration could be salvaged. Please President Obama, become Trump’s newest best friend. The entire world needs you now more than ever. That’s not a joke. Deadly serious.”

Reply 272 Recommended

Global Warming Alters Arctic Food Chain- Scientists Say- With Unforeseeable Results – The New York Times

“The Arctic Ocean may seem remote and forbidding, but to birds, whales and other animals, it’s a top-notch dining destination.

“It’s a great place to get food in the summertime, so animals are flying or swimming thousands of miles to get there,” said Kevin R. Arrigo, a biological oceanographer at Stanford University.

But the menu is changing. Confirming earlier research, scientists reported Wednesday that global warming is altering the ecology of the Arctic Ocean on a huge scale.The annual production of algae, the base of the food web, increased an estimated 47 percent between 1997 and 2015, and the ocean is greening up much earlier each year.”

Source: Global Warming Alters Arctic Food Chain, Scientists Say, With Unforeseeable Results – The New York Times

Climate Change in Trump’s Age of Ignorance – by Robert Prooctor – The New York Times

Stanford, Calif. — THE good news got pretty much drowned out this month: Yes, 2016 is on track to become the hottest year on record, but thankfully also the third year in a row to see relatively flat growth in global greenhouse gas emissions. With global economic growth on the order of 3 percent a year, we may well have turned a corner toward a sustainable climate economy.The bad news, of course, is that the world’s wealthiest nation, home to many of the scholars scrambling to reverse global warming, has elected a new president with little or no interest in the topic. Or an active disinterest. Donald J. Trump is surrounding himself with advisers who are likely to do little to challenge his notion of climate change as a Chinese hoax. People like to think of us as living in an age of information, but a better descriptor might be “the age of ignorance.”


“We now live in a world where ignorance of a very dangerous sort is being deliberately manufactured, to protect certain kinds of unfettered corporate enterprise. The global climate catastrophe gets short shrift, largely because powerful fossil fuel producers still have enormous political clout, following decades-long campaigns to sow doubt about whether anthropogenic emissions are really causing planetary warming. Trust in science suffers, but also trust in government. And that is not an accident. Climate deniers are not so much anti-science as anti-regulation and anti-government.

Jeff Nesbit, in his recent book, “Poison Tea: How Big Oil and Big Tobacco Invented the Tea Party and Captured the G.O.P.,” documents how Big Tobacco joined with Big Oil in the early 1990s to create anti-tax front groups. These AstroTurf organizations waged a concerted effort to defend the unencumbered sale of cigarettes and petro-products. The breathtaking idea was to protect tobacco and oil from regulation and taxes by starting a movement that would combat all regulation and alltaxes.”

Source: Climate Change in Trump’s Age of Ignorance – The New York Times

A Trade War Against China Might Be a Fight Trump Couldn’t Win – The New York Times

“Who gains from a trade war with China?  At the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Peru over the weekend, one of the biggest questions was whether Donald J. Trump, as the next president, would stick to his threat to erect steep trade barriers against Beijing, dragging the United States into a tit-for-tat confrontation with the world’s second-largest economy.No such war has begun, yet it seems clear that the United States has already lost. China has been steadily gaining in the global economic system.

Waging war against globalization, America is making China’s case. Eswar Prasad, a former head of the Chinese division at the International Monetary Fund, argues that “over the long term China comes out a winner no matter what.” ”

Source: A Trade War Against China Might Be a Fight Trump Couldn’t Win – The New York Times

Judges Find Wisconsin Redistricting Unfairly Favored Republicans – The New York Times

“A panel of three federal judges said on Monday that the Wisconsin Legislature’s 2011 redrawing of State Assembly districts to favor Republicans was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, the first such ruling in three decades of pitched legal battles over the issue.

Federal courts have struck down gerrymanders on racial grounds, but not on grounds that they unfairly give advantage to a political party — the more common form of gerrymandering. The case could now go directly to the Supreme Court, where its fate may rest with a single justice, Anthony M. Kennedy, who has expressed a willingness to strike down partisan gerrymanders but has yet to accept a rationale for it.”

Source: Judges Find Wisconsin Redistricting Unfairly Favored Republicans – The New York Times

Top comments:


san francisco 13 hours ago

“Lots of commenters are pointing out – correctly – that gerrymandering has no direct effect on Presidential elections, or Senate races.

However, this ignores the impact that GOP control of state legislatures has had on voter registration/identification laws, and the distribution and open hours for polling places. When elections hinge on a few thousand votes and tenths of a percentage point, these factors should not be discounted.

NYT Pick


Madison 12 hours ago

Even in this most recent election, which saw Wisconsin go for a Republican presidential candidate for the first time in 32 years, the vote was split nearly 50-50 Republican-Democrat. And yet somehow our state Assembly has a two-thirds Republican majority; the state Senate is almost as lopsided. This is unprecedented in the more than 30 years I’ve lived here, even though we’ve had a Republican governor for all but eight of those years. It’s entirely the product of the blatantly undemocratic districts drawn by the Republicans after 2010–in secret, with the aid of high priced consultants paid with tax dollars. It’s about time a court called them on it.”

Paul King

USA 11 hours ago

All drawing of districts should be done by bi-partisan panels.

I’m more to the left but I don’t favor this kind of cheating by left or right.

It’s a perversion of democracy if districts are drawn to set them in concrete for one party.

It’s so obvious it’s an embarrassment.”