Opinion | Blacks Still Face a Red Line on Housing – The New York Times

“For generations of white American families, homeownership has been a fundamental means of accumulating wealth. Their homes have grown in value over time, providing security in retirement and serving as an asset against which they can borrow for education or other purposes.

But African-Americans were essentially shut out of early federal programs that promoted homeownership and financial well-being — including the all-important New Deal mortgage insurance system that generated the mid-20th-century homeownership boom. This missed opportunity to amass wealth that white Americans took for granted is evident to this day in a yawning black-white wealth gap and in worse health, living conditions and educational opportunities for African-Americans.

The Fair Housing Act, which turned 50 years old last week, ended the most egregious forms of discrimination and brought a modest rise in black homeownership. But those gains — and the hard-won wealth they represented — were wiped out a decade ago in the Great Recession, which reduced the African-American homeownership rate to levels not seen since housing discrimination was legal in the 1960s.”

David Lindsay:
This editorial gets three stars out of three from me. The good news is we are leaving plenty of low hanging fruit for our children and their generation to fix up and improve upon.

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Editorial | The Law Is Coming- Mr. Trump – The New York Times

“Why don’t we take a step back and contemplate what Americans, and the world, are witnessing?

Early Monday morning, F.B.I. agents raided the New York office, home and hotel room of the personal lawyer for the president of the United States. They seized evidence of possible federal crimes — including bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations related to payoffs made to women, including a porn actress, who say they had affairs with the president before he took office and were paid off and intimidated into silence.

That evening the president surrounded himself with the top American military officials and launched unbidden into a tirade against the top American law enforcement officials — officials of his own government — accusing them of “an attack on our country.”

Oh, also: The Times reported Monday evening that investigators were examining a $150,000 donation to the president’s personal foundation from a Ukrainian steel magnate, given during the American presidential campaign in exchange for a 20-minute video appearance.

Meanwhile, the president’s former campaign chairman is under indictment, and his former national security adviser has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators. His son-in-law and other associates are also under investigation.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval at Comments to the NYT
Great editorial, “The Law Is Coming,” thank you. Now, please help me understand, why does Mitch McConnell stop the bipartisan bill to protect the Mueller investigation from getting passed? What is his game, or thinking? Does he expect that he and the GOP will prosper by keeping Trump in power? Is he an employee of Koch Industries and their club of coal, oil and gas oligarchs? Is he betting, against your editorial, that the Republicans will keep enough power, to stop the resistance to Trump, till at least 2020? Maybe the law is coming, but when?

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com

Opinion | The Failures of Anti-Trumpism – by David Brooks – NYT

WACO, Tex. — Over the past year, those of us in the anti-Trump camp have churned out billions of words critiquing the president. The point of this work is to expose the harm President Trump is doing, weaken his support and prevent him from doing worse. And by that standard, the anti-Trump movement is a failure.We have persuaded no one. Trump’s approval rating is around 40 percent, which is basically unchanged from where it’s been all along.We have not hindered him. Trump has more power than he did a year ago, not less. With more mainstream figures like H. R. McMaster, Rex Tillerson and Gary Cohn gone, the administration is growing more nationalist, not less.We have not dislodged him. For all the hype, the Mueller investigation looks less and less likely to fundamentally alter the course of the administration.”

David Brooks, in my opinion, wrote and filed this before the Mueller investigation raided Trump’s lawyer yesterday afternoon. He gets my respect anyway. He has balls to not have pulled and ammended it. Unfortunately, it has more mistakes than ususual. Some of his counsel is sound, but here are two critical comments I fully endorse.

Michael Hogan
Georges Mills, NH
Times Pick

David, I was right there with you, right up to this little nugget of nonsense: “…tens of millions of Americans rightly feel that…their religious liberties are under threat.” Oh, please. What’s under threat, in the case of the Americans to which that is presumably directed, is their right to impose their religious beliefs on others, whether it’s to refuse someone service that’s available to anyone else or to deny their employees access to medical insurance for any procedure they find distasteful. It is no different than saying that the civil rights movement threatened the civil liberties of those who wanted to carry on segregating people and refusing to serve them based on their race. Your analysis is otherwise spot on, but you need to get past this blind spot about the creeping efforts by Christian fundamentalists to stage a back-door takeover of the public square.

 

Kathy Lollock
Santa Rosa, CA3h ago
Times Pick
Mr. Brooks, let’s get one thing straight, and I think I speak for thousands of anti-Trumpers. We are not “insufferably condescending.” On the contrary, we are merely fighting tooth and nail for our rights, including health and welfare and equality and justice for all persuasions, that we see daily trampled on by this failure of a man and his ruthless Cabinet and Congress.

I have friends and family who are Trump supporters, and again I would never dream of patronizing or impugning them. Even though I may not agree with their politics, they are good people, and I will not judge them.

But what I will do is NOT be swayed by your analysis of our “failures.” I will continue to fight for the vulnerable, the black and brown-skinned, the aged, the woman, the gay, the Muslim. I will continue to support our youth who have better sense than we so-called adults when it relates to guns. And I hope everyone out there who reads this column agrees with me that we should not and can not stop when it comes to an amoral, degenerative who was fraudulently elected president..a word that will be tainted for years to come by this horrible man.

5 Replies 441 Recommended

Here is a comment I liked a lot, but couldn’t recommend, because it gets ugly and rude at the end, after making a series of excellent points. We should always listen respectively to David Brooks, who despite his blind spots, is a national treasure. His multiplicity of strengths far outweigh his weaknesses.

V

I’m confused, Mr. Brooks, did you write this column before or after the FBI raid on President Trump’s lawyer’s office and residence today?

This has never happened in our country before.

Trump still has the support of the Republican base because the Republican leaders are allowing this wildly corrupt, shady liar to hold onto his base. Speaker Ryan and Senator McConnell refuse to hold Trump accountable, refuse to investigate his corrupt practices, his corrupt cabinet members, refuse to call out his lies. They are feckless, spineless, complicit.

Since Trump makes policy decisions by literally watching “Fox and Friends,” Trump’s Fox-watching base is living in some sort of weird bubble.

The 40% can have this lying, corrupt President Trump. The opposition is winning because Trump’s support hasn’t grown, and that’s because of the protests, the enthusiasm on the left, the resistance.

A majority of Americans did not vote for President Trump in 2016.

We need this majority to galvanize and vote all Republicans out of office in 2018, in 2020, and beyond.

Don’t listen to Mr. Brooks.

Resist.

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval
David Brooks is a national treasure. I’m guessing that he wrote and filed this before the Mueller investigation raided Trump’s lawyer yesterday afternoon. It already feels dated. He gets my respect anyway. He has courage to not have pulled and amended it. Unfortunately, it has more mistakes, or challenging comments, than usual. Some of his counsel is rock solid sound, but there are two critical comments I fully endorse. (Michael Hogan and Cathy Lollock.) There is a comment by V I liked a lot, but couldn’t recommend, because it gets ugly and rude at the end, after making a series of excellent points. Brooks sounds soft sometimes on the GOP leadership. His digs are subtle, even oblique. We should always listen respectively to David Brooks, who despite his blind spots, or gentleness, is a national treasure. His multiplicity of strengths far outweigh his weaknesses, such as when he writes about psychology and philosophy and love and values. He also covers a wider range of topics than many of his peers at the NYT. And he is right, that Hillary Clinton, and many of her supporters, disrespected many of the Trump supporters. Fearless Brooks does not tire in reminding us to always show respect to our opponents and people in fly-over country. He never promises you a rose garden, but will help you identify and climb mountains.
David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com

F.B.I. Raids Office of Trump’s Longtime Lawyer Michael Cohen; Trump Calls It ‘Disgraceful’ – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. raided the Rockefeller Center office and Park Avenue hotel room of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, on Monday morning, seizing business records, emails and documents related to several topics, including a payment to a pornographic film actress.

Mr. Trump, in an extraordinarily angry response, lashed out hours later at what a person briefed on the matter said was an investigation into possible bank fraud by Mr. Cohen. Mr. Trump accused his own Justice Department of perpetrating a “witch hunt” and asserted that the F.B.I. “broke in to” Mr. Cohen’s office.The president, who spoke at the White House before meeting with senior military commanders about a potential missile strike on Syria, called the F.B.I. raid a “disgraceful situation” and an “attack on our country in a true sense.”

It is not clear how the F.B.I. entered Mr. Cohen’s office, but agents had a search warrant and typically would have presented it to office personnel to be let in. The documents identified in the warrant date back years, according to a person briefed on the search.The prosecutors obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special counsel in the Russia investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, according to Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, who called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but most likely resulted from information that he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York.”

What a wonderful day we are having.
Here is one of many great comments to this extraordinarily important new piece, which I felt compelled to respond to.

Steve Burton Staunton, VA 18 hours ago
Michael Cohen has demonstrated himself to be a bully toward his adversaries, fast and loose with facts, and extremely arrogant in his demeanor. It’s fitting to see him taken down a notch or two. Still, it is troubling to consider the power of law enforcement to seize attorney-client communications…. On the other hand, I can’t help hoping that they nail him.

1906 Recommend

David Lindsay Jr. Hamden, CT Pending Approval
I am sorry Mr. Burton, it is not troubling that law enforcement can seize attorney-client communications if done properly. This is essential, if lawyers and politicians are not to be above the law that the rest of us must respect and live by.
As Madeleine Albright wrote in the NYT the Sunday Review, “no politician, not even in the oval office,” should be allowed to break the law and tarnish the dreams of the American people.

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com

Opinion | Horror of Being Governed by ‘Fox & Friends’ – by Charles Blow – NYT

“This show, with its kindergarten-level intellectual capacity, moved from parroting conservative policies to constructing presidential priorities. “Fox & Friends” has essentially become Donald Trump’s daily briefing.

Countless media outlets have written and talked about the strangely intense connection between Trump and the show.As The Guardian put it, “The show manages to serve as a court sycophant, whispering in the ear of the king, criticizing his perceived enemies and fluffing his feathers.”

Politico Magazine concurred, saying the show “feels intentionally designed for Trump himself — a three-hour, high-definition ego fix.”And the impact that the show is having on Trump is undeniable. Dan Snow, a master’s student at the University of Chicago, analyzed the president’s tweets and found that they are highly concentrated in the hours when the show is on.As Politico wrote, Trump is “live-tweeting” Fox’s coverage. Vox noted that at times he seems to be tweeting precisely what he sees on the show, sometimes even using their exact language.”

Yes and thank you. Here are two of my favorite comments:

ChristineMcM
Massachusetts

“As The Guardian put it,
“The show manages to serve as a court sycophant, whispering in the ear of the king, criticizing his perceived enemies and fluffing his feathers.”

I’ve watched snippets of this inane show selected by other networks to make a point.

It makes me groan to see these two idiotically grinning males with a buxom leggy blond scrunched between them, on this stupid white couch.

Why the couch? Why the lack of notes, pads, papers, pens, mics, you know–the tools of the trade?

It’s unnerving to think this particular show and network are so widely watched given its shallowness fact-free content.

But it does explain what has to be said, which is just when you think America can’t get any dumber, all you need to watch is FOX to find that’s not true either.

If the president merely watched the network it would be bad enough, but that he tweets its talking points and hires its “commentators” for his administration is downright frightening.

Yes, Charles, you nailed it: Fox & Friends is the president’s daily briefing–just not condensed for his limited attention span but expanded to meet his insatiable desire for validation.

But by whom? When I was a girl, my mother used to say, “consider the source” when I complained about what kids were saying at school.

America, consider the source.

Socrates
Socrates
Downtown Verona. NJ

“All this was inspired by the principle – which is quite true in itself – that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. “

Mein Kampf (and Fox and Friends and Daycare Donnie)

Grand Old Propaganda 2018

Nice GOPeople.

Opinion | The Tragedy of James Comey – by David Leonhardt – NYT

“James Comey is about to be ubiquitous. His book will be published next week, and parts may leak this week. Starting Sunday, he will begin an epic publicity tour, including interviews with Stephen Colbert, David Remnick, Rachel Maddow, Mike Allen, George Stephanopoulos and “The View.”All of which will raise the question: What, ultimately, are we supposed to make of Comey?

He may be the most significant supporting player of the Trump era, and his reputation has whipsawed over the last two years. He’s spent time as a villain, a savior and some bizarre combination of the two, depending on your political views.I think that the harshest criticisms of Comey have been unfair all along. He has never been a partisan, for either side. Over a long career at the Justice Department, he was driven by its best ideals: upholding the rule of law without fear or favor. His strengths allowed him to resist political pressure from more than one president of the United States.

Yet anybody who’s read Greek tragedy knows that strengths can turn into weaknesses when a person becomes too confident in those strengths. And that’s the key to understanding the very complex story of James Comey.”

Yes, and thank you. Readers must read the ending of this piece to get its tragic ending, Comey folley, for which he will never be forgiven.
Here are the most popular two comments I endorsed:
Cat Glickman
ArizonaApril 8
As a prosecutor and a Clinton voter, I have terribly mixed feelings about Comey. He did Americans enormous good by stopping Bush & Cheney. He also demonstrated admirable honor & intelligence in refusing to flatter Trump or accede to his demands & in memorializing those interviews right after they happened.
But Comey’s decision to publicly announce why he was not recommending charges against Clinton was just wrong – it is not the cop’s call to make & he clearly did it for self-aggrandizement. As a prosecutor i was dumbfounded – he was so clearly out-of-bounds. But the real damage was done when he announced he was re-opening the investigation. It is very hard to believe he did not make that announcement with intent to influence the election, & there is no doubt that he did it knowing that it would affect the election.

7 Replies 848 Recommended

J
Judith
ny11h ago
Robert Mueller seems to be the only Republican in Washington that knows exactly what he’s supposed to do, is doing it well, and sees no need for public display UNTIL it’s time to present the next result of his investigation. He clearly knows the difference between serious investigation and show business. I wish there were more like him.

1 Reply 628 Recommended

Opinion | M.L.K.’s Unsanitized Lessons – by David Leonhardt – NYT

“You can read his final speech, delivered in Memphis the night before his death, or you can listen to it. Don’t settle for the usual quick outtakes. The famous lines — like “I’ve been to the mountaintop” — aren’t the only worthwhile ones.

“Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination,” King said. “And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be.”

Another option: If you haven’t yet read Taylor Branch’s great book, “Parting the Waters,” you can start it. It remains one of my 10 favorite books, on any subject.You can also watch the new HBO documentary that Branch created along with Trey Ellis, Jackie Glover and others. (If you don’t have HBO, you’ll need to wait a bit.) “For thirty years, I have been trying and failing to help move authentic civil rights history to film,” Branch tweeted last weekend. “It’s not the familiar, ‘sanitized’ MLK.”

You can also read the collection of Op-Eds that The Times has published in recent days, by Wendi Thomas and others. We’ve linked to each of those pieces in Related Coverage below. If you have questions for Jesse Jackson, who wrote one of the pieces, leave them in the Comments section of his article; he will be replying to some of them in coming days.”

Opinion | How to Win an Argument About Guns – by Nicholas Kristof – NYT

“Tragically, predictably, infuriatingly, we’re again mourning a shooting — this time at YouTube’s headquarters — even as the drive for gun safety legislation has stalled in Washington. Polls show that nine out of 10 Americans favor basic steps like universal background checks before gun purchases, but the exceptions are the president and a majority in Congress.

Usually pundits toss out their own best arguments while ignoring the other side’s, but today I’m going to try something new and engage directly with the arguments made by gun advocates:You liberals are in a panic over guns, but look at the numbers. Any one gun is less likely to kill a person than any one vehicle. But we’re not traumatized by cars, and we don’t try to ban them.It’s true that any particular car is more likely to be involved in a fatality than any particular gun. But cars are actually a perfect example of the public health approach that we should apply to guns. We don’t ban cars, but we do work hard to take a dangerous product and regulate it to limit the damage.

We do that through seatbelts and airbags, through speed limits and highway barriers, through driver’s licenses and insurance requirements, through crackdowns on drunken driving and texting while driving. I once calculated that since 1921, we had reduced the auto fatality rate per 100 million miles driven by 95 percent.”

Opinion | Big Business Is Too Big – by David Leonhardt – NYT

The big airlines. The hospital systems that dominate many metro areas. Gigantic retailers like Walmart and Amazon. And, increasingly, technology companies like Facebook and Google.The United States has an oligopoly problem — a concentration of corporate power that has been building for years but is only now starting to receive serious attention from policymakers, think tanks and journalists. (Mea culpa: I’m one of the journalists who was too slow to focus on the problem.)“In nearly every sector of our economy, far fewer firms control far greater shares of their markets than they did a generation ago,” Barry Lynn and Phillip Longman wrote in Washington Monthly, back in 2010. This consolidation has helped hold down wages, raise prices and reduce job growth — while lifting corporate profits.

Opinion | The 2016 Exit Polls Led Us to Misinterpret the 2016 Election – The New York Timesby Thomas Edsall – NYT

“The Pew Research Center and the Center for American Progress have produced methodologically sophisticated surveys of the electorate that sharply contradict 2016 exit polls.Perhaps most significant, a March 20 Pew Research Center public opinion survey found that 33 percent of Democratic voters and Democratic leaners are whites without college degrees. That’s substantially larger than the 26 percent of Democrats who are whites with college degrees — the group that many analysts had come to believe was the dominant constituency in the party.

According to Pew, this noncollege white 33 percent makes up a larger bloc of the party’s voters than the 28 percent made up of racial and ethnic minorities without degrees. It is also larger than the 12 percent of Democratic voters made up of racial and ethnic minorities with college degrees.In sum, Pew’s more precise survey methods reveal that when Democrats are broken down by education, race and ethnicity, the white working class is the largest bloc of Democratic voters and substantially larger than the bloc of white college-educated Democratic voters.In a detailed analysis of the 2016 vote, Pew found that 44 percent, or 60.1 million out of a total of 136.7 million votes cast on Nov. 8, 2016 were cast by whites without college degrees — demographic shorthand for the white working class.”