Quick hits (part II)

1) This post about words not to use around your teenage children is dope.

2) Clickbait for me– a post looking back at the technology (massive laptops, etc.)  in Beverly Hills 90210

3) There are more white voters out there than we realize.  Maybe good news for Trump.  But probably not enough.

4) In Oklahoma, cops are no longer restricting their civil asset forfeiture (i.e., legal thievery) to cash but taking electronic payments as well.

5) The fact that it is not currently the law that financial advisers are required to look out for the interests of their clients, not themselves, is just wrong.  The fact that Republicans are helping them fight to keep it this way is truly appalling.

6) How academic leaders are actually responsible for the chilling of free speech on campus.

But there is a different, though equally important, reason many students today are willing to suppress free expression on campus. And the fault largely lies at the feet of many of the country’s academic leaders. Students and their families have been increasingly treated as “customers.” Presidents of colleges and universities have been too reluctant to “offend” their customers, which may help explain why they so often yield to wrong-headed demands by students. Courage at universities is, unfortunately, a rare commodity—and it’s particularly rare among leaders of institutions pressured by students to act in a politically correct way.

It seems that the vast majority of presidents and provosts of the finest U.S. universities have not seized this moment of concern voiced by students as a teaching moment—a moment to instruct and discuss with students what college is about. Too many academic leaders are obsessed with the security of their own jobs and their desire to protect the reputation of their institution, and too few are sufficiently interested in making statements that may offend students but that show them why they are at these colleges—and why free expression is a core and enabling value of any higher-learning institution that considers itself of the first rank. Of course, there are strong academic leaders who do encourage open discussions of issues raised by students while also speaking out against restrictions on campus speech, against speech codes, safe-space psychology, and micro-aggressions. But they are too few and far between.

7) Are Republican Trump supporters modern-day Neville Chamberlains?

8) This is just a great break-down of a the action leading to a goal (Jermaine Jones for US vs. Costa Rica).

9) Wonkblog summarizes Clinton’s policy agenda.

10) Jon Cohn  performs a public service by consolidating all the worst stuff Trump has said.

11) I honestly suspect that during the campaign we’re going to see a lot to undermine Trump’s reputation as a great businessman.  Atlantic City casinos are a good place to start:

His audacious personality and opulent properties brought attention — and countless players — to Atlantic City as it sought to overtake Las Vegas as the country’s gambling capital. But a close examination of regulatory reviews, court records and security filings by The New York Times leaves little doubt that Mr. Trump’s casino business was a protracted failure. Though he now says his casinos were overtaken by the same tidal wave that eventually slammed this seaside city’s gambling industry, in reality he was failing in Atlantic City long before Atlantic City itself was failing. [emphasis mine]

But even as his companies did poorly, Mr. Trump did well. He put up little of his own money, shifted personal debts to the casinos and collected millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other payments. The burden of his failures fell on investors and others who had bet on his business acumen.

12) The latest evidence on the existence of planets in the universe seems to make it very, very likely that– at least at some point– there has been other intelligent life in the universe.

13) Are Molten Salt Reactors the energy of the future?  Maybe.  If not them, I think chances are pretty good that we will have some truly amazing energy breakthroughs within the next decade or two.

14) Seth Masket says at least one American political party is working:

“There are always internal divisions within any party, but divisions in 2016 in the Democratic Party are relatively mild,” said Georgetown University political scientist Hans Noel, co-author of “The Party Decides,” via e-mail.

I think the main thing that differentiates the Democrats and the Republicans is that the divide in the Republican Party was among party elites and activists, as well as voters. It was a divide between the Cruz/House Freedom Caucus wing and the Bush/Boehner wing. It was hard to bridge in Congress, and it turned out to be impossible to bridge in the electorate. Donald Trump thus took advantage of this divide and captured control of some of the voters, mostly from the Cruz wing but not exclusively. But the Democrats have been largely united behind Clinton from the start, and the dissatisfaction among voters, while deep, is not widespread.

15) There’s a long evolutionary war going on between snakes and newts.

 

16) Silicon Valley is brilliant television.  You should watch it.  Here’s how they keep it grounded in the real Silicon Valley.

17) Drum says it’s time we stop pretending Trump is about economic anxiety.  He’s right:

“Economic anxiety” as a campaign issue has always been a red herring. And even if you back off a bit and try to limit it solely to the notion that whites are losing ground to minorities, the evidence still doesn’t back you up. You can cherry pick here and there if you want to make that case, but it’s tough sledding. Basically, everyone’s been in the same boat, and blacks and Hispanics haven’t really made up any ground versus whites.

So white anger isn’t really about blacks and Hispanics taking their jobs. Or about blacks and Hispanics making more money and leaving whites behind. Nor do whites have any special economic reason to be more pessimistic about the future than blacks and Hispanics.

If you want to get to the root of this white anxiety, you have to go to its roots. It’s cultural, not economic. It’s demographics, not paychecks. It’s about not being the boss anymore. It’s about lower-class white communities now exhibiting pathologies—drug abuse, low marriage rates, etc.—that were once reasons for them to look down on blacks.

18) Good Lord is Charles Pierce fun to read– especially on Trump:

So, the annual Family and Freedom Summit is going on in Washington, as various Bible-banging grifters and god-bothering Pharisees scour the gospels to find the passage where Jesus gives a pass to vulgar talking yams as long as they can put, say, Pennsylvania in play.

(Those inconvenient speeches about camels and a needle’s eye are readily skipped.)

Anyway, He, Trump stopped by today to assure them that his faith is indeed huge, and that it is the greatest faith anyone ever has had, and that his house has many mansions and they all have gold-plated plumbing fixtures. The presumptive Republican nominee read some words that somebody else wrote for him, once again appearing to have been shot with a tranquilizer dart prior to taking the podium. He was preceded on stage by Ralph Reed, the famous casino bagman and future timeshare owner in Hell, who impressed upon the faithful the need to vote for a guy who thinks they’re even bigger suckers than Reed does.

 He, Trump then came out and his speech was approximately as coherent theologically as a pile of leaves is coherent as a tree.

19a) Two ILRIA’s this week.  Frum on how Trump is violating the “seven guardrails of democracy” and eroding established norms that are essential and fundamental to the health of our nation.

19b) And Ezra Klein making basically the same important and accurate case, minus the metaphor.  Read ’em.  This is why Trump should never, ever get anywhere near the presidency.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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