Quick hits (part II)
September 25, 2016 2 Comments
1) At least temporarily– and hopefully longer– NYT has put an end to awful he said, she said journalism with regards to Trump’s lies.
2) More evidence showing that it’s much better to be a 6th grader not in a middle school.
3) Ross Douthat with a very thought-provoking column on Clinton’s “Samantha Bee” problem. This provoked a lot of interesting social media discussion among my professor friends.
But the Democratic Party’s problem in the age of Trump isn’t really Jimmy Fallon. Its problem is Samantha Bee.
Not Bee alone, of course, but the entire phenomenon that she embodies: the rapid colonization of new cultural territory by an ascendant social liberalism.
The culture industry has always tilted leftward, but the swing toward social liberalism among younger Americans and the simultaneous surge of activist energy on the left have created a new dynamic, in which areas once considered relatively apolitical now have (or are being pushed to have) an overtly left-wing party line…
At the same time, outside the liberal tent, the feeling of being suffocated by the left’s cultural dominance is turning voting Republican into an act of cultural rebellion — which may be one reason the Obama years, so good for liberalism in the culture, have seen sharp G.O.P. gains at every level of the country’s government.
4) NYT editorial takes on NC’s horribly misguided HB2.
5) Not a single Fortune 100 CEO has given to Trump. A whole bunch gave to Romney. And this is despite the fact that Trump assures them large personal tax cuts.
6) And speaking of which, Trump’s tax plans would cause deficits to explode. But nobody cares because it’s Trump and policy.
7) Drew Magery knows he’s not going to convince any Trump voters, so he just unloads with what he really thinks:
13) Political Scientist and media critic extraordinaire, Thomas Patterson, on the media coverage of Trump and Clinton:
IF Hillary Clinton loses the presidential election in November, we will know the reason. The email controversy did her candidacy in. But it needed a helping hand — and the news media readily supplied that.
My analysis of media coverage in the four weeks surrounding both parties’ national conventions found that her use of a private email server while secretary of State and other alleged scandal references accounted for 11% of Clinton’s news coverage in the top five television networks and six major newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. Excluding neutral reports, 91% of the email-related news reports were negative in tone. Then, there were the references to her character and personal life, which accounted for 4% of the coverage; that was 92% negative. [emphasis mine]
While Trump declared open warfare on the mainstream media — and of late they have cautiously responded in kind — it has been Clinton who has suffered substantially more negative news coverage throughout nearly the whole campaign.
14) Just in case you didn’t hear about the Trump county chair in Ohio who said that racism was over in America until Obama brought it back.
15) It’s from just about a year ago, but this Brendan Nyhan piece on the media’s misguided search for “authenticity” is great.
16) Paul Waldman asks if Trump is running the sleaziest foundation in America? Hell, yes! The fact that pretty much only the Post is taking this issue seriously is perhaps the largest media failure of the campaign.
In case you haven’t been following the story of the Trump Foundation, that last part is critical: Trump has given zero dollars to the Trump Foundation since 2009. Instead, he gets other rich people to donate money to the foundation, and he then uses their money for self-aggrandizement and sometimes self-enrichment. As Fahrenthold has documented, Trump has used foundation money for things like buying a six-foot-tall painting of himself, sometimes at charity events held at Mar-a-Lago, where he charges the charity for use of the facility, which means that not only is he not making the donation for which everyone is praising him, he’s actually making money on the deal. And then of course there’s the conveniently timed, illegal $25,000 donation from the foundation to Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, which was followed quickly by her decision not to join a lawsuit charging Trump with fraud over Trump University.
We’ll have to see if the IRS investigates the self-dealing Fahrenthold has identified and what kinds of fines might result. But one of the many striking details in this story is the shock experts in nonprofit and foundation law express when they hear about how Trump uses the Trump Foundation. “I represent 700 nonprofits a year, and I’ve never encountered anything so brazen,” one lawyer told Fahrenthold. “If he’s using other people’s money — run through his foundation — to satisfy his personal obligations, then that’s about as blatant an example of self-dealing [as] I’ve seen in a while.”
17) No, immigrants are not taking jobs from Americans (says the latest study).
18) Dahlia Lithwick on why Hillary should not stoop to Trump’s level in the debate:
But it seems to me the real challenge for Clinton is that she must stand on a stage and debate the single most awful political person in modern American consciousness. Trying to stifle the impulse just to walk across the stage and belt him in the face would seem an insurmountable task. Add to that the fact that Clinton is expected to speak and listen, and it seems beyond human capability.
When considering these obstacles, Clinton should realize that she has one sole job in these debates: Be the grownup. She doesn’t need to be funny. (She isn’t.) She doesn’t need to be emotional—that’s how the deeply unfortunate “basket of deplorables” remark happened. She doesn’t have to bend over backward to be charming or personable. Her job is to ignore the crazy circus monkey with the broken cymbals and do what she does best: Listen carefully, respond reasonably, and speak to the part of America that truly understands what it means to entrust someone with the nuclear codes.
19) Short Term 12 is a sweet little movie you probably never heard of. It’s streaming on Netflix and it’s really good.
20) Tim Noah on the death of telephone calls.
21) How lobbying for government regulations helped make the EpiPen so expensive.
22) You really should read James Fallows‘ great Atlantic cover story on the debates before the debate.