Quick hits (part I)

1) Loved “The Arrival.”  This review captures it pretty well.

2) Excellent NC State Senator Jeff Jackson with his take on how Democrats should try and talk to working class voters.

3) Oh man, Alec Baldwin as President-Elect Trump is the best yet.

4) NYT with a great case study on how a totally false tweet blew up huge on right-wing media.

5) Emily Badger on the persistent and pervasive rural bias in American politics.

6) So Pope Francis has continued a waiver to let a priest, and not necessarily a bishop, absolve a Catholic of the sin of abortion.  What I cannot figure out–and have tried– is if this is actually a harsher standard than for murder (of which I always assumed you could just confess to a priest).

7) SurveyMonkey’s post election poll suggests a substantially less diverse electorate than the official exit polls.

8) Brendan Nyhan on the institutional failures that led to Trump.  From 9 months ago.

9) Yglesias with a fascinating psycho-analysis of Jared Kushner.

10) The amazing irony of Trump claiming he would “drain the swamp.”

11) Italian Economist Luigi Zingales on how to resist Trump (based on Italian experience with Berlusconi)

12) Interesting Vox feature on the inter-generational transmission– and inter-generational mis-understandings– of political attitudes.  Much to my dismay, though, nothing on the role of genetics.  Fortunately, Thomas Edsall had a nice round-up of that a while back.

13) The Democratic government in Delaware with a template on how to succeed based on economic policies benefiting the working class.

14) Rick Hasen on the claims that somehow electoral fraud led to Clinton’s loss.  And, no, I haven’t taken this seriously for more than a second.

First, I continue to be inundated with messages from people advancing the most extreme legal and political theories to try to change the results of an election that many on the left see as a threat to American Democracy itself. People want to believe there is rigging, or some magic legal way out, to change the outcome of the election. All of these theories should be approached with extreme caution. Most are a combination of wishful thinking and dubious reasoning. That was true the theories that were put out there using exit polls to try to show that Ohio’s 2004 results were rigged against John Kerry. Some people still believe this even though there is no good evidence of it (as Rep. John Conyers concluded in his report).

15) The comments on this Amazon page for a Trump hat Christmas ornament are great.

16) Nice post from the Lindsay Wagner at the awesome AJ Fletcher Foundation on some of the problems with public money going to private schools:

As I outlined last week, consider the following scenarios that apply to private schools receiving public dollars:

  • Private schools receiving tax dollars don’t have to meet any generally accepted accreditation standards.
  • Teachers don’t have to be licensed.
  • Schools are free to deny admission to anyone, such as those who don’t declare their support for Jesus Christ or those who are LGBTQ.
  • Schools don’t have to adhere to any sort of curricular standards and are free to use teaching materials that draw heavily on biblical teachings.
  • A criminal background check is required only for the schools’ top administrator.
  • A nationally-normed standardized test must be given to students yearly (and report those findings only if enrollment is more than 25 voucher students). The test doesn’t have to be the same, or comparable, to the tests administered in public schools.
  • Only if a school receives more than $300,000 annually is it then required to conduct a financial review by a CPA (only three of the 330 schools met the criteria last year).

So while these recently-closed private schools may have shut down due to financial problems, it’s impossible to know if other factors were at play.

17) Really interesting post on how fake news is not the problem, so much as propaganda getting covered as real news.  Great case study of Hillary Clinton’s health.

18) Just what we need– a registry of liberally-biased professors.  I wonder how long before I’m on it🙂.

19) Just concede already Pat McCrory.

20) Yes, some felons have inappropriately voted in North Carolina.  But it sure as hell ain’t anywhere near 7000.  And some people who are allowed to vote have been wrongly challenged as felons.  Including McCrory voters.

21) I like Drum’s take on Bannon:

 

So even if we give Bannon the benefit of the doubt on racism, he’s still presided over a website that deliberately indulges in race-baiting, presumably to build its audience. Is that better or worse? You decide.

I’ve written about this before, and I’ve already decided: It’s worse. The David Duke version of racism may be repugnant, but for that very reason it’s fairly easy to fight. There are just too many people who are put off by it.

The Steve Bannon version is far more effective. Partly this is because, yes, critics will overreach and discredit themselves. Partly it’s because his more subtle attacks on “political correctness” don’t put off as many people. Partly it’s because he assures people they can have racist attitudes without actually being racists. And partly it’s because his sub rosa approach is just plain harder to expose.

22) Also a really interesting interview with former Breitbart writer Ben Shapiro.  And, yes, Bannon basically does have no moral compass.

23) Not the least bit shocked for a child psychologist to argue that fears of childhood screen time are overblown.

24) Another good Monkey Cage piece from Michael Tesler on how racially resentful working class whites have been fleeing the Democratic Party well before Trump.

 

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

4 Responses to Quick hits (part I)

  1. Mika says:

    #1 Oh, for one second I thought you meant Abba’s Arrival. True piece of art, for example

    #23 Well timed article. Two weeks ago I bought my daughter Nintendo Wii U. Now she loves to play sports games, especially tennis. She doesn’t stand still one second when she plays it. Our living room is too small for that running and jumping. So now I’m torn between “Too much screen time” and “Exercise is good for you”.

    • Steve Greene says:

      #1) Funny you should mention Abba. They have a semi-prominent role in the book I’ve been reading with David, https://www.amazon.com/Half-Brother-Kenneth-Oppel/dp/054522926X, so I’ve been showing him Abba videos on youtube.
      #23, yeah, we used to get lots of exercise with our Wii when we first got it. I especially love the balance board.

      • Mika says:

        Watching Abba videos never done anybody no harm!🙂

        I have balance board in my garage. I bought a used Wii to get remote so we can play older Wii games with our Wii U. New remotes cost 60-70€, used Wii with two remotes, two nunchagus, one more controller and balance board cost 50€. I can make so great deals that I get sick of making deals🙂

  2. R. Jenrette says:

    #2 So when Trump doesn’t fulfill his promise to create or bring back great jobs, his voters will just look for someone else who can?
    Good luck with that. By the time these and other voters realize what happened, Trump will have appointed at least one Supreme Court Justice who will tilt the balance toward accepting state voting repression laws, striking down what remains of the Voting Rights Acts, limiting EPA and other regulatory agencies, overturning Dodd-Frank, repealing Roe V Wade by returning the issue to the states, rejecting conflict of interest suits against the President and much more. All this plus the usual GOP tax cuts, cutting the social safety net and privatizing the “entitlements” can only result in economic slowdown, increasing poverty and social unrest, and worsening public health.
    Living in NC, it seemed clear to me by 2012 that if the voters let the Republicans took over control of all branches of government there would be no stopping them from entrenching themselves into power for a very, very long time. And that was without imagining that a Donald Trump would be President.

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