Tuesday, November 15, 2022

15: Trump

Loyal to God and Trump, Mike Pence Defends His Record In “So Help Me God,” the former vice president looks back on his career with one eye on where it might be headed. .

Michelle Obama Has Some Advice In her new book, “The Light We Carry,” the former first lady shares coping strategies for surviving stress and uncertainty.......... It’s not easy being Michelle Obama. Fabulous, yes. Easy, no. ....... “I’m not a leaper or a flier, but a deliberate, rung by rung ladder climber” ...... that tower of cool and confidence Barack Obama. For this crew, self-assurance seems like a birthright. ..... I want to hear from Michelle Obama, who doesn’t always like the way she looks, who felt like an outsider after becoming the ultimate insider; the one who easily becomes lonely; the striver who has spent a lifetime dogged by the question: Am I good enough? The person who sweats. ....... and the bickering and resentments that led the Obamas to seek couples counseling when they had young children. ....... In a chapter on friendship, Obama writes about the importance of having a “kitchen table” of girlfriends. ....... The fact that she loves “lowbrow TV” and counts the hilarious but racy Ali Wong among her favorite comedians says the world about who Obama is when she gets together with those friends. ....... After

“Becoming” became one of the best-selling memoirs of all time

......... In a chapter aptly titled “The Power of Small,” for example, she tells us about how, when the world seems overwhelming, little victories can see us through. (For Obama, it was knitting: “Shaken by the enormity of everything that was happening, I needed my hands to introduce me to what was good, simple and accomplishable.” She taught herself using YouTube.) ......... advice from the writer Toni Morrison: “When a kid walks in the room, your child or anybody else’s, does your face light up? That’s what they’re looking for.” ........ a young Black girl from the South Side of Chicago who went to Princeton after being told by a high school guidance counselor that she wasn’t “Princeton material” — a remark that lives rent-free in her head to this day — and who became our first Black first lady ............ “an arsenal of phrases” — such as “affirmative action,” “scholarship kid,” “gender quota” and “diversity hire” — can be turned into “weapons of disdain.” ........ she begged her mother to come and live in the White House to help her out and give her daughters a sense of normalcy ........ I’ve decided that the sweaters she knits are missing stitches, and one arm is longer than the other. In other words, like a sweater I would knit. ........ “My goal was always to do serious work in a joyful way, to show people what’s possible if we keep choosing to go high”

Trump Is Weak, but the G.O.P. Is Weaker .

I don’t know more than anyone else who follows the news.

........ Trump holds what I consider reprehensible policy views or even the fact that he engaged in several acts, including an attempt to overturn a national election, that can reasonably be described as seditious. ........ Trump, however, comes across as 76 going on a very bratty 14. ........ He veers, sometimes in consecutive sentences, between cringeworthy boasting (what kind of person describes himself as a stable genius?) and whining, between bombast and self-pity....... His only major domestic policy initiatives were a failed attempt to repeal Obamacare and a standard-issue G.O.P. tax cut for corporations and the wealthy. ........ “It’s Infrastructure Week!” became a running joke. ........ President Biden didn’t get everything he wanted on domestic policy, but he did get a major infrastructure bill and, in the Inflation Reduction Act, both unprecedented spending to fight climate change and a significant strengthening of health care. ........ Overseas, Biden assembled and held together a coalition in support of Ukraine that has enabled the invaded nation to resist Russia’s attack — a huge foreign-policy success reminiscent of America’s pre-Pearl Harbor role as the “arsenal of democracy.” And Biden’s China policy, centering on export restrictions designed to undermine China’s technological ambitions, is vastly more aggressive than anything Trump did, even if it hasn’t gotten nearly as much media attention. ........ these days, perhaps because celebrity culture infects everything, business leaders are taken seriously even when they seem unable to refrain from flamboyant displays of ego and insecurity. (Cough. Elon Musk. Cough.) ......... Fox News, the main source of political information for much of the G.O.P. base, gave Trump the kind of hagiographic coverage you’d expect from state media in a dictatorship. ......... And Republican politicians, many of whom knew Trump for what he was, spent years praising him in language reminiscent of Politburo members praising the party chairman.

An Ode to Stacey Abrams She built the huge voter registration and turnout machine that helped Joe Biden carry Georgia in 2020, and helped the state elect its first Jewish and Black senators, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, giving Democrats control of the Senate. ....... Georgia is a state transformed. Liberal Georgians have tasted power, and there is no turning back from it. ....... I simply couldn’t find enthusiastic Abrams voters in my everyday interactions. I live in midtown Atlanta, but I also wasn’t seeing many yard signs or window placards. I wasn’t seeing many TV ads. ....... She was clearly the better candidate. She had an encyclopedic knowledge of the issues. And she had a message that should have energized liberals. ........ she just couldn’t get enough traction. Her message lacked momentum. ........ just months before the election Kemp rolled out a program of cash payments of $350 to low-income Georgians. It wasn’t exactly money for votes, but money to mitigate anger. Kemp paid for placidity........... She is relatively young, incredibly smart and a brilliant tactician. She has a future that only she can write.

Trump Is the Chief Obstacle to a Republican Revival A disappointing election has rattled conservatives. The nation’s most influential Republican, Donald Trump, is implicated in the unsatisfying result. But a dazzling performance in one state has presented the party with an opportunity to think again about renewal — and to embrace a popular alternative to Mr. Trump’s abrasive style and divisive leadership. ....... the party must still move beyond Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump will have a say in that, too: He may not allow the Republican Party to disenthrall itself from him without a costly fight. ........ Since his takeover of the party in 2016, Mr. Trump’s G.O.P. has lost the House, the White House and the Senate. ....... Mr. Trump sees no interest but his own. He is the chief obstacle to a Republican revival. ........ In 1998, one silver lining for Republicans was Mr. Bush, who won re-election for governor by nearly 40 points. In 2022, foremost among a cohort of Republican leaders is Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who won a second term by 20 points. ........ Mr. DeSantis combines competent administration and conservative principles with a Trump-like pugilism and grass-roots suspicion of liberal elites and expert opinion. ......... Republicans have taken the popular vote in a presidential election just once in 34 years.

If You Want to Understand How Dangerous Elon Musk Is, Look Outside America Supporters of the conservative opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and their right-wing religious allies felt that they had long been ignored by the mainstream press. Now they had the chance to grab the mic. ....... And grab it they did. By 2014, when the B.J.P. first won national elections, driven in no small part by its innovative use of social media to tap into middle-class discontent with the status quo, Indian Twitter was well on its way to becoming one of the world’s most vitriolic online spaces, filled with ad hominem attacks and incitements to violence. And having used social media so adroitly to win power, the new government realized that controlling platforms like Twitter would be crucial to suppressing dissent. ........ Into this stew steps Elon Musk. ....... But the real threat in much of the world is not the policies of social media companies, but of governments. ....... Nowhere is that clearer than in India, where before Musk’s acquisition Twitter had been fighting a legal battle to protect its users from government censorship. The real question now is if Musk’s commitment to “free speech” extends beyond conservatives in America and to the billions of people in the Global South who rely on the internet for open communication. ....... while much of the focus has been on countries like China, which overtly restricts access to huge swaths of the internet, the real war over the future of internet freedom is being waged in what she called “swing states,” big, fragile democracies like India. ......... in capitals like Abuja, Jakarta, Ankara, Brasília and New Delhi. ....... other governments are passing laws just to increase their power over speech online and to force companies to be an extension of state surveillance ....... For example: requiring companies to house their servers locally rather than abroad, which can make them more vulnerable to government surveillance. ........ His lawyers argued that Twitter had engaged in “risky litigation against the Indian government,” and put one of the largest markets in jeopardy. ........ India’s government had demanded that Twitter block tweets and accounts from a variety of journalists, activists and politicians. ......... Independent journalism is increasingly under threat in India. Much of the mainstream press has been neutered by a mix of intimidation and conflicts of interests created by the sprawling conglomerates and powerful families that control much of Indian media. ........... one of Musk’s other companies, SpaceX, would seek government permission to offer its Starlink satellite internet service there. ......... the world needs a digital public square ....... creating one involves balancing free speech against abuse, misinformation and government overreach

The Emperor of Chaos Has No Clothes Republicans are blaming Donald Trump for anointing wacky candidates and then using campaign rallies to promote his upcoming presidential announcement. Republican lawmakers privately say those self-indulgent rallies cost them Senate and House seats because many normal Republicans and independents have had their fill of Trump and his crazy train. .........

Trump has been poison for his party.

..... It’s so bad, the Murdoch empire has turned on its former fair-haired boy. ....... The New York Post ridiculed him on the cover as “Trumpty Dumpty,” with a gratuitous shot about how he not only had a great fall, but couldn’t build a wall. ........ Trump responded by calling the paper “the no longer great New York Post,” and he blamed his failure to complete the wall on former Speaker Paul Ryan, a Fox Corp. board member, and “Broken Old Crow” Mitch McConnell, saying they didn’t get him enough money from Congress. ......... In his Truth Social posts, he tried to paint the election results as better than they were, sneering that candidates who shunned his support, like Joe O’Dea in Colorado, went down big and had a “Death Wish.” ........ saying he would never have won last year without Trump giving “a very big Trump Rally for him telephonically.” ....... warning him not to think about getting in the presidential race. ........ After DeSantis had a crushing victory in the once swingy Sunshine State, declaring it the place “woke goes to die,” Trump’s puerile jealousy exploded. He posted that he had rescued DeSantis when he was “politically dead.” ......... “And now Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games!” said Trump, angry that DeSantis wouldn’t rule out running for president in 2024. ......... Republicans refused to convict Trump on impeachment charges and ban him from running for public office. Now they’re living with the consequences. ...... “If blackmailing Ukraine, inciting a riot, trying to overturn the election, hoarding classified documents, using overtly racist language for seven years

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