Month: December 2016

From Time:

Fidel is dead, and now, buried. Some will call him the last of the Cold Warriors. But there are still plenty of regimes that have been in power for decades. Are they frozen in time, or is change bubbling beneath the surface? In each case, the answer may depend on how long political power can be kept within the family. A look at five of the longest-ruling regimes in the world, and where they go from here.

Read Ian’s entire column here.

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From Vox:

Democrats really, really, really do not want Donald Trump to dramatically overhaul Medicare, replacing the current universal guarantee of government-provided health insurance for senior citizens with a voucher to buy private insurance.

But they’d sure like him to try.

“Make our day,” was Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s exact phrase.

And it’s not just Schumer. Joe Donnelly is a very moderate Democratic senator who, not coincidentally, represents the generally quite conservative state of Indiana. Trump won 57 percent of the vote in the state to just 38 percent for Hillary Clinton. And he’s up for reelection in 2018. Donnelly, in other words, is a guy with a lot of incentive to find places to agree with Trump.

Read Matt’s entire column here.

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From The Baltimore Sun:

If I were more religious, I would be convinced that God sent Donald Trump to test the press.

And so far, the press has mostly failed — with another “F” coming this past week as the president-elect again flexed his Twitter muscles. This time, he introduced the new normal for how information will flow from his presidency through the media ecosystem, with him in control.

Trump ran circles around the news media and reinvented presidential campaigning through the use of social media on his way to victory Nov. 8.

So why would anyone who has been paying attention to politics and media for the past 18 months be surprised or confused by seeing him now running circles around the press and reinventing the way a president-elect speaks to citizens through the use of Twitter and other social media?

Read the rest of David’s post here.

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From FiveThirtyEight:

Democrats had an election night to forget last month. They lost the presidency and a net of two governor’s mansions, and gained fewer seats in the House and Senate than was expected. But those disappointments didn’t all occur the same way. Although the Senate elections were among the most nationalized of all time — Donald Trump won the states where GOP Senate candidates were elected — 2016’s 12 gubernatorial races didn’t follow suit. And the lack of a close tie between the gubernatorial races and the presidential race could be a good thing for Democrats in 2018 and going forward, but it might also shield Republicans if the Trump administration runs into problems.

Read the rest of Harry’s column here.

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From The New York Times:

Donald Trump won the Electoral College (though not the popular vote) on the strength of overwhelming support from working-class whites, who feel left behind by a changing economy and society. And they’re about to get their reward — the same reward that, throughout Mr. Trump’s career, has come to everyone who trusted his good intentions. Think Trump University.

Yes, the white working class is about to be betrayed.

Read the rest of Paul’s column here.

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From The Washington Post:

Among the reasons #NeverTrump Republicans opposed Donald Trump’s election was that his lack of conservative principles and ethical stands would inevitably corrupt, intellectually and morally, the GOP. Republicans would feel compelled to defend anti-free-market and anti-democratic moves. They’d wind up as apologists for behavior and policies they would never have tolerated in a Democratic administration. This has happened already, and the president-elect hasn’t even finished picking his Cabinet.

On the ethical front, the Republicans remain mute about Trump’s ongoing morass of conflicts, the mixing of private and public interests and the unwillingness to recognize that his foreign holdings pose a constitutional problem.

Read the rest of Jennifer’s post here.

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From The Washington Post:

The word “inappropriate” is increasingly used inappropriately. It is useful to describe departures from good manners and other social norms, such as wearing white after Labor Day and using the salad fork with the entree. But the adjective has become a splatter of verbal fudge, a weasel word falsely suggesting measured seriousness. Its misty imprecision does not disguise but advertises the user’s moral obtuseness.

A French court has demonstrated how “inappropriate” can be an all-purpose device of intellectual evasion and moral cowardice. The court said it is inappropriate to do something that might disturb people who killed their unborn babies for reasons that were, shall we say, inappropriate.

Read the rest of George’s column here.

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From The Ringer:

Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer discuss Trump’s Carrier deal (00:55) and his Goldman Sachs Cabinet (16:38), Barack Obama’s Rolling Stone interview (23:53), and what the voice of the Democratic Party should sound like in the Trump era (35:33). Then, Louisiana’s Democratic Senate candidate, Foster Campbell, joins the podcast to discuss next week’s runoff election (46:58).

Listen to the episode here.

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From The Washington Post:

As Democrats contemplate their losses in November’s election, most have settled on a solution. They believe that the party needs more economically populist policies. But this misses an essential reality: Most people don’t vote on the basis of policies.

There is excellent research by political scientists and psychologists on why people vote. The conclusion is clear. As Gabriel Lenz writes in his landmark 2012 book, “Follow the Leader?”, “Voters don’t choose between politicians based on policy stances; rather, voters appear to adopt the policies that their favorite politicians prefer.”

Read the rest of Fareed’s column here.

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From Vox:

Carrier, the HVAC company that since 1979 has been a subsidiary of the larger United Technologies conglomerate, announced several months ago that it was going to close two facilities in Indiana and shift production to a new plant the company is building in Mexico. The move was telegraphed well in advance as part of the company’s obligations to its workforce, but in a practical sense that only made the sting worse.

The plants weren’t closing because Carrier was losing money hand over fist or because the products they made were obsolete. It was simply cold-hearted medium-term economic planning — it would be cheaper to do it in Mexico.

Read the rest of Matt’s column here.

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From FiveThirtyEight:

Let’s take two fairly obvious data-driven conclusions from the 2016 election and see if there’s any link between them.

The first conclusion: Education was almost everything in explaining the results of the race. Donald Trump substantially improved on Mitt Romney’s performance among voters without college degrees — especially white voters without college degrees. Hillary Clinton somewhat improved on President Obama’s performance with college-educated voters. The link between education levels and the shift in the vote is robust, even when controlling for other factors, such as income levels.

Read the rest of Nate’s column here.

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From Vox:

After the election, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Mexico to ask Mexicans about their views on America, post-election. Instead of going in with my own set of questions, I decided to crowdsource them from Facebook and Twitter. Many users suggested interesting topics (the wall, anyone?), but Mexican native Dan Pichardo’s suggestion stood out: “Ask them for advice on how to deal with authoritarian presidents and governments,” she wrote. “We have a loooong history of surviving oppression and normalizing violence.”

Watch Liz’s video here.

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From The Washington Post:

Professional politicians, think-tankers and pundits have the wacky notion that candidates tell voters what they intend to do and voters choose the candidate whose plans they like the best. That happens to be the premise of representative democracy and the basis for much of political advertising, speechmaking and polling. The problem is that it appears not to be a realistic assessment of modern politics.

President-elect Donald Trump’s key campaign issues — protectionism, mass deportation and repealing Obamacare — do not appear to be in the cards. In some cases, voters would be delighted to see Trump abandon his campaign promises.

Read the rest of Jennifer’s post here.

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