Wednesday

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  • A Historic V.P. Decision August 12, 2020
    Joseph R. Biden Jr. picked Senator Kamala Harris of California as his running mate, making her the first Black woman and the first Asian American woman to run for vice president on a major party ticket. Alexander Burns, a national political correspondent for The New York Times, shares his thoughts on the decision. For more information on today’s episode, vis […]
  • Cancel Culture, Part 2: A Case Study August 11, 2020
    Yesterday on “The Daily,” the New York Times reporter Jonah Bromwich explained how the idea of cancel culture has emerged as a political and cultural force in 2020. In the second of two parts, he returns with a case study. Guest: Jonah Engel Bromwich, who writes for the Styles section of The New York Times, spoke with Zeeshan Aleem about his experience of ca […]
  • Cancel Culture, Part 1: Where It Came From August 10, 2020
    In the first of two parts, the New York Times reporter Jonah Bromwich explains the origins of cancel culture and why it’s a 2020 election story worth paying attention to. Guest: Jonah Engel Bromwich, who writes for the Styles section of The New York TimesFor more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: What does it mean […]
  • The Sunday Read: 'A Speck in the Sea' August 9, 2020
    John Aldridge fell overboard in the middle of the night, 40 miles from shore, and the Coast Guard was looking in the wrong place. This is a story about isolation — and our struggle to close the space between us.This story was recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.This is the […]
  • Jack Dorsey on Twitter's Mistakes August 7, 2020
    It’s been four years since the 2016 election laid bare the powerful role that social media companies have come to play in shaping political discourse and beliefs in America.Since then, there have been growing calls to address the spread of polarization and misinformation promoted on such platforms.While Facebook has been slower to acknowledge a need for chan […]
  • The Day That Shook Beirut August 6, 2020
    A mangled yellow door. Shattered glass. Blood.A devastating explosion of ammonium nitrate stored at the port in Beirut killed at least 135 people and razed entire neighborhoods on Tuesday. This is what our correspondent in the Lebanese capital saw when the blast turned her apartment “into a demolition site” — and what happened in the hours after.Guest: Vivia […]
  • ‘Stay Black and Die’ August 5, 2020
    Demonstrations against police brutality are entering their third month, but meaningful policy action has not happened. We speak with one demonstrator about her journey to the front lines of recent protests — and the lessons she’s learned about the pace of change.Caitlin Dickerson, an immigration reporter at The New York Times, spoke with Sharhonda Bossier, d […]
  • Is the U.S. Ready to Vote by Mail? August 4, 2020
    The United States is preparing to hold its first ever socially distant presidential election. But will it actually work?Guest: Reid J. Epstein, who covers campaigns and elections for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: President Trump’s suggestion that the Nov. 3 vote could be delayed — […]
  • Wrongfully Accused by an Algorithm August 3, 2020
    Facial recognition is becoming an increasingly central component of police departments’ efforts to solve crimes. But can algorithms harbor racial bias?Guest: Annie Brown, a producer for The New York Times, speaks with Kashmir Hill, a technology reporter, about her interview with Robert Julian-Borchak Williams, who was arrested after being misidentified as a […]
  • The Sunday Read: 'On Female Rage' August 2, 2020
    In this episode, Leslie Jamison, a writer and teacher, explores the potentially constructive force of female anger — and the shame that can get attached to it.This story was recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.
  • A #MeToo Moment in the Military July 31, 2020
    The remains of Vanessa Guillen, an Army specialist, were discovered last month about 25 miles from Fort Hood in central Texas. She was the victim, officials said, of a fellow soldier. Now her death has attracted the attention of the nation — veterans, active-duty service members and civilians.Today, we examine what some claim to be a pervasive culture of sex […]
  • The Big Tech Hearing July 30, 2020
    The C.E.O.s of America’s most influential technology companies — Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook — were brought before Congress to answer a question: Are they too powerful?Today, we talk to our colleague who was in the room about what happened. Guest: Cecilia Kang, a technology and regulatory policy reporter for The New York Times.For more information on […]
  • Confronting China July 29, 2020
    A cooperative relationship with China has been a pillar of U.S. foreign policy for more than half a century. So why does the Trump administration think it’s time for a change? Guest: Edward Wong, a diplomatic correspondent for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: Why top aides to Presiden […]
  • Why $600 Checks Are Tearing Republicans Apart July 28, 2020
    A fight has erupted among congressional Republicans over how long and how generously the government should help those unemployed during the pandemic. But what is that battle really about? Guest: Nicholas Fandos, who covers Congress for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: Supplemental che […]
  • The Mistakes New York Made July 27, 2020
    A New York Times investigation found that surviving the coronavirus in New York had a lot to do with which hospital a person went to. Our investigative reporter Brian M. Rosenthal pulls back the curtain on inequality and the pandemic in the city.Guest: Brian M. Rosenthal, an investigative reporter on the Metro Desk of The New York Times.For more information […]
  • The Sunday Read: 'The Accusation' July 26, 2020
    When the university told one woman about the sexual-harassment complaints against her wife, they knew they weren’t true. But they had no idea how strange the truth really was.This story was recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.
  • The Battle for a Baseball Season July 24, 2020
    This episode contains strong language.Today, we go inside the fraught weeks that led up to the opening game of the 2020 professional baseball season — from the perspective of the commissioner of Major League Baseball. Guest: Michael S. Schmidt, who covers national security for The New York Times, spoke with Rob Manfred, the commissioner of Major League Baseb […]
  • The Showdown in Portland July 23, 2020
    This episode contains strong language. Federal agents dressed in camouflage and tactical gear have taken to the streets of Portland, Ore., unleashing tear gas, bloodying protesters and pulling some people into unmarked vans. Today, we go behind protest lines to ask why militarized federal authorities are being deployed to an American city. Guests: Zolan Kann […]
  • The Science of School Reopenings July 22, 2020
    Around the world, safely reopening schools remains one of the most daunting challenges to restarting national economies. While approaches have been different, no country has tried to reopen schools with coronavirus infection rates at the level of the United States. Today, we explore the risks and rewards of the plan to reopen American schools this fall. Gues […]
  • The Vaccine Trust Problem July 21, 2020
    Public health officials and private researchers have vowed to develop a coronavirus vaccine in record time. But could that rush backfire? Guest: Jan Hoffman, a health reporter for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: Billions of dollars are being poured into developing a coronavirus vacci […]

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Newes From America on Twitter

A Metaphor America

George Washington

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE HATERS AND THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA! 2019 WILL BE A FANTASTIC YEAR FOR THOSE NOT SUFFERING FROM TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. JUST CALM DOWN AND ENJOY THE RIDE, GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING FOR OUR COUNTRY!

It’s probably not gonna be a fantastic year for me, I fear. The above Tweet© is our President’s New Year’s statement to the nation, where he advises us all to just relax, bend over and enjoy the reaming he intends to administer to us all. The year started out well enough, although with Trump, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Fox News conspiring to lock the American people out of 25% of their government (apparently, all run by the dedicated hard work of Democrats, according to The Donald), in Trump’s bizarro-world, our slow motion dismantling of democracy should be something to enjoy, not fear. Donny also tells a seven-year old back on Christmas Day that Santa is a fiction, so here Trump chooses to reveal the first kernel of truth as president in two years — in one of the few places that we actually want our president to lie — when talking to a seven-year old on Christmas Day about the legend of Santa Claus.

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The Spy Who Came

The Daily BeastPhoto Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

Donald Trump has the power to make me a liar. I said in a post a few months ago, Cheaters Never Prosper that Trump will become our third president to suffer a Senate trial, but I gave a hint of how I think Trump might actually sum up his presidency by noting that Richard Nixon wasn’t ‘impeached’ because he avoided all the unpleasantness at showtime by resigning. I’m sure Donald Trump would’ve thought it insulting to suggest that he resign after his first hundred days, as I did in my post 100 Crazy Nights, but I’d bet he’d take that bargain in a heartbeat now, because that was before we knew about the smokin’ hot Russian spy with an assault rifle: Maria Butina, y’all.

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Consent of the Governed

Fox’s Steve Hilton will tell you that Trump is valiantly fighting elitism from within his own White House, finally getting rid of the swamp creatures (no, not Ryan Zinke, or 81-year old Wilbur Ross, currently missing from the G20, they’re not elites!) folks like Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster and Rex Tillerson and the other elitists that have finally been rooted out (as RINOs). Unlike Steve Hilton, he’s a real, average Republican. His story is the American dream, so get the fuck out of the way. More the British dream, actually, but who’s keeping score, observing that Steve grew up just outside of London. His family fled Hungary after the 1956 Revolt and they landed comfortably just outside Heathrow airport, the very place they would find employment. Steve didn’t have a father in the house after the age of five, however, but his dad was a professional hockey player, so he wasn’t exactly living hand to mouth. Educated in London, Hilton went to Stanford University and then went to work for David Cameron of the Conservative Party of Britain, one of the most singularly elite men on the planet Earth. No elitist himself, Hilton worked very hard and has amassed over $4 million for his considerable effort, according to wikinetworth.com. A dedicated public servant in government for most of his illustrious career, he proves that anybody can be successful and rich, as long as they’re not some snooty elitist (while being the godparent of a Prime Minister’s eldest child). I believe I’ve worked just as hard as Steve, perhaps not as intelligently or ‘non-elitely,’ and yet I have significantly less than $4 million in my bank account, so this ‘elite’ thing hasn’t paid off as well for me, so maybe Steve actually has a point. Make sure to visit the Millenial’s coolest place to fund their favorite candidates (and Steve’s BIG money maker) Crowdpac!

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Watch Out Now

Loose Lips
On November 6th, America returned the Democrats to House leadership, yet the Senate remains in the grip of the Republican Party after Donald Trump called Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum a ‘Thief’ and also sent the military into The South to save fearful Texans, à la The Alamo, from 1,500 or so itinerant migrants now chilling somewhere near Cancún. Before all the votes are counted and Jerry Nadler has a chance to choose his (oversize) House Judiciary chair, Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with a guy named Matt Whitaker. This guy, the new Attorney General or ‘Top Cop,’  was last seen as a CNN analyst posting an op-ed, Mueller’s Investigation of Trump is Going Too Far. Whitaker, who Trump apparently never met (or did, or didn’t?) once prosecuted an eagle-scout Democratic State Senator in Des Moines, Iowa named Matt McCoy (now a County Commissioner) because McCoy ‘extorted’ $2,000, over two long years, from some poor victim. It turns out that the two grand was a legitimate bill for services rendered, which the client had disputed. For this, McCoy was read The Hobbs Act, but really, he was railroaded into an unjust prosecution — which has taken McCoy over ten years to repay legal fees — and oh yeah,  Mr. McCoy, without a hint of scandal in over twenty years of public service, is also gay. In fact he was the first openly gay member of the Iowa Legislature. After going after the gay Democrat, Whitaker left the Justice Department and began working as a consultant for a phony company that bilked dozens of suckers out of $26 million of their hard-earned money. This is the man who Donald Trump picked to run the Justice Department — a hatchet man.

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Pretenders to the Throne

With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s announcement that the vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court will take place tomorrow, I have to remark to myself how far we’ve come as a nation. It seems like just yesterday in American history that anti-Catholic bias and ‘Irish Need Not Apply’ was the norm. When Donald Trump’s daddy Fred Trump was arrested at a Klu Klux Klan Rally on Memorial Day, 1927, the organizing leaflet that was passed around in Jamaica, Queens beforehand warned that “Native-born Protestant Americans” were being “assaulted by Roman Catholic police of New York City.” “Liberty and Democracy have been trampled upon,” it continued, “when native-born Protestant Americans dare to organize to protect one flag, the American flag; one school, the public school; and one language, the English language.” We’ve come a long way. Today, even being an angry, drunk Irish-Catholic isn’t disqualifying for a seat on the highest court in the land.

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The Fifth Columnist

Guernica

There’s an old saying in politics that when your opponent is burying themselves, stay the hell out of the way – if anything, hand them a shovel. As our president has been writing his political epitaph this summer, I’ve been reading a lot of books and working on my tan, yet I’ve been roused from my torpor by another stupid outrage by our So-Called President* – the half-staff / full-staff / half-staff bullshit that took place after the death of John McCain – yet another example of how Trump is utterly unsuited for leadership. Senator John McCain died facing down cancer like all adversity in life, with honor, dignity and courage. John McCain was, by any calculation, an American hero and Donald Trump’s pettiness is only heightened in contrast to this great man’s service to Country. McCain quoted his hero in his autobiography written with Mark Salter, The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights and Other Appreciations (2018) where the only man who could live up to this hero’s life was a fictional character:

‘The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it,’ spoke my hero, Robert Jordan, in [Ernest Hemingway’s] ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls.‘ And I do, too. I hate to leave it. But I don’t have a complaint. Not one. It’s been quite a ride. I’ve known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war, and helped make a peace. I’ve lived very well and I’ve been deprived of all comforts. I’ve been as lonely as a person can be and I’ve enjoyed the company of heroes.

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Cincinnatus Shrugged

Cincinato_abandona_el_arado_para_dictar_leyes_a_Roma,_c.1806_de_Juan_Antonio_Ribera (2)

Artist: Juan Antonio Ribera, 1806

The absolute batshit-crazy lurch to the right in this country with the election of Donald Trump in 2016 set my hair on fire (scroll blog for reference) and since that time I just can’t seem to stop complaining about THE DONALD. My fear is that his dumb, red hat wearing minions will go down the slippery slope of stupidity with him (see the creepy Mark Meadows, Tom Cotton or Devin Nunes for reference) toward outright anarchy – in what we might best describe as ‘mobocracy.’ With the former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper’s assessment that the Russians swung the election in 2016 to Trump, I have to remind myself that these intelligence folks usually have their hair on fire more than I do – and Clapper is totally bald. I have a full, luxurious head of hair so I’m trying not to panic and begin building a bomb shelter, but Trump’s latest fumble on the international stage, with Kim Jong-untrustworthy in charge, has got me drawing up escape routes, just for fun!

Looking back on the last election, it struck me as strange that the Democrats were holding off an aging, grumpy Socialist from Vermont from upstaging standard-bearer and front-runner, Hillary Clinton. To this day, I can’t figure out how Bernie got so many damned votes. Isn’t it entirely plausible to believe that the coordinated Russian, Saudi and Emirates attack on our election had some effect on the Democratic nomination outcome? Isn’t it also strange that certifiable idiot Donald Trump beat out the best the Republicans had to offer after eight, long years of ‘Obamacare’ during the nomination process? If Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina and the dozen or so other serious Republican contenders in the 2016 election don’t realize that they were compromised in the same way the entire country was compromised just a few short months later, then maybe they’re just a big bunch of idiots as well, but we all knew that – except for John Kasich of Ohio (maybe)?

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Cheaters Never Prosper

Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason.

– Sir John Harington, 1618

 

I almost reactivated my Facebook account this week, after Mark Zuckerberg finally admitted that his company was actually in the business of eavesdropping. After the beautiful London Observer piece highlighting Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix caught on video selling his company’s wares (blackmail, ratfucking, extortion, racketeering and money laundering), the same employer of ‘Sloppy’ Steve Bannon (then running the American branch) I really wanted to write that I’d actually reactivated my account after Zuck went on CNN and finally admitted that his company took blood money. This week’s announcement that Facebook was cutting ties with data mining companies is a sign that I might just come back. Zuckerberg said that he wants to be proud of his company going forward because he has two daughters now, as opposed to before when he was an asshole Harvard hacker who cared about nothing except making lots of money.

When I first became aware of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, one fact stood out for me above all others: Zuckerberg was a hacker. Hacker culture is what the internet was all about back in the early days, and tech titans Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were no exception. In screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network (2010), Zuckerberg, Saverin and the Winklevoss brothers were portrayed as savvy hackers without much going on in the way of morals. I suspect the dark score and lighting in the film lends a hint that it was much worse than that. Born as ‘Facesmash’ as a prank by the merry Zuck against his fellow students at Harvard – stealing their identities (or head shots) from the easily hackable Harvard Yearbook Publications computer, a student-run server hosting the earliest editions of the ubiquitous Freshman Register, known by everyone in the first year as ‘The Facebook.’ I’ve always cast a jaundiced eye at those who would just as soon steal your data as look at you. These hacker dweebs, many with tape firmly affixed on glasses, proudly displaying gleaming breast pocket organizers and bad skin are now worth millions. Many of those weenies from the old high school computer club could buy and sell their high schools many times over and some even contribute millions to alumni organizations and philanthropic endeavors, yet most are still just like Martin Shkreli, only nerdier.

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Satchel Sinatra Sings the Blues

The Grand Tour

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Last year’s bombshell New York Times article by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey may have initiated the #MeToo movement, but the momentum really gained steam after Ronan Farrow’s excellent back-to-back, in-depth reports in the New Yorker detailing Harvey Weinstein’s use of private detectives to harass and discredit his accusers. Farrow’s investigations add valuable accounts of the Miramax mogul’s scumbag ways, where it seems every day of his professional life, Mr. Weinstein committed some form of sexual harassment. Looking at the cut of Mr. Weinstein, we can guess that this ugly, fat asshole used his power as a Hollywood producer to get laid. In Casablanca, Claude Rains is ‘Shocked, shocked!’ Perhaps the original push behind the #MeToo movement was Donald Trump’s (well recorded) conversation about bush – with Bush – which sparked the up-and-running Pink Parades, either way, sexually abused and harassed victims have finally been given voice. Farrow’s latest article in the New Yorker, Trump, a Playboy Model, and a System for Concealing Infidelity reveals the next woman in the can-can line of Trump mistresses. Here, Farrow outlines how Trump’s friend David J. Pecker, CEO of American Media and publisher of parody newspapers the National Enquirer and the hilarious Weekly World News among others, protected him from damaging allegations during the election. Trump said during his campaign that the supermarket tabloid ‘Does have credibility and should be very respected’ after the Enquirer linked Ted Cruz’ father to the Kennedy Assassination. Inquiring minds want to know! Pecker (middle name Johnson) ‘captured and killed’ this particular Playboy model’s story about her affair with The Donald for $150,000 (about the same time that Stormy Daniels was spanking him with Malcolm Forbes’ masthead), with Pecker explaining recently that it ‘wasn’t believable enough’ – choosing not to publish the accusation back in October, 2016. I guess the Playboy model story should have included a bit about her bat-child, then Pecker may have thought it believable enough to bury somewhere in his mindless rags. This is the same National Enquirer which once ran full-color, front-page headlines complete with images of an innocent young woman named Vera Baker titled ‘Obama Caught in Hotel With This Beauty’ – which Pecker had to pay dearly for in an all-cash settlement. My favorite Weekly World News headline of all time is ‘Famed Psychic’s Head Explodes.’

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President Trump The Proud

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

One year into Donald Trump’s presidency and one thing is clear, we know Donald John Trump a lot better now. As a nation, we didn’t quite understand how much of a ‘winner’ Donald Trump really could be. Now we know that the President of the United States is a habitual liar about all that ‘winning,’ but of course that’s just more liberal Fake News according to The Donald. We knew that the president wanted to improve relations with Russia, we just didn’t fully understand that he wanted better relations with Russia because Vladimir Putin has video of him with hookers at the Ritz Moscow. Melania Trump may be a very interesting story line in the ongoing American Apprentice reality show, and at tonight’s State of the Union speech, the President may invite up to 24 guests to attend with the First Lady, so let’s see who shows up! Instead of wasting my time watching Trump lie for another hour, I’ll be watching the Jimmy Kimmel show tonight instead. I should’ve figured The Donald would be sunk by something as trivial as a tryst with a porn star, “who are ya goin’ to believe, me or the lyin’ eyes of the Wall Street Journal?” Donald begs Melania on her (separate) bedroom phone in the White House before she hangs up on him. BDSM with a porn star – while your wife is recovering from childbirth – is just modern presidential, Melania. Get used to it, there’s a LOT more where that came from. As Stormy put it, “Ugh. Here We Go…”

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  • Taiwan Seeks to Start Free-Trade Talks With U.S. August 12, 2020
    Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said she wants to start talks on a free-trade pact with the U.S., part of a broad effort to deepen her island democracy’s partnership with Washington and resist pressure from Beijing.
  • Kamala Harris's Vice Presidential Selection Is Welcomed by Indians August 12, 2020
    People in India reacted to Joe Biden’s decision to pick Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, some praising her as a strong representative of her mother’s homeland as the first person of Indian descent likely to be nominated for vice president by a top party.
  • U.K. Economy Shrinks by More Than Any Other Rich Country August 12, 2020
    The U.K. recorded a steeper second-quarter contraction than its peers, a performance that means it suffered the worst economic hit from coronavirus in Europe as well as reporting the highest death toll.
  • Pompeo, EU Officials Warn Belarus Over Election, Protests August 12, 2020
    The U.S. secretary of state urged Belarusian authorities to protect protesters and expand political freedoms, pressuring a regime that could face new European Union sanctions after its latest election was criticized as unfair.
  • U.S. Prepares Sanctions Against Hezbollah's Allies in Lebanon August 12, 2020
    The Trump administration is preparing to impose anticorruption sanctions against prominent Lebanese politicians and businessmen in an effort to weaken Hezbollah’s influence in the aftermath of last week’s explosion in Beirut’s port, according to U.S. officials and others familiar with the plans.
  • China's Xi Speeds Up Inward Economic Shift August 12, 2020
    With the world in recession and U.S.-China tensions deepening, President Xi Jinping is laying out a major initiative to accelerate China’s shift toward more reliance on its domestic economy.

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