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  • The Inauguration of Joe Biden January 21, 2021
    Unity was the byword of President Biden’s Inaugural Address.The speech was an attempt to turn the page. But can this be achieved without, as many in the Democratic coalition believe, a full reckoning with and accountability of how America got to this point of division?Today, we explore the defining messages of the president’s inaugural address. Guests: Astea […] (The New York Times)
  • ‘Restoring the First Brick of Dignity’: Biden Supporters on His Inauguration January 20, 2021
    Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States today. Among Democrats, there is a sense of joy and hope, but also of caution and concern.We speak with a range of Mr. Biden’s supporters, including activists who had originally hoped for a more progressive ticket and longtime fans who embrace his moderation.Guests:Jennifer Medina, a natio […] (The New York Times)
  • 'What Kind of Message Is That?': How Republicans See the Attack on the Capitol January 19, 2021
    Polling in the days since the storming of the Capitol paints a complex picture. While most Americans do not support the riot, a majority of Republicans do not believe that President Trump bears responsibility. And over 70 percent of them say they believe that there was widespread fraud in the election.Before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, we calle […] (The New York Times)
  • The Sunday Read: 'The Valve Turners' January 17, 2021
    Most Americans treat climate change seriously but not literally — they accept the science, worry about forecasts but tell themselves that someone else will get serious about fixing the problem very soon.The Valve Turners, on the other hand, take climate change both very seriously and very literally.In the fall of 2016, the group of five environmental activis […] (The New York Times)
  • ‘Rankly Unfit’: The View From a Republican Who Voted to Impeach January 15, 2021
    This episode contains strong language. Three days after being sworn into Congress, Representative Peter Meijer, Republican of Michigan, was sitting in the gallery of the House of Representatives as pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol.After the siege, Mr. Meijer made his feelings clear: President Trump’s actions proved that he was “rankly unfit.” A week lat […] (The New York Times)
  • Impeached, Again January 14, 2021
    “A clear and present danger.” Those were the words used by Nancy Pelosi to describe President Trump, and the main thrust of the Democrats’ arguments for impeachment on the House floor.While most House Republicans lined up against the move, this impeachment, unlike the last, saw a handful vote in favor.Today, we walk through the events of Wednesday, and the s […] (The New York Times)
  • Is More Violence Coming? January 13, 2021
    After the attack on the Capitol, social media platforms sprang into action, deleting the accounts of agitators.Without a central place to congregate, groups have splintered off into other, darker corners of the internet. That could complicate the efforts of law enforcement to track their plans.We ask whether the crackdown on social media has reduced the risk […] (The New York Times)
  • A Swift Impeachment Plan January 12, 2021
    At the heart of the move to impeach President Trump is a relatively simple accusation: that he incited a violent insurrection against the government of the United States.We look at the efforts to punish the president for the attack on the Capitol and explain what the impeachment process might look like.Guest: Nicholas Fandos, a national reporter for The New […] (The New York Times)
  • A Pandemic Update: The Variant and the Vaccine Rollout January 11, 2021
    As 2020 drew to a close, a concerning development in the pandemic came out of Britain — a new variant of the coronavirus had been discovered that is significantly more transmissible. It has since been discovered in a number of countries, including the United States.The emergence of the new variant has added a new level of urgency to the rollout of vaccines i […] (The New York Times)
  • The Sunday Read: 'A Mother and Daughter at the End' January 10, 2021
    Without many predators or any prey, rhinos flourished for millions of years. Humans put an end to that, as we hunted them down and destroyed their habitat.No rhino, however, is doing worse than the northern white. Just two, Najin and Fatu, both females, remain.In his narrated story, Sam Anderson, a staff writer at The Times Magazine, visits the pair at the O […] (The New York Times)
  • How They Stormed Congress January 8, 2021
    This episode contains strong language. The pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday made their plans in plain sight. They organized on social media platforms and spoke openly of their intentions to occupy the Capitol.But leaders in Washington opted for a modest law enforcement presence. In the aftermath, those security preparations are attracting […] (The New York Times)
  • An Assault on the Capitol January 7, 2021
    This episode contains strong language.It was always going to be a tense day in Washington. In the baseless campaign to challenge Joe Biden’s victory, Wednesday had been framed by President Trump and his allies as the moment for a final stand.But what unfolded was disturbing: A mob, urged on by the president, advanced on the Capitol building as Congress was c […] (The New York Times)
  • A Historic Night in Georgia January 6, 2021
    The long fight for control of the U.S. Senate is drawing to a close in Georgia, and the Democrats appear set to win out — the Rev. Raphael Warnock is the projected winner of his race against Senator Kelly Loeffler, while Jon Ossoff is heavily favored to beat the other incumbent Republican, Senator David Perdue. Today, we look at the results so far from these […] (The New York Times)
  • The Georgia Runoffs, Part 2: ‘I Have Zero Confidence in My Vote’ January 5, 2021
    Since the presidential election was called for Joe Biden, President Trump has relentlessly attacked the integrity of the count in Georgia. He has floated conspiracy theories to explain away his loss and attacked Republican officials.Today, we speak to Republican activists and voters on the ground and consider to what extent, if at all, Mr. Trump’s rhetoric c […] (The New York Times)
  • The Georgia Runoffs, Part 1: ‘We Are Black Diamonds.’ January 4, 2021
    A strong Black turnout will be integral to Democratic success in the U.S. Senate races in Georgia this week.In the first of a two-part examination of election strategies in the Georgia runoffs, we sit down with Stacey Abrams, a Georgia Democrat who has become synonymous with the party’s attempts to win statewide, to talk about her efforts to mobilize Black v […] (The New York Times)
  • Genie Chance and the Great Alaska Earthquake: An Update December 31, 2020
    This week, The Daily is revisiting some of our favorite episodes of the year and checking in on what has happened in the time since they first ran.When Alaska was hit by a devastating earthquake in 1964, it was the voice of Genie Chance — a journalist, wife and mother — that held the state together in the aftermath.In the episode, we heard about sociologists […] (The New York Times)
  • ‘Who Replaces Me?’: An Update December 30, 2020
    This week, The Daily is revisiting some of our favorite episodes of the year and checking in on what has happened in the time since they first ran.Scott Watson — a Black police officer in his hometown, Flint, Mich. — has worked to become a pillar of the community. And he always believed his identity put him in a unique position to discharge his duties.After […] (The New York Times)
  • A New Way to Mourn: An Update December 29, 2020
    This week, The Daily is revisiting some of our favorite episodes from this year and checking in on what has happened since the stories first ran.In our society, the public part of mourning is ritualized by a coming together. What do we do now that the opportunity for collective mourning has been taken away?Earlier this year, we heard the story of Wayne Irwin […] (The New York Times)
  • How a Small Bar Battled to Survive the Coronavirus: An Update December 28, 2020
    This week, The Daily is revisiting some of our favorite episodes of the year and checking in on what has happened in the time since they first ran.When Jack Nicas, a technology reporter for The Times, first moved to California five years ago, he set about finding a local bar of choice. Unpretentious, cheap and relaxed, the Hatch fit the bill.Over six months […] (The New York Times)
  • The Sunday Read: 'Cher Everlasting' December 27, 2020
    The escapism of movies took on a new importance during pandemic isolation. Caity Weaver, the author of this week’s Sunday Read, says that to properly embrace this year’s cinematic achievements, the Academy Awards should not only hand out accolades to new releases, but also to the older films that sustained us through this period.If they did, Caity argues, Ch […] (The New York Times)

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Newes From America on Twitter

  • RT @FBI: Keep the tips coming! The #FBI has arrested multiple people in connection with the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Help… 3 hours ago
  • RT @DrTomFrieden: Yesterday set a somber record for reported US deaths from Covid: 4,367. 3 hours ago
  • RT @kaitlancollins: Biden will keep Wray as FBI director, per @jeffzeleny. 6 hours ago
  • RT @MSNBC: JUST IN: Washington Post reports that Michael Flynn's brother, Gen. Charles Flynn, was on the Pentagon call with Capitol Police… 8 hours ago
  • RT @JonLemire: WASHINGTON (AP) — Biden enters White House as president after military escort, short walk along Pennsylvania Avenue to the m… 23 hours ago
  • RT @mkraju: #BULLETIN: Joe Biden has taken the oath of office. “Congratulations, Mr. President,” Chief Justice John Roberts says 1 day ago
  • RT @mkraju: Kamala Harris has been sworn in by Justice Sotomayor as Vice President of the United States 1 day ago
  • RT @PaulLeeTeeks: Coming January 20th, 2021... or should I say, LEAVING. #TrumpDerangementSyndrome #TrumpIsALaughingStock… 1 day ago
  • RT @cspan: President Trump departs for Florida aboard Air Force One. #Inauguration 1 day ago
  • RT @brianklaas: He's out of the White House. Out of power in 3 hours 45 minutes. 1 day ago
  • RT @kaitlancollins: Trump’s White House departure has been delayed by about half an hour. He’s still expected to speak at Joint Base Andrew… 1 day ago
  • RT @kaitlancollins: No sign of Vice President Pence at the White House this morning. President Trump is scheduled to depart in a few moment… 1 day ago
  • RT @julianzelizer: Inauguration Day. The Trump presidency officially ends. The @JoeBiden presidency officially begins. 1 day ago
  • RT @latimes: San Francisco’s public health department will run out of COVID-19 vaccine Thursday because the city’s allocation dropped subst… 1 day ago
  • RT @BostonGlobe: Mass. will soon open a second large-scale vaccination site at Fenway Park, expected to deliver 1,000 doses per day. https:… 1 day ago
  • RT @NickKristof: Very alarming piece about "militia" members hunting in the Capitol for lawmakers they could "arrest" for "treason," based… 1 day ago
  • RT @FBI: The #FBI needs you to help identify individuals who unlawfully entered the U.S. Capitol and assaulted law enforcement officers on… 1 day ago
  • RT @ewarren: Tonight, we’ll have a chance to come together as a nation and mourn the 400,000 people we’ve lost to this pandemic. I’ll be th… 2 days ago
  • RT @DollyParton: This year my birthday wish is a call for kindness. We can’t just hope for a brighter day, we have to work for a brighter d… 2 days ago
  • RT @FBI: The #FBI is still seeking to identify individuals who instigated violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. We've updated some pos… 2 days ago

The Square, Circled

Harvard Square 1974

Rock ‘n’ Roll was in transition in the late 1970s and back in the old days, all the good new music, as usual, was coming from African-American artists and I was totally into ‘black music’ and listening to DJ Antoine and the Quiet Storm at the end of the FM dial on WMBR 88.1, MIT’s awesome college radio station (helping nerds be cool for over fifty years). I remember one of my best friends back then, Mike, who had relatively mediocre taste in music and was kind of dim, had adopted Bruce Springsteen as his very own (as many of our friends have through the years) walling Bruce off and jealousy, weirdly attacking anyone who didn’t like Springsteen as much as he did. Many years later I found out that my stupid friend Michael was actually right about Bruce after all and that I was the dumb one. A note here about my last post (trying to keep these to a minimum) about using mean and pejorative terms on this here blog such as stupid, dumb, moron, imbecilic, Trump Cuck, etc. I’m sorry if they offend anybody and I’m sorry that I use these bad words, but I just can’t help myself, so I sincerely apologize to Mr. Broidy that I called him ‘fat’ in (every) reference to him, however I’m not sorry that I called him sleazy. Watching Aidy Bryant on Saturday Night Live recently, I thought to myself that this funny and delightful (pleasantly plump?) woman probably doesn’t like that word ‘fat’ very much and even when I’m insulting Elliot Broidy, I shouldn’t be calling him that bad word. I should say he’s big-boned. A big-boned, sleazy scumbag. “There I go again” as Ronnie Reagan used to say.


King Leer

Confidential Magazine

Any reading of the recent drama caused by AMI CEO David (Johnson) Pecker should be called ‘business as usual,’ but I highlight Time Magazine’s March 11, 1957 article Gutterdammerung about the so-called “King of Leer,” Robert Harrison, the publisher of the National Enquirer of the 1950s, Confidential Magazine, the grandpappy of ‘catch and kill,’ yellow journalism and what passes today as the ‘gossip’ business. Jeff Bezos’ recent dick pics aside, the entry of the Russians, UAE and Saudi Arabia into what we might call ‘American culture’ is a trend that is currently being reversed with vigor — and when you mess with the bull, you get the horns (Gavin de Becker on line one). This I know because I tried to cancel my Amazon Prime subscription. Don’t even try it, folks. It’s just too good of a deal. Just don’t make me ‘subscribe and save’ for razor blades, Uncle Jeff, please? Anyhow, Donald Trump has been ‘in the room’ for ALL of this recent shit (believe you me) and speaking of being in the room, as Trump leered over his desk as Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal were paid off with six-figure sums, in this equation, one of two suppositions is true: either Donald Trump is being extorted, or Donald Trump is extorting. That is a fucking fact. Let’s start with Michael Cohen.


A Metaphor America

George Washington


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.


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.


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 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!


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.


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.


The Fifth Columnist


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.


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)?


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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