Thanksgiving Day ReadsPosted: November 24, 2016
I decided to stay home today instead of getting together with family and friends. I’m still too traumatized to deal with polite society. Again this morning, I find myself on the verge of tears–and I’ve felt that way since I woke up.
I’m thankful that I still have a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes to wear thanks to Express, and health care if I need it–for now. I’m thankful for my family and that my mom is still with us. I’m thankful for this blog and for the ability to connect with other like-minded people on the internet–for now. Everything is short-term now, because I have no idea what is coming.
All I know for sure is that a minority of U.S. voters have elected a simple-minded authoritarian to lead this country, and that his inner circle is filled with racists and white supremacists. He has named a number of startlingly unqualified people as candidates for his cabinet.
Last night the Washington Post revealed that the president-elect has refused to participate in daily intelligence briefings. Apparently he is quite satisfied with his overwhelming ignorance of foreign affairs and national security risks.
President-elect Donald Trump has received two classified intelligence briefings since his surprise election victory earlier this month, a frequency that is notably lower — at least so far — than that of his predecessors, current and former U.S. officials said.
A team of intelligence analysts has been prepared to deliver daily briefings on global developments and security threats to Trump in the two weeks since he won. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, by contrast, has set aside time for intelligence briefings almost every day since the election, officials said.
The Trump team claims their great god-emperor has been too busy selecting incompetent people for his White House staff and Cabinet.
But others have interpreted Trump’s limited engagement with his briefing team as an additional sign of indifference from a president-elect who has no meaningful experience on national security issues and was dismissive of U.S. intelligence agencies’ capabilities and findings during the campaign.
A senior U.S. official who receives the same briefing delivered to President Obama each day said that devoting time to such sessions would help Trump get up to speed on world events.
“Trump has a lot of catching up to do,” the official said.
But the president-elect knows more than the generals do so no big deal according to his staff and many Republicans. Still, let us not forget that ignoring intelligence briefings very likely gave us the 9/11 attacks.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s popular vote lead continues to balloon (Thanksgiving Day parade pun intended). Politico: Clinton’s lead in the popular vote surpasses 2 million.
A series of long-shot bids to reconsider the result of the 2016 election cropped up on Wednesday as Democrats and liberals dismayed by Donald Trump’s victory saw Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote surpass 2 million on Wednesday.
Clinton’s camp and leading Democrats have been entirely silent on the efforts — including a potential request for a recount of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin sponsored by Green Party candidate Jill Stein — further underscoring the unlikelihood of movement on that front. But left-leaning activists were nonetheless temporarily cheered after New York Magazine reported on Tuesday evening that Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign attorney Marc Elias spoke with a group of election lawyers and computer scientists about the possibility that results may have been altered in those states.
The former secretary of state has garnered 64,223,958 votes, compared to the president-elect’s 62,206,395, according to a count curated by Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
Among the potential steps to challenge the results on Wednesday was an announcement from Stein, often a strident Clinton critic, that she would seek to challenge the results in all three of the states if she raised the $2 million necessary to do so. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are traditionally Democrats states that fell into Trump’s column on Nov. 8, and Michigan’s story is similar, though it has yet to be officially called for Trump. As of Thursday mornng, Stein’s campaign had raised at least $2.5 million, according to multiple news reports.
Frankly, I’m not getting my hopes up, but anything that potentially embarrasses the president-elect is just fine with me. Let’s have a recount and a forensic analysis of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida. Maybe Clinton will still win Michigan, but lets have a recount there too. Let the president-elect have all the Twitter tantrums he wants and let’s mock him unmercifully.
Clinton’s and Trump’s totals will continue to grow as authorities work through the ballots, the bulk of which are coming from blue states and thus won’t change the election. The counting process will wrap up by the time the Electoral College votes on December 19, said David Wasserman, an editor at The Cook Political Report, which is tracking the count. Wasserman has predicted that when all the votes are tallied, Clinton could be ahead of Trump by approximately 2 percentage points. It could be a little over or a little under, but “I’m confident it’ll ultimately round to 2,” he told me.
But even Clinton’s current lead is noteworthy—or personally painful, depending on one’s political leanings. That’s because multiple candidates in American history have been elected president with far smaller margins than hers in the popular vote. According to figures from the Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections—and as alluded to by one Atlantic reader—they include:
James Garfield in 1880: 0.09 percentage points
John F. Kennedy in 1960: 0.17 percentage points
Grover Cleveland in 1884: 0.57 percentage points
Richard Nixon in 1968: 0.7 percentage points
James Polk in 1844: 1.45 percentage points
If the final vote count does, indeed, put her roughly 2 percentage points ahead of Trump, her margin would edge up against those of winning presidential nominees Jimmy Carter in 1976 (2.07 percentage points) and George W. Bush in 2004 (2.47 percentage points). And all this is not to mention the presidents who’ve been elected without winning the popular vote at all. That’s a list that includes Bush in 2000, and will soon include Trump. As my colleague Ronald Brownstein put it, Trump “is on track to lose the popular vote by more than any successfully elected president ever.”
Three Important Reads for Today (IMHO)
Barbara Kinsolver at The Guardian: Trump changed everything. Now everything counts.
If you’re among the majority of American voters who just voted against the party soon to control all three branches of our government, you’ve probably had a run of bad days. You felt this loss like a death in the family and coped with it as such: grieved with friends, comforted scared kids, got out the bottle of whisky, binge-watched Netflix. But we can’t hole up for four years waiting for something that’s gone. We just woke up in another country.
It’s hard to guess much from Trump’s campaign promises but we know the goals of the legislators now taking charge, plus Trump’s VP and those he’s tapping to head our government agencies. Losses are coming at us in these areas: freedom of speech and the press; women’s reproductive rights; affordable healthcare; security for immigrants and Muslims; racial and LGBTQ civil rights; environmental protection; scientific research and education; international cooperation on limiting climate change; international cooperation on anything; any restraints on who may possess firearms; restraint on the upper-class wealth accumulation that’s gutting our middle class; limits on corporate influence over our laws. That’s the opening volley.
Wariness of extremism doesn’t seem to trouble anyone young enough to claim Lady Gaga as a folk hero. I’m mostly addressing my generation, the baby boomers. We may have cut our teeth on disrespect for the Man, but now we’ve counted on majority rule for so long we think it’s the air we breathe. In human decency we trust, so our duty is to go quietly when our team loses. It feels wrong to speak ill of the president. We’re not like the bigoted, vulgar bad sports who slandered Obama and spread birther conspiracies, oh, wait. Now we’re to honor a president who made a career of debasing the presidency?
We’re in new historical territory. A majority of American voters just cast our vote for a candidate who won’t take office. A supreme court seat meant to be filled by our elected president was denied us. Congressional districts are now gerrymandered so most of us are represented by the party we voted against. The FBI and Russia meddled with our election. Our president-elect has no tolerance for disagreement, and a stunningly effective propaganda apparatus. Now we get to send this outfit every dime of our taxes and watch it cement its power. It’s not going to slink away peacefully in the next election.
Please go read the whole thing.
Rebecca Traister: Blaming Clinton’s Base for Her Loss Is the Ultimate Insult.
To say that the past two weeks — past two months, and perhaps two years — have been punishing for America’s women and people of color is surely an understatement.
During the presidential campaign, many Americans, notably those most likely to have voted for Hillary Clinton, were on the receiving end of torrents of vitriol coming from Donald Trump and his supporters: They were caricatured as rapists and criminals, bimbos, dogs, and pigs, and subjected to the humiliation of watching a man repeatedly accused of sexual assault run for president, advised by a cadre of racists adorably referred to as members of the “alt-right,” all while our first black president and first woman nominee were regularly called crooks and threatened with imprisonment and execution.
That man won the presidency, beating the candidate whom the vast majority of black voters, Latino voters, Asian-American voters, and women (if not white women, who voted for Trump by 53 percent) supported.
Those voters watched as Trump promptly appointed white nationalist Steve Bannon as a senior White House adviser and proposed Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, a man once deemed too racist to serve as a judge, to succeed Loretta Lynch as attorney general. They have shuddered as, across America, hateful expressions of white-nationalist victory have proliferated: “You can kiss your visa good-bye, scumbag; they’ll deport you soon, don’t worry, you fucking terrorist,” screamed one man in Queens at a Muslim Uber driver. A dugout wall in upstate New York was decorated with swastikas alongside the words “Make America White Again.” In Ann Arbor, a man threatened to set a Muslim student on fire with his lighter unless she removed her hijab. At Canisius College in New York, students posted photos of a black doll hung from a curtain rod. The nation’s white supremacists have been rolling in their own affirmations of power, while those proven again to have less of it stand witness.
And now, the women and people of color who made up Clinton’s base and were the most enthusiastic supporters of her campaign, the ones who have the most to lose under the Trump administration, have found themselves on the receiving end of the lion’s share of the blame for our recent national cataclysm.
Read the rest at The Cut.
A speech by Christiane Amanpour at the International Press Freedom Awards.
I never in a million years thought I would be up here on stage appealing for the freedom and safety of American journalists at home.
Ladies and gentlemen, I added the bits from candidate Trump as a reminder of the peril we face.
I actually hoped that once president-elect, all that that would change, and I still do.
But I was chilled when the first tweet after the election was about “professional protesters incited by the media.”
He walked back the part about the protesters but not the part about the media.
We are not there but postcard from the world: this is how it goes with authoritarians like Sisi, Erdoğan, Putin, the Ayatollahs, Duterte, et al.
As all the international journalists we honor in this room tonight and every year know only too well:
First the media is accused of inciting, then sympathizing, then associating–until they suddenly find themselves accused of being full-fledged terrorists and subversives.
Then they end up in handcuffs, in cages, in kangaroo courts, in prison–and then who knows?
Just to say, Erdoğan has just told my Israeli colleague Ilana Dayan that he cannot understand why anyone’s protesting in America, it must mean they don’t accept–or understand–democracy! And he thinks America, like all great countries, needs a strongman to get things done!
A great America requires a great and free and safe press.
Read more at Columbia Journalism Review.
I wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Live for today and plan to fight back when necessary. #Resist!