The Democratic Base Is Marching Right Past Its Leaders
Newly minted activists want Democrats in Washington to actually fight against Trump — or get out of the way.
This week, when progressive champions Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) voted in a Senate committee to approve the thoroughly unqualified Ben Carson to head the Housing and Urban Development Department, there was little criticism from established liberal organizations in Washington. But the grassroots lit up ― blasting them on Twitter, Facebook, in calls to their offices, and in countless emails to Huffington Post reporters, asking us what on earth their one-time heroes were doing.
Warren clearly felt the backlash. “OK, let’s talk about Dr. Ben Carson,” she began a lengthy Facebook post on Wednesday.
That the votes came just days after millions poured into the streets in more than 650 women’s marches on Saturday made it that much more jarring. Those marches, after all, had not been sparked by Planned Parenthood, or the Democratic Party, or unions, or MoveOn.org, even if they did pitch in to help once it got going. Instead, they came from regular, angry people ― people who may try to replace the ones in power.
David Bier/NY Times:
President Trump signed an executive order on Friday that purports to bar for at least 90 days almost all permanent immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries, including Syria and Iraq, and asserts the power to extend the ban indefinitely.
But the order is illegal. More than 50 years ago, Congress outlawed such discrimination against immigrants based on national origin.
Laws? What are laws compared to Bold ™ Strong™ Action ™?
In a little over a week, President Trump will announce his pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court of the United States. We have been speculating and pontificating about who should get the nomination and what conservative qualities they would bring to the Court. However, we have ignored a rather important qualification for this next associate justice of the Supreme Court, as well as all future justices: digital literacy.
The Supreme Court of the United States will face an increasing number of cases that pertain to privacy, particularly digital privacy. By their own admission, the justices are not terribly computer literate. Chief Justice John Roberts is famous for writing his opinions by hand on a legal pad. Ruth Bader Ginsburg might be the Notorious RBG, but she most certainly does not understand the intricacies of Facebook’s privacy settings or even what a like is. It is important that our next associate justice and all future justices be familiar with digital technology, as it will help them make appropriate rulings in cases which they will decide.
The changing times and technologies have necessitated this requirement. As a society, we are more and more reliant on digital technology to perform our daily tasks. The younger you are, the more smartphones, computers and the internet itself (yes, even cat pics) are intertwined in our lives. So it is imperative that we have justices who know the technology that citizens are using.
Evan’s a conservative but there’s common ground to be found.
How to Overcome Political Irrationality About Facts
Some Trump supporters are willing to lie about his inauguration attendance to preserve their ideological identities. A new study explains how curiosity can help resist reflexive partisanship
It’s not just Republicans; studies show both Democrats and Republicans like the same policy better when they’re told it’s supported by their own party.
This is a concept known as politically motivated reasoning, or individuals’ tendency to meld new information into their existing beliefs, thereby supporting their political identities. As Yale law professor Dan Kahan and his colleagues explain in a new study published in Advances in Political Psychology, people who score high on this kind of reasoning tend to be very partisan. They absorb information that supports their beliefs, and they dismiss the rest.
Kahan and his collaborators wanted to see whether this very human tendency to seek out facts that conform with our reasoning and identities—staying glued to our red and blue feeds—can ever be tamped down.
They found that it could, as long as you possess an odd trait called “science curiosity.” This is not, it turns out, the same as merely being good at science, or understanding it. Science curiosity, as Kahan measured it, describes people who are intrigued by surprising information and scientific discoveries. In the study, the science-curious spent longer watching a science documentary and were more interested in reading science news. Meanwhile, those who simply understood science weren’t as engaged with the videos. They weren’t into “self-motivated consumption of science information for its own sake,” they write.
Chris Cillizza interviews Erik Wemple/WaPo:
FIX: Some media critics have suggested reporters ignore Trump’s tweets or Spicer’s briefings until they commit to telling the truth consistently. Where do you come down on that suggestion – and why?
Wemple: These media critics need to work longer in the media. Tweets and statements from top-level public figures aren’t ignorable in any way. They immediately shoot into the current of public discourse, and if media folks want to ignore them, they’ll be alone in doing so. Some have suggested disallowing Kellyanne Conway from appearing on air, another strategy with which I disagree. Boundaries: We are the media; we ask the White House for someone to comment on administration policy; the White House offers Conway; we respond, well, we’d prefer the president but if he’s not available, fine. If Conway appears on the air and says something that needs correcting, then we clean up the mess. That’s our job.
FIX: Going broader: What, if anything, new have we learned about the Trump Administration’s approach to the media?
Behind closed doors, Republican lawmakers fret about how to repeal Obamacare
“We’d better be sure that we’re prepared to live with the market we’ve created” with repeal, said Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.). “That’s going to be called Trumpcare. Republicans will own that lock, stock and barrel, and we’ll be judged in the election less than two years away.”
They’ve already reversed themselves on banning ads about signup for Ocare. Pressure forom the public matters.
Vann R. Newkirk II/Atlantic:
Trump Abandons the Secret Code of 'Voter Fraud'
In telling an anecdote about alleged illegal votes, the president broke one of the unwritten rules of his party.
Just days into his term, President Donald Trump opened a new chapter in this long history, using the White House pulpit to make claims of massive voter fraud, and calling for changes in voting law. But in relaying an anecdote to congressional leaders intended to support his wholly unsubstantiated claims of millions of fraudulent votes from undocumented immigrants, Trump directly referred to the perceived ethnicity and nationality of suspect voters, instead of actual suspicions of fraudulent acts. In doing so, Trump broke the longstanding taboo of relying on racial insinuation to carry the implied threat of suppression.
Republicans should be scared of repealing Obamacare, and this poll shows why
Republicans are getting very worried about repealing Obamacare, and tensions have begun to boil over, as The Post's Mike DeBonis reports.
A new poll shows exactly why they should be concerned.
The Quinnipiac University poll shows that just 16 percent of Americans want Congress to repeal all of Obamacare, while 51 percent say it should repeal only parts and 30 percent say it shouldn't repeal anything. This echoes other polling showing the Affordable Care Act rising in popularity and that full repeal has fallen out of favor — even as the GOP prepares to repeal the law one way or another.
Even more illustrative in the new poll, though, is this: Voters indicated they'll actually punish those who vote for repeal. Quinnipiac asked them whether they would be more likely or less likely to vote for a senator or member of Congress who votes for repeal, and by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, they said less likely.
Fully 43 percent said they would be less likely to vote for someone who repeals Obamacare, while only 24 percent said they would be more likely.
USA Today has had some good pieces lately: