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What Has Tucker Carlson become?
He had to do what he had to do. He didn’t have a choice. He has kids. DC has terrible public schools. His hands were tied. So, in addition to his staff positions, he took freelance jobs. He didn’t want to disappoint his family.

“I think this is true of almost everybody unless you happen to inherit a bunch of dough at a young age.” Carlson sounds cavalier as he says this, like the plight of sending kids to a private school in DC is the most relatable thing in history. I wonder about my own career in media. If providing for my kids was my only goal, I’d be back in my marketing job. Which reminds me, I need to check my bank account to make sure I can afford back-to-school shoes and after-school care.

I wonder which one of us is supposed to be the liberal elite media.
!write!readthenews  #conservatives 
17 days ago by lemeb
Britain’s political centre of gravity is moving left - Bagehot
The question at the heart of British politics is not whether it moves to the left, but what sort of left it moves to. Will it be a one nation Conservatism, committed to fixing capitalism from within, or the Venezuela-loving leftism long promoted by Mr Corbyn? To secure the first option, the Conservative Party needs to do more than take failing prisons into public control or increase spending on strained social services. It needs to demonstrate that it can reform capitalism even in the teeth of opposition from big business and Tory donors. Fluff that test and no amount of revelations about palling around with terrorists will keep Mr Corbyn out of Downing Street.
#$#monopoly  #brexit  #conservatives 
29 days ago by lemeb
Will the GOP become the party of white backlash? - The Washington Post
And what are the moral implications of a political strategy that employs racial and ethnic antagonism as a motivating factor? Is this really the set of values that Republican leaders want their children to absorb? Will conservatives so easily abandon conservatism for white identity politics? It is an approach to public life that will indelibly stain all who employ it — and all who excuse it.

“This is the question for Republicans going forward,” Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report told me. “Will the GOP be defined not just as the party of Trump but as the party that’s hostile to non-whites?” And what if there is no difference?
#conservatives  #us#trumpland 
11 weeks ago by lemeb
Donald Trump and norms: Resistance needs substance - Vox
But the insistence on exoticizing Trump — on seeing him not just as a threat to democracy and the rule of law but as a unique threat — necessarily tilts in that direction.

The five Republican justices on the Supreme Court aren’t endorsing purges of the voting rolls because Trump forced them, and the North Carolina GOP didn’t need Trump’s inspiration to introduce yet another effort to disenfranchise voters via strict ID laws. It was George H.W. Bush, not Trump, who abusively wielded the pardon power to curb the special prosecutor investigation into the Iran-Contra scandal, and John Boehner killed the Voting Rights Act long before anyone took Trump’s presidential aspirations seriously.

None of this is to excuse Trump’s various misdeeds in any way. It’s merely to say that the present peril is not so different from the perils of the past. The time-honored solution of trying to select charismatic candidates who propose popular ideas that will improve normal people’s lives remains the correct one.

#conservatives  #us#2020  #us#dems  #us#elections  #us#trumpland  %contrarian 
11 weeks ago by lemeb
Anthony Kennedy retirement: Why he joined Team Trump.
As Mark Stern and I noted on Tuesday, it was hard to see Kennedy’s concurrence in that case as anything more than a concession that the last adult in the room was now leaving the building. Maybe it’s a fitting end to his career to say that the man who wanted everyone to speak to one another civilly and respectfully did what everyone else has done this year and threw in the towel. It’s hardly a stretch to say that Kennedy’s lasting caution from Obergefell—the marriage equality decision—was his request that the nation resolve the oncoming conflict between gay rights and religious dissenters by “engag[ing] those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate.”

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

And so the formerly “centrist” Anthony Kennedy ended his Supreme Court career by taking sides, not simply in the spate of bombshell 5–4 decisions that came out in recent weeks. He took sides in a rhetorical war about the suffering of Christian bakers and pregnancy centers, and the language of “no you’re the radical” he now directs at liberals with whom he could once find common cause.

11 seats on the court, folks
#conservatives  #us#justice  #us#dems  #us#2020  %explainer 
12 weeks ago by lemeb
Brexit’s Big Short: How Pollsters Helped Hedge Funds Beat the Crash - Bloomberg
Behind the scenes, a small group of people had a secret—and billions of dollars were at stake. Hedge funds aiming to win big from trades that day had hired YouGov and at least five other polling companies, including Farage's favorite pollster. Their services, on the day and in the days leading up to the vote, varied, but pollsters sold hedge funds critical, advance information, including data that would have been illegal for them to give the public. Some hedge funds gained confidence, through private exit polls, that most Britons had voted to leave the EU, or that the vote was far closer than the public believed—knowledge pollsters provided while voting was still underway and hours ahead of official tallies. These hedge funds were in the perfect position to earn fortunes by short selling the British pound. Others learned the likely outcome of public, potentially market-moving polls before they were published, offering surefire trades.
The phones in YouGov’s offices rang like mad in the days between the Scottish polls and the referendum. Hedge fund executives were among those on the line. If YouGov was conducting another poll before the vote, traders said, they’d be willing to pay vast sums for a heads-up just 30 minutes to an hour before publication, according to two knowledgeable sources. Since news of the poll alone likely would move markets, the survey’s accuracy was meaningless; traders simply needed to know the results before they became public. They offered YouGov several multiples more than the newspapers had paid to commission the polls in the first place, the two insiders recalled. YouGov rejected these offers, the insiders said. Survation, along with at least one other pollster, saw other opportunities.
#$#monopoly  #conservatives  %longform  #$#cashstash  #brexit  !write!readthenews  #$#cons  %journalism 
june 2018 by lemeb
Nikki Haley: ‘It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America’ - The Washington Post
A United Nations report condemning entrenched poverty in the United States is a "misleading and politically motivated" document about "the wealthiest and freest country in the world," the Trump administration's top U.N. official said.

U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley criticized the report for critiquing the United States' treatment of its poor, arguing that the United Nations should instead focus on poverty in developing countries such as Burundi and Congo Republic. The U.N. report also faulted the Trump administration for pursuing policies it said would exacerbate U.S. poverty.

"It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America," Haley wrote in a letter to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday.
%policystats  #us#trumpland  #conservatives 
june 2018 by lemeb
How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country - The New York Times
The Kochs’ opposition to transit spending stems from their longstanding free-market, libertarian philosophy. It also dovetails with their financial interests, which benefit from automobiles and highways.

One of the mainstay companies of Koch Industries, the Kochs’ conglomerate, is a major producer of gasoline and asphalt, and also makes seatbelts, tires and other automotive parts. Even as Americans for Prosperity opposes public investment in transit, it supports spending tax money on highways and roads.
~liberatarianism  !write!readthenews  !write!revuedepresse  %explainer  %journalism  #$#ineq  #conservatives  #us#elections  #activism 
june 2018 by lemeb
Trump’s Muse on U.S. Trade with China | The New Yorker
Navarro is the only Ph.D. economist I was able to find who enthusiastically supports Trump. I can’t say there aren’t any others, but, in weeks of reporting, I have not been able to find any. As a likely place to start, I used a letter that three hundred and five economists wrote expressing their concerns about Hillary Clinton’s economic policies. The letter was, pointedly, not an endorsement of Donald Trump, though Moore did tell me he helped craft it. I reached out to dozens of the economists who signed the letter. Most had responses like Lloyd Cohen, of George Mason University: “These are two of the most unattractive human beings one could possibly imagine running for President.” Howard Baetjer, Jr., of Towson University, wrote, “No! I don’t endorse Trump! That’s dreadful to contemplate. No, I especially deplore his ignorant, inhumane, and economically damaging immigration and trade policies.” A handful said they might vote for Trump as the lesser of two evils. To be fair, I did not reach every letter signer, nor did I contact every economist in the United States. However, even in this select group of anti-Clinton economist partisans, the percentage who express enthusiastic support for Trump is shockingly small. The number may turn out to be no more than one: Peter Navarro.

#us#trumpland  #conservatives  %econ 
june 2018 by lemeb
The Deep Roots of Trump’s War on the Press - POLITICO Magazine
For those on the American political right, hostility toward the media is hardly new. Feeling underrepresented in major newsrooms in the 1950s, conservatives launched publications like National Review and Human Events to bring parity to journalism. But this did little to change the perception among Republicans of inherent, and increasingly shameless, bias among the premier news outfits. Dwight D. Eisenhower, after leaving the White House, ripped the “sensation-seeking columnists and commentators” at Goldwater’s 1964 convention, saying they “couldn't care less about the good of our party.” Vice President Spiro Agnew ratcheted up the rhetoric a few years later on behalf of Nixon, giving his famous 1969 speech in Des Moines decrying the “small and unelected elite” who possess a “profound influence over public opinion” without any checks on their “vast power.” And, revisionist history notwithstanding, “The truth is, Ronald Reagan was in a fight with the media his entire career,” says former Speaker Newt Gingrich. “Years ago, one of Reagan’s campaign advisers told me, ‘Don’t forget that none of these people are your friends. They despise your values, they despise your party.’”

Heading into the twilight of the Reagan era, conservatives still had no real mechanism for challenging the press. Enter the Media Research Center in 1987. Equipped with seven phones, two desks and a black-and-white TV, its small staff got up and running thanks to one big donor—who has since died, but whose eternal anonymity Bozell guaranteed. Working around the clock, the team began cataloging every instance of perceived ideological prejudice in the major print outlets and on the evening newscasts.

!write!readthenews  #conservatives 
may 2018 by lemeb
Week in review by Andrew L. Shea | The New Criterion
the new criterion quoting the wall street journal review about the bbc reboot of civilization:
there is one respect in which ‘Civilizations’ is decidedly not value-free, and that is in its attitude toward the West. If there are any barbarians in this series, they are the denizens of Europe, who are nearly always depicted as racists, conquerors, looters, slave owners, colonialists, and originators of the lurid ‘male gaze’ in art

fuck you.
#xxi#culture  %criticism  #conservatives  %reactionary 
may 2018 by lemeb
It Was ‘Roseanne’ vs. ‘Roseanne,’ in a Polarizing Revival - The New York Times
Her argument with Jackie, for instance, mostly sidestepped questions of racism, or xenophobia, or Mr. Trump’s dog-whistle nostalgia for “the old days.” Instead, she said that Mr. Trump (though not mentioned by name on the show) “talked about jobs.”

Was that the only reason she voted for him? I don’t know. But I 100 percent believe that’s what she would say her motivation was. People sell themselves, all the time, on the most charitable interpretations of their actions.

But the following week’s episode had an offhand line that suggested there was a kind of white-identity politics under the surface here. The Conners woke up in front of the TV, having slept through, Dan said, “all the shows about black and Asian families.” (The reference was to “black-ish” and “Fresh Off the Boat,” the only two such sitcoms on ABC.)

“They’re just like us,” Roseanne said. “There, now you’re all caught up.”

The line felt like a sarcastic slap. Ms. Barr defended it on Twitter as “a joke about class solidarity.” If so, it was a weird one because 1) both of the referenced shows are about more affluent families; 2) if Ms. Barr knows how to do one thing, it’s to make sure you know sarcasm when she delivers it; and 3) if the line were about class solidarity, it would be … not really a joke but simply a statement.

The season’s seventh episode left less ambiguity. In “Go, Cubs!” Roseanne met her new Muslim neighbors, who she was afraid are terrorists. The publicity for the episode emphasized that Ms. Barr wanted her character to get a “comeuppance” for her prejudice.

%words  #conservatives  #us#trumpland  #xxi#culture  %criticism 
may 2018 by lemeb
“People’s Heads Are Blowing Up”: As Fox News Installs a Meditation Room, Staffers Worry the Conservative Network Is Going Full Woke | Vanity Fair
According to sources, Fox News recently installed a “meditation room” complete with Muslim prayer rugs in Ollie North’s office in the network’s Washington bureau. (Earlier this month, North left Fox to become the president of the National Rifle Association.) Staffers now attend mandatory sexual harassment training, and the employee intranet includes a section for gender-transition policies and guidelines. “People are terrified. They kicked Ollie North out and put in a prayer room. We’ve got a new trans policy. You’re not allowed to be transphobic,” one source said
#conservatives  #newsroom  #us#trumpland  !write!readthenews 
may 2018 by lemeb
Why Are There No Good Conservative Critiques of Trump’s Unified Government?
Beyond Trump, there are two reasons this lack of conversation matters. First, we aren’t just seeing the chaos of the Trump administration to date. We are also seeing that the Republicans ultimately don’t have the ability to pass the agenda that they spent the past eight years, and really the past several decades, arguing for. This is a different implosion that is no less consequential. If they can’t ultimately move their ideas to the point where their own intellectuals can find interesting things to say about their failures, that means we should understand their whole project to be far weaker than they admit.
Second, an agenda has clearly passed — tax cuts for the rich, stuffing the judiciary and administration with deregulators, and actions against civil rights and towards more punitive immigration enforcement. Put another way, what we’ve seen from the first 14 months is that the actors who matter are the business interests and the base, and that the mediating conservative infrastructure simply doesn’t matter much, either as actors or chroniclers. For all the talk about brilliant policy minds on the Right who want to reform the state, the real brilliance and energy in their agenda is in not investigating Equifax, giving corporations tax cuts for fissuring their workforce, unleashing ICE and dismantling the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.
may 2018 by lemeb
Why conservative magazines are more important than ever - The Washington Post
Now that Donald Trump has made such conversations, and many others, unavoidable, conservative magazines have become oddly vital once more. While Sean Hannity and Breitbart News carry water for Trump, and many liberal publications dodge introspection in favor of anti-Trump primal screams, right-of-center magazines have been debating and reassessing the soul of their political philosophy. Trumpism has torn down the conservative house and broken it up for parts. Conservative magazines are working to bring a plausible intellectual order to this new reality — and figure out what comes next.

great article, but one question perpetually unanswered: where does all that money come from?
#conservatives  ~magazines 
may 2018 by lemeb
House Chaplain Was Asked to Resign. He Still Doesn’t Know Why. - The New York Times
the chaplain of the us house of representatives has been fired! sexual harassment? apparently, no...
Though Father Conroy said he did not know whether politics were behind his departure, he pointed to a prayer he had given on the House floor in November, when Congress was debating tax overhaul legislation.

“May all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle,” he prayed. “May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”
april 2018 by lemeb
Leave.EU, Arron Banks and new questions about referendum funding | Politics | The Guardian
When asked about the use of Leave.EU’s database to send advertisements about his insurance products to campaign supporters, [Aaron Banks, a major Brexit backer and donor] said: “Why shouldn’t I? It’s my data.” When asked again last week, he said: “Leave.EU after the referendum campaign carried the occasional ad for insurance, so what?”

what a time to be alive.
#conservatives  *whatatime  #brexit  #t#ad  !write!dystopia 
april 2018 by lemeb
Republican Voters Prefer Candidates Who Have Conservative‐Looking Faces: New Evidence From Exit Polls - Olivola - - Political Psychology - Wiley Online Library
dept of you won’t believe it’s true well actually you will believe it’s true:
Using data from U.S. election exit polls, we show that the Republican voters within each state are more likely to vote for a candidate (even a Democrat) the more that person has a stereotypically Republican‐looking face. By contrast, the voting choices of the Democratic voters within each state are unrelated to political facial stereotypes. Moreover, we show that the relationship between political facial stereotypes and voting does not depend on state‐level ideology

and now the money quote:
Ironically, conservative voters' biased preferences for Republican‐looking candidates may actually give Democrats an unfair general advantage. Since left‐leaning voters are not swayed by political facial stereotypes, the Democratic Party could gain Republican votes (without alienating their political base) by nominating candidates who have conservative‐looking faces, whereas the Republican Party only stands to lose Republican votes when they nominate candidates who happen to possess stereotypically liberal‐looking faces.
*polisci  *stats  #conservatives  %policystats 
april 2018 by lemeb
Opinion | Unicorns of the Intellectual Right - The New York Times
The hiring-then-firing of Kevin Williamson followed a familiar script. A mainstream media organization hires a conservative in the name of intellectual diversity, then is shocked, shocked to discover that he’s dishonest and/or holds truly reprehensible views – something that the organization could have discovered with a few minutes on Google. But when the bad hire is let go, the right treats him as a martyr, proof of liberal refusal to let alternative viewpoints be heard. Why does this keep happening?

As others have pointed out, the real problem here is that media organizations are looking for unicorns: serious, honest, conservative intellectuals with real influence. Forty or fifty years ago, such people did exist. But now they don’t. (...)

All this means that if you get a conservative economist who isn’t a charlatan and crank, you are more or less by definition getting someone with no influence on policymakers. But that’s not the only problem. The second problem with conservative economic thought is that even aside from its complete lack of policy influence, it’s in an advanced state of both intellectual and moral decadence – something that has been obvious for a while, but became utterly clear after the 2008 crisis.

I’ve written a lot about the intellectual decadence. In macroeconomics, what began in the 60s and 70s as a usefully challenging critique of Keynesian views went all wrong in the 80s, because the anti-Keynesians refused to reconsider their views when their own models failed the reality test while Keynesian models, with some modification, performed pretty well. By the time the Great Recession struck, the right-leaning side of the profession had entered a Dark Age, having retrogressed to the point where famous economists trotted out 30s-era fallacies as deep insights.


Am I saying that there are no conservative economists who have maintained their principles? Not at all. But they have no influence, zero, on GOP thinking. So in economics, a news organization trying to represent conservative thought either has to publish people with no constituency or go with the charlatans who actually matter.

And then:

(more reading)
-> thesis: the pb with the MSM is that it refuses to see conservatism as insane
-> in the 80s, anti-keynesians dug their hole deeper
-> some wonkish stuff
#conservatives  %econ 
april 2018 by lemeb
Opinion | The Self-Destruction of Paul Ryan and the G.O.P. - The New York Times
So Mr. Ryan has cornered himself, and his party. The Republican base won’t buy what he’s selling, unless it’s awkwardly grafted onto white-identity populism, which is a self-annihilating strategy for mobilizing Democrats to the polls.

The forthcoming implosion of Mr. Ryan’s party, and his imminent retreat to Wisconsin, illustrates the danger of hidebound ideological overconfidence. Party elites in the grip of dogma can’t see the point of checking in with the people they represent and are blind to new problems the partisan catechism is not equipped to comprehend. If a decent Republican Party one day rises from the devastation Paul Ryan practically invited Donald Trump to inflict, it will be one that has stopped legislating for an imaginary world of self-financing tax cuts, having rediscovered and realigned with the basic interests of aging and working-class white suburban and rural American voters. It will take their woes seriously, and nurture their welfare, not their grievance.
april 2018 by lemeb

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