Daily Blog #1

This week we’re trying to keep up with madness in the Monkey House (aka White House), the latest tech news, happenings in the 2020 Presidential election, what AOC has been up to and who is attacking her (and failing), the best cartoons we could find and a hodge-podge of interesting stories from around the globe.

86 thoughts on “Daily Blog #1

  1. Opinion

    Stop the Knee-Jerk Liberalism That Hurts Its Own Cause

    We liberals need to watch our blind spots.


    Gibson’s Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio. Credit Dake Kang/Associated Press

    Note: This opinion piece should be read in its entirety, here are some teasers that hopefully pique your desire to read more

    • Too often, we liberals embrace people who don’t look like us, but only if they think like us.
    • We progressives should have the intellectual curiosity to grapple with disagreeable views.

    • …the road to progress comes from winning the public debate — and if you want to win an argument, you have to allow the argument.

    Read a pdf of this article or go behind the paywall.

  2. Opinion
    MAUREEN DOWD

    Kamala Shotguns Joe Sixpack


    Joe Biden felt the sharp end of Kamala Harris’s criticism when she put her foot down at a Democratic debate on Thursday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

    In my experience, candidates with advisers who belittle them on background do not win elections.

    The aloofness and arrogance of the Biden operation came spilling out for all to see under the bright lights of the debate stage.

    The 76-year-old seemed irritated and unprepared to address inevitable jabs from his younger, more nimble rivals. What did he think would happen — that they would strew rose petals along his path to the podium and beg for selfies? In the 2008 race, he was a more vivid and genial debater than Obama. Now he seems simultaneously drained and entitled.

    Kamala Harris, who had been trying to appease the progressives on Twitter who berate her for her law enforcement record, suddenly found her inner cop.

    Rather than asking Biden to pass the torch, she took a blowtorch to him.

    Read a pdf of this article or go behind the paywall.

  3. Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen: the love affair of a lifetime

    The pair met on the rocky Greek island of Hydra in 1960. Their romance inspired countless Cohen songs – and now a poignant documentary by Nick Broomfield


    Norwegian expatriate Marianne Ihlen, right, with Leonard Cohen and friends on a donkey trek on Hydra, 1960. Photograph: James Burke/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

    In November 2016, the singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, renowned for his plaintive ballads, died a few months after the woman who inspired many of them, his Norwegian lover and muse, Marianne Ihlen. Theirs had been a large and chaotic romance that was in many respects a product of the particular times (the 1960s) and the specific place (the Greek island of Hydra) in which they met. The relationship’s legacy was a catalogue of classic songs – So Long Marianne, Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye, Bird on the Wire – a great deal of heartache, but also a lasting sense of the creative power of love.

    All of this the documentary maker Nick Broomfield explores in his tender, funny and hauntingly moving new film Marianne and Leonard: Words of Love. Broomfield is not a disinterested observer. He knew Ihlen well. They too were lovers for a while during one of the long breaks in Ihlen’s relationship with Cohen. And her effect on the film-maker was almost as influential as her part in the Canadian poet-musician’s career.

    Read more

  4. Opinion – Frank Bruni NYT

    And Now, the Dream of a Harris-Buttigieg Ticket

    Two new Democratic stars outshone Biden and Sanders on the debate stage.


    Kamala Harris spoke to reporters after the second Democratic presidential debate in Miami on Thursday. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

    The big question going into Thursday night’s debate was whether Joe Biden would stumble.

    That turned out to be the wrong one. The right question was whether he had ample vigor in his stride.

    And the answer came in watching Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg — two of the event’s standout performers — run articulate and impassioned circles around him.

    Biden, the clear front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, was O.K. Not bad, not good: O.K. He didn’t crumble under some tough interrogation from moderators — about his vote for the invasion of Iraq, for example — and occasional attacks from his rivals onstage.

    Read a pdf of this article or go behind the paywall.

  5. From the “Tough love for Democrats” department

    A Wretched Start for Democrats

    The party seems interested in helping everyone except the voters it needs.

    Amigos demócratas,

    Si ustedes siguen así, van a perder las elecciones. Y lo merecerán.

    Translation for the linguistically benighted: “Democratic friends, if you go on like this, you’re going to lose the elections. And you’ll deserve it.”

    In this week’s Democratic debates, it wasn’t just individual candidates who presented themselves to the public. It was also the party itself. What conclusions should ordinary people draw about what Democrats stand for, other than a thunderous repudiation of Donald Trump, and how they see America, other than as a land of unscrupulous profiteers and hapless victims?

    Read a pdf of this article or go behind the paywall.

  6. Jimmy Carter: ‘illegitimate’ Trump only president because of Russian meddling

    Trump ‘put into office because Russians interfered on his behalf’
    Carter says investigation would show Trump didn’t win in 2016

    immy Carter has called Donald Trump an “illegitimate president” who was helped into office by Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    Trump proposes meeting with Kim Jong-un after G-20 summit – as it happened
    Read more
    At a conference for his human rights organization the Carter Center, the former president said a full investigation “would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016”.

    “He lost the election and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf,” Carter added.

    The event moderator, Jon Meacham, asked if that meant Carter thought that Trump was an illegitimate president. Carter then briefly paused and replied: “Based on what I just said, which I can’t retract,” Carter said. The remark then triggered laughter in the audience and from Meacham.

    Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, and the Kremlin’s ties to Trump’s campaign, were exhaustively investigated by Robert Mueller. In his 448-page report, submitted in April, the special counsel concluded there was not enough evidence to establish a conspiracy between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. But he did detail numerous incidents of Russian interference, many of which have led to indictments.

    Carter also called for Trump to condemn Russia for their actions and said the current president should “admit that it happened”.

    “There’s no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election,” he said.

    On Friday Trump, and Vladimir Putin met at the G20 summit in Japan – and Trump jokingly raised the issue. As the pair sat for photographs, a reporter asked if Trump would tell Putin not to meddle in the 2020 US election. Without looking at Putin, Trump said: “Don’t meddle in the election, please.’” He then repeated the phrase with a mock finger wag.

    Read more

  7. Supreme court to rule on whether Trump can end Daca

    Court expected to hear arguments late this year, with a decision on Dreamers likely to come before 2020 election


    Students at the University of California Irvine demonstrate in support of Daca in 2017. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

    The supreme court will review the constitutionality of an Obama-era program allowing undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children to get temporary deportation relief and work permits.

    Trump ended the program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca), but the decision was challenged in several lawsuits. The program protected about 700,000 people known as Dreamers.

    The justices’ order sets up legal arguments for late fall or early winter, with a decision likely by June 2020 as Trump campaigns for re-election.

    Federal courts in California, New York, Virginia and Washington DC have blocked Trump from ending the program immediately. A federal judge in Texas has declared the program is illegal, but refused to order it halted.

    Its protections seem certain to remain in effect at least until the high court issues its decision.

    Read more

  8. Second Democratic Debate

    Winners and losers from the Democratic presidential debate’s second night

    The second round of the first Democratic debate became heated June 27, as candidates went head-to-head on a number of issues. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

    The first Democratic debate is over, after the second installment featuring the second set of 10 candidates concluded Thursday in Miami.

    [Highlights: Night 2 of the Democratic debate]

    Below are our winners and losers.

    Read a pdf of this article or go behind the paywall.

  9. Second Democratic Debate

    Five takeaways from the second Democratic presidential debate

    Kamala Harris makes a decisive intervention, Joe Biden stumbles and the generation gap yawns

    It was the second and last night of Democratic presidential debates in Miami, and sparks were flying. Here are the five big takeaways:

    1. Joe Biden takes incoming fire
    2. Kamala Harris seizes the day
    3. The great generational divide
    4. A good night for …
      Kamala Harris, obviously.
    5. A bad night for …
      Joe Biden, obviously.

      Read more

  10. Second Democratic Debate

    4 winners and 3 losers from the second night of the Democratic debates

    One moment was instantly historic.

    It’s over. After two grueling nights, all the Democratic presidential candidates have had their say. (Well, not all — not Seth Moulton, not Joe Sestak, nor any of the three other candidates whom the DNC deemed “not as important as Eric Swalwell.”)

    But 20 candidates have said their piece, in the final event of its kind until [checks calendar] next month. And on night two, the two arguable frontrunners (Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders), two candidates who’ve been nipping at their heels (Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg), and two agents of chaos (Marianne Williamson, Andrew Yang) all came to play.

    It was, all told, a less substantive night than night one. There was no detailed discussion of the nuances of immigration policy, and the Medicare-for-all debate remained near surface level. At times the proceedings devolved into incoherent shouting with no understandable contributions from anyone. But there was one moment amid the chaos that stood out as an instantly historic moment in a presidential debate — more on that below — no matter who winds up winning this primary in the end.

    Here’s who ended the night ahead, and who fell behind.

    Read more

    1. I suggest skipping to the last section on how to counter Russian propaganda first and then read why they have been so successful and why Trump uses the same method.

      1. That’s what I was thinking.
        Nonsense repeated often enough starts to sound like truth, even to people who should know better. Sometimes surprises me that we ever get over believing in Santa Claus. 😉

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