26 thoughts on “Year 1 a.t. (After Trump)

  1. Sunday’s selections

    In Key States, Republicans Were Critical in Resisting Trump’s Election Narrative

    They refuted conspiracy theories, certified results, dismissed lawsuits and repudiated a president of their own party.


    Election workers recounting ballots in Atlanta this month.Credit…Nicole Craine for The New York Times

    Where it counted, Republicans put country before party & it was beautiful

    The telephone call would have been laugh-out-loud ridiculous if it had not been so serious. When Tina Barton picked up, she found someone from President Trump’s campaign asking her to sign a letter raising doubts about the results of the election.

    The election that Ms. Barton as the Republican clerk of the small Michigan city of Rochester Hills had helped oversee. The election that she knew to be fair and accurate because she had helped make it so. The election that she had publicly defended amid threats that made her upgrade her home security system.

    “Do you know who you’re talking to right now?” she asked the campaign official.

    Evidently not.

    If the president hoped Republicans across the country would fall in line behind his false and farcical claims that the election was somehow rigged on a mammoth scale by a nefarious multinational conspiracy, he was in for a surprise. Republicans in Washington may have indulged Mr. Trump’s fantastical assertions, but at the state and local level, Republicans played a critical role in resisting the mounting pressure from their own party to overturn the vote after Mr. Trump fell behind on Nov. 3.

    The three weeks that followed tested American democracy and demonstrated that the two-century-old system is far more vulnerable to subversion than many had imagined even though the incumbent president lost by six million votes nationwide. But in the end, the system stood firm against the most intense assault from an aggrieved president in the nation’s history because of a Republican city clerk in Michigan, a Republican secretary of state in Georgia, a Republican county supervisor in Arizona and Republican-appointed judges in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

    Read more from NYT in a pdf

    Read WaPo’s article on the same subject as pdf


    ‘Sistine Chapel of the ancients’ rock art discovered in remote Amazon forest

    Tens of thousands of ice age paintings across a cliff face shed light on people and animals from 12,500 years ago


    The paintings are being filmed for a major Channel 4 series to be screened in December, Jungle Mystery: Lost Kingdoms of the Amazon. Photograph: Ella Al-Shamahi

    One of the world’s largest collections of prehistoric rock art has been discovered in the Amazonian rainforest.

    Hailed as “the Sistine Chapel of the ancients”, archaeologists have found tens of thousands of paintings of animals and humans created up to 12,500 years ago across cliff faces that stretch across nearly eight miles in Colombia.

    Their date is based partly on their depictions of now-extinct ice age animals, such as the mastodon, a prehistoric relative of the elephant that hasn’t roamed South America for at least 12,000 years. There are also images of the palaeolama, an extinct camelid, as well as giant sloths and ice age horses.

    These animals were all seen and painted by some of the very first humans ever to reach the Amazon. Their pictures give a glimpse into a lost, ancient civilisation. Such is the sheer scale of paintings that they will take generations to study.

    The discovery was made last year, but has been kept secret until now as it was filmed for a major Channel 4 series to be screened in December: Jungle Mystery: Lost Kingdoms of the Amazon.

    The site is in the Serranía de la Lindosa where, along with the Chiribiquete national park, other rock art had been found. The documentary’s presenter, Ella Al-Shamahi, an archaeologist and explorer, told the Observer: “The new site is so new, they haven’t even given it a name yet.”

    Read more at The Guardian


  2. Saturday

    On monoliths in aluminum and silicon

    Two days after a helicopter pilot revealed its existence, people began sharing their own shots of the unexplained piece


    David Surber with the monolith in Red Rock Desert, Utah, in this still image obtained from a social media video. Photograph: @davidsurber_/Reuters

    Some intrepid visitors have been flocking to a remote part of southern Utah in a bid to be among the first to see the mystery metal monolith.

    The structure in the Red Rock desert was first discovered last week from the air by a helicopter pilot and wildlife officers who were carrying out an annual count of bighorn sheep.

    They did not share its coordinates, hoping to put people off trying to make their own pilgrimages in case they got lost in the remote area. But for some, the intrigue was overwhelming.

    Theories abound over mystery metal monolith found in Utah
    Read more

    Around 48 hours after news of their finding was made public, pictures appeared on Instagram of people who had managed to find it.

    Read more


    Big Tech has immense power. Here’s how Europe and the United States are trying to rein them in


    Menlo Park (USA), tourists photogra​ph themselves in front of the Faceb​ook symbol, just a few steps from t​he company entrance. From the series ‘Silicon Valley Tour’ by Alessandro Gandolfi/Parallelozero/INSTITUTE

    It wasn’t that long ago that Facebook proudly touted the motto “move fast and break things” as the hallmark of its unstoppable growth. And every time Steve Jobs conjured up the next miracle machine from his bag of tech tricks, it was couched in Apple’s credo of nonconformity, “Think Different”.

    But times have changed, and nowadays these slogans might be better applied to the actors in the political arena who are working hard to put the brakes on the tech giants that have run amok. Heavy fines, prosecutions, and even breaking up the monolithic platforms are all on the table.

    Read more


  3. Friday noir

    The War on Reality Explained

    …By David Brooks? . . .and other news

    The Rotting of the Republican Mind

    It’s been one of the most popular questions of the 21st starting with the 2000 election. How did Republicans get so crazy. Of all the explanations I’ve come across, and it pains me to say this, conservative writer David Brooks explains it the best. According to his research in a nutshell, the divide between those of us in the truth/fact based world and those on the other side is a result of the migration of the people who work I the information economy to the prosperous cities.

    While big cities have been growing and improving the smaller cities and rural areas have fallen into decline. Mostly responsible for this migration is whether or not you have a college degree. Those left behind in the less densely populated places see everything around them crumbling and they feel less safe. It’s this state of affairs that opened the door for people like Donald T****, Alex Jones, et. al. to take advantage of their fears with real fake news telling them what they want to hear. These fake facts give rise to the conspiracies that have come to bond Republicans giving them a sense of unity. This is how they don’t believe in climate science, Biden won the election and Covid-19 is not a big deal.

    (On the plus side this same situation has. Georgia Republican voters questioning why bother to vote in January for the Senate elections if the “fix” is already in. What goes around comes around.)

    Read the whole piece


    ‘Mini desk. Tiny hands. Small soul’: T**** mocked for giving speech at little table


    * Photograph: Erin Scott/Reuters*

    Actor Mark Hamill said it best:

    “Maybe if you behave yourself, stop lying to undermine a fair election & start thinking of what’s good for the country instead of whining about how unfairly you are treated, you’ll be invited to sit at the big boy’s table.”

    Read more


    How the Late Late Toy Show became an unlikely Irish TV institution Annual special
    – where garish sweaters meet unrestrained children – airs on Friday evening


    A guest on this year’s show, which centres on the works of Roald Dahl. Photograph: RTÉ

    It is possibly the most anticipated moment in Ireland’s cultural calendar, a television event that draws huge ratings, unites the diaspora and is parsed as a barometer for the mood of the nation.

    Expectation builds months in advance, rumours about the theme, leaks about participants, sometimes alarm that the formula may change.

    At 9.30pm on Friday the theme music will play and it will begin: the 2020 Late Late Toy Show – an annual institution built around a host, his jumpers, children, toys and some indefinable ingredient that has kept the nation rapt year after year, decade after decade.

    It started in 1975 as a segment in the Late Late Show, RTÉ’s long-running weekly chatshow, and expanded to take over an entire show each year, turning into an extravaganza that has at times included an elephant and the likes of Ed Sheeran and Jerry Seinfeld but reverberates because of the younger guests. Some of them have serious illnesses but they all play, opine and upstage any adults.

    Read more


  4. Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

    Not tired of T**** losing, World shakes its head at U.S., Remembering The Last Waltz

    Thanks

    It was a one of a kind last time for The Band’s epic swan song which will forever be associated with Thanksgiving. Thanks The Band.

    The nation survived a cartoonish attack on the most precious part of our democracy. Thanks judges everywhere.

    How will the nation survive the instance of millions to throw common sense and their sense of responsibility and probably ignite the mother of all super-spreader events? No thanks to you.

    Be safe, don’t be selfish.


  5. Weird Wednesday

    Things stranger than Donald T**** being President


    Wildlife officials discovered a monolith embedded in the rock in southeastern Utah. The authorities say they do not know how deep it goes, or how long it has been there.Credit…Utah Department of Public Safety

    A Weird Monolith Is Found in the Utah Desert, at least Randy Quaid was not involved

    What could be more fitting than a strange object being found in the Utah this week? It sure beats reading T**** tweets



    Illustration: Michael Haddad for The Intercept

    Congress has the power to override Supreme Court decisions, here’s how

    History is full of instances where Congress “overruled” Supreme Court decisions. A recent example is the Lilly Ledbetter action to stop employers from paying women less for the same work. The Supreme Court had ruled Ledbetter case was beyond the statute of limitations, but that wasn’t the end of the story. All Congress had to do was amend The Title VII Civil Rights Act and thus paving the way for pay equity for women. It’s not the first time the high court has been overruled and it won’t be the last


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