Oh John Carroll

Category: politics (page 1 of 3)

The Blunder Weeks: Leap 1

Leap 1: Changing Opinions

The first month after your President’s inauguration is a special time when you will observe him tweeting rapidly and will begin to get to know him and learn all of his little ways. It may be hard for you to imagine your President’s world at this time as he is not focused and his goals are undefined. In some ways, it is not so different from life on the campaign.

However, at about five weeks after inauguration (just over one month), your President will begin to take the first leap forward in his neuroses. New opinions bombard your President inside and out during this time, which can bewilder him. Some of these new things are related to the development of his cabinet and staff. Others are a result of your President’s increased alertness to TV news as his feelings have become more sensitive than they were immediately before inauguration. Therefore, it is not so much the opinions themselves that are changing but, rather, your President’s perceptions of them. During leap one, your President will become much more interested in the swamp around him. He can focus on pictures in books more clearly and can see beyond the human range of fact. You may also notice that your President responds to you and others more and in new tweets.

These are examples of what your President might do after going through this leap: (Note: A President never does these things all at once! Your President only does a few things from this list.)

— Looks at commercials longer and more frequently
— Responds to CNN differently
— Gives a social smile for the first time
— Responds to white supremacists more clearly
— Is more awake and “busy”

In The New York Times, David Carr writes about the war on journalists being waged by their fellow journalists:

So, too, are the journalists who aid them. It’s not surprising that Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who brokered the publishing of Private Manning’s documents, and Glenn Greenwald, the columnist for The Guardian who has led the Snowden revelations, have also come under intense criticism.

What is odd is that many pointing the finger are journalists. When Mr. Greenwald was on “Meet the Press” after the first round of N.S.A. articles, the host, David Gregory, seemingly switched the show to “Meet the Prosecutor.” He asked, “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?”

Scott Raab has an excellent piece in Esquire about the twisted politics behind the rebuilt World Trade Center site:

I’m not suggesting any conspiracy to bring down the World Trade Center beyond that enacted by Al Qaeda. I’m not talking about any black helicopters or Hollywood fantasy. I’m referring to the damage done to America not by terrorists but by our own response to one horrific attack — which, by the way, was but another version of what people around the world have gone and still go through. Gutting the values and principles that we like to think define us as an exceptional nation — you know, that whole Bill of Rights deal — isn’t the response of a country confident in its freedom. It’s the cowardice of a nation too fractured by fear to face the truth about the human condition: We’re always vulnerable — all of us, together and alone.

More on Zimmerman and Trayvon, from David Simon:

If I were a person of color in Florida, I would pick up a brick and start walking toward that courthouse in Sanford. Those that do not, those that hold the pain and betrayal inside and somehow manage to resist violence — these citizens are testament to a stoic tolerance that is more than the rest of us deserve. I confess, their patience and patriotism is well beyond my own.

More Jelani Cobb on the Zimmerman trial for The New Yorker:

There’s bad mathematics at the heart of this—a conflation of correlations and causations, gut instincts codified as public policy. To the extent that race factors into this equation, it’s in the way we selectively absolve, the way that no sum of actions by certain people quite reaches the bar of suspicion, the way that it becomes deceptively easy to surrender the civil liberties of others.

Walter Kirn for New Republic:

I will hide nothing.

But I will conceal everything.

I will be a good American.

Jeffrey Toobin examines whether or not the IRS did anything wrong:

So the scandal—the real scandal—is that 501(c)(4) groups have been engaged in political activity in such a sustained and open way. As Fred Wertheimer, the President of Democracy 21, a government-ethics watchdog group, put it, “it is clear that a number of groups have improperly claimed tax-exempt status as section 501(c)(4) ‘social welfare’ organizations in order to hide the donors who financed their campaign activities in the 2010 and 2012 federal elections.”

Simply Insane →

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo walks us through a shocking and bizarre story from Ohio.  In a work of fiction, James Gilkerson would be described as “a little too on the nose for the political point you’re trying to make.”

House of Un-Representatives →

Timothy Egan, writing for the Opinionator section of The New York Times:

You may wonder how he gets away with this. You may also wonder how Gohmert can run virtually unopposed in recent elections. The answer explains why we have an insular, aggressively ignorant House of Representatives that is not at all representative of the public will, let alone the makeup of the country.

(via my brother, Oh Dan Carroll)

Walkabout →

I highly recommend watching John Oliver’s three-part Australian gun control series from The Daily Show.

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