Archive | November 2016

Trump’s First Meeting with Media Reps


This is the way that the meeting has been reported in an article written by Emily Smith and Daniel Halper and published in the New York Post:

Donald Trump’s Media Summit Was a ‘F—Ing Firing Squad’

Donald Trump scolded media big shots during an off-the-record Trump Tower sit-down on Monday, sources told The Post.

“It was like a f–ing firing squad,” one source said of the encounter.

“Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’ ” the source said.

“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down,” the source added.

A second source confirmed the fireworks.

“The meeting took place in a big board…

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Image of the Day


Don’t be entirely surprised if this Golden Pheasant replaces the Bald Eagle as the National Bird:


Photographed at Hangzhou Safari Park in Hangzhou, China (Reuters/Stringer)

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PostTruth Is the OED’s Word of the Year for 2016


These are the opening paragraphs of “From Truthiness to Post­Truth, Just in Time for Donald Trump: Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year Should Scare the Hell out of You,” an article written by Erin Keane for Salon:

“Remember back in 2006, when Stephen Colbert, the fictional conservative blowhard TV personality played by comedian Stephen Colbert, coined the term “truthiness” on his Comedy Central show “The Colbert Report”? Truthiness, as Colbert defines it, is “the belief in what you feel to be true rather than what the facts will   support.”

“It was the perfect word to serve the nation in the days of the George W. Bush administration. If you felt that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, you could believe it was true that the U.S. had sufficient grounds to invade the    country and that the Bush administration and the lawmakers who voted in favor of this action…

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Juxtaposition of the Day



This is a double juxtaposition for the price of one.

Note the order of the two articles—the implicit greater concern for the seeming epidemic of dog shootings by police over the incidence of hate crimes.

Here are the six “Fast Facts” in the second article:

“1. The new report covers incidents that occurred in 2015. This seems like the first important fact to note, since some people have already been trying to pass the data off as a response to Donald Trump’s election as president. . . .

“2. The data is incomplete + inherently increase-prone every year. . . .

“3. Hate-crimes against persons are down over last year. . . .

“4. Nearly two-thirds of all hate crimes involved no physical violence. . . .

“5. Crimes motivated by racial/ethnic bias were the most common type of hate crime. . . .

“6. Blacks, Jews, and gay men were the…

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Academics Earn $1,000/Hour Promoting Mega-Mergers


These are the opening paragraphs of a new report by Jesse Eisinger and Justin Elliott for ProPublica:

“A serial acquirer, AT&T must persuade the government to allow every major deal. Again and again, the company has relied on economists from America’s top universities to make its case before the Justice Department or the Federal Trade Commission. Moonlighting for a consulting firm named Compass Lexecon, they represented AT&T when it bought Centennial, DirecTV, and Leap Wireless; and when it tried unsuccessfully to absorb T-Mobile. And now AT&T and Time Warner have hired three top Compass Lexecon economists to counter criticism that the giant deal would harm consumers and concentrate too much media power in one company.

“Today, “in front of the government, in many cases the most important advocate is the economist and lawyers come second,” said James Denvir, an antitrust lawyer at Boies, Schiller.

“Economists who specialize in antitrust—affiliated…

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Putting the Election Results in Visual Perspective


Standard Map:


Map Adjusting for Electoral Votes:


Map Adjusting for Population:


None of this changes the results, but it may provide an incentive to change the results in 2018 and 2020. This map does not resemble the maps in 1972 and 1984, and yet the results were very different in 1976 and 1992.

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Quotation of the Day


This is from the late Leonard Cohen’s song “Democracy”:

It’s coming from the women and the men

Oh baby, we’ll be making love again

We’ll be going down so deep

The river’s going to weep,

And the mountain’s going to shout Amen

It’s coming like the tidal flood

beneath the lunar sway Imperial, mysterious

In amorous array

Democracy is coming to the USA

If you want to listen to the complete song, it is available here:

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The Cleveland Browns Just Won the World Series!


Congratulations to their players, their coaches, and their long-suffering fans.

But where, exactly, do we go from here?

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Quotation of the Day: Election Day Trifecta


Ann Coulter Tweet: “If only people with at least 4 grandparents born in America were voting, Trump would win in a 50-state landslide.” Beyond the very obvious echoing of the Nazi race laws (but I am sure that the echo is completely coincidental), this tweet ignores that fact that three of Trump’s grandparents’ (not to mention two of his wives) were not born in America. So would he be eligible to stand for election even if he were not eligible to vote in that election?

Newt Gingrich on Fox and Friends: If Trump carries Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire, along with North Carolina and Florida, “we’re in for a very short night.”

A friend on the telephone last night: I mentioned that if Trump wins, Gingrich is apparently in line to be Secretary of State, and Giuliani, Attorney General. He asked about Christie and Carson, and when I said…

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Stat of the Day: Early Voting in Texas


Here are the numbers for Texas’ 15 most populous counties:


A fairly thorough analysis of these numbers is available through Daily Kos at:

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