What We're Reading

Daily Reads: A Brazen GOP Power Grab in Nevada; Post-Charlottesville, Trump Embraces Culture War

A roundup of stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

A Brazen GOP Power Grab in Nevada

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Terror –> The Guardian has a detailed timeline of the terror attacks in multiple Spanish cities that left 14 dead — not including the attackers — and over 100 wounded yesterday.

Power grab –> Republicans lost at the ballot box last year in Nevada, but they’re now trying to undo the results with an effort to recall three legislators, all women, despite the fact that the lawmakers haven’t even been accused of any sort of wrongdoing. The Las Vegas Sun’s editorial page calls the effort “despicable in so many respects, it’s hard to know where to start criticizing it.”

Partisanship and propaganda –> Researchers at Harvard released a remarkable study of the 2016 election yesterday. They found a stark difference between the “the structure and composition of media on the right and left,” and noted that the neutral media “largely followed Donald Trump’s agenda” by consistently emphasizing Clinton’s emails and Trump’s positions on trade and immigration.

Culture war –> Robert Costa and David Nakamura report for The Washington Post that on Thursday, Trump “assumed the role of leading spokesman for the racially charged cause of preserving Confederate statues on public grounds, couching his defense in historical terms that thrilled his core supporters and signaled his intent to use cultural strife as a political weapon.” A more skeptical take is that some recent polls found that removing Confederate memorials isn’t that popular, and he’s trying to change the subject from Charlottesville.

And you can’t have a good culture war without invoking what New York magazine’s Ed Kilgore calls the “brutal, bigoted myth of Pershing murdering Muslims” with bullets dipped in pig’s blood in the Philippines. It was a favorite of Trump on the campaign trail, and who says that you can’t rewrite history?

It really shouldn’t be necessary, but at Vox, Matt Yglesias runs down the problems with comparisons of George Washington with Robert E. Lee.

Aftermath –> Republican Sen. Bob Corker blasted Trump on Thursday, saying “the president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.” Jeremy Herb has that story for CNN.

Rupert Murdoch’s son James, the CEO of 21st Century Fox, circulated a memo condemning Trump’s remarks on Charlottesville, and pledging to donate $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League. David Smith reports for The Guardian.

Yet the latest CBS poll finds that while the public as a whole doesn’t approve of Trump’s response to Charlottesville, 67 percent of self-identified Republicans do.

Eight people have been arrested and charged for toppling that Confederate memorial in Durham, North Carolina, reports P.R. Lockhart at Mother Jones. Dozens of activists tried to turn themselves in for the crime, Spartacus-style, and more protests were expected when the eight defendants appear in court today.

And after receiving heavy criticism for lending legal support to the organizers of Charlottesville’s hatefest, today the ACLU announced that it would no longer “represent hate groups who demonstrate with firearms,” according to Josh Delk at The Hill.

White supremacists –> At The American Prospect, Harold Meyerson offers some ideas that progressives could adopt as part of an explicit anti-fascist agenda.

Ed Mazza writes at HuffPost about how one German city made extremists’ heads spin by turning a neo-Nazi march into a fundraiser for programs that de-radicalize neo-Nazis. The effort was so successful that other communities with Nazi problems have emulated it. 

And Eric Boodman reports for Stat that here in the US, white nationalists have been flocking to those easy online genetic tests, but many of them have been unhappy when they learned that they’re not quite as pure and Aryan as they believed.

Kremlingate –> Jenna McLaughlin reports for Foreign Policy that last summer, “as WikiLeaks was publishing documents from Democratic operatives allegedly obtained by Kremlin-directed hackers, Julian Assange turned down a large cache of documents related to the Russian government.”

And Pamela Levy reports for Mother Jones that while the Department of Homeland Security has taken several steps to protect our election infrastructure from hacking, “several members of President Donald Trump’s controversial election commission oppose DHS’s move, and two of them have dismissed the threat entirely as a ploy for the federal government to intrude on states’ rights.”

Two takes on robots –> James Surowiecki reports for Wired that “everyone thinks that automation will take away our jobs,” but “the evidence disagrees.”

Yet at The GuardianJulia Carrie Wong writes that while automation is often blamed for the loss of manufacturing jobs, the retail industry, which is dominated by women workers, is the most vulnerable to losing jobs to machines.

The Cotton State –> It’s been 20 years since Howell Heflin, the last Democratic senator from deep-red Alabama, left office. Slate’s Jim Newell explains why some Democrats are cautiously hopeful about this year’s long-shot race to replace Jeff Sessions in a special election this fall.

Cloistered –> The Washington Post developed a tool that allows you to see what Donald Trump is seeing when he logs into Twitter. It’s a narrow world of sycophants who work for him and Fox News personalities.

Daily Reads was compiled by BillMoyers.com staff and edited by Kristin Miller.



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