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Links: November 2016

Kasich Goes for … McCain

At least three prominent Republicans are publicly throwing away their vote.

The Different Stakes of Male and Female Birth Control

for some women, there are tradeoffs between their reproductive freedom and their mental and emotional health.

Not so for men. Though men have an equal responsibility to prevent unwanted pregnancies, they don’t share equally in the consequences, and never have. The burden of birth control has always fallen largely on women’s shoulders; it is their bodies that will bear the consequences if birth control fails.

It was believed women would tolerate side effects better than men, who demanded a better quality of life

In 2007, the pharmaceutical company Bayer gave up on a male contraceptive “that involved an annual implant and a quarterly injection,” as my colleague Olga Khazan reported in 2015. The company, she wrote, “concluded that men would consider the regimen—in the words of a spokesperson—‘not as convenient as a woman taking a pill once a day.’”

Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions: Until the Hunter

Calming my election nerves with a brand new record from Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions.

‘We Are in for a Pretty Long Civil War’

“I believed that the 2016 Republican primary was going to be a variation of Mom and Dad having the fight in front of the kids. Instead, the crazy uncle showed up and started a 17-person food fight,” Heye says. “People are talking about having a reckoning, a great purge, whatever, and there’s some truth to that, but we still haven’t resolved these differences even with Trump removed from the equation.”

Don’t Judge. Just Observe.

Bob Baxley’s wise words on avoiding the dismissive “kids these days” mentality.

Would Wall Street Have a Place in a Clinton Administration?

If he’s not already, Alec MacGillis should be your go-to guy for in-depth political backstory. Fantastic reporting.

Latina Hotel Workers Harness Force of Labor and of Politics in Las Vegas

He will receive her labor, but not her vote.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Multilevel Marketing

It’s been many years since someone tried to get me into a pyramid scheme. I didn’t know they were still so big. Ugh.

The Men Feminists Left Behind

Women changed. Too many men didn’t. What happens next?

Mrs. Clinton, an unapologetically ambitious woman running to take the place of a trailblazing, successful black man, symbolizes all the ways in which America has moved on — and in her promises to help alienated men catch up is the implicit expectation that they, too, must change.

That many white men are struggling surely contributes to Mr. Trump’s popularity, but the driving force of this election is not money — the median household income of Trump primary voters was about $72,000 a year, $16,000 more than the national median household income. It’s power, and fury at watching it wane.

I suspect for a lot of men, a more equal America — one with fewer cultural rules about how a man should be, and more avenues to identity and respect — would be a pretty great America to live in.

Donald Trump’s Extremist Supporters Feel Like Winners Either Way

#MakeAmericaGreatAgain by returning to the halcyon days when white nationalists had no one in government to admire.

Just a Few Notes for Our New Babysitter!

A razor-sharp, darkly hilarious read from the amazing Lane Moore.

Let Hillary Be Hillary | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton either. I’m voting for Hillary Goddamn Brilliant Badass Queen Beyoncé Rodham.

An American Tragedy

Trump is vulgarity unbounded, a knowledge-free national leader who will not only set markets tumbling but will strike fear into the hearts of the vulnerable, the weak, and, above all, the many varieties of Other whom he has so deeply insulted.

That the electorate has, in its plurality, decided to live in Trump’s world of vanity, hate, arrogance, untruth, and recklessness, his disdain for democratic norms, is a fact that will lead, inevitably, to all manner of national decline and suffering.

the cruel decision to elevate a man who rides in a gold-plated airliner but who has staked his claim with the populist rhetoric of blood and soil.

Trump was not elected on a platform of decency, fairness, moderation, compromise, and the rule of law; he was elected, in the main, on a platform of resentment. Fascism is not our future—it cannot be; we cannot allow it to be so—but this is surely the way fascism can begin.

To combat authoritarianism, to call out lies, to struggle honorably and fiercely in the name of American ideals—that is what is left to do. That is all there is to do.

A List of Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations That Need Your Support

Trump Picks Top Climate Skeptic to Lead EPA Transition

Trump Campaigned Against Lobbyists, but Now They’re on His Transition Team

Democrats, Trump and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit

From the invasion of Iraq to the 2008 financial crisis to the all-consuming framework of prisons and endless wars, societal benefits have been directed almost exclusively to the very elite institutions most responsible for failure at the expense of everyone else.

It was only a matter of time before instability, backlash, and disruption resulted. Both Brexit and Trump unmistakably signal its arrival. The only question is whether those two cataclysmic events will be the peak of this process, or just the beginning. And that, in turn, will be determined by whether their crucial lessons are learned — truly internalized — or ignored in favor of self-exonerating campaigns to blame everyone else.

Donald Trump Won Because of Facebook

Forty-four percent of all adults in the United States say they get news from Facebook, and access to to an audience of that size would seem to demand some kind of civic responsibility — an obligation to ensure that a group of people more sizable than the American electorate is not being misled. But whether through a failure of resources, of ideology, or of imagination, Facebook has seemed both uninterested in and incapable of even acknowledging that it has become the most efficient distributor of misinformation in human history.

Autocracy: Rules for Survival

However well-intentioned, this talk assumes that Trump is prepared to find common ground with his many opponents, respect the institutions of government, and repudiate almost everything he has stood for during the campaign. In short, it is treating him as a “normal” politician. There has until now been little evidence that he can be one.

Stop Asking Me to Empathize With the White Working Class

For a people who have shamed black folks for supposedly always wanting a hand out, for being a problem of the entitlement state, I have never seen people who so firmly believe they are owed something.

Obama’s Imperial Presidency Now Is Trump’s

With the shoe on the other foot, the left may soon realize how terrifying some of the president’s authorities can be.

Here’s why it’s fair—and necessary—to call Trump’s chief strategist a white nationalist champion

Whatever he might believe, Bannon is a self-proclaimed ally of the alt-right. (Shapiro notes that Bannon may not buy all its guff, but “he’s happy to pander to those people and make common cause with them.” And regarding Bannon, Lisa De Pasquale, a Breitbart contributor, on Monday said on the To the Point radio show that promoting the alt-right at Breitbart was “good for his business model.”

Bankers celebrate dawn of Trump era

Wall Street bankers and their Washington lobbyists are quietly celebrating. They went from expecting fresh crackdowns from a Hillary Clinton administration with Warren wielding heavy influence to the cusp of a deregulatory bonanza with Republicans in complete control of Washington.

What the Hell Just Happened?

Before we had kids, my wife and I used to joke that we’d be happy no matter which profession they chose, as long as they didn’t decide to be Civil War re-enactors. Now, I’ll be happy whatever path they choose in life, as long as they don’t want to get into politics. Look at the coverage we just witnessed. What kind of a lunatic would want to put themselves or their families through it? That question has answered itself.

Media: Forget all the bias bullshit. To the extent it exists, it’s secondary. What really matters is that politics is covered almost exclusively as a sport. We don’t analyze policies. We analyze campaign strategies. When you treat it like a horse race, you can end up with a horse’s ass in the winner’s circle.

The Flip Flop: In less than a generation, the GOP has gone from the party of personal responsibility to the party of the system is rigged against you. Remarkable. The only thing that changed faster was the shift from Family Values to Donald.

The End of Identity Liberalism

We need a post-identity liberalism, and it should draw from the past successes of pre-identity liberalism. Such a liberalism would concentrate on widening its base by appealing to Americans as Americans and emphasizing the issues that affect a vast majority of them. It would speak to the nation as a nation of citizens who are in this together and must help one another. As for narrower issues that are highly charged symbolically and can drive potential allies away, especially those touching on sexuality and religion, such a liberalism would work quietly, sensitively and with a proper sense of scale. (To paraphrase Bernie Sanders, America is sick and tired of hearing about liberals’ damn bathrooms.)

100 days to save the Republic

The risk is not that Trump becomes a dictator, but that civil society simply withers and dies. We all like to think we would stand up and do the right thing under difficult circumstances. But to be honest with ourselves, we are all susceptible to the push and pull of fear and greed — especially those of us with spouses and families to think of. A suborned regulatory state could easily quiet mass media criticism, defund opposition activity, and enrich politically friendly actors.

The main thing that people already tapped for key administration jobs — Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions — have in common is that they backed Trump. We cannot allow personal loyalty to Donald Trump to be the decisive factor in staffing the executive branch. Personnel is policy, and if fealty to Trump determines the personnel, then fealty to Trump will also be the policy.

Because Trump is a vengeful and irrational man, picking a fight with him over an SEC commissioner or an assistant attorney general feels unpleasant, and many would simply rather duck the issue. But that vengeful and irrational nature is precisely why the fights must be picked and must be picked now.

An Erosion of Democratic Norms in America

I think people are making the mistake of thinking that there will be a dramatic moment when they should speak out. Growing tolerance for conflicts of interest in government, limitations on media access and accountability, and harsh treatment of minority groups can accumulate. Similarly, the slow disappearance of various norms can damage our democracy when we’re not paying attention.

A lot of this will come down to whether Republicans in Congress will exercise oversight over a Republican administration. I hope people will be brave enough to fulfill that role, which is part of how our system is supposed to work. For now, we should recognize the precedents that are already being set and try to prevent them from becoming the new normal.

No, Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along

So let me say this on Thanksgiving: I’m thankful to have this platform because as long as there are ink and pixels, you will be the focus of my withering gaze.

Obama Reckons with a Trump Presidency

“Ideally, in a democracy, everybody would agree that climate change is the consequence of man-made behavior, because that’s what ninety-nine per cent of scientists tell us,” he said. “And then we would have a debate about how to fix it. That’s how, in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, you had Republicans supporting the Clean Air Act and you had a market-based fix for acid rain rather than a command-and-control approach. So you’d argue about means, but there was a baseline of facts that we could all work off of. And now we just don’t have that.”

“And so the very deliberate strategy that Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party generally employed during the course of my Presidency was effective. What they understood was that, if you embraced old-fashioned dealing, trading, horse-trading, bipartisan achievement, people feel better. And, if people feel better, then they feel better about the President’s party, and the President’s party continues. And, if it feels broken, stuck, and everybody is angry, then that hurts the President or the President’s party.”

“So it’s not just, like, the gushing San Francisco liberal hugging me that makes me optimistic. It’s that I’ve seen great decency among people who may, nevertheless, have some presuppositions or biases about African-Americans or Latinos or women or gays. And the issue is, constantly, How do we break through those barriers?”

“And so the question for me, over the course of my Presidency, during the course of this election, has always been, How do I strengthen the better angels of our nature? And how do we tamp down our tribal impulses?”

Trump had triumphed in rural America by appealing to a ferment of anti-urban, anti-coastal feeling. And yet Obama dismissed the notion that the Republicans had captured the issue of inequality. “The Republicans don’t care about that issue,” he said. “There’s no pretense that anything that they’re putting forward, any congressional proposals that are going to come forward, will reduce inequality. . . . What I do concern myself with, and the Democratic Party is going to have to concern itself with, is the fact that the confluence of globalization and technology is making the gap between rich and poor, the mismatch in power between capital and labor, greater all the time. And that’s true globally.

America is indeed a place where all things are possible: that is its greatest promise and, perhaps, its gravest peril.

Between the braces

The stuff inside the curly braces—the properties and values—that’s where the cosmetic problems get solved. It’s also the stuff that you can look up; I certainly don’t try to store all possible CSS properties and values in my head. It’s also easy to evaluate: Does it make the thing look like you want it to look? Yes? Good. It works.

The stuff outside the curly braces—the selectors—that’s harder to judge. It needs to be evaluated with lots of “what ifs”: What if this selects something you didn’t intend to? What if the markup changes? What if someone else writes some CSS that negates this?

Jesus Christ, this thread is frightening.

Fidel Castro is dead

Short of reading a full biography, this is about as thorough an obituary of Fidel Castro as you are likely to find.

Why I Left White Nationalism

When the most powerful demographic in the United States came together to assert that making America great again meant asserting their supremacy, they were asserting my supremacy.

Potential Conflicts Around the Globe for Trump, the Businessman President

Another question is, who will be responsible for security at the Trump Towers around the world, especially in the Middle East, which terrorism experts say may now become more appealing targets as symbols of American capitalism built in the name of the president?

It is so routine for developers to pay bribes at every step of the approval process that many bureaucrats have informal rate sheets showing exactly how much must be paid to each official.

There’s No Evidence Our Election Was Rigged

Reminder: Conspiracy theories about mass voter fraud exist primarily to influence legislation aimed at disenfranchising minority voters.

What Was the Nerd?

Hollywood in the 1980s worked hard to render social tensions invisible and project a safe and stable white suburban America (as opposed to urban hellscapes) whose travails were largely due to bureaucratic interference, whether through meddling high school principals like in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or the tyrannical EPA agents in Ghostbusters.

This epitomizes the key ideological gesture in all the films named here: the replacement of actual categories of social struggle and oppression with the concept of the jock-nerd struggle. The jock is forever cool, the nerd perennially oppressed. And revenge is always on the table and always justified. In the nerd’s very DNA is a mystification of black, queer, and feminist struggle: As a social character, the nerd exists to deny the significance (if not the existence) of race, class, and gender oppression.

Though the old cultural right still makes up much of Trump’s voting base, the intelligence-fetishizing “rationalists” of the new far right, keyboard warriors who love pedantic argument and rhetorical fallacies are the shock troops of the new fascism. These disgruntled nerds feel victimized by a thwarted meritocracy that has supposedly been torn down by SJWs and affirmative action.

The nerd/jock distinction has always been a myth designed to hide social conflict and culturally re-center white male subjectivity. Now that the nerds have fully arrived, their revenge looks uglier than anything the jocks ever dreamed.

Black Friday Sees Record-Breaking Gun Sales

With fear on a winning streak, the NRA can enjoy some downtime. They can finally get back to watching Red Dawn over and over again.

As American as Apple Pie? The Rural Vote’s Disproportionate Slice of Power

Today, states containing just 17 percent of the American population, a historic low, can theoretically elect a Senate majority, Dr. Lee said. The bias also shapes the House of Representatives.

Jeffersonian suspicion of big cities also appears in the sites of state capitals: Albany and not New York; Jefferson City and not St. Louis; Springfield and not Chicago. Political scientists at the University of California, Davis, have found that most state capitals were located near what was then the population centroid of each state — typically closer to the geographical center of the state, and not the place where the most people already lived, breaking with how much of the world sited its capitals.

The Electoral College then allocates votes according to a state’s congressional delegation: Wyoming (with one House representative and two senators) gets three votes; California (53 representatives and two senators) gets 55. Those two senators effectively give Wyoming three times more power in the Electoral College than its population would suggest. Apply the same math to California and it would have 159 Electoral College votes. And the entire state of Wyoming already has fewer residents than the average California congressional district.