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Books, Literature & Ideas

How Trump Brought the Political Media Class to Its Knees

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Members of the White House Press Corps head to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base on November 3rd to follow Trump to Asia. By Jim watson/AFP/Getty Images.

  • Trump and his team understand that for the political press, the only thing that matters is what’s happening right now, not yesterday. And whether through his tweets or his surrogates in the briefing room, the president has been largely able to bait reporters into playing his game, because he knows what makes them tick.   
  • Related: The Media Needs To Stop Rationalizing President Trump’s Behavior

Peter Hamby,  Vanity Fair  / Rise Up Times 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Fake-News-400x255.jpg November 6, 2017 | The political media has failed to reckon with its biggest, most enduring challenge, which it has nothing to do with revenue or audience growth or cord-cutters. The political press is facing a crisis of substance—and it’s not just poisoning the public’s perception of journalism, it’s playing right into Trump’s hands.

The White House briefing room was constructed in 1969, a begrudging accommodation by Richard Nixon to give quarter to a growing phalanx of reporters assigned to cover the daily workings of a White House in war time. The room was placed on top of a small, indoor pool that was originally built for Franklin Roosevelt, who swam laps for therapy. John F. Kennedy was later rumored to have used the same pool for more prurient activities. It’s still under there today, albeit unfilled. If a trapdoor opened beneath Sarah Huckabee Sanders during her daily televised briefing, she would tumble directly into what was once the deep end.

Peter Hamby is the host of Snapchat’s “Good Luck America.”

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The Media Needs To Stop Rationalizing President Trump’s Behavior, Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight
https://img.thedailybeast.com/image/upload/c_crop,d_placeholder_euli9k,h_1440,w_2560,x_0,y_0/dpr_2.0/c_limit,w_740/fl_lossy,q_auto/v1507386774/171007-reid-trump-fatigue-hero_gwipf4  Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

  • His outburst on Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico shows that not everything is a clever ploy to rally his base.
  • Related: From the Archives | World Class Journalist Spills the Beans, Admits Mainstream Media is Completely Fake.

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No Peace! No Justice!  Please share this post.

My Christian manifesto for surviving dark times

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Illumination," Mary Southard, CSJ/www.MarySouthardArt.Org/LaGrange Park, IL 60526-1721 (Used with permission)

  • Sometimes our part to play means speaking truth to power and risking our lives, as did so many courageous religious leaders last weekend (Charlottesville, VA). And maybe then — Trump and company notwithstanding — God's new reign of justice and peace will dawn at last.
  • Related: Charlottesville and Trump: A spiritual exercise for the overwhelmed and exhausted

Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter

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Aug 15, 2017 | OK, so I haven't been in the greatest personal space lately. Maybe it's because I had a knee replacement in the middle of June followed by intensive and — thanks to long-suffering physical therapists — successful rehab. But I had little energy for anything besides watching cable news and HGTV reruns on the oh-so-appropriately-named boob tube.

I felt internally "flat" and missed the quiet sense of God within. This is always painful, since I tend to focus on everything that is wrong with me, with U.S. policy, and with the universe. Maybe it was anesthesia after-burn but I suspect there is more to it.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Christine%20Schenk.jpgChristine Schenk served urban families for 18 years as a nurse midwife before co-founding FutureChurch, where she served for 23 years. She holds master's degrees in nursing and theology.

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Charlottesville and Trump: A spiritual exercise for the overwhelmed and exhausted, Jim McDermott, America

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Two people comfort Joseph Culver of Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12 as he kneels at a late night vigil to pay his respects for a friend injured in a car attack on counter-protesters rallying against white nationalists. (CNS photo/Jim Bourg, Reuters)

Each new day finds us inundated with more data, the latest takes and the prospect of another crisis.
How do you continue to “bear witness” when every three or four days there is another crisis?

Donald Trump and America’s Moral Crises

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[Credit: Anthony Frieda.]

  • Will Scientific and Theological Ignorance, Moral Blindness and Historical Illiteracy Triumph?
  • Related: Chris Hedges | We Are All Deplorables

Gary G. Kohls, Duty to Warn

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Classical%20Statue%20Head%20in%20Hand_1.jpg August 14, 2017 | On the eve of the anniversary of the United State’s nuclear annihilation of the Christian community of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, Donald Trump threatened the nuclear destruction of North Korea (including the deaths of thousands or millions of innocents) in ways more devastating than even the nuclear annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
 
The multibillionaire Donald J. Trump, being an over-privileged “Golden Boy” son of a multimillionaire, a narcissist, a sexual predator, a serial liar and an exploitive casino mogul with mob connections, was probably destined to become historically, theologically, morally and scientifically illiterate. It would have been very unusual for someone growing up in that trajectory to turn out otherwise.

Gary G. Kohls is a retired physician who writes about issues of war, peace, justice, mental health and nonviolence and feels it is important to mix religion and non-partisan politics. 

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We Are All Deplorables, Chris Hedges, Truthdig

  • Liberals have no moral authority to preach to a dispossessed white working class about racism, multiculturalism, identity politics or diversity. The abject failure by liberals to fight for economic justice triggered the protofascist backlash embodied by Donald Trump’s election victory.
  • Related: Dan Rather Just Released Heartbreaking Statement Against Trump

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‘The Middle’ Doesn’t Always Equal ‘True’

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  • The assumption that truth always lies somewhere in “the middle” is actually a logical fallacy called the “middle ground fallacy.”
  • Related: How America Lost Its Mind

 

Daniel Lattier, Intellectual Takeout

May 23, 2017 | We live in an age in which our media frequently frames issues up as a choice between two extremes.

In such an age, it’s tempting for those who consider themselves educated to consistently take the via media—the “middle way”—and to assume that the truth always amounts to a balanced compromise between the two sides of a debate. In such an age, it becomes cool to be a centrist.

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/styles/medium/public/dan.jpg?itok=k0Nk_o0- Daniel Lattier is the Vice President of Intellectual Takeout. He received his B.A. in Philosophy and Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas (MN), and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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How America Lost Its Mind, Kurt Andersen, The Atlantic 

https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/2017/07/WEL_Andersen_Opener/lead_960.jpg?1501100297R. Kikuo Johnson

  • The nation’s current post-truth moment is the ultimate expression of mind-sets that have made America exceptional throughout its history.
  • This article has been adapted from Kurt Andersen’s book Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire—A 500-Year History, to be published in September by Random House.
  • Related: America's Embrace of Willful Ignorance

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