When Will the Lone Star State Turn Blue? Q&A with Lawrence Wright

California and Texas, the two biggest states, are both 39 percent Latino. Hillary Clinton got 62 percent of the vote in California, and 43 percent in Texas. In California, Democrats hold all the statewide offices. In Texas it’s been the opposite for a long time. Obviously demography doesn’t explain the difference between the two states. How do you explain the political differences?  I asked Pulitzer-prize winner Lawrence Wright–he lives in Austin. 4-27-18

James Comey’s Self-Regard: in “A Higher Loyalty”

The climax of James Comey’s long-awaited book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadershipis a vivid and totally believable account of his infamous one-on-one dinner with Donald Trump. On what was clearly the most important night of his life, the moment when his lifelong study of ethicist and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr comes to fruition, Comey is asked to pledge his loyalty—and he refuses.
at, 4/23/2018

Thomas Frank: Trump Could Win the 2020 Election–But we can stop him

It’s really simple. Unemployment is extremely low right now. The economy is booming. He could succeed the way Bill Clinton did. . .
There’s really only one set of successful politics for an age like this one: It’s the politics that we identify with the party of Lyndon Johnson, the party of the New Deal. What Trump has offered is a kind of weird replica of that. But as I have said many times, the real thing would beat the fake., 4/20/2018

The FBI Raid on the Michael Cohen’s Law Office: An ‘Attack on Our Country,’ or an Example of the Rule of Law? The ACLU’s David Cole explains the difference.

. . . JW: Working for the president doesn’t get you immunity if you’ve committed a crime.
DC: That’s right. If in fact there was not probable cause and the magistrate should not have issued the warrant, that issue can be litigated. But this is the way the law is supposed to work. It’s not an attack on our country; the president, by attacking the ordinary process of the rule of law when it applies to him, is the one who’s engaged in an attack.
. . . continued at  4/12/2018

Should Ivanka be Indicted? Q&A with Amy Wilentz.

Jon Wiener: Ivanka is connected pretty directly to events at the center of the Russiagate investigations. Where do you think the strongest case could be made that she committed a crime?
Amy Wilentz: Possibly it’s the cover-up from the meeting on Air Force One after that fabled meeting in Trump Tower with the Russian lawyer. On Air Force One, the Trump team, including the president and Jared Kushner and Ivanka, crafted a message to the media saying that the Trump Tower meeting was largely about Russian adoptions and had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. Of course, we subsequently learned it was all about a promise of dirt on Hillary from the Russians. 3/23/18


Jasper Johns at the Broad: the New York Review

A complaint about the Jasper Johns show at the Broad Museum in LA: they hung his gorgeous “Summer,” part of his “Seasons” series of 1985-86, all wrong.
Johns’s paintings of the Eighties displayed “a new engagement with death, one that deepened amid the first awful years of the AIDS epidemic.” . . .
continued at the New York Review:  HERE 

A forgotten hero stopped the My Lai massacre 50 years ago today:
LA Times op-ed

Everybody’s heard of the My Lai massacre — March 16, 1968, 50 years ago today — but not many know about the man who stopped it: Hugh Thompson, an Army helicopter pilot. When he arrived, American soldiers had already killed 504 Vietnamese civilians (that’s the Vietnamese count; the U.S. Army said 347). They were going to kill more, but they didn’t — because of what Thompson did. . . .
. . . continued at HERE

Robert Reich: It’s Time to Fight for the Common Good

Jon Wiener: There’s a familiar Republican argument against the idea of the common good: It’s my responsibility to do what’s best for me and my family. It’s your responsibility to take care of yourself. If you have problems, health problems or job problems or family problems, that’s too bad—but it’s not my problem. The state should not force me to pay for your problems. You should take responsibility for yourself. I think you’ve probably heard this argument.
Robert Reich: I’ve heard it for a very long time. It’s absurd. . . 3/16/2018