November 23, 2016


“With eleven days to go, something amazing happened. The FBI’s director James Comey came out on a Friday and he said they may be reopening the investigation into Crooked Hillary’s emails. What that did was remind people that there are two different rules in Washington – those of the elites, and the privileged and those for everybody else.” -- Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski saying FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress in the final days of the election helped Trump win the election. 11/17/16

“I have a duty to tell the truth about Donald Trump. We cannot treat him like any other politician, or even like any other Republican, because he is not. He represents something much more dangerous. And while none of us want this to be the case, we have a duty to treat him like the threat he is – a threat to our values, a threat to our people, and a threat to our national identity.” --Rep. Ruben Gallego


“The Greeks have a word for the emerging Trump Administration: kakistocracy. The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as a ‘government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.’ Webster’s is simpler: ‘government by the worst people.'” -- Ryan Lizza

 The metaphor of the moment is that Donald Trump is the dog that caught up with the car.” -- James Hohmann 11/18/16

“Wel, I can imagine it in a ‘Saturday Night’ skit.”-- Barack Obama responding to Matt Lauer, who asked, “in no part of your mind and brain can you imagine Donald Trump standing up one day and delivering the State of the Union address?”

“We, sir — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.” -- Brandon Victor Dixon, who played Aaron Burr in the rap musical, of the smash Broadway hit Hamilton offering advice to Vice President-elect Mike Pence. 11/18/16

“Like [Andrew] Jackson’s populism, we’re going to build an entirely new political movement. It’s everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it’s the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution — conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement.” -- Stephen Bannon


“I am Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors.” -- Stephen Bannon comparing himself to Henry VIII’s chief minister and a prime driver of the English Reformation. Left unsaid: Cromwell ended up charged with treason and heresy, with his head displayed on a spike on London Bridge.

“Bravo President Trump!” --David Duke Thrilled Over Trump’s “Great” Picks Of Bannon, Flynn, And Session, “Our Side Is Empowered, Our Side Is Enthusiastic"

“Bringing Steve Bannon into the White House is an alarming signal that President-elect Trump remains committed to the hateful and divisive vision that defined his campaign.  There must be no sugarcoating the reality that a white nationalist has been named chief strategist for the Trump Administration.” -- Nancy Pelosi 11/19/16

“The time for whimpering, the time for whining, the time for crying is over. It is time to fight back. Are we clear on that?” — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) 11/18/16 

“I don’t give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do. We will not waterboard. We will not torture people… It doesn’t work.” Anyone who tries to resume torture, McCain said would find themselves in court “in a New York minute.” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) 11/19/16

"We will stand up to bigotry. No compromises on this one, ever. In all its forms, we will fight back against attacks on Latinos, African Americans, women, Muslims, immigrants disabled Americans—on anyone. Whether Donald Trump sits in a glass tower or sits in the White House, we will not give an inch on this." -- Elizabeth Warren 11/21/16

“Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!” -- YouTube Video of an alt-right conference in Washington, D.C., where Trump’s victory was met with cheers and Nazi salutes. 11/22/16

“The law’s totally on my side, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.” — Donald Trump, on whether his businesses will create a conflict of interest while he serves as president. 11/22/16



1. Fake News Wins
3. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)
4. From the Late Shows
5. Dear President-elect Trump
6. Repeal and Delay: The Republican Plan to Destroy Obamacare
7. Donald Trump thinks he can get away with anything. And he may be right
8. MarkFiore cartoon: Secretary of Deplorables
9. Disturbing tweets from Trump’s new National Security Adviser
10. Trump Builds Team to Bust the Status Quo
11. Trump’s Conflicts of Interest Are Without Precedent 
12. Late Nite Jokes
13. Hillary Clinton’s Popular Vote Lead Increases to Almost 1.7 Million 
14. Donald Trump Versus The Press 
15. More People Voted for Democrats
16. Trump Foundation Admits to ‘Self-Dealing’


1. Paul Waldman: Welcome to the Trump kleptocracy
2. Dana Milbank: Intraparty fratricide looms over the GOP
3. David Cay Johnston: America’s Enemies Cheer Donald Trump’s Bigoted Transition Team
4. Ronald Browstein: How the Election Revealed the Divide Between City and Country
5. Jonathan Chait: Donald Trump Building Team of Racists
6. Michael A. Cohen: I don’t want Trump to succeed. I want him to fail spectacularly.
7. Jamelle Bouie: Government by the Worst Men 
8. Ronald A. Klain: Trump’s big infrastructure plan? It’s a trap 
9. Erika D. Smith: Are you feeling guilty yet, Donald Trump supporters? 
10. Miami Herald Editorial: Climate change can’t be denied 
11. Paul Krugman: Build He Won’t 


1. Fake News Wins

Fake News Outperformed Real News Before Election: In the final critical three months of the US presidential campaign, the top-performing fake election news stories on Facebook generated more engagement than the top stories from major news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, NBC News, and others. 11/16/16

Fake News Writer Says He’s Responsible for Trump: Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore — I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it. 11/17/16

How Fake News Goes Viral: A Case Study: How a misinformed Twitter post the night after the presidential election fueled a nationwide conspiracy theory and became a talking point for a world leader — even as it was being proved false.

Google’s top news link for ‘final election results’ goes to a fake news site with false numbers

Fake and Misleading News Sites to Watch Out For:



I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky. I owed it to the great State of Kentucky for their confidence in me! -- Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump


Ford said it neither planned to close the Louisville, Ky., plant nor reduce jobs there. The company said it had considered moving Lincoln production to Mexico to increase production of the Ford Escape in Louisville. Ford Motor Co. executive chairman William Ford Jr.


“What people don’t realize is, because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke.” — Paul Ryan (R-WI) 11/10/16


Medicare certainly faces financial stress as the baby-boom generation begins to retire in full force, but it’s important to get the facts straight. It’s bad enough that Ryan, like many politicians, uses imprecise rhetoric such as “broke”; that’s a Two-Pinocchio violation. But the House speaker really went off the rails when he said on national television that Obamacare is making the program go broke. That’s the exact opposite of what happened. Four Pinocchios Washington Post Fact Checker

I watched parts of @nbcsnl Saturday Night Live last night. It is a totally one-sided, biased show - nothing funny at all. Equal time for us? -- Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump


...@realDonaldTrump Equal time? Election is over. There is no more equal time. Now u try 2 b Pres + ppl respond. That's pretty much it. ABFoundation✔ @alecbaldwin

3. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)

CNN’s Jake Tapper Exposes Trump Adviser Myron Ebell As Industry-Funded Climate Change Denier


Report: Fake News Outperformed Real News On Facebook During Home Stretch Of 2016 Campaign

Viral Lie About Denzel Washington Backing Trump Is The Perfect Illustration Of Facebook's Fake News Crisis

Fox News Peddles Misleading Deficit Hysteria To Undercut Obama’s Economic Record. Confused Fox & Friends Host Claims Trump Is Not Inheriting “A Healthy Economy” From President Obama

Limbaugh Compares Hamilton Cast To Abraham Lincoln’s Assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Rush Limbaugh: “These Guys In Hamilton Are Following In What I'm Sure They Consider To Be A Rich Tradition” Of "Attacking Republican Elected Officials In Theaters"


4. From the Late Shows

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: President-elect Trump's Prospective Administration Of Deplorables

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Donald Trump Transition Turmoil: A Closer Look

SNL Cold Open: Donald Trump Prepares

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Trump's "Hamilton" Feud Distracts from Conflicts of Interest: A Closer Look

5. Dear President-elect Trump

You promised to:

• amass a deportation force to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants

• ban the entry of Muslims and institute aggressive surveillance programs targeting them

• restrict a woman’s right to abortion services

• reauthorize waterboarding and other forms of torture

• change our nation’s libel laws and restrict freedom of expression

These proposals are not simply unAmerican and wrong-headed. They are unlawful and unconstitutional, and would violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, as well as other statutes and international treaties. -- Anthony D. Romero Executive Director American Civil Liberties Union. Read more at


6. Repeal and Delay: The Republican Plan to Destroy Obamacare

Health care coverage is a relatively straightforward problem of resource allocation. Tens of millions of Americans can’t pay for the health care they need, because they either have low incomes or expensive medical needs. There are many different ways to fill in the gap between what they need and what they can afford on their own. You can do it through straight taxes and spending. Or you can do it through regulation, forcing insurers to charge healthy customers more than they cost so they can charge the unhealthy ones less. Obamacare uses both of these methods. Republicans oppose both of them.

The Republican approach involves endless rhetoric about “choice,” “competition,” “markets,” “patient-centric” care, and so on. But none of these concepts has the magic power to conjure resources out of thin air. So when Republicans design alternative plans, and they have sketched out quite a few, inevitably they just provide fewer resources. The most popular concepts among Republicans involve allowing insurers to charge less to young or healthy customers, and to require them to cover fewer essential benefits. Of course, you can save money for young and sick people by letting them buy skimpier plans. But that just shifts the cost of care onto the old and sick. 11/17/16


7. Donald Trump thinks he can get away with anything. And he may be right

It’s becoming clearer with each passing day of this presidential transition that like so much of what he said during the campaign, Donald Trump’s promise to separate himself from his business during his presidency was simply a lie. The convenient fiction that Trump offered up is that his children would run the corporation on his behalf as a “blind trust,” which is like referring to a plate of steamed kale as a “hamburger.”

Now, as Trump works to monetize the presidency for his own financial gain like some post-Soviet kleptocrat, we have to look back to the campaign to understand why he’s doing this.There’s a simple explanation: Donald Trump thinks he can get away with anything. -- By Paul Waldman 11/22/16. Read more at

8. MarkFiore cartoon: Secretary of Deplorables

9. Disturbing tweets from Trump’s new National Security Adviser

Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL: please forward this to others: the truth fears no questions... General Flynn@GenFlynn Feb 2016

We need leaders in our country 2 tell the truth abt these barbarians. This isn't normal & we can't allow it to become normal. We can win! General Flynn@GenFlynn Jun 2016

In next 24 hours, I dare Arab & Persian world "leaders" to step up to the plate and declare their Islamic ideology sick and must B healed. General Flynn@GenFlynn Jul 2016

Turkey’s PM Erdogan: The term “moderate Islam” is ugly and offensive — Islam is Islam General Flynn@GenFlynn Aug 2016

CIA Director SHOCKS Obama & CONFIRMS That Trump Was RIGHT About Muslim Refugees  via @yesimright1 General Flynn@GenFlynn Aug 2016


10. Trump builds team to overturn decades of bipartisan consensus

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s hard-line selections served notice that he intends not only to reverse eight years of liberal domestic policies but also to overturn decades of bipartisan consensus on the United States’ proper role in world affairs.

Mr. Trump is moving quickly to realize his campaign’s promise of a nation that relentlessly enforces immigration and drug laws; views Muslims with deep suspicion; second-guesses post-World War II alliances; and sends suspected terrorists to Guantánamo Bay or C.I.A. secret prisons to be interrogated with methods that have been banned as torture. 11/19/16. Read more at


11. Trump’s Conflicts of Interest Are Without Precedent

Donald Trump’s stunning victory will force the United States to confront a series of never-before-seen entanglements over the president’s private business, debts and rocky financial history.

No laws prohibit Trump from involving himself in his private company, the Trump Organization, while serving in the highest public office.

And Trump has so far resisted the long-standing presidential tradition of giving his holdings to an independent manager, stoking worries of conflicts of interests over his businesses’ many financial and foreign ties. 11/19/16 . Read more at


12. Late Nite Jokes

"President Obama was in Greece today and he visited the ancient Greek Acropolis. Obama said, 'I wanted to get used to seeing a once-great democracy in ruins.'" –Conan O'Brien

"Experts say one of the biggest threats facing Donald Trump's presidency could be North Korea. Evidently, Kim Jong Un is so incompetent and unstable, they're worried Trump will give him a Cabinet post." –Conan O'Brien

"President-elect Donald Trump is in the process of building his Cabinet right now and it's going to be a solid gold Cabinet full of all the finest snacks. This is kind of nutty. One of the names on Trump's short list for attorney general is Senator Ted Cruz. Who, of course, was Trump's bitter rival on the campaign trail. This is going to be like if Tupac hired Biggie to be his head of security." –Jimmy Kimmel

"The mayor of London said recently that if people based in the U.S. want to escape Donald Trump's administration, quote, 'London is open.' Said Melania, 'Taxi!'" –Seth Meyers

"President Obama actually said yesterday that if things get better under President Trump, he'll be the first to congratulate him. Well, technically, he'll be the second because Trump will congratulate himself first." –Jimmy Fallon

"Donald Trump has reportedly asked for his adult children to get top-level security clearance so that they can see classified documents and explain them to him. Trump is trying to get top-secret security clearance for his kids, which explains why today Vladimir Putin asked Trump to adopt him." Jimmy Fallon

"President-elect Trump tweeted that he would have won the popular vote if he had campaigned more in New York, Florida, and California. Trump explained, 'I just got tired and ran out of terrible things to say.'" –Conan O'Brien

"It was reported that Trump's team was unaware that they needed to replace the entire West Wing staff. Trump's team basically thought the White House was like a Best Buy that occasionally gets a new store manager." –James Corden

"Former President George W. Bush announced that he and his wife, Laura, went to an animal shelter last week and welcomed their new dog, Freddy, into their family. Yeah, apparently even the Bush family needed an emotional support dog after that election." –James Corden

"High school students across the country walked out of class today in protest of Donald Trump. Which is weird, since he's living proof that you can do none of your homework and still become president." –Seth Meyers

13. Hillary Clinton’s Popular Vote Lead Increases to Almost 1.7 Million

Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote over President-elect Donald Trump keeps growing and currently stands at 1.677 million votes. On Election Day, Clinton received 63,541,056 votes compared with Trump’s 61,864,015 while other candidates received 7,034,595 votes, according to the latest numbers published by the Cook Political Report. So far the numbers show Clinton obtained 48 percent of the popular vote, compared with Trump’s 46.7 percent.

The numbers mean that Clinton’s lead in the popular vote is, so far at least, much greater than Al Gore’s advantage when he won the most number of votes but still did not become president. In 2000, Gore received 50,996,582 votes compared with 50,456,062 for George W. Bush—an advantage of 540,520 votes. 11/20/16 . Read more at

14. Donald Trump Versus The Press

The fantasy of the normalization of Donald Trump—the idea that a demagogic candidate would somehow be transformed into a statesman of poise and deliberation after his Election Day victory—should now be a distant memory, an illusion shattered.

First came the obsessive Twitter rants directed at “Hamilton” and “Saturday Night Live.” Then came Monday’s astonishing aria of invective and resentment aimed at the media, delivered in a conference room on the twenty-fifth floor of Trump Tower. In the presence of television executives and anchors, Trump whined about everything from NBC News reporter Katy Tur’s coverage of him to a photograph the news network has used that shows him with a double chin. Why didn’t they use “nicer” pictures?

For more than twenty minutes, Trump railed about “outrageous” and “dishonest” coverage. When he was asked about the sort of “fake news” that now clogs social media, Trump replied that it was the networks that were guilty of spreading fake news. The “worst,” he said, were CNN (“liars!”) and NBC.

This is where we are. The President-elect does not care who knows how unforgiving or vain or distracted he is. This is who he is, and this is who will be running the executive branch of the United States government for four years. 11/22/16 . Read more at


15. More People Voted for Democrats

More Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump. More Americans voted for Democratic Senate candidates than for Republican Senate candidates. And while we don’t have final numbers yet, it looks likely that more Americans will have voted for House Democrats than for House Republicans.”

So why aren’t Democrats acting like it? Why aren’t they trying to force Republicans, the media, and the emergent Trump White House to act like it?

This is not an argument that the election was rigged, nor that Trump’s win is somehow illegitimate. The president is chosen by the Electoral College. The Senate is built to favor small states. Gerrymandering is legal. America does not decide national elections by simply tallying up votes. But the will of the voters still matters, or at least it should. -- Ezra Klein 11/22/16 . Read more at

16. Trump Foundation Admits to ‘Self-Dealing’

President-elect Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has admitted to the IRS that it violated a legal prohibition against “self-dealing,” which bars nonprofit leaders from using their charity’s money to help themselves, their businesses or their families.. -- David A. Fahrenthold 11/22/16. Read more at


1. Paul Waldman: Welcome to the Trump kleptocracy

Anti-nepotism laws prevent Trump from giving his family members jobs in the administration. But don’t think that’s going to stop them from being active participants in U.S. government decision-making, or using the fact that Trump is president to keep money flowing in. In fact, we could see the president enriching himself and his family on a scale that we normally associate with post-Soviet kleptocrats and Third World dictators.

The irony is that so many of Trump’s supporters believed his preposterous claim that he would be the one to banish corruption from Washington, that he’d “drain the swamp” and send that crooked establishment packing. He’ll do nothing of the sort, of course; his transition team is drowning in corporate lobbyists, and among his first priorities are cutting taxes for the wealthy and removing oversight from Wall Street. But that’s standard Republican fare; what’s different and probably unprecedented is the way Trump will increase his fortune by hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars while he’s president. 11/16/16 . Read more at


2. Dana Milbank: Intraparty fratricide looms over the GOP

“We’re on the same page with our president-elect,” Paul Ryan said this week.

If he believes that, the young House speaker may be in need of a pair of Foster Grants.

On Wednesday afternoon, House Republicans from the hard-line Freedom Caucus assembled for the first time since the election for the monthly “Conversations with Conservatives.” In one hour, they served up enough intra-GOP disputes to last four years.

Carved on the moderator’s lectern was an eagle and “E Pluribus Unum” seal. If Wednesday was any indication, the motto may become “E Pluribus Chaos.”

On suspicion that Ryan will “clean the barn” for Trump by pushing through new spending before Trump takes office: Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) warned Ryan not to “come back” from his conversations with Trump “with a whole bunch of garbage that we’re not going to like.”

Maybe they are on the same page — but in different hymnals.. Read more at


3. David Cay Johnston: America’s Enemies Cheer Donald Trump’s Bigoted Transition Team

Putin wants to weaken American influence as he tries to rebuild the old Soviet empire into the new Russia. In Trump he has an ally, the candidate having denied that Russia invaded Ukraine and seized Crimea and also praising Putin again and again as a “great leader.”

Reinforcing anti-American hatred by appointing bigots like Bannon and Gaffney, and purging Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican with a reputation for dealing in facts about the Muslim world, only gives aid and comfort to Putin and his expansionist plots.

And, there is joy in the Great Hall of the People, where the nine communist thugs who govern China are already at work trying to tilt the balance of power in the Pacific Rim from Washington to Beijing.

Trump steadily attacked the Trans Pacific Partnership, a deeply flawed trade agreement of which I have been a consistent critic. Trump promises to tear up existing trade deals, notably the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and likely the South Korean trade deal that President Obama signed.

Beijing’s emissaries are already at work selling their own plan on trade. It is not a plan based on Trump’s mercantilist ideas—tariffs and starting trade wars—but on building profitable alliances.

There’s a reason those looking to reduce American influence in Muslim nations, to recruit more terrorists, to rebuild the old Soviet empire and to expand Chinese influence in the Pacific Rim and Southern Asia are all heartened to see that the new Trump is the same as the old one. He’s making their work easier. 11/17/16 . Read more at


4. Ronald Browstein: How the Election Revealed the Divide Between City and Country

The earthquake that elected Donald Trump has left the United States approaching 2020 with a political landscape reminiscent of 1920.

Not since then has the cultural chasm between urban and non-urban America shaped the struggle over the country’s direction as much as today. Of all the overlapping generational, racial, and educational divides that explained Trump’s stunning upset over Hillary Clinton last week, none proved more powerful than the distance between the Democrats’ continued dominance of the largest metropolitan areas, and the stampede toward the GOP almost everywhere else.

Trump’s victory was an empire-strikes-back moment for all the places and voters that feel left behind in an increasingly diverse, post-industrial, and urbanized America. Squeezing bigger margins from smaller places, Trump overcame a tide of resistance in the largest metropolitan areas that allowed Clinton to carry the national popular vote, but not the decisive Electoral College.

This election thus carved a divide between cities and non-metropolitan areas as stark as American politics has produced since the years just before and after 1920. That year marked a turning point: It was the first time the Census recorded that more people lived in urban than non-urban areas. That tangible sense of shifting influence triggered a series of political and social conflicts between big cities teeming with immigrants, many of them Catholic, and small towns and rural communities that remained far more homogeneously, white, native-born, and Protestant.

Several big city mayors are already promising to fight Trump’s plan to accelerate deportations of undocumented immigrants, while other collisions with urban attitudes loom over his pledges to loosen gun laws and tighten surveillance of Muslim communities. The chasm between town and country that this election exposed will only widen as the already tumultuous Trump presidency unfolds. 11/17/16. Read more at

5. Jonathan Chait: Donald Trump Building Team of Racists

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign bludgeoned modern norms about the acceptability of racism. The candidate proposed a religious test for immigrants, and called a federal judge unfit on the grounds of his heritage. Trump could have decided to put the racial demagoguery of the campaign behind him, and it could have been remembered as a divisive ploy to win that did not define his administration, like George Bush’s manipulation of white racial panic to defeat Michael Dukakis in 1988. But Trump, perhaps predictably, is making a different choice. His early staffing choices are redefining the boundaries of acceptable racial discourse in Republican politics.

The singular belief that lies at the core of Trump’s new national security adviser Michael Flynn’s worldview is indiscriminate hatred of Islam. George W. Bush’s administration took pains to distinguish terrorists who use Islam to justify murder from the peaceful majority. Since then, most Republicans have adopted the irresponsible talking point that it is essential to use the words “radical Islam” rather than phrasing calculated to win over Muslim moderates. Flynn, the anti-islamist ex-general, takes this reasoning several steps further. He openly endorses indiscriminate fear of the entire religion.

Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, has attracted perhaps the most controversy. That Bannon’s ex-wife has testified to his hatred of Jews has attracted a great deal of attention, but this fact both over- and understates the racial nature of his beliefs. Bannon’s journalistic work is centrally dedicated to the task of refashioning conservatism along white-identity lines. His publication, Breitbart News, has promoted the “alt-right.” Breitbart itself defines the alt-right as a more intelligent version of skinheads:

With Jeff Sessions — a man who in almost every respect is still living in the 1980s, if not some earlier decades of U.S. and Alabama history — at the top of the law-enforcement machinery of the federal government, criminal-justice reform in Washington is probably dead for the foreseeable future. It is unclear if Trump understands appointing Sessions is going to be a real obstacle to his proclaimed goal of winning 95 percent of the African-American vote in 2020. But we all need to understand that Trump’s decision to make Sessions the beneficiary of one of his very first cabinet appointments should be the death knell for any naïve hopes the new administration would create mind-bending bipartisan coalitions. Trump is turning back the clock in a big hurry. 11/17/16. Read more at


6. Michael A. Cohen: I don’t want Trump to succeed. I want him to fail spectacularly.

Between now and Jan. 20, when Donald Trump takes the oath of office as America’s 45th president, many Americans will wish for him to be a successful president.

Not me.

I don’t want Trump to succeed. I want him to fail spectacularly.

Success for Trump means normalizing the ascendancy of Stephen Bannon to a position of extraordinary political power within the halls of the White House. Under Bannon, the right-wing Breitbart News became the forum for white nationalists, Islamophobes, misogynists, and anti-Semites. You hear lots of people talking about the need for Americans to come together over the next few weeks and months. But how, as a Jewish-American, am I supposed to “come together” with a president who holds me in such disrespect that he appoints an anti-Semite to a position of such political power? I can’t, and I won’t.

What gives me fleeting hope is the knowledge that millions of Americans — a majority even — feel as I do. They are angry. They are scared for the future. They are holding their children just a little tighter and perhaps looking over their shoulders in ways they hadn’t done before. Like me, these Americans want Trump to fail. They want him to be rejected and have his ugly vision of American defeated. For many of them, Trump’s success is an existential threat.

During the campaign — at the same time that I was habitually wrong about the outcome of the election — I wrote repeatedly of the direct threat that Trump represented to our democracy. My fear is as palpable today as it was then. If Trump wants to take back the terrible things he said during the campaign or moderate his positions or even accept his own limitations, I’ll be the first to applaud it. But barring such an event, what America needs today is not acquiescence to Trump, but impassioned, principled, and consistent opposition. That will be my charge for the next four years. 11/15/16 Read more at


7. Jamelle Bouie: Government by the Worst Men

You would have grifters and cronies and unqualified loyalists, but what else? What does it mean for someone to be the worst, and what does it mean for those people to have the reins of power?

After this presidential transition, we are going to find out. Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump said he would hire “the best people” to staff his administration. If “best people” means experienced politicians, dedicated experts, or even skilled businesspeople, then he’s stretching the truth. Few people with those qualifications are on board for an appointment to the Trump White House. But if “best people” means the hangers-on of the Trump campaign—the white nationalists, petty authoritarians, and conspiracy-mongers—then we’re on target.

Thus far, to staff his administration, Trump has chosen a white nationalist provocateur; an anti-Muslim conspiracy-monger; and an apologist for a regressive, anti-black politics (and this is before we get to potential appointee Rudy Giuliani, who embodies many of Flynn’s and Sessions’ worst qualities). These are “the worst people,” yes. But they also represent a coherent ideology and perspective: white nationalism.

The thread that ties Bannon’s alt-right advocacy to Flynn’s clash-of-civilizations worldview to Sessions’ skeptical eye toward civil rights enforcement is a belief in the political and cultural dominance of white Americans. Their America isn’t a tapestry or a melting pot; it is simply white. Judging from the presence of men such as Bannon and Sessions, we should expect a Trump administration to roll back any progress this country has made toward inclusion and participation. We should also expect it to empower states to pursue discriminatory policy on voting, to empower local police departments to operate with impunity against communities of color, and to empower those who see Muslims—citizens or otherwise—as threats to contain or eliminate.

As we step into this world—as we enter the age of kakistocracy—we should remember one thing. This isn’t a departure from Trump’s populism. It’s the foundation of it. This is what Trump campaigned on. It’s what he promised. And millions of Americans either wanted it or were willing to look past it. For the targets and victims of Trump’s administration, there’s not much of a difference there. Whether his voters wanted this or didn’t, Trumpism is what they’ve wrought and what America will have to reckon with for generations to come. 11/19/16 Read more at


8. Ronald A. Klain: Trump’s big infrastructure plan? It’s a trap

As the White House official responsible for overseeing implementation of President Obama’s massive infrastructure initiative, the 2009 Recovery Act, I’ve got a simple message for Democrats who are embracing President-elect Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan: Don’t do it. It’s a trap. Backing Trump’s plan is a mistake in policy and political judgment they will regret, as did their Democratic predecessors who voted for Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts in 1981 and George W. Bush’s cuts in 2001.

First, Trump’s plan is not really an infrastructure plan. It’s a tax-cut plan for utility-industry and construction-sector investors, and a massive corporate welfare plan for contractors. The Trump plandoesn’t directly fund new roads, bridges, water systems or airports, as did Hillary Clinton’s 2016 infrastructure proposal. Instead, Trump’s plan provides tax breaks to private-sector investors who back profitable construction projects. These projects (such as electrical grid modernization or energy pipeline expansion) might already be planned or even underway. There’s no requirement that the tax breaks be used for incremental or otherwise expanded construction efforts; they could all go just to fatten the pockets of investors in previously planned projects.

Moreover, as others have noted, desperately needed infrastructure projects that are not attractive to private investors — municipal water-system overhauls, repairs of existing roads, replacement of bridges that do not charge tolls — get no help from Trump’s plan. And contractors? Well, they get a “10 percent pretax profit margin,” according to the plan. Combined with Trump’s sweeping business tax break, this would represent a stunning $85 billion after-tax profit for contractors — underwritten by the taxpayers. 11/19/16. Read more at

9. Erika D. Smith: Are you feeling guilty yet, Donald Trump supporters?

What we have in effect now is the Pottery Barn Rule, made famous by former Secretary of State Colin Powell in his talks with then-President George W. Bush about the consequences of invading Iraq. “You break it, you own it.”

You had your reasons for voting for Trump and for cherry-picking what you wanted to believe about him, based on his sketchy personal history and the divisive drivel of his campaign speeches. But by making that choice, you also have unleashed a fusillade of hate, as he goes about appointing semi-competent ideologues to egg on the racists in our midst and do all the things you thought Trump would never do.

Remember that if internment camps and a national registry for Muslim immigrants ever become reality. Or when your child comes home from school recounting how his Latina classmate with undocumented parents left the cafeteria crying because other students were chanting “build the wall.”

Or when someone spray paints a swastika and “Make America Great Again” on the side of your Jewish neighbor’s house. Or when a transgender co-worker gets attacked by men shouting “Trump” while walking home one night.

You are responsible for that, too, because you helped put Trump in the powerfully influential position of president of the United States. It’s enough to give anyone who isn’t racist, transphobic or xenophobic a bad case of buyer’s remorse. But don’t expect me or anyone else likely to bear the brunt of the Trump administration’s policies to care.

Sorry, but I’m done assuaging your guilt. 11/19/16. Read more at


10. Miami Herald Editorial: Climate change can’t be denied

In a way, it’s a shame that President-elect Donald Trump’s resort here is located in Doral, rather than Miami Beach. If his property were closer to the water, we might be able to say: Welcome to our world, Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump said during the campaign that climate change is a hoax. But no amount of denial can shield those of us who live and work here, or visitors, from the visible impact of rising seas. Flooded streets are not a hoax. Just ask the folks in Miami Beach, who have to navigate underwater neighborhoods with increasing frequency.

But don’t feel too smug if your home or business (or golf course) is located safely on the mainland. The rising water is coming your way — to Doral and to every other part of Florida close to the ocean. Even in a post-truth world, as some have called the new era of make-believe “information,” only the most obtuse would deny that the long-feared effects of climate change have arrived in our peninsular paradise.

So come on down to our beaches, Mr. Trump — preferably during a full moon, at king tide. It might awaken you to the scary truth. You would see how beaches narrow, if not altogether vanish, when the tide comes in. How streets that used to stay safely dry are now chronically in danger of flooding. How the ocean is creeping in.

You might just discover that climate change isn’t a hoax, after all. In the process, you might go from climate change denier to climate change realist. From ignoring the peril to our planet to helping heal the planet. 11/19/16 . Read more at

11. Paul Krugman: Build He Won’t

And we already know enough about his infrastructure plan to suggest, strongly, that it’s basically fraudulent, that it would enrich a few well-connected people at taxpayers’ expense while doing very little to cure our investment shortfall. Progressives should not associate themselves with this exercise in crony capitalism.

To understand what’s going on, it may be helpful to start with what we should be doing. The federal government can indeed borrow very cheaply; meanwhile, we really need to spend money on everything from sewage treatment to transit. The indicated course of action, then, is simple: borrow at those low, low rates, and use the funds raised to fix what needs fixing.

But that’s not what the Trump team is proposing. Instead, it’s calling for huge tax credits: billions of dollars in checks written to private companies that invest in approved projects, which they would end up owning. For example, imagine a private consortium building a toll road for $1 billion. Under the Trump plan, the consortium might borrow $800 million while putting up $200 million in equity — but it would get a tax credit of 82 percent of that sum, so that its actual outlays would only be $36 million. And any future revenue from tolls would go to the people who put up that $36 million.

Cronyism and self-dealing are going to be the central theme of this administration — in fact, Mr. Trump is already meeting with foreigners to promote his business interests. And people who value their own reputations should take care to avoid any kind of association with the scams ahead. 11/21/16. Read more at