Archive

June 16th, 2016

We're out and proud - especially after Orlando.

    I woke up Sunday morning to the horrible, alarmingly common news of an incident of gun violence and terrorism. But this one was different: The shooter's target was the LGBT community. I learned about the incident as I was getting ready to march in Philadelphia's Gay Pride Parade. I never questioned whether I would march, but it took me hours to realize why.

    The thousands of people who gathered for the Philadelphia parade were joyous, not sober, even as news began to stream out: The Orlando shooting left 50 dead, 53 more wounded and was now the worse mass shouting in U.S. history.

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Two wins for gun control buck the U.S. legal trend

    Gun-rights advocates have been on a roll, as lower courts building on Supreme Court jurisprudence have subjected gun control laws to heightened scrutiny.

    But last week, the trend stalled. One appeals court upheld laws against carrying concealed guns in two California counties. Another stayed the judgment of a lower court that had struck down Washington, D.C.'s concealed-carry restrictions, signaling it would probably reach a different result. The changed momentum suggests that localities may not lose the ability to regulate concealed handguns - at least for now.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit validated concealed-carry bans in San Diego and Yolo counties. Like many such laws, they require an applicant to show "good cause" to the county sheriff to get permission to carry a concealed handgun.

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Trump just banned the Washington Post from covering him; that's bad for democracy repeating to correct slug

    Donald Trump announced via Facebook Monday afternoon that he has decided to ban the Washington Post from covering his presidential campaign:

    "Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post."

    Trump expanded on that in a statement released Monday night. Here it is, in full:

    "The Washington Post unfortunately covers Mr. Trump very inaccurately. Today's headline, 'Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando Shooting' is a perfect example. We no longer feel compelled to work with a publication which has put its need for "clicks" above journalistic integrity.

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Trump bluster about radical Islam helps radical Islam

    If past is prelude, then the massacre in Orlando this weekend will benefit Donald Trump's campaign for the presidency. As the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has boasted, he gained significant support in December when a husband-and-wife Jihadist duo shot up a government building in San Bernardino, California.

    Now Trump is crowing. His tweets and interviews since the shooting are a series of told-ya-so's. He is quite pleased with himself for observing that President Barack Obama doesn't call these mass shootings "radical Islamic terrorism."

    For Trump's supporters, this kind of talk makes their guy appear brave and thoughtful. If we cannot name the enemy, the reasoning goes, then how can we defeat it?

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The Republicans' guide to dumping Trump

    With Dump Trump talk continuing and continuing and continuing, here are common questions about what the Republican National Convention could do in Cleveland next month, and why it probably won't act.

 

    Q: Can the Republicans' convention dump Donald Trump and pick another candidate?

    A: Absolutely. The convention, when it meets, is the formal Republican Party, and can do whatever it wants, including setting and changing the rules as it sees fit.

 

    Q: Trump has more than 1,400 bound delegates and needs only 1,237. So what do rules have to do with it?

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The media isn't going to save the country from Donald Trump - here's why

    As each new day brings yet more evidence of just what a truly awful human being Donald Trump is, some liberals have decided that the fact that Trump still has a reasonable chance of becoming president can only be explained by the failure of the media to do their jobs.

    This belief is both naïve and dangerous, because it misunderstands not only how contemporary media operate, but also fails to reckon with what American voters actually believe.

    Sunday, celebrated filmmaker Ken Burns delivered the commencement address at Stanford University, and in remarks that have since gone viral, he offered an extended critique of Trump, which included this statement about the media and its failures:

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The glaring leadership problem in Donald Trump's tweets after the Orlando massacre

    The backlash following Donald Trump's tweets Sunday after the horrific massacre in Orlando felt, in some ways, familiar. It's now a pattern - a disturbing, unsettling one - that comes after a mass shooting in this country: Tragedy, followed by expressions of thoughts and prayers, followed by debate over what politicians say and how it gets politicized as the country grapples with the human carnage.

    Yet this time, the backlash focused on Trump's willingness to insert himself into the news -- to make even a single moment of the immediate aftermath in the senseless tragedy about himself.

    Not once, but twice, Trump took up the valuable 140 characters of Twitter's real estate to point out that he was right. He said he "appreciate[s] the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism," even if yes, he said he doesn't "want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance." (More on that below.) Hours later, after saying "our leadership is weak and ineffective," he said "I called it and asked for the ban," referring to the ban he has proposed on Muslims from entering the United States.

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Recriminations for upward mobility

    “This is the year of jubilee/Send them angels down/The Lord has come to set us free.”

    The words of the Negro spiritual are celebratory, but the truth of them is in the title: “My Way’s Cloudy.”

    A long struggle was ahead. Many who sang it would never know freedom.

    Emancipation launched a century of recriminations and malevolent machinations. The Voting Rights Act? It would be resisted with fury. And the oppression would continue. And it continues, even when the Supreme Court chief justice pronounces this to be a post-racial time.

    These civil rights dynamics came to my mind when Hillary Clinton stepped on the stage as the presumptive Democratic nominee, the first female in U.S. history so poised.

    As she pointed out, the year her mother was born was the year Congress passed the 19th Amendment giving women the vote.

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Orlando tragedy proves Trump wrong, not right

    According to Donald Trump, he has been congratulated "for being right on radical Islamic terrorism" after 50 people died by a lone gunman's hand in an Orlando, Florida, nightclub. The shooting, however, proves him wrong on several major points that unite his supporters. Even though they will ignore the proof, it's worth laying out.

    During the primary campaign, Trump kept using the November terror attacks in Paris to make the point that strict gun regulations increase the casualty count. France, he said over and over, had "the toughest gun laws in the world." Because of them, only the bad guys had guns. Had it been otherwise, fewer people would have died, Trump told applauding audiences.

    At the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, 1,500 people were in the audience and, as Trump said, nobody had guns. Three gunmen killed 89 of the concert-goers.

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Microsoft needs LinkedIn for office dominance

    Microsoft's acquisition of the social network LinkedIn is not easy to understand. Both companies' chief executives, Satya Nadella of Microsoft and Jeff Weiner, have described the $26.2 billion all-cash deal -- one of the largest in tech history -- in the blandest corporate-speak, with memos that sounded as if they were part of LinkedIn's megaboring attempt to create a commentary platform for business celebrities.

    Yet this deal is a major play for a market no company has yet captured -- intracorporate communication. Evidently, Microsoft felt it had to move after Facebook made its own grab with Facebook at Work. Ceding the opportunity to a competitor with equally deep pockets, a powerful brand and nimble developers might spell the end of Microsoft's ambitions in the corporate world, which it used to own thanks to Windows and Office, but where its grip has been slipping lately. So Nadella paid an incongruously high price for a company that, on its own, doesn't seem like much of a treat.

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