To keep the Weekly Index on a calendar that aligns with Trump’s inaugural date and takes advantage of weekend down-time (such as it is these days), we’re aiming to get this out on Fridays now (yes, this is Saturday. Sorry). This way you can unwind into the weekend with a batch of great reads and a review of the horrific and not-so-horrific events of the past week (or, in this case, almost two weeks). And gosh, a lot has happened in the past twelve days. Ugh.
Some solid reads for the weekend:
- Defund the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities? Hell no. 24 Senators write in defense of the NEH and NEA | “The Folly of Abolishing the NEA,” by Thomas Campbell in the NY Times | Defunding the arts will save 0.0625% of budget | Why the arts are good business.
- The (further) dismantling of our public education system: Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association, writes an open letter to Betsy DeVos | A summary of why DeVos is dangerous. | Why charter schools and vouchers aren’t the answer | Former head of DC schools takes on DeVos | Six democratic senators write to Betsy DeVos requesting clarity on her higher education task force | The text of HR 610, the Choices in Education Act: brief and bad.
- Defending the Fourth Estate, free speech, and western civilization as a whole: James Fallows, writing in The Atlantic about Trump’s attacks on the press | The full text of Bret Stephens’s UCLA Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture on intellectual integrity in the age of Trump | Senator John McCain’s speech to the Munich Security Conference about preserving “the West” in the face of rising authoritarianism | “American Psychosis: Trumpism and the Nightmare of History,” W.J.T. Mitchell, LA Review of Books | A chilling analysis of Steven Bannon’s CPAC speech from the NY Times.
- Updates from Trumplandia: Gold-plated public expenditures: how one month of Trump’s security has cost the same as one year of Obama’s | A brilliant conversation with Errol Morris about Donald Trump and Citizen Kane | Conservative commentator Jennifer Rubin writes about the possibility of Trump vs. Pence | Trump’s war on the “bureaucracy”: a Foreign Policy podcast on how the government might (or might not) be able to accomplish anything | ACLU lawyer Ria Tabacco Mar writing in the New York Times about the imminent Supreme Court test of trans rights | A statement about the exclusion of Latino lawmakers from a meeting with ICE director Thomas Homan | Environmental worries: What Will Become of Federal Lands Under Trump?, Michelle Nijhuis, The New Yorker.
- Democracy at home: Town halls and the resurgence of progressive grassroots democracy, in the Guardian | The Democratic Party’s progressive shift? Steve Phillips opining in The New York Times | A useful fact-checker of Trump’s claims in his first 100 days. (The list grows by the minute.) | From the Wall Street Journal, a graphic delineation of Facebook’s political echo chambers. | Michael Moore’s Democratic Handbook: a lofty list and tidy summary; #10 resonates | A casual little meditation on persistence by John Lilly | And in case we forget why this all matters, Slate’s Michelle Goldberg says what we’re all thinking: It’s been bad, and it’s gonna get worse.
- News from Arizona (#notquiteFloridacrazybutclose): AZ senate votes to seize protestors’ assets | In former Arpaio territory, a rare moment of due process in Maricopa County.
- Other bits and pieces: “The arc of investing is long, but it bends toward fiduciary duty,” NYT op-ed by John Bogle, former Vanguard CEO, on Trump’s plan to sunset the fiduciary rule | “Zweig: the writer who dreamed of a world without borders,” Benjamin Ramm, BBC | I Was a Muslim in Trump’s White House, by Rumana Ahmed in the Atlantic | Your death, presaged by average causes (terrorism not so much).
- bell hooks on feminism in the age of Trump: “I think that we have to restore feminism as a political movement. The challenge to patriarchy is political, and not a lifestyle or identity. It’s as if we have to return to very basic education for critical consciousness, around what visionary feminist politics really is about.”
- A couple of pieces to share with the so-called Christian Trump supporters in your family: A Florida pastor reacts to Trump’s recent campaign-style rally | A short video from America – The Jesuit Review, in which Fr. James Martin wonderfully explains what the Bible really says about immigrants and refugees.
- And in related news, what to do if ICE agents are at your door. Share widely.