Monday, October 24th, 2022


The Ed Pool

It's often hard to explain America's deep political divisions, but in NY Mag Eric Levitz gives it the old college try. "In political-science parlance, the collapse of the New Deal–era alignment — in which voters' income levels strongly predicted their partisan preference — is often referred to as 'class dealignment.' The increasing tendency for politics to divide voters along educational lines, meanwhile, is known as 'education polarization.'" How the Diploma Divide Is Remaking American Politics. Universities better start offering a major in coalition building.

+ "Democrats are 14 percentage points more likely than Republicans to have paid for news. And college-educated Americans are about twice as likely to have paid for news as Americans who didn't complete four years of college." Neiman Lab: A large portion of the Americans who will pay for news are rich. This is a big deal that should get more attention and debate. As I wrote in Please Scream Inside Your Heart: "The paywalls make financial sense for the publications, and I'm all in favor of news orgs coming up with a viable business model for the internet age; far too many failed to cross that chasm. But it does bring up a bit of a conundrum in our Misinformation Age. Real news can be costly. Fake news is free."


Hunger Games

"Nowadays, noncombatants face an additional menace: volatility in global commodity markets results in food supply disruptions and dramatic price hikes far beyond battle zones. Shockwaves from the Ukraine conflict have so worsened world hunger that aid workers report children starving to death 'before our eyes.'" Current Affairs: White-Collar War Crimes and For-Profit Famines. (White collar crime always reminds me of the Grodin line in Midnight Run.)

+ How water has been weaponized in Ukraine.


Johnson Pulled Out

"Sunak's rise in British politics has been nothing short of meteoric. After entering Parliament in 2015 after a career in banking, Boris Johnson appointed him just five years later as finance minister — a role formally known as chancellor of the Exchequer, the U.K.'s Treasury. Sunak will be the first British Asian to become prime minister and the first nonwhite to take the top job. At 42, he'll also be the youngest prime minister in more than 200 years." Rishi Sunak will become the next U.K. prime minister.

+ "His rise to the top job came after he successfully thwarted Boris Johnson for the second time. As Johnson's finance minister, Sunak's resignation in July over Johnson's handling of a colleague's sex scandal triggered the ministerial exodus which ultimately brought Johnson down." Britain's Third PM This Year, Rishi Sunak, Is Twice as Rich as the King. Here's the latest from BBC.


Buried Treasure

"Before she stumbled upon her first recipe, she had never heard of cooking instructions on graves. It is not a commonplace sentiment for a headstone, she said, but there are certainly a sprinkling of them out there. And once she got a taste, she made it her mission to find more." WaPo (Gift Article): This woman bakes recipes she finds on gravestone epitaphs: ‘They're to die for.' The main tombstone recipe described in this article incluces margarine, sugar, and flour. Was it left as a guide or a warning?


Extra, Extra

Making Lies Real: "People have been put into danger. Their families have been put into danger. Their lives have been upended and all because of lies," Poulos said. "It was a very clear calculation that they knew they were lies. And they were repeating them and endorsing them ... my kids still are not allowed to get any package from the front door until we verify that it's actually from a trusted sender." Dominion Voting Systems CEO speaks out against conspiracy theories. The lies continue to dominate a political party. WaPo (Gift Article): In Nevada, election deniers prepare to sabotage the midterms. "In Reno's Washoe County, the state's secondlargest, an antisemitic conspiracy theorist led a harassment campaign against the registrar of voters, accusing her of treason and addiction, and she quit in fear for her family's safety." This is a building disaster and it's not just Nevada. For example: Trump Plans to Challenge the 2022 Elections — Starting in Philly. "In recent months, Trump has convened a series of in-person meetings and conference calls to discuss laying the groundwork to challenge the 2022 midterm election results ... In these conversations, pro-Trump groups, attorneys, Republican Party activists, and MAGA diehards often discuss the type of scorched-earth legal tactics they could deploy."

+ Best Aboriginal Screenplay: "You might not know her name, but you've probably seen the video that made her famous. In 1973, actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather took the stage at the Oscars dressed in a beaded buckskin dress in place of Marlon Brando." Well, maybe she should have won an acting award, too. SF Chronicle: Sacheen Littlefeather was a Native American icon. Her sisters say she was an ethnic fraud.

+ Xi Hulk: "When, after a long, single-minded climb through the ranks, Xi reached the apex of the Communist Party, in 2012, propaganda accounts of his life sanitized the terrors of his youth. But, ten years later, his embrace of near-totalitarian control bears the deep imprint of his most personal beliefs about force, weakness, faith, and order. 'A lot of people who came out of his experience in the Cultural Revolution concluded that China needed constitutionalism and rule of law, but Xi Jinping said no: You need the Leviathan.'" The New Yorker: Xi Jinping's Historic Bid at the Communist Party Congress. And The Atlantic on what looked like former General Secretary Hu Jintao's forced removal from the Communist Party Congress. Hu Jintao's Exit Was Mysterious. Xi Jinping's Power Play Is Not.

+ Los Angeles, 2022: "Antisemites in Los Angeles, California, stated their support for recent tirades against Jews made by Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, by hanging banners over a freeway in the city and declaring that 'Kanye is right about the Jews.'"

+ Ginni's Husband Issues Ruling: "Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday temporarily blocked Sen. Lindsey Graham's testimony to a special grand jury investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in the state."


Bottom of the News

"In a real-life saga with plot twists straight out of Hollywood, federal authorities believe a man locked away in a Georgia prison stole $11 million from a billionaire movie mogul — and may have gotten away with stealing millions more from other billionaires. The story involves gold coins, a private plane, duffel bags stuffed with cash and a Buckhead mansion." Inmate in Georgia's maximum security prison accused of impersonating billionaires to steal millions. Buy Low, Cell High.

+ While milk production has climbed, milk consumption has declined. Hence, the U.S. Cheese Stockpile.