Nov 28 2019

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Charles M. Blow: The Horrible History of Thanksgiving

Before you fill your plate, please remember why we mark this day.

When I was a child, Thanksgiving was simple. It was about turkey and dressing, love and laughter, a time for the family to gather around a feast and be thankful for the year that had passed and be hopeful for the year to come.

In school, the story we learned was simple, too: Pilgrims and Native Americans came together to give thanks.

We made pictures of the gathering, everyone smiling. We colored turkeys or made them out of construction paper. We sometimes had a mini-feast in class.

I thought it was such a beautiful story: People reaching across race and culture to share with one another, to commune with one another. But that is not the full story of Thanksgiving. Like so much of American history, the story has had its least attractive features winnow away — white people have been centered in the narrative and all atrocity has been politely papered over.

So, let us correct that. [..]

I was blind, willfully ignorant, I suppose, to the bloodier side of the Thanksgiving story, to the more honest side of it.

But I’ve come to believe that is how America would have it if it had its druthers: We would be blissfully blind, living in a soft world bleached of hard truth. I can no longer abide that.

Amanda Marcotte: Donald Trump’s new lie is a real turkey: Now liberals are waging war on Thanksgiving!

Not content with the mythical “war on Christmas,” Trump now claims that liberals want to cancel Thanksgiving

ncreasingly desperate as the evidence mounts showing that he definitely committed the crimes he will soon be impeached for, Donald Trump auditioned a new lie to whip up his culture-war base at a rally in Florida Tuesday night: Overly P.C. liberals or socialists or whoever are trying to cancel Thanksgiving.

“You know, some people want to change the name Thanksgiving. They don’t want to use the term Thanksgiving,” Trump declared in front of the crowd, who ate it up, booing wildly at these imaginary liberals and their imaginary war on Thanksgiving.

This war on Thanksgiving is clearly a cut-rate sequel to the wildly successful “war on Christmas,” a long-running right-wing lie that liberals want to cancel Christmas. This was built up over years of Fox News pundits flipping out because sometimes people use the term “Happy Holidays” to accurately reflect the fact that there are various other December holidays — including Hanukkah and Kwanzaa — that are celebrated in addition to Christmas. (In the right-wing imagination, holidays are like the Highlander: There can only be one.) [..]

But really, all this fits in with the larger “war on Christmas” and now “war on Thanksgiving” rhetoric flowing from the right. It’s never been about actually protecting these holidays, which are robustly celebrated and in no danger of disappearing. It’s always been about remaking these holidays in the image of right-wing grievance politics, turning them away from traditional values of love, community and generosity and towards the same nastiness and cruelty that infuses every aspect of conservative politics in the age of Trump.

Dahlia LithwickAmerica’s Descent Into Legal Nihilism

The president would like to be president forever. And he’s bending the law to his will to do so.

It is a Thanksgiving tradition to spend time thinking about what one is thankful for, a healthy practice that reminds us to see the world in a positive light. Gratitude is good for us, and we should not take it for granted. This year, though, I feel compelled to spend at least a bit of time focusing not only on what I am thankful for, but on what I am freaking out about. And the thing that concerns me greatly these days is simple: The president seems to have no intention of leaving office, and we seem to have no meaningful plan to address that. [..]

Yet somehow, our greatest worry in the coming days will be how to remain civil with one another over a large bird and its cute little cranberry accessories. The president believes that he is above the law and has foreclosed any attempt to prove otherwise. The president seems unable to conceive of himself losing an election. The president is counting on all of us to merely hope that something somewhere gets done about all this stuff at some point, but to never actually do anything ourselves beyond passing the stuffing around. This year, what I am most thankful for is the people who are trying to do that something themselves.

Robert Reich: The truth about what’s really threatening our elections

Trump and his enablers have been making claims of widespread voter fraud, but let’s look at the facts

Donald Trump and his enablers have been making claims of widespread voter fraud, alleging millions of people are voting illegally in order to rig our elections.

Baloney. Let’s look at the facts and debunk their myths once and for all.

They claim millions of Americans are voting twice, using multiple registrations in different districts.

So how often does double voting really occur? An analysis of the 2012 presidential election found that out of 129 million votes cast, 0.02% — that’s two one hundredths of one percent — were double votes — which were likely the result of measurement error. This is a far cry from Donald Trump’s claims that millions of people were registered in two different states in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump and his enablers claim non-citizens are voting in droves. Trump himself said that thousands of undocumented immigrants voted in 2016.

Another lie. According to the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice, of 23.5 million votes cast in districts with high populations of non-citizens only 30 — I repeat, thirty — possible incidents of improper non-citizen voting were referred for further investigation. [..]

So if voter fraud really isn’t a problem, why do Trump, Republicans in Congress, and their allies at Fox News keep perpetuating this myth? For one simple reason: To enact restrictive voting laws intended to keep voters from the polls.