Reading a book instead of the news didn’t help the blog this morning.
The Revolutionary Force of Stupidity: A Conversation with Matt Taibbi. Twice the interviewer prompts Taibbi to comment on the peculiar ties of the Trump administration to Russia. Twice Taibbi veers away from it.
Russia: The Conspiracy Trap. Masha Gessen. This digs into what Taibbi alludes to. There might be legitimate reasons to question the Trump-Russia ties, but there’s something dangerously undemocratic in the way that this is playing out. All it would accomplish is delivering us to President Pence or Ryan anyway, with an emboldened CIA. The real path to defeating Trump is doing something like having the Democratic Party immediately push Medicare for All with no ambiguity. It has to be done with policy, not allegations of conspiracy by conspiracy.
The Hamilton Hustle. Matt Stoller. What’s been fun about the whole Hamilton phenomenon is that my mom asked me sometime last year, “Am I missing something? From what I learned in school, Hamilton was an asshole.” She attended public schools in the late ’40s and early ’50s and knew all of his authoritarian bullshit. She was the child of New Deal Democrats. I utterly forgot the Newburgh Conspiracy and likely never grasped Hamilton’s role in it. There’s a shitload of gems in here that I dimly recall, but rarely with any deep understanding or even any context whatsoever. Fuck Alexander Hamilton.
Whale Vomit. New podcast featuring Amber A’Lee Frost and Sam Kriss. I liked it. It irked me that a couple in the Chapo Reddit liked it but labeled it Chapo-lite.