The Day’s Reading, 1/12/17

I’m going to put the sections in order again, rather than just the order I read things in. Also tomorrow is Friday and it’s raining like hell here.

Donald Trump

Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times, An awkward phone call between Trump and the director of national intelligence — what I can’t tell is whether Trump hears what he wants to hear or says what he wants to say; that is, does he genuinely think that the purpose of Clapper’s call was to “denounce” the report (vs. Clapper saying it was more to assure Trump that it wasn’t an intelligence document) or did he hear Clapper fully and correctly and then just lie about it? Both things are bad!

Michael A. Memoli, Los Angeles Times, Joe Biden calls Donald Trump’s criticism of intelligence community ‘damaging’ — aw, Uncle Joe, you’re not running, or running for, anything anymore, you don’t have to kowtow to the intelligence people. (Which is not to say denigrating their work while being utterly uninformed about said work is the way to go either, but, like, let’s not pretend that the foundation of all that is Good & Holy in America resides in the halls of the CIA et al.)

Anna Merlan, The Slot, A Rundown of Donald Trump’s Incredibly Messy First Press Conference as President-Elect

David Corn, Mother Jones, Russia allegations provoke Donald Trump’s dumbest tweet ever

Erik Loomis, Lawyers, Guns & Money, Revising the Worst President Ever List

Paranoia & Conspiracy

Paul Musgrave, The Washington Post, Donald Trump has brought us the American style in paranoid politics — “For many on both sides, motivated reasoning is beginning to eclipse reasonable standards of judging new claims.” I think I agree with this.

Racist AF

Aviva Shen, ThinkProgress, The conflict of interest at the heart of New Orleans’ courts

Ed O’Keefe, The Washington Post, Nation’s first Latina senator: GOP congressman’s claims of Mexican election influence are ‘immature’

Erik Loomis, Lawyers, Guns & Money, Subtext: A Quaint Idea of the Past

James Comey

Matt Zapotosky & Sari Horwitz, The Washington Post, Justice Department inspector general to investigate pre-election actions by department and FBI — Comey’s screwed, right?

Scott Lemieux, Lawyers, Guns & Money, Comey (And the Media) Threw the Election to the Worst President Ever

Ben Carson

David Weigel, The Washington Post, Ben Carson’s prepared HUD testimony included accidental plagiarism — but he didn’t use it — SHOW ME THE FOOTNOTES

Scaramucci Scaramucci

Robert Costa & Philip Rucker, The Washington Post, Anthony Scaramucci is hired for a top job in Trump’s White House

Kellyanne Conway

Kevin Drum, Mother Jones, What happened to Kellyanne Conway?

The Cyber

Abby Phillip, The Washington Post, Trump names Rudy Giuliani as cybersecurity adviser


Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times, Trump’s pick for CIA chief could be caught between career spies and the president who mocked them


Erik Loomis, Lawyers, Guns & Money, The Philosophy of the New Gilded Age — no, Shapiro is clearly correct, the reason you can’t get cancer treatments for $15 is because of Too Much Regulation and the reason for Too Much Regulation is that people have misperceived healthcare as a right rather than a simple commodity like chairs. This is all very sensible and makes for a well-ordered and happy society.

Ellie Shechet, The Slot, For Some Reason, Cory Booker and 12 Other Dems Helped Kill a Bill That Would Lower Drug Prices [Updated] — Booker (and Robert Casey) have statements at the end about their votes. Me, who knows.


Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post, Why the Supreme Court special education case about a boy with autism is so sickening — a good example of the absurdity and futility of words in law


Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times, Mexico’s president warns that if Trump wants to talk trade, he’ll have to talk security, too

California Dems

Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times, Cursing like a sailor, John Burton helped steer California into deep blue waters

Graham Vyse, The New Republic, Can Kamala Harris Live Up to the Hype?

John Myers, Los Angeles Times, Gov. Jerry Brown laments the ‘political language’ of the times in celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.

Booker 2020

Erik Loomis, Lawyers, Guns & Money, Booker

The Media

Ned Resnikoff, ThinkProgress, Trump shouted down CNN’s Jim Acosta as ‘fake news’ then took a question from Breitbart — superb question from Breitbart, very good, well done

Callum Borchers, The Washington Post, Why so many journalists are mad at BuzzFeed — it’s because of the credibility of the whole industry

Lies and the Lying etc.

Stephen Kearse, The Baffler, After Truth?

Justin Clark, The Baffler, Shameless Liars


Laird Hunt, Los Angeles Times, In ‘Transit,’ Rachel Cusk continues to slyly blur the lines that surround fiction

Steph Cha, Los Angeles Times, Han Kang’s ‘Human Acts’ is a fractured fictional reckoning with the Gwangju massacre

Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, Ottessa Moshfegh’s Ordinary Monsters


Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, Betsy Brandt captures a bereft wife’s confusion and grief in ‘Claire in Motion’

Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times, Flawed techno-thriller ‘The Crash’ is ripped prematurely from tomorrow’s headlines

Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, Not even Idris Elba can elevate the pedestrian ensemble drama ‘100 Streets’

Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, Seedy thriller ’48 Hours to Live’ grooves better than it tells a story

Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, ‘Top Coat Cash’ beats tough-guy cliches into the ground

Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, ‘Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies’ doesn’t remotely live up to its title

Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, Belgian crime drama ‘The Ardennes’ veers off course


Philip Brandes, Los Angeles Times, ‘The Roommate’: When an ‘Odd Couple’ story shifts toward ‘Breaking Bad’


Tania Ganguli, Los Angeles Times, Lakers can’t slow down the Spurs and fall, 134–94 — that’s a lot of points

Pen Island

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, Jezebel, Fuck Your ‘Pen’ — no, like, pens and handwriting are good, but not the fucking Bic Cristal, Jesus.


Gene Marks, The Washington Post, Finally…a new Google Voice is coming