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Posts Tagged ‘NYT’

What Does Steve Bannon Want?

Posted by hkarner - 27. Februar 2017

Date: 26-02-2017
Source: The New York Times

President Trump presents a problem to those who look at politics in terms of systematic ideologies. He is either disinclined or unable to lay out his agenda in that way. So perhaps it was inevitable that Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who does have a gift for thinking systematically, would be so often invoked by Mr. Trump’s opponents. They need him not just as a hate object but as a heuristic, too. There may never be a “Trumpism,” and unless one emerges, the closest we may come to understanding this administration is as an expression of “Bannonism.”

bannon-ccMr. Bannon, 63, has won a reputation for abrasive brilliance at almost every stop in his unorthodox career — as a naval officer, Goldman Sachs mergers specialist, entertainment-industry financier, documentary screenwriter and director, Breitbart News cyber-agitprop impresario and chief executive of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign. One Harvard Business School classmate described him to The Boston Globe as “top three in intellectual horsepower in our class — perhaps the smartest.” Benjamin Harnwell of the Institute for Human Dignity, a Catholic organization in Rome, calls him a “walking bibliography.” Perhaps because Mr. Bannon came late to conservatism, turning his full-time energy to political matters only after the Sept. 11 attacks, he radiates an excitement about it that most of his conservative contemporaries long ago lost.

One month into the Trump administration, Mr. Bannon has already made his influence felt. He helped draft the president’s Inaugural Address, acquired a seat on the National Security Council and reportedly was the main force behind the president’s stalled ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Reports that the administration has considered designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization echo Mr. Bannon’s own longtime preoccupation with the group, as both a screenwriter and a talk-radio host. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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No, Robots Aren’t Killing the American Dream

Posted by hkarner - 22. Februar 2017

Date: 21-02-2017
Source: The New York Times

Defenders of globalization are on solid ground when they criticize President Trump’s threats of punitive tariffs and border walls. The economy can’t flourish without trade and immigrants.

But many of those defenders have their own dubious explanation for the economic disruption that helped to fuel the rise of Mr. Trump.

At a recent global forum in Dubai, Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, said some of the economic pain ascribed to globalization was instead due to the rise of robots taking jobs. In his farewell address in January, President Barack Obama warned that “the next wave of economic dislocations won’t come from overseas. It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes a lot of good middle-class jobs obsolete.”

Blaming robots, though, while not as dangerous as protectionism and xenophobia, is also a distraction from real problems and real solutions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe Combats a New Foe of Political Stability: Fake News

Posted by hkarner - 22. Februar 2017

Date: 21-02-2017
Source: The New York Times

macron-ccEmmanuel Macron,  a French presidential candidate. The head of his party said Mr. Macron had been targeted by Russian news channels.

BRUSSELS — They scan websites and pore over social media, combing through hundreds of reports a day. But the bogus claims just keep coming.

Germans are fleeing their country, fearful of Muslim refugees. The Swedish government supports the Islamic State. The European Union has drafted rules to regulate the ethnicity of snowmen.

In their open-plan office overlooking a major thoroughfare in Brussels, an 11-person team known as East Stratcom, serves as Europe’s front line against this onslaught of fake news.

Created by the European Union to address “Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns,” the team — composed of diplomats, bureaucrats and former journalists — tracks down reports to determine whether they are fake. Then, it debunks the stories for hapless readers. In the 16 months since the team has been on the job, it has discredited 2,500 stories, many with links to Russia.

In a year when the French, Germans and Dutch will elect leaders, the European authorities are scrambling to counter a rising tide of fake news and anti-European Union propaganda aimed at destabilizing people’s trust in institutions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Who Are the Richest of the Rich?

Posted by hkarner - 22. Februar 2017

Date: 21-02-2017
Source: The New York Times

There are 2,473 billionaires in the world by a new count, and how they got their money and what they plan to do with it are matters of global importance.

Sitting at a table, grinding his pinkie into the corner of his mouth and staring at the screen, Dr. Evil announces he is holding the world ransom for $1 million. Having been cryogenically frozen for 30 years, the comic villain created by the actor Mike Myers is shocked when he is told that $1 million isn’t a lot of money in 1997.

Trying to regain his composure, he turns to the screen, voice cracking with uncertainty, and says, “O.K. then, we hold the world ransom for $100 billion.”

Twenty years after the movie “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” was released, billions of dollars aren’t what they used to be, either.

Bill Gates alone is just $10 billion shy of Dr. Evil’s ransom demand, according to a soon-to-be-released list of the world’s top 10 billionaires by Wealth-X, a financial research firm. Mr. Gates, the Microsoft founder, tops the list at $89.3 billion, followed by his friend Warren Buffett at $73.5 billion. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Donald Trump will Numb You

Posted by hkarner - 21. Februar 2017

Excellent analysis of Donald Trump’s mind and methodology by Frank Bruni, it is perfect.  Also loved the speech in Parliament today debating the cancellation of Trump’s planned visit.  The speaker described Trump as a petulant child, how perfect.(RH)

NYT, 19 Feb. 2017

nytimes-article-by-frank-bruni-0219-17

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President Trump, White House Apprentice

Posted by hkarner - 21. Februar 2017

Date: 20-02-2017
Source: The New York Times

trump-flag-ccPresident Trump
It’s with a whiff of desperation that President Trump insists these days that he’s the chief executive Washington needs, the decisive dealmaker who, as he said during the campaign, “alone can fix it.” What America has seen so far is an inept White House led by a celebrity apprentice.

This president did not inherit “a mess” from Barack Obama, as he likes to say, but a nation recovered from recession and with strong alliances abroad. Mr. Trump is well on his way to creating a mess of his own, weakening national security and even risking the delivery of basic government services. Most of the top thousand jobs in the administration remain vacant. Career public servants are clashing with inexperienced “beachhead” teams appointed by the White House to run federal agencies until permanent staff members arrive. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Disgusting: „Grab them by the pussy“ politics and the church

Posted by hkarner - 15. Februar 2017

Date: 14-02-2017
Source: The New York Times
Subject: For Religious Conservatives, Success and Access at the Trump White House

 Over the last year, Trump and the Christian right have strengthened a mutually beneficial arrangement that is already nudging government in a more conservative direction.

WASHINGTON — The people who filled the pews of St. John’s Episcopal Church for a private service on the morning of the inauguration were a testament to the ascendancy of the religious right in Donald J. Trump’s Washington: James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family; Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council; James Robison, the Christian television preacher.

Right after Mr. Dobson blessed Mike Pence, and just before the congregation sang “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” Mr. Robison took to the pulpit and asked Mr. Trump to rise.

For six minutes, the president-elect stood as Mr. Robison heaped praise on him, extolling his ability to inspire a crowd, his choice of the deeply religious Mr. Pence as a running mate and his wisdom in selecting a White House team that he deemed “the greatest cabinet I’ve ever seen.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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German Automakers Step Up to Silicon Valley Challenge

Posted by hkarner - 9. Februar 2017

Date: 08-02-2017
Source: The New York Times

WOLFSBURG, Germany — One of the first things Ole Harms did after taking over Volkswagen’s new ride-hailing start-up was leave town.

Staid Wolfsburg, Volkswagen’s home, was not the best place for the automaker to mount a defense against Silicon Valley challengers keen to upend the car industry, and he needed to move.

“Nobody knows how the world is going to look” in the coming years, said Mr. Harms, a bearded 41-year-old dressed in a gray cardigan over a crisply pressed white shirt. “The biggest skill you have to have is the ability to change.”

So he packed up and took his team to new digs in Berlin, where increasingly urgent attempts to tap into a growing tech scene are part of German carmakers’ efforts to ride a digital wave sweeping the industry — before it rolls straight over them.

Autonomous driving, electric cars and ride-hailing apps from Silicon Valley, like Uber, are reshaping transportation. Young people no longer feel as compelled as previous generations to own cars. And Wall Street shows scant respect for automakers and their global manufacturing prowess: The market value of Google, which is building a driverless car, is more than double that of BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen combined. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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In France, Le Pen Echoes Trump’s Bleak Populism in Campaign Kickoff

Posted by hkarner - 7. Februar 2017

Utterly disgusting! (R,C,)

Date: 06-02-2017
Source: The New York Times

Le Pen ccMarine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front, began her bid for the presidency in Lyon on Sunday with a speech that mirrored themes expressed by President Trump.

LYON, France — The French far-right leader Marine Le Pen delivered a grim populist kickoff to her burgeoning presidential campaign on Sunday, warning thousands of her flag-waving supporters of “two totalitarianisms,” globalization and Islamism, that want to “subjugate France.”

Ms. Le Pen’s dark picture of a weakened France troubled by bureaucrats and burqas was a striking echo of themes being sounded across the Atlantic. France, a prosperous country with the world’s sixth-largest economy, was depicted as a besieged wreck. In a packed hall here, she made a point, in an hourlong speech brimming with nationalist fervor, of praising President Trump and the Americans who had elected him, as her supporters shouted forcefully, “This is our country!”

Americans, she said, had “kept faith with their national interest,” even as she promised to do the same for France, saying the French had been “dispossessed of their patriotism.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Split by ‘Brexit,’ May and Merkel Diverge on Wider Issues, Too

Posted by hkarner - 7. Februar 2017

Date: 06-02-2017
Source: The New York Times

May Merkel reading lettersChancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain . The two canceled a planned meeting after a brief exchange during a sightseeing excursion was deemed sufficient.

LONDON — In another era they could have been allies.

Both vicars’ daughters and born just a few years apart, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain share an understated pragmatism and conservative roots, and have made their way in the still largely man’s world of politics. But there could be so much more.

At a time when President Trump is lashing out at friend and foe, and when the macho politics of strongmen is resurgent from Moscow to Manila, when not just the European Union but high-minded Western values, free trade and security alliances are under attack, the two women might have worked together to defend the liberal global order.

Instead, because of Britain’s vote in June to leave the European Union, they find themselves on opposite sides of the biggest divorce in recent European history, a chasm that has fundamentally reordered their priorities and is hindering them from cooperating on the broader issues. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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