When Perception Trumps Reality: Republicans aren’t nearly as rich as Democrats estimate. Democrats aren’t nearly as gay or atheistic as Republicans estimate.

Democrats wildly over-estimate the percentage of Republicans who make over 250k a year (estimated: 44%; actual: 2%).  Republicans are almost as bad when it comes to predicting the percentage of Democrats who are LBG (estimated: 38%; actual: 6%) and atheist/agnostic (estimated: 36%; actual: 9%). Both groups were a little closer to the mark when asked to estimate details about their own parties, but the perception they are acting on is…

You Can Smell Trump’s Fear

Like all successful demagogues, Trump has a talent for identifying scapegoats. It is not hyperbole to say that he speaks of Latino immigrants in much the same way that European monsters once spoke of Jews. It is equally foolish, however, to look past a sign that all is not well in Trumpland and that the president is rattled: He backed down. Trump was forced to meekly end the sadistic practice…

A tiny crying toddler and Donald J. Trump share the cover of the July 2 Time Magazine.
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The crying Honduran girl on the cover of Time was not separated from her mother, father says

The original was a stunning image, which has been used to criticize ICE’s policy of separating children from parents attempting to immigrate at the border — a policy which Trump says he dislikes. The animated version of the Time cover makes it clear that this is a composite picture, though of course the emotional power of the juxtaposition is exactly what the cover is shooting for. Journalists love reporting when…

Trump, halting his own policy: “I didn’t like sight of families being separated.”

No fake news here. This is why journalism matters. It wasn’t the moral consequences of his own immigration crackdown that caused Trump to act — it was “the sight of” those consequences. What happens to those families after they have been detained for over 20 days remains to be seen. Very glad to hear that Microsoft employees objected to their company’s work with ICE. We should not forget how IBM…

Uneasy Lies the Head — Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power

John Stubbs reviews Stephen Grenblatt’s Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power The psychology and spectacle of villainy and the intoxicating nature of power clearly preoccupied Shakespeare. The grandeur, amoral freedom of action and sheer theatrical potential of tyrants must have moved and excited him. The case of a confirmed murderous dictator, after all, especially one with the charisma, merciless intelligence and twisted charm Shakespeare bestows on Richard III, gave unequalled scope for…