If predictions are like baseball, I’m bound to have a bad year in 2019, given how well things went the last time around. And given how my own interests, work life, and physical location have changed of late, I’m not entirely sure what might spring from this particular session at the keyboard.
But as I’ve noted in previous versions of this post (all 15 of them are linked at the bottom), I do these predictions in something of a fugue state – I don’t prepare in advance. I just sit down, stare at a blank page, and start to write.
So yes, I am planning on going to China on Saturday. My first time, I’m a bit embarrassed to say. It’s not for a lack of opportunities, but rather a conviction that when I did go, I’d make a study of it, staying for at least two weeks, if not more.
But I’ve realized lately that in the past three decades of my career-related travel, I’ve never gone anywhere for more than one week. I admit, I’ve boxed China out, because I assigned it such import, such gravitas, that I needed to justify the 15-hour flight (and its attendant biome and geospatial shock) with a commitment of time I was never able to make.
So this year, I said fuggit. I’ll go when I can go, and for however long I can go. Dip a toe, go longer later. That’s my new approach. China has been looming at the edges of my self-imposed myopia for too long; plus my kids all speak Mandarin and have traveled there frequently. WTF is wrong with me?
Next week Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, will testify in front of Congress. They must take this opportunity to directly and vigorously defend the role that real journalism plays not only on their platforms, but also in our society at large. They must declare that truth exists, that facts matter, and that while reasonable people can and certainly should disagree about how to respond to those facts, civil society depends on rational discourse driven by an informed electorate.
Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal? 96% of….
….results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!
Two rising stars talk politics, Trump, and how to win in a post truth era
Continuing our tour through the political conversations at Shift Forum 2018, John Heilemann interviews Rachel Payne, running for a hotly contested congressional seat in southern California, and Jason Kander, one of the youngest elected officials in the history of his state. Below is an edited transcript and the full video interview.
John Heilemann: We have two bright, rising stars in the Democratic Party here today. Rachel Payne, who is a perfect person for this crowd, a CEO in the tech sector, is also one of many, abundant, like 500, Democrats who are running for Congress in the 48th District in California, down in Orange County, running against Dana Rohrabacher.
Three political veterans ponder the future of the Republican Party
One of the most fascinating portions of the 2018 NewCo Shift program was its focus on US politics. In this conversation, veteran political journalist John Heilemann spars with two of the most seasoned veterans of presidential campaigns — Republican strategist Mike Murphy and Democratic strategist Jennifer Palmieri. The topic: The future of the Republican party in an age of Trump.
John Heilemann: We have a panel that was going to be a conversation about the future of the Republican Party with Mike Murphy, master strategist and political guru. Yesterday, she couldn’t make it, but now she’s here.
The Broadcom v. Qualcomm story may put you to sleep. But pay attention: A struggle for the future of free markets is afoot.
You’ve likely already heard about one of the biggest stories in tech and politics, Trump’s killing of what would have been the largest merger in technology history. From the Washington Post: “President Trump on Monday ordered Singapore-based Broadcom to abandon its $117 billion hostile bid for Qualcomm, blocking what would have been one of the biggest technology deals in history.”
Perhaps like many of you, I go MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) when I see headlines about massive chip companies like Qualcomm or Broadcom. But if you view the story in the same frame as my recent piece on the end of democratic capitalism, it suddenly gets much, much more interesting.
I want to tell you a story about something that happened in the news a few days ago. Even though it didn’t turn into a giant disaster, it accidentally revealed a lot about what’s really going on in the United States right now — and may offer us a clue to understand the situation we’re in.
Last week, ex-general John Kelly made publicremarks that many interpreted as testing the waters for military rule. He explained how only members of the military, and the families of those killed in combat, can really understand the nature of government and legitimately criticize the President — unlike civilian members of Congress, or the press. The next day, Sarah Huckabee Sanders doubled down on the point, saying it is “highly inappropriate” for a (civilian) reporter “to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general” — this despite the fact that Kelly is no longer a general, that civilian control over the military is a bedrock of the American system, or that this “debate” was over the fact that Kelly had provably lied several times in his remarks that previous day.
The idea that “only the military can really understand what it takes to run the government” is common rhetoric worldwide: from Thailand to Egypt to Argentina, it’s been the bedrock argument of why the military should seize power. Fortunately, and to our country’s credit, several other ex-generals quickly (and publicly) stomped down Kelly’s suggestion, and nobody seems to have taken up his idea.
Some unexpected ins and outs of an executive power
The President’s power to pardon people accused or convicted of crimes is in the news like it hasn’t been since Clinton pardoned a number of dubious people on his last day in office, or maybe even since Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon. And it’s in the news for a good reason: Trump and his inner circle are under investigation for a truly stunning array of major crimes, ranging from accepting illegal foreign campaign contributions to actively conspiring with a foreign power to subvert elections, and just a few days ago, Trump made vividly clear that he would happily pardon anyone he saw as furthering his own cause.
What this means is that discussions of pardons aren’t just about legal theory: they’re about the practical ins-and-outs of criminal investigations, political lobbying, and just what a determined prosecutor can do to bring a corrupt politician to justice, when that politician seems to have unlimited power to stop him.
The answer may be, more than you expect — but not in the ways you expect it.