@ProPublica. Ex-TNR, WaPo, BaltSun. Author of The Cynic (S&S). alec [dot] macgillis [at] propublica [dot] org

In Obama's speeches, one favorite phrase: 'Let me be clear'

washingtonpost.com — Whether President Obama's upcoming State of the Union address focuses on jobs, health care, foreign policy or something else entirely, there is one thing we can count on: Obama will make himself absolutely clear. All politicians have their verbal tics -- say, John McCain's "my friends" -- but few resort to their crutches as often as Obama relies on his "let me be clear" set-up.

White Trash: The Original Underclass

psmag.com — Waste people. Rubbish. Clay-eaters. Hillbillies. Two new books that reckon with the long, bleak history of the country's white poor suggest their plight shouldn't have caught the rest of the country off guard. By Alec MacGillis Sometime during the past few years, the country started talking differently about white Americans of modest means.

The Despair of Poor White Americans

theatlantic.com — Sometime during the past few years, the country started talking differently about white Americans of modest means. Early in the Obama era, the ennobling language of campaign pundits prevailed. There was much discussion of "white working-class voters," with whom the Democrats, and especially Barack Obama, were having such trouble connecting.

‘White Trash’ - The Original Underclass

propublica.org — How politics and government really work, and why they don't. Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook volumelow Podcast RSS RSS Latest Stories in this Project Sometime during the past few years, the country started talking differently about white Americans of modest means. Early in the Obama era, the ennobling language of campaign pundits prevailed.

Kaine Orders Independent Investigation

washingtonpost.com — Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) ordered an independent review yesterday of Virginia Tech's handling of Monday's massacre after 24 hours of criticism that the university waited too long to inform students and faculty of a potential danger.

The Great Republican Crack-up

propublica.org — Don Phillips sat down at his desk at the Mandalay banquet hall along the interstate just south of Dayton, Ohio, and composed an angry letter to the congressman from the adjoining district, the highest-ranking elected Republican in the country, then-House Speaker John Boehner. What has Congress done to solve any of these problems that affect all Americans?

Peabody Energy's Disappearing Health Benefits

newrepublic.com — "It's rather extraordinary," said Robert Bruno, director of the University of Illinois-Chicago's School of Employer-Labor Relations. "It's just a more elaborate attempt to detach the employer from any kind of legacy obligations for their employees, a further abdication, or departure, from the post-war era's contract in which employers bore some responsibility...Now that model of providing some level of social insurance has been torn asunder, and the burdens have been handed to the individual worker."

Alec MacGillis: Third Wheel

newrepublic.com — Yet another attempt to upend the two-party system. There is a movement afoot in the land, but I don't mean the one amid the tarps at Zuccotti Park. Instead, it's a 148-person operation headquartered in a tenth-floor office on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington decorated with sleek posters that proclaim, "Make My Vote Count" and "Open Up The Ballot."

Baltimore : The Third Rail

baltimore.citybizlist.com — The Baltimore riot of April 27, 2015, started with a shutdown of public transportation. When students got out of Frederick Douglass High and other nearby schools that Monday afternoon, just after Freddie Gray's memorial service had concluded, and headed for Mondawmin Mall, the transit hub for some 5,000 of them, they found several hundred police waiting, mobilized by social media rumors of an after-school rampage that would start at the mall and head toward downtown, three miles away.

The rise of zombie liberalism: Half-dead, half-alive

washingtonpost.com — The American left is exultant: Expanding civil rights and the retreat of discrimination on race, gender and now sexual orientation mark major milestones for the traditional liberal worldview. The American left is in mourning: Income inequality has soared to levels not seen since the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties, anti-tax orthodoxy is ascendant on the right, the safety net is under attack, and labor unions are barely hanging on.
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Aug 31, 2016

RT @Nate_Cohn: I have a hunch we're going to forget about this trip about as quickly as it came together

Aug 31, 2016

RT @jmartNYT: And a relief for Rs resigned to Trump losing but hoping he can crack 45% to avoid downballot wipeout!  https://twitter.com/HolmesJosh/status/771084926665895936 

Aug 31, 2016

RT @LemieuxLGM: Also breaking: on voting rights John Roberts might as well be Jesse Helms.  https://twitter.com/AriBerman/status/771068960997535746 

Aug 31, 2016

RT @eugene_kane: New chant at Donald Trump rallies: Trump: "Who's going to pay for the wall?" Crowd: "We didn't discuss it!"

Aug 31, 2016

It's quite possible the guy w/ 23% approval isn't the sharpest political mind.  https://twitter.com/gdebenedetti/status/771085078814425088 

Aug 31, 2016

RT @mateagold: Clinton 41% fav in new WaPo-ABC poll marks her worst public image in quarter-century  http://wpo.st/sVov1 

Aug 31, 2016

Looks like Honduras gonna pay for the wall.

Aug 31, 2016

RT @jmartNYT: Trump's signature line is that Mexico will pay for a border wall. He met with the Mexican president & didn't discuss their…

Aug 31, 2016

In fact, we're doing a lot to keep Central Americans from crossing Mexico to US. The solution is very controversial.  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/opinion/sunday/the-refugees-at-our-door.html 

Aug 31, 2016

RT @dick_nixon: Nieto is at 23%. No one is saying how deeply stupid this is on his part.


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