Article of the day: Steve Bannon has been given a seat on the National Security Council

Trump advisor and white supremacist Steve Bannon has been given a seat on the National Security Council.  As Vox notes,

Bannon’s elevation would be surprising in and of itself. But what makes it truly alarming — to critics from both parties — is that it’s taking place alongside a separate provision downgrading the status of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence. Under all previous presidents, both officeholders attended all NSC meetings. In the Trump administration, they’ll only come when “issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.”

This means that a political operative with zero national security or foreign policy experience will now have the same status as the heads of the Pentagon and State Department — and will in some ways outrank the nation’s top military officer and the head of the entire intelligence community.

House Democrats are already pushing back against his appointment, and he may need to be confirmed by the Senate as well.

Article of the day: five essential books on American politics by women

Following up on yesterday’s article, here are five excellent books on contemporary American politics by women.  If you purchase any of these through the Amazon Affiliate links below, all the proceeds will be donated to the ACLU.

  • $2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America.  Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Schaefer made a surprising discovery as they wrote this book: more than 1.5 million Americans of all races, ages and genders live with nearly no cash income.  The book covers their diverse survival strategies, and the pervasive shortcomings of the welfare system.
  • The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America.  Naomi Murakawa’s work provides a useful complement to The New Jim Crow.  She traces the roots of the contemporary penal system to WWII-era attempts to protect the rights of minorities by expanding the government’s policing capacities — powers which would later be used as tools of control over the same groups.
  • Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame and the Law.  Martha Nussbaum writes eloquently about the philosophical roots of attempts to regulate sexual behavior through the law.  A useful analysis of “moral” arguments against queer rights.

Action of the day: sign the SPLC’s petition against Steve Bannon

Sign the Southern Poverty Law Center’s petition calling for Steve Bannon to be removed from Donald J. Trump’s transition team. As the chairman of Breitbart news, Bannon “aggressively pushed stories against immigrants, supported linking minorities to terrorism and crime,” and developed the site into a leading platform for white supremacy.

Article of the day: Creating a culture that won’t vote for Trump

Ijeoma Oluo writes at The Establishment on the necessity of creating a culture that won’t vote for Trump.

I’ve lived in a country that would vote for Donald Trump my entire life. And, as a black woman, I’ve felt it. That feeling of hurt and betrayal that many liberal white Americans are just now feeling? That’s what I and so many other people of color have felt their entire lives…

POC in the U.S. have been fighting to change this for hundreds of years. But it’s really hard to defeat White Supremacy while being oppressed by a White Supremacist system. But maybe now, maybe now that White Supremacy is also coming for health care and abortions, maybe now the rest of liberal white America will join us. We’re going to need every single one of you.

Because what we need to do is hard. Very hard. We have to create a culture that won’t vote for Trump, that won’t vote for anyone like Trump ever again. And in order to do that we have to shift our focus from our politicians, our electoral college, our TV pundits—and we have to start focusing on our communities.

Because Trump did not elect himself. The news did not elect Trump. The DNC did not elect Trump. The majority of white American voters elected Trump.