Oh, yes, please continue to see your little bubble as safe

A few thoughts I posted on LinkedIn about people who think small and therefore will never be able to dream big.

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The GOP tacks further right on immigration, aligns with Trump

The Washington Post reports that Congressional Republicans are inching further and further right on immigration.

That strategy marked the latest chapter in a decades-long realignment for a party that championed outreach to the fast-growing Latino population as recently as the George W. Bush administration. …

McConnell repeated the term “illegal immigration” several times in his floor remarks — punctuating the words for emphasis. It was unusual for the leader to use that phrase for young undocumented immigrants. Several times when McConnell said “illegal immigration” Thursday night, Flake, seated a few rows behind him, visibly grimaced.

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Uh, oh: Trump’s Middle East policy is a disaster

The New Yorker examines why President Trump has a long way to go if he is to be a positive change agent in the Middle East.

As Trump marks a year in office, his ambitious foreign policy in the world’s most volatile region is in tatters. Vice-President Mike Pence arrives in the Middle East this weekend, with stops in Egypt, Jordan, and Israel, amid growing anger at the Trump Administration, little to show for its pledges, and almost no prospect of progress anytime soon, while getting sucked into longer-term military commitments to preserve its few gains. Abbas—who has staked his political career on making peace with Israel—has refused to even see Pence.

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Adios, Alexis

Manchester United bound Alexis Sanchez says goodbyes to Arsenal team-mates after late-night phone call


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NASA grounds Jeanette Epps

The BBC has the details.

The US astronaut Jeanette Epps has been removed from her upcoming mission to the International Space Station (ISS) just months before launch.

Dr Epps was to have been the first African-American astronaut assigned to the space station crew.

She would have flown aboard a Russian Soyuz flight in June but is being replaced by another astronaut.

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Chelsea Manning: I gave up one prison for another one

Photo: Anthony Morett 18Oct2015

The Guardian has landed the first interview with Chelsea Manning since she announced plans to run for the U.S. Senate.

Manning, who as Bradley Manning released 700,000 confidential documents almost eight years ago, says the America she has lived in for the past seven months often resembles the prison she called home for almost seven years.

That grim assessment, that even in freedom she was trapped within a prison, dawned on her as she walking one day through the streets of Brooklyn. The New York borough has a reputation for hipster cool, but she was shocked to see so many heavily armed police.

“There was this immense police presence and they were militarized. I’ve been part of an occupying force in a foreign country, and I know what that looks like. That’s what I saw in Brooklyn – an occupying force.”

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What in the hell is going on at the Los Angeles Times?

Public Domain image

The following tops “The Media Today” newsletter, disseminated each work day by the Columbia Journalism Review:

After a bombshell report on past lawsuits and “frat house behavior,” the CEO and publisher of the Los Angeles Times is under investigation by the paper’s parent company. NPR’s David Folkenflik dropped the deeply sourced scoop about Timesboss Ross Levinsohn on Thursday afternoon, sending shockwaves across a newsroom already on shaky ground due to cutbacks, recent leadership changes, and a unionization vote, the results of which will be announced today.

Folkenflik reports that Levinsohn “has been a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits and that his conduct in work settings over the past two decades has been called into question repeatedly by female colleagues.” In reviewing court documents and through interviews with 26 people, Folkenflik finds that “the portrait that repeatedly emerges is one of a frat-boy executive, catapulting ever higher, even as he creates corporate climates that alienated some of the people who worked for and with him.”

Tronc, which also owns the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News, quickly announced it had launched an investigation into Levinsohn’s behavior, but in a statement obtained by NPR, a dozen senior editors at the Times called his actions “unacceptable,” citing “additional, credible reports” concerning Levinsohn’s workplace behavior. “The organization should not be led by anyone who has engaged in this behavior, if it is true, particularly given the publication’s role in investigating multiple industries and governments on the topic of sexual harassment,” the statement read.

Levinsohn, a former executive at Fox and Yahoo, was appointed just five months ago, taking over for Davan Maharaj, who was seen as a divisive figure in the newsroom. Last year, employees at the paper launched a unionization drive, which has turned contentious as executives push back against the effort. Levinsohn and the paper’s new editor in chief, Lewis D’Vorkin, have quickly come under fire from within the newsroom.

The journalistic value of the Times, the largest paper on the West Coast, is hard to overstate. Financial pressures and questionable management may have sapped its reach, but it remains a vital institution. Below, more on the turmoil at the Times and the fallout from Folkenflik’s report.

  • Rough assignment: The Times’s Meg James wrote the in-house story on Levinsohn’s alleged misconduct, noting that “the NPR article comes during a significant week for the Times, which has endured much turmoil in recent years.”
  • Behind the unionization push: For CJR, Shaya Tayefe Mohajer looked at the organizing attempt by staffers at an outlet with a long reputation for being tough on unions.
  • A fractured newsroom: “The Times newsroom appears to be in a state of revolt,” writes CNN’s Brian Stelter in his follow-up to the NPR story.
  • Recent history: Just over a year ago, Ed Leibowitz dove deep into problems at the Times in a piece for Los Angeles Magazine.
  • A new contributor model?: Just before Folkenflik’s story hit, reports that Tronc may be instituting a contributor model, similar to the one HuffPost just killed, began making the rounds.
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