“Government doesn't respond perfectly to the preferences of the well-to-do, but it does respond. It seems to respond virtually not at all to the preferences of ordinary and middle-income Americans. When you have an administration, or for that matter a Congress, composed predominantly of people whose backgrounds and current social environments are narrowly reflective of the very affluent, then it's not surprising that we find government policy reflecting those world views and advancing those interests.” Martin Gilens (Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page's “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens; ” Princeton; Washington Post)
“The LaHood/Ryan “better” way on taxes delivers 99% of its benefits to those earning over $400k. In exchange, slashes education money.” Matt Yglesias, regarding the “Better Way” policy agenda being forwarded by House Republicans, led on the issues by Speaker Ryan and Representative Darin LaHood (Twitter)
“Just go forward. Engage. Don't despair. Find likeminded people – not from your social circle, but everywhere. Change the opinions of others, not with ridicule, but reason. Finally, remember too that Barack Obama himself has said that the highest office in the land is not president, but citizen. Be one.” Ken Burns (Washington Post)
“Arguably, it was the sophistication of Mr Obama that paved the way for Mr Trump, whose oratorical clumsiness sounded to many like straight talking. As long as we’ve had oratory, we’ve had a mistrust of the smooth talker. Rhetoric has always contained (and, ironically, co-opted) its shadow-self: the mistrust of rhetoric. And this year anti-rhetoric rhetoric took the lead.” Sam Leith (Financial Times)
“Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people, and that is the direct line between what he said back then [in 2011] and what he did in this election,” Hillary Clinton, saying Vladimir Putin's hacking actions were due to his “personal beef” against her and a desire to “undermine our democracy.” (New York Times)
“To the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran, your forces and proxies…Are you truly incapable of shame? Is there literally nothing that can shame you? Is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child that gets under your skin, that just creeps you out a little bit? Is there nothing you will not lie about or justify?” US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, speaking at the meeting of the UN 15-member security council. (BBC)
One Third: President-elect Trump's 17 cabinet-level picks have well over $9.5 billion in combined wealth. Several positions remain to be filled. This (incomplete!) collection of wealth so far is greater than that of the 43 million least wealthy American households combined— over one third of the 126 million households total in the U.S. (Dan Knopf; Quartz)
18: California has 66 times the population of Wyoming but only 18 times the number of electoral college votes. (Panoply/Slate Political Gabfest; Emily Bazelon)
141: It has been 141 days since Donald J. Trump has held a press conference. In the same period of time, he has tweeted more than 1,465 times. (NPR)
15-0343: Pantone has announced its color of the year for 2017. It is a light, springy yellow-green also known as Pantone number 15-0343. (Pantone; CNN)
(1) This was found in the Target restroom, Kokomo, Indiana, 15 December, 2016.
(2.) Menorasaurs are a thing. You can get one.
3.) No Fun Allowed.
4.) This guy won Twitter. Won the world. Full stop. My hero.
Actually, Alan Ferrier is probably pretty great. But the guy who re-captioned Piper Kerr (right)? He won. Everything, probably.