2020年10月9日 星期五

No takes, just reading material.

I'm all out of takes!
Author Headshot

By Jamelle Bouie

Opinion Columnist

The email subject line of this week’s newsletter should tell you where my head space is. I spent a lot of time working on my columns this week, as well as speaking on panels and generally thinking through the week’s events. I always like to have another argument or perspective or observation for you at the end of the week, but today the well has run dry. The rest of the newsletter is as usual, of course, so please check out my columns and my selection of reading for this week, and I’ll see you next Friday.

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What I Wrote

On Tuesday, I argued that contrary to perception, Donald Trump is actually very bad at politics.

Trump was the unexpected winner of the 2016 presidential election. That victory led many, including Trump himself, to believe he had some special sauce, some superpower that helped him defy political gravity. There’s no question he has some political skills. A lifelong showman, he’s good with a crowd, or at least certain kinds of crowds. He can distill an entire governing agenda into a few simple phrases. And he’s been able to build an emotional connection with a significant part of the American electorate. But even with those assets, Trump doesn’t win the 2016 election without a huge amount of luck.

And on Friday, I continued building my argument for expanding the Supreme Court, this time focused on accountability for a Republican Party that has nearly wrecked American democracy in its drive to control the courts.

To allow the American people to govern themselves, to rein in the judiciary and break a would-be reactionary super-legislature — to show Republicans that they cannot keep the ill-gotten gains of the Trump years — Democrats will need to expand the courts.

Now Reading

Hakeem Jefferson on Black voters and the two-party system at FiveThirtyEight.

Josephine Livingstone on grocery shopping at The New Republic.

Mike Giglio on the right-wing Oathkeepers group in The Atlantic.

Michael Lewis on the anti-mask movement in California at Bloomberg.

Evelyn L. Forget on universal basic income in Foreign Affairs.

Jason Blakely on right-wing Catholic “integralism” in Commonweal magazine.

Kathleen Belew on the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, in The Washington Post.

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Feedback

If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, please consider recommending it to friends. They can sign up here. If you want to share your thoughts on an item in this week’s newsletter or on the newsletter in general, please email me at jamelle-newsletter@nytimes.com.

Photo of the Week

The removal of a Confederate monument.Jamelle Bouie

Albemarle County in Virginia recently took down the Confederate soldier’s monument near the courthouse, one of three Confederate monuments in the area. The other two, equestrian statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, are still standing.

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Now Eating: Slow-Baked Beans With Kale

This very tasty, incredibly comforting meal always has a place in my cold-weather recipe rotation. I’ve made a couple of changes and substitutions to the original recipe, which I got from The New York Times Cooking section. First, instead of tomato paste dissolved in water, I use an equivalent amount of whole canned tomatoes, puréed (or put through a food mill). Second, I use chicken stock instead of water, although if you are a vegetarian, feel free to use vegetable stock (or stick with water). And I use fresh bread crumbs from stale bread. As for the beans, if you can get your hands on some Royal Coronas from Rancho Gordo, I recommend them.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and washed in two changes of water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1⅔ cups white beans (¾ pound) or dried lima beans, picked over and soaked for at least 4 hours and drained
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste, dissolved in 1 cup water
  • 3 cups additional water
  • A bouquet garni consisting of four parsley sprigs, two thyme sprigs and a bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • Salt
  • A generous amount of freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add the kale. Blanch for 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain, squeeze out water and cut into ribbons. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large ovenproof casserole. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the dissolved tomato paste and bring to a simmer.

Add the drained beans, the remaining water, the bouquet garni, herbes de Provence and salt and pepper. Stir in the kale, bring to a simmer, cover and place in the oven. Bake 3 hours until the beans are tender and creamy. Taste and adjust salt.

Mix together the remaining olive oil and the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the beans and continue to bake another 30 minutes to an hour until the bread crumbs are lightly browned. Remove from the heat and serve, or allow to cool slightly and serve.

IN THE TIMES

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