Afternoon Links

Monet painting sells for record $81.4 million at Christie’s

Cats don’t do much for us, so why do we like them so much?


Othello in the age of the ‘microaggression’

An ostentatious billionaire is using art to put China on the cultural map

Trump voters: We did hear you, we just thought better of you.

Trump did what Republicans have long bemoaned. He played on class resentment. He told his voters America’s economy is a fixed pie; if “elites” get more, then they get less. He cultivated excuses for white, rural social decay and economic stagnation on behalf of voters who would surely reject such rationalizations for African American poverty. Remember, a good deal of the opposition to Trump on the right went to his character and the noxious hatreds he was stirring up in the populace. Objecting to his appeals does not make one culturally insensitive; it makes one a decent person.

The way Trump won the race — with zero respect for the truth, with contempt for nonwhite voters, with assaults on our democracy — the #NeverTrump forces fear will now be the rule, not the exception, in presidential politics. That he won (it worked!) is no cause for recriminations against the #NeverTrump forces. It actually proves their point: Public figures who behave this way tear the fabric of our country and undermine democratic values. And Trump has done just that — because it was the only way he knew to get the approval of the Trumpkins. He was certain they were not above vile tactics; he was right. Congratulations, Trumpkins: You never go wrong underestimating the American people.

Never Trump is over. So what does it do next?


Marilyn Monroe ‘Happy Birthday’ dress fetches $4.8m at auction

Disney announces new drone holiday light show

DNA-editing breakthrough could fix ‘broken genes’ in the brain, delay aging and cure incurable diseases

Whatever. Not like we need the Hispanic vote in the future. Old white Boomers will carry us forever.

Rubio crushed U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy so soundly last week that he’s now a footnote in Florida’s political history records for a different reason: He’s the first Republican senator from the Sunshine State ever to win reelection in a presidential election year. In terms of his 714,000, 7.7 percentage-point margin in the general election, Rubio won more than 6 times that of Trump in Florida. The billionaire businessman beat the former secretary of state by about 114,000 votes, or 1.2 percentage points. Rubio garnered almost 52 percent of the vote in the U.S. Senate race, while Trump earned a little more than 49 percent in the presidential race. In all, Rubio received almost 218,000 more votes than Trump.

Rubio’s spot on the ticket probably helped Republicans to such a degree in his Democratic home county of Miami-Dade that Democrats say there was a discernable “Rubio Effect” that helped many Republican state legislators survive in legislative districts that Clinton carried. For a modern-day Republican in a presidential election year, the bilingual Rubio won historic shares of support from Hispanics (48 percent) and African-Americans (17 percent), exit polls showed. He even carried a majority-black Jacksonville precinct.

“The Labrador Muse: Audubon’s Canadian epiphany

The complete Edmund Burke

Ancient Egypt crocodile surprise at Dutch museum

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