Orderly Manners

Education nominee Betsy DeVos's desire to "advance God's Kingdom" through Christian ed; Democracy 3.0; and more.


  • Friday, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)’s statement that he “did not see Trump as a legitimate president” and that he would not be attending his inauguration led the president-elect to go on the attack Saturday. Trump tweeted that Lewis, one of our country’s greatest living civil rights leaders, was “all talk, talk, talk — no action or results” and claiming, as usual with prejudice and no evidence, that his district was “crime-infested.” This outburst from our Little Twitler has had at least one positive effect: it has propelled Lewis’ books to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list.

  • More than 40 Democratic House members have announced they will not attend Trump’s inauguration, in the wake of his attack on Lewis, Elise Viebeck reports for The Washington Post.

  • More evidence that a big chunk of Trump’s prospective cabinet is made up of people who believe in deeply religious Christian America: Mother Jones’ Kristina Rizga reminds us of Education nominee Betsy DeVos’ 2001 statement: “Asked whether Christian schools should continue to rely on philanthropic dollars—rather than pushing for taxpayer money through vouchers—Betsy DeVos replied: ‘There are not enough philanthropic dollars in America to fund what is currently the need in education…[versus] what is currently being spent every year on education in this country…Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s Kingdom.'”

  • Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary Rep. Tom Price (R-MI) bought shares in a medical device manufacturer just days before he introduced legislation that would have directly benefited the company, Manu Raju reports for CNN.

  • From the transcript of Trump’s weekend interview with the Times of London: “Q: Is there anything typically German about you?” “A: I like order. I like things done in an orderly manner. And certainly the Germans, that’s something that they’re rather well known for. But I do, I like order and I like strength.”

  • There are at least 386 sister marches taking place on the same day as the Women’s March on Washington Saturday, including many in countries outside the United States.

  • Much of the tech for the Women’s March has been built by the Progressive Coders Network, building on tools built by coders who volunteered their skills for the Bernie Sanders campaign, as Rachel Lynn Brody reports. In particular, resources.womensmarch.com draws from the Bernkit, buseswomensmarch.com draws from the Bernie Slack Map, and MarchBNB.com was forked from the BernieBNB tool.

  • A group of America cultural anthropologists are organizing “read-ins” of a lecture by Michel Foucault on Friday, to protest Trump’s inauguration, as Scott Jaschik reports for Inside Higher Ed. Apparently, the subject is being interpolated into a cultural desituationism that includes truth as a paradox, but not as a form of preappropriation.

  • A bit of good news: plagiarism still matters, as Jay Rosen explains.

  • This is civic tech: Congrats to Jimmy Chen and the rest of his team at Propel, which just won a $100,000 grant from the Future Cities Accelerator, as April Joyner reports for Technical.ly Brooklyn. The program is a joint project of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Unreasonable Institute.

  • Here are “10 tech issues that will impact social justice in 2017,” as summarized by Wilneida Negron, a technology fellow on the gender, racial and ethnic justice team at the Ford Foundation. As Elizabeth Stewart, the executive director of Civic Hall Labs tweeted, “working on these issues = civic tech.”

  • Moxie Marlinspike of Open Whisper Systems explains that there is no backdoor to WhatsApp, contrary to press reports.

  • Checking in from Davos, Accenture’s chief technology and innovation officer Paul Daugherty writes that he still believes that “digital technology—applied with an ethical sense of social responsibility—can be a powerful and positive force for change,” and he offers some ideas for how tech can be “designed by people for people.”

  • If you are looking to escape current events and ponder a future for American politics even stranger (but just as plausible) than the one we’re experiencing now, make haste to read Gideon Lichfield’s darkly brilliant piece of science fiction, “Democracy 3.0.” There’s just enough real facts in there about Mark Zuckerberg’s political ambitions and Facebook’s capabilities to make you think, what if?

  • On Martin Luther King Day, I took a moment to reflect on the direct line that connects Abraham Lincoln to John Lewis, through the community organizing work of Jane Addams and Myles Horton.

  • Don’t miss tomorrow’s Knight-Civic Hall Symposium on Tech, Politics and the Media, which will be live streaming all day starting at 9:30am ET from here.