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Comments: Week of August 6, 2018

1. In New York’s latest cover story, Rebecca Traister points to Elizabeth Warren as the candidate-of-the-moment to take on Trump (“Leader of the Persistence,” July 23–August 5). Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe tweeted, “Great profile of … my good friend and brilliant former colleague with humble roots and with a fierce commitment to struggling working-class and middle-class Americans, dreamers, asylum-seekers, and vulnerable families.” Former Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer added, “No one describes the current state of American politics and really America better than [Traister].” Protect Democracy’s Aditi Juneja wrote, “The one thing that she didn’t spend a ton of time on that I think makes [Warren] a strong candidate is her ability to explain complicated ideas simply. I used to send her clip from The Daily Show to folks as an example.” When @HelenArmstrong5 tweeted she finds Warren “shrill, reactionary, and difficult to listen to,” former Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri responded, “Please reconsider idea that she is ‘shrill.’ I think that’s about us, even women, not being used to hearing women’s voices loudly projecting & asserting ourselves.” And Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere suggested we not get ahead of the game: “ ‘Warren has emerged in just the past few weeks as the de facto leader of the Democratic Party’ is a sentiment that would surprise many people in the Democratic Party.”

2. New York and the Marshall Project contacted more than 100 New Yorkers — immigrants, lawyers, advocates — to document what life has become like for the undocumented among us (“City of Fear,” July 23–August 5). Activist Simran Jeet Singh described the story as “a powerful indictment of how Trump’s war on immigrants is ravaging the lives of immigrants all over through a case study of his own hometown, New York City.” Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, responded, “Despite the steps our city has taken to reduce collaboration with immigration authorities, families are still being torn apart at alarming rates and many of our immigrant neighbors continue to live in fear. We cannot put a force-field around New York City to keep out federal immigration authorities, but there is still more our city and our state can and should do to protect immigrant families. The No. 1 thing Mayor de Blasio can do is end broken-windows policing. No one should be deported simply because they were arrested for smoking marijuana or jumping a turnstile. Even in this sanctuary city, getting arrested can still put someone on the map as a target for ice, at their home or at a courthouse. Reducing arrests for small offenses and expanding legal representation to all immigrants facing deportation will go a long way toward alleviating some of the stress and fear for immigrant families.”

3. Maureen O’Connor delved into the smelly, complex world of natural wine (“Top Notes of Poo,” July 23–August 5). Wine writer Jane Anson responded, “Over in France where I am based, this glou-glou debate is raging loud and clear. The amazing thing I find is not so much the level of animosity displayed from traditional winemakers toward the natural-wine crew (you could expect that) but that even organic and biodynamic growers can be extremely scathing — they often feel that natural-wine producers get all the glory while doing none of the work. One thing that you didn’t mention is that there are rules to follow for organic and biodynamic producers so that drinkers can be sure of what is and is not in the wine. Natural wine has no rules or certification program currently. There are some brilliant natural wines out there, but there is also a whole lot more bullshit than horseshit going on.” Jeff Harding, beverage director at the Waverly Inn, wrote: “On the natural-wine front I think you did a good analysis of why the poo factor has gained popularity, but I hate that people now think this is an indication that a wine is natural. ‘Natural’ has absolutely no meaning anymore. So I prefer to look at whether a wine is organic (even better, biodynamic!) and makes the soil better for the next vintage. Personally I prefer clean-tasting wine and really judge wine on an individual basis. The taste comes first.”

4.  E. Alex Jung profiled Kevin Kwan, “a mostly willing, occasionally reluctant participant in the remaking of his image as the author of the best-selling novel Crazy Rich Asians” (“Kevin Kwan Goes Hollywood,” July 23–August 5). “A delight to read,” tweeted @Karen_Siplin. “It may be spoilery if you haven’t read the books.” Reel Inequality author Nancy Wang Yuen wrote, “Fabulous interview … Who knew that he’s the distant cousin of legend Nancy Kwan?! And bravo on suggesting my girl Michelle Yeoh because she killed every single scene!”