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The Georgia Senate Contest Is All About Race, Actually

Black candidates can be, and often must be, surrogates of white supremacy to be relevant to a majority-white electorate. This is not true only of Black Republican candidates—New York City Mayor Eric Adams’s rhetoric on crime is a case in point—but it is more apparent on the right. And perhaps no politician is a better […]

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Conservatives Found Someone Who’s Been Traumatized by Biden’s Student Debt Plan

National Review’s Andrew McCarthy, writing this time in The New York Post, denounced the order as “a naked appeal to the Democrats’ woke-progressive base, who are happy to ignore constitutional norms and turn him into a president-king,” apparently mixing up which side was responsible for January 6. He also goes on to speak up for […]

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How Does Reproductive Justice Win?

Like many groups within the movement to preserve abortion access, the Texas coalition had been operating in crisis mode. For years, the Texas legislature had emitted a stream of bills taking aim at abortion, transgender children, immigrants, and voting rights. Niceties had fallen aside in the relentless, fast-paced churn of the legislative session, according to […]

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Ostensibly, the Royal Family Is Apolitical. That’s Why Americans Are Obsessed With It.

The media’s obsession with all things royal reveals capitalism and desire wrapped in a tight embrace, so symbiotic that it is impossible to tell which is primary: public fascination with the monarchy or the profit motive of news channels and tabloids. With the passing of Queen Elizabeth, the media machine went into overdrive. Outlets redirected […]

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Trump’s Legal Troubles Won’t End Well for Him—or Us

So that’s the first horrible, vicious, sick, terrifying thing. The second, of course, is that he’ll foment a civil war, or at least a mass violent insurrection. Trump is going to get more and more unhinged as the law bears down on him. Next month, on October 24, a trial is scheduled to start based […]

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Defund Social Workers

If social workers are by and large earnest, gentle, well-intentioned individuals, they are also unavoidably narcs. In their defense, mandated reporters go through trainings that usually focus on how and when to make a call, not what happens after. Trainings are often “vague,” said Joyce McMillan, the founder of JMacForFamilies, whose children were removed from […]

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Congress Is Racing to Coup-Proof the Next Presidential Election

The House and Senate bills are substantially similar, but there are a few critical differences. Both measures would clarify that the vice president has only a ministerial role on January 6, rather than unilateral power to accept or reject state-certified electoral votes. It was Trump attorney John Eastman who suggested that the vice president has […]

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Trump’s Legal Defense in the Mar-a-Lago Case Is Crumbling

It would be a scandal in and of itself if national secrets lost their legal protections simply because the president wanted to read them in bed. Overclassification is a perennial problem with the federal government. But it is safe to say that at least some of what reaches the president is classified for a very […]

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Donald Trump Is More Deranged Than Ever

But even this was just part of the build-up to what ended up being a full QAnon passion play, as the rally culminated with Trump fulminating—reciting a series of grievances over swelling strings. His followers, commanded to raise their fingers in salute, did so—resulting in a scene that looked like it was freshly plucked from […]

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Will the Next Pandemic Start With Chickens?

No one I asked, however—not Murphey, not the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, not Lincoln Premium Poultry—said they were aware of a second problem that Lanc had observed: manure being loaded onto trucks at one of the Gallus-owned barns near his house, within the control area, another act that should have required permits. (Lanc had notified […]

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The Time Is Ripe for Commonwealth Countries to Ditch the British Monarchy

The change in monarch comes at an auspicious time for the Commonwealth, as a number of countries—including Jamaica and Australia—had already been making moves toward removing the queen as head of state, and these calls are likely only to grow now she is being succeeded by her less popular son. Barbados already transitioned into a […]

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Democrats: Steal This Move From Lindsey Graham

[The media is] reacting the way they think they’re supposed to react to maintain [their] “neutral” bona fides—by policing norms and obsessing over how it’ll affect the horserace; by neither validating [nor] invalidating the critique. That’s not to say their reaction is unimportant, if it persists unanswered or successfully drives Democrats into retreat, the idea […]

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Ron DeSantis’s Cruel Treatment of Migrants Is the Future of GOP Policymaking

And it was a classic Trump move: pointless, cruel, designed only to provoke. Trump’s border wall—still his signature policy—remains the quintessential policy position of the contemporary Republican Party. It is, first and foremost, a troll. It does little, if nothing, to reduce undocumented immigration. It is a metaphor more than a policy, flaunting what purports […]

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Is This When Democrats Finally Learn How to Message?

Add to that the concurring opinion of Clarence Thomas, who wrote that the court “should reconsider” other decisions—including the decriminalization of same-sex relationships; the right to gay marriage; and 1965’s Griswold v. Connecticut, which held that married couples have a right to contraception. The two major parties “do not operate as simple mirror images,” the […]

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Why King Charles Is England’s Biggest Moocher

The royals are of course worth a hell of a lot more than $500 million. Forbes put their collective worth at $28 billion. But much of that is controlled by the British government and therefore more like a jumbo-sized expense account. An exception is the $950 million duchy (i.e., dukedom) of Lancaster, which Charles inherited from his mother. The […]

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How Chuck Schumer Finally Got His Big Breakthrough

With the public optimism of a party leader, Schumer told me he thinks Democrats will keep and even expand their majority. “We’re going to do a lot more. We’re not finished,” Schumer said. “But I think the [Inflation Reduction Act] showed the possibilities of what we can do if we stay together, if we stay […]

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How the Invisible Army of Abortion Rights Voters Can Crush Republicans’ Majority Dreams

What does all this mean? Well, nobody wants to speak too confidently about the Democrats’ chances in November. We all know that the incumbent party tends to lose 25 or so seats in a first-term midterm election. And there’s still inflation to worry about, though in recent weeks it’s seemed to be receding, with gas […]

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Kevin McCarthy’s Desperate Bid to Prove the Republican Party Has Ideas

It wasn’t a particularly surprising response given the party’s noteworthy abandonment of policy ambitions. A month earlier, he had told donors more or less the same thing, insisting that telling voters what Republicans would do if elected was a massive strategic blunder: The best thing to do, he argued, was to just hammer Democrats.  This […]

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Peter Thiel’s Handpicked Candidates Are Train Wrecks

Thiel will no doubt continue build his ideological project and pursue his political interests: protecting the plutocratic class from all incursions, promoting hostility toward China, degrading international institutions, and weakening the social welfare state. He has hit on a formula familiar to many Republicans: Aggressively push red meat culture war issues like immigration while quietly […]

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CNN, Politico Want to Give Authoritarianism a Fair Shake

Last month, CNN abruptly canceled Reliable Sources, its long-running and popular Sunday show that focused on news analysis on the media, and let go of its host, Brian Stelter. Like Harwood, Stelter was known for acknowledging basic truths—and providing incisive commentary—on Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Stelter was, in particular, adept at eschewing the […]

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It Turns Out There Are “Trump Judges” After All

Then again, Trump’s approach to the American legal system always comes down to two propositions. First, he consistently argues that he is above the law. Naturally, Trump and his lawyers are not quite foolish enough to argue this in so many words. But they come as close as they can to stating it. While president, […]

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Economics, Democracy, and Freedom: It’s All One Argument

He was a malignant force in many ways. But I admit that he came up with a great way to open a book. Friedman is no cagey welterweight feeling the opponent out in round one. He’s a heavyweight who comes out swinging right at the opening bell. This is not about economics, he wrote. It’s […]

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The Surprisingly Disappointing Reign of Marty Walsh, Biden’s Labor Secretary

The second regulatory accomplishment was the Labor Department’s reinstatement of a rule barring employers from paying the lower “tipped” minimum hourly wage of $2.13 (as opposed to the regular hourly minimum of $7.25) to workers who spend more than 20 percent of their time performing functions (like cleaning up) where they don’t interact with customers, […]

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The Stupid Myth That Mitt Romney’s Mistreatment Gave Us Trump

But politics, as they say, ain’t beanbag; most of this stuff was fairly normal, relative to presidential campaigns. Little of this particularly rose to the level of, say, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. One thing that came close was an egregiously mendacious ad by an Obama-affiliated super PAC that essentially blamed Romney for a […]

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Here Are the Possible Outcomes of a Trump Prosecution. They’re All Bad.

While prosecutors are likely to point out that letting Trump go unpunished opens the door to dictatorship, the Supreme Court is also likely to accept the counter argument that the Constitution already provides a method to deal with wannabe dictators who break the law: impeachment. The Supreme Court would happily ignore the reality that in […]

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Rural Energy Is Especially Dirty and in Debt. Enter the Inflation Reduction Act.

For Democrats, there could be political benefits to bringing coops into the energy transition, as well. Coops serve 92 percent of “persistent-poverty” counties in 47 states, including many in places that now lean heavily Republican. But more isolated places haven’t always tilted right, Hatlestad points out. Agrarian and rural populists in places like West Virginia, […]

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The Failed Dream of Mikhail Gorbachev

Gorbachev, of course, failed—thanks in large part to his own myopic efforts to steer the Soviet Union to a newer, brighter future. There was his blinkered anti-alcohol campaign, which starved the Soviet economy of much-needed revenue. There was his noteworthy political aloofness, which alienated potential allies and provided further fodder for his domestic opponents. (Gorbachev’s […]

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Can the Conservative Legal Movement Stop Biden’s Student-Loan Relief Plans?

So why hasn’t anyone hauled the Biden administration into court to stop it? One problem for any potential lawsuit is finding a plaintiff for it. Time magazine reported this week that conservative legal activists are currently searching for someone who might have standing to challenge the order in court. But that requires someone who suffered […]

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It Matters That Joe Biden Used the F-Word

I do not hope to provide a comprehensive scheme for discerning fascists for non-fascists. Fascism, after all, is not merely a political program. In more modern language, fascism is also a vibe. It is ultra-nationalistic in nature, with adherents fantasizing about the return to a national idyll that supposedly existed in the hazy recent past. […]

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Donald Trump Is Increasingly Cornered, and Yes, This Should Terrify You

That, after all, is what Hitler’s brownshirts did. They were an explicitly Nazi Party militia. We saw that in an ad hoc way on January 6. That was a fascist militia that stormed the Capitol. It just wasn’t a standing one. If Trump is indicted, it is alas no longer farfetched to imagine that some […]

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With a Single Word, Ted Cruz Gave the Game Away About the Right-Wing Supreme Court

In this case, I think the Texas senator’s complaints fairly neatly expose what’s at work: Cruz sees the high court’s conservative majority as a “victory” in an ongoing ideological project. And he’s not wrong—that is precisely how the court’s conservative bloc see it as well. Their end goal has long been apparent: They want to kneecap […]

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