Tag: Signs & Wonders

Oligarch of the Month: Dmitry Firtash

Rudy Giuliani’s cartoonishly inept dirt-digging operation in Ukraine would not have been possible without Dmitry Firtash, the shady Ukrainian natural gas magnate who has spent at least $1 million investigating the Biden family. Firtash has found himself at the heart of a sprawling international corruption investigation before. In 2006, he flew to India, where, according […]

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How Giuliani Became Trump’s Chief Conspiracist

Throughout October, as Rudy Giuliani was revealed to be the linchpin in President Donald Trump’s shadow campaign to convince Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, the former New York mayor never stopped defending the president. He likened the impeachment inquiry to the Salem witch trials and, on Fox, attempted to pin the Ukraine fiasco on the […]

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The Sinister Privilege of Burning Billions

By the time Adam Neumann arrived in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood in 2008, most of the creatives who’d once lived and worked on the borough’s waterfront were gone. They’d been exiled years earlier, as successive mayors cracked down on code violations and landlords nursed visions of converting everything into luxury condos. The financial crisis had left […]

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Redesigning American Schools in an Age of Mass Shootings

Early in September, in Fruitport, Michigan, a new building at a local high school made headlines across the country. It had been designed for a single purpose: to try to mitigate the carnage of school shootings. There are no straight hallways lined with lockers at Fruitport High School. Its walls are curved, to reduce a […]

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Corporate America Has Sapped “Green” of Meaning

Every American grocery store sells a mountain of stuff bearing the dubious label “green”: sugarcane toilet paper, reusable straws, recycled Nestlé water bottles. Green is the color of solar energy and the Green New Deal, but even some luxury sports car companies claim that they, too, are green. We sleep easily after buying these products, […]

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How Men Distort the Race Debate

In video footage that went viral this fall, the hip-hop mogul Jay-Z said that growing up in a Black single-parent household contributed directly to anti-Black police brutality. As I pondered his remarks, I was reminded of the lengthy history of stupefying male-centric social analyses that Jay-Z’s take was in league with. And the net effect […]

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Could Betsy DeVos Cost Trump the Election?

In 2016, Darrin Camilleri was 24 and teaching at a Detroit charter school 20 miles from where he grew up, when Michigan lawmakers took up a measure to implement more rigorous oversight of the city’s charter schools. Seemingly anyone could open a charter in Detroit, and the schools closed just as suddenly as they opened. […]

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Oligarch of the Month: The Sacklers

Not so long ago, the Sackler name was stamped across the most rarified perches in Manhattan—in the psychobiology department at Columbia University, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and at the Museum of Natural History. Lately, though, we’ve been seeing the Sackler moniker in far less esteemed venues, as a cluster of lawsuits have uncovered […]

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The Freshman Democrat Who’s Making Conservatives Squirm

Unlike some of her fellow freshmen, Representative Katie Porter of California has managed to escape the ire of the current occupant of the White House. While she isn’t exactly rushing to take part in the Squad’s frequent Twitter smackdowns with the president, she is on friendly terms with the four women who make up the […]

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Fox and Foes

In August, President Donald Trump noticed something odd on Fox News—a poll had shown multiple Democrats beating him in an election. Enraged, he told reporters that there was “something going on” at the network. “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet,” he later tweeted. “Fox isn’t working for us anymore!”
 In a […]

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The Enduring Myth of “The Economy”

In 1992, James Carville scrawled a slogan on a whiteboard in Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign headquarters. “It’s the economy, stupid,” has since become famous as a piece of blunt, homespun political wisdom. But I have to admit, it always confused me. Carville meant it as a rebuke to any members of the Arkansas governor’s staff […]

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The Myth of Class Reductionism

Ever since Bernie Sanders’s insurgent run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, a specter has haunted left-liberal debate: the specter of “class reductionism.” Left-identitarians and centrist liberals have used this oversimplified charge not merely to dismiss Sanders but also to cast suspicion on the broad array of universally redistributive policies associated with him and […]

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Why White Supremacists Are Hooked on Green Living

On Saturdays, Sarah Dye and her husband, Douglas Mackey, sell seasonal vegetables and eggs at a farmers’ market in Bloomington, Indiana. Sarah stands behind a stall piled high with heirloom tomatoes, basil, okra, and acorn squash. With a towheaded baby in her arms, she greets customers and makes small talk. She and Douglas own Schooner […]

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Edward Snowden’s Novel Makeover

Edward Snowden’s new memoir, Permanent Record, wasn’t eagerly anticipated. That’s only because hardly anyone had heard about it before Snowden’s publisher, Macmillan, announced in August that it would go on sale in 20 countries on September 17, Constitution Day. To keep the project covert, even from Snowden’s many hard-core admirers, publishers had reportedly used code […]

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The Democrats’ Shameful Legacy on Crime

A week before he swept the South on Super Tuesday in 1992, Bill Clinton held an event in Stone Mountain, Georgia, the site of the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan in 1915. His campaign had gathered dozens of mostly black inmates for a photo op in the courtyard of the Stone Mountain Correctional Institution, […]

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Remember Trump’s Charlottesville Comments? Conservatives Don’t.

Joe Biden often reminds audiences that President Donald Trump once said the white supremacists who marched around Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us” were “very fine people.” But in August, when the former vice president made this point at the Iowa State Fair, an editor from Breitbart was waiting to confront him. For weeks, […]

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Pramila Jayapal’s Vision of Power

In July, in the midst of messy negotiations to send billions in emergency funding to the border, a fight over the future of the Democratic Party bubbled into view. For months, Democrats had been demanding more robust protections for the children in overcrowded detention centers, but, cornered by moderate Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suddenly […]

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Oligarch of the Month: Charles Koch

For nearly four decades, Koch Industries has spent its time quashing the labor movement, besieging the environment, and stealing oil from the Osage Indians in Oklahoma. But in June, The Boston Globe reported that Charles Koch is teaming up with liberal-donor stalwart George Soros to fund a new antiwar think tank, the Quincy Institute, due […]

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There’s No Such Thing as a “Populist”

When I read mainstream political commentary, I often think of the awkward gyrating Elaine used to do on Seinfeld, flapping her limbs in all directions in an incompetent, and yet totally confident, imitation of what dancing is supposed to look like. Political pundits are engaged in a similar dance. Convinced of their abilities, they mimic certain […]

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The Subtle Politics of Graphic Design

In 2008, Barack Obama’s Chicago headquarters housed engineers from Facebook and coders from Google. Everything was optimized for the web, from the talking points to the logo—the simple, minimal, now iconic Obama “O.” The candidate’s graphic designers even made use of a new typeface, Gotham, which was so well suited to social media that the […]

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The Destructive Politics of White Amnesia

For all of his bumbling verbosity and avuncular artlessness, Democratic front-runner Joe Biden serves as a remarkably elegant illustration of all that ails the Democratic Party’s bid to retake the White House in 2020. Trump’s breathtaking weaponization of the Republican Party into the party of white nationalism should, at minimum, make the parameters of the […]

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The Media Is Missing the Real Story of Trump’s Racism

In August 2017, three men from rural Illinois—members of one of our country’s numerous heavily armed and rather poorly regulated “militias”—drove to Bloomington, Minnesota, just south of Minneapolis, to plant an IED in the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center. Following their arrest, two of the men admitted their guilt. They had set out from Illinois, they […]

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