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In Regards to the Beauregard, It's a Split Session(s)

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I. Whatever Trump Loathes, We Love
There are many odious things to despise about Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, but they didn't catch the attention of the general public outside Alabama much until the diminutive Senator starting appearing at Trump rallies during the campaign, a stiff MAGA hat contrasting with his elfin visage. Who was this ranter? Is this 1958, and is there a bus boycott happening somewhere? His brand of barely veiled race-baiting and extreme positions on immigration made him an instant hit on the pro-Trump, alt-right circuit, but a pariah in his own chamber, the august Senate. Many assumed he was committing political hari kari as one by one, never-Trumpers in his own institution, including Jeff Flake and Ben Sasse, were the vanguard of a general distaste for Trump's chaos and spectacle. It didn't take long, after the infamous Access Hollywood GrabberGate for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan to distance themselves from the Donald at all costs, without dir…

The Donald Will Never Stop Tweeting, and His Supporters Will Always Love Him

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On Sunday morning, many of us woke up, fired up the internet, and confronted the spectacle of Donald Trump body slamming and pummeling a man in a suit whose head was the CNN logo. Wait. What? This has to be a hack, right? A parody account?
Alas, no, this was the Twitter feed of the “real” Donald Trump, and even though it was taken down less than an hour later, the storm of indignation it provoked confirmed its authenticity. After the hue and cry that emerged after the Mika Brzezinski disaster, even from some Republicans, many assumed that Trump would cool it for a bit. Why do we keep assuming there is some threshold after which this man is going to stop? Do we really expect him to come on TV, surrounded by flags, and apologize to the nation for his abhorrent behavior?
What we on the left fail to see is how tweets and speeches play in Trumpland. Breitbart, Fox, Info Wars, and most certainly Facebook groups that are the mirror image of RISE and Indivisible see Trump’s behavior as the cl…

Say No! to Torture: in Yemen and Everywhere

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Take a close look at the illustration above. Imagine being stuffed in a tiny wooden box, and then poked at with needles through the holes in the side. You are defenseless. You probably don't speak English. Note the contraption on the right. That is a water board. You are strapped down to this board, head on the lower side, a cloth over your mouth and nose, while water is slowly poured over your face. For thirty to forty-five agonizing seconds, you cannot breathe, and you feel as if you are drowning. Look at a clock now for forty-five seconds, and try to imagine it.

These are just a few of the techniques designed and implemented by our government in the years after the 9/11 attacks. In a remarkable series of interviews now made public by The New York Times, the chief psychologists responsible for these brutal methods of interrogation speak about the process and their mindset through those terrible years. "Enhanced interrogation" is the euphemism; most people would just cal…

A Call to Eliminate Corporate Campaign Finance

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The disastrous Supreme Court Case Citizens United has ballooned campaign spending in our country past already ludicrous levels. Corporations have been freed from restrictions in many areas of campaign finance; therefore, Super PACs and record amounts of cash have become the norm. Campaigns are often reduced to competing wars of attrition fought through expensive TV and internet ads that trade in hyperbole, distortion, and even lies. Often, groups from outside a contested area spend heavily to influence elections from Congress all the way down to school board. The Koch brothers and other notoriously shadowy groups have enacted long-term strategies carefully designed to take over, for example, state legislatures. North Carolina is a prime example, as the Kochs and their home-grown analogue Art Pope, along with powerful interests in agriculture, firearms, and other sectors, pump millions into the war chests of politicians, or affiliated PACs. The Republicans are now infamously reaping th…

A CALL TO ACTION: STOP CLIMATE CHANGE

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The problem is nearly intractable, and at this point mitigating its devastation may be a matter of degree, even if every person and government on the planet made a total commitment to drastically reducing greenhouse emissions.
Yet, our government, in almost total defiance of the consensus of the international community, stands ready to pull out of the critically important Paris climate accords, signed by 195 countries, and ratified by 147. As one of the world's leading polluters, the United States must participate, and even take the lead in transitioning to low-impact, sustainable sources of energy. Our very survival may depend on it. Human-created mass extinction and deforestation are already threatening the entire biosphere. Political destabilization, war, and famine, exacerbated by drought, superstorms, and heat waves, have created millions of climate refugees. And this is only the beginning.
Many of our leaders deny that climate change is real. The absurdity of this statement is…

Day 100: Donald Trump is the President We Deserve

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For years, Donald Trump has romped through the imagination of American politics, fulfilling various socio-psychological roles: so-called “businessman,” provocateur, entertainer and brand. The attitude behind his infamous swagger and scowl is epitomized by his legendary tag line delivered near the end of his popular reality show: “You’re fired.” Those two words spoke endless volumes of power, control, and above all, decisiveness. Here was a man who was unafraid to make tough decisions, and is that not the definition of a true leader?

The smoggy sunset of white American male hegemony is hard to take for those on the losing end of bi-coastal digital disruption and college-educated technocracy. In ways big and small, everything about our culture screams with a megaphone that unvarnished consumerism, wrapped in a hip but safe multiculturalism is the way forward, and if you can’t keep up, there is not a place for you. No wonder simmering resentment burst forth into violent rage as Trump cha…

One Hundred Days of Beatitude by Peter Wilbur

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"I alone can fix it!"

Thus you bellowed, Donald, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016. Congratulations, Mr. Trump, you fixed it all right. It's all fixed up. Although, let's be honest, who knew fixing could be so complicated?

Hey, race relations needed fixing, and you are on your way toward solving that. Nothing throws an olive branch out to minority communities like appointing an Alabama prosecutor and Senator whose signature claims to fame are attacks on voting rights and immigration. But you know what? History will be kind to those who were loyal, and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions clung to you like a ventriloquist dummy in a bright red MAGA hat through the long hot summer, and into the pussy-grabbing fall, and you rewarded him well. You and Jeffie both characterize inner cities as "war zones." And you know what they say, "this American carnage ends." Saying it is as good as making it true, and what with Jeffie's rollb…