Opinion

GOP drops the flash but keeps the fascism

Republican primaries in Pennsylvania and North Carolina may have been a big win for the Big Lie, but they were devastating for headline writers at political websites. After years of Donald Trump-inflected voting for the biggest troll they can find, Republican voters largely did what a GOP campaign consultant would prefer they do this time around. They went for candidates that, while fully committed to the anti-democratic cause, are missing that je nais se quois to produce outrage bait that has so appealed to Republican voters in the past. Two of the flashiest trolls on the ballot, Kathy Barnette of Pennsylvania and Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, went down in flames Tuesday night.

To be certain, Republican voters still want to complete the authoritarian destruction of democracy Trump set in motion in 2020. It's just that they have now come to realize that the key to pulling it off is running candidates who are a little bit better at hiding how evil they are. Their best disguise? Being very boring.

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What is the end-point for Republican terrorism?

Yesterday‘s elections show both a strong progressive drift across the Democratic Party, and an aggressive move toward fascism being driven by the base of the GOP and some of its billionaire donors.

But more urgently, the Republican Party has a terrorism problem, and the failure this week of the party’s leadership and members to call it out after the terrorist attack in Buffalo suggests they’re just fine with it.

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The Supreme Court is giving extreme new powers to increasingly autocratic state governments

There’s a lot to be worried about in the draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade — and with it, half a century of constitutional precedent.

At least 26 states are likely to criminalize abortions, often without exceptions for rape, incest, or life-threatening pregnancies. In Louisiana, people seeking abortions could even face execution, which doesn’t strike me as particularly pro-life.

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Recent shooting exposes Buffalo’s deep-seated history of segregation

A true Buffalonian knows certain things. A good snowstorm brings out the best in a person. Strangers will dig each other out. There is no better sandwich than beef on weck. Next year will be the Bills’ year. The heart-wrenching violence that occurred at Tops Friendly Market exposes a painfully deep truth. The early to mid-20th century promise of integration and progress somehow skipped Buffalo, New York. Buffalo remains a segregated city. The gunman knew this. He exploited it. The results were devastating. When my grandparents and my father joined the last wave of the Great Migration, moving f...

It feels like 'no one really cares' that Black Americans are terrified of being murdered by white supremacists

Last weekend, my neighborhood in New Haven hosted a small arts festival. Friday was for adults. There was beer. There was loud music. There was a fashion show. All but one model was Black or of color. The audience was a third white, a third Black and a third everyone else.

I was reminded of why I love the Elm City.

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Texas is the king of energy states. Why can’t we be sure the power will stay on?

Ah, the rituals of a Texas summer: A run through the sprinklers. A hot grill and a cold beer. A trip to Dairy Queen. Add to that cranking up the thermostat, frantically shutting off electronics and staying up until midnight to get laundry and dishes done, thanks to our increasingly questionable power supply. Not just in this unseasonably hot week, but for the foreseeable future. Late Friday, the overseers of Texas’ power grid urged residents to curtail their power use because of high demand as temperatures climbed and a handful of power plants unexpectedly went offline. It’s become a frequent,...

Fox News exploits Buffalo shooting to further radicalize Republicans

The bodies of the mostly-Black victims of the white nationalism-inspired mass shooting in Buffalo weren't even cold on Saturday before the folks at Fox News identified the real victims here: White conservatives. As I predicted they would on Sunday, the whining from right-wing media has since reached ear-piercing levels of shrill in response to mainstream media correctly pointing out that Republicans and their media have been hyping the "great replacement" conspiracy theory that shooter Payton Gendron used to justify the killing of 10 people.

But this isn't just an attempt to evade accountability.

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The Buffalo terrorist didn't shoot alone

When the Buffalo Terrorist murdered 10 people with a semi-automatic rifle, he didn’t act alone.

The weapons industry in the United States stood right beside him, making sure he had easy and legal access to highly profitable weapons of war that are banned or heavily regulated in every other developed country in the world.

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What 'great replacement'? Right wants us to shut up about Buffalo shooter's ideology

Last Saturday, as the entire world now knows, an 18-year-old man named Payton Gendron killed 10 people in a Tops supermarket in Buffalo.

Of the 13 people Gendron shot, 11 were Black — in his livestream of the shooting, he's heard saying "sorry" to a white man he shoots. The other victims seem to have hardly even been spared a thought.

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Supreme Court set to give the most extremist movement in the US a big win — and it's not abortion

This weekend's horrific mass killing in Buffalo serves as a tragic reminder that the radicalism of the American right-wing is not confined to abortion policy or an anti-democratic movement to take over the election machinery for partisan gain. The most established extremist movement in the country is the unfettered gun rights movement.

Much like the anti-abortion zealots, gun extremists have been methodically chipping away at existing gun safety laws in states while pushing for federal action that would finally achieve their goal of legal possession of deadly firearms by anyone, anywhere, for any reason. There hasn't been as much talk about it, but the Supreme Court heard a case this session that could do for gun proliferation advocates what the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case looks poised to do for the anti-abortion movement. The decision could even be announced on the same day. It was just 14 years ago, in a case called District of Columbia v. Heller, that a bare majority of the Supreme Court held for the first time that the Constitution grants an individual right to bear arms. It was a landmark case that handed the gun lobby the definition it had long sought. Former Justice John Paul Stephens called it the worst decision of his tenure, noting that when he came on the court there was not even any discussion of gun ownership being a "fundamental right." Over the years, however, the NRA worked very hard to make the case and Heller was finally taken up by the conservative majority in 2008. However, even with that proclamation, the court did not suggest that this meant states had no right to enact gun safety measures. The author of the opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia held that while people had the right to keep guns in their homes, communities still had an interest in public safety and keeping dangerous modern weapons off the streets. That was unsatisfying for the gun fetishists so they immediately began taking steps to ensure that interest was as proscribed as possible.

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Emails show that John Eastman thought allegations of fraud were unnecessary for stealing an election

Pennsylvania state legislator Russ Diamond had a problem. Joe Biden carried the commonwealth by 80,000 votes, thereby securing its 20 electors. According to a newly released trove of emails, Diamond and fellow Republican state legislators wanted instead to send electors dedicated to Donald Trump. They just needed the right excuse.

If that sounds outrageous, that’s because it is.

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Three things happened this weekend -- and they are connected

Three things happened this weekend.

They are connected.

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The dangerous trend of imperial nostalgia – it's not just Russia

Although great empires rank among the most powerful engines of world history, they are also among the most dangerous, especially as they brood over their decline.

The Russian empire provides a striking illustration of this phenomenon. Traditionally referred to as the “prison of nations,” Russia, in its Czarist and Soviet phases, controlled a vast Eurasian land mass of subject peoples. But the implosion of the empire in 1991 left Russian leaders adrift, uncertain whether to steer their nation toward a more modest role in the world or to revive what they considered their country’s past imperial glory. Ultimately, under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, they decided on the latter, employing Russian military power to attack neighboring Georgia, win a civil war in Syria, annex Crimea, and instigate a separatist revolt in Ukraine’s Donbas region. This February, Putin launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, with horrendous consequences.

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