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Opinion

Republicans roll out 'tidal wave of voter suppression': 253 restrictive bills in 43 states

Republicans across the country responded to record voter turnout by unleashing a flurry of legislation aimed at restricting ballot access, citing concerns over unfounded allegations of rampant voter fraud that they themselves stoked for months.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Donald Trump Jr bombs at CPAC -- and gets scorched for lying that 'radical' Dems 'banned the Muppets'

If Donald Trump, Jr. was hoping to get support for a political run he did not receive it at Friday's Conservative Political Action Conference. The son of the former president was the last speaker of the day, but had to address a room with more empty chairs than he probably expected. There was no attempt to be "socially distant" at CPAC, and it was definitely not "standing room only."

The conservative crowd did not seem terribly impressed or thrilled with Trump Jr.'s remarks. At one point, when he compared CNN's chief media correspondent Brian Stelter (who he called Brian Slettler) to "Mr. Potato Head," claiming that everyone makes that comparison (almost no one makes that comparison, except for this guy and a Fox News host), he got enough pushback that he had to try to defend his ugly attack.

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The obsession with Britney Spears' virginity was the first shot in a 20-year war on millennial women

At first blush, it's a little strange that the New York Times documentary "Framing Britney Spears," which first aired on FX and streams on Hulu, did so much to capture the national imagination. The show does a good job of presenting the case, advocated by the #FreeBritney movement, that Jamie Spears, Britney's father, exploited the misogynistic and overblown coverage of the star's otherwise treatable mental health issues to falsely portray her as permanently unfit, thereby gaining legal control over her life and money. But it is also true that this is a unique situation that affects one person in the whole world, and not, at least on its surface, a widespread social problem affecting people not named "Spears." So why has it inspired so much fascination and so many think pieces and social media conversations?

The easy answer is that we live in a celebrity culture where ordinary people overly relate to famous people, a phenomenon so common psychologists created a term for it: "parasocial relationships."

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Why it's time to make large corporations pay living wages

There was a time when landing a job with a large corporation was, even for blue-collar workers, a ticket to a comfortable life—good wages, generous benefits and a secure retirement. Women and workers of color did not share fully in this bounty, but they generally did better at big firms than small ones.

All this began to unravel in the 1980s, when big business used the excuse of global competition to chip away at the living standards of the domestic workforce. This took the form of an assault on unions, which had played a key role in bringing about the improvements in the terms of employment. In meatpacking, for instance, what had been a high-wage, high-union-density industry turned into a bastion of precarious labor.

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Stunningly hypocritical Republicans are now throwing their own voters under the bus

I can't remember the last time a major piece of legislation was embraced by three-quarters of the American people but we have one now. According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 76% of Americans including 60% of Republicans are in favor of the Biden administration's Covid relief package. "Hurrah," you might say, "the logjam has finally broken and a large majority of the country has come together to support vital legislation!" It's a nice thought but the sad fact is that while 60% of Republicans out in the country support the bill, 100% of Republicans in Washington oppose it. Yes, even our allegedly moderate hero Mitt Romney, who called the plan "a clunker."

This article was originally published at Salon

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The impeachment trial reveals the weakness of the Constitution

The Republican vote to acquit former President Trump wasn't just a vote to avoid accountability. It was a vote to further enfeeble and obfuscate the Constitution.

In 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention drafted the new constitution, hoping that they had clearly outlined the powers and limitations of the federal and state governments. But the framers of the Constitution often disagreed with each other on many substantial issues, especially the presidency. Vague language permitted framers to interpret the Constitution to their own liking and ensured a majority of the delegates signed the Constitution.

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Republicans scramble to blame green energy as Texas freeze leaves their social Darwinist ideology in tatters

Texas's prevailing social Darwinism was expressed most succinctly last week by the mayor of Colorado City, who accused his constituents – trapped in near sub-zero temperatures and complaining about lack of heat, electricity, and drinkable water – of being the "lazy" products of a "socialist government," adding "I'm sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout!" and predicting "only the strong will survive and the weak will perish."

Texas has the third-highest number of billionaires in America, most of them oil tycoons. Its laissez-faire state energy market delivered a bonanza to oil and gas producers that managed to keep production going during the freeze. It was "like hitting the jackpot," boasted president of Comstock Resources on an earnings call. Jerry Jones, billionaire owner of the Dallas Cowboys, holds a majority of Comstock's shares.

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Donald Trump is an attention addict — his appearance at CPAC will offer the latest proof

There is no rational or reasonable explanation why Donald Trump is even considering another presidential run in 2024. He has no agenda. He has no real ideology other than his self-aggrandizement and greed. He had a dreadfully inept, contentious and fractious term as president from 2017 to 2021. He is probably facing imminent civil and criminal legal charges. He is in financial dire straits. He lost his last election by 7 million votes.

Trump's upcoming appearance at CPAC this weekend, however, clearly signals that another presidential campaign may be in his sights. A return to private life may not be enough for him. There is a longstanding tradition that ex-presidents retreat into the background so the new president can shine. But that does not fit Donald Trump's psyche. Just the opposite is true: He wants to spoil Joe Biden's time in the sun by stealing as much attention away from him as possible.

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Conservatives are the new 'good Germans' -- enabling and defending Trump's crimes

Let me pose a riddle of sorts.

Donald Trump is a force of political, human, moral and economic destruction. He is the leader of an American neofascist and white supremacist movement. Today's Republican Party has fully become an extension of his political cult and crime family.

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The most revealing thing Joe Manchin said about his power in the Senate

A lot of people aren't happy with Sen. Joe Manchin.

This shouldn't come as a surprise. As soon as it became clear that President Joe Biden's party would have the slimmest of majorities in a 50-50 Senate, the West Virginian Democrat was transformed into the most influential member of Congress. As the furthest right senator in the caucus from the reddest state of any Democrat, he is the most likely candidate to defect from any of the party's priorities.

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WaPo reporter slammed for showing GOP senator 'mean tweet' from Neera Tanden: 'Does she think she's the Republican Whip?'

On Wednesday, Washington Post White House reporter Seung Min Kim walked up to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), one of the few Senate Republicans who has not yet announced a position on confirming Office of Management and Budget nominee Neera Tanden, and showed her an old tweet from Tanden critical of Murkowski's support for the 2017 GOP tax law.

In the tweet in question, Tanden said of Murkowski's support for corporate tax cuts, "No offense but you sound high on your own supply." Murkowski claimed to never have seen the tweet before.

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There is a distressing fact hidden in seemingly terrific new income statistics

We have stunningly good news today: wages in 2020 grew at by far the fastest rate in the last 45 years.

The bad news: it's a statistical anomaly caused by Donald Trump's lethal mishandling of the coronavirus. The pandemic wiped out almost eight million jobs held by lower-paid workers and only two million better-paying jobs.

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The annoying truth about Joe Manchin

We spent hundreds of millions of dollars and endless hours of talk, debate and generally insulting campaigns to elect a new president, even undergoing months afterward of one side denying results, leading to an attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Where in all this was the decision to elect the winner to be Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVa.)?

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