Don’t blame the 'dumpster cult' for banal evil

Peter Navarro was one of the criminal former president’s top advisors. He’s now the second one, following Steve Bannon, to be convicted of contempt of the Congress. A jury handed down a verdict yesterday. It found him guilty of refusing to cooperate with the J6 committee that investigated Donald Trump’s attempted paramilitary takeover of the US government.

Michael Cohen, who is perhaps the only former Trump aide to seem truly regretful of his association with him, was on MSNBC the night before Navarro’s conviction. Chris Hayes asked why people like Navarro don’t realize they’re in trouble before throwing their lives away for Trump.

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What’s the point of no return for a Biden-Trump rematch? It’s later than you think

The notion of reprising any moment of the nightmare year of 2020 produces a gag reflex from a sizeable majority of Americans. So it’s no surprise that rare consensus in our politically ruptured nation is this:

Please no rematch between President Joe Biden and the quadruply indicted Donald Trump. No one liked the original movie, so the octogenarian sequel – “The Old and the Restless” – surely would flop.

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Billionaires, bigots and bullies: There's nothing patriotic about today's Republicans

“[I]t is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of our national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned, and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.” — George Washington Farewell Address September 17, 1796

The GOP has abandoned even a pretense of caring for our country and supporting democracy at home and abroad. Now all they care about are bigots, billionaires, and bullies.

There was a time in this country when most Americans — regardless of political affiliation — agreed on a basic set of principles:

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'White Supremacy': a poem

Some said that, with Obama, it was past —
That racism was done. It couldn’t last!
But they forgot our history’s basic twist.
Our origins are white-supremacist.

Our founders, all of European stock,
On superiority assumed a lock;
Considered all but white to be quite savage …
Theirs to control, command, confine — and ravage!

Though slavery’s the major exhibition,
Other tragedies deserve more exposition.
Schools for “Indians,” their culture to erode;
The KKK, the lynchings, and Jim Crow.

No matter what we think or how we act
White supremacy’s embedded; that’s a fact.
For our culture, institutions, and our laws
Were created and designed to serve The Cause.

To get a loan; a house to own; and voting rights
The main condition was: you must be White.
Boys of color get the lecture, “Just behave!
For to the so-called law, you may be prey!”

DeSantis and his cronies make the case:
We must not look this history in the face.
Their purpose is both obvious and cruel —
Have White supremacists regain their rule!

Carolyn McGiffert Ekedahl is the former deputy inspector general for inspections at the Central Intelligence Agency and co-author of “The Wars of Eduard Shevardnadze.”

Why Kevin McCarthy can’t keep tap dancing

I think we are missing an important factor in the discussion of the House Republicans and their desire to avenge Donald Trump by impeaching Joe Biden. What’s missing is an appreciation of the difference between two things that constitute the entire discussion and our understanding of it.

There are reasons.

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‘Existential fight’: Five ways the media must cover Donald Trump as an authoritarian threat

The presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, is promising to dismantle this country’s government institutions and increase his power if he returns to office. He’s also threatening to jail his political opponents.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is currently a distant second in the Republican primary, also plans to dismantle America’s institutions and attack our democracy should he become president.

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'This is unprecedented': Record-breaking rain brings deadly flooding to Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria

Historic flooding in Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria has killed at least 11 people as rain followed heat and fire in a summer of extremes.

The storm knocked out bridges, swept cars out to sea, and made roads impassable, dumping more than two feet of rain on some parts of Greece within hours.

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Columnist: Donald Trump is spreading a dangerous mental illness to his supporters

Donald Trump has built a cult around himself. This is dangerous to America and dangerous to democracy.

Cults of personality in governance are broadly incompatible with democracy. They usually erupt in dictatorships where the Great Leader’s face and sayings are splashed all over public places. Think Mao’s China, Stalin’s USSR, Hitler’s Germany, Kim’s North Korea.

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How the GOP suckered America on taxes

Over the past 40 years, Republicans have pulled off an incredible magic trick. They’ve convinced average working people that tax cuts benefit them when in fact the opposite is true.

It all boils down to two simple principles, which are — unfortunately — a mystery to most Americans and ignored in both our political and media discussions of income taxes.

1. Income tax cuts for the morbidly rich raise a nation’s debt but do nothing else. Reagan’s BS “trickle down” claims notwithstanding, tax cuts for the rich don’t even stimulate economic growth: they just fatten billionaires’ money bins and offshore accounts. And because tax cuts on the rich are paid for by increasing the national debt, they’re a drag on the economy. They make rich people richer, but make the nation poorer.

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D.C. insider on the terrifying next 14 months

The week after Labor Day weekend usually signals the start of a return to serious business — summer vacations over and kids back to school, fiscal years ending and new ones beginning, cleaning up and battening down for winter.

This particular week after Labor Day also marks the start of a terrifyingly high-stakes ride for America — five months until the beginning of the primaries, eight until Trump’s trial for seeking to overturn the 2020 election, 10 until the Republican convention in which Trump is almost certain to be nominated, 14 until the presidential election of 2024.

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The feds are about to take on Google’s alleged anticompetitive behavior. The history involves the ‘Chicago School.’

The federal government’s biggest antitrust trial against a tech giant since it took on Microsoft in the late 1990s is scheduled to open Sept. 12. Who has the best case? Hard to say. We’re leery whenever the government intrudes into a marketplace, and this case is no slam-dunk. Google is accused of anticompetitive behavior in its core web browser business. And even though Google and its fellow tech giants have been flaunting monopolylike power for years now, this lawsuit’s tortured history doesn’t fill us with confidence. In what smelled like an attempt to win quick political points, the Trump ...

Grifters, wannabees and Putin-style autocrats: Here's why the GOP is no longer a legitimate political party

US News and World Report had a story about how the fringe has become the mainstream in the Republican Party. The headline of the story says it all: “Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Rises From GOP Fringe to Front.”

The backstory here is fascinating and grim.

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Iowa town blocked Pride group from Labor Day parade

This article originally appeared in Bleeding Heartland, a news and commentary website covering Iowa politics.

City leaders in Essex, Iowa, a town of about 722 people, ignored warnings about the First Amendment when they prevented local LGBTQ residents from participating in the town's Labor Day parade on September 4.

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