Biden is fueling the flames of a paranoia that Trump stoked before him

The news that Biden's administration is to provide legal support for unaccompanied migrant children in several American cities will doubtless be welcomed. The federal initiative is said to provide attorneys to represent children facing deportation proceedings after having entered the country on their own at the southern border.

But when examining United States border policy holistically, the move doesn't go nearly far enough. It's a drop in the ocean when considering the escalating humanitarian crisis — and it is a crisis — that exists as a result of US border policies, foreign policy and influence.

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Joe Manchin is making a big mistake about what it means to be 'entitled'

Joe Biden's human infrastructure bill (aka Build Back Better) promises the largest expansion of the social safety net since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. It is also one of the most pro-women and pro-child bills in US history. Among its progressive provisions are expanded child tax credits, paid leave and assistance with childcare expenses.

According to Axios, one reason the bill has stalled in Congress is due to US Senator Joe Manchin's demand that only one of these progressive provisions be included in the final version of the bill.

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Second Amendment ‘sanctuaries’ pop up across the country as Republicans rebel against federal gun laws

Republicans funded by the National Rifle Association have borrowed from the ideology of the slave-holding South to try to nullify federal laws about guns.

The most extreme proponents of Second Amendment "sanctuaries," claim, like slaveholders more than 150 years ago, that the federal laws are invalid and can be nullified by states. Abolitionists also did this. Northern states passed "personal liberty laws" to try to nullify the federal Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850.

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The real legacy of Colin Powell must not be forgotten

Colin Powell has died of COVID-19. One of the most unjustly lauded individuals in early twenty-first century America, an honest portrayal of Powell's legacy turns out starkly negative. From his cover-up of the My Lai Massacre to his lies about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction, Powell holds a great deal of responsibility for many of America's worst crimes in the last 60 years.

Born in 1937 in Harlem, Powell's parents were immigrants from Jamaica. He started working as a young boy in Jewish-owned stores around his house and learned Yiddish well enough to speak it for the rest of his life, sometimes speaking to Israeli reporters in the language.

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Trump and his associates are in hiding – Congress needs to drag them into the spotlight

Why is there even a question about prosecuting Stephen K. Bannon – and other advisors to Donald Trump — for snubbing a congressional subpoena? Since when is a formal summons optional?

For that matter, why are Republican members of Congress, including House Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy, ducking responsibilities to testify to the Jan. 6 select committee about what they did or did not do on that insurrection day?

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'Leave your Trump stuff at home': Fledgeling pro-Trump group calls for Nov. 6 rally in DC

"Leave Your Trump Stuff Home" is the title of the YouTube video. It's a tough sell for a group seeking to mobilize supporters for a rally at the National Mall in Washington DC on Nov. 6 around false claims that the 2020 election was stolen and the COVID pandemic is a hoax.

In early January 2020, various groups calling themselves the Patriot Party emerged, including the United Patriot Party led by Greg Gibson of Tobaccoville, NC. They hoped to entice Donald Trump to break with the Republican Party and head a third-party ticket in 2024, but Trump put to rest such speculation during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in late February, calling it "fake news."

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The facade of the GOP's respectability is crumbling

I speculated Thursday. I said 2020 might have been the Republican Party's best and last shot at an authoritarian takeover. I said I can't know if that's true. The time for knowing is not yet here. But if it is true, it's because respectable white people know what's going on. Let's talk about that.

You might think who cares? Swing voters are extinct! Don't be daft. Respectable white people — which is to say, white people who care about looking respectable to other white people — are the great globular middle of American politics. They determine which party prevails over long periods. From the 1930-1960s, they sided with the Democrats. From the 1980s-2010s, they sided with the GOP. I believe we are in a new moment of transition. Respectable white people are deciding which party speaks for them most consistently and why.

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'Dangerous': Inside Greg Abbott’s crazy Lone Star rebellion

Apparently, the Republican argument suggests, we should just forget about the coronavirus and ignore a disease that has killed 700,000 Americans, variously overrun our hospitals, interrupted jobs, businesses, and lives, and has spurred a strong political resistance movement.

Even as some courts have already endorsed the idea of government mandates for masks and protections against contagion, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is challenging the right of President Joe Biden to act for public health as "yet another instance of federal overreach."

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Trump and his dead-ender's hateful plan revealed

Trump's agenda is to destroy democracy in America, and the GOP and their billionaire donors are going along with it while much of the media are treating it like politics as usual. It's a two-part plan that involves both corrupting our election processes and fomenting a violent "rebellion" by white supremacists to shatter our society.

Part one is to end free and fair elections in America.

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'Playing the long game': A slow-motion coup by death-threat squad is happening underneath all of our noses

Michele Carew is the latest casualty in the Trumpist war on voting. The veteran elections administrator tendered her resignation to officials in Hood County, Texas, on Friday after a brutal campaign by Trump loyalists to oust her. Trump won 81 percent of the vote there, but Carew still found herself in the crosshairs of those seeking to entrench the GOP's control over election administration. They want to see Carew's duties reassigned to a county clerk, who is notorious for (what else?) sharing electoral conspiracy theories on social media.

Carew is one of many local election officials across the country who have chosen to quit rather than absorb right-wing abuse. Among 14 southwestern Ohio counties, one in four of their election officials has already called it quits. Pennsylvania is grappling with a similar exodus.

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Converting betrayal into mobilization for violent action: How the Oath Keepers radicalize military veterans

Two days before Christmas, Jeremy Brown, a retired Army Special Forces soldier, messaged his fellow Oath Keepers members in Florida on Signal that he had an RV and a van ready to travel to Washington DC for the gathering that would take place on Jan. 6, 2021.

"Plenty of gun ports left to fill," he wrote. "We can pick you up."

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Trump's latest statement may show the authoritarian Republicans have lost their last best hope for power

I want to share a thought with you. It may sound strange. It's that the 2020 presidential election may have been the Republican Party's best and last shot of an authoritarian takeover of the country. Now that it has failed, now that a majority of the American people understands what's going on and what's at stake, everything we are seeing now, no matter how scary it is, is a slow unwinding of an all-but-spent threat.

I'm getting ahead of myself, I know. We don't know what we can't know until the time has come in which knowing is possible. So I might be right about this, but I don't know if I am, because I can't know if I am until months or years from now. But there are small things suggesting to me, yeah, I could be right. What happened yesterday, for instance.

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Why are teachers in our country paid less? Because we devalue what they do

"Women's work"
Standard views by economists as to what determines wages will include worker productivity or supply and demand. Meanwhile, many economic sociologists claim that our societal assumptions about the value of a job influence the wages it can command. If a job is seen as "women's work," the wages for that job decline.

One version of this claim links the five c's — cleaning, catering, caring, cashiering and clerical work — to lower pay, because these jobs are predominantly female. One can see this without any complex analysis.

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Republicans have fully embraced political illegitimacy — leaving Biden to thread a tight needle

The thing you are not hearing from the Washington press corps is this: The Democrats are the party of the American majority. Right now, they represent the full range of legitimate politics. That includes the full range of ideologies, from conservative to democratic socialist. They aren't totally alone. There are maybe 10 House Republicans who want to cut deals. Ditto for maybe five Senate Republicans. Other than that, the Democrats are on their own. Frankly, that's how it ought to be.

The Washington press corps has created in recent weeks what Post columnist Eugene Robinson calls The Narrative. That's the story about a Democratic Party that can't get its act together, about a president who can't get competing factions to stop bickering. If they can't do that, then they are headed for defeat in the coming midterms. Yeah, well, Robinson said Tuesday, let's take all that with a grain of salt.

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Politicians could regulate Facebook -- but they'd have to admit ugly truths about themselves too

When 37-year-old Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before Congress on October 5, she brought thousands of stolen documents with her. They are the most conclusive evidence yet that the top social media company knows it profits from harming the public.

Like many whistleblowers, Haugen — a member of the civic integrity team — took an exciting job only to be implicated in what she believes to be an ethical catastrophe. Much has been made of her statement on "60 Minutes" that teenage girls who use Facebook are more likely to suffer from depression and self-harm. Endangering children rightly grabs the public's sympathy and concern.

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The truth behind ExxonMobil’s claims to support a carbon tax

When then-ExxonMobil lobbyist Keith McCoy conceded in a secretly recorded video in May that the oil giant voiced support for a carbon tax only because it assumed it would never happen, ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods said the company was "shocked by these interviews" and stood by its "commitments to working on finding solutions to climate change."

Wood's reaction was reminiscent of Captain Louis Renault feigning surprise to discover gambling at Rick's Café in the 1942 film "Casablanca." After quietly pocketing his winnings, Renault justifies closing down the nightclub by exclaiming, "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

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The next battle over vaccines may be the ugliest yet

The looming covid fight is about vaccinating children, and all indications are that it will be ugly.

While tens of millions of parents, likely those who got vaccines themselves, will line up their children under 12 to protect themselves and school classmates against contagion, polls, experience, and logic show that resistance to vaccination and denial of a medical emergency will make jabbing the young even more an emotional confusion than it has been with adults.

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The big steal of the 2022 election is well under way

We're seeing early results of the partisan campaigns of both parties to redraw Congressional districts in their favor. It's a quick dive into the poorly lit backroom of politics that can have a lasting effect on the results.

For those hoping that a decennial Census might help inform voting districts that more fairly match changing racial and ethnic population growth, the news already looks futile. For those hoping for some rational, fair, independent attempt to straighten the curious lines of individual districts, the early developments are not promising.

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Where there’s Trump, there’s fire: Blazes and explosions darken his businesses

Last Sept. 11, former President Donald Trump skipped the commemorative 9/11 events and instead posed for photo-ops in Manhattan with first responders. Many didn't know he had a lot for which to personally thank firefighters because just hours earlier seven local firehouses in upstate New York had battled a blaze at one of Trump's properties.

Trump, who became known as a faux reality television star by regularly throwing out the phrase "you're fired," seems to have had a serial loser's bad luck where fires are concerned.

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GOP sadism is out of control -- when will respectable white people wake up?

Too much depends on respectable white people. Those are white people who care about appearing respectable to other white people, who themselves care about appearing respectable to other white people. They are the great globular middle of American politics that determines electoral outcomes in this country. For the longest time, they sided with the Republican Party on account of tax cuts and other goodies.

Sadism isn't only about sex, though it can be, obviously. When I say "sadism," I mean the pleasure derived from seeing other people suffer. The Republicans have no policy goals. Their only goal is creating legal and political conditions in which the in-group is protected while the out-group is punished. But it doesn't end with punishment. It can't.

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‘Crying Nazi’ Christoper Cantwell is getting legal assist from a white supremacist as he prepares for Charlottesville trial

Christopher Cantwell, a violent neo-Nazi whose civil trial begins later this month for his role in organizing the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., has been receiving help to prepare his defense from Matt Hale, a fellow white supremacist housed in the communications management unit at USP Marion, a medium security US penitentiary.

Hale is the one-time leader of the World Church of the Creator, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "for a time one of the largest neo-Nazi groups in America." Largely composed of racist skinheads, the organization promoted a "theology" largely based around a belief about the supposed superiority of the white race. Since the early 1990s, followers committed to "racial holy war" have been convicted for murder, firebombing a NAACP office in Washington state, and plotting to bomb a Black church in Los Angeles. Hale is currently serving a 40-year sentence for soliciting the murder of a federal judge during the trial of Ben Smith, a follower who carried out a killing spree.

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How the neo-Nazi organizers of Unite the Right set the stage for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Days after neo-Nazi James Fields Jr. murdered antiracist activist Heather Heyer in a horrific car-ramming attack in Charlottesville, Va., the Daily Caller, a website founded by Tucker Carlson, quietly removed articles by contributor Jason Kessler.

Kessler was the primary organizer of the Unite the Right rally, which saw neo-Nazis chant, "Jews will not replace us," as they carried torches to the Rotunda at the University of Virginia on Aug. 11, 2017 and again the following day as they marched through Charlottesville.

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These 15 Bible texts reveal why 'God’s Own Party' keeps demeaning women

Why can't GOP politicians trumpet their religious credentials without assaulting women? Because fundamentalist religion of all stripes has degradation of women at its core.

Progressive Christians believe that the Bible is a human document, a record of humanity's multi-millennial struggle to understand what is good and what is God and how to live in moral community with each other. But fundamentalists believe that the Bible is the literally perfect word of the Almighty, essentially dictated by God to the writers. To believe that the Bible is the perfect word of God is to believe that women are tainted seductresses who must be controlled by men.

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DOJ backs shield law protecting gunmakers

President Joe Biden knows the anguish of two of his children dying, but his Justice Department is working to prevent grieving parents from being able to successfully sue gun dealers and manufacturers over the deaths of their children.

Mark and Leah Gustafson sued Springfield Armory, an Illinois gunmaker, and a department store in a Pennsylvania court over the death of their 13-year-old son, James Robert (J.R.) Gustafson Their son was killed on March 20, 2016, by a 14-year-old boy who mistakenly thought there were no bullets in the gun after he removed the magazine.

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Merrick Garland thinks he’s being neutral in the face of Trump’s crimes. He’s wrong -- he’s being complicit

The Senate Judiciary Committee released Thursday the latest in its investigation into the January 6 insurrection. The report detailed the degree to which the former president tried to straw-boss the Department of Justice into taking the side of his lies. It recounts what happened on January 3 when Donald Trump demanded Jeffrey Rosen, the former acting attorney general, give credence to fraud allegations. Trump failed, but three days later came his attempted coup d'etat.

I like Dick Durbin. He's the chair of the Senate Judiciary. He's a good senator. But I think he and the other Senate Democrats are not seeing what the rest of us are seeing. Donald Trump was more of a crime boss than president. His presidency is a crime scene as wide as it is broad. It can practically be seen from space. (Yesterday's findings are only the latest. More to come.) Yet Durbin and the Senate Democrats still insist on swaddling Trump's crimes in gauzy rhetoric. It not only veils who did what to whom. It's veiled what must be done to whom. After the report's release, Durbin said this is "a full-blown constitutional crisis."

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