This is how we know Jeff Sessions is a true white nationalist messiah

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III: From commanding the war against immigrants to crusading in defense of the travel ban; from sabotaging the deployment of science on behalf of those wrongly accused to giving urban police departments a free hand to murder blacks; by pioneering new lows in criminalizing dissent and waging jihad against even the medical use of marijuana—and, last but not least, by signing away a decade of bipartisan work to reverse America’s failed, racist mass incarceration policies—the attorney general knows how to get things done. He’s the one who knows how to keep his hands (relatively, so far) clean. As the president who hired him reveals himself as an incompetent, it is no surprise to learn that Sessions was Steve Bannon’s first choice, long before Donald J. Trump was a gleam in the alt-right’s eye. The attorney general is the true white nationalist messiah and the wheelhouse of the Trump Revolution.

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Gun advocates fear armed Trump supporters as they escalate threats of violence against progressives

A friend writes, “For basically the past six months or so I’ve been trying to tell my lefty friends in so many words, ‘Hey, there are a bunch of people on the Internet who are waiting for someone to tell them it’s okay to start shooting at you.’” He became concerned when a thread at the non-political firearms-enthusiasts website he regularly follows became filled with comments in all caps referring to liberals as enemies who must be shot. Developments both online and off following Donald Trump’s election have caused me to share his concern.

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Forget Sean Spicer -- the freak show in the new White House press corps is worse

With so many garish spectacles to feast your eyes on at the 33-ring Trump circus, some clowns are easy to miss. Especially the ones performing in proximity to Sean Spicer. Pry your eyes away from the Pagliacci of the Pressroom for a moment, however, and look hard at some of his supporting buffoons. They may not have attracted the notice of Saturday Night Live yet. But now that the White House is blocking outlets like The New York Times, BBC, and Politico from some press briefings, the ones who are still there are becoming an increasingly important part of the story.

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Unmasking Trump’s minister of propaganda Steve Bannon and his ‘Occupy’ film

Everyone has been asking me how Donald Trump can possibly thrive politically once his voters discover that what he said on the campaign trail was categorical bullshit. I respond by pointing out that people only know what they know, and what they know about Trump will be determined by a campaign of White House disinformation to rival Joseph Goebbels, abetted by a political media willing to serve uncomplainingly as its transmission belt. For instance, when the CIA reported its conclusion that the Russian government intervened to try to seal Trump’s victory, his transition team responded with a statement that said: “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history.” The Washington Post quoted it verbatim, like it was precipitation data from the National Weather Service—though in actual fact Trump’s Electoral College margin was in history’s bottom quartile.

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Here are the hustlers, hucksters, hacks, and cowards who helped elect Donald Trump

I was curious, so I did a bit of research on theories about why great civilizations fall. Some scholars point to the danger of overextended militaries, others on overwhelmed bureaucracies. Sometimes the key factor is declines in public health, often caused by agricultural crises. Political corruption is another contender, as are inflated currencies, technological inferiority, court intrigue, rivals taking control of key transportation routes, or an overreliance on slave labor. Others point to changes in climate, geographic advantages won and lost, or the ever-popular invasion by barbarian hordes.

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Republican 'vote fraud' goon squads are nothing new

Some scenes from the madness as we enter the final days before the 2016 presidential elections:

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Donald Trump's California drought conspiracy theory comes straight from Alex Jones' InfoWars

Donald Trump keeps on upping the ante. Consider what he said at a rally last week in Fresno, on the subject of California’s apocalyptic drought.

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Where did Trump come from? Tracing the political lineage of the orange-haired monster

I've been studying the history of American conservatism full time since 1997—almost 20 years now. I’ve read almost every major book on the subject. I thought I knew what I was talking about. Then along comes Donald Trump to scramble the whole goddamned script.

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Ronald Reagan pointlessly packing heat as president only makes sense in gun nut fantasyland

This article was originally published at The Washington Spectator

This past June, pulp novelist Brad Meltzer revealed that, while he was touring Secret Service headquarters for research on a White House thriller, agents shared with him what Meltzer called a “secret.” President Ronald Reagan packed heat. “It’s true,” they said. “A .38. Reagan used to hide it in his briefcase and take it on Air Force One.”

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Believing Trump will inevitably fail is just wishful thinking

This article was originally published at The Washington Spectator

One of the reasons I’ve been writing so much about the Donald Trump phenomenon has little to do with Trump himself. Rather, it concerns a subject of deeper fascination to me: the moeurs of America’s pundit class. That in any given era, the content of their opinioneering says more about them as a class than any particular subject of their maunderings. In these Disunited States, those who rise to rarified heights in the profession of opinion-mongering almost always do so by dint of their success in stretching our messy reality to fit a certain single socially approved conclusion: that America is in fact united. That extremes always revert to the mean, and that radicalism of any stripe always eventually fails, or falls away. They pronounced that Barry Goldwater, because he was on the verge of running for president, was going to quit being conservative, a “fascinating biological process, like watching a polliwog turn into a frog (The New Republic’s TRB, in 1963). “This is probably the end of Reagan’s political career,” they said in 1976 after he lost the Republican nomination to moderate Jerry Ford (the New Yorker’s Elizabeth Drew). And in 2002, they prophesized that the conservative movement was on its deathbed because it was “mired in ideological warfare at a time when the nation demands ideological peace” (Nina Easton of Fortune).

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