Category Politics/Culture

Four More Years: Why Bernie’s Anti-Capitalism Paves the Way for Trump

There was a revealing (and for Democrats, deeply foreboding) moment in Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate, quite apart from the shockingly bad, woefully unprepared, nearly moribund debut of Michael Bloomberg. It came when moderator Chuck Todd raised a question about a past Bernie Sanders statement from the fall, when he introduced a tax plan that his own economists said would reduce the fortunes of most billionaires by some two-thirds.

As reported in the New York Times, Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos’s fortune would shrink from $160 billion to $43 billion under Sanders’s plan. (Elizabeth Warren’s plan would allow Bezos to retain about double that: $87 billion.)

Asked at the time whether he thought billionaires should exist in the United States, Sanders said, “I hope the day comes when they don’t.” 

Todd followed up on that Wednesday night in this exchange in which Sanders g...

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Nancy Pelosi’s Loss of Form

Watching world-class sprinters run as fast as they do, your natural suspicion is that they are straining with every muscle, fists in balls pounding at the air, brows furrowed and veins in their neck ready to burst from the the sheer strain of racing at the 20+ miles per hour they do. But that’s not how it is at all. Instead, you see their palms completely open, brows smooth, and most improbably, cheeks bouncing back and forth against the sides of their face, all loosey goosey as the soft pliable flesh they are in their natural state.

The picture is one of a relaxed lope on a pleasant afternoon, which for sprinters, is a superhuman feat, when one really thinks about it.  Sprinters’ sculpted, muscle-bound bodies are finely wrought, explosive racing machines...

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So much has been swirling around and through the Kobe Bryant tragedy.

The sheer awfulness of it for families and friends of all nine victims.

The veritable religious shrines and assembled crowds and profound eulogies lamenting Bryant’s passing in particular.

The careful inclusion by more sensitive and attuned observers of the eight other victims, whose lives were also lost, in an equal, if not more awful sense, especially given that three of them were mere teenagers, their whole lives still ahead of them, snuffed before so much more experience of joy and discovery—and even sorrows—could inject themselves into the lives that they were still forming.

The deep communal grief so freely expressed by those who knew him (and those who didn’t, but in this era of mass, ubiquitous, unrelenting media, thought they surely did).

Teammates, opponents, executives, coaches, grown men all, weeping in this era of the ...

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The Perils of Patronization

That was quite the brouhaha during the Democratic presidential candidates debate the other night, when Elizabeth Warren mounted a seemingly choreographed attack against Bernie Sanders in response to a CNN report released a few days before the debate. In it, Warren alleged that Sanders had told her during a 2018 meeting that a woman could not be elected president. That led to the CNN panelist’s no-doubt eager follow-up question, given Sanders’s vociferous denials that he had said any such thing.

Oh boy, the prospect of fireworks and sniping, sneers, shouting and clenched jaws! (The entire series of debates having been entirely too civil for most media observers’ tastes.)

Warren didn’t disappoint, either during the kerfuffle over the Sanders comment or in the moment’s immediate aftermath...

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Impeachment’s Next Step: Ignore Oaths and Rule of Law

I will admit that I do not understand a key piece of the current impeachment battle that reached another milestone last night with the House of Representatives’ passage of two articles of impeachment against President Trump. I do understand the House’s action, which is to be followed by a trial in the Senate, as the Constitution requires. And that there is disagreement and high tension to be found in those matters, including squabbles between competing factions and viewpoints.

Messy business all around. Inevitably so.

But here’s what I do not understand: How can the putative jury foreman in that trial, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with at least one of his most ardent backers, Senator Lindsey Graham, take an oath at the beginning of that trial to serve as impartial jurors, but weeks before that even happens, they offer up the following statements:

McConnell, speaking to Fox News:

“Every...

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