Political analyst. Opinion columnist.

POLITICS

America needs a 9/11-style commission to combat the ongoing distortions about the election and the insurrection

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Photo by Joseph Allen on Unsplash

As Republican lawmakers and pundits watched their coup d’etat unfold in the Capitol on January 6th, a convulsion of political violence brought about by the prolonged campaign they and Donald Trump unleashed to contest the results of the election, many began weighing their options. If somehow the insurrection succeeded, they would of course be delighted to participate in whatever new right-wing dictatorship emerged from the ashes of American democracy. If it failed, as was likely given its apparently fumbling and ad hoc nature, they would need another way to shield themselves from the political fallout.

Prominent Republicans almost immediately began…


Politics

Donald Trump and his grotesque lies continue to dominate conservative politics, as his rockstar reception at CPAC shows

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Donald Trump’s speech at CPAC began somewhat apprehensively, as the former president stumbled over a word or two. He appeared slightly nervous, as if his subconscious knowledge of his recent election defeat was impeding on more appealing thoughts. But once he got going, digging into the base emotions generated by his nativism (more immigrant rapists), insane election denial, and his bizarre culture-war obsessions (transgender woman invading sports?) he seemed to fall into his sweaty rhythm, fed by the fervor of the adoring crowd.

He went over all the old classics and a few new ones, as I grew progressively more…


Politics

Joe Biden embraces tactical power politics, with airstrikes in Syria and a realistic reappraisal of the Saudi relationship.

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Photo by Rosie Kerr on Unsplash

President Joe Biden has indicated his administration will pursue a foreign policy grounded in power politics or what political scientists term Realpolitik considerations, as he simultaneously launches retaliatory airstrikes on Iranian proxies in Syria while “recalibrating” the American relationship with Saudi Arabia, a critical yet noxious ally in the Middle East.

In a somewhat muddled response, the Biden administration generated and then tried to tamp down renewed outrage over the grisly assassination and dismemberment of Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, releasing American intelligence agencies’ declassified assessments that Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered the murder but…


Politics

Rush Limbaugh peddled anger and conspiracy on the American right, and his influence lives on in our broken politics

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Photo by Gage Skidmore

On February 1, 2021 The Rush Limbaugh Show aired its last episode. The namesake of the show, sounding weakened with his trademark yowl but no less aggrieved, began by accusing Democrats of lying about Donald Trump’s role in the January 6th insurrection in their impeachment. Limbaugh was in the final days of a terminal illness, but he still had the strength to continue his tale of a “deep state” and the “mainstream media” conspiring against Trump, and on and on. Less than a month later he is dead.

Lung cancer finally ended the life of the original purveyor and profiteer…


The second impeachment of Donald J. Trump

Donald Trump escapes accountability again, as the GOP finds itself the party of lawlessness and disorder.

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Photo by Tony Mucci on Unsplash

In a grim day for American democracy, Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial ended in acquittal, with only seven Republicans breaking ranks and mustering the courage to vote to convict the former president for his incitement of the rebellion on January 6th. The GOP displayed its moral cowardice in a final spasm of loyalty for a fallen president who gleefully overran every institution and guardrail of American democracy during his surreal presidency, binding Republicans for all time in their complicity to the final violent insurrection he orchestrated.

The GOP’s decision effectively condoned the worst attack on America’s democracy the country has…


The Second Impeachment of Donald J. Trump

The second impeachment ends like the first, with Republicans covering up for Trump’s lawlessness with their own cowardice and ambition.

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Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash

The second impeachment seemed to be wrapping up, after the defense team sputtered and howled about a lack of due process, red-faced with rage as they claimed Donald Trump had nothing at all to do with the insurrection of January 6th. Self-proclaimed lead defense counsel Bruce Castor reprised his earlier dismal performance by going in dizzying circles as he worked hard to define the word “find.”

Defense co-counsel Michael Van Der Veen made a more abrasive if not entirely persuasive impression, channeling his inner Trump as he castigated Democrats and the House impeachment managers, accusing them of partisan hatred in…


The opioid epidemic

The story of the rise and fall of Oxycodone, and the tragic aftermath it left behind in its wake.

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(Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash)

Addiction to opiates was once seen as remote and exotic, more likely to appear in the reels of a Quentin Tarantino film than in American life. That changed after the release of a new form of easily-abusable Oxycodone called OxyContin, and dependence on opiates has since become a dark staple of the modern American experience. The rise of Oxy in America is a story of unrestrained corporate greed dovetailing with persistent failures in oversight by regulators and sheer incompetence in government, and the result has been a human tragedy of monumental proportions.

The idea of addiction as an inner city…


The Second Impeachment of Donald J. Trump

House impeachment managers use chilling footage of the insurrection as Republican Senators remain defiant and unmoved

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Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash

The opening salvos in Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial have been fired, as America relives the horror of January 6th in a trial that in all likelihood will end in the second acquittal of the ousted former president and renewed partisan hostilities on all sides. Democratic House managers began by presenting a compelling, well-documented, and passionate argument that Trump was personally responsible for the bloody siege on the Capitol, while the former president’s hastily assembled second-string legal team wobbled under the pressure, enraging Donald Trump with their shoddy defense as he watched live from Mar-a-Lago.

On the second day, House…


The Second Impeachment of Donald J. Trump

The Republican Party’s turn toward extremism is on trial alongside their deposed leader.

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Photo by Joseph Chan on Unsplash

As Senators gather in the secured “green zone” of a militarized Capitol, they will weigh more than just the political conviction of Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors. Ultimately, their verdict will determine the direction of the Republican Party, and the continued viability of American democracy.

Yet as we begin the former president’s second impeachment, it appears most Republican senators have little appetite for a serious accounting of the campaign to subvert democracy that led to the insurrection at the Capitol. …


The Party of Lincoln is fast becoming the party of fringe radicals.

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Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

It should come as little surprise that the House GOP refused to purge what Mitch McConnell recently called the “cancer” of hateful extremism and conspiracy metastasizing within their ranks. Despite the harsh words from the Senate Minority Leader, there is a certain logic to House Republicans refusing to condemn the current loudest purveyor of hate and lies in their caucus, Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. After a torturous four years spent dancing around and defending the constant noxious output of the purveyor-in-chief of toxic lies, Donald Trump, it’s apparently all they know.

The post-Trump GOP appears to be no closer…

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