Sean Illing

Louisiana's Quiet Crisis: Cable News and the Folly of Disaster Porn Coverage

Louisiana is underwater.

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Trump Knows His Backers Believe Every Outrageous Lie About Obama – and He's Giving Them What They Want

Donald Trump has transgressed political norms without consequence for most of his campaign. He appeared to have crossed a line, however, with his attacks on the Khan family two weeks ago. Suddenly, fence-sitting Republicans like Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Adam Kinzinger decided to abandon ship. Even Trump supporters like Newt Gingrich fumbled for defenses of his behavior.

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The Damage Is Done: Republicans Plotting a Trump 'Intervention' Are Way Too Late

Republicans had a plan: warily endorse Trump while keeping a proper distance from his incendiary remarks. It was simple, really. This election wasn’t about Trump so much as Clinton. If you convince voters that the republic can’t survive another Clinton administration, supporting Trump becomes a kind of duty. He may be racist and temperamentally unfit, but he’s not Hillary and that’s enough.

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It's Worth Asking Again: Is Donald Trump Trying to Tank His Campaign?

In the last two weeks, Donald Trump has slandered the family of a dead soldier, committed treason by inviting Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s email account, admitted he lied about receiving a letter from the NFL, saw an Air Force mother get booed at one of his rallies, claimed Russia wouldn’t invade Ukraine even though they already have, refused to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan’s candidacy, falsely accused a fire marshal of limiting his crowd for political reasons, tossed a baby out of a rally, and called Hillary Clinton “the devil.”

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A Frightening Precedent: Can We Talk About the Dallas Police Using a Bomb Robot to Kill a Man?

The police shootings in Dallas last week were disturbing for a number of reasons. Most obviously, five officers lost their lives. Whatever your thoughts on police brutality or racism in the criminal justice system, there’s no justification for what happened. But last Thursday was also disturbing because of a dangerous precedent set by the Dallas Police Department. The lone gunman, Micah Xavier Johnson, was killed around 2:30 AM Friday morning after a protacted stand-off with the police. Trapped in the parking garage of a local college, Johnson negotiated for hours with the police, reportedly refusing to cooperate. Eventually, officers on the scene sent a robot into the garage and detonated an explosive device near the suspect, killing him instantly. “We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot,” said Dallas Police Chief David Brown. “Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger.”

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The Vicious Dialectic of Violence and Retaliation: A Plea for Dialogue and Peace After Dallas

Five Dallas police offers were killed Thursday night, another seven were badly wounded. It appears one man armed with a rifle ambushed the officers following a peaceful demonstration in downtown Dallas. The motives of the murderer are murky at this point. We know only that he was “upset about Black Lives Matter” and “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown. The gunman has been identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, a 25-year-old Army reservist from Dallas. Johnson was killed in a stand-off with authorities shortly after the shooting.

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Bernie Sanders Issues a Stern Warning: Europe's Populist Revolt Could Happen Here

The populist revolt in Britain and much of Western Europe isn’t reducible to a single variable, but it’s partly a reaction against a globalized economy that has failed the masses. It’s a frenzied, myopic reaction to be sure, but the underlying grievances are real. Mark Blyth, a political economist at Brown University, summed up the Brexit fiasco about as well as anyone could in a recent interview with AthensLive:

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Why the GOP Convention Will Almost Certainly Be a Trainwreck

Nominating conventions are designed to be infomercials for the respective parties. It’s three days of pomp and staged celebration. While there are occasionally bitter fights over nominees or platform positions, modern conventions have become highly engineered television spectacles: The nominees are anointed, future stars jockey for stage time, and everyone pretends that the previous 12 months of in-fighting never happened.

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The Republicans’ November Fantasy: A Glance at the GOP’s Swing State Strategy Ought to Delight Democrats Everywhere

It’s generally understood that presidential elections are decided in the so-called swing states. Everything reduces to turnout. Which is why the ground game is so important: You can’t get people to the polls without a sophisticated voter targeting operation, and thousands of staffers and volunteers on the ground doing the dirty work. To the extent that that’s true, Republicans are in trouble.

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