Earlier this month, a lifetime ago in the Trump administration, an art dealer named Todd Brassner burned to death in a fire at Trump Tower. (The building did not have a sprinkler system on its residential floors because its eponymous owner refused to install one, citing its prohibitive cost). According to the New York Daily News, real estate mogul Trump was less than enamored of Brassner, reportedly referring to his tenant as "that crazy Jew." The scandal barely registered with the American public, but it offered yet another reminder that the Oval Office is still oozing with anti-Semitism, even after the departures of white nationalists like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka.
April 10th marked the 50th anniversary of the funeral of assassinated Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., capping a week of extensive press coverage about his life and death. However, all that coverage missed two key points that are even more important today than in 1968, when King was killed.
Last Saturday, the Election Commission of West Bengal (India) Amarendra Singh held a meeting of election observers at Sisir Manch in Kolkata. Singh was exasperated. “Total anarchy going on in the state,” he told his colleagues. He detailed at least “six incidents of anarchy from across the state.” When a man like Singh uses the word “anarchy,” he means mayhem and disorder. It is a stiff word to use. It refers to the fact that the state administration has lost control of the streets.
Sinclair Broadcasting employees worry they're being surveilled and that management could seek retribution against them, according to a new report by the HuffPost's Eliot Nelson. Sinclair has come under scrutiny this week after it was revealed the right-wing telecommunications company forced its local television anchors to read a promo to viewers denouncing the proliferation of "fake news"—a message that effectively amounted to propaganda for the Trump administration. While a handful of Sinclair television personalities have protested, the majority have stood by in silence, fearful that any form of criticism might cost them their jobs.
If you spent any time on social media over the weekend, you've probably seen it by now. On Saturday, Deadspin's Timothy Burke published a supercut of news anchors for the Sinclair Broadcasting Group reciting a distinctly Trumpian promo. "We’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country," each of them intoned. "The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media. More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories, stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first. Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think.'"
Earlier this month, the Democracy Fund voter Study Group released an astonishing report. While an overwhelming majority of Americans favor a constitutional democracy, 32 percent of Trump voters would prefer a "strong leader" who doesn't have to answer to Congress or a body politic. "The highest levels of support for authoritarian leadership," the Study Group concluded, "come from those who are disaffected, disengaged from politics, deeply distrustful of experts, culturally conservative, and have negative views toward racial minorities."
The Republican Party has a long history of denouncing America’s poor as freeloading parasites, living off the hard work and innovation of the rich while contributing nothing to society. The left, meanwhile, offers a more inclusive and egalitarian perspective, arguing that more poor Americans could join the middle class with the right education, training and opportunities. Too often, however, liberals and progressives end up shaming those they intend to help, criticizing lower-income earners for everything from their dietary choices to their inability to make charitable donations. And in so doing, they’re only adding to the misery of one of the country’s most vulnerable populations.
Since the turn of the 20th century, the University of Wisconsin has embarked on a "search for truth" in order to "serve and stimulate society." This philosophy is known as the Wisconsin Idea, and it's literally written into the state code. (The progressive governor and senator Robert M. La Follette Sr. was among its greatest champions). During budget negotiations in 2015, however, Republican Governor Scott Walker attempted to purge this language from the university's mission statement. No longer would the school "improve the human condition"; instead it would simply "meet the state's workforce needs."
Earlier this week, Donald Trump tapped a charter member of the Tea Party to lead the State Department and an established torturer to head the CIA. Both appointments were perfectly monstrous, but if there is a governing law of this administration, it's that things can always get worse. Consider the president's rumored replacement for national security adviser H.R. McMaster: According to multiple outlets, Trump has met with John Bolton at the White House and could offer him the position as early as next week.
Earlier this week, during a freewheeling speech to Republican donors at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump cracked the following joke about Chinese leader Xi Jinping: "He's now president for life. President for life. No, he's great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it's great. Maybe we'll have to give that a shot someday."
When Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, he touted the legislation as a financial boon for American labor. As recently as January, Trump pointed to $1,000 bonuses for employees that American Airlines, AT&T and Disney have announced as proof corporations would reinvest the billions of dollars they stand to save in their respective workforces. But if the president has offered a vision of how tax cuts for multinational corporations might operate in theory, an unfair labor practice complaint filed Tuesday reveals how they work in practice.