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‘He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting’

‘He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting’

I’ve read a lot of articles this week about the people and towns most affected by the current government shutdown, including this one about a small town in Florida where one of the biggest employers is the prison. The prison was shuttered by Hurricane Michael and many of the prison employees were already driving 400 miles for shifts at a prison in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Now they are doing so without pay and without reimbursement for travel expenses. It’s awful….

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Mike Pence’s Loud Silence

Mike Pence’s Loud Silence

“Talk less, smile more.” This is the advice Aaron Burr gives to Alexander Hamilton in the first act of Lin Manuel-Miranda’s remarkable musical. According to Burr, speaking up provides fodder for your enemies. Better to keep your opinions to yourself until you know which way the political winds are blowing. This seems to be the Vice President’s current political strategy. We know Mike Pence saw “Hamiton,” because Brandon Victor Dixon famously took to the stage to make an impassioned plea…

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Please, Don’t Feed the Bully

Please, Don’t Feed the Bully

Bullies are insecure jerks. You know this if you managed to survive your junior high and high school years. Bullies attack because they fear being attacked. Bullies point out perceived flaws in others to deflect examination of their own shortcomings. The best way to deal with a bully is usually to ignore him. It’s easier said than done. Take the bully-in-chief, who delights in slinging adolescent insults. Horse face, dog, fat pig, slob—and these are just a few of the…

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Frat Boy Justice, the Musical

Frat Boy Justice, the Musical

Kavanaugh’s damage was wholly self-inflicted. As I watched him weep and pound his fists and flip binder pages with the petulance of a grade schooler, I wondered how he’d ever landed a job of any kind. He seems temperamentally unfit to work retail.

Notes From a Dumb Southerner

Notes From a Dumb Southerner

Apparently the current president called his attorney general a “dumb southerner” and made fun of his accent. This is one of many ugly incidents reported in Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book Fear. Look, I don’t like Jeff Sessions. He is a racist, sexist, homophobic, and self-righteous little man. But “dumb southerner” is an insult too far. One of Trump’s most annoying verbal habits is that he slings broad insults rather than specific ones. Calling Sessions a “dumb southerner” implies that all (or most)…

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This is Not a Good Guy

This is Not a Good Guy

Paul Manafort is not the best people. Yesterday, as news came down about Manafort’s eight felony convictions, the president kept insisting that Manafort is really “a good guy.” He isn’t. Good guys don’t hide their money in overseas bank accounts in an effort to defraud the federal government. Good guys don’t lie about their assets to get bank loans. Good guys don’t drape themselves in python and ostrich. Truly they do not. Manafort was convicted primarily of fraud. He lied…

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Trump is Talking About Himself

Trump is Talking About Himself

Trump can’t shut up about ‘collusion’. First it was “no collusion” and now he insists “collusion is not a crime.” I’ll bet he uses the word ‘collusion’ several dozen times a day in both public forums and private conversations. That’s not normal. Trump and his ever more unhinged lawyer Rudy Giuliani are correct: collusion is not a crime. It is, however, the perfect means to commit a number of crimes. People with actual legal expertise have enumerated the many, many…

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