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Death Watch: Dispatches from the Demise of a Nation

Here are a few Facebook dispatches from the last 24 hours of the ongoing collapse of the American republic: Donald Trump has just asserted, on national television, that he has total power over America and can rule like a dictator. “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total.” And what did the opposition party controlling the House of Representatives do in response to this authoritarian power grab? It announced that … it was going to extend its already month-long Easter vacation to May 4, “unless there is an emergency.” So let’s be clear about the Democrats’ position.

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The New Gathering

Thinking about the painful absence of physical proximity forced upon us in a time of pestilence, and looking forward to the new gathering when it’s finally over. A very rough cut of a song just written. I’m thinking, my friend, of the meeting That we will enjoy one fine day We’ll throw our arms around each other And hand in hand, we’ll go on our way And we’ll all gather at the river Where the sweet water flows by so clear We’ll laugh and we’ll mingle together And sing till the morning is here I still see your face in

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The Invisible Man: Joe Biden’s Deadly Abdication

Joe Biden’s disappearance from public view during an extreme national crisis is one of the most astounding, jaw-dropping abdications of responsibility I have ever seen in a public official — especially one who might well be the next president. The excuse his aides offer about “struggling to set up the technology” so he can communicate to the public is ludicrous, and insulting in its transparent falsehood. If he is isolating because he might have the disease, he should tell us. If he is simply overwhelmed by the crisis and doesn’t know what to do – or even worse, is waiting

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Blowing in the Whirlwind: As Ye Sow, Joe Shall Ye Reap

Joe Biden’s manifold and manifest vulnerabilities in a contest with the obviously addled but still media-savvy Donald Trump are often offered by supporters of Bernie Sanders as a reason to back their man as the more likely winner.  “Biden will lose,” they say; “if you really want to defeat Trump, then Sanders is the only one who can do it.” There are strong arguments for that case – not least the fact that Sanders has consistently, since 2015, outdone every Democrat in head-to-head polls against Trump. Certainly, I would rather see Sanders as the nominee. And certainly, I have been

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Chill Factor: Wikileaks Trial is a Trump Travesty Aimed at Killing Truth

It doesn’t matter what you think of Julian Assange personally; his personality is not on trial. He is facing charges for one thing only: publishing incontrovertible evidence of US war crimes in Iraq. If he is extradited to the US and convicted, then every single media outlet that publishes evidence of government wrongdoing will face the same threat. That is the point of his prosecution: to put a chill of fear into every journalist and editor who receives evidence of government crimes. The extraordinarily brutal treatment Assange is getting even as his extradition hearing goes forward this week is part

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Shades of 68: How Far Will Our Elites Go to Stop Sanders?

Because I have teenage children who sometimes look to me to give them a sense of hope for the future, I try to be as optimistic as I can whenever we talk of US politics and the possibility of positive change in the nation’s dire situation. The success so far of Bernie Sanders’ campaign is one thing they cling to in hoping that the world they inherit will not be as unrelentingly bleak as it now appears it will be. But in my deepest heart, here is what I truly believe: the bipartisan US power structure will never allow Bernie Sanders

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Thanks, Founding Dads! How Trump Could Lose Popular & Electoral Vote and Still Win

Due to the American political system’s in-built, fundamental, anti-democratic nature, it is entirely possibly that Donald Trump could be re-elected in 2020 even if he loses the popular vote by millions of votes AND also loses the Electoral College (the 18th-century system-rigging gimmick that gave the vote-loser his “victory” last time). And it would all be perfectly fair and square under our unfair, unsquare system, as the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics reports. How is this possible? Simple. If neither candidate wins the required 270 Electoral College votes, then the House of Representatives must choose the president from the

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The Human Losers or the Husks in Power: Which Side Are You On?

Dying behind bars: 33-year-old inmate’s stage 4 cancer going untreated in Alabama prison My best friend from high school was in and out of the prison system the last two decades of his life. He was a drug addict. This was before the opioid epidemic; his poison was crack cocaine. His father had been a raging, violent alcoholic and his mother was a broken woman with chronic illnesses. My friend spent most of his adult life trying to take care of her.   His addiction put in him in dire need of cash all the time, even as it made

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Some initial notes on “The Long Dark”

Scratched down in a notebook in a cafe during a lunch hour, in a grim week of bad news. More to come, perhaps: We are in the Long Dark now. Both hope and despair are the enemies of our survival. We must live in the awareness that we might not see the light come back, without ceasing to work — with empathy, anger and knowledge — for its return. We must be here, in the moment, experiencing its fullness (whatever its horrors or joys), yet be elsewhere, removed from the madness pouring in from every side, the avalanche of degradation.

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