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Potomac Kabuki: Dems Deliberately Ignore Corruption for Doomed Impeachment Ploy

Today the US Senate acquitted Donald Trump on impeachment charges that should have never been brought. Faced with a mountain of open corruption, the Democrats chose to bring the weakest charge imaginable, one that involved subjective interpretations of conversations (some second-hand), the temporary withholding of weapons that Barack Obama refused to give to Ukraine – and the political fortunes of a top Democrat, ensuring that the entire case would be super-charged with partisan wrangling. This was a recipe for failure from the very start — and it is very hard to believe that the House leaders didn’t know this. There

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The Hallucinated Nation: Living in a Fever Dream

“Well, the train has pulled into the station: It’s putting out a poison steam. The cloud is rolling across the platform; It’s like you’re living in a fever dream…” Don’t Get on the Train, by the Holy Fools One reason why it’s so hard to get a handle on American politics, to say anything sensible about it, is that it takes place almost entirely in a hallucination. The country that most Americans feel they are living in does not actually exist.  In this, as in so many other ways, Trump’s reign has been a powerful – I would even say

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Internal Exiles in a Hard-Hearted World

The UK election is over. Now many Britons will have to learn what so many of us Americans learned long ago: you don’t live in the country you thought you lived in. The country you live in is a much colder, meaner, nastier, more bitter, unfeeling and hard-hearted place than you ever imagined. You will also have to learn what many Americans have learned, over many decades: to follow the example of the Soviet dissidents of yore, and become an “internal exile,” fighting to hold on to and, as best you can, to transmit the richer, deeper, more humane values

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Manliness is a Warm Gun (Bang Bang Shoot Shoot): A colloquy with David French of the National Review

In response to the mass slaughters this week, the “writer” and “political thinker” David French tweets:  “Few things concentrate the mind more than the terrifying knowledge that a person might want to kill someone you love. It makes you aware of your acute vulnerability.  [Here’s] why a criminal who comes to our house will face the business end of an AR-15…. French then links to an article he wrote for National Review — complete with a picture of AR-15s “on sale while supplies last” — which speaks of death threats he’s received. (You will forgive me if I don’t link to

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Witness for the non-Prosecution: Mueller, Pelosi and Trump’s Likely Triumph

Robert Mueller’s testimony on Wednesday was the very definition of anti-climax. After months of frantic build-up by the ‘Resistance’ (“At last, Mueller is going to nail Trump to the wall!”) Mueller merely noted — mildly, haltingly but correctly — that his report laid out evidence of obstruction of justice, and that is up to the House of Representatives to decide whether to use this evidence to impeach the president or not. This is precisely what we knew months ago. The report he released had already said all he had to say. His testimony was never going to add anything to

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No Call for Muellers: Impeachment Made Easy

This is one of my recent columns for the print version of CounterPunch. It was written several weeks ago. But the only thing that’s really changed is that Nancy Pelosi’s resistance to impeachment has grown even more adamant, even as the grounds for impeachment reach ever-more monstrous heights. The impeachment conundrum is remarkably simple. As I’ve said before, every single day of his presidency, Donald Trump violates the emoluments clause in myriad ways, all of them eminently impeachable. We don’t need to know how many angels can dance on the spine of the Mueller Report; we don’t need to parse

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Bipolar Disorder: America Magnetized by Despair

(This is my column from the latest print version of CounterPunch Magazine.) Looking at America today, you swing back and forth between two poles, both of them magnetized by despair. At one pole, you find yourself saying that things have never been as bad as this: we are in uncharted waters, in a foundering ship being swept toward the reefs. And when the crack-up comes, its horrors will outstrip our imaginations, making our cinematic dystopias look bucolic in comparison, as we devour each other in a dying world ruled by psychopaths, gangsters and warlords. Yet at the other pole, you

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CIA Über Alles: The Spooky Loyalties of Evan McMullin

Evan McMullin is a former (presumably) CIA operative who once declared that his main job with the Agency was “to go out and convince al Qaeda operatives to instead work with us.” In 2010 he left the CIA (presumably)  to become an investment banker, then served as an adviser and policy director for the berserk right-wing extremists in the House of Representatives until 2016. In that year, he launched a brief campaign for president, offering himself as an “anti-Trump” Republican (and garnering just over half of one percent of the national vote). Since then, he has postured as an above-the-fray voice

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Pence and the Benjamins: An Eternity of Anti-Semitism

There has been much throwing about of brains on the subject of anti-Semitism lately. But in the ceaseless and almost entirely cynical media-political imbroglio that has followed the “Benjamins” tweet of Rep. Ilhan Omar, I’ve seen nothing said about perhaps the most intense and thoroughgoing form of anti-Semitism in America today: an anti-Semitism that is not only prevalent but dominant in the halls of power at the moment. This virulent anti-Semitism — which in at least one respect surpasses that of the Nazis themselves — is passionately embraced by millions of Americans. Its most prominent adherent right now — in

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Fake News and Phony Watchdogs: Journalists Loving the Liars They Cover

Do the American intelligence services knowingly plant false stories in mainstream newspapers? Do reporters for mainstream news agencies know of this practice? Do they approve of it? Yes, yes and yes. A 2014 story by The Intercept (which I ran across recently) revealed the collusion and kowtowing of an LA Times reporter (now at AP) in his dealings with the CIA, the agency he was supposed to be covering as one of ever-fierce watchdogs of out freedom-loving Fourth Estate. Drawing on a trove of emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the Intercept’s story lays out the embarrassing work

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