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Donald Trump

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JD Vance went from smart NeverTrumper to a MAGA clone. Why?

J.D. Vance. Photo credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images

In 2016, I started hearing about this young man that had written an autobiography of his life that was a peek into the lives of the white working class. He talked about growing up with a mother dealing with drug addiction and being raised primarily by his grandmother. Using his experience he offered some insight about this group and the public was fascinated. That book, Hilbilly Elegy, became a best seller. That young man, J.D. Vance became famous. It was the…


No one voted to let the former president off for slander to deny sexual assault allegations

Photo: History in HD on Unsplash

She probably wouldn’t remember me, but around the time Barack Hussein Obama made history, I was seeking employment from columnist E. Jean Carroll in the dismal state that was the media industry during its digital-fueled implosion in the midst of the Great Recession.

“Michael, you are stunningly funny!” she wrote in one of the more polite rejection emails I received in that era. “You KILLED with your application to AskEJean’s Dope Astrology. I received 496 submissions and you made it into the TOP 12!!” …


An appreciation of how wonderfully, revolutionarily boring Joe Biden has been as president

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

What’s President Joe Biden’s position on the legal travails of Representative Matt Gaetz? Where does he stand on the removal of some Dr. Seuss books from publication? What public comments did he make about the Japanese golfer who won the Masters last weekend? What does President Joe Biden think about NFTs? After copious research, I believe the answers to those questions are none, he doesn’t, he didn’t, and he almost definitely has no idea what that is.

I keep trying to articulate just what we are currently experiencing as a country, and I think I’ve found a good comparison. Do…


The ratings are down for political programming. Good.

It has been a difficult few years for the media industry, with newspapers being raided by vulture capitalists, once-great websites being gutted by private equity firms and the President of the United States referring to journalists as “enemies of the people,” rhetoric that inevitably led to disturbed people trying to kill them. The news media is the least trusted institution in the United States (other than Congress, of course), which is a bad sign when your entire reason for being is to inform, and to be trusted by, the public. It’s a rough time all around.

But one thing that…


We now can see who Donald Trump really is without the power of the presidency behind him

Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan. Photo: James Devaney/Getty Images

I understand — I strongly endorse, in fact! — not wanting to look at or think about Donald Trump anymore. The man took up every available ounce of oxygen in American life for more than a half-decade, which was of course the point of his whole self-aggrandizing bull rush of an experiment in the first place. (The world exists for Donald Trump only in how much it’s currently talking about him.) It’s quite reasonable if you have decided that you have had enough. Lord knows I get it. I’ve tried to do the same.

But. I cannot stop watching the…


I’ve received a few myself—and it’s time to let Trump-loyalist relatives go

Rep. Adam Kinzinger during a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty Images

Adam Kinzinger is a Republican congressman from Illinois representing roughly the Rockford area, an area that voted for Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Kinzinger didn’t grow up in Rockford, though; he grew up in Normal, Illinois, home of Illinois State University, where he went to college before joining the Air Force and flying missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I know Normal. It’s about an hour and a half from my hometown of Mattoon, and when I was in high school, Normal played baseball in our conference. We swept a doubleheader from them my senior year. Kinzinger…


By failing to hold him accountable for the Capitol insurrection, Republicans have co-signed Trump’s attack on democracy

Sen. Josh Hawley gives Sen. Ted Cruz a thumbs up before the conclusion of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump’s lies led to a bloody riot, desecration of the Capitol building, mass violence, and the tragic deaths of seven people. Now that he has again been impeached by the House but avoided conviction in the Senate, one thing is clear: His party has learned nothing.

Or perhaps more troubling, they’ve learned to imitate him.

The shameful January 6 display at the Capitol began long before that day. It began as soon as Trump started telling what critics have called “the big lie”— the claim that the election was stolen by Democrats. Trump didn’t mean the election…


What you need to know about the unprecedented second trial of Donald J. Trump

Donald Trump turns from reporters as he exits the White House to walk toward Marine One on the South Lawn on January 12, 2021
Donald Trump turns from reporters as he exits the White House to walk toward Marine One on the South Lawn on January 12, 2021
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump presents a series of unusual constitutional questions. There is little argument about the facts of the case: Donald Trump repeatedly tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election and then, on January 6, 2021, egged on a crowd that would later storm the Capitol, terrorize lawmakers, damage historic property, and kill a policeman. Instead, the debate and Trump’s likely defense have pivoted on questions of law. Can a federal official be impeached after leaving office? And were Trump’s actions an impeachable offense? …


There’s Trump’s America and Biden’s America, and here’s where the lines are drawn

Photo: traffic_analyzer/Getty Images

The world remains a scary, perilous place and we remain in a period of grave danger. But it is undeniable that whatever your politics, the last two weeks have been so pleasant, so quiet. It turns out not having an attention-famished monster obsessed with authoritarianism and social media in the White House does wonders for the volume dial on the national stereo. There have been whole hours where I have not thought about politics one whit. Eventually, I might even make it a full day. It’s nice.

But the quiet should not provide the illusion that everything is better, that…


It’s going to be hard to fix anything until we fix this

Sen. John Cornyn and his wife Sandy Cornyn participate in a mock swearing-in ceremony for the 117th Congress. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

On Monday afternoon, Sen. John Cornyn, a grown human being for whom nearly 6 million Texans voted to represent them as their Senator just last November, tweeted this:

But there are at least two sides to this specific debate: Should a sitting senator preside over an impeachment trial of a former federal official? Or should a…

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