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MAGA-land’s Favorite Newspaper

MAGA-land’s Favorite NewspaperPhoto-illustrations by Kibele Yarman*The rural hamlet of Cuddebackville, New York, is home to a guru named Li Hongzhi, who calls his 427-acre compound Dragon Springs. At the center of the compound—a kind of timber frame Shangri-la—stands a massive replica of a Tang Dynasty temple. On March 19, 2020, Li wrote a message to his disciples titled “Rationality.” The message was about COVID-19, which was by then crippling New York City, 80 miles to the southeast. “Plagues and pestilence, by their very nature, are arranged by the Gods,” Li began. “When humans become corrupt in their hearts, they will generate karma, fall sick, and suffer calamities.”Li gradually worked up to his point, referring to the Chinese Communist Party by its initials: The pandemic “has come with a purpose and with a target. It has come to eliminate the followers of the evil Party and those who go along with…


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The Deadly Consequences of Apocalyptic Rhetoric

The Deadly Consequences of Apocalyptic RhetoricThe Republican Party’s “Flight 93” revolution tragically, but almost inevitably, came full circle this week in a storm of insurrectionary violence at the U.S. Capitol.Late in the 2016 presidential campaign, an anonymous author, eventually revealed as Michael Anton, a conservative scholar who later joined the Trump White House, described the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the “Flight 93 Election.” In his widely read essay, Anton insisted that a Democratic victory would change America so irrevocably that conservatives needed to think of themselves as the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11—the ones who chose to bring down the plane to save the U.S. Capitol from al-Qaeda hijackers. Letting the Democrat win, in other words, would doom the country.Trump supporters’ rampage on Wednesday represented a bracingly physical expression of that belief—and a bitterly ironic inversion of it. To save the country,…


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Biden’s Recovery Plan Would Extend the Federal Government’s Extraordinary Eviction Ban T...

Biden’s Recovery Plan Would Extend the Federal Government’s Extraordinary Eviction Ban T…The conversion of eviction bans from an emergency public health measure to a semi-permanent economic relief program continues apace with President-elect Joe Biden’s new $1.9 trillion recovery proposal. His plan calls on Congress to extend federal moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures through the end of September 2021. “Failing to take additional action will lead to a wave of evictions and foreclosures in the coming months, overwhelming emergency shelter capacity and increasing the likelihood of COVID-19 infection,” warns a fact sheet Biden released on his recovery plan. That the president-elect is assigning Congress the burden of extending the federal eviction ban—rather than claiming the authority to issue one by himself—is a silver lining. The Trump administration relied on an expansive, legally tenuous view of its own executive authority when it issued a sweeping eviction moratorium in September. Biden is instead encouragingly…


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The Capitol Riot, Qualified Immunity, and Politics as Usual

The Capitol Riot, Qualified Immunity, and Politics as UsualThis week we learned that at least two U.S. Capitol Police officers have been suspended and up to 15 are under investigation for inappropriate conduct during the January 6 insurrection that saw a violent mob storm the Capitol building in protest of Congress certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Of those on leave, one officer took a selfie with rioters, while the other donned a Make America Great Again hat and appeared to give out directions. The riot resulted in five deaths, including the fatal shooting of a woman and the killing of Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who was bludgeoned in the head with a fire extinguisher. ????NEW: Video sent to @NEWSY appears to show a Capitol Police Officer wearing a MAGA hat and escorting rioters around Capitol grounds and into the building to retrieve officers. At one point,…


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Listen: John Bresnahan Helps Us Understand What the Hell Just Happened

Listen: John Bresnahan Helps Us Understand What the Hell Just HappenedJohn Bresnahan has covered Congress for decades, previously as Politico’s Capitol Hill bureau chief and now as co-founder of Punchbowl News. On the podcast The Ticket, he describes what he saw inside the building as a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol this week—and what implications the searing event could have going forward.Listen to his conversation with host Edward-Isaac Dovere here:Subscribe to The Ticket on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or another podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they’re published.Below is a brief portion of the interview, edited and condensed for clarity:Dovere: John, you have been through a lot at the Capitol before. You were in the Navy long before you were a reporter. What is the moment at which it becomes clear to you that things cracked? And is it a scary moment when that happens?Bresnahan: I didn’t feel…


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When Impeachment Is an Act of Self-Defense

When Impeachment Is an Act of Self-DefenseRepresentative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, a 12-term veteran of Congress, was holed up in her office when the mob arrived. Thousands of MAGA diehards had followed President Donald Trump’s call to march to the Capitol to protest the certification of the Electoral College vote. “It was like a declaration of war against the United States, issued by the president of the United States,” Schakowsky told me.When she returned to Washington yesterday to impeach a president she holds personally responsible for the attack, she didn’t wear her members’ pin in public. The threat against lawmakers is ongoing—a reality driven home for Democrats like Schakowsky in a briefing they heard on Monday night, when leaders of the Capitol Police told them of a plot by insurrectionists to surround the Capitol, the White House, and the Supreme Court ahead of next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.So…


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