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  • ‘At Least You Get A Judge Out of It’
    Ben Sasse is worried. With 22 days to go before the election, the Nebraska senator and his colleagues are about to begin a showdown over the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, which he likened to the deadly 19th-century feuds between the Hatfields and the McCoys. Barrett’s confirmation hearings, which begin today, will likely become a spectacle of the intense partisanship—Sasse described it as “WWE slap-down tribalism”—that now characterizes all Supreme Court nomination fights. Perhaps most troubling, Barrett’s potential ascension is coming at a time of crisis for American democratic norms. President Donald Trump has consistently cast doubt on the integrity of November’s election by spreading conspiracy theories about mail-in ballots, suggesting that the election should be postponed, and refusing to say that he’ll agree to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses. “All of those are mistakes by the president,” Sasse told me. “Right now, I think… ..... Read More.
    THE ATLANTIC – Politics | Politics & GovernmentMon, October 12, 2020
    1 week ago
  • How Churches Are Failing Black Parishioners
    Across the country, Black Americans feel under siege from the coronavirus pandemic and raw from the police brutality fueling Black Lives Matter protests. But some are nursing another intimate wound: their church’s failure to acknowledge their pain. Many Black parishioners, especially those at multiracial institutions, bristle when they hear rhetoric from church leaders that ignores how health inequities and racism are affecting the Black community right now. Others are hurt by their church’s conspicuous silence on these issues. The result is a quiet but resolute contingent of Black church members leaving their congregation to seek spiritual healing elsewhere.Leaving one’s church represents a personal loss for the individual, but the institution also suffers when parishioners decide to take their valuable perspectives away from the flock. It’s still too early to quantify exactly how many Black churchgoers nationwide have made such a decision, or how many might still leave their church if… ..... Read More.
    THE ATLANTIC – Politics | Politics & GovernmentSun, October 11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hillary Clinton Says She Was Right All Along
    Spencer Platt/GettyOnly one Democrat other than Joe Biden has experience running for president against Donald Trump, and she’s not quite over 2016, or confident that Biden will be able to do what she couldn’t.Hillary Clinton has been in lockdown like everyone else. It feels like Groundhog Day, she told me Wednesday afternoon. But existential exhaustion looks different for a woman who has spent the past four years thinking about the final month of the 2016 election—and who worries that Vladimir Putin, disinformation, and our deep political divides will still threaten American democracy even if Biden wins.In many ways, Clinton feels vindicated by how the Trump presidency has played out, and by what Americans have learned about him over the past four years—including the recent revelation that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2017. That “was even worse than I thought it was,” she said. But being right… ..... Read More.
    THE ATLANTIC – Politics | Politics & GovernmentFri, October 9, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • The Long Life of a Bizarre Mask Conspiracy
    When I first waded into the latest mask conspiracy theory, I was literally wading.About a month ago, I was in my local pool when I overheard a middle-aged woman in the next lane whisper it to her friend, in the way you vaguely assert something that you’re pretty sure is true but don’t fully understand. “Masks don’t even do anything,” she said. “In fact, they can make you sicker. Because you’re breathing in all the ... stuff ... you breathe out.”“OK Boomer,” I thought. I dismissed her as a random neighborhood conspiracist and swam my laps.But then I started to see this false notion appear more frequently on Facebook. It wasn’t the typical argument anti-maskers use, that mask mandates infringe on people’s freedoms. It was that the masks themselves are causing illness. The horror of the idea was apparent even to me: the feds, in their hall-monitor stupidity, forcing you… ..... Read More.
    THE ATLANTIC – Politics | Politics & GovernmentFri, October 9, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • Biden and Harris Need an Answer on Court Packing
    Supreme Court confirmation battles have become all-out political wars, and last night’s vice-presidential debate offered a hint of the next stage in the escalation. Mike Pence and Kamala Harris were sparring over Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination when Pence turned to Harris, and posed a challenge.“Are you and Joe Biden going to pack the Court?” he asked her. In recent weeks, as Democrats have faced the possibility that an Antonin Scalia protégée will replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the bench, progressives have pushed a proposal to add new justices to the Court, arguing that this is the only way to safeguard decisions on voting rights, abortion access, and same-sex marriage. “This is a classic case of, if you can’t win by the rules, you’re going to change the rules,” Pence continued. He turned directly to the camera. “The American people would really like to know.”Harris refused to answer the question directly.… ..... Read More.
    THE ATLANTIC – Politics | Politics & GovernmentThu, October 8, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • The Coddling of the American President
    Most people admitted to the hospital are grateful if the staff makes them healthy. In President Donald Trump’s case, his doctors and top aides wanted to make him happy. Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center this week even though he’s still sick, vulnerable to a relapse, and spreading the virus with each maskless exhalation. He resents perceptions that he’s frail and weak, and so his team fed the illusion that he’s vital and strong. Advisers arranged a triumphant car trip around the hospital so that he could wave to fans, exposing Secret Service agents to needless risk.  “What he really doesn’t like is being portrayed as ill, weak, or sick,” a senior administration official told me. “He decided to show everyone he was okay.”[Read: What I saw at the White House]By staging photo ops and a video of his premature return to the White House, Trump’s staff again seemed… ..... Read More.
    THE ATLANTIC – Politics | Politics & GovernmentThu, October 8, 2020
    2 weeks ago
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