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Democracy In Crisis: Paul Ryan’s No Good Very Bad Day

Friday afternoon, after a dramatic capitulation, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan walked out before the press and conceded defeat on what had been his party’s primary concern for the last seven years. “Obamacare is the law of the land,” Ryan said. “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the immediate future.” It was […]

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Democracy in Crisis: Out of Standing Rock, the Birth of a New Environmental Movement

It is snowing in Washington — strange in early March after an insanely warm winter, but nothing compared to the cold many of the activists and tribal members gathered here endured in North Dakota while fighting against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Kristen Tuske, a 39-year-old Sioux woman from the Standing Rock Sioux […]

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Democracy in Crisis: Republicans seek leaks, raise possibility of prosecuting press

Republicans collectively twisted themselves into knots Monday in order to ignore what was really happening in the hearings on Russian hacking of the election and tried to use it as an opportunity for another attack on the free press. FBI Director James Comey confirmed during the House Select Intelligence Committee hearing into Russian interference in […]

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Democracy in Crisis: Sativa and Sessions are a bad combo

Washington these days has the paranoid atmosphere of a John Le Carré novel, with whispers of shady Russian connections lingering in the air like stale cigarette smoke and old tweets. Existential dread is the dominant mood — not only the dread of nuclear annihilation, but also of continuing to exist under a regime so topsy-turvy it makes imagining what will happen tomorrow impossible. Everyone is overwhelmed, simultaneously addicted to the constant upswell of scandal and false hope of normalcy. We’ve all become spies. […]

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Democracy in Crisis Podcast: Department of Justification & International Women’s Strike

Emily Bazelon, staff writer at the New York Times Magazine, joins the Democracy in Crisis podcast to discuss her latest piece called “Department of Justification,” which discussed the long-shared vision of Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Jeff Sessions. Then Kate D. Griffiths joins in to discuss the International Women’s Strike. […]

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Democracy in Crisis Podcast: Private prisons in the Trump era

Private prisons in the Trump era and getting (legally) stoned to cover the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), those are the topics on deck for the latest Democracy in Crisis podcast. Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo supporting the federal government’s continuing use of private prisons, rescinding an Obama administration directive […]

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Democracy in Crisis: Flynn’s transformation from ‘Water Brother’ to hardliner

Unlike Milo Yiannopoulos, who lost everything at once, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn wasn’t entirely ruined when he resigned as national security advisor on Feb. 13.

“For your information, we are not throwing Mike Flynn off the Water Brothers surf and skate team.”

That’s Sid Abruzzi, owner of the Water Brothers surf and skate shop in Newport, Rhode Island, and a grizzled old head on the scene. I called him when a line in “General Chaos,” Nicholas Schmidle’s recent New Yorker’s profile of Flynn slammed into me like Chris Miller hanging up at Del Mar in 1985. […]

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Democracy in Crisis Podcast: Lessons from ‘The Battle of Algiers’

Author Sohail Daulatzai and Baltimore City Paper Editor Brandon Soderberg talk about the legacy of the 1966 film The Battle of Algiers and what that film can teach us today about resistance, neocolonialism and counterinsurgency based on Daulatzai’s book, Fifty Years of ‘The Battle of Algiers:’ Past As Prologue. The film delved into the the […]

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Democracy in Crisis: Trump’s press conference shows, yet again, that reality is his real opposition

For a moment earlier this week, it seemed that the regime might have to come to terms with the reality the rest of us share. But Trump’s Thursday press conference reaffirmed the notion that objective reality is his real enemy. As the story of Mike Flynn’s ignominious resignation broke, the far far right immediately said […]

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Democracy in Crisis Podcast: Immigration Crackdown

In this edition of the Democracy in Crisis Podcast, hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner talk with reporter Aura Bogado about a powerful profile she wrote in Teen Vogue about 14-year-old Jackie Rayos-Garcia whose mother Guadalupe García de Rayos was detained while talking to immigration officials and deported — perhaps the first deportation under the […]

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Democracy in Crisis: A historic day behind the scenes with Jeff Sessions

Senators shuffle by the desk on Tuesday to cast their votes on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education, chattering like kids returning from summer break to find that everything has changed. Somehow even the victors seem confused. None of them really expected the world to look like this. Except, maybe, Sen. Jeff […]

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Democracy in Crisis: Trump’s tough-on-crime agenda

President Trump met with law enforcement leaders twice last week, saw Jeff Sessions confirmed as top cop, and signed three tough-on-crime executive orders, which were then condemned by an organization composed of some of the nation’s top law enforcement officers. Here’s how Trump’s tough-on-crime week went down:  Trump met with law enforcement brass from major […]

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