Politics

Trump’s command economy

David A. Graham writes: Fate sometimes has an acute sense of irony. This morning, the political donor and philanthropist David Koch died. Koch’s father was an early, prominent supporter of the limited-government, red-baiting John Birch Society. Koch ran for vice president as a Libertarian in 1980, but he and his brother Charles eventually shifted their focus to pushing the Republican Party in an aggressively small-government, low-regulation direction. They had remarkable

David Koch escaped the climate hell he helped create

Brian Kahn writes: David Koch is dead. The billionaire died this week at age 79 of causes yet unknown. While he certainly enjoyed the fruits of his labors to deregulate U.S. industry and reduce taxes on the super-wealthy like himself, he will never have to experience the consequences of his biggest achievement: putting the entire planet on the brink of crisis in the service of enriching himself and a few

Global leaders urged to divert Brazilian government from ‘suicide’ path as Amazonian rainforest burns

The Guardian reports: International pressure may be the only way to stop the Brazilian government from taking a “suicide” path in the Amazon, one of the country’s most respected scientists has said, as the world’s biggest rainforest continues to be ravaged by thousands of deliberate fires. The large number of conflagrations – set illegally to clear and prepare land for crops, cattle and property speculation – has prompted the state

The information war of all against all

Peter Pomerantsev writes: “The powerlessness of our enemies is they are still trying to describe and fight us as if we were the old right-wing fringe groups that they faced decades before,” Martin Sellner, a figurehead of the European Identitarian Movement, told me, speaking from his flat in Vienna, Austria. “Our job as the avant-garde from the right is to show the people that the normality of tomorrow doesn’t have

Jewish Americans are not temporarily dislocated Israelis

Talia Lavin writes: The first recorded Jewish resident of North America arrived in 1585. His name was Joachim Gans, and he was a metallurgist from Prague, recruited by Sir Walter Raleigh to accompany would-be colonists to what would become Virginia. But the Roanoke colony was short-lived, and Gans soon departed, leaving behind a few lumps of copper and a goldsmith’s crucible for future archaeologists to discover. For centuries after Gans’s

Fires in the Amazon, the planet at risk

Tierra Curry writes: In Brazil, the Amazon rainforest is now burning at a record rate. The greedy, short-sighted policies of Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro are jeopardizing indigenous peoples and countless plants and animals. Indeed, in the midst of a climate emergency, Bolsonaro’s policies to slash environmental protections and develop the Amazon for mining, ranching and farming jeopardize the future of life on Earth as we know it. North America

Bipartisan support for Israel is dead — and that’s a good thing

Peter Beinart writes: It’s become a ritual. Every time Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu do something that outrages Democrats, centrist commentators warn that they are committing a grave offense: They’re making Israel a partisan issue. The accusation has been nearly ubiquitous since the two leaders last week conspired to deny Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar’s request to visit the West Bank. “Trump and Netanyahu are…eroding the bipartisanship that is

What ‘victory’ looks like: A journey through shattered Syria

The New York Times reports: Picking our way around the ruins of the Damascus suburb of Douma, it took a little while to realize what was missing. There were women carrying groceries, old men droning by on motorbikes and skinny children heaving jugs of water home. But there were few young men. They had died in the war, been thrown in prison or scattered far beyond Syria’s borders. Now, it

The U.S. is nearing a deal with the Taliban. But another major threat looms in Afghanistan: ISIS

The Washington Post reports: The official government line here is that the Islamic State has been defeated. The local branch of the extremist Sunni militia, Afghan officials say, has been corralled into a mountainous area near the Pakistani border by Afghan and U.S. forces and can no longer control populated areas. They say it has been reduced to staging suicide attacks against “soft” targets, like the wedding party bombing here

Manufacturing woes grip swing states that flipped for Trump in 2016

Reuters reports: A slowdown in U.S. manufacturing is hitting jobs in states that flipped to Donald Trump in the 2016 election and that will be key to the Republican president’s re-election prospects in 2020. Trump is telling voters across the country that the economy is booming and jobs are growing. But the blow to factory employment is more pronounced in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin than in the rest

Behind the Facebook-fueled rise of The Epoch Times

NBC News reports: By the numbers, there is no bigger advocate of President Donald Trump on Facebook than The Epoch Times. The small New York-based nonprofit news outlet has spent more than $1.5 million on about 11,000 pro-Trump advertisements in the last six months, according to data from Facebook’s advertising archive — more than any organization outside of the Trump campaign itself, and more than most Democratic presidential candidates have

Migrant families would face indefinite detention under new Trump rule

The New York Times reports: The Trump administration unveiled a regulation on Wednesday that would allow it to detain indefinitely migrant families who cross the border illegally, replacing a decades-old court agreement that limited how long the government could hold migrant children in custody and mandated the level of care they must receive. The White House has for more than a year pressed the Department of Homeland Security to find

In Denmark, bewilderment and anger over Trump’s canceled state visit

The New York Times reports: The astonishment in Denmark over President Trump’s apparent desire to buy Greenland turned to bewilderment and anger on Wednesday after the American leader abruptly scrapped a state visit because the Danes have no desire to sell. The cancellation was a rare snub of Denmark’s head of state, Queen Margrethe II, who had extended the invitation to the president and would have hosted him and the

Trump quotes conspiracy theorist claiming Israelis ‘love him like he is the second coming of God’

The Washington Post reports: President Trump went on Twitter on Wednesday to quote a conservative radio host and known conspiracy theorist who praised him as “the greatest President for Jews” and claimed that Israelis “love him like he is the second coming of God.” In his tweets, Trump thanked Wayne Allyn Root for “the very nice words.” Root has promoted numerous conspiracy theories, including that former president Barack Obama was

On the campaign trail with Elizabeth Warren

Julia Ioffe writes: There is a story Warren has been telling lately, one that explains how she learned the words that have come to define her career—first as a law professor, and more recently as a politician: mortgage, foreclosure, bankruptcy. Long before she encountered them as cold legal terms, those words had a more powerful meaning as the ones whispered late at night by her parents in Oklahoma. This was

Tiananmen in Hong Kong

Orville Schell writes: At first, when demonstrators began spilling into city streets, citizens were surprised by their audacity and struck by their idealism, openness, and élan as they confronted the might of the Chinese Communist Party. The demonstrators’ demands were limited and answerable, their behavior civil, and their marches orderly. Yet as their numbers grew, they allowed themselves to entertain a heady sense of possibility—a hope that this time they