Not long ago, a New York City data analyst who had been laid off shortly after the pandemic hit told me she had filed for unemployment-insurance payments and then spent the next six months calling, emailing, and using social media to try to figure out why the state’s Labor Department would not send her the money she was owed.
A mother in Philadelphia living below the poverty line told me about her struggle to maintain government aid. Disabled herself and caring for a disabled daughter, she had not gotten all of her stimulus checks and, because she does not regularly file taxes or use a computer, needed help from a legal-aid group to make sure she would get the newly expanded child-tax-credit payments.
“I became worse.” That’s how double impeachment changed him, Donald Trump told a conservative audience in Dallas last weekend, without a trace of a smile.
This was not Trump the insult comic talking. This was the deepest Trump self. And this one time, he told the truth.
Something has changed for Trump and his movement since January 2021. You can measure the difference by looking back at the deadly events in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. Trump made three statements about those events over four days. He was visibly reluctant to speak negatively of the far-right groups. He praised “fine people on both sides” and spread the blame for “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.”
Trump’s evasions triggered a national uproar. As Joe Biden complained in an essay for The Atlantic at the time:
Today we have an American president who has publicly proclaimed a moral equivalency between neo-Nazis and Klansmen and those who would oppose their venom and hate.
Thirty years ago, sociologist James Davison Hunter popularized the concept of culture war. Today, he sees a culture war that’s gotten worse—and that spells trouble for the future of the American experiment.
In 1991, with America gripped by a struggle between an increasingly liberal secular society that pushed for change and a conservative opposition that rooted its worldview in divine scripture, James Davison Hunter wrote a book and titled it with a phrase for what he saw playing out in America’s fights over abortion, gay rights, religion in public schools and the like: “Culture Wars.”
Hunter, a 30-something sociologist at the University of Virginia, didn’t invent the term, but his book vaulted it into the public conversation, and within a few years it was being used as shorthand for cultural flashpoints with political ramifications.
He hoped that by calling attention to the dynamic, he’d help America “come to terms with the unfolding conflict” and, perhaps, defuse some of the tensions he saw bubbling.
Trump wasn’t able to steal the 2020 election because enough state and local officials held firm against his anti-democracy efforts—but what happens if the ex-president’s allies nab key roles in future contests?
Donald Trump put United States democracy through a grueling stress test in the last election, forcing Americans to consider all sorts of chilling “what if” questions and underscoring how little a process that relies heavily on the honor system can constrain someone who has none.
It’s tempting to view the fact that the country passed—Trump eventually did leave office and Joe Biden took his place—as a testament to the strength of our institutions. To some extent, it was.
But the fate of those institutions depends on the people who comprise them, and it’s possible they could have fared worse were it not for several key officials who resisted Trump’s demands. Indeed, what would have happened to Biden’s victory in Georgia had Brad Raffensperger, a pro-Trump conservative, not stood his ground and declined to “find” 12,000 votes for the incumbent?
What if election officials in places like Pennsylvania and Arizona hadn’t won out over the will of Trump and GOP state legislators, who insisted, without basis, that the vote had been marred by fraud? Could Trump’s relentless attempt to undo his loss have worked?
While some employers may be struggling to hire for one reason or another, economists say generous unemployment benefits are not the cause.
By Arthur Delaney and Dave Jamieson, 05/04/2021 10:41 am ET Updated 1 day ago
As the U.S. economy bounces back from the COVID-induced downturn, some employers say they’re having a hard time finding workers.
GOP lawmakers like Rep. David Rouzer (N.C.) blame the safety net.
“This is what happens when you extend unemployment benefits too long and add a $1400 stimulus payment,” Rouzer said on Twitter last week, posting a photo from a Hardee’s that said it was closed for lack of staff.
“Right when employers need workers to fully open back up, few can be found.”
Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…
If you haven’t been keeping up with the legal affairs of Donald Trump of late, what you should know is that the guy is very likely f–ked.
With the ex-president facing no fewer than 29 lawsuits and three criminal investigations, his tax returns are currently in the hands of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., whose team is also working to flip the Trump Organization employee who knows where all the bodies are buried and has both (1) cooperated with prosecutors in the past and (2) made some rather interesting comments about the company’s legal dealings.
At the same time Rudy Giuliani had his home and office raided by the feds last week, a turn of events that former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara has said is very, very bad news for the NYC mayor turned Trump lawyer/cautionary tale.
All of which reportedly has the rest of the 45th president’s inner circle extremely concerned about their own legal exposure.