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As I continue to come down from last weekend's David Foster Wallace conference, I stumbled onto this Salon piece, reflecting upon Wallace's prescient forewarning regarding the seductive dangers of reality-TV culture, (if 'culture' in this instance is the right term). Like James Incandenza's film, Infinite Jest - a film that entertains its viewers to death - we are rapidly spectating ourselves into a nihilistic conflagration. One might wish to find solace in the fact that Trump's approval rating declines on a nearly daily basis, and that he is now sitting at record low support for any president at this point in their administration. Is this not, we might wonder, evidence that America is growing weary of the Reality-TV President? Yet, we risk missing the forest for the trees if we fail to see that Trump is merely part of a much larger problem - one player in the spectacular carnival of souls that daily constitutes our leisurely milieu. However low his numbers may be, we (and I speak from a first-person perspective) continue to watch. We tune in to find out what's new with the Russia investigation, we wait with bated breath to see which official he will inappropriately fire next, we laugh snarkily at his latest tweets, we cheer on the folks at CNN as they assume the mantra of political satire. We are no less enamored of the spectacle than we were two years ago - spectating ourselves to apocalypse.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
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In this New York Post piece, John Podhoretz writes, "It might seem bizarre to say that an administration only 23 days old needed a fresh start, but look: if Adele can stop 45 seconds into a live performance at the Grammys and begin again, so too can Donald Trump." 

This has to be a new low in political commentary. What the hell are we becoming? How on earth did this become the new normal? This is what it looks like to defend the indefensible. 

 
 
CNN Piece: Fox, Breitbart Focus on Leaks in Flynn Story

Ah, I remember the good old days, when the DNC servers were hacked by Russia with the support and applause of then-candidate Donald Trump, and the 'real story' in that case was the content of the leaks, not the hacking itself. 

Funny how all it takes is winning the election to suddenly change Trump's tune.
 
 
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In response to Chuck Todd's questions about Trump press secretary Sean Spicer uttering four demonstrable falsehoods in his 'press conference', Kellyanne Conway claimed that Spicer was merely offering 'alternative facts.' 

Nope, you just can't make this stuff up. 

 
 
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Katha Pollitt at The Nation has written a moving piece about the imminent departure of Obama. I was one of the people on the front lines during Obama's first presidential run in 2008 - knocking on doors, getting out the vote, etc. In 2009, I again beat the street, in an effort to drum up support for health care reform, working the corners outside Lafayette, Indiana's annual Jazz/Blues festival (I wasn't allowed inside the gates of the festival) in an effort to get petitions signed. And like many of the people initially inspired by Obama, I was quickly disillusioned within the first years of his presidency, as I watched Obama repeatedly extend his hand across the aisle to a bunch of petulant assholes who decided long before he arrived in D.C. that they were going to greet him with a giant middle finger. 


 
 
Four years, seven committees, and millions of dollars later, the Republican Benghazi witch hunt of Hillary 'inexplicably' shuts down overnight. 

Of course, it's worth noting that, despite this inquiry being the longest congressional inquiry of any single American event in history - and that's taking into account the Kennedy assassination, for Christ's sake - the committee was unable to find anything at all worth pursuing. But let's be honest, the inquiry helped accomplish exactly what it was supposed to accomplish. Republicans launched this inquiry during the 2012 election, in the hopes that the mere appearance of impropriety would weaken Obama's chances at reelection, (as when Romney was smacked down by Candy Crowley for falsely saying that Obama had refused to call the Benghazi attack an 'act of terror'). But when that didn't work, they escalated and prolonged the attacks to focus on Obama's likely successor, Hillary Clinton. And even after the committee officially wrapped up its work in July, it continued to seek out further information until now. I wonder if they'd be closing down if Hillary had won. I suppose those four dead Americans don't matter so much anymore, now that the real mission of the Benghazi committee has been accomplished. 

The disgusting irony, of course, is that these are the same people who are now saying Americans should just 'get over' the fact that Russia meddled in the American electoral process, in an effort to sway the election in favor of Donald Trump. No special subcommittees needed; nothing to see here. 
 
 
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Palin Calls Carrier Deal 'Crony Capitalism'

I never in a million years thought I'd hear myself say this, but I agree with Sarah Palin!

AAAAGGHHHH! What is happening to me!!!???

We are indeed entering strange times. 

It is certainly worth noting, and I'm not the first to do so, that with this deal, Trump is reversing course on a campaign promise and showing what his 'support' for the working class really means. All through his campaign, he said he would impose tax penalties on American corporations who move their jobs elsewhere. This move suggests something different, namely, that he is willing to give further tax breaks to corporations who first threaten to move their jobs, on the condition that they don't. That is pro-establishment, pro-corporation politics all day long. 

Couple that with the fact that he's already promising (and, to be honest, has been promising since the early stages of his campaign), that he plans to cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and increase taxes on the poorest, and it's easy to see what sort of middle class 'revolution' we're in for.