CVIndependent

Thu12132018

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

National/International

12 Feb 2018
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I got a text from my mom flipping out about The Memo—the document assembled by Fresno-area Congressman Devin Nunes and released, despite intelligence agency concerns, on Feb. 2. She’s smart but not especially political, and her text made it clear that the #releasethememo movement that began as an alt-right rallying cry had now reached the mainstream. “As a teenager you ranted about the CIA (you were right),” she wrote. “Now the FBI. Can we trust any politician or any government office?” It was a strange moment for me, because, at the same time every mainstream news network in the country was on “Memo Watch,” I was covering a woefully uncovered trial in Baltimore, where the FBI uncovered a vast police corruption conspiracy after they traced…
15 Jan 2018
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I went to bed reading Fire and Fury, which, as you probably know, is Michael Wolff’s ribald and riveting account of the early days of the Trump regime. It quickly became clear in the book that no one involved in Trump’s campaign expected, or wanted, him to win. That was a horrible thought: Trump and his motley crew of enablers, the doltish adult children, sleazeballs like Paul Manafort and Corey Lewandowski, fascists like Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller—they all overestimated the American people. They thought we were better than we were. They thought they were safe, because we would never elect Donald Trump. I went to sleep with this somber thought. At some point in the night, I woke up smelling smoke. I got up…
08 Jan 2018
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Donald Trump’s second year in office is beginning like every new Star Wars movie: The Resistance is in tatters, trying to rebuild. Yes, there is plenty of Internet #Resistance, ranging from insane conspiracy theories to serious commentary and organizing—but this online profusion has resulted in confusion in real life. The divide is mirrored in the Bernie/Hillary split—but it is also something deeper and something that moves further to the fringes. The divide, in many ways, mirrors the increasing divisions within the far right, where the alt-lite litigiously differentiates itself from the more openly racist alt-right. Last year, there was the Disrupt J20 protest on Inauguration Day, which led to the prosecution of nearly 200 individuals, identified by the police and the prosecution as anarchists. The…
23 Dec 2017
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I got drunk recently and read all (as of then) 2,735 tweets that Donald Trump has written since the election, in the hopes that Trump’s Twitter feed—collected and searchable on trumptwitterarchive.com—might be a good way to get a sense of the horrors we’ve endured. Looking at the tweets was like reliving all of the unbelievable moments since the 2016 election in fast motion. It’s important not to forget that we used to not have to deal with the dread of waking up each morning to realize that Donald Trump is president, and scramble madly to check Twitter to make sure we’re not at war. A year ago, all of this was new to us. So here are 10 of Trump’s tweets, in chronological order, that…
11 Dec 2017
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Donald Trump had the audacity to attend the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson last Saturday, Dec. 9. “I knew a little before everybody else, but I’ll simply say this without even referencing Trump himself,” Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba told me when the visit was announced. “The opening of the Civil Rights Museum is an important moment of a recognition of struggle, and out of that struggle, we’ve seen people historically rescue themselves in a state that has been known for some of the most negativity that the world has ever seen.” Lumumba took Trump’s election last year with a certain level of equanimity, saying that on the day after the election, “I woke up in Mississippi, which means whether it…
09 Nov 2017
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After the automotive attack in New York City on Oct. 31, Donald Trump called for the death penalty for the perpetrator. “Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the federal system …” he tweeted about the suspect, Sayfullo Saipov. “There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!” It’s hard not to compare this response to his “both sides” response to the automotive terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Va. Trump has built his political career on demonizing Islam, but neither he nor his staff have condemned white nationalist terrorist organizations—whose ideology they continue to openly espouse. When Trump was asked whether…
16 Oct 2017
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In a tax speech in Pennsylvania on Oct. 11, President Trump gave a shout out to "the great Jeffrey Lord.” He went on to explain that Lord “was on fake news CNN for a long time. He was one of my few sources of truth." CNN severed ties with Lord after he tweeted “sieg heil,” a Nazi salutation. Trump’s flirtation with racism is nothing new; it extends back through the campaign and into many facets of the presidency. He called the white supremacists in Charlottesville “very fine people” and has repeatedly refused to condemn hate groups. But the precise mechanisms by which the administration and allied media outlets like Breitbart act as bridges to normalize hate groups are becoming increasingly clear. Buzzfeed’s massive Oct. 5…
14 Sep 2017
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Francois LeFranc, 45, lingers over breakfast in the dining room of the NAV Centre, an Ontario hotel and conference center on the banks of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, he displays only one sign that he had been detained by the Canadian immigration authorities five days earlier: a plastic, hospital-style turquoise bracelet he wears with his I.D. number on it. He slipped across the border in upstate New York and into Quebec with his wife and four kids, leaving his oldest daughter, 20, behind. Although it has not gotten as much attention as the repeal of DACA, the promised repeal of another protection to immigrants—the temporary protected status offered by Barack Obama to Haitian immigrants following the 2010 earthquake—has led…

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