As the Trump campaign’s links to Russia are finally investigated by the FBI, it’s worth reading Yasha Levine’s salvo “From Russia, with Panic,” in which he wrote about how the Democratic party and the media media signed off on the findings of CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm whose founder Levine remembers from his work reporting on the 2008 Georgia-Russia war.
Oh to be a
fascist conservative pundit today. The possibilities, it seems, are endless. Here’s a few of our favorite right-wing revelations from the last few days:
Among Richard Spencer’s greatest hits is the dismissal of black Americans’ contributions with the zinger “White people could have figured out another way to pick cotton.” So you’d have expected to see a little egg on his face when Mother Jones reported today that “Spencer, along with his mother and sister, are absentee landlords of 5,200 acres of cotton and corn fields in an impoverished, largely African American region of Louisiana” and the recipient of $2 million in federal farm subsidies.
LD50, the London gallery with alt-right leanings, has been closed. Last week Megan Nolan wrote about the way mystification in the supposedly apolitical art world enables the spread of reactionary ideas: “I have seen it said by antifa that LD50 is not a story about art, but about fascism.
In Case You Missed It (to be fair, you might have been distracted by the efforts of congressional Republicans to take away your life-saving health coverage): a little-discussed bill called HR 1313 is on the rise, approved by a House committee.
“This isn’t shaping up to be the millennium we were promised,” comments Chris Lehmann, in his introduction to Baffler no. 34, “The Snare of Preparation,” which is out on newsstands today. “The data-bedazzled twenty-first century was to be a time of painlessly enhanced social justice and seamless market accommodation.
Poor Travis Kalanick. The hits just keep on coming. Since the starry-eyed media has suddenly realized Uber is a terrible company (is one of those words redundant?), we’ve seen him lecture a driver on “personal responsibility” (the employee told Kalanick Uber’s ever-shifting policies had bankrupted him), issue an apology in which he told us he really needed “to grow up” (Don’t worry!
Perhaps considering how they’ll fill their time if they join the group of outlets excluded from White House press briefings, the Washington Post has compiled a neat little pie chart tracking Trump’s hours since taking office.
Did you know that today is the Day of Facts? Museums and libraries around the country are tweeting furiously in support of their favorite commodity, knowledge.
Today in plutocrats: It’s not their fault, says science.
“Gerrymandering, in a word, is why American democracy is broken,” claims The Washington Post, echoing David Daley, in his Q&A with Baffler associate editor Dave Denison. “Eight of the ten most gerrymandered districts in the United States were drawn by Republicans.”
Polls suggest the American electorate is experiencing buyers’ remorse.
“Society is creating a new crop of alpha women who are unable to love,” warns Fox News. Authoritarian wives everywhere are forgetting which side their bread is buttered on, apparently. As concerned as we are about this development, we’ll stick with the slightly more complicated dialectic of love and authority proposed by Christopher Lasch, and in Issue no.
Mike Pence plans to cast a tie-breaking vote to aid the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary. As Jennifer Berkshire wrote after her journey to the heart of DeVos-land, the “DeVosian vision of school reform is the anti–New Deal offensive launched by the free-market reactionaries of the American Liberty League, retooled for schools and delivered with evangelical zeal.”
Calls for a general strike have been many; would one be possible yet?
Where were you when the tragic Bowling Green Massacre happened? We can’t remember, but we do know, at least, that Kellyanne Conway was wandering around confusedly in a world of “alternative facts,” most likely nowhere near Kentucky. If it isn’t clear yet, the Trump administration is now making up terrorist attacks to support its noxious anti-immigration agenda.