Tag: Richard Nixon

The first thing worth noting about Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff’s recently released airing of the Trump Administration’s dirty laundry, is that there is very little in it that was not either generally known or strongly suspected. (More…)

The big news these days is the firing of FBI director James Comey. The announcement last week took everyone (including Comey himself) by surprise. Cue the hot takes from every talking head across the media spectrum. (More…)

When conservative American pundits berated black gymnast Gabby Douglas for not putting her hand over her heart during the national anthem during her team’s medal ceremony at this summer’s Olympics, the subsequent furor recalled the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the meaning of patriotism was called radically into question by the counterculture and Richard Nixon’s “silent majority” answered back harshly. (More…)

It’s been just over 40 years since the Trilateral Commission issued their landmark report, The Crisis of Democracy: On the Governability of Democracies. Although the commission (which still exists) has become, in practical terms, fodder for the paranoid fantasies of fringe groups like the John Birch Society, in the 1970s, it was not always so. (More…)

The object of most conspiratorial fantasies in America is the federal government. This is no coincidence. Ever since the New Deal, and the Civil Rights Movement, the executive has been the most prominent guarantor of democratic change. In growing federal power, racists, evangelicals, and the business class found a common enemy to unite against. (More…)

In some circles, Inherent Vice was the most eagerly anticipated film of last year. Its director, Paul Thomas Anderson, has long been a favorite of cinephiles, both for the excellent performances he gets from actors and his delightfully retrograde insistence on shooting to film. But tackling the work of the legendary writer Thomas Pynchon added greatly to the hype. (More…)

If director Laura Poitras’s new film Citizenfour doesn’t make you paranoid, nothing will. By the time she has finished telling the story of Edward Snowden, how he meticulously plans to reveal the extremity of the post-9/11 surveillance state and then suffers the consequences once he sets the wheels in motion, you may be wondering whether privacy is even possible (More…)

The Khmer Rouge got off easy. No act of genocide is as misunderstood as the murderous campaign that the Maoist revolutionaries undertook during the second half of the 1970s. Two million Cambodians were murdered in the space of four years. The scale of the killings, and the ruthlessness with which they were conducted, shocked the West, which was still struggling to get its head around the Holocaust, just three decades earlier. (More…)

Sometimes, after we’d made the turn off Slifer Valley Road and passed through the covered bridge, my mother would take her right hand off the steering wheel, point out the passenger-side window, and inform me, “That’s where the glass house is.” Even though I never managed to see this marvel, I never tired of her commentary. Because I needed to know who couldn’t throw stones. (More…)

You’d be forgiven for thinking it was September 11th, 2001 again. The tone of newscasts this past week recalled the hysteria of a decade ago. It is almost as though the “America Under Attack” segments which showed us the Twin Towers falling were once again being readied for replay, following ISIS’ inevitable triumph over Iraq’s US-backed Shia government. (More…)

Every day seems to bring a new story about the ideological or demographic challenges of the Republican Party. Perhaps GOP leaders could take their cues from Alexis de Tocqueville. The nineteenth century French historian believed that there are two different kinds of parties — some are great and some are small. (More…)

Incomes Flat in Recovery, but Not for the 1%. The New York Times headline understated the case. According to economist Emmanuel Saez, during the first year of the economic “recovery,” the top 1% of America’s population saw its income rise by over 11%, while the rest of the US saw its income decline slightly. (More…)