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HENRY GIROUX – Revisiting Orwell’s ‘1984’ in Trump’s America

In a strange but revealing way, popular culture and politics intersected soon after Donald Trump first assumed the presidency of the United States: George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, surged as the No. 1 best-seller on Amazon both in the United States and Canada. This followed two significant political events. First, Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s adviser, echoing the linguistic inventions of Orwell’s …

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Melissa Dahl – Your Brain Gives Up When Discerning Truth From Lies Gets Too Hard

You can call it “post-truth,” you can call it “fake news,” or you can, as Kellyanne Conway helpfully suggested on Meet the Press over the weekend, call it “alternative facts.” Or you can borrow Dan Rather’s phrasing from earlier this year: “A lie, is a lie, is a lie.” In a fantastic recent piece for Politico, psychology writer Maria Konnikova …

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Carlos Lozada – How Clinton and Obama tried to run the world — while trying to manage each other

There is something about the relationship between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that fascinates Washington journalists — and then stymies them. In 2009, we learned that NBC’s Chuck Todd was writing a book about Obama and Clinton, a “nuanced analytical narrative” of their political relationship, according to Todd’s agent. By the time “The Stranger”came out in 2014, though, it had devolved into a …

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George Lakoff – Why Trump?

Donald Trump is winning Republican presidential primaries at such a great rate that he seems likely to become the next Republican presidential nominee and perhaps the next president. Democrats have little understanding of why he is winning — and winning handily, and even many Republicans don’t see him as a Republican and are trying to stop him, but don’t know …

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Ben Norton – Sam Harris can’t be redeemed: Defining hypocrisy of the New Atheist movement

Anti-religious prophet Sam Harris has, once again, exposed the conservatism at the heart of the so-called “New Atheist” movement. In the November episode of his “Waking Up” podcast, Sam Harris spoke with seasoned neoconservative pundit Douglas Murray about Islam, liberalism and the refugee crisis. Harris frequently flexes his liberal bona fides, yet the two spent much of the conversation in …

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Tom Engelhardt – Four Score and Seven Years Ago… at Disney World

You may not know it, but you’re living in a futuristic science fiction novel. And that’s a fact.  If you were to read about our American world in such a novel, you would be amazed by its strangeness.  Since you exist right smack in the middle of it, it seems like normal life (Donald Trump and Ben Carson aside).  But …

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Charles Pierce – Was Pope Francis Actually Swindled into Meeting Kim Davis?

I spent a little time Wednesday night examining my conscience, as we used to say around the ol’ confessional, as regards the meeting between Papa Francesco and noted civic layabout Kim Davis. This contemplation was prompted by two things: first, an e-conversation I had with someone who had been part of the papal travelling party and second, the appearance of …