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Member since: Sat Dec 6, 2008, 11:53 AM
Number of posts: 14,179

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The Complete History of SNL's 'Celebrity Jeopardy'


Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of Great Britain, has died

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the much respected former chief rabbi of the UK, has died aged 72.

Sacks was highly esteemed around the Jewish world for his erudition, his wisdom, and his prolific authorship of works on Jewish thought.

Sacks announced in the middle of October that he had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing treatment, but passed away on Saturday morning.


Cantor Feldman

Thanks for the post, QE.

Trump's Forever Campaign Is Just Getting Started

While you watch Donald Trump’s presidency stagger to what appears to be its ugly end, always keep in mind how it began: Trump entered the political world on the back of the birther conspiracy theory, a movement whose importance was massively underestimated at the time. Aside from its racist undertones, think about what a belief in birtherism really implied. If you doubted that Barack Obama was born in the United States—and about a third of Americans did, including 72 percent of registered Republicans—then that meant you also believed that Obama was an illegitimate president. That meant, in other words, you believed that everyone—the entire American political, judicial, and media establishment, including the White House and Congress, the federal courts and the FBI, all of them—was complicit in a gigantic plot to swindle the public into accepting this false commander in chief. A third of Americans had so little faith in American democracy, broadly defined, they were willing to think that Obama’s entire presidency was a fraud.

That third of Americans went on to become Trump’s base. Over four years, they continued to applaud him, no matter what he did, not because they necessarily believed everything he said, but often because they didn’t believe anything at all. If everything is a scam, who cares if the president is a serial liar? If all American politicians are corrupt, then so what if the president is too? If everyone has always broken the rules, then why can’t he do that too? No wonder they didn’t object when Trump’s White House defied congressional subpoenas with impunity, or when he used the Department of Justice to pursue personal vendettas, or when he ignored ethics guidelines and rules about security clearances, or when he fired watchdogs and inspectors general. No wonder they cheered him on when he denigrated the CIA and the State Department as the “deep state,” or laughed and smiled when he called journalists “enemies of the people.”

Not all of this was Trump’s doing. Many Americans had lost trust in democratic institutions long before he arrived on the scene. One recent survey showed that half of the country is dissatisfied with our political system; one-fifth told pollsters that they would be happy to live under military rule. Trump not only exploited this democratic deficit to win the White House, but he expanded it while in office. And now his political, financial, and maybe even emotional strategy requires him to damage America’s faith in its democracy further.

He is launching that strategy right now. And to be clear: It is a strategy, not a random reaction to events. Trump is no good at governing, but he has long understood, with the intuition of a seasoned con man, how to create distrust, and how to use that distrust to his advantage. The journalist Lesley Stahl has said he once told her that he attacks the media to “discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.” He discredited and demeaned public servants such as the National Security Council staffers Fiona Hill and Alexander Vindman too, so that when they spoke honestly about his behavior, no one would believe them either.


I hear the sound of victory

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