Israeli voters are indefatigable. The election on November 1st will be the fifth in just three-and-a-half years, and yet the turnout is still likely to be around 70%. That’s especially remarkable because all five elections have really been about the same question: should Binyamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu go to jail, or should he be prime minister?
He is on trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, the evidence against him is strong, and his peril is real. The court system is one of the few aspects of Israeli public life that have not been politicised: former prime minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced to six years in jail (reduced to 18 months on appeal) on exactly the same charges Netanyahu now faces. Continue reading Gwynne Dyer on Possible Bibi Comeback & What’s Next→
“If [Trump] comes [to the Capitol] I’m going to punch him out,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “I’ve been waiting for this, for trespassing on Capitol grounds. I’m going to punch him out, and I’m going to go to jail, and I’m going to be happy.”
I did a great deal of reporting over the last year and a half on the turmoil in the white evangelical church in America. And . . . I can’t underscore this one enough, because I’ve spent a lot of time talking with leading religious figures, scholars, academics, people who know this world inside and out, and they have all agreed with me on this point.
I’ve been hoping that somebody would disagree with the point — that there was once a time in this country, not very long ago at all, where, yes, you had ideologically far-right-wing churches that would traffic in overt racism or, if not overt racism, then certainly some of the more veiled arguments around states’ rights or whatever it may be.
But there would not have been any sort of legitimizing or mainstream recognition of a church wherein hundreds of members on a weekly basis, while passing the offering plates, were carrying loaded weapons.
That was not a thing. It would have been like the fever dream of an indie documentary filmmaker.
And so what feels somewhat different about the moment to me is not just that there is this sort of religious fervor but that it is a violent religious fervor. And it certainly feels as though you have a moment in American life right now where you have more and more people than at any time in recent memory who are sort of addicted to both guns and to grievance.
And when you incorporate some of the religious fervor into that and, again, some of the doomsday prophesying about that imminent day when the government is coming for you and you had better be ready — all of it in combination is, to me, what feels uniquely dangerous about this moment.
Hailing from Brighton, Michigan, Tim attended Schoolcraft College and later Michigan State University, where his plans to become a baseball writer were changed by a stint covering the legislature in Lansing. He went on to spend more than a decade in Washington, reporting for publications including the Wall Street Journal,The Hotline, National Journaland National Review. . . .
In 2019, he moved home to Michigan. Rather than cover the 2020 campaign through the eyes of the candidates, Tim roved the country and reported from gun shows and farmers markets, black cookouts and white suburbs, crowded wholesale stores and shuttered small businesses.
He wrote a regular “Letter to Washington” that kept upstream from politics, focusing less on manifest partisan divisions and more on elusive root causes: the hollowing out of communities, the diminished faith in vital institutions, the self-perpetuating cycle of cultural antagonism, the diverging economic realities for wealthy and working-class citizens, the rapid demographic makeover of America—and the corollary spikes in racism and xenophobia.
Tim joined The Atlantic in March 2021 with a mandate to keep roaming and writing and telling stories that strike at the heart of America’s discontent. . . .
[The most revealing analysis of the mythic underpinning of the authoritarian upsurge I’ve seen points straight to the “restoration” of a zombie version of white Jim Crow Dixie culture, circa 1920-1950. This survey bolsters that impression. Progressives who want to push back effectively against this drive need to get over the tendency to ignore this history & culture and its stubborn legacy.]
It has long been understood that the MAGA movement is heavily dependent on White grievance and straight-up racism. (Hence Donald Trump’s refusal to disavow racist groups and his statement that there were “very fine people on both sides” in the violent clashes at the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville.)
Now, we have numbers to prove it.
The connection between racism and the right-wing movement is apparent in a new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute.
The survey asked respondents about 11 statements designed to probe views on racism. For example: “White Americans today are not responsible for discrimination against Black people in the past.”
The pollsters then used their answers to quantify a “structural racism index,” which provides a general score from zero to 1 measuring a person’s attitudes on “white supremacy and racial inequality, the impact of discrimination on African American economic mobility, the treatment of African Americans in the criminal justice system, general perceptions of race, and whether racism is still significant problem today.” Higher scores indicate a more receptive attitude to racist beliefs. Continue reading MAGA & Neo-Confederate Racism, By the Numbers→
Reuters: KYIV/NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Russia pushed ahead on Thursday with its biggest conscription drive since World War Two, prompting some men to rush abroad, while Ukraine demanded “just punishment” for a seven-month-old invasion that has shaken the world.
President Vladimir Putin’s order to mobilize another 300,000 Russians escalates a war that has already killed thousands, displaced millions, pulverised cities, damaged the global economy and revived Cold War confrontation.
The mass conscription may be the riskiest domestic move of Putin’s two decades in power, after Kremlin promises it would not happen and a string of battlefield failures in Ukraine.
Anti-war protests in 38 Russian cities saw more than 1,300 people arrested on Wednesday, a monitoring group said. Some had been served summons to report to enlistment offices on Thursday, the first full day of conscription, independent news outlets said.