ERIC ZUESSE—Donald Trump represents one faction of America’s billionaires; Barack Obama represented another faction of them; but each President (at least since 1981) has been representing only them (America’s billionaires).
EMILE SCHEPERS—Agent provocateur tactics surfaced again during the protests against the Iraq War, and in the “Occupy” movement. In each case, glib charismatic strangers wormed their way into protest organizations, and then entrapped inexperienced young radicals to get involved in plans, which were sometimes really just talk, to engage in violence. A typical case is that of the “Cleveland bomb plot” of 2012. Another is the San Francisco Mission District riot of May 2012, when a mysterious black-clad contingent hijacked part of a peaceful “Occupy” demonstration and turned it toward random violence. In both cases, the purpose of the provocateurs was to discredit the movement in the eyes of the public, which otherwise might have been receptive to Occupy’s “99 percent versus one percent” message.
SHANE RYAN—So, again, in the absence any actual connection to actual Russian attacks on our grid, what on earth is Maddow up to here? Is she just using a nasty weather event to stoke the fear that Russia could make it worse? Because that’s definitely what it seems like she’s doing! And fearmongering on that level, with no evidence to support her wild speculation, is deeply irresponsible and extremely reminiscent of the conspiratorial ravings you’d see on Infowars or any other alternative right-wing media source. It’s building an enemy from scratch. Maddow’s insular red-baiting does no favors to anyone, on any side, and only encourages tribalistic thinking.
CAITLIN JOHNSTONE—The fact that George W Bush has given Michelle Obama two pieces of candy is once again making headlines in mainstream outlets like Time, The Hill, and Newsweek. He has not given her any new pieces of candy since the last time he did so at his father’s funeral. He also has not ceased to be the man who facilitated the murder of a million Iraqis and inflicted a whole new level of military expansionism and Orwellian surveillance upon our world. As near as I can tell, the only reason this story is once again making headlines is because Michelle Obama and the mainstream media have decided to bring it up again.