President Donald Trump is ending his first year in office in a worse political position than when he entered. Republicans have lost statehouse seats, been trounced in the two marquee gubernatorial elections, and squandered their Alabama Senate stronghold. Trump himself has seen his popularity drop, including among conservatives and even watchers of Fox News, a Trumpian media bullhorn if there ever was one. And yet, even at this particular nadir, the conservative intellectual forces rallying against the president remain dispirited and divided. There is dispute within the ranks, not just over how best to make the case against Trump but whether there is a coherent case at all. Looking forward, they don’t see salvation. It is an article of faith among the ranks that Trump will be challenged by a Republican in the 2020 presidential election. But there is no agreement on who is best to do it, save for the emerging consensus that he (or she) will almost assuredly be trounced. … [Read more...] about The #NeverTrump Movement Has Been Neutered
Race to the white house
“I don’t expect to work [in Hollywood] again.” That was James Woods in 2013. The 67-year-old actor had worked in Hollywood for decades, starring in such acclaimed films as Once Upon a Time in America and Oliver Stone’s Salvador, playing Rudy Giuliani, voicing a shady government agent in the Grand Theft Auto video game series, and even guest-starring on The Simpsons as a Kwik-E-Mart proprietor. But now his politics were offending the progressive sensibilities of the American film industry. “Scratch a liberal, find a fascist every time,” Woods tweeted in April. These days the Oscar-nominated actor uses his Twitter account to broadcast his right-wing views to his 190,000 followers—and he’s arguably become President Obama’s biggest, most famous troll on Twitter. “He’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, but his politics are, apparently, batshit crazy,” says Ben Dreyfuss, engagement editor at Mother Jones whose … [Read more...] about How James Woods Became Obama’s Biggest Twitter Troll
Shaun King is very good at raising money in support of black lives and—one of those lives might be his own. King, one of the most visible faces of the Black Lives Matter movement and no stranger to controversy, is now beating back accusations that he has misappropriated or mismanaged charitable funds. King collected millions of dollars for everyone from Haitian orphans to the families of black men and children killed by police across America. Some of that money went to survivors or victims’ families, but much of the largess either went into failed projects, King’s own pockets, or is unaccounted for. “It’s just bullshit,” King told The Daily Beast on Tuesday after allegations were lobbed against him by members of his own movement. “People need to understand that failure is not fraud.” The former mega-church pastor-turned-citizen journalist has leveraged heavy doses of charisma into 218,000 Twitter followers and a column at the New York … [Read more...] about Where Did All the Money Shaun King Raised for Black Lives Go?
The intentions of Fantastic Lies, ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary look at the Duke University lacrosse scandal, aren’t explicitly clear from its opening moments, when the mother of one of the three white student-athletes accused of raping a young black woman at a 2006 house party declares that this will be the last time she talks about the case that captured national attention and devastated more than a few lives a decade ago. It may be the last time she and others involved want to rehash the eyebrow-raising circumstances that begat the Duke scandal—which yielded no evidence of said rape, but certainly exposed revealing outbursts of racism and misogyny among Duke’s BMOC lacrosse stars. Fantastic Lies, paced like a true crime thriller and directed by Marina Zenovich (Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired), has other designs. The 103-minute documentary makes its broadcast debut March 13th on ESPN—exactly ten years after the night in question—following its … [Read more...] about The Stripper Who Cried ‘Rape’: Revisiting the Duke Lacrosse Case Ten Years Later
On TV Emmy Rossum plays a ballsy, complicated broad unafraid to stare down the establishment and fight for every scrap she and her family need to survive. Eight seasons into playing Fiona Gallagher on Shameless, and Rossum is equally uncompromising when it comes to taking what she deserves. Rossum made headlines in late 2016 after refusing to sign on for the Showtime dramedy’s eighth season unless she was offered more than her co-star William H. Macy—a move meant not only to create parity, but also to make up for the seven years Rossum was paid significantly less. The “standoff,” as reports took to calling it, lasted only days after becoming public. (“It was a quick resolution,” Rossum, who has chosen not to disclose the details of her new contract, told The Hollywood Reporter in May.) The news came amid heated conversations about equal pay in Hollywood sparked by women including Jennifer Lawrence, Gillian Anderson, Patricia Arquette, and Robin … [Read more...] about Emmy Rossum on Her Historic ‘Shameless’ Equal Pay Win: ‘It’s Our Responsibility’
“We have got to fight against privilege,” George Orwell exhorted in 1941, “against the notion that a half-witted public schoolboy is better for command than an intelligent mechanic.” England, he wrote, is governed by an “unteachable” ruling class that too frequently escapes into “stupidity”, failing to see “that an economic system in which land, factories, mines and transport are owned privately and operated solely for profit ... does not work.” Only a socialist revolution, he continued, could unleash the “native genius of the English people”. Of course, “the bankers and the larger businessmen, the landowners and dividend-drawers, the officials with their prehensile bottoms, will obstruct for all they are worth”. But, never mind: “if the rich squeal audibly, so much the better”. One measure of how little has changed is that Orwell’s diagnosis of the country he called a “rich … [Read more...] about England’s last roar: Pankaj Mishra on nationalism and the election