Oscars and America’s Anti-Trump Zeitgeist

In a scene from Moonlight, drug dealer Juan (Oscar winner Mahershala Ali) teaches the young Chiron (known then as “Little” and played by Alex Hibbert) how to swim. (Photo courtesy of A24)

By Neal Gabler | February 28, 2017 | Arts & Culture

If you are a progressive, Sunday’s Oscars should have given you something to feel good about, and I don’t mean the gibes at our new president or even the victories by minorities. The mossy cliché about movies is that they provide mindless escape from our daily woes, which, God knows, we have plenty of these days. Even so, it is a condescending as well an antiquated view of movies. Like all art, our best films do not transport us away so much as they take us inside — ourselves, our fellow human beings, our society, our world. That’s why, if, ... Read More

Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia

Airmen with the 106th Rescue Wing conduct chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense training at FS Gabreski ANG Jan. 9, 2015. (Photo by (Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Muncy/New York Air National Guard)/ flickr CC 2.0)

By Chuck Spinney and Pierre Sprey | February 27, 2017 | War & Peace

The Nuclear Question is becoming increasingly obfuscated by spin and lobbying as the West sleepwalks into Cold War II — a walk made all the more dangerous when the loose lips of the US tweeter-in-chief announced that another nuclear arms race is a great idea. Two Cold War II issues are central and almost never addressed: What will be the Russians' understanding of all the propaganda surrounding the Nuclear Question and the looming American defense spend-up? And how might they act on this understanding? Read More

Who Says It Can't Happen Here?

President Donald Trump delivers remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Feb. 24, 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo by Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images)

By Harvey J. Kaye | February 27, 2017 | Democracy & Government

Donald Trump’s candidacy and now, presidency, have resurrected a public discourse not heard in this country since the Great Depression — an anxious discourse about the possible triumph in America of a fascist-tinged authoritarian regime over liberal democracy. It’s a fear Sinclair Lewis turned into a 1935 bestselling novel, It Can’t Happen Here — although, as Lewis told it, it sure as hell could happen here. Read More

A Great Danger to Our Country

stack of newspapers

By Todd Gitlin | February 27, 2017 | Democracy & Government

FAKE NEWS media knowingly doesn't tell the truth. A great danger to our country. The failing @nytimes has become a joke. Likewise @CNN. Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) Feb. 24, 2017 So blared the tweeter-in-Chief at 10:09 p.m. Friday, rounding out a full day spent ranting against The Enemy Within. Trump, whose prime rhetorical instrument is percussion, used the word "dishonest" seven times to describe journalists — not all journalists, mind, only the ones who "knowingly [don’t] tell the truth." Earlier that day, Trump strutted into the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and repeated his charge that what he calls "FAKE ... Read More

Decoding the Doublespeak of FCC Chairman Pai

FCC commissioner Ajit V. Pai testifies during the House Energy and Commerce Committee Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing on oversight of the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday July 10, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By Timothy Karr | February 27, 2017 | Democracy & Government

This post originally appeared at The American Prospect. Michael Flynn, Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Miller aren’t the only Donald Trump surrogates who’ve had a very bad couple of weeks. Ajit Pai, the president’s pick to lead the Federal Communications Commission, was pilloried by The New York Times and Washington Post editorial boards last week after his agency released a rapid-fire series of rulings in a move that resembled Trump’s rush of executive orders. Chairman Pai’s directives, which he issued with zero public input, undermine the open internet and undercut the agency’s Lifeline program, which is designed to make the internet more affordable for families with low incomes. Pai’s attack on ... Read More

Watch: August Wilson on 'Fences' and Writing About Black America

August Wilson

By BillMoyers.com Staff | February 25, 2017 | Poets & Writers

One of the contestants at the Oscars this Sunday will be Fences, a cinematic adaptation of an August Wilson play ushered onto the big screen by Denzel Washington. The film is up for a number of Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor (for Denzel Washington), Best Supporting Actress (for Viola Davis) and Best Adapted Screenplay — an Oscar that would go to the late playwright, who died in 2005. Read More

CPAC Dispatch: A Carefully Constructed Attack on the Media

President Donald Trump speaks to a packed ballroom during the CPAC conference at the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Friday, February 24, 2017. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

By Adele Stan | February 25, 2017 | Media

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, a young man boarded the complimentary shuttle at Washington, DC’s Union Station headed for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) taking place in suburban Maryland at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Talking excitedly to his friend, he said, “At first I couldn’t believe he was really going to come,” referring to President Donald J. Trump, who was added to the CPAC schedule at the last minute. “I heard it on CNN, and you know that’s fake news,” he explained. Read More