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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Surveying our political wreckage, Bill Maher observes that the culture of the American presidency under Trump is coming to resemble the kind of backward dictatorships that we used to despise (and most of us still do), with surging nepotism, corruption, pomposity, and authoritarian tendencies. Topping it all off is the absurdly exaggerated praise routinely heaped upon the president by courtiers and other toadies, which increasingly sound like the mad encomiums to the “Dear Leader” that have long made North Korea an object of world ridicule.

To mark this decline in national dignity, the HBO host has established a new “Ass-Kisser of the Month Award.” You won’t be surprised by the runners up — including Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro and former campaign functionary turned lobbyist Corey Lewandowksi — or the winner, who currently works in the White House. But it’s still funny to watch these already debased personalities grovel before their orange idol. (With Jim Vandehei of Axios Media, Rebecca Traister of New York magazine, and former New York governor Eliot Spitzer.)

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Marchers at January 22 anti-vaccination demonstration in Washington, D.C>

Back when it was first gaining traction in the 1990s, the anti-vaccination movement was largely considered a far-left thing, attracting believers ranging from barter-fair hippies to New Age gurus and their followers to “holistic medicine” practitioners. And it largely remained that way … until 2020 and the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As this Sunday’s “Defeat the Mandates” march in Washington, D.C., however, showed us, there’s no longer anything even remotely left-wing about the movement. Populated with Proud Boys and “Patriot” militiamen, QAnoners and other Alex Jones-style conspiracists who blithely indulge in Holocaust relativism and other barely disguised antisemitism, and ex-hippies who now spout right-wing propaganda—many of them, including speakers, encouraging and threatening violence—the crowd at the National Mall manifested the reality that “anti-vaxxers” now constitute a full-fledged far-right movement, and a potentially violent one at that.

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