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Learning of Vladimir Putin’s reported personal involvement in the US election hacking by Russian operatives — an “artisanal hack” by the former KGB officer — Stephen Colbert can’t believe the real motive is an old vendetta against Hillary Clinton.

More likely, the Russian leader hopes to guide his American acolyte on more current issues: “Don’t worry, Donald, I’ll handle the intelligence briefings. You go meet with Kanye.”

Meanwhile the Trump inaugural team is struggling. Sir Elton John denied the claim that he will perform at Trump’s inauguration; not a single Washington-area marching band has asked to join his parade; and even dangling ambassadorships hasn’t lured any A-list musical talent. But the Late Show host suggests a down-home entertainment alternative that shouldn’t require any bribes.

"Performative patriotism" is a fancy way of describing what my father — a veteran of World War II who rarely spoke about his service — called "jelly-bellied flag flappers." Dad always laughed at those phonies, but we now suffer a president who is exactly that type, only worse. And Donald Trump's flag-flapping fakery is no joke.

A performative patriot is someone who, like Trump, oversells his supposed love of country, his reverence for the Stars and Stripes and, especially, his indignation at those whom he suspects of lacking his deep fervor. Such a figure will, like Trump, attempt to market these counterfeit emotions for his own benefit. And like Trump, that loud jingo is someone whose character will lead to a betrayal of American values.

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