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

For John Oliver, the current barrage of scandals engulfing the Trump administration isn’t “Kremlingate” or “Trump/Russia.” Harkening back to a simpler time, he calls it “Stupid Watergate” — a national trauma with all the potential implications of the events that brought down Richard Nixon, “but where everyone is stupid and bad at everything.”

As Oliver points out, “The last seven days have been insane. They may have broken Anderson Cooper” — as demonstrated in that viral clip that recorded the CNN anchor admonishing White House mouthpiece Jeffrey Lord, “You’d defend [Trump] if he took a dump on his desk.”

In this segment, Oliver tries to answer some fundamental questions, such as “What The Fuck Is Going On? How Big a Deal Is This? Where Do We Go From Here? Is This Real Life?”  Along the way, he takes funny swipes at Trump, Pence, Flynn, and the rest of Trump’s entourage — especially Jared Kushner, dubbed “the least interesting person in the world” and compared to “a white-bread sandwich with another slice of white bread in the middle.”

But Oliver isn’t a sunny optimist. He’s not at all sure Trump won’t get away with…well, whatever he did.

 

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A scene from "Squid Game" on Netflix

Reprinted with permission from Responsible Statecraft

The Treasury Department's nine-page "2021 Sanctions Review" released on Monday makes vague recommendations for "calibrating sanctions to mitigate unintended economic, political, and humanitarian impact." Unfortunately, it offers few tangible policy suggestions on how to end the high humanitarian
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Mt.Rushmore

Reprinted with permission from Creators

In New York City, a statue of Thomas Jefferson has graced the City Council chamber for 100 years. This week, the Public Design Commission voted unanimously to remove it. "Jefferson embodies some of the most shameful parts of our country's history," explained Adrienne Adams, a councilwoman from Queens. Assemblyman Charles Barron went even further. Responding to a question about where the statue should go next, he was contemptuous: "I don't think it should go anywhere. I don't think it should exist."

When iconoclasts topple Jefferson, they seem to validate the argument advanced by defenders of Confederate monuments that there is no escape from the slippery slope. "First, they come for Nathan Bedford Forrest and then for Robert E. Lee. Where does it end? Is Jefferson next? Is George Washington?"

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