Since his stunning debut on the national stage, Sean Spicer has delivered one electrifying performance after another. The man’s an actor’s actor, a Daniel Day Lewis of promoting the official White House line.
Being, as he is, a consummate performer, the general public takes his incomparable thespianism for granted. Yet underneath the apparent ease with which he spins, there’s a real commitment to his craft.
Has the roaring waterfall of Russia-related stories exhausted you? Us too. It’s like, okay, we get it, Russia is a country. Big deal. So they want to meddle in foreign affairs. It’s not like they invented it. Oh, cool, they were Soviets for a while. Are we supposed to be impressed?
That’s why we won’t be talking about Russia in this post. Who knows? Maybe we won’t ever talk about it again. We’ve had our fill. We’re up to our necks in conspiracy theories about Eurasian superpowers. Instead, we’d like to bring to your attention some things that will brighten your day and restore your faith in the state of the world.
Let’s start with the most adorable picture of a precious yawning pupper!
See, this isn’t so difficult. We’re just like Buzzfeed!
President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The White House on Wednesday acknowledged the AP’s revelations had “started to catch a lot of buzz” but brushed them aside, though some members of Congress expressed alarm.
Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse.
No. NOPE! NOPENOPENOPE. We’re not doing this. Nice try, Associated Press. This is a Russia-free zone.
We can get through this. We’re a safe space from international turmoil. Deep breaths.
The Trump administration just released its first weekly compilation of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in American sanctuary cities, a move which is nearly identical to a similar publication put out by the Nazis about Jewish Germans in the years leading up to World War II.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Declined Detainer Outcome Report was created by one of President Trump’s executive orders. The listed crimes include such offenses as drug possession, domestic violence, and DUIs, also making a point to note the immigrant’s country of origin.
Many of the immigrants listed, it should be noted, have not yet been convicted of their crimes.
It has become something of a cliche in contemporary politics to compare an unpopular figure to the practices of Nazi Germany, but this report is quite literally straight out of Hitler’s playbook. The Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer ran a regular segment titled the “Letter Box,” which regularly published accounts of Jewish crimes. The segment was launched by Hitler’s operatives after the majority of Germans did not participate in a boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933 as a way to inflame anti-Semitic sentiment.
In The Nazi Conscience, Duke historian Claudia Koonz notes that the Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer ran a feature called “Letter Box,” which published readers’ accounts of Jewish crimes. When the Nazis took power, the German state began doing something similar. Frustrated by the failure of most Germans to participate in a boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933, Adolf Hitler’s government began publicizing Jewish crime statistics as a way of stoking anti-Semitism. In Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, the historian Saul Friedlander notes that, until 1938, Hitler’s Ministry of Justice ordered prosecutors to forward every criminal indictment against a Jew so the ministry’s press office could publicize it.
Trump’s defenders might claim that what he’s doing differs from these prior examples. He’s publicizing the crimes of a legal group—illegal immigrants—not a religious, ethnic, or racial one. But in the United States in 2017, talking about “illegal immigrants” is like talking about “welfare mothers” or “crack dealers” in 1987. The racial implication is clear. Trump made it so himself in his announcement speech when he said that, “When Mexico sends its people…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”