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The NatSec Bros Who Want to Save Congress From QAnon

Marcus Flowers may be the most mysterious person in American politics. On January 18, which was also his last day working for the Defense Department in a position he refuses to disclose, the career soldier and defense contractor emerged from obscurity with a viral tweet, posting a video of himself scraping a Confederate flag sticker off a power transformer...

The Manifest Destiny Marauders Who Gave the “Filibuster” Its Name

In the summer of 1855, William Walker, a ruthless, ambitious, famously short Tennessean, invaded Nicaragua with a private militia, declared himself president, and reintroduced slavery. For his brief reign, he was, as one of his biographers recently put it, a “five-foot-five colossus astride the isthmus.” But of all the nicknames he ever earned, Walker...

My Pandemic Year Behind the Checkout Counter

A few weeks ago at work, a man came in the door, crouched down, and shit on the floor. Colleagues who witnessed it happening were shocked but not surprised. This kind of thing—incidents having to do with the universal human needs to eat, empty bowels, and keep bodies warm—happen often enough at the grocery store where I work.People living at the encampment...

How Real Is Nomadland?

The director Chloé Zhao’s films have been described as poetic. That could mean that her work seems always to be seeking the sublime: in the wide, luminous stretches of South Dakota’s Badlands, where her first two features, Songs My Brothers Taught Me and The Rider, take place; in the dancing motions of an injured rodeo rider taming a horse. Poetry is...

Just Rewrite the Senate Rules Already

As part of their ongoing effort to delay passage of the Democratic Covid-19 relief bill, Republicans are forcing Senate clerks to read the entire text aloud on the Senate floor. The bill is around 600 to 700 pages long. On Wednesday, South Dakota Republican John Thune predicted the process would take 10 hours. (The Senate clerks expected they could...

The Tribal Coalition Fighting to Save Monarch Butterflies

Seventeen years ago, Jane Breckinridge came home. A citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation with a great-grandmother who was Euchee, Breckinridge had left Oklahoma after high school to attend Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she decided to stay after graduation. Some two decades later, she’d secured a good-paying job in publishing, working...

Chang-Rae Lee Skewers a Globalized Get-Rich-Quick Scheme

By March 2020, there was no denying that the mysterious virus that had ravaged the city of Wuhan—and placed large parts of China in varying levels of quarantine—had arrived in the United States. Curious to know what we could expect from life under lockdown, The New Yorker’s editor David Remnick interviewed Peter Hessler, one of the magazine’s contributors...

The Unnatural Endurance of Bipartisanship

Joe Biden ran for president promising to “revive” the spirit of bipartisanship, put an end to factional battles, and bring Americans together after an era of painful division. Yet faced with an intransigent, extremist Republican Party that has little to gain from compromise, such a vision of politics seems quaint at best. On Episode 26 of The Politics...

Pence Is Still Pushing Trump’s Big Lie

It’s been almost two months since former Vice President Mike Pence narrowly escaped a violent mob of Trump supporters in the Capitol building that wanted to lynch him for betraying the former president. Pence largely stayed quiet in the days and weeks that followed. He made an appearance at President Joe Biden’s inauguration. And then he journeyed to...

The Cult of the Thuggish Democratic Politician

Less than a decade ago, it wouldn’t have taken much to imagine either Andrew Cuomo or Rahm Emanuel in the Oval Office as president about now. Cuomo, elected New York governor in 2010, and Emanuel, who became Chicago mayor in 2011, had always radiated a lean and hungry look. Their raging ambitions and their tough-guy personas suggested that they could...

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