Trump’s ego is so fragile, his “fluffer” Secret Service agents have to tell people to say nice things to him. “Viewing John Dean as the villain in the Watergate story seems like kind of a tell”. Trump is making the Department of Justice into his own private goon squad. Trump is not a king: A group of top former intelligence and military leaders are sending a message to the nation’s troops and spies — think twice before following the president’s orders in a crisis. Trump reportedly plans to strip more security clearances to distract from the news cycle. What to care about when everything is terrible: In the Trump presidency, everything is a distraction from everything else, because it all matters.

“I’m not going there”: As Trump hurls racial invective, most Republicans stay silent. Why do you need the n-word tape? Trump’s use of the slur wouldn’t tell us anything new. Dropping the n bomb: Scott McLemee explores the speculation that Donald Trump used a racial epithet through the lens of several scholarly analyses. Are you surprised that Georgia is going back to Jim Crow tactics?

4 in 10 Republicans think foreign election interference would be a minor problem — or no problem at all. What will finally turn Trump’s supporters against him? Trump tax cut unlocks millions for a Republican election blitz. “We owe these people”: Trump loyalists find soft landings after getting ousted. “It has often been written, and I’ve written it myself, that the Republicans have been weak in the face of Trumpism. But I’ve come to think that’s wrong. They’re not weak at all. Most of them are perfectly happy to have become Trump’s vassals. They were waiting for just such a man”. Paul Krugman on the slippery slope of complicity: A wannabe Mussolini and his party of apparatchiks.

The established elites are still holding the levers of power, but the social pressures for crisis have built up to the point where something has to give; a real catastrophic collapse of our society may not be highly probable, but it is much more probable than we think.

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