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Archives

Weekly Lists

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.
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April 08, 2017

Week 21

Over the past three weeks, Trump’s approval plummeted as he struggled to take back the narrative amidst legislative failures and a ubiquitous Russia. He floated several attempts to deflect, and replace Russia as the lead story: the Obama wiretap, the Nunes brouhaha, the Susan Rice unmasking — but none seemed to work. This week he figured out a way to take back the narrative — one commonly used by autocrats — he started a war.

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April 01, 2017

Week 20

For the third week running, Trump has lost control of the narrative. His legislative agenda has ground to a halt — a sign of his waning political capital; however, he continues to fundamentally change the values and fabric of our country in a myriad of alarming ways. Russia’s interference in our election is now an accepted notion, and words like “collusion” and “cover up” entered the fray this week as all eyes turned to examining the Trump regime’s role.

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March 25, 2017

Week 19

Of all the weeks so far, this was the most exhausting. In normal times, any one item below would be a top story for days or weeks — the flow of not normal is so heavy right now, it’s a challenge to keep track. Newsman Dan Rather best summarized the feel of Week 19: “I have seen a lot in my lifetime. But I have never seen anything like this. No one has. The cauldron of chaos and confusion which engulfs President Trump in his early days in office is simply unprecedented.”

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March 18, 2017

Week 18

Events and actions this week lend credence to an evolving theme: Trump isn’t all that interested in typical legislative stuff like passing healthcare or his budget — his passion and focus are on enriching himself, and making America white.

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March 11, 2017

Week 17

This week, some threads from past weeks’ lists continue to unwind: Trump and his regime’s ties to Russia, conflicts of interest, and the dysfunctional and largely unstaffed executive branch. But the broader story of Week 17 is an underlying shift away from democracy, and it’s not subtle at all!

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March 04, 2017

Week 16

This week’s theme was undoubtedly the continued taint of the Trump regime for their ties to Russia. For the first time since Election Day, Trump seems unable to drive the media storylines.

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February 25, 2017

Week 15

This week had two themes. The first was Trump’s lack of empathy — the cruelty and heartlessness towards Americans not white, straight, Christian, and male. Trump and his regime continued to target the defenseless, including transgender individuals, Native Americans, and people of color. The second theme was Russia: ties between the Trump regime and Russia are continuing to pour out — meanwhile, the regime is actively seeking to suppress information.

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February 18, 2017

Week 14

After a slight reprieve last week, this week was again chaos, and the longest weekly list so far. An overarching theme to watch is the consolidation of power: positions in the executive branch are going unfilled and layoffs continue. Meanwhile, Trump, his children, and his small circle of insiders are making all major decisions domestically and abroad.

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February 11, 2017

Week 13

Given that we’re 13 weeks into this tracking exercise, starting this week I’ll be adding a section at the bottom of the list: “Some Things We’ve Already Normalized.” The goal is to remind us of items in the early lists, that at the time were unprecedented and shocking, but have long since been accepted and forgotten. We must remember what normal used to be in order to resist, and find our way back — and so we begin!

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February 04, 2017

Week 12

An observation on Week 12: several of the most important items in this very long list are the ones not getting coverage: including Ukraine, and the many abuses of power to silence dissent and stomp on ethics. Conflicts of interest abound, unfettered.

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