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Author: Common Dreams

Beyond achieving a policy goal: The far-right’s obsessive romance with cruelty for cruelty’s sake

Politics has always been cruel. Political candidates can be brutal in trying to discredit, or even destroy, their political opponents. Congressional leaders will at times act harshly when trying to whip party members into line. And as is true in any profession, there will always be politicians who mistreat subordinates simply because they are jerks. But the cruelty of the far right is something different. This is cruelty as the defining characteristic of a movement. To the far right, cruelty is more than a means to achieving a policy goal — it is often the goal itself. Cruelty for...

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An infatuation with darkness: The character of the far-right can be seen in their hideous heroes

You can learn a lot about the people who make up a political party by identifying their heroes. So, who are the heroes of today’s Republicans? If your first thought was Ronald Reagan, you’re showing your age. Reagan was the answer of an earlier time, when we had a different, although not wholly dissimilar, Republican Party. Saint Ronnie, as he was sometimes called back then, was the patron saint of the GOP. Their answer to every question. Republicans were very effective in pushing this sanctification, or perhaps whitewashing would be better term, of Reagan’s record in office — a...

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Faith leaders say report by January 6 Committee minimizes central role of Christian Nationalism

In an effort to fill in what they say are critical gaps in the U.S. House select committee’s report on the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, faith leaders are pushing the corporate media and the American public to confront the role Christian nationalism played in the insurrection, warning that ignoring the link could make similar violence more likely in the future. The committee’s report, released at the end of December, laid out extensive evidence showing that former President Donald Trump was the driving force behind the attack aimed at stopping lawmakers from certifying the 2020 presidential...

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Failed Stewardship: Final Congressional report on COVID-19 exposes Trump’s reckless pandemic response

A congressional panel on December 9 published its final report on the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the Trump administration’s “failed stewardship” and detailing how a “persistent pattern of political interference undermined the nation’s ability to respond” to a crisis that has claimed more than a million lives in the United States. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis report notes that “the United States was underprepared for a major public health crisis for years before the coronavirus pandemic,” and that “chronic underfunding and long-standing health disparities put many Americans at heightened risk of becoming infected and developing severe illness...

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Christian Nationalism: The very people who ignore the teachings of Jesus also claim America’s faith ideology

Far-right Republican lawmakers who have recently invoked Christian nationalist messages appear to be representing a growing portion of their voter base, according to a new poll released Wednesday showing that a sizable majority of Republicans believe the U.S. should be declared a “Christian nation.” As Professors Stella Rouse and Shibley Telhami of the University of Maryland wrote at Politico, the school’s critical issues poll found that while a majority of Republican voters agree that such a declaration would be unconstitutional, most also believe that the U.S. should be officially known as Christian. The professors surveyed 2,091 voters between May...

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Zombie Virus: Scientists reanimate 50,000 year-old microbes released in thawing Siberian Permafrost

As our world continues to warm up, vast areas of permafrost are rapidly melting, releasing material that have been trapped for up to a million years. Included are uncountable numbers of microbes that have been lying dormant for hundreds of millennia. To study these emerging microbes, scientists from the French National Center for Scientific Research have now revived a number of these “zombie viruses” from the Siberian permafrost, including one thought to be nearly 50,000 years old – a record age for a frozen virus returning to a state capable of infecting other organisms. The team behind the study, led by...

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