The US has dropped itsdescription of the Golan Heights from “Israeli-occupied” to “Israeli-controlled” in a state department report, the latest sign of approval towards Israel’s disputed claim to land it captured from Syria.
World powers have long called on Israel to rescind its authority of the strategic region and labelled the occupation as illegal under international law.
Hypocrisy is a favorite charge in American politics — arguably because it’s the only one that seems to consistently stick — but this series of scandals shows that Republicans are something worse than hypocrites. They are political nihilists, who use scandals like this to further their agenda of emptying politics of any morality, hope or substance, clearing the path for a naked power grab.
Anthropologist and author Jason Hickel swiftly disabused readers of a narrative offered by Microsoft founder Bill Gates this week, rejecting the billionaire’s statement on Twitter that “people underestimate just how much life has improved over the last two centuries.”
The idea that the free-market capitalism has grown while solving the crisis of extreme poverty around the world may be tempting for some to embrace, Hickel wrote in the Guardian—but it is “completely wrong.”
Mark Zuckerberg’s argument in the article he published in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, “The facts about Facebook”, is that people do not trust Facebook because they don’t understand it and the nature of its activities.
The article’s subtitle, “We need your information for operations and security, but you control whether we use it for advertising”, could not be less true:
The Trump administration has expanded the definition of “essential” to just about any government service that would cause the public great discomfort (and therefore affect Trump’s poll numbers)—like tax refunds or air passenger transport.
Exceptions are also made when the administration’s favorite industries face hardship as a result of the shutdown. For example, federal employees who work to support the onshore and offshore oil and gas drilling industry, forest management (timber sales) and the mortgage industry have also been deemed “essential” after their lobbyists complained about how the shutdown was harming their business.