For many of us, the Cliven Bundy story started when a fringey rancher got a bunch of his militia pals to flex their white privilege by threatening to shoot federal law enforcement officers who'd demanded that Bundy stop stealing public land and grazing; then Bundy's loathsome offspring led a terrorist takeover of a wildlife refuge in Oregon.
But in Bundyville, a new podcast series from Longreads and Oregon Public Radio, investigative journalist Leah Sottile leads us through the bizarre history and beliefs of the Bundy cult, in a tale than blends lethally reckless US government nuclear tests, apocalyptic Mormon prophesies, the most vicious white supremacist beliefs, loony interpretations of the US Constitution and a cult of personality that has surprising intersections with mainstream Mormon leaders and politicians.
It's a fascinating listen, and I got through all seven segments in one day. I really recommend it as a potted history and extremely informative profile of a current in American far-right mysticism that has repeatedly breached into the public consciousness through spectacular acts of violence, which have been largely met with total impunity -- and now that a Bundy is running for governor of Nevada, this could not be more salient.
Trump Town is a Propublica/Columbia Journalism Investigations interactive database of everyone working in the Trump administration; the latest revision reveals that Trump has hired 281 former lobbyists to regulate the industries that used to sign their paychecks.
Earlier this month, we learned that one of the most enduring frustrations of Trump's presidency is that no one will take his suggestion of building a moat filled with man-eating alligators and poisonous snakes along the US border (something he's been talking up for at least 35 years!).
Ben Watson is a reporter for Defenseone, a news site that covers "US defense and National Security" who formerly served in the US Army as a public affairs officer; last week, Watson returned to the USA after an assignment in Denmark, entering the country at Dulles Airport.
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