In This Month’s Issue: September 2018

Trump's Unwinnable Trade War
Illustration by Edel Rodriguez

Trump’s Trade War: An Unwinnable Folly

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During his volatile presidential campaign, Donald Trump griped about the U.S. trade deficit and criticized U.S. trade agreements. He called the North American Free Trade Agreement “the worst trade deal the U.S. has ever made.” NAFTA reduced trade barriers (especially tariffs) between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. He opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an attempt to set rules for trading services among 11 Pacific nations and reduce intellectual property theft by China. Scuttling TPP was one of the first actions taken by President Trump once in office…


Kavanaugh’s Toxic Nomination

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Day by day, unsealed document by unsealed document, the American people are learning in this summer of discontent a great deal about the values and vision of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a judge of relentless conservative mien who, if confirmed, will push the Court as far right as it has been in nearly a century. Given his long record of contentious public service on and off the federal bench, Kavanaugh may be the most thoroughly documented nominee in the history of the Court and one of the most controversial, too, which is why Republicans have been so keen to get him to his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing as soon as possible…

The E-Racing of Meghan Markle

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On May 19, 2018, more than 50 million Americans and Britons turned on their televisions to watch Meghan Markle, a freckled, brunette American previously best known for co-starring in the basic-cable legal drama Suits, marry Henry Charles Albert David No-Last-Name, also known as the Duke of Sussex, an equally freckled, very ginger English veteran who (barring a series of unlikely but likely terrible events) will never be the King of England. The Nielsen ratings—which don’t include the hundreds of millions who streamed the wedding online, watched in one of the other 193 countries in the world, or caught at least one of the Groundhog Day–style loops probably still airing on cable television—represent twice the number of Americans who tune in to Game of Thrones or The Big Bang Theory each week…

Renegade Charisma: Sebastián Lelio’s Fantastic Woman and Disobedience

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The Chilean director Sebastián Lelio’s rule-defying female leads and leitmotifs (defiance, forbidden love, and obstructed mourning) are so consistent that his last three films, Gloria, A Fantastic Woman—awarded this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Film—and Disobedience, could count as a trilogy on a woman’s quest for respect, ardor, and erotic freedom. His spirited, front-and-center heroines are, by circumstance and necessity, fierce renegades—women who refuse, in the face of everyday roadblocks and adversarial forces, a paint-by-numbers approach to life…

 

 

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