How many more of these goddamn elections are we going to have to write off as lame but “regrettably necessary” holding actions? And how many more of these stinking double-downer sideshows will we have to go through before we can get ourselves straight enough to put together some kind of national election that will give me and the forty million people I tend to agree with a chance to vote for something, instead of always being faced with that old familiar choice between the lesser of two evils?
—Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72
Hunter is dead, and I’m not him. Now we’ve got through the bad news, let’s take a good hard look at what’s changed in the past 48 years.
OK; I lied: We’re not through with the bad news. (more…)
It’s January 16, 2020, and I’m calling the election. It’s Trump, God help us.
I had this revelation not during the debates on the 14th, when it became apparent CNN’s production staff was attempting to provoke a fight between Warren and Sanders by asking carefully orchestrated questions. It wasn’t on the 15th when they released a private hot-mike conversation that immediately followed the debate. No, it’s when (more…)
“Fellas, this guy is going to stand trial in a U.S. court, and if we have to stick heroin on his plane to get him there, that’s what we’re going to do.” – President Jed Bartlet, The West Wing
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was Japan’s top naval commander-in-chief. A brilliant strategist, a masterful tactician, and a genius at logistics, Yamamoto masterminded Pearl Harbor and had operated the Japanese attack fleet against the Allies in such a way that their materiel disadvantage was more than compensated for by his audacity.
In 1942, the American SIS broke the Japanese naval code (more…)
“But is it helpful to have the 2016 nominee suggesting that a congresswoman is a Russian asset?”
– Jake Tapper
Yes and no.
Yes it’s helpful; it’s a marvelous distraction. Clinton’s bizarre accusation draws criticism away from some of the more egregious flaws in the present nomination process. It was also timed perfectly to coincide with the release of a State Department report that criticized the former Secretary of State (more…)
A year ago, Maine’s Senator Susan Collins committed political suicide live in front of the nation.
It’s safe to say that wasn’t her intention. But hers was the last, and deciding, swing vote in the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, and that’s what everyone remembers. Most of the Senate made their decisions early, whether along party lines or for other causes — not the least of which being to avoid the limelight; there’s no way to win votes on something like this. (Heck, even I recused myself.) But Collins didn’t rush. (more…)
It’s all over the news, and every American politician (and French) seeking re-election is repeating it: Trump has betrayed the Kurds to Turkey, set ISIS fighters free, and is actively running the U.S. military in a way that benefits only Russia.
The danger with facts everyone knows is that there’s no easy way to convince people they’re wrong. Usually the problem boils down to oversimplification; it’s easy to be wrong when you don’t know anything. In this case, it’s that — plus, everyone’s got a massive axe to grind and Trump’s a great target to score points off.
But some of it’s definitely true, so we’ll start there and move on. (more…)
I keep having to say the same thing over and over: That Donald Trump said something does not in and of itself constitute proof that what he said is wrong. Today’s case in point is the proposed purchase of Greenland from Denmark.
There’s two reasons this isn’t insanity. The first is that, on its face, the offer isn’t insane.
Half a dozen times in our history, the United States has purchased land from other countries. All things being equal, it’s easier (and cheaper) than conquering it outright, so from an American viewpoint it makes good sense. From a Danish perspective, it’s one of the last of their colonial possessions, so national pride would likely (more…)
I want to be clear on this: The Epstein case is outside my baliwick.
It’s a matter of justice. So long as it remains so, it’s for courts; it’s not politics. There may be political results, and when there are I’ll discuss them. Until then… it’s not that I don’t care; it’s that I’m focused on other things. Besides, any opinion I might have on a criminal case will necessarily be uninformed (more…)
Several times in the past few weeks, by several different people, I’ve been asked the following question in one form or another:
“What’s to stop Donald Trump simply refusing to accept the results of an election where he’s voted out?”
Several potential justifications or complex scenarios were presented for my consideration. In one, Trump would challenge in one or more states (such as California) on the grounds that illegal immigrants make up enough of the electorate to invalidate the results. Others, less (more…)