+ “Dear White House Aides: Save Yourselves. Save Us.” | Yahoo News | 5/18/2017
“Leave the room as quietly as you can. Find a box. Go back to your office, pack up your things, leave the badge on the desk and go.”
Get out while you can is Matt Bai’s advice to White House staffers and aides who think working for President Trump is still worth it.
His response is quite devastating:
“But maybe you’ve seen that terrific movie “Get Out,” about the dude who finds himself stuck in a house full of deranged predators he thought were his friends?
Yeah, I know this is hard to get your head around, but you’re the black guy.
Because every day you spend at the White House now, trying to keep this thing on the tracks, is a disservice to yourself, and ultimately to the rest of us.”
No way could a Trump White House have been a team of political, military, business, and academic all-stars brought together by a stable, visionary leader to address some of America’s most pressing problems.
Continue reading “The DexFiles: Notes And Quotes On Trump’s White House Dysfunction”
A few hours after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey I Googled “Nixon” and found 80+ articles on the similarities between this action and the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre.”
Typical among so many breathlessly written articles was this:
On the evening of Saturday October 20, 1973, Federal Judge John Sirica sat in front of his television set watching FBI agents seal off the office of the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who had just been fired at the command of the Nixon White House. The scene reminded him of a banana republic coup. “What the hell is this crowd doing?” he asked.
It’s far too early to say whether President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey will have the same dire consequences for his political future as Richard Nixon’s dismissal of Cox did for his. But not since that “Saturday Night Massacre” more than 40 years ago has a sitting president dared to fire an official in the middle of investigating potential misconduct by his own campaign. The risks of doing so are enormous.
Todd S. Purdum. “Trump Pulls From Nixon’s Playbook”. Politico. 9 May 2017
Continue reading “Trump’s Nixon Moment”
At first I thought “black privilege” was some kind of joke, a Chapelle-esque riff on the absurdities of how we talk about race in America. Indeed, reading about it in articles by people who take the idea seriously is like stepping into a parallel universe where black is literally white and white is black.
But as soon as I dismissed the idea my Google Trends graph for “black privilege” blew up:
Continue reading ““Black Privilege” And The Twilight Of The Negro Whisperer”
Amid the killing, the horrors, and the tragedies in Syria, there’s also an ideological civil war among eleven players and even more agendas. In addition to exchanging bullets and bombs, in this war, every claim from one player is instantly challenged by another’s counter-claim.
We might have described Syria as an abyss or black hole had the civil war occurred during Hafez al-Assad’s regime. Under his son Bashar it’s a black box.
Continue reading “Syria Is A Black Box”
There are two types of Smiths fan. One type believes that Morrisey drives the band. The other believes Johnny Marr does. (I will only talk about The Smiths in the present tense. Deal.) Granted, those of us in the the Johnny Marr camp need a few drinks to argue the case successfully. But we eventually win because of the happy haze of a drunken Rickenbacker guitar.
And we have this video as the closer.
In it Morrisey is the jester. Marr is the sage. Quite Jungian. And one of the reasons why they are legends together but average on their own.
These are age old archetypes. But times change, and in our time, science always wins over myth. Magic is for madmen and sissies. And the boy will always have a thorn in his side.
That, ultimately is what The Smiths were about, the last gasp of the industrial age before it went all post-this and meta-that and Reagan fired air traffic controllers and Thatcher fired miners and then told the world that society doesn’t exist.
But that’s OK. My generation trades Mick and Keith for Morrisey and Marr all day and makes a killing. ‘Cause if it’s not love …
Garbage mouth Neera Tanden of Think Regress is at it again, guarding the Democratic Party’s corporate neoliberal left flank while pretending to be a real progressive.
Here’s what Tanden is talking about:
Continue reading “Resisting Trump Is Fine, But We Should Also Resist The Democrat Smear Machine”
In February, former House Speaker John Boehner spoke about Republican plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA):
“They’ll fix Obamacare … I shouldn’t have called it repeal and replace because that’s not what’s going to happen. They’re basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it.”
Terence Burlij. “Boehner: Obamacare Repeal And Replace ‘Not What’s Going To Happen'”. CNN. 2017.
Fast-forward exactly one month. Boehner sounds more elder statesman than hardball politician. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) that Trump championed as “tremendous” was dead last Friday before a single vote was cast:
“The most conservative members of the House didn’t think that the American Health Care Act would go far enough to eradicate Obamacare, and moderates were concerned about an estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that 24 million Americans would be left without insurance.
Republican leaders bent to the will of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of about 30 hard-line members, agreeing to remove several federal mandates for minimum benefits, including mental health services and some maternity care. But this move still didn’t go far enough to appease members of the caucus. And the concessions alienated several moderates.”
Katie Rogers. “How The Health Care Vote Fell Apart, Step By Step”. New York Times. 2017.
After House Republicans spent years working on repealing the ACA without a clue of what a replacement would look like, Trump, Ryan, and the rest of their party are shifting what’s left of their congressional capital to massive tax cuts.
Continue reading ““Ryan’s Choice” The Truth about Paul Ryan’s Phantom Majority”
In the wake of the release of Vault 7, Fareed Zakaria is the latest to display an odd and perhaps willful ignorance of what WikiLeaks is about:
Continue reading “No One Really Gets It About WikiLeaks”
On 12/15 Donald Trump received “A very nice letter from Vladimir Putin,” to which the then President-elect added: “His thoughts are so correct.”
On 12/16 the Russian military reportedly launched a missile capable of destroying low-orbit satellites:
“The high rate of testing is an indication the program is a military priority and is progressing toward deployment.
The new anti-satellite missile is among several new strategic weapons systems being developed by the Russian military.
The Nudol is viewed by the Pentagon as a so-called “direct ascent” anti-satellite missile. Russia, however, has sought to mask the missile’s anti-satellite capabilities by claiming the missile is for defense against incoming ballistic missiles.
The Pentagon is worried about the development of anti-satellite weapons by both Russia and China.”
“Russia Conducts Fifth Test of New Anti-Satellite Missile” | The Washington Free Beacon | Bill Gertz| 12/21/2016
About this, Trump has said nothing.
Continue reading “Pied Piper Putin”
Meryl Streep may not be overrated, but the Hollywood Left surely is. The very idea of a Hollywood Left at a time when the war on unions, free speech, the 4th amendment, and rising wages has essentially been won is indicative of how neutered the real American Left has become.
Continue reading “Meryl vs. MAGA”