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Raise Your Hand if You’re Fed Up with Mainstream News

I am not the first to notice that, just in the past week, there’s been a crescendo of disgust at the nakedly disingenuous behavior of the mainstream press. Some of my more politically-astute sources have been throwing up their hands at the apparent unwillingness of the press — purportedly a pillar of democracy — to protect us from the slow-motion insurrection being mounted, in real time, by right-wing vandals. There’s plenty to be disgusted with: There’s the endless both-siderism, most obviously the obsessive weighing of Joe Biden’s age against Trump’s four criminal indictments, as if to ask which is worse. There’s the accumulation of Democrats-in-disarray stories that appear almost daily, in which “insiders” express panic at the Democratic party’s stubborn unwillingness to give credence to open seditionists and nihilistic buffoons. There are the stories about the economy, where any good news — of which there’s been plenty — must be tempered by dire warnings from “experts” ab
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The Useful Idiot from Alabama

Nobody wears the words “useful idiot” quite like Tommy Tuberville, freshman senator from the benighted state of Alabama. He’s been especially useful to Trump. Among all the MAGA loons Trump endorsed for high office in the 2020 election, Tuberville was one of the few successes. While that’s probably down more to Alabama’s brainwashed electorate than to any political skill on Trump’s part, Trump has owned him ever since. He is known to have been on the other end of several suspicious Trump phone calls during the Jan 6 riot, and while there’s no indication that he’s on Jack Smith’s radar, there’s no sign that he isn’t, either. Now Tuberville — a mediocre football coach turned white supremacy hero — has seized the world stage with his audacious hold on Senate approval of military appointments. It isn’t often you hear bipartisan outrage these days, but there’s plenty for even Republicans to hate in this foolhardy stunt, this parliamentary sleight-of-hand   that carries such ominous

The Plan to Finish Off Democracy is Already Written

A shadow government is being recruited, right now, by right-wing radicals with ugly ideas. If they manage to take back the White House — Trump or no Trump — their action items are already drawn up and ready to be implemented on the day they take power. We know where this is going. There’s enough precedent — both historical and current — to show how dangerous this moment is, and what lies on the other side of the tipping point. It would be checkmate for democracy, perhaps permanently. I don't think this will happen, at least not this time around. But the blueprint for seizing the reins of power has been in plain sight for some time. Then last week, an article in the Associated Press (AP) put it on the front burner. It’s called Project 2025. It’s bought and paid for by the Heritage Foundation, which is itself bought and paid for by very rich nutjobs who put huge sums of money into political subterfuge. I’ve written before about Heritage , the so-called think tank of conservat

Let’s Not Get Bamboozled, Yet Again, by Third-Party Candidates

Riding my bike in my Michigan neighborhood, I came upon a lawn sign. Well-designed, immaculately produced, it was an incongruous sight this early in the election season. Actually, it was an incongruous sight, period. It read "Kennedy 2024!" Referring, of course, to the purported candidacy of Robert F. Kennedy Jr, ostensibly for the Democratic nomination, but more likely for a third-party run at the presidency. Either would be quixotic, but there are plenty of fools out there who’ll be happy to give him money. Which — Kennedy wealth notwithstanding — he reputedly needs. This seemed a good starting point for a rant I’ve had in mind for some time. Once again, third-party candidates are rearing their ugly heads. And once again, we have to worry that too many of our fellow citizens will get hornswoggled, to the detriment of the rest of us. Under our warped presidential election process, with its deeply undemocratic electoral college system, the most a third party can do

Putin Kills Three Birds with One Stone

Evgeny Prigozhin is, predictably, dead.  He actually died two months ago, but he missed the memo. His fate was sealed the day he went for the king, then blinked. His death has now been confirmed, though confirmation was hardly necessary. Putin enjoys projecting ambiguity about these things, the better to keep the world guessing. His denials of his own culpability are laughably absurd, but it doesn’t matter. Everyone knows Putin did it, whether he did it or not. It’s no more than Prigozhin would’ve expected, given the vengeful nature of the king he served for so long, then betrayed. (If you don’t know the backstory of Prigozhin, and the spasm of hubris that led to the Wagner Group mutiny of last June, you can look it up just about anywhere — at least this week. But you might want to start with my own piece from July 4 ) Prigozhin was a blight on humanity, with tens of thousands of deaths on a conscience he didn’t possess. Now an even more terrible man has kill

Putin Lite: Republicans Ramp Up the Cruelty

This is a piece that, with a few edits, I could have written yesterday. It's from April 19, 2022, two months into the insane invasion of Ukraine, and little has changed since then. Putin has gotten worse. Republicans have gotten worse. Both are doubling down on their inhumanity. Both are paying a steep price for it. With all that in mind, I think the points made here might bear restating. If there is but one lone favor Vladimir Putin is doing for the world, it’s that he’s setting an excellent bad example. He is now the poster boy for the very worst humankind has to offer. No matter who or where you are, Putin presents you with a bright moral line, separating two crystal clear worldviews. Democracy or Autocracy. There are no shades of gray here. You can no longer look at Putin and not know which side of the line you’re on. Which is why it says a lot that so many Republicans can’t seem to decide. While they might secretly cheer the wanton slaughter of entire cities, they al

The Second War Between the States has Already Started

  When I pick a piece to re-run — as, alas, I'm doing once again here — I try to choose one that could, more or less, have run today. This one, from almost was written a little over a year ago, when the obscene torching of Roe v. Wade was still fresh in our minds. While it's hardly gratifying to see one's fears realized, much of what's here could indeed be written today. Just last week, at a federal  trial in an abortion-related case, both sides were having big trouble seating a jury that might set aside its hardened biases and hear the case on its merits. People are angry, and they're getting angrier.   The flashpoint of the next civil war won’t be slavery. It will be abortion. And it’s already here. It’s a war that may never get to the point of armed conflict, but it will be no less hard-fought and bitter for all that. The states are already lined up, more or less, the same way they were last time, which makes it hard to think well of the American South, which