Sunday, June 28, 2020
Late-breaking tweet from @realDonaldTrump: "Nobody wants a Low IQ
person in charge of our Country," trying to deflect from the obvious
by adding that "Sleepy Joe is definitely a Low IQ person!" Sure, he's
never struck me as especially bright, but it's rather clever that
the Democrats are nominating someone Trump cannot attack without the
slanders reflecting back on him.
Trump's approval rate at 538 is down to 40.6%, with 56.1% disapprove.
That's the biggest split I can recall.
Officials warn defunding police could lead to spike in crime from
ex-officers with no outlet for violence. When I mentioned this to
my wife, she already had examples to cite. Article cites "L.A. police
chief Michel Moore" as saying:
The truth is that there are violent people in our society, and we need
a police department so they have somewhere to go during the day to
channel their rage. If these cuts are allowed to continue, we could
be looking at a very real future where someone with a history of
domestic abuse is able to terrorize their spouse with impunity
instead of being occupied testing out new tactical military equipment
or pepper-spraying some random teens. The fact that these dangerous
attackers and killers are being gainfully employed by the LAPD is
the only thing standing between us and complete chaos.
By the way, there is a
new batch of questions
and answers, not all on music. Ask more,
Some scattered links this week:
Vehicle attacks rise as extremists target protesters.
Isaac J Bailey:
We don't need to cancel George Washington. But we should be honest about
who he was. I agree with that. Washington, and for that matter Thomas
Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe are not just important figures
in American history, but can also still be inspiring. In some respects, I
could argue the same for Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson, to pick two
highly problematic characters who have received some critical attention
recently. Nor am I much bothered by statues of Christopher Columbus,
although I can't think of any redeeming qualities he had. Again, the
history should be made clear, but I'm not sure the icons matter much.
The Confederates are one exception I'll grant: the sooner we get rid
of these tokens of white supremacy, the better. And I hope some day the
deliberately orchestrated plot to names things after Ronald Reagan gets
unrolled. Nothing good can be linked back to his legacy. And if you
don't want to melt all that "art" down, perhaps store it in a musty
museum somewhere -- as long as it's treated with the solemnity of
Auschwitz. By the way, I'm totally cool with
John Wayne airport could get a new name that doesn't celebrate a
homophobic white supremacist.
How the GOP gave up on governing in order to keep winning elections:
Excerpt from Benen's new book, The Impostors: How Republicans Quit
Governing and Seized American Politics. More on this "no governing"
Charles M Blow:
Can we call Trump a killer? Argues for "his culpability in the
neglectful handling of the coronavirus." That's a distinction I don't
find terribly interesting, but there are other cases where the evidence
is undeniable, like the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Suleimani,
which Trump has bragged about. You might object that all US presidents
order killings abroad, but that's no excuse let alone comfort. Obama
got his first taste of blood when he ordered the killing of a Somali
pirate, and that just opened the floodgates, leading to hundreds of
drone killings and the summary execution of Osama Bin Laden, as well
as the Air Force's casual slaughter of bystanders. You might object
that the sheer numbers lost to Trump's delayed Covid-19 reaction and
premature re-opening far exceed the drone kill count (perhaps not the
military offensives), and besides here we're talking dead Americans,
but negligence is always messy to prove. On the other hand, where has
Trump not been negligent and careless? The Mexico border and Puerto
Rico are two cases that leap to mind, and I expect you can find bodies
there, too. On the other hand, calling him Killer is too likely to be
taken as flattery. I'll wait for the ICC indictments.
The Korean War atrocities no one wants to talk about. Technically,
the Korea War is America's longest running war -- 70 years this week --
because the US never had the decency to acknowledge that it was pointless
and over. But that's hardly the only thing the US remains in denial over.
More on Korea:
Trump is wrecking South Korea's relationship with North Korea.
How South Korea's pro-democracy movement fought to ban "murderous tear
We should celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War by leaving:
"The US doesn't need to protect the south any more." More pointedly, the
US is keeping South Korea from negotiating its own separate peace -- as
such, the US presence is more threatening than reassuring.
Don't tie peace on the Korean Peninsula to denuclearization in the
North. We have managed to live with "hostile" powers possessing
nuclear weapons since 1950, and none have used those bombs against
us (unlike what the US did to Japan in 1945, when the US still had
a monopoly on such terror). The only thing that makes North Korea
different is that we've insisted on not formally ending the war
which de facto ended in 1953. The only way to lessen the threat is
to reduce the degree of hostility, which at present mostly takes
the form of crippling economic sanctions against the North, and
to open up formal lines of communication and trade. Recognizing
that North Korea has nuclear weapons and the rocketry to deliver
them is at this point common sense. Morever, it's clear that the
only reason they bothered to develop such useless weapons is to
force the US to recognize that they're too dangerous not to treat
with the basic respect that normal nations routinely show each
other. For more, see the Reckford article below, which also cites
the failure of sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela to produce
any results imagined as favorable to the US.
The Korean War started the trend of endless wars for America. How
do we change course?
The United States is not equipped to solve every global problem. No
nation is. In the case of the Korean War, our failure to close that
chapter of history has allowed mistrust to fester for so long that
détente seems impossible, despite the fact that lowering tensions
would protect U.S. interests in the region better than the status quo.
Uncovering the hidden history of the Korean War.
The US didn't bring freedom to South Korea -- its people did.
To have any chance at ending the Korea War, America must become more
Why Trump's 'maximum pressure' campaigns are a maximum failure.
Donald Trump's big problem with senior voters.
Kyle Cheney/Leah Nylen:
Prosecutor says he was pressured to cut Roger Stone 'a break' because
of his ties to Trump.
American Fascism: It has happened here.
American fascist energies today are different from 1930s European fascism,
but that doesn't mean they're not fascist, it means they're not European
and it's not the 1930s. They remain organized around classic fascist tropes
of nostalgic regeneration, fantasies of racial purity, celebration of an
authentic folk and nullification of others, scapegoating groups for economic
instability or inequality, rejecting the legitimacy of political opponents,
the demonization of critics, attacks on a free press, and claims that the
will of the people justifies violent imposition of military force. Vestiges
of interwar fascism have been dredged up, dressed up, and repurposed for
modern times. Colored shirts might not sell anymore, but colored hats are
Bernie's student army learns to live with Biden. Given time (and
Trump), stories like this were bound to appear.
Aaron Ross Coleman:
Protesters win a new investigation into Elijah McClain's death.
Nancy Cook/Adam Cancryn:
Trump team weights a CDC scrubbing to deflect mounting criticism.
Does he know anything about management other than "you're fired"?
What "defund the police" really means.
These protests feel different because they're shifting public opinion:
Interiew with Megan Ming Francis.
As she points out in her book, Civil Rights and the Making of the
Modern American State, the NAACP from 1909 to 1923 mobilized
state-building by first shifting public opinion, then creating change
within political and legal structures. And according to polls, opinion
is already shifting: In 2015, just 51 percent of Americans believed
racism is a big problem in the US; now 76 percent of Americans do.
The menacing symbolism of the noose: "Noose incidents are uncoincidentally
on the rise as protesters continue to demand justice for Black lives."
The hedge fund man behind pro-Trump media's new war on China.
Huayi Zhang, associated with Robert Mercer.
Global protests reveal that white supremacy is a problem everywhere.
What will it take to defeat Trumpism? "Learning lessons from the end
of the Confederacy, Nazi Germany, and Saddam's Iraq" -- a mixed bag of
examples, all three thoroughly defeated militarily (Iraq least decisively),
then allowed to reconstitute themselves (the Confederacy most along its
original, white supremacist lines). It's much easier for a foreign power
to defeat a malevolent faction (slaveholders, Nazis, Baathists) than it
is to keep those ideas from re-emerging in the defeated populace. Still,
the relative success in de-Nazifying Germany has more to do with ethnic
unity (vs. the black-white divide in the South, and the Sunni-Shiite-Kurd
divide in Iraq), and the annihilated value of Nazism for the resurgence
of German capitalism. (A big part of the reason Germany recovered so well
was the imposition of worker participation in corporate boards, which has
mostly kept German corporations from turning into predatory profit-scrapers
like their American and British counterparts.) Still, I wonder whether
Feffer isn't making too much out of Trumpism. Given the incoherence of
its leader and the ineptness of its followers, it's likely after defeat
to break down into its constituent parts and crawl back into the woodwork,
festering, waiting for its next charismatic revival.
Feffer notes that "in West Germany in 1947, 55% of those living under
the US occupation believed that 'National Socialism was a good idea badly
carried out.'" The occupation of Germany at that time was still pretty
harsh, and poverty was widespread, but after the Bundesrepublic gained
independence in 1949, and the economy boomed with the European Coal and
Steel Community in 1952, Nazi sympathies faded away. The only sure way
to get rid of Trumpism is to fix the problems it arose to fight, or show
that those problems aren't real.
Russell Arben Fox:
The coronavirus in Kansas: The first 100 days. Covid-19 cases have
continued to rise, with Sedgwick County topping 1,000 cases. For more,
see John Handy/Andy Tsubass Field:
Kansas communities see dramatic spikes in coronavirus cases.
Andrew Freedman/Matthew Cappucci:
Historic Saharan dust event fouls air along Gulf Coast as next blast
Susan B Glasser:
Trump retreats to his Hannity bunker: "Beaten by the pandemic and
down in the polls, a President and his propagandist create an alternate
Amy Goldstein/Emily Guskin:
Almost one-third of black Americans know someone who has died of covid-19,
survey shows: Compare to 9% of white Americans.
Respected marketing guru explains how Trump could 'monetize' a loss to
Biden in November -- and make millions of dollars from his far-right
MAGA base: Donny Deutsch.
Why a socialized system like Medicare for All beats for-profit healthcare
in one chart of covid-19 infection rates.
An anti-colonialist Zionist? Remembering Albert Memmi: "The great
prophet of anti-colonialism embraces Zionism without ever questioning
its colonial implications." Memmi was born in Tunisia, was Jewish,
wrote The Colonizer and the Colonized (1957) and many other
books, was "asked to leave" when Tunisia became independent, lived
in France until dying at age 99. Also on Memmi:
There is no plan. There is no second-term agenda. Takeaway
from a Hannity interview, but just because Trump couldn't think of
an agenda doesn't mean there won't be one. Trump has long delegated
odious tasks like thinking and doing to the little people (mostly,
it seems, Pence and Kushner).
The fact is that the Republican Party hasn't been much interested
in governing the country for some time. They want to deregulate
industries whose executives pay the campaign bills, and cut taxes
on the donor class, and knuckle immigrants, but the idea of drawing
up a comprehensive set of policies to make life better for the broader
American public has long been anathema. (The Democrats often govern
incompetently, and with too much regard for the preferences of powerful
interests over those of working people, but they do seek to govern the
country.) Trump is merely the most garish expression of this, turning
the nation's highest governing office into a rolling circus act while
shredding the institutions of democracy, and while the termites of the
state go to work behind the scenes.
This thing about the Republicans not being interested in governing
has been making the rounds lately, and rather misses the point. The
Republicans are obsessed with grabbing and monopolizing power, but
they actually have a very narrow definition of governing. Their aim
is to use power to accumulate more power, so they mostly see the
government as a vast patronage machine that can be used to reward
their supporters and punish their enemies, and that's about it. The
closest thing any Republican had to a vision was Tom DeLay's K Street
Project, where they demanded that lobbyists support their culture war
in order to qualify for graft favors. But fear seems to drive them
even more than greed: by seizing power, they deny it to their mortal
enemies, the Democrats, who if given the opening would surely also
use their power to reward their supporters and punish their enemies.
That view isn't fair because Democrats habitually try to rule for the
benefit of everyone, whereas Republicans are much more discriminating
in who they help and hurt. Where Republicans most obviously fail is
in trying to govern in a crisis. They don't plan, they don't prepare,
their graft becomes visible, and quite often they simply don't care.
Trump is the worst ever in this regard, but you have to go back
generations to find competent Republican administrators. A big part
of this can be traced back to how the Republican campaign machinery
is designed expressly to do nothing but attack Democrats. Trump has
no agenda for a second term because he doesn't even comprehend what
he's been doing in his first term -- except, that is, relentlessly
attacking his numerous enemies. That's all he's got to campaign on.
"It's ideologue meets grifter": How Bill Barr made Trumpism possible.
Interview with David Rohde, author of a
New Yorker profile on Barr.
New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have
intensified the severity of the pandemic.
Why it's so damn hot in the Arctic right now. Related:
4 ideas to replace traditional police officers.
Trump's reality TV presidency is being crushed by reality. Draws
a lot on Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney's chief campaign strategist in
2012 and author of It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party
Became Donald Trump, talking a lot about the incompetency and
incoherence of Trump's government. One thing Stevens says: "To me,
the only thing remotely like it is the collapse of communism in the
Soviet Union, because the dissonance between what the party was and
what it said it was was just so great."
In praise of polarization: "How identity politics changed the
Democratic Party -- for the better." Without the guiding hand of
identity there wouldn't be polarization, a subject that Klein flogged
to death in his book, Why We're Polarized.
A disastrous summer in the arctic.
Barr joins Trump effort to will antifa into existence with new 'anti-gov
extremists' task force.
The 'V-shaped' recovery has died of coronavirus. Wasn't going to
happen anyway, because the panic and lockdown changed buying habits
in ways that simply re-opening wouldn't (and couldn't) undo. Perhaps
at some point, if the stimulus remains robust and is widely distributed
people will feel a desire to spend some of their savings on big-ticket
items, but that's a while off. More likely, the Republicans will kill
off stimulus (except for the stock market) and we'll get a double-dip
recession instead. (Was tempted to say W-shaped, but still not sure of
the eventual upstroke.)
Ryan Lizza/Laura Barron-Lopez/Holly Otterbein:
Why Biden is rejecting Black Lives Matter's boldest proposals:
"Activists want to defund the police. Biden won't even legalize pot."
This stuff doesn't bother me, at least not like his Venezuela tweet
did. He'll drag his feet, but he's at least somewhat open to reason.
And given the gauntlet that any sort of reform has to run, he'll
likely be there at the end, not leading but also not obstructing,
and that's probably where his broadest supporters want him.
Princeton drops Woodrow Wilson from name of public policy school.
Wilson was president of Princeton before moving into politics, so this
particular naming was an obvious choice at the time, and I doubt it's
being given up lightly. Wilson did several notably progressive things
as president. He also started two wars with Mexico, engaged in a lot
of "gunboat diplomacy" in the Caribbean, led the US into WWI, and ran
a very aggressive campaign against war dissenters -- notably jailing
presidential candidate Eugene Debs. He represented the US personally
in the talks leading to the Treaty of Versailles, making a promise
that David Fromkin turned on its head for his essential book on the
post-WWI Middle East: A Peace to End All Peace. Well into the
Cold War era, he was revered by Democrats for his internationalism,
and his opponents' isolationism is still a dirty epithet. Many of
these things should be giving us doubts about his legacy, but the
one that's finally catching up with him is explained by Dylan
Matthews in his 2015 article:
Woodrow Wilson was extremely racist -- even by the standards of his
time, which was written after Princeton students started objecting
to his name heading Princeton's School of Public and International
Why America's police look like soldiers: "Why are the police bringing
military assault rifles to protests?"
How police unions became so powerful -- and how they can be tamed.
Media Matters: This could be an ongoing series, but for
now just a taste of how Fox et al. are handling the debacle:
Progressive Black candidates swept key races on Tuesday. Results
don't look quite that weeping, although
Middle school principal Jamaal Bowman unseats Eliot Engel in New York
was a big story (and not close, despite Engel endorsements from NY Dem
leaders, not to mention AIPAC).
The coronavirus surge that Texas could have seen coming.
1960s coverage of Stonewall shows that mainstream press has always
struggled to cover protests: "New Yorkers reading the local,
mainstream papers wouldn't have known that a new civil rights
movement was unfolding."
William J Perry/Tom Z Collins:
Who can we trust with the nuclear button? No one.
Trump is holding a rally in one of the country's worst Covid-19 hot
spots: Next stop (Tuesday, June 23): Phoenix, Arizona, where
"cases in the state have increased by 174 percent over the past
three weeks, and the Arizona Health Department reported a record-high
3,600 new cases on Tuesday alone."
Can Trump beat the Florida convention curse? I didn't know there
was one -- Nixon won after Miami Beach conventions in 1968 and 1972;
the Democrats also did Miami Beach in 1972, McGovern losing to Nixon;
and Romney lost after being nominated in Tampa in 2012 -- but Trump
is bound to bring out the worst in the state.
Modern monetary theory: Neither modern, nor monetary, nor (mainly)
theoretical?: Review of the MMT-based Macroeconomics
textbook by William Mitchell, Randall Wray and Martin Watts.
Anita Rao/Pat Dillon/Kim Kelly/Zak Bennett:
Is America a democracy? If so, why does it deny millions the vote?
A series of articles in the Guardian on "the fight to vote":
Donald Trump's re-election playbook: 25 ways he'll lie, cheat and
abuse his power: "From now until November, opponents of the most
lawless president in history face a fight for democracy itself."
Things like postponing the election remain to be seen, and would
be hard to pull off. "Coddle dictators" sticks in my craw. Ever
since WWII, US foreign policy has supported dictators who were
deemed good for business, while opposing ones (and, by the way,
democracies) who weren't (e.g., Iran, Guatemala, Chile). The only
way Trump deviates from this is that he needs "good for business"
to be good for him personally. Whether the US cherishes or ignores
human rights depends strictly on which side of the good/bad ledger
a country falls.
Forget about it. The author continues to be shocked that others
can still be shocked by the latest Trumpian outrages, given how many
comparable examples even a cursory remembrance of history offers up.
I've been reading and writing about conservatism since the summer of
2000, when I interviewed William F. Buckley Jr., Irving Kristol, and
Norman Podhoretz for a Lingua Franca article. I was surprised
to hear how discontented these elder statesmen were now that the Cold
War was over. It was almost as if they longed for the United States --
or at least themselves -- to be back in the grip of murderous anxiety,
ready to embark on a terrible rampage. Since then, what has always
struck me is how turbulent and intemperate, how savage and ferocious,
the dream life of the right truly is -- even among, especially among,
its most staid figures.
When Trump became a contender for the White House, I saw him as an
extension or fulfillment of the conservative movement rather than a
break with it. Almost everything people found outrageous and objectionable
about his candidacy -- the racism, the contempt for institutions, the
ambient violence, the hostility to the rule of law -- I'd been seeing
in the right for years. Little in Trump surprised me, except for the
fact that he won.
Whenever I said this, people got angry with me. They still do.
For months, now years, I puzzled over that anger. . . . Historical
consciousness can be a conservative force, lessening the sting of
urgency, deflating the demands of the now, leaving us adrift in a
sea of relativism. But it need not be . . . Telling a story of how
present trespass derives from past crime or even original sin can
inspire a more strenuous refusal, a more profound assault on the
now. It can fuel a desire to be rid of not just the moment but the
moments that made this moment, to ensure that we never have to face
this moment again. But only if we acknowledge what we're seldom
prepared to admit: that the monster has been with us all along.
Charlie Savage/Eric Schmitt/Michael Schwartz:
Russia secretly offered Afghan militants bounties to kill US troops,
intelligence says: "The Trump administration has been deliberating
for months about what to do about a stunning intelligence assessment."
This is supposedly a big deal, but sounds like a total crock. While
Afghan government and Taliban have continued to attack each other,
US fatalities in Aghanistan have dwindled to practically nothing --
not just since Trump signed a cease-fire with the Taliban, but you
have to go as far back as 2014 to find a month with 10 US fatalities.
So if Russia is paying a bounty, they're not finding many takers,
and it's not costing them much. It seems much more likely that the
whole story was hatched by "deep state" figures to try to scuttle
the Taliban peace deal, to reverse US troop withdrawals, to gin up
anti-Russian sentiment for a new Cold War, and (what the hell) to
make Trump look bad by drawing out the Trump-Putin buddy meme.
This left me wondering whether the US had actually paid bounties
for dead Russians during the 1980s, when inflicting casualties on
Russians was the explicit goal of US support for Afghan mujahideen.
I tried googling that, but all I got were echoes of the NY Times
piece, like the Guardian's
Outrage mounts over report Russia offered bounties to Afghanistan
militants for killing US soldiers (and not wanting to be left
out or devalued,
Russia offered bounty to kill UK soldiers). Similar articles
were all over the supposedly liberal press (Google it yourself:
these are from the first two pages): ABC, Chicago Tribune, CNBC,
CNN, LA Times, MSNBC, NPR, Reuters, Time, USA Today, Vox, Washington
Post, Axios. Some bought the story but tried to put the focus on
Trump, as in Jacob Kuntson:
Trump denies report he was briefed on alleged Russian bounties on US
troops (my favorite line here was "The report was confirmed by
the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and CNN," meaning that those
organizations picked up and ran the story); also Bob Brigham:
Trump remained silent as Putin paid to kill US soldiers;
Back from golfing, Trump denies knowing about Russian bounties to
kill US soldiers.
Isaac Sebenius/James K Sebenius:
How many needless Covid-19 deaths were caused by delays in responding?
Most of them.
Joe Biden should not try to out-hawk Trump on Venezuela. Biden's
tweet on Venezuela is one of the few things that genuinely disurb me
about his nomination. It is factually inaccurate -- Trump may "admire
thugs and dictators" but not Nicolas Maduro; he clearly loathes Maduro,
and is using the power and influence of the United States to overturn
Maduro's election victory and replace him with a pliable puppet. I"m
not even sure that Maduro qualifies as a "thug and dictator" -- not
that I doubt that power is seductive and tends to corrupt, but as far
as I can tell, most of Venezuela's problems have been imposed by the
US, and their propaganda is formulaic and suspect as usual. Biden's
vow that he "will stand with the Venezuelan people and for democracy"
shows, to put it charitably, how completely he has been taken in by
the propaganda. If you want a definition of "thug and dictator," what
about someone who would impose a puppet government on another nation?
If Biden had any respect for democracy abroad, he wouldn't be casting
his lot with Trump and the oil moguls on this issue. And if he had
even the slightest self-awareness of how much havoc and misery US
intervention in Latin America has caused, he would grasp the folly
of trying to force American views on others. Nor do you have to go
back to Monroe and Wilson for examples: the recent coups in Bolivia
and Brazil are currently creating human rights disasters that reflect
back on us. Biden needs to break with that legacy, not echo it.
The Georgia legislature finally passes a hate crime bill in the wake
of Ahmaud Arbery's death. When signed, that will leave only three
states without hate crime laws (the others are South Carolina, Wyoming,
Defense industry cheers as the Trump administration is poised to loosen
restrictions on drone exports. Critics complain that "the Trump
administration appears to be sacrificing long-term security goals for
short-term economic gain" -- i.e., for the arms merchants, not for
those who foot the military budget. Of course, if selling arms leads
to an arms race, the industry would see long-term economic gains as
well, and we would all wind up less secure.
Lawrence H Summers/Anna Stansbury:
US workers need more power: Good title, but don't fear, he's not
really offering much. No talk about co-determination, let alone making
companies fully employee-owned, which is the direction we should be
On "White Fragility": Review of Robin DiAngelo's book, "a few
thoughts on America's smash-hit #1 guide to egghead racialism,"
one of which is it "may be the dumbest book ever written." I
rather doubt that, if for no other reason than that I recall
Taibbi's review of Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat.
Biden's journey left.
Pentagon war game includes scenario for military response to domestic
Gen Z rebellion. "Gen Z" is defined as those born after 1996.
Trump can't name one thing he'd prioritize if re-elected: Good.
The head of US broadcasting is leaning toward pro-Trump propaganda.
Biden would fire him. Michael Pack, head of US Agency for Global
Media (USAGM), which runs "Voice of America, Middle East Broadcasting,
Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Office of
Cuba Broadcasting," so is already neck-deep in the propaganda business.
Pack, a close ally of former top Trump strategist Steve Bannon, began
his three-year tenure just this month and wasted no time making dramatic
changes to reshape the agency. Last week, within hours of introducing
himself to employees, he purged four top officials from the agency's
media organizations. The two chiefs of Voice of America (VOA), the most
prominent outlet in the agency, had already resigned earlier over Pack's
The real villain of John Bolton's Trump book is John Bolton. More
How Trump's China obsession could derail nuclear arms control, in one
tweet: "Bolton makes clear President Trump's foreign policy is
absolutely terrible -- but Bolton's is much, much worse."
The US military will stay on the US-Mexico border, even with migration
Trump is rescuing Maine lobstermen from himself, and blaming Obama:
"The lobster bailout, explained."
Martha McSally's bailout proposal for the travel industry, explained:
"The Arizona senator wants to give each US adult $4,000 to go on vacation --
but only if you're not too poor." The bottom line is that this is another
Republican tax cut for the rich, albeit limited and dressed up funny.
Trump's reelection polling is looking really bad. Why does he always
have to note: "After all, Michael Dukakis was up by 17 points in mid-July
1988"? Not only is that a bummer, there are lots of reasons why this year
is nothing like that year.
Trump's catastrophic failure on testing is no joke: "The president
is continually more focused on good numbers than good policy."
Why it feels like there are a lot more fireworks this year. No,
I hadn't noticed. I don't think I've heard a single firework bang so
far this month, or maybe this year. No doubt I will hear some closer
to the 4th, but probably less than usual. The old Lawrence Stadium
used to shoot off fireworks at least once a week, but they tore it
down, built a new ballpark, and have yet to play a single game there.
Wichita is not traditionally hostile to fireworks -- although the
Fire Dept. had a lot more say in the matter when I was growing up
than in recent years. I went out driving one July 4th and identified
at least 20 places that were shooting off major fireworks (of course,
the big one was downtown, which we could watch from out front lawn).
Then I drove down Main St. toward where I grew up, and it looked like
a war zone with all the debris. My mother especially loved fireworks,
but I'd be just as happy never to see or hear any ever again.