‘I should burn in hell and I was a deformity’

Decapitated Barbie dolls, dirty laundry, and a van whose interior smelled like thirteen rotting possums. And Sayoc, the Trumpist nut, was an asshole homophobe too. His former boss at a Fort Lauderdale pizza restaurant said Sayoc, who worked there as a delivery driver during the graveyard shift, would openly mock her for her sexuality andContinue reading “‘I should burn in hell and I was a deformity’”

Hysteria breeds hysteria

Charles Pierce: This constituency wasn’t created out of the air. It did not spring fully grown from the brow of the president*. It was carefully created and nurtured over the past four decades by a conservative movement bankrolled by oligarchs who were and are perfectly fine with having murderous, angry grunts out there doing theContinue reading “Hysteria breeds hysteria”

Liveblogging Donald Trump’s address to the nation

With an approval rating average as enthusiastic as middle America’s embrace of foie gras, Donald Trump has decided the Afghan theater needs more men to pacify a country that the Soviets and British couldn’t. Less than eight years ago, Barack Obama, pursuing a strategy called escalate-then-exit that seemed borne out of a junior college’s oneContinue reading “Liveblogging Donald Trump’s address to the nation”

Of arms and men

Vote the bastards out. Replace them with senators who will present a filibuster-proof majority for President Hillary Clinton’s SCOTUS nominees. Perhaps this new liberal voting bloc will examine the most impolitic and dangerous comma splice in American constitutional history. But please don’t join the GOP in hysteria. Denying “suspected terrorists” of the right – yes,Continue reading “Of arms and men”

That pesky due process clause!

Joe Manchin has the demeanor of the manager of a chain gymnasium in a strip mall. I distrust him not only because he’s one of the Beltway’s prized examples of bipartisanship but for being governor when the coaling industry continued its mission of turning West Virginia into an abattoir. If you fuck both your DemocraticContinue reading “That pesky due process clause!”

What’s in a name depends on politics

If ISIL is so dangerous, Charles Pierce asks, “how does calling them something, or not calling them something, make them less so?” He refers, of course, to the right’s hysteria over Barack Obama’s refusal to be baited over dangerous semantic games. As we learn more about [Omar Mateen], he seems to have had a staggeringContinue reading “What’s in a name depends on politics”

Of geniuses, mandarins, and institutionalists

Patrick McGilligan – Young Orson Simon Callow, Clinton Heylin, David Thomson, and the Welles-approved Barbara Leaming have covered this ground, but what distinguishes this SS-20 of a tome is the attention on George Orson’s origins. Raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin by a pianist/actress mother and a dad whose early fortune as a bicycle lamp inventor hastenedContinue reading “Of geniuses, mandarins, and institutionalists”

Terrorism — a ‘brainless propaganda word’

The social media hills were alive with stories like this posted by liberals delighted by conservative reluctance to use their favorite taxonomy for the Oregonian arsonists. In a 1985 essay called “Wanton Acts of Usage,” Christopher Hitchens won’t deign to pretend “terrorism” exists as a concept, let alone a word. A sapient passage reminded meContinue reading “Terrorism — a ‘brainless propaganda word’”

‘My nuclear nightmare, born of long and deep experience’

Here’s a cheerful way to ring out the old year. Former secretary of defense William Perry: A soft-spoken man not given to hyperbole, Perry is on a public crusade to persuade people that nothing less than the future of civilization is at stake. What worries him most is that few seem to notice. “Our chiefContinue reading “‘My nuclear nightmare, born of long and deep experience’”

Profiles in courage

Today I learned that my congressional representative, a graduate of a local Jesuit prep school and five years my junior, was so spooked by ISIS that he surrendered, voting with his party and forty-seven craven Democrats. His statement is a masterpiece of weaselspeak: After last week’s horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut, it isContinue reading “Profiles in courage”

‘I believe that you cannot destroy their ideology’

An MSNBC interview with Thomas Roberts and Janine Di Giovani: Roberts: When we talk about the country or the territory, they don’t have that. What they have is the territory that borders between Syria and Iraq. If that is stripped from them Janine, do they fall away? DiGiovani: Personally, I believe that you cannot destroyContinue reading “‘I believe that you cannot destroy their ideology’”

The origins of ISIS

It took a couple of hours but I found the article I read last spring about American complicity in creating ISIS. “The United States itself continued to send arms into Syria despite the certainty that some would end up in the hands of ISIS,” David Mizner wrote for Jacobin: The report concerns a period inContinue reading “The origins of ISIS”