Blogs

That would be something to see

Restating the Obvious

I hope WBD does sue Bannon for libel. It would be a treat to see a federal judge opine that a man has to have a reputation before he can be libeled. It's true, a well-settled principle of the law.

Grifter, racist, despot

Restating the Obvious

It is often said, by liberals --who don't know any more about the history of their own country than rightwingers -- that Trump is unique among presidents for using his office to promote his private fortune. Washington not only used the office of president to line his own pockets, he also used ...

Shut the Overton Window

Restating the Obvious

I'd never heard of this Overton Window, so I looked it up. Wikipedia sez this about it: "According to Overton's description, his window includes a range of policies considered politically acceptable in the current climate of public opinion, which a politician can recommend without being ...

When it all began

Restating the Obvious

Because I am seeing all over the place claims that the FBI opened l'affaire Trump on the basis of the Steele dossier, I thought I'd link to this story at documents that it began before there was a Steele ...

A positive story about Trumpery

Restating the Obvious

From Bloomberg's Max Nisen, an apparently deeply-informed story about drug policy and a bureaucrat who is able to make decisive -- and perhaps mostly positive-- changes, from the point of view of consumers. (See ...

Do not be Florida man

Restating the Obvious

Florida is not the most populous state but it leads the nation in ridiculous mishaps, usually attributed by headline writers to "Florida man." For example, on Christmas Eve the Gainesville Sun reported: FLORIDA MAN FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE AFTER CHASING MONKEY "DESTIN -- A Florida man now ...

Meta-fake news

Restating the Obvious

Recall all those rightwing hoaxes about voter fraud? Then the president appointed the vice resident and serial liar Kris Kobach to lead an inquiry into voter fraud. Turns out that is fake, too. (See ...

More fake news

Restating the Obvious

Sometimes it's hard to keep up. F'rinstance: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/opinion/republican-tax-bill-trump-corker.html?hpw&rref=opinion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

The shallow state

Restating the Obvious

Private citizens are not supposed to conduct foreign policy in the name of the United States, although this has never been prosecuted. Perhaps because in nearly every instance except one, the private citizen was attempting, however ineptly, to support the policy of the government. That was the ...

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Merry Christmas

Restating the Obvious

Figgy pudding and a buche de Noel (in progress) Last year I didn't have opportunities to bake for Christmas, so I bought a rather expensive Christmas pudding. Mistake. It was no good. Figgy pudding is one of those foods that just won't submit to industrialization. This year I did a little ...

Waiting for howls of outrage

Restating the Obvious

There is no question a lot of national legislation is too complex. One of my first business stories, over 40 years ago, was about ERISA -- the Employees Retirement Income Security Act. Even its admirers said it was so complex that no one understood all of it. It was designed to protect ...

I identify famous ‘flying’ ‘object’

Restating the Obvious

Except it wasn't an object and it wasn't flying. It was a foo fighter, a reflection off the plane of the navy aviator who saw it. His description is unmistakable: The object created no rotor wash — the visible air turbulence left by the blades of a helicopter — he said, and began to ...

Mad bombers

Restating the Obvious

It should come as no surprise that Iraqi conscripts who declined to fight for a corrupt Saddam government also decline to fight for a corrupt Abadi government. That was the lesson of the very slow capture of Mosul and Raqqa. It will not do to belittle the difficulty of reducing a stubbornly ...

What are Bitcoins worth?

Restating the Obvious

Nothing, in my opinion, but if you believe in markets then they are worth -- dollars. That's what the Bitcoin futures market settles in. Shouldn't the settlements be fractions of Bitcoins? Unless it's all shibai.

That old-time religion

Restating the Obvious

I grew up surrounded by evangelical Christians. They were an unsavory bunch. If I had a dollar for every time some evangelical who knew nothing about me -- other than that I attended Catholic mass, as I used to do -- told me I was doomed to everlasting torment in hell for not accepting Jesus as ...

Political clarity

Restating the Obvious

The Tea Party/Trump wing of politics wanted honesty -- no more prevaricating, shillyshallying talk. Funny how they cannot tell even a simple truth. However, it's clear enough what they are saying. During World War II, a German linguist living in Dresden, Victor Klemperer, devised a "National ...

Genuine voter fraud discovered

Restating the Obvious

As always, the fraudster is a rightwinger. A chairman of the Colorado Republican Party no less. (See http://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/07/steve-curtis-voter-fraud-conviction/) Did he man up and admit his dirty deed? Of course not. He's a Republican. Hat tip to Juanita Jean, your internet ...

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Book Review 404: The End of the Imperial Japanese Navy

Restating the Obvious

THE END OF THE IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY, by Masanori Ito. 192 pages. Macfadden-Bartell paperback As we wonder what moves China or North Korea might be willing to make on the international stage, it is worth remembering how badly Americans understood what Japan would be willing to do 75 years ...

Ain’t that the truth?

Restating the Obvious

E.J. Dionne in the Post, demonstrating more knowledge of American history than the entire Republican Party put together: "When Republicans are FBI haters who are sidetracking probes into Russian subversion, the world truly is turned upside down." (See ...