Restating the Obvious

Maybe the Russians have it

Another NSA screw-up, unless it was deliberate. (See https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/19/nsa-deletes-surveillance-data-351730) "The National Security Agency destroyed surveillance data it pledged to preserve in connection with pending lawsuits and apparently never took some of the ...

Live free or die

The New York Times has a piece on a drug addict in New Hampshire. The live free or die state. So this is ironic: "In Patrick’s home state of New Hampshire, which leads the country in deaths per capita from fentanyl, almost 500 people died of overdoses in 2016. The government estimates that ...

A missing tweet

Several polls purport to find that even WBD's supporters wish he would tweet less. Yet there was one tweet we were more or less promised that has not been sent. That would be the one that calls out Gregory Hayes, CEO of United Technologies, for sending jobs offshore. We were told that Trump ...

Our brilliant chief magistrate

The Washington Post reports : "Trump was not particularly upset by the coverage of the meeting and his vulgarity after it was first reported by The Washington Post, calling friends and asking how they expected it to play with his political supporters, aides said. “ 'Everyone was saying it ...

Book Review 405: The Whiskey Rebellion

THE WHISKEY REBELLION: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution, by Thomas G. Slaughter. 291 pages, Oxford In 1794, just six years after it began, just about everyone expected the strange American political experiment to fail. President Washington, the British and the Spanish governments, ...

Self-defense, NRA style

If you set out to write a script that exposed every last NRA argument for guns for the pluperfect nonsense that they are, you could not top this real-life example. (See http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/crime/article194070489.html) Now, I don't know that the dead gun-owner kept a ...

Going two directions at once

I find it interesting, but not at all surprising, to watch Trumpeters, especially the overtly religious kind, simultaneously embrace incompatible positions. Interesting because it destroys all their credibility but unsurprising because I grew up among holy rollers, and this is their constant ...

Do not be Florida Woman either

COCOA BEACH -- A Florida woman is recovering from serious injuries after a cat jumped into her car and attacked her, causing her to be run over by her own vehicle. . . . Authorities said she jumped out of the car to escape the feline, forgetting it was in reverse and was run over by her own ...

Bringing the world’s respect back to America

I urge you to read the entire Washington Post story about Ambassador Hoekstra and the Dutch reporters. (See https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/10/trumps-ambassador-to-netherlands-was-asked-to-name-a-person-burned-because-of-islam-he-couldnt/?utm_term=.ac1d01c665a3) It ...

High finance

I have for many years said that the real divide in America is not north/south, or urban/rural, or right/left or white/colored or any of the usual categories by which the political demographers split us up. The real divide is between those who have too much to do and those who have nothing to ...

30 reviews

During 2017, RtO reviewed 30 books. Only one, Timothy Snyder's "On Tyranny" was newly published. The rest were old books about subjects I either knew nothing about or wanted to know more about. Two were about censorship, "Out of the Flames" about the burning of Servetus; and "The Holocaust ...

Book Review 405: My Opposition; The Diary of Friedrich Kellner

MY OPPOSITION: The Diary of Friedrich Kellner, edited by Robert Scott Kellner. 493 pages, illustrated. Cambridge, $34.99 It seems improbable that a World War II diary published as late as 2011 could have caused a sensation, but it did in Germany. Now that Cambridge University Press is ...

That would be something to see

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 ...