Who WBD admires

Restating the Obvious

"Get out of there, I’m telling the Lumads now. I’ll have those bombed, including your structures,” the president said. “I will use the armed forces, the Philippine air force. I’ll really have those bombed … because you are operating illegally and you are teaching the children to ...

Who will be Trump’s Bork?

Restating the Obvious

It wasn’t until later that the weirdness of the scene imposed itself on me. Three of us, two Americans and a Briton, were sitting at a table overlooking the sea, sharing a basket of pappadums and drinking beer and lassi and asking: Will Trump fire Mueller? We were all old enough to ...

The conservative liberals

Restating the Obvious

This post expands on the previous one about how the major parties switched their orientation. From the beginning, it has not been simple to determine whether Americans, or any particular American, was liberal or conservative. In this discussion it is useful to stick to left/right, even though ...


Under pressure

Restating the Obvious

Hmmm. So repealing Obamacare depends upon the level of sophisticated health care available to an 80-year-old man. Golly, if I were a rightwing kook, I'd hope he has good insurance.

Jumping the rails

Restating the Obvious

A reader says, “Republicans used to be liberal, Democrats conservative. “Conservatives are the new RINOs. “I understand that it was a Southern Democrat who killed President Lincoln. Democrats, conservative and Republicans, liberal. I was having an identity crisis and confused. I am ...


Book Review 390: Lincoln at Gettysburg

Restating the Obvious

LINCOLN AT GETTYSBURG: The Words that Remade America, by Garry Wills. 315 pages. Simon & Schuster, $23 As usual, when Garry Wills takes a closer look, American myths get debunked. In “Lincolh at Gettysburg” we learn that our most eloquent president did not scratch out his Gettysburg ...


Fools rush in

Restating the Obvious

Tricia and I like to watch a Youtube channel called "18th Century Cooking with Jas Townsend & Son." The host, Jon Townsend, (and occasionally his young daughter Ivy) have an infectious enthusiasm for 18th century foodways; and, somewhat unusually for the re-enactor community, he does solid ...

Inoperative statements

Restating the Obvious

Younger readers may not know about it, but before rightwingers called their own lies alternative facts, they called them inoperative statements. That was back in Watergate days, and it resulted in the departure of a crooked, crazy president in disgrace. A cautionary tale, one might ...


Book Review 391: Siege: Malta 1940-1943

Restating the Obvious

SIEGE: Malta 1940-1943, by Ernle Bradford. 304 pages, illustrated. Morrow, $19.95 A few years ago, I would have predicted that sieges were a thing of the past. Under 21st century conflict conditions, with light-armed guerrillas usually having the upper hand, there seemed hardly any ...

Femme fatale

Restating the Obvious

From time to time, RtO has to state things itself, since nobody else is saying it first. This is one of those times. What did Natalia Veselnitskaya want? All the reporting and commentary has focused on what Whiny Baby Donald's idiot son wanted -- dirt on Clinton. But why did Veselitskatya ...

Left behind

Restating the Obvious

In the New Yorker, an illuminating interview with the only doctor in one of the poorest counties in Georgia. (See Dr. Karen Kinsell sounds like a nominee for sainthood, although the interview is deficient in ...

Tillerson lies

Restating the Obvious

To Congress. It's like it's part of the job description for Trumpeters. "Mr. Tillerson’s testimony notwithstanding, the programs explicitly promise that fellows will be able to join the Foreign Service if they successfully complete the fellowship. Zaid Zaid, a former Pickering fellow, said ...

So’s your mamma

Restating the Obvious

If the highest duty of the government is to protect its citizens -- as Whiny Baby Donald says he thinks -- then the second-highest must be to do something effective about it. For example, in 1942, Americans really were under mortal threats, but rounding up Japanese citizens and immigrants in ...

L.A. housing back to 2007 prices

Restating the Obvious

Nominally, anyway, although the Los Angeles Times notes that, adjusted for inflation, they are still 11% short. In summer 2007, the Los Angeles County median home price hit an all-time high of $550,000. It soon plunged as the housing bubble burst and the national economy crashed. Now the ...

Another Trump ally exposed

Restating the Obvious

This time it's the tub-thumper for fake news about voting, Kris Kobach. A federal court fined him $1,000 for lying. (See and ...

Nazis? What Nazis?

Restating the Obvious

Neonazis rally at the Lincoln Memorial. Why not? (See The son of Trump's favorite Flynn was scheduled to speak, but I have not been able to find a report that says ...

Push of pike

Winning edge

Restating the Obvious

In 1884, an Oxford undergraduate, Charles Oman, won the Marquess of Lothian’s Prize for an essay on “The Art of War in the Middle Ages.” Although he essay is still read and has even been updated to reflect 20th century scholarship, it hardly seems likely to be of more than antiquarian ...