Bricks and Babies: You Can’t Win a Fight Against the Delusional

If you ever happen to find yourself in Waskom, Texas, a tiny burg across the Louisiana state line off I-20, a place best described as "twister bait," you might wanna head on over to the Great American Mural that covers the front of the We Buy Houses 123 building in the middle of town. It's a mighty huge thing, what with its portrayal of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in a dull, gray New York City; an extraordinarily masculine Statue of Continue Reading...

Book Review: Fire on the Mountain

John Brown's Story Lies A-Mouldering on the Page John Brown is one of American history’s most fascinating characters. The American Spartacus, Brown led an anti-slavery revolt in 1859 and has often been depicted as overzealous and even stark raving mad. After all, to racists, any white man who’d place himself in harm’s way by taking up arms in order to free Black slaves by definition had to be a lunatic. After his failed raid at Harpers Ferry a Continue Reading...

Mueller Has Made It Much Harder For Democrats To Go Slow On Impeachment

The damage inflicted by Trump’s naïveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. - John McCain  Although it is equal parts presumptuous and wishful thinking, I'm going to suggest that the hidden message of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's farewell soliloquy was that he believes Congress should impeach Donald Trump because the damage cited by the president's late nemesis -- yeah, the guy whose naval Continue Reading...

Mission Accomplished? Could US-Iran Conflict Tear Iraq Apart Again?

The rising tensions between the Trump administration and Iran have the potential to roil the entire Middle East, and no country feels the heat more than Iraq, which has warm relations both with the US and Iran, as Egyptian journalist Islam Muhammad argues in a wideranging report. Iraqi nationalist and Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr made headlines earlier this week when he tweeted out that a US-Iran War would “finish off Iraq.” Al-Sadr, who Continue Reading...

Book Review: Understanding Marxism

Understanding “Wolff-ism”: Prof. Richard Wolff’s Take on Karl Marx in New Text The 2008 crisis of capitalism sparked and regenerated interest in alternatives to the capitalist system, which was on the verge of collapsing. This included revived interest in socialism, with one of the results being the propelling of an obscure leftwing academic into history’s headlights. With appearances on TV shows including Bill Moyers’ and Charlie Rose’s Continue Reading...

Practical Impeachment Politics: Your Objections Are Bullshit

Too many Democrats are tying themselves in knots in order to avoid committing to impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump, a man who, in his best days, betrays the public trust ten times before finishing his first Sausage McMuffin of the morning. But the arguments Democrats make are utter bullshit, and they're belied by history, circumstance, and the Democrats' own actions. For example: "Why bother impeaching Trump when we know the Continue Reading...

Pistol-Packin’ Butina: Feds Parlay A Weak Case Into An 18-Month Sentence

The case against Mariia Butina for being a Russian spy was never strong.   She never worked directly for the Kremlin, knew of no secret codes or safe houses, and didn't engaged in covert activity.  And so the feds ended up charging her with the rather tame offense of failing to register as a foreign agent.  The Siberian-born gun-rights activist, an oxymoron if there ever was one since gun owners in Russia have no rights, made her debut as a bit Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Terry Gilliam’s Quixotic Quest: Mancha Ado About…? Monty Python collaborator Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote falls into an interesting motion picture category. Cinematic lore includes a sort of subgenre of “difficult” films often made by powerful directors seeking to impose their exacting, iconic, auteurish visions on studios, audiences, critics, etc. During the silent screen era the original uncut versions of D.W. Griffith’s Continue Reading...

How Classic Anti-Semitic Tropes are being Marshaled against Ilhan Omar and Muslim-Americans

The attacks on Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim-American women to serve in Congress and the first of Black African heritage who veils, by the Rupert Murdoch press (Fox, New York Post, etc.) and the US Republican Party are frightening for many reasons, but most of all because they repeat classic anti-Semitic charges made by the Nazis in Germany against Jews. Racism is not that complicated, and is always simple-minded and stupid, and so it Continue Reading...

White Nationalists Suspected of Fire at Important Civil Rights Location

When I was working on my dissertation on labor unions in the early 20th century and their intersection with theatre, I did a great deal of archival research all around the United States. Most of it was at organized libraries, where well-trained archivists would bring me boxes of material to sort through at tightly-controlled spaces as I searched for play manuscripts that had never been published, as well as letters, programs, and anything else Continue Reading...

To The Fainting Couch! Is William Barr Trying To Whitewash The Mueller Report?

Memo to those who are taking a wait-and-see attitude about how Attorney General William Barr will handle Robert Mueller's final report on the Russia scandal: The waiting is over and what we're seeing has all the the earmarks of a whitewash.    The special counsel's final report not only does not exonerate Trump.  Hiding behind myriad redactions and peeking out between the lines in the copious appendices is some very nasty shit involving Trump as Continue Reading...

Film Review: Us

Jordan’s Jeremiad: Bunnies, Ballerinas - and the Revenge of the Underclass? OK, I admit it - I’m a cinematic scaredy-cat. Ever since small kid days, horror movies have frightened the hell out of me. The last one I went to see was a 2018 LA Film Festival screening of Spell, which I saw because it was set and shot on location in Iceland, a country I’ve only seen from the sky and am interested in. To tell you the truth, I did manage to get Continue Reading...

Once Again With Great Feeling: Please, Joe Biden, Do Not Run For President

This is at least the fourth time over the years that I have put up a blogpost urging Joe Biden not to run for president.     My earliest recollections of Joe are from summers at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware where our families vacationed.  I would be lying if I said young Joe seemed destined for politics, let alone greatness. He had little to distinguish himself from the older teenaged crowd that I aspired to be part of beyond having overcome a bad Continue Reading...

How Will Trump’s Presidency End? Seven Ways It May

Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency have been marked by extreme controversy, divisiveness, and partisan polarization. Many contend America hasn’t been this divided since the Civil War. Shortly after 2016’s election, comedian Cecily Strong played CNN’s chief political analyst Gloria Borger in an SNL skit, repeatedly complaining Trump “is not normal.” In fact, one of the rare things an overwhelming majority of Americans can agree on nowadays Continue Reading...

Random Observations on Michael Cohen’s Mob Hearing

1. When Michael Cohen, the former lawyer for President Donald Trump, said to the House Oversight Committee at his open hearing yesterday, "I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat," it didn't budge the needle one bit on Trump's support among his idiot hordes of voters. They love him because he's a racist, a conman, and a cheat. They love him because he cheated and conned and got away with it and they don't give a Continue Reading...