Erickson’s Congressman: A Paradox of Our Times

I'm calling for a new phrase to enter the lexicon of political snark: "Erickson's Congressman." It's based the recent blog post by conservative wannabe-firebrand Erick "Erick" Erickson where he described wandering around a DC Safeway with an unnamed GOP member of Congress who fairly ejaculated a stream of invective and profanity about how much he despises President Donald Trump and how much Trump has wrecked the Republican Party. "If we're going Continue Reading...

Did The Kremlin Send In Manafort To Insure The Trump Campaign Played Its Game?

It has been fascinating -- in the grotesque sort of way that a slow-motion train wreck is fascinating -- to watch the Russia scandal unfold.  From the first intimations in late 2016 that the dark hand of Vladimir Putin was at work to elect Donald Trump to our dawning realization that the Trump campaign colluded in that effort to our astonishment at how enormous and successful the effort was, there has been one revelation after another.  And so Continue Reading...

Cambridge Analytica as the Matrix: Information Dominance and the Next Level of Fake News

The 1999 film “The Matrix,” written by Lana Wachowski (formerly Laurence “Larry” Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski (formerly Andrew Paul “Andy” Wachowski), depicts a future in which human beings have been imprisoned by machines in capsules that siphon off their heat and energy and which create the illusion of everyday life to fool them into thinking they are at liberty. Continue Reading...

Tennessee and Kentucky: Grappling With Ending Child Marriage (aka “Letting Rapists Marry Their Underage Victims” Laws)

On this International Women's Day, let us remember that in too many places in the United States, kids under 18 are allowed to get married to adults. Sometimes there is an age limit. Sometimes it requires a parent's approval. Sometimes it requires a judge. But, in almost every case, it's an underage girl and a grown man. It's sexual exploitation with the imprimatur of the government behind it. It's beyond fucked up that anywhere in the world in Continue Reading...

New Russia Scandal Twist: The Tale Of The Prostitute, The Oligarch & The Video

Just when you thought the Russia scandal -- you know, the one that eventually will take down the Donald Trump presidency -- couldn't get any more surreal, it just got more surreal.  The main characters in this real-life version of Pulp Fiction include Anastasia Vashukevich, Oleg Deripaska and Sergei Prikhodko.  Among the secondary characters, and there are a slew, is Paul Manafort.  Yes, that Paul Manafort.  Vashukevich, who as a high-end Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Young Karl Marx

Moviegoers of the World Unite!: A Rabblerousing Biopic for the Ages Haitian director/co-writer Raoul Peck’s well-made The Young Karl Marx is one of the most significant biopics in cinema history and arguably among the genre’s best. As the 200th anniversary of the birth of communism’s co-founder approaches, Peck has beautifully dramatized Marx’s life during the 1840s as a 20-something lover, writer, husband, philosopher, father, journalist, Continue Reading...

Republican Deficit Fear Strategy

Driving up deficits and then using deficit fear to stop spending on things that We the People want and need has been open Republican strategy since Reagan. Google “strategic deficits.” Tom Wicker explained in the NY Times in 1985, in IN THE NATION; A Deliberate Deficit, To hear Larry Speakes tell it, President Reagan emerged from anesthesia righteously demanding action on the budget deficit ”this week.” That sounds fine – except that it now Continue Reading...

The Nunes Memo, Spirit Cooking and Pizzagate

The confident pronouncements by pundits and politicians that the Nunes memo is a dud, dead on arrival, neglect to consider the main tactic of the Republican right wing for some time now. It is a conspiracy theory, and conspiracy theories carried Trump to the White House and many Republicans into Congress or state legislatures. Nunes cherry-picked intelligence reports to arrive at a narrative whereby the Obama FBI bamboozled FISA judges into Continue Reading...

America the Shithole

It's not even surprising anymore when President Donald Trump, an angry pumpkin on top of a very large pumpkin on top of a smaller pumpkin, says or does something racist. He is a fucking racist. If you're a fucking racist, you do fucking racist shit all the time because that's who you are. If he didn't say or do a racist thing, we might say, "Oh, look, he wasn't racist in that moment." But just because a rat in your house didn't shit all over the Continue Reading...

The President Of The United StatesIs An Unapologetic Racist & Bigot

The scabrous underbelly of American society was on full display during the year just passed, and no aspect of it is more repulsive as we slink into 2018 than the reality that the president of the United States is an unapologetic racist and bigot, the very embodiment of white power and white privilege.  And that an appalling number of us -- beginning with the timorous congressional majority, denizens of the fever swamp formerly known as the Party Continue Reading...

Film Review: In The Fade

Lone Wolf Antifa in New Anti-Neo-Nazi German Film I never fail to be astonished at how the arts, as Shakespeare put it, hold a mirror up to nature, that is, to our society and current events. As the rightwing anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim tide rises, with its ripped-from-the-proverbial-headlines vibe, In the Fade (Aus dem Nichts) is a case in point. This German neo-nazi drama written and directed by Turkish-German auteur Fatih Akin’s (Head On, Continue Reading...

Trump’s disastrous Year in the Middle East: Syria

Trump on the campaign trail said many self-contradictory things about the Syrian civil war. He wanted to carpet bomb ISIL, which had a strip of territory in the far east of the country. He wanted to send in 30,000 US troops, he said at one point. Then at other times he argued that “we” should just “let Russia handle it.” Continue Reading...

Film Review: Bombshell – The Hedy Lamarr Story

Will the Real Hedy (NOT Hedley!) Please Stand Up? Writer/director Alexandra Dean’s nonfiction Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is a 90 minute slice of cinema history - and much more - about an enigmatic screen star who was also a behind-the-scenes inventor. Like 2015’s documentary Listen to Me Marlon, Dean uses tapes featuring the thespian’s own voice to tell the inside story of the iconic, exotic actress who dazzled and delighted audiences Continue Reading...

There Are No Real Republican “Deficit Hawks.” Here’s Why.

Democrats are making a terrible mistake fighting the Republican tax cuts by saying they add to the deficit, that they will “blow a hole in the budget,” etc. Why are Democrats saying this? They are using the “increase deficits” line because they think they can appeal to a few “deficit hawk” Republicans who spent the Obama years complaining about government sending and “deficits.” Continue Reading...