Recent Articles

Selling Purim to Progressives in the Era of Trump

SONY DSC

It has been my custom to reproduce this “Selling Purim to Progressives” post occasionally on Purim.  The last time was in 2015, when we were in the midst of the Iran negotiations. Well, since then the world made a deal with Iran.  Trump may say that it's a lousy deal, but he doesn't plan on changing it soon, certainly not to Bibi's liking.  And as for the guy who's running Trump, forget about it; Putin is telling Bibi to move on. That's the Continue Reading...

Whoppers Big and Small in Trump’s Speech

TRUMP_CONGRESS

This is classic dumb guy wedding speech writing: “The chorus of their dating became an earthquake of their love.” – Samantha Bee on Trump’s speech Donald Trump just gave a fact-free, and detail-free, speech to a joint session of Congress.  Early on in the evening, the president – who has loaded his cabinet with billionaires and his administration with former Goldman Sachs executives – earned audible guffaws from the assembled lawmakers when he Continue Reading...

Russia Scandal Math: How The President Called Trump Can Be Brought Down Hard

TRUMP_RUSSIA

Everything, as they say, is now perfectly clear.  Except what still isn't clear at all.  If you, like many millions of Americans, are praying that the Donald Trump presidency crashes and burns, the clearest path not involving a Caine Mutiny moment in which he gets frog-walked from the Oval Office in a straightjacket as he clutches his smartphone and madly tweets is to follow the scent of the smoking guns in the Russia scandal.  There are several Continue Reading...

Random Observations on Trump’s Speech to Congress Last Night

TRUMP

1. Let's get this out of the way up top: President Donald Trump's exploitation of Carryn Owens, the widow of Ryan Owens, a Navy SEAL who died in a fuck-up of a raid in Yemen, induced the kind of nausea you usually feel when you accidentally catch a glimpse of a pus-draining video.  While anonymous "senior officials" (who could be Trump - really) argue over whether or not any decent intelligence was gotten from the raid (spoiler: they didn't), Continue Reading...

Film Review: Do Not Resist

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man

The Post-9/11 Iron Heel of the State The chillingly named Do Not Resist, which won the Tribecca Film Festival’s Best Documentary Feature award, opens with a tense demonstration shot at Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 only 10 days after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an African American youth not carrying any weapons.  The footage shows heavily armed, helmeted officers with body armor, shields and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Continue Reading...

Holocaust Denial and Religious Persecution, Courtesy of the White House

HOLOCAUST_DENIAL

Friday was Holocaust Remembrance Day. As you may have heard, the White house marked the occasion with this statement: It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust.  It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror. Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest.‎  As we remember those who Continue Reading...

A Man Walks Into A Bar: Why We’ll Take Small Victories Over Cheeto Where We Can

BOWLING_GREEN

Yes, it sounds like a bad joke, but could the tide have turned in the false news wars by a guy walking into a bar?   The answer is maybe, but in any event we'll take small victories where we can in the long slog to take down Cheeto Jesus.   A mere three weeks into his presidency, Donald Trump has historically low popularity ratings, but still has the unwavering support of the pitchfork posse while rumors of a congressional Republican revolt Continue Reading...

Democrats Should Resist, But Everything That Happens is on Republicans

CALM

Let's get rid of one part of this in short order: Democrats in Congress should be resisting Trump every step of the way.  That includes pushing hearings to crisis levels of antagonism, voting against every unqualified candidate, and, of course, filibustering his Supreme Court picks.  It shouldn't even be up for discussion.  They will lose and lose, but Democratic House and Senate members would be fundamentally misreading their marching, chanting, Continue Reading...

The Sadism of Racist Exclusion: Courts Temporarily Block Trump

REFUGEE

Picking on immigrants and refugees is the act of a sadistic bully, since they are the one fairly large group of residents of the United States whose constitutional rights are disputed.  The executive order Trump signed late on Friday suspending entrance to the United States for citizens of seven countries and canceling the US refugee program for four months is probably illegal.  The 1965 immigration law forbids discriminating against immigrants Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Salesman

SALESMAN

Life of a Salesman: Is This the Enemy? Asghar Farhadi may be to Iran’s screen what Arthur Miller was to the American stage.  His 2011 A Separation, a searing account of an Iranian couple’s divorce, won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.  A Separation’s script also scored Farhadi a nomination for the Best Writing, Original Screenplay Academy Award.  Now, the writer/director’s newest feature, The Salesman, is again in Continue Reading...

Kansas And Puerto Rico Show How Trump’s Tax Cuts Will Hurt Us

TAXES

The business-oriented media are loudly proclaiming that president-“elect” Donald Trump’s proposed tax cuts for the rich and corporations will “boost” the economy. ● WSJ: Trump’s Proposed Tax Cuts Could Boost U.S. and Global Growth, Says World Bank ● CNBC: Trump tax cuts could boost earnings by 20 percent next year: Yardeni ● Fortune: OECD Says Trump Tax and Spending Plans Will Boost Global Economy ● Fox Business Video: Why Trump’s tax Continue Reading...

Best of Web

Trump, McConnell, Putin, and the Triumph of the Will to Power

hypocrisy

At a critical moment in the 2016 presidential campaign, President Obama met with Republican congressional leaders and, after presenting them with evidence of Russian tampering, asked that they uniformly condemn it.  GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others refused.  The evidence just wasn’t there.  But it was.  And many of the same lawmakers eagerly condemned Hillary Clinton’s perceived misdeed, as reported by the FBI.  So much for love of country.

Russia and the Threat to Liberal Democracy

democracy

Liberal democracy faces grave dangers, most significantly, perhaps, from rapacious capitalism that unremittingly concentrates wealth.  Putin is another threat.  After consolidating his own power in Russia, he has stepped up a campaign against liberalism abroad, first in Russia’s “near abroad” in Eastern Europe, and now the US.  Is Trump his latest trophy?

The Victory of ‘No’

MItch McConnell

For eight years, the GOP employed strategic obstructionism to stymie Obama’s mildly progressive agenda, even when his proposals, such as the Affordable Care Act or the stimulus, closely aligned with their own.  Putting country first?  Nope.  This was pure partisanship in the service of partisanship.  And it worked!

Dangerous idiots: how the liberal media elite failed working-class Americans

media

Is the so-called “liberal,” “elite” media really as cosseted and cloistered as its critics suggest?  Actually, yes.  Like the Democracy Party, the media – defined here as the mainstream variety – largely comprises well-educated, coastal types who have little in common (and often disdain) middle-America, working class whites.  Little wonder it has earned the latter’s ire.

Hillary Clinton and the Populist Revolt

populism

What happens when the purported party of the working class abandons its proletarian roots, while the other major party pushes crazed conspiracy theories, paranoia, and racism as an obfuscatory tactic to conceal its plutocratic agenda?  A virulent populism that threatens the republic.  Whose to blame for Trump?  We all are.

In ‘Hitler,’ an Ascent From ‘Dunderhead’ to Demagogue

28bookullrich2-blog427-v3

How did a clownish buffoon rise from obscurity to lead one of the world’s great civilizations that produced soaring art and culture?  Historians have been asking the question since the demise of the Third Reich.  Hitler confounds.  Here are some clues: cunning exploitation of nativist fears, exploitation of irresistible propaganda, and “bottomless mendacity.”  Found familiar.  It should.