The Bullying Swagger

May I modestly point out my second article in Pakistan Politico? The print edition was published last week, and the online edition went live today.

America First seems to mean breaking earlier agreements and imposing unilateral demands. There are no explicit statements of what happens if those demands are not met, and, in the case of North Korea, the demands have been fading as North Korea ignores them. So bluster and swagger are a big part of America First.

Let’s see how swagger and America First work out for the Khashoggi affair. I wrote the piece before that happened. Click over and read the whole thing.


Thursday Morning Open Thread: Excellent Arguments

Especially for Betty, Adam, and the other FL jackals…

On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!

Submissions from commenters are welcome at



Read more

Late Night ‘News of the Weird’ Open Thread

Let’s be fair: The programmers behind this stunt are, statistically, liable to be lousy dancers themselves. We won’t even discuss their concept of ‘popular music’…

Open Thread: It’s Almost As Though the Media Villagers Like Having Open Bigots to Showcase

Meanwhile, speaking of ‘white nationalists’…

“A Natural Instinct for Science”

Here is a real thing Trump said during an AP interview when asked about the recent climate change report that suggests humans have 10 years to get our shit together or we’ll reach the point of no return:

Some say that and some say differently. I mean, you have scientists on both sides of it. My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years. Dr. John Trump. And I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture.

If I could pick up one of the many dead fish a recent algae bloom deposited on nearby beaches and use it to club each and every Trump voter (including my father, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) over their stupid fucking heads, I would gladly do so. And I’d select the largest, stinkiest mackerel I could find.

The first order of business in addressing climate change is to get that eugenics-believing moron out of the fucking White House. At this point, I wouldn’t blame the governments of sane countries for banding together to effect regime change. Unlike the late Saddam Hussein, Trump represents a clear and present danger to the entire planet.

ETA: In case you’re wondering, the AP interviewer just moved on to the next topic after that incredibly idiotic response rather than laughing in Trump’s stupid orange face and saying “eat my WHOLE butt” or pointing out that only crackpots deny that human activity contributes to climate change, etc. This is part of the problem.

The Truth Is Out There

According to a report in Bloomberg today, shortly after the midterm elections, Special Counsel Robert Mueller will release findings on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to swing the 2016 election and whether Trump himself obstructed justice:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections as he faces intensifying pressure to produce more indictments or shut down his investigation, according to two U.S. officials.

Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice, according to one of the officials, who asked not to be identified speaking about the investigation.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Mueller’s findings would be made public if he doesn’t secure unsealed indictments. The regulations governing Mueller’s probe stipulate that he can present his findings only to his boss, who is currently Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The regulations give a special counsel’s supervisor some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released.

The thing I want to believe referenced by the image above isn’t that the Trump campaign colluded and that Trump obstructed justice; I am 95% sure the Trump campaign conspired with Russia because we have hard evidence that they were slobberingly eager to do so — all that’s needed is proof that they followed through on that intent. I am 100% certain that Trump obstructed justice because he confessed it on camera to Lester Holt and has publicly tampered with witnesses and interfered with the investigation ever since.

No, the thing I want to believe is that justice is possible even though the Republicans have insisted that only Republicans can investigate Republicans and that Republicans control what the public can know about the findings. If such a scenario were unfolding in a foreign country, we’d label it a Banana Republic and expect a white wash. I want to believe we will eventually know the truth about a hostile foreign power’s attack on our election, and in America circa 2018, that feels a little like believing in alien abductions.