Category Archives: Politics


New ad from the Republican Accountability PAC.

Posted in 2024 Election | Comments Off on Counterstrike

Dates that will live in Infamy

President Franklin D. Roosevelt described December 7, 1941 as “a date which will live in infamy” in his speech the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. 12/7 was a date seared into the memory of those who lived through it, although I think not nearly as meaningful to those who like me were born considerably later. Even infamy may have a half-life, and I suspect that today most people look at ‘Pearl Harbor Day’ on the calendar and don’t think that much of it.

We of the current generations have two dates of our own that live in infamy at least for now: 9/11 and 1/6. What these dates have in common with 12/7 is that they all represent thankfully rare dates on which the United States was attacked. But 1/6 isn’t quite like the others. The attack was from within not from a foreign power. And the evocative power of that date seems less universal, as some have taken to downplaying the significance of the sacking of the Capitol, and of the attempt to set aside the results of the Presidential election.

The January 6 Commission Report sought to nail down the history and to protect the popular memory, and the polity, from they-were-just-tourist revisionists and Big Lie conspiracists. In this, the Committee members were only partly successful, although the (multiple) juries are not just still out, but not even empaneled, as the Trump legal team tries to delay a formal reckoning of his and his associates’ conduct.

Here’s hoping the evocative power of those dates will fade with time in a normal, healthy way rather than being erased by lies or enshrined as the beginning of the end of the ‘American experiment’. 1

  1. I was surprised to learn the this phrase, commonly attributed to Democracy in America, does not appear in the French original, but is apparently an invention of Tocqueville’s first English translator Henry Reeve.[]
Posted in The Scandals, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dates that will live in Infamy

None Dare Call It By Its Name?

Press WatchMy brother Dan is very good at piercing through social niceties. Sometimes this can be a very good thing, as in his column today, at Press Watch, How much of Trump’s support is due to racism?.

Here’s a small taste:

There is one theory that fully explains the massive support that Trump continues to get among the Republican voting base: That they’re racist.

To be clear, this is a theory, not a conclusion.

But it’s certainly a likely enough theory that the mainstream media should be testing it to see if it’s true rather than avoiding the topic like the plague.


When mainstream journalists do address racism, they do so with euphemisms and denials. These days that means they understate the racist rhetoric from Trump and other leading Republicans, and they actively cover up the racism of his supporters and make excuses for them.

They don’t ignore racism entirely. What they do is worse: they normalize it.

The Washington Post, for instance, had a long, overdue front-page article on Sunday about how Trump and his fellow GOP candidates are taking overtly racist positions – except get this: They substituted the word “polarizing” for racist.

But there’s more, and even better, where that came from.

Posted in 2024 Election, Dan Froomkin, Trump | Comments Off on None Dare Call It By Its Name?

Trump Trial Testimony: Read It (and Weep?)

Press WatchMy brother, the journalist and now journalism watchdog, had a great idea:

Donald Trump took the stand on Monday in his civil fraud trial in a Manhattan courtroom.

But because television cameras were not allowed inside, the public was only given a filtered look at the proceedings, through the eyes of journalists whose takes varied considerably. Without the ability to record audio, reporters were unable to capture longer passages and exchanges.

Precisely what went on in that courthouse should not be shrouded in mystery. So I tracked down the court reporter working that day, and purchased from her the full transcript. (I raised the money to do so through a GoFundMe. Thank you to all who contributed!)

And now I’m making it public, for all to see. Feel free to download and repost.

You can read Trump’s trial testimony online or read Trump’s trial testimony in PDF.

Thank you, Dan!

Posted in Dan Froomkin, Law: Everything Else, The Scandals | Comments Off on Trump Trial Testimony: Read It (and Weep?)

Evil Leads in Race vs. Crazy But Paralysis Still in First Place

Steve Scalise

Source: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It seems a narrow majority of the House GOP conference has plumped for ultra-rightist but somewhat establishment Rep. Steve Scalise over ultra-rightist bomb-thrower Rep. Jim Jordan as its choice for Speaker of the House–an office the Washington Post recently called ‘the worst job in Washington’.

But it also seems as though there currently are enough House GOP rebels to prevent Scalise from having the necessary 217 votes to get elected over Democratic opposition. So we remain in a state of paralysis while Gaza burns and Ukraine hangs in the wind. The chances that Scalise would cut a deal with Democrats to get elected, pass a budget, seem remote.

When looking for culprits for this state of affairs, in addition to the obvious do not forget the American campaign finance system, which allows unlimited dark money in federal campaigns, and the increasingly gerrymandered districts in so many states in which partisan majorities work to create as many safe seats as they can.  If fewer districts are competitive, there is no incentive to tack to the center, nor to work with the opposition.  Indeed, any sign of cooperation becomes a dangerous trait, as it leads to primary opponents.

Posted in Politics, Politics: The Party of Sleaze | Comments Off on Evil Leads in Race vs. Crazy But Paralysis Still in First Place

Didn’t Waste Much Time

Fake images from DeSantis Campaign

Click for larger version

Hot on the heels of his official Twitter-disaster campaign announcement, the Ron DeSantis campaign has launch an attack on Donald Trump–for being too chummy with that demon Anthony Fauci.  And what better evidence than pictures of Trump hugging and kissing Fauci?  Pity they didn’t exist. But no problem!  Deepfakes:

A Ron DeSantis presidential campaign video shows three pictures of Donald Trump hugging and kissing Anthony Fauci, all of which seem to be fake images generated by artificial intelligence. One professor told Ars today that there is “no doubt” the ad uses fake AI images.

As reported by AFP yesterday, media forensics experts say the images, which the DeSantis ad passed off as photographs taken during Trump’s presidency, have telltale signs of AI. Even non-experts may notice oddities, such as incomprehensible text on a sign that should say “White House” and “Washington.”

Of course, another giveaway is that then-President Trump and Fauci weren’t really on hugging and kissing term

The Ars Technica link above gives a lot of details as to how one can tell the images are fakes.  No comment from the DeSantis campaign yet, although this is consistent with an m.o., part of which seeks to take advantage of the old adage that the ‘truth is still putting on its boots while a lie speeds around the world’.  (I used to think the original was coined by Mark Twain, but it seems not…)


Posted in 2024 Election | 5 Comments