Trump’s Confederacy Of Dunces

drain the swamp

It’s something new–and depressing–every day. Just last week, Trump fired both Andrew McCabe and Secretary of State Tillerson in the most humiliating manner possible; one of his close aides was escorted out of the White House without even being given time to gather his belongings (he was under investigation for “financial crimes” of an unspecified nature); and multiple rumors surfaced […]

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Why Language Matters in the Trump Era

Steve Bannon and the Alt-Right

On the most basic level, language matters because the ability to use words accurately to convey one’s meaning is a critically important skill in modern society. And let’s be honest: we assess the probable intelligence of the people we meet based largely on their use of language. That isn’t simply snobbery–fuzzy language more often than not signals fuzzy thinking. An […]

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Trump Soap Opera: Porn Star Lawsuits & the Firing of Andrew McCabe

The last couple of days have been nothing short of surreal. There was the ongoing, tawdry back-and-forth between porn star Stormy Daniels and the President of the United States (when did we ever see “President” and “porn star” in the same headlines?), culminating in a lawsuit against said porn star for breaching the terms of a nondisclosure agreement that the […]

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Trump Effect: Even The Graft Is Worse

Ever since the election of Donald Trump, political scientists have been writing about the role played by the erosion of democratic norms and public ethics. I recently came across an article titled “Whatever Happened to Honest Graft,” in a publication called Splinter. The article is a vivid illustration of that erosion; it began with a description of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and her […]

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Ohio: Senate Race Turns Ugly as Candidate Andrew Brenner Targets Private Citizen

Andrew and Sara Marie Brenner
Andrew and Sara Marie Brenner | Photos: Facebook / YouTube Screenshot

The GOP primary for the soon-to-be-vacant state Senate seat in Ohio’s 19th district turned ugly this week when candidate Andrew Brenner – currently serving as a state representative in the 67th district – helped launch an online attack on a private citizen unconnected to his primary opponent’s campaign. He is seeking office in the 19th district because term limits prevent him […]

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Hannity, Evangelicals And Fiscal Conservatives

The election of Donald Trump has elevated hypocrisy to an art form. Right-wing pundits criticized everything Obama did or said. (Of course, he was black…) Not only do they overlook appalling behavior, embarrassing (and frequently misspelled) tweets and uncivil, ignorant rants from Trump–they praise him when he engages in the exact behavior for which they excoriated Obama. Case in point: Hannity. A post […]

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Secretary of State: Tillerson Was Bad – Pompeo Will Be Worse


My mother–who under no circumstances could be considered an optimist–had a couple of favorite sayings: “Every silver cloud has a black lining,” and “Things are never so bad that they can’t get worse.” Until Donald Trump’s election, I didn’t believe her. Yesterday we learned that Rex Tillerson had been fired as Secretary of State and that he would be replaced […]

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Firing Tillerson: Was Trump Thinking of Russia?

Rex Tillerson and Donald Trump

While no definitive connections have been proven between the unexpected and unusual firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and statements Tillerson just made about Russia’s attack on the UK, the timing between the two events and the subsequent firing of State Department spokesperson Steve Goldstein pose several important questions. Most important among them: Was Trump thinking of Russia when he […]

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Crypto-Currency: Krugman Explains the Bitcoin


Bless Paul Krugman. His is the first explanation I can understand.  I have been reading about Bitcoin for a couple of years–about speculation in this “crypto-currency,” about competitors who are equally “crypto,” about people who are willing to be paid for goods and/or services in this new medium. The problem is, I can’t get my head around it. I know that […]

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