Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Careful investigation of many supposedly conclusive UFO reports showed that witnesses had constantly misperceived mundane objects as flying saucers. This message was not well received by the UFO community. read more

Connected by their faith in order and global norms, these military leaders are rapidly consolidating power throughout the executive branch as they counsel a volatile president. Some establishment figures in both political parties view them as safeguards for the nation in a time of turbulence.

Trump's elevation of a cadre of current and retired generals marks a striking departure for a country that for generations has positioned civilian leaders above and apart from the military.

In the wake of the deadly racial violence in Charlottesville this month, five of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were hailed as moral authorities for condemning hate in less equivocal terms than the commander in chief did. read more

In the wake of Charlottesville, Donald Trump clings to the only constituency he has left
When he finally did make a statement, it was only to issue a preposterous parody of presidential evenhandedness, decrying bigotry and violence "on many sides." Those three words instantly set a new standard for Trump-iniquity. The president of the United States had announced he was so insecure, so politically alone, that he couldn't even disavow people making Hitler salutes in broad daylight. For a normal politician, the calculus is simple: Don't hug Nazis. It's on page one of Presidenting for Dummies. But Trump's narcissism is so malignant that it alters basic equations. The president seemed paralyzed by the fact that some of the Charlottesville protesters wore MAGA hats, an indemnifying variable in Trump-math: "They like me, therefore they are me. And me can't be all bad – even if me is a Nazi." read more

We may have also just learned the real goal of the Afghanistan strategy.

(Hint: According to the US Secretary of State, it's not what the failed casino owner with the tiny hands told his marks.)

read more

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Facts, as John Adams said, are stubborn things -- and, for Southerners, they are also often uncomfortable. If we don't face them forthrightly, we risk living in worlds of fantasy and fable, subject not to reason, the greatest of gifts, but susceptible to passion, the most dangerous of forces. In such alternative realities, the Civil War was not about slavery but about what neo-Confederates refer to as "heritage."

So let's talk facts read more


"Unable to take responsibility for his own failures, Trump has vented his anger and blamed the failure of Obamacare repeal on McConnell, who apparently isn't taking it lying down. This is not good for Trump, who has relied on his ability to cajole and bully Republicans into doing exactly what he wants for almost two years. McConnell's doubts about Trump's ability to salvage his presidency is a sign that the GOP wants out of the Trump experiment, and won't be putting up with his behavior for too much longer. "
Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell's Cold War Spells The Beginning of the End

It is true that Trump's ability to turn a disastrous situation to his advantage is legendary, but there are bridges he has burned and goodwill he has incinerated that seems almost impossible to repair. Once the GOP calls his bluff and stops providing him political cover, Trump is a sitting duck and his Alt Right fan base won't be able to save him. At long last, this appears to have finally happened. While spineless and amoral, the GOP is still utterly ruthless and pragmatic, and Trump will be discarded when the opportunity arises. With an approval rating of 35%, the president has little leverage and will find his usual tactics fall on deaf ears.

As it stands, Trump almost certainly won't be the Republican candidate for president in 2020. And he may be gone long before then if the GOP can finally get its act together.

"Gotta sanitize the history of America so it will be palatable for human consumption."


It is possible to engage in broad, widespread study and recollection of history without the intervening static of special pleading. A challenge of the discipline (among others) is trying to account for and mitigate one's biases in favor of the evidence.

Do you think the emergence of, say, Women's History, African American History, Native American History, Gay History, etc., in the 1960s represented an effort to make history "palatable for human consumption"? I was there, and, I assure you, a lot of people went bonkers.

One of the most widely embraced tenets among legitimate historians - a group of which Trump and his white supremacist allies are most assuredly not a part - is the one Meacham raises: "Its ahistoric[al] to judge figures from the past by our own moral standards."

Ponder that one, a dictum that is, at once, both eminently commonsensical and intellectually demanding.

So, in terms of looking at history, was hanging-drawing-and-quartering - Braveheart springs to mind - barbaric? Probably not in William Wallace's time. Horrible? Terrifying? Of course, but part of that culture and that era. One may talk of it, while realizing that a bit farther down the road that punishment was well established as belonging in the "cruel and unusual" punishment category. Even then, in our early national period many punishments we as a society would not condone today were widespread. (Perhaps one day our existing laws condoning capital punishment might be seen in a similar light? Far stranger things have happened.)

The problems with the Confederate monuments are legion, and not confined to the slavery issue. There's also the unavoidable - but too often avoided fact (not supposition) fac - that solemn oaths of allegiance to the US - both implicit and explicit - were broken by traitors. Hence the need for the Myth of the Lost Cause, which quite literally whitewashed both issues.

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