The Doom Comet of 2024

The former guy is saying that he might run for President again. There it is: one simple declarative statement that all by itself could cause another pandemic. It wouldn’t be the viral sort; we’re talking depression this time, and probably with two variants: personal and financial. During the prior maladministration, the nation spent four years—years we could ill afford to lose—sliding backwards rapidly on a host of issues like the climate, racism, economic inequity, voter suppression…we’ll stop there lest we start making tasteless jokes about self-destruction. Losing four more years would be unthinkable. Our first instinct is not to believe him. After all, paraphrasing Mary …

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DeJoy: “Run the Postal Service? I Thought You Said ‘Ruin the Postal Service.’”

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you are facing more catastrophes than you can count. Where do you even begin? This disagreeable sensation, once confined to an unlucky few, is now widespread among those who read the news. Our policy for staving off catatonia: expect the worst, hope for the best, and deal with one thing at a time. At the moment, because it’s dear to our ink-stained heart, let’s consider the U.S. Postal Service [U.S.P.S.]. Because it certainly qualifies as a catastrophe. Incredibly, there’s good news on this front. The District Court in Washington, D.C. ruled August 17th that the U.S.P.S. must turn over …

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Our Shattered Porcelain Anniversary

A fortnight from tomorrow, the nation will mark a twentieth anniversary of great historical importance. It would be lovely to think that we are all prepared for it, but there is no evidence of that. Customarily, the head of the Executive Branch would lead any national commemoration. Fairly or not, though, recent events on the other side of the world have lowered most people’s expectations from that quarter. Besides, everyone knows who really does the heavy lifting when it comes to conducting such national events. [Cue Frank Zappa’s I Am the Slime.*] Nevertheless, we still have a problem. Over the past two decades, television news …

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A Lack of Progress Report

Come Sunday it will have been 245 years since the U.S. of A. told King George III, “Thanks, we can handle it from here on our own.” So, how’s that working out? Let’s be optimistic and call it a mixed bag. We’ll begin with the meta-news. This will be our third paper since we resumed our traditional practice of manifesting on a substrate of newsprint. The distribution of said newsprint—always the true challenge—is going well enough; the downtown crew has been exceptional. On the editorial end, of course, there is infinite room for improvement. The true highlight has been the enthusiasm of readers and subscribers. …

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Keeping Up With the Loonies

We do our best to keep up. In theory, that’s most of the job: try to keep up, and write about the stuff that really matters. These days that boils down to tracking dangerous outbreaks of authoritarian lunacy. This can be unnerving—especially in the context of a formerly-natural environment whose expiration date seems to be getting a fortnight closer every dang week. In a perfect world we’d be maintaining a sophisticated database for this purpose. Cross-tabulation analysis would no doubt be useful in sorting out the misleaders from the misled, the grifters from the true believers, and the charlatans from the congenitally bewildered. Having a …

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Want Socialism? Try the U.S. Military.

by Mike Lofgren America’s love affair with lunacy continues undimmed. Along with flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, and fans of perpetual motion, according to a May 21 Ipsos poll, 53 percent of Republicans now assert that Donald Trump is the current President of the United States. There is a tendency in the reality-based community to regard these folks as obscure lunatics who yell at their TVs in trailer parks when they’re not ruining a relative’s Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, this epidemic of delusional belief embraces a more exalted layer of the social spectrum, a group on which the maintenance of our democracy—deeply flawed as it is—may hinge. This May, …

Read moreWant Socialism? Try the U.S. Military.