No Justice Department, No Peace

Over the past few years we have been slowly developing a plan to sort this country out by exercising more fully our rights under the First Amendment. Too slowly, it seems—it’s starting to look like we need a Plan B. Before we get to that, though—and before we get hauled off to the hoosegow—we want to explain how Plan A was to have worked. Let’s begin with a couple of basic facts about newspapers—small newspapers. In our case, a very old small newspaper, but the principles cited here apply to upstarts just as well. Printing eight-page tabloid newspapers is incredibly cheap. We know—we’ve been doing …

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Vote Twice, Test Never

Seven weeks from Tuesday, the 2020 Presidential campaign will end. Polling stations will close, and the real fun will begin.* We lucky Americans, we happy multitudes, trained for more than half a century by nearly-anonymous benefactors carefully crafting the slime oozin’ out from our TV sets, have come to expect a dramatic election night full of brightly colored maps and lively gesticulations combining to form an arc of rising expectations, leading to a dramatic wee-hour climax. Let us hope and pray that the current cadre of showrunners—funny how the Framers left them out of the Constitution—are up to the challenge on this occasion. If they …

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The Sordid Path to Nomination

Let’s see now…which of this fortnight’s top news stories shall we rant about in this issue… …the alleged President saying that “We are going to win four more years. And then after that we’ll go for another four years, because they spied on my campaign.”? …the House candidate who accused the Obama administration of using the MS-13 gang to commit murders—without losing her backing from the GOP? …the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee report detailing the Paul Manafort’s business relationship with a Russian intelligence agent? …the investigation by a Congressional committee into efforts by top appointees to destroy the Postal Service? …the alleged President saying “we …

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Cancelling Eternity

If a kid takes a swing at your mailbox with his Louisville Slugger, 18 U.S. Code § 1705 says he could get three years in the hoosegow and a quarter-million dollar fine. Louis DeJoy, on the other hand—our new Postmaster General—is sabotaging the whole dang U.S. Postal Service. If he succeeds he’ll get a lifetime pass at a string of tacky golf courses, and God only knows what other rewards and emoluments. DeJoy’s petty grifts are the least of our problems, though. Let him have that solid gold toilet Maurizio Cattelan made for Trump, for all we care. What’s worrying us are the consequences of what …

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Pick a Crisis, Any Crisis

Tuesday’s Herald carried a piece by Paul Briand—one of the Hedge-Fund-Owned Local Daily’s few writers still based in this area—headlined, “Purple Principle podcast seeks political middle ground in U.S.” A five-person team is exploring “whether political factions—with blue liberals on the left and red conservatives on the right—can somehow find some common ground in the purple middle.” In the marketplace of mainstream journalism, editors know readers are eager to start their day by snapping open a fresh paper and finding a story that gives them some slight thread of hope—a story that nurtures, however briefly or improbably, the comforting illusion that there may in fact …

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It’s a Dunning-Kruger Spiral

A week ago today the Department of Health and Human Services posted a revised document online. In a certain narrow sense this was perfectly normal—even traditional. Friday has always been considered the optimal day for a beleaguered criminal Administration to conduct any low act of skulduggery. Considered in terms of its content, however, this act was a bold bureaucratic boarding house reach.* Hospitals had been sending all their Covid-19 stats to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. The logic of this arrangement would seem to be clear, even to a person of limited intellect—an increasingly important consideration these days. Under the order which …

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