It’s… Alive?

Finally, the 2024 First in the Nation™ Presidential Primary Election® is showing signs of… life? The suspense is over; the date has been set: New Hampshire’s favorite pastime, its quadrennial civic extravaganza, will come to a dramatic conclusion on Tuesday, January 23rd. If it’s alive, though, what’s up with those neck bolts? In all seriousness, we should probably add an asterisk to the typographical fruit salad which traditionally encumbers our textual references to the presidential primary. According to the Democratic National Committee, New Hampshire will not be holding a primary. Oh, we can do whatever we like of course, this being a free country. The …

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The Countdown to… What?

We face another 354 days of uncertainty, then: November 5th. Even the best outcome will bring a mixture of relief and dread. Two-thirds of the country will sigh with relief if #45 fails to mutate into #47. Then they’ll hold their breath as the remaining third—armed, angry, and impervious to reason—decides what it’s going to do about it. If they were Democrats they would argue amongst themselves then splinter into factions. That is a law as inexorable as gravity. Not this crowd, though. These are rough and ready Republicans, eager to follow a strong, inspiring leader, right into the Gates of Hell! There will be …

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“Only in America…”

Our headline today comprises a phrase which has long been used to preface anecdotes which cast the nation in a flattering light. That usage of the phrase, though, may soon become inoperative. In fact, as with the party once known for law and order, the meaning of the phrase “Only in America” seems destined for reversal. The House of Representatives just elected a new Speaker, Rep. Mike Johnson, of Louisiana. Citizens who have longed for a functioning national legislature may have been tempted to breath a sigh of relief. Those familiar with Hollywood tropes, of course, knew better. In well-done horror flicks, audience members may …

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Welcome to the Class War

Well, isn’t this is a fine kettle of toxic waste? One day after our previous issue hit the streets, the Middle East explodes. The Gulf Stream is getting weaker faster than anyone had predicted, even as Antarctic ice is hitting scary new record lows. The world demands action, and it isn’t exactly waiting for us to get our act together. Closer to home, the debt ceiling is steadily creeping up on us—yet again. Freddy Krueger and Lucy van Pelt have nothing on this predictable bogosity. Will Congress act? No, it can’t, because they have no Speaker. The only way this gets more absurd is if …

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We Are Officially Speechless

Republicans just threw out their own Speaker of the House. He had committed an unpardonable sin: he had worked with Democrats to keep the government running. Kevin McCarthy’s defenestration on Monday is a shocking event, even in this bizarre political climate. He is the first Speaker ever thrown out in the middle of his term. And this is not just any old term. No, we’re on the brink of a government shutdown. If Congress cannot pass a budget, in a matter of weeks the rest of the government will begin to grind to a halt. This territory is all too familiar, of course. It’s enough …

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From Just Wrong to Plain Crazy

Recently it was reported that the Defense Department had asked the Rand Corporation to determine if “Individuals who hold or held a security clearance and handled classified material could become a security threat if they develop dementia and unwittingly share government secrets.” Yet another example of Pentagon waste. We could and would have answered that question for lunch money: “Yes.” Here’s the answer which probably cost taxpayers $640,000: “Considering the potential consequences of an inadvertent security breach stemming from cognitive impairment, we believe that further study of risk, recognition, and mitigation strategies is important.” * The narrowness of the question is what bothers us. What …

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