The incomparable Patrick Cockburn explains "Why the Anti-Corruption Drive in Saudi Arabia is Doomed to Fail." "The problem in resource-rich states (in the Middle East) is that corruption is not marginal to political power, but central to acquiring it and keeping it," and "(c)orruption is a nebulous concept when it comes to states with arbitrary rulers, who can decide -- unrestrained by law or democratic process -- what is legal and what is illegal." Also instructive: the stories of the disappearing Afghan vegetable packing plant and chicken farm.
Just as I was thinking that stories of Roy Moore's attempts to get with teenage girls were about the only thing that made him seem human to me, here comes Kathryn Brightbill at the Los Angeles Times to set me straight about advocates of child marriage within the evangelical movement. One shudders to think that the "religious freedom" crowd will get a hold of this and use it to overwrite age of consent laws. One also shudders to think that one day soon, we'll have a Supreme Court with another Neil Gorsuch or two who'll affirm their "right" to do it.
We may be misreading Sen. Gardner's assertion that Roy Moore should be expelled from the Senate if elected: as with Mr. McConnell's 2008 assertion that the Senate would expel then-felon Ted Stevens if Alaska voters sent him back to the Senate, an expulsion of Mr. Moore would have the immense benefit of calling forth a new election in Alabama that would nullify the Democrat's main argument (i.e., the unfitness of his opponent). But perhaps a few Republicans in Alabama will object to voting for an accused child-molester in order to play 13-dimensional chess to hold a Senate seat. I mean, it does make you feel icky to think about it, doesn't it?
The Supreme Court will hear a case brought by anti-abortion "crisis pregnancy centers" against the state of California, which would require the licensed centers to remind folks that the state provides comprehensive family planning services, and require the unlicensed ones to remind folks that the center isn't licensed by the state. My guess is the Court will strike the former and uphold the latter, but really they should uphold both, as you don't have the same First Amendment rights once you're providing professional services to people, and folks ought to know what they're getting into.
Finally, Frank Rich explains, at considerable length, why Trumpism will survive Donald Trump, no matter what becomes of him. He reminds us that Trumpholes are cut from the same cloth as Sarah Palin and the teabaggers before them (though they're also cut from the same cloth as the "war on terror" voters during Bush the Lesser's Presidency) and he also reminds us that George Wallace wrote the playbook that finally got Donald Trump elected (and got closer to getting elected himself than you might remember). I still think the 25% of the electorate who's bat-guano crazy can be outvoted, but not if the Democrats get behind another center-right bowl of oatmeal.