If you're wondering why President Trump isn't doing a dance-with-no-pants about how he "made" ISIS abandon its de facto capital in Raqqa, that may be because coalition forces fighting ISIS there allowed about 250 ISIS fighters to leave, along with their families and all the ammo they could carry in a three-mile-long convoy. And this deal gets ISIS out of a stalemate in Raqqa, with no exchange of hostages and no guarantee they won't be back when the Kurds rebuild Raqqa. Our President sure is a deal-maker! But then the "deal" here may be to export terror to other nations, including ours, and so perpetuate the "war on terror" that aims to hold voters hostage to bad leaders. We can put a stop to that, of course.
Ho hum, FCC votes to roll back media consolidation regulations, which just so happens to benefit the notoriously pro-Trump Sinclair Broadcast Group's plan to buy Tribune Media. But I might not focus so much on whether there's an actual quid pro quo between FCC Chair Ajit Pai and Sinclair and more on whether the FCC did its due diligence as required by the law when it rolled back the regulations. That's how Powell the Lesser's FCC failed in a similar effort over a decade ago, after all.
Keystone pipeline shuts down after spilling 200,000 gallons of crude in North Dakota. If only someone had warned us about TransCanada's lousy pipeline safety record! If only a group of stalwart native Americans had risked life and limb to spread the message that pipelines pollute water! (What, you think I should mark this event with something other than snark?)
Well, this news isn't so bad, I guess: President Trump decides to roll back an Obama-era ban on bringing elephant trophies to America, but then says he's put the decision "on hold" after a massive public backlash. Until he can "review all the facts," of course, though that sure is a way of saying your Administration didn't do its job in the first place. And Interior Secretary Zinke should remember that hunting as a great way to bond with your daddy and granddaddy isn't actually the same thing as hunting an endangered species, which is what that Trump offspring was caught on camera doing.
Randall Balmer (whose book, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, I highly recommend if you want to understand contemporary rank-and-file evangelicals) instructs us as to why Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is a "con artist." You'll learn/be reminded of a lot -- that a founding principle of Baptism is the "wall of separation" between church and state (a phrase coined by Roger Williams himself) and the late 19th/early 20th century evangelicals had, shall we say, a stronger devotion to helping the poor than contemporary ones (who traffic in rage and fake martyrdom) seem to do.
Finally, I wouldn't make too much of an NRSC poll showing Doug Jones ahead of Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate special election by 12 points. The scandal over Mr. Moore's alleged mistreatment of teenage and underage girls while in his 30s broke too early -- absent smoking-gun evidence, Mr. Moore will continue his three-step plan of deny-deny-deny, and by the time Election Day gets here, a month will have gone by and folks will justify voting for him by saying no one proved he was guilty and we need another Supreme Court justice. I'd be happy to be wrong, of course, but I fear I'm not.