I touched on Charlie Sykes's piece on Politico last week, which argued that Democrats hopeful of recapturing the Presidency should remember 1972 and be cautious, but Josh Marshall does Mr. Sykes's piece more justice than I did. Mr. Sykes's "history is off," Mr. Marshall says, since President Nixon was rather more popular at a similar juncture in his first term than our President is, but one thing that's the same is that both Presidents aimed to divide the country, mainly through endless hammering of hot-button social issues. The one thing that's different? Mr. Nixon indeed had the "larger half" (in Pat Buchanan's words) of our divided country back in 1972, but our President has the smaller half now -- though, of course, we all saw how well that worked out for us in 2016.
You'll get a few paragraphs into this ProPublica story about how Chicago Mayor will (among other reforms) end suspension of licenses for unpaid parking tickets in that city, and you'll likely have the same reaction I did: Jesus Mary and Joseph people actually go into bankruptcy over unpaid tickets? I mean, no, it's not surprising per se, but it is no less appalling. Naturally most of the folks who face this problem are black, and if you're in the mood to say some variation of if you can't do the time don't do the crime, please do three things: 1) slap yourself, 2) note well that Chicago ain't even making very much money off their Draconian ticketing rules, and 3) ask yourself if getting your license suspended or your car repossessed by the city is really a fair punishment for unpaid parking tickets.
Ho hum, our "liberal" media has lost at least some of its "enthusiasm" for the coup in Venezuela that never succeeded, because if there's anything our media hate more than an actual liberal populist, it's a loser. Still, they've moved on to the next possible puppet of power, the former Venezuelan intelligence chief, described by one of our papers of record as "muscular," now there's some journalistic objectivity! I guess it could be worse, in that we could get a whole lot of "soul searching" from our media about "how we got it wrong," because it's tedious to watch people who don't have souls make a show of soul-searching in public.
Hard to believe, Harry, but CBP and ICE just held a Dallas-born brown-skinned person in custody for three weeks and I'll bet the only thing that prevented our government from actually deporting him was the Dallas News reporting on his plight. And CBP wouldn't let him use the phone while he was detained, though ICE did, and I bet that fact goes right into ICE's PR kit. Be prepared for your right-wing uncle to opine that if you're going to make an omelette, you're going to have to break a few eggs. Or deport a few American citizens!
Elizabeth Warren warns that "the odds of another economic downturn are high" "either this year or next year," and though I couldn't tell you whether the New York Fed's recession probability index is particularly edifying or whether our President's grandstanding on trade will actually do our economy any palpable harm, I do agree with Sen. Warren that debt makes every structure less sturdy, and a lot more debt (not just credit card debt and mortgage debt but student loan debt and corporate debt) makes it a lot less sturdy. I also notice that this recovery, such as it's been, has been going on for over 10 years, making it the longest in our history -- and that should prompt us to wonder when the other shoe's going to drop.
Finally, I did not pay attention to former Special Prosecutor Mueller's testimony before the House yesterday, and thus have no comment on it per se. I am surprised, however, that I've only just seriously considered that this whole investigation might have been a drama created by our President! Who better for our President's Deputy Attorney General to appoint to conduct such an investigation, after all, than the lifelong Republican with the by-the-book reputation who would take seriously the Office of Legal Counsel opinion that sitting Presidents can't be indicted? And if a few of the President's friends have to go to jail, well, we all know how he feels about his friends by now. Yeah, I know, our President supposedly said he was "fucked" after Mr. Mueller's appointment, but he says a lot of things, and he doesn't mean a lot of the things he says. Robert Mueller was never going to save us, and if this realization helps us get back to the very serious business of being thorns in our politicians' sides, then I guess the whole thing will have been worth it.