We apologize for the language in advance, but this has been on our mind a long time, and there’s really no other way to get the point across.

It’s a story we first heard in the Eighties, but it must stretch back generations, perhaps forever. It’s a story of Poor White Trash seemingly happy with their miserable lot, fundamentally resistant to attempts to help them. Why? Why settle for that shack, when life can be so much better?

And the profane response, which explains for us America’s Original Sin as much as anything:

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  • A constitutional republic famous for its peaceful transitions of power.
  • The spirit that as Americans, we’re all in this together.
  • The civic belief that all Americans should vote, and all votes should be counted.

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Memo to the Future:

We don’t know what horrors you’ll be seeing — American pandemic deaths just passed a quarter-million here, and what was frozen on our planet is rapidly thawing — but we’d like to tell you about our week.

Remember the United States? The federal republic version, not the warring fascist and socialist versions, each claiming the name? Yeah, still here, this moment, anyway. But it came close!

That was our week, seeing how close it would come to falling apart.

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“It ain’t real on the ground,” we had told a friend on Friday after the respected website Decision Desk HQ called the race, “until it hits the airwaves.”


The moment was operatic, out of The Godfather, the networks simultaneously settling all family business, the sheer finality of it all.

And a moment later, the videos started flooding in.

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Armed Insurrection: 20-1

The President of the United States Erupts in a Flaming Pyre of Despair in the Rose Garden: 10-1

You Picked the Wrong Week to Stop Sniffing Glue: 3-1

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Sean Connery: James Bond actor dies aged 90 [BBC]

And so we end as we began, with a stolen Supreme Court seat.

Had American governance worked as Americans expect it to — or used to — the ideological balance of the Supreme Court would have remained unchanged at this point, two replacements and a third to be named next year, pending this election’s victors. Perhaps a Republican president would be forwarding a nomination to a Democratic Senate, or the other way around.

Of course, the other way around at this point would have meant three unfilled seats by now, had GOP senators carried out their threats against President Clinton, and we’d be enduring earnest discussion whether six seats was, y’know, enough.

Instead, the Endgame is upon us.

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