A kangaroo court

Dear Sen. Warner, I know the public documents, videotape, and proffered evidence at the former president’s trial yesterday was damning, but it hardly registered with half of our country. What would still register — miraculously, perhaps, at this late stage of our national unraveling — is courtroom testimony. Take the Constitution seriously concerning the court… Continue reading A kangaroo court

Categorized as Civil

Transcendent matters

From today’s New York Times: A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that Congress could not sue to enforce its subpoenas of executive branch officials, handing a major victory to President Trump and dealing a severe blow to the power of Congress to conduct oversight. In a ruling that could have far-reaching consequences for executive… Continue reading Transcendent matters

Categorized as Civil

Sadism and civic impotence

A friend’s homely benediction last week: “Well, now that we’ve solved all the world’s problems . . .”  It was perfect: all we had said had the force of cliches. We “solve the world’s problems” because we sense we were made to tend our land together. But we have no civic plot to tend. So… Continue reading Sadism and civic impotence

The church rescues Il Duce

In June of 1924, Mussolini was in trouble. Fascist thugs with ties to him had murdered Italy’s top Socialist parliamentarian, Giacomo Matteotti. The public assumed that Mussolini had ordered it, and Italy was in an uproar. Even conservatives were beginning to distinguish between nationalism, which they embraced, and the overthrow of democracy, which they weren’t… Continue reading The church rescues Il Duce

Republicanism and redistribution

Today’s plan by Elizabeth Warren is more republican orthodoxy. She wants to keep private equity firms from looting and destroying U.S. corporations. I first read about private equity firms in Robert Kuttner’s book, published last year, Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism?: Invariably, a private-equity takeover means an even deeper squeeze on worker wages, benefits, and job… Continue reading Republicanism and redistribution


Earlier this week I got a fundraising email from my congresswoman. Here’s how it started: Peter, I didn’t get into politics to play it safe. I spoke out immediately on behalf of our federal workers when Trump needlessly caused a shutdown. I’ve taken on the NRA in my district to push for comprehensive, common sense… Continue reading Safety

Primal political events

There’s Euphoria, another TV show I’ve never watched but read about in, this time, The New Yorker Today. Euphoria is about the homeland generation, the generation I teach. I didn’t know all of this was going on outside of my classroom. The New Yorker review accounts for “all of this” in part by citing this generation’s “primal political event”… Continue reading Primal political events

School, government . . . the whole bit

The seventy-two came back jubilant. “In your name, Lord,” they said, “even the demons submit to us.” “Wup woo,” Jesus replied. “I saw Satan fall, like lightning, from heaven. And I have given you the power to tread underfoot snakes and scorpions and all the forces of the enemy. Nothing will ever harm you. Nevertheless,… Continue reading School, government . . . the whole bit