Jan 052018
 
Fire and Fury: A Tale of Two Trump Lawsuits

by Thomas L. Knapp….. Two days before Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States, a former contestant on his reality TV Show, The Apprentice, sued him for defamation. At issue was his public response to her allegations of unwanted kisses and forceful gropes. He had caller her a “liar” and claimed she was motivated by greed and/or politics. Now the shoe’s on the other foot: Trump is threatening to sue publisher Henry Holt and Co. if they release a new book, Fire and [continue reading…]

 January 5, 2018  Posted by at 12:06 am Thomas L. Knapp 20 Responses »
Dec 222017
 
US Foreign Aid: Bad for America, Bad for the World

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Ahead of a vote in the United Nations’ General Assembly on a resolution condemning US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,  president Donald Trump and UN ambassador Nikki Haley threatened states voting for the resolution with the loss of US financial aid. “We’re watching those votes” said Trump. “Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care. But this isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of [continue reading…]

 December 22, 2017  Posted by at 12:39 am Issue #248, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Dec 222017
 
Trump's "National Security Strategy" is the Opposite of National Security

by Thomas L. Knapp……. The Goldwater-Nichols Act requires the president to submit a “National Security Strategy” report each year. Every president since Ronald Reagan has failed to comply with the law in one or more years of his administration, but on December 17 Donald Trump issued his report. Unfortunately, Trump’s offering is of a piece with his prior displays of economic illiteracy and foreign policy jingoism. It’s a dog’s breakfast of policy pronouncements that couldn’t be more opposed to real “national security” if that had [continue reading…]

 December 22, 2017  Posted by at 12:39 am Issue #248, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Dec 152017
 
Here Comes the Next "Defense" Shakedown

by Thomas L. Knapp……. “Today with the signing of this defense bill,” US president Donald Trump said as he affixed his signature to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act on December 12, “we accelerate the process of fully restoring America’s military might.” Is Trump truly under the mistaken impression that US military might is ailing? Or is he mindlessly aping Ronald Reagan and hoping it brings in the re-election votes? Or perhaps something else entirely?

 December 15, 2017  Posted by at 12:58 am Issue #247, Thomas L. Knapp 9 Responses »
Dec 152017
 
Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling ... Oh, Wait

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On December 1, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to two counts of lying to the FBI about conversations he had with  Sergey I. Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the United States. The charges, and Flynn’s plea, were part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of “Russian meddling” in the 2016 US presidential election. Finally! Hard evidence! The Trump campaign really did work with the Russians to fix the election and deprive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton of her pre-ordained [continue reading…]

 December 15, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #247, Thomas L. Knapp 11 Responses »
Dec 082017
 
Happy Holidays. Yes, All of Them.

by Thomas L. Knapp……. It’s “War on Christmas” time again. In a November 30 speech in St. Charles, Missouri, US president Donald Trump mounted a stage festooned with Christmas trees to kick off the annual Airing of the Fake Grievance: “[Y]ou go to the department stores and you see ‘Happy New Years,’ and you see red, and you see snow, and you see all these things. You don’t see ‘Merry Christmas’ anymore. With Trump as your President, we are going to be celebrating Merry Christmas [continue reading…]

 December 8, 2017  Posted by at 12:34 am issue #246, Thomas L. Knapp 5 Responses »
Dec 012017
 
And Now, A Prairie Home Sexual Harassment Complaint

by Thomas L. Knapp……. America is in the middle of an agonizing reappraisal of sexual conduct. What constitutes sexual harassment or assault? Where is the line that separates acceptable, or merely rude, actions from unacceptable, and possibly criminal or civilly actionable, behavior? If you feel like this process has been dragging on for a year, you’re not alone. But as I write this, it’s actually been less than two months since the New York Times brought movie magnate Harvey Weinstein low with its story on [continue reading…]

 December 1, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #245, Thomas L. Knapp 1 Response »
Dec 012017
 
James O'Keefe versus the Cardinal Rule of "Gotcha" Journalism

by Thomas L. Knapp……. James O’Keefe is famous — or at least notorious — for running sting operations in which he uses actors to trick organizations he opposes into behaving badly on (hidden) camera. The Washington Post didn’t fall for his latest ringer, a woman falsely claiming that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore got her pregnant, then procured an abortion for her, when she was a teenager. Writing at The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf takes O’Keefe and his Project Veritas conservative media operation to task for [continue reading…]

 December 1, 2017  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #245, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Nov 242017
 
No, the End of "Net Neutrality" is Not the End of the World (Wide Web)

by Thomas L. Knapp…….. I get lots of email, including email from political advocacy groups trumpeting the Impending Doom of the Month. This month, that doom is the coming end of “Net Neutrality” at the hands of the Federal Communications Commission. “Donald Trump and his corporate cronies are about to destroy the Internet,” writes Eden James of Democracy for America. “[FCC chairman Ajit] Pai is paving the way for monopolistic ISPs to block and censor what we see online, and push anyone who can’t pay [continue reading…]

 November 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:37 am ~ Column ~, Issue #244, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Nov 242017
 
Things I've Found to be Thankful for in 2017

by Thomas L. Knapp……. It’s that time of year, and like most of you I’m planning on a big meal and a lazy afternoon as America celebrates yet another Thanksgiving. Naturally, I’m also thinking back over the previous year and looking for things to be thankful for. I’ve found some. Here are a few that aren’t about family, spiral cut ham and so forth: I’m not thankful that Donald Trump is president of the United States, but I am thankful that he hasn’t blown up [continue reading…]

 November 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #244, Thomas L. Knapp 12 Responses »
Nov 242017
 
How to Stop a Rogue President From Ordering a Nuclear First Strike

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On November 15, US Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and US Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) introduced  one of the shortest bills in the histories of their two parliamentary bodies. Shorn of the obligatory “be it enacted, blah, blah, blah” boilerplate, the bill’s content comes to 14 words: “It is the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first.” It’s a short bill and it’s a good bill, but it could be made both shorter and better by eliminating the [continue reading…]

 November 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:24 am Issue #244, Thomas L. Knapp 3 Responses »
Nov 172017
 
Election 2017: The Moore You Know ...

by Thomas L. Knapp……. It’s hard to be objective about Roy Moore. Ever since his days as circuit judge of Etowah County, Alabama, he’s been a hero to religious conservatives and the bane of civil libertarians. The former powered his two elections to the office of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, on his promise to “return God to our public life and restore the moral foundation of our law.” The latter effected his two removals from that office over his insistence that his [continue reading…]

 November 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:35 am Issue #243, Thomas L. Knapp 2 Responses »
Nov 172017
 
The Honest Ads Act: "Fundamental Rights," Real and Imagined

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Wikipedia defines “moral panic” as “a feeling of fear spread among a large number of people that some evil threatens the well-being of society” and notes that A Dictionary of Sociology attributes the cultivation of moral panics to “moral entrepreneurs and the mass media.” We’re well into the second year of a moral panic drummed up by Democrats and “Never Trump” Republicans for the purpose of nullifying the outcome of the 2016 presidential election — removing US president Donald Trump from [continue reading…]

 November 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:34 am Issue #243, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Nov 172017
 
Impeachment Theater, 2017 Edition

by Thomas L. Knapp……. As US president Donald Trump returned to the White House after a 12-day trip to Asia, he might be forgiven for wishing he’d spent more time seeing the sights of the Far East. Back home he faces a Republican Party torn by scandalous allegations against its candidate for US Senate from Alabama, a likely bruising fight over tax “reform,” and more of the constant nipping at his heels by “Russiagate” special counsel Robert Mueller. Oh, and Articles of Impeachment introduced in [continue reading…]

 November 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:32 am Issue #243, Thomas L. Knapp 5 Responses »
Nov 102017
 
Veterans Day: "Appropriate Homage"

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In 1926, a concurrent resolution of the US Congress held it “fitting that the recurring anniversary of [the armistice which brought World War One to an end] should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations …” In 1938, Congress enshrined November 11 of each year as an American holiday “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’” Somewhere between 15 and [continue reading…]

 November 10, 2017  Posted by at 1:01 am Issue #242, Thomas L. Knapp 1 Response »