I’m running an hour behind this week, because I’m in the Central Time Zone. (Amarillo, to be exact, on my way to Arizona.)
Two featured posts this week. The first is the week’s obvious news story: the attack on the Syrian air base. Usually I leave major news stories to major news outlets and only provide links, but here I think the coverage is doing a bad job of disentangling the diverse ways people are reacting. Also, I think Obama is getting a bad rap for “doing nothing” about Assad in 2013, when people really mean “not blowing anything up”. That should be out sometime before 9 EDT. (I’m giving times in Eastern because that’s what I usually do. I’m traveling, but most of you aren’t.)
The second relates a news story to a new book: Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the Justice Department is going to stop overseeing local law enforcement — ignoring a law to do so, by the way — dovetails nicely with Chris Hayes’ new book A Colony in a Nation.
Hayes argues that the right way to think about cases like Michael Brown and Freddie Gray isn’t that the American justice system was biased against them, but that their neighborhoods exist under a different justice system than the one whiter and more affluent people live under. They live in what he calls “the Colony”, not “the Nation”. In the Colony, police are an occupying force, controlling the public in accordance with rules and standards imposed from outside the community.
Obama’s Justice Department tried to bring the rights of America’s internal colonial subjects closer to those of full-fledged citizens. That is the effort that Sessions has pledged to stop. I’m guessing about when that will appear, maybe 10-11 EDT.
In the weekly summary, I’ll talk about the White House palace intrigue that has Steve Bannon retreating from Jared Kushner; the Senate changing its rules to approve Supreme Court Justice Neal Gorsuch, and why the filibuster is nothing to mourn for; Trump’s infrastructure vaporware; and a few other things before closing with a rocked-out parrot.