The Monday Morning Teaser

Once again, a week seems like a long time.

Last Monday afternoon, after the Sift came out, the whole country watched the eclipse, and then in the evening Trump gave a televised speech that he claimed was the announcement a new Afghanistan strategy. How distant that all seems.

Since then, a category 4 hurricane hit Texas, and Houston is now drowning under rains not seen since Noah. (If only they’d built the Ark Encounter Museum in Texas instead of Kentucky, we’d have some great photos.) Under the cover of the hurricane, the Trump administration did one of the truly historic Friday night news dumps: the Arpaio pardon, details of the transgender ban, and Gorka’s exit from the White House.

Meanwhile, Trump is feuding with McConnell. Nobody knows whether Congress will manage to get the debt ceiling raised and the government funded in time for the new fiscal year to start October 1. And if it does pass something, will Trump sign it if it doesn’t include funding for the Mexico-will-pay-for-it wall?

I managed to hold myself to two featured posts this week. The first one pays attention to the national unity pitch Trump made at the beginning of the Afghanistan speech, which most pundits either took at face value or ignored as boilerplate rhetoric. But there’s something going on in there, and we should take it seriously, because the same phrasing goes back to his inaugural address. I find it disturbing, because the kind of unity he’s calling for is based on the emotional underpinnings of fascism. I’ll discuss that in “Fascism as a Unifying Principle”, which should be out before 9 EDT.

In the second post, I wasn’t able to stop myself from grabbing the week’s bright shiny object: Sheriff Arpaio. The mainstream press kept describing him as “controversial” and communicated that the Latino community didn’t like him, but glossed over just how evil he has been. A number of in-depth accounts of Arpaio’s reign of terror have been written over the years, though, and I went back and read a bunch of them. In particular, his reputation as a tough sheriff who kept the Phoenix area safe was bogus: With all his manpower devoted to the menace of Scary Brown People, he let a lot of child molesters and other serious criminals slip through the cracks. I’ll cover all that in “The Message in Joe Arpaio’s Pardon”, which I hope to get out by 11.

The weekly summary, then, only has the hurricane, Afghanistan, the eclipse, the transgender ban, and the looming government shutdown to cover. Piece of cake. Should be out by noon.

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