The Monday Morning Teaser

If you thought the news might slow down for the holidays … well, let’s just say that didn’t happen. The big things going on are: troop pull-outs from Syria and Afghanistan got announced (to the great surprise of our allies and a lot of people in our own government), the Secretary of Defense resigned in protest for the first time in US history, a quarter of the government is shut down in a fight over funding Trump’s border wall, the Supreme Court agreed with the “Obama judge” who blocked Trump’s attempt to ignore asylum laws, and a few other things.

I had thought I might slow down and do Christmas stuff, but instead I’ve got two featured posts this week rather than the usual one. The first post “Is this any way to run a superpower?” is my response to the Syria/Afghanistan announcements. It’s complicated: I do wish we’d disengage from these sorts of wars, but not like this. Trump makes up his mind while talking to Erdogan, and the rest of the government just has to adjust on the fly. Meanwhile, the American people get the new policy explained to them in a series of contradictory tweets. White House spokespeople may try to flesh this out, but they’re guessing just as much as we are. Anyway, that post should be out shortly.

The second “Fantasy problems don’t have realistic solutions” is my response to people who want to hear a stronger message from Democrats about protecting the border. Trump has so distorted the undocumented immigrant problem that of course no fact-based approach to the issue will seem adequate. That’s how propaganda works sometimes: It creates fantastic problems that demand grand solutions like the Wall. That should be out be maybe 10 or 11 EST.

The weekly summary has the shutdown and everything else to cover. I’m hoping to have it out by noon, closing with an interview with Santa’s lawyer and an ancient take on the commercialization of Christmas by Stan Freberg.

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