Here is comes, government by extortion and theft.

Ted Cruz introduces "EL CHAPO Act" to pay for the wall
"Senator Ted Cruz wants to use assets seized from drug lords such as El Chapo, the Mexican kingpin who was recently extradited to the U.S., to pay for border security and the border wall.The idea: U.S. prosecutors are seeking $14 billion in drug profits and other assets from El Chapo. They also routinely seize the assets of other drug dealers and traffickers.The Cruz quote: "Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way toward building a wall that will keep Americans safe and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals across our southern border."The acronym's meaning: Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide OrderWhy it matters: President Trump is trying to figure out how to pay for his border wall, which will require American taxpayers to front the bill, but Republicans aren't helping at the moment."

worse every freaking day

ok, for the moment even leaving aside Trump's utter incompetence, venality, racism, and general but consistent stupidity, let's just agree the man is just an appalling fool . He just compared his ratings to those of the terrorist mass murder of 9-11:

"Now, in an interview with the Associated Press released Sunday, Trump set a new standard of hubris even for himself — comparing his ratings prowess to one of the darkest days in U.S. history: Sept. 11, 2001.

“It's the highest for 'Face the Nation' or as I call it, 'Deface the Nation,' " Trump told the AP's Julie Pace, referring to the CBS News Sunday political talk show. “It's the highest for 'Deface the Nation' since the World Trade Center — since the World Trade Center came down.”
I was involved in getting out this marvelous cd, "Old School Polkas Del Ghost Town, and other Conjunto Music from South Texas," by Lorenzo Martinez and Rabbit Sanchez, two of my favorite musicians and good friends.

It is collection of some astonishingly great conjunto played by a couple of progressive masters of the music who have been performing for 50+ years. It's out on Spring Fed Records, which is part of the Center for Popular Music at MTSU.

I co-produced it and wrote the notes. Here are some samples from the cd release party in San Antonio:

The following questions, in order from my youngest daughter (5), source of the linkages unclear, though clearly capitals are on her mind.

"I know Richmond is the capital of Virginia, but what is the capital of California?"
"What is the capital of Illinois?"
"What is the capital of the Solomon Islands?"

This is the same girl who thinks in terms of threes. She once told me her three favorite things, in order:
1. Daddy's truck
2. the thrift store
3. the open road

ah, brave new world

I can't imagine why this story did not get bigger play: China supplants the U.S. as Germany's biggest trading partner.

and meanwhile, Germany has begun rearming in earnest, as Trump's America looks increasingly unreliable

There they go, hand in hand.  farewell longstanding peace and prosperity...

Muerte de Gustavito

10 people murdered a day, and now a hippo
Trump’s erratic dismantling of American order and morals is raging into its third week. We know the Trump presidency is going to end in disaster for the country, for the world, and for all of us as individuals.  Waiting around for this inevitable end seems like failing to act when a Category 5 hurricane is heading right for us.  Catastrophe in the form of insulting and unconstitutional religious bans, calls for the re-embrace of torture and CIA “black sites,” the nauseating embrace of Putin, energized neo-Nazism, damaging insults to America’s allies, and even calls for shooting of protestors has become commonplace on the Trumpian right.  Disaster is certain and we need to act now to stop this. And we need to act together.
Virtually every commentator in the past few months has been saying this situation is not going to end well. This isn’t just the perspective of those on the progressive left or the ungovernable anarchist black bloc. It is the mainstream’s utterly commonsensical realiz…