Trump loses in Alabama and Washington DC and fails miserably with Puerto Rico

Roy Moore won a runaway victory of 55-45% in the Alabama Republican primary yesterday, easily defeating the candidate that Donald Trump and the entire Republican leadership had backed strongly. I don’t think too much can be read into this result and whether this portends a series of successful insurgent wacko extremist candidates in Republican primaries against the merely extremist incumbents. Although Moore is an extremist, so was Strange. Moore just went a little further. Also Moore had widespread name-recognition, having run for many statewide offices and won twice for the position of chief justice of the state Supreme Court. Other insurgent candidates may not have those advantages. But in politics, perception often takes precedence over rationality and many incumbents may be extremely fearful of what is in store for them in next year’s primaries.
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Destroying Obamacare: An illustration of an obsession

My personality is such that once I start work on solving a problem or fixing some thing, however trivial it is, I will carry it out to its conclusion, usually working on it straight with hardly a break. This is true with yard work, work around the house, writing projects, science and math problems, anything. Once I start, and as long as I believe that I can succeed and that effort and my own skills should be sufficient in arriving at a satisfactory solution, it becomes a kind of obsession and I will plug away until I see it through to the end.
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The US-Saudi-UAE-Sudan axis of violence

The latest travel restrictions imposed by the Trump administration adds Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela to the former list of countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria) but dropped Sudan. Why add Chad? Who the hell knows? The addition of North Korea and Venezuela seems, as is the case with Iran, to be out of spite at the refusal of those countries to bend to US coercion. Adding North Korea and Venezuela to the list also deflects criticisms that the administration is targeting Muslim-majority countries.
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Exactly who is the crazy rocket man?

Sergey Lavrov describes the one thing that is preventing the US from attacking North Korea

North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons is preventing the U.S. from launching a first strike against the rogue nation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview.

“The Americans won’t strike because they know for sure — rather than suspect — that it has atomic bombs,” Lavrov said Sunday on Russia’s NTV television. “I’m not defending North Korea right now, I’m just saying that almost everyone agrees with this analysis.”

Lavrov said the U.S. attacked Iraq “solely because they had 100 percent information that there were no weapons of mass destruction left there,” refuting arguments the American government made at the time.

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I did not know this

As the Republicans in Congress and Donald Trump try to round up 50 votes to pass the Graham-Cassidy health care denying bill in opposition to pretty much everyone except themselves and their most rabid supporters, they are trying to bribe those senators who are as yet reluctant to support it, such as Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski, by carving out special provisions for that state that would make it more palatable to her.
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Trump and the US military have ramped up the the carnage in Syria

While Donald Trump gets attention by saying outrageous things, what has largely been unnoticed is that he has rapidly escalated the bombing attacks on targets in Syria with a corresponding increase in the number of civilian casualties. Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept writes about a report from Human Rights Watch about the most recent killings of civilians in two attacks.
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We may have to stop asking “Is the pope Catholic?”

One of the most popular rhetorical questions may not be that rhetorical after all, at least in the eyes of some Catholic theologians who are accusing pope Francis of possible heresy against Catholic doctrine in his 2016 document titled The Joy of Love, where he opened the door to letting civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion even if their earlier marriage had not been annulled by the church. In the absence of such an annulment declaring their first marriage invalid, these people are assumed to be committing adultery and hence not worthy of receiving communion.
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The football reactions to Trump come in

There has been intense interest in what professional football teams would do in the wake of Donald Trump’s tirade against Colin Kaepernick and other players who are protesting police brutality, with some TV stations showing the field during the anthem to see what each team had decided to do. The local team the Cleveland Browns saw saw at least 20 of their players kneel in protest.

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