I’d Like To Talk About Roger Stone’s Latest Bizarre Comments But I’m Really Bothered By His Nixon Tattoo

Any time embodiment of villainy and Trump advisor/friend Roger Stone says something like

“Try to impeach him. Just try it. You will have a spasm of violence in this country, an insurrection like you’ve never seen.”

I feel like I should forcefully object to Stone’s practiced inflammatory remarks. I can – and have – made well-crafted arguments against that kind of rhetoric with ease. And yet? And yet. I have real difficulty getting past‏ the man’s tattoo of Richard Nixon. It blots out all other thoughts in my mind.

Not only does Roger Stone have a Nixon tattoo, it’s of Tricky Dick’s face and it’s on his back.

See? SEE?! Per Snopes, It’s the real deal. Stone claims “women love it”, which if true means Nixon’s disembodied head gets some women’s motors running. The next time you come across a news item Stone is featured in, good luck trying to think of anything else.

You’ll never guess what part of his body Roger had tattooed with The Donald’s face.

(Year Zero/Day Two Hundred and Eighteen)

What Happens If The Government Is Shut Down?

If the president follows through with his threats to force a government shutdown unless his wall of symbolic racism is funded by Congress, will anyone notice the difference? In the West Wing, there is little semblance of order. On the Hill, a party that dominates both houses of Congress has discovered the limitations of cobbling together a majority. Government agencies like the State Department are severely understaffed, leading to widespread low morale and sometimes deliberate inaction.

If the government shuts down, the FBI is exempt and the USPS will still drop coupons and bills into your mailbox. Isn’t that about all the stability the American people can depend on these days anyway?

(Year Zero/Day Two Hundred and Seventeen)

Trump’s Turn

Here’s what we know about Donald Trump’s plan for a troop surge in Afghanistan:

1) We don’t know. It’s a secret. We’re definitely going to do some things and there will be more soldiers there than there currently are, at some point. Bold.

2) The timing of Trump’s announcement is notable, coming approximately a week after the president exploded most of the support he had outside of his swastika armband-wearing, Confederate flag-waving base. A base, it should be noted, that supports a troop surge in Afghanistan in numbers far exceeding the general public. Our long, semi-forgotten war has lost the hearts and minds of a majority of the American people.

3) In normal circumstances, when a commander-in-chief flashes his bellicosity in public, he gets a ratings boost. Until now, Trump has been thoroughly disinterested in the continuation of the war in Afghanistan, preferring to allow his generals free reign over operations. So, ratings. Any other explanation of the sudden turnabout is unconvincing.

4) Outside of the Trumpian optics re: the surge announcement, the strategy appears to be the same as it ever was. This adheres to the mainstream…

Wait.

Stop.

This isn’t right.

Why does every opinion piece on Trump’s announcement offer a value-free, “realpolitik” analysis of the situation without questioning the basic premise? Namely: what are we still doing in Afghanistan?

From George W. Bush onward, American presidents have tried to force compliance from the occupied nation of Afghanistan – for reasons ostensibly outside its tantalizingly lootable “treasure”. We “bombed them back in to the Stone Age” in 2001, but the key objective of the invasion – capturing Osama bin Laden – failed when bin Laden fled into Pakistan.

Yet we remained. We’ve occupied Afghanistan well into 2017 because Bush neglected it for the chaos of Iraq, Obama needed a War Feather in his Tough Cap, and The Donald couldn’t be bothered to look the place up on a map. It’s the longest running war in American history. The objectives are muddled and the exit strategy perpetually over the horizon.

Afghans, who should have a say in the destiny of their country, don’t want more American troops on the ground. They want a government that isn’t bugfuck corrupt, economic opportunities and personal safety.

So again I ask (rhetorically, knowing the answers full well) why are we still in Afghanistan? Why does our military wage eternal war against the Taliban and not Boko Harem? What the bloodshed calculus of Afghans and Americans that makes us stay?

(Year Zero/Day Two Hundred and Fifteen)

We Won’t Metaphorize Today’s Solar Eclipse

Writers with a political bent tend to be a gaggle of lazy, self-satisfied opportunists who will reference the latest passing fad (see: fidget spinners), popular television show* or even notable event like today’s total solar eclipse across a swath of the United States to metaphorize a point.

Such pundits are hacks, hurriedly pounding out hot takes so they can get back to whatever is people without souls do.

You won’t find any groan-worthy drivel about how the Trump administration is eclipsing social norms or how this all somehow ties in to the book of Revelations. The solar eclipse is nothing more – and nothing less – than the temporary alignment of two astronomical bodies. It’s quotidian on the universal scale, but rightfully awe-inspiring to us earth-bound, “civilized” primates.

Take in the solar eclipse for what it is, and try not to nuke your retinas.

(Year Zero/Day Two Hundred and Fourteen)

 

*Okay, I’m guilty of that one but only because I’m a huge ASOIAF/GOT dork.