My move to Sykesville is complete, although I do not yet have reliable Internet, so I am planning to get RtO moving again.I hope old readers will check back and resume lurking.
About current Washington dustups, nothing for the moment but just some comments about the background of the events that were newsworthy during the weeks that RTO was mostly silent.
First, there's been a great deal of angst about the rise of movements called populism or strident nationalism in Europe, allegedly as a result of large immigration into the continent. Immigration into Europe is not large by the standards of any other part of the world so that is bogus.
More to the point, this is not populism or strident nationalism, it's fascism. Europe has always been mostly fascist (it has to do with religion). Even before Germany went to war in September 1939 almost all of Europe had gone fascist voluntarily. That included all of Central Europe with no exceptions, the same place where fascism is making its strongest gains again.
Fascism had taken over all of Iberia and there had been an attempted fascisst coup in France in 1934 that was beaten back just barely as well as one in Austria that was beaten back temporarily that same year. In Norway the Netherlands and Belgium there were powerful fascist movements -- not powerful enough to attempt government overthrows but just waiting for the support of a big power to take over.
Fascism is pretty close to the default attitude of the European public, certainly closer than anything that would be called liberal democracy.