We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Today’s A1 Wapo story about the Pentagon’s increased reliance on CIA-backed “paramilitary” forces to slay the evildoers had me wondering about the origin of that word “paramilitary.” I feel like the word is designed to allow the news media put citizens on some sort of orange alert when the Powers That Be won’t let them get away with something more evocative like “bounty killers” or “secret police” or “death squads” or “Blackwater” but who exactly made it up? Well I think I found the answer, and what do you know: the French! No wonder it is so hard for us to write about paramilitaries without noting how “elite” they are. Anyway, back in the Weimar era there was a group of Fascist Frogs who called themselves the “Paramilitary League.” A 1937 New York Times story describes them as “the French counterpart to the Ku Klux Klan.” Now you know!
Jesus Harvard kids are lame: “During his presidency, students were known to chant his name at football games and ask him to sign dollar bills that bore his signature from his time as President Bill Clinton‘s secretary of the Treasury.”
A lot about “rare earth minerals” in the news today. They seem to be the magic ingredient in hybrid vehicles, solar panels, assault rifles maybe, and other wonderful products. Hey, green jobs! So naturally, America closed its last “rare earth” factory in 2002 and now China and Japan are locked in some sort of trade war ostensibly about them, and also some fisherman, and also generally avenging the Rape of Nanking, Pacific theater hegemony, who makes better food, etc. etc.
D.C. I am just going to go out and say it: you’re getting too thin. If you spent half as much time burning the blubber off the Top Secret America budget as you do jogging so admirably around my neighborhood and circling the block looking for the parking space closest to the gym, Pete Peterson‘s work would be done in this town. And yes I am talking to you, Jesse Jackson Jr. maybe mistress “bikini model” Giovana Huidobro.
David Axelrod has an op-ed in the Post today about how low it was of General Betray Us to tell Bob Woodward about all those top secret conversations they’d had in which Axelrod had disclosed that too many dead nineteen-year-olds was bad PR. Haha, terrible joke, his column is about…campaign finance and it is totally dull.
“Like all Woodward books, Obama’s Wars plows relentlessly forward like a shark.” A shark, Kakutani? Or is that code for something?
Funny text I received last night: “i think larry summers would have won the war in afghanistan if he was appointed commander instead of mcchrystal. discuss.”