In 2004, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry called his ever-shifting position on the war in Iraq "nuanced" as a way of explaining why he was for it before he was against it and why his prescriptions for its future kept changing. "Nuance" pops up frequently in debates on politics and public policy, almost always as an excuse for either non-specificity on a current position or flip-flopping from a past position.

On August 12, the Trump administration announced new rules for immigrants seeking permanent-residence status (through issuance of a "green card")  in the United States. Those rules apply a longstanding prohibition on immigrants likely to become "public charges" (that is, dependent on government benefits) to applicants who have received certain of those government benefits — among them Medicaid, SNAP ("food stamps"), and housing assistance — for more than 12 months.

On the morning of August 10, a wealthy sex-crimes defendant was reportedly found dead in his cell at New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center. "New York City's chief medical examiner," the New York Times reported on August 11, "is confident Jeffrey Epstein died by hanging himself in the jail cell where he was being held without bail on sex-trafficking charges, but is awaiting more information before releasing her determination ..."

As the US House of Representatives took up the Affordable Care Act, aka "ObamaCare," in 2010, then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) famously told her fellow members of Congress "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."

On August 5, US Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX) posted an infographic to Twitter naming and shaming his city's most generous supporters of President Donald Trump's re-election campaign: "Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump .... Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as 'invaders.'" Condemnations quickly followed. Donald Trump Jr compared the tweet to the Dayton, Ohio killer's "hit list."

"Online communities like 4chan and 8chan have become hotbeds of white nationalist activity," wrote the editors of the New York Times  on August 4 in the wake of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. Then: "Law enforcement currently offers few answers as to how to contain these communities." Wait, what? Is the Times really implying what it looks like they're implying? Yes.

America, John Quincy Adams said in 1821, "goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." That's as good a summary ever spoken of the non-interventionist position. US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) disagrees. He opposes President Trump's quest for a peace agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan as "reckless and dangerous," entailing "severe risk to the homeland."

On July 25, US Attorney General William Barr ordered the Federal Bureau of Prisons to update its execution protocol and schedule five executions starting this December. Whether you support the death penalty or not — I don't because I prefer limited government and the power to kill disarmed prisoners in cold blood and with premeditation is by definition unlimited government — it's worthwhile to ask: Why? More to the point, why now? Politics, that's why.

On July 23, the US House of Representatives passed (the vote went 398-17, with five voting "present") a resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. The resolution was an outrageous condemnation of the freely-chosen economic actions of millions of Americans.

Multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein stands accused of sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex. On July 18, US District Court judge Richard Berman denied bail, ordering that Epstein be confined until trial. The US Constitution's Eighth Amendment is short and sweet: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

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