How to make a weak man feel strong: Throw him a military parade.

Melania wears the perfect sundress for a tank parade. “Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline; simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.” — Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War It was January 1991. We’d just decided to do the war thing again. We launched an attack on Saddam Hussein, a weak man who made a show of strength by invading […]

For Trump, everything ends when the Wall comes down.

“If the Wall should ever fall, all the fires will go out.”– Qhorin Halfhand in book two of “A Song of Ice and Fire” At OrcaCon this weekend, I had to confess to a nerd-cred-killing admission: I haven’t read George R.R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire or watched Game of Thrones. While I […]

Targeting the Clinton Foundation is Trump’s dumbest move yet.

Both of these men think they are very smart, and the other isn’t. Over the last year, I’ve chronicled why a large number of Donald Trump’s maneuvers are logically flawed. On a game theory level, they are, to use a scientific term, dumb. I’m particularly impressed with how dumb last week’s strongman attack on the Clinton […]

Trump is tanking the presidency.

Gif posted on Imgur by user Khumps. Admit it, you’re gobsmacked too. In the last year, I’ve funneled my rage into writing a bunch of Medium pieces about game theory and politics, more than a few about President Trump. As someone who studies games and people for a living, I’ve wondered something I never pondered […]

The GOP is living in a fantasy world on taxes. Specifically, Star Wars.

This week, Today host Savannah Guthrie noted New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s opinion that it was “pure fantasy” to think the GOP tax bill would lead to growth in jobs and wages. Guthrie said to House Speaker Paul Ryan: “I’ll ask you plainly: Are you living in a fantasy world?” Ryan sputtered out an answer […]

Playing chicken with Robert Mueller is a bad idea.

There are no pictures of this man blinking. The GOP is on a collision course with Robert Mueller. In the two weeks since Mueller indicted Michael Flynn and everyone figured out that Trump is toast, FOX News apparatchiks and their allies in Congress have been eager to smear him and the FBI over the tiniest […]

The Kap trap: Why no team will call in Kaepernick.

Another NFL Sunday is here, another day Colin Kaepernick watches it on TV. This week, the National Anthem protest issue, previously a subject of league unity after President Trump’s thoughtless fearmongering, spiraled into divisiveness by Houston Texans owner Bob McNair’s grenade-like comment that the NFL “can’t have the inmates running the prison.” Hooboy, Bob, you […]

Two madmen play poker: the North Korea bluff-off.

There was this one poker tournament I said I would attend, but I ran late, and so they just blinded me down as play continued. But everybody else played so aggressive that I actually came in third and cashed in without ever showing up. What a fun story! And say, here’s a horrifying graphic. Who […]

Co-op mode: Why Trump sees “many sides” to Nazi murder.

Quite the week for Donnie Darkest-Timeline: He got to invoke nuclear war on North Korea and for bonus fun he completely blindsided Venezuela with a threat of invasion or something. The Republicans who had been abandoning him in droves slunk back into the fold at the possibility of carpet-bombing brown people. The president loves competitive […]

The gambler: Why Trump keeps doubling down on an idiotic Russia strategy.

“Heads.” In the most recent play in which they will eventually be dead, Hamlet’s pals Rosencrantz and Guildenstern flip a coin. A lot. It comes up heads, always heads. This surprises them. Eventually, it should come up tails. It does not. This requires Guildenstern — or maybe it’s Rosencrantz — to reexamine his faith in the law of probability. […]