dang ky nhan tien cuoc mien phi_trực tiếp bóng đá u21_slot 88 đổi thưởng https://www.google.com//050 because the unexamined life is not worth living Tue, 08 Jan 2019 22:06:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.2 The Humiliations Will Never Stop https://www.google.com//050/2019/01/the-humiliations-will-never-stop.html /050/2019/01/the-humiliations-will-never-stop.html#respond Tue, 08 Jan 2019 22:06:08 +0000 /050/?p=18161 Theresa May might as well legally change her name, so often is it prefaced by the word ¡°humiliation.¡± She got another one today. It will not be the last. I admit that sometimes I do feel bad for her in spite of myself. Sure, she¡¯s a right-wing hack who¡¯s in way over her head and quite obviously values remaining in the job at any cost for as long as possible over anything else. And she set the conditions to make Brexit as bad as it possibly could be, having it drag on for years and distract attention from everything else, which no doubt makes the right-wing media barons who are her real constituency happy¡ªyeah, look, it doesn¡¯t make sense, she¡¯s the absolute worst! But you can¡¯t help but feel bad for somebody who gets punched in the face every single day, even if it¡¯s their own damn fault. Empathy truly is a curse sometimes.

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Theresa May might as well legally change her name, so often is it prefaced by the word ¡°humiliation.¡± She got another one today. It will not be the last. I admit that sometimes I do feel bad for her in spite of myself. Sure, she¡¯s a right-wing hack who¡¯s in way over her head and quite obviously values remaining in the job at any cost for as long as possible over anything else. And she set the conditions to make Brexit as bad as it possibly could be, having it drag on for years and distract attention from everything else, which no doubt makes the right-wing media barons who are her real constituency happy¡ªyeah, look, it doesn¡¯t make sense, she¡¯s the absolute worst! But you can¡¯t help but feel bad for somebody who gets punched in the face every single day, even if it¡¯s their own damn fault. Empathy truly is a curse sometimes.

On the other hand, since apparently The?Thick?Of?It?is done for good, reality is supplying us with a pretty good version of what the show so routinely did, which I appreciate. But also it can never come back: how could you satirize reality as bonkers and tragic/hilarious as ours? It would be like this times a thousand:

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Is Our Democrats Learning? https://www.google.com//050/2019/01/is-our-democrats-learning.html /050/2019/01/is-our-democrats-learning.html#respond Mon, 07 Jan 2019 21:13:34 +0000 /050/?p=18153 Maybe:

Incoming Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) signaled ¡°he would not go along with parts of lame-duck laws that curb his powers, suggesting that?GOP lawmakers or their supporters would have to sue him?over the issue,¡± the?Milwaukee Journal Sentinel?reports.

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Maybe:

Incoming Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) signaled ¡°he would not go along with parts of lame-duck laws that curb his powers, suggesting that?GOP lawmakers or their supporters would have to sue him?over the issue,¡± the?Milwaukee Journal Sentinel?reports.

¡°The Democrat¡¯s?stance changes the dynamic in the fight over the lame-duck legislation by prodding Republicans into initiating litigation instead of doing so himself.¡±

It¡¯s noteworthy because Evers ran as a centrist uniter type. That he¡¯s willing to give as good as he got is encouraging.

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First Monday Of The Year https://www.google.com//050/2019/01/first-monday-of-the-year.html /050/2019/01/first-monday-of-the-year.html#respond Mon, 07 Jan 2019 20:05:32 +0000 /050/?p=18151 I¡¯ll grant that there are perhaps some good reasons as to why it might not have been a good idea for elected Democrats to give voice to the rage that practically defines being a member of the Donkey Party in 2019. Wanting to defend civility and preserve (mostly imagined at this point) bipartisan bonds is not one of them, though I think it¡¯s by far the biggest reason why we¡¯ve had to swallow civility sanctimony during the Trump era. At any rate, it is particularly nice to have a new group of energetic and loud¡¯n¡¯proud freshmen giving voice to what Democrats actually feel. Inspiring, even. There are definitely days where I despair at the Democratic Party. I still have strong reservations as to whether they¡¯re up to the task of defeating movement conservatism. Too many don¡¯t want to do that, and seem to be unlikely to be persuaded that they should want to do it. In retrospect, Barack Obama¡¯s greatest contribution to the Democratic Party may well turn out to be his total indifference to planting his stamp on it: had he filled the party with his prot¨¦g¨¦s, the whole situation may well be unsalvageable.

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I¡¯ll grant that there are perhaps some good reasons as to why it might not have been a good idea for elected Democrats to give voice to the rage that practically defines being a member of the Donkey Party in 2019. Wanting to defend civility and preserve (mostly imagined at this point) bipartisan bonds is not one of them, though I think it¡¯s by far the biggest reason why we¡¯ve had to swallow civility sanctimony during the Trump era. At any rate, it is particularly nice to have a new group of energetic and loud¡¯n¡¯proud freshmen giving voice to what Democrats actually feel. Inspiring, even. There are definitely days where I despair at the Democratic Party. I still have strong reservations as to whether they¡¯re up to the task of defeating movement conservatism. Too many don¡¯t want to do that, and seem to be unlikely to be persuaded that they should want to do it. In retrospect, Barack Obama¡¯s greatest contribution to the Democratic Party may well turn out to be his total indifference to planting his stamp on it: had he filled the party with his prot¨¦g¨¦s, the whole situation may well be unsalvageable.

At any rate, Reps. Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib (among others) are pissing off the right people and making voices heard on Capitol Hill that haven¡¯t been heard so far. This is good!

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American White Person Racism Explained Once And For All https://www.google.com//050/2019/01/american-white-person-racism-explained-once-and-for-all.html /050/2019/01/american-white-person-racism-explained-once-and-for-all.html#respond Fri, 04 Jan 2019 19:50:44 +0000 /050/?p=17997 There are committed white supremacists in America. We all know that. But it’s really more of an unexamined assumption for most white people than an actively held principle. Sometimes it wins votes but sometimes it doesn’t. And quite a lot of white people are often willing to do…something…to help out people of color, but?only as a one time thing that is going to fix it all. That something could be the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it could be voting for Barack Obama, but pretty much some discrete thing as a one shot cure-all. Needless to say, it doesn’t work that way. Which leads to some backlash, you know, “Why aren’t they thankful?” That sort of thing.

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There are committed white supremacists in America. We all know that. But it’s really more of an unexamined assumption for most white people than an actively held principle. Sometimes it wins votes but sometimes it doesn’t. And quite a lot of white people are often willing to do…something…to help out people of color, but?only as a one time thing that is going to fix it all. That something could be the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it could be voting for Barack Obama, but pretty much some discrete thing as a one shot cure-all. Needless to say, it doesn’t work that way. Which leads to some backlash, you know, “Why aren’t they thankful?” That sort of thing.

The thing is, though, that a large swath of white people want to think of themselves as racially sensitive, and that American culture is fundamentally fair racially. Trump makes that impossible. He is going after all the ones who aren’t that way, of course, and there are a good amount of those. But there’s a reason why Lester Maddox, Richard Russell, Theodore Bilbo, etc., never were elected president. Not because America isn’t racist (it is!), but because Trump makes it impossible to pretend it isn’t, which is what white people desperately want to go back to doing. So I agree that this is not a good strategy Trump’s pursuing, but I suppose we’ll see next year.

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Political Correctness Explained https://www.google.com//050/2019/01/political-correctness-explained.html /050/2019/01/political-correctness-explained.html#respond Thu, 03 Jan 2019 17:50:08 +0000 /050/?p=18131 It’s sort of a fuzzy concept but so far as I can tell it basically means “the state of being more tolerant of others than I am comfortable with.” This is why it’s so widespread, I think, because pretty much every single American has a sliding scale of tolerance on which their own views are just?right, while everything to the right of them is bigotry and everything to the left of them is political correctness. Some people might quibble at this but it does correspond with the phenomenon of, say, a federal judge sending a ton of racist emails and then insisting that he’s not racist. Of course not! There are bigger racists out there, after all. Ironically, this sort of dodge is even more plausible during the Trump era, where the increased prevalence of violent white supremacy provides an easy, “Now that’s what racism is!” to people who want one. And even now after everything, there are a lot more Bret Stephenses and Ross Douthats in the world than there are Richard Spencers. Lots more people wanting to play the “but is he actually racist” game still. This is what the game is.

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It’s sort of a fuzzy concept but so far as I can tell it basically means “the state of being more tolerant of others than I am comfortable with.” This is why it’s so widespread, I think, because pretty much every single American has a sliding scale of tolerance on which their own views are just?right, while everything to the right of them is bigotry and everything to the left of them is political correctness. Some people might quibble at this but it does correspond with the phenomenon of, say, a federal judge sending a ton of racist emails and then insisting that he’s not racist. Of course not! There are bigger racists out there, after all. Ironically, this sort of dodge is even more plausible during the Trump era, where the increased prevalence of violent white supremacy provides an easy, “Now that’s what racism is!” to people who want one. And even now after everything, there are a lot more Bret Stephenses and Ross Douthats in the world than there are Richard Spencers. Lots more people wanting to play the “but is he actually racist” game still. This is what the game is.

There is a reasonable argument to be made that the modern internet is a bad actor in all this, that its nature is to stir up conflict for clicks that should sometimes stay un-stirred, that it prioritizes the quick and easy over the difficult and right. This is all true! And yet, there is a lot of racism out there in the country and pointing it out angers people (mainly white people) who want to believe that things are basically good. There’s not an easy answer for this. FWIW my personal belief is to listen to other people and to try your best. Humility is your best friend in this as in everything else. It’s not steered me wrong.

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Norms and Lawlessness https://www.google.com//050/2019/01/norms-and-lawlessness.html /050/2019/01/norms-and-lawlessness.html#respond Wed, 02 Jan 2019 19:50:52 +0000 /050/?p=17982 I feel like civility and norms are the new version of the critique of the second Bush Administration as lawless. Which it was! But it was also, you know, wrong in a lot of what it did. Immoral. No doubt such language made the focus groups edgy, but maybe they should have been edgy. Because Obama’s ultimate solution to Bush’s lawlessness was to…largely make the shit he did legal (or at least, tacitly so after it was institutionalized and this everybody was responsible for it). Needless to say, this didn’t do much to stop the bad stuff. Torture hasn’t officially come back yet but I submit to you that it has. Separating a child from his or her parents is torture, if anything is.

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I feel like civility and norms are the new version of the critique of the second Bush Administration as lawless. Which it was! But it was also, you know, wrong in a lot of what it did. Immoral. No doubt such language made the focus groups edgy, but maybe they should have been edgy. Because Obama’s ultimate solution to Bush’s lawlessness was to…largely make the shit he did legal (or at least, tacitly so after it was institutionalized and this everybody was responsible for it). Needless to say, this didn’t do much to stop the bad stuff. Torture hasn’t officially come back yet but I submit to you that it has. Separating a child from his or her parents is torture, if anything is.

Obviously not everything is reducible to morality, and it’s sort of a blunt weapon to use in a debate. Not always what you want to go with. But sometimes a blunt weapon is exactly what’s called for.

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Happy New Year, Nothing’s Gonna Change https://www.google.com//050/2019/01/happy-new-year-nothings-gonna-change.html /050/2019/01/happy-new-year-nothings-gonna-change.html#respond Tue, 01 Jan 2019 17:25:31 +0000 /050/?p=18128 This is from a few weeks ago but nothing lays bare the bankruptcy of the contemporary Army general staff than just listening to them:

¡°If we put more troops in [Afghanistan] and we fight forever, that¡¯s not a good outcome either. I¡¯m not sure what [is] the right answer. My best suggestion is to keep a limited number of forces there and just kind of muddle along and see what we can do,¡± [General McChrystal] said.

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This is from a few weeks ago but nothing lays bare the bankruptcy of the contemporary Army general staff than just listening to them:

¡°If we put more troops in [Afghanistan] and we fight forever, that¡¯s not a good outcome either. I¡¯m not sure what [is] the right answer. My best suggestion is to keep a limited number of forces there and just kind of muddle along and see what we can do,¡± [General McChrystal] said.

¡°But that means you¡¯re gonna lose some people, and then it¡¯s fair for Americans to ask, ¡®why am I doing this? Why am I putting my sons and daughters in harm¡¯s way?¡¯ And the answer is, there¡¯s a certain cost to doing things in the world, being engaged,¡± McChrystal said. ¡°That¡¯s not as satisfying. That¡¯s not an applause line kind of answer, but that¡¯s what I think, the only thing I could recommend.¡±

I never thought I’d read text that’s the equivalent of the shrug emoji, but I think we just found it!

I do so love how every year the generals implore us to look forward and not backward in terms of what they’re doing. Because if we did that, we wouldn’t listen to them at all, as continuing whatever we’re doing over there would seem obviously insane and doomed to failure after all that has come before. Don’t worry, this time we’ll finally create that powerful Afghan state that nobody else ever could! But as Tom Ricks’s The Generals teaches us, the Army general staff is widely seen even among junior officers as amoral and careerist. Hard to imagine why!

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The Dumbest Question Of All Time https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/the-dumbest-question-of-all-time.html /050/2018/12/the-dumbest-question-of-all-time.html#respond Sun, 30 Dec 2018 18:10:34 +0000 /050/?p=18051 Is this:

But do you think so-and-so is personally racist?

I submit to you that this question is not only always unanswerable, but also always irrelevant.

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Is this:

But do you think so-and-so is personally racist?

I submit to you that this question is not only always unanswerable, but also always irrelevant.

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Oh Claire https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/oh-claire.html /050/2018/12/oh-claire.html#comments Sun, 30 Dec 2018 02:37:11 +0000 /050/?p=18135 Blaming teh left for a bigger than expected loss just don’t make any sense because they didn’t do a damn thing to hurt her campaign. Did they field a primary challenger or support a third party bid against her? No. Hell, I donated some cash to her and wish she’d won. So she’s mad that she took some flak for her bland positioning and bad votes? Criticism and pressure are hardly reprehensible in politics, particularly because they could be used as evidence of her moderation, as this good Slate piece notes. And also, like, what are political groups for if not to persuade politicians to vote in their preferred way? One sees here a rather annoying sense of entitlement: moderate Dems like McCaskill apparently believe that liberal groups should never try to push them to the left, which pretty much justifies the darkest criticisms of lefty critics of how the party thinks about its activists. What are they supposed to do, go hang out at TGI Friday’s while the right sets all the terms of the debate?

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Blaming teh left for a bigger than expected loss just don’t make any sense because they didn’t do a damn thing to hurt her campaign. Did they field a primary challenger or support a third party bid against her? No. Hell, I donated some cash to her and wish she’d won. So she’s mad that she took some flak for her bland positioning and bad votes? Criticism and pressure are hardly reprehensible in politics, particularly because they could be used as evidence of her moderation, as this good Slate piece notes. And also, like, what are political groups for if not to persuade politicians to vote in their preferred way? One sees here a rather annoying sense of entitlement: moderate Dems like McCaskill apparently believe that liberal groups should never try to push them to the left, which pretty much justifies the darkest criticisms of lefty critics of how the party thinks about its activists. What are they supposed to do, go hang out at TGI Friday’s while the right sets all the terms of the debate?

At any rate, Claire really has nobody to blame but herself but I do have some empathy for her. She did everything she thought would bring a win and it didn’t work at all. The Slate piece notes how she played every single piece of the DLC/Blue Dog/Third Way playbook. Distancing herself from the national party? Check! Downplaying any divisive issue to the extent that it makes you seem like a total phony? Check! Emphasizing noncontroversial bipartisan moderate issues that focus group through the roof (but that probably aren’t salient enough to drive votes)? Double check! Also talk a lot about bipartisanship talk, like all the time. She did it all and lost badly, and in casting around for someone to blame she’s found a group to scapegoat that provably did not do her in. Did the left also tank Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly? I guess they just barely missed Manchin and Tester. Heitkamp and Donnelly flopped doing largely the same thing as McCaskill but the thing is that Evan Bayh also flopped two years earlier doing it. It’s not like she couldn’t have known that this model failed in a comparable state in spite of having a solid candidate. More solid than Claire, honestly, who has always been defined by her close ties to the national party as one of Obama’s greatest allies in the Senate and thus was not a good fit for triangulation as a strategy. But Clintonism can only be failed I suppose.

The one thing that the Slate article gets wrong is in speculating that she’s prepping for another run for office. Nah, man, she’s just putting together her reel to be the next president of No Labels. That’s all this is about.

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Learning Things: Beloved https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/learning-things-beloved.html /050/2018/12/learning-things-beloved.html#respond Fri, 28 Dec 2018 21:28:26 +0000 /050/?p=17812

Magical Realism. It had to be magical realism.

Just kidding. I don’t have any issue with magical realism. A lot of people do, and I get why. It’s a style that can’t not be at least a little sentimental and all too often descends into what I think anybody can recognize as “twee shit.” And we all hate that. Anyway,?Beloved most assuredly does not fall into that category, though there is the ending. Again, it’s not a problem for me. What?is a problem for me is a certain style of allegorical storytelling in which people basically stop acting like people so that the author can make some point. And this is also about the ending.

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Magical Realism. It had to be magical realism.

Just kidding. I don’t have any issue with magical realism. A lot of people do, and I get why. It’s a style that can’t not be at least a little sentimental and all too often descends into what I think anybody can recognize as “twee shit.” And we all hate that. Anyway,?Beloved most assuredly does not fall into that category, though there is the ending. Again, it’s not a problem for me. What?is a problem for me is a certain style of allegorical storytelling in which people basically stop acting like people so that the author can make some point. And this is also about the ending.

But we don’t have to talk about that yet.

Beloved is about former slaves trying to find a way forward after slavery. Your main characters are Sethe, her daughter Denver, her once and current suitor Paul Garner, and Beloved, their child last seen dead by Sethe’s hand rather than raise her in slavery. And then she shows up, right after Paul has, right when the three others have just started to rebuild their lives and find a way forward. Obviously this is the allegorical element, with Beloved representing the living baggage of slavery that the characters thought they’d left behind. At the point that she arrives, the book enters a sort of a holding pattern plot-wise (there are multiple harrowing flashbacks of what slavery consisted of for these people and how they got out, what they did afterward) until the last quarter of the book where Beloved starts leveraging Sethe’s guilt and pressures Sethe to buy her things. This was the part I found most interesting. Unfortunately it’s fairly short and then we get to that ending.

So Toni Morrison has a Nobel Prize. That’s true. And I’m just some random guy on the internet. But I just have to say that this book was not an easy one for me to get through. Morrison’s attempts to channel 19th century prose were generally convincing, and there were some sections that I will take with me for a good long time. The flashbacks in general were strong. But man was it harder than it should have been, even before the ending. The relationships between the characters were well-rendered and everything. It’s kind of hard to explain why I had to rent this like five times from the library, and it’s not that thick of a book. I think it might be the language, honestly. People used to talk about “Oprah Book Club Syndrome,” which in its essence meant a book about difficult, ugly things that was beautifully, even breathtakingly written. Both of those things are good! But together…unless you’re going for an ironic effect, writing about ugly topics maybe shouldn’t be flowery and lovely, it should be terse and brutal. That may have been the issue. I wasn’t having issues with the characters or the plot or anything like that.

At least until the ending, anyway, where Beloved has emotionally blackmailed Sethe to such a degree and gotten so much food to eat that she’s grown…pregnant?…and then vanishes. It’s not all that hard to pick apart the intent here, honestly. But again, when allegory usurps the recognizable humanity in a character I tend not to be on board. Just feels a little shortcut-y to me. Again, no Nobel Prize here. But compared to, say, Their Eyes Were Watching God, I’m not sure I really had my mind blown this time out. It is good to be reminded of just how brutal slavery truly was from time to time, I suppose.

What’s Next? Who knows? The holidays are upon us and I’ve gone through all the books I had in mind to read for the project, at least for the first round. I’m sure this will be back at some point. For now, enjoy your holidays.

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Bush 41 https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/bush-41.html /050/2018/12/bush-41.html#comments Thu, 27 Dec 2018 18:35:43 +0000 /050/?p=18074 I remember when Gerald Ford died a dozen years ago. I didn’t think that the media overdid it with the Ford grief. Everybody pretty much seemed to agree that he was a pretty good all-around guy and not the greatest president–he was a man of the old school at the point when things were rapidly changing and he struggled to keep up–but not a terrible one either. That damn Nixon pardon got relitigated though I don’t think anybody changed their minds about it. Still, even a sub-single term president is a consequential figure. Some remembrance is only reasonable.

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I remember when Gerald Ford died a dozen years ago. I didn’t think that the media overdid it with the Ford grief. Everybody pretty much seemed to agree that he was a pretty good all-around guy and not the greatest president–he was a man of the old school at the point when things were rapidly changing and he struggled to keep up–but not a terrible one either. That damn Nixon pardon got relitigated though I don’t think anybody changed their minds about it. Still, even a sub-single term president is a consequential figure. Some remembrance is only reasonable.

Compare that with the recent George H. W. Bush spectacle. The media acted as though he were a beloved and revered figure and way overdid it, and the whole thing felt like another smarmy MSM encomium to the civility of old rich white guys (which Ross Douthat witlessly spelled out). The thing is, Ford was like Bush in many ways. Decidedly not wacko Republicans in their bones, one term or less in office with a failed re-election bid (or just plain election in Ford’s case), sort of bland, almost corny public personalities, relentlessly mocked on SNL, overshadowed by their more interesting spouses. But Ford was handled more or less appropriately while Bush was given hagiographies by just about everyone. How come?

The context, I think, matters enormously. In 2006, the–for lack of a better term–establishment was still quite powerful and Boomer-dominated: there was still nary a millennial in Congress and wouldn’t be for another three years. If you look at the presidential candidates in both parties in 2008, almost none of them is in any way out of the mainstream. Yeah, Tom Tancredo and Dennis Kucinich both ran that year, but it’s easy to forget the former given what a snore-inducing candidate he was (such was the state of white nationalism before the financial collapse) and the latter was barely making the effort that he had in 2004. I may have mentioned this before but I actually met Kucinich in 2008 when he spoke briefly in the town of Atascadero where I lived at the time. On the one hand, I thought it was pretty cool to meet an actual live politician. And yet, even at the time I thought: why the hell isn’t he in L.A.? And then he arrived and his wife was with him and I thought: oh, I see. A little tourism under the guise of campaigning. So yeah, not really trying there. But the point is that Clinton, Obama, and Edwards–the top three in 2008–all had virtually identical platforms. Given the winner-take-all nature of the contest and the strong incentive to differentiate oneself, this was a little peculiar, unless you figure that the establishment was incredibly strong that year. And it was much the same on the GOP side. Aside from Tancredo and Duncan Hunter Sr., all the Republicans sounded exactly the same too. I suppose Giuliani already sounded a little fascist before that became the norm, but that’s it. And outside of political parties, there was nary a threat in sight. The internet meant bloggers, who were mad fun of for wearing pajamas all day.

Now it’s 2018 and the notion that “the establishment” can winnow the field on either side is silly. The ruling class is unhappy and divided, increasingly it is questionable if they rule anything at all. With the Bush funeral, what seems different from Ford was that in the latter case they were burying a president. In the former case, they’re burying themselves. Quite soon the millennials will take control for good, much the way they did a quarter century ago from Bush. The very Baby Boomers who relished in their vanquishing of the old guard now are the soon to be vanquished old guard. The sad thing is that, whatever Bush himself did, his generation did accomplish many marvelous things. Some bad ones too. But the Boomers inherited a pretty good world. They’re not handing one over to us. So they can fuck their self pity. Climate change, Iraq, the financial collapse: this is the Boomer legacy. And it always will be.

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Or Try To Beat Them https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/or-try-to-beat-them.html /050/2018/12/or-try-to-beat-them.html#respond Wed, 26 Dec 2018 17:48:45 +0000 /050/?p=18127 Dick Durbin is my least unfavorite of the Democrats’ congressional leadership ideologically. I wouldn’t say favorite since Durbin was pretty instrumental in establishing a career-killing standard of political correctness for any substantive criticism of Israel. (To wit.) And Republicans have the majority in the Senate, to be sure, so it’s not as if Democrats can run over them. But this is revealing. Sure, you can beg Republicans to help save a democracy that they have shown little interest in saving. Or, you can, you know, try to make them afraid not to, on pain of becoming unelectable for a generation. But that would involve power politics and perhaps a dash of incivility instead of Sorkinian lecturing so naturally it’s unthinkable.

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Dick Durbin is my least unfavorite of the Democrats’ congressional leadership ideologically. I wouldn’t say favorite since Durbin was pretty instrumental in establishing a career-killing standard of political correctness for any substantive criticism of Israel. (To wit.) And Republicans have the majority in the Senate, to be sure, so it’s not as if Democrats can run over them. But this is revealing. Sure, you can beg Republicans to help save a democracy that they have shown little interest in saving. Or, you can, you know, try to make them afraid not to, on pain of becoming unelectable for a generation. But that would involve power politics and perhaps a dash of incivility instead of Sorkinian lecturing so naturally it’s unthinkable.

To read what these people put out there you’d think that the pre-Gingrich Congress was heaven on Earth or something. It wasn’t. I’ve read books. Did it work better than what we have now? Sure*. But the real problem with the handful of really old people running Democratic politics now is the sepia tone they perpetually take about how Congress used to be, and their manifest obsession with returning to it. Not old people per se, but old thinking. People, it’s not coming back! Start thinking about where you want it to go from here, and if you can’t do that, then retire. Say what you want about Nancy Pelosi (I can and have!), but at least she’s nostalgic for 2005 and not 1985. That’s not great, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the Hoyer/Durbin/Schumer obsession with Tip’n’Ronnie stuff**. It’s political Dad Rock! (Grandpa rock?)

*But it was probably doomed anyway, given that Mitch McConnell was in our future.

**I can’t help but think that Pelosi’s seeming lack of nostalgia for those old Congresses (and the corresponding obsession with her old white counterparts with them) might have something to do with those Congresses being made up of like 500 white guys. Also, nobody is nostalgic for when white male Democrats and white male Republicans could come together to cut taxes for the rich and deregulate finance, except for reporters.

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Never Gonna Be The Last Last Christmas https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/never-gonna-be-the-last-last-christmas.html /050/2018/12/never-gonna-be-the-last-last-christmas.html#respond Mon, 24 Dec 2018 21:26:28 +0000 /050/?p=18114 The group Wham! released “Last Christmas” in 1984. It has persisted in spite of not being all that good a song, though it’s far from the worst entry into the excessively synthy Christmas pop standard of its era (“Wonderful Christmastime” for fuck’s sake!). I’m not sure what to say about the original: at least George Michael is giving his afterthought of a Christmas song 100% of his vocal effort, which is something. It doesn’t do much for me, though it doesn’t actively enrage me. But arguably “Last Christmas” is more annoying than McCartney’s folly because of the sheer number of covers of the song, by a wide array of artists. So I figured I’d go through all the ones on the Apple Store and offer my thoughts on them. Here we go:

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The group Wham! released “Last Christmas” in 1984. It has persisted in spite of not being all that good a song, though it’s far from the worst entry into the excessively synthy Christmas pop standard of its era (“Wonderful Christmastime” for fuck’s sake!). I’m not sure what to say about the original: at least George Michael is giving his afterthought of a Christmas song 100% of his vocal effort, which is something. It doesn’t do much for me, though it doesn’t actively enrage me. But arguably “Last Christmas” is more annoying than McCartney’s folly because of the sheer number of covers of the song, by a wide array of artists. So I figured I’d go through all the ones on the Apple Store and offer my thoughts on them. Here we go:

  • Taylor Swift: I became a reluctant semi-convert to Ms. Swift a few years back. I always found her to be a mixed bag, and indeed that’s exactly what 1989 is, a combination of instant classics like “Style” and godawful, unlistenable sludge like “Bad Blood.” But this–is just not good. Not a bad song choice for her with the melodramatic/maudlin subject matter, but all I can say is: did she not know how to sing when she released this? Very skreechy and pitchy. It was, to be fair, from early in her career, but this is the sort of thing that someone like Taylor Swift would pull from circulation and that absolutely nobody would miss.
  • Ariana Grande: Really? I’m surprised somehow that she did it. I guess I shouldn’t be. Pop stars of today need their cash grabs more than ever, considering the ever dwindling cash streams open to them, and Ariana isn’t going to sing fucking “The Twelve Days Of Christmas” when she does a holiday album. I will say that this version was pretty much exactly what I thought it would be: powerfully sung with a bunch of annoying random noises all around it. Goddamn kids!
  • Glee Cast: I have to admit, it never occurred to me that Glee would or could ever end. It just seemed like one of those things that would go on forever, and given that it was set in a high school, it sure seems as though they could have cycled kids in and out naturally so as to avoid the ever increasing salaries of star actors. Anyway, I truly hated Glee and every goddamn song they ever did, which includes this one, but YMMV. There’s just a quality to this that makes my teeth grind together. I hate it. I hate it.
  • Jimmy Eat World: About a decade ago, this was my favorite band and I listened to them all the time. Now…well, I still have affection for a couple of their big hits, but I think the last time I listened to one of their albums was around 2011. Don’t hate ’em or anything, just kind of moved on. But their version is sort of a Jeb Bush-y effort, pretty low-energy. And yeah, the original isn’t exactly going to make you want to get up and dance, but if anybody could turn this into a fast-paced, energetic rocker, it would surely be these guys, since that’s their stock in trade (except when it isn’t). God, it’s 2018 and I’m referencing “Drugs Or Me” for some reason. If ever a song deserved to remain buried in 2004. Moving on.
  • Ashley Tisdale: I have to admit, this one might be my favorite one so far. I have little tolerance for four on the floor stomp or club shit, and yet, it’s the first one of these covers that’s had any actual sense of fun. Okay, I’ll admit it, it’s infectious. Hell, it actually works pretty well, in fact. Makes you almost want to spend ten thousand dollars to hang out with her sometime…
  • Cascada: Never heard of her but this falls exactly into the pitfalls that Ashley Tisdale’s version so carefully avoided. Club shit. Terrible.
  • Gwen Stefani: A shockingly traditional version, or should I say retro version since this is more traditional than the original version. I liked this one a lot: Gwen’s vocals are warm and inviting and the music is interesting. The drums are definitely doing something nontraditional here that feels like it comes from the music that Stefani is better known for but they aren’t working at cross purposes with the rest of it. Kind of just fits in. Right on.
  • Kidz Bop: Fuck off. I’m not listening to that.
  • The Maine: No idea who they are, I assume an indie rock outfit whose name is supposed to be a play on “Remember The Maine (And To Hell With Spain!),” the famous William Randolph Hearst jingoistic saying that helped get us into one of our nation’s most pointless wars. Goddamn hipsters. Anyway: this is forgettable indie rock of the sort that the rock listening public seems to demand and that moves me not at all. Even though I’m 34 I haven’t given up on finding new and interesting music, but it’s really hard to find anything even remotely rock that doesn’t sound like this. And I don’t want it! Give me something that’s actually going to make me move, dammit!
  • Carly Rae Jepsen: Did you know she’s nearly the same age as I am? It’s true! And she was in her mid-twenties when she was pretending to be the sort of girl who draws Disney characters on her binder. Anyway, this is sort of sleepy, synth-y, and sung with a marblemouthed delivery, which is probably about what I expected from Carly Rae. It’s okay, I suppose. “Call Me Maybe” was catchy and dumb but beyond that I don’t really get her appeal.
  • The Braxtons: No clue. Anyway, this just sounds like late-90s boy band shit. Which I’m not entirely opposed to, but this is like if *NSYNC had released three more Christmas albums, what sort of thin soup material the third one might have included. Not one of the transcendent examples of the genre like “Shape Of My Heart,” to be sure. And yes it does appear that they’re all women, but I’m just going by sound here.
  • Aloe Blacc: Jesus Christ does this blow. The music is one step above having a vuvuzela blasted in your ear, and it doesn’t get better when the vocals kick in.
  • The Cheetah Girls: Not the first R&B attempt on this song so far, but it’s a solid enough one. Not a ton of personality to it, but hey. If you need a smooth R&B version of “Last Christmas”…
  • The Puppini Sisters: A ’40s pop version. No joke. Goddamn hipsters.
  • Rosie O’Donnell & Darren Hayes: Last and most definitely least, this is just a whole lot of nothing. Not a lot of Rosie on this song, for better or worse. I think this was from the era when she had a daytime talk show. Anyway, it’s smooth R&B yet again, without much personality really.
  • Radiohead: Just kidding. But don’t encourage them.

Who would have thought Ashley Tisdale and Gwen Stefani would emerge victorious from this lineup? Not me! They definitely earned this one though. Though no doubt next year will bring a few new entrants into the arena.

Happy Holidays!

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Bennet 2020: A Future Retrospective https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/bennet-2020-a-future-retrospective.html /050/2018/12/bennet-2020-a-future-retrospective.html#respond Thu, 20 Dec 2018 19:20:28 +0000 /050/?p=18112 Having been doing this for 13 years, you do get to recognize certain patterns. So if Michael Bennet’s campaign even gets to Iowa I think we can safely predict what will happen:

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Having been doing this for 13 years, you do get to recognize certain patterns. So if Michael Bennet’s campaign even gets to Iowa I think we can safely predict what will happen:

  1. Somebody will ask him at a corn pull or whatever about Gorsuch and he’ll stammer through a bullshit answer. The internet will be furious and the spinning will get sad and desperate overnight. Befire long he’ll be promising a pro-choice litmus test but he still won’t be able to answer why he did it satisfactorily.
  2. It will be leaked that Bennet was genuinely blindsided by this, and that he thought the vote would be understood by the public and might even be an asset, a sign of his independence and principle. (This is not going too far. The centrist bubble is fucking bonkers, and it’s entirely likely that nobody ever personally called Bennet out on this IRL.) Meanwhile, NARAL and other reproductive rights groups have refused to support him under any circumstances.
  3. The campaign folds within a few weeks. Having now become nationally known for his Gorsuch vote, his re-election to the Senate becomes dicey. The vote gives prospective progressive challengers a strong issue for a primary challenge. Bennet retires, no doubt with a Claire McCaskill-esque speech of moderate self-pity. The end.
  • Again, there’s simply no way out of this for Mikey. He’s Joe Lieberman, basically: a clueless white guy centrist who thinks Democrats all think like him when fifteen minutes of real life could prove otherwise. It’s a type. His Gorsuch vote was for media jerkoffs like his brother, and we sure as hell know that being that kind of an irritating prick doesn’t necessarily lead to losing senatorial office. But he’s going to learn just how little those people matter in a contest where partisan activists are key.
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    Why¡¯d You Vote For Gorsuch, Senator Bennet? https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/whyd-you-vote-for-gorsuch-senator-bennet.html /050/2018/12/whyd-you-vote-for-gorsuch-senator-bennet.html#respond Wed, 19 Dec 2018 21:15:45 +0000 /050/?p=18109 I don’t even hate the guy, even though his brother is destroying The New York Times with his awful conservatarian hires and he’s sort of a civility scold. He’s not on my radar of shitty senators. But this is delusional. I guess the idea is to talk a lot about civility and decency in Iowa but there are limits to what primary voters will tolerate and voting for one of Trump’s justices is indeed one of those limits. Fun as it will be to watch this guy flop-sweat his way through a million “I wasn’t the deciding vote!” and “At least I voted against Kavanaugh!” excuses, it’s just a waste of our time. Given that apparently every single Democrat is running next year, he’s not even going to get a hearing from people. Lots of non-damaged goods to choose from. I doubt this campaign even lasts until July.

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    I don’t even hate the guy, even though his brother is destroying The New York Times with his awful conservatarian hires and he’s sort of a civility scold. He’s not on my radar of shitty senators. But this is delusional. I guess the idea is to talk a lot about civility and decency in Iowa but there are limits to what primary voters will tolerate and voting for one of Trump’s justices is indeed one of those limits. Fun as it will be to watch this guy flop-sweat his way through a million “I wasn’t the deciding vote!” and “At least I voted against Kavanaugh!” excuses, it’s just a waste of our time. Given that apparently every single Democrat is running next year, he’s not even going to get a hearing from people. Lots of non-damaged goods to choose from. I doubt this campaign even lasts until July.

    Guy should have just voted no if this was in his mind.

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    Steny Hoyer Is A Disgrace https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/steny-hoyer-is-a-disgrace.html /050/2018/12/steny-hoyer-is-a-disgrace.html#respond Wed, 19 Dec 2018 02:19:44 +0000 /050/?p=18106 Look, politics is politics, and the reality is that patronage is a need that does have to be taken care of. (This is one of the reasons why no cabinet department will ever be abolished ever.) This is as true now as it was in 1886. The difference between now and 1886 is that back then they used the post office as a patronage trough and now we use public universities as such, which is probably not such an improvement, honestly. But this is something:

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    Look, politics is politics, and the reality is that patronage is a need that does have to be taken care of. (This is one of the reasons why no cabinet department will ever be abolished ever.) This is as true now as it was in 1886. The difference between now and 1886 is that back then they used the post office as a patronage trough and now we use public universities as such, which is probably not such an improvement, honestly. But this is something:

    It was definitely a ¡°seeing how the meat is made¡± experience for this former political science student. In addition to being confronted with the grosser positions of the person you¡¯re interning for (such as Hoyer¡¯s cozy relationship with AIPAC), you¡¯re also surrounded by a number of SGA dweebs high on their own supply. We found out at the end of the internship that the other office was packed with interns who were almost all children of Hoyer¡¯s top donors and friends. The interns in the separate office frequently got to write memos and do other more substantive work. However, answering the phones was probably more entertaining.

    Like I said, patronage is a need. Sometimes people donate because they want their kids to have jobs. Better to give some unremarkable rich kid a job than to give a contract to some shady business, arguably. But to have a situation where connected people do all the important work that will actually lead to careers and power and the plebs do all the hackwork (and, indeed, never meet Hoyer himself) really does give away how Hoyer sees the world and how he recapitulates its unfair hierarchies: people with money and privilege get the inside track and the rest get nothing. Not exactly hard to believe about one of the most reactionary-centrist Dems there are, but still. Some Democrat.

    You know, some days I think that there has to be at least one good thing about Steny Hoyer, and yet, I don’t think I’ve ever read one! Perhaps he’s a great legislator but I don’t really hear much about that. Not hard to believe he’s a great fundraiser given what’s in the Splinter piece, I guess.

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    Funny https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/funny.html /050/2018/12/funny.html#respond Mon, 17 Dec 2018 15:10:34 +0000 /050/?p=18096 Dianne Feinstein still sucks in the same way she’s always sucked:

    Supporters of the WIIN Act say endangered species laws will protect the delta and its wildlife. However, WIIN allows pumping levels to go beyond what is recommended under the Endangered Species Act.

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    Dianne Feinstein still sucks in the same way she’s always sucked:

    Supporters of the WIIN Act say endangered species laws will protect the delta and its wildlife. However, WIIN allows pumping levels to go beyond what is recommended under the Endangered Species Act.

    Huffman and his colleagues, as well as Feinstein¡¯s fellow Senate Democrat Kamala Harris of California, say the bill should be considered with more time and balance.

    Harris said she opposes the bill because it would override part of the Endangered Species Act, affect the salmon fishing industry and give Trump and future presidents too much authority over California.

    ¡°I¡¯m very concerned about any process that would allow this administration to override what Californians decided is in California¡¯s best interest,¡± Harris said.

    Huffman said in an interview that extending WIIN this month would amount to ¡°trying to jam through end-of-session favors for special interests in the San Joaquin Valley that are against the interests of the Bay Area and most other water users in the state.¡±

    Speier said WIIN was ¡°an emergency piece of legislation,¡± but that the emergency ¡ª the drought ¡ª has passed.

    ¡°To extend this emergency piece of legislation when we¡¯ve had the kinds of problems associated with forest fires and so much of our fishing industry is impacted, the environment¡¯s impacted, I think we need to be very thoughtful in the way we move forward and not just knee-jerk take action,¡± Speier said.

    Why would she screw over the people who voted for her to benefit people who didn’t? Oh, right, the latter are really rich people. Really seems to be all of it so far as I can tell.

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    Everything Sucks https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/everything-sucks.html /050/2018/12/everything-sucks.html#respond Sat, 15 Dec 2018 20:01:31 +0000 /050/?p=18094 The media once again misleads the public by splashing OBAMACARE STRUCK DOWN and now half the public thinks it’s gone already because almost nobody knows the difference between a district court and an appellate court. So great job media! Once again you show that you’re a worse problem than fake news with your irresponsible choice of emphasis. I suppose the true suckers are the people who think they’ll fix themselves.

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    The media once again misleads the public by splashing OBAMACARE STRUCK DOWN and now half the public thinks it’s gone already because almost nobody knows the difference between a district court and an appellate court. So great job media! Once again you show that you’re a worse problem than fake news with your irresponsible choice of emphasis. I suppose the true suckers are the people who think they’ll fix themselves.

    Also, too, whose interest does it actually serve to have this kind of constant upheaval and uncertainty served to us by the courts? Damned if I know. If 2020 Democrats were smart they’d start wondering aloud about why it is that we let the courts overturn legislation at all, particularly at the hands of political activists in robes whose protestations of impartiality are cynical at best. Neutering the courts would fix a lot of things! But I strongly doubt we’ll see that happen. Too crazy for a party still desperate to reinstate pre-Gingrich norms unilaterally.

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    Friday https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/friday-3.html /050/2018/12/friday-3.html#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2018 19:30:25 +0000 /050/?p=18092 Why did I get a Christmas “card” email from Evan Bayh? Even when I was a bit more of a centrist wanker a decade ago I didn’t like him. Certainly never donated to him or anything. And it wasn’t my burner address either that I use for all my political stuff. It was my real one! A true mystery.

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    Why did I get a Christmas “card” email from Evan Bayh? Even when I was a bit more of a centrist wanker a decade ago I didn’t like him. Certainly never donated to him or anything. And it wasn’t my burner address either that I use for all my political stuff. It was my real one! A true mystery.

    Got to be a prank. Well done, whoever.

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    Manchin https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/manchin.html /050/2018/12/manchin.html#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2018 00:36:46 +0000 /050/?p=18090 Got swallowed up by the Trump Telenovela’s most recent turns, but this is really, really bad. I have no problem assuming that no other Democrats want Manchin to be running the committee that would address climate change, but while a few people (including Bernie!) share particular blame for this, the party at large really has a problem. The dreams of a lifetime baronial perch atop a big committee are quite obviously more important to Dem Senators than keeping awful people away from those perches. It keeps happening: crooked Bob Menendez at Foreign Relations, bank-owned Tim Johnson a few years back at Banking, etc. Probably something the senators running for president ought to be asked about.

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    Got swallowed up by the Trump Telenovela’s most recent turns, but this is really, really bad. I have no problem assuming that no other Democrats want Manchin to be running the committee that would address climate change, but while a few people (including Bernie!) share particular blame for this, the party at large really has a problem. The dreams of a lifetime baronial perch atop a big committee are quite obviously more important to Dem Senators than keeping awful people away from those perches. It keeps happening: crooked Bob Menendez at Foreign Relations, bank-owned Tim Johnson a few years back at Banking, etc. Probably something the senators running for president ought to be asked about.

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    Both Sides Takes Two Actual Sides https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/both-sides-takes-two-actual-sides.html /050/2018/12/both-sides-takes-two-actual-sides.html#respond Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:51:28 +0000 /050/?p=18082 The thing about discourse liberalism is that it would work just fine if both sides really did care equally about fact. But that’s not the case, so in order to stick with this framework, what is required is to create a fact-based, swayable conservative opposition that doesn’t actually exist, but that lots of people wish actually did. Hence the many reasonable movement conservatives on?The West Wing who always stepped in against their own interest when things got a little too hot and heavy on the one hand, or the elevation of nonentities like Jeff Flake and Ben Sasse (and Mitt Romney!) into saviors of the republic on the other. The thing is that if you’re not committed to this framework, the distinctions made between Sasse and Hatch don’t actually seem to exist! So weird.

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    The thing about discourse liberalism is that it would work just fine if both sides really did care equally about fact. But that’s not the case, so in order to stick with this framework, what is required is to create a fact-based, swayable conservative opposition that doesn’t actually exist, but that lots of people wish actually did. Hence the many reasonable movement conservatives on?The West Wing who always stepped in against their own interest when things got a little too hot and heavy on the one hand, or the elevation of nonentities like Jeff Flake and Ben Sasse (and Mitt Romney!) into saviors of the republic on the other. The thing is that if you’re not committed to this framework, the distinctions made between Sasse and Hatch don’t actually seem to exist! So weird.

    There are of course fact-based conservatives in real life but they seem to keep getting exiled from the conservative movement for some reason. Wonder why!

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    Brilliant https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/brilliant.html /050/2018/12/brilliant.html#respond Tue, 11 Dec 2018 22:32:08 +0000 /050/?p=18084 Trump on camera: Blame me for the shutdown.?Yes sir! Will do!

    Haven’t seen any since the midterms, but for awhile I was regularly seeing “Trump’s actually a political genius” think pieces. I guess people aren’t paying to write them anymore. Interesting, that.

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    Trump on camera: Blame me for the shutdown.?Yes sir! Will do!

    Haven’t seen any since the midterms, but for awhile I was regularly seeing “Trump’s actually a political genius” think pieces. I guess people aren’t paying to write them anymore. Interesting, that.

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    Of Course He Will https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/of-course-he-will.html /050/2018/12/of-course-he-will.html#respond Tue, 11 Dec 2018 22:14:25 +0000 /050/?p=18081 Scott Walker will sign the GOP’s power-stripping bills because he doesn’t actually give a shit about the governorship as an institution. It was basically just a hulk from which to launch viking raids against passing ships, to be discarded when no longer useful to himself personally. In terms of institution-destroyers, what Walker did to state government stands right next to what Newt Gingrich did to the House, what Mitch McConnell did to the Senate, and what Donald Trump did to the presidency. The true pantheon.

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    Scott Walker will sign the GOP’s power-stripping bills because he doesn’t actually give a shit about the governorship as an institution. It was basically just a hulk from which to launch viking raids against passing ships, to be discarded when no longer useful to himself personally. In terms of institution-destroyers, what Walker did to state government stands right next to what Newt Gingrich did to the House, what Mitch McConnell did to the Senate, and what Donald Trump did to the presidency. The true pantheon.

    But I’m sure Mitt Romney is going to fix all that come January. He’s just a good egg!

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    A Few Thoughts On Bushtalgia https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/a-few-thoughts-on-bushtalgia.html /050/2018/12/a-few-thoughts-on-bushtalgia.html#respond Tue, 11 Dec 2018 22:01:33 +0000 /050/?p=18076 A few thoughts to add to this:

    1. It is truly annoying! Trump is a worse?person than George W. Bush, but he has a lot of work to do if he wants to be a worse president than Dubya. And as I’ve discussed before many times, a lot of the stuff Trump wants to do is stuff Bush already tried and either accomplished (for a time) or was more successful at than Trump. In fact, his ability to manipulate the press, use the Blue Dogs as scabs on numerous votes where Congressional Republicans didn’t want to back him, etc., made his disasters much worse than those of Trump, who has shown no adeptness at these things.

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    A few thoughts to add to this:

    1. It is truly annoying! Trump is a worse?person than George W. Bush, but he has a lot of work to do if he wants to be a worse president than Dubya. And as I’ve discussed before many times, a lot of the stuff Trump wants to do is stuff Bush already tried and either accomplished (for a time) or was more successful at than Trump. In fact, his ability to manipulate the press, use the Blue Dogs as scabs on numerous votes where Congressional Republicans didn’t want to back him, etc., made his disasters much worse than those of Trump, who has shown no adeptness at these things.
    2. Bushtalgia is truly one of the great failures of the Obama-era Democratic Party. No, Obama shouldn’t have been slamming Bush every other speech. Norms aside, it wouldn’t have looked good. But FDR didn’t personally do that to Hoover, nor did Reagan personally do it to Carter. The political machines they ran, however, never let the public forget what happened under the other guy. Obama’s machine never did that to Bush. This was a mistake that history will now have to correct for decades to come, and I have no doubt that it has had some costs to liberals.
    3. That said, it probably doesn’t matter all that much. A lot of Republicans hoped that Bush’s rehabilitation would wipe away the damage to their party, but that didn’t happen. Millennials still loathe the GOP, more than ever in fact. Weird that the figurehead of that movement has been rehabilitated but it doesn’t seem to have rubbed off on Republicans as a whole. No doubt this gives Karl Rove the sads.
    4. The revulsion at Trump is much more personalized among liberals than it ever was with Bush, so I wouldn’t expect such a similar reversal to be in the cards if I were him. That said, the irony of our present politics is that the party whose religious appendage preaches endless forgiveness in actuality nurses grievances endlessly, while the opposition, secular party actually does pretty much follow Christ’s example. The rank-and-file clearly wants to forgive and forget and not dwell on the bad things in the past, which is one big reason why they nominated Obama in 2008 in the first place. It’s hard to imagine Democrats making the exact same mistake once again but…it’s not as though the political environment in 2008 held a lot of promise for bipartisanship to begin with, and even now quite a lot of Democrats (particularly richer ones, you know, donors) are really obsessed with this idea. Perhaps ActBlue will make that less salient. But maybe not. Who knows?

    Politically speaking, I’m not really sure “forgive and forget” is a particularly good idea for Democrats when it comes to Republican crimes.

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    Don¡¯t Get It https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/dont-get-it.html /050/2018/12/dont-get-it.html#respond Mon, 10 Dec 2018 23:34:04 +0000 /050/?p=18079 The real puzzle of the Trump inner circle isn’t Manafort, it was Flynn. Manafort was little but a prostitute but Flynn wasn’t. He did bad stuff and then took one of the top jobs in the government. He had to have known he was putting a target on his back. Why?

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    The real puzzle of the Trump inner circle isn’t Manafort, it was Flynn. Manafort was little but a prostitute but Flynn wasn’t. He did bad stuff and then took one of the top jobs in the government. He had to have known he was putting a target on his back. Why?

    I guess it’s the same answer as for every corrupt politician. They genuinely believe it’s all going to be water under the bridge. But it really is hard for me to fathom that level of obtuseness. Just can’t understand it.

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    The Ideology Must Be Followed https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/the-ideology-must-be-followed.html /050/2018/12/the-ideology-must-be-followed.html#respond Wed, 05 Dec 2018 22:59:32 +0000 /050/?p=18069 A surprisingly pointed analysis of Macron’s France in?WaPo:

    But the diesel tax increase was merely a trigger; the real cause of the massive outpouring of anger and frustration lies deeper. The diesel tax increase was the latest of several reforms proposed by Macron that would?disproportionately affect France¡¯s least well-off, including?abolishing a wealth tax, making it easier for companies to?hire and fire employees, and?fighting unions.

    Read more on The Ideology Must Be Followed…

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    A surprisingly pointed analysis of Macron’s France in?WaPo:

    But the diesel tax increase was merely a trigger; the real cause of the massive outpouring of anger and frustration lies deeper. The diesel tax increase was the latest of several reforms proposed by Macron that would?disproportionately affect France¡¯s least well-off, including?abolishing a wealth tax, making it easier for companies to?hire and fire employees, and?fighting unions.

    More generally, France remains plagued by long-standing?social and political problems. Unemployment is high, growth is low and divisions ¡ª between urban and rural areas, highly educated cosmopolitans and less-educated ¡°left-behinds¡± ¡ª are increasing.

    Macron came to power promising to deal with these and other problems, but the reforms thus far led many to dismiss him as another member of an out-of-touch elite. His?aloof personal style?¡ª and several well-publicized disparaging remarks to those less well-off, including that they should ¡°stop whining¡± and simply ¡°cross the street to find a job¡± ¡ª lead growing numbers of citizens to view him the ¡°president of the rich.¡± As the protests swelled, the yellow vests¡¯ anger became?increasingly aimed at Macron?and, more generally, at an establishment that seems unwilling or unable to address their needs.?

    The thing is that the last two fucking French presidents became ruinously unpopular single-termers precisely because of the perception that they governed for the rich and disdained everybody else. Hollande wound up with Schwarzeneggerian approval ratings! You have to work pretty hard to get under 20%, it’s simply a fact. Macron then won and…did the same shit? Did he really expect a different result?

    Well, of course he did! But these yellow vests really portend is the final, unmourned demise of the Third Way. Macron had to “reform” the labor laws and take on the unions, so that France could also get that capitalist geyser gushing once those pesky people were out of the way. The ideology demanded it, and there was no alternative. And yes, rich donors will ensure that Third Wayism still going to be around to some degree, though never again will it be more than a sideshow. It no longer speaks to the times. Even in the U.S. the next Democratic presidential nominee is almost certainly not going to be John Delaney or Joe Biden, the most likely carriers of the bipartisan, capitalism with a human face banner. It’ll be Cory Booker or Kamala Harris or somebody like that, who will support single payer and a jobs guarantee and much else, which will be a very big shift when it happens. Because for over a decade politicians of the nominal left all over the West reaped rewards by doing exactly the sorts of things that Macron did, with some occasional scraps for the masses. Macron can’t even deliver the scraps. The reaction is predictable.

    Third Wayism only worked at all in a very specific context: good times, basically. Times good enough where people didn’t much care that the “left” was tearing down all the barriers to unlimited capital mobility that they could. Anyway, these are not good times. The consequences to the EU and Europe more broadly from a Macron failure would indeed be hideous, but everything I read about the man screams clueless, out of touch, perhaps panicked. Wonder if he even makes it to the second round runoff next election.

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    Saw This Coming https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/saw-this-coming.html /050/2018/12/saw-this-coming.html#respond Wed, 05 Dec 2018 22:36:39 +0000 /050/?p=18070 Neoconservatism was always basically a pile of shit with a Ph.D., but at this moment in time all its effects are universally understood to be disastrous and all its presumptions have been entirely wrong. How does one even argue at this point that liberal democracy is such an inborn thing that just tossing a despot will make it flourish? (Not that it made sense in the ’90s either, as anybody with a high school history class under their belt should know.) Increasingly, nobody makes such arguments, so, it’s as good a time as any for the?Standard to go away. But the thing is that the neocons have seen this coming for years now, which is why they’ve been frantically scurrying to find a new ship to hop onto. I’m torn as to what to do with the ones who seem to want to join the left: at the very least there has to be an unequivocal bridge-burning with the conservative movement, Max Boot style. Maybe Jennifer Rubin can come over too, maybe. But Bill Kristol will first have to give one apology per column he wrote where he compared Democrats to Chamberlain because they wouldn’t support some dumb war he backed. Get back to us then.

    Read more on Saw This Coming…

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    Neoconservatism was always basically a pile of shit with a Ph.D., but at this moment in time all its effects are universally understood to be disastrous and all its presumptions have been entirely wrong. How does one even argue at this point that liberal democracy is such an inborn thing that just tossing a despot will make it flourish? (Not that it made sense in the ’90s either, as anybody with a high school history class under their belt should know.) Increasingly, nobody makes such arguments, so, it’s as good a time as any for the?Standard to go away. But the thing is that the neocons have seen this coming for years now, which is why they’ve been frantically scurrying to find a new ship to hop onto. I’m torn as to what to do with the ones who seem to want to join the left: at the very least there has to be an unequivocal bridge-burning with the conservative movement, Max Boot style. Maybe Jennifer Rubin can come over too, maybe. But Bill Kristol will first have to give one apology per column he wrote where he compared Democrats to Chamberlain because they wouldn’t support some dumb war he backed. Get back to us then.

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    Hey Joe, What You Doin’? https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/hey-joe-what-you-doin.html /050/2018/12/hey-joe-what-you-doin.html#respond Tue, 04 Dec 2018 18:14:06 +0000 /050/?p=18067 Look, all research shows that fundamentals matter more than candidates in presidential general elections, but to the extent that they matter, it’s obvious that Hillary Clinton wasn’t a great choice in 2016. Jon Chait can write all the books he wants but the simple fact is that the Obama Era wasn’t a great one for most Americans. The economic recovery was slow in coming and extremely shallow, and while tens of millions of people got new health care, the irony is that many of them wound up voting for Donald Trump as a form of thanks, and the ACA was completely mishandled politically from start to finish. They thought that Republicans actually cared about efficient markets and that the public hates regulations, so yeah, wrong on both counts. We’ve been over this many times, we can just take this as read. Nominating Clinton was a wrong move inasmuch as she was a very familiar face heavily associated with an administration that was sorta popular, when the better move is to find a young, fresh-faced person with lots of charisma and light associations with the current administration. Obama needed to find his Sarkozy (or Macron, I guess), but it’s entirely possible that he and Clinton had some sort of deal which necessitated his supporting her when the time came in exchange for her upfront support. I don’t know. But if you’re offering more or less the same shit, at least put a different spin on it. Clinton was unable to do that. The irony is that had Clinton not run in 2016, she would have been a much better choice in 2020: her associations with past Democratic presidencies would be viewed in a very different light in the present day. Perhaps the media would still make mountains of email servers but it seems unlikely that this would have the impact that it did in 2016, which featured quite a bit more apathy in the electorate. Who knows with these counterfactuals?

    Read more on Hey Joe, What You Doin’?…

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    Look, all research shows that fundamentals matter more than candidates in presidential general elections, but to the extent that they matter, it’s obvious that Hillary Clinton wasn’t a great choice in 2016. Jon Chait can write all the books he wants but the simple fact is that the Obama Era wasn’t a great one for most Americans. The economic recovery was slow in coming and extremely shallow, and while tens of millions of people got new health care, the irony is that many of them wound up voting for Donald Trump as a form of thanks, and the ACA was completely mishandled politically from start to finish. They thought that Republicans actually cared about efficient markets and that the public hates regulations, so yeah, wrong on both counts. We’ve been over this many times, we can just take this as read. Nominating Clinton was a wrong move inasmuch as she was a very familiar face heavily associated with an administration that was sorta popular, when the better move is to find a young, fresh-faced person with lots of charisma and light associations with the current administration. Obama needed to find his Sarkozy (or Macron, I guess), but it’s entirely possible that he and Clinton had some sort of deal which necessitated his supporting her when the time came in exchange for her upfront support. I don’t know. But if you’re offering more or less the same shit, at least put a different spin on it. Clinton was unable to do that. The irony is that had Clinton not run in 2016, she would have been a much better choice in 2020: her associations with past Democratic presidencies would be viewed in a very different light in the present day. Perhaps the media would still make mountains of email servers but it seems unlikely that this would have the impact that it did in 2016, which featured quite a bit more apathy in the electorate. Who knows with these counterfactuals?

    At any rate, this logic should argue for Biden 2020 but I simply don’t think there’s much of any argument for that. Does Joe Biden really want to spend the next two years apologizing for Anita Hill? Does he want to have to talk about the crime bill and the bankruptcy bill until he’s blue in the face? Does he want to make a tendentious argument about how all those add up to “middle class values” in any way? I would hope not. The truth is that Biden missed his window. Had he run against Clinton in 2016 he would have drawn from Clinton’s base and created a three-way race that any of the candidates could plausibly have won. But the moment has passed. I can’t think of anybody less suited to discuss Black Lives Matter, say, than Diamond Joe, and it’s not like an inability to speak to people of color doomed another candidacy by a white man in the very recent past. The sad thing is that I actually like Biden personally quite a bit, and find him to be one of the few politicians of either party who actually seem like real life people. Alas. Not gonna happen, Joe. You should have tried to edge out Tom Carper and get back into the Senate. You’re certainly better than him!

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    Problem Solvers! https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/problem-solvers.html /050/2018/12/problem-solvers.html#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 22:32:30 +0000 /050/?p=18064 The reason why the Third Way/Problem Solvers/Moulton people so annoy me is that they are just as resistant to empiricism as the Republicans with whom they so desire to collaborate. The causes of this phenomenon–which admittedly is declining–are mainly some combination of occasional but legitimate self-interest (probably can’t say Republicans are shit if you’re running from Oklahoma), the lousy worldview of many big-money Democrat donors, and just general cluelessness. It’s almost certainly the case that case number one is the most defensible but ultimately it’s still a lie, and it’s not to the greater good of the party to distort the obvious realities in much the same way that the media does.

    Read more on Problem Solvers!…

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    The reason why the Third Way/Problem Solvers/Moulton people so annoy me is that they are just as resistant to empiricism as the Republicans with whom they so desire to collaborate. The causes of this phenomenon–which admittedly is declining–are mainly some combination of occasional but legitimate self-interest (probably can’t say Republicans are shit if you’re running from Oklahoma), the lousy worldview of many big-money Democrat donors, and just general cluelessness. It’s almost certainly the case that case number one is the most defensible but ultimately it’s still a lie, and it’s not to the greater good of the party to distort the obvious realities in much the same way that the media does.

    Anyway, here’s your GOP today:

    Two of the Democratic Party¡¯s biggest wins last month occurred in?Wisconsin?and?Michigan, where their candidates won gubernatorial elections, unseating a well-known incumbent in the former and flipping the seat in the latter.

    But in both states, Republicans maintained control of both chambers of the legislature. So, in anticipation of having to work with a Democratic governor, state lawmakers are aiming to hurriedly pass legislation that would dilute the executives’ powers.

    In Wisconsin, Gov.-elect Tony Evers (D) is fighting to beat back Republican attempts to weaken his authority, calling it ¡°a repudiation of the last election.¡±

    ¡°The last election changed the state in a way that apparently the legislature has decided to not accept,¡± said Evers, who defeated Gov. Scott Walker (R) in November. Evers?told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel?that ¡°everything¡¯s on the table¡± in terms of attempting to block the GOP plan, including legal action.

    The only real problem to be solved here is that Republicans think they should run things all the time, no matter what voters say.

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    The republic will be saved by the funerals of Republican daddies https://www.google.com//050/2018/12/the-republic-will-be-saved-by-the-funerals-of-republican-daddies.html /050/2018/12/the-republic-will-be-saved-by-the-funerals-of-republican-daddies.html#respond Sat, 01 Dec 2018 23:04:50 +0000 /050/?p=18062 The Poppy stuff is already over the top, though even a mid-tier president like Bush 41 has some significant number of accomplishments to discuss. John McCain, aside from a sadly eviscerated campaign finance bill, didn’t have much at all. So it’s less sickening on its face but it does remind me of The Day Bipartisanship Died once again. Ugh.

    Read more on The republic will be saved by the funerals of Republican daddies…

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    The Poppy stuff is already over the top, though even a mid-tier president like Bush 41 has some significant number of accomplishments to discuss. John McCain, aside from a sadly eviscerated campaign finance bill, didn’t have much at all. So it’s less sickening on its face but it does remind me of The Day Bipartisanship Died once again. Ugh.

    The title is a joke but this will be the wholly sincere tone of MSM coverage until the old man is in the ground. Obamas and Bushes will once again hobnob and some liberals will be happy about this for whatever reason. Not that I’m in any way wishing for this to happen but I genuinely am curious what happens when Carter goes. What script will they use? Won’t be this one, most likely.

    Also, not for nothing, but the expectation that all presidents except Nixon must be celebrated is odd, and not only because few have done anything worth celebrating, and none lack for major faults. But I’ll leave that for now.

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    Investigative Report: The Lost Saturday Night Live Episode (EXCLUSIVE MUST CREDIT LG GLOBAL MEDIA GROUP GmbH) https://www.google.com//050/2018/11/investigative-report-the-lost-saturday-night-live-episode-exclusive-must-credit-lg-global-media-group-gmbh.html /050/2018/11/investigative-report-the-lost-saturday-night-live-episode-exclusive-must-credit-lg-global-media-group-gmbh.html#respond Fri, 30 Nov 2018 19:31:44 +0000 /050/?p=18055 Two weeks ago,?venerable late-night institution Saturday Night Live aired a rerun when a new episode had been announced. This struck a few people as odd, but nobody suspected anything askew about it. They should have. Through dogged, shoe-leather detective work, LGGMG has uncovered a shocking story that the bigwigs over at SNL and NBC would absolutely love to keep under wraps. The sources, of course, must remain confidential. But it is safe to say that they include current cast members as well as people in the audience of this lost episode, which was in fact shot and, so far as the crew knew, was being aired live as usual. Obviously it was not, and sabotage is suspected, but no suspects have yet been identified, or are likely to be. Through our reporting, we have been able to verify some parts of what happened on this night that most involved would just like to forget. And so, without further ado…

    Read more on Investigative Report: The Lost Saturday Night Live Episode (EXCLUSIVE MUST CREDIT LG GLOBAL MEDIA GROUP GmbH)…

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    Two weeks ago,?venerable late-night institution Saturday Night Live aired a rerun when a new episode had been announced. This struck a few people as odd, but nobody suspected anything askew about it. They should have. Through dogged, shoe-leather detective work, LGGMG has uncovered a shocking story that the bigwigs over at SNL and NBC would absolutely love to keep under wraps. The sources, of course, must remain confidential. But it is safe to say that they include current cast members as well as people in the audience of this lost episode, which was in fact shot and, so far as the crew knew, was being aired live as usual. Obviously it was not, and sabotage is suspected, but no suspects have yet been identified, or are likely to be. Through our reporting, we have been able to verify some parts of what happened on this night that most involved would just like to forget. And so, without further ado…

    ANNOUNCER

    And now, ladies and gentlemen, Jeff Sessions!

    Sessions bounds up to the stage, looking thrilled to host the show. He hits his mark and accepts the voluminous applause from the audience.

    SESSIONS

    Thank you, thank you. Welcome to Saturday Night Live, I’m Jeff Sessions. Now I know what people say about me, that I’m President Trump’s lapdog, nothing but a toady. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I find the president to be just a piece of…of…next card please. [beat] And furthermore, he’s nothing but a…a…look, I have to level with y’all. Given my closeness to this man, I’m afraid I’ll have to recuse myself from this monologue. [Winks at camera.] Look, we’ve got a fine show for you tonight. Portugal [long beat] The Man is here to perform for you. So don’t go anywhere! We’ll be right back.

    After the commercial break, we get our first sketch.

    ANNOUNCER

    The cases are real. The verdicts, final. You are now entering the courtroom of Judge Jeff Sessions.

    SESSIONS

    Thank you, thank you. And thank you to Judge Judy, I hope you’re enjoying that much needed retirement. As you know, I nearly was a federal judge myself, but then they found out about a joke I made about the KKK being okay guys who just smoked way too much dope. Trust me, I know these people, it’s true. Anyway, I was angry about being rejected for the job, I always thought I’d be a good judge. Now I finally get my chance. Alright, bailiff, first case.

    Two middle-aged women–one white, one black–approach their tables as the announcer provides background to the case.

    ANNOUNCER

    The first case is Haley Stevens versus Sondra Willis. Willis, the plaintiff, claims to have been bit by Stevens’s dog and is seeking damages as well as that the dog be put to sleep. Stevens, the defendant, is countersuing for libel.

    SESSIONS

    Alright, so the issue at hand is a dog bite, correct?

    WILLIS

    Yes, your honor.

    SESSIONS

    What happened?

    WILLIS

    I was just walking around the neighborhood when a rabid dog bit me-

    STEVENS

    How dare you say the dog was rabid! That’s libelous!

    WILLIS

    You can’t libel a dog!

    SESSIONS

    Well, we’ll see about that. Now, Ms. Willis, I have to ask you, what were you doing in this woman’s neighborhood?

    WILLIS

    I live there.

    SESSIONS

    I find that hard to believe.

    WILLIS

    I do! I live there! I have my driver’s license right here.

    SESSIONS

    We’ll have that checked to see if it’s a phony during the break. We’ll be right back.

    Cut to black, then the sketch resumes.

    SESSIONS

    And we’re back. Sorry about that last case, I’ve remanded it to Judge Joe Brown. Seems like more his sort of thing. Anyway, next case.

    Up come Alec Baldwin playing Donald Trump and special guest David Straitharn playing Robert Mueller.

    ANNOUNCER

    Donald Trump, President of the United States, the plaintiff, is suing Robert Mueller, the defendant, for organizing a witch hunt and being, and I quote, a “miserable human being who sucks a bag of dicks.” Mueller is countersuing for larceny, to wit, the 2016 election.

    BALDWIN

    [looks at Sessions] Oh great.

    SESSIONS

    I object.

    BAILIFF

    Judge? You’re objecting?

    SESSIONS

    I am. Y’all did this sketch already!

    Laughter, sketch ends. Cut to later in the show. A familiar whistle tune is heard.

    ANNOUNCER

    It’s the Andy Griffith show!

    Sessions is playing Sheriff Taylor, and a buzz goes through the audience when it is revealed that Sean Spicer is playing Barney Fife. At this point, several cast members whose identities have not yet been verified have an open mic moment that is not heard by any of the performers in the sketch.

    PERFORMER #1

    Jesus Christ, is this the fourth straight ’50s TV parody?

    PERFORMER #2

    He vetoed anything more current.

    PERFORMER #3

    Not true! He went wild for that Matlock sketch.

    PERFORMER #1

    Oh right.

    PERFORMER #2

    I will give him credit, that impression is uncanny. I only wish Spicey’s Don Knotts was better.

    PERFORMER #1

    You know they asked Andy Griffith for a cameo this episode. He thought it was a joke. He laughed and hung up.

    PERFORMER #2

    We are so fucked. They’re going to pillory us over this. The backlash from that last time Trump hosted is going to be nothing.

    We jump to the halfway point in the show, where the host introduces the musical act.

    SESSIONS

    Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my pleasure to announce my favorite band, Portugal [long beat] The Man!

    Portugal. The Man begins performing “Feel It Still” while Sessions begins shouting with a P.A. It is barely audible but can be heard.

    SESSIONS

    Look, son, what the fuck is this? I thought it was a man by the name of Portugal. Instead it’s a bunch of weirdo hippies? Goddamn. I remember when music was Patti Page and Ricky Nelson. I still don’t know why we ever changed it. [starts singing] How much is that doggie in the window? Goddamn good music, that there. Y’all should find it on your zipcloud or your gooftunes or whatever the fuck y’all listen to music on. Rewire y’self.

    We cut to later on in the show. We see the opening sequence for Queer Eye, which dissolves to Sessions.

    KENAN THOMPSON

    So let’s talk all about your new look.

    SESSIONS

    First, I just have to say it. I don’t hate you homosexuals, I don’t hate y’all, I just worry for your souls. I don’t want anybody to go to hell, I truly don’t, but if y’all don’t correct yourselves…

    KENAN THOMPSON
    (grumbling)

    Funny, I thought you were going to say, “Thrill me.”

    SESSIONS

    Oh, right. Sorry. [Looks at cue card, then with as bored an intonation as possible.] Thrill me.

    It’s now time for the 12:55 sketch. The setting is a suburban home with a mother and father watching television. Their teenage daughter comes down the stairs.

    DAUGHTER

    Mom, dad, I need to tell you something. My new boyfriend will be here any minute.

    MOTHER

    Well, that’s fine. We’d love to meet him.

    DAUGHTER

    I didn’t want to tell you because I was worried…

    MOTHER

    Worried about what? That you’re having sex? Please, we’ve always said it’s fine with us, just use protection. Hell, use our bedroom. We wouldn’t want you to have to do it in a car or any place dangerous like that.

    DAUGHTER

    No, it’s not that. It’s…

    FATHER

    What, that he’s trans? You know that doesn’t matter to us, we’re totally accepting.

    MOTHER

    And you know if he doesn’t yet the equipment, we can lend you a little something to make it easier.

    DAUGHTER

    No! It’s not that either.

    MOTHER

    Then what! Like your father said, we’re accepting people!

    DAUGHTER

    That’s just it, he’s sort of…right-wing.

    MOTHER AND FATHER

    What?

    Enter Sessions, wearing a MAGA hat.

    SESSIONS

    Sorry I’m late! I was just coming from the Trump rally, and man, was that traffic bad. I didn’t mind, though. Two hours in traffic to see the most inspirational man of our time speak? I relish it. Unfortunately, though, I did take out the tire of an antifa protester with my magnum on the way out. Pain in the ass police report. So, mom, dad, nice to meet you.

    MOTHER

    You’re dating Jeff Sessions?

    DAUGHTER

    Isn’t he a dream?

    She moves over and holds hands with him. The parents are dumbfounded.

    We skip to right after the show. Sessions is coming off stage and sees Lorne Michaels, the show’s longtime executive producer, with his back turned to him, in conversation with an unknown third party.

    MICHAELS

    So, anyway, marry Joe Piscopo, boff Nora Dunn, kill Chevy Chase. That’s such an obvious one. I’ve already done two of them in real life. Still working on that last one.

    SESSIONS

    How’d I do, chief?

    Michaels turns around and we see he’s chatting with Donald Trump. There’s silence for a second, and Sessions visibly gets a lump in his throat. Then both Michaels and Trump speak in unison.

    TRUMP AND MICHAELS

    Home run.

    The end?

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    Chuck Sucks, Part The Millionth https://www.google.com//050/2018/11/chuck-sucks-part-the-millionth.html /050/2018/11/chuck-sucks-part-the-millionth.html#comments Thu, 29 Nov 2018 17:17:46 +0000 /050/?p=18052 He’s negotiating on the wall for some reason:

    The Democrats¡¯ record-breaking victory and the public¡¯s clear exhaustion with Donald Trump should prompt a full re-evaluation of this political moment. Instead, when faced with Trump¡¯s demand for $5 billion in funding for his border wall with Mexico, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer?offered?the $1.6 billion that Democrats had previously agreed on. This may not constitute support for ¡°the wall¡± itself, but it does miss how the landscape has changed. The president¡¯s immigration policies are unpopular. Schumer had political space to make a lower bid, or no bid at all. But he doesn¡¯t seem to grasp the extent of his party¡¯s political advantage or understand the value of opposition. He seems stuck in a past where voters rewarded compromise and bipartisanship, unable to see how this doesn¡¯t apply to the Democrats¡¯ relationship with Donald Trump.

    Read more on Chuck Sucks, Part The Millionth…

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    He’s negotiating on the wall for some reason:

    The Democrats¡¯ record-breaking victory and the public¡¯s clear exhaustion with Donald Trump should prompt a full re-evaluation of this political moment. Instead, when faced with Trump¡¯s demand for $5 billion in funding for his border wall with Mexico, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer?offered?the $1.6 billion that Democrats had previously agreed on. This may not constitute support for ¡°the wall¡± itself, but it does miss how the landscape has changed. The president¡¯s immigration policies are unpopular. Schumer had political space to make a lower bid, or no bid at all. But he doesn¡¯t seem to grasp the extent of his party¡¯s political advantage or understand the value of opposition. He seems stuck in a past where voters rewarded compromise and bipartisanship, unable to see how this doesn¡¯t apply to the Democrats¡¯ relationship with Donald Trump.

    In the news media, likewise, there¡¯s still a preoccupation with Trump¡¯s most dedicated supporters, as if they constitute a barometer for public opinion or say anything meaningful about the larger state of American politics. More illuminating¡ªand more interesting, for that matter¡ªwould be an examination of the groups who drove the midterm results: black women, young people, and suburban white women. Those Americans and their communities are still under-covered, even as they shape and change the direction of national politics. That under-coverage is likely the result of many complicated factors, but it¡¯s certainly tied to our continued faulty impression of the president¡¯s standing.

    Read the whole thing. The most incomprehensible thing about it is that Schumer doesn’t have the dodge of having to protect Donnelly, Heitkamp, McCaskill, et al. for the re-election bids they just lost. Pretty much the only red state Dems left are Manchin and Tester, who aren’t up for six fucking years, and Doug Jones, who is almost certainly doomed in 2020 anyway. And even if political circumstance forced them to support the wall…it could still be filibustered? Unless Schumer’s established streak of crypto-rightwingery on this issue wasn’t so crypto…

    Reminds me of my vast reading of Russian history. People imagine the Tsars as strong, forceful rulers but most were not. The Russian elites themselves had more power when the Tsar was a nonentity. Not sure why I’m thinking of this now…

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    At Least Somebody Remembers Eric Clapton’s Racist Rant https://www.google.com//050/2018/11/at-least-somebody-remembers-eric-claptons-racist-rant.html /050/2018/11/at-least-somebody-remembers-eric-claptons-racist-rant.html#respond Wed, 28 Nov 2018 22:01:57 +0000 /050/?p=18042 Unfortunately, it’s the?Guardian reviewer of a new shitty Clapton hagiography, not the author of the book itself. We can’t have a book that looks at Boomer icons with a clear eye I suppose, at least not yet. Not that there aren’t excuses you could make for The Outburst, but I’ve never bought “he was drunk” as a plausible one. If anything, ranting a bunch of racist shit while drunk likely means that you truly do believe it, it’s just buried deep inside and only comes out when your inhibitions are lowered. Perhaps even deeper than the man himself was conscious of. “He was on LSD” would be more plausible, but if he was, it has never been argued to my knowledge.

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    Unfortunately, it’s the?Guardian reviewer of a new shitty Clapton hagiography, not the author of the book itself. We can’t have a book that looks at Boomer icons with a clear eye I suppose, at least not yet. Not that there aren’t excuses you could make for The Outburst, but I’ve never bought “he was drunk” as a plausible one. If anything, ranting a bunch of racist shit while drunk likely means that you truly do believe it, it’s just buried deep inside and only comes out when your inhibitions are lowered. Perhaps even deeper than the man himself was conscious of. “He was on LSD” would be more plausible, but if he was, it has never been argued to my knowledge.

    That said, you can be a truly detestable person and still create great art, but Clapton is somebody I find extraordinarily tedious. I like “Layla” and a couple of Yardbirds songs, but other than that, nothing he does much interests me, and without exception I prefer the people of color whose music he ripped off (and watered down for white audiences). Clapton’s technical skills distracted from the fact that he’s basically just Pat Boone, an inferior expropriator of other peoples’ music. Obviously there’s his lame “I Shot The Sheriff” cover, but I honestly think his version of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads Blues” is the bigger offense against music, taking a freaky, dread-inducing song and turning it into a bar blues stomp. And furthermore, I simply believe that interesting art is made by interesting people and Clapton is just a boring person. I’ve already written about my hatred for “Wonderful Tonight” as a song, but it also exemplifies why Clapton is such a bore to me: the song should have been laced with sharp, self-lacerating irony of the Merle Haggard variety. So many great Haggard songs similar to “Wonderful Tonight” have to do with him sending himself up for being a useless drunk who can’t get his act together. Clapton, though, just exudes smugness and self-satisfaction at every turn. He seems to think what he’s telling you is pretty cool, even though it’s actually profoundly sad, just like a high school burnout who’s 45 but still sees himself as an awesome 18 year old. It’s that lack of irony and much greater lack of self-awareness that makes him hard to take, the difference between Mick Jagger in 1972 and Mick Jagger in 1992. Clapton, however is a horrifying answer to the question of: what if Mick Jagger had always been like this?

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    They Figure It Out https://www.google.com//050/2018/11/they-figure-it-out.html /050/2018/11/they-figure-it-out.html#respond Wed, 28 Nov 2018 18:31:25 +0000 /050/?p=18041 I liked this article but I think there might be a few “confounds” in there, as they say. There have been more than a few other things going on in that part of the world beside just neoliberal economics that caused the turn to the right–both Poland and Hungary have been particularly bad for nativism/racism over the past decade or so, among the worst in Europe in fact. This could be the international “economic anxiety” argument we weren’t waiting for. That said, there’s no way that neoliberalism and austerity aren’t a significant part of the puzzle. Also trade. Certainly in this country it hurt a major liberal constituency.

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    I liked this article but I think there might be a few “confounds” in there, as they say. There have been more than a few other things going on in that part of the world beside just neoliberal economics that caused the turn to the right–both Poland and Hungary have been particularly bad for nativism/racism over the past decade or so, among the worst in Europe in fact. This could be the international “economic anxiety” argument we weren’t waiting for. That said, there’s no way that neoliberalism and austerity aren’t a significant part of the puzzle. Also trade. Certainly in this country it hurt a major liberal constituency.

    Around 2010, if you’d told me that Bill Clinton was a world-historic figure and that Barack Obama was going to be a centrist placeholder who would change little about the world’s course, I would have given you an odd look and said that you have it the wrong way around. And yet, it’s kind of inarguable. Clinton’s success in getting elected, adopting a pro-business agenda (particularly NAFTA) and then getting re-elected based on a soaring economy clearly inspired mainstream left parties all over the West to follow his lead. Success breeds success, and they were in much the same boat as the Democrats at the time. Ironically, the great recession caused by Clinton’s own financial deregulation (and, more significantly, the austerity that most governments chose to/were forced to implement) has wiped out just about all of them. In some very real sense, Macron in France is just about the last redoubt of this regrettable turn, though one wonders for how long. This is why so many elites fret about Macron by the way. Macron was in some ways the escape pod for the Hollande Socialism and it’s hard to see why that needed to be saved. It was not all that popular!

    Perhaps the collapse of Theresa May’s Brexit government will lead to a genuinely leftist Labour government, and lead the rest of the West along with it. The irony of that would be overwhelming.

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    Times Change https://www.google.com//050/2018/11/times-change.html /050/2018/11/times-change.html#respond Mon, 26 Nov 2018 21:26:26 +0000 /050/?p=18039 After the 2006 election, white center-right Democratic men didn’t stage a fit and try to depose the Democratic caucus’s leader. They didn’t have to. They had the balance of power thanks to dozens of Blue Dogs. They could pretty much set the terms for what passed. Their position was especially strong because going along with the party leadership only hurt them in their districts, so Pelosi/Hoyer/Clyburn didn’t hold all that much leverage over them. That’s why we got the abomination known as the Stupak Amendment and much else.

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    After the 2006 election, white center-right Democratic men didn’t stage a fit and try to depose the Democratic caucus’s leader. They didn’t have to. They had the balance of power thanks to dozens of Blue Dogs. They could pretty much set the terms for what passed. Their position was especially strong because going along with the party leadership only hurt them in their districts, so Pelosi/Hoyer/Clyburn didn’t hold all that much leverage over them. That’s why we got the abomination known as the Stupak Amendment and much else.

    The comparison with now is no comparison. Pelosi is treating the successors to the true Blue Dogs like drunk dipshits who take their kid hostage when the court ruling doesn’t go their way, ignoring them and giving them nothing, waiting for them to sober up and give up the ghost. Moulton et al. have idiotically put themselves into a classic prisoner’s dilemma, in which Pelosi can ply each and every one with prizes and get just enough to flip to get her back in the speaker’s chair. Those few will get prizes, everybody else will get shit. Heckuva job, Moulty. Real officer material. Meanwhile, progressives have been notching real power for the next Congress. They have not been loud and obnoxious because they haven’t had any need to. Actual power never does. The conservatives don’t have the numbers and only a handful are irreplaceable in their districts.

    Admittedly, little major legislation will be passed in the next Congress, but the committee assignments and subcommittee chairs will reverberate over time. Progressives are getting everything they can there. And the Moulton crew’s actions is only likely to hasten the end of their once-dominant influence within the party, which can’t come soon enough.

    cá cược miễn phí 2019Share

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