login bonus 12bet mobile login_free login bet at home casino bonus_bet365 how to use bonus bet https://www.google.com//0c4 because the unexamined life is not worth living Wed, 06 Feb 2019 00:15:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 Trump¡¯s Tax Returns https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/02/trumps-tax-returns.html /0c4/2019/02/trumps-tax-returns.html#respond Wed, 06 Feb 2019 00:15:43 +0000 /0c4/?p=18236 Pelosi said she¡¯d request them on day one and it didn¡¯t happen, though given that the government was shut down it sort of made sense to defer that fight. But the GOP¡¯s game here is basically to slow walk it through the courts long enough so that the returns don¡¯t see the light of day until after the next Election Day so time¡¯s a-wasting! Tomorrow wouldn¡¯t be a bad moment to start it up: step all over all the pundits jizzing themselves about how presidential he looked.

Read more on Trump¡¯s Tax Returns…

]]>
Pelosi said she¡¯d request them on day one and it didn¡¯t happen, though given that the government was shut down it sort of made sense to defer that fight. But the GOP¡¯s game here is basically to slow walk it through the courts long enough so that the returns don¡¯t see the light of day until after the next Election Day so time¡¯s a-wasting! Tomorrow wouldn¡¯t be a bad moment to start it up: step all over all the pundits jizzing themselves about how presidential he looked.

I have no idea what they¡¯ll prove, of course, except that Trump is fake rich. I¡¯m pretty sure that this¡ªmore than a SMOKING GUN that the Russians own him¡ªis why he¡¯s so afraid of them coming out. But maybe the SMOKING GUN actually is in there! They really need to get going here. Two years is not a long time in legal terms…

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/02/trumps-tax-returns.html/feed 0
The Most Boring Speech Of The Year https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/02/the-most-boring-speech-of-the-year.html /0c4/2019/02/the-most-boring-speech-of-the-year.html#respond Tue, 05 Feb 2019 23:41:01 +0000 /0c4/?p=18231 Is always the State of the Union. Really doesn¡¯t even matter who the president is. Can you remember even a single sentence from any of Obama¡¯s SOTUs? I can¡¯t, and I actually watched a couple of them live. As good a public speaker as the man was, he couldn¡¯t do a thing to make that speech interesting, which means it probably can¡¯t be made interesting. In essence, the speech is all over the place thematically, has no real momentum or pacing because of all the applause lines, and goes on forever. Fewer and fewer people watch them and most of those are just co-partisans of the current president who want to have a fanboy moment. Seems like just about the worst possible way of going about that. I don¡¯t know why anybody would ever watch one of these things unless it¡¯s your job to. We live in an era of fathomless quantities of entertainment, people.

Read more on The Most Boring Speech Of The Year…

]]>
Is always the State of the Union. Really doesn¡¯t even matter who the president is. Can you remember even a single sentence from any of Obama¡¯s SOTUs? I can¡¯t, and I actually watched a couple of them live. As good a public speaker as the man was, he couldn¡¯t do a thing to make that speech interesting, which means it probably can¡¯t be made interesting. In essence, the speech is all over the place thematically, has no real momentum or pacing because of all the applause lines, and goes on forever. Fewer and fewer people watch them and most of those are just co-partisans of the current president who want to have a fanboy moment. Seems like just about the worst possible way of going about that. I don¡¯t know why anybody would ever watch one of these things unless it¡¯s your job to. We live in an era of fathomless quantities of entertainment, people.

What¡¯s interesting is the stock that Trump puts in these sorts of things. Ironically, he is committing the same mistake as Aaron Sorkin does in obsessing over the pageantry at the expense of the content. Sorkin¡¯s West Wing?had one episode every season for the SOTU, often portraying it as a make or break occasion. Trump¡¯s view of the occasion is not far off because he basically thinks that the shit that goes on television is actually the job and he refuses to do much of the actual work of the presidency. In reality, the SOTU is a speech that is primarily about itself, about the grandeur and pageantry of American politics, and an empty tradition that should be done away with. I mean, honestly, is there anybody who isn¡¯t aware of what Donald Trump¡¯s views on current affairs are, or which ones he feels are most significant? Is it possible not to hear about these things for even a single day? And why do we need to have him tell us for an hour and a half in a format that typically has him at his lowest energy?

I suppose Dems let Stacey Abrams give the response. Good choice on their part, at least. Hopefully she avoids dull bromides and makes it nice and combative, like crazy old Jim Webb:

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/02/the-most-boring-speech-of-the-year.html/feed 0
Bad Choices https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/02/bad-choices.html /0c4/2019/02/bad-choices.html#respond Tue, 05 Feb 2019 00:22:25 +0000 /0c4/?p=18233 Becoming clear to me now that Northam¡¯s Shaggy defense on Saturday was the wrong way to go. He should have gone with, ¡°Look, I did a bad thing, but this is a hit job against me by partisan Republican operators because of my comments on abortion.¡± It¡¯s probably true! ¡°Don¡¯t give them what they want¡± beats ¡°please allow me to gaslight you a bit.¡± Who knows whether it would have been effective at keeping his job or not, but it would have been more effective than ¡°actually it wasn¡¯t me even though I said it was before but I¡¯m telling the truth now even though I did do blackface once people where are you going?¡±

Read more on Bad Choices…

]]>
Becoming clear to me now that Northam¡¯s Shaggy defense on Saturday was the wrong way to go. He should have gone with, ¡°Look, I did a bad thing, but this is a hit job against me by partisan Republican operators because of my comments on abortion.¡± It¡¯s probably true! ¡°Don¡¯t give them what they want¡± beats ¡°please allow me to gaslight you a bit.¡± Who knows whether it would have been effective at keeping his job or not, but it would have been more effective than ¡°actually it wasn¡¯t me even though I said it was before but I¡¯m telling the truth now even though I did do blackface once people where are you going?¡±

Again, I certainly can¡¯t claim to have predicted this, but the argument I¡¯ve been making for like three years now is essentially that a middle-aged white guy from the South who spent most of the 2000s doing things like endorsing George W. Bush for president and publicly mulling a party switch to the GOP, all things being equal, is probably somebody whose ancestral ties to the party have frayed and who doesn¡¯t feel all that comfortable in the contemporary Democratic Party. The yearbook story…logically fits this narrative! But since he voted the right way on abortion bills and on guns consistently the institutional party all fell in lockstep, as if they couldn¡¯t do better than this hump. Heads won¡¯t roll for this, most likely, but they should.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/02/bad-choices.html/feed 0
Northam! https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/02/northam.html /0c4/2019/02/northam.html#respond Sat, 02 Feb 2019 18:22:37 +0000 /0c4/?p=18227 The weirdest thing about this (which is not survivable obvs and Northam¡¯s no doubt furious working of the phones right now to avoid the inevitable won¡¯t change that) is that it didn¡¯t come out before. I can buy that state legislature campaigns may not have the resources to do intense opposition research, and when he ran for Lt. Gov. in 2013, well, perhaps he could have slipped under the radar because his opponent was a clown and everybody was focusing on McAuliffe vs. The Cooch anyway. But I genuinely wonder how he got through 2017 without this coming out. He faced credible candidates with real campaigns in both the primary and general elections, and either both of them hired completely incompetent staffs who missed it (I might buy one but not two), or people knew and didn¡¯t act on it, which I also find hard to believe. Both of his opponents had clear motivation to use it if they had it, and how could they not have had it? It was just sitting in his yearbook. How does that stay under wraps? In the case of the primary we have to wonder whether Tom Perriello never knew, whether he knew but didn¡¯t act out of fear of backlash, or whether he knew but didn¡¯t act out of some high-minded reason. I¡¯m honestly not sure which would be most disappointing, I guess option two would be the least. Releasing it might have made a lot of people mad at him and could have led to some backlash but at the same time it would have killed Northam¡¯s campaign overnight. It¡¯s too big not to have. So essentially Perriello was either incompetent, a wuss, or even worse, a Sorkinian fool. I¡¯m curious to see which one he was but my enthusiasm for future candidacies from him has dropped a couple of notches no matter what the answer is.

Read more on Northam!…

]]>
The weirdest thing about this (which is not survivable obvs and Northam¡¯s no doubt furious working of the phones right now to avoid the inevitable won¡¯t change that) is that it didn¡¯t come out before. I can buy that state legislature campaigns may not have the resources to do intense opposition research, and when he ran for Lt. Gov. in 2013, well, perhaps he could have slipped under the radar because his opponent was a clown and everybody was focusing on McAuliffe vs. The Cooch anyway. But I genuinely wonder how he got through 2017 without this coming out. He faced credible candidates with real campaigns in both the primary and general elections, and either both of them hired completely incompetent staffs who missed it (I might buy one but not two), or people knew and didn¡¯t act on it, which I also find hard to believe. Both of his opponents had clear motivation to use it if they had it, and how could they not have had it? It was just sitting in his yearbook. How does that stay under wraps? In the case of the primary we have to wonder whether Tom Perriello never knew, whether he knew but didn¡¯t act out of fear of backlash, or whether he knew but didn¡¯t act out of some high-minded reason. I¡¯m honestly not sure which would be most disappointing, I guess option two would be the least. Releasing it might have made a lot of people mad at him and could have led to some backlash but at the same time it would have killed Northam¡¯s campaign overnight. It¡¯s too big not to have. So essentially Perriello was either incompetent, a wuss, or even worse, a Sorkinian fool. I¡¯m curious to see which one he was but my enthusiasm for future candidacies from him has dropped a couple of notches no matter what the answer is.

Ed Gillespie, though, is the even bigger puzzle here. I read some jokes over at Daily Kos about how if his campaign had known they wouldn¡¯t have said anything because they approved of such behavior and worried that publicizing it would cut into Ed¡¯s support. Who knows? But probably not. The bedrock strategy of the conservative movement over the past 50 years has been to racebait as openly as polite society would allow while simultaneously arguing that Democrats are the real racists via the endless use of red herrings. Gillespie¡¯s campaign was profoundly racist, much more so than the typical Republican campaign nowadays and ultimately little different than Trump¡¯s. He barely beat full-on neoConfederate Corey Stewart and then ran the exact campaign that Stewart would have. It was all MS-13, all the time. But that doesn¡¯t mean that he would have jumped at the opportunity to give himself a both sides-shaped escape hatch by having this get out. ¡°You¡¯re saying this is racist but who¡¯s the real racist here? Me or the guy in blackface (or Klan hood)?¡± This would unfortunately have been a decent point.

And yes, while I¡¯ve been ranting about this guy for years, I can¡¯t say I saw this particular plot twist coming. But the guy was a product of the old Democratic Party and, you know, it does fit.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/02/northam.html/feed 0
The Intouchables https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/02/the-intouchables.html /0c4/2019/02/the-intouchables.html#respond Fri, 01 Feb 2019 21:17:05 +0000 /0c4/?p=18211

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RqDiYnFxTk

I haven¡¯t seen The Upside, though pairing Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston is not quite as much an odd couple pairing as they seem to think. They¡¯re both actors who like to go big, so I can only imagine that their interplay is exhausting. It¡¯s funny though because I was wondering whatever happened to that remake of The Intouchables?that I¡¯d heard of, and then it came out in the august filmgoing month of ¡°Fuck You, It¡¯s January¡± (thanks to Red Letter Media for that!), a terrible sign. Unsurprising considering that the original film is, well, awful.

Read more on The Intouchables…

]]>

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RqDiYnFxTk

I haven¡¯t seen The Upside, though pairing Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston is not quite as much an odd couple pairing as they seem to think. They¡¯re both actors who like to go big, so I can only imagine that their interplay is exhausting. It¡¯s funny though because I was wondering whatever happened to that remake of The Intouchables?that I¡¯d heard of, and then it came out in the august filmgoing month of ¡°Fuck You, It¡¯s January¡± (thanks to Red Letter Media for that!), a terrible sign. Unsurprising considering that the original film is, well, awful.

I¡¯m sure I¡¯ve said this before but people who think of foreign films as sophisticated, intellectual, and highbrow simply haven¡¯t seen enough foreign films to form an accurate impression. The truth is, most of the foreign films that make it here tend indeed to be sophisticated, intellectual, and highbrow, because such films typically aspire to win the foreign film Oscar (and, by extension, to actually earn some money for their producers by getting an American remake made). Also a lot of countries don¡¯t really have a commercial film industry and rely solely on arts funding to make films (imagine that!), which tends to require at least an attempt at artistic merit to qualify for funding. And then there¡¯s the United Kingdom, which now only seemingly makes historical prestige films. This probably muddies it all up even further. But the fact is that countries that have commercial film industries (which is not most, I grant you) churn out no end of crowd-pleasing, lowbrow shit. Anybody who has ever visited France probably knows this intuitively, as the posters for new comedies there give you a good impression of what to expect from them just from the images of maniacal mugging they feature. Even countries that have become well known for exporting quality films, like Iran, are commercially dominated by escapist pablum instead of the first-rate artistry that the rest of the world seeks out. (But the very fact that Iran is a nation of cinemagoers in an admittedly censored film landscape while Saudi Arabia bans movie theaters period is just about the best case I could make for why Iran is just the better regime of the two.)

Anyway, this is a long-winded introduction to saying that The Intouchables?is a terrible movie in ways that would be familiar to anybody who knows how lowbrow shit works in this country. The basic plot is that a rich French guy hires a black hooligan as his in-home caregiver because he¡¯s tired of dealing with people who feel sorry for him all the time. Admittedly, the two lead performances are very good, but the movie doesn¡¯t really know what it wants to be about or what it wants to say. It ends up being a succession of ¡°fish out of water¡± jokes, with a typical one being where they try to convince each other that their music is the best, with the white guy playing some classical music and the black guy playing soul music. Might have been more interesting if it had been the other way around. ¡°You should like this!¡± ¡°Well, how can you not love this?¡± Admittedly, this is based off a true story in the form of a book, so perhaps they felt the need to work with the material they had, though they show the real two guys at the end and the real life caregiver is clearly not black but Arabic¡ªnot a trivial change¡ªwhich makes me think that just about everything in the movie is bullshit and didn¡¯t actually happen the way the movie said it did. Anyway, the movie generally gives you the lowest brow comedy you could ask for, with more poop jokes than an Adam Sandler joint and the sorts of high-spirited hi-jinks that you typically find in a Disney Channel original production. The juvenility of the enterprise is less an aggressive attempt to court young adult moviegoers (who wouldn¡¯t give a fuck about this film) as it is a lack of command of tone. The basic arc is I guess that the two men grow closer but I¡¯m not sure they actually do¡ªthe movie¡¯s third act does the usual splitting them apart then bringing them back together that The King¡¯s Speech?also felt the obligation to do, and even less convincingly than that movie does it. All in all, a potentially interesting idea sabotaged by the lack of a clear vision and overwhelming pandering. One can see why Hollywood thought that America would be all over this, but it feels a little too basic and empty even for the bottom of the barrel here. Even the likes of Paul Blart: Mall Cop?have more genuine pathos than what we¡¯re talking about here (some would argue more pathos than laughs, but that¡¯s another story).?The Intouchables?is just kind of nothing: not really funny, not really moving, just sort of a vague gesture at these things. So while I am curious to see what they did with the material, given that pretty much all I liked about the original film were the performances, I¡¯m not exactly heartened by the presence of two actors that I don¡¯t really care for in the leads. Perhaps I¡¯ll try to subject myself to it on a plane sometime.

Also, as a postscript, it was distributed in America by The Weinstein Company. So there¡¯s that. Look, obviously Harvey Weinstein is and always has been human garbage, that¡¯s a given. But at least in the ¡®90s the movies he produced were…interesting? I¡¯m actually not a huge fan of Pulp Fiction, which is all style and little substance, but it was groundbreaking and different from other movies at least, and Tarantino¡¯s continued career is due entirely to that film. But at some point he just made nothing but awards bait that cried out for more nuanced and detailed treatment. The Woman In Gold?could have been a great movie, for example, instead of an unsuccessful bid for more golden statues. I sort of don¡¯t know what to make of it all. Maybe he was a hack all along who just got lucky once?

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/02/the-intouchables.html/feed 0
You¡¯re Doing It Wrong https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/youre-doing-it-wrong.html /0c4/2019/01/youre-doing-it-wrong.html#comments Thu, 31 Jan 2019 18:24:50 +0000 /0c4/?p=18224 Man do I wish this punk would go away, but not only does Howard Schultz have a terrible plan, he¡¯s not even doing it right! Even if you buy that there¡¯s some combination of #NeverTrumpers and moderate, consensus-obsessed Democrats to win a 3-way race, the way you win them is with civility. Always be positive. Talk about people of goodwill on both sides, how the founding fathers hated partisanship, how you want to sign bills sponsored by both Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren. That sort of thing. And always try to be in the conversation without it seeming forced, with a little trace of humility, as if you¡¯re not sure you belong there. That¡¯s the sort of thing that those sorts of folks like to see.

Read more on You¡¯re Doing It Wrong…

]]>
Man do I wish this punk would go away, but not only does Howard Schultz have a terrible plan, he¡¯s not even doing it right! Even if you buy that there¡¯s some combination of #NeverTrumpers and moderate, consensus-obsessed Democrats to win a 3-way race, the way you win them is with civility. Always be positive. Talk about people of goodwill on both sides, how the founding fathers hated partisanship, how you want to sign bills sponsored by both Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren. That sort of thing. And always try to be in the conversation without it seeming forced, with a little trace of humility, as if you¡¯re not sure you belong there. That¡¯s the sort of thing that those sorts of folks like to see.

What you don¡¯t do is act like a smug, entitled asshole, unload heavy ordnance language like ¡°un-American¡± to describe ideas you don¡¯t like and invade the news cycle like…Donald Trump. Yeah, that¡¯s obviously the model this doofus is taking, constantly stirring outrage to keep himself in the conversation. But Trump did it to stand out in a crowded field, and he knew that the voters he was aiming for wouldn¡¯t care if his nonsense pissed people off. Actually the voters he was courting quite liked it! But this is a suboptimal strategy if you¡¯re going after readers of The Economist. They don¡¯t want someone both sides hate! They want nice politics! They want everyone to get along and ¡°do things together¡± (what things? Why, good ones, of course!). But why would he think there¡¯s any demand for a centrist Trump? It is truly odd.

Just go away, Howard. You can ape Trump all you want but even though you¡¯re actually a good businessman and almost certainly more intelligent than Trump, he¡¯s just better at being Trump than you are.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/youre-doing-it-wrong.html/feed 1
Let¡¯s all come together as Americans, except for the third of you who are totally un-American https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/lets-all-come-together-as-americans-except-for-the-third-of-you-who-are-totally-un-american.html /0c4/2019/01/lets-all-come-together-as-americans-except-for-the-third-of-you-who-are-totally-un-american.html#comments Wed, 30 Jan 2019 15:33:50 +0000 /0c4/?p=18221 The Howard Schultz candidacy went from existential threat to total farce in about one day. Hilarious. Also, it¡¯s pretty clear that the only reason he wants to run is that he¡¯s mad that some Democrats don¡¯t want to give away the store to people like him anymore. Pretty transparent when it¡¯s single payer and not, say, kiddie concentration camps that get your dander up.

Read more on Let¡¯s all come together as Americans, except for the third of you who are totally un-American…

]]>
The Howard Schultz candidacy went from existential threat to total farce in about one day. Hilarious. Also, it¡¯s pretty clear that the only reason he wants to run is that he¡¯s mad that some Democrats don¡¯t want to give away the store to people like him anymore. Pretty transparent when it¡¯s single payer and not, say, kiddie concentration camps that get your dander up.

Anyway, one can only assume that this will damage everyone involved, though unfortunately it¡¯ll never get to the point where the normies know about it.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/lets-all-come-together-as-americans-except-for-the-third-of-you-who-are-totally-un-american.html/feed 2
Wait, Is Gavin Good? https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/wait-is-gavin-good.html /0c4/2019/01/wait-is-gavin-good.html#comments Mon, 28 Jan 2019 21:05:30 +0000 /0c4/?p=18206 More of this, please. The inescapable fact of California’s self-created housing calamity is that any effective solution is going to involve telling rich suburbanites to take a leap, and what Newsom is doing on the issue so far is pretty much that, which is good. Let’s see the follow through though.

Read more on Wait, Is Gavin Good?…

]]>
More of this, please. The inescapable fact of California’s self-created housing calamity is that any effective solution is going to involve telling rich suburbanites to take a leap, and what Newsom is doing on the issue so far is pretty much that, which is good. Let’s see the follow through though.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/wait-is-gavin-good.html/feed 1
The Op-Ed Candidacy https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/the-op-ed-candidacy.html /0c4/2019/01/the-op-ed-candidacy.html#respond Mon, 28 Jan 2019 20:44:46 +0000 /0c4/?p=18208 I typically avoid discussing the topics du jour?and given that today will almost certainly be the peak of Howard Schultz/Some Other White Guy 2020 (maybe Kasich!), I kind of feel that there are a lot of takes out there already. But I have some thoughts and here they are:

Read more on The Op-Ed Candidacy…

]]>
I typically avoid discussing the topics du jour?and given that today will almost certainly be the peak of Howard Schultz/Some Other White Guy 2020 (maybe Kasich!), I kind of feel that there are a lot of takes out there already. But I have some thoughts and here they are:

  1. Schultz certainly could throw the election to Trump but I don¡¯t find this incredibly likely. Some people do, like Jonathan Chait, but I can¡¯t help but notice that most of the people really worried about this are people who have openly stated that they believe that Bernie Sanders destroyed Hillary Clinton¡¯s candidacy in 2016. These people fascinate me in attempting to paint Clinton as an Andy Hawkins figure who played flawless ball and only lost because of other peoples¡¯ errors (the press¡¯s and Comey¡¯s, mainly). It¡¯s certainly not impossible to believe that she wasn¡¯t very good at this AND that she was screwed over by those people as well (as I do). But Clinton¡¯s performance in 2016 was, you know, bad, and my initial theory that her 2016 loss was not due to those much obsessed-about Obama-Trump voters but rather to lackluster turnout by key groups (black people, union WWC members, Millennials) has increasingly become more accepted and will, ultimately I think, become the standard interpretation. Whether you want to attribute this bad performance to Wikileaks or to Putin or to the fact that those entities basically distracted the public from Clinton¡¯s bold ¡°no nice things¡± agenda is beside the point, because…
  2. The Democratic Party as longstanding issues turning out its core supporters, but particularly since 1994 it¡¯s been obvious that the party is simply incapable of fully activating its base in the absence of either a loathsome Republican president or Barack Hussein Obama being on the ballot. (The party¡¯s awful showings in 2002 are the exception proving the rule: you had a loathsome GOP president but the party was run by two products of the old Democratic Party, the white rural one, and they made the sorts of decisions that you¡¯d expect people like that to make. That those choices didn¡¯t even save the white, rural members who were up that year amid sluggish base turnout generally was a sign of the ultimate death of this political tradition, which was finally broken when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took over after 2004.) But now there is a loathsome Republican president in office once again and the party has shown itself to be united and focused. I think getting the .5% that Ralph Nader got in 2004 is probably on the high end of what Schultz could achieve in 2020. Could that tip the balance? Perhaps. But even in 2016 St. Jill Stein¡¯s votes didn¡¯t even account for the margins of defeat in Pennsylvania/Wisconsin/Michigan, and list of casino gamesshe managed over 1% nationwide.
  3. I actually think a Schultz candidacy might be helpful in some ways, assuming that he doesn¡¯t play any material role in re-electing Trump. By all accounts, withering losses in presidential campaigns are very difficult for people who suffer them to take. They frequently wreck previously solid careers (see Perry, Rick) and turn previously respected people into punchlines. Schultz¡¯s loss would be particularly brutal and potentially helpful since?he¡¯s swallowed all the bromides of the professional centrist grifters and genuinely seems to believe them,?and making those ideas into a laughingstock would be good! He¡¯s putting together a potential candidacy that would appeal solely to op-ed writers in mainstream media publications. It is regrettable that many of the senior members of the Democratic Party still put a lot of stock in these articles, much more than they deserve, but to base a presidential candidacy upon them? Madness. Nobody outside of the greater D.C. area wants to cut the most popular federal programs there are. The ostentatious and costly failure of such a venture would turn Schultz into the same sort of punchline that Jeb! 2016 was, and that Rudy Giuliani was back in 2008 (obviously, he¡¯s become a different sort of punchline since then). His views could be treated as a joke too, with his ¡°I¡¯m going to cut your Social Security¡± promise getting play perhaps in much the same way that Walter Mondale¡¯s ¡°Reagan will raise your taxes and so will I¡± line became immediately notorious. No doubt there would be a sea of op-eds praising his seriousness on the issue, but one can hope that such deafening indifference to a candidacy based on these issues would reduce these ideas to the mockery that they deserve.

Anyway, my guess is that we¡¯ll never have any need to speak of this again. Chait brings up the sizable social conservative/fiscal liberal bloc of the electorate as the truly unrepresented quadrant, and indeed the only meaningful third party candidacy of the post-Civil Rights Act era was Ross Perot, who appealed specifically to this group. He also notes that there just aren¡¯t many voters in the social liberal and fiscal conservative group at all. Schultz¡¯s campaign will I suspect make Jeb! 2016 look like Obama 2008, if it ever even happens.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/the-op-ed-candidacy.html/feed 0
Bros Before Hoes https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/bros-before-hoes.html /0c4/2019/01/bros-before-hoes.html#respond Thu, 24 Jan 2019 16:19:08 +0000 /0c4/?p=18204 This is pretty much the exact sort of behavior that people are talking about with the whole ¡°white male power structure¡± critique. ¡°My good friend Fred Upton¡± who, incidentally, isn¡¯t good at all. Some of us remember when he flip-flopped on climate change so that he could head the Energy and Commerce Committee, and simply by being a member of the Republican Party in a competitive district he quite literally empowered the Trump Administration¡¯s war on reproductive rights, the environment, public education, et al. But he has a good position on one non-politicized issue so he¡¯s a great guy! Also Trump isn¡¯t the real Republican Party, as I¡¯m sure that Biden has said before (really no need to google that to find a quote). The real disgrace in the story about Anita Hill was that intra-white guy chumminess¡ªparticularly on Biden¡¯s part¡ªled to a wholly avoidable tragedy and it¡¯s obvious that the man didn¡¯t learn a fucking thing from that situation. Gonna be hilarious when he tries to get his side of that story out there.

Read more on Bros Before Hoes…

]]>
This is pretty much the exact sort of behavior that people are talking about with the whole ¡°white male power structure¡± critique. ¡°My good friend Fred Upton¡± who, incidentally, isn¡¯t good at all. Some of us remember when he flip-flopped on climate change so that he could head the Energy and Commerce Committee, and simply by being a member of the Republican Party in a competitive district he quite literally empowered the Trump Administration¡¯s war on reproductive rights, the environment, public education, et al. But he has a good position on one non-politicized issue so he¡¯s a great guy! Also Trump isn¡¯t the real Republican Party, as I¡¯m sure that Biden has said before (really no need to google that to find a quote). The real disgrace in the story about Anita Hill was that intra-white guy chumminess¡ªparticularly on Biden¡¯s part¡ªled to a wholly avoidable tragedy and it¡¯s obvious that the man didn¡¯t learn a fucking thing from that situation. Gonna be hilarious when he tries to get his side of that story out there.

Though Loomis is right that Beto¡¯s sin is much, much worse, and he doesn¡¯t have the excuse of being incredibly old and set in the ways of long-outmoded partisanship.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/bros-before-hoes.html/feed 0
¡°This Is Normal¡± https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/this-is-normal.html /0c4/2019/01/this-is-normal.html#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 19:58:58 +0000 /0c4/?p=18201 Not sure what else the big MSM climb down on the MAGA kids is supposed to say. Nothing to worry about because THE CONTEXT says something or other. Their most disgraceful performance since last week.

Read more on ¡°This Is Normal¡±…

]]>
Not sure what else the big MSM climb down on the MAGA kids is supposed to say. Nothing to worry about because THE CONTEXT says something or other. Their most disgraceful performance since last week.

Really though, “this is normal” is pretty much the idea the media has been trying to incept into us from the start of this thing. Think this country is running straight into a whirlpool of hate that resulted in the election of a wannabe fascist? Nah. They’re just harmless, crusty old guys, those Trump fans. Enjoy fifty thousand profiles of them. Also the adults are in charge and isn’t that Milo just such a naughty boy? What about Richard Spencer’s natty threads? Also, Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss think you’re the real asshole for being a liberal. Et cetera. To be fair, they have also output some stuff that has been good! But they simply cannot both maintain their both sides fetish while also seriously holding a light to Trump and what he represents. This most recent incident poignantly shows this.

We have been down this road before and, as always, you alone must decide if this essential “this is normal” perspective is worth supporting financially. You know what I say. The real question I still have is: how sustainable is this? I mean, it was a bunch of white bros literally echoing the president in trying to intimidate a person of color. They reported it accurately and withered under the flak, retreating to comfortable both sides territory. But if this sort of thing becomes a durable part of our society (and I sadly would not bet against it), how will the media cover it? How long can they keep up with these feeble excuses?

The answer is: they don¡¯t fucking know! The old white guys running this industry are just trying to get through this a day at a time with ¡°both sides¡± intact, hoping that they¡¯ll keep hold of enough self-hating liberals¡¯ wallets to stay afloat. My guess is that it¡¯ll work…for a little while longer.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/this-is-normal.html/feed 0
No Deal https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/no-deal.html /0c4/2019/01/no-deal.html#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 15:16:45 +0000 /0c4/?p=18199 Literally the only thing Theresa May cares about is keeping the nationalist right inside of her party. This is often expressed as “avoiding a party split” but it means the same thing. Since those people want no deal, that’s what is going to wind up happening to avoid a split. She’s wasting everybody’s time with her middle option but she’s been in over her head since day one, so why stop now? That she genuinely seems to think it has a future shows how delusional she is. Nobody wants to eat their vegetables, they want either zero-calorie ice cream or they’re not hungry!

Read more on No Deal…

]]>
Literally the only thing Theresa May cares about is keeping the nationalist right inside of her party. This is often expressed as “avoiding a party split” but it means the same thing. Since those people want no deal, that’s what is going to wind up happening to avoid a split. She’s wasting everybody’s time with her middle option but she’s been in over her head since day one, so why stop now? That she genuinely seems to think it has a future shows how delusional she is. Nobody wants to eat their vegetables, they want either zero-calorie ice cream or they’re not hungry!

My guess is that May will succeed in avoiding that party split she so fears. It won’t be worth as much as she thinks. Good luck winning an election after your party is identified with turning a rich nation into a third world basket case for no reason.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/no-deal.html/feed 0
Insanity https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/insanity.html /0c4/2019/01/insanity.html#respond Mon, 21 Jan 2019 18:10:15 +0000 /0c4/?p=18193 This. I mean, I knew this sort of stuff was coming, and has already a bit with Kasich, but the obtuseness here is simply insane.

It amazes me just how many people insist that ¡°Donald Trump is not the Republican Party¡± or some variation thereof. Some of these people are putatively liberal, some are on the right, as in this case. But this is just nuts. Trump is not only a producer of the contemporary GOP, he is also a product of it, and as his durably high approvals among Republicans show, he is very much in sync with its all-important demographic of ¡°old men who watch FOX News all day.¡± The only person who could beat Trump in a Republican primary is somebody who can out-drama, out-demagogue, and out-resent Trump, and while there may be such a person out in the world, that person isn¡¯t Larry Hogan, mild-mannered governor of Maryland. Just imagine being such a dope that you think that the Republican base wants a decent man with a passion for public policy over Trump. Imagine going through the past three years and believing that. Admittedly it¡¯s hard to actually think of anybody in recent years who has run for the GOP nomination who fits that profile even a little (Jon Huntsman maybe?), but that in and of itself is telling. Republicans wanted that in 2016 like Democrats wanted Jim Webb.

Read more on Insanity…

]]>
This. I mean, I knew this sort of stuff was coming, and has already a bit with Kasich, but the obtuseness here is simply insane.

It amazes me just how many people insist that ¡°Donald Trump is not the Republican Party¡± or some variation thereof. Some of these people are putatively liberal, some are on the right, as in this case. But this is just nuts. Trump is not only a producer of the contemporary GOP, he is also a product of it, and as his durably high approvals among Republicans show, he is very much in sync with its all-important demographic of ¡°old men who watch FOX News all day.¡± The only person who could beat Trump in a Republican primary is somebody who can out-drama, out-demagogue, and out-resent Trump, and while there may be such a person out in the world, that person isn¡¯t Larry Hogan, mild-mannered governor of Maryland. Just imagine being such a dope that you think that the Republican base wants a decent man with a passion for public policy over Trump. Imagine going through the past three years and believing that. Admittedly it¡¯s hard to actually think of anybody in recent years who has run for the GOP nomination who fits that profile even a little (Jon Huntsman maybe?), but that in and of itself is telling. Republicans wanted that in 2016 like Democrats wanted Jim Webb.

That said, given that primary challenges tend to damage the presidents who draw them, I strongly urge Hogan to do it. America (well, its elite class anyway) wants a reasonable Republican daddy, and you sir are clearly the best option! Your country needs you.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/insanity.html/feed 0
Some Days https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/some-days-3.html /0c4/2019/01/some-days-3.html#comments Fri, 18 Jan 2019 00:38:25 +0000 /0c4/?p=18190 I just got nothing. Shutdown¡¯s not ending because Republicans wouldn¡¯t piss on federal employees if they were on fire and the Trump reality show has descended to its pettiest nadir. Most sites are all over shit like this but honestly I have the hardest time saying stuff when there¡¯s nothing to say, and while I have no sense of superiority over the usual daily bullshit, you sometimes just have to give yourself a break when it¡¯s at its most idiotic if you want to survive the next two years.

Read more on Some Days…

]]>
I just got nothing. Shutdown¡¯s not ending because Republicans wouldn¡¯t piss on federal employees if they were on fire and the Trump reality show has descended to its pettiest nadir. Most sites are all over shit like this but honestly I have the hardest time saying stuff when there¡¯s nothing to say, and while I have no sense of superiority over the usual daily bullshit, you sometimes just have to give yourself a break when it¡¯s at its most idiotic if you want to survive the next two years.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/some-days-3.html/feed 1
The Undead https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/the-undead.html /0c4/2019/01/the-undead.html#comments Wed, 16 Jan 2019 21:54:51 +0000 /0c4/?p=18188 Theresa May¡¯s Brexit dies but she somehow survives. Incredible.

]]>
Theresa May¡¯s Brexit dies but she somehow survives. Incredible.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/the-undead.html/feed 2
Beto O¡¯Biden https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/beto-obiden.html /0c4/2019/01/beto-obiden.html#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 14:52:25 +0000 /0c4/?p=18186 It hasn¡¯t been said directly so far that I¡¯ve seen, but that Obamians (including the man himself!) are working hard to get Beto O¡¯Rourke to run for president just reeks of desperation. Now look, like all Democrats I like Beto. I do! He ran a good race in Texas that didn¡¯t make me ashamed to be a Democrat (unlike coughcough Claire McCaskill) and did better than any Democrat did in 30 years there. That¡¯s pretty impressive. But for president? They don¡¯t even know his views! Nobody does. It would be richly ironic if the big Obama bundlers got him to run and then he wound up in the Warren/Sanders/Booker ideological zone, at which point they¡¯d have to cue that ¡°The Price Is Right¡± trumpet fail clip. It¡¯s not at all impossible! But even short of that, man, it¡¯s just so desperate. The only idea, for lack of a better term, that they seem to have is summarized as ¡°Obamism without Obama.¡± The thing is, these folks had a decade to find another Obama. They failed entirely! Frankly we could have used another Obama in 2016. But now they¡¯re going for a¡ªand look I do like the guy¡ªlargely unknown and untested commodity with a not great voting record who fell into their laps. Sounds like a real good plan to just throw him out there, instead of having him try for governor or senator in Texas again. But we can¡¯t do that, because the presidency is the only thing that fucking matters to Democrats! And this is all only just because he sort of has an Obamaesque charisma. It¡¯s sad.

list of casino gamesRead more on Beto O¡¯Biden…

]]>
It hasn¡¯t been said directly so far that I¡¯ve seen, but that Obamians (including the man himself!) are working hard to get Beto O¡¯Rourke to run for president just reeks of desperation. Now look, like all Democrats I like Beto. I do! He ran a good race in Texas that didn¡¯t make me ashamed to be a Democrat (unlike coughcough Claire McCaskill) and did better than any Democrat did in 30 years there. That¡¯s pretty impressive. But for president? They don¡¯t even know his views! Nobody does. It would be richly ironic if the big Obama bundlers got him to run and then he wound up in the Warren/Sanders/Booker ideological zone, at which point they¡¯d have to cue that ¡°The Price Is Right¡± trumpet fail clip. It¡¯s not at all impossible! But even short of that, man, it¡¯s just so desperate. The only idea, for lack of a better term, that they seem to have is summarized as ¡°Obamism without Obama.¡± The thing is, these folks had a decade to find another Obama. They failed entirely! Frankly we could have used another Obama in 2016. But now they¡¯re going for a¡ªand look I do like the guy¡ªlargely unknown and untested commodity with a not great voting record who fell into their laps. Sounds like a real good plan to just throw him out there, instead of having him try for governor or senator in Texas again. But we can¡¯t do that, because the presidency is the only thing that fucking matters to Democrats! And this is all only just because he sort of has an Obamaesque charisma. It¡¯s sad.

Not surprising why they¡¯re courting him so heavily, though, because the next best alternative for the centrists is Joe Biden. And I like Joe Biden too! He seems like a fun person to hang around. But even the Obama people seem to recognize that there¡¯s little hope for him. Nobody thinks those early polling leads are going to hold up, and while Biden largely kept his foot out of his mouth as the veep, you gotta figure this is because he was carefully handled, and I wouldn¡¯t count on him exercising that sort of discipline next year. Also he has tons of baggage and is provably not good at this! He¡¯s supposedly good at winning over the hard hat types but he couldn¡¯t fucking win them when the Democratic Party actually was largely hard hat types the first time he ran in 1988. So yeah, nobody except for Joe Biden thinks a 2020 run is a good idea. It¡¯s only a matter of time until that number is zero.

I am kidding a little bit here: there are going to be a few other options for centrists. Your John Hickenloopers and Michael Bennets and John Delaneys and all that. But I follow these things closely and I have no idea what any of these people stand for, other than ¡°we¡¯re not scary Democrats.¡± Somehow I don¡¯t think being a self-hating white guy Democrat is going to spur a lot of interest among primary voter types (predominated by people of color and white liberals). Probably can win, like, the Oklahoma and Kentucky primaries if they even get that far (they won¡¯t). Hickenlooper is supposed to be the strongest of the group, but honestly, the only reason why anybody should support him is the reason he¡¯s repudiated. Not so worried about him.

Also, Kamala Harris was a pretty bad D.A. This is why she¡¯s not my first choice. But her ideological makeup is pretty damn desirable right now. Perhaps she can promise to appoint an attorney general that¡¯s, like, not similar to what she was a decade ago.

2020 fever! It¡¯s on!

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/beto-obiden.html/feed 0
Just A Warmup https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/just-a-warmup.html /0c4/2019/01/just-a-warmup.html#comments Mon, 14 Jan 2019 16:57:15 +0000 /0c4/?p=18179 I said it before and I¡¯ll say it again: the current longest-ever government shutdown is merely a warmup for the next time there¡¯s divided government under a Democratic president (my guess would be 2023). They will do this again, only in a different context which will more easily lend itself to both-sidesery, after the luster of the new Democrat has worn off and people return to being mad about the bullshit not going away. While I¡¯d like to think that the next Democrat will implement effective, even radical solutions that will take effect almost immediately, in?all likelihood the next Democratic president isn¡¯t going to be the leftist hero of our dreams. S/he will most likely be a coalition-builder who is broadly acceptable to all Democratic groups including the bipartisan fantasists (but who will, most likely, be substantially to the left of where the Obama/Clinton party line was). Some incremental gains are unlikely to prevent the typical midterm losses. At any rate, the current shutdown is unlikely to result in a generational repudiation of the conservative movement (nor is the Trump presidency, for that matter), so the idea that Senate Majority Leader Ted Cruz won¡¯t pull this shit in five years on President Cory Booker is…optimistic. Indeed, Cruz by that time may well be a relative moderate in his caucus. Under McConnell, no deals were made with Obama on substantive legislation, but so-called mandatory, ¡°keeping the lights on¡± legislation was ultimately passed and often without major incident. I wouldn¡¯t count on it remaining uncontroversial in the future. There remains a strong need for Republicans to find ways to differentiate themselves as ¡°more conservative¡± than fellow Republicans, and virtually none of them have any interest in governing. Few seem to care much about the effects of the shutdown. It¡¯s obviously going to head in this direction, and while Democrats could attempt to pass a law to eliminate shutdowns to the effect that the failure of a new spending bill perpetuates the status quo, I¡¯d be surprised if they did, for the same reason I¡¯d be surprised if they passed a law to abolish the debt ceiling. The reason why one would pass such laws would be a thoroughgoing understanding of the increasing impossibility of cooperation with the GOP, and many of the elderly nostalgics who run the party are extremely resistant to this fact. This will correct itself in time, but in how much time?

Read more on Just A Warmup…

]]>
I said it before and I¡¯ll say it again: the current longest-ever government shutdown is merely a warmup for the next time there¡¯s divided government under a Democratic president (my guess would be 2023). They will do this again, only in a different context which will more easily lend itself to both-sidesery, after the luster of the new Democrat has worn off and people return to being mad about the bullshit not going away. While I¡¯d like to think that the next Democrat will implement effective, even radical solutions that will take effect almost immediately, in?all likelihood the next Democratic president isn¡¯t going to be the leftist hero of our dreams. S/he will most likely be a coalition-builder who is broadly acceptable to all Democratic groups including the bipartisan fantasists (but who will, most likely, be substantially to the left of where the Obama/Clinton party line was). Some incremental gains are unlikely to prevent the typical midterm losses. At any rate, the current shutdown is unlikely to result in a generational repudiation of the conservative movement (nor is the Trump presidency, for that matter), so the idea that Senate Majority Leader Ted Cruz won¡¯t pull this shit in five years on President Cory Booker is…optimistic. Indeed, Cruz by that time may well be a relative moderate in his caucus. Under McConnell, no deals were made with Obama on substantive legislation, but so-called mandatory, ¡°keeping the lights on¡± legislation was ultimately passed and often without major incident. I wouldn¡¯t count on it remaining uncontroversial in the future. There remains a strong need for Republicans to find ways to differentiate themselves as ¡°more conservative¡± than fellow Republicans, and virtually none of them have any interest in governing. Few seem to care much about the effects of the shutdown. It¡¯s obviously going to head in this direction, and while Democrats could attempt to pass a law to eliminate shutdowns to the effect that the failure of a new spending bill perpetuates the status quo, I¡¯d be surprised if they did, for the same reason I¡¯d be surprised if they passed a law to abolish the debt ceiling. The reason why one would pass such laws would be a thoroughgoing understanding of the increasing impossibility of cooperation with the GOP, and many of the elderly nostalgics who run the party are extremely resistant to this fact. This will correct itself in time, but in how much time?

Increasingly, the scenario I see for the collapse of the Madisonian system is a Republican-initiated government shutdown that never actually ends. Goes on for months, years, just never ends. In the meantime, individual states assume more of its functions and keep federal tax receipts for themselves, and a new de facto?system is created with a still technically existing federal government shell that does nothing. I don¡¯t see this as a good outcome but it¡¯s increasingly plausible.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/just-a-warmup.html/feed 1
Andy Lack Should Be Fired https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/andy-lack-should-be-fired.html /0c4/2019/01/andy-lack-should-be-fired.html#respond Sat, 12 Jan 2019 18:21:45 +0000 /0c4/?p=18181 Politics aside, his brilliant idea to stock up NBC and MSNBC with winger talent didn¡¯t even work on its own merits. Nobody watched Megyn Kelly and NBC had to deal with several major PR calamities from her show. Considering the size of the risk¡ªa hilarious figure of $69 million¡ªand its total failure, firing the guy who did it for incompetence would seem to be appropriate. The guy reacted to incorrect conventional wisdom about how Trump proved that We Need More Conservative Voices in the most obvious way, which also betrayed a total lack (if you will) of understanding of what his audience wanted. Just another talentless credentialist jackass following the crowd. But I¡¯m not holding my breath on that firing. After all, he did the same stuff that the rest of the big MSM outlets did, so firing him would be something of an indictment of the entire industry. Elite accountability is about as much a myth as national unity is in this nation, though there are still a few who believe in the latter I suppose.

Read more on Andy Lack Should Be Fired…

]]>
Politics aside, his brilliant idea to stock up NBC and MSNBC with winger talent didn¡¯t even work on its own merits. Nobody watched Megyn Kelly and NBC had to deal with several major PR calamities from her show. Considering the size of the risk¡ªa hilarious figure of $69 million¡ªand its total failure, firing the guy who did it for incompetence would seem to be appropriate. The guy reacted to incorrect conventional wisdom about how Trump proved that We Need More Conservative Voices in the most obvious way, which also betrayed a total lack (if you will) of understanding of what his audience wanted. Just another talentless credentialist jackass following the crowd. But I¡¯m not holding my breath on that firing. After all, he did the same stuff that the rest of the big MSM outlets did, so firing him would be something of an indictment of the entire industry. Elite accountability is about as much a myth as national unity is in this nation, though there are still a few who believe in the latter I suppose.

#FireTheRefs

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/andy-lack-should-be-fired.html/feed 0
Good Point, Fox And Friends! https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/good-point-fox-and-friends.html /0c4/2019/01/good-point-fox-and-friends.html#respond Fri, 11 Jan 2019 20:24:50 +0000 /0c4/?p=18169 Wonder if it¡¯ll matter:

¡°Fox and Friends¡± co-host Brian Kilmeade told viewers on Thursday that ¡°big picture¡± the use of an emergency declaration to get President Trump¡¯s border wall funding would be a ¡°disaster¡± and set a ¡°terrible precedent¡± for the future.

Read more on Good Point, Fox And Friends!…

]]>
Wonder if it¡¯ll matter:

¡°Fox and Friends¡± co-host Brian Kilmeade told viewers on Thursday that ¡°big picture¡± the use of an emergency declaration to get President Trump¡¯s border wall funding would be a ¡°disaster¡± and set a ¡°terrible precedent¡± for the future.

¡°It would just be a?disaster in the big picture?and just show us being inept?at govern[ing] around the world,¡± he said. ¡°And it would set just a terrible precedent that would continue, as Erick Erickson, brought up, he said, look, the next President, if?it is a liberal president?will say a state of?emergency will be climate?change. ¡®Look at what happened with (Hurricane) Sandy.?Look at what happened with?the earthquake.?Look at what¡¯s happening to?the polar bears who have no?place to walk on ice.’¡±

The thing is they¡¯re right! This is exactly what a liberal president could do and, if Trump makes emergency declarations politics by other means, what they will demand. And usually he listens to these people, so maybe…

Nah, probably not. He¡¯s in full dick-measuring mode right now. That¡¯s all that THE WALL is really about. Those libs gotta be owned!

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/good-point-fox-and-friends.html/feed 0
The More The Merrier https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/the-more-the-merrier.html /0c4/2019/01/the-more-the-merrier.html#respond Thu, 10 Jan 2019 16:27:20 +0000 /0c4/?p=18167 Kind of an obvious point, but the fact that around three dozen Democrats are contemplating presidential runs is good news because it¡¯s a sign they think Trump is beatable. Way back in the ancient history of 2008¡ªas big a slam dunk for Dems as there has been in 50 years¡ªthere were only ever a dozen at most. Sure, Clinton scared some candidates off, but still. There hasn¡¯t ever been anything like this and while too much choice can be paralyzing, there will be plenty of winnowing over the next year. Having an ultimate dozen of top-rate Dems competing will be good indeed. (Republicans¡¯ massive primary crowds are irrelevant as any sort of sign because most of them are provably just jockeying for talk radio jobs, while there has yet to be a Democrat who runs for president just to get on MSNBC that I know of.)

Read more on The More The Merrier…

]]>
Kind of an obvious point, but the fact that around three dozen Democrats are contemplating presidential runs is good news because it¡¯s a sign they think Trump is beatable. Way back in the ancient history of 2008¡ªas big a slam dunk for Dems as there has been in 50 years¡ªthere were only ever a dozen at most. Sure, Clinton scared some candidates off, but still. There hasn¡¯t ever been anything like this and while too much choice can be paralyzing, there will be plenty of winnowing over the next year. Having an ultimate dozen of top-rate Dems competing will be good indeed. (Republicans¡¯ massive primary crowds are irrelevant as any sort of sign because most of them are provably just jockeying for talk radio jobs, while there has yet to be a Democrat who runs for president just to get on MSNBC that I know of.)

Of course, while Trump¡¯s 2020 defeat is far from assured, I¡¯ve never really doubted it that much. I doubt he¡¯s added a single voter to his column in two years and has definitely lost a bunch, and will lose more to generational turnover. Furthermore, Dems are going to be motivated in 2020. Still, the real fun is going to come when Democrats try to govern next…

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/the-more-the-merrier.html/feed 0
Or Just Fire The Refs https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/or-just-fire-the-refs.html /0c4/2019/01/or-just-fire-the-refs.html#respond Thu, 10 Jan 2019 02:43:56 +0000 /0c4/?p=18165 I feel like a broken record on this, but the roots of the most recent disgrace of bothsides is that much of the mainstream media truly believes it. They truly believe that when they¡¯re doing bothsides that they are giving you the truth. I mean, fun as it¡¯s been to argue with them, mock them, rage at them, etc., lo these many years, the fact remains. It¡¯s not a cynical business plan or a simple misapprehension, and they¡¯re not going to be talked out of it.

Read more on Or Just Fire The Refs…

]]>
I feel like a broken record on this, but the roots of the most recent disgrace of bothsides is that much of the mainstream media truly believes it. They truly believe that when they¡¯re doing bothsides that they are giving you the truth. I mean, fun as it¡¯s been to argue with them, mock them, rage at them, etc., lo these many years, the fact remains. It¡¯s not a cynical business plan or a simple misapprehension, and they¡¯re not going to be talked out of it.

I guess this means that we need to WORK THE REFS but we can always simply fire them because liberals are the only ones who pay their salaries. There are publications that actually value empiricism that would be a better destination for your dollars, as we¡¯ve discussed many times before. Not all of them are on the left but the ones that are could always use your money because there aren¡¯t any rich lefty sugar daddies bankrolling media ventures like that. Why would they after all, the MSM really is intended for them and only for them.

At any rate, one day a real rain is going to clean up the media. And that rain is called generational turnover. I¡¯m sort of looking forward to it but also by that time I¡¯m probably going to be old, so…

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/or-just-fire-the-refs.html/feed 0
The Humiliations Will Never Stop https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/the-humiliations-will-never-stop.html /0c4/2019/01/the-humiliations-will-never-stop.html#respond Tue, 08 Jan 2019 22:06:08 +0000 /0c4/?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.

Read more on The Humiliations Will Never Stop…

]]>
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:

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/the-humiliations-will-never-stop.html/feed 0
Is Our Democrats Learning? https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/is-our-democrats-learning.html /0c4/2019/01/is-our-democrats-learning.html#respond Mon, 07 Jan 2019 21:13:34 +0000 /0c4/?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.

Read more on Is Our Democrats Learning?…

]]>
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.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/is-our-democrats-learning.html/feed 0
First Monday Of The Year https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/first-monday-of-the-year.html /0c4/2019/01/first-monday-of-the-year.html#respond Mon, 07 Jan 2019 20:05:32 +0000 /0c4/?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.

Read more on First Monday Of The Year…

]]>
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!

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/first-monday-of-the-year.html/feed 0
American White Person Racism Explained Once And For All https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/american-white-person-racism-explained-once-and-for-all.html /0c4/2019/01/american-white-person-racism-explained-once-and-for-all.html#respond Fri, 04 Jan 2019 19:50:44 +0000 /0c4/?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.

Read more on American White Person Racism Explained Once And For All…

]]>
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.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/american-white-person-racism-explained-once-and-for-all.html/feed 0
Political Correctness Explained https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/political-correctness-explained.html /0c4/2019/01/political-correctness-explained.html#respond Thu, 03 Jan 2019 17:50:08 +0000 /0c4/?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.

Read more on Political Correctness Explained…

]]>
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.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/political-correctness-explained.html/feed 0
Norms and Lawlessness https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/norms-and-lawlessness.html /0c4/2019/01/norms-and-lawlessness.html#respond Wed, 02 Jan 2019 19:50:52 +0000 /0c4/?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.

Read more on Norms and Lawlessness…

]]>
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.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/norms-and-lawlessness.html/feed 0
Happy New Year, Nothing’s Gonna Change https://www.google.com//0c4/2019/01/happy-new-year-nothings-gonna-change.html /0c4/2019/01/happy-new-year-nothings-gonna-change.html#respond Tue, 01 Jan 2019 17:25:31 +0000 /0c4/?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.

Read more on Happy New Year, Nothing’s Gonna Change…

]]>
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!

Share

]]>
/0c4/2019/01/happy-new-year-nothings-gonna-change.html/feed 0
The Dumbest Question Of All Time https://www.google.com//0c4/2018/12/the-dumbest-question-of-all-time.html /0c4/2018/12/the-dumbest-question-of-all-time.html#respond Sun, 30 Dec 2018 18:10:34 +0000 /0c4/?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.

]]>
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.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2018/12/the-dumbest-question-of-all-time.html/feed 0
Oh Claire https://www.google.com//0c4/2018/12/oh-claire.html /0c4/2018/12/oh-claire.html#comments Sun, 30 Dec 2018 02:37:11 +0000 /0c4/?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?

Read more on Oh Claire…

]]>
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.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2018/12/oh-claire.html/feed 1
Learning Things: Beloved https://www.google.com//0c4/2018/12/learning-things-beloved.html /0c4/2018/12/learning-things-beloved.html#respond Fri, 28 Dec 2018 21:28:26 +0000 /0c4/?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.

Read more on Learning Things: Beloved…

]]>

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.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2018/12/learning-things-beloved.html/feed 0
Bush 41 https://www.google.com//0c4/2018/12/bush-41.html /0c4/2018/12/bush-41.html#comments Thu, 27 Dec 2018 18:35:43 +0000 /0c4/?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.

Read more on Bush 41…

]]>
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.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2018/12/bush-41.html/feed 1
Or Try To Beat Them https://www.google.com//0c4/2018/12/or-try-to-beat-them.html /0c4/2018/12/or-try-to-beat-them.html#respond Wed, 26 Dec 2018 17:48:45 +0000 /0c4/?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. (list of casino gamesTo 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.

Read more on Or Try To Beat Them…

]]>
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.

Share

]]>
/0c4/2018/12/or-try-to-beat-them.html/feed 0
Never Gonna Be The Last Last Christmas https://www.google.com//0c4/2018/12/never-gonna-be-the-last-last-christmas.html /0c4/2018/12/never-gonna-be-the-last-last-christmas.html#respond Mon, 24 Dec 2018 21:26:28 +0000 /0c4/?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:

Read more on Never Gonna Be The Last Last Christmas…

]]>
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!

Share

]]>
/0c4/2018/12/never-gonna-be-the-last-last-christmas.html/feed 0
Bennet 2020: A Future Retrospective https://www.google.com//0c4/2018/12/bennet-2020-a-future-retrospective.html /0c4/2018/12/bennet-2020-a-future-retrospective.html#respond Thu, 20 Dec 2018 19:20:28 +0000 /0c4/?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:

Read more on Bennet 2020: A Future Retrospective…

]]>
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.
  • list of casino gamesShare

    ]]>
    /0c4/2018/12/bennet-2020-a-future-retrospective.html/feed 0