Thursday, December 27, 2018

The federalist is a never-ending supply of weirdos.

Is there a bigger collection of weirdos than the Federalist?

Spoiler alert: There is not.

Check this out:

Why Even Non-Christians Lose From Growing Ignorance About The Bible

This is a loss not only of the Bible or Christian faith but a severing of his connection to all the other aspects of a culture that ought to have been ours.

Colin Chan Redemer

Okay, I normally like to begin at the beginning of these things, but I want to jump ahead to a section that is, in my opinion emblematic of the kind of work they do over at the Federalist:

Where in the past we could hope that the general population would pick up a good bit of biblical teaching from a book, film, or at least a department store, we now live in a world where that’s all in the past. Google willgladly doodle out about Hannah Glasse’s 310th birthday or the 30th anniversary of Pi day but, come Christmas time, it will merely say “Holidays 2018.” Come Easter, and it will celebrate nothing at all.

Now you might think that surely this guy has studied the Google Doodle archives before making such a claim, but you would be wrong. And why were you even thinking that? Did you think that little quote was going to turn out to be true? Then there'd be no blog post!  How would I get to be all sarcastic and snotty about a true statement? Come on, people. Think!

Anyway, I Googled Google Doodles and it took me about ten seconds to come up with these:

Holidays 2018 (Northern Hemisphere Day 1)

 Google Doodle has churned out another festive design for Christmas with a decorated Google logo including Christmas ornaments. Check out important facts about the festival and the other doodles of he season.
Google Doodle has churned out another festive design for Christmas with a decorated Google logo including Christmas ornaments. Check out important facts about the festival and the other doodles of he season.

Happy Holidays 2011

Holidays 2018 (Southern Hemisphere Day 2)

Happy Easter 2000

Now you could certainly complain that Google's holiday doodles are all secular in nature, but that's not what he claims. He says " come Christmas time, it will merely say “Holidays 2018.” Come Easter, and it will celebrate nothing at all."

This, of course, illustrates the first law of conservatives: No conservative will ever argue anything honestly.

Okay. So now let's go back to the beginning.

One short conversation from graduate school stands out above all the others. It was during a cigarette break. (This was back when Californians could still have a cigarette break, having not yet been legally turned into the less-social smartphone break.)

And there it is again. You can still smoke cigarettes in California. You can't smoke in an office or a classroom or other enclosed area where other people have to breathe the air into which you are blowing smoke, but smoking has not been made illegal in the state of California.

The class had been discussing a modern novel and I had perked up with a comment about how the author had put an unattributed quote from the Psalms in a character’s mouth. It wasn’t the first time I had offered this sort of insight in class, but I tended to keep these observations casual so as not to draw too much attention.

During the break, my oh-so-hip San Francisco-dwelling classmate turned to me and asked, “How did you know that about the Psalms?” I explained that I was a Christian and sheepishly confessed that I read the Bible pretty regularly. He looked at me with longing and confessed in turn, “I wish I knew the Bible.”

Mm hmm. Yes, I'm sure that is exactly the conversation that occurred. This San Francisco hipster who had managed to graduate college and was working on a post-graduate degree had always wanted to know more about the Bible but had never been able to conceive of a way to learn about it. He never figured out that he could walk into any bookstore, purchase a copy of the Bible and, you know, read it. Oh how he envied you and your knowledge of how to avail oneself of book learning!

I didn’t know how to respond. I had spent most of my young life avoiding letting people know just how well I knew the Bible. In thousands of veiled and unveiled ways, it had been clear to me that having spent evenings and weekends reading, studying, and memorizing the Bible made me odd. 

Not exactly. Being odd made you spend your nights and weekends memorizing the Bible.

The lack of biblical literacy has been catalogued by various polling firms and lamentedfrom countless pulpits (or at least at pastor support groups), but no one is cataloguing the emptiness of a culture without a sacred rock at its foundation. It isn’t catalogued because it isn’t quantifiable.

It isn't cataloged because it doesn't exist.

I’m not talking here about the value of religious belief, although I’d be interested in discussing that on wholly other grounds. I’m talking solely about about education and culture. My graduate school friend desired a particular educational experience of being formed as a child by a tradition that included the biblical authors, plus Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, Fielding, Dostoevsky, Melville, Faulkner, and so many more. My friend was sad that he, being now older and done with his education, couldn’t go back and be formed the way these and countless other authors and artists were formed.

Oh, God! Are we doing this again? Is it 1992 again? Are we seriously going to trot out the old "Boo hoo, kids aren't reading enough dead white men anymore" bullshit?

the simpsons helen GIF

Good heavens, the Canon! Why, if children aren't required to read every bit of the sacred Canon, society will disintegrate! What if they read James Baldwin or Alice Walker or Isabelle Allende? Think of the consequences for society!

This formation is a tradition that he, not possessing, cannot pass on. This is a loss not only of the Bible or Christian faith but a severing of his connection to all the other aspects of a culture that ought to have been his. Studying the liberal arts without any knowledge of the Bible is to dine without salt. 

So. . .  it's good for your blood pressure?

Yeah, that checks out.

Then he goes through the part where the Google doodles aren't doing enough to educate the young about the cultural and social implications of the Hebrew scriptures. Then on to his next silly point.

Thankfully, however, with just a little bit of intentionality, most people can enter into this tradition of learning. My kids, for example, really get a kick out of the “What’s in the Bible” DVDs, which are instructive and entertaining, even for adults. But the real McCoy is to dig into the Good Book itself.
For that I recommend finding a local organization that runs Bible-reading groups like Bible Study Fellowship or Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. These groups tend to have plenty of non-Christians in attendance

Image result for oh come on gif

No they don't. No they fucking don't. What non-Christians are attending Bible-reading groups? It's like saying there are a lot of heterosexual men in attendance most nights at the Nob Hill Male Theater.


These groups tend to have plenty of non-Christians in attendance and are often led by enthusiasts who make for better teachers than your average theology professor. The Good Book is also a pretty good book.

Oh, yes. It's riveting!

The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, and Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.

Forsooth the sons of Gomer were Ashchenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
And the sons of Javan were Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
The sons of Ham were Cush, and Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
And the sons of Cush were Seba, and Havilah, Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah were Sheba, and Dedan.
10 And Cush begat Nimrod; this Nimrod began to be mighty in [the] earth.
11 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,
Can't wait for the movie!

For me, the paradigm has shifted. I’m glad for all the sword drills I did as a youth and for all the Scripture I was forced to memorize.



Interesting Keke Palmer GIF by ScreamQueens

What are SWORD DRILLS? Please tell me they are what they sound like!

sword drill n. [*sword ‘metaphor for the Bible’ + drill ‘an exercise, practice’] A competitive game for children in which the first person to locate and correctly recite a given verse in the Bible wins.
The format of the sword drill varies widely. Generally, the person leading the drill begins by saying, “Attention” and the players hold their Bible down at their side or tucked under one arm—as if the Bible is “sheathed.” Then the leader says, “Draw swords” or “Present arms” and the players hold their Bibles up in the air or straight out in front of them, as if the Bible were an unsheathed sword. Then the leader calls out a book, chapter, and verse of the Bible, and the players immediately search in their Bibles to find it. The first player to find the verse and read it aloud correctly wins.

Ugh. I should have known.

I am glad not only because I’m a Christian and because in Jesus’ death and resurrection I live, move, and have my being. I am also glad because as I continue to study and teach literature, art, philosophy, music, and history, I do not have to do so as a stranger in a strange land. Rather, I am an insider to a conversation that’s been taking place for thousands of years.

Imagine if you will, someone who has never studied Christian theology, who has never memorized large chunks of the Scriptures. Someone who has never done a sword drill. Imagine that person trying to understand a work of art like this

File:La crucifixión (El Greco, 1597).jpg

Why, that poor fellow would be baffled!
"Who is that unfortunate man suspended from the wooden T?" he might ask. "And why are none of those people helping him? And why do some of the people have wings?" Oh, he'd just be lost. There is no way to appreciate the work of El Greco without a firm understanding of the New Testament!

I look at my college students now and think about that cigarette break. If you want your kids to thrive in graduate school, send them to Bible study.

And there you have it. The worst possible reason to send your kids to Bible study. Because this nitwit seems really to think that a grounding in Jueo-Christian mythology is essential for success in graduate school!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Innocent conservative woman terrorized at toy store by libtard sales clerk!

No, I’m Not Buying A Little Boy A Tea Set For Christmas
Maureen Mullarkey
By  20, 2018

Would you buy a tea set for a three-year-old boy? 

Mmm, probably not. Honestly it wouldn't occur to me to buy a tea set for a three year old girl either. But whatever, I don't know any three-year-olds.

 Neither would I. But the saleswoman in an upscale toy store recommended one to me. 

Okay. So how are we going to pretend that this is some sort of a big deal?

I had told her the age and sex of the giftee when I asked her to point me to a suitable section 

Wait. You had to ask the saleslady to point out suitable gifts for a three-year-old? You know the boxes all have age recommendations on them, right?

 Image result for toy age warning

I mean, I don't have any kids, and my nieces and nephews haven't been 3 for some time, but I think I would know to walk past the bicycles, the model building kits and the jigsaw puzzles to where the pre-school age toys are. Do you even know this kid?

Reluctant to let me browse alone through fake mustaches, wooden puzzles, and Fisher-Price gear, the clerk insisted on being helpful.

Well, yeah. Once you admitted that you had no idea what kind of toys to buy for a three-year-old, I would think she would assume that she'd need to take you by the hand and be your guide through the confusing world of teddy bears and bouncy balls.

She held up a boxed tea service. Inside was a round-bellied polypropylene pot and four miniature cups and saucers in watery pastels. Considering the sex of the recipient, even the washed-out color seemed emblematic.

Emblematic of. . .? It can't just be "emblematic." It has to be "emblematic OF" something.

“It’s quite adorable,” she purred.

[Ron Howard voice] "She did not purr."

“It’s quite adorable,” she purred.
“No, thank you. Not for a boy.”
My son has one.”
Poor kid! Did I imagine it, or did she deliver that in a tone that signaled superior consciousness? 
Yes. Yes, you did imagine this. Just like you probably imagined this entire incident, because nobody in 2018 holds up a toy and purrs "it's quite adorable."

Tea sets are paraphernalia for playing house, the hallowed pastime for girls. 

Okay, I was brought up in a very traditional Christian conservative family. And I sometimes played "house." The little girl next door had a playhouse (lucky bitch!) and she would want me to play the part of the daddy while she played the mommy and her little brother played the baby. It may surprise you to learn that even after several incidences of  house-playing, I grew up to be a cis/het man. I mean, I assume that's what you're worried about, right? You're worried that if you give your son a "girls" toy for Christmas, he won't grow up to be suitably manly or whatever? I mean, I may not be the Marlboro man, but I did play 4 years of football in high school and I make a living as a forklift operator. AND, not to brag, but I married a woman.

Macho macho maaaaaaan. . .

Tea sets are paraphernalia for playing house, the hallowed pastime for girls. Was this mother of a son taking a stand against “gender apartheid,” the still-kicking bugbear of Gloria Allred and co.? The whiff of it rankled me.

Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and just assume that you are permanently rankled. That ranklage is just your default setting.
I mean, you're "rankled" by the "whiff" of something that you think this other person might possibly be thinking. Are you ever unrankled?

“No, honestly, I’d rather get him a cap pistol.”
I just had to say that. Churlish of me, maybe, but who did she think a preschool boy would be serving tea to? 

Um, I don't know. . . his friends maybe? Or his stuffed animals? Or maybe he imagines having tea with Winston Churchill

Stash Tea by Joe Manzari, via Behance. An homage to Winston Churchill.

Or James Bond.


Or the Beatles.

Cuando los famosos toman café

Or Jimi.

Jimi Drinking Tea

Who cares with whom he might share an imaginary cuppa?

 I have known this little fellow from infancy. As soon as he could stand on his feet, he loved a rumpus, kicking balls around, and throwing stuff. Effects of that prenatal testosterone bath were in full view from the beginning. If he ever gave a tea party, it would be a rambunctious event, guaranteed to purse the lips of donors to Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Foundation for Women.

Not sure what Gloria Steinem has to do with anything. Or her donors. Are we to assume that they are offended by rambunctiousness? Is that it?
Anyway, Maybe he would have a rambunctious tea party. Like this one, maybe:

Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatters Tea Party

Nah, never mind. No little boy would ever want to emulate something he saw in a Disney movie!

Maybe it might be more like this one:

tea time with ozzy and slashOzzy Osbourne And Slash Enjoy Tea At The Dorchester Hotel

Gosh, someone better tell Slash and Ozzy Ozbourne that tea sets are for girls!

The clerk turned back to the counter. I settled on a combative-looking Schleich hippopotamus, and a surly crocodile with moveable jaws. 

Wait. . . so no one was forcing you to give the boy a tea set? It was just a simple suggestion? What are we even doing here? What are you even complaining about?

I settled on a combative-looking Schleich hippopotamus, and a surly crocodile with moveable jaws. These two finely detailed avatars of “nature, red in tooth and claw,” were, I confess, a reaction to the ideological tinge of the clerk’s selection. They were not quite what I had come for. My choice was a quixotic counter-statement to the tenor of the woman’s aggressive guidance.

"Sorry these aren't what you wanted, kiddo, but Auntie Moran needed to pwn the libs! You understand, right? Anyway, the important thing is that you grow up with a love for blood and violence."

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A New Low

One sort of impressive thing about NY Times columnist David Brooks - every time you think he's hit rock bottom, every time you think "well this is the absolute nadir, this is the worst possible version of a David Brooks column - even if we accept string theory's hypothesisi of infinite versions of the universe, each with its own version of David Brooks, this is certainly the worst posible column any of those Brookses could write," every time you think that, you find that for David Brooks, rock bottom has a basement.

And once again, we find a new low point for David Brooks:


Who Killed The Weekly Standard?

The bureaucratic mind has a temporary triumph.
David Brooks
Opinion Columnist

dos equis facepalm GIF by Dos Equis Gifs to the World

On God. No one "killed" the Weekly Standard. The Weekly Standard's sugar daddy decided he was no longer going to keep propping it up. By rights, the WS should have died years ago.

I’ve only been around Phil Anschutz a few times. My impressions on those occasions was that he was a run-of-the-mill arrogant billionaire. He was used to people courting him and he addressed them condescendingly from the lofty height of his own wealth.
I’ve never met Ryan McKibben, who runs part of Anschutz’s media group. But stories about him have circulated around Washington over the years. The stories suggest that he is an ordinary corporate bureaucrat — with all the petty vanities and the lack of interest in ideas that go with the type.

So. . . capitalists. The kind of people you generally lionize.

This week, Anschutz and McKibben murdered The Weekly Standard, the conservative opinion magazine that Anschutz owned. 

Murdered? Seriously? You don't think that's a bit harsh? I mean, you could say that Peter Thiel murdered Gawker. And even that would be a misuse of the word. But deciding to stop throwing good money after bad seriously is not even analogous to "murder."

Also, isn't one of the principle tenets of conservatism and capitalism that one is free to do what one likes with one's own property? Anschultz owned the WS, he was well within his rights to shut it down, right?

This week, Anschutz and McKibben murdered The Weekly Standard, the conservative opinion magazine that Anschutz owned. They didn’t merely close it because it was losing money. 

WHICH IT WAS! The Weekly Standard has never made money. It has always lost money. It has always survived on wingnut welfare. Now that welfare is being removed and you're going to cry tears of rage because you think this daft billionaire should be required to keep losing money so that your friends and former co-workers can keep their jobs that they don't deserve? How very conservative of you!

 They didn’t merely close it because it was losing money. They seemed to have murdered it out of greed and vengeance.

But wait. I'm confused. Haven't we been told for decades by conservatives that "greed is good?"

Fortune magazine used a Michael Douglas image to invoke Gordon Gekko, the ruthless fictional trader of 1987's film “Wall Street” for a June 2005 cover story.

John Podhoretz, one of the magazine’s founders. . . 

Oh, speaking of people with careers they don't deserve. John Podhoretz, of whom no one would ever have heard had his father not been Norman Podhoretz

I mean, for God's sake, the Weekly Standard was founded by John Podhoretz and Bill Kristol, of whom no one would ever have heard had not his father been Irving Kristol.

John Podhoretz, one of the magazine’s founders, reports that they actively prevented potential buyers from coming in to take it over and keep it alive. They apparently wanted to hurt the employees and harvest the subscription list so they could make money off it. And Anschutz, being a professing Christian, decided to close the magazine at the height of the Christmas season, and so cause maximum pain to his former employees and their families.

Wow, I know I'm getting older and I guess my memory must be failing because for some reason I can not remember David Brooks taking this kind of umbrage when vulture capitalists in the throws of greed shut down Toys R Us or Sears throwing scores of hard-working Americans out of work.I mean, surely he must have felt the same righteous anger about privat equity firms taking over companies, stripping the assets and shuttering the facilities, sending all the employees to the unemployment line, right?

I took a second to look up what, for instance, Brooks had to say about Bain Capital back in 2012. Oh, it was scathing all right!

Private equity firms are not lovable, but they forced a renaissance that revived American capitalism.

Forty years ago, corporate America was bloated, sluggish and losing ground to competitors in Japan and beyond. But then something astonishing happened. Financiers, private equity firms and bare-knuckled corporate executives initiated a series of reforms and transformations.

The process was brutal and involved streamlining and layoffs. But, at the end of it, American businesses emerged leaner, quicker and more efficient.

when private equity firms acquire a company, jobs are lost in old operations. Jobs are created in new, promising operations. The overall effect on employment is modest.

Also, these guys are not going to feel any pain from this. They will just move on to a different wingnut welfare hustle. They'll all end up at the American Enterprise Institute or Americans for Prosperity or they'll be writing for Breitbart or FOX. Meanwhile, those who just lost their jobs at Sears will struggle mightily with no concern from David Brooks or any of the gravy-sucking pigs who once wrote for the WS.

The closing of The Weekly Standard is being told as a Trump story, as all stories must be these days. The magazine has been critical of Trump, and so this is another example of the gradual hegemony of Trumpism over the conservative world. That is indeed the backdrop to what happened here.

Oh wow. I'm really shocked here. I was sure you were going to take personal responsibility here!

Rolling Eyes GIF

 But of course. Of course, it's Trump's fault. Not the scapegoat I was expecting you to choose, but of course it couldn't be the WS crew's own fault. It must have been some nefarious outside force!

 In reality, this is what happens when corporate drones take over an opinion magazine, try to drag it down to their level and then grow angry and resentful when the people at the magazine try to maintain some sense of intellectual standards

Donald Duck Laughing

Ahahahahaha!! "Intellectual standards!" Ahahahahahaha!!

Intellectual standards at the Weekly Standard!
winter storage vintage rofl gif reaction gif my gif laughing film donald duck gif donald duck disney gif disney cartoon animation 1949 rofl ScentedDeadGuppy ScentedDeadGuppy,Rifl GIF

This is what happens when people with a populist mind-set decide that an uneducated opinion is of the same value as an educated opinion, that ignorance sells better than learning.

ROFLDown the Hatch (2014) reaction gif reaction my gif laughing down the hatch donald duck gif donald duck disney gif disney 2014 rofl GIF

Oh my God! A conservative decrying anti-intellectualism!
The people who take it as an article of faith that 99% of the world's scientists are full of shit about climate change suddenly have a problem with uneducated opinions being elevated to the same level as educated ones!

Look familiar, Dave?

In that sense, the closing of The Standard resembles Chris Hughes’s destruction of the old New Republic. This is what happens when the commercial forces trying to dumb down the American media run into a pocket of people trying to resist those forces.

Oh my God, are you serious? Who has tried to dumb down America more than conservative media in general and the WS specifically? (Okay, FOX has.)

Cover of the upcoming 'Weekly Standard'

Remember their shameless promotion of  the proudly ignorant dullard Sarah Palin?

here's what WS founding member Fred Barnes said about the empty-headed epitome of anti-intellectualism:

 If McCain loses, Palin will be the hope of the future. If he wins, she'll actually be the future.
And here's Mr. always wrong about everything, Bill Kristol:

Palin is potentially a huge asset to McCain. He took the gamble — wisely, we think — of putting her on the ticket. McCain's choice of Palin was McCain being McCain. Now his campaign will have to let Palin be Palin.

And you're going to sit there with a straight face and pretend that the WS was some bulwark against the "dumbng down" of American media?

Pictured: the Weekly Standard valuing education

The Standard was conservative, but it frequently dissented from the Republican establishment and delighted in modern pop culture. 

Frequently dissented when the Republican establishment wasn't being stupidly right-wing enough.

 The staff was never unanimous about anything. The many flavors of conservatism were hashed out in its pages.

   Mother Earth Composted Chicken Manure 25 lbs (80/PLT)

Ah, the many flavors of conservatism!

If it stood for anything, I would say it stood for this: that the good life consists of being an active citizen and caring passionately about politics; that it also consists of knowing something about Latin American fiction, ancient Greek culture and social impact of modern genetics; that it also consists of delighting in the latest good movies and TV shows, the best new cocktails and the casual pleasures of life.

If it stood for anything, it stood for war-mongering, misinformation and proud stupidity.

Also, it's not much of an endorsement of your magazine if you have to start with "If it stood for anything. . ."

Over the past year, under the editorship of Steve Hayes, the magazine was as good as it ever was.

This shoe is every bit as delicious as it has ever been.

Over the past few years, if all the stories are correct, McKibben tried to change the tone of the magazine. He tried to get The Standard to hire highly partisan shock-jock screamers. He tried to tilt it more in the direction of a Republican direct mail fund-raising letter. 

So. . . he tried to make it profitable?
He tried to make it viable?
He tried to make it into something that the mouth-breathing knuckle draggers that make up the conservative "movement" might actually be willing to read?

When these efforts were blocked, resentment flared and the ax fell.

When they refused to give up the veneer of faux-urbanity, when they refused the owner's orders to try to make their rag into something that might attract an audience, they were let go? Is that what we're going with here? Because if we go with that, with your take on the shuttering of the Standard, there would be zero justification for NOT shutting it down. It lost money hand over fist, the owner who, by capitalist principles, has the absolute right to do whatever he wants with his property, introduces ideas in an attempt to make it profitable. Those ideas are rebuffed by his employees in a fit of insubordination and so the owner stops paying for their make-work jobs. That's capitalism, Dave!

The Standard is now gone, but the people and ideas The Standard nurtured will continue to flourish.

I'm not sure what "ideas" you think came from the WS that will continue to "flourish," but if you want to know what your rag's legacy will be, it is this. The illegal, immoral, ill-advised and ill-planned invasion and occupation of Iraq. About a million dead Iraqis, a few thousand dead Americans, countless thousands wounded, maimed, and without homes. Countless widows and orphans. That's your legacy. That was what you agitated for and cheer-led. That is what you sold with lies about supposed WMDs and the non-existent linkage between Sadam Hussein and Al Qeda.

Jon Schwarz has collected a few of your more egregious articles  here.

I've picked out a couple of highlights.

“The Iraqi threat is enormous,” Robert Kagan and Kristol wrote at the beginning of 2002. “It gets bigger with every day that passes. … If too many months go by without a decision to move against Saddam, the risks to the United States may increase exponentially.”

OSAMA BIN LADEN and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda--perhaps even for Mohamed Atta
Neither of these statements was true. Either the WS writers who penned these were incredibly stupid, naive and gullible, or they were lying shamelessly, knowing that their lies were likely to lead to a vicious bloodbath. Either way, it's a hell of a legacy. I can certainly see why Brooks would mourn the passing of this noble publication.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The stupidest thing I've read in a while

Man, oh man. In the last couple of days I have seen some spectacularly stupid nonsense come across my Twitter feed. And not form random weirdos either. From people with actual platforms and followings. people like Matthew Yglesias:

Seriously? No. For so many reasons. Well, two anyway. I love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (not in a romantic way, Shmoopie.) She's awesome. But she has never held any elected office. What happened the last time a political neophyte became president? Gosh, I remember it like it was yesterday, some blowhard with no political experience got himself accidentally elected President. . . how did that work out again?
Also, the Constitution is perfectly clear on this point. There is a minimum age for the presidency. And you could certainly make a good case for changing that rule, but the rule is pretty much set in stone. The court would absolutely rule 9-0 against her. All you'd be doing is provoking a completely unnecessary constitutional crisis and that seems like the last thing we need about now.

So let's see what the logic is here:

It’s ridiculous that it’s unconstitutional for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president

Immigrants, young people, and everyone else should be allowed to run.

Okay, no argument here. But that's like saying that it's ridiculous that I'm not allowed to buy a kilo of coke. You might have a point, but if I decide to go out and buy the coke, I'm gonna go to prison. (Because, let's face it, there's no way I wouldn't get caught.)

Okay, so he talks about how AOC is a rising star in the Democratic party and how maybe having a doddering, senile old syphilitic in the Oval Office isn't such a hot idea either, and he's right on both counts, but so fucking what? The law is still the law.

Then he gets into why he thinks that AOC should defy the Constitution and run for the highest office in the land even though she is constitutionally ineligible to hold that office.

AOC should run for president

One good sign that AOC should run for president is that she has a nickname — AOC.

Louis CK face palm GIF

I know, I know, but I love this gif.

A nickname.

I got nothing. How do you even respond to a statement like that?

A House Democratic staffer told me the other day that “ACO” was a good example of something, and I knew exactly who she meant despite the error because there aren’t any other members of Congress who have widely recognized nicknames that you would just drop into casual conversation.

Well, Robert O'Rourke does. Maybe you've noticed people referring to him as "Beto?"

Is having a nickname a sign that you would exercise good judgment in the Oval Office? Absolutely not. But it’s proof positive that she’s an honest-to-goodness political superstar, and it’s clear that’s what many Democrats are looking for in 2020. They are seeking an antidote to Trump’s magnetic stage presence and ability to command attention, and she has that in greater quantities than anyone else in the field — certainly more so than Beto O’Rourke, a similarly experience-light candidate whom many Democratic operatives are pushing in a quest to capture some Bright Young Thing magic.

Wait, Beto O'Rourke is "similarly experience-light?" What do you think the word "similarly" means? O'Rourke is a three-term Congressman. AOC has exactly zero office-holding experience. It's  two completely different situations.

 Of course, she’s too left-wing for some and would need to demonstrate an ability to staff up and run a big operation while getting up to speed on the dozens of random issues that get tossed your way over the course of a national campaign. But that’s what campaigns are for!

thumb image

NO. That's what spending a couple terms in the House, maybe a little time in the Senate is for. To "get up to speed" on the myriad of complex issues that would confront a President. You can't just pick that up WHILE running a Presidential campaign.

It’s silly to arbitrarily rule out one of the most talented players due to age, and tragically non-obvious that political star power can actually last for years and years without dimming. 

Wait. Are you trying to say that it IS obvious that star power can NOT last for years without dimming? "Cuz it looks like that's what you're trying to say, but that is NOT what you're saying. You're saying that political star power CAN  actually last for years and years without dimming, but that fact is not obvious. Are there editors at Vox?

We should fix the Constitution ASAP

Not so long ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger cut a kind of vaguely Trumpish figure in California politics.
He was a Republican in the sense of stridently opposing the course the Democratic Party had taken the state on, but not a loyalist member of the conservative movement. 

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No. He was not "a Republican in the sense of . . ." He was a Republican. He was a Republican in the sense of he was a member of the Republican Party (Probably still is.) He was a Republican before he left Austria. He famously told the story of seeing Nixon on TV, asking what party Nixon belonged to and then decalaring "then I am a Rrepublican."  Just because he isn't a goddamm lunatic doesn't mean he's not a Republican.

Had he run for president in 2012, he probably would have lost badly in the primaries on the grounds of not being right-wing enough.

Okay, couple of things. First of all, he would never have run for president in 2012 because he has some respect for the Constitution. And who did win the Republican primary that year? Mitt Romney. Hardly a rabid fire-breathing right-winger. He instituted Obamacare in Massachussetts, for God's sake. Schwarzenegger would have lost the primary because he would have been ineligible to hold the office.
Also, by 2012, he had a track record and you really weren't hearing"Amend it for Arnold" so much anymore.

But, of course, he didn’t run and we never got a glimpse of what a run would look like because immigrants, like 20-somethings, are constitutionally barred from serving. At the time this was in the news, almost nobody actually defended the prohibition (because it’s ridiculous), but nobody in politics lifted a finger to do anything about it. In part, that was laziness, but in part, it was too clear any change would specifically benefit Schwarzenegger — something neither Democrats nor right-wingers really wanted to do.

Seriously? Laziness? No one lifetd a finger to change this provision because a: we are a deeply jingoistic country, and b: no one was excited about Arnold anymore.
And by the way, amending the Constitution is absurdly difficult. We couldn't even get enough states to ratify an amendment stating that women should not be second-class citizens. You think the Bible-belt rubes who fought that are going to go along with throwing open the White House doors to some dang furriner? I mean, next thing you know, you'd have some dude being President who was born in Kenya or some shit.

That simply illustrates the cost of waiting to fix a constitutional problem until it’s “relevant” — once it’s relevant, people have a way of finding reasons to stick by even bad principles. The process of amending the Constitution is extremely cumbersome, requiring both supermajorities in Congress and ratification by a staggering 75 percent of the states. But there’s no time like the present to start working to abolish arbitrary qualifications and letting any eligible voter run for president any time he or she wants to.

Wait that's it? That's the end of the article? I mean, you laid out  your case ( a weak, silly case, but a case nonetheless) for changing the Constitution to allow AOC to run, but you've presented nothing to support the idea that even though she is Constitutionally ineligible to serve as President, she should run anyway and "dare the Supreme Court to stop her." Not a single word about how that would even work. Nothing to suggest that it would even be possible. Just your wish that the rules were different. What a waste of time!

Speaking of time, I was going to write about a couple other extremely stupid things I saw these last couple of days, but this one took too long. I'll try to remember to get to them tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The all-time worst Christmas song

Okay, I'm back.

Actually, I've been back for a while, but I've been sick. Apparently, the American flu shot doesn't work in Spain because I guess their viruses are metric or something? Any way, mission accomplished. I don't know whether you noticed, but Dec. 5th came and went and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are still walking around free. You're welcome.We had to sacrifice Poppy Bush, but it was worth it.

Anyway, since returning to the States, I think I have discovered the absolute worst Christmas song of all time. I know, we've done our fair share of complaining about Christmas music in the past ( Like here. And here.  Also here.  And probably here. ) but this is the all-time winner. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you. . .

. . . "Dearest Santa."

Dearest Santa tells the story of a young orphan boy who wants only one thing for Christmas. A family. The one thing he wants is a family and a home of his own - two things. The two things this poor child wants is a home of his own, a mother and a father. The three things he wants. . . All he wants is a family. Which is really sad.

But wait.

All this poor kid wants is a family AND HE DOESN'T GET IT!

How is that possible in a Christmas song?
Shouldn't everyone get what they want in a Christmas song?

here are the lyrics:

Would you listen and lend an ear
'Cause I only come around once a year?
And this is for a very special cause
My name is Santa Claus
One Christmas Eve, I visited a home
Where children lived who've no home of their own
And though I brought them gifts galore
This is what one asked me for...
"Dearest Santa, I don't want toys
Or choo-choo trains with lots of noise
I want a home like other boys
Christmas day
"Dearest Santa, I will be
Just as good as I can be
If you'll give me a family
Christmas day
"I'm so lonesome, I'm so blue
Is there somethin' you can do? oh...
"Please, dear Santa, don't ignore
This little boy who's begging for
A mother whom he'll just adore
Christmas day
"I would be so proud and glad
If I could just say, 'Meet my dad,' so...
"Please, dear Santa, heed my quest
And tell them I'll behave my best
That if they'd take me, they'll be blessed
Christmas day."

And that's it! There's no final verse where Santa hooks him up with a sweet mew pair of parents,. No coda where Santa adopts the kid himself. There's not even a little addendum at the end where Santa encourages the listeners to consider adopting lonely orphans. It's just Santa relating the story of a poor sad little boy begging him for parents and Santa not doing shit to help him.I mean, does Santa think he comes off as the good guy in this story?

And this kid is begging. He is groveling. He has zero dignity, and nothing good happens for him. The song ends where it begins, with this poor kid pining away in the orphanage. Merry Christmas, everybody - life is a cruel joke and no one is coming to save you! Ho ho ho!!!

Agitated Santa showing his middle finger to the camera Stock Photo - 16510656