June 19, 2018

"Indiana trooper wins praise for stopping driver going too slow in left lane."

The Star Tribune reports on a popular tweet.

That's one of the "most read" stories at that news site, which is located in Minneapolis (not Indiana). I guess it's a "man bites dog" story.

"Yang [Bingyang] has developed a panoply of pseudoscientific theories that she claims are guaranteed secrets to success in the marriage market."

Writes Wang Qianning in "Ayawawa, Wang Ju, and China’s Confusing Female Role Models/Complex and contradictory images of women allow a hyper-conservative relationship guru to exist alongside an empowered, independent pop" at Sixth Tone.
Most of her advice equates happy marriages with material comfort.... Yang advises women to dress and act conservatively so that their male partners don’t feel insecure or threatened by perceived public displays of sexuality. She also says that women should not aspire toward conventionally attractive husbands... She encourages women to find themselves a man who will buy them a home and spend money on them. In her world, a man’s wealth and drive outweigh the need for him to be attractive and kind....

Yang is so influential in China because she has exploited the shallow opportunism of the country’s marriage culture.... Yang’s adherents argue for a hyper-practical view of marriage built around transactional relationships between husbands and wives. But they are not representative of Chinese society as a whole...

During the most recent season of the online girl group show 'Produce 101,' a 25-year-old contestant named Wang Ju became the poster girl for this emergent movement.... On a recent episode of 'Produce 101,' Wang made an impassioned speech in favor of female independence. Meanwhile, several old photos of her appeared on the screen, showing how she used to look. The long hair, white skin, slender frame, and a fresh-faced, wholesome appearance were every inch the romantic ideals of most Chinese men. In her monologue, Wang said that despite the fact that she now looks 'unconventional' by Chinese beauty standards, she loves herself more the way she is now....

As Wang sang in a recent rap, riffing on another female icon, Beyoncé: 'You don’t have to put a ring on me, I can buy my own.'"

"An emergency room doctor in California has been suspended after she was caught on video mocking and cursing a patient who said he had an anxiety attack."

"The doctor, identified by the San Jose Mercury News as Beth Keegstra, was recorded on June 11 while questioning the behavior of 20-year-old Samuel Bardwell. 'I'm sorry, sir, you were the least sick of all the people who are here, who are dying,' she can be heard saying in a video that has been viewed more than 4 million times.... At one point Bardwell, a 6-foot-9 basketball player, complained to the doctor at El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos that he could not inhale. It was at this point that Keegstra said, 'He can't inhale! Wow! He must be dead. Are you dead, Sir? I don't understand, you are breathing just fine.' The doctor asked if the patient wanted narcotics... Near the end of the conversation, the doctor tells the patient, 'You have changed your story the whole f-----g time.'"

The Daily News reports (with video of the doctor's interaction with the patient).

ADDED:  Years ago, I was in an emergency room in New York City, waiting to have a large embroidery needle removed from my foot. (I'd stepped barefoot on exactly the wrong spot on a crack in an old wood floor causing a needle that was lying there to spring up and go completely into my foot.) In the next bed, behind a curtain, was a woman who'd taken something in an effort to kill herself. She was yelling dramatically at the doctors, "Go! Go help someone who wants to live!"

The top-rated comment on a column titled "Harvard can’t have it all" (about the lawsuit charging discrimination against Asian-American applicants).

Sorry to link to WaPo one more time. I know you probably don't want to go there and read it and don't have a subscription, but I wanted you to see this comment:
What people don't realize is schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford don't select students for admission, they curate. My brother was on the admissions committee at Yale. A student with a 4.00 and 1600 SATs was no big deal, but a student who won the oboe competition in her state and had a 3.8 and 1530 was. My wife graduated summa cum laude from Yale, I graduated from Emory with no honors. She's no smarter than me and we're equally successful in our chosen fields. People get so upset about perceptions of status.
That's challenged by someone who calls himself mendacityofhope: "I wonder if she believes you are as smart as she is?"

The first commenter comes back and says: "She be the first tell you that while she is far better read than I, she doesn't hold a candle to me in terms of practical knowledge. There are many kinds of intelligence." Ha ha. Classic answer — street smarts and different kinds of intelligence.

Mendacityofhope snarks back: "So true! You are correct about the curating thing too. Applicants are specimens in a grand butterfly collection."

By the way, there are 50 states and — what? — at least 20 different instruments in an orchestra, so that's a thousand big-deal applicants just on the level of that street-smart guy's hypothetical oboe girl. I love when bullshit is so obvious.

And — ironically — when you picture those thousand competition-winning orchestra kids, what ethnicity are you picturing? I'll bet classical music virtuosity counts for very little in the Ivy League admission process because it would help Asian American applicants. Or does it help a lot when you are not Asian-America but not at all when you are?

"Trump defiant as crisis grows over family separation at the border."

That's the headline at The Washington Post, with this video of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen vigorously defending Trump's policy:

From the article:
The president on Monday voiced defiance and continued to falsely blame congressional Democrats for what he decried as a “horrible and tough” situation. But Trump is empowered to immediately order border agents to stop separating families as a result of his “zero tolerance” enforcement policy.
The insertion of the word "falsely" is such a distracting signal that WaPo doesn't want to be looked upon as neutrally professional journalism. If what Trump is saying is wrong for some reason, that should be brought out, with factual statements, somewhere else in the story. I also don't like "voiced defiant" (or, from the headline, "Trump defiant"). For one thing, it purports to know his state of mind. For another, it refers to something that he's defying before setting up what that is. We're dropped into the middle of things, and Trump is all emotional and spouting lies. I feel like I'm reading a pulp fiction novel.
The president asserted that the parents illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border with their children “could be murderers and thieves and so much else,” echoing his incendiary remarks about immigrants at his campaign launch in 2015. And in a series of dark tweets, he warned that undocumented immigrants could increase gang crime and usher in cultural changes.

“The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” Trump said in a midday speech. “You look at what’s happening in Europe, you look at what’s happening in other places. We can’t allow that to happen to the United States. Not on my watch.”
So he's doing more of the kind of talk that won him the election in 2016. What makes Democrats in politics and the media believe it will work out differently this time? Big bets are being made on which high-emotion scenario will capture the hearts of voting Americans. I wish this were not forefronted as the issue for 2018. Whatever happened to the IG's report or North Korea or — for that matter — Russia collusion and impeachment?
The crisis garnered round-the-clock television news coverage, with journalists reporting about their first glimpses of the ­concrete-floor and metal-cage conditions inside the detention centers.
So no human beings were making the decision to devote round-the-clock coverage of this issue. The "crisis" did the acting. The abstraction — there's that bullshit wordgarnered the coverage.
Nielsen acknowledged that she was not keeping pace with coverage of the crisis, including audio of wailing children published a few hours earlier by ProPublica....
As if her job is to monitor the media, and how to enforce the law should be determined by what video has been chosen to run on television. Nielsen should have her own accurate sources and should work on performing her duties, not spend her time consuming journalism/propaganda and continually modify what she is doing in response to the imagined mood of the country. The test will come when the elections arrive, more than 4 months from now. Will crying, "caged" children fill our TV screens that long?
Trump has been closely monitoring the coverage...
Yeah, Trump, who we've been told spends too much time watching television.
... but has been suspicious of it...
LOL. That's what he does.  Watches TV suspiciously. If you're going to watch the news on TV — a horrible practice (I can't stand it) — that's what you should do, watch suspiciously.
... telling associates he believes that the media cherry-picks the most dramatic images and stories to portray his administration in a negative light, according to one senior administration official.
Well, of course. What competent watcher of television would not conclude that the images are cherry-picked for drama? As for negativity to the Trump administration, can you be a competent TV watcher and believe the concern here really is purely for the welfare of children?
Meanwhile, Trump and his advisers were unable to stanch the wellspring of public opposition. 
I'm skeptical of the phrase "wellspring of public opposition." There are surveys — the article refers to a CNN poll and a Quinnipiac poll showing 67/68% of Americans disapprove of separating children from parents — but I suspect that millions of Americans want what they voted for in 2016, which is strong immigration enforcement, and these people may not want to talk about the innocents who get hurt along the way and they may embrace the idea (that Nielsen stated clearly) that the children are being hurt by the adults who are taking them on a dangerous, criminal journey or suspect that many of these children are not so young and are already involved in gang violence and will bring more of that violence into the United States. What about that wellspring of public sentiment?

By the way, "stanch the wellspring" is a mixed metaphor. "To stanch" is to stop the flow of blood or other fluid from a wound in a living body. A "wellspring" is the source of a river emerging from the ground. These are emotive, colorful words, but they have concrete meaning and they're being used in a way that makes no sense.*
Some Republican elected officials joined Democrats in expressing moral outrage and calling for an immediate end to the administration’s family separation policy.
Are these people saying that what they want is that the adults who arrive with children and make a claim for asylum should — as before — gain free access to the United States? Or do they just express their "moral outrage" and leave it there?

* And — one more time — I've got to remind you of what George Orwell said about dying metaphors:
Dying metaphors. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically "dead" (e.g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles' heel, swan song, hotbed. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a "rift," for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying.

"Complaining the federal government has been 'thwarted' in its attempt to enforce immigration laws..."

"... Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene Monday in his feud with Chicago over so-called sanctuary city policies. Sessions wants the high court to limit to Chicago a nationwide injunction blocking him from applying new conditions to grant money as he tries to force cities to cooperate with immigration authorities. But in a 41-page application to the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Noel Francisco also framed the case as a larger fight over the use of sweeping, 'categorical' orders from district courts. He argued the high court should 'address the propriety of enjoining a federal immigration policy everywhere at the behest of one litigant.' U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber handed down the injunction in the Chicago case last September. Sessions has also tried, without success, to persuade the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to limit the injunction to the city...."

The Chicago Sun-Times reports.

June 18, 2018

At the Other Peony Café...


... keep blooming.

And keep using the Althouse Portal to Amazon, where you can find many of the nice things you need.

"The plaintiffs argue that their legal injury is not limited to the injury that they have suffered as individual voters, but extends also to the statewide harm to their interest 'in their collective representation in the legislature'..."

"... and in influencing the legislature’s overall 'composition and policymaking.'... But our cases to date have not found that this presents an individual and personal injury of the kind required for Article III stand­ing. On the facts of this case, the plaintiffs may not rely on 'the kind of undifferentiated, generalized grievance about the conduct of government that we have refused to countenance in the past.'... A citizen’s interest in the overall composition of the legisla­ture is embodied in his right to vote for his representative. And the citizen’s abstract interest in policies adopted by the legislature on the facts here is a nonjusticiable 'gen­eral interest common to all members of the public.'... [Professor] Whitford’s testimony does not support any claim of packing or cracking of him­self as a voter [in his district in Madison, Wisconsin].... His testimony points merely to his hope of achiev­ing a Democratic majority in the legislature—what the plaintiffs describe here as their shared interest in the composition of 'the legislature as a whole.'  Under our cases to date, that is a collective political interest, not an individual legal interest...."

From the Supreme Court's opinion today in Gill v. Whitford, finding no standing to challenge the alleged partisan gerrymandering here in Wisconsin.

You may remember that there was much talk of something called the "efficiency gap," a new way to calculate and give definition to the asserted constitutional wrong. (I blogged about it here, here, and here. ) The Court said:

"F--- you, Melanie. You know damn well your husband can end this immediately...you feckless complicit piece of s---."

Tweeted Kathy Griffin, in response to a message from Melania Trump's office that said "Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families & hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform. She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws but also a country that governs w/heart."

Interesting that she wrote out "fuck" and "shit" but merely gestured at "cunt" by writing "feckless."

ADDED, without comment:

Live-blogging the Supreme Court.

At SCOTUSblog this morning, beginning in 20 minutes. Maybe the gerrymandering case today? It's the oldest case we're still waiting for, and SCOTUSblog calculates that the opinion is being written by the Chief Justice.

UPDATE: 3 boxes of cases. The first 2 from Sotomayor and Breyer are about sentencing guidelines. The 3rd case, is written by Kennedy — as the cases are announced from the most junior Justice to the most senior, meaning only the Chief remains — is Lozman v. Riviera Beach:
In 2006, Fane Lozman was arrested when he got up to speak at a city council meeting. He filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, arguing that his arrest was retaliation for activities protected by the First Amendment – specifically, filing a lawsuit against the city and his criticism of city officials. A federal appeals court ruled against him, holding that he could not win on his retaliatory arrest claim because there was probable cause for police to arrest him.
Only Thomas dissents. Here's the PDF of the opinion:
Held: The existence of probable cause does not bar Lozman’s First Amendment retaliation claim under the circumstances of this case. Pp. 5–13.

(a) The issue here is narrow. Lozman concedes that there was probable cause for his arrest. Nonetheless, he claims, the arrest violated the First Amendment because it was ordered in retaliation for his earlier, protected speech: his open-meetings lawsuit and his prior public criticisms of city officials. Pp. 5–6....
UPDATE 2: The gerrymandering case is out. Whitford (my colleague) loses: No Article III standing. Opinion here. Will make new post.

AND: There are no dissents in Gill v. Whitford.
ROBERTS, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which KENNEDY, GINSBURG, BREYER, ALITO, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined, and in which THOMAS and GORSUCH, JJ., joined except as to Part III. KAGAN, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which GINSBURG, BREYER, and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined. THOMAS, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, in which GORSUCH, J., joined.
ALSO: The separate post on Gill v. Whitford is here.

3 years ago, Trump announced that he was running for President, and, oh, how the media mocked him.

He was manifestly a joke. He could never become President. The question was only how much chaos and hilarity he could inject into the process before the serious candidates had the stage to themselves.

Via "FLASHBACK: Three Years Ago Today – Donald Announced His Historic Run for President — WATCH HOW MEDIA MOCKED HIM" (Gateway Pundit, June 16th), via Drudge.

My attitude was just about exactly what you see in that video except that I believed in ignoring him (because, don't encourage him). My post noting the occasion was just a collection 5 anagrams of the name I would not say, and the only tag was "nothing," which I used in the sense of muttering an obscenity.

But over the 3 years, my attitude has changed. I'm thinking of mining my archive to write a book with the title "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Donald Trump." Seriously, that's my title. I'll self-publish on Kindle Direct if I can make that happen. Consider encouraging me. Or not.

"Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support...."

A text from Peter Strzok, dated August 26, 2016. From a list of "text messages of a political nature commenting on Trump and Clinton" by Strzok and Lisa Page quoted in the IG report at pages 399-400.

February 12, 2016, Page: “I’m no prude, but I’m really appalled by this. So you don’t have to go looking (in case you hadn’t heard), Trump called him the p-word. The man has no dignity or class. He simply cannot be president. With a Slur for Ted Cruz, Donald Trump Further Splits Voters http://nyti.ms/1XoICkO.”
She's no prude, but she can't write the word "pussy" in a text to her paramour? She had to write "p-word." And:
March 3, 2016, Page: “Also did you hear [Trump] make a comment about the size of his d*ck earlier? This man cannot be president.”
She can't write out "dick" in a text to her dick-having sexual partner?!
March 12, 2016: Page forwarded an article about a “far right” candidate in Texas, stating, “[W]hat the f is wrong with people?”...
Oh, for fuck's sake.
July 18, 2016, Page: “...Donald Trump is an enormous d*uche.”
But enough about Page. I want to talk about Strzok and his detection of odor among the deplorable people who shop at Walmart... in southern Virginia.

"For perspective, let’s flip the script. Would you believe that answer if it came from Tiger Woods?"

"Mickelson insisted he had not acted in haste or irritation. Instead, he said, he knew that the penalty for striking a moving ball was two strokes, and he had quickly determined that was a better result than letting his wayward putt roll off the green into worse shape. (There is a separate rule for stopping or deflecting a moving ball that could have led to a disqualification, but officials determined that Mickelson had violated the rule for striking a moving ball, not the one for stopping or deflecting one.) 'I’ve thought about doing the same thing many times in my career,' Mickelson said about striking rather than stopping his moving ball. 'I just did it this time. It was something I did to take advantage of the rules as best I can.'"

From "What Was Phil Mickelson Thinking?" by Bill Pennington (NYT) about this bizarre golfing:

Quite aside from what you think about that bizarre golfing, what do you think of the "perspective" supposedly to be gained by asking what we'd think if it was Tiger Woods? Is that supposed to be some sort of racial analysis, like that if you believe Phil Mickelson, you're a carrier of the infection of white privilege?

This is the third NYT article I'm blogging this morning, and the first 2 are about race. Maybe my thinking is skewed to see race everywhere — because, you know, it's deeply complex, historically layered, powerful, and submerged.

"My dissertation chairman was Richard Brandt. Once after I had earned the doctorate and was meeting with him, he stood over me, lifted my chin toward him..."

"... and remarked that I looked like a maid his family once employed. Around the same time, early in the Ronald Reagan administration, an effort was made to rid Washington of the sex trade and shops that flourished along the 14th Street corridor a few blocks from the White House. I worked in nearby McPherson Square at the National Endowment for the Humanities and, as a volunteer at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. One day I was walking near my office with a white male friend, a philosopher at an Ivy League university. We were stopped by the police, who profiled us as a hooker and john. I had to answer questions and show ID."

From "The Pain and Promise of Black Women in Philosophy" (an interview with Anita L. Allen) (NYT).

"The backlash that forced ABC to cancel Ms. Barr’s television series reflects a distaste for passé, plainly stated racism..."

"... in a society that likes to see itself as having put bigotry behind it. Nevertheless, centuries of institutional racism — and the dehumanization of black people upon which it relied — have left an indelible imprint on how Americans process blackness. The notion that the country might somehow move past this deeply complex, historically layered issue by assuming an attitude of 'color blindness' is naïve. The only real hope of doing that is to openly confront and talk about the powerful, but submerged, forms of discrimination that have long since supplanted the undisguised version."

The last lines "The Racist Trope That Won’t Die" by Brent Staples (NYT). The trope under discussion is the likening of black people to apes. The column went up yesterday, the day we were watching the new video "Apeshit," in which Jay-Z calls himself a gorilla. The line is "I'm a gorilla." Unfortunately, Staples didn't incorporate that complexity, and he's left saying things like "The toxically racist ape characterization has been pushed to the margins of the public square." Jay-Z isn't on the margins!

The other problem with Staples is that he ends up with the age-old prescription, the conversation about race. He calls that the "only real hope." Why is it the only real hope? Is there no hope at all in creating a powerful social etiquette of never saying anything that is regarded as racist and waiting until the population is replaced by people who don't think racist things (or who only think them in vague, innocuous ways)? Is there no hope in the forthright, vigorous reclaiming of race in the Jay-Z manner?  Who gets to say where the "only real hope" lies? Maybe the idea that what we really need is a conversation about race is itself a racial trope that won't die.

But, look, here I am, doing conversation about race. Probably not the right kind, and I expect that if Staples were to notice this, he'd tell me I'm doing it wrong.

And that's one problem with the conversation prescription. It's not a freewheeling, endlessly flowing, back-and-forth kind of conversation. It's a conversation that needs to go the right way, and that can get you into bad trouble if you do it wrong, and that often seems to be a demand that somebody sit still and take a harsh lecture.

So it may be might be naïve to think that "assuming an attitude of 'color blindness'" could easily work, but it's also naïve to think that "this deeply complex, historically layered issue" can be processed through that precious human interaction we call conversation.

June 17, 2018

At the Peony Café...


... bloom.

(And maybe shop Amazon (through the Althouse Portal)).

Garish hyperbole.

On Twitter today:

I like the Scott Adams riposte... or do you think it's in bad taste (in the Era of That's Not Funny)?

ADDED: By the way, it's Father's Day. What's with mothers and children? Are no children ripped away from fathers or is that just not visualizable as tragic and traumatic?

And as long as we're looking closely at the sex of the parents and children, "Where Are The Girls Being Detained By The Trump Administration?"
I've poured [sic] over these reports. I've scoured the photos. I've looked at every publication and every news outlets reporting. Not. One. Covers. Girls. Being. Detained.

Where are the girls?

Mark Sanford was living a lie, in the chapter of his life when he imploded, so he has a unique vantage point on Trump and his lies.

I wasn't going to turn on the Sunday shows today, but I did. You can see in the previous post that I watched "State of the Union." I blogged the discussion of the Bob Corker observation that "It's becoming a cultish thing, isn't it? It's not a good place for any party to end up with a cult-like situation as it relates to a president that happens to be purportedly of the same party."

I also watched "Meet the Press," and I'd scribbled a note for what I wanted to blog from the transcript, and I'm surprised to see that this too is something that began with that Corker quote. The host, Chuck Todd, was talking to Congressman (and former Governor) Mark Sanford, who tried to get the GOP nomination for South Carolina Senator, but lost out to someone who, unlike him, supported Trump.

Todd asked Sanford if he'd use the word "cult" to describe what has happened to the GOP, and Sanford said:
I wouldn't go so far as cult, but I would just say that, from an electoral sense, people are running for cover because they don't want to be on the losing side of a presidential tweet.... And from a popular standpoint, it's almost a Faustian bargain. I'll pander to you if you pander to me.... And that exchange is very dangerous really, with regard to, again, what the Founding Fathers set up, which is a system designed to garner debate and dissent. 
Garner! I exclaimed the word out loud.
The idea that you can't speak out and say, "I disagree with you here but I agree with you on 90% of the stuff"... is, again, a twilight world that I've never seen.
Huh? You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight World!

Todd pushed Sanford to talk about the way "that literally the president can just say whatever he wants, fact free, mischaracterized." And Sanford said:
That's a larger commentary on society and where we are. But because we've gone from George Washington, "I can't tell a lie by cutting down the apple tree"...
Apple tree?!!
... to they've become so replete that nobody even questions him anymore. And that's, again, a dangerous spot to be in a reason-based republic. I have a unique vantage point on this front.
Yeah! He's famously a liar!
We all know the story of 2009 and my implosion.
A lie was told on my half -- behalf, which means I own it. 
We paused after he said "half" and laughed a lot. Then when we got to "behalf," we were puzzled. What? Did someone else lie for him and it's big of him to take responsibility?
More to the point, I was living a lie in that chapter of life.
Yeah, get to the point. You were a liar. Living a lie. Chapter of life. Implosion. A lie was told on my half. Ludicrous! We were laughing here at Meadhouse.
But there were incredible consequences..... Financially, politically, socially, I lost my -- I can go down a long list. A long list. And so maybe the reason I'm so outspoken on this now is there is no seeming consequence to the president and lies. 
He's envious! How does Trump get away with all his lies? (It's like the sexual harassment conundrum: Why did Al Franken need to resign, why did all those Democrats crash and burn, and Trump gets to be President?)
And if we accept that as a society, it is going to have incredibly harmful consequences in the way that we operate going forward, based on the construct of the Founding Fathers.
Consequences, consequences. If the liar doesn't get consequences, there will be consequences for all of us, going forward. Ask the Founding Fathers.

"Number one, the camera of history is rolling. And it is on videotape now. And we will be able to see exactly what history is showing here."

Said Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) on Jake Tapper's "State of the Union" this morning (transcript here). It's all on videotape now. That amused me.

What was the topic? Oh, the panel was invited to talk about Senator Corker's statement "We are in a strange place. It's almost, it's becoming a cultish thing, isn't it? It's not a good place for any party to end up with a cult-like situation as it relates to a president." (We talked about that a few days ago on the blog, here.)

Jake Tapper was so into Corker's idea that he teased it before the commercial by saying, "Everyone, stick around. We're going to take a very quick break. Look into my eyes. What do you see? I'm the cult of personality."

I wonder what percentage of Tapper's audience just thought he was being pretty weird as opposed to realized he was saying some lines from this old song:

Lyrics printed and annotated here. The lines that follow the ones Tapper quoted are: "I know your anger, I know your dreams/I've been everything you wanna be ohhh/I'm the cult of personality/Like Mussolini and Kennedy/I'm the cult of personality." Kennedy! Also mentioned in the song are Stalin and Gandhi.

Anyway, Rick Santorum was also on the panel, and he said: "I would just say any president has a cult-like following within -- to say Barack Obama didn't have a cult-like following. He had absolutely a cult-like following --" Then he got cut off by Jennifer Granholm, who interrupted him and invaded his space like mad. (That lady is on fire. Earlier, talking about separating migrant parents and children, she said — with big passionate gestures — "You could drive nails through my hands. You could whip me on my back but do not take my children away.")

Meeks followed Santorum's effort to include Barack Obama in the idea that there's a "cultish thing" around a President:
MEEKS: Number one, the camera of history is rolling. And it is on videotape now. And we will be able to see exactly what history is showing here. Barack Obama when he was president, there were Democrats that did not agree with some of the things that he said. For example, TPP, they spoke out about it. They didn't reel it in. Even (INAUDIBLE) to immigration. There were members of Congress, Democrats who said -- and pushed it more on DACA, to create DACA.... But the Republicans here is yielding everything and the Republican Party no longer exists. It is the Trump party. We are losing our values. And when we took our oath of office it wasn't to a president. It was to a country. We are on a dangerous —
Obviously, there are Republicans who don't agree with some of the things Trump says. What's the real distinction here? Shouldn't a party reshape around a President if the President's any good? What compliment is it to Obama to say he didn't recreate the Democratic Party?

"When they gas the young ones, they literally cry out and squawk for their parents. The adult geese are slaughtered."

"It’s horrific. When they call it a goose roundup it doesn’t sound so bad. But what they are doing is cruel and unnecessary.... I get it. People who use the parks don’t want goose poop everywhere. But I don’t think those people are saying, ‘Hey. Let’s kill the geese.' We can deal with the problems geese create this year and then take more preventive steps next year to ensure no geese have to be killed. My organization is willing to help out. I’m confident lots of other people will, too. I just want to do the right thing."

Said Mary Telfer, executive director of Alliance for Animals, quoted in "Madison moving forward with annual geese kill/Goslings found in city parks are gassed; adults are slaughtered" (Isthmus).