March 22, 2019

Oh, come on, don't go crazy. If you love "normal," as you say, you'd better observe the "served"/"fed" distinction.

I'm reading "Why are 2020 Democrats so weird?" by Michael Walther (in The Week). There's this:
Meanwhile, there is Beto. I don't particularly care that in 1988 the young Robert Francis O'Rourke posted some erotic verses about cows ("Oh, Milky wonder, sing for us once more, / Live your life, everlusting [sic] joy" is one of the only bits I can quote on this family website) online. I didn't even know until yesterday that there was such a thing as "online" in 1988. Nor am I going to get all worked up about his weird murder spree fantasy story, which is the kind of thing stupid teenagers write every day. But what I do want to know is whether he actually took a handful of green feces, put it in a bowl, and served it to his wife once, telling her that it was avocado. Asked by a journalist recently to confirm the anecdote, which had been reported by a supposed friend of the candidate, he responded that while he didn't remember this happening it "sounds like the kind of thing I would do." Come again? If you fed excrement to the mother of your children, I feel like you would recall. I almost certainly think she would. If there was ever something to lie about as a politician, this is it....

I can't be the only person who sometimes thinks there's something to be said for, you know, normal people in politics. It is certainly difficult to imagine poor Jeb Bush ever inviting his late beloved mother to view a smut film with at the local cinema in Kennebunkport. It is even harder to imagine President Obama feeding the former first lady the contents of one of Sasha or Malia's diapers.
"Served" means he put the bowl of green shit on the table in front of his wife and declared it to be avocado. Very funny. "Fed" means he got it on a spoon and aimed it at her mouth and even got it in. Tricking her. That's horrible. Big difference. I like normal people, and in my book, normal people get the difference between those 2 images and don't smear them together to try to make the world seem weirder than it is. It's weird enough. Let's be precise and honest about just how weird it is, because it could be a LOT weirder, and we need to hang onto the last remaining lumps of normal.

"Pantera's Far Beyond Driven turns 25."

My son John observes the occasion.

"She bristles at the notion that Students for Fair Admissions represents Asian Americans."

"[Edward] Blum, the group’s founder, had previously challenged affirmative action at the University of Texas. For that case, he recruited a white female plaintiff who said she was rejected from UT because of her race. When that suit failed, Blum tried again, this time arguing race-conscious admissions policies penalize Asian Americans.... He found support for his crusade among well-educated and wealthy Chinese Americans in places like Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area, people who had grown suspicious when their high-achieving children were rejected from top-flight schools. They spread the word of their fight through WeChat, a Chinese messaging program. In Lee’s eyes, it is Students for Fair Admissions, not Harvard, that doesn’t recognize socioeconomic diversity among Asians. 'It’s very specific groups filing this lawsuit, and yet we’re all being clumped together,' she said. She is skeptical that eliminating race from college admissions decisions will benefit Hmong students, young people who, like her, grew up poor and in households where no English was spoken. 'It will definitely hurt them,' she predicted."

From "The Forgotten Minorities of Higher Education/What affirmative action means for low-income Asians" in The Washington Post Magazine.

But if using race as a factor were forbidden, I think schools would pay more attention to "young people who... grew up poor and in households where no English was spoken." So why shouldn't those who champion the interests of less well-off Asian groups support the lawsuit? I see that there's an estimate that 43% of Harvard students (instead of 23%) would be Asian if only GPA and test scores were used. Maybe the idea is that if there were a higher proportion of Asian students, the Asian students attempting to rely on low economic status would be discriminated against, because the schools would be afraid of looking too Asian. Asian, as the article points out, is a very large category, comprising many subgroups, but if school are concerned about looks, the question is whether these subgroups are visually distinguishable to... who?... white Americans. And that's the problem with using economic deprivation (rather than race) as a factor: It's doesn't show. Not vividly anyway.

"As a man charged with publicly explaining Donald Trump’s often meandering and colloquial vernacular in highly adversarial TV settings..."

"... I appreciate more than most the sometimes-murky nature of his off-script commentaries. But these Charlottesville statements leave little room for interpretation. For any honest person, therefore, to conclude that the president somehow praised the very people he actually derided, reveals a blatant and blinding level of bias. Nonetheless, countless so-called journalists have furthered this damnable lie. For example, MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace responded that Trump had 'given safe harbor to Nazis, to white supremacists.' Her NBC colleague Chuck Todd claimed Trump 'gave me the wrong kind of chills. Honestly, I’m a bit shaken from what I just heard.' Not to be outdone, print also got in on the act, with the New York Times spewing the blatantly propagandist headline: 'Trump Gives White Supremacists Unequivocal Boost.' How could the Times possibly reconcile that Trump, who admonished that the supremacists should be 'condemned totally' somehow also delivered an 'unequivocal boost' to those very same miscreants?... Despite the clear evidence of Trump’s statements regarding Charlottesville, major media figures insist on spreading the calumny that Trump called neo-Nazis 'fine people.' The only explanation for such a repeated falsehood is abject laziness or willful deception."

Writes Steve Cortes,  a CNN political commentator.

I suspect that they keep repeating the falsehood because they are so clearly wrong that they can't find any way to back down. And I also think they've seen the effectiveness of this attack on Trump. It has worked as propaganda, so why stop now? The hit to their credibility has already occurred, so why not keep manipulating minds?

"Did Stefon write this headline?"



Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, is running for President. Chasten Buttigieg, who has a good Twitter presence, is his husband. Stefon is this "Saturday Night Live" character.

Chris Cillizza is a CNN political analyst, whose latest piece, linked in that tweet, reads:
Don't look now, but a(nother) skinny kid with a funny name is turning heads in the presidential race.

In 2008, it was Barack Obama. In 2020, it's Pete Buttigieg.

Buttigieg, the 37-year-old, married gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is, at the moment, the hottest candidate in the Democratic presidential field -- drawing rave reviews everywhere he goes.... He's young, charismatic and personable. He knows how to talk like a regular person -- an underrated trait in a field filled with front-running senators. And he has a remarkable resume: Rhodes scholar, military veteran, gay mayor of his hometown....

But Buttigieg is unquestionably having a moment right now....

"A judge has issued a temporary injunction blocking Wisconsin Republicans’ contentious lame-duck laws limiting the powers of Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul, both Democrats."

WKOW reports.
Republicans passed the lame-duck laws during an all-night extraordinary session in December just weeks before Evers and Kaul took office. An extraordinary session is a previously unscheduled floor period initiated by majority party leaders.

A coalition of liberal-leaning groups filed a lawsuit in January arguing such sessions are illegal. They contend the Wisconsin Constitution allows legislators to convene only at such times as set out in a law passed at the beginning of each two-year session or at the governor’s call....

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said, “For decades the Legislature has used extraordinary sessions that have been widely supported by members of both parties. The most recent extraordinary session was held for Governor Evers’ Budget Address..... Today’s ruling only creates chaos and will surely raise questions about items passed during previous extraordinary sessions, including stronger laws against child sexual predators and drunk drivers. We will appeal this ruling.”

"The only thing easier than beating the Klan in court... was raising money off Klan-fighting from liberals up north

"... who still had fresh visions of the violent confrontations of the sixties in their heads. The S.P.L.C. got a huge publicity boost in July, 1983, when three Klansmen firebombed its headquarters. A melted clock from the burned-down building, stuck at 3:47 a.m., is featured in the main lobby of the Montgomery office today. In 1987, the center won a landmark seven-million-dollar damage judgment against the Klan; a decade later, in 1998, it scored a thirty-eight-million-dollar judgment against Klansmen who burned down a black church in South Carolina. With those victories, Dees claimed the right to boast into perpetuity that the S.P.L.C. had effectively 'shut down' the K.K.K. By the time I touched down in Montgomery [in 2001], the center had increased its staff and branched out considerably—adding an educational component called Teaching Tolerance and expanding its legal and intelligence operations to target a broad range of right-wing groups and injustices—but the basic formula perfected in the eighties remained the same. The annual hate-group list, which in 2018 included a thousand and twenty organizations, both small and large, remains a valuable resource for journalists and a masterstroke of Dees’s marketing talents; every year, when the center publishes it, mainstream outlets write about the 'rising tide of hate' discovered by the S.P.L.C.’s researchers, and reporters frequently refer to the list when they write about the groups. As critics have long pointed out, however, the hate-group designations also drive attention to the extremists. Many groups, including the religious-right Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom, raise considerable money by decrying the S.P.L.C.’s 'attacks.'"

From "The Reckoning of Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center" by Bob Moser in The New Yorker.

March 21, 2019

"You don’t have to kink-shame or say that people are creepy because of what they enjoy doing," said Charlotte Taillor, who had hoped "to have a nice relationship with a nice community of woke people."

The hoped-for "nice community" was Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Taillor had moved in with her "kink collective," which runs "bondage workshops and other fetish events for the B.D.S.M. (bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism) community."

The quoted article is "When the Dominatrix Moved In Next Door/A 'kink collective' in a residential area of Brooklyn has upset longtime residents and resulted in a culture clash and gentrification struggle all wrapped up into one fight" (NYT).
But the battle on Quincy Street is about more than just sex. For [longtime resident Laurie] Miller, it’s about trust and safety; for Ms. Taillor, it’s about respect and kink-shaming. As both women fought to protect their communities, what resulted was a culture clash and gentrification struggle all wrapped up into one fight.
Miller is black, and her reaction to Taillor's "nice community of woke people" was, "Oh, 'woke'! Bye, Felicia!" Miller also said, "I don’t like the transient nature of the guys that come there, that have no vested interest in our community. We don’t know what their backgrounds are or what they’re capable of. It’s just a scary thing."

Taillor says she's going to move out and: "It’s her block... I respect her. I want her to be the BeyoncĂ© of her block. I want her to be the queen of the block. I have no qualms with it.... It’s definitely her block... I’m a feminist, I’m all about her rights.... I want to be cherished.... We deserve to be recognized in the community that we are in."

Imagine plopping your sex business into the black neighborhood and not just expecting the residents to be "woke" about it but expressing that expectation out loud and to their face!

And here's the Wikipedia page for "Bye, Felicia":
The phrase "Bye, Felicia" (actually spelled "Felisha" in the cast listing) came from a scene in the American stoner buddy crime comedy film Friday (1995). According to Ice Cube, who starred in the film and co-wrote its script, "Bye, Felicia" is "the phrase 'to get anyone out of your face'," and, as it was used in the Friday scene, is generally intended as a dismissive kiss-off.

"Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president...."

"But the decision poses considerable risk, and some advisers are flatly opposed. Some have pointed out that in a Democratic debate, he could be asked why no one on the stage would be a worthy running mate. Advisers also know that the move would be perceived as a gimmick...."

Axios says.

"As Russia collusion fades, Ukrainian plot to help Clinton emerges."

A headline at The Hill.
Ukraine’s top prosecutor divulged in an interview aired Wednesday on Hill.TV that he has opened an investigation into whether his country’s law enforcement apparatus intentionally leaked financial records during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign about then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in an effort to sway the election in favor of Hillary Clinton....
ADDED: It should say "As allegations of Russia collusion fades." The collusion didn't fade. There was no collusion. Apparently.