August 29, 2020

At the Sunrise Café...


... you can write about anything you like.


"And I do think — the Democrats, I think, have come to understand, they somehow got on the wrong side of order."

"And they got somehow attached, even though Biden is not actually attached to it, to the idea of defunding the police. And they need to somehow make some gesture to show they understand the insecurity of the American people. The country has been through an anxious time, with the pandemic, economic turmoil. There's just this great sense of fear, of fear and a sense of unsafety, physical unsafety, from the pandemic and everything else. And somehow they have to address that. Now, a lot of law and order talk is code word for racism. There's no question about that. But I think a lot of it is not. And I think Democrats would be making a mistake if they just said, oh, you're all just a bunch of cryptoracists. I think people have legitimate concerns about expressing their opinion safely, about living safely. And so I think Biden really would do well by himself to somehow address this issue and say, no, we're for policing, we want to reform policing, but we will keep you safe. This is just an elemental issue of politics stretching back 3,000 or 4,000 years...."

Said David Brooks (on PBS Newshour last night).

They need to somehow make some gesture....

They need more than some gesture! Show some leadership. Why should they be trusted when they've been running the cities with the worst problems with crime and the police?

"Cryptoracist" is a useful word. Reminiscent of "cryptofascist" (which which is what Gore Vidal said he meant to call William F. Buckley when he called him a "crypto-Nazi"). Brooks's use of "cryptoracist" is to mock the notion that there are lots of such people out there.

The OED has an entry for "crypto" as a free-standing word: "A person who secretly belongs to or supports a particular political group; esp. a crypto-communist." There's a Churchill quote: "Pacifists or ‘cryptos’, or that breed of degenerate intellectuals."

Did you, like me, attempt to use the word "aye-aye" in today's NYT Spelling Bee puzzle?

Here is the wild aye-aye:

cc nomis-simon

Wikipedia: "The French naturalist Pierre Sonnerat was the first to use the vernacular name 'aye-aye' in 1782 when he described and illustrated the lemur... According to Sonnerat, the name 'aye-aye' was a 'cri d'exclamation & d'étonnement' (cry of exclamation and astonishment). However, American paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall noted in 1982 that the name resembles the Malagasy name 'hai hai' or 'hay hay,' which refers to the animal and is used around the island. According to Dunkel et al. (2012), the widespread use of the Malagasy name indicates that the name could not have come from Sonnerat. Another hypothesis proposed by Simons and Meyers (2001) is that it derives from 'heh heh,' which is Malagasy for 'I don't know.' If correct, then the name might have originated from Malagasy people saying 'heh heh' to avoid saying the name of a feared, magical animal.... The aye-aye is often viewed as a harbinger of evil and killed on sight. Others believe, if one points its narrowest finger at someone, they are marked for death. Some say that the appearance of an aye-aye in a village predicts the death of a villager, and the only way to prevent this is to kill it. The Sakalava people go so far as to claim aye-ayes sneak into houses through the thatched roofs and murder the sleeping occupants by using their middle finger to puncture the victim's aorta." Note the extra-long middle finger.

Here's today's Spelling Bee puzzle, with the letters Y-A-E-I-C-N-T. I'm sure "aye-aye" was rejected because the hyphen is necessary. I reached "genius" level anyway, with 16 words. (You have to use the Y, you can repeat letters, and the words must be at least 4 letters long. Extra points for getting a pangram.)

No one knows the mind of Melania.

"AITA for kicking this girl out of my house after she mistook my UK flag for a confedrate flag? And was planning to get us fired from our jobs?"

A discussion at r/AmItheAsshole.
I notice that she is just video taping a lot, so I am like Kate can you check on your friend like whats going on? Turns out.. she thought that the UK flag we have hanging in our living room was a confederate flag. And she was getting "Evidence against us." When she found out that it wasn't everyone just acted like it was a huge joke....
Typos in the original.

"The cops involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake... were attempting to arrest him for violating a restraining order stemming from an alleged sexual assault..."

The NY Post reports.
Blake, 29, was forbidden from going to the Kenosha home of his alleged victim from the May 3 incident, and police were dispatched Sunday following a 911 call saying he was there.
I can't tell whether the woman is black. Does it matter?
The responding officers were aware he had an open warrant for felony sexual assault, according to dispatch records and the Kenosha Professional Police Association, which released a statement on the incident on Friday.

That police union statement also claimed that Blake was armed with a knife at the time of the shooting — and had put one cop in a headlock and shrugged off two Taser attempts while resisting arrest....

"Cathy was a great lady. Men were drawn to her, and she used to make me jealous. But I don’t have a bad thing to say about her."

Said Gordon Lightfoot, quoted in a NY Post item teased on the front page as "Back-up singer best known for killing John Belushi dead at 73." The more dignified headline at the link is "Cathy Smith, who injected John Belushi with fatal overdose, dies at 73."
Until Belushi’s death, Smith was known in rock music circles for singing back-up for Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel, later founding members of The Band, and in the early 1970s becoming Lightfoot’s girlfriend and muse. Lightfoot wrote the #1 1974 hit “Sundown” about his tumultuous, extramarital and occasionally violent relationship with Smith, the dark lyrics masked by a lilting, bluesy melody: “[I can see her lyin' back in her satin dress/In a room where ya do what ya don't confess/]Sundown you better take care/If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs.”

Smith claimed the Band song "The Weight" was about her.

"Kamala Harris has this revealing verbal tic, where she simply repeats herself over and over when she cannot construct a logical argument."

"One example was her 'It was a debate!' non-explanation of her maligning of Joe Biden's character. Same when she said 'it's a movement' and 'they're not going to stop, they're not going to stop' over and over again."

Says Wince, in the comments to the first post of the day. I'd written about an author who said that the "peaceful protesters" and the rioters are not 2 different groups — that it's one movement — and he linked to this:

And here's "It was a debate!":

Mayhem and tussling.

WaPo reports:
Some protesters who stayed in the District after the March on Washington ended Friday afternoon continued to spread their message, and elements of mayhem, around the city by temporarily shutting down major roads and tussling with police, even while rain deluged the area at nightfall.
I had a hard time reading that sentence. Why is there a comma after "message"? It caused me to read "elements of mayhem" as the subject of an independent clause, and I had to backtrack to see that "protesters" is the subject and "message" and "elements of mayhem" are what the protesters "continued to spread." The "mayhem" seems to consist only of road blockage and "tussling with police." Tussling with police?

WaPo tells us that the protesters often "received gestures of support from motorists trapped in the sudden gridlock." The gesture of support is, I believe, indistinguishable from the gesture of please don't target me and my car, so I totally believe that lots of trapped motorists were acting as though they were pleased with their predicament.

"Looting... provides people with an imaginative sense of freedom and pleasure and helps them imagine a world that could be."

"And I think that's a part of it that doesn't really get talked about—that riots and looting are experienced as sort of joyous and liberatory."

Says Vicky Osterweil, author of "In Defense of Looting," interviewed at NPR.
[A] trope that's very common is that looters and rioters are not part of the protest, and they're not part of the movement. That has to do with the history of protesters trying to appear respectable and politically legible as a movement, and not wanting to be too frightening or threatening. Another one is that looters are just acting as consumers: Why are they taking flat screen TVs instead of rice and beans?... All these tropes come down to claiming that the rioters and the looters don't know what they're doing. They're acting, you know, in a disorganized way, maybe an 'animalistic' way. But the history of the movement for liberation in America is full of looters and rioters. They've always been a part of our movement....  
I don't know if other people in "the movement" are happy to see that idea spoken aloud. I've been hearing that there are 2 groups of people — the peaceful protesters and these mysterious other people, who, I've noted, the journalists don't seem to care to identify and investigate. Osterweil is saying these are not 2 different groups. It's one movement, and it's been going on for a long time.

Osterweil says it's a Republican/right-wing myth "that the small business owner must be respected, that the small business owner creates jobs and is part of the community." She conceptualizes the small businesses as agents of oppression within the community. They're not innocent victims, unfairly targeted. So don't worry about them. In fact, as Osterweil tells it, the looting is a cogent argument — an attack on "the idea of property... the idea that in order for someone to have a roof over their head or have a meal ticket, they have to work for a boss, in order to buy things that people just like them somewhere else in the world had to make under the same conditions." In this view, it's "unjust" to have to work to make money to buy the things you need and want, because "the world is organized that way, obviously, is for the profit of the people who own the stores and the factories." Looters "get to the heart of that property relation, and demonstrate that without police and without state oppression, we can have things for free.... Looting strikes at the heart of property, of whiteness and of the police."

That seems to present looting as street theater with a message. It makes an argument. A terrible argument. We've heard that argument in words many times over the years, and most Americans reject it. We want to work and build wealth and enjoy our lives and we want the great mutual benefits of hard work and wealth. Osterweil's looting is a switch from making the argument against property in words and to speak with actions — the destruction of property. But that doesn't make the argument more convincing! It's a nasty tantrum thrown because you can't convince people with your ideas. Ironically, fortunately, it makes the argument for the other side.

August 28, 2020

At the Stormy Sunrise Café...


... write about whatever you like.

Did you watch Trump's New Hampshire rally this evening? Strange that he went out immediately after the convention and did a rally. He was mocking Joe Biden's plan to go out campaigning 10 days from now.

That's a Type #2 sunrise, you know. Completely cloudy sky but texture to the clouds. I think it's nice.

"'This is an insult to injury,' one of Blake's uncles told media Thursday. 'He is paralyzed and can’t walk and they have him cuffed to the bed. Why?'"

"During an appearance in Kenosha on Thursday, Gov. Tony Evers said he 'couldn't imagine' why handcuffing a paralyzed man 'would be necessary.' I would hope that we would be able to find a more, a better way to help him … in recovering. That seems counterintuitive. It seems to be bad medicine."

From "Family says Jacob Blake is handcuffed to his hospital bed; has retained Racine Attorney Patrick Cafferty" (

Here are some possibilities that I can imagine: 1. It's not true that Blake is handcuffed to the bed, 2. It's not true that Blake is fully paralyzed, 3. There's a concern that others might help Blake escape, 4. Blake is capable of doing dangerous things with the part of his body that is not paralyzed.

Also at that article, we get some additional information about Blake: "According to a criminal complaint, at around 6 a.m. on May 3, Blake entered his ex-girlfriend's home the 2800 block of 40th Street — the same block where he was shot three months later — in an attempt to retrieve his property. While there, Blake is accused of having penetrated the woman with his fingers." They should add "without consent"! That's what makes it a crime. The crime is sexual assault. In other words, rape. He deserves to be under arrest, and he resisted arrest vigorously. There is reason to feel empathy for any human being who suffers a grievous injury, but let's not forget about the seriousness of the charge of rape!

I need to read the criminal complaint.  Here (boldface added):

Welcome to Madison, Sean.

"In the current chaos, I’ve come to appreciate Marcus Aurelius’s maxim that 'The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.'"

"And I have to say I’m horribly conflicted on some issues. I’m supportive of attempts to interrogate the sins of the past, in particular the gruesome legacy of slavery and segregation, and their persistent impact on the present. And in that sense, I’m a supporter of the motives of the good folks involved with the Black Lives Matter movement. But I’m equally repelled by the insistent attempt by BLM and its ideological founders to malign and dismiss the huge progress we’ve made, to re-describe the American experiment in freedom as one utterly defined by racism, and to call the most tolerant country on the planet, with unprecedented demographic diversity, a form of 'white supremacy.' I’m tired of hearing Kamala Harris say, as she did yesterday: 'The reality is that the life of a black person in America has never been treated as fully human.' This is what Trump has long defended as 'truthful hyperbole' — which is a euphemism for a lie. But here’s one thing I have absolutely no conflict about. Rioting and lawlessness is evil. And any civil authority that permits, condones or dismisses violence, looting and mayhem in the streets disqualifies itself from any legitimacy. This comes first. If one party supports everything I believe in but doesn’t believe in maintaining law and order all the time and everywhere, I’ll back a party that does. In that sense, I’m a one-issue voter, because without order, there is no room for any other issue.... One of the most devastating lines in president Trump’s convention speech last night was this: 'Tonight, I ask you a very simple question: How can the Democrat Party ask to lead our country when it spends so much time tearing down our country?' A cheap shot, yes. But in the current context, a political bullseye."

Writes Andrew Sullivan, in "The Trap The Democrats Walked Right Into/If law and order are what this election is about, they will lose it."

IN THE COMMENTS: People are not buying that it was a “cheap shot” or a “trap.”

Audibly gasped.

"Thank you, Seattle, for being one of the most progressive cities in the United States of America."

Just a moment in August 2015 that I wanted to relive this morning because I was thinking about how the highly racialized left-wing rhetoric has washed out the economics-based leftism of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Do the protesters/rioters care about whether they're hurting Joe Biden's chances of getting elected?

That's a question I've been contemplating, and I think the answer is clearly no. Why would they care about helping Biden? I'm only a distant observer — though I am in Wisconsin — and I think they're irrational so it's particularly hard to work out what might be in their head, but I really don't see why helping Joe Biden would be on their agenda. I don't see how, believing in systemic racism and the deeply engrained evil of America, they can think Joe Biden will further their cause, and there's a big risk that his election would deflate the energy. But if Trump wins, what a wild infusion of new energy!

Meanwhile, a new Trafalgar poll has Trump up by 2 in Michigan. And the betting odds graph looks like this:

"One would think that after what the Right spent years spewing about Chelsea Clinton and the Obama girls that they'd be a little less fragile when it's pointed out that Trump's 14-year-old is tall."

"But of course they aren't. Any mention of silent Barron Trump, even innocuous, causes them to freak out.

Writes (the amusingly named) Ed Scarce at Crooks and Liars.

Example of innocuousness:

Scarce concedes that some of the tweets about Barron are a bit "mean":

The tweeter of that comments on his own post to say: "Hello everyone I would like to make it clear that this is a joke and I do not hate Barron, he seems like a nice young man and I would absolutely run duos with him on Fortnite and get some epic victory royales."

I really don't care. Do you?

Did Scott Walker hang up on Anderson Cooper?

"[Trump's] speech elevated the darkest themes of the convention.... Joe Biden, Mr. Trump said, is a 'Trojan horse for socialism' in whose America 'no one will be safe.'"

"Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) summed it up earlier in the week: 'The woke-topians will . . . disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home and invite MS-13 to live next door.' All this scaremongering was accompanied by outright slander of Mr. Biden, against whom Republicans leveled unsubstantiated corruption charges — and whose record and platform alike Mr. Trump distorted into almost a parody of radicalism.... In this fictional realm, a man who lauded white supremacists as 'very fine people' becomes a champion of racial comity, and a leader who ignored warnings about the pandemic actually sets the global standard for disease response.... The conjured specter of widespread 'urban violence,' combined with warnings that the dictatorial Democrats against 'guns, gasoline and God' would force Americans to wear masks, lock them down and keep them from church, may well resonate with people the GOP is aiming to fire up. And the falsely comforting portrait of the president may soothe those the party is hoping to persuade: giving them permission to support someone whose values jar their consciences by pretending his values are something else altogether."

From "Trump desecrates a public monument in the finale to a convention of lies" by the Editorial Board of The Washington Post. Oddly, somebody chose a haloed image of the President to illustrate their condemnation:

I could laugh, but I won't, at "In this fictional realm, a man who lauded white supremacists as 'very fine people'...." WaPo editors speak of Trump's "fictional realm" while plainly displaying themselves as existing in their own fictional realm, the one in which Trump "lauded white supremacists as 'very fine people.'"

The haloed image could be understood as sarcasm. Biden is the light of the world. Trump is darkness. I do think it works to command attention to the hand gesture, because I fell into a reverie about paintings... but which paintings?! I linger over the hand gesture. What paintings am I thinking of? St. Thomas in "The Last Supper"?

"Salvator Mundi"?

Plato in "The School of Athens"?

Or am I supposed to see the white power "OK" sign?

"I recognize that my dad’s communication style is not to everyone’s taste and I know that his tweets can feel a bit unfiltered..."

Said Ivanka Trump, in her convention speech last night. Clearly, she was there to reach out to people who might like some or a lot of what Trump is doing but think there's something brutal and rough about him and nice people don't associate with that.

My choice of the word "rough" makes me think of that famous line attributed to George Orwell: "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." But that has nothing to do with how the President of the United States chooses to speak.

President Obama spoke in a beautifully polished style — most of the time — but he was ready to do violence on our behalf. I wrote "most of the time" because as soon I thought about Obama's readiness to do violence on our behalf, I remembered something he said: "Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine."

Here's the larger context of that Ivanka quote:

"Just got attacked by an angry mob of over 100, one block away from the White House. Thank you to @DCPoliceDept for literally saving our lives from a crazed mob."

Rand Paul tweeted 7 hours ago.

He's getting pushback. I'm seeing tweets like: "We all saw the tape! No one 'attacked' you. They were protesting, and yelled at you while you were cowering behind a police escort." And: "The video proved that @randpaul is a liar. This was a stunt to send to #FoxNews." Where's the video? I see this, but I don't know what portion of the incident it shows.

There's also this tweet: "See, if the police provided this sort of protection to every person of color instead of firing bullets in their back, people would not be protesting in the first place." It seems to me, the reason the police were on the scene in the Jacob Blake incident was that they came to protect a woman who had called them. The woman had made a call and the call was responded to. Does this tweeter want the police to provide protection or not? If a woman calls and asks for help in a domestic situation, should the police leave her to handle her own problem?! Whatever happened to concern about violence against women?


How dumb is it to attack Ivanka's story that her son built a Lego model of the White House!

It's not that big a deal to build a Lego model of the White House! They sell kits. But who would attack a mother proud of her little son's accomplishment?! And it gives her the opportunity to knock you right down with a photograph:

August 27, 2020

At the Sunrise Café...


... you can write about whatever you want... including the last day of the GOP convention, which I intend to say something about in the morning. For now, you're on your own.

"This was a big, important moment for me... With every step, I felt empowered. Like I was taking control of my life."

"Like I could and would be me again. I looked at my friend and said, 'I’m taking one of those topless pics and I’m never giving up the things I love again.'"

Said Kelli Schulte, 36, a grants specialist, about an experience on a 14,000-foot mountain, Torrey's Peak. She's quoted in "Women are going topless in nature as part of growing trend across Colorado/Many women say taking their shirt off on a hike feels empowering," in The Denver Post, which I was reading because I'd clicked on an Instapundit link on the headline "Some women are opting to carry guns on Colorado trails to stay safe."

Sample quote from that, from Sara C., a 35-year-old Denver business owner: "Most women I know have been touched or grabbed by men when in the woods. It’s too common.... A creepy guy sees a girl fishing or hiking alone, tries to grab her arm or her body … dogs and guns will scare people off."

I need to get back to Colorado.

"While Mr. Rittenhouse is being pursued by the group, an unknown gunman fires into the air, though it’s unclear why."

"The weapon’s muzzle flash appears in footage filmed at the scene. Mr. Rittenhouse turns toward the sound of gunfire as another pursuer lunges toward him from the same direction. Mr. Rittenhouse then fires four times, and appears to shoot the man in the head. Mr. Rittenhouse seems to make a phone call and then flees the scene. Several people chase him, some shouting, 'That’s the shooter!' As Mr. Rittenhouse is running, he trips and falls to the ground. He fires four shots as three people rush toward him. One person appears to be hit in the chest and falls to the ground. Another, who is carrying a handgun, is hit in the arm and runs away. Mr. Rittenhouse’s gunfire is mixed in with the sound of at least 16 other gunshots that ring out during this time. As this happens, police vehicles just one block away remain stationary during the gunfire. Mr. Rittenhouse walks with his hands up toward the police vehicles. Bystanders call out to the officers that he had just shot people. The police drive by him without stopping, on their way to assist the victims."

From "Tracking the Suspect in the Fatal Kenosha Shootings/Footage appears to show a teenager shooting three people during protests in Wisconsin. We tracked his movements that night" (NYT).

The Times passes along this video by Daily Caller reporter Richie McGinniss:

"Anthony Martignetti, who found television immortality as a 12-year-old Italian immigrant when he sprinted through Boston’s North End..."

"... in an enduring television commercial for Prince spaghetti, playing a boy who is beckoned by his mother’s cry, 'Anthony! Anthony!,' died on Sunday at his home in West Roxbury, Mass. He was 63. His older brother Andy said the cause was still undetermined. He said Mr. Martignetti had been awaiting treatment for severe sleep apnea. In 1969, Anthony and several fellow preadolescents were approached in Boston’s Little Italy by three men looking for Commercial Street. His friends replied rudely; Anthony, angelic and ingenuous, offered directions. The men were smitten. They turned out to be scouts for an advertising agency seeking a realistic location to film a pasta commercial and credible nonprofessionals to act in it.... When the men from the ad agency went to Anthony’s home to explain the particulars to his parents, who spoke little English at the time, his brother Andy volunteered to be the interpreter, a job that conferred some literary license. 'I tried to beat him out of it,' Andy Martignetti said in a phone interview. 'I said I can eat a lot more spaghetti than Anthony. But he was just such a cute little bugger.'"

From "Anthony Martignetti (‘Anthony!’), Who Raced Home for Spaghetti, Dies at 63/He was a 12-year-old Italian immigrant when a classic TV commercial for Prince, the Boston pasta company, gave him a lasting identity" (NYT).

"... I was teaching 'Tristram Shandy' that semester so I ordered the audiobook and then, by mistake, I listened to the whole thing on shuffle play. Without realizing it."

"Only later did I come to understand this is what Sterne wanted! In 1767!"

Said Jill Lepore, quoted in "The Best Book Jill Lepore Ever Got as a Present Is One She Hates" (NYT). The headline refers to a copy of "Little Women," a gift from her mother — "It drove me crazy, the daffiness of the 19th-century girl."

I confess I've never read "Tristram Shandy," but I know it's structurally weird. Wikipedia says the author's "narrative structure digresses through many jumbled and fragmentary events into a non-traditional, dual overlapping plot." It really is very funny that the professor who was teaching the book listened to it on shuffle — that is, with the chapters in random order.

"For her speech on day two of the Republican National Convention, the First Lady wore a $2,450 tight-fitting green military jacket by the British designer Alexander McQueen..."

"... which she paired with a matching pencil skirt ($890) and cinched at the waist with a thick belt. Observers immediately compared her outfit to a Girl Scouts uniform or that of Steve Irwin the crocodile hunter, but standing at the podium in front of a wall of American flags, the message she seemed to be sending was much more sinister.... [B]ecause she chose to wear this look to a convention with a particularly loud 'fascist timbre,' it’s hard not to read the look as dictator cosplay."

From "Melania Does Dictator Cosplay" (The Cut).

There's a link on "fascist timbre," but it just goes to "Kimberly Guilfoyle Screams at America for Six Terrifying Minutes."

Last night at the convention, Melania wore a soft, full, pink dress, but I'll bet it's hard — for some people — not to read the look as really quite sinister:

"Now virtually every window on Capitol Square, State Street and part of University Avenue is boarded just as UW-Madison students return to campus."

"Tiffany Kenney, executive director of the Central Business Improvement District, said it could be months before business owners feel comfortable without protection over their windows. 'This is a giant setback for us,' Kenney said. 'They are fearful. There has been damage, there’s been violence and we’re back, way, way back.' Kenney said many are worried about the November elections and may leave their boards in place through the end of the year, which 'could be devastating for our Downtown.' Several businesses had donated plywood painted by local artists to the business district for a future art exhibit, but Kenney said many of those are again covering windows.... After the windows of Papa John’s Pizza were smashed, one of the protesters told an employee, 'These people don’t represent our movement.' 'Well, I’m sorry, but they’re part — they’re with you,' the employee responded...."

From "Downtown merchants begin to fear losing all of 2020 as protests, destruction continue" (Wisconsin State Journal).

It's so awful to hit these businesspeople when they are down — not only from earlier riots but from the months of shutdown from the coronavirus. It's so disordered to believe that these people deserve to be targeted, as if they are not human beings. Meanwhile, the young students are flowing into the city, taking up residence in the dorms, dealing with the prospect of virtual classrooms, and they can't have the pleasure of the excitement and beauty of downtown Madison. They don't even get the colorful murals that dressed up the damage a couple months ago. No, we've got new plywood now, blankly expressive of what has really happened — mindless destruction.

Here's the video of the colloquy at Papa John's. The Wisconsin State Journal didn't quote the part where the employee said, "Do you want Trump to be elected?"

Just a knife.

When Turley gets snarky.

"Before Samuel was even born, I was told his life wouldn’t be worth living. When early tests revealed he had Down syndrome..."

"... our doctor encouraged me to terminate the pregnancy. He said, 'If you do not, you will be burdening your life, your family, and your community.'... When we went to register Samuel for kindergarten, we were told to just put him where he would be comfortable. Don’t stress him out by trying to teach him. When we pushed for him to attend his neighborhood school with his sisters, we were told, 'Just go home and let us do what we do.' When I inquired about functional learning, I was told, 'This is all you get, like it or not.' Well, I did not like it. One size did not fit all. So, I helped fight to pass legislation in Ohio for a special needs scholarship, so that all students could choose the right program for their needs. I worked to start a new functional learning program at our local private school. Finally, Samuel had an appropriate place to learn. Last December, Samuel was invited to the White House to meet our President and share his thoughts on education freedom. He said, 'School choice helped my dreams come true. My school taught me the way I learn best. I was able to fit in. I made many friends. I became a part of my community. My teachers helped me become the best I can be.' President Trump shook my hand and said, 'Wonderful job, mom. Your son is amazing.'"

From last night's GOP convention, a woman named Tara Myers.

Here's the video. I am especially touched at the part where she quotes her son:

"The Democratic agenda to me right now is America is systematically racist and evil and the only people who can fix it are Democrats. That’s the vibe I get."

Said John Geraghty, a 41-year-old Wisconsin tractor factory worker, quoted in "How Chaos in Kenosha Is Already Swaying Some Voters in Wisconsin/As residents see fires and looting, some worry that local Democratic leaders are failing to keep control of the situation."

I have an earlier, longer post about that article, but I really wanted to break out that quote and put it in a headline, because it succinctly states a problem that I thought about a lot as I watched the 3rd day of the GOP convention last night. The ending, live at Fort McHenry, had such a classic, forthright American patriotism feeling. That's a much better brand! People want to feel uplifted. We want to love. We don't want to feel that everything is hopelessly corrupted and evil to the core. Even if we care about facts and truth — and I wish we would! — we still need motivation and resolve.

Look at how Mike Pence's speech ended last night, intoning "our flag is still there" at Fort McHenry. Look at that setting, Trump and Melania walking through the fort, Trace Adkins singing the National Anthem, with disabled war heroes pulling themselves into the standing position...

"My fellow Americans, we’re going through a time of testing. But if you look through the fog of these challenging times, you will see, our flag is still there today. That star-spangled banner still waves over the land of the free and the home of the brave...."

ADDED: Biden is attempting to do upbeat branding, stressing his high energy level and showing us photos of Martin Luther King Jr.:

"The queen of coming is going. At the end of July, Betty Dodson was admitted to a hospital following complications from failing organs."

"She is in the Riverside Premier Rehabilitation and Healing Center in Manhattan with around two to three weeks to live, according to her doctors. And yet she has chosen to die as she lived: outrageously. This Sunday I attended one of her solo sex classes with a difference. At 4 p.m. ET, 55 women from around the world checked in for a Zoom circle jerk in honor of the self-styled 'rowdy cowgirl' from Wichita, Kansas. Visuals were a shadowy checkerboard of knees splayed, breasts old and young, vibrators and vulvas, hips pressing down into pillows.... The last time I saw Betty was at her New York home in January 2019. Betty was 89 at the time, but we drank two and a half bottles of Veuve Clicquot between us, smoked a couple of joints, and spent the night swapping sex gossip until she finally keeled over at midnight on the carpet of her living room A.K.A 'the Temple Of The Goddess'—the location of her now-legendary masturbation master classes, which has witnessed thousands of orgasms over the years. She refused to let me help her get up, so I watched her crawl to a nearby chair and use it to gradually right herself.... In a way, Betty really has been preparing to die her whole life. 'We need to embrace death like it’s our final orgasm,' she told me when I first interviewed her in 2014....  Betty had observed something from being present at the hospital death of her beloved mother. 'The top half of her body suddenly lifted up and then fell back,' she writes... 'It wasnʼt a disturbing sight at all. It was as though death had come to her as a final orgasm.'... In her seventies (a decade she named 'the youth of old age') she took a lover, Eric Amaranth, who was in his twenties. It was a 'fabulous' 10 years but she said that when she turned 80 she knew she had to give him up. 'I didn’t want to turn into Hugh Hefner.'"

From "How Is Betty Dodson, the Queen of Female Masturbation, Dying? Not Quietly" (The Daily Beast).

"An organizer of the rallies held to support Black lives and condemn police brutality also condemned rioters who’ve destroyed property and those who have committed violence..."

"... leading to the recent killings of Kenosha area men in the city she was born and raised in. At a peaceful gathering, that included barbecue for anyone at Civic Center Park Wednesday night, Porche Bennett, 31, a Kenosha native and local business owner, honored the memory of two Kenosha-area men who were shot and killed Tuesday. The men were allegedly shot and killed by a 17-year-old Antioch boy who came armed to the city amid the organized protests and later rioting that has broken out since Sunday night after the Kenosha Police officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake. While Kenosha police did not name the boy, he was identified as Kyle Rittenhouse by Antioch authorities. A third man who was shot suffered non-life threatening injuries.... 'Now I need everybody to put a fist in the air for our boys that we lost,' said Bennett.... 'They came out here every time with us. Sweet. Loving. They were the sweetest hearts, souls. I called Anthony my hippie guy... They were sweet guys. We knew all three of them, but he [Anthony Huber] was the one who would always come up to me. Always would be right by me.... [I]f you’re here after curfew, we’re not going to have anything to do with you... Point blank. Period. So, if you’re out here after curfew, that is on you with those on. They’re not associated with us. If you’re out here after curfew, you are not associated with us. This is what we do. Peaceful stuff... We get out here hang out together and be peaceful and demand justice. So, if you want to remain safe, we’re asking you all, please we’re asking you all we don’t want to have what we had last night.... If you’re out after curfew … we’re not responsible for whatever happens to you.... I hate to say it that way, but it’s reality.... I don’t want to see that with nobody else. Yes, I’m happy the young man got arrested. It shouldn’t have gotten to that. I don’t want to see that no more.... We’re already protesting for Jacob, now we got to deal with this … I’m tired of all of that.... Whoever stays out here, you’ll learn the difference.... There are two different types of people.... That ends today. Either you’re here to be peaceful and do that for the cause and do what’s right or just don’t come because we’ve got to rebuild this. We live here, you guys get to go home to a pretty little city.... We’ve got to wake up to this now."

The Wisconsin State Journal reports.

The word "boy" is used twice to refer to Rittenhouse — by the newspaper — and the "organizer" uses the word "boys" to refer to the men who were shot to death.

Bennett obviously realizes that those who want to be known as peaceful protesters must disconnect themselves from the violence that takes place after curfew. But notice that she did not say If you’re out after curfew, we’re not responsible for the things you do. She said, "If you’re out after curfew … we’re not responsible for whatever happens to you." She's referring to people like  Kyle Rittenhouse who might show up in an unpredictable effort to do what the police have failed to do and protect the town's businessowners.

"How Chaos in Kenosha Is Already Swaying Some Voters in Wisconsin/As residents see fires and looting, some worry that local Democratic leaders are failing to keep control of the situation."

A headline in the NYT.
In Kenosha County, where the president won by fewer than 250 votes in 2016, those who already supported Mr. Trump said in interviews that the events of the past few days have simply reinforced their conviction that he is the man for the job. But some voters who were less sure of their choice said the chaos in their city and the inability of elected leaders to stop it were currently nudging them toward the Republicans.

And some Democrats, nervous about condemning the looting because they said they understood the rage behind it, worried that what was happening in their town might backfire and aid the president’s re-election prospects.
Are they "nervous about condemning the looting because... they understood the rage behind it" or are they nervous about condemning the looting because they're afraid of the social and economic consequences of speaking out against the looting? The NYT includes the words "they said" — "nervous because... they said they understood" — but was that because we don't know whether they really do understand the rage or is it because we don't whether they're giving an accurate account about why they are holding back from "condemning the looting"? I suspect it's the former, because the NYT is otherwise downplaying the disorder: Why is it just saying "the looting"? How about the arson and other violence? Is the NYT nervous about mentioning the arson because it understands the rage?
Ellen Ferwerda, who owns an antique furniture store downtown just blocks from the worst of the destruction that is now closed, said that she was desperate for Mr. Trump to lose in November but that she had “huge concern” the unrest in her town could help him win. She added that local Democratic leaders seemed hesitant to condemn the mayhem.

“I think they just don’t know what to say,” she said. “People are afraid to take a stance either way, but I do think it’s strange they’re all being so quiet. Our mayor has disappeared. It’s like, ‘Where is he?’”
Maybe stop referring to them as "Democratic leaders." Maybe try something like "Democratic shrinkers" or — if you're nervous about condemning them because you understand their reticence — "Democratic nice people."

August 26, 2020

"These people don't represent our movement."

(That's University Avenue in Madison, Wisconsin.)


... a peaceful scene. But go ahead and get excited about the convention or whatever. This is an open thread.


“What was in you that you just couldn’t do this? They all did — all the other tables. You were literally the only one of 20 other people. So there was something in you that was different from all the other people.”

Said Chuck Modiano, who "identified himself as a citizen journalist who writes for @Deadspin," quoted in "Protesters target D.C. diners, triggering backlash after heckling woman/Lauren Victor refused to go along with raising her fist — although she supports the movement" (WaPo). He was speaking to Lauren B. Victor, the woman in this viral video:

"What was in you?" — he asked, and it feels like an accusation of racism. You just couldn't even give us this. But what was in her — I hope — was humanity and personal integrity:

"We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets. My team just got off the phone with Governor Evers who agreed to accept federal assistance (Portland should do the same!)"

"TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!”

Trump tweeted this morning, the Washington Examiner reports.

It's at least a day late, but I'm glad Evers is standing up.

"President Trump and the Republican Party placed the powers of the federal government in service to Trump’s reelection on Tuesday..."

"... staging pardoning and naturalization ceremonies as part of the GOP’s official nominating convention and using the White House Rose Garden for a speech by the first lady.... The format bucked traditional norms of diplomacy and launched a House investigation into whether Pompeo violated the Hatch Act, a federal law that separates government functions from political ones — and a line that Trump and many of his aides have appeared to delight in blurring. Pompeo's address, delivered with the night skyline of Jerusalem behind him, celebrated Trump's relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to 'this very city of God, Jerusalem.'... The president made an unadvertised appearance less than 15 minutes into Tuesday night's broadcast, where he signed a pardon for Jon Ponder, a convicted criminal who turned his life around with help from a former FBI agent. The two men, both scheduled as speakers Tuesday, appeared alongside Trump at the White House.... Trump has largely bypassed the traditional pardon system, in which convicted people appeal to the Justice Department.... Trump made a second unadvertised appearance Tuesday, to preside over a naturalization ceremony for five immigrants, which also featured acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf. Speaking at the White House, Trump praised the three women and two men from all corners of the globe for their perseverance. 'You followed the rules, and you obeyed the laws. You learned your history, embraced our values and proved yourselves to be men and women of the highest integrity,' Trump said. Trump has always put gauze over the specifics of his wife’s immigration story...."

From "Trump uses powers of government in service of reelection, with pardoning and naturalization ceremonies" (WaPo).

"White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Tuesday night that Gov. Tony Evers turned down an offer of federal help from President Donald Trump to help quell the outbreak of violence in Kenosha."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
"We have a National Guard standing by that if the general for the National Guard needs additional help, we're there to do it," Meadows said. "But today, that request was denied by the governor."

The Democratic governor deployed the National Guard to Kenosha on Monday and doubled the size of the deployment to 250 on Tuesday. On Tuesday, Evers did speak with both Meadows and Trump but Meadows was offering help from the Department of Homeland Security, not the National Guard, according to the Evers administration. Evers declined because more Guard members were already been sent there....

“Everyone should be able to exercise their fundamental right — whether a protester or member of the press — peacefully and safely,” [Evers] said in a statement. “We cannot allow the cycle of systemic racism and injustice to continue. We also cannot continue going down this path of damage and destruction.”
Also at the Journal Sentinel this morning:
Kenosha Police said early Wednesday morning that two people had been shot and killed and a third injured during protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake.... The shooting came on the third night of violent protests that have torn through Kenosha after a police officer shot Blake from behind at close range while he was getting in a vehicle. Since then, buildings have been burned, windows smashed out and stores looted.
ADDED: I’d like to see descriptions of what the National Guard were doing in Kenosha last night. There were 250? Why wasn't that effective? Today, I see:
In a letter Wednesday, Kenosha County Board Chairman John O’Day and Vice Chairwoman Monica Yuhas specifically requested 1,500 National Guard members with police powers to be sent to Kenosha County. The members wrote on behalf of the county board, stating that the “county is in a state of emergency” and the extra law enforcement is needed to “preserve and save” the region.

“Our county is under attack,” the board wrote in the letter. “Our businesses are under attack. Our homes are under attack. Our local law enforcement agencies need additional support to help bring civility back to our community.”

"On Monday morning, members of the Yale Law School faculty received a terse message from their provost informing them that Professor Jed Rubenfeld 'will leave his position as a member of the YLS faculty for a two-year period, effective immediately'..."

"... and that upon his return, Rubenfeld would be barred from teaching 'small group or required courses. He will be restricted in social gatherings with students.' As of Tuesday morning, he was no longer listed on the Yale Law faculty site. Three people familiar with the investigation that led to Rubenfeld’s suspension said it stemmed from the university finding a pattern of sexual harassment of several students. The allegations, which spanned decades, included verbal harassment, unwanted touching, and attempted kissing, both in the classroom and at parties at Rubenfeld’s home.... Rubenfeld said Tuesday, 'I think subsequent to me having written some controversial articles about sexual assault, that I became a target of people making false allegations against me.' Who was making these false allegations, exactly? 'I don’t know,' Rubenfeld said, 'because of confidentiality. Identities were not revealed to me.' That’s not true, according to Yale’s stated policies — and one of the complainants.... Rubenfeld is married to fellow Yale Law professor Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and both wield power in the high-stakes race for judicial clerkships. In the summer of 2018, it was Chua who took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to vouch for then–Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a 'mentor for young lawyers, particularly women.'"

From "Yale Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld Has Been Suspended for Sexual Harassment" (New York Magazine).

Via Glenn Reynolds, who says: "If I recall correctly, they started going after him when he and his wife Amy Chua defended Brett Kavanaugh."

"As I was riding through here, through the city, I noticed a lot of damage. It doesn’t reflect my son or my family."

"If Jacob knew what was going on as far as that goes, the violence and the destruction, he would be very unpleased. So, I really asking and encouraging everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment and examine your hearts. Citizens, police officers, fireman, clergy, politicians, do Jacob justice on this level and examine your hearts. We need healing. As I pray for my son’s healing physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I also have been praying even before this for the healing of our country. God has placed each and every one of us in this country because he wanted us to be here. Clearly, you can see by now that I have beautiful brown skin, but take a look at your hand and whatever shade it is, it is beautiful as well. How dare we hate what we are? We are humans. God did not make one type of tree or flower or fish or horse or grass or rock. How dare you ask him to make one type of human that looks just like you? I’m not talking to just Caucasian people, I am talking to everyone. White, black, Japanese, Chinese, red, brown, no one is superior to the other. No one is superior to the other. The only supreme being is God himself. Please let’s begin to pray for healing for our nation. We are the United States. Have we been united? Do you understand what’s going to happen when we fall? Because a house that is against each other can not stand. To all of the police officers, I’m praying for you and your families. To all of the citizens, my black and brown sisters and brothers, I’m praying for you. I believe that you are an intelligent being just like the rest of us. Everybody, let’s use our hearts, our love, and our intelligence to work together, to show the rest of the world how humans are supposed to treat each other. America is great when we behave greatly."

Said Julia Jackson, the mother of Jacob Blake.

ADDED: "Jacob Blake's mother tells Don Lemon she has 'the utmost respect' for Trump" (Washington Examiner)("I have the utmost respect for you as the leader of our country").

"I’m supporting President Trump because he believes as I do, that a strong America cannot fight endless wars."

"We must not continue to leave our blood and treasure in Middle East quagmires.... President Trump is the first president in a generation to seek to end war rather than start one. He intends to end the war in Afghanistan. He is bringing our men and women home. Madison once wrote, 'No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continuous warfare.' I’m proud to finally see a president who agrees with that. Compare President Trump with the disastrous record of Joe Biden, who’s consistently called for more war. Joe Biden voted for the Iraq War, which President Trump has long called the worst geopolitical mistake of our generation. I fear Biden will choose war again. He supported the war in Serbia, Syria, Libya. Joe Biden will continue to spill our blood and treasure. President Trump will bring our heroes home. If you hate war like I hate war, if you want us to quit sending $50 billion every year to Afghanistan to build their roads and bridges instead of building them here at home, you need to support President Trump for another term."

Said Rand Paul on the second night of the GOP convention. Video. Transcript.

"A vest designed for the modern Girl Scout must have pockets, and those pockets must be large enough to fit the largest model of the iPhone."

"'In all our fittings that was the No. 1 thing,' said Wendy Lou, the deputy chief revenue officer of the Girl Scouts of the USA. 'Can you fit the iPhone in there? Yes? Let’s go.'"

From "The Girl Scout Uniform, Updated for Gen Z/A stylish utility vest. Leggings. Denim. For the first time in decades, the Girl Scouts are getting new clothes" (NYT).

I thought the reason not to get the large size iPhone was that you wanted to be able to carry your phone in your pocket. Now, it seems, pockets need to be large enough to carry the large iPhone. What a strange inversion of priorities!

ADDED: On the subject of me and pockets, I'll just quote a post of mine from last year:
I eschewed purse-carrying from the age of about 18 until... when was it? I insisted that clothes have pockets, only carried around a skinny wallet and keys, and considered it a feminist issue. Also a freedom issue. At some point, I decided it was simpler to carry a very small handbag, big enough for a wallet and keys and — ah, yes, the cell phone. It was the cell phone that made me want to get my carry-ables out of my clothing and separately compartmentalized.
Even a small phone was too much for the pockets I felt good about. Too bulky! I can't imagine wanting the bulkiness of the large iPhone as part of my clothing.

August 25, 2020

At the Dark Sky Café...


... you can talk about anything, including Night 2 of the GOP convention. I'll be watching some of it perhaps but probably won't blog anything until morning. We'll be moderating comments for at least another hour tonight. Otherwise, I'll be seeing you Wednesday.

Is this ugliness mindless or deliberate?

"Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don't give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is."

Said Hillary Clinton, quoted in Politico.

But you're not Trump, Nate.

Nate Silver tweets some advice to Republicans:
All conventions are a mix of reaching out to wavering voters and shoring up your base. The D convention, especially Biden's speech, was perhaps 65/35 in the reaching-out direction. Night 1 of the RNC was about 50/50. From the list of speakers, the rest of the RNC might be 35/65. If I were Trump, I would in theory weight the reaching-out-to-swing-voters part much more heavily. His base is already with him, and will likely turn out no matter what he does. But, it also isn't a very large base, even with its advantages in the Electoral College. But in practice, Trump has an awfully tough sell with swing voters between the pandemic, the economy, and the fact that at least half the country thinks he's racist. Which explains why he's down 9 points in the polls, of course....
Well, we will see if he's down 9 points in the polls after the convention is over. Some of the appeal to the base is effective with swing voters. I'm a swing voter — a swing voter in Wisconsin — and I was disappointed in the Democratic convention because there wasn't anything about the rampant disorder in the cities. I want safety and security! I expect the police to show up and protect us when we call them. And learning how to use a gun was something I chose to do this summer.

AND: "C-SPAN's livestream of the first night of the Republican National Convention has attracted nearly 440,000 views, marking a substantial increase over the start of the Democratic National Convention, which drew 76,000 views. The numbers for Monday night come ahead of traditional TV ratings from Nielsen Media Research, which will be released on Tuesday afternoon."

"Essentially, our city was burned to the ground, building by building."

Said Kenosha County Board of Supervisors member Zach Rodriguez, quoted in "Wisconsin city braces for third night of protests over police shooting of Black man" (Reuters).

A fascistic taste for coercion.

4-year-old hits a hole-in-one.

"Coming into the convention, I thought I would be making fun of the gun-wielding McCloskeys’ predictably lame speech at the Republican National Convention."

"Instead, I realized just how well their story would play to a lot of folks I know. Now, if you’re a liberal Democrat who lives in a cosmopolitan area, you probably won’t appreciate this. But if you’re a suburban college-educated mom who voted for Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio, you probably found yourself nodding along more than you might have imagined."

Writes Matt Lewis at The Daily Beast. I can't read the whole thing because it's "members only." But, here, watch it yourself:

It's easy enough to imagine what Matt Lewis wrote. Harder, actually, to imagine why Lewis and his "cosmopolitan" Democrats just don't understand their fellow Americans who want to defend their homes with guns.

ADDED: Here's the transcript:

Kimberly Guilfoyle "has long, contentious ties with two of that state’s most prominent Democrats: Gov. Gavin Newsom, her ex-husband, and Sen. Kamala D. Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee and a former work rival."

"Kimberly Guilfoyle was once half of a liberal power couple. Now she’s basically a Trump. After law school, she landed a job in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office but was quickly let go by a new district attorney. After moving to Los Angeles to serve as a prosecutor there, she made a bid in 2000 to return to her former workplace. But as Guilfoyle tells it, there was one obstacle in her way: a young assistant district attorney named Kamala D. Harris. 'The bottom line is she didn’t want me there,' Guilfoyle told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2003. 'She called me and said basically … that I should have gone through her if I wanted to return to the D.A.’s office — and that there was no money to hire me.' Guilfoyle did get the job, and soon — in between suing robbers and arsonists — her buzzing social life earned her a media moniker as 'the babe of the San Francisco bar'... A big part of that picture was her high-profile relationship with Newsom, then serving on the city’s board of supervisors.... In 2001, the young couple’s wedding was declared 'the social event of the year'.... More than 15 years later, speaking to millions of viewers, she suggested her ex-husband’s policies in Sacramento were akin to those being implemented in Havana and Caracas."

From "Kimberly Guilfoyle trashed California. She goes way back with two of the state’s most important Democrats" (WaPo), where I also saw this:

Some of the top rated comments over there: "Time will not be good to her. I have a high level of confidence that after this speech she went and killed 101 Dalmatians"/"There isn't a single authentic thing about Kimberly Guilfoyle. Physically or mentally"/"Guilfoyle's 'speech' was truly terrifying. I half expected the stage to burst in flames as she called upon the armies of G-d to rise up to defend freedom. That was no longer a dog whistle but a bullhorn"/"Calling on god while she is a home wrecking harlot"/"the most vulgar woman placed exactly where she belongs: Into the most vulgar american family. she fits like a glove"/"I never could take seriously anyone who trowels-on make-up... I just see clowns."

What I said as I surveyed the damage to the places on Capitol Square here in Madison this morning.

As we drove around the square, I made a recording of myself so I'd have a list:

"Home Savings Bank, 2 broken windows, broken door. The toy store has 2 broken windows. Fromagination [the cheese store] has 2 broken windows and a broken door. Park Hotel... The Post, the restaurant there, has 2 broken windows.... Starbucks looks completely intact, it's open, it looks completely inviting, looks nice. Credit Union House is unbroken. Walgreen's windows are unbroken, but I see a guy sweeping up at the door, so the door was broken. Tavernakaya restaurant isn't broken, but Park Bank has one broken window. Colectivo [coffeehouse] has 2 broken windows. Arch, a hairstyling place, has 3 broken windows, the whole front is broken. Graze, the restaurant, Graze, has 3 big windows broken. L'Etoile, the restaurant next to it has no broken windows.... It says 'Fuck 12' at Center 7 but the windows aren't broken. Wait Chiropractic is crossed out and it says 'BLM Now.' The Old Fashioned — no damage to The Old Fashioned. No damage to the YMCA. 'Fuck 12' and 'Free the Guys' at the UW Credit Union.... There's the Post Office, they didn't get the Post Office. And then broken window on Merrill Lynch and 'Here are your premiums.' Wait, let me get a picture of that...."


"Town Bank has a broken window, 2 broken windows, big picture windows at Town Bank. 'Let Them Know BLM' on the apartment building.... 3 broken windows at Cooper Tavern. Graffiti being whited out by painters at the Veterans Museum. The State Historical Museum has boards on the windows, it says 'Kill Killer Cops'.... The now-closed camera store has a broken window. State Farm Insurance is boarded up. And Grace Church is unharmed."

ADDED: Here's the Wisconsin State Journal report on what happened overnight:

The Democratic convention was famously boring, but apparently the Republican convention is so damned exciting that...

... "coked" is trending on Twitter!

A taste of why...

This should mean more people will watch the speeches. I watched Guilfoyle in real time last night and thought it was wild how much she was yelling. But see for yourself:

And here's Don Jr. I've only watched a few seconds of this, and I will just observe that it appears that his makeup artist put a dot of a high-sparkle product under each eye, presumably with the notion that it would make his eyes "pop":

ADDED: "What's the Deal with Dots?"

August 24, 2020

Daybreak at Pope Farm.




Here's the post that is the reason Ayn Rand is trending on Twitter right now.

I'm sure many of you can write better "Top 7 Warning Signs In a Man's Bookshelf" lists!

Asked if he was "already prepping for the debates," Biden said he was, but then, asked "Who is playing Trump?" he was utterly flummoxed.

This is the most interesting thing that happened in the utterly softball interview Biden did with ABC's David Muir:

Here's the transcript of the whole interview. Relevant portion (which cannot be appreciated in text form):
MUIR: The president said he's already prepping for the debates. Are you?

BIDEN: So am I. I can hardly wait.

MUIR: Who is playing Trump?

BIDEN: I'm prepping.

MUIR: You can get back to me on that.
My guess is that Biden is not prepping yet, but he just gave the most generic positive answer when he said "So am I. I can hardly wait." The followup should not have been difficult, and I don't think Muir was going for a gotcha, since you can see that he readily moved in to give cover once Biden came out with something. But Biden wasn't sharp enough to bullshit something like "Oh, I can't tell you that!" He was a deer in the headlights. Maybe that was some indication of a conscience — he'd lied saying he was already prepping and he had to think about whether he wanted to keep going with lying and he just couldn't decide, perhaps because it seemed as though he needed to come up with a name.

The Republican Convention is off to a fast start.

Look, they've already nominated him and he's done his speech. Scroll to 1:32:45 for the speech. Did you know this wasn't going to be in prime time? Anyway... I listened to some of the speech — it seemed upbeat and got a lively reaction from the crowd:

Feeling the love for Margaret Thatcher.

It was 50 years ago today — the Sterling Hall bombing.

"This is clearly about making sure private schools aren’t allowed to show up the [unionized] MTI teachers in the public schools."

Said lawyer Andy Cook, quoted in "Catholic schools will sue Public Health to open as scheduled," (Blaska Policy Werkes).
Shortly after normal office hours on Friday (08-21-2020) Madison/Dane County Public Health issued an order closing down in-school education for students above second grade at private schools for the upcoming school year — matching the voluntary stance taken by area public schools.

After the Democratic convention, before the Republican convention... interesting polling.

Yesterday in Wisconsin...


UPDATE: Professor Tribe deleted his tweet, but you can still see what the text of it was: "Looks a lot like first-degree murder to me."

I don't know all the reasons why Tribe chose to delete, but I assume one of them is that the man who was shot — Jacob Blake — hasn't died.

From the NYT article about the shooting (that went up at 6:26 p.m. EDT):

"You say New York will not bounce back this time. You will not bounce back. In your enervated, pastel-filled new life in Florida."

"I hope you have a long, healthy run down there. I can’t think of a more fitting retribution for your fine article. This stupid virus will give up eventually. The same way you have. We’re going to keep going with New York City if that’s all right with you. And it will sure as hell be back. Because of all the real, tough New Yorkers who, unlike you, loved it and understood it, stayed and rebuilt it."

Jerry Seinfeld — in "So You Think New York Is ‘Dead’" (NYT) — kicks the ass of that guy who wrote that article on LinkedIn that we were all talking about last week.