November 26, 2022

Sunrise — 7:11.


"In 1976, Ronald Reagan challenged a sitting president, Gerald Ford, and four years later Jerry Brown did the same against Jimmy Carter."

"Both incumbents would lose the general election, as would George H.W. Bush in 1992, the last year a president would face a remotely serious primary. This fear of wounding your own president and only ensuring his defeat in the fall is partly the reason why primaries against incumbents have faded, and it’s certainly top of mind for younger challengers who don’t want to hurt their future prospects within the party. Yet there’s something else at work now that was lacking when Reagan and Brown mounted their challenges. Today’s intense polarization and the contempt the two parties have for one another has fostered an internal cohesion within the two coalitions that, far more than ideological unity, acts as a retardant against insurgencies...."

From "Newsom Told the White House He Won’t Challenge Biden/The would-be pursuer of Trump and DeSantis is 'all in' for the president’s reelection and willing to wait his turn" (Politico).

WaPo columnist Dana Milbank "recently bought a property in the Virginia Piedmont, with the pandemic-inspired idea of finding peace in nature."

"On paper, the parcel is three-quarters wooded, one-quarter pasture. In practice, the place is about 95 percent brush... an entire civilization of invasive vines and weeds.... Asiatic bittersweet and porcelain berry, kudzu and Japanese honeysuckle, invasive wineberry and aggressive Canada goldenrod had devoured the place, turning forest and field alike into tangled masses of vines and thorns, and murdering defenseless native trees by strangulation and theft of sunlight... [A]ny attempt to remove the invaders by mechanical means alone (or by planting more native species — which will be the topic of a future column) is doomed; the interlopers would grow back faster than I could cut them out or replace them. The only chance of victory... is with a laborious, multiyear course of herbicides applied to each invasive plant.... Clearly, I won’t be defeating these invaders. At best, I’ll battle them... holding them at bay until I lose the will to fight them...."

From "I’m losing the battle against the brush. I’m not alone." 

He tells us the place is 95% brush but not how big it is. Why did he buy land that had problems he didn't understand at all and that make the place entirely unsuitable for its intended purpose (finding peace)? And more importantly, why does a person with this level of practical sense and good judgment have a column in The Washington Post expounding on politics? Can we take his inane real estate venture as a metaphor?

"Although Cambodia to this day has no law specifically limiting surrogacy, the government criminalized the practice by using existing laws against human trafficking..."

"... an offense that can carry a 20-year sentence. Dozens of surrogates have been arrested, accused of trafficking the babies they birthed. In a poor country long used as a playground by foreign predators — pedophiles, sex tourists, factory bosses, antique smugglers and, yes, human traffickers — the Cambodian authorities said they were on the lookout for exploitation....  Nearly all of those arrested in the 2018 raid gave birth while imprisoned in a military hospital, some chained to their beds. They, along with several surrogacy agency employees, were convicted of trafficking the babies. Their sentencings, two years later, came with a condition: In exchange for suspended prison terms, the surrogates would have to raise the children themselves. If the women secretly tried to deliver the children to the intended parents, the judge warned, they would be sent to prison for many years. This means that women whose financial precarity led them to surrogacy are now struggling with one more mouth to feed."

From "They Were Surrogates. Now They Must Raise the Children. In Cambodia’s weak legal system, surrogacy exists in a gray market, endangering all involved when political conditions suddenly shift and criminal charges follow" (NYT).

In one example discussed in the article, the surrogate was paid "$9,000 — about five times her annual base salary." 

"Actually, if you google the word senicide you’ll see that many parts of the world have a push/pull relationship with their older members..."

"... the push of veneration, the pull of elimination. The United States with its chrome-plated dreams of spit-shine modernity was never much for the admiration of its senior citizens. Way before taunts of 'Okay, boomer' and the calling of people with experience the pejorative term 'olds' this country has had a tendency to isolate the grizzled dotard, if not on an ice floe then in retirement camps where they could gum pudding and play bingo away from the delicate eyes of youth. It would be easy to blame the sixties, with silly slogans like 'Don’t trust anyone over thirty' or even sillier movies like Wild in the Streets, where anyone over thirty-five is herded in camps and given mandatory doses of LSD."

So writes Bob Dylan, in "The Philosophy of Modern Song."

So, of course, I google "senicide," and I'm reading this Wikipedia article "Senicide," while picturing 81-year-old Bob Dylan reading it too. Highlights:

"When your founder spends almost $40 million on politics, is that not necessarily out of excitement to do good and be regulated appropriately?"

"... Is this very good, invisible, costly fabric that I was also given to have made into the finest robes to show my commitment to effective altruism … nothing? Is it nothing? Please tell me if it’s nothing."

Writes Alexandra Petri in "Come to think of it, maybe I don’t understand cryptocurrency" (WaPo).

"The Commerce Department, under Ms. Raimondo’s leadership, is now poised to begin distributing nearly $100 billion — roughly 10 times the department’s annual budget..."

"... to build up the U.S. chip industry and expand broadband access throughout the country.... Many view the effort as the best — and only — bet for the United States to position itself in industries of the future, like artificial intelligence and supercomputing, and ensure that the country has a secure supply of the chips necessary for national security. But the risks are similarly huge. Critics of the Biden administration’s plans have noted that the federal government may not be the best judge of which technologies to back.... The outcome could also have ramifications for Ms. Raimondo’s political ambitions.... Her supporters say she could ascend to another cabinet position, run for the Senate or perhaps mount a presidential bid. But she is under close watch by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and some other left-wing Democrats, who have criticized her as being too solicitous of corporate interests...."

From "A Rising Star in the Biden Administration Faces a $100 Billion Test/Gina Raimondo, the commerce secretary, has made a career of tackling increasingly larger challenges. Could the next one be too big?" (NYT).

"The two largest placebo-controlled trials of microdosing... both suggest that the benefits people experience are from the placebo effect."

"In the studies, volunteers... received either active doses or a placebo packaged in identical capsules. At the end of several weeks, almost everyone’s mood and well-being had improved, regardless of what they had taken.... If they took a placebo but thought it was a microdose, they felt better, and if they had an active dose but wrongly guessed it was a placebo, they did not. A third placebo-controlled trial... tried to get around user expectations by giving participants four microdoses of LSD over the course of two weeks, but without telling them about the purpose of the study or even what they were taking. Once again, there was no difference between the LSD and placebo groups."

From "More People Are Microdosing for Mental Health. But Does It Work? Scientists are split over whether the benefits some microdosers experience are a placebo effect or something more" (NYT).

"Scientists are split" because there are still some researchers who want to keep researching. Maybe a better-designed study could eliminate the placebo effect? Or are they mostly thinking the placebo effect helps people and it's good to help people?

"Even taking at face value Mr. Trump’s protestation that he knew nothing of [Nick] Fuentes, the apparent ease with which Mr. Fuentes arrived at the home of [the] former president..."

"... underscores the undisciplined, uncontrolled nature of Mr. Trump’s post-presidency just 10 days into his third campaign for the White House. A handful of Republicans, including at least one close ally of Mr. Trump’s, castigated him over meeting both Mr. Fuentes and Mr. West.... Mr. Fuentes... is best known for running a white nationalist youth organization known as America First, whose adherents call themselves groypers or the Groyper Army. In the wake of Mr. Trump’s defeat in 2020, Mr. Fuentes and the groypers were involved in a series of public events supporting the former president. At a so-called 'Stop the Steal' rally in Washington in November 2020, Mr. Fuentes urged his followers to 'storm every state capitol until Jan. 20, 2021, until President Trump is inaugurated for four more years.'... On Jan. 6, 2021, Mr. Fuentes led a large group of groypers to the Capitol where they rallied outside in support of Mr. Trump. The next day, Mr. Fuentes wrote on Twitter that the assault on the Capitol was 'awesome and I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t.'"

Writes Maggie Haberman, in "Trump’s Latest Dinner Guest: Nick Fuentes, White Supremacist/The former president’s table for four at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday also included Kanye West, whose antisemitic statements have made him an entertainment-industry outcast" (NYT).

Haberman never explains the term "groypers," which I don't remember seeing before. There's a Wikipedia article "Groypers":

I misunderstood almond milk.

I've been drinking whole milk — cow's milk — in my coffee for many years, but I wanted to go milk-free for 3 weeks just to test myself — on the off-chance that it has something to do with my loss of smell. Yesterday — Day 1 — I just had black coffee, which is fine.

But then I bought some almond milk. Today — Day 2 — I put almond milk in my coffee. Well! That's no substitute for whole milk! It looks as though I put skim milk in my coffee. Don't ask me how it tastes. I don't have a proper sense of taste. It's a look and a feeling I want. For that, almond milk is useless.

Annoying words on the label: "unrivaled creaminess." 

I guess that means unrivaled by other brands of almond milk.

Elon Musk consults the people: "What do you think of the culture war?"

November 25, 2022

Sunrise — 7:10.


The University of Wisconsin marching band plays the "Star-Spangled Banner" today, at 4:45, on the practice field by Lake Mendota.


Video by Meade.

"Seriously, you are the first person who seems to have noticed the sexual framework from intromission to last spasm," wrote Stanley Kubrick...

... to LeGrace Benson, a Cornell art history professor, who had written him a letter in 1964 detailing her observations about "Dr. Strangelove."

Now, Benson, who is 92, is interviewed in "My Coffee With Stanley Kubrick" (NY Magazine).

"There are various theories purporting to explain Musk’s hard right turn: a childhood in apartheid South Africa, his connection with Peter Thiel, disappointments in his personal life."

"Whatever the truth of the matter, whatever right-leaning tendencies he may have had before a couple years ago appear to have been latent or unformed. Now the transformation is almost complete. He’s done with general 'free speech' grievance and springing for alternative viewpoints. He’s routinely pushing all the far right storylines from woke groomers to great replacement. One particularly notable hint about the future came in a fractious interaction on Wednesday when Musk rolled out his own antic Dolchstoßlegende manque. In exchange about advertiser departures and alleged media bias, Musk claimed that he had cut a with [sic] civil rights groups to create a 'moderation council' but that they had broken the deal. Perhaps needless to say, this did not happen. The reference is to a chaotic meeting Musk held with a group of leaders of prominent civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the ADL, on November 2nd. Musk actually announced the 'moderation council' days earlier. We’re hardly four weeks into the Elon era on Twitter and he’s already cueing up a storyline in which he tried to placate the Blacks and the Jews and the gays but they betrayed him and set out to 'kill Twitter.' Not pretty...."

Writes Josh Marshall in "Elon Musk and the Narcissism/Radicalization Maelstrom" (TPM).

I'm not vouching for any of that, and it doesn't reflect my opinion of what Musk is doing with Twitter. I just think it's an important viewpoint that ought to be out in the sunlight.

By the way, who first said "Sunlight is the best disinfectant"? Was it Justice Brandeis?

Here's Quote Investigator:

"Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago. Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about."

Said Donald Trump, quoted in an update to a Breitbart article that is now titled "Trump Dined at Mar-a-Lago with White Nationalist, Holocaust Denier Nick Fuentes Alongside Kanye West; UPDATE – Trump Responds, ‘Had Never Met and Knew Nothing About’ Fuentes."

I can't believe Trump doesn't control who has access to him! Either he's lying or he's reckless.  

I guess Ye sets his own terms and Trump makes a calculated decision to accept (and maybe he doesn't mind signaling that he's doesn't categorically reject white nationalists). Here's how Ye presents it:

"I delivered talks at universities and lecture halls arguing that the fan’s capacity for enthusiasm was as holy as the works of art we lived by."

"I would quote a passage from Salinger’s 'Franny and Zooey' comparing a performer’s audience to 'Christ Himself,' a righteous entity worthy of serving. I found similar comfort in a scene from 'Manhattan' in which Woody Allen’s character asks what makes life worth living, then rattles off a mix of cultural touchstones (before landing, of course, on 'Tracy’s face'). At nineteen, I wrote in a private journal that 'the knowledge that anything I feel has already been expressed in a work of art' was my version of feeling watched over by a higher power. I still value the sanctity of the artist-audience exchange, but it worries me when conversations about artists’ misdeeds end up centering on it. When an artist is revealed to have abused someone, we ask, 'Can we still like their art? Is it still O.K. to?' These questions treat every individual’s response to art as a morality test. They confuse optics with ethics, muddying a useful distinction between reacting to a work of art—an act that, after all, is something visceral and involuntary, like laughter—and materially supporting it.... "

Writes Tavi Gevinson in "What 'Tár' Knows About the Artist as Abuser/Todd Field’s film about the downfall of a world-famous composer shows the toll that untouchability takes even on the person it supposedly benefits" (The New Yorker). 

ADDED: Here's the passage from "Franny and Zooey":

"'In the United States,' Gertrude Stein once observed, 'there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is.'"

"That was true in 1936, when she wrote 'The Geographical History of America,' and it remains so today. The numbers are startling, and not only if you live someplace like the Upper East Side of Manhattan, with your hundred thousand neighbors per square mile. Add up all the developed areas in the fifty states—the cities and suburbs and exurbs and towns, the highways and railways and back roads, the orchards and vineyards and family farms, the concentrated animal feedlots, the cornfields and wheat fields and soybeans and sorghum—and it will amount to a fifth of our nation. What is all the rest? Forests, wetlands, rangeland, tundra, glaciers, barrens, bodies of water of one kind or another. If you don a blindfold, throw a dart at a map of the country, and commit to living where it lands, you will most likely end up alone, in the middle of nowhere...."

Writes Kathryn Schulz in "What Going Off the Grid Really Looks Like/In 'Cheap Land Colorado,' Ted Conover hunkers down in a valley that has become a magnet for dreamers and the dispossessed alike" (The New Yorker).

"That was true in 1936... and it remains so today" — In 1936, Alaska wasn't a state. But the population was 39% of what it is today. The addition of all that Alaskan land would offset the population increase, so that even after the clustered populace sprawls outward from the cities, I would expect the empty places to continue to dominate. Stein's sentence is sublime, even as it understates the emptiness. Only 1/5 of the land is populated.

Anyway... I just quoted the beginning of the article. There's much more at the link! And you can buy the book — "Cheap Land Colorado/Off-Gridders at American's Edge" — here.

"The deification that those folks made of Jerry is basically what killed him. It disgusted him, and rightly so.... I’ve seen where that goes. That’s a lesson I learned the hard way..."

Said Bob Weir, quoted in "Bob Weir keeps the Grateful Dead alive — and always evolving/Fresh off a run of shows accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra, the 75-year-old guitarist keeps looking ahead to the next step in his musical journey" (WaPo).

“I’m trying to assimilate what I understand, and that is time is a human construct, a marker we put on things that doesn’t necessarily exist,” he explains. His mind is on the next tour, but it’s also on how his music will be remembered and kept alive by people that haven’t been born yet. “With the Grateful Dead, if it’s done right, there’s a chance they may be a part of the conversation in two to three hundred years..."

"The court said they found him guilty of rape as well as of the crime of assembling a crowd to engage in sexual promiscuity."

From "China sentences Canadian pop singer Kris Wu to 13 years in jail for rape" (NY Post).

What is the crime of assembling a crowd to engage in sexual promiscuity?

I found this discussion in a 2019 blog post "Law and sexual repression in China" by Yinan Shen (Feminist Legal Theory):

"Strict gender roles have governed domestic life in Japan for generations. Men often retire without ever having held a paring knife..."

"... or washed a dish. Those who lose a spouse often find themselves unable to do the most rudimentary chores. An old Japanese saying — 'Danshi-chubo-ni-hairazu,' or 'men should be ashamed to be found in the kitchen' — has spooked husbands from most any housework. Even those who wanted to help typically lacked the know-how.... Simmering resentments frequently come to a head once a man’s career ends and his wife starts to question the arrangement, Tokukura said. 'The power dynamic changes. The wife asks, "Why do I have to do all the housework if you are no longer bringing in the money?"'"

From "Older Japanese men, lost in the kitchen, turn to housework school" (WaPo).

At housework school, old men meet other other old men:

"Bankman-Fried’s FTX spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying up top-grade real estate across the Bahamas’ most populous island, New Providence..."

"... including offices, apartments and vacation homes used by FTX’s senior executives, according to property records and FTX attorneys. A major chunk of the spending spree went to Albany, an ultraexclusive luxury community developed in 2010 by a British billionaire with investment from musician Justin Timberlake and golfers Tiger Woods and Ernie Els. Encircled by marshes and scrub forests, the 600-acre community of pearl-white towers is walled-off to practically everyone. A giant lawn at the community’s center, near a Rolex store, features a full-size replica of Wall Street’s famous Charging Bull sculpture. A lavish recording studio there, known as the Sanctuary, has been used by Drake, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys. Bankman-Fried and nine of his closest allies moved into... a sprawling penthouse atop a luxury tower... overlook[ing] an oceanfront marina where action-movie-caliber speedboats are anchored...."

From "FTX’s Bahamas crypto empire: Stimulants, subterfuge and a spectacular collapse/Crypto wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried had promised the island paradise a path to financial glory. His meltdown has left some Bahamians worried about the ripple effects" (WaPo).

"What Musk is doing is... like opening the gates of hell...."

Said one of the experts quoted — by Taylor Lorenz — in "'Opening the gates of hell': Musk says he will revive banned accounts/The Twitter chief says he will reinstate accounts suspended for threats, harassment and misinformation beginning next week" (WaPo).

Why would you want to keep people in Hell? 


Why not forgive — if only to give them a second chance? Musk knows that the process of condemnation wasn't fair. At the very least, we are worried that it was skewed against conservatives. It's efficient to wipe the slate clean — to default toward freedom — and to begin again, with a viewpoint neutral approach that is transparent and centered on protecting individuals from harm, not on helping one side over another.

Some who are released from Hell will be those who shouldn't have been condemned in the first place. Some will be those from whom the group does need protection, but these will either go on and sin no more or they will sin again, and they can be dealt with under the new, fair procedure.

And Musk isn't even talking about letting everyone back in. The question he asked in his poll was "Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?" He can say the people have spoken and there will be "general amnesty," but there's that proviso. Anyone who is already known as a danger can still be excluded. On the face of it, Musk isn't recklessly absolutist about freedom of speech. 

The hell the anti-Muskites are afraid of — isn't it just the loss of a political advantage they never should have had in the first place? Did the censorship they enjoyed only make them soft and fearful and stunt their capacity to debate?

"He talked to you like he ran the store. … There’s always people in jobs that aren’t liked — Andre was one of them...."

"Andre was kind of picked on a little bit by some associates at the store.... There were definitely other employees that made fun of him.... He didn’t have a social life.... It was work, home. Home, work. It didn’t seem like he had much of a support system, if any.... He was known in the store for being hostile at times.... He had too many moments where he’d be overly aggressive."

Said Nathan Sinclair, a former Walmart employee, quoted in " Walmart shooter described as aggressive, angry, but motive unclear" (WaPo).

"It sucks. I haven’t heard anyone who thinks, ‘This is awesome. This rocks.'"

That's one of many, many quotes collected from college students at "TERRIFIED, ELATED, ANXIOUS/Young people on campuses had a lot to say about living in a world where the right to abortion is not guaranteed" (WaPo).

November 24, 2022

Giving thanks for the great sunrise this morning — 6:47, 6:54, 7:00, 7:08.






"If you don’t share Musk and his fans’ philosophy, and you thought Twitter was an imperfect but important 'digital public square' as it was, that’s cause enough for 'freaking out.'"

"But if you believe in the power of Musk’s 'hardcore' few, it’s an unprecedented opportunity to show the world the power that’s been repressed by a sclerotic liberal establishment — a dynamic that’s defining this era of politics just as much as this wild moment in the business world."

Writes Derek Robertson in "Elon Musk’s Twist On Tech Libertarianism Is Blowing Up On Twitter/Silicon Valley’s 'cult of the founder' meets modern Republicans’ anti-'woke' culture-warring" (Politico).

Is this a "philosophy"? You'll have to wade through the article.

"For the whole time I’ve worked on this, it’s been like nuclear fusion—always a few decades away no matter when you ask."

"But there are going to be events in the next decade or so that will sharpen people’s minds. When temperatures approach and then cross 1.5 centigrade, that will be a non-arbitrary moment. That’s the first globally agreed climate target we’re on course to break. Unless we find a way to remove carbon in quantities not imaginable presently, this would be the only way to stop or reverse rapidly rising temperature.... The idea is outlandish." 

Said climate researcher Andy Parker, quoted in "Dimming the Sun to Cool the Planet Is a Desperate Idea, Yet We’re Inching Toward It/The scientists who study solar geoengineering don’t want anyone to try it. But climate inaction is making it more likely," by Bill McKibben (The New Yorker).

When the JFK airport scanner revealed a cat inside a woman's luggage, the traveler said it wasn't his cat.

I'm reading "A real cat scan: furry friend in case found by airport scanner" (London Times).

"'An officer called and asked if I wanted to press charges,' the cat’s owner, named only as Alix, told the New York Post. Alix, 37, said the cat, named Smells, had been found in the luggage of her house guest and the official 'wanted to know if there was any reason he was trying to steal my cat and go to Florida.' She assured him that it must have been a mistake. 'Our cats really like to check out bags and boxes and apparently one of them climbed into his suitcase,' she said. 'It was just an accident.'"

ADDED: Here's the scanner photo. I can't believe the person who packed the luggage didn't know!

"It is hard to overstate just how much of a jolt to the political system Sarah Palin delivered when she defeated her first fellow Republican 16 years ago."

"He was Frank Murkowski, the sitting governor of Alaska and a towering figure in the 49th state. She was a 'hockey mom' and the former mayor of a small, working-class town who vowed to stick it to the 'good ol’ boys.'... Today, having lost her bid for Congress after years out of the spotlight, Ms. Palin is a much diminished force. She was, in many ways, undone by the same political currents she rode to national prominence.... Along the way, she helped redefine the outer limits of what a politician could say as she made dark insinuations about Barack Obama’s background and false claims about government 'death panels' that could deny health care to seniors and people with disabilities. Now, a generation of Republican stars follows the template she helped create.... But as the next generation rose up, Ms. Palin’s brand of politics no longer seemed as novel or as outrageous. Next to Mr. Trump’s lies about a huge conspiracy to deny him a second term, or Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s casual allusions to political violence, Ms. Palin’s provocations more than a decade ago can seem almost quaint...."

Writes Jeremy W. Peters, in "Sarah Palin Loses as the Party She Helped Transform Moves Past Her/The former Alaska governor, once the standard-bearer of the G.O.P.’s dog-whistling, no-apologies culture, was no match for the same forces she rode to national prominence" (NYT).

"As the search continued, rescuers pulled a five-year-old boy from the rubble, who had survived because he was protected by a mattress."

"In a video of the rescue posted by a local fire department, Azka, who had been trapped for two days, appeared conscious and calm as he was lifted to safety. '[Azka] is fine now, not wounded,' his relative Salman Alfarisi, 22, said.... 'The doctor said he’s only weak because he’s hungry.'"

 From "Five-year-old boy pulled from Indonesia earthquake rubble after two days/Azka, whose mother died in disaster, probably survived due to being protected by a mattress, while 40 people remain missing in Cianjur" (Guardian).

"The history of toys is the history of teaching children to preoccupy themselves usefully and solitarily."

"I give you this toy to bond you to me, now go away and play with it by yourself."

Said the play theorist Brian Sutton-Smith.

Quoted in "'They want toys to get their children into Harvard': have we been getting playthings all wrong? For decades we’ve been using toys to cram learning into playtime – and toys have been marketed as tools to turn children into prosperous, high-achieving adults. Is it time for a rethink?" (The Guardian).

November 23, 2022

Sunrise — 7:08.


Quiet. Too quiet.

"I don’t want to be a girlboss. I don’t want to hustle. I simply want to live my life slowly and lay down in a bed of moss with my lover and..."

"... enjoy the rest of my existence reading books, creating art and loving myself and the people in my life."

Said some woman on TikTok, quoted by Jessica Bennett in "The Worst Midnight Email From the Boss, Ever" (NYT). 

Bennett — who hates that Elon Musk email telling workers to be "hard core" — concurs:

Honestly, yes. “Hard core” is a bygone era of management... [W]e’ve now got plenty of other, soft-core interests to replace it. How about a workplace modeled on cottagecore, in which we just flutter around in forests and forage for mushrooms instead of hovering over Slack? Or cabincore, in which we huddle in cozy flannel (comfycore) in front of a fireplace instead of being warmed by the glow of our screens?...

Maybe what we are witnessing with Twitter’s mass exodus — and the general antiwork sentiment in general — is a labor revolt “in real time,” as one Twitter user put it....

I'm so glad I have a "moss" tag to use for this... especially since, as I was in the middle of writing this post, Meade came in and announced that the moss he'd planted for me last summer was taking hold. And he saw a mouse on the moss — a moss mouse. How cottagecore is that?!

"We came to be and then ran amok. And because we’re smart enough, we should know enough to end it. People mention music and art and literature and the great things that we have done..."

"... it’s funny they don’t ever mention the bad things we’ve done. I don’t think the whales will miss our songs."

Said Les Knight, quoted in "Earth Now Has 8 Billion Humans. This Man Wishes There Were None. For the sake of the planet, Les Knight, the founder of the Voluntary Human Extinction movement, has spent decades pushing one message: 'May we live long and die out'" (NYT).

Color change — 6:37 to 6:50.



You don't notice this color change when you are there — the deep blue to something almost brown. It's a delight experienced only on viewing the photographs.

The most obvious law school hypothetical when teaching the Good News Club case has come to life with the After School Satan Club.

I'm reading "Parents slam school’s ‘sick’ Satan Club for children as young as 5: ‘Disgusting’" (NY Post).

I got there via Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit:

WHOSE CHILDREN DO THOSE PARENTS THINK THOSE KIDS ARE? Parents slam school’s ‘sick’ Satan Club for children as young as 5: ‘Disgusting’.

Sorry, but this is exactly what was bargained for when by anyone who supported the after-school Christian club, approved of by the Supreme Court back in 2001.

Either you have a special rule excluding religion or you don't. In Good News Club, a Christian after-school club had been excluded and the Supreme Court saw that as discrimination against religion. Once you get that far, you can't have viewpoint discrimination. Viewpoint discrimination is worse than discrimination against religion in general. So there now you can't exclude the Satanist club.

I used to teach a Religion & the Constitution course, and I was teaching it when the Good News Club case came out. The first hypothetical that springs to mind is an After School Satan Club. Legal decisions have consequences, and sometimes they are perfectly obvious.


You think that's disgusting? Some people think all after-school religion clubs are disgusting, but they lost in the Supreme Court in 2001. And some people think government viewpoint discrimination is disgusting? Get your values in order and try to be consistent.

"The social media network known as Mastodon is sort of an anti-Twitter: quiet, calm, and refreshingly free of Nazis."

"People have been flocking to it lately, only to get confused by the way it’s set up—which is a shame, because it’s not that hard to get started. Here’s how."

I'm reading "How to Move From Twitter to Mastodon/There are many similarities between the two—except that Mastodon feels like a nice place to be" (lifehacker). 

I'm reading that because I wanted to take a look at something I've heard about a lot lately, but — as it says above — I got confused. I had to find an article explaining it.

I'm confused by this article too. How can a speech forum have a mood as specific as quiet and calm? And what kind of dolt feels "refreshed" by a feeling that a place is "free of Nazis"? I would expect Nazis — especially dangerous Nazis — to lull people into "not see"ing them (until it's too late). You know those old movies where somebody would say "It's quiet. Too quiet." It's like that, I would think. If you're saying "It's refreshingly free of Nazis," you ought to go on to say "Too refreshingly free of Nazis." 

And what's this "Mastodon feels like a nice place to be"? Yeah, feels like.

Lifehacker proceeds to help us with our confusion by trying — trying — to talk to us as though we are easily triggered by anything that sounds disconnected from a simple, off-screen life:

November 22, 2022

Sunrise — 6:53.


"The Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for a congressional committee to examine Donald Trump’s tax returns..."

"... denying without comment the former president’s last-ditch effort to extend a legal battle that has consumed Congress and the courts for years. The justices’ brief order means that the Treasury Department may quickly hand over six years of tax records from Trump and some of his companies to the House Ways and Means Committee."

WaPo reports.

Sunrise — 7:10 — western view.


I wasn't going to contribute to viral marketing, but now that there's a #boycottTampax trend, I need to call your attention to this.

Elon Musk responds "true" to the statement "The most damaging fake news comes from the biggest corporate media outlets."

"He did, in 2001, go round to his sister’s house to watch a documentary about himself on the TV — he didn’t own a TV himself — but he didn’t enjoy it..."

"... and his only comment was that the music was too noisy. By this point he never listened to rock music, just to jazz and classical music, usually on the radio. He was financially secure — Dave Gilmour made sure that when compilations came out they always included some music from Barrett’s period in the group so he would receive royalties, even though Gilmour had no contact with him after 1975 — and he spent most of his time painting — he would take photos of the paintings when they were completed, and then burn the originals. There are many stories about those last few decades, but given how much he valued his privacy, it wouldn’t be right to share them. This is a history of rock music, and 1975 was the last time Roger Keith Barrett ever had anything to do with rock music voluntarily."

From Episode 157 of "A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs" — "'See Emily Play' by The Pink Floyd."

The destruction of art is a longstanding topic on this blog, and destroying one's own art is very special subsection of that topic. It's one thing to destroy artwork that, back when you made it, you'd intended to exist forever and perhaps hoped would be treasured by others, even long after your death. It's quite another thing to devote yourself to creating new work while intending all along to destroy it. 

It makes me think of Tibetan monks making a mandala out of sand and then destroying it: 


"'It’s a timeless bridal look,' says hairstylist Xavier Velasquez—who met Biden through her longtime brow artist Azi Sacks—of the sculptural bun look he crafted. "

That's just 2 of "All the Details Behind Naomi Biden’s Timeless Wedding Day Beauty" (Vogue).

Imagine having a "longtime brow artist." Imagine "crafting" a "sculptural bun look." It's not just a bun. It's a crafted sculptural bun look.

In Vogue. Which also has "Exclusive: Naomi Biden on Her White House Wedding."


I would not have posed Jill like that. Too evocative of Joe Biden's hair-inhalation propensities. But I mainly wanted you to see what longtime brow artistry and sculptural bun look craftsmanship can do. And I wanted to set up the laugh you'll get when you read what White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said

"The wedding of Naomi Biden and Peter is a private family event. Naomi and Peter have asked that their wedding be a closed to the media and we are respecting their wishes. This is something that the couple has decided."

"Some left-leaning Jews shy guiltily away from centering any persecuted status, on the logic that other questions (anti-Black racism, issues around Zionism) are more weighty."

"Some right-leaning Jews don’t want to cut into an allyship with the Christian Right and its support for Israel (even if it contains characters like, say, Marjorie Taylor Greene, who once claimed that wildfires in California may have been started by a space laser connected to the Rothschilds).... For younger Jews especially, calling out antisemitism has felt like an outdated habit.... It has been easy to self-soothe by telling ourselves we live in a golden age of ease, because compared to so many other ages, filled as they are with pogroms and expulsions and mass murder, we do.... But this year... the hatred is hitting them where they live — on cultural feeds, playlists, favorite brands, phones.... Now, seeing uncoded antisemitism emerge in usually anodyne pop-culture settings — places like basketball news conferences and Hollywood interviews — another deep cut emerges. We once had a media ecosystem in which obvious antisemitism could end a career.... But today it can be the beginning of a new phase of exposure, the start of a conversation that will contain both denunciation and approval... the dissolving line between a world in which it is not permissible to say hateful things... and one in which people just go ahead and say it.... Finding the humor in the hate isn’t, in the end, so much help at all."

Writes Mireille Silcoff, in "Laughing at Kanye Doesn’t Help/My people have always turned our haters into humor. It still breaks my heart when antisemitism starts trending" (NYT).

When did soccer players start wearing long shorts?

I'm seeing photos of the World Cup "footballers" on the front page of the NYT and — I don't like soccer anyway — I'm dismayed to see the men wearing long shorts like American basketball players. They've sacrificed the masculine beauty... for what?

When did this happen? I found an article from 2014, "A long (and short) history of World Cup hemlines and women’s fashion" (Quartz). 

My favorite phase in the 1960s:

"I get asked 'Who’s the most dangerous person in the world? Is it Chairman Kim, is it Xi Jinping?' The most dangerous person in the world is Randi Weingarten."

"It’s not a close call. If you ask, 'Who’s the most likely to take this republic down?' It would be the teacher’s unions, and the filth that they’re teaching our kids, and the fact that they don’t know math and reading or writing. These are the things that candidates should speak to in a way that says, 'Here’s the problem. Here’s a proposal for how to solve it. And if given the opportunity, these are the things I will go work on to try and deliver that outcome that fixes that problem.' Pretty straightforward stuff."

Said Mike Pompeo, quoted in "Mike Pompeo: 'The most dangerous person in the world is Randi Weingarten'" (Semafor).

Pompeo, the former Secretary of State, seems to intend to run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.

Pompeo is eager to "ban TikTok." Asked why, he sputters short sentences:

Matt Yglesias is thinking of becoming a Hydrogen Guy.

Cute pic will fend off the inevitable naysayers, maybe.

Perhaps not unreasonable.


November 21, 2022

Sunrise — 6:45.



The dense bumper of clouds at the horizon was gray-blue, and I thought this wouldn't be a photogenic sunrise, but then, just as I arrived at my vantage point, it went intensely red-orange. The color only lasted 5 minutes. I've seen this kind of sunrise before and missed getting the photograph. Today, though, I was lucky.

"It’s called lenticular fabric. It’s based on queer semiotics, specifically around cruising in bathrooms. The silhouette is modeled after a toilet seat."

Said Brandon Chu — who was wearing a very strange outfit — quoted in "What Julia Fox and Hillary Clinton Wore to Parties Last Week/Top outfits from the parties for Thierry Mugler, Air Mail, Pioneer Works and the National Portrait Gallery" (NYT).

Lots of wild photos at the link. Why Hillary Clinton is mixed in, I don't know... other than it's what tipped me into clicking. Chu and Clinton were not at the same party. Chu was at the Thierry Mugler party, and Clinton — who posed snuggling up to Nancy Pelosi — was at the National Portrait Gallery party. Hillary's got on a very roomy caftan. As for Chu's "lenticular" fabric, you don't really need to know. His quote stands on its own. Just a silly quote that's even sillier with Hillary on the same page.

"On his third day without medication, [Thomas Mandat, 24]... felt as if his head were filled with sludge. He described feeling as if he were in a 'zombified' state."

"'It’s like if you sleep eight hours, but it feels like you only got three,' he said.... Snezhana Kostornova, 31, a psychology student who was on Adderall until two months ago... turned on her bathroom sink to hand-wash clothes but got distracted when she went to get soap; she watered her plant; then she started browsing for curtains online until water sloshed over her feet.... Without Adderall, Edward DiNola, 35, a game programmer and designer in Orlando, has become almost nocturnal; his sleep schedule is piecemeal and unpredictable. After a week without medication, he went to bed one day at seven in the morning. 'It’s a bit of a curse to not have control over your own energy,' he said.... Having taken Adderall for the last 12 years, Natalie Rotstein, 24... [is] scared of blowing through a red light while driving through Los Angeles; at their neuroscience research job, they worry about forgetting to warn patients to take off jewelry before going into the MRI machine, which can cause skin burns."

From "Amid the Adderall Shortage, People With A.D.H.D. Face Withdrawal and Despair/Without medication, patients are wondering what comes next" (NYT).

From the top comments over there: "Let’s be clear. There is no Adderall shortage. There is an Adderall over prescription problem"/"If you feel more focused on Adderall it doesn't mean you have ADHD. EVERYONE FEELS MORE FOCUSED ON ADDERALL"/"Why not just say speed shortages? That's really what we're talking about. I would know, was on it for years. Would recommend anyone still using think about stopping, especially now could be easier when it is hard to get."

Some will rob you with a six-gun/And some with an autopen.

I'm reading "Bob Dylan Fans Who Bought $600 ‘Hand-Signed’ Books With Replica Autographs Will Receive Refunds From Publisher/Fans compared notes online to realize that the books advertised as personally signed had autographs reproduced using 'autopen,' generally considered value-less in the collectors' world, even as eBay sellers were asking thousands of dollars for copies" (Variety).

The post title is adapted from a line from the Woody Guthrie song "Pretty Boy Floyd" — lyrics here — which Dylan sang sometimes.... 


Giant toothbrush.


I like John Lurie (and his HBO show "Painting with John"), and I follow him on Twitter, mostly to see the artwork, but here are some recent posts of his:

November 18: "Well, if Twitter breaks, I just wanted to say that I met a lot of great people here that I wouldn't have met otherwise. So for all its creepiness, Twitter was valuable to me in a deep way. That said, I am rooting for the employees to take Musk down."

November 18: "The 17 year old part of me thinks we should all Tweet like crazy to see if we can break it."  

November 20: "Nah, I'm staying. I hope you do too."

"I noticed my number of followers drop for the first time in a couple weeks right after Trump‘s return was announced.

"My advice: If you’re following me, don’t depart Twitter, thus diminishing my reach; just don’t pay attention to Trump!"

Laurence Tribe tweets.

This is a problem with trying to protest Musk and Trump. You cause your side to lose clout on Twitter.

Tribe has 1.3 million followers right now on Twitter. That's a strong reach, and it must hurt to see his following ebb.

He's also got this pinned tweet from 13 hours ago:

Have we stopped even caring that we still don't know the complete results of the 2022 elections?

I don't see updates on the front page anymore. The inconclusiveness is old news, I guess.

It's the new normal: inconclusive results. That seems awfully discordant with the denouncement of "election denial" we've heard for the last 2 years.

We should be seeing clear, competent counting of all the votes and straightforward reporting of unquestionable results.

I had to do my own search to see just how unresolved things are at the moment:


Isn't that the position we've been stuck on for about a week? The election was 13 days ago. It does not inspire confidence!

"... Garland is probably screwed... because no matter what is decided, whether Trump is charged or not, a large segment of the population will think it's wrong and politically motivated."

I'm listening to today's episode of the NYT podcast, "The Daily": "Trump Faces a New Special Counsel/In a moment of political déjà vu, the Justice Department’s criminal investigations into Donald J. Trump have taken a familiar turn."

The host, Michael Barbaro, is talking to NYT Washington correspondent Michael S. Schmidt. I've transcribed their discussion that begins at 22:51:

Barbaro: So one way to look at the special counsel that Garland just appointed is that it's designed to insulate him — and, by extension, the Biden administration — from blowback if and when they do decide to prosecute Trump — Biden's former and now current rival — but another way it could insulate Garland, you're saying, is if they decide not to prosecute Trump and there's inevitably blowback from Democrats and from the left.

Schmidt: "Yes, but the more we go through this, the more that I realize that Garland is probably screwed...

Barbaro: Hmmph.

Schmidt: ... because no matter what is decided, whether Trump is charged or not, a large segment of the population will think it's wrong and politically motivated.

Barbaro: Mm-hmm.

Schmidt: And if special counsel can't solve the problem at the heart of the moment — which is that you have the Justice Department, under a sitting President, investigating his rival for the presidency — by nature, that looks and feels political.

"Mayor John Suthers of Colorado Springs said that someone in the club had acted quickly to grab a handgun from the gunman, then hit him with it..."

"... subduing him. Two patrons then pinned the gunman down until police could arrive, according to the club’s owners, who viewed security video."

From "Here are the latest developments in the Colorado Springs nightclub shooting" (NYT).

It's hard to picture grabbing a handgun from a man who is in the middle of using it. But then to use the gun to hit the erstwhile gunman.... I guess your hand is not in the position to fire the gun. It's reversed and pointing more or less at you. And isn't the gunman's hand grabbing to get back to the trigger and shoot you? Once you've gone that far, perhaps the only thing you can do is to grip the barrel and clobber the guy with the grip.

Is that what happened?

Whatever happened, kudos to the man who disarmed the murderer.

CORRECTION: Oh, no. The difficult tangle I tried to picture is wrong. The murderer was using a rifle and carrying a handgun. That made the handgun easier to grab and to grab by the grip. If you got that far, would you use the handgun to hit the murderer?

IN THE COMMENTS: Enigma reminds me that there is a standard term for hitting someone with a gun: "pistol-whipping." Actually, there are 2 terms — "pistol-whipping" and "buffaloing," as I learned from the Wikipedia article, "Pistol-whipping":

November 20, 2022

At the Sunday Night Café...

 ... you can talk about whatever you want.

"He started playing guitar at 13 and attended the University of Wisconsin, where he performed at coffeehouses."

"He was a student there when he met Bob Dylan, an itinerant folk singer traveling through. 'Dylan crashed with me for a few weeks in Madison on his way from Hibbing, Minnesota, to New York,' Mr. Kalb told AM New York in 2013. 'We had so much fun, I dropped out and followed him.'"

From "Danny Kalb, Guitarist Who Gave Blues-Rock an Edge, Dies at 80/His 1960s band, the Blues Project, won a following with a driving, experimental approach to traditional material that was anything but purist" (NYT).

"You don’t get to 'thoughts and prayers' your way out of this" — says AOC to Lauren Boebert.

Glenn Greenwald taunts the ridiculous entity known as CBS News PR.

The morning ritual — in Mongolia.

"The first three chapters celebrate... a wallowing country tune, an angular new wave spasm, and a song my grandparents played in the living room when the Grangers came over for bridge."

"But of the sixty-six selections, thirty were released between 1947, when Dylan was six years old, and 1962, when his first album appeared, shortly before his twenty-first birthday. This strange body of music includes Italian restaurant staples like Sinatra’s 'Strangers in the Night,' gunslinger melodramas like 'El Paso' by Marty Robbins, Vegas gruel by Dean Martin, and the Yale 'Whiffenpoof Song' as sung by Bing Crosby, Fred Waring, and the Glee Club. There’s a way to see this canon as the genome that shaped Dylan’s gift, the mundus that greeted the bonneted infans at his planetary awakening. In another light they are the musical reef that he dynamited, utterly obliterated, using only his voice, his attitude, and his harmonica. There’s a name for the place that both nurtures and imprisons us, the place we simultaneously pine for and detest: home...."

Writes Dan Chiasson in "Road Maps for the Soul/The Philosophy of Modern Song can be read as a tour journal, refracted through one lonely song after another" (NYRB).

Nice pen-and-ink drawing of Dylan — by Yann Kebbi — at the link.

I've blogged plenty about TPOMS, but I couldn't help blogging one more, stunned as I was by the phrase "the mundus that greeted the bonneted infans at his planetary awakening."

Sometimes when you like something you read, it's because you're thinking, yeah, that's the way I write. Other times you like it precisely because it's so crushingly obvious that you'd never even dream of writing anything like that.

"Ridiculously Photogenic Assassin Guy"/"Almost like he's a model turned assassin...."

 At the subreddit r/historyporn.

"For years, the media has continued to report President Biden’s repeated claim that 'I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.'"

"At the outset, the media only had to suspend any disbelief that the president could fly to China as Vice President with his son on Air Force 2 without discussing his planned business dealings on the trip. Of course, the emails on the laptop quickly refuted this claim. However, the media buried the laptop story before the election or pushed the false claim that it was fake Russian disinformation. President Biden’s denials continued even after an audiotape surfaced showing President Biden leaving a message for Hunter specifically discussing coverage of those dealings... Some of us have written for two years that Biden’s denial of knowledge is patently false.... Reporters have to insist that there was nothing to see or they have to admit to being part of the original deception... The media is now so heavily invested in the trick that they are sticking with the illusion even after 'the reveal.'..."

Writes Jonathan Turley.

"Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. denied an allegation from a former antiabortion activist that Alito or his wife disclosed to conservative donors the outcome of a pending 2014 case..."

"... regarding contraceptives and religious rights. The New York Times reported Saturday that Rob Schenck, who on his website identifies himself as a 'once-right-wing religious leader but now dissenting evangelical voice,' said he was told the outcome of the case, Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, several weeks before it was announced. Schenck said a conservative donor to his organization relayed the information after a dinner with Alito, who wrote the majority opinion in the case, and the justice’s wife. But the donor, Gayle Wright, told the Times and affirmed in an interview Saturday that the account given by Schenck was not true, and Alito issued a statement denying it as well."

WaPo reports.

Whatever the truth is about whether Schenck really heard what he says he heard from Wright and whether Wright is accurately telling us now what she got from Alito and what she relayed to Schenck at the time — and it's easy to imagine that all 3 are kinda-sorta telling the truth! — I'd just like to say that there's a big difference between leaking the draft opinion — as was done with Dobbs — and revealing the outcome of a pending case.

With the leak of the draft opinion in Dobbs, we saw the text and we saw it before the opinion was released. With this report that the outcome was revealed in advance in Hobby Lobby, we're hearing about it after the fact and second hand. 

And I wonder if there have been other times when leaks like this one — assuming it happened — have occurred. Where there is no published draft opinion to show the leak to us all, there needs to be not only a leak, but a leak to someone with a motivation to talk about it. 

"Twitter before Elon vs Twitter after Elon."

It's a powerful visual, but it doesn't prove anything without context (and we're not going to rely on professional context-providers anymore, not at Twitter (I don't think)).

"This feverish techno-utopianism distracts funders from pressing problems that already exist here on Earth..."

"... said Luke Kemp...  an 'EA-adjacent' critic of effective altruism... 'The things they push tend to be things that Silicon Valley likes,' Kemp said. They’re the kinds of speculative, futurist ideas that tech billionaires find intellectually exciting. 'And they almost always focus on technological fixes' to human problems 'rather than political or social ones.'  There are other objections. For one thing, lavishly expensive, experimental bioengineering would be accessible, especially initially, to 'only a tiny sliver of humanity,' Kemp said; it could bring about a future caste system in which inequality is not only economic, but biological.... Kemp argued that effective altruism and longtermism often seem to be working toward a kind of regulatory capture. 'The long-term strategy is getting EAs and EA ideas into places like the Pentagon, the White House, the British government and the UN' to influence public policy, he said...."

From "Power-hungry robots, space colonization, cyborgs: inside the bizarre world of ‘longtermism’" (The Guardian)(which begins "Sam Bankman-Fried said his billions would save the world – but his philanthropic ideas ranged from the worthy to the severely outlandish").

"‘Scream groups’ are forming across the world, where women gather in parks and public places to release their frustrations."

So says Samantha Lock (in The Guardian). 

“Women want to scream,” [a 54-year old female Australian said]. “There are plenty of spaces for men to yell [but] we don’t often get to raise our voices [and] when we do we’re met with disapproval.”...

"But while the risk of life-threatening diseases, dementia and death rises faster with each passing decade of a person’s life, experts in geriatrics say..."

"... that people in their 80s who are active, engaged and have a sense of purpose can remain productive and healthy — and that wisdom and experience are important factors to consider.... It is true that older people tend to decline physically, and the brain also undergoes changes. But in people who are active, experts say, the brain continues to evolve and some brain functions can even improve — a phenomenon experts call the 'neuroplasticity of aging.'... Mr. Biden did not undergo cognitive screening during his last physical, and experts are divided about its necessity for older adults.... Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, is obviously diminished at 89; she struggles to recall the names of colleagues and what happened in meetings. Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, just won re-election at 89; he will be 95 if he finishes his term. Mr. Grassley is fond of tweeting videos of his early morning runs and sometimes does push-ups at public campaign events."

From "President Biden Is Turning 80. Experts Say Age Is More Than a Number. The New York Times spoke to 10 experts in aging to paint a picture of what the next six years might look like for a person of the president’s age" (NYT).

"'The people have spoken,' Mr. Musk said on Twitter. 'Trump will be reinstated.' He added the Latin phrase 'Vox Populi, Vox Dei'..."

"... which roughly means that the voice of the people is the voice of God.... Mr. Trump, who did not immediately return a request for comment, had announced on Tuesday that he planned to seek the White House again in 2024. Whether Mr. Trump will agree to return to Twitter is not clear. He has started his own social network, Truth Social, in which he has a financial stake. Mr. Trump is obligated to make his posts available exclusively on Truth Social for six hours before sharing them on other sites, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He can post to any site immediately if the messages pertain to political messaging, fund-raising, or get-out-the-vote initiatives....'I like Elon, but I’m staying on Truth,' Mr. Trump said during a Fox News interview after Mr. Musk’s takeover...."

The NYT reports in "Elon Musk Reinstates Trump’s Twitter Account/Mr. Musk, who had asked Twitter users about whether to bring back the former president to the service, said, 'The people have spoken.'"

Am I the only one who thinks Musk would have brought Trump back even if the vote went the other way? 

He presented the poll without saying anything about committing to do what the majority wanted. Since the vote came out in Trump's favor, it was easy to say the people have spoken. But it's also easy to imagine how he would have finessed it if Trump fell short or even if there was a big majority against him. This is about free speech! The majority doesn't get to dominate the minority. A majority against him would be an argument in his favor. I could think of 20 ways to say Trump lost the poll but I'm letting him back in....

Election Day cured me of my habit of checking Real Clear Politics for the latest polls, but I did just now check back...

... and look at this:


Hmm. I was just noticing someone on Twitter asserting that none of the polls put Trump ahead of DeSantis. They need to look again.