November 25, 2023

Sunrise — 6:50.

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"For Israeli leaders, the war is 'all about eradicating and destroying Hamas... So anything less than that is not a win...'"

"'If Hamas maintains and retains residual political power, then Hamas can claim they won.' After the initial elation of the hostage releases wears off, the Israeli public may still overwhelmingly back resuming the invasion, even if it prevents the immediate liberation of more Israeli captives. As more hostages are released, Israelis will hear more accounts of how they were treated during their abduction and captivity — accounts that could well amplify calls for Hamas’s destruction...."

From "Israel has vowed to continue its invasion after the truce ends. Could that change?" (NYT)(the quote within the quote is from Alon Pinkas, an Israeli political commentator).

"He is up to his wattle in criminal indictments, and even if none land him in prison, the grinding stress and his advanced age look to be taking a toll on his mental acuity."

"Watching his increasingly disjointed rants, one cannot help but think, 'Something ain’t right.' He seems as likely as President Biden to suffer a serious health event — maybe more if you factor in all those burgers. As the primaries grind on, any number of developments could convince soft Trump voters that the MAGA king is a bad bet. All of which is to say that the Republican primary fight remains vital. And as we head into this crucial stretch, it is time for the most promising Trump challengers — who at this point appear to be Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley — to hunker down and show us what they are made of...."

Are Trump's rants increasingly disjointed? I had not noticed, and I am able to help thinking "Something ain’t right." For one thing, I don't use "ain't," especially in my thoughts. For another, I think the question about his "disjointed rants" has always only been do you want a President who speaks in that style? Can you understand him? To my ear, it's conversational, and I enjoy the lively spontaneity. It doesn't feel like mental derangement to me. It feels like a strength. Other politicians don't speak like that because they're more scripted and risk averse.

And what of this "up to his wattle"? Is Cottle — whose name rhymes with "wattle" — going to use words of contempt to mock the physical appearance of all the candidates? I think not. That would be bullying. But that doesn't apply to Trump, and if you believe that, you are attesting to his strength.

The rhymes for "wattle" and "Cottle" — in case you're working on a limerick — are "bottle," "throttle," and "glottal." All — like "wattle" — oddly neck related. 

"The [2] pooches alone ravaged five cars, with damages estimated to cost $100,000 to $350,000...."

"The dogs can be seen walking on top of cars and seemingly working together to pull off parts of the car with their teeth.... The dealership has filed a report with the Houston Police Department, but they’ve been told there is nothing the police can do as it is a civil matter unless the dogs have attacked a human."

"Dogs destroy cars at Texas dealership, cause up to $350K in damages: video" (NY Post).

This is happening in Texas. I would have thought that in Texas, they'd just shoot the.... Oh, no. I'm afraid of offending you even by writing the phrase. They're dogs. You have to hang back and let them wreck an entire lot of cars. What is $350K in damage when Ranger and Scrappy are out there doing what they were born to do?

Note: I do not mean to intimate that it would be legal — in Texas or anywhere — to kill a dog that is damaging property.

ADDED: This story gives an answer to the old question what a dog that chases cars would do if it ever caught the car.

"Hundreds of 'radicalized' kids rampaged through the halls of a Queens high school this week for nearly two hours after they discovered a teacher had attended a pro-Israel rally..."

"... forcing the terrified educator to hide in a locked office as the teen mob tried to push its way into her classroom.... The mayhem at Hillcrest High School in Jamaica unfolded shortly after 11 a.m. Monday in what students called a pre-planned protest over the teacher’s Facebook profile photo showing her at a pro-Israel rally on Queens Oct. 9 holding a poster saying, 'I stand with Israel.' 'The teacher was seen holding a sign of Israel, like supporting it,' a senior told The Post.... 'Everyone was screaming "(The teacher) needs to go!"' a ninth-grader said. 'They want her fired.'"

"Even though he had ordered a novelty item, Olive’s video about a $16 McDonald’s order went viral, racking up hundreds of thousands of views."

"After a McDonald’s revenue report recently, the same post went viral again earlier this month, with at least a half-dozen news outlets — including the Washington Examiner, the New York Post and Newsmax— picking up the story of Olive’s pricey patty. One YouTube video from this month with 2 million views inaccurately describes it as 'a Big Mac meal' that cost $16. Posts on Reddit, the conservative site Twitchy and elsewhere tied the cost to President Biden’s economic management: Inflation, the theory went, had gotten so out of control that the price of a fast-food burger was approaching $20. These stories soon reached the White House Office of Digital Strategy, which tracked the meme as one of many exaggerated examples of the nation’s economic woes, according to a White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to reflect internal discussions. In reality, inflation has been steadily subsiding.... The average Big Mac nationally as of this summer cost $5.58, up from $4.89... before Biden took office.... That’s up more than 10 percent, but it’s not $16...."

From "The viral $16 McDonald’s meal that may explain voter anger at Biden/As some Democrats fear social media is exaggerating economic problems, the White House faces a crucial choice on election strategy" (WaPo).

The argument for censorship oozes between the lines: "TikTok abounds with misleading or inaccurate information about the economy.... [Some] economists fear that these exaggerated stories will ultimately lead to a worse outcome — perhaps helping Trump win reelection...."

Here's the TikTok video in question, about "a smoky double quarter pounder BLT." I guess a "double quarter pounder" is a half pound, but "quarter pounder" is sort of a McDonald's brand, so they had to say "double quarter pounder" and impose this math problem on us.

Seems like too much meat, but maybe for a large person, seeking a full dinner, a half pound is the right amount. In a steak, it would be 8 ounces, and regarded as small. Let's just say it was a large burger the size of a small burger.


Celebrating 1237! #Trump2016

A post shared by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

November 24, 2023

Sunrise — 6:56, 7:01.


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"I mean, do you know for a fact that [Trump] lost? I'm just curious," said Oliver Stone. "I just don't know all of the facts."

"I'm just asking you, I'm not an expert on the election.... I'm not a political junkie. You are.... Well, I don't know the facts.... I can't take Biden's word for it on anything.... Joe [Biden] got so many got so many votes. You know, that was what was shocking, that he did so well compared to what he was expected to do.... We believed all the East Coast media elite that he was going to fail and boom, yes, they were wrong. We would love to see them being wrong, don't we? The media elite? They went too far in hating and in dumping on Trump. And people don't like that in America.... People don't like dumping. They did it too much.... I think a lot of people liked him because he got dumped on so, so much...."

That's Oliver Stone, from a discussion with Bill Maher. Full video and transcript here, at Real Clear Politics. Clip:

"Ahead of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s four days in exile, several staff researchers wrote a letter to the board of directors warning of a powerful artificial intelligence discovery that they said could threaten humanity."

"... two people familiar with the matter told Reuters."
Some at OpenAI believe Q* (pronounced Q-Star) could be a breakthrough in the startup's search for what's known as artificial general intelligence (AGI), one of the people told Reuters. OpenAI defines AGI as autonomous systems that surpass humans in most economically valuable tasks.... Though only performing math on the level of grade-school students, acing such tests made researchers very optimistic about Q*’s future success, the source said.

"In October he performed a cover of 'Kansas City,' the Leiber and Stoller song, while performing in the Missouri city of that name."

"Days later he performed 'Johnny B Goode' in St Louis in an apparent tribute to Chuck Berry, one of the city’s best-known sons. And in Chicago Dylan opened with 'Born in Chicago' by Mike Bloomfield. ... Will Sloan, a Toronto-based writer who first saw Dylan live as a teenager in 2008, said part of the singer’s appeal is that he is not a crowd-pleaser. 'I think you’ll find that when talking to Bob Dylan fans they sound like deranged cult members,' he said.  'They’ll say, "You know, he didn’t sing any of the classic songs, the ones he sang you couldn’t recognise them and he didn’t look at the audience and you couldn’t understand anything. It was great.'"

He's only ever played "Born in Chicago" twice in concert — October 6, 2023 and October 7, 2023. And he's only played "Johnny B. Goode" once in concert — October 4, 2023. As for "Kansas City," he played it on October 1, 2023, and he'd played it once before — on July 24, 1986 (also in Kansas).

November 23, 2023

Sunrise — 6:45.


The Thanksgiving sunrise (at 7:01).

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"After college, [Eboni] Thompson started annotating because she missed the feeling of analyzing texts and taking notes."

"One day, she went to the bookstore and bought 'Sense and Sensibility,' by Jane Austen, and as she started reading, she realized how much she wanted to remember about the book after she was finished. 'It wasn’t as intense or as thorough as I do now,' she said of her early annotations. 'It was mostly just little quotes here and there, maybe a word I had never known before, a star next to it, or an idea that I was like, "Oh, I want to come back to that."' Thompson began chronicling her annotations on Instagram and TikTok.... Thompson... recently finished reading and annotating 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame,' a book she said she was glad she read carefully. Annotating slows down her reading process, but the output is worth it.... Annotating feels a bit like homework — an assignment you give yourself that allows you to use special pens and highlighters, colored sticky notes and whatever squiggles and doodles you desire. Maybe it’s not scholarship in the traditional sense, but it’s studious, nonetheless."

The first post ever on this blog was about marginalia, and for a day "Marginalia" was the name of the blog. And as for "'Sense and Sensibility,' by Jane Austen," I can't read that phrase without recalling this line from my all-time favorite movie, "My Dinner with André": "I mean there must have been periods when in order to give people a strong or meaningful experience, you wouldn't actually have to take them to Everest.... I mean, there was a time when you could have just, for instance, written — I don't know — 'Sense and Sensibility,' by Jane Austen...."

"He told me that his whole philosophy was to make sure that nobody ever noticed you. Don’t stand out, don’t do anything, or anybody will be able to criticize you."

Said Alison Holt, the sister of Geoffrey Holt, the subject of "He lived a quiet life — then donated $3.8 million to his small N.H. town" (WaPo).

[Geoffrey] Holt worked as a social studies and driver’s education teacher and in a grain mill before retiring and moving to the trailer park, where [he worked] as a handyman and groundskeeper.... Holt was shy and took to others slowly.... Holt collected die-cast cars and model trains and spoke excitedly about automobile history. In his mobile home and a nearby shed, he... was content to spend most of his time at home tinkering with model cars.... He dressed plainly in clothes he rarely replaced. He owned an old car but never used it, opting instead to ride his mower to a nearby Walmart if he needed to shop....

He had no children, and the sister told him she didn't need the money, so he left it to the town, where people barely knew him. Why did he have so much money? It seems that's what happens if you're frugal, invest what you don't spend, and live to be 82.

"My family ate Pop Tarts washed down with Carnation Instant Breakfast every morning for years..."

"...mainly because my mother hated cooking. We thought we were the Jetsons."

That's the top-rated comment on "Confessions of a Pop-Tarts Taste Tester/When my family was enlisted nearly 60 years ago, little did we suspect that the pastry would become a pop-culture phenomenon and inspire a Seinfeld movie" (NYT)("Kellogg’s considered calling them 'fruit scones' — was changed to reflect the sensibilities of the ’60s, when Pop Art was ascendant").

This got us talking about "pocket porridge" — a product a family member had encountered on a recent trip to Germany. And I reminisced about when granola bars were new... and then when "granola" itself was a new word.

"Mystery Science Theater 3000 is going a bit overboard for Turkey Day 2023, with 48 straight hours of episodes..."

"... from both the classic era and recently-concluded Season 13! Starting November 23 at 9 AM Eastern time, and watchable for free on the show's official Youtube channel, on their official Pluto TV channel, on their Twitch channel, and on their bespoke streaming solution the Gizmoplex. Two full days of cheesy movies and humorous commentary from a human test subject and their automated mocking contraptions."

Metafilter announces.

November 22, 2023

Around town.

 At the UPS store:

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In the Wisconsin State Capitol:

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At the café:

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Write about whatever you want in the comments.

“Jill and I have been keeping all those held hostage and their loved ones close to our hearts these many weeks…”

Said President Biden, quoted in “Dean Phillips hits Biden over handling of Hamas hostages: ‘Absurd, shocking and dismaying’” (The Hill).

Phillips’s point: “we have nine Americans held hostage right now by Hamas, [who] have been there for six weeks, including at least one child…. And by now, I would have expected American special forces to perhaps play a hand in extracting them. I think it’s absurd, shocking and dismaying, that six weeks later, we still have American hostages held by a terror organization in Gaza.”

“ The goal is to portray Trump as deviant, even when he’s doing the same thing as everyone else.”

 Glenn Reynolds answers my question.

"The first data on births since Roe v. Wade was overturned shows how much abortion bans have had their intended effect."

"Births increased in every state with a ban, an analysis of the data shows. By comparing birth statistics in states before and after the bans passed, researchers estimated that the laws caused around 32,000 annual births, based on the first six months of 2023, a relatively small increase that was in line with overall expectations.... 'This is an inequality story,' Professor [Caitlin] Myers said. 'Most people are getting out of ban states, one way or another, and more people in protected states are getting abortions. And at the same time, this shows something those data cannot show: There’s a significant minority of people in ban states that do get trapped.'"

Here's an interesting comment over there:

"After the Hamas attack, Kennedy... praised efforts to penalize anti-Israel demonstrators on college campuses. He argued that Israel was within its rights..."

"... to defend itself by whatever means it saw fit. In sharp contrast to his views on American involvement in almost all other foreign conflicts, including the war in Ukraine, he said the U.S. should help: 'We must provide Israel with whatever it needs to defend itself — now.' 'Listen, nobody likes children dying,' he said recently. 'When we went into Germany after the war, and then into Japan, a lot of civilians died because we had to get Hitler.'..."

"What did it mean? Can we hope for a meaning? 'It’s the fashion to hate people in the United States.'"

"This quotation might be from one of a hundred admonitory sermons delivered after President Kennedy’s death. In actuality, it occurs in an interview granted in 1959 to a United Press reporter, Aline Mosby, by a young American defector then living in Moscow, Lee Harvey Oswald. The presumed assassin did not seem to be a violent man. 'He was too quiet, too reserved,' his ex-landlord told reporters. 'He certainly had the intelligence and he looked like he could be efficient at doing almost anything.'... None of our country’s four slain Presidents were victims of any distinct idea of opposition or hope of gain; they were sacrificed, rather, to the blind tides of criminality and insanity that make civilization precarious...."

Wrote John Updike, republished today and originally published November 29, 1963, in The New Yorker, in "A Nation of Eyewitnesses to J.F.K.’s Assassination/How it feels—and what it means—to watch a President slain on TV."

Whether there was "any distinct idea of opposition or hope of gain" in any of the 4 assassinations, there was, in each case, a woeful and shocking exposure of the President to the shooting that killed him. There will always be somebody out there — somebody quiet... too quiet — thinking of killing the President. There needs to be good security, and it's been good enough for the last 60 years.

Cornel West said "We’re living in a genocidal attack in real time, where nearly 7,000 children have been killed in less than 45 days..."

"... so all of the talk about X or Y is nothing but rationalizations of the proceeding, of the promoting of this kind of genocidal attack."

Said Cornel West, quoted in "Cornel West accuses Israel of ‘genocidal attack’ on Gaza" (NewsNation)(with video of interview with Chris Cuomo). 
 “We have to be morally consistent” about calling out war crimes, West said. “We can’t lose sight of the larger structural institutional realities in which people are being killed every day in the occupation beginning 1948. That’s like zeroing in on Nat Turner because he’s killing some white children and he’s wrong, but Black people were enslaved for 240 years.”

Cuomo weakly noted, “Palestinians have had a much better shot than Blacks in America have had,” and pointed to the "deals" that have been offered to Palestinians.

That fired up West: 

60 years ago.

November 21, 2023

The Wisconsin State Capitol Christmas tree — under construction.


Seen today. 

Write about whatever you want in the comments.

"Media Matters knowingly and maliciously manufactured side-by-side images depicting advertisers’ posts on X Corp.’s social media platform beside Neo-Nazi and white-nationalist fringe content..."

"... and then portrayed these manufactured images as if they were what typical X users experience on the platform. Media Matters designed both these images and its resulting media strategy to drive advertisers from the platform and destroy X Corp."

Says the complaint filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, quoted by CNN Business in "Pro-Nazi posts next to Apple ads: Elon Musk’s X sues watchdog for its damning report." 
“If you know me, you know I’m committed to truth and fairness,” [X CEO Linda] Yaccarino posted. “Here’s the truth. Not a single authentic user on X saw IBM’s, Comcast’s, or Oracle’s ads next to the content in Media Matters’ article.”

"Normally, a president would use war rhetoric to prepare a nation for war against another nation. Donald Trump uses war rhetoric domestically."

Said Jennifer Mercieca, "a professor at Texas A&M University who has researched political rhetoric." 

That's the last quote — the parting shot — in a NYT article titled "Trump’s Dire Words Raise New Fears About His Authoritarian Bent/The former president is focusing his most vicious attacks on domestic political opponents, setting off fresh worries among autocracy experts."

How could you be a specialist in political rhetoric and not realize that war rhetoric is very common in political speech about domestic matters? There's the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on crime, and we're endlessly fighting and battling in political campaigns and in governing after the victories have been won in battleground states.

A Google search for "the use of war metaphor in political speech" gets over 13 million hits. For example, here's "The Rise Of The War Metaphor In Public Policy" from The Hoover Institution (back in 2019). Excerpt:

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals panel — 2 Obama appointees and a Biden appointee — may favor Trump's freedom of speech and reverse the gag order in the January 6th case.

I'm reading "Appeals court judges express skepticism as Trump lawyer fights to reverse gag order in Jan. 6 case" (Law and Crime).

The Court of Appeals judges are Patricia A. Millett, Cornelia Pillard and Bradley Garcia. Millett and Pillard are Obama appointees, and Garcia is a Biden appointee.

"Musk appears to have learned the lesson that ardent Zionism can function as an alibi for antisemitism."

"As advertisers fled X last week, he suddenly announced that he was going to ban the pro-Palestinian slogan 'From the river to the sea,' as well as 'decolonization,' a buzzword on the anti-Zionist left. The move made a mockery of the ostensible free speech absolutism that was Musk’s excuse for allowing so much antisemitism on X in the first place. It did nothing to curb overt white nationalists on the site, many of whom had celebrated Musk’s 'actual truth' post. But it was enough to earn him plaudits from some Jewish and Israeli spokespeople...."
Writes Michelle Goldberg, in "Why on Earth Are Jewish Leaders Praising Elon Musk?" (NYT).

"Former President Donald J. Trump posted a fawning but vague health report from his doctor on Monday that declares that Mr. Trump’s health is 'excellent' and that he has recently lost weight through an 'improved diet' and 'daily physical activity.'"

Speaking of unverifiable claims: "The timing of the report appeared to be taking a jab at President Biden on his 81st birthday." 

"At one feast, he had several of his guests lashed to a water-wheel, which turned slowly and drowned them as their horrified fellow diners looked on."

"In another... he released dozens of leopards and lions among his guests once they had finished eating. On one occasion, he let poisonous snakes loose among the crowds at the gladiatorial games, causing widespread death and injury.... Elagabalus was also known to dress entirely in precious silks and draped himself with gems.... Elagabalus was rumoured to have consulted his physicians about an early version of a sex-change operation, and he took a series of male lovers. He was said to have spent his days in the company of women in his palace, singing, dancing, weaving and wearing a hairnet, eye make-up and rouge. 'The soldiers were revolted at the sight of him,' wrote one ancient historian. 'With his face made up more elaborately than a modest woman, he was effeminately dressed up in golden necklaces and soft clothes, dancing for everyone to see in this state.'"

Which group wants to have this sadistic torturer identified as one of them? This "woke" museum isn't doing the group it is trying to favor any favor. Quite the opposite. 

November 20, 2023

At the Monday Night Cafe…

 … you can write about whatever you want.

Are you paying attention to Schedulegate?

I just coined the term, but check out "Judge Aileen Cannon’s Games in Florida May Delay Other Trump Trials" (Daily Beast) and "Judge Cannon's rulings put other Trump cases in 'limbo'" (Raw Story) and "Judge Cannon Just Stealth Shivved The Trump Docs Case/Girl, please. We see you" (Law and Chaos).

"[A] bank will cover the costs of restoring the mural. However... some in the art world feel... that Banksy’s murals should be allowed to decay naturally over time."

From "How Do You Restore a Banksy Mural? Venice Is Working on It. Also up for debate: whether they should restore it at all" (Inside Hook).

"To say what is or is not 'excessive' or 'disproportionate' requires a judgment call based on a cost-benefit analysis."

"But how can anyone weigh the costs and benefits of incommensurable goods like lives and military advantage? In practice, militaries like those of the U.S. and Israel follow procedures that are supposed to anticipate damage in advance and try to keep it within reason. This effort captures Michael Walzer’s observation that it is not enough to not intend to target civilians; one must also intend not to target them—by making efforts to avoid their death.... Determining whether a given act of violence constitutes genocide... turns on the intent of the actor: Was it meant to destroy a group, in whole or in part?... Israel has declared the war objective of eliminating Hamas, which is a military-political organization, not a whole people.... As for Hamas, its 1988 charter called for the liberation of Palestine and for Muslim sovereignty over the entire land... and does not expressly specify the destruction of Israelis in whole or in part. The upshot is that charges of genocide, made in either direction, likely do not satisfy the legal definition of genocide, certainly not as it would be adjudged by any international tribunal today...."

"The Real Reason Why Biden Shouldn’t Drop Out/A contested Democratic primary with less than a year before the 2024 election would be a mess."

Writes Walter Shapiro, in The New Republic.
If Biden dropped out at any point before the Democratic convention, it is virtually certain there would be a contested battle for the nomination.... and not even a Biden endorsement of Kamala Harris would change that.... Maybe things might be different if Harris were universally beloved in the party and had an unequivocal edge on Donald Trump in the polls.... 

"Searching, nonlinear, placid-but-itchy songs are his apparent medium now, but retreat is his real art..."

"Can someone who was once so present find meaning in absence?"

From a review, in the NYT, of "Dreams Once Buried Beneath the Dungeon Floor Slowly Sprout Into Undying Gardens" by André 3000.

He was a member of the duo Outkast and "one of the most innovative rappers ever," but Outkast has not put out a recording in almost 20 years, and this new album has no rapping or even any words at all. It's purely instrumental, and the instruments are, it says here, "a digital wind instrument, a Maya flute and others of wood and bamboo." 

At that last link, there's a quote from André saying that when he was 25, he thought, "I don’t want to be a 40-year-old rapper" and he still agreed with that. That quote is from 2014. He's also quoted saying now, "In my mind, I really would like to make a rap album. So maybe that happens one day, but I got to find a way to say what I want to say in an interesting way that’s appealing to me at this age." He's 48.

"[Javier] Milei has pledged to slash spending and taxes, close Argentina’s central bank and replace the nation’s currency with the U.S. dollar."

"He has also proposed banning abortion, loosening regulations on guns and considering only countries that want to 'fight against socialism' as Argentina’s allies, often naming the United States and Israel as examples. In his victory speech, he attacked the political 'caste' that he says has enriched themselves at the expense of average Argentines, saying 'today is the end to Argentine decadence.'...

From "Argentina Elects Javier Milei in Victory for Far Right/Argentina’s next president is a libertarian economist whose brash style and embrace of conspiracy theories has parallels with those of Donald J. Trump" (NYT).

Is he like Trump? We're told "his strong adherence to a libertarian ideology... has led him to support, in theory, policies like open immigration and drug decriminalization." The similarities? "He harshly attacks his critics and the news media, he calls the scientific consensus on climate change a socialist plot, he argues that a shadowy cabal controls the country and he even has an unruly hairdo that has become an online meme."

An example of his rhetoric: "The state is a pedophile in a kindergarten... with the children chained up and bathed in Vaseline."

Key fact: Inflation in Argentina is over 140%.

November 19, 2023

Sunrise — 7:02.

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"She had been delivered by Mr. Carter’s mother, a nurse. And a few days later... his mother took little Jimmy to Rosalynn’s house, where he 'peeked into the cradle to see the newest baby on the street'...."

"He was not quite 3. Eighteen years would pass before the two would truly connect. But once they did, they became life and work partners, melding so completely that as president Mr. Carter would call her 'an almost equal extension of myself.'"

"Shoppers visiting the CVS Pharmacy at 14th and Irving streets NW in Washington recently must think they traveled back in time to the Soviet Union."

"The store’s shelves are bare. The refrigerator cases are devoid of food or beverages. When we visited, only sunscreen and greeting cards were on display. But the bizarre scene is not a result of a failed planned economy; rampant theft is the cause. Shoplifters ransacked this CVS over two days early last month, and it hasn’t been restocked since. Weeks later, there’s still hardly anything to buy — or steal."

Writes The Editorial Board of The Washington Post, in "How do you fight shoplifting? Not by locking down everything in CVS."

If that's not what "you" do, what are "you" supposed to do? "You" are supposed to arrest people and punish them, we're told. But who's the "you"? That's not something CVS can do. CVS is stuck with limited options, and it's doing something within its power. Is it supposed to stop so that things can be stolen because that creates the opportunity to arrest people and punish them?

"The school closures that took 50 million children out of classrooms at the start of the pandemic may prove to be the most damaging disruption in the history of American education."

"It also set student progress in math and reading back by two decades and widened the achievement gap that separates poor and wealthy children.... The learning loss crisis is more consequential than many elected officials have yet acknowledged. A collective sense of urgency by all Americans will be required to avert its most devastating effects on the nation’s children."

So says The Editorial Board of the NYT in "The Startling Evidence on Learning Loss Is In." 

Now, look at the top-rated comment over there — with over 2,000 up votes — by Upstate Guy in Albany, New York. I turned to the comments expecting to see people blaming Trump. But Upstate Guy takes things in a completely different direction:

"In the vanilla-scented office of Abby Rose Spirit, under the glow of Turkish ceiling lights, she tapped her white Skechers on an Oriental rug and listened to a voice she found soothing."

The voice was her psychic, asking "You know how they have those amusement park cars? It’s like you’re in the go-kart and you feel like something is going to smash into you." And the woman, Kathy Nichols, 58, "thought: Navigating life on Wisconsin’s northeastern thumb was stressful enough. Why did she have to worry about the country’s chaos, too? 'It’s overwhelming,' she agreed."

I'm trying to read this Washington Post article about Wisconsin, "In a swing Wisconsin county, everyone is tired of politics."

It's Door County, not my county, so I have no first-hand account, not that anyone has a first-hand account — even in a limited geographical area — of how "everyone" feels. But why is there are front-page WaPo article about feelings in Door County, Wisconsin, and who cares about the ceiling fixtures and ambient odor of the office of a psychic and the footwear of a random client? 

"This was Mexican-style news coverage, a repudiation of the concept of separation of business and news."

"What I saw there was batting practice, someone dropping balls for him to hit out of the park. I think it was an embarrassment."

Joaquin Blaya, a former president of Univision, told the Washington Post, quoted in "Latino backlash grows over Donald Trump’s friendly Univision interview/Members of Congress plan to ask for a meeting with a company executive as a famous actor, a Univision founder and Latino rights advocacy groups speak out."
The pushback comes after a Nov. 7 interview with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida that was arranged with the help of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and attended by a trio of senior executives at Univision’s parent company. The interview was notable for its gracious tone, lack of follow-up questions and Trump’s assertion in the first minutes about owners of the network....
The network, which has said it has also requested an interview with President Biden, announced a new policy of preventing opposition advertising during single-candidate interviews shortly before the Trump interview aired. 

Let Biden do his own interview, so we can compare how the network treats the candidates. And let's see The Washington Post give equal coverage to media giving similarly cushy coverage to Biden. The coddling of Biden — does he even do interviews? — is so widespread may be hard to see it as any kind of news at all. It's dog bites man. The cushy Trump interview is man bites dog. Front page news!

Of course, it must be terrifying to Democrats to see Trump protected within the largest Spanish-language media company. 

By the way, if Trump used "Mexican-style" as a pejorative, he'd be reviled.