did someone muck with the backend here

Re: President Monster

1

You could have asked me at any point in my adult life who would be the absolute worst American to be President, and he'd top the list. It is staggeringly bad. Comically bad--who could make such an awful, awful decision? Hell, you'd think the godbotherers would vote someone who at least successfully pretends to be pious. Sometimes for a few minutes I'll forget he's President and it's crushing when I remember.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:24 AM
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If it makes you feel better, I'm pretty sure he was elected just because people who voted for him knew it would be what you would consider the worst case.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:27 AM
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I can't imagine an act more unpatriotic. Those people have such contempt for America.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:28 AM
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Only because they'd insist on shitting on the parts they can't control.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:30 AM
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It's impressive that there's basically no dimension along which he's an admirable character. The Kochs are resolutely evil, but they're providing major funding to public institutions, like Bizarro Carnegies. Richard Nixon was a skilled politician and savvy poker player. Hitler liked dogs! Roy Cohn knew how to tie a tie! The BTK Killer was a good family man!

You can't even be impressed by him as a sybarite! This asshole claims to have billions of dollars and all he does with it is put on second-tier beauty pageants so he can "accidentally" walk in on half-dressed teenagers, call for the lynching of the Central Park Five, and order KFC and overcooked steaks in his hideous gilded apartment.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:33 AM
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Someone (Jeet Heer?) was saying that his using to the hilt the new 280-character limit on Twitter discarded one of his only strengths, brevity. I doubt he ever realized that was a benefit though - he just vomited onto the keyboard until he ran out of space, and that hasn't changed.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:41 AM
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Actually I genuinely wonder, if you asked him if he noticed any change to Twitter recently that let him do more with it, if anything would come to mind.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:42 AM
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Did anyone notice George Will calling Trump a Nazi in the WaPo today? It was implicit -- that is, he called Republicans who work with Trump 'Vichy Republicans' -- but unambiguous. That seems new.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:43 AM
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I realised the other day, watching a clip of him on Colbert's show, that nobody mocks his ridiculous hair any more, because there's just not enough time with all the other mockery/recoiling in horror. Remember when you could fill hours of TV, or a stand-up set, just talking about his hair?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:46 AM
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I believe he is genuinely skilled at attracting media attention, and to some extent directing it. This is not exactly a "redeeming" quality but it's literally about the only positive thing I can think to say about him. (It's my answer to that terrible debate question. Clinton's answer was awful and untrue; his children are complete monsters. (Of course she was put on the spot by the question and for deserves credit for coming up with anything at all other than a disgusted chortle.))

I'm also prepared to believe he is a good amateur golfer, although I am equally prepared to believe that is a lie.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:49 AM
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Hoping this is not a derail, but the Guardian answers my main question about the Disney-Murdoch news: Family retains control of Fox News and News Corp newspapers including the Sun, Times and Wall Street Journal.

In counterpoint to the OP, I believe that DJT is a type-- starting with his father or his father's contemporary, J Edgar Hoover, it's easy to find prominent men who actively resist new information coming in. DJT's moral failings are enumerated because we are looking closely at his life, not because they are unusual.

This is what people are like, and our current television-driven iteration of a system approximating a leader chosen by lot is just broadcasting an uncomfortable truth.

As for his cognitive failings-- clearly he has only very limited ability to deal with abstraction or with detail. But honestly, if my job was to stand on the stage of a partially-scripted reality show and get viewers to tune in, I would almost certainly fail quickly. As with GWB, having strong enough people sense compensates for a lot-- blind heroes and blind seers are a benevolent metaphorical mirror image.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:49 AM
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8: I've always wondered what dog whistles for the left sounded like.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:49 AM
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Well, it's coming from George Will, so I'm not sure the audience is exactly the 'left'. People who know what 'Vichy' refers to probably trend to the left, but not exclusively.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:55 AM
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I'm going to steal the phrase. I really like it. I'm also going to rely on you to let me know if George Will does anything else useful because I'm not about to read him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:58 AM
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J Edgar Hoover, it's easy to find prominent men who actively resist new information coming in.

DJT certainly resists new information coming in, but his inability to tell truth from fiction seems far more acute than that. And I doubt Hoover needed his briefings limited to one page in large font because his attention span couldn't hang in beyond that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:58 AM
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The Monster at the End of this Book Republic


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:00 AM
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But Hoover never lived to see 24 hour news TV, twitter, and brain-pickling Diet Coke habits.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:01 AM
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The worst person, in the most important job, causing problems (especially internationally) that cannot and will never be fixed. And even if/when he leaves the literal cancer destroying the country/world that is the modern Republican party remains. So we're a disgusting country with a disgusting President, due to the childish actions of some of the most spoiled and best-off people in the history of the world (primarily but not exclusively white, mostly relatively prosperous, Americans born between 1940 and 1970). It's a tragedy in the worst sense, one we did to ourselves because for some reason we decided to valorize the stunningly ignorant.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:16 AM
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15. I agree with you that he's truly awful in a number of ways simultaneously.

Hoover believed some weird stuff-- he certainly devoted considerable resources to hunting for communists in pointless places. Reagan believed a lot of weird stuff as well, there are cases where he confused the plots of films he had been in with historical fact. DJT seems worse in a bunch of ways to me as he does to you, but I keep coming back to the fact that he did well in a competitive field (TV) where his inherited advantages didn't help much.

Misunderestimating that seems like a mistake to me-- it's not the way I think and definitely not a useful lens for distinguishing fact from popular fiction. But he's different from say the guy who thought you had to swear on a bible to hold public office.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:16 AM
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George Will has actually been on the case regarding Trump and fascism for quite awhile. From September last year:

"Charismatic authority," wrote Max Weber in 1915, seven years before Mussolini's march on Rome, causes the governed to submit "because of their belief in the extraordinary quality of the specific person . . . . Charismatic rule thus rests upon the belief in magical powers, revelations and hero worship."

His objection to Trump, though, is really mostly rooted in elitism. It serves Will's ideological outlook to think of Trump as a populist.

Still, give Will credit, "Vichy Republicans" is pretty good.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:20 AM
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Agree about how awful, but disagree about unique-- Cruz or Carson were not disqualified (I think) because they would be harmful, but because they were not smooth enough in front of the cameras.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:22 AM
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It's impressive that there's basically no dimension along which he's an admirable character.

About my favourite ever description of Trump, by the journalist Andrew Mueller, was "The walking embodiment of every possible human character flaw."

Further to dalraita's lamentations, the thing that bugged me the most about people supporting him during the campain had nothing to do with his odious proposed policies, but with the plain incoherence of his speech -- I mean, he couldn't make complete sentences that made any sense -- and the juvenile stupidity and cruelty of his schtick at rallies. All you had to do was watch 10 minutes of one of those things and it was just manifest that here was a guy utterly not up to the job. No matter one's politics, I can't imagine voting for someone so obviously incompetent.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:22 AM
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Also, what Halford said.

Even knowing that a majority voted against Trump, it's hard to imagine how I could ever feel good about America again after this.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:25 AM
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brain-pickling Diet Coke habits

This is actually his one redeeming characteristic in my eye, because I too enjoy large quantities of Diet Coke.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:25 AM
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It's a tragedy in the worst sense, one we did to ourselves because for some reason we decided to valorize the stunningly ignorant.

Although fetishizing very, very smart people also gives big problems, given how little correlation there seems to be between intelligence and morality.

And if you fetishize very moral people, you turn into a society of priggish nincompoops, plus the seedy underbelly thrives.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:30 AM
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Too much will kill your midi-chlorians and you won't be able to lift things with your mind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:30 AM
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25 is probably right but it is worth adding that if you fetishize working class people of the dominant ethnic group, you get fascism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:32 AM
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Anyway, Priggish Nincompoop/Seedy Underbelly 2020 will get my voter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:33 AM
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22. incompetent

His name is on the outside of buildings, and many of the people voting for him see that as something comprehensible. Possibly unfairly to them, I think that many people don't understand that ideas can be as powerful as tangible objects.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:34 AM
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"My name is a killing word."


Posted by: Opinionated Movie Paul Atreides | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:36 AM
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Maybe you should fetishize marginalized groups? (There's some real sense in which the left does this.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:36 AM
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I used to give Trump a certain amount of credit for competence. After all, he's president and I ain't. But I've come to believe that it's a mistake to think of Trump as a conscious actor in any of this. He was selected by the US media and political environment in the same way that giraffes got their long necks, elephants got trunks and humans got eyes. Everything that wasn't Trump was killed off.

People sometimes fail to appreciate natural selection as a creative force. The US environment has been working to mold politics into Trumpism at least since Reagan. Sarah Palin could have been president, but she had other things to do.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:37 AM
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31: That leads to creepy porn-things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:39 AM
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I think that many people don't understand that ideas can be as powerful as tangible objects.

Which is kind of ironic, given that most of the buildings with his name on them aren't his. So what they are is an idea of Trump.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:39 AM
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I think you've said something similar to 32 before, pf, and it's insightful.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:40 AM
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I don't want to usurp the role of this blog's resident Bonhoeffer fetishist, but the following is true:

Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one's prejudgment simply need not be believed - in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical - and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:42 AM
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He was selected by the US media and political environment in the same way that giraffes got their long necks, elephants got trunks and humans got eyes.

In the high and far-off times the orange man, O best beloved, had no redeeming qualities.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:42 AM
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But smartness can outsmart you!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:43 AM
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36. Ortega y Gassett makes much the same point. He elaborates to point out that an unfounded belief that civilization is as natural as weather rather than a fragile collaboration is especially dangerous.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 10:52 AM
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Props to 18 and 32.

What always gets me is that it isn't like there is any mystery to any of it; neither his character and abilities or the patterns that lead to democracy/rational governance getting "overthrown." Watching five minutes of the flying monkeys on the House Judiciary committee grilling Rosenstein yesterday is but the 57,000th example of that. Sigh.

Quoting from the WaPo article I linked at the end of the Moore thread;

His demeanor with the German leader was in striking contrast with his encounters with Putin and other authoritarian figures. "Who are the three guys in the world he most admires? President Xi [Jinping] of China, [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and Putin," one Trump adviser said. "They're all the same guy."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 11:21 AM
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Relevant.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 11:23 AM
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The replies below are what make it most relevant of all.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 11:26 AM
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Jesus, this from Gabriel Sherman: Trump spoke with Murdoch ahead of Disney deal to make sure Murdoch wasn't selling Fox News, person briefed on the call said.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 11:28 AM
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Yeah, I guess not so much "for the left" but for the people-not-usually-dog-whistled-to. "Not hateful ignoramuses" isn't quite right but is probably closer to what I was thinking.

I think Trump did have an inherited advantage going into TV: he has the glamour of being a conspicuously rich white male. Sometimes that's all you need. We're an awful country.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 11:29 AM
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Something that sends me into a blindingly white rage well above my baseline ragefulness is recalling the media reaction to Hillary's "alt-fight" speech (this was some days before the deplorables "gaffe" whose coverage was of the same kind). Here's Chuck Todd (who is an incredibly smug motherfucking motherfucker on his best days ajscf=i4yy7=-ghbj0e5-[erhjgw40548045!!!!!.. I'm good now) opining on how bad it was that campaigns were in a "race to the bottom."

Unpack that a bit; the "race to the bottom" only became an appropriate description in his mind when HRC decided to specifically point out the bottom-feeding nature of the Trump campaign. There was no mystery about Trump or his campaign. none. But most of the fuckers in the media could not find it in themselves to call that out on their own.

I'm going to gnaw on you skull in hell Chuck.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 11:39 AM
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44: Dog-whistles for the "front row kids."Arnade and his McDonald's buddy JD Vance are both in for some very aggressive skull-gnawing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 11:45 AM
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I think Trump did have an inherited advantage going into TV: he has the glamour of being a conspicuously rich white male.

Indeed - a lot of people were starstruck by things like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. That along with the creeping popularity of so-called prosperity gospel (if you're rich, you're deserving in the eyes of god) were enough to ensure Trump was/is viewed as undoubtedly worthy of adulation.

He's also arguably a great comedian! A number of clips of his recent Pensacola, FL rally have been circulating: in some, he really is a decent comic (if you're into the sort of comedic sneering mockery* he directed at, say, 'the resistance'). Trevor Noah pointed out, via clips, the extent to which it looked for all the world like a comedy club performance - complete with the typical audience response to HILARIOUS jokes.

* there's a name for that kind of comedy - mocking and aping a target - but I dunno what it is


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 11:48 AM
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Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.


Posted by: Opinionated Friedrich Schiller | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 12:04 PM
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The only solace I take in his personality is that he obviously hates himself and no amount of money or power can overcome the fundamental insecurity he feels every moment of his life. As he's aging and his mental faculty is failing he also has moments of fear and confusion like a small child or a lost dog. He lashes out at people because he knows that he really is totally unfit and a failure at almost everything he does and winning the presidency only ensures that nearly everyone will remember it for as long as Western civilization exists.
Unfortunately his personality may significantly shorten the existence of civilization. But I'll take what I can get.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 12:20 PM
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Too soon to be wishing for the end of the world.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 12:24 PM
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* there's a name for that kind of comedy - mocking and aping a target - but I dunno what it is

Insult comedy? Punching down?

It's also what Gallagher ended up focusing on, AISHBLHB.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 12:29 PM
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46.
You're on!


Posted by: OMG | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 12:50 PM
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52: Ha!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 1:00 PM
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Just one example for the carnival of hate that is those blogs. Took me a 5 seconds to find.

I have been actively looking for more positive outlets for my rage. Tomorrow I have a voter registration at a naturalization ceremony (via LWV). I will liveblog report on it afterwards.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 1:03 PM
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Dammit, in keeping with my theory that McManus was an oil exec in Texas, I had been thinking that he was Rex Tillerson, but I guess he's still online.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 1:03 PM
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I remember a long-ago thread in which we indulged in a ridiculous discussion of who would be worst or better as President between Shearer and McManus.

I can sort of see Trump as a combination of each of their worst qualities.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 1:09 PM
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36: I'm an enthusiast!

Later in the same passage he gets even more acute about our current situation:

"The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with a person, but with slogans, catchwords and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 1:10 PM
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Against stupidity the gods themselves are helpless


Posted by: Friedrich von Schiller | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 1:13 PM
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Helpless to prevent comment 58 following 48, certainly.


Posted by: Opinionated Irony | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 1:23 PM
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due to the childish actions of some of the most spoiled and best-off people in the history of the world

I think you're being too hard on the Clintons.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 1:24 PM
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I think the Disney-Fox merger is a net gain because I have slipped into a fantasy world in which major left politicians target News Corp for destruction. How? Fuck if I know.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 2:01 PM
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59: Like the Bible, it's better in the original English.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 2:04 PM
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61: I'm glad the X-Men are finally freed to team up with The Avengers and destroy Rupert Murdoch once and for all.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 2:05 PM
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I wonder if the people who write grown-up tweets from Trump's account on occasion ever debate introducing capitalization errors and masking their work as though it came from him, or if they are deliberately trying to convey the fact that two different brains are creating the tweets.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 2:21 PM
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I think they figure by keeping things racist, they're covered.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 2:30 PM
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[X-Men and Avengers] ... destroy Rupert Murdoch once and for all.

That's James Bond.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 2:37 PM
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Also Sherlock Holmes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 2:39 PM
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It's the ignorance more than the stupidity that continues to astound me. He really and truly doesn't know anything about how anything works, what the world is like, and what's happened in the past unless it involves him personally. Who knew health care is complicated? "It's not so easy" for China to make N. Korea to do its bidding. Still believes Mideast peace is "not as difficult as people have thought." Still no doubt thinks that the border wall is just a big ole concrete wall that follows the dotted line on the map. Has a vague notion that Puerto Rico is "out in the ocean" somewhere and thinks the U.S. part of the U.S. Virgin Islands is purely decorative. Thinks Frederick Douglass is alive and kicking (not that he has any idea who Douglass was). On and on and on.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr Trump said he told Mr Xi he believed Beijing could easily take care of the threat of North Korea.
The US President said Mr Xi then explained the history of China and Korea to him.
"After listening for 10 minutes, I realised it's not so easy," Mr Trump said.
"I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power over North Korea. But it's not what you would think."

It's not the heat, it's the humidity.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 2:48 PM
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It's the dunningest-krueger thing that ever dunninged-krueger.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 2:55 PM
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May he one day attain a complete understanding of the extent of his ignorance.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 2:58 PM
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Also may he chomp off his own dick.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 3:23 PM
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You're letting him off easy.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 3:46 PM
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Also, SP is making me feel better again.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 3:49 PM
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It is a pretty significant accomplishment to be simultaneously the worst human being ever to have served as President and the worst at the job. He has a bit of competition in the first category but has lapped the field in the second.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 4:03 PM
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74: I think some past presidents were probably worse people (Andrew Johnson? Andrew Jackson?) (setting aside the requisite "every president back then was a worse person because they were all racist"), and some were more incompetent too (Warren G. Harding? Franklin Pierce? Andrew Johnson?). It's just that until recently, having a bad US president was not such a disaster for the world. Having an incompetent US president in 1850 was like having an incompetent president of, let's say, Argentina today. And we didn't have such a big federal government so there wasn't that much stuff for the president, personally, to screw up. Maybe I'm wrong about this.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 4:15 PM
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I have belatedly tried to reassure dq in the Asia Pacific thread.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 4:16 PM
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75: The worst person part is maybe arguable. Trump apparently isn't physically violent, so he's got that over, e.g., Jackson. But as incompetent as some past presidents have been, I don't think any of them brought literally nothing useful to the job.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 4:22 PM
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77: Sure, Trump would be way worse if he had the brass to fight his own battles and not just tweet insults at women and children Millennials.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 4:40 PM
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I thought dropping a MOAB for IIRC no real strategic benefit was pretty awful.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 4:47 PM
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Trump would be way worse if he had the brass to fight his own battles and not just tweet insults at women and children Millennials.

"WASHINGTON, DC - President Trump died today after suffering defeat in his long-anticipated duel with Jake Tapper"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 4:53 PM
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76: Thank you! Good point re so Korean equilibrium face à no Korean provocations and frank attacks. Not so reassuring noises out of dc re USA striking in response to further no Korean tests, sadly. What apocalyptic idiocy.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 5:10 PM
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SOMETHING SOMETHING GOVERNMENT WE DESERVE.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 5:18 PM
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This is why I still think he must be some kind of interstellar psych experiment -- it can't just have accidentally happened that he has *every* vice. It's got to be some kind of extension of the Milgram experiments, to see what Americans will stick at. 'Fraud, incompetence, cruelty... Uh, ok, how about treason with the Russians? No? Huh. Ok.' I'm guessing the lobster-people scientists of Alpha Centauri are kind of dumbfounded by now.


Posted by: edna k. | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 7:31 PM
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he has *every* vice.

But, unlike Admiral Stockdale, he didn't look bad on television . . .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 7:39 PM
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Speaking of Republicans with every vice, I'd heard about this guy's suicide before, but the full weirdness wasn't made clear in the other articles.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 7:52 PM
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That was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 7:55 PM
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First we had politicians playing to TV. Then we had an actor, playing the role of a politician. Now we have a reality show star. This seems like a coherent trajectory, just not a good one.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:12 PM
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Trump was and continues to be a legitimately talented reality TV star. He's really good at getting attention and drumming up drama! Apparently this is one of the main things the electoral process selects for now.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:14 PM
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Trump: America's algae bloom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:14 PM
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90

Republicans also seem to prefer presidents suffering some sort of age-related cognitive decline. Either that, or figuring out how to win the Republican primary causes some sort of cognitive decline. Reagan, but also W Bush was noticeably sharper when he was younger, as was Trump.

Oddly, when Republicans nominate candidates who seem pretty sharp, they don't seem to win. So, either there's a turnout effect, or the tiny number of actual swing voters also prefer their Republicans senile. Maybe it makes them read as less sociopathic? As far as I can tell, Romney is basically a decent-but-awkward dude, but while running for president as a Republican he seemed kinda slimy.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:17 PM
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Maybe the voters want cognitive abilities to mirror their own? They don't like sharp people because they live in fear and figure they sharp guy must be putting one over on them, even if seems to say all the right things?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:28 PM
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IIRC He thinks he's smarter than you was a devastating criticism of John Kerry.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:34 PM
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There was a measure we used back in the day called "cognitive simplism." It was measuring the idea that the solutions to big problems were really simple and smart people had just confused the issues because being smart isn't actually help. You know, bringing up the Bill of Right when all we need to do is jail the guy who was already arrested and what could go wrong?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:35 PM
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John Kerry was too elitist to hire prostitutes to pee for him. He probably has a service collect the urine, process it for germs, and then give it to his staff who will pour it out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:38 PM
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I'm picturing a seltzer bottle of the old style.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:42 PM
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Mitt has a bit more of the common man's touch. Super Soaker.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:45 PM
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Are you ok, Moby?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:45 PM
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Just fine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:46 PM
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Why do you ask?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:48 PM
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Good to know.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:48 PM
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Cognitive simplism sounds like a very useful thing to plot at the precinct level.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:49 PM
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It's kind of an individual-level measure, so you'd need to survey a lot of people. Maybe a proxy could be found (WWF pay-per-view sales?).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:50 PM
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91 seems pretty plausible. It seems right that the same group of voters also use "does he look like one of us?" style heuristics. If you don't trust complex verbal agreements not to be traps, if you think that the baseline rate of deception is quite high, but you think that it's important to be part of a large gang to stay safe, then "team up with the people who look like you" is a pretty natural strategy to fall back on, as it's comparatively hard to fake (though not impossible!).


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:53 PM
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Arby's locations?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 8:54 PM
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I really appreciate this post. I try not to pay too much attention to the monster, it's too crazy-making and rage-inducing, but as heebie points out, sometimes it just hits you all over again.

What I find creepy-disturbing about Trump is that he doesn't seem to have ever developed any kind of interior emotional/mental space. It's as though he really is empty inside, and his performance of his public persona is all there is to him. Which isn't to say that he's transparent, because the persona that he performs is dishonest, malicious, mendacious, and fraudulent in the extreme.

83 is excellent.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:15 PM
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give it to his staff who will pour it out

Of course he prefers pour-over. Total elitist.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-14-17 9:34 PM
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105 - isn't that just saying he lacks self awareness? Which isn't exactly unique - as per 91


Posted by: Chris S | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 12:13 AM
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About my favourite ever description of Trump, by the journalist Andrew Mueller, was "The walking embodiment of every possible human character flaw."

This is good. I've been saying for a while, the worst possible person for the job in American public life.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 1:52 AM
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One thing Trump exemplifies is something that really sticks in my craw about American culture - the obsession with kicking and tormenting "losers" and by corollary lionizing "winners". I am regularly horrified by the way some of the most progressive and indeed radical Americans I know reach for this rhetoric as easily as breathing.

If your first response to someone being exposed as a moral monster is howl "Loser!!!" - this isn't a moral response in any way, it's just a statement of the great American syllogism that losers are bad. That bad people are, worst of all, losers implies that those who lose are bad people.

This is important for two reasons - first of all you can't choose to succeed. Time and chance happeneth to them all. Second, there's the great American corollary, that winners are good people. Trump is exhibit A, but if the leftmost edge of the political spectrum can't quit this horrible puerile sports yelling what hope is there?

One of the few things that reassures me about Britain is that despite marinating in Americana for decades this hasn't taken hold in the language to the same extent. If you say that so-and-so is a winner people will look at you strangely and wonder aloud what kind of motivation coach cultist you are.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 2:27 AM
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Further to 110, this disappointed me in various people for a while until I realised that people who got caught were losers because losers get caught and by extension winners get away with it.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 2:29 AM
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First we had politicians playing to TV. Then we had an actor, playing the role of a politician. Now we have a reality show star. This seems like a coherent trajectory, just not a good one.

"Kennedy had been a television star. Reagan had been a movie star. At times, Governor William Cozzano seemed to be a special effect..."

-Neal Stephenson, "Interface"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 2:54 AM
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110 is I think deeply embedded in the Daily Mail mindset. I have a friend who works there who is one of the most profoundly cynical people I know (the most cynical worked for the Independent: real nihilists have no politics)


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 5:11 AM
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No comment here, no comment at all. We only wanted to introduce you to one of our very special citizens, little Donald Trump age 71, who lives in a village called Washington in a place that used to be America. And if by some strange chance you should run across him, you had best think only good thoughts. Anything less than that is handled at your own risk, because if you do meet Donald, you can be sure of one thing: you have entered The Twilight Zone.


Posted by: Narrator | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 5:25 AM
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Josh, in the posting linked at 85, "I associate [the serial reinventer and fabululizer of himself] with the first half of the 19th century. It's not unique to that period or especially associated with it. There's just a literature about the type based on that period. So that's my association. Its part of a history of patent medicine sellers, religious enthusiasts who may at some level have believed their vocation but were also hucksters and thieves, often with multiple wives, pregnancies of abandoned underage girls."

Joseph Smith would like a word.


Posted by: Doug (not Jones) | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 5:46 AM
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Rod Serling has a name.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 5:53 AM
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We're traveling today, so it's iffy if I'll get a post up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 5:59 AM
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115: And crawling on the planets face
Some insects called the human race
Lost in time
And lost in space
And meaning.


Posted by: Narrator | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 6:14 AM
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Only losers object to splitting people up into winners and losers.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 6:51 AM
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If I can prove that life has meaning, can we name Rod Serling?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 6:51 AM
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109-110: "He's not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 6:58 AM
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Only losers think that life has meaning.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 6:59 AM
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I have to wonder what it was like in the Fred Trump household. Trump's older brother drank himself to death, and Don is obviously profoundly damaged. And that's all aside from the pops being a crooked businessman and KKK member. Then again, his sister is a judge and apparently normal. Probably the women just became what they were going to become, and the boys had the attention on them.

I also notice that Fred had Alzheimer's, but both he and his wife lived to old age.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 7:16 AM
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I don't think you need to wonder that much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 7:19 AM
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If you think about shit, you probably don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce what a colon smells like.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 7:26 AM
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There is one thing about Trump that his supporters understood but I didn't fully grasp until after Inauguration Day. Trump supporters -- and even the public at large -- rated Trump as more honest than Hillary.

Sure, part of this was the result of absurd media coverage. But he really is more authentic than Hillary -- and Jeb, and Marco et al. Hillary is an adult and a professional, a person who measures her words and thinks about their impact. Trump is exactly the unfiltered asshole he presents himself to be. I had assumed that at least some part of that was an act.

But no. He is no political opportunist. The pundits kept predicting a "pivot," but that sort of move is literally impossible for Trump because he doesn't think in those terms. He is who he is.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 7:40 AM
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125: Seems like the reason Trump has no interior is because authenticity is really difficult to fake.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 7:47 AM
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IS TRUE. CANNOT FAKE DEFENSE IN DEPTH.


Posted by: OPINIONATED RUSSIA | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 7:52 AM
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Defense in depth or the deep bond of a mother and her child.


Posted by: Opinionated Soviet Tank Commander/Lactation Consultant | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 8:22 AM
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n Stalinist Russia, children bond you.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 8:25 AM
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125 Yes. Someone, I forget who, said that your garden variety racist/resentmentalist thinks most people secretly agree with them, but are too cowardly to say so, and so they think Trump saying all that racist shit *is* more honest.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 8:42 AM
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I had either forgotten or never knew that Trump acted as an "adviser" to Mike Tyson for a while during his boxing career.

http://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/09/sports/trump-enters-tyson-s-corner.html

I wonder if Trump actually donated his "substantial fee" to charity, as he promised?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 8:46 AM
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Charity is for losers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 8:50 AM
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131. I wonder if he ever encountered Freddie Ayer while he was assaulting women.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 9:01 AM
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I wonder if Trump actually donated his "substantial fee" to charity, as he promised?
Sure he did. To the Trump Foundation.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 9:08 AM
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I haven't pondered enough on how Trump is the farce to Reagan's tragedy. Or is he the farce to Nixon's tragedy? Regardless, amusing to have the New Yorker be the knockoff of a Californian original.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 9:36 AM
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109 This is outside my experience, I have to say.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 9:47 AM
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I can't make any sense out of 109. Perhaps it's just me...


Posted by: OutOfTheBlue | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 9:52 AM
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131.last was a joke. It would be a major scandal for any other politician if it were uncovered that 30 years ago some funds were promised to charity and yet never donated. With Trump, I can't see how it's even worth a reporter's time to investigate the question: of course he almost certainly didn't donate the money to charity and there's zero chance that establishing that one way or the other could at this point influence anyone's opinion of him.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 9:53 AM
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138: I'm glad David Farenthold did the work to track down his chronic non-follow-through and self-dealing - it was important information that we have now all folded into our priors - but am now baffled at why, in this time of investigative riches, he thinks it worthwhile to track how well or poorly the miscellaneous worldwide Trump properties are doing as businesses. (Not speaking of the issue of funneling payola domestic and foreign through the DC hotel, of course)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 10:15 AM
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138: Or for instance that he probably has a 100+ "Whitewaters"* in his background but it is a matter of huge controversy that Mueller might look at some of the

*Admittedly, real estate was his core business so it was not done as an extracurricular activity for a politician. (But then again he was generally one of if not *the* principal and they were for far greater sums.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 10:17 AM
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139: I think that tracking Trump's businesses, not just the DC hotel, is important because why couldn't somebody travel to Florida to do payola?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 10:19 AM
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it was important information that we have now all folded into our priors

Unfortunately this general pattern has led to subdued reporting of his prior words* and actions that would have dogged any other politician through their whole short career. (Yeah I know,water is wet.) I was pleased to see that his mocking of his accusers as not hot enough to molest did get some play again recently after it's brief moment last year. Headed underground again. Just makes him even more "special" that he alone can get away with it.

*Even the fact that he specifically told Lester Holt and the Russians that he fired Comey because of the investigation seems to have gotten lost in the mists of time the media's* "But was there really any obstruction of justice?" takes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 10:29 AM
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Enough of the negativity, I helped with voter registration forms at the naturalization ceremony and it was pretty good. Trump's name was only said one and that only because the judge mentioned when introducing the Asst. US Attorney mentioned that a new US attorney had just been ratified by the Senate. Obama was mentioned twice as a speaker and the judge both things he had said about immigration.

However, for me the stench of Trump's disapproval hung over the entire proceeding.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 10:35 AM
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Stench? Trump's disapproval has a wonderful aroma. I wish I could bath in it. Anything that makes him unhappy makes me warm all over.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 10:39 AM
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His almost certain disapproval of everything that was said and happened at the ceremony was what I was trying to express (poorly).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 10:42 AM
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142: It was a few months before the general election before it occurred to intrepid journalists to query Trump over his lies about Obama's birthplace. After July 2015, Trump should never have been able to make a public appearance without being asked about that.

Newsweek is still on the case, and good for them, but this piece, reading between the lines, blames Trump and his benighted admirers for the deception, rather than looking in the goddam mirror.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 11:24 AM
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Monsters are often sympathetic characters, he's an utter piece of shit.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 11:45 AM
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I would suck big time as President, but I'm no Trump.


Posted by: Opinionated Grover | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 12:33 PM
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We prefer Elmo because you're not tainted by credible accusations of having sexual contact with minors.


Posted by: Opinionated Republican | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 12:37 PM
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The tax bill must really suck. Details not released until 5:30 on a Friday. I guess they would have rather waited for War on Christmas Eve, but for the fact that they can't know for sure when Senator Jones will take his seat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 1:09 PM
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My personnel paranoia sensors are sure there's a rushed Tax Bill passage/Mueller firing combo coming in the next two weeks. Not sure I trust those sensors but they are flashing red.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 1:14 PM
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You know that Mueller's first order of business was drawing up the contingency plan for his own dismissal.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 1:28 PM
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I imagine that is also the first thing Trump did after Mueller was appointed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 1:46 PM
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That is, for Mueller's dismissal, not this own.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 1:59 PM
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but am now baffled at why, in this time of investigative riches, he thinks it worthwhile to track how well or poorly the miscellaneous worldwide Trump properties are doing as businesses.

He's collecting background information. When Mueller dumps decades worth of details on Trump's money laundering operations, deep knowledge of how the businesses work is going to be a handy thing for a reporter to have.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 2:40 PM
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||

How fanciful is the historical research and interpretation in Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey? Is it on the money?

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 5:43 PM
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|~

At Lord Hobo and thinking of past meet ups. sP said there were all kinds of new gastro pubs near Kendall, but it's freezing cold and I didn't want to wander around.

|>


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 6:27 PM
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Head southwest a block to Lamplighter, they have a good tap room although probably crowded on Friday night. Whoever you are.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-15-17 7:15 PM
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156: I have the Folio edition and the preface says " not very".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-16-17 2:51 AM
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As in, it is not very on the money.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-16-17 2:55 AM
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157 was me. Good to know about Lamplighter. I was looking more for the gastro part some place less noisy.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-16-17 5:00 AM
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152: You know that Mueller's first order of business was drawing up the contingency plan for his own dismissal.

Sure, I appreciate that. However:

1) I'm sure the contingency has will be much less effective.
2) I really do not like what the purged DOJ/FBI will look like. (Not that I'm wild about them currently.)
3) I think the fundamental inaction of the Republicans will represent another turn of the screw in the ascension of the nascent white supremacist autocratic kleptocracy. (And sure it will really be just the manifestation of something whose stage has already been set by the long soft coup.)

Vote hard next year, I guess.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-16-17 9:58 AM
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Vote before nobody is allowed to say "evidence-based."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-16-17 10:49 AM
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In case anybody is wondering, here's the pretext for firing Mueller.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-16-17 10:00 PM
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I haven't read all the comments, but I want to echo the OP and especially comments 1 & 5: it's hard to imagine a worse embodiment of stupid, evil, and tasteless.

Anyways, Merry Hanukkah and Happy War on Christmas to all!


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12-16-17 11:23 PM
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I have read all the comments and 1 & 5 say pretty much all that needs to be said.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-16-17 11:44 PM
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Brevity may be the soul of wit, but this is no laughing matter.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 12:38 AM
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I don't think anyone is laughing.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 12:50 AM
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Barry so sad today. Me too. How's the fall of ISIL reported in Arrakis?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 1:43 AM
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Haven't really paid attention and I'm still out of the country so I havent seen any Arrakis based news.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 1:46 AM
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||

I just found out there is a Mad Mac Fury Road roadside attraction/restaurant in Dubai.

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 5:51 AM
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Are the burgers angry or what?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 5:54 AM
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||
Chen Hongmou (1696- 1771), a rising provincial official, required all provincial and capital candidates to provide written proof that they had no unburied corpses of relatives at home or in temporary burial places. Although Qianlong often invoked ritual impropriety as a sign of the decline in public morality, Chen's recommended statute was rejected on the basis that it went too far.
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 7:03 AM
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It would be a hard thing to prove.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 7:04 AM
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"Court officials deemed it unenforceable and likely to become the pretext for baseless charges against legitimate candidates and to lead to even more examination riots."


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 7:06 AM
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171 Mac s/b Max


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 7:10 AM
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It was better the other way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 7:25 AM
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True


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 7:46 AM
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179

On topic because mad: Immortan Moore is still (as of 16 December) refusing to concede and is calling for donations to help him investigate voter fraud.

(This is unfair to Immortan Joe, whose wives were, if not consenting, at least adults.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 10:24 AM
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I'm still waiting for the "Send Roy Moore to Vietnam for the prostitutes since it doesn't matter now" fund.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 10:28 AM
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OT: No room for a mosh pit at an Amiee Mann concert.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 6:47 PM
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Come on and save me,
If you could save me,
From the orderly seats,
Of hipster geeks who never mosh anywhere.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 6:56 PM
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Given his career so far, Roy Moore refusing to concede is probably the least surprising development in this whole election.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 7:06 PM
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181-2 are both entirely delightful.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 7:42 PM
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I didn't get 182 until the encore jogged my memory.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 8:53 PM
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Moshing is bad for the memory, I hear.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 8:59 PM
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Her backing band looked like adjunct English professors, one the grungy kind, one the hipster kind, and on the tweedy-sport coat kind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 9:02 PM
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Also, the mayor was there. He played tambourine for one song.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-17 9:09 PM
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189

Regular posting will resume this afternoon.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 4:42 AM
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163: I misread that to say "anybody". Shows my bias. My rough heuristic is if someone says "the evidence suggests that" or "the best evidence we have is", I trust it.

The phrase "evidence-based" as an adjective (at least in medical area) makes me nervous and defensive.

I psychiatry, for example, it almost always means inexpensive and short-term. The phrases are used together. "We employ, short-term evidence-based skills training. When patients require longer-term supportive therapy, we refer them to the community."

I once heard somebody pushing a mind/body, relaxation intervention say that they were doing some studies so that they could (look! now it's a verb) evidence-base the intervention.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 4:59 AM
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190 was me.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 5:01 AM
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re: 90

"Republicans also seem to prefer presidents suffering some sort of age-related cognitive decline. Either that, or figuring out how to win the Republican primary causes some sort of cognitive decline. Reagan, but also W Bush was noticeably sharper when he was younger, as was Trump."

I sometimes wonder if it gets done to them at some point.

"Bring in the nominee for the injections, Dr Smirkenstein"


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 5:34 AM
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190: Given the other words banned at the same time and that it is done by the people who are trying to not fund CHIP, I'm very certain banning "evidence-based" shouldn't be taken as a sign that more longer-term supportive therapy for people with mental illness is going to be the result.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 5:46 AM
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I once heard somebody pushing a mind/body, relaxation intervention say that they were doing some studies so that they could (look! now it's a verb) evidence-base the intervention.

Verbing aside, that's a good thing, no?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 5:55 AM
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194: Not if they structure the design the research in a way that makes it impossible to get a negative result, I.e. avoid looking at evidence that's inconsistent with the results they want.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 6:04 AM
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190: Of course. But they're a whole different level of messed up.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 6:06 AM
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190: For therapy, the short-term interventions are the only ones that have proven themselves better than a placebo.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 6:07 AM
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Further to 195, in the particular context the people arguing for it were activists who had found the "peer" run mind-body intervention useful. I don't want to discount their personal experience, which has evidential-value, but I don't trust them as researchers.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 6:09 AM
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It's kind of a thing that the "evidence" in "evidence-based" is supposed to meet a certain set of standards that make it hard to design research to get the results that you want.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 6:25 AM
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Evidence-based medicine means you can only administer medicine that is admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence. No wonder people don't like it, it is incredibly confusing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 8:16 AM
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"So, how's the patient this morning?"
"Well, he said he was in a lot of pain and struggling to breathe -"
"Objection! Hearsay!"
"Dying declaration."
"I'll allow it."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 8:23 AM
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199: Well, yeah, but there's a folk use to the phrasing that annoys me. Just a pet peeve. The phrase "no basis in the evidence" does not. It's subtle.

My objection is to the way the phrase is often used not the original concept.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 9:04 AM
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An item of monstrosity that I meant to post. Trump having joined forces with Alex Jones during the campaign. Highlighted on the recent anniversary with memories of Jones Sandy Hook trutherism. (and apparently Trump hosted the NRA died in the WH on anniversary.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 2:04 PM
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NRA died = NRA dude ... Wayne LaPierre


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 7:53 PM
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Dude, Where's My AR?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-18-17 8:24 PM
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