For discussing the aftermath of the house speaker mess.
The train wreck of Jim Jordan gaining traction has me in awe. I can't say I'm exactly rooting for him, but I'm game to watch him scorch a lot of earth in the Republican party.
A contrived attempt to kill a "wealth tax" before it's even passed--cooked up by a confidant and vociferous defender of Justice Samuel Alito--could insulate the ultrawealthy from future taxation. Meanwhile, a wholesale assault on the administrative state could enable mass financial fraud or trigger another Great Depression. Toss in a case that seeks to give people a right to possess firearms while under a restraining order for domestic violence, plus a likely showdown over medication abortion, and this term starts to look downright devastating.
So no, these are not isolated chemistry experiments that should be dispassionately observed in order to derive neutral scientific principles. They are an explosive brew of lawless fury aimed at the heart of modern American governance. The main question, or better the "major question," at the outset of this term, then, is not if we should be worried, but exactly how worried we should be.
(There are five links that a better blogger would have taken the time to embed in the excerpt above.)
So: How worried should I be?
Oh dang it, I got caught up short on my waxing and waning list of vague post ideas.
Tell me something good. I've been feeling like those who make the world better are burnt out and sacrificing their own mental health, and those who make the world worse are booming with energy. And I've also been suspecting that while I consider myself a good one, I probably am actually endothermic in terms of the world's goodwill. (You could make a whole thermal-transfer of goodwill theory here on the exothermic-but-burnt-out vs endothermic-and-self-congratulatory ways of being.)
I also realize that the vast majority of people are sometimes givers and sometimes takers, depending on the domain, and it's just tired dejectedness that makes me reach for binary categories. So back to where we started: tell me something good.
Also it's rainy here and I'm so delighted that summer is temporarily paused.
Since there's an active thread on the House, I'll let that alone and mention an observation of something else, entirely.
When I park on the street near my gym, there's lately been a gigantic truck nearby which is so big that I think I'm shorter than the hood. It feels wild to me to not be able so see up and over a hood, like Lily Tomlin with the giant rocking chair*.
So I was going to post on the absurd growth of vehicles, and I looked up and down the street, and honestly, there were mostly regular cars. When I moved to Heebieville in 2006, I was still driving back and forth to Austin a lot for various reasons (like, Jammies lived there still), and I was very aware that most vehicles on I-35 were SUVs. I was thinking about acquiring a little Honda Insight as a commuter car, but when I test-drove it, I was spooked by how big everything around me was, even just compared to the Volvo I was otherwise driving back then.
So here are my notes on car size from 2006 to 2023: average car size is way down, we are mostly past the infatuation with SUVs. A few people are making an extreme statement with giant pick up trucks, but it's not the default choice.
*Lily Tomlin and Lili Taylor look very similar to me, and I always have to look them up.
It's kind of a cliché to observe that middle school girls are catty jerks, and while it's not exactly universal, it's probably true that for most of us, our empathy muscles were not as fully formed at that age as they'd become later on.
I would like to share that middle school boys are also such jerks to each other. Like, the main way of interacting is just to tear each other down. Which is fine if it's balanced out with some other ways of interacting... but I'm having trouble finding evidence of any other ways of interacting.
Again, not universal and their wee brains are not fully developed. But it's hard to see what they see in each other. I wish I knew how to accelerate them through this stage.