URLs du Jour

2017-04-19

■ Ah, now this is a good one. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Proverbs 27:14:

If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.

Wise and funny is our Proverbian.

■ In my college days, I remember being amused by the National Lampoon cover that posed the question: "Pornography: Threat or Menace?". According to Wikipedia, this was a steal from the Harvard Lampoon, and it's been widely imitated/adapted since. Including, now, by KDW@NR: The ‘Buy American’ Order: Cynical or Ignorant?

Trump, who is surrounded by people who fancy themselves “nationalists” (in the cause of what nation, it is not entirely clear), is wading deep into an ancient puddle of stupidity most recently explored by Barack Obama (remember his “nationalist” moment, which lasted for about a month in 2011?) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the woman who (accidentally) did more than anyone other than Kellyanne Conway and Hillary Rodham Clinton to put Trump in the White House. To call it “economic nationalism” would be too grand: It is merely a very narrow form of special-interest politics consisting of backdoor handouts to favored corporate interests.

With Trump, "whatever gets me the most applause" seems to be the way to bet.

■ My politics are catlike, by which I mean Schrödinger's cat. It's about 50/50 between "conservative" and "libertarian", and in the cases where that makes a difference, even I don't know until I open the box where things are going to wind up. A good test today is deciding which is more convincing:

  • This fawning Daily Signal piece about a recent speech by the Department of Homeland Security chief: Top 5 Reasons John Kelly Is Right for Homeland Security.

    No one is more mission-oriented than a Marine and DHS is a department with a serious mission. Running it calls for a plain-spoken, nonpartisan leader who puts the security of Americans above the political squabbles of the day.

  • Or this critical shot at Reason: DHS Head to America: Shut Up, Be Terrified, and Do What You’re Told.

    Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly has heard all of that criticism from Americans who are upset at the way his employees treat them and other people, and he has a response for all of you ingrates: Shut up.

Today, I'm coming up… libertarian.

■ Caitlin Flanagan writes in the Atlantic about How Late-Night Comedy Fueled the Rise of Trump. Caitlin's no Trumpster, but she's pretty dead-on concerning normal-people perceptions of what passes for political-themed "comedy" these days.

Though aimed at blue-state sophisticates, these shows are an unintended but powerful form of propaganda for conservatives. When Republicans see these harsh jokes—which echo down through the morning news shows and the chattering day’s worth of viral clips, along with those of Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers—they don’t just see a handful of comics mocking them. They see HBO, Comedy Central, TBS, ABC, CBS, and NBC. In other words, they see exactly what Donald Trump has taught them: that the entire media landscape loathes them, their values, their family, and their religion. It is hardly a reach for them to further imagine that the legitimate news shows on these channels are run by similarly partisan players—nor is it at all illogical. No wonder so many of Trump’s followers are inclined to believe only the things that he or his spokespeople tell them directly—everyone else on the tube thinks they’re a bunch of trailer-park, Oxy-snorting half-wits who divide their time between retweeting Alex Jones fantasies and ironing their Klan hoods.

Or just a basket of deplorables.

■ That book about the Clinton campaign (Shattered) is out, and I probably won't read it, but some of the reviews are entertaining. An interesting nugget from the WSJ review: How Hillary Lost the White House:

For those few unhappy addicts who wish to relive the 2016 presidential campaign so soon, “Shattered” offers a number of gratifying revelations. Among them: Mrs. Clinton’s tinkering with a certain computer server. Not that server—a different one. After losing to Mr. Obama in the protracted 2008 primary, she was convinced that she had lost because some staffers—she wasn’t sure who—had been disloyal. So she “instructed a trusted aide to access the campaign’s server and download the [email] messages sent and received by top staffers.” This tells us, first, that Mrs. Clinton possesses an almost Nixonian paranoia about treachery and, second, that her use of a private email server at the State Department was never the naive “mistake” she pretended it was. In fact, she didn’t want anyone reading her emails the way she was reading those of her 2008 staffers.

Big Sister was watching.

<voice imitation="professor_farnsworth">Good news, everyone!</voice> Heat Street informs us that Weirdly Sexual Bernie Sanders Coloring Books Are Now for Sale [Amazon Link]

According to its Amazon description, the book features “over 20 pages of exquisitely muscular Bernie Sanders drawings for you to color and enjoy… however you so choose, you naughty thing, you.”

Amazon link over there on your right. Usually those Amazon click-ads are pretty tasteful. My apologies for this one.

■ Should President Trump walk away from the "Paris Climate Treaty"? Nay, saith Joseph Bast of the Heartland Institute: President Trump Should Run, Not Walk, Away From The Paris Climate Treaty. One reason:

If President Trump does not withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Treaty and, even better, from the [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change], then the leaders of other countries will use the treaties as a huge stick with which to beat U.S. consumers and producers. American independence and prosperity—and greatness—will be impossible. The American people, and the middle class in particular, will once again have been betrayed by the political class in Washington DC.

Technically, I don't think it's a "treaty", since it wasn't submitted to the Senate, let alone ratified.


Last Modified 2017-04-19 11:29 AM EDT