URLs du Jour


  • Linus van Pelt, Class Warrior. One more Peanuts strip, this one from July 30, 1959:

    [down to my level]

    See yesterday's post for more info.

  • Who's the More Foolish? The Fool, or the Fool Who Follows Him? Good question, Obi-Wan. Maybe Brian Reidl has some insight into that: GOP is Being Fooled by This Infrastructure 'Deal'.

    Republicans negotiating a bipartisan infrastructure deal are walking into a trap set by Democrats.

    President Biden has proposed $4 trillion in (loosely defined) infrastructure spending, and reached out to Senate Republicans to determine what they will accept as part of a bipartisan deal. Senate Republicans have reportedly agreed to $580 billion over the decade in more traditional infrastructure spending such as roads, bridges, transit, airports, electric power, and water infrastructure.

    As part of the agreement, Republicans stripped out the non-infrastructure requests, such as nearly $1 trillion in corporate subsidies and $400 billion for long-term care. These Republicans can ensure the 60 votes necessary to pass the Senate without a filibuster.

    However, there is a catch. Democrats are still allowed to pass at least one more reconciliation bill this year — a bill that cannot be filibustered and can therefore pass the Senate with only the 50 Democratic votes. Reconciliation bills are usually limited to one per year, but Democrats were allowed a second bill this year because last year’s Senate Republican majority did not pass one (and it is possible that a budget law technicality could allow additional reconciliation bills).

    "I brought on fiscal disaster with this one simple trick." -- Chuck 'Clickbait' Schumer.

  • Beware of Discussing Roy Rogers' Horse at Brandeis. You may have heard of the euphemism treadmill where words originally meant to be inoffensive euphemisms turn offensive. Robby Soave notes a variant of the phenomenon: Trigger Warning Now Counts as Violent Language at Brandeis University.

    Remember the battle over trigger warnings? These classroom devices—reminders that students were about to encounter material that might upset, offend, or traumatize them—were all the rage a few years ago, prompting significant public debate over whether professors were coddling their students.

    They haven't exactly fallen out of fashion, but it seems that we hear less about them. Researchers have also produced numerous studies showing that they don't work—in fact, they may make people even more anxious.

    Brandeis University has now turned on trigger warnings as well—because the word trigger is, well, triggering.

    "The word 'trigger' has connections to guns for many people," notes Brandeis University's Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center (PARC). "We can give the same heads-up using language less connected to violence."

    I assume the Brandeis PARC team needs to continually discover more problematic words and phrases to demonstrate their usefulness, because …

  • Nothing Sexual About It. Probably. At Least I Hope Not. One of the definitions of "fetish" at the Google:

    An inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit.

    That came to mind when President Wheezy decided he had to Do Something. And so there was a public announcement, but also the Administration issued a Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Comprehensive Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gun Crime and Ensure Public Safety.

    Not all crime, mind you. Just "gun crime".

    President Biden believes that the surge in gun violence that has affected communities across the country over the last year and a half is unacceptable, and his Administration is moving decisively to act with a whole-of-government approach as we enter the summer months when cities typically experience a spike in violence.

    In this short document, the Chrome "find" function counts 17 occurrences of the term "gun violence".

    It's difficult to conclude that the administration doesn't have a fetishization issue with guns. Inanimate objects worshipped for their supposed magical powers of committing violence! Inhabited by evil spirits!

    I just skimmed, but it's difficult to find anything comparable in the document that calls out people as—just perhaps—having responsibility for violent acts.

    (One exception: four mentions of "rogue gun dealers". Who are responsible for putting those magical objects in otherwise innocent hands.)

  • Maybe He's Working on a Mental Impairment Defense. David Harsanyi provides us (NRPLUS) with A Short History of Joe Biden’s Insanity on Guns .

    ‘Why do you need a gun when the government can just murder you at will?” is almost a perfect Bidenism. It’s no exaggeration to say this is the argument Joe Biden made at a crime-prevention press conference this week:

    From the day [The Second Amendment] passed, it limited the type of people that could own a gun and what type of gun you could own. You couldn’t own a cannon … Those who say the blood of Patriots, you know, and all the stuff about how we’re gonna have to move against the government. . . . If you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.

    First, we should acknowledge that it’s bonkers for a president, even as a theoretical, to bring up the idea of scrambling fighter jets and deploying nuclear weapons against other Americans. Yet, only last year, Biden offered a slightly more coherent iteration of the same argument:

    Those who say ‘the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots’ — a great line, well, guess what: The fact is, if you’re going to take on the government you need an F-15 with Hellfire Missiles. There is no way an AK-47 is going to take care of you.

    The Jacobin-ish quote Biden is looking for comes from a Thomas Jefferson letter to William Stephens Smith, the son-in-law of John Adams, in which he wrote: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” (Biden likes to leave out the last two words.) But who says this? I’m pretty involved in this debate, and I’ve never heard any gun proponent rationalize support for the protection of the Second Amendment by offering assurances of sporadic revolutionary bloodletting.

    So it's not just fetishization. It's violent fantasies about deploying nukes against pesky gun owners. And F-15s.

Last Modified 2021-06-26 3:16 AM EST