This Should Leave A Very Large Mark


Leaving aside the fact that Obama, who went on to graduate Harvard Law magna cum laude, seems like he was probably a very good student, Mr. Trump might need a refresher course in how unqualified people actually do manage to get into the prestigious Ivy League Universities .

Let us take, as an example, the story of a student so obviously unqualified, so transparently unworthy, that a book was written about what his admittance into Harvard said about the sorry behavior of supposedly elite colleges.

That student — that dull, below-average student who somehow made his way into Harvard — was Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Kushner’s father, real estate developer Charles Kushner, bought Jared his Harvard acceptance. It cost him $2.5 million. (Kushner later went to jail for tax evasion and witness tampering, so it was also, technically, dirty money that bought Trump’s daughter’s husband’s entry into the Ivy League.)

Wall Street Journal education writer Daniel Golden’s book “The Price of Admission” explores the Kushner donation at length. An official at Kushner’s (expensive, private) high school told the author: “There was no way anybody in . . . the school thought he would on the merits get into Harvard. His GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it. We thought, for sure, there was no way this was going to happen.”

But it did.

And that is how things actually work at “elite” schools.

Our meritocracy at work.

117 replies
  1. 1
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Ah, so it’s the Rovian strategy of using your own weakness against your opponent.

  2. 2
    Maude says:

    Oh, oops.
    Poor Trump, can’t get it right.

  3. 3
    stuckinred says:

    I’m listening to this racist cocksucker Buchanan on Tweety and I want to reach through the tube and rip his motherfucking throat out.

  4. 4
    Zifnab says:

    I’ve always been under the impression that the elites schools were the very models of a modern progressive society. Rich idiots pay top dollar to fund the educations of genuinely gifted hard workers and everyone benefits.

  5. 5
    Unabogie says:

    But President Obama just sort of looks like the kind of guy who doesn’t deserve to go to Harvard. I can’t put my finger on what that look is, though…

    Have I mentioned lately how much the Blacks love me?

  6. 6
    Mr Furious says:

    Awesome. That’s like a whole keg of STFU. Drink up, Donald!

  7. 7
    Cat Lady says:

    Is the class war officially on now? Cuz I’m looking around and seeing some hopeful signs. If Bobo only wants to talk about hurt fee fees from now on, I’d say that the initial skirmishes are inflicting some damage. Can I also say that I heart Alex Pareene? His Hack list was a thing of beauty. Also.

  8. 8
    SmallAxe says:

    Buchanan has taken Trump’s Affirmative Action flag from this morning and is running all over Tweety’s studio with it. It really is disgusting at this point that they give him this kind of air time. And no Tweety, laughing at it and making funny faces at Buchanan doesn’t cut it, maybe cutting off his mic and giving him a pink slip will.

  9. 9
    cathyx says:

    Just like GWB. How much did his daddy pay?

  10. 10
    stuckinred says:

    @SmallAxe: And when Terry talks Pat has that punk-ass laugh going on and they all just think it’s funny as shit.

  11. 11
    PeakVT says:

    @Zifnab: ZOMG Soçialism!

  12. 12
    danimal says:

    In 2012, the angry mob forms to the left.

    Trump, you have no clue what’s coming your way.

  13. 13
    Scott says:

    I’m wondering if NBC really wants to renew a show hosted by an out-of-the-closet racist motherfucker? Is that a particularly sound business decision?

  14. 14
    SmallAxe says:

    exactly just what we need to refute Buchanan’s BS, Tweety laughing his ass off and smug McCauliffe smiling and yapping like we give a crap what he says, useless. The whole segment was deplorable.

  15. 15
    Calouste says:

    @stuckinred :

    That’s “racist cocksucker Nazi-apologist Buchanan”. Give the man piece of shit the name he it deserves.

  16. 16
    BillinGlendaleCa (aka 10amla) says:

    @stuckinred: I saw “It’s Pat” too, though I heard it was better in the original German.

  17. 17
    aimai says:

    Harvard is my alma mater and I’m ashamed, ashamed I tell you –that they only asked 2.5 million? Jeebus, in my day you had to donate a whole fucking stadium if you wanted Harvard to slap its brand on your defective offspring’s rump.


  18. 18
    Maude says:

    If we punch him in the mouth, he’d be talking out his rear. He could bite his own butt.
    Edit, spell fail on butt.

    The lovely rose you took the picture of, is it a Gertrude Jekyll?

  19. 19
    MikeJ says:

    @Scott: If Bush were still in office and NBC had a show in which the star attacked him and talked about running for president, the FCC would have already yanked all their licenses.

  20. 20
    kdaug says:

    Let’s hope Maddow hasn’t finalized tonight’s lineup. This could make an interesting addition.

  21. 21
    ppcli says:

    OK, I bet one of the posters here can help me with this. Sometime in the mid-1990’s, in the New York Times Sunday Magazine (I believe) I read a humor piece by Calvin Trillin, in which he described his experiences as a naive Kansas City kid admitted to Yale. The thrust of it was that whenever he met someone at Yale who was extraordinarily rich, that person also turned out to be a blithering idiot. (The only way for morans to get admitted to Yale was as legacy/contributor kids.) So Trillin was left with a permanent knee-jerk reaction he could never entirely shake, that any rich person was likely to be a dolt. I’ve been looking for a copy of this article for years. Does anyone know what issue it appeared in, and if it is online anywhere?

  22. 22
    Martin says:

    I think he’s much deeper. The guy’s been around since the ‘80s, and he stands for something. He stands for success merit, the gospel of success merit, that you can start out small and make it big in this country into Harvard. Not that he his son-in-law did, but, but, but he stands for that.

    Works for every situation.

  23. 23
    JCT says:

    There is a special magical place in hell for that fucker Pat Buchanan. I have no idea WHATSOEVER why anyone gives this poor excuse for slime mold any sort of attention. Few people piss me off more than him.

    I don’t have the intestinal fortitude, but last time I looked, Pat the irredeemable asshole had a nice little forum on his web site for Holocaust deniers. I sent his network at the time a long, pissed off note asking why they gave a Holocaust denier airtime. Interestingly, the forum disappeared for awhile, but I think it came back.

    Please, Pat. DIAF. Soon.

  24. 24
    Keith G says:

    Speaking of race relations, Roger Cohen has come up with a short but sweet essay on why Robert E Lee is an American traitor and not a hero. Usually I found his writing baffling. This time he keeps it simple and direct.

    The apologist comments are astounding in their stupidity.

  25. 25
    SmallAxe says:

    can’t resist a quick Buchanan story from some run-ins in my past life as a posh hotel doorman in DC in the early 90s. Remember he ran back then on the “Buy American cars” isolationist platform that he always runs on right, so he comes in pretty regularly to eat the hotel’s power restaurant. Me being his parking lackey got to keep his car out front so I knew what he drove and that it was a matter of time before someone called him on it… He drove the big boat Mercedes of course, good tipper and affable guy in person though I must admit (although I was the only gringo on the front of the house staff so take that for what its worth). It took about 3 months before the MSM caught him on it and someone called him on it on McLaughlin I think and helped knock him out of the campaign. Karma it’s a bitch.

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    I particularly like the little detail that this case was so egregious that someone based a whole book on it. That is fail with a capital F right there.

  27. 27
    Martin says:

    @aimai: Ah, but it was just $2.5M up front, with the recognition that the guy would probably be worth 9 figures down the road and they could hit him up for more, for his kids, etc. It’s all about the cashflow.

  28. 28
    cathyx says:

    @Scott: That’s a good point. Look what happened to Mel Gibson.

  29. 29
    stuckinred says:

    @Maude: She says they are “common” roses. The rosebush that she transplanted from Virginia is busting! I’ll post a pic in a minute.

  30. 30
    Bobby Thomson says:

    It took about 3 months before the MSM caught him on it and someone called him on it on McLaughlin I think and helped knock him out of the campaign.

    I think most people reporting the election news already knew that Buchanan drove a Mercedes, but the usual Villager instinct to protect their own held sway.

  31. 31
    Lolis says:

    Well since Trump seems to respond to everyone who he thinks disparages him I hope he responds to this one.

  32. 32
    Maude says:

    It’s possible that the article is in a book. It would be a collection of his work. Not much help, but you could look at his books in a library and see if it’s in one. You could also write to him and ask.

  33. 33
    ppcli says:

    @aimai: Your comment reminded me of a conversation I had during a speech by the then president of Princeton Bowen. He described a conversation with a contributor in which the contributor asked for some kind of admissions consideration in exchange, and Bowen stated, chest puffed out, that “At Princeton we don’t do that kind of quid pro quo”! My friend sitting next to me whispered that “no quid pro quo” is Princeton president language for “Is that all you’re offering? Take your cheap-ass shit somewhere else!”

    [Mind you, the two of us were only PhD students there, not *really* Princeton students. So we were a bit cynical about the place.]

  34. 34
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Keith G: Wow, Even-The-Liberal Richard Cohen actually got one mostly right. Except for the part where he propagates the myth that Lee was a military genius.

  35. 35

    Our meritocracy at work.

    You betcha. You just have to realize that merit is denominated in dollars and can be inherited. So Trump obviously has a lot more merit than Obama.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Stooleo says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    I think most people reporting the election news already knew that Buchanan drove a Mercedes, but the usual Villager instinct to protect their own held sway.

    Do as I say, not as I do, commoner.

  38. 38
    ChrisNYC says:

    Academia is bizarrely resistant to criticism on this stuff. You know, academics at say, Columbia, in a dept that isn’t a money generator, never seem to make the connection that their salary, prestige is coming from the dirty money. It’s curious and a vulnerability for liberals.

  39. 39
    Anne Laurie says:

    All this will “prove” to Donald Trump, unfortunately, is that Golden should be fired, do you hear FIRED! ! !, for daring to embarrass a Very Important Top Quality Super Serious Celebrity like Donald Trump. If Trump had a capacity for actual shame, he’d never had made it out of Queens.

  40. 40
    BGinCHI says:

    “Trading Places”: …and he was wearing my Harvard tie. Like, oh sure, he went to Harvard.

  41. 41
    joeyess says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    All this will “prove” to Donald Trump, unfortunately, is that Golden should be fired, do you hear FIRED! !

    That’s “FAHYAD”.

  42. 42
    stuckinred says:

    When I was in Vietnam I was poking around colleges because you could get “drop”, get out early, if you were accepted to school. I had a buddy who graduated from Cornell and he said, “as a Vietnam Vet I can get you in any school you want to go to”. He wanted me to go to Cornell but since my home record was Illinois I could get free tuition along with the miserly $140 a month on the GI Bill. Mind you I had nothing but a GED and one correspondence course I took in Korea. I was accepted to Illinois and had no business in the world in a Big-10 University. After getting bounced after 3 F’s and a D the first semester, I graduated 9 years later after a few years in Junior College and back to Illinois. I was some kind of charity admission but 30 years later I finished my doctorate. Fuck these judgmental racist motherfuckers.

  43. 43
    Lurker says:

    @ppcli: FWIW, a Google search for “Calvin Trillian Yale” turns up an essay entitled “Remembering Denny.”

  44. 44
    New Yorker says:


    Yeah, he’s basically one step below Charlie Sheen at this point. I hope NBC has the sense to pull the plug.

    Anyway, I’m still munching on popcorn and enjoying the Donald Trump Show, both for the stinging rebukes his every word inspires, and for the fact that Karl Rove moves that much closer to a stroke every time Trump opens his mouth.

  45. 45
    parsimon says:


    So Trillin was left with a permanent knee-jerk reaction he could never entirely shake, that any rich person was likely to be a dolt.

    Can’t help you with the link, but Harvard’s my alma mater as well (should I gulp?), and Trillin’s experience at Yale might just have been coincidence. At least, the rich kids I knew weren’t any more or less likely to be dolts than anybody else. Then again, I didn’t know any super-super-super-rich kids, so who knows.

  46. 46
    Allan says:

    Here’s a flashback to the 2008 campaign courtesy of Maureen Dowd:

    McCain knows he’s the affirmative action scion of admirals who might not have gotten through Annapolis without being a legacy. Obama didn’t even tell Harvard Law School that he was black on his application.

    (emphasis added)

  47. 47
    STUCKZILLA! says:


  48. 48
    rikyrah says:

    George W. Bush wasn’t bright enough to get into the University of Texas/Austin…but LEGACY ADMISSIONS got him into Yale.

  49. 49
    BGinCHI says:

    @ChrisNYC: That’s too broad a generalization. How many academics teach at universities that are neither Ivies or Ivy-wannabes?

    90-something %.

  50. 50

    Of course not every academic institution does this. You don’t see big state schools doing this, even ones like the top UC campuses that are really great schools and could probably benefit from doing it. You don’t see it at top tech schools that would chew up and spit out anyone who couldn’t do the work themselves. It’s only the schools with generations of plutocrat alumni- the Ivies and and Ivy wannabes- who do it.

  51. 51
    James E Powell says:

    None of this will leave a mark on Donald Trump, or at least not one that he cares about. No matter what he says or does, no matter how stupid, racist, or pig-ignorant, he will still be rich, he will still get on TV anytime he wants, and he will still hold the vast majority of us in contempt because we are not rich or on TV.

  52. 52
    James E Powell says:


    Maureen Dowd is not the kind of authority I like to put in my footnotes.

  53. 53
    New Yorker says:


    As a Cornell grad, I can tell you that there were a lot of really smart rich kids and really smart middle-class kids (no poor kids) there, but while there were a lot of dumb-as-a-post rich kids there, there were no dumb-as-a-post middle-class kids there.

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @New Yorker:

    I hope NBC has the sense to pull the plug.

    NBC will make their decision based entirely on if renewing The Donald’s shitty little TV show will bring in advertising $$$. No more, no less. Quality or actual entertainment values are nothing. If enough dolts watch it, and the numbers are high enough to turn a profit for NBC in the program’s time slot, it will be renewed.

    The Donald is waging a campaign right now not to be elected to the Presidency, but to get his shitty little TV show renewed.

  55. 55
    Maude says:

    Beautiful. That pink is so clear and bright. I do adore roses.
    I book marked the rose links and will look at them most days. Good pictures.
    I am surrounded by cement. I have a 4″ pot of grass hanging in a basket on a roof railing. I joke that I mowed the lawn.

  56. 56
    hilts says:


    Chris Matthews has multiple orgasms every time he talks about Trump. He’s a smarmy, repulsive asshole who pretends not to know what Trump is talking about when he damn well knows what Trump is doing. MSNBC needs to dump Matthews and NBC needs to dump Trump because they’re both malignant carcinogens.

  57. 57
    Maude says:

    @James E Powell:
    She’s right in this case. It was reported during the
    I don’t trust her as a source either

  58. 58
    Anne Laurie says:


    Sometime in the mid-1990’s, in the New York Times Sunday Magazine (I believe) I read a humor piece by Calvin Trillin, in which he described his experiences as a naive Kansas City kid admitted to Yale.

    Trillin did most of his long-form reporting for the New Yorker, apart from his short column in The Nation. Searching the New Yorker might turn up the essay you’re looking for.

    Or it could have been a excerpt from Trillin’s book Remembering Denny, described at Amazon:

    In his most personal book, Trillin ( American Stories ) poignantly investigates the life of his Yale classmate and onetime close friend Roger “Denny” Hansen, a Rhodes scholar, academic and State Department employee whose extraordinary promise ended in middle age with his suicide. In brief, almost pointillistic chapters, Trillin isolates the darkness in Hansen’s soul. At the same time he dissects his own expectations and those of his peers, examining the influence of an elite university in the sunny 1950s. At what Trillin calls a Big Chill session, Yale classmates recall Denny’s hidden insecurity and dependence on accolades, while an adult friend remembers how Hansen’s high standards for himself made him a recluse. Trillin learns for the first time that Hansen was gay, which leads him to reflections on his generation’s homophobia. He reconstructs how Life magazine chose to profile Hansen at their graduation in 1957, muses on the burdens of a Rhodes scholarship and explores the moralistic Hansen’s ineffectiveness as a Washington bureaucrat. “Part of what kept the issues simple is that we didn’t spend a lot of time examining them,” writes Trillin of the 1950s; here, in deceptively casual style, he redeems that indifference. BOMC selection.

    An excellent book (I adore Trillin, but this really went far beyond his usual high reportorial standards), although not exactly ‘humorous’…

  59. 59
    SmallAxe says:


    Can’t believe I’m in the position of defending Tweety but he has been one of the only jokers to call the whole Birther thing racist from the get go, not saying the word but always pointing out that it was all about his blackness and has been for months.

    Doesn’t mean MSNBC shouldn’t dump him but certainly not for fiddling while Trump plays, his laughing at Buchanan’s ridiculousness was at him not with him imo, still poor form.

  60. 60
    stuckinred says:

    @Maude: She is on a mission to make the world a more beautiful place and she is succeeding!

  61. 61
    kd bart says:

    Does anyone think John McCain ever would’ve gotten into the Naval Academy if he weren’t the son and grandson of Navy Admirals? He was a self admitted awful student.

  62. 62
    stuckinred says:

    @SmallAxe: Yea but he really trivializes it with the grab-ass he plays with these punks. I’ll never get over the forum he gave to O’Neill and the SBVT fucks, same kind of shit.

  63. 63
    SmallAxe says:


    Agree, he’s all over the place and the grab-ass played with SBVT, Delay, Dick Armey and Tony Perkins to name a few is vomit inducing. Broken clock and all that though, every once in a while he really holds one of those fuckers to the fire when they least expect it and it’s a classic a la the Zell Miller Duel and I can’t friggin quit him.

  64. 64
    stuckinred says:

    @SmallAxe: I know, I watch it too.

  65. 65
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Maude: If you can find a foot-square patch of soil that gets some sun, you might want to try a Zepherine Drouhan rose. Ours look a lot like StuckinReds’ pic, they smell good (so many pretty roses smell like nothing, alas), and the vines are almost thornless. They are officially ‘climbers’, which means that under my care negligence here in New England, they die back over the winter, I trim them down in the spring, and they proceed to shoot up & out in all directions with several ‘bursts’ of heavy fragrant blooms between May and September. I’ve tried a dozen different varieties of ‘foolproof’ roses over the last couple decades, but the only long-term survivors apart from the mini-roses are the Zepherines and a couple of Don Juans (also climbers).

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @kd bart:

    Not only an awful student, but he got an absolute plum assignment (naval aviation) right out of the academy…something supposedly reserved for the best of the best.

    He then proceeded to crash a number of planes…with no consequences whatsoever.

    At long last, after he came back from his POW stint, and took a command, the Navy put its foot down. No more Naval career for John McCain, no matter who his grandfather and father were or what ranks they held.

  67. 67
    parsimon says:

    @kd bart:

    Does anyone think John McCain ever would’ve gotten into the Naval Academy if he weren’t the son and grandson of Navy Admirals? He was a self admitted awful student.

    Oh, come on now. I have no idea whether McCain was or wasn’t an awful student, but this kind of sentiment is a short step away from just what Trump has said about Obama: ‘Does anyone think Obama would’ve gotten into Columbia and Harvard if he weren’t black? He was a self-admitted bad student.’

    The form of the argument itself is the problem; countering it by pointing out that McCain — or Trump’s kid for that matter — did it too doesn’t really address it.

  68. 68
    aimai says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Nonsense, big state schools were specifically set up to take the children of the local upper class. Sororities and Fraterneties kept them separate from the hoi polloi. Land grant universities were made out of land grants, some donated and some paid for by tax payers, to enable the local elites to keep their kids close to home instead of sending them away. Perhaps they didn’t have to pay a lot of money to send their kids to those schools, but you can bet they paid a lot of money to keep their little thugs from getting expelled.


  69. 69
    hilts says:


    I’m sick and tired of Chris Matthews talking out of both sides of his mouth. In one breath he denounces Trump’s birther nonsense, but in the next breath he’s awestruck by Trump’s glittering monuments and bank account.

    Matthews had an orgasm when Bush landed on the aircraft carrier and proclaimed victory in the Iraq war. Now, Matthews is singing a different tune about the Iraq war.

    Matthews is a buffoon and an embarrassment to journalism who can go fuck himself.

  70. 70
    aimai says:


    Actually I believe McCain bragged about his low academic standing–and not in any false modest way but because it was the case that he had low grades, almost flunked out etc…By the time he was bragging about it, though, it no longer mattered since he was out and done with that part. At that point bragging about low grades is just another form of vanity that fits with a certain kind of jock/military chic.


  71. 71
    stuckinred says:

    @Anne Laurie: These vines are deadly!

  72. 72
    gex says:

    @aimai: I’m sure the institution turns out all kinds of competent people. I’m just glad to see one in real life, since the ones who run finance and go into politics are incompetent. Frankly, Harvard is starting to have a negative connotation to me.

  73. 73
    stuckinred says:

    @Anne Laurie: I have been asked for the name of the almost thornless please?

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    My favorite Tweetyism: his gushing over the shoulders of Mittens Romney, saying that you could land a 737 on them.

  75. 75
    Svensker says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I’ll second that. Z.D. will also do moderately well in partial shade. Will prolly only bloom once heavily in partial shade, but it’s REALLY pretty against dark greens and the smell is intoxicating.

  76. 76
    g says:

    And if Obama did benefit from Affirmative Action – what of it? He would be exactly the kind of person it’s intended to benefit – someone who needs an extra hand up so that they can excell. Which he certainly did at Harvard Law.

    Not saying he did, but if he did So What..?

  77. 77
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Now, now John. Jared Kushner is not blackity black. In fact, The Donald’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, not only is the color of GWB, he may be his intellectual equal.
    Also too, the story you quoted does not disprove the conspiracy about how a blackity black Kenyan Muslim could have become a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard Law.

  78. 78
    hilts says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Vintage Chris Matthews

    “Michael, like you, I think I try to look for Republicans to vote for. I do. I‘ve always voted for local Republican candidates for Congress. I voted for Michael Steele once. I voted for Arlen Specter when he ran for mayor as a reformer, back in the old days. I look for good Republicans to balance the act out… I think the south keeps us a little conservative. The north keeps the south a little secular. The marriage works. Any way, thank you, Rick Hertzberg, Michael Smerconish. It‘s like, you know, a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Remember how that worked?”

  79. 79
    Mark says:

    @parsimon: John McCain graduated 894/899 in his class at the Naval Academy. He was a moron and a pure legacy admit.

    Only in America could Barack Obama working at Baskin-Robbins and ultimately graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School be equated to being 5th-last in your class in a school that might have been a little concerned about offending your Admiral father and Admiral grandfather.

  80. 80
    parsimon says:

    @aimai: Okay, but I don’t think it’s really relevant, for the same reason that if Obama benefited from Affirmative Action, it’s not really relevant to his performance thereafter, which should be judged on its own merits. Trump is engaging in straightforward character assassination, shifting the burden to Obama to somehow prove the validity of his credentials; it’s low.

  81. 81
    batgirl says:

    I know someone who worked admissions at an elite business school who walked away in disgust. Applications of important and wealthy people were flagged and a sizeable portion of each incoming class was held aside for these folks.

  82. 82
    Mike in NC says:

    Does anyone think John McCain ever would’ve gotten into the Naval Academy if he weren’t the son and grandson of Navy Admirals? He was a self admitted awful student.

    Indeed, in all respects a disgrace to the uniform he never earned the right to wear. Got in through the back door and was happy to be at the bottom of his class.

    And nobody go whining about “But he was a POW!”. McCain volunteered for Vietnam just to get his ticket punched so he’d get promoted faster. He almost sank an aircraft carrier, then got shot down because he was a shitty naval aviator.

    Talk about a jinx. Had that warmonger been elected in 2008, we’d being waging WWIII right now.

  83. 83
    stuckinred says:

    @Mike in NC: Did you know he was a POW?

  84. 84
    SFAW says:

    aimai –

    A Harvie? I never would have guessed. You seem too well-adjusted, for one thing.

  85. 85
    SFAW says:

    Did you know he was a POW?

    I THOUGHT I had heard that somewhere, but when I tried Googling it, it only came up with a couple of hits.

    Or was it a couple of billion? I can never remember the difference between the two. But then again, I didn’t go to Wharton. Or Harvard, either.

  86. 86

    I’d be a liar if I said ALL of the rich kids at V.C. were blithering idiots.

    However, Dick Miniter AND Marc Theissen both graduated from the Best Little Whorehouse in Poughkeepsie.

    (Did I really just call it that?)

    And the child of a very well known and stinking rich author was indeed offered a spot because the school hoped for many years of donations.

  87. 87
    Anne Laurie says:

    @stuckinred: The nearly-thornless rose is Rosa Zephirine Drouhin (I always misspell it, foreign titles are hell for us lysdexics.) I second everything that article says!

  88. 88
    stuckinred says:

    @Anne Laurie: Thanks!

  89. 89
    MagicPanda says:

    I don’t think this criticism is going to leave a mark.

    Basically, “affirmative action” is code for the wrong people getting ahead. “my daddy paid for me to go to Harvard” is code for the right people getting ahead.

    If you’re an upper crust type of republican, no contradiction.

    If you’re a non-upper crust type who nonetheless feels that the wealthy deserve every ounce of power and privilege that they squeeze from the system because they are hard workers or whatever, then no contradiction.

    Yes, I know that the kid didn’t do earn the money himself, but to these guys, I don’t think it bothers them that some powerful rich guy can get his kid into Harvard.

    In other words, this article will only make sense to lefties, and thus will have no effect on Trump’s popularity.

  90. 90
    Anne Laurie says:


    I’m sick and tired of Chris Matthews talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    Matthews is a victim of his Jesuit-school upbringing. My butch baby sister’s favorite joke:

    What’s the difference between a gay bar and an Irish pub?

    Gays go to the bar to get drunk; drunks go to the pub to get gay.

    Not saying Matthews is gay, just that growing up in that environment leads to an unnatural fascination with “manliness” in all its most toxic forms.

  91. 91
    burnspbesq says:


    “I’m wondering if NBC really wants to renew a show hosted by an out-of-the-closet racist motherfucker? Is that a particularly sound business decision?”

    Yup. Those folks are the audience advertisers want. You’re not. SATSQ.

  92. 92
    Katie5 says:

    “Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person unconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, such as to other people.”

    Trump knows there are lot of students who enter the Ivy Leagues who shouldn’t be there. He knows they’re illegitimate. He feels inferior because of this but he won’t admit his deep inferiority. Thus he projects it onto others.

  93. 93
    alone in the dark says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    I do not remember the name of the Trillin piece, but I believe that it can be found in his book Uncivil Liberties.

  94. 94
    gopher2b says:

    Legacy admissions are exceedingly rare. Very few people buy their way into these schools because, well, very few people have that kind of money to blow. Equating the number of legacy admits with the number of affirmative action admits is misleading. They are not even close.

    That being said, there is NO evidence that Obama was an affirmative action admit. In fact, there is substantial evidence to the contrary.

  95. 95
    Josh says:

    @Bobby, the WaPo’s Richard Cohen is not the NYT’s Roger Cohen: you can rest assured that Richard is still an idiot.

  96. 96
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @stuckinred: Zepherine Drouhin. It’s lovely, vigorous and has an almost berry like spicy fragrance. Rich clear medium pink, and remontant too. Can’t go wrong with Zepherine.

  97. 97
    Comrade Mary says:

    I love the Esquire Politics blog because it produces pieces like these.

    Let us start by saying that whatever Americans might think of a President Donald Trump, we should all be grateful to him for raising these issues and putting them in the spotlight. We should be particularly grateful to him for showing that when American fairness gets twisted to mean that “anything goes,” it will run smack into good old American common sense.
    For while most Americans surely agree that it is right and good that the presidency is no longer the exclusive province of white males, those very same Americans would surely agree that there needs to be some standards about who can become president — and that, more importantly, we are morally obligated to enforce the standards we have in place. At the very least, Americans should be able to confirm that our presidential candidates are who they say they are, and that a candidate who says that he is a man should be able to prove that he has a dick.
    Mr. Trump has offered no such proof. All he has proven thus far is that he is either unwilling or unable to do so, and has thereby taken a question that has long been relegated to the realm of the theoretical and put it squarely in the arena of actuality: What happens if a man becomes president and he turns out not to have a dick?

    (This one was written by the glorious Tom Junod, who also wrote this glorious story about Mister Rogers.)

  98. 98
    Stefan says:

    McCain knows he’s the affirmative action scion of admirals who might not have gotten through Annapolis without being a legacy. Obama didn’t even tell Harvard Law School that he was black on his application.

    He absolutely got in on merit, but, c’mon, his name is “Barack Hussein Obama.” I kind of think HLS figured out he wasn’t white without him having to tell them….

  99. 99
    Anya says:

    @Josh: @Josh: I might put some money on Richard Cohen becoming the first mainstream columnists to come out as a birther?

  100. 100
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Josh: The linked column was by Richard, not Roger. I was being nice in not pointing out the error.

  101. 101
    Mary says:

    @ppcli: My dad actually worked in the development office at Princeton, and let’s just say that grad students or not, your cynicism was not misplaced.

  102. 102
    kd bart says:

    I guess The Simpsons best summed upa portion of Ivy League admissions policy in this one line of dialogue from the episode where Mr. Burns attempts to get his bastard son Larry, voiced by Rodney Dangerfield, into Yale:

    “Yale could really use an international airport.”

  103. 103
    Nemesis says:

    Latest gop meme re Obama’s education: our president is a result of Affirmative Action, as related to the teaming horde of unwashed by none other than Pat Buchannan.

    More of the same “he jest aint liiike us” pathway.

  104. 104
    Kilkee says:

    @Mary: As for Princeton, the admission and subsequent tolerance of Meg Whitman’s awful spawn should forever serve of proof of what money can buy. Thirty million, I believe, but she got two racist arrogant shitheels for that price, and at least one got to come back after multiple suspensions.

  105. 105
    WereBear says:

    @Anne Laurie: It was a well written book, but what amazed me was the (probably unconscious) dancing around of the obvious; it was Denny’s sexual orientation, and the societal prejudice around it, that utterly ruined his life.

  106. 106
    Pococurante says:

    Trump is fleecing bigots and “useful idiots”.

    I approve.

  107. 107
    lou says:

    @Mnemosyne: To be fair, the entire book wasn’t about him. But he was evidence A for the book’s topic on how legacy admissions have lower standards and admit far more unqualified students than does affirmative action. Everyone gets all indignant about those colored kids, but no one cares about the snotty rich kids getting admitted because their daddy went there? or their granddaddy gave a lot of money?

    Fact: kids with the lowest SAT scores from the top quintile of income are more likely to graduate from college than the kids with the highest SAT scores who come from the lowest quintile of income.

    And yet we call America a meritocracy.

  108. 108
    lou says:

    PS the book was based on a Pulitzer Prize winning series in the Wall Street Journal, back when the WSJ was still a good paper.

  109. 109
    lou says:

    PPS and when I used “colored” I’m using tea party-ist language.

  110. 110
    WereBear says:

    @lou: Based on 18th Century rules. In Europe it was impossible; in America; less so.

  111. 111
    Fe E says:


    As a Master’s degree holding son-of-a-trailer park, I’m pretty damned inclined to believe what you say–but could you please cite a source? Every now and then my inner resentment of the unself-consicously privliged turns in to my outer resentment of the unself-counsciously privilieged and I would very much like to be able to back that up!

  112. 112
    Paul in KY says:

    @kd bart: After several bouts of general asshollery & insubordination I believe it was only at his father’s intervention that he even was allowed to remain & graduate from Annapolis.

  113. 113
    Paul in KY says:

    @Comrade Mary: Thanks for the link to the Mr. Rogers story. Great story, would like to meet Fred Rogers myself. He’s got to be a Democrat.

  114. 114
    lou says:

    @Fe E: Read “Crossing the Finish Line” by William Bowen, Michael McPherson and Matthew Chingos.

    All about how top minority and poor kids don’t get college degrees the way they should and also don’t go to the top colleges as often even though they have the grades and scores. (so much for affirmative action!)

  115. 115
    Ann says:

    @aimai: I wish there was a like button. I would like you ten times.

  116. 116
    Ann says:

    What is surprising to me is the lack of stories detailing the number of students entering college by way of paid term-papers. These kids, by the thousands, buy their grades. People believe because all of these students are articulate and clean cut it equals intelligence.

  117. 117

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