Happy Cleek’s Law Day (Open Thread)

Seven years ago today, legendary blogger, commenter and pie-filter baker Cleek came down from the mountaintop toting a stone tablet inscribed with one short sentence and gave Cleek’s Law to the world:

It has served as a handy Rosetta Stone for interpreting the motivations of so-called “conservatives” ever since. Others have expressed similar concepts with enviable eloquence. Valued commenter Davis X. Machina’s “sparrows and old curtain rods” is a classic of the genre. But for my money, Cleek’s simple, elegant formulation remains without peer as an all-purpose “conservatism” explainer.

The law’s anniversary came to my attention a few days ago when I hunted the quote as a response to someone on Twitter who expressed astonishment at hawkish and jingoistic Republicans’ embrace of Putin and Russian interference in the U.S. election. It all makes sense when seen through the lens of Cleek’s Law — evangelicals’ embrace of a degenerate, Republican women’s support for a misogynist, fiscal hawks’ enthusiasm for a corrupt tax cheat — all of it.

If only there were a way we liberals could convincingly pretend to be in favor of codifying Grover Norquist’s tax policy, Ann Coulter’s immigration views, Falwell Jr.’s interpretation of Christianity, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions’ notions of white supremacy, Rick Perry’s ignorance of science, Wayne LaPierre’s reverence for firearms, etc. If we could pull that off, we might usher in an age of rationality and sound governance that would put the Enlightenment in the shade.

Oh well. Happy Cleek’s Law Day, everyone, and open thread!

284 replies
  1. 1
    Amir Khalid says:

    Until I read this post, I truly did not know that the Pie Filter and I (and David Hasselhoff) shared a birthday.

  2. 2
    Waspuppet says:

    The only addition I’d make is that it’s not so much the opposite of what liberals actually want as the opposite of what Sean Hannity and/or Rush Limbaugh tell them liberals want, because the crap I hear from conservatives about what we supposedly want is jaw-dropping.

    But that’s more of an amendment or an addendum. I wouldn’t want to clutter up the simple perfection of the law as it stands.

  3. 3
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Amir Khalid: Not to detract from the felicitations on your birthday, but this day is also three years since MH-17 was shot down, killing 298 innocent people.

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    @Amir Khalid: Happy Birthday!

  5. 5
    ColoradoGuy says:

    Progressives, liberals, and centrists should loudly and publicly oppose taking a long jump off a short pier. The rest takes care of itself.

  6. 6
    Jerzy Russian says:

    One of my biggest disappointment was that President Obama did not come out against drinking bleach. Otherwise, he was a great president.

  7. 7
    Roger Moore says:

    @Waspuppet:
    I think you could incorporate that relatively seamlessly into Cleek’s Law as something like:

    Today’s Conservatism is the opposite of what they think liberals want today, updated daily.

    You might substitute “are told” for “think”, but it’s not a huge wording change. It might be better to incorporate it as an addendum or something, though, rather than change the original formulation.

  8. 8
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Amir Khalid: Birthday greetings! 🎈 🎉 🎂

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Selamat hari jadi kepada kawan saya.

  10. 10
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    How could I forget? And on my 35th birthday, TWA 800 crashed into the sea after taking off from JFK International Airport.

  11. 11
    Ben Cisco says:

    Cleek’s Law.
    Trump’s Razor.

  12. 12
    eyelessgame says:

    Can’t we just declare we’re against drinking bleach?

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Mike J says:

    I hate hate hate drinking bleach. I think it’s bad for you.

  15. 15
    The Moar You Know says:

    Today’s conservatives (and quite a few other voters who don’t identify as conservative) will drive you crazy if you try to analyze what they do or say, because none of it makes any sense UNLESS you have Cleek’s Law in your head.

    Then it all makes sense. Every last bit of it.

  16. 16
    Aleta says:

    @Amir Khalid: Happy birthday and many happy returns of the day. (I don’t know what the last (traditional saying) means, but I like the general sense of it.)

  17. 17
    LAO says:

    @Amir Khalid: Happy birthday!

  18. 18
    eclare says:

    @Amir Khalid: Happy Birthday!

  19. 19
    Yarrow says:

    @Amir Khalid: Happy birthday, Amir!

    Cleek’s Law explains everything about Republicans. So simple. So accurate.

  20. 20
    Cermet says:

    When you say:

    If only there were a way we liberals could convincingly pretend to be in favor of codifying Grover Norquist’s tax policy, … Rick Perry’s ignorance of science, … , etc. If we could pull that off, we might usher in an age of rationality and sound governance that would put the Enlightenment in the shade.

    No; no; and a big NO! This law ONLY works when someone in the 0.001% might pay an extra penny in costs or taxes then they oppose the liberal idea. Those ignorance based ideas would help the 0.001% gain money, hence, even if all liberals supported these idiotic ideas, they WOULD be fully supported by the conservative masters and their sheep would follow. Sorry to burst your bubble but reverse logic doesn’t cause a reverse effect when it comes to the the money elite!

  21. 21
    tobie says:

    @Amir Khalid: Happy birthday and many happy returns!

  22. 22
    rikyrah says:

    This is not a negotiation from Russia, it’s a threat. And we have a president who applauds the threateners and refuses to protect the US. https://t.co/96RFidwOvZ
    — Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) July 17, 2017

  23. 23
    LAO says:

    And, here’s your “feel good” story of the day: the very definition of a “good boy”

    WATCH: A golden retriever noticed that a fawn was drowning. He jumped in to save it. What a good boy. pic.twitter.com/EaP43wtXOo— Yashar Ali (@yashar) July 17, 2017

  24. 24
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Today is the 56th anniversary of the death of legendary baseball player Ty Cobb.

    Notable only because there’s a lawyer with the same name in the news.

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    New post:
    The Trump team’s lies about health bill have reached new heights of cruelty and disingenuousness: https://t.co/Qq0ndbJffe
    — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 17, 2017

  26. 26

    @Roger Moore: Same can be said for the TRUE LEFT purity wankers, as provided by mine and Major 4x’s corollary.

  27. 27
    Yarrow says:

    Well, well, well. Trump’s bad for business. Who would have guessed?

    The dollar tumbled in recent days, but analysts weren’t pointing to weaker-than-expected U.S. inflation data on Friday.

    Instead, they fingered a “Trump discount” as market-positive aspects of the administration’s agenda appeared to be missing in action.

    Richard Clarida, global strategic adviser at Pimco, the bond giant with around $1.6 trillion under management, told CNBC that disappointment over the progress of President Donald Trump’s agenda was looming over the market.

    “A lot of people came into this year expecting a big stimulus from Trumponomics, potentially a big tax cut, infrastructure,” Clarida told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday. “And of course, we haven’t got the tax cut, infrastructure is down the road and Congress is squabbling over health care. So some of the folks who really thought this would be a gangbusters year have been disappointed.”

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Kay says:

    I feel like the Putin-love is part of their “strong leader” love. There’s a portion of the GOP who want a daddy.

    Kelly Anne Conway plugs into it with her “other people talk, Trump acts!” thing. I personally wish he would golf 60 hours a week instead of 20. His “action!” is all dumb and bad.

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: Note to self: Don’t fly on Amir’s b-day.

    Happy b-day.

  31. 31
    But her emails!!! says:

    @Waspuppet:

    The only addition I’d make is that it’s not so much the opposite of what liberals actually want as the opposite of what Sean Hannity and/or Rush Limbaugh tell them liberals want, because the crap I hear from conservatives about what we supposedly want is jaw-dropping.

    This is true. It’s more opposition to what their pundits and “thought leaders” spin as the liberal position than actual liberal positions. In some cases they align, in others they don’t. For example, liberals did want to move from incandescent lights to CFLs and eventually LED lighting, but we’re not really in favor forcing ministers, imams, rabbis, etc. to officiate same sex marriages (obviously they should have the freedom to do so if the want to).

    I’ll also add, that I’m disappointed that the “It’s always projection with conservatives, always” or one of its variants didn’t make the cut for an honorable mention.

  32. 32
    Jeffro says:

    70% of Americans now think of Trumpov as “presidential”.

    I think we’re getting down to the hard core here, before too long. Let’s see what polls look like after his pro-collusion tweet today…

  33. 33
    Roger Moore says:

    @Aleta:
    “Many happy returns” means you’re wishing them many more future happy birthdays (or anniversaries, or whatever) in addition to this one, i.e. live long and prosper.

  34. 34
    Yarrow says:

    @Jeffro: I hope you meant “unpresidential.” Otherwise that’s terrible news.

  35. 35
    SenyorDave says:

    @Jeffro: I’ hoping you meant to say unpresidential. I don’t think I want to live in a country where 70% of the voters think of that amoral pig as presidential.

  36. 36
    Aleta says:

    Looking for balance to the aforementioned airplane tragedies on this date, I found a lot more grim things. Sigh. But also (I remember the joy of watching this)

    July 17, 1988 Florence Griffith Joyner of USA sets 100m woman’s record (10.49)

  37. 37
    Kay says:

    Actions by President Trump and his administration have created a historic ethics crisis, the departing head of the Office of Government Ethics said. He called for major changes in federal law to expand the power and reach of the oversight office and combat the threat.
    Walter M. Shaub Jr., who is resigning as the federal government’s top ethics watchdog on Tuesday, said the Trump administration had flouted or directly challenged long-accepted norms in a way that threatened to undermine the United States’ ethical standards, which have been admired around the world.
    “It’s hard for the United States to pursue international anticorruption and ethics initiatives when we’re not even keeping our own side of the street clean. It affects our credibility,” Mr. Shaub said in a two-hour interview this past weekend — a weekend Mr. Trump let the world know he was spending at a family-owned golf club that was being paid to host the U.S. Women’s Open tournament. “I think we are pretty close to a laughingstock at this point.”

    I know an anti-corruption campaign wouldn’t win elections now but I bet it will eventually. I was reading this piece about the Arab Spring and one of the organizers said people in the west didn’t understand how much of it was anger at corruption.

    She said ordinary citizens are “humiliated” by corrupt regimes because everyone knows it’s happening and they’re the victims and the leaders make chumps out of them. That makes sense to me- that it’s humiliating.

    People may object to Putin’s authoritarian ways and human rights violations but I bet there is a large group who are pissed because he’s a THIEF. He steals what belongs to them. That WOULD get people into the streets, especially because Russia has such a low standard of living. They’re really poor, most of them.

  38. 38
    Jeffro says:

    @Yarrow: @SenyorDave: Ack! My bad – yes, 70% say UNpresidential.

    And the academy award goes to…La La Land! LOL

    Hey here’s more good news: only 1 in 4 Americans strongly support Trumpov at this point (while 2 in 4 strongly hate his creepy orange self)

  39. 39

    Why does everybody focus on bleach? It’s drain cleaner we should be against drinking.

    Did y’all see Coulter’s twitter meltdown about her seat on a flight? Hilarious.

  40. 40
    Amir Khalid says:

    As defined by Cleek’s Law, conservatism has diminished itself in recent decades (or has been diminished, by entrenched interests and opportunists) from a political philosophy in its own right to mere nihilistic anti-liberalism. There was a discussion in these threads the other day over how many Republicans had been good Presidents. The consensus was that at most there had been just two: Abe and maybe Ike. Sad. Also suggests that the rot in the Republican party began just after Abe got shot.

  41. 41
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    When I saw the title, I thought Republicans somewhere had declared today Confederate History Day or something

  42. 42
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Wishing you health and happiness and many more years in which to enjoy them!

  43. 43
    LAO says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Delta’s reply was the best. LMAO

  44. 44
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Don’t forget Grant. His administration may have been corrupt but at least he tried to actively protect minority rights during his tenure. He wasn’t afraid to send in the Blue Coats when needed

  45. 45
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Happy Birthday! So is mine =)

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Elizabelle says:

    @Amir Khalid: Happy Birthday, Amir.

    May today be aviation disaster free.

    Political disaster free, um, unlikely.

    Wishing you many happy returns and health, happiness, wealth (of BJ friends) etc.

  48. 48
    Aleta says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Something is very very wrong with her. Or is she nature’s freak response to the existence of some very good hearted person somewhere who has received neither money nor fame defending liberal causes.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    A practical example. From this excellent article:
    http://www.newyorker.com/magaz.....al-america

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Remind me not to fly on your birthday!

  52. 52
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I was glad she eventually got around to openly owning the racism involved in her hissy-fit instead of relying on the photos alone to convey her outrage that a less pasty and blond person than herself was seated in her chosen spot.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Conservatives, via Cleek’s Law, doing it to piss off liberals (ie. non-assholish decent people)

  55. 55
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Jeffro:

    I hope you meant to say unpresidential. Otherwise, that’s a shocking and unexpected poll result.

  56. 56
    Spanky says:

    Hey! Has anyone seen G. Gordon Liddy lately?

    There was a break-in over the weekend at the Las Vegas office of Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), a Republican senator who could be a critical swing vote on the GOP health-care bill.

    The Las Vegas Metropolitan Department confirmed a break-in occurred Saturday morning at Heller’s office in southwest Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

    A “threatening note” was also left at the office after the break-in, according to 8 News Now, based on an anonymous source. Las Vegas police would not confirm any information about a note to local media outlets.

    Megan Taylor, a spokeswoman for Heller, confirmed the break-in but said she could not comment because of an ongoing investigation.

    And Happy Birthday, Amir!

  57. 57

    @Betty Cracker: I liked when she complained that she spent “$10,000 of my time!” picking her seat, and Owen Ellickson responded “you are bad at flying.”

  58. 58
    Mike in DC says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):
    Neoliberal = 1) someone who supported Clinton in the primaries and/or general election; 2)someone who supports good policies which are readily attainable, instead of insisting upon “perfect” policies which are not. 3)someone who believes that class issues do not transcend race and other identity issues

  59. 59
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    At the risk of sounding glib, paraphrasing FDR, that’s the stuff dictatorships are made of

  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: Here you go:

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY :)

  62. 62
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Waspuppet: That’s a very important distinction actually since Conservatives often create straw men which aren’t even close to what Liberals actually believe/support. For example, Conservatives make it seem that Liberals love abortions versus the truth which is that Liberals support women’s reproductive choices including abortion. I’m sure most of us would prefer a world where abortions are few and far between. But to shut down arguments, Conservatives equate being pro-choice to advocating child murder as if our side hates children. It’s so dishonest.

  63. 63

    @Mike in DC: I had to stop reading that NY Mag climate shock piece everybody was sharing once it started blaming everything on ‘neoliberalism’. Made me question the author’s command of facts.

    @Patricia Kayden: remember when The Onion did that ‘abortionplex’ piece and conservatives thought it was real?

  64. 64
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    History will record Obama’s greatest mistake was not signing the “American’s: Don’t Drink Bleach” exacutive order on MLK Day and set it to go in to effect on Ramadon.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    Baud says:

    I prefer efgoldman’s law.

    Fuckem.

  67. 67
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Jeffro: As unpresidential.

  68. 68
    LAO says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I totally get it. It costs me 75k to brush my teeth. I must pre-select a brush, investigate types of paste, and periodically spit bullshit❄️— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) July 17, 2017

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks

  69. 69

    @Mike in DC: It’s one of those words whose actual meaning has nearly been killed via being hijacked for namecalling. (Stepped Pyramids’ commentary in this thread is a good summation of its intented meaning).

  70. 70
    pat says:

    @Jeffro:

    Uhh, you left off the “un”.

  71. 71
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Major Major Major Major: LOL!! Yes I do. See what I mean? They must really believe that Liberals are sick people to think that was true. Sigh.

  72. 72
    randy khan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That’s sad. I don’t mean it in the Trumpian sense, but in its normal meaning. Essentially, all these people want is for other people to be kicked I don’t understand how you live your life like that.

  73. 73
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Amir Khalid: To be fair to the other side of the aisle, Reagan was a god (if you are Republican, White and straight).

  74. 74
    🌷 Martin says:

    Happy Birthday to BJs most beloved member. Have a good one, Amir!

  75. 75
    Punchy says:

    Peeps about to die in MO thanks to Republican budget priorities.

    And no, that’s not hyperbole. Peeps going to die. And if you read the article, the woman most likely to perish admits to voting GOP. So there’s initial sadness, then a fresh feeling of Voting = Consequences.

  76. 76

    @Major Major Major Major: That said, Chait’s essay on the subject fails in much the same ways bad Chait articles usually fail.

    It’s also worth noting that the term “progressive” is on its way to meaning just “farther left than you/me.”

  77. 77

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:
    Teddy Roosevelt was pretty good. A hawk, but many virtues to make up for that.

    @Betty Cracker:
    What did she say?

    @Mike in DC:
    Yes. I keep seeing ‘neoliberal’ used in its correct free-market sense, but by people who think mainstream Democrats support that bullshit! They live in a fantasy bubble as deep as the RWNJs.

  78. 78

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): I hate the reflexive assumption that ‘further left’ (‘left’ often even inaccurately defined) is automatically better and more virtuous policy, too.

  79. 79
    Baud says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    They must really believe that Liberals are sick people to think that was true.

    We just believe in economies of scale.

  80. 80
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Agree. It only kind of seems better because the country is far more right than any of us would like.

  81. 81
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Yarrow: Well, PIMCO may be seeing the local contrast. California’s economy is growing much faster than the nation’s by pretty much doing the opposite of what Trump does. We may well again pass Great Britain in GDP this year.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @randy khan: It is surprisingly easy.

  83. 83
    Baud says:

    @🌷 Martin: Somewhat related, the news this morning noted that a lion’s share of the recent stock market gains is from four tech companies.

  84. 84
    Jeffro says:

    @pat: Thanks – I corrected it about 30 comments ago. =)

  85. 85
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @🌷 Martin:
    That’s what happens when you rely on scholary and scientific expertise to create government policy, not obsessively focus on trying to tear down your predecessor’s positive achievements, kill poor minorities, as well as commit treason to hold onto the reigns of power.

  86. 86
    Eric U. says:

    @Waspuppet: I have always said that if what Limbaugh says about me were true, I would hate myself

  87. 87
    cleek says:

    holy crap!

    i know who’s buying a big bottle of bubbly on his way home from work tonight!

  88. 88

    @Major Major Major Major: It doesn’t help that IIRC “progressive” came into popularity chiefly as a euphemism for “left/liberal” during the Bush years.

    On a related note, I noticed that the use of “alt-left” has been more restricted since Michael Wolcott’s Vanity Fair piece. Probably because “alt-left” connotes a level of overt racism not really that common among the left (re: Tracey, Fang, Kilpatrick & [BONERS]), and that the piece in question was especially sloppy in categorizing its collection of mostly-wankers.

  89. 89
    Baud says:

    @cleek: Congrats, man.

  90. 90

    […] I have my own day! […]

  91. 91

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): That piece was bad. Which is unfortunate, since it would have been the right time for a piece like that which was not bad.

    I think ‘progressive’ came as a result of the demonization of ‘liberal’, but I thought it was earlier. I like it, personally, since it sounds like a goal rather than an ideology, although nowadays it seems to just mean ‘leftist’ in many circles.

  92. 92
    rikyrah says:

    When Black Hair Violates The Dress Code
    July 17, 20175:45 AM ET
    KAYLA LATTIMORE

    Raising teenage girls can be a tough job. Raising black teenage girls as white parents can be even tougher. Aaron and Colleen Cook knew that when they adopted their twin daughters, Mya and Deanna.

    As spring came around this year, the girls, who just turned 16, told their parents they wanted to get braided hair extensions. Their parents happily obliged, wanting Mya and Deanna to feel closer to their black heritage.

    But when the girls got to school, they were asked to step out of class. Both were given several infractions for violating the dress code. Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, north of Boston, bans hair extensions in its dress code, deeming them “distracting.”

    When administrators asked the girls to remove their braids, Mya and Deanna refused.

    The next day, Colleen and Aaron Cook came to the school where, they say, they were told the girls’ hair needed to be “fixed.” The Cooks refused, telling administrators that there was nothing wrong with the hairstyle.

    As punishment, the girls were removed from their extracurricular activities, barred from prom, and threatened with suspension if they did not change their hair.

    According to Colleen Cook, administrators at Mystic Valley have routinely reprimanded black students for dress code violations involving hair.

    Other black girls have been pulled out of class, she says, lined up, asked if they had hair extensions and given detention if they did.

    Colleen remembers when one student, who wore her hair in its natural texture, was taken out of class and told that she would need to relax, or chemically straighten, her hair before returning to school the next day.

    In defense of their daughters, the Cooks brought in a yearbook to show school leaders the many white female students with hair extensions and dyed hair.

    But, the Cooks say, the administration didn’t see that those students were in violation of the dress code, stating those hair alterations weren’t as obvious.

    NPR reached out to Mystic Valley Regional for an interview several times without a response.

    …………………………………..

    Zero-tolerance leads to high suspension rates

    Dorinda J. Carter Andrews, assistant dean of equity outreach initiatives at Michigan State University, says that black females are more likely to receive harsher discipline than their white and Latina counterparts.

    Her research on zero-tolerance policies and their outcomes show that they enforce a marginalization of black girls in schools. Which can, in practice, criminalize their black identity.

    “What does a headdress have to do with learning and success?” asks Carter Andrews.

    She finds it strange that hair would even be part of a dress code. It’s not a choice, but an aspect of one’s body. Which raises a question: Is a zero-tolerance policy on hair — where students can be suspended without warning — less about a dress code and more about a racial code?

  93. 93
    Karen says:

    So the latest ‘defense” is others would have done it? Guess never had an adult ask if another child did something stupid, would you?
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/.....id=U348DHP

  94. 94
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I feel we’ve never had a good classification scheme.

  95. 95
    Kay says:

    I miss Obama’s professorial statements on what he was considering. He kept throwing it back to us and I thought that was great.

    I’m not in the mainstream, which is fine but I felt the same way about Clinton’s perceived “failings”- I liked him best when he was an undisciplined overly talkative used car salesman – with a huge vocabulary who speaks in full paragraphs complete with topic sentence and subparts. I like people like that! As long as you know you’re getting sold it’s appealing. I never felt “tricked”. It was like “oh, he’s selling something!”

    I look at Clinton now and he’s so skinny and stern. Ugh. No thanks. He looks like every other Aspen round tabler.

  96. 96
    waspuppet says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Someone pointed out once (vague, I know, but really I’m just making clear that I’m not taking credit for this valuable insight) that conservatives think less government is an inherent, self-evident good*, so they’ll tear something apart just because. And even if the end result is no better for any actual people, it was a good thing to do because now there’s less government. So they think liberals want more government for the same reason: just because. Which of course isn’t true — we just want fairness, and if it can be done on a situational basis without involving the government, great. We just know the respective track records of the public and private sectors in these things, so we’re wary. But we don’t want to grow the government just because, while they want to shrink it just because.

    *Exceptions, of course, happen when you want to terminate a pregnancy, grow pot or whatever else Trump got angry about when he saw it on Fox and Friends this morning.

  97. 97
    divF says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Note to self: Don’t fly on Amir’s b-day.

    I’m getting on a plane to Boston in about four hours.

    Also, Happy Birthday, Amir !

  98. 98
    smintheus says:

    Many of us believed in 2009 that Obama ought to come out firmly in favor of breathing.

  99. 99

    @Major Major Major Major: Chait’s or Wolcott’s? My opinion of the latter is pretty much “fundamentally true, specifically a fucking mess.”

  100. 100

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):
    Yeah, alt-left doesn’t work. The Leftier Than Thou squad don’t openly hate on minorities – much. They just want everyone to stop talking about bigotry, and only talk about what THEY want!

  101. 101
    eric says:

    @🌷 Martin: phrasing

  102. 102
    MattF says:

    @Baud: Yup. Also, the lure of ‘passive’ investing through low-cost index funds and ETFs will tarnish somewhat when it’s discovered that these funds have accumulated large amounts of a small number of stocks. Buyer beware.

  103. 103
    The Moar You Know says:

    holy crap!

    i know who’s buying a big bottle of bubbly on his way home from work tonight!

    @cleek: I’d buy one for you if you were in SoCal. I was very serious about what I wrote above: I could not make sense out of anything conservatives had done, not since Reagan, actually, and your comment was like a 2×4 to the face: I finally got it. And everything they’d been doing made sense.

  104. 104
    germy says:

    “Don Jr.” shows up on the President Show and says the quiet parts out loud.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7FihAeAkCA

    “It’s so funny cause it’s not even about healthcare! Repealing Obamacare is all about tax cuts for rich people like us,” Jr. says. “If we really cared about lowering healthcare costs, we’d move to a single-payer system so we could negotiate prices with providers! Plus the whole thing with Obamacare was that a black guy told us to do it, and we did not like that!”

  105. 105
    Tim in SF says:

    Housekeeping note for Betty Cracker:

    “Valued commenter Davis X. Machina’s “sparrows and old curtain rods” ..

    should be linked to the original post in which it appears.

  106. 106
    different-church-lady says:

    @Adam L Silverman: a) Government by trolls, for trolls.
    b) The calculus did not shift. It was like that from the get-go. The only thing that changed is people are dropping their cover-narrative and willing to just get their freak on.

  107. 107
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: One newish idea that I got from Lawyers Guns and Money- I can’t remember whose it was, I think it was Lemieux- was that a lot of most strident voices on the left really just don’t like politics. Unlike the people I know who hate talking about government, social policy, etc. at all, they care about the results, but they hate the process that those things happen and hate talking about it except to complain. Of course, these people become worse than useless because nothing gets done without politics and they relentlessly mock anyone who attempts to understand how things get done. Sorry if this is obvious to everyone else, but I was like… yeah, that makes sense. It also explains why those people like Bernie Sanders and (to a lesser extent Barack Obama), because they thought these were people who could avoid that whole ugly process.

  108. 108
    catclub says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    but this day is also three years since MH-17 was shot down,

    I heard on the radio that there are HUNDREDS of Russian tanks in eastern Ukraine. bygones.

  109. 109

    @Kay:

    I look at Clinton now and he’s so skinny and stern. Ugh. No thanks.

    This is largely a factor of his desire to not die.

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): The latter, I thought he was nutpicking rather than describing the larger and more destructive purity pony/bern it all down philosophy. I haven’t read the Chait piece, but somebody (Slate?) had a good history of the term a while back.

    @Baud: Let me just put on my ontologist hat and say that this is true for almost everything.

  110. 110
    Spanky says:

    @cleek: Wow! I didn’t know you still checked in on us little people.

  111. 111
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    I heard her on the radio. Really good. When zero tolerance started in schools it was sold as EQUITABLE. The idea was it was “zero” so discretion and subjective bias wouldn’t come in. Everyone would be treated the same because it wasn’t 1-5 it was ZERO. They would remove the human element (principals and teachers) and so all students would be treated equally harshly. It’s the same thinking behind mandatory minimums. But they forgot about the bias inherent in who gets charged.

    They have to stop trying to get around human beings. It never, ever works. PEOPLE always inject bias. Human beings have to get better- “data” won’t save us from ourselves.

  112. 112
    different-church-lady says:

    @SatanicPanic: Posers. Seriously. Posture is more important that progress.

  113. 113
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Mike in DC: @58.
    Jonathan Chait (New York Magazine-Intelligencer) has an interesting article up today about the term neoliberalism. The title: “How ‘Neoliberalism’ Became the Left’s Favorite Insult of Liberals”.
    ETA: Oops. See it’s already been discussed. Sorry.

  114. 114
    SatanicPanic says:

    @cleek: Congratulations sir, we all aspire to one day write a comment as good as yours!

  115. 115
    Kay says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I feel he’s denying his essential nature :)

    He’s an excessive person. That comes with good and bad. I saw him at a state Dem meeting in Ohio and he was flat. I could have been listening to some Brookings fellow or something.

  116. 116
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @different-church-lady: No arguments here.

  117. 117
    divF says:

    @cleek: Yes, cherish the moment. “Cleek’s Law” could very well be the lede for your obituary, regardless of your IRL accomplishments.

  118. 118
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    ontologist hat

    I read that as oncologist hat and got worried for a sec.

  119. 119
    Ruckus says:

    @Yarrow:
    So the masters of the universe aren’t any better at seeing through drumpf than your average redneck racist. Imagine that.

  120. 120
    divF says:

    @Spanky: If it wasn’t for all us little people, the big people would only be slightly above average.

  121. 121
    smintheus says:

    @SatanicPanic: Another related problem is that journalists who write on politics tend not to like or understand politics or politicians. Imagine how much worse the journalism on movies would be if all the reporters basically hated movies and actors/directors.

  122. 122

    @SatanicPanic: I’m pretty sure that’s Davis X. Machina’s coinage – “get the politics out of politics” and all that.

  123. 123
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SatanicPanic: It is not just a problem on the left. It is also a problem on the right. The vast majority of Americans have no idea how policy is made, couldn’t define strategy if you supplied the actual definition, and don’t actually have any real idea what government does, what is done at different levels of government, and what should be done at each level of government alone or shared between levels. This results in wanting either just to see the results they want or throwing their hands up and getting angry because there are no results because getting results in the US political system is difficult by design.

  124. 124

    @Kay: Ah, I was referring to the skinny part. Haven’t seen him speak since the convention.

    @Baud: I would make a terrible doctor.

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, but we should know better.

  125. 125
    zhena gogolia says:

    Where’s Mnemosyne when you need her. I didn’t know Rufus Sewell had played evil Alexander Hamilton on the John Adams series. Freaky.

  126. 126
    SatanicPanic says:

    @different-church-lady: For some of them I imagine that’s true, but I doubt don’t the commitment most of the people who I know who are like this have. They’re just stuck in some dumb and unproductive patterns of behavior. Like I know a woman who devotes hours and hours every week to doing activist stuff, but HATES talking about politics and never votes. In the end I think she does good things, but they’re not very effective.

  127. 127
    lollipopguild says:

    @Patricia Kayden: They have no choice but to be dishonest about what we want because if they were honest a lot of them would agree with us on at least some issues.

  128. 128
    catclub says:

    @Yarrow:

    Trump’s bad for business.

    You really should not listen to ANY financial pundits and their explanations of things.

    Also, Trump, so far, has been bad for business at about the identical rate that Obama was bad for business – there has been no change in most trends from the past 7 years.

  129. 129
    Kay says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    That’s what I don’t get about Trump as a salesperson. There’s no joy in it. He likes to hear himself talk but there’s no real effort to persuade anyone. His eyes and face are almost blank.

    I just don’t find his “pitch” appealing at all- it’s so dark. He doesn’t even sound like HE believes it when he uses those dumb words – “terrific”- “terrific” sounds the same as “crooked Hillary”.

  130. 130
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, but on the right, they don’t pretend to have all the answers about those things. They just vote according to Cleek’s Law.

  131. 131
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): I think that’s right. Damn, this Davis X Machina person is good at this commenting thing.

  132. 132
    Immanentize says:

    @cleek: Excellent work in the service of Democracy! If I were near you, I would spring for that bubbly!

  133. 133
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Exactly how we arrived at President Trump.

  134. 134
    rikyrah says:

    Who benefits from a delayed vote on Republican health care plan?
    07/17/17 11:30 AM
    By Steve Benen

    This was supposed to be the week the fight over the Republican health care overhaul reached its endpoint. One way or the other, the Senate GOP leadership planned to bring their regressive plan to the floor, and it’d either pass and get rubber-stamp approval from the Republican-led House, or it’d fail.

    At least, that was the plan. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had surgery for a blood clot the other day, and while the procedure reportedly went well, he’ll be home in Arizona this week, recovering. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), pushing a bill that was already facing tough odds, said McCain’s absence would delay the vote for at least a week.

    In theory, this could help GOP leaders, giving them more time to twist arms and buy off on-the-fence members with special goodies and giveaways. (I’ve heard the phrase “Christmas in July” used more than once from Capitol Hill contacts in recent days.) But in practice, the more the Republican health care is exposed to sunlight, the worse it appears.

    McConnell is well aware of this, which is precisely why he’s been in such a rush to pass it. More time means more scrutiny, and more scrutiny means more exposure of the bill’s many flaws.

    So, where does that leave the state of the debate? For Republican officials, in a less-than-ideal place. The Wall Street Journal had this report over the weekend, for example, on major insurers balking – in rather blunt terms – at the revised details of the current GOP blueprint.

    The provision, backed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, would authorize insurers to sell coverage that wouldn’t meet ACA standards on the condition that they also sell at least some plans that did. While this setup could offer healthy people less expensive policies, insurers and actuaries say it would likely prove dysfunctional over time, pushing up rates and reducing offerings for people buying the compliant plans.

    In a letter sent Friday night to the Senate Republican and Democratic leadership, the two major associations representing health insurers, which don’t typically send such missives jointly, said the amendment “is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market.”

    “Simply unworkable in any form” isn’t an especially subtle phrase.

    The insurers’ statement follows opposition to the Republican legislation from practically every major stakeholder in the health care industry, including organizations representing doctors, nurses, hospitals, patients, and seniors. It’s difficult to think of any recent policy measure that’s united every possible faction of the industry, including insurers, but the GOP bill has managed to pull it off.

  135. 135
    KS in MA says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): How about “farther left than thou”?

  136. 136
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Why? The vast majority of Americans are just trying to survive each day. Sure, often those worst off here are still better off than if they were in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or Syria or Yemen or dozens of other places, but at the end of the day it is all about just getting through the day. And when that is the focus of one’s life there isn’t a lot of time to spend trying to get smart on why and how the things you don’t like and why no one is actually fixing them is happening.

  137. 137
    Kay says:

    John Harwood‏Verified account @JohnJHarwood 3h3 hours ago
    More
    US intel officials say info that sparked hostility against Qatar, from Trump and regional neighbors, was fabricated

    And the only one who didn’t know it was fabricated was Trump. I would bet. Fifty dollars. In a minute.

    If we get thru 4 years w/out someone tricking Donald Trump in some profound and catastrophic way I will be amazed.

  138. 138

    @pamelabrown53: @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): Wow, the comments on this Chait piece make me like it way more than I liked it when I read it; talk about pissing off the right people.

    ETA: Yes, I am aware that this is a bad way to define one’s politics

  139. 139
    cleek says:

    @divF:
    Here Lies Cleek: husband, programmer, smartass.

  140. 140

    @Adam L Silverman: Jeez, fine, we should aspire to know better. And since so many of the people on our side who don’t grok this claim to be reality-based, well, it’s galling to say the least. I don’t mean that we should run campaigns based on the idea that people should understand this.

  141. 141
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: It isn’t that simple. Cleek’s formulation is a good model, but all models are right until they are wrong. And in this case it oversimplifies the reality. A lot of those on the right also have their own answers. They are not necessarily any better than the purity types on the left of the spectrum, but they are their answers. And they mean something to them. They’re important to them. The provide explanations for how things are this way, how they got this way, who is to blame, and how to change things. Even if all of it is wrong. Or, at least, a misinterpretation of the actual empirically verifiable factual record. This isn’t intended as an excuse for terrible views or bigotry or discrimination. It is simply recognizing the contextual reality. Failure to do so brings great risks. We’re living through one of those risks right now.

  142. 142
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:

    Human beings have to get better- “data” won’t save us from ourselves.

    You don’t have many scientologist friends with an idea like that.

  143. 143

    @Ruckus:
    We sure as HELL don’t live in a meritocracy. Rich people aren’t smarter, more logical, or less racist than poor people. Instead, they’re insulated from the results of stupidity and can really let their freak flag fly.

  144. 144
    Amir Khalid says:

    @divF:
    Stay safe.

  145. 145
    TriassicSands says:

    Cleek’s Law is elegant, concise, and correct…except it is flawed. It is true if and only if what the Democrats want is positive, productive, or helpful. For example, if the Democratic Party suddenly embraced classic Republican hatred and humiliation of the poor, the Republicans would not do a 180 and propose more generous programs to help low income Americans. On the contrary, they would welcome the Democrats briefly, and then accuse them of not going far enough and come up with new and better ways to hurt the poor. In that sense, Cleek’s Law still has an element of truth to it — Republicans are never likely to simply accept what Democrats propose and work with them to improve the lives of average Americans. But in the case of a Republican position “opposite” of what the Democrats hold, the law would break down as soon as Democrats moved to adopt Republican positions.

    There is another law, more fundamental to the definition of the Modern Republican than Cleek’s Law and it’s even shorter and simpler:

    Republicans are bad people.

    Bad is an all-purpose, generic word that could easily be replaced with many more descriptive words — shitty comes to mind. Escalating the badness to terrible works too. One could spend weeks finding stronger, more satisfying words to use. But the basic fact is that Republicans are simply bad human beings.

  146. 146
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: No, the initial estimates and analysis indicated it was likely Russian Intel who had committed the hack to further cause problems for the US. The Qatari intel folks seem to have taken a page out of the Israeli’s book. The Israelis have a tendency to make their stuff look like the PRC did it because the PRC is often doing big cyber ops. Since all the attention is currently on Russian Intel and their cyber operations, what better way to have your cake and eat it to than try to make your operations look they were done by the Russians.

  147. 147

    @Frankensteinbeck: It’s only useful for a specific subset of the left, which in itself is fairly niche – in point of fact, probably its purest avatar is the far-over-the-hill hip-hop blogger Byron Crawford.
    @Baud: I think you can group all of these under the “Purity Wanker/Pink Anarchist Bunny” banner. Drawing from the article (which was also painfully non-comprehensive…)

    In one corner you have guys like Taibbi, Mark Ames, Eileen Jones, Chapo Trap House, etc. who are distinguished by their large reserves of free-floating hatred; you could consider this the left’s own pain caucus and/or the “eXile left” (the magazine for which quite a few of these folks worked for). You also have the simple accelerationists like Stein, Sarandon and West: Not driven by inflicting pain so much as willful apathy regarding their actions. The alt-left is discussed above, and sites such as Counterpunch, Consortium News, the Nation’s foreign-policy section, etc. form a sort of “bearded Spock-leftist” axis – i.e., that the interests & actions of the American state are more-or-less inherently (usually uniquely) illegitimate. Of course, there is a lot of overlap between all these groups. The standard intracoalition-posturing section can be represented by the worst Jacobin writers. Of course, there’s a lot of overlap between the groups (and brogressives can belong to any and all groups listed above).

  148. 148
    Kay says:

    Sean Spicer‏Verified account
    @PressSec
    Follow
    More
    Sean Spicer Retweeted President Trump
    Today @POTUS is hosting American companies @WhiteHouse from each state and featuring their #MadeInAmerica products.

    Ivanka Trump won’t be there because the Trumps don’t make their products in America.

    This family is ludicrous. Everything about them is bullshit.

  149. 149
    Immanentize says:

    @cleek: Not necessarily in that order?

  150. 150
    Ruckus says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    Sort of my point?

  151. 151
    Yoda Dog says:

    @cleek: You work!?

    I figured you scored a patent on your law and were living like a romney by now..

    In any case, cheers, sir!

  152. 152
    Immanentize says:

    @TriassicSands: Your critique is flawed by changing the basis of the Law. Cleek doesn’t mention Democrats anywhere in his postulate — You must have read “Liberal” and thought it meant “Democratic Party.” It doesn’t.

  153. 153
    germy says:

    Joe’ Scarborough says conservatism has been reduced to nothing but ‘talk radio resentment’

  154. 154
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Major Major Major Major: @138.
    I’ll have to take a gander at the comments. Frankly, the use of ‘neoliberal’ as an epithet is one reason that I’ve mostly quit the GOS, with the exception of the morning APR.
    BTW, one reason I “like” Chait is he’s such a mixed bag: one minute I’m attuned and sympathetic and the next it’s like WTF?! That spurs me to deeper thinking than if I totally agree or disagree.

  155. 155
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    Actually on Wayne LaPierre…how long will it be before the NRA is secretly backing Democrats? Their main job is to sell guns and ammo to paranoid conservative rubes and every time a Republican gets elected gun sales plummet. A Democrat get elected again and gun sales skyrocket. They’re pretty stupid but even wacky Wayne has to see that pattern and know that the money behind his organization will at some point want the gravy train to return.

  156. 156

    @pamelabrown53:

    Frankly, the use of ‘neoliberal’ as an epithet is one reason that I’ve mostly quit the GOS

    When I see somebody use it like that, I see it as handy shorthand for ‘ignore what I have to say.’ It’s actually very polite of them to make it so clear.

  157. 157
    KS in MA says:

    @rikyrah:

    Dear God.

  158. 158
    MattF says:

    @germy: Resentment and talk radio are two critical factors. And there’s also big money, but Scarborough mysteriously leaves that out.

  159. 159
    Baud says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): Too complicated. Will stick with calling them assholes.

  160. 160
    Another Scott says:

    Happy Cleek’s Day!

    HBD to Amir as well!!

    In other news… TheHill:

    The House Budget Committee, led by Chairwoman Diane Black (R-Tenn.), will mark up a 2018 budget resolution on Wednesday after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations, delays and postponements.

    The budget spends billions of dollars more on both defense and nondefense discretionary spending than President Trump proposed in his budget and cuts roughly $200 billion in mandatory spending in programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.

    The conservative House Freedom Caucus has pushed for higher mandatory cuts on the order of $400 billion and has demanded more information about the planned tax reforms before voting on the resolution. The caucus lacks the votes to block the budget from moving out of committee but could block passage on the House floor.

    At the same time, centrist Republicans worry that the deep cuts will complicate upcoming efforts at tax reform and note that Democratic support will be needed to avert a government shutdown in October.

    […]

    Ya think?

    :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  161. 161
    MCA1 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It also results in Cleek’s Law being not just elegant theorem but reality. The modern world is incredibly complex, and hard to grasp, and interconnected in confounding ways. The pace of technological change in the world over the last century is astounding, so it’s no wonder we’re susceptible to a sense of existential confusion. Combine with the fact that people are inherently intellectually lazy, especially so in a nation as peaceful and prosperous as ours. Our educational system has slowly rotted, especially in regards to civics and government, in our complacency after coming out of WWII as the world’s only industrial powerhouse. Revanchism, racial animus and resentment are hardwired into the DNA of our collective nationality. As is a healthy, but sometimes way too healthy, reverence for simple, innocent salt of the Earth people and a corollary suspicion of expertise and education and elitism.

    All those factors, plus a failed media that is both symptom of all of the above as well as accelerant, have combined to set the perfect table for the attractions of Cleekism. It’s just a helluva lot easier to parrot what you’re against and give yourself over to the tribalist hatred than it is to actually understand shit and be capable of discussing it rationally. To their (I suppose) credit, and ultimately shame, Republican politicians picked up on this burbling nihilist undercurrent 30 years ago and have been giddily exploiting it ever since.

  162. 162
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If that had been my Luna she would then have promptly killed it and started snacking on it. Siberians and Goldens, they are not alike…

  163. 163
    Baud says:

    I prefer to think of myself as neoprogressive.

  164. 164

    @Baud: I’m more of a paleoreactionary, personally.

  165. 165
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Another Scott: So there may be a government shutdown after all — and it wouldn’t be caused by the Democrats but by Republicans insisting on having their way with no consideration from the other side. I hope Democrats don’t back down on this one.

    By the way, wouldn’t that be something if Republicans control the House and still end up shutting down the government? Wowzers. Talk about not being able to govern.

  166. 166
    boatboy_srq says:

    @ColoradoGuy: I’m all for strongly advocating for regular respiration, and against oral consumption of H2SO4. The consequences are suitable for the depth of stupidity chosen by each portion of the Reichwing.

  167. 167

    @Patricia Kayden:

    By the way, wouldn’t that be something if Republicans control the House and still end up shutting down the government? Wowzers. Talk about not being able to govern.

    Children usually are, yeah.

  168. 168

    @Baud: Well you wanted a classification system.
    @pamelabrown53: Besides his political ideals, one of my fundamental beefs with Chait is that he’s especially thin-skinned, which I find more grating than a mere lack of empathy.

  169. 169
    Baud says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): I was hoping for something simple like the terror alert color codes.

  170. 170
    cleek says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    you go get your own day, Cap’n Bringdown!

  171. 171
    MattF says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I think it’s quite likely. It’s a relatively simple policy question, unlike, e.g., healthcare.

    ETA: Based on the Kansas experience, I don’t expect much public awareness until government services get shut down for a while.

  172. 172
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @rikyrah: This is where cultural appropriation discussions become relevant when White women can get away with wearing their hair in certain styles and be seen as cool or edgy while Black women wearing the same styles can be seen as rebellious or disruptive. It’s astonishing to me that wearing your hair in its natural condition could lead to sanctions for Black women in this day and age. This is truly mind boggling and infuriating.

    The NAACP needs to file a lawsuit on behalf of those students for racially based harassment.

  173. 173
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Major Major Major Major: @156.
    LOL. Would not have thought of thw word “polite”. Yet given the context you provided , I understand your perspective!

  174. 174
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Congressman Meadows who is the current leader of the Freedom Caucus has already stated a list of demands. He has indicated that if they are not met he and the Freedom Caucus will push for a government shutdown and allow for/force a debt ceiling breach. Given who these folks are it is not possible to tell if this is a negotiating tactic or if they sincerely believe that neither of these would be a problem. Or both. This is why you prefer for capabilities not intentions. You can never be certain of the latter.

  175. 175
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @cleek: You’re famous or infamous around these parts. Well done, Sir!

  176. 176
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It’s incredible to me that a party which runs Washington, D.C. would be threatening to shut down the government. I understand that it is a segment of the party making this threat but you’d think that the various factions of the GOP could settle any internal squabbles privately instead of airing them in the public so that we can see their chaos. If they had any shame at all, this would be embarrassing. But alas, they support Trump so …

  177. 177
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cleek: I’m not knocking your formulation. It fits every aspect of good empirical theory, including parsimony. I’m just saying that like all good empirical theory it is right, and therefore useful, until it is not.

  178. 178
    divF says:

    @Amir Khalid: Thanks. It’s a United flight, so there is always the possibility of being dragged off the plane. OTOH, it is a 777, so it is unlikely.

  179. 179
    The Moar You Know says:

    Actually on Wayne LaPierre…how long will it be before the NRA is secretly backing Democrats? Their main job is to sell guns and ammo to paranoid conservative rubes and every time a Republican gets elected gun sales plummet. A Democrat get elected again and gun sales skyrocket. They’re pretty stupid but even wacky Wayne has to see that pattern and know that the money behind his organization will at some point want the gravy train to return.

    @What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: Gun prices still falling through the floor. But if they got caught…gravy train over. They won’t do it.

  180. 180
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah: Hey Rikyrah! This story is kind of old news here (about 2 months in the past) where it happened. There was some discussions about it here on BJ in May. The Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, was great on the issue and intervened — and ultimately the charter school reversed its position and is changing the policy. It was, in the end, how these disputes (although they should never happen in the first place) ought to go.

  181. 181
    divF says:

    @Miss Bianca: Yes, the golden kept nudging the fawn – “Wanna play ?”

  182. 182
    WTF says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Sharing a birthday with the Hoff is enviable. Sharing a birthday with Donald Trump isn’t, yet that is the cross I bear.
    When it comes to Conservatism, I share the definition with Lord Hailsham:

    “Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself.”

    And like WFB Jr., I find myself standing athwart history yelling “Stop!” I’m a conservative, I think.
    What about you?

    Hello Dr. Silverman. Been awhile.

    It’t

  183. 183
    Jim Parish says:

    @Major Major Major Major: There were stirrings as far back as the mid-70s. I recall reading a book entitled The Progressive Manifesto at about that time; the ideas in it are associated in my mind with Sen. Fred Harris (D-OK). (Yes, I remember when there were strong liberal Senators from Oklahoma, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, and Indiana, and even fairly progressive ones from Missouri, Texas, and Tennessee.)

  184. 184
    lollipopguild says:

    @cleek: Much better to be a smartass than a dumbass!

  185. 185
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WTF: Hello. How are you doing?

  186. 186
    Immanentize says:

    @lollipopguild: Well said, Sir!

  187. 187
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Given those folks complete ideology and doctrine it is not surprising. Especially when you look at who funds their campaigns, who funds the external PAC and SuperPAC campaigns that support them, and how their districts are drawn. It is almost as if someone purposefully created the conditions to elect a solid core of Republican members who would never have enough votes to actually do anything, but would have enough votes to prevent things from being done.

    Nah, that can’t be it…

  188. 188
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): @168.
    What annoys me most about Chait is he’ll have some first rate analysis immediately followed by some WTF villager nonsense. So, guess I agree with you too: if he were not so thin-skinned, perhaps he’d be open to criticism and self -reflection which might make his writing more internally consistent/coherent.

  189. 189
    Roger Moore says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    As defined by Cleek’s Law, conservatism has diminished itself in recent decades (or has been diminished, by entrenched interests and opportunists) from a political philosophy in its own right to mere nihilistic anti-liberalism.

    I think this oversells past conservatism. Conservatism by its very nature is a backward-looking philosophy that is primarily interested in protecting the privilege of the privileged. Resisting liberalism isn’t some kind of degeneration of conservatism; it’s the core of what conservatism has always been about. If conservatism has degenerated, it’s not in its goals but in the quality of rhetoric it uses to advance them.

    There was a discussion in these threads the other day over how many Republicans had been good Presidents. The consensus was that at most there had been just two: Abe and maybe Ike.

    Somebody left out Teddy Roosevelt, then.

  190. 190
    The Moar You Know says:

    At the same time, centrist Republicans worry that the deep cuts will complicate upcoming efforts at tax reform and note that Democratic support will be needed to avert a government shutdown in October.

    @Another Scott: Then they can damn well forget every single one of their cuts or they can shut the government down. Dems must take a stand here. No cooperation without every single cut being taken off the table. Republicans need a good dose of some of their own medicine.

  191. 191
    WTF says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I’m nearing the last quarter of my expected life span during truly interesting times. I’m astonished and fascinated and can honestly say I will die happy. Penniless yet happy, but I repeat myself. I am well, thank you. Semi-retired?
    How are you all doing?

  192. 192
    WaterGirl says:

    @LAO: Very touching. I want to know if the fawn ever came to after she was pulled out of the water.

  193. 193
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WTF: I am hanging in there.

  194. 194
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Immanentize (Comment 180)

    Your link indicates that the school suspended the controversial provision for the rest of the academic year — it doesn’t say that they permanently eliminated that provision which is what they should do. T

    The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School eliminated that provision of the school’s dress code for the rest of the academic year on Sunday, after meeting privately for more than two hours to discuss a letter from Attorney General Maura Healey saying that the policy was unlawful.

    The school also needs to retroactively clean the records of any student who was negatively impacted by this blatantly discriminatory dress code.

  195. 195

    @Roger Moore:

    I think this oversells past conservatism. Conservatism by its very nature is a backward-looking philosophy that is primarily interested in protecting the privilege of the privileged. Resisting liberalism isn’t some kind of degeneration of conservatism; it’s the core of what conservatism has always been about. If conservatism has degenerated, it’s not in its goals but in the quality of rhetoric it uses to advance them.

    The shorthand I use for it is that conservatism is about enforcing hierarchy, liberalism is about fluidity of and within hierarchy, and leftism is about flattening hierarchy; in shorter shorthand, natural law vs. equality of opportunity vs. equality of outcome.

  196. 196
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Ivanka Trump won’t be there because the Trumps don’t make their products in America.

    This family is ludicrous. Everything about them is bullshit.

    TELL IT, KAY!!

  197. 197
    WaterGirl says:

    @Betty Cracker: @Major Major Major Major: Okay, now I have to see it. Is there a link to it somewhere? I hate to just google her name and twitter because there are probably days of crap to wade through before I would find the airplane stuff.

  198. 198
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cermet:

    This law ONLY works when someone in the 0.001% might pay an extra penny in costs or taxes then they oppose the liberal idea.

    Yeah, except for the part where they even oppose basic human decency because it pisses us off.

    Other then that, its all about money.

  199. 199
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Kay: Don’t know about the stern part, but Bill has been on a strict vegan diet for his serious heart problems, which has led to considerable weight loss.

  200. 200
    TenguPhule says:

    @Another Scott:

    At the same time, centrist Republicans worry that the deep cuts will complicate upcoming efforts at tax reform and note that Democratic support will be needed to avert a government shutdown in October.

    End of this month actually. House doesn’t pass the bill and the Senate doesn’t vote on it by July 31, 2017, then Treasury is gonna start coming up short on funds sometime in August because the accounting tricks didn’t anticipate “lower then expected tax receipts”.

    So if they keep waiting, those bus tires are gonna blow loud and hard.

  201. 201
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @cleek:

    I hereby declare April 1st Adam Silverman Day!

  202. 202
    WTF says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I wish you well. My confidence in the knowledge I will be departing this nuthouse soon enough keeps me smiling.
    It has been incredibly stressful.”Traumatic” is not too strong a word. But it is more like waking up from Cosby cocktail than a hatchet to the face.
    I refuse to call them conservatives. They don’t quack like that duck. My pet peeve.

  203. 203
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Nah, that can’t be it…

    Why do doubters always doubt, even their own reasoning?

  204. 204
    MattF says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Conservatism by its very nature is a backward-looking philosophy that is primarily interested in protecting the privilege of the privileged.

    ‘Classical’ conservatism, yes. Classical reactionary politics (e.g., Joseph De Maistre), is similar but not the same. And (to go the full Godwin) Timothy Snyder lays out the ideology behind Nazism.

    But the ‘conservatism’ that supports Trump is something else again– and Cleek’s Law is a key to understanding that.

  205. 205
    TenguPhule says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    hereby declare April 1st Adam Silverman Day!

    Isn’t that already DougJ day?

  206. 206
    Mnemosyne says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    I knew that, because we watched the John Adams miniseries. In retrospect, Sewell is pretty much the polar opposite of what Hamilton actually looked like. Damien Lewis would have been a better match or, weirdly, Seth Green, since the real Hamilton was pretty short even by the standards of his time.

    And a guy I went to high school with has, like, three lines in one of the episodes. That was kind of surreal.

  207. 207
    The Moar You Know says:

    I refuse to call them conservatives. They don’t quack like that duck. My pet peeve.

    @WTF: I agree with your peeve.

    American “liberals” are actually conservatives at this point in history, saying “hey, we’ve got a pretty good society here, can we not fuck it up please?” while “conservatives” are advocating for something that to me sounds a lot like the invasion, partition and destruction of Iraq. Minus the artillery. So far. I don’t know what the fuck you actually call this, it is “revolutionary” but usually that implies a wish for something better. Which is not the case with American “conservatives”. They are pretty upfront about hoping it all gets worse for a lot of people. They don’t even want something in return. “Nihilist” is correct but I don’t think we’ve ever seen an attempt at nihilist governance before.

  208. 208
    J R in WV says:

    The other day I saw a link to a former Republican who had worked for the State Department for years, he wrote an opinion piece “44 years a Republican,1 year an Independent, now a Democrat!”.

    Today he writes about a flood of mail from other Republicans taking his path. Tomorrow he plans to publish the threats and hatred Right Wing Bircher fascists have sent him, with names.

    It’s pretty good to see him shake off the slow crumbling of Republican morals and ethics!

  209. 209
    raven says:

    @The Moar You Know: at least they have an ethos

  210. 210
    WTF says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    @Roger Moore:

    “I think this oversells past conservatism. Conservatism by its very nature is a backward-looking philosophy”
    First minor quibble: It is no more a legitimate philosophy than Randian Objectivism. Notable “conservatives” acknowledge this.
    Liberalism is a philosophy, I think. The right has always wanted to be, to have one. Agree with everything else but I think what we are dealing with is radical reactionaries. Don’t tell me what you are against, opposed to unless you can include something you are for and have practical solutions for implementation. In the beginning, conservatism consisted of trying to convince Robespierre not to send everyone to the guillotine.

  211. 211
    WaterGirl says:

    @J R in WV: Kicking ass and taking naming names!

  212. 212
    geg6 says:

    @Kay:

    Or maybe he’s finally learned some lessons about the dangers of being such an excessive person in public. Plus, he’s skinny because he wants to live a long life. I can understand that completely.

    And I saw him several times over the last 6 or 7 years (at campaign events and some talks he gave at local colleges) and he was the same warm, funny and verbose Bubba I’ve always seen.

  213. 213
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    We may well again pass Great Britain in GDP this year.

    You will, Brexit is gonna wreck their shit up.

  214. 214
    Roger Moore says:

    @What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?:

    Actually on Wayne LaPierre…how long will it be before the NRA is secretly backing Democrats? Their main job is to sell guns and ammo to paranoid conservative rubes and every time a Republican gets elected gun sales plummet.

    I think you’re wrong on that. Their nominal purpose is to sell guns and ammo, but they’re now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party. There are cases where they’ve backed Republicans over Democrats who have perfect NRA legislative scores.

  215. 215
    TenguPhule says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    but I don’t think we’ve ever seen an attempt at nihilist governance before.

    I believe the Mayans did. And then that was the last anyone ever heard of them.

  216. 216
    germy says:

    @J R in WV:

    Tomorrow he plans to publish the threats and hatred Right Wing Bircher fascists have sent him, with names.

    But don’t they usually threaten anonymously?

  217. 217
    TenguPhule says:

    @What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?:

    Actually on Wayne LaPierre…how long will it be before the NRA is secretly backing Democrats?

    Never.

    SATSQ.

  218. 218
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @J R in WV: Looking forward to reading that article because anyone with a conscience and concern for this country can see what’s happening with Trump and the GOP and it’s not good.

  219. 219

    @WTF:

    Liberalism is a philosophy, I think. The right has always wanted to be, to have one. Agree with everything else but I think what we are dealing with is radical reactionaries. Don’t tell me what you are against, opposed to unless you can include something you are for and have practical solutions for implementation.

    Have you read much about the neoreactionaries/Dark Enlightenment?

    In the beginning, conservatism consisted of trying to convince Robespierre not to send everyone to the guillotine.

    He would have done well for himself to take their advice, lol.

  220. 220
    hitchhiker says:

    @germy:

    Same with evangelical Christianity. It’s all talk radio resentment, and — at least for now — taking pleasure in the frustration & suffering of others.

  221. 221

    @J R in WV: OT: I responded to your comment at my place btw, dunno if you saw it?, was curious about a suggested navigation feature you mentioned.

  222. 222
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Immanentize:

    Even Disneyland and Disney World allow their employees to wear braids and natural hair now. They didn’t even allow men to have beards until 2013.

  223. 223
    WTF says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    It is a great word, concept, attitude. They aren’t using it. Abusing it, perhaps. False advertising. They just don’t talk the talk or walk the walk. I aim to reclaim it. You are my first convert!
    Next, I aim to repo “republican.”

  224. 224
    germy says:

    Grover Norquist’s tax policy, Ann Coulter’s immigration views, Falwell Jr.’s interpretation of Christianity, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions’ notions of white supremacy, Rick Perry’s ignorance of science, Wayne LaPierre’s reverence for firearms

    When he mixes a salad, the Devil, I’ve heard.
    Three ingredients uses; first advocates’ tongues.
    Next notaries’ fingers; I’ll not name the third.

    – Pietro Nelli (1511–1572)

  225. 225
    Mike in DC says:

    @WTF:
    Liberals have John Rawls. Libertarians have Robert Nozick. Leo Strauss influenced many consrrvative intellectuals, but didn’t really have a coherent philosophy. Nozick articulates libertarian philosophical principles, but is light on how to address the social problems which arise in society and which certainly would arise in libertarian societies.
    So, in substance, yes, conservatism has generally served more as a critique or resistance to liberalism than a proactive policy approach itself. It is occasionally undergirded by a half hearted invocation of libertarian arguments, but essentially it is a reactive approach to governance.

  226. 226
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I thought it was sorta reserved for ol’ Freddie.

  227. 227
    Jim Parish says:

    @WaterGirl: It looked to me as if she was breathing at the end of the video, for whatever that’s worth.

  228. 228
    Redshift says:

    Hey, everyone, wanted to let you know I made it through surgery fine. Going to nap now until the happy pills wear off. Will get the biopsy results in 7-10 days.

    Thanks again to the jackal pack for your support.

  229. 229
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Redshift:

    Best wishes!

  230. 230
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Redshift:

    Yay — good luck with your recovery and I hope the biopsy turns out well.

  231. 231
    catclub says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    Don’t know about the stern part, but Bill has been on a strict vegan diet

    If he is also doing crossfit, its going to get ugly.

  232. 232
    J R in WV says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School eliminated that provision of the school’s dress code for the rest of the academic year on Sunday, after meeting privately for more than two hours to discuss a letter from Attorney General Maura Healey saying that the policy was unlawful.

    The school also needs to retroactively clean the records of any student who was negatively impacted by this blatantly discriminatory dress code.

    Actually, the school needs to discharge/fire for cause the administrators who imposed the rule and then selectively enforced against it against people of color. They disclose their embedded racism that lies deep within their hearts. They have no business educating young people, or anyone really, because they live a lie. Perhaps a big civil judgement against a private entity, a business, so that the money doesn’t come from a public tax supported fund would lead to that happy event.

  233. 233
  234. 234
    zhena gogolia says:

    @J R in WV:

    Interesting what he says about Benghazi.

  235. 235
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Oh, well, I loves me some Sewell in any guise.

  236. 236
    J R in WV says:

    @WTF:

    “I refuse to call them conservatives.”

    I call them psychotic fascists, myself. Won’t that work for you?

  237. 237
    Baud says:

    @Redshift: I didn’t support you, but that was totally because I missed the news. Feel better.

  238. 238
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    If we get thru 4 years w/out someone tricking Donald Trump in some profound and catastrophic way I will be amazed.

    Too late, that bird has already flown the coop long ago.

    The only question is, which ones is he gonna fall for next time?

  239. 239
    WTF says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Yes! I have come across them on the web. Dr. Michael Hudson’s latest book, “J is for Junk Economics”
    has coined the term Social Naming Disorder and sets about trying to provide us with a truth in labeling framework.
    I applaud the creativity and freedom of thought but when used accurately, and in good faith, and respect for the language. the old labels are still workable.
    An example: Free Market
    To the classical economists like Adam Smith, Ricardo, et al, a free market was an economy free of ground rents, usurious banking practices and monopolies in private hands. That is the original definition of a free market. Sound even remotely like what we have?

  240. 240
    rikyrah says:

    @Redshift:
    Glad to know that it went well.
    Sending you positive thoughts and prayers.

  241. 241

    @J R in WV: they’re too destructive. Fascists build shit.

  242. 242
    TenguPhule says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Isn’t he DougJ in another black hat?

  243. 243

    @Major Major Major Major: I wouldn’t really say it’s nutpicking, insofar as none of the people named in the article are all that obscure (at least on the left). The bigger problem is that as a (passable) catalogue it’s unforgivably shallow, which indicates that it was written in large part to settle scores (in this case a settling I can sympathize with. But still).
    @TenguPhule: DougJ is in his 50s, while [BONERS] is in is 30s.

  244. 244
    rikyrah says:

    On infamous Russia meeting, Trump’s story keeps evolving
    07/17/17 12:35 PM
    By Steve Benen

    In June 2016, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort had a private meeting with, among others, a Kremlin-liked Russian attorney and a former Soviet counterintelligence officer. The controversy surrounding the meeting has taken the president’s Russia scandal to a new level, and Donald Trump Sr. has done his best to downplay the significance of the campaign discussion.

    This morning, for example, the president argued via Twitter:

    “Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That’s politics!”

    ………………..

    According to actual “oppo” professionals, this argument is completely wrong, at least in the context of the Russia scandal. It’s one thing for campaign officials to pursue a possible lead; it’s something else entirely to meet with representatives of a foreign adversary that’s launched an espionage operation against the United States.

    What’s more, the “anyone would have done the same thing” line is belied by recent history: in 2000, some leaked the Bush campaign’s debate-prep materials to the Gore campaign. Gore’s aides promptly called the FBI – which is what Trump’s inner circle should’ve done, but didn’t.

    But what stands out as especially notable about Trump’s latest pitch is the degree to which it contradicts the old pitches.

  245. 245
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Fascists build shit.

    And this differs from the current illegitimate regime in what way?

  246. 246
    J R in WV says:

    @germy:

    “But don’t they usually threaten anonymously?”

    True, but I think the comment system for the magazine site that publishes him requires real names as best as it can… Facebook maybe? I don’t do that, nor twitster so am not

  247. 247
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I’d hang with DougJ any day over DeBoer.

  248. 248
    Suzanne says:

    @Ben Cisco:

    Trump’s Razor.

    :::having an unkind thought:::
    OH PLEEZ OH PLEEZ OH PLEEZ.

  249. 249
    TenguPhule says:

    @rikyrah:

    Donald Trump Sr. has done his best to downplay the significance of the campaign discussion.

    “We didn’t meet with the Russians and okay we did meet with them but it was only about the little white Russian children except that it was really about the bitch’s emails and that’s not illegal collusion because we’re telling you we got nothing from the meeting, okay we did get something but that’s not treason because we said so!”

  250. 250
    TenguPhule says:

    @Suzanne:

    Trump’s Razor.

    All possible situations can be improved by Trump having an unfortunate accident with one.

  251. 251

    @TenguPhule: I haven’t seen them building anything, have you?

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): ok, that’s maybe more accurate.

  252. 252

    @Suzanne: @TenguPhule: it’s “assume the stupidest possible explanation that can be recomciled with the available facts.”

  253. 253
    TenguPhule says:

    @TriassicSands:

    But in the case of a Republican position “opposite” of what the Democrats hold, the law would break down as soon as Democrats moved to adopt Republican positions.

    President Obama is raising an eyebrow of disbelief at you.

  254. 254
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I haven’t seen them building anything, have you?

    They are building a mountain of excuses along with a really really scary fiscal bomb in the federal budget.

    They build shit. Literally.

  255. 255
    TenguPhule says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    DougJ is in his 50s, while [BONERS] is in is 30s.

    The Master has had many different forms over his regenerations.

    Just saying.

  256. 256
    Redshift says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    they’re too destructive. Fascists build shit.

    They’re modern Know-Nothings, but that doesn’t quite have the same bite.

    My favorite story about the Know Nothings is that all the work done on the Washington Monument during their tenure to be torn down and done over, because they were so corrupt they gave the work to cronies who had did it on the cheap and pocketed the extra money.

    Sound familiar?

  257. 257

    @TenguPhule: ah, you’re being clever.

    My number two rule at work is “don’t be clever.”

  258. 258
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @The Moar You Know: Revanchist seems appropriate to me.

  259. 259
    Roger Moore says:

    @MattF:
    I think there’s a lot of classical conservatism behind Cleek’s Law. American right wing anger is focused on liberals’ attacks on various kinds of privilege: white privilege, male privilege, straight privilege, etc. Those privileges are at least as much social as they are economic, but that doesn’t make them any less important to the people who benefit from them.

  260. 260
    WTF says:

    As a trained addiction specialist, requiring an ability to recognize co-occurring disorders, it is my professional opinion they are definitely not in touch with reality. Denial. Current DSM labels it anti-social personality disorder. Your average run of the mill sociopath, pathological liar and grifter.
    Malignant Narcissists.

  261. 261
    prostratedragon says:

    @low-tech cyclist: And the 50th of the death of John Coltrane.

    Happy birthday, Amir Khalid!
    John Coltrane, “Central Park West”

  262. 262
    WTF says:

    Fascist works, even if Orwell doth protest. But I’d be curious to see what he would make of this bunch. I think the GOP should be prosecuted and dismantled under RICO statute.

  263. 263
    WTF says:

    @A Ghost to Most:

    That’s a good choice as well.

  264. 264
    Miss Bianca says:

    Meanwhile, read it and fucking weep: this is my part of the country, folks. Trump people in Grand Junction. I actually know some of the folks they quote in this article. The scariest thing? The more Trump fucks up and makes us an international embarrassment and a national nightmare, the more they double down on their support. At this point, I almost feel like we DESERVE to get invaded. I just wish it were the Germans who were invading, rather than the Russians

    http://www.newyorker.com/magaz.....al-america

  265. 265
    J R in WV says:

    @Redshift:

    Good luck, hope to hear from you again soonest!

  266. 266
    WTF says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Rawls completely ignores Henry George and other early anarchists and anarcho-communists and what some have termed geo-libertarianism.
    Before it was taxation is theft, it was Property is theft.
    So Rawls is missing half the picture. Chomsky is a libertarian socialist.

  267. 267
    WTF says:

    Nozick, rather. Not Rawls. American libertarianism is as peculiar a variant as our brand of conservatism is.

  268. 268
    WTF says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I vote for a Canadian occupation.

  269. 269
    The Lodger says:

    @Redshift: Sounds good! Hope better news is coming your way.

  270. 270
    Mike in DC says:

    @WTF:
    Interesting. I’ll have to use “property is theft” the next time i get into an e-argument with someone asserting the ever-tedious “taxation is theft”.

  271. 271
  272. 272
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    @Major Major Major Major: wait. Where can I get an ontologist hat, and are they expensive? Do they have other gear, or is it just hats?

  273. 273
    Ruckus says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Are these “smart” people, people of “stature”? If so they made a choice and going back on that choice now is admitting that they made a mistake. Going back upsets both the deciders and their base. It’s not a rational process, but it is one of when people have made bad decisions for all the wrong reasons. Because none of the evidence that we see now that drumpf is not only worthless but a real danger to the country was hidden, none of it is new, none of it should be a surprise to anyone. They made a bad decision, to change that now requires more humanity than they can muster. Maybe more than they can muster between them.

  274. 274
    GregB says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Totally not shocked that someone born and bred into Bircher style white supremacy doesn’t think Trump appealed to gutter racism.

  275. 275
  276. 276
    Juju says:

    @Amir Khalid: Happy Birthday. Your birthday is exactly a month before mine. Have a wonderful celebration for your birthday.

  277. 277
    Miss Bianca says:

    @WTF: I’d vote for that!

  278. 278
    Quinerly says:

    @Juju:
    OT…heading to the beach for 10-12 days. Should arrive Thursday. Want to get together? Ruddy Duck?

  279. 279
    lollipopguild says:

    @Redshift: Funny you should mention this……. we are still using stuff that was built by the WPA(Works Progress Admin.) and the CCC(Civilian Conservation Corp.) back in the 30’s under that evil man FDR.

  280. 280
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WTF: Hopefully not to soon.

  281. 281
    SgrAstar says:

    @Jeffro: That poll makes the exact opposite claim: 70% of voters think he is UNpresidential. FTFY.

  282. 282
    Rand Careaga says:

    Let us never forget Schlichter’s Corollary to Cleek‘s Law, promulgated this past spring: “Because fuck liberals. We win, they lose. Nothing else matters.”

  283. 283
    WaterGirl says:

    @Redshift: oh, yay, thanks for letting us know. I’m sure it will be a long week waiting for the results.

  284. 284
    Tim in SF says:

    I wanted to share this, but it’s obviously cleek-bait.

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