So Many Hot Takes

I want to follow the Ossoff election coverage, but the hot takes are just nauseating. Is it worse because there are only two elections to cover today and the media, pundits, and rabblerousers are thirsty, or is it always like this and I have just blocked the most recent general election from memory?








Open Thread: White “Progressive” Broflakes, THEEE WURST WORST

And by ‘Progressive Broflakes’, tonight, I mean “Bret Weinstein”.

Although I first encountered the species back in the mid-1970s, on a midwestern state university campus, where an earlier generation of More Feminist Than You Ladies men decided to “liberate” the women’s lounge in the Student Union, a room with some battered couches and tables adjacent to the bathroom, which had for many years been a place where female students could study, talk, or even nap without getting harassed. Like newly-politicized college students, aging “progressive” men attempting to show off their leadership skills are an endlessly renewable resource.

Some context to Cole’s post below, from Inside Higher Ed:

For many years at Evergreen State, minority students and faculty members have observed a Day of Absence in which they meet off campus to discuss campus issues and how to make the college more supportive of all students. Later a Day of Presence reunites various campus groups. Weinstein said he’s been aware of the tradition for some time, and never objected to it. But this year, organizers said that on the Day of Absence, they wanted white people to stay off campus. Weinstein opposed this shift, and he posted a message on a campus email list in which he objected to the proposal to ask white people to stay off campus.

“There is a huge difference between a group or coalition deciding to voluntarily absent themselves from a shared space in order to highlight their vital and underappreciated roles (the theme of the Douglas Turner Ward play Day of Absence, as well as the recent Women’s Day walkout), and a group encouraging another group to go away,” Weinstein wrote. “The first is a forceful call to consciousness, which is, of course, crippling to the logic of oppression. The second is a show of force, and an act of oppression in and of itself.”

Weinstein went on to say he would be on campus on the Day of Absence and would encourage a similar stance by white people being asked to stay away. People should “put phenotype aside,” he said. “On a college campus, one’s right to speak — or to be — must never be based on skin color.”

That email is one of the reasons Weinstein is being called racist, with students saying his tone belittled the people behind the idea of having a Day of Absence without white people on campus. The other reason cited against Weinstein is that he has come out against a recommendation on faculty hiring by the college’s Equity and Inclusion Council. That recommendation, currently under consideration by college leaders, would require an “equity justification/explanation” for all faculty hires…

In other words, Weinstein was perfectly okay with those pesky “inclusive” groups as long as they stayed on the margins and didn’t affect his daily life in any way, shape or form. The instant the argument went from “We should let some of those people in, if it’s not too much trouble” to “We should proactively demonstrate what actually having a ‘minority’ group as the standard would look like”, Professor Weinstein’s all BUT WHAT ABOUT *MY* RIGHTS?!?
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Peak Dude Bro

As predicted yesterday, Hillary Clinton’s Wellesley commencement speech riled up the usual suspects because Hillary Clinton. But I found the reaction from unpaid New Republic intern (I hope) Graham Vyse particularly irritating.

Not because it was worse than the drivel poured forth at Fox News, etc., but because it exemplifies a particular strain of post-election posturing about Clinton that makes me want to gather the sisterhood and embark on a cross-country nut-punching spree. The first fucking line is infuriating:

Hillary Clinton is auditioning for a role in the Trump resistance.

Motherfucker, do you even know WHY there is a Trump resistance? Do you understand how it launched? It’s because on November 8, 2016, the retrograde racist, sexist, xenophobic, authoritarian element that has sandbagged this country from its founding banded together with Eurotrash white nationalists to push a highly qualified woman aside and deliver the presidency to an ambulatory genital wart.

This outrage was unprecedented in its scale. But it reflected literally hundreds of millions of incidents every competent woman in this country has experienced at multiple points in her life. It was the ultimate confirmation of what women have felt in their bones from toddlerhood: We’ll never be good enough. We are second-class citizens.

Vyse goes on, citing as evidence of Clinton’s overweening ambition tweets from fellow dudes:

Clinton is adopting the language of the Trump resistance, and indeed there are indications that she wants to be a key figure in that movement.

Motherfucker, Clinton IS a “key figure in that movement,” whether she wants to be or not. Trump’s elevation to the presidency was and is a tragedy for the entire planet. Everyone who comprehends that fact has a role to play in mitigating the damage, pointing out the corruption and attempting to roll back this grave injustice.

But you can’t erase the most high profile victim of this crime and delegate Michael Moore or Bernie Sanders to lead the movement that sprang up in response to that outrage. We won’t let you.

And by “we,” I mean the millions of women who knitted caps until there was no more pink yarn. The women who drove all night to descend on Washington DC on January 21 and dwarf Trump’s inaugural crowd. Those who turned up to march in cities all around the world to form the largest single-day protest in the history of the planet. And the millions of women who are still calling, faxing and emailing their elected representatives to this day.

No, it wasn’t all about Hillary Clinton. It never was! But when you try to sideline her, many of us perceive that as a dismissal akin to the one we heard loud and clear on November 8. That pisses us off. And you wouldn’t like us when we’re pissed off.

Vyse concludes:

Clinton shouldn’t be a central resistance figure. What losing presidential candidate, after all, has ever returned to lead the opposition? Not John Kerry, not Al Gore, not Michael Dukakis. The Democratic Party is right to be elevating its younger rising stars. But clearly she still feels the pull of politics, and who’s going to stop her from giving speeches and interviews whenever she pleases? The Bernie Sanders wing of the party might want to wish her away, but only she has the power to decide that.

Kerry, Gore and Dukakis? Just shut the fuck up right there, Mr. Vyse. Kerry, Gore and Dukakis weren’t trying to become the first woman to ascend to the presidency in the 241-year history of our republic. They didn’t win more popular votes than anyone besides Barack Obama only to be robbed by corrupt traitors colluding with a hostile foreign power to install an embarrassing and incompetent demagogue.

And in case you didn’t notice while cherry-picking Clinton’s speech to find triggering evidence of female ambition, the central theme of it was to motivate the enthusiastic young women graduating that day to take leadership and create change. Hell, she even said “run for office.” It’s right there in her speech. We heard her. Did you?

As for the “Bernie Sanders wing of the party,” I can only speak for myself when I say I stand with all Democrats who are united in resisting Trump and the Republicans’ disastrous agenda. I’m glad Clinton called it what it is — a con. I’m glad a $15 minimum wage is now official Democratic Party policy. But no faction within our party gets to tell the other to sit down and shut up. Not now. Not ever.

That said, I would like to offer a piping hot mug of shut the fuck up to Mr. Vyse and the countless other young white fellas in prominent perches throughout our liberal media. But after that, the fucking kitchen is closed. Make your own goddamned sammitch.



He’s Not a Scientist, But His Wife Did Stay in a Feriengasthof Ausdrucken

The NY Times, despite having an op-ed page that already hosts with Brooks, Dowd, Douthat, and Friedman and is a toxic waste dump of Oakeshittian wingnuttia and muddling centrism worthy of Superfund status, has decided to enrage those readers who still remain by hiring away the preternaturally smug Bret Stephens from the WSJ. Stephens has decided it is in his interest to do an “I’m not a science denier or moron, I’m just a fucking asshole” tour to deflect some of the criticism lobbed at him, and sat down for an interview with Vox. Lots of fabulous stuff (including downplaying campus rape by equating it the rape crisis in the Congo), but this is my fucking favorite:

My wife is German, so I know something about German energy policy.

With logic like that, I can see why the Times needed to hire him.

Here are some more excerpts:

“Look, at the risk of being incredibly politically incorrect, but I guess that’s my job — I think that all lives matter,” Stephens said. “Not least black lives.”

***

But if sexual assault rates in, let’s say, east Congo were about 20 percent, most people wouldn’t travel to those places. Because that is in fact — or, that would be, in fact, the risk of being violently sexually assaulted.

I am not for one second denying the reality of campus rape, or sexual assault, or behavior of the sort you saw from that swimmer at Stanford — that’s inexcusable and should be punished.

I’m taking issue with the claim that there is an epidemic based on statistics that, when looked at carefully, seem to have a very slim basis in reality. So what you’re transforming is horrendous, deplorable incidents into an epidemic — and that’s not altogether supported by reliable data.

***

Another example I took issue with is the idea that one in seven Americans are hungry. That’s not true. It’s not. It’s a problem because it’s not true.

Does this mean there aren’t hungry Americans? No. Does this mean we shouldn’t care about hunger in America? No. But when you have a campaign you see on subway billboards and elsewhere saying one in seven Americans is hungry, that’s false.

Here’s the problem with people like Bret Stephens (and I am not defending the stats he is attacking because, get this- I HAVEN’T FUCKING RESEARCHED THEM)- first, he knows full well what he is doing. He’s not plucking these statistics for disdain out of thin air. He attacks these specific statistics to allow breathing room for the deniers of problems that conservatives don’t like, don’t want to deal with, or would lose money if they had to address them.

Second, if you have a problem with statistics, the way you handle it is by demonstrating how the statistics are wrong. You show the flaws in the methodology, you run your own numbers and present them for peer review. What you don’t do is say “those numbers are bullshit because they give me a sad” or “there is not a crisis with sexual assault because the numbers seem too high” or “I see lots of fat people so how can all these people be hungry.”

What Stevens will now be doing, in the allegedly liberal NY Times, is going forward and farting through a megaphone into the public square, drowning out those people who have run the numbers and are trying to make evidence based cases that, unfortunately, are not as succinct as holding up a snowball in the well of the Senate or a bumpersticker that says “Stop Global Warming: Kill Yourself.”



Zyklon B You Stupid Motherfucker

Rule by idiots:

Addressing Syria’s use of chemical weapons last week in an attack against a rebel-controlled region of his own country, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s behavior was worse than that of Adolf Hitler, “who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

“We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II,” Spicer said Tuesday as he criticized the Russian government for its support of Assad. “Someone who is despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons. You have to, if you’re Russia, ask yourself, is this a country that you, and a regime that you want to align yourself with?”

Meanwhile:

President Donald Trump did not attend the annual White House Passover Seder held on Monday night, a spokeswoman confirms to PEOPLE.

His daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who are both Jewish, also skipped the event, a tradition started under former President Barack Obama in 2009.

Don’t want to upset Bannon and the Stormfront Base.



Let’s Nip This Bullshit in the Bud

While the folks in the MSM are all getting their war face on (fucking christ, everyone on MSNBC was more hopped up and giddy than a butter bar in his first live fire exercise), let’s nip this pernicious, jingoistic bullshit in the bud. No, US troops everywhere are not in harms way tonight, or at least no more than they were last night or the night before last or the night before that. In fact, the overwhelming majority of them are probably safer than you, asleep in their bunks or base housing on a secure military facility guarded by gates and checkpoints and in areas where open carry by unqualified shitbirds isn’t fucking allowed.

Yes, a few troops are in harms way tonight, but you don’t even know who they are or where they are. But it isn’t the folks on the ships who were firing Tomahawks at empty airbases. Hell, even the Marine artillery that was quietly deployed last month to Syria aren’t in that much danger, because if they were, they would have infantry and armor deployed as well to protect them. You don’t just dump a a portion of a MEF in the middle of nowhere and say “game on and good luck.” Even fucking marines aren’t that stupid. Well, Marine leadership isn’t that stupid. I think.

BTW- this attack accomplished nothing but sending the proverbial message. It didn’t hit any Russians, and more than likely didn’t hit any Syrians, because we told the Russians ahead of time and they of course told the Syrians. Hell, the Joint Chiefs told every fucking body yesterday:

The Pentagon has developed plans for an airstrike against Syrian government targets in response to this week’s apparent chemical attack by Syrian government forces, according to two U.S. military officials.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis will present the proposals to Donald Trump later today at the president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

One of the proposals drawn up is a “saturation strike” using dozens of cruise missiles designed to hit Syrian military targets — including military air fields — in an effort to limit future Syrian Air Force attacks on rebel positions, according to the two U.S. military officials.

The officials asked for anonymity to discuss classified plans.

RE: the bolded portion of that paragraph

They didn’t develop the plans yesterday, they dusted them off. In addition, I’m sure they requested anonymity, but I’m willing to bet you could reach them here AT THIS WEBSITE and they will tell you anything you want to hear. Off the record, of course. *WINK WINK*

Oh, ffs. Just go watch the proportional response episode of the West Wing. It’s Season 1, I think.

Meanwhile, we could actually help by tasking refugees, but, you know, gotta pump some money to the defense industry, justify the increased military budget, jack up Trump’s poll numbers, and boost the price of gas to stabilize the finances of our buddies in the House of Saud. They need the money so we can keep selling the munitions to dump on Yemen.

Also, I got 3/4 of the way to the airport for my flight this morning before discovering I left my wallet and phone at home. So now I have to fucking fly up tomorrow, a day light and who knows how many hundreds of dollars shorter. I’m in a crankier mood than usual. Send lawyers, guns and money.



Saturday Night Open Thread: Old Man Yells At Crowds