NPF: THE REFLECTING GOD

Posted in No Politics Friday on January 19th, 2018 by Ed

Recently I took my young niece/nephews to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Despite being a local Institution, it was my first trip there since the 1990s. Well my first trip inside, anyway. It is one of my favorite end-point destinations for bike rides, so I am on the grounds regularly during good weather. But I haven't seen the interior in ages.

Museums are in a tough spot these days. Kids are so hard to stimulate and interest now given the overwhelming sensory stimuli available to them at all times. The MSI exhibits were starkly divided between the Old School ones I remember clearly from childhood and the New Stuff full of touchscreens, very loud noises, and lots of flashing lasers. You see the new stuff (not to mention the tablets and phones every child has on hand) and you realize the more traditional exhibits simply doesn't stand a chance. The enormous model train that takes up 1/4 of the main level at MSI was surrounded with parents whose kids couldn't have looked more bored if they were in church.

My favorite exhibit from the olden days also has lost to the ravages of time: the "hear yourself on the phone" thing. I remember being five, ten years old in the 1980s and finding that absolutely mind-blowing. And you would have to wait in line with dozens of other kids (AND ADULTS) to use it. You spoke into the phone for a couple seconds, waited, listened, and burst into giggles with OH MY GOD DO I REALLY SOUND LIKE THAT? and a good time was had by all.

Now of course there is nothing novel or thrilling about people hearing their own recorded voices. The idea that it even could be novel is incomprehensible to anyone under 20.

This visit took place as I am in the process of completing the first episode of Mass for Shut-ins: The Gin and Tacos Podcast. That has involved a lot of time spent recording my own voice and nothing else, then listening critically to the results. The way we perceive how we sound is rarely subjected to a lot of self-criticism, but I promise you it starts to get very weird after you do it for hours in this kind of setting.

For lack of ability to explain it better, it's like looking at part of your body under extreme magnification. You just…notice a lot. You notice things that have been there forever but you have never actually seen. And then you start to think, wow this has been here all along. Other people probably see it; why haven't I seen it before? Then you get paranoid. What else am I not noticing?

Reaching that point signals a good time to take a break.

The most interesting part, if you're recording something solo, is not the tone of your voice. You will very quickly get used to the fact that it sounds how it sounds. It's the speech patterns. I've done some light reading on this (there actually is Theory of what makes a Radio Voice sound appealing) and discovered that I'm a Riser – each complete thought ends with a rising inflection on the final word.

Here's the thing about when you discover something about a speech pattern you have – it's really, really goddamn hard to alter it. In my case I've been talking this way for 39 years. Undoing it is like trying to learn how to write with my left hand at this point.

We get used to seeing ourselves in mirrors at an early age. Those of us who are a bit older, presuming we're not entertainment industry professionals, haven't totally gotten used to hearing ourselves though. It has been an enlightening experience to say the least. I wouldn't describe it as life changing, but I didn't begin the process of learning how to podcast expecting that I'd end up subjecting such a basic part of my existence to under-microscope scrutiny.

MARGINAL COSTS

Posted in Rants on January 15th, 2018 by Ed

Here are two statements. Tell me which one you agree with, if either:

1. "If your supervisor at Wal-Mart asks you to work an extra half-hour off the clock because you're at 40 hours and they don't want to pay overtime, you should just go ahead and do it. Cut the guy a break, he needs SOMEONE there to work those 30 minutes."

2. "If you're a teacher and your class is full and a student asks to be added because he forgot to take it for 3.5 years and now he's trying to graduate, don't be a dick. Just let him into the class."

Surprise! Those statements are functionally identical.

A really, really interesting thing about teaching is the way that people are eager – even Liberals who would find the first statement abhorrent – to tell you that you're in the wrong if you refuse to agree to do more work without additional compensation. Never mind that you haven't gotten a raise or have taken a functional paycut for the last decade or two. Never mind that you very likely have too many students in your class already. Just say yes. To more work. And that's what every single person enrolled in a class is – more work. More grading, more one-on-one time, more emails, more office hour visits (OK probably not, but in theory), more of everything you're already doing.

Like everyone other than commenters on Fox News and local newspaper websites, I resist doing additional work for the same compensation whenever possible. The principle does not change because one way of conceiving of units of work is hours and minutes and another is per person.

Students, parents, administrators, and gawkers alike make a collective effort to guilt educators into doing more work all the time. Don't you care about these kids? Isn't it your duty to make sure they learn? Aren't you morally derelict if you're not working FOR THE CHILDREN all the time? Jeez I thought you cared about kids. I guess you don't.

It is a special kind of right-wing, anti-labor rhetoric – it's special because you get it thrown in your face constantly regardless of the ideological leanings of the person saying it. Why?

Part of it may be that everyone remembers the times they fucked up as K-12 or college students; the times they needed someone to cut them slack because they were too drunk, high, lazy, or immature to realize before the tail end of senior year (or Fifth Year) that they need to take College 101 – Intro to College in order to graduate. And they remember how they had to beg, plead, cajole, and bargain to get some professor, admin in the Registrar's office, or academic advisor to yield to "Cut me a break man, c'mon."

So, some of it is just projection. Most of the rest, the kind you get from Centrists and conservatives, is bog standard anti-labor rhetoric – fat, lazy, entitled teachers who never do any work and make $250,000/yr to sit on their fat lazy teacher asses and count their lavish pension money. Right-wing obedience to authority tendencies in the United States most definitely do not encompass the teaching profession.

I can't speak well to K-12, but at the university level I'd like you to keep in mind that when you're talking about the job faculty do you are talking about people who maybe, if they're lucky, have seen their salary increase 1 or 2 percent since the crash of 2008. If they're lucky. All that has happened since then is that more work, more responsibilities, higher expectations of research output, and more bodies per classroom have been thrown at them. Nothing is wrong with faculty, like any other employee anywhere else in the economy, refusing to do additional work they are not obligated to do if they receive no compensation for it.

Labor has value. Every non-teacher recognizes that if someone wants more of your labor, they have to pay for it. Think a little harder about what you're asking when you suggest that we should "be cool." You're suggesting we work more for free.

FOR THEE

Posted in Rants on January 10th, 2018 by Ed

When traveling internationally government agencies like the US State Department or the UK Foreign Office can offer valuable advice. The basics – shots, visas, potential complications – are all in one place and up to date. Their travel "advice," however, must always be taken with grains of salt. Let's just say they tend toward extreme caution. I think the State Department in particular imagines the would-be US traveler as an 18 year old college freshman who has never been outside Paramus, NJ and will be unable to handle the slightest "non-Americanness."

Come to think of it, that's a great approach. That is the modal American tourist.

El Salvador is listed by the State Department in Category 3 (Reconsider Need to Travel) which is one stage short of "Do Not Travel Here." The Embassy warns that the crime threat in El Salvador is "critical" and notes, as it does for many countries, that law enforcement is corrupt and as likely to rob you as help you. Poor rural sanitation, Zika outbreaks, and political unrest due to government corruption are also noted. Again, they tend to overdo it a bit, but suffice it to say that El Salvador is a place with many problems.

Despite warning Americans not to go there, the White House announced recently that 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants to the US are about to be given the heave-ho and, presumably, forced to return. Makes sense, right?

What is the point of this? What is the point of any of these targeted attempts to legislate immigrant-bashing? This accomplishes absolutely nothing and benefits no one. Like the "travel ban" countries, we declare these places chaotic shit holes and then actively move to ship people there. I guess borderline failed states are good enough for SOME kinds of people, amirite.

It's worth noting that without being overly dramatic or self-critical, a good portion of the responsibility for the corruption, brutality, and poverty of Central American states belongs squarely in Washington. I mean, what do you think paramilitary death squads do after they've overthrown a duly elected leader, disband and go home to read magazines?

The irony of explicitly calling a country too dangerous to visit and then deporting people to it is almost too much to bear, but I suppose we're all getting used to bearing it.

PLAY-ACTING JOURNALISM

Posted in Rants on January 7th, 2018 by Ed

The whole routine CNN, Jake Tapper, and White House sycophant Stephen Miller went through on Sunday was as pointless as it is dumb, and as dumb as it is exhausting.

Tapper and CNN are predictably taking victory laps now, playing endlessly the clip of Tapper cutting Miller off and accusing him of wasting the audience's time. Meanwhile, hot garbage like "The 24 most grotesque lines from Jake Tapper's Stephen Miller Interview" dots their homepage and will no doubt creep well into the upcoming week.

If Tapper is concerned about wasting his audience members' time, the answer is simple: stop giving Stephen Miller, Kellyanne Conway, and all these other skeletal fascist nitwits an opportunity to take your microphone and address a worldwide audience. What I saw Sunday was not Jake Tapper being a great journalist; I saw Jake Tapper inviting a man he knows to be a lying, callous, racist piece of crap onto his show for the explicit purpose of kicking him off the show and looking tough. You don't invite Stephen Miller onto the show because you think you're going to get a good interview out of him or that your audience will learn something. You invite him onto the show because A) you agree with him, or B) you want to use him as a prop. This was the latter.

Great job shutting him down, Jake. It would be even more impressive if you didn't have him on your show in the first place.

We are two years into the Trump-as-Serious Politico era and I promise you there is not one single person alive in the United States who is one cable news interview away from suddenly realizing what Trump and the people he surrounds himself are. The idea that CNN or any other journalists are "exposing" these people, here in January 2018, is so stupid only a truly committed "Both Sides Do It" Centrist could find value in it. Nobody, and I mean not one single person, is going to see Stephen Miller on CNN on January 7, 2018 and walk away with a changed opinion. "You know, I thought Team Trump was full of nice, smart people…but now I'm having second thoughts!"

Who ARE these people? Who needs yet another interview full of lies and whitewashed racism and soft-pedaled fascism to suddenly realize what they are? Who hasn't figured it out but will if the legendary journalistic skills of Jake Tapper show them the path to enlightenment?

Stop it. Just stop it. Stop giving these people a platform. Worse, stop inviting them on the show simply to play Mr. or Mrs. Badass for a day. "Stephen Miller came on the show and started spewing lies. And I said, NOT TODAY, MISTER! and shut him down!" Stephen Miller spews lies. That is his thing. It's what he does. When you bring on a serial liar and then scold him for lying serially it feels more than a little…disingenuous? Not fake, but more than a little pointless.

I get that CNN's ratings blow and that Sunday shows in general are taking a real beating since audiences are burned out on Trump and politics. In that light, I suppose this is a harmless enough stunt. Certainly no one will ever feel badly for Stephen Miller. Tapper could drop-kick him in the back of the head and most viewers would walk away satisfied. If CNN is really concerned about its audience and its on-air integrity, though, the simpler solution would be to refuse to have as guests the president's dumbest hangers-on who have proven beyond any doubt congenitally incapable of telling the truth.

Until then, spare us the Journalistic Integrity routine. If you had any you wouldn't have been interviewing Stephen Miller a year into this presidency.

NPF: THE BALLAD OF JEFF GLASS

Posted in No Politics Friday on January 5th, 2018 by Ed

After suffering a string of injuries to their goaltending position, the Chicago Blackhawks recently called up a man named Jeff Glass to make his NHL debut. The team hasn't done bad at all with him in the net, especially for a guy with no NHL experience.

It's a pretty unremarkable story – guy gets hurt, second guy comes in to play in his stead. The interesting thing, though, is that Glass is about to turn 33. All sports are a young person's game, and you don't see many 33 year old rookies. The more I thought about this while watching him play, the more it struck me as one of those "OK this is what people find compelling about sports" moments.

He has more than 15 years and 600 games of experience playing professional hockey, all at various minor or not-quite-NHL levels. He has, in the old saying, Modeled a Few Uniforms in his day. Presumably waiting his turn to get a crack at the NHL he has played for, among other remote islands of the hockey world, the Kootenay Ice, Rockford Icehogs, Binghamton Senators, and six different teams in the Russian KHL including Astana Barys and Lada Tolyatti. Those are cities that, even by Russian standards, are out of the way.

Nobody feels a ton of sympathy for a guy who made not-bad money (minor league hockey at the AHL and KHL level pays high five to low six figures) to play a game for a living. But what a strange, frustrating journey that must have been. Imagine how many nights he must have sat in motel rooms in Chelyabinsk, Russia feeling like he was on another planet and asking, "What the fuck am I doing?"

Anyone who has ever had a goal must be able to imagine how many times he delivered his "I quit" speech into bathroom mirrors or how many times he saw some random dude promoted to the NHL and thought, why him and not me? How many times did he have to talk himself into giving it one more try, one more month, one more game, one more season? When a minor league prospect gets past the age of about 27, it is universally understood that if he has not yet Made It he is never going to Make It. Did Glass convince himself that he would beat those odds? Or did he simply give up on his NHL dream and content himself with being a bush leaguer for as long as someone would pay him?

Either scenario must have made it feel bizarre to finally get that call a week ago, "Here's a plane ticket to Edmonton, you're starting tonight for the Blackhawks." He won that game, by the way. I don't suppose any of that night registered on him, and it must have felt like it was over in a blur – when you wait fifteen years for something to happen, it has to feel like you're underwater and in shock when it actually happens.

It's not exactly an important story, but in its own way a universal one. Achieving goals is about a lot more than our own talent; there are a hundred other "Just get me anyone who knows which end of the goalie stick to hold" guys that Chicago could have signed and played. In the past, Glass got passed over for a lot of them. This time, a lot of them got passed over in favor of him. That's life. The element of randomness tends to drive me crazy. I wonder how he convinced himself it was worth it to keep going, and how it must feel when it paid off.

SUNDOWNING

Posted in Rants on January 4th, 2018 by Ed

It will disappoint some of you to hear that I find all of the arguments involving the 25th Amendment and Trump to be silly. My take on the purpose of that Amendment is to deal with a president who is comatose, alive in a vegetative state (e.g. Ariel Sharon in Israel), or bedridden in such overwhelmingly bad health that he doesn't have the time or ability to do the job (e.g. someone dying of end-stage cancer). Could a president's mental competence short of that be a reason to trigger the 25th? Sure, in theory. But add partisan politics to the mix and I think there is essentially zero chance that presidential incapacity could ever be agreed upon short of the individual being inert. Short of the president wandering around screaming at imaginary dragons like we all too often see among the homeless, "The president is nuts" is never going to work. It's just too subjective, and people who want to believe the president is fine will always be able to construct an argument for that.

So with the caveat that I absolutely do not believe that the Trump Problem will be solved by the 25th Amendment I've paid very little attention to any of the (extensive) takes out there about him suffering dementia or something similar. Eric Levitz offered another such take today. Unlike anything previous, there is one thing about this piece I have to admit is stunning. Watch this 1980 interview with Trump. It's short. Try to forget how much you hate Trump for a second and just watch this with, if possible, neutral feelings:

That is, without overstatement, a completely different person. Nobody's going to mistake him for Socrates, and he still (of course) comes off as an arrogant dick. But ignore what he's talking about and just listen to his voice and demeanor. He has a normally-sized vocabulary. He speaks in a normal tone at a normal volume. His responses are relevant to the questions. He cites facts – several times mentioning a specific building or price. He makes a joke, and it's appropriate in tone and context ("If you have any at that price, I'd love to buy them.")

There are plenty of ways to explain this away if you're so inclined. He's much younger, he's motivated to make a good impression, and he's speaking about (perhaps) the only topic he really knows anything about. But Levitz's point is made regardless – the ranting, repetitive, incoherent mess we hear interviewed today is a departure from this person's track record in the public eye. While still a smarmy ass, 1980s Donald Trump spoke in full sentences like a normal human and didn't struggle to string two thoughts together. He talked as if he knew more than six adjectives. He sounded – god help me – like an educated rich kid.

Diagnosing Trump from a distance is futile. A political majority large enough to declare Trump incompetent could just as soon impeach him, which is cleaner and less fraught with questions. With respect to specifics like what appeared to be slurring during a recent appearance or his weird glass-grasping which ignited speculation about his motor skills, I don't find armchair diagnoses terribly persuasive. There is no doubt, though, that something beyond ordinary aging is at play here. Comparing audio or video of a person talking over time usually surprises in how much they sound the same, not how they have grown into a totally different person.

Whether the explanation is internal or external – A viable hypothesis, for example, is that Trump has conditioned the way he speaks in public to positive reinforcement from sycophants and strategic attempts to give the media what it wants – something has changed. And it has changed quite a bit. The 25th Amendment isn't going to solve this problem, but it is hard to deny that for whatever reason, Donald Trump no longer acts like he used to.

RED HANDED

Posted in Rants on January 3rd, 2018 by Ed

In a span of eight hours on Tuesday, January 2, the President used Twitter to:

-Spread InfoWars-level conspiracy shit about Deep State, undermining the Justice Dept. and legal process
-Taunted North Korea in game of nuclear chicken
-Took credit for the safety of commercial air traffic
-Unveiled upcoming awards for the worst media outlets and reporting, continuing to target and delegitimize the critical media
-Threatened Palestine with economic sanctions

This is, to strip our current situation down to its essence, exhausting and beyond insane. There is no reason we need to live like this. This does not have to continue. It continues because of the false narrative that Congress can't remove the president unless red-handed evidence of him committing a crime is uncovered. That simply is not true. Impeachment was added to the Constitution explicitly separated from the normal legal process. While a range of opinions exist on exactly what does and does not constitute impeachable offenses, any practical understanding of the process points to the conclusion that an impeachable offense is whatever a given Congress says it is at a given point in political time.

To play one of conservatives' favorite games, let us imagine what the Founders would say if we asked them, "Can a president be impeached for no specific crime but for being really, atrociously bad at being president?" Nothing in the historical record suggests that the people who put the Constitution together would dispute that poor performance and bad behavior are sufficient grounds for impeachment.

I am on the third day of the flu so I will cut directly to the chase: Everyone, Republicans included, can see where this is going. It is inevitable that this guy is going to start a shooting war somewhere, either through his bad temper and poor impulse control or because he is so stupid he will stumble into it by accident. This does not have to happen. And it's going to look mighty strange after it happens to look back at all the really obvious warning signs and rationalize why Congress did not act.

Republicans can get everything they want out of Mike Pence, but they are terrified of the primary challenges they'll face if they are perceived as the people who betrayed Trump. History offers us some pretty strange explanations for important events unfolding but I think this will top them all. "Everyone recognized that he was insane but we couldn't come up with a reason to impeach him that Fox News viewers would accept" and "I was scared of a Tea Party challenger" will stand out as particularly feeble reasons in a century or two when humanity tries to figure out what in the hell happened during the Great Insanity of the early 21st Century.

ON BLAST

Posted in Quick Hits on January 2nd, 2018 by Ed

A new piece at The Week looks at some high-profile research from political science showing how Trump's practice of formally listing potential Supreme Court nominees is likely to put even more pressure on the judiciary to lean right.

And if you haven't done it already, mash that Patreon because a special sneak preview of Podcast Episode #1 will be available soon.

2017 LIEBERMAN AWARD WINNER: THE CLETUS SAFARI JOURNALIST

Posted in Rants on December 31st, 2017 by Ed

(Editor's note: The Lieberman Award is given annually to the worst example of a human being over a twelve month period. Click the tag at the end of the post to review past winners.)

medalPicking the very worst person of 2017 is not unlike picking the worst aspect of flying on Spirit Airlines. It spoils us for choice and guarantees that whatever we decide will be deeply unsatisfying to large groups of people with very legitimate grievances. We are forced to play the game of "Who is the worst Nazi" both metaphorically and literally these days, and of course it inevitably ends with the tragicomic realization that the task itself is an exercise in futility.

So, one of my goals here was to avoid the bleedingly obvious and choose someone like Donald Trump (who, in an act bordering on prescience, I awarded the Lieberman back in 2015) or prominent right-wing / fascist media hacks. I came close to choosing Mike Cernovich after, among his many acts of idiocy as a wannabe white supremacist raconteur, he forged legal documents to make it look like one of Chuck Schumer's staffers accused him of sexual harassment. But this year was such a thrill ride down Fuck Everything Boulevard that such ephemera hardly register, lost almost immediately in the screaming miasma of awfulness.

Instead a late entrant to the competition – a Dark Horse of cliches and subconscious white supremacy – takes the coveted award for 2017: the mainstream media journalists who persist, more than a full year after the election, in doing Cletus Safaris. What is a Cletus Safari? It's one of those innumerable, insufferable, "Let's go to Rust Bucket, Ohio and interview the old racist white people who voted for Trump and see what they have to say now" pieces that every major news outlet feels obligated to churn out once per month. "Safari" is an appropriate term because it has every bit of the feel of a journalist venturing into the jungle looking for wild animals or naked Savages. The White Working Class (because editors insisted that some kind of tactful synonym for "Midwestern white trash" would make it sound professional and palatable) is fascinating to Beltway and NYC journalists in a sense that goes far beyond the political and lands firmly in the anthropological.

The allure of these pieces, I admit, is strong. They are click magnets. We all want to point and shout "Look!" when presented with the latest batch of stupid, racist quotes from people whose worldview is a sad amalgam of forwarded emails, Facebook comment sections, Fox News, Breitbart, and increasingly severe delirium tremens. We marvel and laugh – for what else do we have for joy these days except a good schadenfreude laugh? – at the rotund, mustachioed morons as they swear coal is coming back and assert that Trump works real hard while Obama spent all his time golfing and, most recently, think they're going to get a tax cut next year. We read these for the same reason that we watch shows about addiction, hoarding, or bed-bound 1000 pound people – because some part of all of us wants to gawk at freaks, and an even bigger part of us needs to remind itself "At least I'm not THAT fucked up!" when we're feeling down.

But the Cletus Safari is, if I can use an extremely polarizing but appropriate adjective, a deeply problematic piece of journalism. Scratch the surface and you see that while this certainly is an acceptable form of Nelson Muntzing dumb poor people (Since the subjects are inevitably white, white readers don't have to feel guilty for mocking them) it is also a severe distortion of reality that – surprise! – reinforces the perception that what is Real, what counts, and what is truly important is what White Country Folk think. They are, even to doubtlessly left-leaning journalists who write these pieces, the Real America.

The problems with that logic are almost too obvious. One is that almost nobody lives in rural areas anymore, and the kind of Rust Belt city ("city") that inevitably serves as the setting for a Cletus Safari – any fading pile of crap in upstate NY, central PA, Ohio, Michigan, or Wisconsin will do – is rapidly shrinking. And to the extent that the population of such places is stabilizing or even growing, it is because of the influx of largely Hispanic newcomers moving in. So not only are these old racist white people not representative of America as a whole, they're not even representative of, to take a recent Cletus Safari example, Johnstown, PA (which Hillary Clinton won).

The second problem is that it has long been widely recognized that these people are impervious to facts, and thus there are diminishing returns to pointing out that the things they say and believe are stupid and wrong. We get it.

Third, and most potentially damaging, is the way these pieces reinforce the idea that white opinion and white votes are more valuable. For every one old white asshole living in Janesville, WI waiting for Trump to give him a wall-building job, there are ten Hispanic immigrants from the last 30 years who gained US citizenship but doesn't regularly vote. There are x African-Americans disenfranchised from the political process by legal machinations or earned cynicism from years of Lip Service Only treatment from Democratic politicians. There are millions of young people who see a political process that has nothing to offer them but disappointment and thus they don't vote. The subconscious emphasis of the Cletus Safari – that white idiots must be Won Back somehow, no matter the cost – is the single biggest yoke around the neck of the American left. And we put it on ourselves.

Fourth and finally there is the obvious data-driven reality that Trump didn't win in mythical Trump Country – he won the election in the very white, generally well-off suburbs of major cities. Every Republican does well with the kind of Cletus we keep sticking in front of cameras and microphones if for no reason other than he is ordered to. The bubble in which he lives is carefully structured to produce the same outcome regardless of who has the R next to his name on the ballot. That person is gone, from the Democrats' perspective, and he is never coming back. More crucially – and this is the part they can't get through their heads – it is not worth it to try to get him back when there are so many eligible voters who do not vote because they see nothing for them in the centrist version of the Democratic Party.

A tangential but important point is the way these stories debase the idea of what journalism is ideally supposed to be. Rather than putting a microphone in front of the most well-informed person to be found, this is the culmination of LOL Reportage that looks for the dumbest person and gives him or her a platform. There is ample room for lolz and mockery in the world, and god knows I love it as much as anyone. But consider that what was once a staple of Jay Leno's laziest but consistently funniest on-the-street gag is now common practice for journalists at our most important mainstream media outlets. Not encouraging, is it?

If any piece of journalism purports to show "Real America" then it would show us a diverse array of viewpoints because Real America is diverse. Instead, journalists not only insist on going to places that no longer represent the mean or modal America – Shuttered Mill, WI or Superfund, PA or whatever – but on finding people who are not even "the average person" in those communities. No one denies that "Look at how stupid these old racist white Trumpers are" was funny the first time or two, but after two years of such anthropological studies enough is enough. At some point it stops being funny and begins to reinforce the idea that one kind of person is important, real, and valuable to the political process. That point was long ago reached, and that is why the writers and editors that continue to pump out Cletus Safaris are the very worst people for 2017.

Stop it. We get it. Now stop it. If you really cared about the voices of Real Americans, how about some who aren't white, almost always male, and running out the clock on their shit lives in the land that time forgot.

Tags:

MAILBAG

Posted in Quick Hits on December 30th, 2017 by Ed

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