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CSotD: Shippy McShipfaced and other follies

I like Clay Jones‘ cartoon, because, yes, as discussed yesterday, the main task of the White House staff these days is to keep the Toddler-in-Chief from throwing tantrums.

I stopped watching the news yesterday because they had gone to 24-hour coverage of the Virginia Beach shootings, which would be a good thing if (A) it brought any of those people back to life, or (B) it had any chance of impacting our insane refusal to confront gun laws.

I suppose I’m being overly cynical about (B), since, obviously, if we didn’t cover the shootings, there’d be even less chance of change, and there seems to be some motion there.

Still, it’s one thing to say “If it bleeds, it leads” and quite another to say, “If it bleeds, it pushes everything else completely off the docket.”

Meanwhile, the whole “Hide the McCain” thingie was a matter of underlings in Washington working with underlings at Yokosuka and then being overruled by the Navy grownups.

Said underlings may be happy to have their foolishness pushed off the front pages by the next round of mass slaughter, but here’s another factor:

If you missed the story Matthew Yglesias is talking about, it’s not surprising, because it’s complicated and doesn’t include weeping, blood-stained survivors nor is it in the least bit funny.

Liberals have complained that asking a question about citizenship on the Census will discourage immigrants — citizens, documented immigrants or whoever — from complying with the head count, which, in turn, will reduce their representation in Congress and for various federal programs.

Which was all theoretical until someone uncovered proof that the Republicans were, indeed, purposefully planting the question upon expert advice that it “would be advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites” and “would clearly be a disadvantage for the Democrats.”

A sort of national gerrymandering, which they had not simply neglected to mention, but had actively lied about in their presentations to the Supreme Court.

Which matters a great deal more than where you park a boat or the revelation that watching your friends and coworkers killed makes you cry, though interviewing survivors is more gripping television.

Even if you have to interrupt your coverage of changing odds on the Presidential Horse Race for it.

If nothing else, this brings new relevance to the tired gag of having 150 channels and nothing worth watching.


It also adds some substance to Rob Rogers‘ cartoon, in which the Democrats are shown complaining over being told not what to think but only to do some basic homework, while Republicans, whether they’ve read the report or not, are purposefully misrepresenting what it says.

And I’d note once more that, while it is 448 pages long, if you take out the footnotes and redactions, it’s about half that.

Not quite a pamphlet, but hardly a challenge to read.


As Clay Bennett suggests, whatever Barr took out is more than made up for by what Mueller put in. But, yes, you would have to spend an hour or two informing yourself.

But tell me again about the boat, because I’d rather get my news from Facebook wisecracks and late-night comedians than by actually reading and thinking.

Meanwhile, here’s a nice

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Steve Sack)

(Dave Granlund)

This one is a bit of cheat, because Sack was pointing out how, as the summit unfolded, Trump dissed his own fellow chickenhawk in favor of his bromance with Kim Jong Un, which was only one of the ways he flouted the well-established rule of putting loyalty to country first.

Granlund picks up the story a few days later, after the summit meeting ended without any substantial agreement and Kim reportedly responded by executing his negotiating team.

As this analysis says, it’s not certain that those reports are true, but what is true is that Trump didn’t come away with any improvements in our relations with an opaque and dangerous nation.

Though he certainly made it clear to Japan that we don’t give a damn about whether North Korea can drop nuclear missiles on them.

And you have almost certainly seen more about the boat than about that, too.


Anyway …

Over at the Nib, Matt Bors points out the priorities we currently live under, whereby states continue to hold people in jail for something that isn’t even illegal in a lot of places anymore, while Dear Leader contemplates pardoning war criminals.

The defense of these fellows is coming from people who point out that bad shit happens in war.

Which is certainly true, but, in the main case here, his own men were appalled by his cruelty and his refusal to follow rules of engagement and reported him up the line.

And many veterans who did not have heel spurs disagree with Dear Leader’s reasoning.

That kind of ratchets it up beyond the “War is Hell,” even if you keep in mind that Sherman may never have said that at all, though he did say

Wars do not usually result from just causes but from pretexts. There probably never was a just cause why men should slaughter each other by wholesale, but there are such things as ambition, selfishness, folly, madness, in communities as in individuals, which become blind and bloodthirsty, not to be appeased save by havoc, and generally by the killing of somebody else than themselves.


However, let’s not end the day without a bit of optimism, from the elections in the European Union, which got scant coverage here but which Peter Schrank cartooned about for the Business Post of Ireland.

The fragmentary reports here were that rightwing nationalists had gained, which they had, but not markedly and not in a way that gives them any substantial voice in governing the EU.

Nor are the Greens in command. Not yet, anyway.

Still, I’d rather celebrate their gains than those of people who benefit from the ignorance, sloth and selfishness of an uncaring electorate.

No need to go overseas for that, though I like this old Australian analysis of the universal phenomenon:



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