CSotD: Making America Hate Again

We’ll lead off today with Clay Jones and half a story he didn’t know about when he posted this.

As noted before, the Big Scandal of Hunter Biden’s laptop is that it exists, which — given that it was discovered by Rudy Giuliani — most news organizations had been reluctant to confirm and the FBI wouldn’t, until recently.

However, the emails purportedly lodged there don’t seem to reveal anything criminal, though it sure seems he pushed the nepotism thing pretty hard, and the rightwingers have a point in that, when Hunter’s profiteering came up, his father denied knowing much about it. Point taken.

As Jones suggests, however, promoters of this scandal don’t seem to attach many specifics, perhaps it’s because (A) it’s no big deal after all and (B) they understand the perils in reminding us that Trump made aid to Ukraine dependent on campaign help investigating his opponent’s kid.

Shouting “Hunter Biden’s Lap Top” is to conservatives as dropping chaff is to bombers.

And stand by for more, because there’s another thing emerging which makes Hunter’s profits from being a Biden look like chicken feed.

I’m calling it a “half story” because, as I’m writing this Monday morning, the full story is behind the NYTimes pay wall, which may or may not let you through (They do allow sampling.).

If you can’t get through, there is coverage-of-the-coverage by Yahoo, the Daily Beast and a few other repackagers.

Here’s the start of Yahoo’s report:

The full story is about how the defender of Jamal Khashoggi’s murderers and Saudi Arabia’s attacks on Yemen happened to wind up with $2 billion dumped in his lap, even though former Trump Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin only received a billion, poor fellow.

This has nothing, apparently, to do with the miracle by which young Jared apparently used his connections to get Qatari investors to bail out his family’s failing investment in 666 Fifth Avenue.

Granted, this is whataboutism, but not only are the amounts of money staggeringly different, but Hunter was never on the White House staff nor tasked with international diplomacy.

Stay tuned, and not to Fox News, which, as Dan Froomkin puts it, “is often a purveyor of propaganda and misinformation. What it’s not is a source of “news” — at least not by any normal definition.”

That is, Fox will cover Hunter’s laptop, but probably not Jared’s lapdance.

We’ll get back to that. Meanwhile …

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Jeff Danziger – AMS)


(Rob Rogers)

I’m disappointed in Danziger’s cartoon, because he’s someone whose journalistic instincts are almost always spot-on, and this is a jaw-dropping lapse, particularly since he is a resident of Vermont, where the new law applies only to adults, not children. His own paper didn’t make that point, granted.

But it’s neither cute nor funny, and responsible commentary requires understanding that determining your sexual identity is not “a lifestyle choice” or a childish fantasy. I know two transgender kids who came to the realization while they were still in elementary school, and there was nothing precious or amusing about it.

They are now both in junior high and doing well, since they don’t live under the hateful laws enacted by state legislatures in which that little girl’s question is irrelevant: Whether these hatemongers are bigots by nature or by choice, their toxic policies and dishonest smears do ghastly harm to people who have done nothing to harm them.

If you didn’t click on this explanation when I linked it Saturday, do it now. There’s nothing wrong with not understanding a complex problem, but there is a great deal wrong with remaining ignorant without having the common sense not to parade it.

Particularly given the company in which it puts you.


Pardon My Planet (KFS) takes a sojourn into politics with this reminder that ignorance can be inherited, if parents make the effort to pass it on.

As Frank Zappa put it:

All your children are poor unfortunate victims of systems beyond their control. A plague upon your ignorance that keeps the young from the truth they deserve.

Specific to this topic, I agree with what he told me in a 1986 interview:

Well, you know, if you really want to learn, go to the library. Basically, I never even would have finished high school if I’d have had my way. I graduated with 20 units less than what I was supposed to have, just because they were happy to get rid of me. But I was actually just being thrown out of school. But I managed to get an education because I was interested. The Public Library. There it is! It’s still there, it’s still free.

That, of course, assumes libraries and librarians are permitted to make books available, and that’s up in the air at the moment, though this story from NPR suggests that local communities are pushing back against the book banners.

It’s encouraging, and, meanwhile, I retain the right to laugh at an emblematic symptom of well-intended ignorant intolerance, the mother who objected to a class reading “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” because, she insisted, witches are satanic.

If you haven’t read this classic, it’s Christian writer CS Lewis’s fantasy metaphor about the triumph of Christ over Satan, including both His death and resurrection and — in the reanimation of the witch’s statues — the harrowing of hell.

I’ve always thought militant atheists had a stronger case against the book, but never mind.


Juxtaposition of the Cartoons Drawing Themselves

(Jack Ohman)


(Matt Wuerker – Politico)

Speaking of laughing at things that aren’t funny, there’s nothing funny about rabies. In fact, we had to wipe out the foxes in our woodland park a few years ago, when an epidemic struck them, (They’ve built back, healthy, cute and useful as ever.)

Still, when a rabid animal was wandering the Capitol grounds, the fact that it was a fox and not a raccoon or something else fed cartoonists automatic material.

Ohman spins it into a multi-panel piece, building on his history of featuring a wolf in his work, while Wuerker depicts the foxy madness with a few specific examples.

I’m on record as enjoying gallows humor, as long as the laughter is part of resisting Murdoch’s propaganda.