CSotD: The “Say What?” Files

Chip Bok (Creators) starts us off with a “Say what?” in which he contends that justices are not placed on the Supreme Court in order to decide how to interpret the Constitution.

Article III, Section 2 says that that is precisely what they’re there for, and shortly after ratification, Marbury v Madison affirmed that SCOTUS has the authority to rule on whether actions of the other two branches conform to Constitutional law.

But perhaps I’m being an elitist. We didn’t learn that until the eighth grade.

Gary Markstein (Creators) takes another tack, pointing out that, when it is time for SCOTUS to decide if something is consistent with the Constitution, neither rain nor snow nor screamingly obvious conflicts of interest will stay these compromised justices from the swift completion of their predetermined decisions.

Thomas is the obvious outlier in the ethics area, though Alito has also enjoyed the side benefits of club membership. As for the rest, it wouldn’t surprise me if they ruled that the laws of the United States apply to its president, however they interpret that thingie about not letting traitors hold federal office.

But any recusals would surprise the hell out of me.

Here’s a “Say what?” from Patrick Chappatte, who joins in the chorus of “Old Joe Biden.” I’m six years younger than Old Joe Biden and would love to be in the shape he’s in, though I take comfort in not being as wretched an example of decrepitude as that slob who is halfway between us.

Though at the moment I suppose you could say that Biden is no more hobbled by age than Trump is by his legal problems, which lead us to this:

Pat Byrnes suggests that Trump is only pretending to consider himself innocent until he can get into a position to pardon himself. The “Say what?” factor here is that I’m no longer convinced it is an actual strategy or that he is pretending anything. Like OJ, like Jeffery MacDonald, I think he’s firmly convinced of his innocence regardless of the contradictory evidence.

I’d be more comfortable if I believed he were purposefully lying, but I’m simply not convinced he is that firmly rooted to the ground.

My doubts about Trump’s psychological fitness are why I have some begrudging sympathy for the position that Matt Davies outlines vis-a-vis that ballot issue. The answer to “Why bother striking him from the ballot and risking another insurrection?” is that even if Trump fails again, you have enabled the next ambitious dictator to build on the lack of precedent.

Plus the fact that avoiding a MAGAt uprising is an equally good argument for not bothering to count the ballots in November.

If they’re not going to accept the results, why even hold the election?

As Deb Milbrath points out, the “Let the voters decide!” argument doesn’t really hold much water among its most eager proponents.

In the mind of a narcissist, “voting” is like medieval science: It’s only there to confirm things, not to define them.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Gary Markstein — Creators

Jeffrey Koterba

The 2+2=5 argument continues, and Markstein ties it to a case of purposeful distraction on the part of Republicans. The numbers are clear and they refuse to accept them, and, while it possible to believe that the Narcissist in Chief is genuinely high on his own supply, it’s hard not to expect someone in the caucus to have a more realistic grasp of things.

But Koterba notes a common argument, that while the macroeconomic numbers look good, retail prices are not falling fast enough. There is some truth in this accusation, though, as someone who has had to pinch pennies for a long time, I’m used to adjusting my shopping choices to fit my purse.

It makes me feel like the hateful people who flip out if someone on food assistance buys a cake for their kid’s birthday, but I’ll admit I look at the groceries on the belt ahead of me and wonder why the bourgies need all that fancy over-priced stuff while I’m buying generics and rooting around in the “Buy it before we pitch it” section of the meat department.

It’s not so much that they have more money than they need as that their budgeting strategy reminds me of the old joke about the person who orders an ice cream sundae with whipped cream, but says hold the cherry because it’s fattening.

Only they don’t hold the cherries. They just complain about them.

Jimmy Margulies (KFS) — who has been on a hot streak lately — offers this answer to those who bemoan our economy out of one side of their mouths and complain about border security out the other.

Our economy is strong, though we need to get control of our work permitting. Then again, complaining about the increased number of immigrants could actually be complaining about increased captures. Maybe more were slipping through before.

Which is hard to prove one way or the other, but the House has refused to fund the solutions they’ve been offered, so there’s plenty of “Say what?” to go around.

And Lee Judge (KFS) echoes a complaint about people shoplifting in the self-check lanes, which prompts a couple of “Say whats?”

First, who’s complaining? The stores or the Luddites?

But let’s accept that there is more shoplifting at self-checks. If you put it in the bag without scanning it, the weight should tip off the machine. And if you put it in your pocket, that’s no different than analog shoplifting.

But assuming you could find, and hire, enough checkers to have fully-staffed, short lines, what’s the additional cost?

Express it in pocketed candy bars.

Second, if you want to put a lid on shoplifting, go back to having shop girls fetch things for customers to pay for on the spot.

Jack Davis and Harvey Kurtzman did a Mad Magazine takedown on the supermarkets that replaced old timey stores where the staff kept an eye on the customers. How much did shoplifting increase when they opened the shelves for self-service?

Some stores have begun putting everything back in locked cabinets and hiring staff to get things for customers, like in the Good Old Days.

I dunno if the Good Old Days were more efficient, but they more romantic, sometimes.

10 thoughts on “CSotD: The “Say What?” Files

  1. Last year I waited my turn and then walked up to the next open “Self-Check” lane. The person who had been there before had simply skipped the last part, actually paying. They got to the “Follow The Instructions on the Pin Pad” part, picked up their groceries, and left.

    1. That’s on the store. The stores here have people monitoring the self-checks. Mostly they’re there to check IDs for beer and wine and to nurse people through problems, but they’d see someone walking out with a full order. You could walk out with an order anyway, as long as you act as if you were supposed to.

  2. “…retail prices are not falling fast enough.”

    Unfortunately Americans equate inflation with gas prices which do go up and down. Retail prices only go up (for most goods) which is good for the economy. What we want is for it to go up slowly.

  3. Sweet song by Griffith, thanks for sharing. I’m not exposed to much CW music and hadn’t heard this before. I am familar with her Do Re Mi song which is fun ( although in my mind it was Dough Re Mi)

  4. Mike wrote: when it is time for SCOTUS to decide if something is consistent with the Constitution, neither rain nor snow nor screamingly obvious conflicts of interest will stay these compromised justices from the swift completion of their predetermined decisions.
    I reply: your remark is GREAT; wonderful play on USPS wording and hits SCROTUM right were it should hurt.

    Mike wrote: But any recusals would surprise the hell out of me.
    I reply: I, and so many others, completely agree with you. Their (un)tarnished record of ethics clearly points to their having no sense of honesty or integrity (just like self-checkout bandits).

    Many in our organization have lived for ~3/4 of a Century. Yet, with a desire to think critically and analytically, examining historical and current data, as we have written, ‘we still live in a fatally flawed society, but, those were the good old days that never were’.

  5. thank you for the comical, nostalgic Mad “Supermarkets” stroll (hike?) down memory lanes (aisles?).
    and Happy Centennial Year to two of the original Mad men: Jack Davis and Harvey Kurtzman.

  6. What’s really funny about the “putting things behind locked cases” is what stores do and don’t decide are worthy of being locked up.

    But yeah, around here you’ve got all these HUGE supermarkets and stores that have barely any staff. The staff you do see are too busy running around stocking shelves to pay any attention to the customers. Target in particular never has anybody at their entrances. It’s almost like they *want* you to shoplift.
    It’s crazy.

    1. You also have consider that in most places store employees are told *not* to confront shoplifters.
      So while shoplifting may be a crime, the stores aren’t doing themselves any favors.
      And isn’t stolen merchandise a tax writeoff anyway?

      1. Well, yes, you can write it off. If your store burns to the ground, that’s also deductible. Nearly anything that cuts into your profits can be written off.

      2. I work for a well known southern grocery store that begins with a ‘P’.
        True, we are not supposed to *confront* those who are suspected of shoplifting. But if we see someone acting suspiciously, i.e. like they might be shoplifting, we are supposed to notify a manager and apply customer service to the person: “Good morning! Is there something I can help you find?” etc.. Hope that their paranoia triggers into “They’re watching me.” We consider it a win if they leave their full shopping cart on the sales floor.
        But we still deal with the empty Advil and Benadryl boxes because small-scale shoplifters are harder to catch.

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