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I’m not sure which is more pathetic, that Donald Trump is such a bad politician and candidate that “a not disastrous day” is plausibly a big win, or that the media is so desperate for horserace that they are seriously pushing this as a game-changer. It’ll be forgotten in a week.

To borrow an appropriate quotation, sad!

Also pertinent, from one of the few pundits worth a damn:

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Good on some members of Congress supporting accountability on Saudia Arabia. I’m far from the first person to note that the logic of this particular parnership has always eluded me. Not sure how the hawks’ emphasis on black-and-white morality meshes with supporting the perpetrator of the Yemen bombings. The only way (aside from outright denial) that I can figure is that our elites see it as analogous to the alliance with the Soviet Union during WWII, but during WWII the Soviet Union was pretty damn unequivocal on destroying fascism. That is just not the case with the Saudis and ISIS. More like they’re doing as little as possible while still counting as still doing something. But just the fact that many of our elites see Saudi Arabia as key partners in building a freer Middle East rather than an obstacle to be overcome convinces me all the more that everything we’re attempting to do in the region is going to fail, and badly.

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Further to my prior post, it continues to be remarkable to me how many gay-hating preachers turn out to be either gay themselves or something far worse than a scary gay:

A Georgia pastor and and conservative political activist was arrested Friday morning on charges of child molestation and aggravated child molestation. Ken Adkins, 56, of St. Simons Island turned himself into police at about 9 a.m… Adkins is currently in the Glynn County Jail. The investigation is ongoing. Adkins has one church with locations in Brunswick, Jacksonville and Atlanta, according to his website. Adkins recently came under fire when he tweeted “homosexuals got what they deserved” after the deadly mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub.

h/t Joe. My. God.


Funny how the only stories of “voter [registration] fraud” you hear about involve Republicans:

Donald Trump’s new presidential campaign chief is registered to vote in a key swing state at an empty house where he does not live, in an apparent breach of election laws.

Stephen Bannon, the chief executive of Trump’s election campaign, has an active voter registration at the house in Miami-Dade County, Florida, which is vacant and due to be demolished to make way for a new development.

So maybe the fundamental Republican justification for voter ID laws is: “Well, we do it so much, so the other guys must be doing it too!!”

It puts me in mind of Hesse.

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.


Can’t believe it’s been just over two months since the Brexit vote.

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Ann Coulter’s new book is called “In Trump We Trust,” but the conservative pundit might already be regretting that title.

There’s nothing Trump can do that won’t be forgiven,” she wrote in her book. “Except change his immigration policies.”

Trump did just that on Wednesday night with a plan to offer legal status to undocumented immigrants, an announcement that came the very same night Coulter held her book launch party.

Incidentally, how fucked up is Ann Coulter that “amnesty” would be the only thing that Trump could do to piss her off.  Shitperson.

h/t NewsUsa


So this happened:

In a major victory for teachers unions in California, the state Supreme Court has upheld teacher tenure laws. By a 4-3 vote, a divided court decided not to hear Vergara vs. California, a case challenging state tenure laws.

That case, brought on behalf of several public school students in Southern California, was backed by a nonprofit group calling itself Students Matter, founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch. The group opposed teacher tenure, arguing that it disproportionately harms poor and minority students.

The predictable end of a garbage opinion. Also predictable that the media couldn’t see fit to interrupt the Trump dumpster fire coverage for one minute to note it. Public education just doesn’t rate to them unless it’s connected to the “sexy” cause of Bloombergian education reform. I do get that “Teacher Tenure Struck Down” is a bigger story than “Teacher Tenure Upheld” because dog bites man, you know, but it does show just how odd the media’s coverage of legal issues is. We saw this too whenever some district court judge ruled against the Affordable Care Act with headlines the size of The Onion‘s parody of WWII. They don’t, however, provide such splashy headlines when a bill is voted out of a Congressional committee, because it’s obvious that doesn’t mean it’s going to become law. And yet, any wacky lower court ruling gets treated as though it’s established and done throughout the land. Certainly not the biggest issue when it comes to media criticism–not as big as, you know, the absolute rejection of empiricism when it comes to how it covers partisan politics–but definitely a valid one.

Also, this is sort of a blast from the past in a way. It wasn’t so long ago that “education reform” was taking over the Democratic Party. Now it already feels passe. Michelle Rhee is a marginal presence, Arne Duncan is history, Barack Obama is on his way out and many of the elected politicians who embraced it most enthusiastically are retired, voluntarily or not (George Miller, Pat Quinn), or severely damaged (Rahm Emmanuel, Andrew Cuomo). Which is not to say that the work of education reform is done, or that tenure is not a problematic concept. But that whole thing had too many conceptual problems: how are you going to turn public schools into engines of social mobility by eliminating one of the few real benefits that the teaching profession has? How are you going to draw smart, creative people into a profession that requires postgraduate education by paying them less than they could earn with the same amount of education and constricting their ability to teach via onerous testing regimens and, to some degree, Common Core? Is it even possible to use schools as an egalitarian substitute for redistribution, a replacement for more progressive taxation, a strong safety net and good jobs? (Chris Hayes effectively argues that it’s not in Twilight Of The Elites, one of our age’s seminal books, but you can see the appeal for wealthy people who would rather sign a check to Students First than pay more in taxes.) In the end, it didn’t amount to much more than bullying teachers, and post-Scott Walker that got old fast. Let’s hope that this decision means the page is turning on that era.

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