December, 2018 archive
The Year in Rebuke* 0
Dave Barry looks back at 2018 and concludes that
We can summarize 2018 in two words:
We’re not 100 percent sure what “boofing” is, despite the fact that this very issue was discussed in a hearing of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. All we know for certain about boofing is that it is distasteful and stupid.
*That phrase is not original with me. I shamelessly stole it from Harry Shearer.
“Smile, You’re on Candid Camera” 0
The Uncertainty Principle 0
Writing at the Bangor Daily News, Gordon L. Weil explains. A nugget:
The biggest problem facing the U.S. is not immigration, health care or a trade war.
It is uncertainty.
The source of the uncertainty is President Trump.
Follow the link for his rationale.
Suffer the Children 0
R. H. Tawney:
The Rule of Lawless 0
Susan Estrich muses on the rule of law vs. the rule of Trump. A nugget (follow the link for the rest):
This (the rule of law–ed.) is what President Donald Trump fundamentally does not understand. He believes that he controls everyone he appoints, that everything is politics, and that all politics is about him. That may be true in Trumpland but not under the Constitution. Not what the Founding Fathers envisioned. Not at all. All wrong. Three branches of government. Checks and balances. No one above the law.
“The Content of His Character” 0
Field looks in vain for Donald Trump’s character. Here’s a snippet (emphasis added):
Weirdly, it’s gotten to the point that when I say President Trump is not a man of good character, I feel like I should preface it with a trigger warning for many of my fellow conservatives.
Most of the angry responses are rooted in the fact they do not wish to be reminded of this obvious truth. But others seem to have convinced themselves that Trump is a man of good character, and they take personal offense at the insult, even though I usually offer it as little more than an observation.
This latter group rushes to rebut the claim, citing banal or debatable propositions: He loves his children! He’s “loyal to a fault!” He’s authentic! Never mind that many bad men love their children, that loyalty to people or causes unworthy of loyalty is not admirable, and that authentic caddishness is not admirable. Never mind, too, that he is not remotely loyal, to his wives or the people who work for him.
A Symptom, Not a Cause 0
Rex Stout, in the voice of Archie Goodwin:
I never try to do any deep thinking when I’m driving; the thinking gets you nowhere and the driving might get you where you would rather not be . . . .
Stout, Rex, The Father Hunt (New York: Bantam, 1993), p. 68.
Texting hadn’t been invented when those words were penned.
“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0
Self-politeness is the politest kind.
By the time they arrived, Kraft was dead from a single gunshot wound to his hand and chest from a .308 caliber rifle.
Investigators determined Kraft was attempting to remove the rifle from the back seat of his pickup when the rifle fired, striking his hand and chest.
Whatever happened to “don’t transport a loaded gun”?
For that matter, whatever happened to “engage the safety”?
Or “don’t point the gun at anyone, including yourself”?
From Bad to Worse 0
Paul Waldman makes an assessment. A nugget:
Two years ago, as we were still trying to wrap our heads around the idea that Trump was actually going to be president of the United States, it was common to hear the hopeful prediction that things wouldn’t work out as badly as we feared. The weighty responsibilities of the office would turn Trump serious, sober, “presidential.”
That has not occurred. If anything, Trump has shown himself to be even more of a despicable human being than he appeared then, and utterly incapable of growing into the office.
Follow the link for the rest.