01/28/2015 archive

Damaging the Liberal Brand by a Pseudo-Liberal

Poor Jonathan Chait he wants so hard to take Liberalism back in time to some imaginary vision that he has of what is and in not politically correct in his world view. Poor Jon, he like all of us who are offended by racism and sexism and call it out, to STFU. We won’t. Get ready to be corrected, Jonathan, for being Politically Incorrect. First, the ladies:

When “political correctness” hurts: Understanding the micro-aggressions that trigger Jonathan Chait

By Joan Walsh, Salon

A new opus on progressive racial extremism features the liberal writer’s trademark mix of insight and overreaction

When New York magazine teased Jonathan Chait’s coming opus on race, politics and free speech last Friday – “Can a white liberal man critique a culture of political correctness?” – the hook alone was enough to send his Twitter haters into multiple ragegasms. I thought folks should save themselves some grief and at least wait until the story itself appeared before defaulting to fury. Maybe it wouldn’t be that bad.

But to anyone who hated that teaser, I’m sure, the story itself is just that bad. Chait continues to pick the scab of his suffering over the fact that the every musing of white liberal men (and women, to be fair) about race and politics is no longer welcomed for its contribution to the struggle. He no doubt finished his piece before the Twitter backlash against Nick Kristof for suggesting the police reform movement find a more “compelling face” than Mike Brown, because he doesn’t mention it, though it’s the kind of thing that sets him off.

This is not to say that there are no good points in Chait’s piece, only that his tone of grievance and self-importance, as though he’s warning us of a threat to our democracy that others either can’t see or are too intimidated to fight, makes it very hard to parse.

Chait is over the terms “mansplaining,” “whitesplaining” and “straightsplaining,” as he thinks they’ve become efforts to silence or subdue men, whites and straights. He hates the whole concept of “micro-aggressions,” and I will admit here, I have my own ambivalence about the term: There ought to be a better word for the myriad slights from white people that undermine people who aren’t white. The label mocks itself; if they’re really  “micro,” shouldn’t we be spending our time on our bigger problems? Like so much rhetoric from the left, it’s best used preaching to the choir: I’m not sure anyone who isn’t already comfortable with the notion is going to have his or her mind opened by it.

‘PC culture’ isn’t about your freedom of speech. It’s about our freedom to be offended

By Jessica Valenti, The Guardian

If the worst thing ‘PCness’ does is make people occasionally feel uncomfortable when they do and say terrible things, we can all live with that

When a writer like New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait feels it necessary to whine in print about his and other (mostly well-remunerated) writers’ inability to write offensive tripe without consequence, I think: Boo-fucking-hoo. Get a real problem. [..]

If the worst thing that Chait’s version of “PCness” has wrought is that folks occasionally feel uncomfortable when they do and say terrible things, I can live with that and he should, too.

We are finally approaching a critical mass of interest in ending racism, misogyny and transphobia and the ways they are ingrained into our institutions. Instead of rolling our eyes at the intensity of the feelings people have over these issues, we should be grateful that they care so much, because racism, misogyny and transphobia can and do kill people. If the price we all pay for progress for the less privileged is that someone who is more privileged gets their feelings hurt sometimes – or that they might have to think twice before opening their mouths or putting their fingers to keyboards – that’s a small damn price to pay. That’s not stopping free speech; it’s making our speech better.

P.C. Policeman Jonathan Chait Can Dish It Out, But He Can’t Take It

By Amanda Marcotte, Talking Points Memo

While the article purports to be a lambasting of “the culture of taking offense” and censorious attitudes, it quickly becomes clear that the only speech Chait is interested in protecting is conservative or contrarian. When it comes to people saying uncomfortable or provocative things from the left, Chait comes across as just as censorious and silencing as any of the leftist prigs he attempts to criticize.

To be clear, Chait has plenty of examples of what has become a genuinely serious problem of liberals who react to uncomfortable ideas by turning to censorship: Harassment campaigns against conservatives, canceling plays or art shows because of political incorrectness, tearing down anti-choice posters.

But outside of those few examples, most of Chait’s article is not a defense of rowdy public discourse at all, but the opposite: Most of the piece is little more than demands that liberals silence certain forms of discourse that make Chait uncomfortable. For a piece that mocks the use of “trigger warnings” to alert people about disturbing content, it sure seems Chait has no problem trying to silence anyone who says something that might hurt his feelings.

Next, the guys:

Punch-Drunk Jonathan Chait Takes On the Entire Internet

By Alex Pareene, The Gawker

So, here is sad white man Jonathan Chait’s essay about the difficulty of being a white man in the second age of “political correctness.” In a neat bit of editorial trolling, New York teased the column with following question: “Can a white, liberal man critique a culture of political correctness?”

The answer, as anyone with internet access or a television or the ability to see a newsrack could tell you, is a resounding yes, they can and pretty much constantly do. But the second half of the question, and the real point of the column, was left unwritten: Can a straight, white man do this without having to deal with people criticizing him for doing so? The answer, in 2015, is no, and that is what has Chait’s dander up. [..]

A year ago, Jonathan Chait had an extended debate with The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates, an incredibly talented writer whose ongoing research and thinking on race and American politics and history have led him to become one of our foremost critics of American liberalism as a credo and philosophy. Chait, a strong believer in the righteousness of American liberalism, could not let it go, and he went on to embarrass himself. A broken Chait is now taking on the entire goddamn Internet, to prove that he’s still the important political thinker – and good liberal – he knows he is. [..]

Excessive speech-policing by overzealous campus activists certainly happens. But Chait is wildly exaggerating the threat it poses-calling it a “philosophical threat” to liberalism, instead of a minor annoyance people like Chait have to deal with in the brief period just before they officially assume their positions in America’s power elite. (This wouldn’t be the first time Chait has inflated a perceived threat to America to existential proportions.)

In reality, the single most notable example in the last 15 years of an academic being punished for his speech is probably former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who was fired not for offending feminists but for claiming that some victims of the September 11 attacks were complicit in the crimes of the American state that provoked the attacks. Just a few years ago, liberal Democratic members of Congress and other officials publicly demanded that Brooklyn College cancel a forum featuring academics who support a financial boycott of Israel. Lawmakers threatened to withhold funding from the school if the event took place. Just this month, Duke University announced that it would not allow a weekly Muslim call to prayer to happen at the campus chapel, following criticism and threats from Christians and evangelical leaders. This is what speech policing in America actually looks like: Like regular policing, it’s wielded primarily by people in power against marginalized groups and anti-mainstream opinions.

The Petulant Entitlement Syndrome of Journalists

By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

When political blogs first emerged as a force in the early post-9/11 era, one of their primary targets was celebrity journalists. A whole slew of famous, multi-millionaire, prize-decorated TV hosts and newspaper reporters and columnists – Tom Friedman, Tim Russert, Maureen Dowd, John Burns, Chris Matthews – were frequently the subject of vocal and vituperative criticisms, read by tens of thousands of people.

It is hard to overstate what a major (and desperately needed) change this was for how journalists like them functioned. Prior to the advent of blogs, establishment journalists were largely immunized even from hearing criticisms. If a life-tenured New York Times columnist wrote something stupid or vapid, or a Sunday TV news host conducted a sycophantic interview with a government official, there was no real mechanism for the average non-journalist citizen to voice critiques. At best, aggrieved readers could write a Letter to the Editor, which few journalists cared about. Establishment journalists spoke only to one another, and careerist concerns combined with an incestuous chumminess ensured that the most influential among them heard little beyond flowery praise. [..]

There are definitely people – most of them unknown and powerless – whose ability to speak and participate in civic affairs are unfairly limited by these sorts of abusive tactics. But whatever else is true, Jon Chait of New York Magazine, long of The New Republic, is not one of them. Neither is his friend Hanna Rosin of Slate. Neither is Andrew Sullivan – published by Time, The Atlantic, The New York Times, major book publishing companies, and pretty much everyone else and featured on countless TV shows – despite his predictably giddy standing and cheering for Chait’s victimization manifesto. Nor is torture advocate Condoleezza Rice of Stanford or HBO host Bill Maher. Nor, despite attacks at least as serious and personal, am I. Nor are most of the prominent journalists and other influential luminaries who churn out self-pitying screeds about the terrible online masses and all the ways they are unfairly criticized and attacked.

Being aggressively, even unfairly, criticized isn’t remotely tantamount to being silenced. People with large and influential platforms have a particular need for aggressive scrutiny and vibrant critique. The world would be vastly improved if we were never again subjected to the self-victimizing whining of highly compensated and empowered journalists about how upset they are that people say mean things online about them and their lovely and talented friends.

Jonathan Chait Upset About Diversity In Media

By DSWright, FDL News Desk

New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait, best known for being one of the “good liberals” who promoted the Iraq War, is still mad that The New Republic will no longer be a bastion for his kind of liberalism (along with pseudo-scientific racism and fraud). So mad he decided to take out his frustrations on the the fact that people of color, especially women of color, are on the ascendency in American media. Chait knows he is going into the twilight of his relevance in political commentary but won’t go quietly and, like a deranged gunman with nothing to lose, wants to take as many people down with him as he possibly can.

As is typical, Chait’s piece is preening posing as discourse and seems a pretty obvious (if ham handed) attempt at rehabilitating his troubled reputation after he was exposed by Ta-Nehisi Coates as lacking basic understandings related to race in American history. Now he wants to let people who ignore him know that by ignoring and marginalizing him they are attacking democracy itself. [..]

Chait’s piece focuses heavily on his view of how modern feminism and anti-racism has gone too far and centers around the rehashing of an often ill-informed controversy over the concept of “political correctness” something that has not been an actual left wing doctrine of relevance since the 1950s and comes out of the post-World War 1 cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School.  [..]

Of course, that’s Chait’s specialty – making useless points against strawman arguments in hopes of stoking a controversy and receiving the subsequent clicks. Aka trolling. And he’s done it again to great effect. Let this be the last time we fall for it and leave him to the darkness he so richly deserves.

Jonathan Chaits’s problem is that he and his pseudo-liberalism is no longer relevant and that is what needs to be exposed. Get a thicker skin, Jon, of find another hobby. This is the Internet.

Today in Fail

Tutankhamun’s botched beard: conservation chief demoted to royal vehicles role

Patrick Kingsley, The Guardian

Tuesday 27 January 2015 09.26 EST

It’s a pharaoh cop, Egyptian archaeology officials have admitted. After initially downplaying reports that Tutankhamun’s beard had been fixed with the wrong glue, the Egyptian Museum has owned up to the error – and moved its chief conservator to less glamorous pastures.

Last week, her duties included the conservation of one of the world’s most important collection of artefacts, including Tutankhamun’s fabled death mask and jewellery, as well as hundreds of ancient mummies, tombs and statues. From now on her role will be limited to overseeing the contents of Egypt’s royal stables.

Her move follows the museum’s admission that Tutankhamun’s beard was damaged last year, and that conservators subsequently fixed it with too conspicuous a glue.

The discovery initially came to light after anonymous curators leaked the information to the press last week. “One night they wanted to fix the lighting in the showcase, and when they did that they held the mask in the wrong way and broke the beard,” one curator told the Guardian at the time. “They tried to fix it overnight with the wrong material, but it wasn’t fixed in the right way.”

For several days, officials downplayed the claims. Abdelrahman argued that while the wrong glue was indeed applied, the beard was never itself broken. “If it was broken, it would have been a big problem, and we would have written a report about it,” she said.

Reality TV

In which I present actual commentary from people who know what they’re talking about as opposed to NeoLibBC.


Yanis Varoufakis, familiar to readers of Naked Capitalism




Dispatches From Hellpeckersville- …Keep Going

I’ve had people tell me they don’t know how I do it. Oh, you’re going through hell, I don’t know how you do it. Well, it’s not like there’s a lot of options on the table, I’m pretty sure Calgon’s not coming to take me away. I don’t know how I do it, or even what anybody even thinks I’m doing besides playing the hand I’ve been dealt. You know, much like Bartleby, I might prefer not to, but I’m not going down that way, I’ve got kids.

Sometimes I sit in bed at night and wonder- how the hell did I get to be the responsible one, the caregiver? It’s not like I ever showed any signs of such a thing when I was young. I never wanted to be a nurse or anything of the sort. I was wild and selfish when I was younger, happily so. Then my Grandmother’s health started to fail. I was about 22. I loved her more than anyone in the world. So, for the last several years of her life I was with her every day, we cared for her at home, but there were many of us. Cousins came in shifts to help, aunts came every evening. She died in 1987, and I went back about my selfish business, but not before making a promise to my Mom. As we sat side by side holding hands on my Gram’s hospital bed in our dining room the day Gram died, she asked me to promise her I’d be there for her, that she would never have to fear going into a home. It’s a promise I’ve repeated over the years.

When we lost our lease and had to leave our house we came here. To save money for a while, we said, so we’d be able to get a better place, we said, but even then she was showing signs of that chicken coming home to roost. That was in 2007, she was forgetful, repeated herself a little, stopped playing some of her computer games. It seems like no time at all before we began the long goodbye and I knew I would not leave this house as long as she was in it.

So, how am I doing it? I honestly don’t know. And I don’t have a choice, really. How could I not do it? Unthinkable. There are days, a lot of days, where I think this is going to break me. This is hell, I don’t know if I’m going to make it, but I’m still here. I still have two kids that need a functional mom every day, I’m trying my damnedest to be that. Just trying to maintain a framework of “normal” in this world of crazy wears me out, but what else is there to do? They deserve as good of a life as I can give them.

And I worry. Every night I worry. What if something happens to Dad? What will become of us? We’ve talked about seeing a lawyer, but he’s dragging his feet–to the point where things will be complicated and probably expensive now. We don’t have money. There’s this house, that’s it. If he had money he wouldn’t still be driving a forklift in a cold warehouse every night at 80 years old. I know worrying doesn’t help, won’t change anything, but I can’t help it.

How am I doing it? How does anybody go through hell?

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Wednesday is Ladies’ Day.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Angelina Jolie: A New Level of Refugee Suffering

In almost four years of war, nearly half of Syria’s population of 23 million people has been uprooted. Within Iraq itself, more than two million people have fled conflict and the terror unleashed by extremist groups. These refugees and displaced people have witnessed unspeakable brutality. Their children are out of school, they are struggling to survive, and they are surrounded on all sides by violence.

For many years I have visited camps, and every time, I sit in a tent and hear stories. I try my best to give support. To say something that will show solidarity and give some kind of thoughtful guidance. On this trip I was speechless. [..]

Much more assistance must be found to help Syria’s neighbors bear the unsustainable burden of millions of refugees. The United Nations’ humanitarian appeals are significantly underfunded. Countries outside the region should offer sanctuary to the most vulnerable refugees in need of resettlement – for example, those who have experienced rape or torture. And above all, the international community as a whole has to find a path to a peace settlement. It is not enough to defend our values at home, in our newspapers and in our institutions. We also have to defend them in the refugee camps of the Middle East, and the ruined ghost towns of Syria.

Zoë Carpenter: A Staggeringly Lopsided Economic Recovery

Just how strong is the economic recovery? Democrats have offered somewhat contradictory answers to that question recently. The picture President Obama painted in last week’s State of the Union address was mostly rosy. “The shadow of crisis has passed,” he declared, citing “a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production.” And indeed, the US economy added more jobs in 2014 than it has since 1999, and unemployment is at its lowest point in more than six years.

The competing, bleaker, view-described most forcefully by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren-is that the good numbers don’t accurately reflect the reality lived by America’s workers. Middle-class families “are working harder than ever, but they can’t get ahead,” Warren argued in an early January speech. “Opportunity is slipping away. Many feel like the game is rigged against them-and they are right.” The tide may be rising, but it’s failing to lift most of the boats.

Lynn Stuart Parramore: Greece to the troika: ‘You don’t own us!’

Syriza’s win signals rise of anti-austerity progressive tide in Europe

With Sunday’s elections, the Greeks sent a message to Europe’s austerity-peddling elites of the so-called troika of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank negotiating their country’s debt: You don’t own us. [..]

Greece’s elections represented the bubbling over of rage from a population that has suffered the most from the eurozone’s “Hunger Games” approach to the 2007 global financial crisis. Struggling countries have been forced to impose savage cuts on their worn-down populations and pursue competitiveness through reducing wages, decimating worker protections and slashing social safety nets. The choice of the charismatic 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras as prime minister- a man who believes in economic policies linked to the needs of ordinary people rather than the desires of bankers – marks a radical change in tone for Europe.

For starters, Syriza’s victory announces the failure of austerity policies that produce misery rather than growth. By now there is wide consensus among economists that if Europe had passed a robust stimulus plan designed to put enough money in the pockets of ordinary people to drive demand and adopted a bolder monetary policy aimed at boosting the economy, Greece would not have ended up with a crippled economy, disastrous unemployment currently[ more than 60 percent among youths] and a pervasive sense of desperation among the masses. Nearly a third of Greeks are living below the poverty line.

Heather Digby Parton Meet the CIA’s secret protector: Why Sen. Richard Burr is its favorite “overseer”

No, GOP is not going back to its old isolationist ways. Here’s why the intelligence community is licking its chops

One of the newest pieces of conventional wisdom among the political commentariat is the idea that under the influence of the Tea Party and the libertarians, the Republicans are no longer the national security hawks they once were. They are going back to their old isolationist ways, the thinking goes, because Rand Paul is running for president and he doesn’t support military adventurism overseas (except when he does) and the right wing of the GOP is uninterested in national security.

As I have written before, this is a fallacy. And we can see that playing itself out in living color as the GOP Senate’s newest committee chairmen take their gavels. Yes, we have seen the embarrassing spectacle of climate change denier James Inhofe being promoted to head the environmental committee and the neo-Confederate anti-immigration zealot Jeff Sessions being named to head a panel on immigration.  But nothing is as astonishing as the Senate’s greatest protector of the intelligence services being named the committee assigned to intelligence “oversight.”  That would be Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina.

Joan Walsh: When “political correctness” hurts: Understanding the micro-aggressions that trigger Jonathan Chait

A new opus on progressive racial extremism features the liberal writer’s trademark mix of insight and overreaction

When New York magazine teased Jonathan Chait’s coming opus on race, politics and free speech last Friday – “Can a white liberal man critique a culture of political correctness?” – the hook alone was enough to send his Twitter haters into multiple ragegasms. I thought folks should save themselves some grief and at least wait until the story itself appeared before defaulting to fury. Maybe it wouldn’t be that bad.

But to anyone who hated that teaser, I’m sure, the story itself is just that bad. Chait continues to pick the scab of his suffering over the fact that the every musing of white liberal men (and women, to be fair) about race and politics is no longer welcomed for its contribution to the struggle. He no doubt finished his piece before the Twitter backlash against Nick Kristof for suggesting the police reform movement find a more “compelling face” than Mike Brown, because he doesn’t mention it, though it’s the kind of thing that sets him off.

This is not to say that there are no good points in Chait’s piece, only that his tone of grievance and self-importance, as though he’s warning us of a threat to our democracy that others either can’t see or are too intimidated to fight, makes it very hard to parse.

The Breakfast Club (Hope Is Our Four Letter Word)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Space Shuttle Challenger explodes; Sir Francis Drake dies; Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti born; Vince Lombardi named Packers’ head coach.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Wanker of the Day

Andrew Cuomo


Stupid Shit by LaEscapee

The Texture of Your Balls

On This Day In History January 28

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

January 28 is the 28th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 337 days remaining until the end of the year (338 in leap years).

On this day in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson nominates Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court. After a bitterly contested confirmation, Brandeis became the first Jewish judge on the Supreme Court.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Brandeis quickly earned a reputation in Boston as the people’s attorney for taking on cases pro bono. Brandeis advocated progressive legal reform to combat the social and economic ills caused in America by industrialization. He met Woodrow Wilson, who was impressed by Brandeis’ efforts to hold business and political leaders accountable to the public, during Wilson’s 1912 campaign against Theodore Roosevelt. Brandeis’ early legal achievements included the establishment of savings-bank life insurance in Massachusetts and securing minimum wages for women workers. He also devised what became known as the Brandeis Brief, an appellate report that analyzed cases on economic and social evidence rather than relying solely on legal precedents.

Louis Dembitz Brandeis (November 13, 1856 – October 5, 1941) was an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Europe. He enrolled at Harvard Law School, graduating at the age of twenty with the highest grade average in the college’s history.

Brandeis settled in Boston where he became a recognized lawyer through his work on social causes that would benefit society. He helped develop the “right to privacy” concept by writing a Harvard Law Review article of that title, and was thereby credited by legal scholar Roscoe Pound as having accomplished “nothing less than adding a chapter to our law”. Years later, a book he published, entitled Other People’s Money, suggested ways of curbing the power of large banks and money trusts, which partly explains why he later fought against powerful corporations, monopolies, public corruption, and mass consumerism, all of which he felt were detrimental to American values and culture. He also became active in the Zionist movement, seeing it as a solution to the “Jewish problem” of antisemitism in Europe and Russia, while at the same time being a way to “revive the Jewish spirit.”

When his family’s finances became secure, he began devoting most of his time to public causes and was later dubbed the “People’s Lawyer.” He insisted on serving on cases without pay so that he would be free to address the wider issues involved. The Economist magazine calls him “A Robin Hood of the law.” Among his notable early cases were actions fighting railroad monopolies; defending workplace and labor laws; helping create the Federal Reserve System; and presenting ideas for the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He achieved recognition by submitting a case brief, later called the “Brandeis Brief,” which relied on expert testimony from people in other professions to support his case, thereby setting a new precedent in evidence presentation.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson nominated Brandeis to become a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. However, his nomination was bitterly contested, partly because, as Justice William O. Douglas wrote, “Brandeis was a militant crusader for social justice whoever his opponent might be. He was dangerous not only because of his brilliance, his arithmetic, his courage. He was dangerous because he was incorruptible. . . [and] the fears of the Establishment were greater because Brandeis was the first Jew to be named to the Court.” He was eventually confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 47 to 22 on June 1, 1916, and became one of the most famous and influential figures ever to serve on the high court. His opinions were, according to legal scholars, some of the “greatest defenses” of freedom of speech and the right to privacy ever written by a member of the high court.

Oh, maybe you were expecting Pundits.

I only do Cartnoons.

The Daily/Nightly Show (Vaxxers)

You know, what is so dumb about the anti-vaxxers is that most of them grew up when eating lead infused paint chips was a popular pastime for toddlers.

What?  You didn’t eat paint chips?  Well, you breathed air didn’t you?  And TetraEthyl Lead was only phased out as an additive to gasoline in the early 2000s.  Feeling a little stupid and ragey now?  Join the Romans who liked lead waterpipes because it was malliable and easy to work with and sometimes lined their wine goblets with it because it imparts a sweet taste.  Like asbestos it was everywhere and Atrios (who’s an economist not a Doctor Jim) attributes the decline in its pervasiveness to our falling crime rate.

Leeches and bleeding were once the cutting edge (c’mon, get the joke) of medical practice just as they are of public policy today.

Anyway, I give you-

Pig Killing

Yup.  Animal sacrifice makes just as much sense today as it did when Abraham strapped Isaac to Mount Moriah.  Some Supreme Being you’ve hitched your metaphysical wagon to folks, but as a militant atheist I can hardly be expected to understand the sacred nature of your belief in Invisible Pink Unicorns (How do you know she’s pink?  Because she’s invisible.).

I’m too busy laughing which is going to get me burned at the stake someday.

It’s a fair cop.

Below the fold we have Julian Castro’s web exclusive extended interview (not that I think he needed it, also the real news

This week’s guests-

The Daily Show

Jill Leovy is the author of Ghettoside which I think goes too far in excusing the egregious behavior of out militarized police.  There is a reason people don’t trust cops and it’s abundantly justified.  There are three phrases to remember-

  • Am I free to leave?
  • I will not talk without my attorney.
  • I do not consent to any search.

You’ll probably get shot or tazed anyway, but at least you did the right thing.