What I think is particularly interesting, albeit terrifying, is the lack of the extent to which Mr. Trump has acted presidentially. More than a year ago, the national debate was when Mr. Trump would start acting presidentially. That is, after securing the GOP’s nomination, he’d evolve into the earnest, genteel cavalier dealmaker that he—and many other people—portray him as embodying. Think, perhaps, a contemporary Don Draper. Not only has he not acted this way. He doesn’t seem interested in it or even capable of it.
The man we have is the man we’ve got. He tweets. He doesn’t read. He is disrespectful. He talks about himself. He manipulates media. The longer Bannon and him keep working together. At this point, it would better for anyone else. Mr. Pence, Mr. Ryan, Mr. McConnell. The last one hurt. Yes, I’m admitting I’d rather have President McConnell than a President Trump. That is a low bar.
Our own Berlesconi.
Carrie Fisher died. John Kerry gave a speech after the UN vote against Israel. Netanyahu came back swinging at Kerry. Debbie Reynolds died.
Trump’s inauguration is almost upon us. I’m both sick to my stomach and eager to see what it’ll be like. A total disaster? A success? Let’s take a look at his musical guests. 3 Doors Down. Toby Keith. Damn, man. That’s a fucking low bar.
Apparently 5,000 bikers will be forming a wall of “meat” between them and “violent” protestors. Man, fuck bikers. They can live however they want. It’s totally fine by me. Honestly, it’s kinda cool. I’m aware of my clumsiness; I know I couldn’t ride a motorcycle without killing myself.
But, really. These people. Such a silly demographic. Conservative, state-hating, drug smuggling, violence endorsing manbaby hoodlums.
So Sessions, with that stupid elderly elf-smirk of his, said this during his testimony in front of Congress:
Leahy: Do secular citizens deserve the same protections as religious ones?
Sessions: Well, I don’t know, Senator.
Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone) thinks Dossiergate has reached a crisis point. David Ignatius (WaPo) asks why Obama dawdled on Russia’s hacking. John R. Schindler (Observer) on Putin and his spies. Before the election, on October 31, David Corn wrote about the dossier.
Ah, yes! New week, new shitstorm. On Sunday, Meryl Streep ripped on Trump in her acceptance speech. Particular focus on Trump’s caricature of Serge Kovaleski, a reporter for the NYT, who also happens to be disabled. ‘Twas a bit schmaltzy for me. Right thoughts, wrong forum. The pontificating during the acceptance speech trope is just disingenuous. Don’t make these comments on the fucking tv with your fancy clothes on in a self-congratuory industry awards show. Do it in real life. Go on tv. Write. Activist. Blog.
For God’s sake, don’t use Twitter.
And now there’s Kelly-A’s mind-numbing counter to Streep. Logical fallacies are just taught in school these days it seems; don’t apply to the real world.
It’s as if he wakes up in the morning and says to himself, “Hmmm, what can you pull out of your ass today, Donald?” And then once he’s settled on an idea only he could’ve come up with—something he considers wily (and almost surely something that a not unsubstantial number of us consider crass, asinine, and/or delusional), he looks at himself in his mirror and says something like this.
These are going to be four wild years—think of it as the college experience from hell.
Scott Shane writes about how Bannon found his man in Donald Trump.
Ms. Jones, for one, had no trouble seeing the parallels. “Trump,” she said, “is Steve’s Reagan.”
I’m fascinated (and, for sure, unnerved) by Bannon. He’s Trump’s Rove, but way quirkier, more mysterious than the latter. Harvard to Goldman to “combative, populist” Breitbart, etc. (need to fill in the rest). It’s odd.
Evidently, even right-wing, anti-establishment political advisors have degrees from Harvard. Here’s an interesting Globe profile of Steve Bannon, the Harvard MBA student. Reminds me of an article from the Times about Mitt Romney as well as one from Salon about the Clintons.
Instead, they believe he is simply doing what he was taught more than three decades ago: exploiting a business opportunity, this time in the furious, neglected legions of the white middle class. He saw a market in their sense of alienation, and Trump’s election suggests that his forecast was truer than most.
The keyword here: exploiting.
Consider Brian Leiter’s analysis of the Castro obit in the Times. Compare Obama’s noncommittal statement with Trump’s glib quip, Rubio’s hyperbolic invective, Trudeau’s bold tribute, and Rubio’s flippant attack on the Trudeau.
The Economist on private equity: The barbarian establishment.
Leonid Bershidsky, founder of Slon.ru, says we shouldn’t tax corporations.
Guy McPherson believes humans will be extinct in ten years due to abrupt climate change. Here’s McPherson’s “monster” climate-change essay, “Climate-change summary and update.”
Every day I come across new books that I want to read. I’ve obsessively attempted to record them over the years, but the notes are so messy that it’s likely I’ve lost track of lots of them. However, this record is infinite. I.e., I’m going to keep coming across books and keep adding them. The rate at which I can read them is far slower than the rate at which I find them.
So, as of today, I’m beginning an experiment. I’m going to try and organize my notes (for all things, not just books) by recording them in writing (i.e., blog posts). This will force me to write only about what is essential and therefore focus on what is essential. After all, I want to be a writer. Instead of thinking and worrying about this, I might as well do as much as possible.
As to the books, I found today: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Poldark, and Dragonlance. I think I read an essay about the latter a few weeks ago. Maybe not. Maybe I just looked it up. Amazon.com reviews often influence the course of my behavior online.
I love Amazon reviews. I love Wikipedia pages. Pitchfork. Hacker News. The New York Times. Google. The New Yorker. Google. Other sites.
Here’s an important insight: wake up and do what you want to do every day—or at least as often as possible. Life how you would as if it were your only chance—or at least as close as possible. And why? Because there’s no other reason for living if you’re not doing what you love to do.
You shouldn’t feel in your stomach that tender, sick, nervous, guilt soreness in your gut. It’s apprehension. The feeling you get before a test. Before an interview. Before asking out your crush. Before having sex the first time. Before giving a presentation. Etc.
Jack Chick was an evangelical Christian cartoonist. Unintentionally hilarious stuff, despite how vile it is.