PSA: 10 Signs You May Be a Political Hack

#1 – Presidential Politics Are the Only Politics

Midterms? What midterms? The only thing that matters is one person that we’ll choose three years from now, and how we can prove that they’re actually evil. A subset of…

#2 – The Great Man Theory

Future historians will attribute the Republican victories of 2010 and 2014 to the inspirational leadership of Michael Steele and Reince Priebus. Now let me explain why Ellison v. Perez is the defining battle of our times. I watch too much Game of Thrones.

#3 – The Message Is the Medium

Why do research or talk to other human beings when you can zero in on a single ad or slogan and declare it completely representative of an entire campaign and political party? This lets you get away with “I AM THE COSMOS” projection. Related…

#4 – I Should Be in Charge

All that the ________ need to do for a permanent majority is embrace ________, which coincidentally is exactly what I believe. If I ran for president, I would get 100% of the vote.

#5 – Both Sides Do It

My revolutionary approach to politics has left me functionally aligned with David Brooks and Ron Fournier. I am OK with this.

#6 – Popularity Can’t Be Measured by Votes

A margin of three million votes is irrelevant. Let us ignore the clearest quantitative data we have on the preferences of the American people so I can keep extrapolating my beliefs onto the entire populace. Also I like hanging out in diners.

#7 – No Space for Race

People used it to justify slavery. It caused Americans to amass large armies and fight a four-year Civil War. It formed the basis for a police state that still endures. But that’s over and we must not talk about it, because reasons.

#8 – Don’t Hate the Game, Ignore the Game

Vote suppression? Gerrymandering? Shelby County v. Holder? What are those? You’re just trying to avoid taking FULL RESPONSIBILITY for everything bad that’s ever happened. Those factors will not stick around to screw us over in future elections because reasons.

#9 – The End of History

What was the Republican message in 2010? What was the Democratic message in 2006? Why did Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton win southern states while other Democrats failed? Why did Democrats start losing southern states after the Civil Rights Movement? The answers do not matter, because I say they don’t.

#10 – “I’ve Always Thought the Yankees Had Nothing to Do with It”

America, rather than being composed of different people with clashing philosophies and priorities, is really a uniform blob that yearns for socialism, but will settle for its complete opposite. The Democratic Party is the main obstacle to reform in the U.S.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is not too late for you! I myself have been a hack before and I’ll probably do it again. My recommendation is a hot toddy and a good history book, perhaps Fear Itself by Ira Katznelson.

The Senate Democrats’ outreach chair thinks Democrats are the nation’s biggest obstacle to progressive reform

—REPOST OF FACEBOOK RANT—

Goddammit I’m doing it again. For every Bernie story I post in 2017, retroactive to January 1, I’ll donate 5$ to the League of Women Voters.

Having said that, look at this quote from an interview he did with Larry Wilmore:

[…] there is an element of the Democratic establishment who may give lip service to those ideas, but that’s not really what is in their heart of hearts.

The cynicism is breathtaking. There are no outs. It would be one thing if he thought that these reluctant progressives could be brought on to the movement. But he doesn’t say that and he has never said anything to that effect.

If the Democrats are just liars who will sabotage progressivism given the chance, then there is no working with them. All this does is set up (er, prolong) a showdown with the rest of the Democratic Party that the Sanders wing cannot possibly win. And then his supporters will abandon politics again, more cynical and angrier than before. He’s doing them wrong as well. This is what will happen if he keeps poisoning the water. This is a narrative of decline.

Let us think about how President Obama might have said it:

Even many members of my own party may be wary of passing a law like this. Now let me be clear, change isn’t easy. When it comes time to put ideas into practice I understand the temptation to back down. But backing down is not what the moment calls for. Backing down is not what we came here to do. Backing down is not what got us Social Security, or the Voting Rights Act, or Medicare.

Now there’s a glimpse of a better world. If you want a successful political movement, you can start by making politics feel less miserable. You make it feel like something which can give a life meaning, and then you show them the results. You don’t start by agreeing with the contention that the Democratic Party is the greatest obstacle to progressive reform in the country. The only out there is firebombing.

Why the hell is he still outreach chair?

The Oculus sucks

INT. A SWANKY NEW YORK RESTAURANT — 12:26 P.M. ON A THURSDAY IN NOVEMBER, 2003

SANTIAGO CALATRAVA, a hacktacular HACK, dines on oysters at a table with PAT H., a composite character based on various MAKERS OF BAD DECISIONS, and CASSANDRA, the Trojan princess and SEER.

PAT H.

Tell me, my good friend Santiago! What are your plans to rebuild the station at the World Trade Center?

SANTIAGO CALATRAVA

A glimmering harmony of steel and glass! A soaring bird released from the hands of a child!

PAT H.

Capital!

He takes a sip from his DIRTY MARTINI as SANTIAGO CALATRAVA slurps up ANOTHER OYSTER.

CASSANDRA

Nay, it will need extensive redesign for safety purposes. The final product will more closely resemble a trilobite, or a ribcage, or a Venus flytrap. And furthermore–

PAT H.

Santiago, what do you envision for the interior of your masterpiece?

Cassandra begins a silent conversation with her MUG OF JOHNNIE WALKER RED.

SANTIAGO CALATRAVA

A grand unification of the New York City Subway with the Port Authority Trans-Hudson rail system, a new dawn for commuters.

Cassandra lowers her mug.

PAT H.

Splendid!

CASSANDRA

That will not come to pass. Functionally it will be equivalent to a long corridor.

SANTIAGO CALATRAVA

A destination for the most sophisticated shoppers in the world’s most sophisticated city!

PAT H.

I can see it now!

CASSANDRA

Its centerpiece will be an Apple store, which will be successful in the future.

SANTIAGO CALATRAVA

A transportation hub to rival Grand Central Station!

PAT H.

Magnificent!

CASSANDRA

It will serve 40 thousand commuters per day. Grand Central will serve 750 thousand.

SANTIAGO CALATRAVA

White wings! White concourses! White marble!

He gesticulates wildly, knocking over Pat H.’s martini in excitement.

PAT H. (ignoring spill)

Like the driven snow!

CASSANDRA

Or like an ossuary. The marble will be hideously expensive and require frequent cleaning and replacement, what with the thousands of commuters traipsing over it every day. It will also become incredibly slippery when it rains.

She drains her mug.

CASSANDRA (to WAITER)

Whiskey!

PAT H.

That’s nice, Cassandra. Santiago, when can your heartbreaking work of staggering genius be completed?

SANTIAGO CALATRAVA

In five years!

CASSANDRA

It will take 12.

A handsome WAITER comes to the table with a BOTTLE OF JOHNNIE WALKER RED. Cassandra gives him her EMPTY MUG and takes the bottle.

CASSANDRA (cont.)

Much obliged.

She resumes conversation with her whisky.

PAT H.

I can spare 2.2 billion dollars for your project. Will that be enough?

SANTIAGO CALATRAVA

That should just about cover it.

CASSANDRA

It will cost four billion dollars. It will cost more than the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. And may I add that two billion dollars is already an obnoxious–

PAT H.

Oh Cassandra, you’re too pretty to worry so much. Have some wine.

Cassandra smashes the BOTTLE OF JOHNNIE WALKER RED on the ground. Other patrons of the swanky restaurant start to STARE.

CASSANDRA (screaming)

Don’t you get it, you idiots? This project will be a massive failure! It will be an embarrassing eyesore! Everything will go wrong!

She stomps off to PLACES UNKNOWN.

SANTIAGO CALATRAVA

Nothing will go wrong, I promise you, Pat.

PAT H.

I am glad to hear it, Santiago. One last question. What will you name your creation?

SANTIAGO CALATRAVA

I will call it… the Oculus!

CUT

If you have not been in lower Manhattan lately, you have successfully avoided seeing the utter monstrosity of an edifice that is the World Trade Center PATH station. The bleached bones. The pallid pill-bug. The “steroidal stegosaurus.” The Oculus.

Continue reading “The Oculus sucks”

On Russia, On America

You know what really sucks? Suppose that it turns out that Russia didn’t intervene in the 2016 election. Suppose that Paul Manafort’s old business interests had nothing to do with his work for Trump. Suppose that Roger Stone knew about the Wikileaks emails before they released because he’s psychic. Suppose that Ambassador Kislyak is just a great guy to hang out with, but also horribly forgettable. Suppose that Trump changed the Republican platform to back down on Ukraine, not for some quid pro quo, but because he is a secret pacifist. Suppose that any hacks, had they happened, would not have affected the election outcome in the slightest. Suppose that Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi are right. Suppose that you know all this because you are Vladimir Putin.

So you are Putin, sitting innocently in the Kremlin, stunned by these aspersions against your character, so hurt that you can’t even enjoy pistachio ice cream anymore. I feel bad for you, Hypothetical Vlad. But ask yourself this: WHY SHOULDN’T YOU INTERFERE IN U.S. ELECTIONS? What is to stop you from actually carrying out all these crazy actions that sore loser beta cucks have accused you of, in 2018, 2020 and beyond? Think for a second:

  1. The U.S. president isn’t bothered by it. In fact, he asked you to do it.
  2. The Speaker of the House isn’t bothered by it. In fact, he refused to sign a joint letter condemning it.
  3. The Senate Majority Leader isn’t bothered by it. In fact, he quashed the White House’s planned bipartisan announcement of your alleged hacking efforts.
  4. The House Intelligence committee chair isn’t bothered by it. In fact, he shares incoming intelligence with the president rather than his own committee.
  5. The House Oversight committee chair isn’t bothered by it. In fact, he doesn’t think rich people can be corrupt.
  6. The Republican National Committee chair (now White House Chief of Staff) isn’t bothered by it. In fact, if you hack him, he’ll deny that you did it!
  7. The Director of the FBI is bothered by it, but he would never, under any circumstances, insert himself into an ongoing investigation. No sirree.
  8. The national media is thoroughly objective and is insulted by the very thought that they’d be bothered by anything. However, this story seems to have some legs and they will investi-EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS. (UPDATE: SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE SUSAN RICE)
  9. Segments of the left aren’t bothered by it, not when Russia is a DISTRACTION from the more important task of tarring-and-feathering the Clintons. In fact, some of them have even been your dinner guests.
  10. The Democratic Party is extremely bothered by it, but they are completely out of power in the federal government and only control the legislatures AND governor’s mansions of six states.

The Democratic Party is the only American institution willing to do something. Nobody else would stand in your way. You could do it. You could easily do it. Again, and again, and again.

That is why the Russia investigation is so important, even if nobody in America changed their vote because of the DNC emails. America’s institutions have failed to the extent that they will accept foreign intervention in America’s democratic process itself. The very lifeblood of our country. If Putin were abducted by aliens tomorrow we’d still be stuck with the assholes who allowed this to happen and will continue to allow this to happen. The rot goes deep. The only way to protect our democracy from foreign intervention is to fully investigate everything, and to punish whatever wrongdoing is revealed, through the justice system and through the ballot box. Otherwise, truly, we will have asked for it.

This is NOT Fine
By KC Green

Building statues of living people sucks

It’s creepy and I don’t like it. And it’s probably bad luck. NBC Sports agrees with me, so I am not alone on this. I’m fine with busts. Portraits are great, less so if you commission one of yourself, but still OK. Wax figures are a bizarre edge case that I’m inclined to let slide, owing to their inherent impermanence. But traditional statues go too far. Just look at these monstrosities.

Gyah! It looks like they encased real people in metal. And cloned them beforehand to keep up the ruse. It’s disgusting, perverse and I won’t have it. U.S. law prohibits presidents from appearing on currency until two years after death. A similar law, executive order or constitutional amendment should be enacted for statues. THUS SPAKE I.

Joe Paterno Statue
Though maybe they SHOULD have encased Joe Paterno in metal.

Putting the dollar sign in front of the number sucks

dollar-sign-before-and-after

INT. LOU’S PET SHOP – 6 P.M. ON A WEDNESDAY IN JULY

ALICE, an angelic ANGELFISH, approaches the SALES COUNTER, staffed by BOB, a blathering BLADDERWORT.

ALICE

How much does this tin of bloodworms cost? I need to feed them to myself.

BOB

Dollar fifty.

ALICE

That’s a great deal!

Alice untucks a DISCOVER CARD from her right gill and passes it to Bob, who rings her up and gives her a RECEIPT. ALICE checks the receipt as she turns to leave.

ALICE

What the fuck, you charged me fifty dollars!

BOB

Dollar fifty. See for yourself.

Bob gestures at a HITHERTO UNNOTICED PRICE TAG on the tin. “$50” is EMBLAZONED on the tag.

ALICE

That says fifty dollars!

BOB

No, it clearly says dollar, then fifty. Dollar fifty. Can’t you read, stripey?

ALICE

I take great offense to that slur and your execrable professional conduct!

They fight. Alice SWIMS toward Bob, stimulating the TRIGGER HAIRS on one of his BLADDER TRAPS. Bob attempts to suck Alice into the bladder, but Alice is TOO BIG to be sucked. As Bob attempts to reset the bladder through ACTIVE TRANSPORT, Alice begins to NIBBLE at Bob’s bladders.

BOB

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Alice finishes eating Bob’s bladders. He DIES, eventually, after STARVING to death.

Do you say “Dollar two” or “Dollars two” when discussing the price of two bags of delicious Crispy M&M’s? Or do you behave like a decent person and say “Two dollars”? I suspect and hope that it’s the latter. When we speak of money, or of any quantity, we say the number and then the unit. Such is the natural order.

SO WHEN WE WRITE “$500” INSTEAD OF “500$” WE CONTRADICT THE SPOKEN LANGUAGE FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER. IT IS ABOMINABLE TO NEEDLESSLY TRANSPOSE THE DOLLAR SYMBOL COULD YOU IMAGINE THE CHAOS AND HYSTERIA THAT WOULD ACCOMPANY “I WEIGH KG 400” OR “IT IS °F 70 TODAY IN FEBRUARY” THE WORLD WOULD BE CONSUMED IN FLAMES YET WE LET SUCH SINFUL BEHAVIOR GO ON EVERY DAY WITH THE DOLLAR SYMBOL. IT IS NOT AS IF WE DON’T HAVE EXAMPLES OF SENSIBLE PRACTICE TO LOOK AT I AM LOATH TO ADMIT TO BUT THE EURO SYMBOL IS RIGHTLY PLACED AFTER THE NUMBER AND EUROPE IS NOT ENGULFED IN HYSTERIA DUE TO THAT PERHAPS FOR OTHER REASONS BUT THE EURO SYMBOL IS INNOCENT. I BLAME OUR CURRENT MISFORTUNE ON THE DUMB BRITS WHO THINK THEY INVENTED TEA AND DON’T RINSE THEIR DISHES AND PUT THE POUND STERLING SYMBOL BEFORE THE NUMBER IT IS MOST INDUBITABLY THEIR FAULT.

Putting the dollar sign in front of the number sucks. It is killing America.

Calling it a “check” instead of a “bill” sucks

INT. QDOBA MEXICAN EATS – DAY

ALICE, a quirky, vivacious anteater, flicks her prehensile tongue at BOB, a brooding, busy busboy bee.

ALICE

Could I get the check?

BOB

What check? You’re paying us!

They fight.

BOB

I see what you mean, you’re looking for the bill. Here it is.

BOB performs a perfect WAGGLE DANCE to communicate that ALICE owes $300.

ALICE

Awesome, can I give you a check?

BOB

Why are you charging me? I thought you were the one paying here!

They fight again. BOB attempts to sting ALICE, but being a drone he has no stinger. ALICE lashes her tongue out at BOB, causing him to get stuck on it.

BOB

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

ALICE sucks BOB into her snout. He DIES.

This perplexes me. I genuinely do not get it. I have a checkbook. Sometimes I write checks, in order to pay for things. When I give someone a check, they are getting money from me. If I get a check from someone else (ha!), I am getting money from them. Such is the way of things.

SO WHEN WE CALL RESTAURANT BILLS “CHECKS” IT IS AN ACTION OF GREAT ASININITY THAT THROWS THIS DELICATE ARRANGEMENT INTO DISARRAY. A CHECK SIGNALS THAT YOU ARE GETTING MONEY, NOT THAT YOU MUST GIVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE, PERHAPS BY WRITING A CHECK. THERE IS NO GOOD REASON TO DO THIS AND I AM FILLED WITH DEEP SHAME THAT BRITISH ENGLISH DOES NOT FALL FOR THIS NONSENSE BECAUSE IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF OTHER RESPECTS AMERICAN ENGLISH IS SUPERIOR. NOTE THAT I AM NOT OPPOSED TO HOMONYMS IN GENERAL ON THE CONTRARY THEY ARE PLENTY OF FUN AND ADD MUCH FLAVOR TO THE LANGUAGE BUT HOMONYMS SHOULD NOT BE IN DIRECT OPPOSITION TO EACH OTHER AS THEY ARE IN THIS CASE. IT IS SUCH A SUPERFLUOUS ERROR TOO BECAUSE THE WORD “BILL” HAS BEEN PUTTING IN GOOD WORK FOR A LONG TIME AND DOES NOT DESERVE SUCH MISTREATMENT.

Calling it a “check” instead of a “bill” sucks. It is killing America.