[Herschel] Walker’s personal flaws have made him an outlier: The Daily Beast last week reported that the former football great fathered several secret children and lied to his campaign staff about it — with the story quoting Walker’s own aides calling the candidate a "serious liability."
Axios (emphasis added).
Pardon me, but when the candidate himself is a "serious liability," what possible assets would suffice to make the campaign solvent?
Proof, I guess, that Campaign Aide is not a job requiring high levels of introspection or even basic love of country.
Axios lists four more states (Pennsylvania, Missouri, Ohio, Arizona) where the GOP nominated such bozos or scandal-magnets that regaining the Senate looks iffy. Imagine that: 5 very winnable Senate seats imperiled by extremist primary voters.
To win today, you should look relatively sane, and in a lot of races, only the Democrats are passing that test. That’s a real shame, because the Democrats are going to do some ugly things if they’re in control of Congress and the White House, and if SCOTUS rules even one of them ultra vires, let alone substantively unconstitutional, the slanders will intensify.
From Friday’s Morning Dispatch
The Department of Justice announced Thursday that a federal grand jury has indicted the man accused of murdering 10 black people in a Buffalo grocery store in May on hate crimes and firearms violations. If convicted, he could face life in prison or the death penalty. “The Justice Department fully recognizes the threat that white supremacist violence poses to the safety of the American people and American democracy,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. The supermarket is set to reopen today.
If ever a crime was a "hate crime," it was this one. But after 30 or more years of intermittent reflection, I’m still not convinced that hate crime laws are an improvement in criminal justice.
A pox on both houses
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday sued to block enforcement of the Biden administration’s recent guidance telling health providers that life- or health-saving abortions are protected by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, regardless of state abortion restrictions. The lawsuit alleges the guidance “flagrantly disregard[s] the legislative and democratic process,” and seeks to “transform every emergency room in the country into a walk-in abortion clinic.”
Ken Paxton is a cowboy, with very plausible allegations of corruption against him (See Timeline: 6 times Texas AG Ken Paxton faced allegations of malfeasance and pending criminal charges.
On abortion, Joe Biden has become a cowboy, who cares less about constitutional limits than about virtue-signaling. (He’s also more corrupt than I realized in the 2020 election, though I still didn’t vote for him — I threw my vote away for principles I care about, not for the lesser evil who inevitably was going to lose to the greater evil in my state).
So I’m glad Paxton is challenging some of Biden’s moves. I wish his Solicitor General well, while wishing total disgrace for him personally. (And I don’t predict 100% success for Texas.)
The internet can be a pretty mean and nasty place, but it still has the ability to delight you every once in a while. Enter the Northwoods Baseball Radio Network, a podcast feed produced by a mysterious “Mr. King” that features nothing other than two-hour-long fictional baseball broadcasts designed to help insomniacs get to sleep. “No yelling, no loud commercials, no weird volume spikes,” the tagline reads. “Fans call it ‘baseball radio ASMR.’” Katy Waldman was entranced. “Time—how it’s apportioned, and the inner experience of it—seems to be the show’s main character. The series could be a sendup of Americana, the aesthetic’s essential boringness, or a love note to memory, with the hazy, preserved glow of a scene unburied from childhood,” she writes in The New Yorker. “The show’s best feature remains the pure sonic contentment it delivers. Real or fantastical, baseball commentary unfolds as metered poetry: ‘IN there for a called STRIKE,’ goes the rising question. ‘It’s OH and ONE,’ goes the falling answer.”
Lost, Not Stolen
Eight prominent conservatives released a report on Thursday examining “every claim of fraud and miscount put forward by former President Trump and his advocates” following the 2020 presidential election and reached an “unequivocal” conclusion: “Joe Biden was the choice of a majority of the Electors, who themselves were the choice of the majority of voters in their states.”
“The idea is that it’s written by conservatives, for conservatives,” Griffith said. “We recognize the people who are watching [Morning Joe and CNN] are probably not the people we’re primarily interested in. I mean, we’re happy to tell our message to anyone, but it’s really the folks who are conservatives who think the election was stolen.”
In the report’s executive summary, the eight men take pains to emphasize their conservative bona fides. “Every member of this informal group has worked in Republican politics, been appointed to office by Republicans, or is otherwise associated with the Party,” they write. “None have shifted loyalties to the Democratic Party, and none bear any ill will toward Trump and especially not toward his sincere supporters.”
Price St. Clair, A 2020 Election Report ‘By Conservatives, For Conservatives’.
My only concern about these high-level investigators is why they don’t "none bear any ill will toward Trump" after he lied, denied his own Justice Department’s conclusions, and precipitated a constitutional crisis to try to steal the election.
I’m declaring a 15-minute pause in my bitter Jihad against Sen. Josh Hawley (who seemed like the real deal until he decided the future was populist, not conservative):
Meanwhile, high profile pro-choice advocates remain unconvincing. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the viral video of UC Berkeley School of Law professor Khiara Bridges sparring with Senator Josh Hawley. She insisted on using the phrase “people with the capacity for pregnancy,” rather than the verboten word women. When Hawley said, well then, “this isn’t really a women’s rights issue,” the Berkeley professor balked.
Actually, Hawley’s point was cute, but deflected without hesitation, so it wasn’t any kind of mike-drop moment. Speaking presumptuously for the normie community, I’d say Hawley won handily. The whole relevant exchange, via Conor Friedersdorf:
Senator Hawley: Professor Bridges, you said several times––you’ve used a phrase, I want to make sure I understand what you mean by it. You’ve referred to “people with a capacity for pregnancy.” Would that be women?
Professor Bridges: Many women, cis women, have the capacity for pregnancy. Many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy. There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy, as well as nonbinary people who are capable of pregnancy.
Hawley: So this isn’t really a women’s-rights issue, it’s a––
Bridges: We can recognize that this impacts women while also recognizing that it impacts other groups. Those things are not mutually exclusive, Senator Hawley.
Hawley: Alright, so your view is that the core of this right, then, is about what?
Bridges: So, um, I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic and it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them.
Hawley: Wow, you’re saying that I’m opening up people to violence by asking whether or not women are the folks who can have pregnancies?
Bridges: So I want to note that one out of five transgender persons have attempted sucide, so I think it’s important––
Hawley: Because of my line of questioning? So we can’t talk about it?
Bridges: Because denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist––
Hawley: I’m denying that trans people exist by asking you––
Bridges: Are you? Are you?
Hawley: ––if you’re talking about women having pregnancies?
Bridges: Do you believe that men can get pregnant?
Hawley: No, I don’t think men can get pregnant.
Bridges: So you’re denying that trans people exist!
Hawley: And that leads to violence? Is this how you run your classroom? Are students allowed to question you or are they also treated like this, where they’re told that they’re opening up people to violence––
Bridges: We have a good time in my class. You should join. You might learn a lot.
Hawley: I would learn a lot. I’ve learned a lot just in this exchange. Extraordinary.
(Pro-tip to the "men can get pregnant" set: if only you would phrase it as "trans men," I might play along. Lose the "trans men are men and trans women are women" dogma if you want any normie support whatever.)
Let me try to illustrate what I mean. At one point, I was a commuter. It didn’t last, but I did find watching other rush-hour drivers fascinating. Like a rubbish modern version of a nineteenth century naturalist, I used to classify them based on observable features. One particular type of driver usually drove a German luxury car. They would drive fast and close, exhibit visible frustration if the car in front of them had a large gap in front of it; and would shift lanes frequently, jostling for position among the other commuters. …
I came to see their behaviour as reflecting a deep confusion. My theory is that they were not emotionally differentiating between getting to work faster and going faster than the people around them. In other words, they failed to distinguish between their longer-term goals and interpersonal competition, even when the interpersonal competition was more or less fruitless. In this, they helped me to understand another group that had puzzled me: the British upper-middle classes, who seemed to me to be similarly focused on markers of interpersonal status that were completely divorced from their own overall flourishing, even in contexts where they had a negligible degree of control over the outcome.
… Its measures are intrapersonal: how well the person is doing on a scale against the rest of society, not how well they are flourishing as an organic being.
… I am not arguing for better aspirations here. I am arguing against aspiration.
This might seem harsh, but that is because the language of aspiration has debased our political language. I am not arguing against individual success. I am arguing that a society whose only measure of success is doing better than other people has no true concept of success at all. …
I have no aspiration for Yorkshire because Yorkshire is older, bigger, and better than the language of aspiration and than our entire degenerate post-war political class. I have no aspiration for Yorkshire because I have hope for it, and hope is a different kind of thing. I do not want Yorkshire to do well in the race to the bottom that now passes for civilisation. I want Yorkshire to survive it.
Leaving behind aspiration – by FFatalism
The Machine speaks
‘The body is mine and the soul is mine’
says the machine. ‘I am at the dark source
where the good is indistinguishable
from evil. I fill my tanks up
and there is war. I empty them
and there is not peace. I am the sound,
not of the world breathing, but
of the catch rather in the world’s breath.’
Is there a contraceptive
for the machine, that we may enjoy
intercourse with it without being overrun
by vocabulary? We go up
into the temple of ourselves
and give thanks that we are not
as the machine is. But it waits
for us outside, knowing that when
we emerge it is into the noise
of its hand beating on the breast’s
iron as Pharisaically as ourselves.
R.S. Thomas, Collected Later Poems
If people have always said it, it is probably true; it is the distilled wisdom of the ages. If people have not always said it, but everybody is saying it now, it is probably a lie; it is the concentrated madness of the moment.
Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes
You can read most of my more impromptu stuff here (cathartic venting) and here (the only social medium I frequent, because people there are quirky, pleasant and real). Both should work in your RSS aggregator, like Feedly or Reeder, should you want to make a habit of it.