Linky Friday #170: Earth & Beyond


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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132 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    C1: It always surprises me that so many people never get rid of the evidence. The best I could figure out is that not getting rid of the evidence is a way to be discovered for those that can’t do it themselves.

    R3: We should strike the 1970s from our collective memory.

    Sc4: There are so many things wrong with this that I don’t know where to start. I’m a fan of Aristotle’s catharsis thesis. Certain forms of entertainment provide a safe release valve for a lot of humans more negative impulses.

    A3: Callling Dr. Moreau to delivery, calling Dr. Moreau to delivery.Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Sc4: Another thing that gets me about these rants about porn is that everybody asks if porn wraps the minds of men somehow by giving them unrealistic perceptions about sex, making them unlikely to seek actual female company if heterosexual, or something. Very few people ask if women’s romantic/sexual entertainment gives them an unrealistic expectation about romance or what most men are actually capable of on a first encounter, mainly instant chemistry.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:


      I’ve asked this question and go even further in wondering about children’s entertainment that tends to be aimed at young girl and what messages it sends them about love, romance, and the like.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Or really the entire princess culture because if your told your princess that comes with a very strong sense of entitlement. I guess the main reason why it is not asked is that unrealistic expectations about sex tends to have more serious consequences than unrealistic expectations about romance. Another thing is that there is probably a broader ideological consensus about the detriments of porn, you get to unite conservatives and liberals, than against romantic/sexual entertainment marketed towards women, your going to piss off conservatives and liberals.Report

    • Avatar El Muneco says:

      It’s not as topical as it was last year, but the Josh Duggar case was a floridly turgid example of how badly a person’s expectations can be warped by (modern) porn if that is literally his only sex education.

      It’s my impression that it didn’t used to be this way back in the VCR era. There are a number of long-term trends – the ubiquity of body modification, the increasing misogyny (choking, really?), and the genre conventions becoming more highly stylized (spitting?) that bother me in the extreme [in addition to the fact that, outside of “parodies”, they’ve given up on acting and direction entirely]. All these trends, natch, are in the direction away from reflecting reality – of bodies, of relationships, and even of the mechanics of the sex act itself (above and beyond the need for camera-friendly positioning).

      And I’m old and somewhat jaded. I can’t imagine what the effect would be on a repressed virginal teenager already in a sexual panic over his impending wedding night.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        It was much more difficult for people bellow the age of majority or even people above the age of majority to get porn when you needed to buy a physical copy. You generally had to go and buy it yourself at a store or at least have a checking account or credit card for mail order. Even if you could legally do this because you are an adult, many people would be embarrassing. Now anybody willing to say they are over eighteen could get tones of free porn.Report

        • Avatar El Muneco says:

          Ah, the rite of passage. Go back into the curtained-off area, maintain mens-room contact rules at all time (no eye contact, no conversation, definitely no comments), then walk to the front register to hand the cute college girl at the till your driver’s license and their copy of “We Shouldn’t Do This, You’re My Stepmother! Part 8”. Good times. Kids today are missing out on something.Report

    • Avatar Mo says:

      If you google “romantic comedies ruin relationships” you will find its actually well worn ground.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        The suggested google search revealed criticism and defenses of romantic comedies in about equal proportion.Report

        • Avatar Mo says:

          The fact that the criticisms are notable enough to warrant serious rebuttals* indicates that there is non-negligible pushback on women’s romantic entertainment.

          * No one tried to seriously rebut Time Cube**
          ** At what point are Time Cube references no longer a signal of fogey-dom and become inscrutable? 2030?Report

  3. Avatar Damon says:

    Sp7 WAY Cool. Also check out this guy:

    I have the Europa and Mars posters and Solar Eclipse poster no longer offered. 20 dollars and ready for framing. They look kick ass next to this: (Pacific NW Tree Octopus)

    Sc1: It MAY be useful research but that doesn’t mean taxpayers have to fund it. If it’s useful to someone, they can pay.

    C4: “BuzzFeed could not countenance “having employees make ads, or working at the company and having our site promoting things, that limit our freedom and make it harder for them to live their lives.” Wow. It’s SOOOO hard. Trying being of a different political orientation and living in a Democratically controlled progressive machine state and then talk to me about “limits to your freedom”. Wimps. I’m curious about this statement though: “we don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health.” I wasn’t aware that running ads for cigs was hazardous to anyone’s health.

    A4: I prefer the term “carnivorous wombat” because wombats are cooler than koalas, particularly the “common” wombat.

    A5: Dunno about dogs, but I’m hugging my cat. If she doesn’t like it, well all the better. Payback for waking me up in the middle of the night at 1:30, 4:00, and 4:30.Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    C3: I have noticed more for rent signs in SF and they have been staying up longer. I have also noticed more for sale signs. The issue is that SF rents will probably not go down until the current start up bubble bursts. The big players are here to stay but a lot of the smaller companies need to go bust and/or do layoffs. When people stop making the 9 millionth delivery or transportation or other lazy person service and calling it a “tech” company, rents will cool down in SF.*

    *I still maintain that most “tech” companies are not so much about tech but about designing a smart phone app that sells a service to lazy 20 somethings. Sometimes 30 somethings. The big issue about these companies is that they really can’t scale beyond the well to do in urban areas. GrubHub, Blue Apron are great ideas. I don’t know if we need a million copycats. InstaCart is just absurd and a damn luxury.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    C1: Looks like a job for the…cold case squad.Report

  6. Avatar Autolukos says:

    Sp4: Finally, we’re going to get our self-regulated society of ruggedly independent asteroid miners! You can have my oxygen when you pry it out of my cold, dead lungs!Report

  7. Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

    R2: The linked article is quite good. My major bone to pick is

    Social pressure will not change the church.

    *snort!* Of course it will. Organized political activity won’t, but those are not the same thing. The revelation in the 1970s that blacks are people, too, is a classic example of the church changing due to social pressure.

    What the article doesn’t really touch on is that the Mormon church is unusual in having a formal process for receiving new revelations. Most churches adapt by reinterpreting core beliefs, while leaving the statements of those core beliefs unchanged. The Mormons have a mechanism by which they can declare that the rules have changed. So the old doctrine about blacks is not not interpreted as having been wrong, but rather that the rules have since changed. Contrast this with my Lutheran church. Luther wrote some awful things about the Jews. This doesn’t present a problem to the modern Lutheran church because these writings were never considered normative, even when Lutherans were nodding in agreement with them. Nowadays we look at them as respond that Brother Martin really screwed the pooch on that one.

    As an exercise for the student, consider how the Roman Catholic church deals with times a-changin’.Report

    • Avatar veronica d says:

      I’d say the Lutherans have an advantage that, no one thought that Martin Luther was writing holy scripture. Instead, he was writing critique of a particular interpretation of holy scripture. In the end, a big part of his message was, “We can read this and think critically and object to how it is applied by the authorities,” which can then, just as easily, be applied to his own authority. So yeah, a modern Lutheran can say, “We’ve studied scripture, and we’ve looked at the world around us, and we’ve concluded that Luther was wrong about that part.”

      It’s going to more difficult for Mormons. They claim divine revelation.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        At least the Church of Latter Day Saints doesn’t have the Roman Catholic Church’s problem of having a billion members who are all over the place when it comes to tradition, modernity, and religion.Report

  8. Avatar notme says:

    Novel Strategy Puts Big Soda Tax Within Philadelphia’s Reach

    What is so novel about taxing something but giving a different reason for taxing it or calling something else?

  9. Avatar notme says:

    No Ramadan wake up call. Let’s riot! So much for these poor folks just trying to reach a safe haven.

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      “It is believed two 26-year-old North African men started the blaze by setting fire to their mattresses after pouring flammable liquid over them.”

      Seems relevant.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        What seems relevant?Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog says:

          You could conclude Muslims are bad because of the actions of two Muslims.
          You could conclude North Africans are bad because of the actions of two North Africans.
          You could conclude refugees are bad because of the actions of two refugees.
          You could conclude men are bad because of the actions of two men.
          You could conclude people in their mid-20s are bad because of the actions of two 26-year olds.
          You could conclude that the actions of these two men reflect only on themselves, and not on any of the other people with the misfortune to be cooped up in a camp next to such lousy neighbours, regardless of any demographic traits they do or don’t share with them.

          You could conclude all kinds of things, and what you conclude says more about you than it does about the facts from which you’re drawing conclusions.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck says:

            You could conclude that Republicans are bad because of something said by a candidate for state legislature in Nebraska.

            But, y’know, says more about you, etcetera.Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

            You could conclude men are bad because of the actions of two men.

            I’m new to this whole “social justice” thing, but I’m pretty sure that this is the only non-bigoted option.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        What evidence is there of a riot? Which “poor folks” are you referring to? Did the headline writer mean “Two furious migrants” or “All migrants are furious”?

        That you can’t see the relevance is telling.Report

        • Avatar notme says:

          Sorry I cant read your mind to know what you think is relevant.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            I don’t expect you to read my mind. But the relevance of a quote from the article you linked to should be obvious.Report

            • Avatar notme says:

              Yes they burnt down a building and put 280 at risk all b/c they didn’t get a wake up a call.Report

            • Avatar notme says:

              Let me also say that Obama kept telling us these were just poor Syrian women and children that we should let flood into our country and support b/c they were so put upon. The truth being that most are young men and many aren’t even Syrian.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Please show evidence of a riot. Two men lighting a matress on fire isn’t a riot.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                What term would you prefer? Clearly there were two groups that disagreed and threats were made. The threats culminated in violence when one group didn’t get their way.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd.

                I’m not going to argue with you whether two people constitutes a crowd. I will point out that you’ve now made thia the topic of the conversation instead of actually discussing what this means for policies regarding migrants because you opted for hyperbole (or didn’t read the article).Report

              • Avatar Mo says:

                notme says fish you to sorites.Report

  10. Avatar notme says:

    San Francisco Hopes Trump Fear Will Lead To Voting Rights For Illegal Immigrants In City Report

  11. Avatar notme says:

    In the Clinton world anything is for sale. Newly released State Department emails show a major Clinton Foundation donor landed on a government intelligence advisory board despite the fact that he had no experience in the field.

    • Avatar Mo says:

      The Clintons are clearly the first administration to engage in political patronage. Heck of a job Brownie, I mean, not me.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        I never said the Clintoons were the first. I’m surprised they would be so blatant and sell such an important job. She is someone for all Dems to be proud of for her honesty and transparency.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        “The Clintons are clearly the first administration to engage in political patronage. ”

        So it’s…okay, then, that this happened? It’s not relevant to anything?Report

        • Avatar Mo says:

          I’m not a fan of patronage, but it’s about as old as the republic. Patronage, like the deficit, federalism and a host of other issues, is an issue that is only cared about when used as a cudgel against you opponents and otherwise ignored. The people who have the vapors about this didn’t care about Jim Langdon being on the presidential intelligence advisory board. I get this is a pretty clear cut BSDI comment, but I actually see less issue with random one off patronage in positions with no operational responsibilities, like advisory boards or figurehead ambassadorships than I do with real responsibilities like FEMA or the Fed.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            Is the whole “government intelligence advisory board” thing troublesome?

            It’s not like the dude ended up on The Board of Tea Appeals.Report

            • Avatar Mo says:

              Have you seen the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board under Bush? This stuff is SOP. Hell, the CEO of US Steel was on the first one under Ike.

              Brent Scowcroft, the chair
              Pete Wilson, a former governor of California
              Cresencio S. Arcos, Jr., an AT&T executive and former US ambassador
              Jim Barksdale, former head of the internet company Netscape
              Robert Addison Day, chairman of the TWC Group, a money management firm
              Stephen Friedman, past chairman of Goldman Sachs
              Alfred Lerner, chief executive of MBNA
              Ray Lee Hunt, scion of the Texas oil fortune
              Rita Hauser, a prominent lawyer
              David E. Jeremiah, a retired admiral
              Arnold Kanter, a national security official in the George H.W. Bush administration and a founding member of the Scowcroft Group
              James C. Langdon, Jr., a power-lawyer in Texas
              Elisabeth Pate-Cornell, Chair of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University
              John Harrison Streicker, a real estate magnate
              Philip Zelikow, a National Security Council staffer


              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Oh, well. If Bush did it I guess it’s above criticism.

                I’m really, really looking forward to Hillary’s Presidency.

                “Why are you criticizing Hillary invading Iran? Bush invaded Iraq!”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                What criticism is being presented here?
                What is the argument being made?

                This is just a potshot, a grabbing-at-straws fauxtrage of the moment.

                Its on par with OMG Obama put his feet up on the Presidential desk, or OMG Obama bowed to a foreign king.

                These people aren’t serious, they don’t have anything meaningful to say.
                These are the same people who suddenly on Jan. 20, 2009 woke up and discovered that the federal government was running a deficit, and became wildly outraged.

                Be honest, without Googling first, how many people here were aware of the “President’s Intelligence Advisory Board” and knew what it does, and what sorts of people sit on it?

                No, but we are being invited to suddenly become alarmed over such a Grave National Matter.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Dems continually tell everyone that they are more intelligent, honest, transparent, tolerant, etc than Repubs so I was shocked to see them doing the same low-brow actions.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I would find this concern trolling to be a powerful argument in its own right, if I were a Nader-esque, Trump-curious Bernie bro, who is shocked and appalled that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the two!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I think it’s the whole impropriety of the quid pro quo of donating in order to get on an intelligence committee.

                But, hey. Maybe it’s like bowing to a foreign king.

                Be honest, without Googling first, how many people here were aware of the “President’s Intelligence Advisory Board” and knew what it does, and what sorts of people sit on it?

                I have no idea.
                So let’s google it!

                Here’s what CNN’s article says:

                “The ?International Security Advisory Board was established to provide the State Department with independent insight and advice on a broad range of international security matters. The ISAB’s charter stipulates that the board should reflect a balance of backgrounds and points of view. Generally speaking, it’s not unusual for the State Department chief of staff to be involved in personnel matters,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement to CNN. “Members of the International Security Advisory Board are required to have security clearances. But, as is standard, the department does not comment on individuals’ security clearance status.?”

                Here’s all that ABC’s story about it says:

                The Chicago securities trader, who specialized in electronic investing, sat alongside an august collection of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries and members of Congress to advise Hillary Clinton on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and on other crucial arms control issues.

                It makes you wonder why the news didn’t do a better job of ripping into Bush, who did the same thing, and probably put those people on the board after they donated to him.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It’s also unfortunate that the right-wing news shows are treating this like something that Bush didn’t do and treating this like it’s more important than the obvious swift-boating that it is.

                Does Trump have partial ownership of ABC/CNN? He’s probably friends with Ted Turner, now that I think about it.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Probably bc in this case Hill’s folks first stonewalled the press and furthered delayed so he could resign.Report

              • Avatar Mo says:

                You must have missed the part where I noted there was patronage on the very first PIAB under Eisenhower. That seems to indicate that patronage is not entirely incidental to the purpose of these advisory boards. Frankly, I’d rather have patronage at ‘advisory’ boards where the real decisions aren’t made than in positions with actual operational responsibility.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                If you’d bothered to ask me, I would have said that folks should have something to contribute to such a board, not just the money they raised.

                This instance is amusing from a number of aspects including the fact that Hill’s folks first stonewalled the press and delayed so he could resign. Did I also mention that he is a superdelegate?Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

            The interesting question, to me, is why a financial securities trader would want to be on the intelligence advisory board. Did he get confused about the “Security” part of the Department of Homeland Security?Report

            • Avatar Kolohe says:

              It’s kinda neat and cool in and of itself to get a peak behind the curtain, especially if you have no real responsibilty or obligation for anything you are seeing.Report

            • Avatar Mo says:

              The same reason someone wants to have a wing named after them at the Met. It’s something to brag that you have and they don’t.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck says:

            “I’m not a fan of patronage, but it’s about as old as the republic.”

            So it’s…okay, then, that this happened? You’re okay with the fact that it happened?

            PS you’re bringing this up as a response to me, like I personally was utterly 100% on board with patronage during the Bush adminstration, and that I have defended it. Please to be finding quotes, or else to be shutting up the fuck.Report

            • Avatar Mo says:

              I’m not ok with it, but there are literally thousands of things I don’t like that happen. On the scale of damaging government corruption, it’s pretty low. Does this guy actually do anything? Is he a national security risk or does he just take up a spot or a board that has fewer members than their allowable max and have no impact? Seems to me that this is the skin tag of government corruption; it’s not attractive, but it doesn’t actually have any impact.

              What is the relevance of this? What effect did the guy’s presence on the board have? We go through this whole charade of, “I’m shocked to find that there’s patronage going on in the State Department,” every administration when some donor gets named ambassador when it is a 200 year old tradition. If I were building up the government from scratch, I wouldn’t have that be a feature. On the other hand, if we’re rooting out government corruption, we’d be a lot better off spending time and energy rooting out professional courtesy by local PDs.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Nobody stonewalled the investigation into Brownie’s horse breeding past, nor did anyone threaten anyone with arrest for asking questions about the former FEMA director.Report

      • Avatar notme says:


        You sound almost as lame as the State Dept. to justify the sale of the position.

    • Avatar Will Truman says:


  12. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    I am loving the posters!Report

  13. Avatar El Muneco says:

    Sc4: It all makes sense now. Zimbardo is basically one of the wizards from Pratchett’s Unseen University, and he simply hates the whole idea of having actual students at his university.Report

  14. Avatar notme says:

    Hillary deletes more than emails as the latest edition of her memoir removes all her cheerleading for controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal

    It’s amazing anyone can support her with a straight face.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      I gotta be honest here: stuff like this just makes no sense to me and definitely makes me question her judgment. It’s like she doesn’t understand how politics works.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        She understands perfectly well how politics work, but clearly feels the upside to re-writing history is worthy it.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          See, I disagree with ya about that. There is no upside to expunging the record on a reprint in the internet age. The coverup becomes more significant than the crime. And in this case the crime is small potatoes, since everyone who’s paying attention already knows she supported the TPP. Given that … why expunge the record?

          She’s bad at this.

          Adding: I guess our disagreement falls along the age-old “are they incompetent or evil?” worry.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Raping a woman will do that.

      On a separate note, I can’t wait for Mike Tyson to cameo as a wacky neighbor on some sitcom.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        I just don’t see what the personal has to do with the professional.Report

        • Avatar Francis says:

          “I just don’t see what the personal has to do with the professional.”

          [blink. blink again.]

          You’re a lawyer and you don’t understand the consequences of being a felon?

          And aren’t you usually the one who’s protective of private associations doing whatever they feel like?Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain says:

          I just don’t see what the personal has to do with the professional.

          Speaking from experience being peripherally involved in governance of an amateur sporting body (USA Swimming is the governing body for Olympic swimming in the US), here’s an important contemporary truth: if you don’t come down really hard on behavior like this, you won’t be able to get liability insurance. Period. Not at any price. No liability insurance means no one will let you use their facilities. No facilities available and you don’t have a sport.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        How many people that want Turner to face consequences for the rest of his life also want to ban the box?Report

  15. Avatar Nevermoor says:

    Good ole’ praying-for-Obama’s-death-and-destruction Christianists!

    Remind me why were were surprised about Trump again?Report

    • Avatar notme says:

      Was Trump the one praying or you are just randomly associating?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Trump was associating. He’s clever that way. Maybe more clever than you. 🙂Report

        • Avatar notme says:

          I’m sure Trump is more clever than I.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            Well, you probably aren’t clever enough to MORALLY square intentionally cheating contractors outa their pay even tho you signed the contract to pay them for services rendered. That’s a level – or type (sociopathic) – of clever I hope never attains the White House.Report

  16. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Will Truman and other conservatives: given the hammering Trump is receiving on his past business practices, his racist remarks re Curiel and judges’ impartiality, etc and so on, what’s the likelihood that the GOP invokes the nuclear option at the convention?Report

    • Avatar Morat20 says:

      Zero. Absolutely zero. That’d antagonize the only engaged part of their base.

      If they had a single king who could do it, maybe. But a collective decision? No way.

      They’re already moving into “Don’t tick off the base, don’t get tied too closely, we’ll pick up the wreckage in 2020”. (I suspect there’s a large strain of “We have Trump, they have Clinton, obviously HRC has to be as bad as Trump, ergo 2020 will be prime pick-up material” thinking there too. Human nature. Diffuse the blame out).Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      It’s not clear that they can. For a host of reasons:

      1) It would require a degree of coordination that the party wouldn’t be in this position if it had existed.
      2) The people who are freaking out are a different people than the people who get to make the decision. If it were up to a vote of congressmen, for example, they could do it. But it’s up to delegates.
      3) As soon as Trump became the presumptive nominee, the RNC took it as their job to work with and not against Trump. So…
      4) After Trump became the presumptive nominee, his people started getting the appropriate committee assignments. So even if the delegates were so inclined, I’m not sure there are enough of them.

      So… if it were up to the electeds, maybe. It’s does seem to be dawning on them exactly how much of a disaster this is. But the wheels to take Trump over the finish line were put into motion two weeks ago, and I don’t believe they can be stopped.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Ahh, thanks.

        Followup Q: Are you aware of any efforts to get delegates to vote for the rule change or the degree to which Trump delegates might be so swayed?

        The reason I ask is that Trump is such a complete, utter, total disaster to the GOP both politically and practically that I just can’t imagine the Big Players aren’t availing themselves of any and every option to keep him from getting the nom.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          I am not aware of any such efforts. I think the total scope of the disaster is simply too big to wrap their heads around. I am not even sure I can wrap my own head around it. Denial may simply be the easiest course of action for them.

          (There has been a lot of effort, from all quarters really, to paint Trump as some degree of A Normal Republican. Or that having the id revealed is good, or isn’t so bad. It hasn’t been completely successful, but it’s ongoing. There is really some extraordinary reluctance to believe “No. Seriously. He’s different.” I’m wondering if it’s simply too late to turn back.)

          It all has me remember good old Jonas.Report

          • Avatar Brit says:

            /I dont think the republicans keeping their heads down and hoping for 2020 are wrong.

            Obama has basically been a truly great President frustrated by the failings of the US political process and the power it gives to those who put winning above doing the best for the country. Its heartbreaking when i look back to 2008. Obama’s whole schtick was that he wanted to bring people together – read his books. And he tried desperately to get consensus, even on his flagship healthcare that he ran and won on. But the republicans calculated that electorally it was better to oppose oppose oppose rather than work together to make the best system possible.

            Honestly, i get that people (including me!) will disagree with some of Obama’s brliefs and decisions, but how anyone can look at him and look at the GOP and think they are even in the same league.

            And despite everything, nearly half the country voted romney in 2012. And voted the republicans into congress, rewarding the gop party-before-country line.

            Hilary Clinton, if she wins, will be a mediocre uninspiring president. And she will lose to whatever idiot the republicans chose to run in 2020.

            Thats the better outcome. The other possibility is trump wins (eg sonethibg comes of the email scandal) and it’s game over for the us system. Go read volokh and see them rightly freaking out.

            The only surprising thing is that some conservatives are surprised at Trump. All of you who have cavilled at obama these past eight years, and insisted on BSDI etc are responsible. You let your dislike of liberalism blind you to the fact that there are more important things than left-right splits. The GOP has worked to destroy your system of governance – which like any political system relies in part on good faith in its participants – and you have enabled them.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              My ultimate fear is not that a Trump coalition will lose, but that it will eventually win. But if it does, the current leadership will not be a part of it. They will be displaced, or quit, before that point.

              Their folly is believing that, without action, things will return to normal. Or that the risk they won’t is worth taking.Report

              • Avatar Brit says:

                I agree.

                But why would they oppose Trump? Doing so would only damage them with the GOP voters and harm their careers. And although a trump win would akso damage thrm, that’s only a possibility. Why take certain danage to avoid it?

                Now you and i would say that the risk of Trump to the country is so grest that noone should hold back because of that sort of caculation. But that sort of calculation is what GOP leaders have done for the past 8 years, and it has worked well for them.Report

              • Avatar Brit says:

                Shorter version: they arent being stupid, they are being selfish. And noone should be surprised by that.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                I think they’re a thing in the own best interest in a massive collective action problem (among other things). That’s part of what I was getting at with my earlier #1.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                But why would they oppose Trump?

                Because Trumpism isn’t an extension of the status quo, and they know it. That’s why there is such visible discomfort. It’s why, while they haven’t opposed Trump, they haven’t really supported him either*. All of the talk of falling into line is largely applicable to the voters, but not really to the electeds. Yet, anyway.

                Now, your response may be that Trumpism Realized is just an extension of the party’s status quo. And therein potentially lies our disagreement. They don’t believe so, and neither do I.

                * – I’m excluding the Duncan Hunters and Chris Christies, who have thrown in their lot. Also, the RNC whose hands are more-or-less tied at this point.Report

            • Avatar notme says:

              A great president? Really, what makes Obama great much less good?Report

              • Avatar El Muneco says:

                Early in his second term, 538 did the 538 thing and number-crunched a bunch of scholarly analyses and put Obama 17th, between the first Adams and the first Clinton.

                Since then, we’ve had:
                – The Iran deal, which is working out better than even his own side had hoped
                – The Paris accords, which even China are buying in to, and if you think that had nothing to do with US diplomatic efforts, not least of which was being a signatory in the first place…
                – Daesh is unsettled, it’s quite possible that Obama’s long game in that department is working
                – Significant normalization of relations with Cuba, thawing after decades of ice
                – Republican-led states are giving up their holdouts on providing their citizens health care
                – Gradual expansions of civil rights, which has the bonus of irritating a lot of the appropriate people

                Even if you think 17th was too high in 2013, the fact that he has any bullet points at all since then given the continued intransigence of Congress has got to be worth quite a bit.

                A good case could be made that the second term would push him above the likes of Polk and Johnson (not that one, the one who liked to show off his Johnson) into the seventy-fifth percentile or so, which puts him on the fringes of the top 10 with the likes of Kennedy and Eisenhower.

                I don’t know if that makes him great, but good? Certainly.

                Flaws? Certainly. The TPP, which Obama himself rates as one of his biggest achievements, has had a lot of negative knock-on effects, primarily in extending the lack of economic recovery in the rural USA but also in expanding exploitation regimes in our trading partners.

                The question is like baseball – how big do you want your Hall of Fame? There are some people who put Joe Morgan in only reluctantly. There are others who think Lou Whitaker should have been a slam-dunk. Do you have to be a top-10 President to be great? Top-5?Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                I’ve got to get to bed but will have an answer tomorrow. In the mean time, how could you have forgotten his peace prize? Surely that confirms his greatness, right?Report

              • Avatar El Muneco says:

                The Peace Prize was – famously – in his first term, so it’s already taken into consideration. Just between you and me, I think it was a little premature, so I don’t rate it either way as evidence. Don’t let that out, though. I might lose some liberal bona fides.Report

              • Among second baseman, Whitaker has higher WAR than Alomar or Biggio, in fact higher than than the average of HoFers at his position. The only real knock on him is that he had lots of very good years but few if any great ones.Report

          • There has been a lot of effort, from all quarters really, to paint Trump as some degree of A Normal Republican.

            Much of it coming from Democrats.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 says:

              Well in all fairness, the party DID nominate the guy and the party establishment is mostly falling in behind him.

              I suppose it depends on what you mean by “normal”. In the end, he’s pretty much where every other Republican candidate was after clinching the nomination. Certainly after the convention.

              Is he normal? Did he redefine normal? He’s certainly not so abnormal he was rejected.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                That’s part of what I meant by my original comment about normalization. Especially since clinching the nomination, Republicans have been trying like hell to treat him like he’s normal. Many of them can’t actually say his name when they voice their “support” but they support him because he’s the nominee and they have to support the nominee.

                The media has done this as well. A whole lot of (non-Trumper) voices during the delegate scramble intimated that it was unfair that Republicans weren’t treating him like any other frontrunner. “If it were anyone else, they would have lined up by now!” And when it looked like there might be a contested convention, well he got the most votes so they’d have to give it to him, right? Like they would any (implication “normal”) frontrunner. Some liberal-types joined in here, and a whole lot of Republicans (though mostly Trump supporters).

                And Democrats and liberals, too, though to a lesser extent. A fair number of voices suggesting that Trump isn’t substantively different than, and may be preferable to (because Social Security), Rubio and Cruz and so on.

                I could go on, but that’s the crux of it. From my vantage point, there is a whole lot of desire to put Trump into a particular role. To normalize him. Or at least present him as a different – cruder, more blunt, whatever – variation of normal. But tempting, I guess, for a variety of reasons.

                I also think that, next to Trump beating Hillary, it’s the worst thing that can happen for the country.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                But I think that’s a chicken and egg problem.

                Trump bashes a judge based on his heritage — is that any different, really, than Reagan’s “Strapping young bucks”? (Aside from pointing to a specific person).

                Trump’s a grifter but….so is Palin. Trump’s an authoritarian, but so are other GOP candidates.

                I’m wondering if he’s only abnormal in his bluntness.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                This exemplifies what I am referring to quite well.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Well yes, I get that I just said what you say liberals say.

                My question is: Are they wrong? Is Trump really abnormal?

                I mean you can argue he fits right into a very common type of politician in parliamentary democracies (not constrained to just two parties), for instance. Which is admittedly not terribly normal for the last few decades of American politics, but we’re pretty abnormal in out setup.

                I’m getting a on the one hand, on the other hand problem here.

                When you say he’s not normal — is that true? Or wishful thinking? How is he different from Sarah Palin, for instance?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                How is he different from Sarah Palin, for instance?

                Ready (or more ready, anyway) for Prime Time.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Also not run by the religious right.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                What was Douthat’s quote?

                Something something religious right, intensified something something irreligious right?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                For what it’s worth, Palin cones the closest. But (and I didn’t make this clear) I was referring to a normal nominee, frontrunner, or at least viable candidate.

                Trump, as a potential candidate, is fundamentally different in my view than even those I dislike and disrespect (ie Cruz). If you don’t see it, you don’t see it. Not sure I can help you.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                When you say he’s not normal — is that true? Or wishful thinking? How is he different from Sarah Palin, for instance?

                I’m with Will on this issue but I also see your point, Morat. Restricting ourselves to politics by leaving out the man’s character as revealed by his past and present practices, seems to me Trump is radically different than your average GOPer (and he’s radically different than GOPism) even tho he’s (apparently!) not all that different from what a plurality of conservative’s comprising the GOP base think a GOPer ought to be (Palin 2.0).Report

  17. Kolohe:
    How many people that want Turner to face consequences for the rest of his life also want to ban the box?

    The interesting thing is if he’d been chucked into prison for 5-10, there’s a pretty good chance he would have been paroled out sooner and allowed to competitively swim. The blatant favoritism that the judge showed him (plus the embarrassingly tone-deaf letter his father wrote) did a *really* good job of stopping that.

    He’s a white upper-class twit, so banning the box or not won’t make much difference to his future career. But in any case it’s harder to redeem yourself if you can’t even get a job to pay the bills after you’ve paid you debt to society.Report

    • Avatar notme says:

      No, the swimming ban and similar job related punishments are the newest form of extra judical justice that liberals feel free to insist upon for people they feel haven’t been punished enough.Report

      • notme:
        No, the swimming ban and similar job related punishments

        Sporting and professional organizations have had morals clauses *forever*; what is so special about a convicted rapist that makes them an affront to human dignity in this case?Report

        • Avatar notme says:

          Turner isn’t a member of USA Swimming and has been preemptively banned for life. The other case I’m thinking of is the “Donglegate” guys that happened at Pycon. Liberals fed the fires that got folks fired for no good reason. Somehow NWSL overlooked Hope Solo’s legal issues and let her play on. No double standard there at all.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Like most of the USOC sanctioning bodies, the very large majority of USA Swimming’s membership are minors. Under pressure from the liability insurance companies, all of the sanctioning bodies have gotten even more serious about background checks and such on people who deal regularly with the athletes — coaches, referees, trainers, event organizers, etc. Competitive members aren’t usually subject to such checks, but if information comes to light that they would fail such a check, they get the same punishment.

      Sex-related crimes are pretty much an automatic lifetime ban — in many cases, these are sports where parents are being asked to send their 16- or 14-year old children away on trips where the only supervision/protection is being provided by the coaches, event organizers, and other athletes.

      Full disclosure: I sit on the executive committee of the Colorado Division of the US Fencing Association, a USOC sanctioning body. Because that means I deal with kids at events, I had to pass a background check. I spend time with those kids’ parents regularly.Report

      • I used to volunteer for the Little League scheduling umpires, which meant I sent out e-mail with kids’ assignments, and on rare occasion phoned them (when someone had cancelled at the last minute and I needed an emergency replacement.) And I needed to pass a background check even to do that.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Whenever I do FIRST or Science Fair judging, I have to pass one.Report