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AvatarComments by Tod Kelly

On “Dirty Politics

This relates to a belief that I have held for years, which is this: public figures (especially politicians) who gain wealth or power by dictating who in society we should judge harshly are usually the ones who dictate how we judge them.

A candidate who rails against his opponent for never having run a successful business inevitably makes it news if it turns out he or she has a long string of Chapter 11s in their past. A white Hollywood celeb who gets lots of press for shaming other white people for not being "woke" enough has necessarily made it more of a story if they get caught on tape saying something racist, or paying their hispanic nanny sub-minimum wage under the table. And, of course, a politician or pundit who says they or theirs should be given more power because of they are more morally disciplined than everyone else has themselves said they should be run out on a rail long before they were caught with their pants down.

It's common in all of these cases for public defenders and their critics to cry "hypocrisy" whenever they get caught, but that's not really what it is. We largely let people with power and fame dictate the terms which we judge them, and how we punish them.

What I find most interesting, however, is how routine it is for the public figures who ask us to be concerned about other people doing X end up being people who do X far more than most. Does anyone know if there's ever been a comprehensive study about this? It is a very weird thing.

On “The Perspective of Luck, or Lack Thereof

This is largely being treated as a binary thing because that's what we do with everything now - but it really isn't binary, and lots of things can be simultaneously true.

Does Luck have a right to make his own decisions about his life? Of course.

Does he owe "the public" spending more years working in career he no longer wants to work in and thinks might be damaging him in life-lasting ways? Not really.

Was the timing of his decision ideal for everyone else? Not remotely.

Do his business partners, vendors, and employers have a case to be a little cheesed, whether or not the choose to appear that way publicly? Probably, yeah. We all would.

Is there something wrong with Colts fans who have been waiting for half a year for "next year" to gnash their teeth and howl at the moon now that "next year" is going away before it even began, and now they have to adjust to "*next* next year?" Hell yeah. If this were the Lakers and LeBron I would be screaming at my cat.

Should Luck have the expectation that the media complex that surrounds the NFL let him off easy and not really make this into a story? No. Part of why he is (probably) set up for life financially is because this was the ecosystem he decided to profit off of with his skills, and when you do that you have to be willing to take the good with the bad.

On “Weekend Plans Post: The State Fair

Like fillyjonk I've never been to a state fair. My first blush reaction to the idea is that there isn't anything there I would find interesting, though once I think that it hits me that I actually have no idea what one does at state fair. And now I'm googling the upcoming Oregon State Fair. The Special Events include Belt Buckle Battle, Monster Truck Championship, tractor pull, and a seemingly misplaced thing called the All-Alaskan Racing Pigs. So probably not my cup of tea in 2019, but I bet when the kids were actually kids it might have been a blast.

I'm mostly relaxing this weekend. The only things I have on my calendar is taking the oldest boy out to dinner tonight to celebrate his birthday, and meeting up with Burt tomorrow to do a distillery-tasting run with knitting niki.

Main goal: engage in absolutely positively zero work-related activities. We'll see how well I can actually do with that.

On “The Hedgehog Who Won

(Or to be more precise, she's Ayanna Pressley without any of the legislating.)


Is she converting to Islam and wearing a hijab on camera in interviews? Yeah, she probably does get the press. Otherwise she's Ayanna Pressley.


It also does t hurt that she’s in the same city where the industry that covers her is. Congresswoman AOC from a Boise suburb would never have been AOC


Oh, perfect real time example. Thanks.


"Watching the leftentariat push back in the comments here, hard, at the idea of the Squad being in this position is very telling."

Dude, have you met us? This is OT. I could write a 100 word post about how water is wet and I'd get half the site vehemently pushing back. S**t, I couldn't write a piece saying maybe we shouldn't let people in power rape women and children that didn't have a comments section filled with pushback.

Pushing back against whatever someone says here is the reason 90% of the people who ever show up here show up here.


If OT reflected the real world reparations would be a real thing in sed of a flashy thing to sell clicks, Gary Johnston would be a major political player if not the POTUS, and women would largely be invisible in the public sphere and wouldn't be a voting demographic anyone would ever have to care about to win an election.

OT is a lot of things good and bad, but representative of the real world has never been one of them.


"It’s not really who *I* want it to be as much as who the various editors want it to be."

Well sure, they might be the person who picks out the bright shiny object every week or so, but you're the person deciding that whatever bright shiny object they are looking at at the moment is The Face Of X.

Which, again as I said, you get to do because it's a nebulous phrase. I would argue that saying that whoever happens to be in the news and is connected to X is the de facto Face Of X is a new and entirely unhelpful concept, but even if I'm right you get to do it. Bonus: you get to abandon that method completely when it's more advantageous to your argument.


Well sure, if that is how you would decide who is the face, then yeah, AOC was absolutely it for a while, but since then it's probably been Omar, but right now honestly it's probably anti-fa. And in September it will likely be, I dunno, Warren or Alyssa Milano, or whoever gets pulled into the Epstein investigation, or more likely some combination of all three and someone I'm not thinking of right now, until it's someone else. Those people would all get to be the face for a little while then.

Like I said, the phrase "face that represents X" is whoever you want it to be, which makes it a super handy phrase.


Um...the conversation at OT is scaring the left? This OT? I'm not sure I follow.


Part of the issue is that "The Face Of" is a largely ambiguous phrase with little meaning.

Is The Face of The Democratic Party the people the party leaders are promoting to the word? In that case, The Squad is defiantly not the face - if anything, they keep them at arm's length, and that's' when they aren't swatting them down.

Is The Face of The Democratic Party the people the democratic rank and file appear to be supporting? If so, then if polling, voting, and granted power is any indication The Squad is not remotely the Face.

Is The Face of The Democratic Party those people who the right wing and talk radio is most focusing on right now? If so, then the Squad is absolutely Face of The Party, and it's not even close.

Is The Face of The Democratic Party whoever gets on TV the most? In that case, you could make a case that the Squad is he Face of The Democratic Party - but if so, you'd have to agree that Loui Gohmert and Jacob Wohl are the face of the Republican Party, and I'm not sure anyone in the GOP that wasn't GOhmert or Wohl would agree.

Basically, the Face is whoever you decide you want it to be.


Also: Kim is hands down the best character on Better Call Saul.


I don't disagree with the post Kristen, but I do think there is a bit more nuance to be mined here. For what it's worth, I've never seen anyone say that female character should never ask for or receive help. (Not saying no one has ever said that - this is the internet, after ll -just that at least to my line of sight it's n to a big enough universe to make itself known.)

What I *have* seen objections to are the historical tendency for female characters (especially in TV and movies) to act as merely a one-dimensional plot device for a male character to help, which is similar (and probably related) to complaints about women characters (again, primarily in TV and movies) existing as a one dimensional plot device as a thing for the male character to win.

TV certainly doesn't seem to be like this anymore (I don't go out to the movies enough these days to comment on those), but that I can say that when I was growing up and a young adult, outside of arthouse films or PBS costumed dramas, women's roles really did tend to be written as if whoever wrote the scripts hadn't given much thought at all to them except as a plot device for the male characters.



On “2019 Time Capsule

"My dream ticket on August 20, 2019 is Klubachar/Buttigeig. It’s so Midwestern that I would expect their logo to have a casserole on it."

This is why we need a 'like" button.


"Boy, my 2011 prediction was painful to read"

The first thing I said [the GOP nominee will be someone not on our radar yet] and the last thing I said [in 2016 the GOP will tack back to the center] were laughably wrong.

Everything in between, though...

On “Defenders Of The Gold Bikini 2: The Fempire Doesn’t Strike Back

Wait - I thought Padme dies from injuries inflicted by Anakin? (It's been forever since I've seen the movie so I could be wrong, but I thought her being killed by domestic violence was a major plot point. But maybe I dreamed this?)

On “The Answer, My Friend, is Blowin’ in the Wind? Perhaps.

"That’s why I think moderate Dems need to lead on this and the moderate conservatives can support knowing there is safety in numbers."

On what planet would moderate conservatives reps & Senators go against the GOP and the president to help out the Dems?

Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE to see moderates from both parties come together on this and whole slew of other issues. But I think I have a better chance of being POTUS in 2020 than Democrats have of getting Republicans to stand with them on a red meat litmus test issue instead of falling in line behind Trump, regardless of how moderate they are.

On “Kevin Williamson’s Smallest World

@North : "I wonder, in this case, what he’d even be talking about. I’ve traveled in progressive and liberal circles for my entire adult life and have absolutely never heard or read any progressive or liberal even toy with the idea that families and communities being destroyed is, in of themselves, any kind of desirable good."

The phrase "sh/she/they they want to destroy families" is almost always a more politically palatable stand-in for "I don't want them to have a family."

On “Kamala Harris

@kolohe: "Honest question- since the complete opposite of this happened while Obama was President, why would it be different during a Harris presidency?"

I don't believe it is what happened.

There are two things that everyone in 2019 tends to forget about life before the spring of 2016. The fist is that even though Republicans & right wing media opposed him no matter what he did, Obama was an extremely popular president.

The second is that, while people within the alt-right movement existed, they weren't open a part of the GOP or movement conservatism until Trump gave them permission to do so. If you go back and look at the most terrible things Trump said in 2016 and early 2016, it was aways followed by Republican leaders and right-wing pundits saying, essentially, "thanks for playing; you're finished now." Most of the people you see on Fox or places like the Daily Caller or the Federalist who are giant Trump boosters in 2019 railed about him being a blight on politics back in 2015, and they pretty much all condemned whatever Richard-Spenser-lite characters initially tried to jump on Trump's coattails early on. They didn't buy into Trumpism or start defending the so-called deplorables until Trump thoroughly kicked their asses. Anyone who felt the way Steve Bannon did back in 2014 either kept it to themselves, only talked abut it in anonymous chatrooms, or was thoroughly ostracized from everyone in mainstream politics and almost everyone in regular society.