Did you all miss Andrew Sullivan?

Just in case you didn’t get enough of a gay Catholic man scribbling apologetics for the conservative establishment, he is trying to stage some kind of comeback as a pundit (although, actually, he seemed to pop up all the time anyway — it’s like he was on Maher all the time, which may be a misapprehension on my part, since I so rarely watch Maher). Anyway, the existence of Donald Trump has driven him to pontificate, and you will not be surprised to learn that Trump Is All Liberals’ Fault, and that the solution is for Democrats To Unite With The Good Republican Party.

No, I don’t think so. Just as he was wrong about the Iraq War, we all have to realize that he is still wrong about everything.

I totally missed Loyalty Day

I forgot. I never knew about it. And if I had, I would have spit on the idea.

Did you know that yesterday was Loyalty Day?

In order to recognize the American spirit of loyalty and the sacrifices that so many have made for our Nation, the Congress, by Public Law 85-529 as amended, has designated May 1 of each year as “Loyalty Day.” On this day, let us reaffirm our allegiance to the United States of America and pay tribute to the heritage of American freedom.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2016, as Loyalty Day. This Loyalty Day, I call upon all the people of the United States to join in support of this national observance, whether by displaying the flag of the United States or pledging allegiance to the Republic for which it stands.

Like so many evil things*, this bad presidential tradition came out of the 1950s, the Red Scare, that knee-jerk anti-Commie crapola that still fuels the fevered brains of conservatives. Of course it is on May Day, or International Workers’ Day, because there’s nothing our wealthy overlords would like to do more than replace autonomy and self-respect with mindless obedience.

I do not pledge allegiance to anything. Sometimes the greatest loyalty is a willingness to change old institutions to make them better.

*Like, say, me.

Why do people want to deny genocide occurred?

The Wall Street Journal featured a full page ad from a group denying the Armenian genocide.

The content of the ad itself is pretty bland (“Truth = Peace” and a peace sign could be swapped in for almost any cause), but its purpose is not: To deny that as many as 1.5 million Armenians were systematically rounded up and murdered by the Ottoman government in what is now Turkey, mostly in the year 1915. The modern Turkish government has famously scoffed at the truth of this historical event, despite a century of scholarship and eyewitness accounts. Measures in the United States to officially recognize the genocide (through a congressional resolution, for example) have gained wide support but ultimately failed, mainly because of Turkey’s role as a regional military ally.

[Read more…]

Commies everywhere!

I’ve just discovered the literary works of Mildred Houghton Comfort, a woman who wrote a number of biographies of Important Men of American Capitalism, back in the good old days of the 1950s. William L. Knight, Industrialist. Walt Disney, Master of Fantasy. John Foster Dulles, Peacemaker. Little Punk, the Baby Elephant. She was a prolific supporter of the conservative status quo.

These aren’t exactly popular books any more, but you can still find a few old used copies for sale. She also wrote J. Edgar Hoover, Modern Knight Errant, and there are a few pages from that scanned and available on the interwebs. It’s horrifying.


Disclaimer: I was born in the 1950s, but I was tiny and innocent and unaware and had no idea what was going on. I became conscious in the late 1960s, a much more copacetic decade. This kind of crap was more the product of The Greatest Generation, which I’ve heard was perfect and admirable in all ways, unlike all other generations of Americans.

I haven’t been able to find out much about Ms Houghton Comfort, other than when she lived: 1886-. That emptiness after the en dash is rather disquieting, and lacking in closure.


I am not happy to see Sanders sliding further away from the nomination — and I am not enthusiastic about Clinton. But I have to agree with George Takei.

I am not saying that Sanders should surrender — he should keep fighting for his cause as long as possible, and he should be doing his damnedest to shape the party platform (and maybe, as hope keeps whispering in my ear, maybe he’ll make a miraculous victory), but we have to focus on crushing the Republican party in all branches of government, and also on keeping the pressure on a certain conservative Democrat who is likely to be the nominee.

Cruz picks Fiorina for VP?

What is he thinking? This is an act of desperation, but I don’t get what she brings to the ticket. It’s as if he went looking for an unpleasant, unpopular person to complement his own unpopular unpleasantness. Or maybe he thinks McCain set a precedent.

Sure, it’ll bring more attention to his campaign, but it’s the kind of attention dog poop on a sidewalk brings — you make sure not to step in it.

None of this money portraiture stuff makes any sense

I’m picturing an army of bureaucrats at the Treasury Department, all waiting on the decisions of a smaller collection of old, cranky, conservative banker-types before they can do anything. Kind of like a slimy wad of used condoms clogging up a sewer line.

They say it’ll be 2030 before they can change anything, and they’re making all these weird compromises. Why, I don’t know. I think it’s all because Rich Uncle Pennybags is a colossal douche.


Sanders is definitely trying to win me over

Have you seen his academic proposals?

The plan Sanders proposed in Congress calls for providing “an assurance that not later than five years after the date of enactment of this act, not less than 75 percent of instruction at public institutions of higher education in the state is provided by tenured or tenure-track faculty.” This use of federal funds to restore tenure represents one of the many policies that one does not find in Clinton’s proposal.

Well, that would staunch the hemorrhaging of qualified faculty into low-paying adjunct positions. I approve, emphatically. There’s also this delightful requirement for where federal money goes.

Sanders also wants to make sure that more money ends up in the classroom: “a state that receives a grant under this section shall use any remaining grant funds and matching funds required under this section to increase the quality of instruction and student support services by carrying out the following: A) Expanding academic course offerings to students. (B) Increasing the number and percentage of full-time instructional faculty. (C) Providing all faculty with professional supports to help students succeed, such as professional development opportunities, office space and shared governance in the institution. (D) Compensating part-time faculty for work done outside of the classroom relating to instruction, such as holding office hours….”

Spend the money on education? Shocking. And then you get the bit where he tells us what you may not spend the money on.

In perhaps his most radical and needed proposal, Sanders pushes these institutions to return to their core missions: “A state that receives a grant under this section may not use grant funds or matching funds required under this section (A) for the construction of nonacademic facilities, such as student centers or stadiums; (B) for merit-based student financial aid; or (C) to pay the salaries or benefits of school administrators.” Sanders’s plan would thus decrease the cost of making public higher education free by decreasing the costs associated with administration, athletics and merit-based aid that goes mostly to the wealthiest students.

Oh, swoon. Make it so, please.

And before you start telling me that Sanders doesn’t stand a chance of getting the nomination, I know. But I will continue to support him in the hope that his policies might be advanced beyond his campaign. I’ll also suggest that Clinton would win me over if she adopted some of these ideas.

I ♥ Elizabeth Warren

Ted Cruz was whining about how rough his life is, with all the sacrifices he’s had to make to campaign for president of the United States. So Warren replied.

Exactly right.

She is going to be a fantastic president in 2020.