SL 819

Jonathan Chait says that “Trump Authoritarianism Denial Is Over Now” The Dispatch talks about the Alternative Reality Machine, aka the far right echo chamber that spread lies and disinformation. Check out Trump’s quick airport conversation with the press. He isn’t sorry. He isn’t afraid. He isn’t going away in nine days.

Reading and Watching: We finished the Netflix Bridgerton Series, and I was disappointed. It’s too far away from the spirit of the books for me, although the costumes and the sets are fabulous. So, I reread the whole series last week, when I was COVID quarantining.

Shopping: I’m dissatisfied with our office, too. Before I do expensive things like ripping up the carpet and installing new windows, I am simply inserting more color with new prints and pillows for the day bed. I’m starting to move towards an Indian Hippie office.

Picture: Hiking with the boys last weekend. More pictures here.

15 thoughts on “SL 819

  1. my hankering for changing my space is trending towards original art, partly inspired by the New York Times article on affordable original art.

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  2. We got an actual blizzard (1 whole day of it), a real snow day, and the younger kids went crazy in it. I still have a sort of igloo or snow grotto melting in the backyard.

    Laura writes, “Jonathan Chait says that “Trump Authoritarianism Denial Is Over Now.”

    It’s really, really lazy, passive authoritarianism, though, with a lot of plausible deniability and minimal follow-through.

    Trump has done a lot of saying, “XYZ is going to happen!” and then it often doesn’t–even when it’s something he has a lot of control over.

    I also kind of want to know: If Trump is the worst, why do people keep complaining about the lack of stronger federal control and leadership from him (for example, for COVID)? If he’s authoritarian and has bad instincts and bad ideas, him exerting more control would be a bad thing. (Case in point: Andrew Cuomo’s control freak vaccine roll-out.)

    Watching Queen (a 2013 Indian movie about a jilted bride who decides to take her European honeymoon solo) and Peter Falk in The Cheap Detective (1978), a film noir parody. Husband and the kids are about to finish Full Metal Alchemist and don’t know what to watch next.

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    1. I also kind of want to know: If Trump is the worst, why do people keep complaining about the lack of stronger federal control and leadership from him (for example, for COVID)?

      Um, because he is the president and I want my president to do his job competently? I mean, really. This isn’t rocket science.

      A more relevant question is why anybody who considers themselves a decent person is defending him and his performance at this date.

      His critics have been proven to be correct. In fact, this (this whole Covid failure *and* his sedition) could have been easily predicted in 2016 by anyone who had the eyes to see and the morality to care, which is why I blame his supporters (from 2016 on) more than I do him.

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      1. Jay said, “Um, because he is the president and I want my president to do his job competently? I mean, really.”

        But it’s nonsensical to ask Trump to do something he is utterly unequipped to do. Asking Trump to run a detail-oriented, high-touch COVID program is like expecting to teach a cat to tap dance. That’s not a defense of Trump, it’s a recognition of his limits as a person. As other people have noted, the most successful parts of Trump’s presidency were generally the areas where he had minimal involvement.

        See also illegal immigration. Theoretically, that was Trump’s signature 2016 election issue, but there was a collapse in immigration enforcement during his presidency compared to the level under Obama. Why? No attention span and no follow-through.

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      2. But it’s nonsensical to ask Trump to do something he is utterly unequipped to do. Asking Trump to run a detail-oriented, high-touch COVID program is like expecting to teach a cat to tap dance. That’s not a defense of Trump, it’s a recognition of his limits as a person.

        Nonsense. Complete and utter balderdash. Total inanity. Trump, for better or worse, is president. He should be expected to be a competent president and if not should be held to account.

        The fact that it is clear that he was incapable of doing so and that it was completely obvious in 2016 that he was should be laid at the feet of the people who voted him in. It was an act of moral and intellectual deficiency on their part and they should rightly be blamed for the resulting mess even more than Trump.

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  3. Speaking of TV series not being as good as the books.
    I’ve been watching “Good omens” based on the fabulous book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

    It’s ….OK. And they’ve stuck religiously (ha!) to the book plot. But not great. Perhaps it would be better if I came to it without having read the book…..

    If you like Julia Quinn – have you tried Stephanie Laurens?

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  4. https://www.the74million.org/article/adams-whatever-you-do-for-your-child-youll-be-wrong-why-i-gave-my-son-permission-to-drop-out-of-high-school/

    Here’s a piece by the Russian-American lady who runs @NYschoolSecrets on twitter.

    Her biracial son had wanted to drop out of high school and his parents didn’t let him…until things started to melt down at Stuyvesant during the pandemic.

    “Our son reluctantly started his junior year at Stuyvesant. By October, he was showing us how little learning he was receiving. I tried to negotiate a compromise. Once the city announced that attendance would no longer matter in grading, I suggested he not bother logging on, just do the easier Stuyvesant work — when he stopped going to class, only two teachers checked in to find out if anything was wrong and ask how they could help — get the credits and study whatever he wanted on the side.”

    “Finally, at the end of October, he’d made his argument so convincingly that we gave in. We allowed him to file his Letter of Intent to Homeschool with the city.”

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    1. True stories: Alina has written several amazing romance novels, including one of the earliest historical mass-market romances featuring a Jewish protagonist. I still have that book on my keeper shelf (actually, I think I have 3 of hers on my keeper shelf). Also, she and I met in the 1990s through a mutual friend. We were pregnant and due at basically the same time. I have a photo of us at the Daytime Emmys, both 8 months pregnant. We have lost touch over the years, but I used to read her essays on Kveller.

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  5. “Asking Trump to run a detail-oriented, high-touch COVID program is like expecting to teach a cat to tap dance.” He doesn’t have to run it! Presidents shouldn’t be running most things – they should be delegating to competent people and then getting out of the way. And only when necessary, making difficult decisions based on informed judgments.

    Of course CDC and Fauci weren’t perfect, but they were hamstrung over and over by his insistence at being center stage, sharing his idiotic ideas, undermining their messages, and having their reports edited for political, not medical, reasons. My friend in public health was involved with this documentary, Totally Under Control, which maps it out: https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/10/totally-under-control-essential-pandemic-documentary/616729/

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    1. For a lot of us (in Ontario too now), this pandemic has been a big lesson in the difference between being good at politics, and being good at governance.

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      1. But he was never good at politics either! He never had a positive approval rating, he lost the popular vote twice, he failed at everything except the judges and tax cuts that Republicans were salivating for anyway, when he arrived his party had House Senate & Presidency and now they had none of those.

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