Predictable as sunrise. It’s not too much to say Trump’s only signal successes were his TV show and winning the Presidential election. One event all but led to the other, and that says something about electoral politics that is still trying to come into focus (we haven’t yet construed the scaffolding for the building of the narrative we are going to use to understand to fit that one into our quasi-Christian secular civil religion of what the holy “Founding Fathers” left us before they were taken up into heaven).
It's sort of wild that Truth Social just evaporated.— Philip Bump (@pbump) March 31, 2022
Thursday, March 31, 2022
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Most of us follow “laws” because we aren’t sociopathic assholes. But there are do many criminal laws most of us violate several of them on a fairly regular basis. Nobody cares because, by and large, our acts aren’t violent crimes. Well, and when I say “most of us,” I implicitly mean white people. Not being white is pretty much a crime in itself in America.
Donald Trump’s entire life is a lesson that laws don’t mean much if nobody holds you accountable for breaking them— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 30, 2022
...like the truth.
"I would think Putin would know the answer to that," Trump said, referring to Hunter Biden's potential dealings in Russia. "I think he should release it. I think we should know that answer." https://t.co/OcT82cdgr1— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) March 30, 2022
Because if Putin doesn’t have anything, he’ll make it up. See, e.g., “laptop.” (Putin has said he doesn’t have anything. That would not prevent him from making something up. But his troll farms seem to be off-line at the moment.)
Trump on day 33 of the Ukraine war asks Putin for dirt on Hunter Biden. Trump, remember, is an inveterate projector. The things that Putin could tell us about Trump..— Edward Luce (@EdwardGLuce) March 29, 2022
And since Putin isn’t “a fan of our country,” maybe he will help a brother out (i.e., fuck America, this is about me!)
Thousands dead, maimed, and homeless. 10 million refugees. And Trump is focused on what? Getting political dirt from his friend Vlad the destroyer.— Rep. Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) March 30, 2022
An all time new low.https://t.co/hlI19rpNNE
The morality of a toad 🐸. Here, let’s underline what Trump did:
Extended clip is worth watching: "As long as Putin is not exactly a fan of our country... I would think Putin would know the answer to that. I think he should release it... you won't get the answer from Ukraine... I think Putin now would be willing to probably give that answer." pic.twitter.com/JFGcBk4Kxd— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 30, 2022
Or let Charlie Sykes emphasize it:
The former US president suggests Putin get back at the US for supporting Ukraine by undermining the current US president - and not the first time he’s asked Russia to interfere in his behalf. https://t.co/SJhvhKYjzt— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) March 30, 2022
Trump explicitly frames his request to Putin as an act of retaliation not just against Biden, but against the United States itself.Trump’s loyalty is to Trump.
And he made sure word went out:
Let me be clear on the White House Trump call logs, this is far from normal. Unless you’re using personal cell phones/ encrypted apps (which you shouldn’t be), every call is logged. Every single time Mike Pence called me & vice versa, several staff were made aware of it.— Olivia of Troye (@OliviaTroye) March 30, 2022
He’s gonna need all the help he can get.
Trump doesn’t just solicit more political help from Putin here, he laments that Ukraine didn’t help him do it the first time around (an effort that got him impeached). All while Putin is slaughtering Ukrainians. https://t.co/oy9tBHPKLW— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) March 29, 2022
Prosecutors call that “consciousness of guilt.”
Exactly the point I just made on @chrislhayes. The layers of staff there to record all of this are extensive. Any gap requires planning, direction, cooperation. Would have to be very conscious and intentional and planned.— Ian Bassin 🇺🇦 (@ianbassin) March 30, 2022
Trump has only consciousness of Trump.
Today, as Putin continued to slaughter Ukrainian civilians, Trump again asked Putin for help—this time for Hunter Biden dirt—lamenting that Ukraine would not help, all while news surfaced of a 7-hour gap in Trump WH logs (coverup) & Trump was caught lying about burner phones. WOW— Susan Solomon (@SusanSolomon) March 30, 2022
I really don't care about Trump's claims of crowd size. It doesn't mean anything except Trump is an empty soul hungry for approval and affirmation at all times. The visual, however, is useful, especially since we all have a hard time imagining how big a crowd really is. Makes me realize I've never seen crowds at any Trump rally which would fill even a smaller football stadium.
Here are pictures of Tulane’s and Nebraska’s football stadiums, which hold 30,000 and 87,000 people, respectively.— Hawt 🎤 Mic (@ItsGoodToVent) March 27, 2022
Now ask yourself why you’ve never seen pictures of a Trump rally that show anywhere near enough people to fill these stadiums. pic.twitter.com/TF5m5mdoVf
Altogether now, kiddies: how do we know Trump is lying? HIS LIPS ARE MOVING!
When asked for a response on the 7-hour gap in his phone logs on January 6, former President Trump said, "I have no idea what a burner phone is, to the best of my knowledge I have never even heard the term." https://t.co/R8MlIxpOjn— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 29, 2022
Trump couldn't rely on Tucker to carry his water for him:
AGAIN https://t.co/49Fni18FQg— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 29, 2022
So Matt Gaetz did:
"Who cares about a 7 hour gap in the White House call records because HuNTerZ LApT0p" will be tonight's talking point on the Tuckadoodledo White Power Hour.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 29, 2022
I really had to refresh my memory on this stupid story, so now you can, too:
The Asst. Director of FBI Cyber Security comes before Congress to give his report about serious issues, and of course Matt Gaetz wants to talk about Hunter Biden’s laptop. pic.twitter.com/NCFIDKR8QO— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 29, 2022
In April 2019, someone dropped off three water-damaged laptops with him for repair, Mac Isaac claimed. He couldn’t say for sure who dropped them off, because he is legally blind, but he said the person identified himself as Hunter Biden and signed a receipt with what appears to be Hunter’s name.One of the laptops had a Beau Biden Foundation sticker. No one ever returned to pick up the laptops, so Mac Isaac (an enthusiastic Trump supporter) started looking at what’s on one of them. He saw what he thought was lots of scandalous material, so he called authorities and handed it over — but also kept a copy of its material on a hard drive. At some point, he gave that hard drive to Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, and they gave it to the New York Post (and circulated it among other Trump supporters like Steve Bannon).The Post and other conservative media outlets’ coverage of Hunter’s files partly involved lurid material about Hunter’s personal life. Hunter’s struggles with drug addiction were already a matter of public record, but the files contained further embarrassing details, as well as sexual material. The other focus of coverage was Hunter’s lucrative foreign work, most notably with a Ukrainian gas company and Chinese business interests. Trump allies had long claimed this work proved not just Hunter’s but Joe Biden’s corruption, and they combed through Hunter’s emails to try to make that case.The Post’s coverage was controversial, including inside the paper — per the New York Times, one reporter refused to put his name on the story due to credibility concerns, and other Post staff “questioned whether the paper had done enough to verify the authenticity of the hard drive’s contents.” But Trump cited what he dubbed “the laptop from hell” constantly. And conservatives began to argue that the mainstream media and social media companies were suppressing the story to help Biden win.
Three years later, and it's still a thing. Although whether or not it's even Hunter Biden's laptop has not yet been determined. Vox assumes the e-mails are "authentic," but says they have no real news value for Biden pere. Given the story that goes with the laptop, and the chain of custody that story tells, I'm inclined to think it's all bullshit. Mostly because this:
Gaetz concluded his questioning [to which all answers were "I don't know because that's not my job!"] by presenting a hard drive that he claimed contained the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop. He asked that the contents of the hard drive be entered into the congressional record.
Which allowed the New York Post (!) to claim:
Which is true because the NYPost says so, and no further. Gaetz produced that hard drive after never getting Vorndran to say where the "real" laptop is (somewhere in the custody of the FBI, but apparently Gaetz wants the GPS coordinates for it.). Mighty convenient, eh?
Sorta like Trump's crowd claims, or that he's never heard of a "burner phone." It's all bullshit.
Yes, Mick Mulvaney should have failed downward, not upward.
The man who executed the order to withhold aid from Ukraine so his boss could try and extort President Zelensky has been rewarded with a network TV deal by a so-called news organization. Democracy doesn’t die in darkness. It dies because of shit like this. https://t.co/0CtIYQ8tgQ— Kurt Bardella (@kurtbardella) March 29, 2022
But this brouhaha (which won’t last until the end of the week) says more about CBS than it does about democracy in America.
Aaron rounds up the clips in this thread. https://t.co/g4nqz8l0z7— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) March 29, 2022
Or D.C. Yeah, it does say a lot about D.C. But killing democracy? That only happens when we all agree to let it go.
Everyone is outraged over this, but under the decision is the most powerful normative force in Washington; the idea that it's all just a game, and that Mick, like the rest, was just playing along. https://t.co/QCeNcjhZVr— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 29, 2022
Idiot pundits can’t kill it.
Kyiv mayor Klitschko asked about Tucker Carlson, Candace Owens and others on the American Right: “You are part of this invasion. Blood is on your hands too.” pic.twitter.com/xCVAzeI1Gv— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 29, 2022
...Russia spent a month trying to conquer Kyiv; razed Mariupol and several smaller cities; bombed humanitarian corridors, theaters, schools, and hospitals, and shelters labeled "CHILDREN" in Russian you could read from space; tried to close the Polish border; put their nuclear weapons on high alert; and finally withdrew from besieging Kyiv only a day ago.
breathtaking stuff here. straight Putin propaganda pic.twitter.com/rG7nDqJJip— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 29, 2022
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Which is worse.
Congress must understand that a failure to hold Clarence Thomas accountable sends a loud, dangerous signal to the full Court - Kavanaugh, Barrett, & the rest - that his acts are fair game.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 29, 2022
This is a tipping point. Inaction is a decision to erode and further delegitimize SCOTUS.
The DOJ does not comment on investigations, and they shouldn’t. Is the lesson of Comey’s letter to Congress do soon forgotten?
DOJ assurances — it'll hold #January6th perpetrators accountable "at any level" (Garland) "no matter at what level" (Monaco) — don't suffice.— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) March 28, 2022
The public needs stronger assurance Trump is under investigation post Monday's court ruling.
My interview here.👇https://t.co/lUJQPMQ4NK
Send in the clowns. There ought to be clowns.
The leader of the Republican Party is trying to team up with Russia's Vladimir Putin against the sitting US president's family. pic.twitter.com/vJIyD3a9Z8— Christian Vanderbrouk 🇺🇸🇺🇦🌻 (@UrbanAchievr) March 29, 2022
"Adjacent" is opening a very strange door there. Almost an escape hatch. This is why:
For some people their lodestar was the Constitution. Trump was an imperfect means to serve the Constitution. And then, they found, the Constitution must be sacrificed to serve Trump.— Gregg Nunziata (@greggnunziata) March 29, 2022
Conservative ex-judge J. Michael Luttig, whom Cruz has said is "like a father to me":— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) March 28, 2022
"Once Ted Cruz promised to object, January 6 was all but foreordained ..."
Ted Cruz started his political career advancing “Agenda 21,” the pre-Q-Anon conspiracy theory that Obama and the UN 🇺🇳 wanted to take all our golfs. He may have thought that was insane-but-what-the-hell, but you can’t keep doing that stuff without people deciding you mean it, and actions do speak louder than words. Well, that and: live by the lie, die by the lie.
The more I ponder the complete moral and ethical dissolution of Tailgunner Ted Cruz, the more vividly I hear the voice of a pudgy orange Palpatine, whispering to him about the power and splendor that await him if he embraces The Dark Side. https://t.co/08YmbPL6HA— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) March 28, 2022
...By my recollection, the actual lawyers gave him some idiot research tasks just to get him out of the room where the actual work was being done."— Reed Galen (@reedgalen) March 28, 2022
Remember @tedcruz , this is how everyone felt about you then, and how they feel about you now. 2/2
I’ve no reason to doubt Rick Wilson was there.
You’ll be shocked know that Ted Cruz‘s account of his role in the 2000 FL litigation/recount is a ludicrous fabrication.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 28, 2022
That pudgy orange Palpatine didn’t have to whisper very long; or be very persuasive.
Stone has exaggerated his role in every election since 1972. He’s a degenerate fabulist.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 28, 2022
there were actual lawyers involved in the 2000 recount in Florida, but none of them were named Ted Cruz. https://t.co/FujDekRnR2
Ted Cruz sold his soul for a mess of pottage a long, long time ago. Then again, so did the entire GOP (Cruz was first elected to the Senate in 2012, only 10 years ago. Where does the time go?). People like Nunziata still can't accept that, though they were quite willing to accept AOC and Bernie as the only people who were the "true" Democratic party.
United States senator Ted Cruise announces that he would violently defend his wife from malicious slanders. https://t.co/etBWMQw6fe— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) March 28, 2022
this quotation could be his epitaph pic.twitter.com/gM9ioM3fI4— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 28, 2022
The Jan. 6 committee has lined up testimony from four top Trump White House officials, per sources, including:— Luke Broadwater☀️ (@lukebroadwater) March 28, 2022
-Matthew Pottinger @maggieNYT @alanfeuer https://t.co/WrDC2kaYhz
Before you all ask, yes, this is real. pic.twitter.com/AFQjGo3ojU— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) March 28, 2022
Monday, March 28, 2022
People's Convoy lead organizer Brian Brase yelled that the "Capitol building is our building" and said American taxpayers "had the right" to toss up their feet on Nancy Pelosi's desk https://t.co/4zTRw97H79— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) March 27, 2022
"This resolution affirms that educators, not politicians, should make decisions about teaching and learning, and supports the rights and academic freedom of faculty to design courses, curriculum, and pedagogy, and to conduct related scholarly research," reads part of the resolution, which is nonbinding. "This resolution affirms the fundamental rights of faculty to academic freedom in its broadest sense, inclusive of research and teaching of race and gender theory."The document also states UT faculty "resolutely rejects" attempts by outside groups, including lawmakers and the system's board of regents, to dictate content.Patrick said during a news conference at the Capitol Friday that the resolution is another signal the "woke left ... has gone too far.""We are the ones who pay their salaries," he said, referring to members of the Texas Legislature. "The parents are the ones who pay tuition. And of course, we're going to have a say in what the curriculum is. Of course, we're going to have a say on behalf of the parents. If there are issues that the parents are unhappy with, that the taxpayer are unhappy with, or the Legislature is unhappy with or the Board of Regents."
Rather than as some kind of vox mundi.
Most powerful take I’ve seen, though I haven’t looked too hard pic.twitter.com/ReBHH6txca— David Weigel (@daveweigel) March 28, 2022
Despite the glimmers of rationality.
What if, and just hear me out here, some dude smacking a guy who insulted his wife isn't a politically significant event that offers any meaningful insight into the present state of American society.— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) March 28, 2022
Then he said, "A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."'
So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.'
But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him, 'Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply, 'Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.'
He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to
life again; he was lost and has been found.'"
The parable of the prodigal pops up again, and I want to add my two cents. I've written most of this before, nothing new to see here. Old wine, old wine skins, all that. This is one of my favorite parables because I preached from it in one of my first sermons, as a student in a "foreign" church who needed somebody that morning. I linked it to the song "500 Miles," which is actually a musical version of this parable. So I like it for nostalgic reasons, and because it so perfectly fits the question Dom Crossan taught me to ask of the parables: "How is the kingdom of heaven like that?"
The parable speaks in no uncertain terms: the younger son tells the father, "Give me what is coming to me." He means his share of the estate, the property he will inherit upon his father's death. I have to emphasize this point so we're very clear on it. You don't have to be a scholar of ancient Roman law to understand the basics of probate and inheritance. In any society, property law abhors a vacuum. When an individual dies in possession of property, whatever the legal system, that property must go to someone. It's obvious under the Roman law Jesus and his audience knew that such property went from parents to children. But, of course, it only passes on death. My father's property was his until he died. Then it want to my mother. When she died, it finally came to me, and my brother. I took care of my mother's affairs (such as they were) after my father died, as he wished me to do. I treated the property (assets, mostly) as hers, not mine, until she died. We all do that, if we're "good people." The younger son is not "good people." He is saying to his father, in absolutely no uncertain terms: "Drop dead." The father means nothing to the son; his continued life only an obstacle to the son's financial freedom. Then, as now, it was money that mattered, money that would set him free. And the father? Certainly a reasonable father would at least say: "Oh?" He might go so far as to say: "Begone, miscreant! I'm calling my solicitor this intstant! You'll not get a farthing! Now be off, before I set the dogs on you! Never darken my door again!" This father, however, says: "All right." I wonder how the New York Times would write up that story.
Now realize, from this point on, the father owns nothing. You can't give one son his inheritance and not give the other son his inheritance, too. Effectively the father has complied with his son's wishes. He is dead. He has to rely on the kindness of his elder son, or at least his sense of obligation. Because Dad is living on the land the older son owns, living off the property owned by his son. Dad has given the young brother his portion of all the father owned, in cash. In essence, he's sold the other half to his elder son. This helps put the attitude of the older son in the proper light. If Dad doesn't have the good sense to live by reasonable rules, the son will; and that is Dad's salvation.
Back to the younger son, who is as unreasonable as the father; but at least his unreason fits the expectations of the world. Living prodigally (hence the usual title of this parable), he is soon broke, soon reduced to feeding unclean animals (he is the servant to the pigs; how much worse can things get for him?). And so, his pride broken, he decides he will go home and beg from his father.
But he never gets the chance to beg. This is the part we all love, because we all identify with the wastrel son, we all carry some guilt about what we have done, could have done, should have done, wish we could do over. And we all want to enjoy unconditional forgiveness, to not even have to say "I'm sorry" to be accepted. Home, wrote Robert Frost, is the place that, when you have to go there, they have to let you in. We all want that much, at least, to be true for us, if we ever need it.
The son is coming down the road, rehearsing his speech, his plea for mercy. He never (as TC notes) gets to. The father sees him coming, and runs out to him. He embraces his son, puts the family ring on his finger (Daddy was rich!), puts the best robe on his back, and tells the servant to slay the calf and start the feast! (Daddy can throw money around, too! This is more like it!) I'm a father. I like to think I'd do the same thing, that nothing my child could do would ever but her beyond my love and compassion. I know parents whose children have strained their affections to the utmost, to the point they began to believe compassion was the problem, not the solution. Compassion won out, and their children became family again. It's nice when it happens that way. But the audience for this parable has not forgotten what the father and prodigal clearly have; the father is not the owner of anything anymore.
Stop there, again. The father owns nothing. He is a tenant of his elder son, who is doing what is right, what is expected, what should be done under the law or Moses ("Honor thy father and thy mother") or any decent, civilized society. But he's already done too much for the younger son, who ignored that "commandment" like it never existed, and he's ignored it himself by not insisting his son, for whose moral behavior he is responsible (as a parent!), behave accordingly or face the consequences. In modern parlance, the father has been a doormat. It's his fault this situation exists. He was weak! He gave the younger son too much! We want to get caught up in the rush of emotion conveyed in that picture above. We want the happy ending! We even make one, where this parable doesn't provide it.
But would it then be forgiveness at all? Or simply compensation for a loss suffered, for property taken, squandered, not valued, treated...prodigally? Who is the prodigal here? The younger son? Or the father?
So the older son, the dutiful one, the one who honored his father even after his father dishonored the entire system of property and exchange and ownership and familial structure and even morality/law, even after the father willingly and knowingly accepted the complete rejection of that system for the selfishness of the younger son (a selfishness even keener when we realize the concept of the "individual" we have today stems, not from the 1st century, but from 19th century England, from post-Enlightenment Europe, from the reaction to the dehumanizing machine world ushered in by the Industrial Revolution, This father is acting on behalf of all fathers. Every member of the original audience of this parable is having a VERY hard time accepting this story as it goes on.). The older son still honors the social system and the fifth commandment ("Honor thy father and thy mother"). The younger son tore that one up first thing in the story.. And for the pains and forbearance and loyalty to property and society of the older son, what reward? To see the prodigal feted, and his property (!) given to the son who placed property above propriety, who understood the lesson all too well, who took literally the message the it's property and money that matters? And it still does, because without it, what feast of welcome would there be? But the feast is with the elder son's fatted calf, the elder son's robe, in the elder son's house! The father has declared himself dead and divided the property. It is no longer his property to give away. What is this father doing? Why does he continue to place love and forgiveness above property rights and ownership and even punishment for such violations as the younger son has committed? The younger son has brought shame on the family a hundred times over; the older son has been the model of propriety. And yet who is being celebrated here?
No wonder we allegorize this story. No wonder we say the father=God, and prodigal=Sinner, the elder son=...? Well, who? Us? But aren't we sinners? Those who don't accept God's love and forgiveness? Yet the father tells him (and it is literally true; deeper and deeper the irony cuts!) that "Everything I have is yours!" (Kierkegaard notes that the "concept of irony" is that it undermines everything reliable, every truth, every piece of solid ground, until there remains nothing left to stand on, until irony destroys even itself. He was speaking of Socrates; but in the parables of Jesus we get the same feeling: that the ground is being cut out from under us, that we are left hanging, like a cartoon character who has run off the cliff, hanging over the abyss just before we start to fall.) Yes, everything the father has belongs to the elder son, because the prodigal liquidated his part and spent it on wine and women and who knows what all. Everything the elder son, the symbol of society, has lived by, is called into question by the father's actions.
So what does this story tell us about God? If father=God, what is the nature of God? Well, maybe, just maybe, this story isn't theological at all. Maybe this isn't a revelation into the substance or essence or "mind" of God by God, at all. Maybe it is a lesson about living, about true life which is the basileia tou theou. Maybe it is a lesson about what is really important versus what we think is important. Maybe it is of a piece with the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, which neither sow nor reap, yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as they; even Pharoah with all his grain stored in bins was not better fed than the birds. Maybe it's a lesson about the economy of scarcity versus the economy of community. Maybe it isn't about property at all, except that property is our treasure, and where our treasure is, is where our heart is. And so to get at our heart, God has to go through our property. And the idea of property, of ownership, of possession, of having and holding and controlling, is the idea that needs to be attacked, confronted, contradicted, over and over and over again, until we finally begin to let go, until we finally begin to hear, until we finally begin to think that maybe, just maybe, we don't need to be afraid.
Maybe it's not an allegory at all; or theology; maybe it's just a simple lesson: that everything we know is wrong. That love is the most important part of living, and that we all have to follow the most insane and self-destructive paths to learn this, and that if love isn't still offered when those paths come to an end, then it truly is a bleak and hopeless universe after all.
But it needn't be. Thanks be to God.
I went to bed almost unaware the Academy Awards were on last night. But I heard about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. This was pretty much my reaction:
Whether it's right-wing Russians bombing hospitals in Ukraine, or liberal Hollywood stars slapping hosts on the stage of the Oscar ceremonies, both sides have a problem with violence.— New York Times Pitchbot (@DougJBalloon) March 28, 2022
Yeah, nothing suspicious about it here:
I still think it might be fake because “we have two black guys so let’s have one of them hit the other one” sounds like exactly like the sort of thing the Academy would think is a great idea— NOHat (@Popehat) March 28, 2022
Tomorrow in the NYT: Chris Rock Cancelled? Here’s Why America Is Weaker If We Can’t Talk Honestly About Autoimmune Disorders— NOHat (@Popehat) March 28, 2022
That assault must have had a thousand witnesses, two thousand if you count the people watching on TV— Cicada Meth Orgy Fungus (@RogueWPA) March 28, 2022
The Academy does not condone violence. You remember the Academy from the Best Picture awards it gave to The Hurt Locker, No Country For Old Men, The Departed, Million Dollar Baby, Return of the King, Gladiator, Braveheart… https://t.co/LvRGQlNxWK— NOHat (@Popehat) March 28, 2022
You watched and broadcast a live assault to millions of people around the world, then awarded a man who committed said assault immediately afterwards without removing him from the building or having him arrested for the crime.— DSP The Undying (@TheyCallMeDSP) March 28, 2022
That's the definition of condoning the violence.
It’s going to be extremely difficult to get through today on this website, isn’t it pic.twitter.com/qcTihiN6Y9— Berny Belvedere (@bernybelvedere) March 28, 2022
It’s not funny or acceptable or honorable or manly. Will Smith’s attack (over a joke) was unhinged and violent and also a crime: assault.— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) March 28, 2022
Still haven't found any "LOCK HIM UP!" tweets. But I'm sure they're out there. In the meantime, I refer you back to NOHat's tweet that nobody is going to jail for this slap. Especially Will Smith.
Somebody should really buy the LAPD a tv at some point. https://t.co/nQc9lrHvzL— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) March 28, 2022
some of these things are not violence https://t.co/cjoe40X1SU— Josh Barro (@jbarro) March 28, 2022
i see we’ve reached the inevitable “mean jokes are violence” stage of this conversation in record time— Sarah McLaughlin (@sarahemclaugh) March 28, 2022
I will never forgive Will Smith for the think pieces we will have to endure for the next 2 weeks. NEVER.— Alexis “Bring Back Bunheads” Wilson (@sassyblackdiva) March 28, 2022
Way to bring the room down, dude.
I promise you that those in Ukraine that are currently expecting their deaths at any moment as they continue to fight for their freedom don’t give a shit about Will Smith.— The Lincoln Watchman👀🇺🇸 (@LincolnWatchman) March 28, 2022
I’m with them.#StandWithUkraine
Sunday, March 27, 2022
This stuff is just too damned funny. From the “Me Or Your Lyin’ 👀 Dept.”
Trump is dispatching his spokesperson to desperately deny any report that last night’s Georgia rally had tons of empty seats.— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) March 27, 2022
They do not want you to see this photo. pic.twitter.com/OFyleBKBYc
The Trump turnout on a Saturday in Georgia was anemic. That does not bode well for his slate of candidates. Not all the people there were from Georgia or even able to vote. And Perdue and the other candidates had to foot the bill. Oof.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) March 27, 2022
Just wait; you know it will get bigger. Meanwhile:
NEW!— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) March 27, 2022
President Donald J. Trump:
“We had a massive crowd last night in Georgia, but as usual, the Fake News Media absolutely refuses to show it. People are estimating 25,000 to 35,000 people, but our record so far is Texas with 87,000 people with 50,000 being turned away… pic.twitter.com/LcwEvEEkGo
Told ya it was coming:
Biden's visit in Warsaw had more people than the latest census count in Georgia.— esteban44 (@Cuse268) March 27, 2022
Soak this moment in.https://t.co/crTq5LZMRT
'They’ve never had a crowd this big in this big area of big crowds': Trump on his anemic Georgia rally size https://t.co/WdTAseOThP— Raw Story (@RawStory) March 27, 2022
Ahead of his Georgia rally, Trump spoke to Newsmax, explaining about his rally crowd: “They’ve never had a crowd this big in this big area of big crowds."
He explained it was "record-breaking."He’s become absolutely incoherent.
I've covered more than two dozen Trump rallies around the nation. This is the smallest crowd I've seen at a rally of his in Georgia since he won the 2016 election -- significantly smaller than the crowd in Perry in September. #gapol https://t.co/cwiGZnqfcl— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) March 26, 2022
Yeah, yeah, yeah, but what he said about Putin is what really matters!
Yeah, don’t believe the line that there were 25,000-35,000 people at the Trump rally last night. The crowd was far smaller and far quieter than other rallies in Georgia — and elsewhere — I’ve covered. Also, I just noticed an attendee in this shot indicating the media is #1. https://t.co/MorrMo2bMF— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) March 27, 2022
Even Chuck Todd this morning admitted we were all thinking it. I mean, come on! Chuck Todd!!
I visited Ukrainian refugees who have fled to Poland this afternoon. You don’t need to speak the same language to feel the roller-coaster of emotions in their eyes. I want to thank my friend Chef José Andrés, his team, and the people of Warsaw for opening your hearts to help. pic.twitter.com/VU3Oe0EXAL— President Biden (@POTUS) March 26, 2022
This is not going to help Ukraine negotiate with Putin.
"Quit smoking. Otherwise you die and will not witness Putin's death" - a very clever anti-tobacco warning in Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/NgN8uJWVNG— Sergej Sumlenny (@sumlenny) March 26, 2022
Richard Haass, a veteran diplomat and president of the Council on Foreign Relations, told the Post that Biden's remarks don't achieve the priorities of "ending the war on terms Ukraine can accept, and discouraging any escalation by Putin." "It discourages Putin from any compromise essentially — if you've got everything to lose, it frees him up. Why should he show any restraint?" Haass added. "And it confirms his worst fears, which is that this is what the United States seeks his ouster and systemic change."Um...
'The bomb hit the back side of the theater. The people in the front area and in the basement survived... those in the back area and in the right wing did not. The dressing rooms accommodating pregnant women were in the right wing': a witness from Mariupol https://t.co/DY0AHyvcXj— Olga Tokariuk (@olgatokariuk) March 27, 2022
Truly apocalyptic https://t.co/2phWajzBKo— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) March 27, 2022
The entire neighbourhood of the Eastern Ukrainian city of Sumy was destroyed. This is what Russian “kiss of love” looks like. The aircraft bomb killed 24 including 4 children...We will win the war.We will rebuild our cities. But we will never forget.Never. #StopRussianAggression pic.twitter.com/6DdWiGaohd— Sviatoslav Vakarchuk (@s_vakarchuk) March 26, 2022
mariupol residents slaughtered by russians while cooking food over an open fire in the yard of their own apartment building.— maksym.eristavi 🇺🇦🏳️🌈 (@MaximEristavi) March 25, 2022
please, don’t look away. pic.twitter.com/2I03us5XBZ
Are we really going to say it’s Biden’s fault if Putin steps up to battlefield nukes? Because that’s about the only “restraint” he’s shown so far. Other than the restraint of a collapsing invasion force.
Russia launched a missile attack on a humanitarian aid center in Kharkiv this afternoon. People queueing to receive food were hit by long-range missile. According to preliminary data, 6 civilians were killed, another 15 were injured. This is another cynical act of war crime. pic.twitter.com/JuR4ZhciIJ— Maria Avdeeva (@maria_avdv) March 24, 2022
I mean, sure, if you ignore her reply:
"This is a fight of good versus evil . . . Evil always looks like the victor until the King of Kings triumphs."— David French (@DavidAFrench) March 26, 2022
Who said this? Ginni Thomas?
Nope. Mark Meadows, about his effort to steal an American election.
The religious zeal behind "Stop the Steal" https://t.co/dyhJaSrkcA
Thomas: “Thank you!! Needed that! This plus a conversation with my best friend just now… I will try to keep holding on. America is worth it!”Not exactly a rejection of Meadows’ “religious zeal.” One might even think Meadows knew how to pitch his argument to her. And it seems to have worked.
Mighty white of 'em. Good thing they met after ‘67, too.
“In 1991, one of Ginni Thomas’s aunts told The Washington Post that [Clarence Thomas] ‘was so nice, we forgot he was Black,’ adding, ‘He treated her so well, all of his other qualities made up for his being Black.’”— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) March 27, 2022
"And certainly pray about this…”
…of why you did what you did with my husband,’ she said. ‘So give it some thought. And certainly pray about this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.’”— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) March 27, 2022
Which tells you the value of church attendance in assessing religious convictions. And where the phrase “baptized heathens” comes from.
Let me repeat and amplify that last bit.— Samuel Perry (@socofthesacred) March 26, 2022
Church attendance had always been the strongest predictor of evangelical identity—until 2020.
In 2020, identifying as a Republican was the strongest predictor. https://t.co/LwJQgto5ER
Trump: Energy is so expensive today. A gallon? You take a look at your, forget about it. The pump. You take a look at a barrel now. It will be two dollars. It could be, people are saying it’s going to go up to thre— Think of this, people are saying… pic.twitter.com/4zOH47BGF6— Acyn (@Acyn) March 27, 2022
staggering that we had to sit through 1,461 days of gibberish like this, sometimes on an hourly basis https://t.co/V1oBCdp403— George Conway🌻 (@gtconway3d) March 27, 2022
The Ukrainians just think they’re suffering. They don’t know suffering, buddy!
Trump: No President has ever suffered like I’ve suffered at the hands of these animals pic.twitter.com/GMMi6M8gxf— Acyn (@Acyn) March 27, 2022
See? There’s no end to it!
Trump complains that his lawsuit was assigned to a judge appointed by “Bill and Hillary Clinton” and says “This shit could only happen to me” pic.twitter.com/pP9Kdw7PKP— Acyn (@Acyn) March 27, 2022
Trump is back to saying Putin is smart. He says he thinks Putin made a mistake but then describes it as a “great negotiation that didn’t go so well for him” pic.twitter.com/VntTpKoCZA— Acyn (@Acyn) March 27, 2022
Because it’s terribly indecent to speak of removing from power a head of government whom you’ve already called a war criminal.
Is it too much to ask for a president who doesn’t just blurt out surprise policy statements, with the excuse that they’re “sometimes inarticulate”? Especially in a monumentally important prepared speech?— David French (@DavidAFrench) March 26, 2022
We’ve been through “take him seriously, not literally.” It’s not good. https://t.co/jIgqRAUCvR
On Putin, Biden expressed what billions around the world and millions inside Russia also believe. He did not say that the US should remove him from power. There is a difference.— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) March 27, 2022
Someone fetch David French a fainting couch. Maybe it would have been better if Biden had praised Putin and called the invasion of Ukraine a great negotiation that didn’t work out.
#Biden was right to say #Putin must not remain in power. He is killing #Ukraine and destroying #Russia's economy. #Europe will not be safe with Putin in power. @cepa @atlanticcouncil— Kurt Volker (@kvolker) March 26, 2022
The debate about what @POTUS said - & whether is was an emotional ad lib or a "gaffe" - may not be "presidential language," but it was something that he needed to say.— Mark Hertling (@MarkHertling) March 26, 2022
Putin is a combination of Milosevic, Ceausescu, and - yes - Hitler.
It was a message to Europe and Moscow 2/
Meanwhile, back in Ukraine:
While many debate the nuances of @potus words, Putin creates millions of refugees, kills 1000's of non-combatant UKR citizens (& RU soldiers who don't understand why they're there), fights off Ukrainian attacks, commits war crimes.— Mark Hertling (@MarkHertling) March 26, 2022
Putin cannot remain in power! 4/4
I blame Biden. He started it.
another call for regime change https://t.co/OaEwpQysZW— George Conway🌻 (@gtconway3d) March 27, 2022
Note: this law applies to exactly one child right now. https://t.co/f4lOqyonSr— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) March 26, 2022
Watched some of the play about Ann Richards Thursday night (PBS). (Meh; too much caricature. I knew Ann Richards; actually met her once. She was much funnier and more human than that.) She spoke of the need to be compassionate in governance (which did sound like Ann Richards). We are losing that fight every day.
This may be out of date, but as of May last year Fox News had aired 126 segments about how trans student athletes are a rising tide that will erode the integrity of Our Great Nation or whatever but they could only find nine actual people to talk about: https://t.co/5wQhM8L5RT— Rob Ingraham (@YeahYouRob) March 27, 2022
I’m sure Elon Musk can fix that, too.
Really, just so grateful for all the commentary from the many Twitter experts on White House - Kremlin relations and the history of US relations with Russia. Thankfully, many of them are nuclear strategy experts as well.— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) March 26, 2022
Do that. Tell all your friends. I’m sure they’ll make it successful. Especially if YOU set the rules. Bezos will be so jealous he’ll start one; but it won’t be as commercially successful as yours. Just make sure the “Babylon Bee” can stay on (unless you don’t like the “Babylon Bee.” It’ll be your platform, you can do what you want.)
Make a better platform with rules you like. https://t.co/C93va7tOAZ— NOHat (@Popehat) March 26, 2022
You and your friends; the ones who are interested. And their friends; who are interested. You can even call it “The Boring Website.” Or maybe “The Empty Website.” And instead of tweets people can post “empties.”
I protect you from the government, not from Twitter. pic.twitter.com/rYFf7GVZph— The First Amendment (@USConst_Amend_I) March 26, 2022
Yeah, get your people to work on that, too. The “town square” is/was public property (find one still functioning as the metaphor imagines. Go ahead. I’ll wait.) accessible to all. Twitter is a private company accessible to anyone with a computer and internet access. And you can only post on it by agreeing to their rules. Even the town square is governed by laws regarding its use.
Reflecting on how much dumb rhetoric around social media policy is attributable to the inapt definite article in the phrase “the town square.” https://t.co/QTaX1QqvWi— Julian Sanchez (@normative) March 26, 2022
Be sure brain is engaged before putting mouth into gear.
whaaaaaaat https://t.co/WfUiGmBHc1— George Conway🌻 (@gtconway3d) March 26, 2022
Looking forward to another post.
At the same point in their respective terms essentially, Joe Biden called Putin a “war criminal” and asked for his removal.— YS (@ReallyActivist) March 26, 2022
Donald Trump wanted to create a joint cybercrime task force and believed Putin over our own intelligence agencies.
Choose your fighter.
Saturday, March 26, 2022
Why would Joe say that?
Biden winds down his speech by saying of Putin, "for God's sake, this man can not remain in power." pic.twitter.com/atNZtCPvAM— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 26, 2022
Mariupol. pic.twitter.com/AbwcBDsDI1— Rob Lee (@RALee85) March 26, 2022
Joe is not wrong. And to put it in pictures:
"He's a butcher" -- Biden on Putin pic.twitter.com/yvRjLqATIc— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 26, 2022
Two presidents, two realities! pic.twitter.com/JKhs0ZfbPV— Mattia Nelles (@mattia_n) March 26, 2022
That's my President. https://t.co/Uvmr7KIPMh— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 26, 2022
No greater role for an American president than to be aspirational for freedom. His audience isn’t Twitter, it’s for the basements of Mariupol. A good day to be an American. @POTUS— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) March 26, 2022
Some of us think he was quite articulate. Both sides matter, I suppose.
Biden's line tonight saying Putin "cannot remain in power" was NOT planned and a surprise to U.S. officials, per people familiar.— Tyler Pager (@tylerpager) March 26, 2022
Still, officials say no change in policy. Instead, the line was an example of Biden's sometimes inarticulate rhetoric.https://t.co/EiGsMTjDUo
Many of the same characters grasping their pearls and plunging to their fainting couches at Biden sayin Putin should be removed from power are the SAME people who a month ago said, "Putin wouldn't invade Ukraine because TRUMP SO LOCO VLAD WAS SCURRED!"— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 26, 2022
Virginia Thomas hasn't been mentioned a single time today on Fox News— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 25, 2022
Mentions on Fox News so far today— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 25, 2022
Hunter Biden: 9
Virginia Thomas: 0
Conservatives: How dare you lump in Clarence Thomas with the actions of his wife.— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) March 25, 2022
Same conservatives: HUNTER'S LAPTOP
That's exactly right. The blackhole treatment of a story on Fox is always an indicator. https://t.co/Zdmw2es6Y7— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 25, 2022
It's absolutely wild to think that Ginni Thomas probably believes the things she texted Mark Meadows.— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) March 25, 2022
Probably didn’t mean a literal army, right?
A Supreme Court Justice's spouse texts you to encourage you to commit treason, wyd? pic.twitter.com/Q6TBVJmzUj— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) March 25, 2022
It’s pretty much the only fight we’re gonna get.
The Party of Law and Order are advocating for more government officials to defy the law. More wives to contact the Chief of Staff to overturn elections. More Justices to block information from investigators, all while screaming that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is “weak on crime”. pic.twitter.com/UTviIqh3lI— Just Vent (@JustVent6) March 25, 2022
I don’t know. Your wife is a crazy seditionist conspiracy nut who thinks an entire political party is evil and should be treated en masse like terrorists, and absolutely anything done to stop them from gaining the White House is justifiable, including ignoring all the laws of the country and raising an army of opponents to that person (remind me again what armies do. Vote? Deliberate? Forcibly establish a debate society?) and your escape hatch as a Supreme Court Justice is: “She has her hobbies”? (And the gap between her crazy and his isn’t that wide, anyway. This isn’t Mary Matalin and James Carville we’re talking about.) Isn’t that like saying my wife is a Satanist but it doesn’t affect my role as a pastor? I’m sure I could convince a congregation of the validity of that argument.
One more quick thought—Ginni Thomas’s extremism is so far beyond the pale that it’s completely understandable that people would worry if she had an impact on her husband. Nothing about those texts was normal! But still Thomas’s work stands on its own.— David French (@DavidAFrench) March 25, 2022
“In media & in mainstream coverage of the hearings, Dems & reporters could do more to explain, ‘Here's what's happening here. It's not just that these are unfair attacks, but they're intended to cater to a certain worldview which is a conspiracy theory’” https://t.co/kPNAB9vFY5— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 24, 2022
This morning, @katie_orona and I with a double debut in @teenvogue and @voguemagazine discussing how and why Republicans are using the SAME playbook from 2009 with Justice Sotomayor to demoralize and dehumanize Judge #KetanjiBrownJackson in 2022. A thread/https://t.co/gYyGVUJtqn— Anna Gifty (@itsafronomics) March 25, 2022
It’s borderline cringey to say this but it honestly stings to see what’s become of the American political experiment https://t.co/NXveW0151R— Sean Illing (@seanilling) March 23, 2022
“Jackassery” - Sasse’s sentence should be in the use section of the dictionary definition. https://t.co/jgFqIcOrOn— John Avlon (@JohnAvlon) March 23, 2022
Booker reads part of the National Review's piece debunking Hawley's child porn smears, including the part that characterizes them as "meritless to the point of demagoguery."— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 23, 2022
"This is a new low," Booker says. pic.twitter.com/dRQ9c954tj
Greatest deliberative body in the world, y’all. Yeah, our Senate planted that on themselves. There wasn’t a contest.
This is an excellent theory, pretty sure I agree with ithttps://t.co/WLWxnpdeHk— Fiddler (@cFidd) March 23, 2022
Because the other GOP Senators would take him out behind the gym and pull his underwear over his head.
Profiles in Chickenshit https://t.co/gvXBd59SiY— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 26, 2022