Bonus points for Borowitz’s bipartisan sense of humor:
“Reached by reporters at his home, Obama said that he ‘wasn’t sure’ that he deserved a statue. . . “
Bonus points for Borowitz’s bipartisan sense of humor:
“Reached by reporters at his home, Obama said that he ‘wasn’t sure’ that he deserved a statue. . . “
“I invite readers to join me on this insane quarantine hobby.”
4. Katie Lou Samuelson on mental health journey: ‘I realized I needed to ask for help.’ Lots of athletes, including Michael Phelps and Kevin Love, are saying ,”It’s okay to not be okay.”
A friend dislikes the President’s personal style, but supports his policies. I’m baffled by his ability to compartmentalize. Most people, like me, do or don’t give a politician the benefit of the doubt based upon their personal feelings for them.
That sure seemed to be the case among conservatives during the Obama years.
I strongly dislike the President’s personal attributes. In fact, he’s a composite of my least favorite attributes—a serial braggart; dishonest; incurious, sexist; racist; xenophobic; insecure; uncaring; coarse; and most of all, self-centered. If I walked up to the first tee of a golf course as a single, and the starter asked if I’d like to join the President’s threesome, I’d pass.
I also dislike the people he keeps company with and his privileging of money above everything else no matter the issue. Yesterday, he tweeted, “Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia. . . .” MBS, one of the few people on the planet whose megalomania rivals his own and the person who oversaw the grisly murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The take-away is sickening—you can dismember the body of an American journalist if you buy enough military hardware.
Apart from material gain, I don’t know what he stands for.
And yet, the more critical I am of the President, the more my conservative friends are critical of me. For being divisive. For not giving him any credit for anything. For being predictable.
I’ll never conform to their way of thinking, but I never want to be predictable. Then again, most partisans, meaning all of us these days, are so predictable as to be boring. We pretty much know what each other is going to write and say, how each other is going to vote.
So in the spirit of fairness, a mental exercise. I’m going to give the President credit for some things. Maybe this exercise will inspire my conservative friends to do the same, in retrospect, in the context of the Obama years.
As this pandemic makes painfully clear, I believe the President’s intense isolationism is a grievous mistake; however, I applaud his reticence to use military power to solve international problems. He has done a very good job not starting any wars.
He also has done a good job getting other developed countries to pay a fairer share of their security needs. There’s no reason for us to float anyone anymore.
And, despite his nonsense about China paying the tariffs*, his administration has done a good job laying the groundwork to reduce the US-China trade deficit, which is unsustainable.
And, as his daily press conferences illustrate, he’s a master communicator. Just contrast him with Pence who will put you asleep faster than a million melatonin. Of course a lot of what he says is patently false, which makes for an extremely dangerous combination. His base cares more about how he communicates than whether he’s truthful or not. They like how he makes them feel better about themselves, and at the same time, aggrieved by secular elites and liberal media. But I digress. In short, I don’t like what he says, but I concede he combines very simple language, intonations, and idiosyncratic syntax extremely effectively.
That’s the best I can do. We now return to regular programming.
*economists are clear, US consumers pay them in increased prices
28 in total. Take that Obama. AMAZING he got that many in on top of the tweeting, golfing, campaigning, draining the swamp, defending himself against the Do Nothing Democrats, and just generally making America Great Again. What further evidence do we need that he is truly a stable genius. Also impressive, the books are closely related one to another. People are saying no president in history has ever read with as much purpose.
Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Honda, and Mercedes Benz want to make cleaner cars. Which is pissing off the President. One can’t help but wonder, given his gutting of the EPA, the proposed undoing of the Endangered Species Act, and this attempted rollback of higher standards for fuel efficiency, whether little Donald had a really bad experience in nature. A series of horrendous experiences? For shits sake, is the endgame indoor golf?
From the Verge:
Trump is. . . saying that he is giving “politically correct Automobile Companies” the option of lowering the average price of a car by “more than $3000, while at the same time making the cars substantially safer” (though the EPA and the NHTSA’s proposal has nothing to do with making new cars safer) in exchange for “[v]ery little impact on the environment.” He called automotive executives “foolish”. . . .
Many experts disagree with the Trump administration’s calculations. Some argue any potential savings on the sticker price of new cars would likely be offset by the increased fuel cost over the life of those vehicles, even if gas prices stay low. With less fuel-efficient cars, the rollback could also introduce hundreds of millions of metric tons of CO2 into the air, and increase oil consumption by more than 1 billion barrels, according to the EPA’s own estimates.
‘The clean car standards are the most effective policy we have on the books to fight climate change, and the transportation sector is the country’s largest source of the carbon pollution that causes climate change,’ nonprofit advocacy group Sierra Club said in a statement Wednesday. ‘The Trump administration’s push for dirtier, less efficient vehicles would pump more carbon pollution into our air.’
What do “experts” and the Sierra Club know? And shame on the Obama administration for thinking so positively about entrepreneurial innovation and cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles. The genius in Trump’s thinking is that the more we lower the bar the more likely we are to exceed it.
I’m in the Trump Trap. I doubt I’m alone.
It’s impossible to ignore the President, but paying attention to him only feeds his narcissism and seems to make matters worse. To ignore his lies and race baiting is to condone both. I argue with a friend when he says “Obama was worse,” but that doesn’t accomplish anything. How to escape this pointless, downward spiral of negativity?
My friend, while totally exasperating on things political, has redeeming qualities. Among others, he’s committed to his family, he’s funny, he cares about those he works with. Why don’t I just focus more exclusively on those attributes?
There’s a direct correlation between how people feel about themselves, more specifically how secure they are, and their propensity to see the best in others and affirm them. If you don’t feel very good about yourself, if your insecurities win the day, you’re unlikely to sing anyone else’s praises. You don’t send thank you cards. You don’t risk any awkwardness by directly and specifically telling others what you most appreciate about them.
As if life is a zero-sum game. That there’s only so much positivity or praise to go around.
We can focus on the good in others, and name it, without any cost to ourselves. At all. Focusing on the good in others, and naming it, creates positive momentum that makes political disagreements less consequential. My friend’s politics are whacked, but he is not the sum of his politics.
One can be a good teacher, nurse, or executive, and liberally celebrate other teachers’, nurses’, and executives’ excellence. One can be a decent human being and routinely celebrate decency in others. We’re apt to recognize and publicly declare the redeeming qualities in others to the degree to which we feel okay about ourselves, the degree to which we like ourselves.
A few weeks ago, I made eye contact with another driver as I pulled into the Trader Joe’s parking lot. She was an acquaintance from church who smiled at me. “Finally,” the introvert in me immediately thought, “I’m going to get a chance to tell her how much I enjoy her blog.” Sure enough, halfway through my appointed rounds, she walked straight up to me and asked if I’d eat some fancy shmancy blueberry desert that she was thinking of making for a party. “Yes.” I assured her, and then said, “Hey, I’ve been wanting to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I’ve been enjoying cooking more and I’m amazed at your creations. And you’re really funny.” For good measure I added, “You’re a very talented writer.” To say she was touched is an understatement.
Her blog deserves a wider audience. When that happens, I will celebrate her success. Because it will not detract from this humble blog.
With respect to the President and my friend, my inclination is to ignore the President. My vote will be my proof that I’m not condoning his calculating and inflammatory rhetoric which will only get worse once the campaign begins in earnest. As for my friend, I’m going to focus more on his redeeming qualities and our common humanity.
By weakening fuel efficiency rules. Thank you Trump Administration for correcting the errors of the Obama Administration and helping keep cars affordable. And safer. All while continuing to protect the environment. And thank you for soliciting “all interested parties to weigh in with their views”. Very cool. Very democratic.
My view is totally sympatico with yours. Put me down for a “yes” vote on the weaker rules. Goals should be achievable, and you’re right, electric vehicles are for losers. In particular, this really resonated with me:
“Some data conclude that nearly half of consumers who purchase an electric car do not buy another because of challenges with range and recharge times.”
When it comes to things like your Environmental Protection Agency’s track record and your courageous questioning of climate change science, your administration has earned my trust so the phrase “some data” is good enough for me!
And I also agree that subsidies for electric vehicles are for losers best left to European and Chinese businesses who will never truly grasp capitalism’s allure. Please know my free-market invisible hands are clapping for your commitment to Big Oil having a more level economic playing field.
“. . . keeping in place the standards finalized in 2012 would add $2,340 to the cost of owning a new car and impose more than $500 billion in societal costs on the U.S. economy over the next 50 years.”
Again, thank you, $2,340, is not chump or even trump change. About $200 a year over 12 years of car ownership is a hell of a lot to ask for things as boring as markedly improved gas mileage and slowing climate change. Wouldn’t the typical electric car owner save more than $200 in gas costs? Sorry, strike that from the record. I’m sure there’s some more sophisticated math you have used that I probably would not understand. If you say it doesn’t “pencil out”, then it doesn’t pencil out. And “$500 billion in societal costs over the next 50 years?! No way can I do that math, but again I trust you that the “societal costs” are super scary things like more liberals feeling emboldened about spotted owls, more illegal immigrants invading our country, and more Democrats invading Congress.
“Due to these increased costs, Americans are holding on to their older, less-safe vehicles longer and buying older-model vehicles. The average vehicle on the road today is 12 years old, and data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows passengers are likelier to be killed in older vehicles than newer ones. In each of the past two years, more than 37,000 lives were lost on our roads. A key goal of this rulemaking is to reduce the barriers to enabling Americans to purchase newer, safer, cleaner cars.”
Initially, upon hearing that your Administration wanted to weaken fuel efficiency standards, I wondered why. I thought if America’s engineers were even a little great, the Obama goals were appropriately aspirational. I apologize that a part of me even wondered if you might be currying favor with Big Oil and Big Automakers, but upon just a little additional thought, that struck me as entirely too swampy a thing for your team.
I’m embarrassed that I pre-judged you. Of course, your first and foremost concern is our safety. All of your improvements to our infrastructure point to that. My cynicism got the best of me. I will do better going forward in my more affordable, safer, cleaner car.
Lastly, your editorial didn’t really touch on the “continuing to protect the environment” from the intro, but that’s okay. I understand word limits and trust you to be good for that. Again, to be clear, I am down with your downgrading of our fuel efficiency standards. And I look forward to your administration’s additional bar lowering pronouncements in the near future.
Thanks in large part to media coverage of high profile mass shootings, lots of people are feeling more fearful than normal.
If you’re feeling even a little more fearful than normal, maintain the positive routines of your life and limit your media exposure. You don’t have to completely bury your head in the sand, but you also don’t have to become an expert in all things ISIS.
If you’re resigned to being more fearful than normal, then you should study this Center for Disease Control list of threats that greatly outweigh an ISIS-inspired mass shooting.
Want to truly be, not just feel, more secure? Take a walk outside, eat more fruits and vegetables, don’t drink or drive, and wear a seatbelt.
Alternatively, you can follow Jerry Falwell Jrs. advice.
They will not raise the minimum wage, but Marco Rubio and three-quarters of the Republican’s on stage last night, are playing on the American public’s fears in the hope that we spend a whole lot more money on a larger, stronger military*. “People are being beheaded, Christians are being crucified.” Repeat that enough and no one will ask where. Each candidate is more appalled than the next that President Obama has failed to invade some countries and kick some ass. How dare he refuse to send more young men and women into wars that only have political solutions.
They all suffer from a collective amnesia that is extremely dangerous unless you like repeating mistakes of the past. They refuse to honestly assess how the last few wars have gone. How much money was spent, how many people’s lives were irrevocably changed for the worse, how many were killed, how the initial problems worsened.
The Republicans would have Rand Paul and the rest of us believe it’s un-American to question whether military might is always right. I will ask questions, resist knee-jerk hawkishness, and support this President’s more conservative and disciplined alternative to mindless militarism. All in the the hope that we have fewer vets to celebrate on future Veteran’s Days.
* all while lowering our taxes
Props to any politician that admits to a mistake.
On Saturday, President Obama and the Department of Education released a Testing Action Plan, calling on states to cut back on “unnecessary testing” that consumes “too much instructional time” and creates “undue stress for educators and students.
The administration used the moment to acknowledge its own role in the proliferation of burdensome standardized tests. In fact, the Education Department’s plan uses the word “burden” eight times and says, “we have not provided clear enough assistance for how to thoughtfully approach testing and assessment.”
What prompted the reversal? Glad you asked:
The administration was trying to get ahead of a just-released survey by the Council of Great City Schools that detailed a laundry list of formative, benchmark, diagnostic, and practice tests required at the state and district level. According to the survey, the average student will take 112 standardized tests between preschool and high school graduation, spending as much as 25 hours a year testing.
This is all so inspiring, I’m going to hold a presser to apologize for a mistake of mine. As soon as I can think of one.