Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Only the loathsome, Part II

By A.J. Liebling
Content Deconstructor

Several bottles of Pepto-Bismol later, we're ready to wade further into the muck, by which of course we mean Kevin Dowd's not-so-hostile takeover of her sister's lame-o New York Times column.  We got through four lines before we started to feel dinner coming back up the way in went in, so let's see how far we get this time.

Here are the next two paragraphs:
Preaching — and pandering — with a message of inclusion, the Democrats have instead become a party where incivility and bad manners are taken for granted, rudeness is routine, religion is mocked and there is absolutely no respect for a differing opinion. This did not go down well in the Midwest, where Trump flipped three blue states and 44 electoral votes.
The rudeness reached its peak when Vice President-elect Mike Pence was booed by attendees of “Hamilton” and then pompously lectured by the cast. This may play well with the New York theater crowd but is considered boorish and unacceptable by those of us taught to respect the office of the president and vice president, if not the occupants.
This section refreshingly contains one almost-true statement: Hillary Clinton did lose four Midwestern states that Barack Obama won in 2012.  Maybe “Kevin” forgot that Iowa and Ohio are not the same place.  As for the rest of it, it's hard to know whether to call it projection or projectile vomiting.  The Democrats are the party of incivility?  The party of routine rudeness?  He understands that those clips from Hillary's campaign ads were not of her, but of her opponent, doesn't he?  Maybe that was the problem!

Possibly “Kevin” (we keep his name in quotes because we aren't sure whether he exists or whether he's Maureen's John Barron) forgot, wasn't offended by, or, most likely, is desperately trying to drop down the memory hole the torrent of unspeakable abuse launched by his beloved Tangerine-Faced Grifter-elect. We'll just reprise a couple of the T.-F. G.'s greatest hits, although the full list of his insults filled two pages in the newspaper that provides a lifetime of ease to his sister.  Making fun of disabled reporters?  Deprecating women reporters who recalled his misogynistic insults against women by speculating they had blood coming out of their “whatever?”  Describing his opponent as “crooked” and a “nasty woman?”  Maybe this passes as fair comment in Annandale, Virginia, but most Earthlings would describe the T.-F. G.'s campaign as one in which incivility was taken for granted and rudeness was not only routine, it was the main attraction.

Which brings us to  “Kevin”'s next smear: the tired old chestnut that Democrats or liberals or both mock religion.  Who, when, and where?   While “Kevin” is at it, maybe he could describe one act of religious faith ever committed by the Tangerine-Faced Grifter.  Hint: going to church to cheat on wife one doesn't count.

Absolutely no respect for differing opinion? That's got to be a new height of fatuous projection.  How many people got beaten up at Clinton rallies by goons egged on by the candidate?  How many member of the press were cursed at Clinton rallies while being insulted by the candidate?  If you think that it's the Democrats who don't respect differing opinions, then brother you're living in the Jew-S-A.

The only example of supposed rudeness and disrespect “Kevin” can dredge up didn't happen until after the campaign, but he'll fire it up anyway because it's a handy way to sling mud at Jews, gays, and liberals, or as “Kevin” so delicately calls them, the “New York theater crowd.”  In “Kevin”'s retelling, it's another example of decadent liberal values that would never happen in The Heartland.  Except when the opening day crowd in Indianapolis lustily booed their hatemongering Governor, a troll by the name of Mike Pence.

We can't pass over “Kevin”'s effort at condescension.  He alleges that his ilk were properly brought up to respect the President.  They were?  Maybe “Kevin”'s fellow travelers who were passing around smears about the President's birth, parentage, and racial background didn't pay close enough attention.  Oh and speaking of respecting Presidents, let's just recall the slogans about former President Bill Clinton emblazoned on Bangladeshi-made T-shirts lapping over the paunches of Tangerine-Faced Grifter rallygoers.

We're now nauseated again and we're barely halfway through “Kevin”'s little composition.  We'd call it sad and pathetic but right now we're in the holiday spirit and we wish goodwill to all, even the haters and the losers.  Like “Kevin.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Only the loathsome, Part I

By A.J. Liebling
Content Deconstructor

Very recently we had a little fun with the estimable (in his mind at least) New York Times columnist David Brooks.   We made up a silly award, took a few shots at his latest column and basically goofed around.  That was the appropriate response we thought to his somewhat lukewarm take on the recent electoral unpleasantness.

But for those of you who like their bullshit served up sizzling hot and with a snarl, you couldn't do much better than Maureen Dowd's latest effort on Sunday, in which she channeled the rage of her real or imagined Trump-lovin' brother, “Kevin.” After over a year of responding to vile drivel from entitled white men with dumb yuks, we broke our funny bone on this one.

Despite the lack of opportunities for cheap laughs, it is critical to analyze the contents of this screed essentially line-by-line so that we can begin to understand the revolting stew of bigotry, entitlement, and ignorance that motivates what Mo chooses to call her “affluent, educated suburbanite” scumbag of a brother assuming he in fact exists.  It's almost as important to note that not one of the factual claims in “Kevin”'s “column” proves to line up with reality.

Goggles, nose clips, boots, and latex gloves on, we dig in.  “Kevin” starts with a man who brought dignity, honor, a social conscience, and a keen intelligence to the White House, despite his Kenyan birth:
The election was a complete repudiation of Barack Obama: his fantasy world of political correctness, the politicization of the Justice Department and the I.R.S., an out-of-control E.P.A., his neutering of the military, his nonsupport of the police and his fixation on things like transgender bathrooms. 
Claim 1: how can an over 2 million vote margin for the Democratic candidate be described as a repudiation, much less a complete one?  Of course, it can't, but it is important for “Kevin”'s worldview to be premised on the false notion that he and his bro the tangerine-faced grifting President-elect represent the majority.  In this case, though, you'd really have to call “Kevin”'s  majority silent, because something that doesn't exist can't make any noise.

Kevin Dowd looks more like his sister every day
But we haven't even gotten to the end of the first line yet.  Claim 2 is that President Obama, an astute observer and consummate pragmatist, lives in a “fantasy world” of political correctness.  By this “Kevin” must mean that President Obama's unceasing efforts to ameliorate America's great racial divide is a pointless fantasy, because entitled white racists like him and his candidate will forever malign persons of color, women, those with alternative gender preferences or identifications, the disabled, and anyone else who doesn't resemble Liz Lemon's old boyfriend.  Is such a hope a fantasy?  No, a fantasy is the claim that Barack Obama was born anywhere else than Honolulu, Hawaii or that his religion is anything but Christianity.  Who lived in that fantasy world, “Kevin?”

OK we've finished the first line. Let's turn to “Kevin”'s reference to politicizing the Justice Department.  He doesn't cite any examples of such nefarious activity during the Obama Administration.  So let's give him a few.  President Karl Rove's successful effort to purge U.S. Attorneys because they refused to bring dubious voting fraud cases against Democrats is politicizing the Justice Department.  Thinking that the President decides who is prosecuted is politicizing bigly.  Obama doesn't think like that; “Kevin”'s man-child does.

Indeed at this point we're suspicious that we're not getting an argument here as much as a wilted word salad of different reactionary and white supremacist talking points.  The politicization of the IRS?   The Republicans have worked hard to peddle that story to the credulous (like “Kevin”), when in fact all they ever had was the effort by career, not political, IRS officials to make sense of a poorly-drafted statute that does in fact distinguish political from other activity.  Some “scandal.”

That brings us to line three.  The EPA is out of control because why exactly?  No doubt “Kevin” believes conveniently that global warming is a liberal conspiracy, not a threat to our (and his) children.  Perhaps he thinks that Lower Manhattan flooded for the first time in history because of, insert whatever cheap shot “Kevin” would throw at New York here.  But New Yorkers, who have spent billions of dollars cleaning up the mess left by Superstorm Sandy, know well the threat of rising sea levels from melting ice caps.  If it really was a liberal conspiracy, why would liberals engineer an event that requires the closing of the L tunnel for two years?  How are they supposed to get to Williamsburg?  “Kevin” probably doesn't care, but a lot of Clinton voters do.

And if the EPA is really throttling our economy (which is the full false talking point), why has the economy grown for 70 months, and at an annual rate of 3.2% in the past quarter?

The next claim – “neutering” the armed forces – is another rubbish GOP talking point.  It's most notable for demonstrating what “Kevin” really fears: that women, Negroes, immigrants and other undesirables will cut off his withered old nuts and we don't know redistribute them?  In any event, Obama's military had enough testosterone to dispatch Osama bin Laden to the bottom of the sea, unleash drones at terrorists over half the world, overthrow Qaddafi (maybe not a great idea but hardly an example of armed impotence), while fielding 420,000 GI's, 182,000 Marines, a 282-ship Navy, and 317,000 Air People.  This piddling force cost only $585,000,000,000 last year.

Speaking of what “Kevin” really fears, let's go to the next talking point, by which “Kevin” means that President Obama does not uncritically support police massacres of black people, especially unarmed ones.  Do you think that the police, alone among government agencies, should be immune from criticism?  If you do, you're white!  Wrong, too.  Again, what “Kevin” really mourns here are the lost days when the police could treat minorities and other undesirables with impunity, whether stopping and frisking them because they brandished a pack of Skittles or drilling them with bullets because they were armed with cell phones.  Of course, the President's statements are replete with praise of law enforcement, but any suggestion that the 5-0 might need to control its tendencies, now available on video, to mistreat minorities constitutes an unbearable threat to “Kevin” and his buddies.

We're almost done with Part I of “Kevin”'s rant.  And now another of “Kevin”'s fears generates another whopper.  Did I miss the 20-minute section of Obama's State of the Union Address when he embraced the cause of transgender bathroom access?  Wasn't it in fact loathsome state bigots who turned a non-issue – the right of people to use the bathroom consistent with their sexual identity – into a controversy?  Didn't the Obama Administration act only in response to such brazen violations of basic human rights?  This one we honestly don't understand: what is “Kevin” so terrified about?  If someone dresses, acts, and identifies as a man, which bathroom should he use?

Presumably “Kevin” agrees with loathsome Ted Cruz's suggestion that transgender individuals simply hold it until they get home.  We'll end Part I with a constructive suggestion: any trans person denied bathroom access by bigoted state laws should take a dump on “Kevin”'s azaleas.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Why We Fight: Know the Allies

KABUL, Afghanistan — As heavy snow fell on the muddy arena in northern Afghanistan where a traditional game of buzkashi — two teams of horsemen fighting for a dead goat — was underway on Friday, a scuffle broke out near the stands. It was not just another group of hotheaded fans going at it.

The man who had thrown the punch is the vice president of Afghanistan, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum. And he did not stop there: To drive the humiliation home, he put his foot on the chest of his downed victim, a political rival named Ahmad Ishchi, who was then beaten by the general’s bodyguards, thrown into the back of an armored vehicle and taken away, said several of Mr. Ishchi’s relatives, many of them speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation.

“Dostum came there, and he walked around the stadium, — then he called Ahmad Ishchi over to him,” said Gulab Khan, a relative of Mr. Ishchi who was among about 5,000 spectators at the game. “After talking with him for a couple of minutes, he punched him, and his bodyguards started beating him with AK-47s. They beat Ahmad very badly and in a barbaric way.”
The account of General Dostum’s actions — while not unexpected for a former warlord with a history of accusations of human rights violations and abuse, including physical acts of retaliation against allies and rivals — underscores fears about someone a heartbeat from the presidency.

With President Ashraf Ghani traveling on an official visit to Central Asia, General Dostum is technically the acting president. For more than two days, he has held a political rival hostage in one of his properties, with members of Mr. Ishchi’s family increasingly concerned about his health. On Sunday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the vice president’s pink palace in the northern city of Shibarghan, pleading with him to free Mr. Ishchi. The protesters remained all day, but General Dostum did not meet with them. His guards simply told the protesters that the general was busy or resting.

Spokesmen and advisers to General Dostum did not respond to requests for comment, despite promises from several of them. Aides who had accompanied the general to the game, and who were shown at his side in official pictures, flatly denied they had been there. . . .

The New York Times, November 28, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Coming soon in The Spy!

Another exclusive book excerpt: My Strugel (for Beter Skools), by Betsy DeVos (Amway Press, $78.95).

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

And the coveted Greg Marmalard Award goes to . . .

By A.J. Liebling
Meta-content Generator

Nothing drives clicks more than handing out awards (unless it's pointless lists or pictures of what child stars look like now that they're 50).  If the next President of the United States can violate every norm to enrich himself, we don't see any reason to deny ourselves.

So we've decided to hand out a new award: the sure-to-be-coveted Greg Marmalard Award, named in honor of the Animal House fraternity president who famously persuaded six of his frat brothers to beat the crap out of Otter, just because Otter had done the nasty with Greg's girlfriend.  Later, Otter got him one-on-one.  After telling Greg to look at his thumb, Otter cold-cocked him and then said “Gee, you're dumb.”

"Our op-ed page has more than its share
of campus leaders."
Otter's words rang in our ears this morning when we happened to pass over David Brooks's latest effort on the op-ed page of the New York Times, where he pontificates as part of a fraternity of underachievers including Generalissimo Tom Friedman of the Hot Air Force, Nick Kristof, who specializes in interviews with imaginary voters and South Asian confabulators, and of course Maureen Dowd, whose stylings we have covered ad or possibly trans nauseam.

But we can't hand out a Marmalard to every mediocrity who has unaccountably been awarded by a column by The New York Times, or The Washington Post, or even our own Boston Globe.  Better luck next year.  In the meantime, let's look at Brooks's winning effort.

He starts off by channeling Kristof.  Instead of actually talking to Trump voters, which would involve an act of journalism, Brooks imagines some:
I’ve been thinking a lot about the best imaginable Trump voter. This is the Trump supporter who wasn’t motivated by racism or bigotry. This is the one who cringed every time Donald Trump did something cruel, vulgar or misogynistic.
Whether such a paragon exists is of course an interesting factual question, but facts don't interest our winner.  He relies on telepathy:
This voter wants leaders tough enough to crack through the reigning dysfunction, and sure enough, Trump’s appointments so far represent the densest concentration of hyper-macho belligerence outside a drill sergeant retirement home.
We don't know many drill sergeants ourselves, but we did make the acquaintance of a few members of our armed forces, and we don't recall them boasting about sexually assaulting women, providing forums to neo-Nazis, or resorting to crude religious or ethnic stereotypes.  That's not “hyper-macho;” that's hatred and bigotry straight up.  But let's forget about all that, the same way the media forgot all about Trump's vitamin scam.

After the imaginary stereotyping our Marmalard Award Winner gets to the task at hand: dispensing condescending advice.
Second, this seems like a moment for some low-passion wonkery. It’s stupid to react to every Trump tweet outrage with your own predictable howls.
Really?  Why?  Should we let hatred-fueled lies dominate our political discourse?  That's working great in Russia!

After some perfunctory tut-tutting about Republicans whose insane lust for tax cuts for the rich led them to embrace a crooked ignorant bigot (that's actually not the delict Brooks is upset about), he gets down to every lame pundit's favorite topic: those pathetic liberals and their silly prejudices:
The Democratic Party is losing badly on the local, state and national levels. If you were a football team you’d be 2-8. Maybe you can do better than responding with the sentiment: Sadly, the country isn’t good enough for us.
Hmm, by doing some perfunctory fact checking, we learned that the Democratic Presidential candidate amassed some 2 million more votes than the tangerine-face grifter and Democratic Senatorial candidates won 6,000,000 more votes than Republicans, but lost the House aggregate by 3 million votes.  So in terms of what Americans voted for, we'd say they were 2 for 3.  Maybe there's something wrong in a political system that translates those results into President Tangerine-Faced Grifter and 52 stooges for whatever whackjob he nominates for the Supreme Court.  Must be the fault of those liberals!

And finally we get to the money shot:
Those of us in the opinion class have been complaining that Trump voters are post-truth, that they don’t have a respect for expertise. Well, the experts created a school system that doesn’t produce skilled graduates. The experts designed Obamacare exchanges that are failing. Maybe those of us in the professional class need to win back some credibility the old-fashioned way, with effective reform.
They don't?  They are?  Talk about post-truth.  Is the reason that coal miners and steel workers can't find jobs is because 25 years ago they weren't trained as software coders?  Seems post-truth, or maybe pre-truth.  Are the Obamacare exchanges failing because gross premiums are going up to levels estimated by the Obama Administration?  Twenty million people, including a lot of Trump voters, will find out what happens when those “failing” exchanges are replaced by the healing power of estate tax repeal.

Maybe those of us in the professional class should be unrelenting in our opposition not only to the ruling kleptocracy, but also to the anti-democratic voter suppression and gerrymandering schemes that have frustrated the popular will.  And maybe those not in said class who voted for the tangerine-faced grifter might reflect on the coming betrayal.  Those who didn't vote, like those black barbers in Milwaukee, on the grounds that the white woman was as bad as the white man, might want to rethink their view sometime after they lose their health insurance and whatever progress made in the last eight years to reduce the numbers of minorities tossed on the streets by the 5-0.

In the meantime, we hope that David Brooks enjoys his much-deserved Marmalard.  Just remember, David, to handle it the same way Mandy handled Greg: with latex gloves.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Larry Summers and the Age of Enlightenment

By A. Larry Lowell
Cambridge Bureau Chief

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Amidst the usual whines from unrepentant Iraq war shills, climate science deniers, and assorted otherwise-unemployable hacks that fill up a surprisingly large portion of the opinion pages of The Washington Post, one recent piece pierced the darkness with a white hot beam directed at those who would excuse bigotry by decrying opposition to it as “political correctness.”

By now even the most meager intelligence would have grasped that that particular term of obloquy was nothing more than a device to ward off entirely justified charges of bigotry, racism, sexism, and other assorted forms of intolerance.  You think we shouldn't call Mexican immigrants assassins and rapists, or shouldn't paint all black neighborhoods as bloodbaths, or avoid boasting about grabbing unwilling women by their “pussies,” to quote our President-elect?  How very PC of you!

The man who was fired from the world's easiest job – President of Harvard University – isn't having any of it:
The fight for academic freedom and for ideological diversity on college campuses should and will go on. But given what opposition to “political correctness” has licensed, it time to retire the term.
More importantly, democracy does not mean electrocracy [What's that? – Ed.]. Winning an election does not entitle one to upend our basic values. The refusal to tolerate blatant racism, bigotry and misogyny are beyond compromise. The first obligation of anyone currently in a leadership position is not to find common ground with our new President-elect now that the ballots have been counted and the election is over. It is instead to once again make it possible for all who live in our country to feel safe. 
The President and Ladies of Harvard College, in happier days
Wow.  Who knew that Larry Summers was so woke, as they say on Mt. Auburn St. these days?  Especially considering his Harvard background.  That institution it will be recalled sheltered in living memory a psychology professor who used obviously faked data to prove that the IQ scores of blacks and other slow learners were 80% determined by their genes.

Even worse, as late as the first decade of this century, one Harvard bigwig was heard to argue that women were genetically less able to excel at math and science than members of the twig-and-berry club.  The ruckus landed on page A1 of The Boston Globe on January 17, 2005.  Apparently said bigwig
sparked an uproar at an academic conference Friday when he said that innate differences between men and women might be one reason fewer women succeed in science and math careers. [Said bigwig] also questioned how much of a role discrimination plays in the dearth of female professors in science and engineering at elite universities.

Nancy Hopkins, a biologist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, walked out on [the] talk, saying later that if she hadn't left, “I would've either blacked out or thrown up." Five other participants reached by the Globe, including Denice D. Denton, chancellor designate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, also said they were deeply offended, while four other attendees said they were not.

[Bigwig] said he was only putting forward hypotheses based on the scholarly work assembled for the conference, not expressing his own judgments in fact, he said, more research needs to be done on these issues. . . . Referencing a well-known concept in economics, he said that if discrimination was the main factor limiting the advancement of women in science and engineering, then a school that does not discriminate would gain an advantage by hiring away the top women who were discriminated against elsewhere. Because that doesn't seem to be a widespread phenomenon, . . “the real issue is the overall size of the pool, and it's less clear how much the size of the pool was held down by discrimination.". . .

“I believe that it's an important part of what I do to encourage frank scientific discussion," he said.
Frank scientific discussion, to be sure.  If you had the temerity to point out there was in fact no science behind his musings (as the fact pattern he described could equally well or better be explained by pervasive sexism), well, you were just sacrificing frank scientific discussion at the altar of political correctness.

Or so said Harvard Professor Harvey “Homewrecker” Mansfield in the neocon's stroke book, The Weekly Standard: “Political correctness is the leading form of intimidation in all of American education today, and this incident at Harvard is a pure case of it.”

And who was the Harvard big shot saying such ridiculously bigoted sexist rubbish back then?  You know the answer:  Professor Electrocacy himself, Larry Summers.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

100 years ago in The New York Times

Over the last few days of the race, Donald J. Trump intends to travel all over the country. He's going to Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and even Minnesota, he said Saturday.

It’s an impressive travel schedule, but it may reflect the biggest challenge facing him right now: It’s still not clear exactly where and how he would win.

Hillary Clinton has a consistent and clear advantage in states worth at least 270 electoral votes, even if the race has undoubtedly tightened over the last few weeks. But even that understates the challenge facing Mr. Trump’s campaign: It’s not at all obvious where he has his best chance of breaking through, making it harder for him to concentrate his efforts over the last days of the campaign.

This is not to say that Mr. Trump can’t win. The polls could be off across the board.

But even if he wins Arizona, Iowa, Ohio, Utah, North Carolina, Florida and New Hampshire, he's still short of a victory.

He's not assured to win any of those states, to be clear — although he's a clear favorite in Iowa and Utah at this point. He has trailed in more live interview polls of North Carolina and Florida than he has led, although the national race has tightened since many were taken.

But he would still need to win one of the following states: Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, Virginia, or perhaps New Mexico or Minnesota. . . .

Pennsylvania seemed like Mr. Trump's best option earlier in the year, but he hasn't led a live interview poll there since the summer. The final nonpartisan live interview polls there show Mrs. Clinton ahead by a comfortable margin of four to six points. The state will probably be close, but it's quite clear that she has the edge.

Wisconsin is another state that seemed as if it could be promising for Mr. Trump. It has a large population of white working-class Democrats, just as Iowa does, and Mr. Trump is running well in Iowa. But he has struggled among Republican-leaning voters in the Milwaukee suburbs. The race could tighten if these voters return to his side, but he hasn't led a live interview poll there all year.

Michigan could be a more interesting option for Mr. Trump. It was the most Democratic of all of these states in the 2012 election, and he hasn’t led a poll there all year either. But recent polls have shown a relatively tight race there.

Mrs. Clinton visited the state on Friday, and President Obama will visit on Sunday and Monday, and Mrs. Clinton will make another stop on Monday, so clearly the Clinton campaign thinks there's some softness there. That said, if the election comes down to whether Mr. Trump can score an upset in Michigan, he's in a lot of trouble. It seems hard to imagine he could carry the state without also carrying Pennsylvania. . . .

Again, the polls are close enough that the possibility of a victory for Mr. Trump is still quite real. But it's just not clear exactly how or where he would break through. It doesn't seem that the Trump campaign knows either.

– Nate Cohn in The Upshot, The New York Times, Nov. 5, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

From the Archives: working class frustrations boil over

Editors' Note: A publication older than the Republic itself (and perhaps lasting longer) has seen a lot of Election Nights come and go, so when we were told that last week was unprecedented, unbelievable, and unbearable, we wondered about the first two.  We recall an Election Night not so long ago in which a lightweight bullshit artist took the White House by surfing a wave of middle-class white discontentment.  And that turned out fine.  If your daddy staked you in the real estate business and you started grifting your way to fame and fortune in the 80's, that is.

Reagan Propelled to Victory
By Angry White People

By David Bloviator, Political Editor,
with material from The New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON, D.C.  (Nov. 6, 1980) – Washington's pundits, stunned by Ronald Reagan's unexpected landslide victory, have begun to grope for explanations. Among the leading contenders Reagan's victory was fueled by a volcanic outpouring of anger and frustration on the part of middle-class white voters who feel they are falling down the economic ladder, due to cheap Japanese imported goods and illegal immigrants.

“We've known for a long time that there was a lot of frustration and anger out there,” Patrick Caddell, pollster to the defeated incumbent Jimmy Carter, was quoted telling The New York Times. “Finally a lot of people said, ‘I've had enough and I'm not going to take it any more.’”

The source of the voters' ire: economic stress plus the feeling that the United States is being pushed around by Middle Eastern terrorists.  In June, 71% of voters polled said that protecting U.S. jobs was more important than cheaper foreign manufactured products.  Recent polling indicates that 77% of the electorate opposed allowing illegal aliens to work.

Voters were angry that 500,000 jobs were lost in the needle trades due to cheaper foreign imports, and that only one brand of televisions is still made completely in the U.S.  Earlier this year, U.S. Steel warned that competition from imported steel and environmental regulations threatened the future of the industry.

In Ambridge, Penn., site of the famous American Bridge steel works, workers said that they counted on the new President to save their jobs.  “We need a strong leader to protect our jobs and our future,” said Jimmy Burke, a union steelworker.  “Without Reagan, this place could be a ghost town by the time my kids grow up.”

Similar sentiments were expressed in Youngstown, Ohio, another mill town threatened by foreign imports.  “I've never voted for a Republican before, but I believe that Ronald Reagan will ensure that we continue to make steel here in Youngstown forever,” said John Burke, who runs a tavern near the gates of the mammoth Youngstown Steel plant.

Union steelworkers voted for Ronald Reagan because they believed
he would keep the steel mills from ending up like this
At the massive Buick City auto factory complex in Flint, Mich., UAW officials admitted that the specter of layoffs and plant closings had hurt the incumbent.  “My members think that we need a change to protect the future of the U.S. auto industry,” said Jerry Burke, the head of UAW Local 2008.  Similar sentiments were expressed at the sprawling American Motors factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“We are getting screwed by unfair trade details,” complained Janet Burke, an assembler at the Zenith television factory in Chicago.  “I know that Ronald Reagan will protect our jobs.  He understands the concerns of people like me.”

Even those with safe government jobs were attracted to the Reagan-Bush ticket.  “We are being pushed around by Iranian terrorists.  Ronald Reagan will be the strong leader we need.  He won't allow us to be pushed around anymore,” said  Joe Burke, an air-traffic controller in Washington.

Whether the Reagan Administration will be able to protect American factory jobs remains to be seen, experts warn.  Global trade trends are not easily counteracted by national law, and Reagan's key advisers seem wedded to the notion that expanding trade creates prosperity for all.  Several key advisers, including OMB Chair David Stockman have voiced opposition to any effort to water down the incoming administration's to free trade by calling for “free and fair” trade.

The battle over saving U.S. manufacturing jobs highlights the division between the prosperous high-tech and service-based economies in places like New York and California, and the declining prospects of Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio.

In Manhattan, prosperous young New Yorkers seem to be unworried about the economic hardships faced in other states.  “Steel mills?  Who gives a f***?  Say hi to my two dates, Svetlana and Vladimira” said a sniffling young Manhattanite coming out of Studio 54 who gave his name as Don Trumpf.  “I don't need any rebar to shaft these two, if you catch my drift.” 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Someone run over to the Port Authority and buy them a new crystal ball

The New York Times (print edition), November 6, 2016

– home page of, November 6, 2016, 9:07 p.m.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Spy's endorsement, with extra divine inspiration

We know that most of you are waiting to learn whom The Spy will endorse in the Presidential election before casting your ballot.  Very wise.

We do not take this responsibility lightly.  We have ruminated about the choice endlessly.  As is so often the case, when we are in need of inspiration or material to plagiarize, we turn to the Bible.  Amazingly enough, when emended in light of recent learning, a close reading of Devarim provided an answer as plain as the bronzer poorly slathered on Donald Trump's face, viz:

You stand this day all of you, before the Lord your God  . . . your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp . . . . See I set before you this day life and Hillary Clinton, death and Donald Trump . . . . If your heart turns away and you give no heed , . . I declare to you this day that you shall certainly perish . . . .The life you face shall be precarious; you shall be in terror, night and day, with no assurance of survival.  In the morning you shall say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening you shall say “If only it were morning!” – because of what your heart shall dread and your eyes shall see.

I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day: I have put before your life and death, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  Choose life – if you and your offspring would live . . . .
Devarim [Deuteronomy] , ch. 30 v. 15-19, ch. 28, v. 66-67.

We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

The Editors

Who are we to disagree?