John McCain’s Last Wish: Trolling Trump

When Charles Dickens divorced his wife, her sister sided with him and even lived with him for several years to help him raise the children. The ex-Mrs. Dickens took this remarkably calmly, but when she died she left her sister one piece of jewelry: a ring shaped like a snake. I have long regarded this as the finest example of throwing shade from beyond the grave I have ever encountered.

Until today.


Mr. President, I Rise Today to Say, Enough

Not the kind of thing I usually post, but Jeff Flake’s retirement speech is going to be in the history books someday:

When the next generation asks us, why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you speak up? What are we going to say? Mr. President, I rise today to say, enough. We must dedicate ourselves to making sure that the anomalous never becomes the normal.

With respect and humility, I must say that we have fooled ourselves for long enough that a pivot to governing is right around the corner, civility and stability right behind it.

We know better than that.

Will this be enough to wake up Trump’s base? Probably not. But someday something will.

In the meantime, I sincerely hope that Senator Flake means it when he says he will spend the remaining fourteen months of his term “stand[ing] up and speak[ing] out.”

The Helicopter Parents of 1848

I am reading Vanity Fair (the novel, not the magazine) this morning, and was amused to discover that 169 years ago, helicopter parents were already a problem:

If people would but leave children to themselves; if teachers would cease to bully them; if parents would not insist upon directing their thoughts, and dominating their feelings—those feelings and thoughts which are a mystery to all (for how much do you and I know of each other, of our children, of our fathers, of our neighbour, and how far more beautiful and sacred are the thoughts of the poor lad or girl whom you govern likely to be, than those of the dull and world-corrupted person who rules him?)—if, I say, parents and masters would leave their children alone a little more, small harm would accrue. . . .


In Which Donald Trump Continues to Be a Class Act

Picture this. You’re the Republican nominee for President of the United States. You’re coming off a debate loss and a dreadful week in the press. You wake up 39 days before the election, rarin’ to go. What do you do to further your candidacy? How will you dig yourself out of the hole you’ve created? To which of your policies or beliefs do you want to draw the public’s attention?

Obviously, you decide to attack the 1996 Miss Universe. Obviously.

(Incidentally, the correct spelling is “judgment.”)

I thought the reference to a “sex tape” was especially classy. To be clear, no sex tape exists.