…And We’re Back [DOT 24/10/22]

Happy Monday gang. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was very chill, and a chill weekend was just what I needed.

It may be Monday, but at least your Monday doesn’t look like this:

Trump Organization to face criminal tax fraud charges in New York court on Monday

JD is a grifter’s grifter

In Ohio, Vance faces backlash in Ukrainian community over war stance

 “I gotta be honest with you. I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine one way or another.”

IDK what the hell is going on over there.

Sunak closes in on No 10 as Johnson pulls out of race



Stock futures rise after notching their best week since June


Today in cute:

Have a great day!



  1. As a casual “reading Bible as literature” kind of person, whenever you see a reference to the Book of Revelations, you know you’re in for the crazy.

    I read the Bible as literature because my family is actually somewhat matrilineal. Starting about 1880 or so an ancestor was given a King James version (the older one having been destroyed in a fire) when she got married, and it got handed down, and it ended up in the hands of my mother. We had it growing up and it is spectacular: adorned with faux-Medieval intro caps, a whole frontispiece of maps showing the latest discoveries of interest to Victorian readers, commentary from learned Reverends, the works. It’s about the size of a small computer screen and weighs a good ten pounds at least. It is now in the possession of one of my sisters, and will pass down to her daughter when the time comes. It’s probably worth quite a bit: It’s in almost mint condition because no one in my family has ever consulted it except me, out of boredom, as a teenage heathen.

    The KJV has been dumbed down quite a bit during several revisions to make it more “relevant” since our example was printed, but according to BibleRef, which is a good a source as any I suppose, this is what Revelations 3:9 has to say.

    Again, if you look at the KJV quote it doesn’t really convey what you would have found in the even more lurid Victorian model that I read. On the other hand, I can’t imagine any of my relatives standing on a 405 overpass giving Hitler salutes, so I’m guessing they’re not of Anglo-Canadian “take-it-or-leave-it” heritage.

    • …what bill hicks called “that wacky, fire & brimstone ending” certainly gets a lot of crazy-points for revelations…& the king james version is a hell of a translation for laying it on thick with that kind of stuff

      …but just…for want of a better word…narratively…there’s a lot of crazy to go around…even allowing for a lot of the “& methuselah lived to the ripe old age of 947 & his kids lived to 862 & 785 & they had nine kids &…” filler there’s some plenty messed up stories in that book & some downright ropey bits of text for something laying claim to the name “the good book”

      …there’s a fairly old but pretty good book that would probably be considered YA fiction these days called “the day they came to arrest the book” which is all about a high school where someone objects to some passages in huckleberry finn & it becomes a whole thing…pretty commonplace scenario these days but sort of out there back when I read the thing…either way someone eventually uses the biblical story of the levite & his concubine as an exemplar & that one is a doozy?

      • You seem to know your Bible. Here’s a little (actually kind of long) explainer about the pre-1885 KJV Bible I came to know and its subsequent updates. This essay mostly focuses on the disastrous mid-1950s/early-1960s “”:


        This samizdat reprint doesn’t seem to mention who Dwight Macdonald was or where this came from, but I have it somewhere in my creepy haunted “home office” in the form of Macdonald’s Against the American Grain. That book also contains his famous essay Masscult and Midcult, terms I throw around with abandon whenever someone starts a conversational topic with, “I was just reading in the New York Times Book Review…”

        By the way, did you know that Mock the Week has been cancelled? The last episode just aired on 10/21 (or 21/10, I guess.) After seventeen years and 232 episodes. Most if not all episodes preserved thankfully on Youtube. First BoJo’s gone, then the Queen, then Liz Truss, and now Mock the Week. Even in the darkest days of the Trump administration we never experienced such a jarring cultural shift.

    • Honestly, whenever you see anything from the Bible cited as justification for any action, it’s coming from a place of crazy.

      The only actual adherents of Christianity I’ve met (and there are very few considering my dad was a Baptist minister) live their faith rather than talking about it.

      • I live next door to a police precinct HQ where the cops’ personal SUVs park with abandon. Many of them have cheery license plate frames from auto dealerships near where they live, which is Long Island and north of the city but not Westchester. Some are slapped with Yankees memorabilia and those strange black-and-white oval three-letter code stickers indicating their favorite vacation spots. Many have slightly darkened and disfigured license plates so they don’t get caught on toll-evasion monitors or speed-cams.

        Fine, whatever, the police aren’t about to arrest themselves. But more than one have John 3:16 bumper stickers and some have those little fish magnets or stick-ons, I don’t know what they are, but I do know from my upbringing that my parents used to say, “That means Catholics and the husband is an abusive alcoholic but they’re in counseling now.” My parents used saltier language.

  2. That dog video reminded me of our first Butcher Dog and her very first day of leash training. She dug her feet in and threw her head around while I just kept walking. Eventually she just gave up and went totally limp. I kept going for another few feet dragging her along while Mrs Butcher laughed herself silly at the look on that dog’s face. It said “this sucks and I’d rather be back at the pound.”

    She did learn how to walk on a leash but she never liked it.

  3. …it’s gonna be rishi…if anyone was wondering

    …boris told everyone he had enough supporters to make it over that 100 endorsement bar but withdrew on sunday…so, since I’ll never know I’m comfortable assuming that was bollocks & he’s too toxic still so he’ll doubtless keep trying down the line

    …mordaunt waited until minutes before the deadline before saying (approximately) “the MPs seem to prefer rishi & I’ll drop out rather than let the membership get involved in a vote or anything”

    …& there you have it…one almost entirely opaque sequence of back-stabbing later…yet another instant PM, no waiting…well…some waiting

    …but pretty speedy, really…truss was in post less time than there was between johnson “resigning” & actually fucking off…so this might be the fastest they’ve pulled this off ever?

    • I think in the 1950s, if The Crown is anything to go by, the Tories were handing off the PM job by polling the MPs and didn’t even bother mailing out ballots to the Conservative Party citizen members, who were much more numerous than today, despite the vastly greater population increase since then.

      I read that one unnamed Tory MP said, “I’m for Johnson because in future [no “the” in the quote] the 2020s won’t look quite so chaotic if he’s in again and Liz Truss will be absolutely forgotten, won’t she? Maybe not even mentioned?”

    • OK, so having an actual Brit here, maybe you can explain the mechanics to me of elections.  What are the policies (for lack of a better word) which determine the difference between when a new PM gets selected among just the party faithful, versus when there is an actual populace involved?  When a PM calls for an election, is that always a general election?  I think I heard somewhere that it will be like two years until the citizenry will be able to cast their votes if the PM doesn’t call for an election, but that makes me think there’s an actual calendar involved somewhere in there.  My understanding is that Brits don’t vote for a candidate, per se, but rather a party which contains a slate of people for particular jobs–is that correct?

      • …some of that has answers…some not so much

        …so they have to have a general election before a deadline because they can’t be more than 5yrs apart…there was a brief stint of trying a fixed term like in the US but it didn’t stick

        …they could call one whenever they like…part of the incumbent advantage is being able to pick when

        …how the parties pick a leader is different according to the party…but in terms of what makes it happen the way it did this time over the way it did last time for the tories…that’s like mcconnell’s approach to senate precedent…the actual process is mostly about posturing that they’re following all their rules but they pretty much made those up to suit themselves…so by picking a single candidate they skip the part where they would have been obliged to ask their members to vote the way that got them truss

        …& in a general election the voters just get a vote on their local representative in the commons…the PM is the leader of whichever party gets a parliamentary majority so it’s basically never a direct choice of the wider population

        …it’s more complicated but that’s the bones of the thing?

    • Uninformed vigilantes outside Maricopa County’s drop boxes are not increasing election integrity. Instead they are leading to voter intimidation complaints. Although monitoring and transparency in our elections is critical, voter intimidation is unlawful,” it added.

      Emphasis mine, but . . . when is a typo not really a typo?

  4. Scanning through that Sunak article and others on the Guardian’s website, I’m struck by how little they say about his policies.

    The best I can come up with is this, which still says practically nothing.


    “I’m not Truss or Johnson” doesn’t really say anything. Neither were May or Cameron. But they were all so similar — why not report on what they all have in common?

    It feels like reporting on different brands of canned sardines and obsessing over varying salt and bone content, instead of comparing the entire lot to carrots, pineapples or ramen noodles.

    • …he’s on record as broadly being pro all the usual tory stuff…but against type he’s also sort of famous for borrowing massively & sending that money out to people…the whole furlough thing during lockdown

      …a charitable way to look at it is that he’s pragmatic enough to do the opposite of what his ideology calls for when it’s expedient…another might be to suggest that short of a virulent global pandemic he wouldn’t increase public spending if he could possibly avoid it

      …but at least during the last leadership bout he was pretty scathing about how dumb truss’ suggestions were economically & he’s been about as right about that as the “project fear” lot were about the consequences of brexit…so right now he looks like the very image of a fiscally competent & potentially popular conservative

      …of course with boris waiting in the wings I wouldn’t bet on the honeymoon period lasting long…& the budget announcement that’s due by the end of the month is going to be some put-up-or-shut-up stuff, you’d think…so…it’ll get clearer…if not necessarily better?

      • I think part of my frustration is the completely unexamined question in the press of whether any PM is really separable from the party, or capable of leading it.

        You might say with the UK in the 1990s it was a much more fluid situation, and even pre-Brexit there was something of a debate to be had.

        But it seems like the press doesn’t feel like policy is really even debatable anymore, except in a superficial way around the edges, even when something is actually floating out to sea.

        • …I think the root of it is that although there are parallels on account of the way they’re both the top job…but being PM is just a very different thing to being president, say

          …you don’t get to be PM unless in some fashion you can claim the party is behind you…& that has wings & factions & partisans & every one of them wants assurances & special treatment

          …& the leadership contest this time around isn’t really about policy…it’s about trying to pull out of the tailspin truss put the party (& the country but that’s secondary to these people) into…so the question boils down to can he make the right noises convincingly while not further rocking the boat

          …so functionally there’s no daylight between “capable of leading it” & “capable of getting signed off on as leader”…he was a mostly-competent chancellor & nobody really knows what someone will do as PM until they’re in post…& as for separable from the party…I’m not sure I follow what you’re after?

          …truss couldn’t take the party with her…boris could…but her policies were absolutely aimed at giving the party what it’s been clear about wanting for a long time…so which of them you can consider separable from the party is a pretty moveable feast depending more or less on the individual definition you pick for each of the terms involved?

          • I think the thing I have a problem with is the idea that Truss really had anything to do with the tailspin.

            Should he do what a PM might do when confronted with a fight in the ranks over subsidies for Welsh sheep farms? Change a minister here, promise consideration of a bill there?

            Or is business as usual only making things worse? It seems like the framework for debate has shrunken to only thinking in chunks of three months. There seems to be a running unspoken assumption in press reports that the Conservatives can govern. What if they can’t?

            There also seems to be a running unspoken assumption that the party as it exists can continue to rule in the long term. What if it can’t, and is in line for a takeover by ultra-rightists that even most current Conservative Party members hate?

            Does he need to throw himself on the pyre to save his party for the next decade? Does he actually need to address larger existential issues like breaking up the party? Forcing a debate on Brexit? Switching his faction to the Liberal Democrats?

            I realize things like votes of no confidence can toss a PM quickly, but does he need to raise the spectre of more chaos as a lever to purging his party? Or does he need to blow up their chances of a win in the short term and change the battleground to reconstituting the party?

            I doubt I’ve even scratched the surface, but it feels like treating Sunak like a Tony Blair who might triangulate his way to long running electoral success is a deep flaw in current reporting.

            • …I’m still not sure I understand what you’re driving at…he’s got the gig but he isn’t going to be in place until monday so he hasn’t had to say anything of real substance yet…& the whole point of the other candidate(s) stepping back is to have kept the necessary fictions in place to let them keep plugging away at the idea that avoiding a general election is in the national interest on the grounds of avoiding further disruption & uncertainty

              …they have a pretty broad majority so the thing stopping them from being able to govern in the sense of getting shit through the commons only really counts if it’s coming from inside…& if anyone was likely to tell it how it is about that stuff you’d know a whole hell of a lot more about who took johnson’s chances seriously…but you won’t because that’s not how that stuff is played out

              …what he “needs to do” is almost entirely to get away with not calling that election…at least in the short-to-medium term…& he can probably do that by just running with the direction he was pointed in when he was chancellor

              …but again, I don’t follow where you’re going with the idea truss somehow wasn’t connected to the tailspin…how d’you figure that part?

              …maybe I’m missing something but it’s getting less clear to me what you’re taking issue with the more you expand on it & that doesn’t seem right on a number of levels

              • As far as the tailspin, I think the problem is that the Conservative Party is fundamentally broken. Truss wasn’t putting them into a tailspin any more than Johnson or Cameron ot May did, so much as pulling on the flaps a bit harder.

                The denial of reality is so extreme that anyone who tries to lead them as if they are rational is doomed to fail. The only thing effectively wielding the traditional levers of power wihin a broken intellectual framework will do is increase the odds of more stupid and ultimately self destructive policies getting passed, like punitive austerity or further trade warfare. The irony is that the more incompetent they are, the slower the coming crash, but either way the crash is coming.

                I don’t expect a new leader to come out and say he sees the rot in his Truss-style or Farage-influenced members. But I also don’t see the point of reporters acting like Sunak can somehow moderate the unmoderatable. Their coverage should reflect that he needs to remake the party — and stop reporting that it can be healed.

                The kooks are inevitably going to turn on him, and he needs to turn on them first, even at the expense of short term losses. The skill will be figuring out to make them the scapegoats, not him.

                • …I think I see what you’re trying to say…but I think you’re off base about how you think some of it works?

                  …depending on your point of view the conservative party is either unbreakable or so broken for so long that the new sorts of broken are barely a footnote

                  …so there are absolutely ways in which truss specifically did & said shit nobody forced her to because she thought it would go down well with the right people & instead it blew up in her face dramatically & precipitously…that stuff with the bank of england & the pension funds was a howling disaster with her fingerprints all over it…along with a number of people who will very possibly be part of sunak’s government

                  …he’s still only got the same roster to pull from to build a cabinet & staff the posts he needs to & he’s got to keep from doing what she did & only having people in his orbit who’ll agree with him…with a side of keep-your-enemies-closer

                  …but if you don’t think the tories have kept right on doing their thing in the face of worse than this then there’s any number of examples going back any number of years to suggest that would be an unwarranted assumption that’s far more likely to go the other way

                  …you might think he needs to remake the party…or that it’s irreparably broken…but “healing” the party really only means getting them to stop actively knifing each other & going back to just trying to fuck each other over the usual ways…the same as “unity” “integrity” or phrases like “one nation tory” don’t mean what they sound like at face value

  5. School shooting this morning at the Visual and Performing Arts high school.

    I don’t know what it says about me that I’m pleasantly surprised the cops got there quickly and engaged with the shooter right away. Also other cops helped students evacuate out of windows and over fences.

    3 dead so far, including the shooter. Dude was described as being like 20 years old so I’m wondering if he was going after a girlfriend or ex.

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