Hot AF [DOT 30/6/21]

No, not describing my last Tinder date…

As Portland, Ore., copes with unprecedented heat, illnesses spike and roads buckle

Seattle and Portland endure another day of relentless heat gripping the Northwest

TIL that Joshua Trees are succulents!

California couple fined $18,000 for illegally uprooting 36 Joshua trees

Just got off the board of my HOA last month, after like 10 years. TG!

Search in sixth day as letter warning of worsening damage surfaces


Wimbledon 2021: Serena Williams retires from match after heartbreaking on-court injury


This shoe chain can’t find enough workers. It hopes self-checkout can fill the void

Stay cool out there kids!



  1. According to weather underground the heat wave here will start to break this afternoon, by Friday the temps will be in the 60s F. I need to go to the store so  I’ll head out at 8 when it opens, yesterday I was going to go after my 9 am meeting and the organizer droned on until 10 am and by that time it was 85 and felt like 95 and I burst into tears. I need my soda stream cartridge! GAH!
    All that talk about robots yesterday sent me down a Flight of the Conchords rabbit hole. Binary solo, 0000001 0000001…

  2. I read The New Republic article, and it left me feeling cantankerous…because I took it as a warning to liberals to be aware of the 50 million folks who voted for the orange person. The previous President resorts/resorted to white supremacy and the demeaning of anyone possibly defined as “other” to keep his political base, since his policies are/were screwing them. (Look at this thing, not that thing, slight of hand politics.) IF the American Jobs Plan meets any of its goals, the more liberal side of politics will have bettered the lives of the aforementioned base in a tangible way. Now if only their self-interest can overcome their fear and prejudice in the next elections…and if the gerrymandering can be overcome…

    • Haven’t read the article, but one of the things that makes me crazy is when certain media figures and politicians equate “elites” with “liberals”.  Newsflash:  this liberal is not nearly rich enough to be an elite.

      • I’ve always felt the eelights (sic) to be my enemy most of the time, too.
        The irony of Trump is he’s one of the 1%, but is an uncouth willful ignorant loudmouth lout bully shithead which that the 25-35% of the populace really loves.  Trump is basically their aspiration and how they would behave if they had $100 million handed to them from daddy.

        • Trump’s not in the 1%, not truly. Setting aside money, he’s never learned to fit in withe the actual 1%. Butcher defined it as old money vs. new money, and that sums it up (as does Cousin Matthew’s phrase “We don’t buy things, we own things”), but even “new money” elites can learn to fit in better with “old money.” Trump is too stupid and narcissistic to actually examine himself and say, hey, if I want to fit in with these people, I need to act like this, or dress like this, or decorate like this, or any of a thousand things that brands him as a classless oaf. 
          I’ve mentioned before that rich people are trained to be rich. Others recognize the set of behaviors that mark you as “rich.” Trump can’t be trained, so he’ll never fit in. 
          I do agree with Shawn that Trump has a massive chip on his shoulder because he’s never been welcomed into the upper crust of society. He’s forever the weird new kid in high school that can’t join the cool kids clique. The problem is that instead of looking at himself and asking why no one likes him, he got angry at everyone else because they can’t stand to be around him. 
          And that’s where his true, hard-core voting base comes from. It’s people just like him who want to blame everyone else for their problems, instead of saying, what can I do to make things better for myself? And as you said, they’re incapable of examining the course of their own lives that brought them to the point they’ve reached. 
          The only thing that still surprises me is how fucking many of them there are. 

          • I went through 12 years of private school as a barely working class kid and while I know St. Louis is not the social culture that other major cities are, the biggest thing with old money vs new money was always that old money doesn’t brag about how much money they have. 

            Like when I see a woman with a designer handbag and different designer brand shoes and different designer brand jewelry and different designer brand clothing item at Target, it screams NEW MONEY because the goal is to show off that they can afford all these “expensive things.”


        • I find quite fitting John Mulaney’s bit about Trump being a hobo’s idea of what a rich person lives like. It’s like he watched Richie Rich cartoons and said “like that, but with more gold plating!”

          • That’s exactly it. I’d also add that not only is Trump what morally and fiscally bankrupt people think rich people are like, he does what they would do in his situation. They’d get a trophy wife, bang porn stars, buy tacky gold-plated shit, and generally act like complete assholes. For MAGAs, Trump is aspirational, because they don’t have anyone to compare him to. 
            In a real way, that’s a serious condemnation of how stratified our society is. MAGAs have never seen anyone with class, so they don’t have any examples to contrast a boorish orange clown with. They idolize a buffoon from a reality show, because that’s all they ever see.

      • Right?? My broke ass is still looking up at middle class, but hey, the dummies want to say I’m “elite”… sure. Why not? 
        Side note: some day, I would like to have enough money to be known as “eccentric” instead of “weird”.

    • I don’t ever forget those morons.  Can’t really. 
      If you’re a person of non white descent then you already know who the majority of Trump Voters are.  They’re usually the same assholes who set off your subconscious warning system, do passive micro aggression shit on you all the time or the colossal fuckups who blame everyone but themselves.  Yes, they’re not all white (the worst Trumpers I knew at work were of Indian descent –Hindu Fundamentalists.)
      I worry mostly about the few competent ones as the typical stupid fucks (even the educated ones) are usually too infected with willful ignorance and Dunning Kruger to do much damage.

    • I read it too, and though I am hardly part of the New York City elite that he addresses I am certainly adjacent (you live here long enough you meet all kinds of people) there’s something that’s not right about it. Donald Trump was never part of it, he doesn’t “know” them and it’s not like he’s some sort of populist class traitor like FDR was always accused of being.

      Wallace Shawn is a good example of this. His father, William (whom I always confuse him with) was the legendary editor of “The New Yorker” and probably went to his grave having only the vaguest notion of who or what a Donald Trump was. 

      Wallace Shawn is about the same age as Trump. Here’s a snippet of his wiki bio:

      Shawn attended The Putney School, a private liberal arts high school in Putney, Vermont. He graduated with a A.B. in history from Harvard College. He studied philosophy, politics and economics, as well as Latin, at Magdalen College, Oxford, originally intending to become a diplomat. He also traveled to India as an English teacher on a Fulbright program. He taught Latin in Manhattan but since 1979, he has made his living primarily as an actor.[citation needed]

      And here is Donald Trump’s, covering about the same time:

      At age 13, he was enrolled in the New York Military Academy, a private boarding school,[6] and in 1964, he enrolled at Fordham University. Two years later he transferred to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in May 1968 with a B.S. in economics.[7][8]

      Where would they have ever met? Wallace went on to do lots of things; Donald went on to work for his father, a notorious slumlord. 

      One of the reasons Trump was mocked so mercilessly in “Spy Magazine” was he was notionally rich but not powerful, so no one had his back. You can definitely buy your way into the upper echelons, Bloomberg kind of did, but it involves real accomplishment and LOTS of financial largesse, whether quietly or publicly. Trump, notoriously both stingy and grandiose, pulled off a rare double penalty.

      I don’t know this for a fact but it’s long been rumored that the other NY Real Estate families (there aren’t that many) loathe him, and they’re pretty self-made themselves, or their fathers were. Same as Trump, but very different. Trophy wives abound, but there was always something about Trump’s. All kids can fuck up but there was always something about Trump’s first three. 

      Trump used to talk a lot about New York being the greatest city in the world and all he was doing to make it even greater, which, fine, but not the way he did it. Trump Tower is probably his most famous “monument” and I personally love it for its over-the-top vulgarity and frozen-in-80s-amber vibe, but mine is a minority view. It also replaced a building that had elements of such value that they were promised to the Met, and Trump agreed to this, but lo, in the middle of the night, gone, with no apologies.

      I could go on about this, but that line that Trump somehow grew up with and knew the elites that Shawn’s piece is aimed at and rebelled against them is so off the mark that even this aspirational pleb’s jaw dropped in disbelief.

        • There’s a line I read years ago that always stuck with me. It went something like, “We don’t buy things, we have them.” It was a reference to houses and their contents, and I thought it was very astute. It is summer, and the Hamptons real estate market is hotter than ever. A lot of people will rent for a month or a season and pay more than most Americans would ever spend on a primary residence. I devour real estate porn like this. “This 1902 beachfront property, attributed to noted Gilded Age architect Stanford White, features four bedrooms, a staff wing, and a small two-bedroom guest cottage. It has 450 feet of private ocean frontage.” So far so good! “Given a smart refresh in 2015–” and there I stop, rolling my eyes.

          I am also now reminded of Madonna’s Manhattan househunting right after she achieved international super-stardom. I’m sure she had a healthy budget to work with. She was turned down everywhere, and resorted to buying a townhouse. Time passes, she now has some kind of place in the Dakota (among other places) but she’s in hot water because she doesn’t live there enough to qualify as a resident, says the Board. IIRC, she claims that one of her children lives there often enough, but I think they’re trying to get rid of her. 

      • Man I just posted that so that I could get a lot of Princess Bride gifs. 

        But y’all ran with it, and that’s what I appreciates about you!

        Also, but seriously, what do you do if that couple rolls up on your plane with their seafood extravaganza?

      • “that line that Trump somehow grew up with and knew the elites that Shawn’s piece is aimed at and rebelled against them is so off the mark that even this aspirational pleb’s jaw dropped in disbelief.”
        I think that Shawn’s actually being more precise here. He’s trying to clarify the tension that absolutely exists in the upper strata between money and class, and show how Trump has milked his inside-out status for his gain.
        It’s obviously an old theme — you can think of Henry James describing rich Americans and threadbare European gentry aligning themselves in Daisy Miller, or rich Canadian lout Rex and Julia in Brideshead Revisited.
        Trump was obviously always an outsider, as shown by Spy’s endless mockery. But he also was close enough to know how to play the game — every time they ran a bit about his short fingered vulgarian status, he handwrote a note to Graydon Carter in response, knowing that Carter would be flattered by the response.
        Trump was plugged into the world of the NY Times so deeply that he knew he could call them up, barely disguising his voice, and claim to be Trump’s spokesman John Barron, and they would print whatever foamy nonsense he spouted. He knew he could count on Maggie Haberman to run a fluff piece on him accepting his fantastic claim to be worth $10 billion, because he knew Haberman’s PR roots.
        And he knew how much the Times was not really about catering to the rich upper crust, but to the struggling old nobility aspiring to restoration and the new rich, like the Kushners, aspiring for connections outside of their original network. Trump rushed to provide the Times with the copy he knew they wanted to fill that gap, and he had the right credentials to connect to those worlds — money for the first and country club networks for the second. He knew much of it was ersatz, but he also knew his targets didn’t have a lot of choice.
        Where I think Shawn is wrong is falling for the mistaken idea — heavily reinforced by the Times — is that Trump’s base is economically disadvantaged. It’s wealthier than average, as shown by the demographics of the 1/6 mob. Trump’s political genius has never been chasing the true outsiders. It has been carrying out the same infiltration that he used to turn the NY Times to his ends — bringing together a reactionary, nostalgic old guard and a hungry new guard that wants even more.

        • Maggie Haberman is also, as you must know, Clyde Haberman’s daughter. Old Clyde wrote for the NYT for approximately 135 years, so Maggie is somewhat elite herself. Her husband is the late Vartan Gregorian’s son. One of my favorite phrases, and one I believe I came up with myself decades ago: New York: City of 8.5 million or small seaside country village?

        • Yeah, this is way closer to the mark than some of the other comments.

          Trump absolutely knows and deals with the people who are the elite elites, especially in New York City. They never accepted him because of who he was and how he conducted his business. But he always desperately  wanted to be one of them. That’s why he tried to play the game! But in his heart he’s a carnival barker which will never go over with true old money because “that’s not how we do things.” However, it IS a great way to fleece the rubes, which has always been what Trump was after, whether it was tenants, the government, building inspectors, bank officers, the media and then voters. There’s a lot of Trump-Reagan parallels in that they’re characters playing parts, but imo there’s way more Trump-Nixon alignment because they were eternally angry at never really being welcomed by elite society and lots of people implicitly understood that and then shaped that into some sort of “we’re outsiders together!” mentality. (The biggest difference is only that Trump was gleeful and open about his racism; the message itself hasn’t really changed that much over the years.)

          Moreover, and more to the political point than what Wallace wrote here: Lots of elites are Democrats for various reasons. They have a lot of sway on what the party does and it usually entails not rocking the boat too hard because they’re doing just fine, thank you. And when it comes time for elections and the Democrats say “Well, we raised your standard of living 0.2%” and the Republicans say “CRIIIIIMMMEEEEE!!!!!!!” most ill-informed people aren’t gonna be too grateful about a smidge of improvement and will lean on being afraid and blaming other people for their woes. Which is true! The elites are part of the problem. But they control both parties and all the levers that would make radical change possible. So … crime it is.

    • I doubt it because of their psychological makeup.  To vote Dem they would have to admit they were wrong.  To admit they were wrong then they would have re-examine many of their life decisions that led them there.  It would make them feel bad about themselves.  They don’t like making themselves feel bad so they won’t do anything to change it.
      I’ve made mistakes and gotten reprimanded at work, but I faced my own errors.   I’ll admit to my many failings.  But these guys… rarely.  I’ve seen folks get fired over minor mistakes that snowballed into something worse because they lied rather than admit a mistake.
      I hope to be wrong and maybe some will see the light.

      • Oh, and it gets better. Adams is a little Trump-ish himself (there’s that name again) in that from the get-go he implied or outright said that RCV was a bad idea in that it would disenfranchise “his” voters, which I thought was insulting, because it meant that he was saying that “his” voters were too stupid to figure it out. A lot of “his” voters fell for this, apparently. What he really meant was he has the Brooklyn political machine behind him, and a part of the Queens machine, and almost all of the unions, so why even hold a primary in the first place. He’s more than hinted for some weeks that lawsuits will ensue if he’s not declared the winner. The NYC BOE has done a lot of his work for him. 

        • The BOE is a classic example of how things work — NYC doesn’t control it, its rules are established by NY State. And just as the NY State powers that be — Democrats and Republicans — have fought to maintain GOP control over the state Senate to act as a brake on progressives, they have also done all they can to ensure that NYC voting is a mess.
          The Democratic establishment of the Cuomo ilk have backed this system even when it means that Republicans have been elected as mayor of NYC and governor of NY State, because they’d rather see stooges like Giuliani than someone mildly liberal like Dinkins.
          It’s the same reason Cuomo uses his power over the subway system to ensure its a mess. He sees anything that makes NYC better as his loss, even if it means the economy of the city, and NY State tax revenues, are better off with functional mass transit.

    • I know this is probably not a good look for me – but the name Joel Stein sounded familiar so I looked him up. Back when I used to read actual magazines – he used to do a column for Entertainment Weekly that was so funny, I used to tear out the page to keep in a journal. I didn’t know that he’s gone on to bigger and better things since then. I need to get out more. 

    • That does sound interesting, and that interview makes a point that I think Wallace Shawn missed — that the Trump years have been more about a fight between rival elites more than a single elite against a single common people.
      Part of the dynamic, which he points to, is that there is an refusal among both elites to thinking of themselves that way. You pretty much can’t read a piece panicking about cancel culture and college radicals without this idea coming out — “I, the author, am someone who is *really* in touch with the common unwashed lout, unlike those (waves vaguely over there) elites.”
      Trump is the champion of the people like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, J.D. Vance, Kayleigh McEnany, Kris Kobach, Bari Weiss… people who graduated from elite institutions and openly promoted their credentials while at the same time use the attacks from the rival elite to claim they must be, by definition, a part of the great unwashed.
      There is a similar level of denial among a huge number of liberal elites, who own a $5 million place on the Upper West Side, but it’s nothing really compared to the new condos. The degree to which their denial has fed the right wing propaganda of cultural wars can’t be ignored. They bend over backwards to accept the fake anti-elite status of Megan McArdle or Tom Cotton because it helps them justify their own false modesty. Sure, I have a second home, but it’s on Long Island Sound, not the Hamptons….
      And if they owe a lot of their position to an Ivy League degree they got via the same inside track that got Brett Kavanaugh and Jarod Kushner their credentials, they will make common cause to keep that inside lane reserved for the kids of both elites, even if it means that more and more spots are reserved for dolts on the Federalist Society track.

    • …still trying to get my head around the cosby thing…it sounds an awful lot like “it doesn’t matter if you turned out to be guilty since we’d agreed in advance that we wouldn’t prosecute you” which seems like a distinctly flawed bit of logic that apparently is in accordance with “a legal reading” of the situation?

      …but that also seems to say that not only do further allegations coming to light apparently bring no further weight to bear…but also his having spoken regarding a particular set of allegations in a deposition ought to have been rendered moot from the perspective of demonstrating guilt since the we-won’t-prosecute thing preceded it

      …the whole thing makes my head spin?

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