Weekend Links: Bread and Circuses Edition

“Two things only the people anxiously desire — bread and circuses.”
– Juvenal

Unpopular hot take: nothing in political news that happened this week is exactly revelatory. President Trump is exactly the same in private as he is in public–which is what interviews, background statements, and his own Twitter feed have been telling us since day one. A lot of people are willing to complain about him, but only anonymously, and few are willing to do anything that actually holds him to account. This is the new status quo.

Here’s a batch of weekend reading for you, my lovelies. It’s not all bad political news, I promise.

Another book about the Trump White House dropped this week and unfortunately (for him) this one’s by an author that a lot of D.C. takes pretty seriously. He’s also got receipts.

The Academy walks it back!

Hideous, but not surprising. I’m immensely sorry to say.

Equally horrific and unsurprising at this point.

Mix me the perfect green, someone.

Somebody check on Sandra Bullock and George Clooney real quick.

A compelling longform piece about, ah, enhancements.

New Gambino video!

I have been pondering lately on the reality that an entire industry exists to put people in financial thrall to the government, making the government quite a tidy profit. The more I think about this, the angrier it makes me.

I genuinely teared up reading about this news story this past week. Cultural heritage is human legacy and it’s irreplaceable.

?!?!?!?!

Okay, I put it off for a bit and tried to get some fun content in…but we’ve got to talk about it. Even by the absolutely topsy turvy standards of the times, this op ed was astounding. And the theorizing commenced immediately. Lots of theorizing. It’s fun to speculate (I mean, as “fun” as the public debate over whether your democratically elected leader is in fact 1) unfit for office and 2) is actually being managed by a shadowy cabal–either of these options being bad for said democracy in some way or another–can be) but my possibly unpopular take is that this op ed feels self serving and cowardly instead of brave: either sign your name to your opinions and quit like a principled public servant, or protect and serve an administration you genuinely support. To do anything other is to be complicit in destabilizing the country. These background style interviews and exposes are of decreasing value to us as citizens. Go on the record if you feel the situation is really so dire, or shut up.

Another option is that this is signalling to supporters of the policies, if not the man, to stay the course. Which also feels  like cowardly way to go about governing a country.

Finally, here’s a piece arguing in favor of Anonymous, positing the like-minded civil servants are really all we have between us and bad leadership. A cynical if ruthlessly cleared view of a government based on the honor system and how we cope with the reality that no one is playing by the rules right now.

This piece is both about Tucker Carlson, and not. Either way, it’s good.

Maybe don’t buy the fish

I have been following the Judge Kavanaugh hearings but only in small briefs from trusted news sources. I’m too angry to take in more than curt, factual summaries and at time of closing on this post, the story is moving too quickly for me to link anything. Between grandstanding politicians, leaked documents, and protests, I have no idea how this story is going to end…but I’m going to guess with a partisan confirming vote. No links, only gnashes of teeth.

Here at least is an op ed I can get behind.

Beauty YouTube drama, explained.

This is a statement. The risks for a campaign like this are not small for any business, but you have to admit it got people talking. I love it.

 

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