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Yakov Smirnoff Thought of the Day

In Putin's America, Barr fails you.

Today in the Patriarchy

If you don't want your blood to boil today, don't read this Washington Post article about a group of high school boys who invaded a girls' bathroom as a "protest" against a trans-boy using the boys bathroom, and how the lone girl in the girl's bathroom tried to protect herself from the invasion.  Guess who got punished the most.


Separated at Birth?

Seriously, who would hire Commander Tomalak to help their kid get into college?

Oh, yeah, crooks -- crooks would.


Lil' Bub

Because a science story about a cute kitty is always welcome.  It's hard to imagine a better Venn intersection of my interests.  You'd have to really stretch; maybe add an element of the Yankees winning the World Series and a perp walk of Donald Trump.

Mysteron Doctor Who

nonelvis posted this comics panel,

and all I could think of was this

Thirteen the Mysteron!

(If you have no idea what I'm talking about and are interested, try here.  SFW.)


Trump Agrees to Reopen Government

Donald Trump today agreed to reopen the government after more than month on terms that were not materially different from what Congress (both parties) offered him in December.

Mitch McConnell was saddened by this development because it is likely to hurt tourism in his home state.

Why, ProfRobert?

Because now you no longer have to go to Kentucky to see Mammoth Cave!

Bill Barr Theory

William P. Barr, Trump's Attorney General nominee, is a former Attorney General from the Bush 41 Administration.  Barr is 68.  He retired from being General Counsel at Verizon in 2008.  He's of counsel at Kirkland & Ellis (a big-time law firm).  Why the hell does he want to be AG again, at his age, and for someone like Trump, who revels in disrespecting his cabinet members?  He likely has all the money he needs, and so probably doesn't want/need to be AG again to jump-start his earning capacity in 2021 at the age of 71.  I have a theory:

It's not that Barr has a burning need to serve Trump.  His motivation, I suspect, is that although he was AG, no one except law-trivia geeks knows who Barr is.  There's no legacy, no mark on history that he left.  He's no Bobby Kennedy or Elliott Richardson or any AG you've ever heard of for good reasons (i.e., he's not and doesn't want to be John Mitchell).  Moreover, Barr was a Bushie.  He worked at CIA while in law school, including at the end under Bush Pere.  A dozen years later, Bush appointed him Assistant AG for the Office of Legal Counsel, which is basically the lawyers who advise all of DOJ.  A year and change later, Bush made him Deputy AG, and a year-and-a-half after that, AG (he engineered the Cap Weinberger pardon, BTW).  The Bushes all hate Trump and Trumpism, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if Barr does, too.

I have a hunch that Barr wants to be remembered as this generation's Elliot Richardson, who was committed to the independence of the Watergate Special Prosecutor (and resigned rather than fire the Special Prosecutor as part of what now known as the Saturday Night Massacre).  Barr is going to protect Mueller and make sure Mueller has a free hand.  Recall that Mueller was AAG in charge of DOJ's Criminal Division when Barr was DAG and AG.  Barr's memo to Rosenstein last year about the Mueller investigation being "fatally misconceived" was a red herring Barr designed to get himself in good with the Trumpistas.  He reasoned Sessions would be out after the election, and the memo was basically a job application and audition.

Barr is plotting to put the knife (metaphorically) into Trump's back.  You heard it here first.


Brett Kavanagh: black-out drunk, sexually assaults girl in high school, exposes himself in college, lies to Congress.

Republicans:  "Put him on the Supreme Court!"

Andrea Ocasio-Cortez: dances on a roof in a Youtube video while she was in college.

Republicans: [rummage in closet for pitchforks and torches].

And maybe a white robe and hood, d'ya think?

The Atlantic on Doctor Who

I thought this essay was well-written, interesting and thoughtful (and thus I tend to agree with it!).  My main complaint about this season is that it was too short.  Jodie Whittaker was terrific, as were the companions (particular selfish warm feelings for Tosin Cole's acting for Ryan's dyspraxia and Chibnall's writing for it).  The histories were the best episodes, and Chibnall obviously is playing to his strength in writing procedurals -- it's like this season was Law and Order: Doctor Who (Peter Davison was in one of the seasons, of course, as the Director of Public Prosecutions, and Thirteen, I think, is more like Five than any of the other incarnations).  There was no way Chibnall could out-Moffat Moffat in terms of clever plotting and story arcs developing slowly to a big reveal.  So he went for smaller, discrete stories but which focuses on big issues like racism, sexism, and abuse of power.  I'm always going to love Moffat the most for two things: River Song and the Weeping Angels.  The plotting and development of River's arc (including various sub-arcs) was beyond brilliant.  But I think even Moffat was tapped out by the end, and there is no way to top his style of writing.  Good on Chibs for not trying and instead taking the show in an interesting and worthwhile other direction.