There has been some crazy shit this week.  We’ve seen some prominent people doing and saying silly things and suffering for it.  Personally, I like it.  Let’s run through some of them.

First, the reaction to Hillary Clinton’s book What Happened has been utterly hilarious.  In it, she compared herself sympathetically to Cersei Lannister, made a strange argument that 1984 should have taught us to trust the government and media, and described in detail how she still doesn’t understand why so many of you stupid idiots voted against her.

Her book received so many negative reviews on Amazon, many from people who hadn’t bought it, that Amazon started deleting virtually all of them.  At the time of this writing, What Happened is standing at 92% 5-star ratings.  It’s apparently a greater literary work than Old Man and the Sea (63% 5 star ratings), Murder on the Orient Express (70%), Profiles in Courage (63%), and The Hobbit (82%).   It may be the most beloved book of all time, if those ratings are to be believed.  It’s even higher rated than the King James Bible.   Of course it’s laughable.  This is an embarrassment both to Amazon and to Clinton herself.  Every day that the rating is artificially inflated it is reinforcing the old accusation that Clinton has to have the system rigged in her favor to achieve any sort of success.  The Streisand Effect: it’s a real thing, guys.

Also laughable is that Clinton has been getting harassed at her book signings.  Her lack of self-awareness is now obvious to everyone but her.  Even she might eventually get the hint and do right by herself by disappearing from the public eye for a few years.

Jennifer Lawrence may have sunk mother! on its opening weekend with her unhinged hatred of Trump.  It brought in only $8 million, coming in below expectations.  She may well have crippled her career, though nobody can say for sure that her politics did it.  Couldn’t have helped though.  How much more money will Hollywood hemorrhage before it realizes that attacking the beliefs and values of the public is bad for business?

Clay Travis loves the First Amendment and boobs.  This shocked CNN, which once featured Kathy Griffin stripping on camera while Anderson Cooper complimented her “rockin’ body”.  I don’t get the Puritanism in this country at all.  Is there anyone among us who doesn’t like boobs?  Even women like their boobs, right?  Appreciating the physical features of women and saying so isn’t worthy of condemnation in my book.

Honorable mention goes to Donald Trump, who is clearly maneuvering on certain issues in a direction his base might not like such as amnesty for Dreamers and staying in the Paris climate accord.  I’m certain that the Dreamers aren’t going to be deported.  The only question I have is whether or not Trump will get anything valuable in return for letting them stay with legal status.  Seriously, I’ll be annoyed if the Dreamers get amnesty and all we get in return is that stupid wall.  But the shrieking and blowback from Trump’s supporters make me wonder if any negotiation at all is even possible.

What have you seen this week?  It’s an open thread.  What should we talk about?


  1. At the time of this writing, What Happened is standing at 92% 5-star ratings.

    A stat even Kim Jong Un would admire.

  2. There’s a bigger story about illegal immigration than Dreamers or the wall. There are efforts in towns, and even states that are moving to let illegal aliens vote in local elections. This is just a stepping stone to allowing them to vote in federal elections (because “where’s the harm? They already vote in local elections”).

  3. Yeah, the voting issue is the worst. Once American citizenship means absolutely nothing but a tax burden, that’ll be the end of us.

    Hate to say it, but it’s time to start discussing a national ID card for voting like Mexico uses.

  4. Yeah, you could be right that it was going to bomb regardless.. Still, it has to count for something that this was the worst opening for any of Lawrence’s movies after she’s been under sustained attack by the right wing for weeks.

    Thing is that Hollywood keeps denying that its politics have been harming it by turning off the public. The NFL has been doing this too and you have to wonder how much of it is just denial.

  5. And then there’s the Emmys.

    I’m guessing the real Donald Trump is the one we saw making deals with Democrats-in other words, behaving pretty much like a moderate Republican. So he’s really Jeb Bush with a bigger ego and no filter, but his audience demands a performance.

  6. Sheesh. Sounds like the Emmy’s were a complete freak show. I wouldn’t doubt that it pulled in even lower ratings than last year, which was the worst ever I believe.

    I wonder how long it will be before Trump is on Twitter mocking them over it.

  7. Older news that’s just making the rounds. It’s being reported that Stanislav Petrov passed away last May.

    One of two Russians that are generally credited with allowing all of us to have been born by trusting their instincts and their faith in humanity over their training. Worthy of a moment of consideration and reflection, methinks.

    The other man, for anyone who may be interested…

  8. Equally terrifying and inspirational, Kevin.

    Sort of touches on my comments about 9/11 last week. The sense that we could wipe out civilization at any moment was always there in the Cold War. We were free of it for only a decade. Now it’s the same as it ever was.

    I see things moving and I wonder if there will be any more miracles.

  9. Thrill, I think there are a lot more people who would do the right thing than the wrong thing.

    Based on those 2 stories above, however, it demonstrates just how important it is that the right person is in the right place at the right time. Shift that event by 8 hours and a different decision may have been made by a different person.

    Here’s a thought — one I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last 24 hours:

    What’s the point in a retaliatory strike? I mean, I know the obvious reason. But that reason seems petty and dehumanizing. Is there any ultimate point beyond revenge? Revenge not against those who attacked you but, rather, those who are your foreign peers, innocent of the act?

    I’m not going full on “turn the other cheek” (or maybe I am?) but if dozens of nukes were about to rain down on the US, killing millions of innocent people and destroying our nation as we know it, why do we have to do the same? Is pride more important than the continuation of the human race?

    Could we defeat that enemy better by letting the world watch us suffer complete annihilation and………..doing nothing in response? We’re dead either way. By doing nothing, with full capability to do much, would the rest of the world understand, finally, that we aren’t the evil empire — that we were on the right side of things — that our aggressors and executioners were the evil? Would the people of that nation, who watched as their leaders destroyed our nation, have cause to rise up against those leaders?

    We all hear people talk about “taking out North Korea” or “turning the Middle East to glass”. Do people *really* want that? If those people could push a button that ended the life of every person in North Korea, would they push it? Could they be so callous?

    Anyways, to circle back to my original point — isn’t it always better to assume that the attack isn’t really happening? There’s a lot to be lost if you are wrong and the attack is real and you did nothing. But there’s so much more to be lost if you are wrong and the attack is false and you did something.

  10. No, there’s no practical reason for a retaliatory strike. It’s purely psychological. However, if you get nuked, then it’s safe to say that psychological deterrence has failed. We want the decision-makers to have to make that calculation: “Do I launch a first strike knowing full well that it will be suicide?”

    This is why I keep saying that nuclear proliferation is the number one concern we should have. See, the Soviets were rational. They, and us, were always careful to put nuclear weapons under the control of highly-vetted individuals who could be trusted to act responsibly.

    Trouble is that since the Cold War, there are now more nuclear weapons in the hands of more countries and we can’t be sure that they will behave responsibly. It’s a matter of probability. The more ways an event can occur, the higher the probability that it will occur.

    Would a North Korean missile commander be as willing as Petrov to disregard evidence of an American first strike? I can’t say that confidently.

    People generally are good and not monsters, but it only takes one monster at the wrong place and time to open Hell. We really are counting on “luck” that it won’t happen. It’s great as long as luck holds out.

  11. We are in agreement.

    Would a North Korean missile commander be as willing as Petrov to disregard evidence of an American first strike? I can’t say that confidently.

    This is a valid concern — I often wonder just how indoctrinated the citizens (and, to the point, the military) are to hate us. Do they think we really are as bad as KJU says?

  12. The nuclear weapons stuff is dark, but here’s something uplifting.

    If you don’t want to watch on Twitter, I can’t find the same video on YouTube, but the summary is that the pro-Trump demonstrators at the Mother of all Rallies invited a representative from Black Lives Matter to speak on stage. The speaker did great.

    Took a lot of courage on both the part of the organizers and the BLM counter-protesters to do what they did. Here’s a raw YouTube video link:

  13. Do they think we really are as bad as KJU says?

    NK defectors frequently say that they’re taught from a young age to hate the US and to consider it a mortal enemy. The state seems to work hard to turn them into maniacs, sort of like the people from Krikkit in Hitchhiker’s Guide.

  14. Great video, Thrill. I watched both. You could sense some apprehension coupled with a desire to be part of something uniting. The speaker overstepped once or twice and the audience was unfair a couple of times but, for an unscripted speech in front of an opposing crowd, I think both sides took steps forward.

  15. It’s amazing because the BLM leader clearly wasn’t expecting anything but rancor. when he showed up for the rally. I wonder what possessed the organizers to think of putting him on stage? The man knew exactly what to say to get the crowd’s attention. They didn’t like all of it, but respect was there.

    I hope everyone shares that video. That is what real Americans look like.

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