reading the comments

A friend sent me a message this morning:

Read something about Trump and the Sup.Ct last night and made the mistake of reading the comments and couldn’t get to sleep for longest time. People are so hateful. Didnt you write something recently about not reading the comments.

My first thought was How am I supposed to remember stuff I might have written? I mean, I write a lot of crap every day. Sometimes several times a day. Much of what I write on social media is off the cuff and barely thought out. On the other hand, I’m one of those putzes who almost always reads the comments. So yeah, I probably did. It sounds like something I’d write.

My second thought was Dude, there’s a search function on the blog, why don’t you use it? And then I thought Why don’t I use it? So I used it. And hey, whaddayaknow? Turns out I wrote two things about the comments. Neither of them was recent, but still.

The most recent was in April of 2017. I’d written a thing about the Fearless Girl sculpture on Wall Street. It was the only thing I’ve ever written that actually went viral. It got a shit ton of comments, so I wrote about the comments. Not exactly about the comments, but about the fact that ordinary people were arguing and debating works of art. Which I think is really a pretty cool thing for ordinary people to do.

The living embodiment of the Comments section.

The other thing I wrote was almost exactly four years ago — October of 2016. And it was weirdly appropriate. It was about the reasons people give for NOT reading the comments. And it was also about Comrade Trump and his supporters. Here’s the last line of the post:

Donald J. Trump, his campaign, and his supporters are the living embodiment of the comments.

That’s a pretty good line. Still true.

i stand with oreo-eating lesbians

I’m not what you’d call an Oreo cookie fan. As commercial cookies go, they’re okay. I buy Oreos maybe once or twice a year. I’ll be noodling through the market and I’ll see a display of some new ‘Limited Edition’ flavor of Oreo. Lemon Meringue Oreos, Red Velvet Oreos, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Oreos, Tiramisu Oreos, Carrot Cake Oreos, Mint Oreos. And I’ll say to myself, “What the hell is that about?” and buy a package. Because why the hell not?

Today, I’ll go buy some Oreos deliberately. Well, maybe not today. I mean, it’s Saturday and the market will probably be busy. I prefer to do my grocery shopping during the week, when all the decent employed people are at work. So let’s say Monday. On Monday I’ll go buy some Oreos. Rainbow Oreos, if they have them. Why?

Because of OneMillionMoms (which I’m just going to call OMM because it’s easier). OMM is a division of the American Family Association, which describes itself as “a Christian organization promoting the biblical ethic of decency in American society with primary emphasis on television and other media.” OMM says its goal is “to stop the exploitation of our children, especially by the entertainment media (TV, music, movies, etc.).”

Let me just say upfront that I wasn’t entirely sure what a ‘biblical ethic of decency’ means. So I Googled it and was directed to a Bible verse. Matthew 22:39, which I also Googled. It’s about the second of two commandments on which ‘hang all the law and the prophets’. The first is about loving god. Here’s the second (in the King James version, which I think rumbles so much better than any of the newer versions):

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

That seems like a pretty solid foundation for decency. But what does that have to do with Oreo cookies? OMM and AFA are organizing a boycott of Oreos cookies because the company that makes them are “attempting to normalize the LGBTQ lifestyle.” How? By “using their commercials, such as the most recent Oreo ad featuring a lesbian couple, to brainwash children and adults alike by desensitizing audiences.”

I don’t watch much commercial television, so I was completely unfamiliar with an advert that featured Oreo-loving lesbians. But my interest was definitely piqued. This is how OMM describes the advert:

The ad has a daughter going home to see her family and brings her lesbian lover with her. The commercial focuses on the mother approving of her daughter’s girlfriend, but the father is hesitant and has reservations. He later has a change of heart and even displays his acceptance of her lifestyle by painting his picket fence in rainbow colors to further show his approval. The advertisement ends with: “A loving world starts with a loving home.”

Well, that sounded okay to me. I mean, it’s all about family and acceptance and a loving home, right? But according to OMM, “It is obvious they are going after our children.” So I figured I should probably track down the actual advert and watch it. I didn’t want to unfairly decide that OneMillionMoms were homophobic assholes without seeing the advert. Besides, I figured Oreo-loving lesbians would be good television.

Here’s the actual brainwashing commercial:

I didn’t see any children in the commercial. I barely saw any Oreos. I guess we’re supposed to assume the Oreo-based brainwashing took place prior to the events in the advert. I guess we’re supposed to be interpreting the relationship between the two young women and the parents as some form of post-Oreo trauma. It’s not clear.

What IS clear, though, is OMM’s belief that LGBTQ people are somehow fundamentally wrong and shouldn’t be tolerated. Their point seems to be that parents shouldn’t accept their LBGTQ children, even if the children are young adults who are making an effort to be accepted. Their point seems to be that buying Oreo cookies is putting children and young adults at risk of…of being accepted? At risk of being loved by their parents?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m missing something. But this isn’t the first time right-wing Christians have boycotted Oreos. I wrote about this almost exactly eight years ago, during the Great Hydrox Cookie Rebellion of 2012, when right-wing Christian groups tried to bring Oreo to its metaphorical knees by boycotting their cookies.

In their defense, if we’d listened to right-wing Christian groups back in 2012, we wouldn’t be subjects to Maple Creme Oreos. Or Gingerbread Oreos. Or Pumpkin Spice Oreos (which I’m inclined to agree is an abomination in the eyes of the gods).

I’m not convinced that buying Oreos as an expression of LGBTQ support is any less stupid than refusing to buy them as a form of homphobia. But I’m going to buy them anyway. I’m okay with being stupid in a good cause. And I firmly believe that being stupid WITH cookies is better than being stupid WITHOUT cookies. Even if they’re store-bought corporate cookies like Oreos.

I’m here to say I’ll even eat a goddamn Pumpkin Spice Oreo in support of any parent who loves their child without reservation, who believes a loving world begins with a loving home. I stand with Oreo-eating lesbians. And their parents.

shitshow

Pity the transcribers who had the Herculean task of trying to accurately record what the candidates said in last night’s…last night’s what? You can’t call it a debate. CNN’s Dana Bash probably described it best. “It was a shitshow,” she said.

Before the shitshow, representatives for both candidates agreed on a set of rules: who would speak, when they would speak, how long they would speak, how long the candidates would have to respond. Both candidates agreed to those rules. Only one attempted to follow them.

Last night Comrade Trump was his own anarchist jurisdiction. He was the ‘law and order’ president who refused to follow the ‘law’ of the debate and set fire to order. The worst thing about Trump’s behavior last night wasn’t just that he was disruptive, discourteous, and dishonest (though he was), and it wasn’t just that he seemed unwilling to follow rules he’d agreed to, it wasn’t just that he seemed to think the rules didn’t apply to him. The worst part wasn’t even Trump’s refusal to denounce white supremacy. Hell, the worst part wasn’t even that he refused to say he’d accept the result of the election.

The worst part of the shitshow was that Trump seemed incapable of restraining himself. The worst part was that he appeared to lack basic self control, that he was unable to hold himself in check, that he couldn’t curb his behavior. Trump literally seemed helpless against his own infantile impulses. That’s terrifying.

To his credit (or shame) Trump did what he always wants to do. He controlled the stage, he drew all the attention to himself, he sucked all the oxygen (and intelligence) out of the room, he made everybody react to him. He didn’t do that through any sort of authority or personal charisma or a command of the subject matter. He did it by being a flaming asshole.

Biden was flummoxed, both by Trump’s antics and by Chris Wallace’s inability to hold Trump in check. Biden and Wallace were there for a debate; Trump was there to create a shitshow, to debase the process and discourage everybody from participating. Trump was there to get people to turn off their televisions and swear off politics forever. Trump was there to demoralize decent people and incite racists.

Shitshow

The winners of last night’s shitshow were Putin and the Proud Boys (yes, I know…band name or Saturday morning cartoon show). Russia has to be delighted to see how degraded US politics has become, how ineffectual our leader is, how chaotic the United States is under Trump. The Proud Boys have a new logo: Stand By. The racists were given marching orders: be prepared to take on Trump’s enemies.

There were no losers last night–only victims. The victims were decorum, civil discourse, the electoral process, the United States, democracy.

Vote. Everybody needs to vote. Don’t let anybody or anything stop you from voting.

Accompanying Music: Creedence Clearwater Revivial

Down on the corner
Out in the street
Putin and the Proud Boys are playin’
Bringing chaos and deceit.

more than a little odd

First thing this morning, a text: Greg, old sock, this Berman thing, it’s a little odd, don’t you think? I think you should stop calling me ‘old sock’. But yes, it’s a little odd. Well, it’s odder than that. It’s really seriously odd.

Late on Friday Attorney General William Barr announced, “Geoffrey Berman is stepping down as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.” Later on Friday, Berman announced, “Nope.”

US Attorney for the Southern District of New York ain’t going nowhere, thank you very much.

That just begins to touch the surface of how odd this is. Normally (and c’mon, nothing has been normal since Trump slithered into the Oval Office) a US Attorney is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. That pretty much gives POTUS the ability to fire a US Attorney if he wants to. And that’s exactly what Trump did to the prior US Attorney for SDNY, Preet Bharara (which is a whole nother scandal). Trump being Trump, after he fired Bharara, he wanted to put his own guy in the SDNY slot. He made an interim appointment of a guy who’d done some part-time volunteer work for the Trump transition team. Geoffrey fuckin’ Berman. That’s right, the guy Trump is now trying to fire.

But here’s the thing (in case you were wondering what the thing is): Trump being Trump, he got distracted by some shiny object and never bothered to actually nominate somebody to fill the SDNY position. That meant the Senate never had anybody to confirm. So after about four months, the Chief Judge of SDNY “entered an order on behalf of a unanimous court appointing Berman U.S. Attorney pursuant to its authority under 28 U.S.C Section 546(d).”

This probably means Berman has the appointment indefinitely, until the Senate confirms someone nominated by the president. Since he was appointed to the gig by the federal court, he can probably only be fired by that court. (I keep saying ‘probably’ because I don’t think this has ever been tested; no other administration has been this incompetent.) The only other way for Trump to get rid of Berman is to formally nominate somebody to be the US Attorney of SDNY, and for the Senate to confirm them.

Attorney General William Barr after meeting with President Trump checks to make sure he still has his wallet.

So there’s that. Now the real question is this: why does Trump (through Barr) want to get rid of Berman five months before the presidential election? We can only speculate, of course, but the speculation can be based on what we know Berman has been investigating. For example:

  • campaign finance violations that grew out of the indictment against Michael Cohen
  • the Jeffrey Epstein case and any allegations that Trump may have been involved
  • Rudy Giuiliani’s potentially illegal campaign contributions as well as his shenanigans in Ukraine.

That suggests Berman may be on the verge of announcing some legal action against one of Trump’s associates. Or one of Trump’s children. Or Trump, though that seems the least likely possibility. In any event, firing–or attempting to fire–Berman at this point in time seems like the act of a desperate administration.

Just as important — no, wait. More important is that the attack on Berman is just the latest of AG Bill Barr’s blatant attempts to interfere with the course of justice to benefit Comrade Trump. In the 16 months since he was appointed, Barr 1) misrepresented (okay, lied about) the Mueller Report, claiming it found no evidence of obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation, 2) interfered in the sentencing of Roger Stone (also regarding the Russia investigation), 3) is attempting to dismiss the case against confessed felon Michael Flynn in regard to the Russia investigation and related corruption, 4) is dropping the case against the Russian individuals and agencies known to have interfered with the 2016 election, 5) authorized a political appointee to conduct a second investigation into the investigation of Russian interference apparently because he didn’t like the result of the DOJ Inspector General’s earlier investigation of the investigation, 6) issued a DOJ opinion that extorting a foreign nation to investigate a political opponent was NOT a violation of the law, 7) lied about the peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square AND 8) deployed armed DOJ personnel from various agencies (with their affiliation deliberately masked) to clear those protesters from Lafayette Square in order for Comrade Trump to hold a three minute photo op.

So yes, this situation is a little odd. Everything about William Barr is odd. Everything about the entire Trump universe is so fucking odd that the scale and scope of the oddness is impossible to understand without a spreadsheet the size of Utah.

The good news, though, is that Berman doesn’t appear willing to go quietly. Or at all. The bad news is, just like everything else related to the Trump administration, this ugly situation is going to get even uglier before it’s resolved.

Note: Just learned that Jay Clayton, who Trump and Barr wanted to replace Berman, has absolutely NO prosecutorial experience. Worse, Clayton used to represent Deutsche Bank, the only western bank that would lend Trump money after his numerous bankruptcies. Deutsche Bank has been in trouble for laundering money from Russian organized crime.

Odder and odder by the minute.

fifty ways

— I’m confused. I don’t understand. I just don’t get it.
— What’s the matter, pookie?
— I really really don’t understand why people are reacting to a pandemic this way.
— Oh. It’s because they’re assholes.
— They assert their right to protest a legal order from their governor, but they were outraged when a black football player took a knee to protest racial police brutality. Don’t they see how illogical that is?
— No, because they’re assholes.

These people are assholes.

— They insist they’re pro-life, that every potential life is sacred, but at the same time they say it’s permissible for some folks to die in order to strengthen the economy. Not just permissible, but necessary. I don’t understand that reasoning.
— It’s asshole reasoning. The reasoning of assholes.
— They argue that they have the absolute right over the integrity of their bodies, that if they don’t want to wear a mask, they shouldn’t have to. But they also want to deny women the right over the integrity of their bodies, saying they shouldn’t be allowed to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. I mean, they feel imposed upon if they have to wear a mask, but it’s not an imposition for a woman to carry an unwanted fetus for nine months? Explain that to me.
— The explanation is that they’re assholes.

A few more assholes.

— And armed protests? What’s with that? Not just protests against stay-at-home orders, but armed protests. Why do they need to bring guns?
— It’s because they’re assholes.
— They call themselves patriots, but they keep waving Confederate or Nazi flags. I mean, flags of peoples who fought against the United States. How is that patriotic?
— They’re assholes.
— They say President Obama was corrupt, even though nobody in his administration was ever charged with a crime. Eight years and constant ongoing Congressional investigations, not one person charged with a crime. But they insist Trump is the best president ever, despite the fact that at least seven members of his administration or transition team have pleaded guilty or been convicted of felonies. And who knows how many were fired or resigned in disgrace. How does that compute?
— Dude, they’re assholes. I don’t know what else to say.

Assholes with guns.

— They claim to respect law enforcement, but they also say the FBI tried to derail the Trump presidential campaign. They say they believe in the rule of law, but they don’t want the rule of law to apply to themselves. It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t get it.
— Yes, you do. They’re assholes.
— I just can’t wrap my head around all of this. It’s like…it’s like…I don’t even know.
— Sit back, pookie, and allow me to quote the poet Simon.

“The problem is all inside your head”, she said to me
“The answer is easy if you take it logically
I’d like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be fifty ways to say they’re assholes.”

— So you’re saying…it’s because they’re assholes?
— Ah, day dawns in the rock garden.
— What?
— You have seen the light.

 

so far

Over the last few days, three bits of seemingly unrelated news caught my attention and sort of took up residence in my brain.

News Bit the First: After two years of investigation, a Trump Justice Department inquiry launched by vindictive Republicans into allegations of 1) financial corruption by the Clinton Foundation, 2) criminal activity by Hillary Clinton in the Uranium One deal, and 3) still another probe into the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server was quietly ended. No report was issued, no announcement was made, no comment was given — the investigation just ended with the conclusion that there was absolutely no evidence of any wrongdoing.

News Bit the Second: There’s been an ongoing social media discussion about the reluctance of men — particularly men who would be casting votes for Academy Award nominations — to see Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women. Why? Apparently because it’s about women. Apparently because these men feel the male characters in the film are ‘two-dimensional, largely ornamental and relegated to the background.’

News Bit the Third: It appears Senator Bernie Sanders may have said — or somehow suggested — that a woman couldn’t win a presidential election in 2020. It seems highly unlikely to me that Bernie would have said that — or that he would believe that to be the case — but the guy tends be blunt and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he said something that could easily be interpreted that way. In a way, it doesn’t matter if Bernie actually said it or not. The sad fact is, the electability of women shouldn’t even be a matter of discussion. But it is.

Obviously, these three seemingly unrelated bits of news aren’t unrelated at all. I don’t need to point out what they have in common. I don’t need to say it’s incredibly stupid that it’s 2020 and women are still dealing with this shit.

But I DO want to say that it’s impressive as hell that they ARE dealing with it. That Hillary Clinton could get three million more votes than Trump, still lose the election, and yet still have the strength of character to continue to speak out. That Greta Gerwig can make an absolutely amazing film, get denied a Best Director nomination, and yet still have the strength of character to celebrate the actors in her film and their nominations. That Elizabeth Warren could create the idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, be denied the Director’s position by Republicans, run for a Senate seat against the incumbent Republican, win the seat, was warned by Mitch McConnell NOT to read a letter by Coretta Scott King, read it anyway, got formally rebuked (“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted”) and still had the strength of character to run for president.

I am astonished that so many women have continued to stand firm, speak out, and fight for fundamental fairness despite living in a culture that is punishing, denigrating, often hateful, shaming, and for some reason even denies them pockets in their clothes.

Pockets, for fuck’s sake. How women find the patience to resist burning it all down is beyond me. And they could do it. If every woman — every low paid office clerk, every admin assistant, every receptionist, every woman executive, every housekeeper and baker and welder and doctor and truck driver and police officer — if every woman decided to not go to work for one day, the entire world would come to an abrupt halt. If they decided not to go to work for two days, whole economies would collapse.

But nevertheless, they persist. They do go to work. Every goddamn day.

So far.

where the crazy lives

It’s been a crazy week in a crazy month transitioning from a crazy summer into what promises to be a really crazy autumn. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “I say, old sock, just how crazy is it?” Ima tell you, but first — stop calling me old sock.

Right. How crazy? I went to one of the most reliably crazy conservative sites ever to be squirted out of a goose’s ass: FreeRepublc. Here are (and I swear, I am NOT making any of this up) some of the headlines and typical Freeper responses from this morning.

Fat black professor of gender studies blames Trump for black female obesity

It’s a link to an article in The American Thinker mocking Brittney Cooper (they misspell her nam), an associate professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers. The article suggests Dr. Cooper promotes “the theory that white people in general and President Trump in particular are what make a disproportionate number of black women obese.”

Here’s a typical response from the Freep community: Ghettopotamus was skinny befo’ Trump. — MrEdd

Five Truths Most Americans Are Afraid to Say

It’s a link to an article from Townhall, another lunatic conservative site. The five truths are 1) God matters, 2) Absolute truth matters, 3) Strong marriages and families matter, 4) the Bible matters, and 5) the church matters. The article can be boiled down to this line: “We need to return to the true foundation of America—the Bible.”

Typical response: [T]here is another truth that is even tougher to say- diversity is weakness. It will ultimately lead to dissolution. Diversity is a synonym for disunion. — freedomjusticeruleoflaw

Does everyone believe Hillary is crazy now?

Another link to another Townhall article about the Clinton/Gabbard fuss.

Typical response: She’s just setting up any necessary narratives for when she gets her ass kicked next November. She will be the dem nominee. No woman will be given a shot at the Presidency while she’s still breathing. — nesnah

Trump Didn’t Sell Out the Kurds by Pulling Out of Syria

A link to an opinion piece in the NY Post, which claims Comrade Trump didn’t betray the Kurds because US troops “…were not in northern Syria to defend a Kurdish government but to fight ISIS. The fight to smash the ISIS caliphate is over.” And besides, “None of [the national media] truly care about the Kurds. Otherwise, they would have been sending correspondents and camera crews to Rojava on a regular basis.”

Typical response: If I were suddenly changed into God for one minute and given a magic button I could press to designate anyone in the world, including myself, to be President in 2016 and 2020, it would be OUR PRESIDENT TRUMP. — libtripper

Pelosi, other US lawmakers arrive in Jordan for meetings on Syria

A link to a FOX News article about the congressional delegation (led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi) in Jordan for meetings with King Abdullah II and other officials regarding the situation in Syria.

Typical responses: I hope that they find some IEDs. — Howie66
MUSLIME COLLUSION!!!!!!!!! — rawcatslyentist
Divert her plane to Gitmo on way home. — 5by5

Chick-fil-A Outlet to Close in LGBT Rights Row [UK]

A link to a BBC article about the closing of Chick-fil-A franchise in the Oracle Shopping Centre in Reading after the public boycotted it.

Typical response: Scrooge Oracle and the camel humpers it rode in on. They are certainly unworthy to host a CFA outlet. — tflabo

Mulvaney insists no quid pro quo with Ukraine after WH comments: ‘I didn’t say that’

A link to a FOX News article which states, “Mulvaney seemed to indicate that the two [withholding US$391 million of military aid and the ‘favor’ of investigating Biden] were connected, but now he claims it was a misunderstanding.”

Typical responses: The administration needs to stop ALL press briefings and exchanges with the demonic reporters. — TexasGurl24
The communists Democrats have current control over the Republicans and twisted Mulvaneys words and meaning. The communists Democrats, all of them, will be hitting Trump hard for the next year and half. Trump is in trouble but still he will a second term. The hard hitting communists Democrats will continue the hit for Trumps entire tenure. — Logical me

And my favorite response to the Mulvaney press conference article: If want a shock look up a press conference from the Obongo Admin. The respect and reverence shown is nauseating. No gothcha questions, no aggressive follow ups. — gibsonguy

In which the plucky patriots of FreeRepublic stand up to the oppression of the Free Press.

It doesn’t occur to gibsonguy that the reason the news media showed a certain amount of respect to President…uh…Obongo is because he treated the media with respect and didn’t lie to them. This is really the essence of the conspiratorial worldview of FreeRepublic. They’re aware the world is changing, that they’re losing their privilege, that the values and traditions on which they’ve based their lives are fading. And they’re terrified and angry about it. They’re also convinced that the reason their superiority isn’t respected anymore can’t be that they’re wrong or outmoded. So it must be because of a shadowy global cadre of hostile, alien, unAmerican monsters are arrayed against them.

And hey, they’ve seen this movie before. A plucky band of right-thinking heroes always wins against the godless heathen monsters.

it’s been a red spoon morning

Sweet malted Jeebus, how is it possible for Comrade Trump to be so unrelentingly fucking stupid and offensive every goddamn day? This morning he tweeted this astonishing dribble of fuckwittedness:

What actually happened? Michael Schmidt, a New York Times reporter, emailed an FBI public affairs officer saying they were working on a story about the FBI’s Russia investigation. They’d heard that Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn had met with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in Trump Tower, and as a result of that meeting, Kislyak arranged for Kushner to meet with a Russian banker. In other words, Schmidt was doing what responsible reporters are supposed to do — seeking confirmation of a story before publishing it.

But in the fevered, conspiratorial bizarro world of FoxNEWS and TrumpLand, the NY Times asking the FBI about an FBI investigation is…suspicious. Surely there must be some ulterior motive for the Times to ask the FBI about an investigation run by the FBI. The only possible explanation is the Times was trying to plant a false story in the FBI hive mind that would support and justify the FBI’s illegal attempt to derail the Trump presidential campaign by creating a Russian collusion hoax which the FBI would cleverly NOT reveal to the public until AFTER the election! I suspect FoxNEWS will soon report the FBI was actually behind the Times email to the FBI asking about the FBI’s traitorous fake investigation.

What sends me into a rug-chewing rage sometimes is the willing eagerness of Trump followers to accept as Truth whatever incoherent rambling tumbles out of the Trump gob. I’ve heard pundits describe the bizarro Comrade Trump administration as being ‘post-truth’ but that implies Trump and his supporters recognize the existence of a fixed point verifiable truth. They don’t. It’s not even a bizarro world, really; the bizarro world is the exact opposite of Earth. You can only be the opposite of something that objectively exists. Opposition requires a fixed point. In TrumpLand, there is only a single unfixed chaotic floating point: what Trump wants or believes at any given moment.

2+2

We aren’t prepared for shit like this. By ‘we’ I mean…well, everybody. The populace, the news media, foreign governments and entities, social institutions. Everybody. We’ve all been raised to believe in objective facts — that up is up, that the color red is the color red, that two plus two equals four, that Neo is wrong and there really IS a goddamn spoon. We aren’t prepared to deal with a world leader who, at any given moment, is capable of arguing that two plus two equals a red spoon. Especially when there’s an alleged ‘news’ organization devoting itself to demonstrating how two plus two and a red spoon are basically the same thing, and there’s a base of believers willing to believe the arithmetic operation of addition is some sort of liberal conspiracy.