Weekend Links

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Stopped for a bottle of water on my way to work this morning. That’s my bike in the foreground and Dali University at the foot of the mountains. The light is really striking between sunrise a little after 7 am and the time this photo was taken, about 7:45 am. This photo doesn’t really do it justice.

Teaching today and tomorrow, so I might not get around to another full post this week. Some links:

  • First, some self-promotion. Here’s a link to something I wrote this week. It’s my longest essay and I think my best one so far. I tried to explain the leadership crisis in the House and why it’s kind of a big deal, both historically and for the country’s current well-being.
  • Hillary Clinton testified yesterday and it was basically an unpaid advertisement for her presidential candidacy. Seriously, when is the GOP going to realize that angry old white men yelling at a woman who’s much smarter and more dignified than they are is not a good look?
  • Not sure how the author managed to write this piece with his lips so firmly attached to Paul Ryan’s ass, but it’s good to check in sometimes and see what narratives the Right constructs about its heroes.
  • Let’s check in on the state of the presidential primaries. Things are still looking bad for the Republican establishment. Click this link and marvel at the awfulness of Jeb Bush’s trend line. Somehow, JEB! is actually worse than his brother. If you don’t feel like looking at the polls, here’s a quick summary: non-establishment types (in order of support: Trump, Carson, Cruz, and Huckabee) combine for 60.4%. The leading establishment candidate is Rubio, sitting in third place overall with 9.2%, but that’s dwarfed by Trump’s 27.2% and Carson’s 21.4%. Bush’s 7.2% is good enough for fifth place overall.
  • No real reason to check in on the Democratic side, with Biden deciding not to run and Webb and Chafee dropping out. Most polls have included Biden even though he has never officially been in the race, and he has been polling around 15% or better recently. So that totally skews things. And polls coming out next week ought to take in the full impact of the Democrats’ debate. I’ll be very curious to see if Clinton pulls ahead in any significant way in the early states of Iowa (where she’s been leading most of the time) and New Hampshire (where she’s actually been running behind since the beginning of September). I expect Clinton to see bumps in her numbers across the board. Much of the mainstream media believed its own breathless reporting on Clinton’s pseudo-scandals, and they’ve been making up for it with “comeback” narratives in the wake of the debate.
  • Looking forward to the second part of this conversation between President Obama and author Marilynne Robinson.
  • Drew Magary on the perennial uselessness of rooting for the Washington Racial Slurs.
  • What did I do with the remainder of Steve’s Artisanal Reduced Carbon Footprint Pesto? See the photo below.

Have a great weekend!

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Pepperoni and Pesto Biscuits. Really, really good! Click the link for the biscuit recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/7040/jps-big-daddy-biscuits/
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Are You Ready for Some Football?

Not Donald Trump, for once                                                                                                                                                 By Marianne O’Leary [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
As a Jets fan, the highlight of any given season is usually some heretofore unimaginable height of humiliation, such as the infamous butt fumble, or your starting quarterback getting punched out before the season even began. That and the sport’s very serious problems with domestic violence and debilitating injuries explain why most of my interaction with the game is cynical in nature. Yet I can’t stay away.

If you love/hate football like I do, or you’re interested in some different takes on the sport, I’ve got two recommendations. First up is a series of pieces by Drew Magary I look forward to every year called “Why Your Team Sucks”. He savages everything he can about each NFL team, and then he publishes a bunch of emails from each team’s fan base that are often times even more savage/more horrifying/funnier than what Magary wrote. Yesterday Magary tackled the Baltimore Ravens, who happen to be coached by a man who thinks Trump’s border wall is a good idea, and he also thinks there is no difference between the Democratic and Republican parties. Good timing considering my blog topics so far this week. Anyway, here I should warn you that both Magary and his emailers use a ton of foul language.

The next piece I want to recommend is by the Esquire Politics writer Charlie Pierce, whom I like a lot. He sometimes moonlights as a sportswriter, and here he is writing about the mess that is the Washington, D.C. football franchise. Pierce also uses a not very polite word in his piece, so beware.

To conclude, J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!