Sunday Bloody NYT Sunday: Special Rand Paul Edition With Extra-Special Guest Star The Washington Post

Sunday Bloody NYT Sunday: Special Rand Paul Edition With Extra-Special Guest Star The Washington Post

Oh hello there. Happy Sunday! Were you just chillin’ out maxin’ and relaxin’ or were you thinking “gosh, I would really like to read eleventy million words about Rand Paul”? If the latter, the Sunday New York Times has got your back, Jack. Did we read the complete history of Rand, son of Ron? Oh, heavens no! But we did skim it long enough to make our way to our very favorite thing about modern libertarianism: that Canadian rock band Rush is their musical vanguard.

Gary L. Gardner Jr., a high school friend [of Rand Paul] said: “I remember even back then being on a swim team bus and a Rush song comes on. I think it was the song ‘Trees’ — and he said, ‘Man, listen to the words of this, you know those guys have got to be conservative.’ ”

“The Trees” tells the story of maples, overshadowed by tall oaks, that form a union to bring equality to the woods “by hatchet, ax and saw.”

We never, ever tire of making people listen to the entirety of this song.

Libertarians, we would apologize for the fact that your standard-bearers are Rand Paul and a ham-handed song about trees forming a union, but we are laughing too hard.

We interrupt this New York Times roundup for some very special Rand Paul news from the Washington Post, the Times’s crankier younger not-quite-as-impressive brother.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) suggested Sunday that the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal should give Americans pause when it comes to evaluating the Clinton legacy — and, by extension, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s potential presidential campaign. […]

Paul said the episode undercuts Democrats’ allegations of a GOP “war on women” and should color people’s perceptions of the Clintons. He added that “sometimes it’s hard to separate” Bill and Hillary Clinton.

“And then they have the gall to stand up and say Republicans are having a war on women?” Paul said rhetorically. “So yes, I think it’s a factor. It’s not Hillary’s fault, but it is a factor in judging Bill Clinton and history.”

This isn’t a leap in logic. This is more like an M.C. Escher staircase of logic. If Bill Clinton once fucked an intern, the GOP can never be faulted for any retrograde things like transvaginal ultrasounds it wants to impose upon women and also too this isn’t Hillary’s fault but you know you really can’t tell Bill and Hillary apart, now can you? Have you ever even seen them in the same room, hmmmm?

We now return you to our regularly scheduled NYT programming.

We can’t find anything amusing in the Times’s preview of Bamz’ State of the Union speech on Tuesday, mostly because it is all “blah blah blah modest Obama agenda blah blah dig up Southern conservative and ask him what HE thinks about Obama blah blah.” The NYT is probably right in saying this won’t be the year that Obama wears stunner shades to the podium, throws up a Black Power salute, drops the mic, and peaces out, but we can dream, can’t we?

We figured before we did our usual read-through of the obscenely super-rich who buy apartments in New York City that have 75 fireplaces but only 4 bathrooms for a billion dollars, we’d at first check out what’s up with the obscenely super-rich people that go to Davos because those people are seriously comedy gold.

Here, talk about “sustainability,” “transparency” and, this year, “mindfulness” coexists with speeches by leaders from some of the most repressive regimes in the world. (One by President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, seeking greater engagement, overlapped with a panel on the power of meditation, in which the actress Goldie Hawn was a speaker.)

Aren’t the pursuits of billionaires adorable? They’re just like you, except they are complete nonsense children with no sense of their disconnection from the concerns of actual people.

Back at the party at the Swiss chalet, as Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” played, [billionaire investor, philanthropist and art collector Nicolas] Berggruen talked about his fascination with which governments work and which don’t, about his interest in East and West. He said that he hated the “homeless billionaire” moniker, and that anyway it would soon no longer apply. He had recently bought houses in New York and Los Angeles, which are under renovation. “I haven’t moved in yet,” he said.

Thank god Mr. Berggruen will no longer have to bear the sting of a nickname, and all it took was being able to buy a house on each coast. Perhaps he’ll also see his way clear to purchase a property in “New York in the Bahamas,” which is apparently an actual thing some rich people have thought about.

[Bahamas apartment complex] Honeycomb was designed by the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, who also designed a pyramid-shaped apartment complex being developed by Durst Fetner Residential on West 57th Street. The Honeycomb is expected to break ground this summer, and when it opens in the first half of 2016, each of the 34 apartments will have a private terrace with a pool. The units will range in size from 3,000 to 8,000 square feet, and will be priced from $3 million to $12.5 million. […]

From the perspective of the Manhattan market, in which many new residential developments are asking $7,000 to $8,000 a square foot, these [Bahamas] oceanfront condos are relatively inexpensive, Mr. Lorber said. With closing costs and other expenditures, apartments at the Honeycomb cost roughly $1,600 to $1,700 a square foot.

“Who else is going to think these prices are cheap for a home on the ocean except New Yorkers?” he said. “It used to be that New York looked cheap compared to other places, but now, for New Yorkers, many other areas are beginning to look like a deal.”

Now, mind you, these little shacks can’t be considered proper homes, for goodness’ sake. They’re second homes, or eleventh homes, or something. Just the right price for an occasional getaway for a billionaire.

You know the other thing the rich have to struggle with? Sometimes your minions bring you offerings, but those offerings are not to your liking? What to do? Ask the poor sod stuck writing the NYT social etiquette advice column thingy.

My capable nanny often brings me homemade desserts. Some are O.K.; others are abominable. I eat what I can and discreetly pitch the rest. I don’t want to offend my children’s caregiver, but I hate the waste. Any ideas?

Mr. Etiquette Guy has some useful suggestions about being gracious, taking extra things to the breakroom at work, and so on, but he skips over the key part of our response, which is “oh shut the fuck up already you privileged twerp.”

Who is more tone deaf than this sad overwhelmed with snacks rich person? Ross Douthat, of course, who is out with yet another installment in his long-running series, “Why Won’t Liberals Give Up Their Principles And Listen To Ross Douthat?” Today, Ross takes on the topic of marriage promotion and explains at ridiculous length how there really needs to be some compromise between liberals and conservatives about how best to make sure every child is an unaborted child raised by a married mommy and a daddy and of course conservatives have compromised but mean liberals won’t before getting to his perpetual harangue about how liberals created the pop culture which then led to people have the sex willy-nilly all over the place until families were destroyed by birth control.

A more significant concession would be to acknowledge the ways in which liberalism itself has undercut the two-parent family — through the liberal-dominated culture industry’s permissive, reductive attitudes toward sex, and through the 1970s-era revolution in divorce and abortion law.

In the first case, liberals tend to feign agnosticism about pop culture’s impact on morals (even though a link is common-sensical and well supported), or to blame corporate capitalism for the entertainment industry’s exploitative tendencies (as though the overwhelmingly liberal people making programming decisions had no agency of their own).

Actually, we’re not even sure what that really means, but with Douthat it is always safe to bet that there’s equal parts liberal-bashing and sex-shaming at work. This time, though Ross steps up his game above and beyond his usual harumphing and sketches out what he thinks are dandy compromises that will work for all sides of the aisle.

When liberals claim social conservatives don’t have any policy ideas for marriage promotion, then, they’re somewhat self-deceived. A sustained conservative shift on abortion policy and marriage law probably would, over the long term, increase the rate at which couples take vows and stay together, and improve the life prospects of their children.

So one hypothetical middle ground on marriage promotion might involve wage subsidies and modest limits on unilateral divorce, or a jobs program and a second-trimester abortion ban.

Yes, you’re not reading that wrong. The big bargain proposed here is that you make it harder for people to get divorced or for women to get abortions, and then you throw some pittance of money at people but only if they stay married and child-having, and then voila! marriages totally work again! There aren’t enough hours in a day to break down that sort of stupid.

We’re not actually sure if Thomas Friedman is being stupid or not this week because we repeatedly dozed off reading it. We think it is about Tunisia and Syria and Iraq and Egypt and every other place in the area that Thomas Friedman has visited or has thought about once so therefore in some way is an expert. It’s actually probably very important and topical, but let’s face it: our capacity to meaningfully analyze the geopolitical implications of Syria is pretty much zero, given our official Wonkette policy on Syria is ????????

We’re much more familiar, thank god, with the topic of Maureen Dowd’s column this week, which is weed tourism. Isn’t this like the third or fourth week they’ve let MoDo write about being in Denver and getting high? Anything that stops her from writing about Bill Clinton’s dick is cool by us. So anyway. Dowd is in Denver checking out some cool new spots where you can get high without feeling like a loser stoner.

“I don’t want to use the word ‘pot’ or ‘weed’ or ‘smoke’ or ‘joint,”’ says a pretty 37-year-old event planner who uses the nom de pot Jane West (Mary Jane in the West) and owns a company called Edible Events. “If we redefine it as consuming cannabis, then maybe people will be more open to that. There are only so many hoodie-wearing stoners in town. This needs to be opened up to other demographics.” West is especially interested in wooing women, getting them to equate cannabis with a glass of wine. […]

Her first big party, aptly held at the (nonsmoking) Space Gallery, was Friday night. Guests could “blaze,” as West put it, in a bus parked outside, which she had decorated with peacock feathers so it would look less “cheesy.” They could smoke, vape and nosh on savories soaked in sauce and cream to alleviate dry mouth. “Munchies for foodies,” she calls it.

Look. We are wildly in favor of every last bit of this, especially the part where people give us really nice snacks when we are high, but we cannot for the life of us get past the fact that the bus was decorated with peacock feathers so it would look less cheesy. You decorated a pot bus. With feathers. Because that was classier than it just being a regular old pot bus. Sorry, lady, but that sounds exactly like what someone really high would do. And somehow, unfairly, MoDo gets to be the person to go to these parties, eat delicious snacks, and ride the peacock bus, and do this on the New York Times’s dime, while we get to do none of these things. Fuck it. We’re taking the rest of the day off to tape some peacock feathers to our wall so we have a real classy high.

[NYT/WaPo]

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  • BraunKommando

    I probably am one of the few people who are going to be bothered by the terrible arithmetic sequence that is Friedman’s tile. You see, things like that are supposed to make mathematical sense. 1,2,3,4…increasing by one. 1,3,5,7… all odd number.1,2,3,5,7,11,…prime numbers. Instead I get a series of numbers that do not increase in reasonable progression. They increase by a factor of 5000 and then by a factor of 100 only. Terrible, I tell you. No I am not stoned.

  • Haribo Lector

    I always figured that The Trees was an exhortation for the proletariat to rise up in glorious revolution. Rush are shit either way though.

  • man joe

    Damn

  • willi0000000

    Douthat?[as in “Do you that lest i be offended.”]

  • TheLifeSilica

    So … Douthat’s plan is to make it so that you can’t afford to get a divorce. Got it. Kinda like two people holding each other hostage. Mutually assured destruction!

  • Deleted

    This post was deleted.

  • $73376667

    MoDo gets to be the person to… ride the peacock bus

    I thought you said she didn’t write about Bill Clinton’s dick this week.

  • Mahousu

    Let’s try taping some peacock feathers to Rand Paul. Not that it would really make him that much more tolerable, but I happen to have a bunch of peacock feathers lying around and need something to do with them.

    • nothingisamiss

      Do we get to tar him first?

  • Dolmance

    I’d rather eat cat shit than listen to an entire Rush song.

    • ryp

      I’d rather eat the cat. Geddy lee makes Sarah Palin’s voice sound soothing.

  • HabsFan29

    As a Canadian, I am required by law to like Rush.So unions and egalitarianism and nature are “conservative” values now? Good to know.

    • BMW

      I think the interpretation Rand Paul had of the song was that the trees that formed a union were doing something bad and the tree union hurt the forest by cutting down the bigger trees, causing the animals to abandon the forest.

  • andreamd

    we did have a babysitter years ago and she would invite me to her family parties. I ate tripe so that I would not insult her- I mean actual tripe. I did not have to write to some NYT person to ask what I should do. And what the hell is a nanny- vs a baby sitter- I mean mine was an adult too but she didn’t come with a magical umbrella.

  • Kid_Charlemagne

    From my limited knowledge of Rush, I believe that Geddy Lee of Rush was a follower of Ayn Rand. They had a song called “Anthem” for Christsakes! Maybe he outgrew it, unlike Rand Paul.