Feb 2, 2021
Sunday Bloody NYT Sunday: Special Sexy CPAC Edition
Hello! Still bleary-eyed from losing that hour of sleep? Us too! We’re going to blame that for any missteps in this week’s Sunday Times roundup. First off, of course, is the big exciting political news that beloved conervative bullyboy icon Rand Paul won the CPAC straw poll, which means soon he will be your president, just like Mitt Romney. Coming in second was the illustrious Ted Cruz, who probably lost the nod because Sarah Palin grifted away with a version of his nonsense usage of Green Eggs and Ham schtick. Poor Ted. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
Also worth checking out, if you’re into watching Republicans fight one another, and who isn’t, really, is the Times’s coverage of the war between the super duper right wing and the extra special hot sauce on top exxxxtreme wing of the party.
The escalating tension between party leaders and Tea Party-aligned activists in groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund, the Madison Project and FreedomWorks arises from the activists’ view that some top elected Republicans are major obstacles to enacting conservative policies and need to be replaced.
The conservative activists say they are dedicated to deposing the lawmakers at the risk of losing seats. Their fervor has only grown after some played a role in the elections of Republican Senate mavericks like Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas over the opposition of party establishment leaders such as Mr. McConnell.
You know we’re rooting for the extreme extremists on this one, because in the past that has given us candidates like Christine O’Donnell (also still inexplicably asked to speak at CPAC again and again), so bring it on.
Every week we try to recommend a longread worth checking out in the Times, but some weeks those things are really depressing. This is one of those weeks. There’s a gut-wrenching story about the systemic exploitation of men with intellectual disabilities working in Iowa.
Mr. Berg comes from a different place.
For more than 30 years, he and a few dozen other men with intellectual disabilities — affecting their reasoning and learning — lived in a dot of a place called Atalissa, about 100 miles south of here. Every morning before dawn, they were sent to eviscerate turkeys at a processing plant, in return for food, lodging, the occasional diversion and $65 a month. For more than 30 years.
Their supervisors never received specialized training; never tapped into Iowa’s social service system; never gave the men the choices in life granted by decades of advancement in disability civil rights. Increasingly neglected and abused, the men remained in heartland servitude for most of their adult lives.
Jesus Christ. It’s as heartbreaking as you think it will be, but that’s all the more reason to read it.
Would you like to contrast the story of back-breaking work for no reward with one where teens get paid way too much money to make apps for your iPhone and then turn into entitled little douchenozzles? Sure!
In the summer after 10th grade, [Louis Harboe] was hired by Square, the payment company; he says he heard the predictable “child labor law jokes.” Lindsay Wiese, a Square spokeswoman, said that its internship program focuses on “talent, not age,” and that it looks for leaders “like Louis” who provide a diversity of perspective. Young people understand young consumers.
For Louis, the money has added up, around $35,000 in all, most of it spent on computers and accessories, some on business trips and some on eating out. Not on the college fund.
Along with his own money, he came back from San Francisco with what his father, Frederik Harboe, lovingly describes as a touch of attitude. Louis, his dad said, developed a taste for high-end coffees, and remarked on the lack of sophistication of his father’s “dinner platings” — the arrangement of food on the plate. At Square, there was free Odwalla orange juice. His family drank Tropicana. He came home after the first summer asking why his parents weren’t matching Silicon Valley’s breakfast-drink brands, recalled his mother, Catherine Becker, who manages a clothing store. “Because Odwalla fresh-squeezed is very expensive!” she told her son.
We would mock the shit out of grown people for using the term “dinner platings.” We’re not sure if it is more or less forgivable from a child. But haha that kid will probably grow up to buy one of those Far Upper Easy Side condos that cost $3000 per square foot while the rest of us office in the same room we sleep in. Maybe we should start talking about dinner platings.
Because modern work increasingly becoming the domain of young people and soon everyone over 30 will just get hunted down and murdered, Logan’s Run style, we’re starting to see unpleasant and ridiculous pressure on older people in the workplace.
My sister, who is 61, is constantly pressured by her boss to dye her hair, and even to get Botox, to achieve what her boss (who is also a woman) considers a more professional appearance.
The Workologist, which you will recall is the work advice column that handles work stuff even though the other advice column, Social Qs, also does too, proposes a solution to this that is far more tactful than we would propose. He suggests a friendly sitdown and avoiding a discussion of legal ramifications. We suggest telling that boss to fuck off, which is why, again, we office out of our bedroom.
Sliding on over to today’s Social Qs, we have a regrettable party faux pas.
At a dinner party, a friend asked me about my long-planned move. I’ve been dealing with many delays, which have left me temporarily homeless, and unfortunately I replied, “I feel like a Syrian refugee.” At that point, another woman at the table, whom I didn’t know, began crying and telling us about her extended family in the Middle East. Was a simple apology enough?
Haha lady you are the worst ever, because that would be a tasteless and stupid joke even absent a person from the region being at the table. We agree with the Social Q dude that an abject apology is sufficient to paper this over, but maybe next time if you are a person at a dinner party, you are probably not living the refugee lifestyle.
Also in the not actually morally reprehensible but still really stupid category, we have a little fashion trendpiece on five-year-olds wearing something called a bralette.
Not long ago, Stephanie Sorkin, an author of children’s books who lives in Roslyn, N.Y., was faced with an unexpected request from her daughter Lea, then age 5.
“She came home from camp and said, ‘Why am I the only one not wearing a bra?’ ” said Ms. Sorkin, 43. “I was like, ‘If you don’t call it a bra, I’ll go to the store and see what you’re talking about, but a 5-year-old doesn’t wear a bra.’ ”
Actually, plenty of young girls are indeed wearing a bra-like garment: a truncated, half-camisole top with narrow straps and a bit of stretch.
Since we do not possess a five-year-old, we were unaware of this trend. We disapprove, not because we’re being high-minded about it, but because it is just dumb.
Also dumb, inevitably, is this week’s Maureen Dowd masterpiece, in which MoDo yet again tries to discuss high level presidential and geopolitical matters through her own omnipresent lens of “why does no President want to have sex with Maureen Dowd?”
President Obama pulled a Quayle Thursday night at a White House performance by the women of soul and muffed the title of Aretha Franklin’s anthem. “R-S-P-E-C-T,” he said, looking a bit confused and eliciting laughter.
When Patti LaBelle took the stage, she told Obama, “Baby, you’ve got swag.”
Swag and respect are exactly what the president needs. He’s got a swag gap with Russia. His administration, after belatedly figuring out what was going on in Ukraine, is improvising as the uber-swaggering Vladimir Putin once more rolls in with tanks anywhere he likes.
Even when MoDo says something we like, such as this nice little slag-off of Palin, it comes with weird thinking about Presidential crotches.
Sarah Palin, who seems ever more viperish, deployed her Yoda syntax with Sean Hannity: “People are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil. They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.”
Actually, the jeans the president wore in the Oval Office, talking to Putin on the phone last weekend, looked good.
Kickstarter for Presidential lookalike (doesn’t matter which one, really) to have hot sexytime roleplay action with Dowd so maybe she gets this out of her system someday someway.
We’ll take MoDo’s sexual fantasies over anything by Ross Douthat, sexy fantasy or otherwise, any day. Today, Ross turns in his well-crafted 8th-grade term paper on the various flavors of Republicans.
Republican presidential campaigns are usually defined by four factions rather than two. One faction is centrist (think John McCain’s 2000 supporters, or Jon Huntsman’s rather smaller 2012 support), one is moderately conservative (think the typical Mitt Romney or Bob Dole voter), one is socially conservative (think Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum backers), and one is very conservative but more secular (think Gingrich voters last time, or Steve Forbes voters much further back).
That does not sound so dumb, or even that terribly written! But then Ross has to go and wreck it by listing each and every Republican he can think of and stuffing them into this framework and then drifting off into a land of utter delusion by pretending that moderates will like Rand Paul and/or Ted Cruz.
Then there’s the potential Ted Cruz coalition, which could look like Reagan redux: secular conservatives plus religious conservatives to start, and then just enough moderate conservatives to win. But Cruz would need to consolidate the religious faction early, which is why he should be hoping that Huckabee and Santorum decide to forgo another run.
And then there is the fascinating case of Rand Paul, who has a potentially formidable base in two factions that don’t usually ally — moderates who like his social libertarianism and secular conservatives who like his economic views.
Oh, Ross, you have the worst daydreams. It’s probably because you’re suppressing all the things the rest of us daydream about, like banging that hot person that works near you/lives near you/visits you in a dream/is entirely a figment of your imagination. All of these things are better, and more realistic, to fap to than a world where Ted Cruz is moderate. Sorry Ross.