Varad Mehta Profile picture
"Confirmed fascist" and prequel apologist. You decide which is worse.
Potato of Reason Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
9 Jul
"The Last Jedi." Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . .
If "The Force Awakens" is a movie defined by one or two big bad choices, "The Last Jedi" is a movie defined by a whole bunch of little ones.
Although Space Monte Carlo is pretty close to being a big bad choice, you'd have to say.
Read 22 tweets
8 Jul
"There's no getting around the reality that the new Supreme Court has its conservative favorites and its progressive enemies, and that the court stands ready to recraft American democracy in its image."

The left is still so mad about Brnovich.…
"You're making it sound more like a hostage situation for the liberal justices."

This caterwauling, as much as his expansive and unflinching decision, is why it was so important that Samuel Alito have the opinion in the Brnovich case.…
Read 8 tweets
8 Jul
Liz Cheney, Evan McMullin, and Miles Taylor were supposed to save the GOP from itself by saving it from Trump. There was just one problem: GOP voters don't want to be saved by anyone the media would send to their rescue. ICYMI, my latest for @ArcDigi.…
"Given the silence that has already enveloped Liz Cheney, her House GOP colleagues' decision to exile her to the backbenches seems to have been a sound one."…
"There are other Republicans besides Donald Trump and Liz Cheney, a fact the media and supporters of both conveniently forget. Whatever the post-Trump future of the Republican Party, Liz Cheney won't be shaping it. Nor will Evan McMullin and Miles Taylor."…
Read 11 tweets
8 Jul
I have a hard time believing the latest numbers from Civiqs, which have Joe Biden's job approval underwater at 44-49. Those absurd Biden +20 polls were implausible, but so is this Biden -5 one. H/t @BarneyFlames.…
Biden's approval in Ohio is 39-54. I'm not saying I buy that, but as long as he's underwater in Ohio, Tim Ryan is going to have a tough time winning against any Republican.
Biden's net approval in swing states per Civiqs: Ohio -15, Wisconsin -6, Arizona -15, Florida -12, Georgia -14, Iowa -17, Michigan -7, Nevada -2, New Hampshire +5, North Carolina -6, Pennsylvania -5.
Read 4 tweets
7 Jul
Being booted from House GOP leadership was supposed to give Liz Cheney a new megaphone to spread her anti-Trump message. Instead, eight weeks later she has barely made a noise. Just as anyone not in the DC bubble knew would happen. My latest for @ArcDigi.…
"To hear the media tell it, she had it all planned out. Cheney was playing a 'long game' to win control of the Republican Party and banish Donald Trump. Getting booted from her leadership post in the House GOP conference was her opening maneuver."…
"It's certainly possible Cheney will enjoy an elevated stature in American politics; time will tell. The problem is that having a megaphone that lets you address the national media means little if you can no longer get a hearing in the Republican Party."…
Read 9 tweets
6 Jul
"Sociology, in modern academia, is the undermining that America is special or better than any other country in the world."

"Academia is the avenue by which most politicians and media personalities learn to act like such total morons."

I'm getting the feeling @TGBED8v8 isn't the biggest fan of academia.…
"John Fetterman . . . touts himself as a man of the people but has a Master’s degree from Harvard. He looks like a Philly dock worker, but that doesn't change the fact that he has a degree from a school most people could not get into on their best day."…
Read 4 tweets
6 Jul
Note how he never says it is right to teach CRT, only that is wrong not to. This reasoning exemplifies the basic incoherence of his argument.
The fundamental incoherence of French's argument, however, is truly revealed in this passage: "A wiser response to problematic elements of what is being labeled critical race theory would be twofold: propose better curriculums and enforce existing civil rights laws."
First, there is no logical reason that an alternative curriculum to CRT would be "better." Or that one is necessary. Removing CRT from the existing curriculum would, from the perspective of its opponents, would alone make it better. Which would satisfy French's first proposal.
Read 12 tweets
6 Jul
It's hard to believe the footage that makes up "Summer of Soul (. . . or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised") sat untouched for a half-century. But it did. Better late than never. It's a remarkable find and finally getting the due it deserves. Definitely worth seeing.
The music alone makes it worth the price of admission: Nina Simone, the Staple Singers, Sly and the Family Stone, David Ruffin, the Fifth Dimension, Mahalia Jackson, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Hugh Masekela, the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Stevie Wonder, et al.
The interviews with attendees of the Harlem Cultural Festival concerts (most of whom obviously were children in 1969) are very good and give a sense of what it was like to be there. My favorite part was the reaction of surviving artists watching the footage for the first time.
Read 6 tweets
5 Jul
I almost sort of didn't hate "The Force Awakens" this time. But instead of being annoyed at what a derivative ripoff of "Star Wars" it is, I was annoyed by the dumb story choices and all the ways you can now see in hindsight the ball would be dropped in the sequels.
Just to give an example of the ball dropping: in TFA, Rey is summoned by Anakin and Luke's lightsaber. Then at the end of "Rise of Skywalker" comes that infamous punchline, "Rey Skywalker." Now, the lightsaber chose Rey. "It calls to you," Maz Kanata says in TFA.
Rey, therefore, has earned the right to call herself "Skywalker." The Force has chosen her to inherit the Skywalker legacy. Yet Abrams is such a poor storyteller that it never occurs to him to connect the two things. And that's why the sequel trilogy is so bad.
Read 15 tweets
4 Jul
"Just 50% of Americans approve of his job performance overall, a comparatively weak score nearing his six-month mark in office."

Another live-caller poll, another middling job approval number for Joe Biden.…
"His 50%-42% job approval rating is the fourth-lowest out of the last 14 presidents at about five months in office in polls by ABC and the Post and Gallup previously . . . It's an unusually low rating in a time of strong economic growth."…
Biden has consistently strong ratings on handling the pandemic, around 2 to 1 approval. But as in other polls, he's double digits underwater on crime and immigration. So what happens to his overall approval next year when COVID isn't nearly as important?… Image
Read 4 tweets
4 Jul
Was awakened more than once this morning to very loud tapping and rapping sounds coming from outside my window. TAP TAP TAP RAPRAPRAPRAP TAP TAP RAPRAP TAP RAPRAPRAP. Went to investigate. Not one, but two woodpeckers were hammering away at the wooden molding under the roof.
I'm not sure what possessed them start attacking the house now. My best guess is that they are trying to carpenter bee larvae. But why now? The carpenter bees have been trying to make nests under the roof forever. Did the woodpeckers just notice or something?
I mean, this was LOUD. Which made it obnoxious. Especially at 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday. I like woodpeckers, but not quite as much now.
Read 4 tweets
4 Jul
🚨🚨🚨 “Inspector Morse” is on TV.
Was flipping through the cable guide and stumbled across it on one of the PBS channels. It’s the one where the Japanese student is murdered upstairs while Morse is having dinner at an Oxford college.
Didn’t think they still showed it on TV, just on BritBox.
Read 4 tweets
3 Jul
"The gaps are too big and the trend too consistent to ignore the obvious conclusion that over the past two decades Democrats have moved left far more than Republicans have moved right."

This conclusion and the data supporting it are unobjectionable, but that won't stop anyone.
"Moving to the left may help galvanize the progressive base—which is good!—but if it's not done with empathy and tact it risks outrunning the vast middle part of the country, which progressive activists seem completely uninterested in talking to."…
"And for God's sake, please don't insult my intelligence by pretending that wokeness and cancel culture are all just figments of the conservative imagination."

Drum's going to get mail. So much mail.…
Read 5 tweets
3 Jul
How you make a video like this and don't include Fabio Grosso's goal against Germany in 2006 is beyond me.
When it comes to "Most Devastating Goals in Football," this one is top 5 at least. Maybe top 3.
Followed just over 60 seconds later by Alessandro del Piero punching the Italians' ticket to Berlin with literally the final kick of the game.
Read 5 tweets
3 Jul
Thought I'd do a roundup of "See, the Supreme Court really is conservative!" takes. I probably tweeted a couple of these already, but no matter. To start, this one in WaPo by a couple of liberal law profs.…
Here's one by a liberal law prof in the LA Times.…
I know I tweeted this one from 538 yesterday. But in case you missed it, here it is again.…
Read 9 tweets
3 Jul
"And for the first time in his career, Breyer is enjoying the prestige of court seniority. Ginsburg's death left him as the most senior justice on the court, following Chief Justice John Roberts."

Say what?…
Arguably what was meant is that Breyer is now the senior justice of the liberal bloc. But the reference to CJ Roberts seems to obviate that possibility.… Image
"And two different provisions — Section 4 and Section 2 — should have forced the court to stop these states."

Speaking of goofs.…
Read 4 tweets
11 Jun
"Her political missteps overshadowed the policy progress on her trip."

If CNN is saying this, you know it's pretty much conventional wisdom in DC that Harris' trip was a disaster. They'd never say something this negative on their own.…
"Her shaky handling of the politics around the immigration issue drew new questions about her political dexterity both as vice president and as a future aspirant for the White House, because the trip this week was her first test at the highest levels of statecraft."

"The right-wing media is trying to portray Harris as hopelessly inept when it comes to matters at the border -- and she gave them an opening by appearing to try to distance herself from the problems there."

We've identified the real problem.…
Read 6 tweets
11 Jun
"Raiders of the Lost Ark."
First mask-free movie since "King Kong" last March 15. Seems like a lifetime ago.
Watching "Raiders" this time it occurred to me the reason they were able to translate it so directly into the Indiana Jones stunt show at the old MGM Studios at Disney World is that a lot of its action is basically choreographed pantomime. Just like the serials it was based on.
Read 9 tweets
10 Jun
"The strength of his objections to ending the filibuster or supporting S.1, Democrats' marquee election reform bill, have some in the party convinced more than ever he's not freelancing."

It's never just Manchin.…
You must be pretty naïve or clueless to have thought there was any chance Joe Manchin was going to listen to Al Sharpton.…
There's a better chance Joe Manchin listens to Al Sharpton than AOC.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
This is a farrago of warmed-over Beltway conventional wisdom which will be lapped up by those whose taste buds have become so desensitized they will mistake it for sharp political analysis.…
Here's the kind of answer the AP rubric tells graders to give a "1" to because it just repeats whatever was in the textbook without showing any understanding or assimilation of the material. Just the laziest, most banal gloss imaginable.… Image
Read 4 tweets
8 Jun
Good luck with that.…
Maybe Joe Biden can kidnap Joe Manchin and keep him prisoner until he agrees to support the F the People Act.…
"Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday delivered an urgent call for Democrats not to abandon their marquee election reform bill."

Shorter Pelosi: Help me out, I've got the Squad to deal with.…
Read 4 tweets