Assimilated

God, we are so assimilated that, instead of the Russian musical program every Russian-speaker on the planet watches on New Year’s night, we’ll be watching an American TV series.

New Year’s Fun

Folks, do you know what’s real fun? Asking Alexa to play “Russian music.” It offers the weirdest mix of hardcore Soviet propaganda songs (which were actually really good music and lyrics) and super trashy perestroika-era songs. We are pissing ourselves with laughter here.

Coy

“I don’t know her,” McCaskill told CNN earlier this week when asked if she’d consider Ocasio-Cortez a “crazy Democrat” like the ones she decried on the campaign trail. “I’m a little confused why she’s the thing.”

Oh, come on, Claire. This kind of coyness is silly. AOC is a very beautiful woman. And that’s why she is popular. We are not used to have anybody strikingly good-looking on our side.

What I don’t get is Beto. The guy looks really pathetic when he tries so hard to look cool. That stunt of his with the skateboard was sad to see. Yet I know people who seriously claim he’s sexy.

A Real Issue

Trump administration’s view on medication-assisted treatment has evolved from critical to fully supportive. Tom Price, Mr. Trump’s first Health and Human Services secretary, appalled many addiction expertsby saying, “If we’re just substituting one opioid for another, we’re not moving the dial much.” But Mr. Price’s successor, Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive, has embraced the approach.

How extremely shocking that a pharma guy would want to enrich the industry.

When the administration announced $1 billion in new grants to expand access to treatment earlier this year, it emphasizedthat only programs that made these medicines available were eligible.

This is a real issue that a Democratic nominee could embrace next year. Instead of criticizing Trump’s correct instincts on Syria and the wall, criticize this clearly pig-headed policy.

Of course, talking about opioids without endorsing the wall is an exercise in hypocrisy but it’s not like we are not used to that.

The Symbolic Wall

It’s now become fashionable to point out derisively that the border wall is “symbolic.” As if there were anything but symbolism propping up nation-states. What are the flag or the anthem, for instance? Why do we support “our team” in the Olympics or the World Cup? It’s all symbolic, duh!

What’s next? Triumphantly pointing out that nations are “invented communities” and national borders were drawn arbitrarily? You don’t say! Have any equally stale news for us? How about the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun? It’s not exactly a revelation but since we are pointing out the painfully obvious these days, then why skip this glaringly obvious reality?

It doesn’t matter if nations are completely artificial. Yes, they are, but so what? So is central heating, but we are in no hurry to give it up. New Year’s is completely artificial and symbolic but I’m planning to celebrate my heart out. The point is whether this artificial construction brings important benefits we don’t want to be without.

What is missing from all of the criticisms of the wall is the only issue that really matters: do we want to keep the nation-state model? Are we consciously walking away from it? Have we considered what the consequences of doing that would be? Welfare, feminism, gay rights – are we sure we want to toss them out of the window? If not, what is our proposal for shoring up the crumbling nation-state model? If it’s not the wall, then what?

There Is No Argument

I’m scrolling through blogs and come across the following statement:

In case you’re wondering why the wall is a terrible idea…

Yes! I exclaim. Yes! Can somebody finally reveal what the argument against the wall is?

So I eagerly follow the link. . . only to discover that it leads to a tweet. By Beto O’Rourke.

When the only argument is a tweet, let alone one from somebody like Beto, it’s clear there is no argument. Or at least no argument anybody is willing to reveal.

I swear to God, the next thing out of these folks will be an invitation to discover the solution to global warming through AOC’s duckface photos on Instagram.