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What Scalia Meant

[ 35 ] February 14, 2016 |

scalia

And what he could have meant had Reagan nominated Bork first and Scalia second and therefore probably gotten them both:

…had Scalia’s dissents ultimately shaped America, women would not have reproductive rights, the federal government could not effectively regulate health care, LGBT people would not have the right engage in sexual intercourse without fear of arrest – let alone alone the right to marry – and states could single them out for legal disabilities. Women could be excluded from state educational institutions, public schools could teach creationism in science classes and prisoners could be assaulted by prison guards. And, in large part because of Scalia, in America today, the Voting Rights Act has been gutted, the rights of employees and consumers have been curtailed, Brown v Board is more likely to be used to stop integration than to promote it and moneyed interests increasingly dominate elections.

But, to be Scrupulously Fair, at least he wasn’t Sam Alito:

And it’s true that Scalia was not a strict Republican party-liner: there were some cases in which he was willing to make common cause with liberal justices out of principle. In one dissent, he (correctly) characterized the mandatory drug testing of Border Patrol officers as “a kind of immolation of privacy and human dignity in symbolic opposition to drug use”. He wrote a brilliant dissent, joined by Justice John Paul Stevens, upholding the habeas corpus rights of American citizens accused of terrorist activities. And in some 4th and 6th Amendment cases, he regularly voted in a civil libertarian direction.

I’ll have more on the politics of replacing Scalia later.

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The political implications of Scalia’s death

[ 161 ] February 13, 2016 |

I would be very surprised if we don’t spend the next year-plus with at most eight SCOTUS justices.

Every four years we hear that the winner of the presidential election may well play a key role in shaping the composition of the Court for decades to come. This will not be a hypothetical scenario in 2016, as two things seem highly likely: Senate Republicans will not approve anyone President Obama nominates to replace Scalia, and the next president will at the very least end up choosing two Supreme Court justices, if not more (Justice Ginsburg’s departure from the Court prior to 2021 seems practically certain, — she turns 83 next month and is in precarious health — and one or two other current justices may well be gone by then as well).

Obama will surely take into account that an increasingly radicalized and confrontational GOP is not going to allow its senators to approve anyone to the Court that Democrats would consider minimally acceptable. This suggests he will nominate someone whose rejection by the Senate will do maximum damage to the electoral chances of both the Republican presidential nominee, and of the GOP senatorial candidates who will be in competitive races in November.

In fact it’s quite possible that the rejection of Obama’s nominee (or nominees) will become the central issue of the presidential campaign, as we are now poised to spend the next year, if not longer, with a fundamentally deadlocked Supreme Court.

Indeed, it’s well within the realm of possibility that the politics of this situation will play out in such a way that public disgust over how a radicalized GOP reacts to Obama’s nomination(s) ends up playing a crucial role in handing both the presidency and the Senate to the Democrats.

And should that happen, we can then look forward to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders choosing Barack Obama to succeed Antonin Scalia.

Traditions Republicans suddenly remember

[ 73 ] February 13, 2016 |

AKA Lies.

Christ, what a grasshole.

As to what I think Obama should do (since you’re all dying to know), I think he should announce that he’ll nominate the person who is Scalia’s equal in championing conservative values. And then head to Camp David while the creeps duke it out.

The Game

[ 310 ] February 13, 2016 |
KnightsTemplarPlayingChess1283.jpg

“KnightsTemplarPlayingChess1283” by Alphonse le Sage (Alfonso X) – “Livre des Echecs” (Libro de Ajedrez, dados y tables). Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

I eagerly await Scott and Paul’s commentary.  Gaming it out, however, am I wrong in thinking of two different scenarios for Obama?

  1. Nominate a centrist who will represent (to Democrats) a clear improvement over Scalia, and see if Republicans are nervous enough about either a Hill/Bern victory or losing the Senate (or both) to bite, or…
  2. Nominate someone from a key demographic that will be offended by over the top GOP attacks on the nominee.

Or both; there’s plenty of time between now and the election for the rejection of one nominee.

Scalia Dead

[ 403 ] February 13, 2016 |

Scalia is dead.

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said.

Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa.

According to a report, Scalia arrived at the ranch on Friday and attended a private party with about 40 people. When he did not appear for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found a body.

Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, of the Western Judicial District of Texas, was notified about the death from the U.S. Marshals Service.

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery said he was among those notified about Scalia’s death.

“I was told it was this morning,” Biery said of Scalia’s death. “It happened on a ranch out near Marfa. As far as the details, I think it’s pretty vague right now as to how,” he said. “My reaction is it’s very unfortunate. It’s unfortunate with any death, and politically in the presidential cycle we’re in, my educated guess is nothing will happen before the next president is elected.”

I’d like to think this kills all “the two parties are the same so who cares if Republicans win in 2016” arguments if Hillary wins the nomination. But then I also know Salon exists.

Millennials Say They Love Socialism. But Does That Change Consumer Behavior?

[ 55 ] February 13, 2016 |

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No, it does not.

Millennials have a higher opinion of socialism than they do capitalism.

As you can see, overall, 52 percent expressed a favorable view of capitalism, compared with 29 percent for socialism. Republicans, those in families earning more than $100,000, and people age 65-plus had an especially high regard for capitalism compared with socialism, but respondents in almost every demographic category demonstrated the same preference to some degree.

There were just two exceptions to this pattern: Democrats rated socialism and capitalism equally positively (both at 42 percent favorability). And respondents younger than 30 were the only group that rated socialism more favorably than capitalism (43 percent vs. 32 percent, respectively).

OK, but does “socialism” mean anything to younger people? Or more accurately, what does it mean? That to me seems entirely unclear, other than as a buzzword for a society different than what we have now. That could mean policy items that is actually socialism–like socialized health care or free college tuition. But given how fast and loose Bernie Sanders uses the term–he’s not a socialist in anything more than a vague sense and basically holds the policy positions of Hubert Humphrey in a more conservative era–I don’t think there’s a lot of deep thinking going on yet about what it means to be a socialist. That’s fine really, the fact that the term actually has positive connotations with growing numbers of Americans is positive in itself.

But I think young people, including self-identified socialists, have a lot more identity tied in with individualistic consumerism than socialism, however defined. The same generation (and one presumes mostly the same people within that generation) who is embracing the term also claims they want to see fair trade products produced ethically. But they aren’t going to pay any more for those products.

The majority of millennials may not be putting their money where their mouths are when selecting chocolate, according to a Kansas State University expert in psychological sciences.

Despite strong preferences for ethical chocolate in focus groups, only 14 percent of millennials in individual choice studies selected candy with ethical or social factors labeling — such as organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified, non-GMO and Fair Trade — according to a study by Michael Young, professor and head of the university’s psychological sciences department.

“For most participants, their choice behavior reflected minimal concern for ethical factors, whereas their public declarations in a focus group suggested otherwise,” Young said. “Participants who modestly preferred a candy with certain labels in our focus group may be unwilling to pay much more to obtain it.”

The study “Millennials and chocolate product ethics: Saying one thing and doing another” will be published in an upcoming issue of Food Quality and Preference. Young and his research assistant Anthony McCoy, doctoral student in psychological sciences, Albion, Michigan, evaluated answers from 80 participants in focus groups and 214 participants for the choice studies. Participants were assigned to focus groups based on ages in the millennial range — younger millennials were participants 18-25 years old and older millennials were participants 26-35 years old.

“We got the impression in the focus groups that millennials were learning in college what attitudes were popular to express regarding their food,” Young said. “But many of the older millennials confessed that they often were not making purchases consistent with those expressed attitudes due to limited financial resources.”

Now don’t get me wrong–I’m not criticizing that choice. Most of us don’t have a ton of money and that’s especially true of students. Those are reasonable choices to make given real life circumstances. However, I am pretty skeptical how many of them will be buying fair-trade chocolate in 15 years when they presumably have access to greater financial resources. When choosing between the same product with significantly different prices, how many of us consistently choose the more expensive one for any reason? Most of us do not. There is some market for this, as Whole Foods’ success shows. But it’s a primarily a consumeristic choice, not one with larger potential to transform the real inequalities of the global economic system. Moreover, it assumes that in fact that fair trade is really fair trade, even though we have no way of finding out.

To me, this story is not about the fickle nature of millennials or the use of political terminology without really thinking through it or any sort of hypocrisy. The problem is a consumer-based theory of change rather than a political-based theory of change. In other words, if you want to solve the problem of exploitation in the global chocolate industry, which is very real and horrifying, consumer movements can make a difference. But they also have limitations. Rather, as I argue in Out of Sight, we need enforceable labor standards that apply to U.S. companies no matter where they source their chocolate with very real consequences for those companies and the individuals in those companies complicit with unethical sourcing. We need meaningful inspection systems and we need to allow workers around and their advocates to be able to access the legal framework to prosecute violations. This is sort of collective solution to global inequalities that should be a central tenet of a revived socialism, one that builds international labor and consumer solidarity to hold corporations accountable for their crimes.

Unfortunately, we are a long ways from such an agenda becoming part of a broader socialism. But with the growth in socialist identification, perhaps there is room to press for deeper thinking about what such a socialism would mean and how we could apply it globally.

When Will Rick Snyder Face Charges?

[ 22 ] February 13, 2016 |

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Probably never and his actions in Flint will only improve his standing among Michigan’s white voters. But the evidence against Rick Snyder is growing:

Adding to controversy over what top officials knew and when regarding Flint’s water crisis and resulting health epidemic, emails obtained by the Flint Journal suggest that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder told state officials to suppress lead testing results, both from local health officials and the community, while they figured out how to present the information to the public.

The emails, which are from October and November 2015 and were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, include correspondence by Jim Henry, Genesee County’s environmental health supervisor, to county Health Officer Mark Valacak, and correspondence between Henry and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Laboratory Director George Krisztian.

They “show growing frustration on the county’s part as it attempted to obtain information from the DEQ,” the Journal reports.

Testing on buildings within the Flint School District began on Oct. 2, and Snyder gave a press conference Oct. 8 admitting that lead levels exceeded federal limits. At one school, Freeman Elementary School, levels were six times higher than federal limits.

This is disastrous governance. It’s also pretty much what whites in Michigan wanted when they voted Snyder into office twice. It’s Flint after all and we all know what Flint and Detroit actually mean in Michigan (and national) political parlance.

Et puis je fume

[ 51 ] February 13, 2016 |

The official video for Sympathique will not embed but is worth the click.

Back to news about the study that shows poverty is bad for people; This makes sense to me.

It is hard to point to one overriding cause,

(If one chinstrokes one’s way past the fact being poor ranges from gawdawful to living hell, but to continue:)

but public health researchers have a few answers. In recent decades, smoking, the single biggest cause of preventable death, has helped drive the disparity, said Andrew Fenelon, a researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the rich and educated began to drop the habit, its deadly effects fell increasingly on poorer, uneducated people. Mr. Fenelon has calculated that smoking accounted for a third to a fifth of the gap in life expectancy between men with college degrees and men with only high school degrees. For women it was as much as a quarter.

That is, the fact that poor people continue to smoke even as more non-poor people quit makes sense to me.

Beyond the fact that smoking is addictive as hell, the connection between poverty and unhealthy behaviors such as smoking is well established. That poverty is linked to depression and anxiety should surprise only those whose exposure to poor people comes through such shows as Good Times. Smoking is also linked with depression.

Like I said, it makes perfect sense that poor people aren’t quitting as rapidly (or successfully) as people who are not poor.

To expect otherwise is like expecting a man who lives in a food desert to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables because after all, the county spent all that money on billboards and PSAs telling him the importance of a healthy diet!

Pphhhhbbbbt.

The Roots of the Chicago School Funding Crisis

[ 17 ] February 13, 2016 |

Former-White-House-Chief-of-Staff-and-current-Chicago-Mayor-Rahm-Emanuel-courtesy-gawker.com_

It seems that sketchy bond trading from Rahm Emanuel is at the roots of the Chicago school funding problems:

Over a billion dollars of taxpayer money will be diverted from Chicago’s school children to high interest loan payments to bankers over the next three decades as the result of an under-the-radar visit by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to Wall street where he quietly negotiated a bond deal.

Emanuel’s administration has focused on wage and pension cuts as a solution to the half billion dollar budget shortfall, while Rauner, after denying aid to the school children with whose wellbeing he is entrusted, shocked Chicagoans by calling for a state take over of the school system.

This didn’t sit too well with Chicago parents, contemplating the poisoning of Flint’s children by a similar Republican governor’s takeover. “Will Rauner connect the schools’ water fountains to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to save a buck?” asked an anxious dad at the LaSalle Street protest.

“State takeovers planned by Rauner are not in the interest of the children,” said Bea Johnson, another teacher who had taken to the streets after she got off work that day. “I’ve been teaching 22 years and this is about the worse I’ve seen. I love the kids, that’s why I’m doing this. The Chicago public schools are the reason I was able to start out on a fabulous career as a teacher. I want the kids to have the same opportunity.”

Rauner’s plan for a state takeover actually made Mayor Emanuel’s deal with the banks worse than it originally was.

The rate for the $750 million in bonds the school district had to sell to meet its obligations ballooned to 8.5 per cent as the district’s credit rating dropped when the governor’s threat hit the headlines. The bonds, which have a 28-year life, will assign $43 million every year from the district’s budget to interest payments to the financiers, enough to buy a laptop every year for every one of Chicago’s school kids, or to put 1,000 laid off teachers back in the classroom.

Admittedly, this article does not explore the entire story of precisely what Emanuel did, but it’s pretty clear that what is happening in Chicago schools is part and parcel of the larger pro-corporate, anti-public service, anti-union agenda of both Emanuel and Bruce Rauner.

The Debate on the New Gilded Age

[ 62 ] February 13, 2016 |

Octopus

I have pushed the New Gilded Age as a way to understand 21st century America and what it is reverting to for several years now. I think it is an apt comparison on many levels, with growing income inequality, corporate control over American society and politics, crushing unions, growing racial violence, etc. That said, obviously the metaphor has its limitations. No two periods are exactly the same or even that close to the same, especially when we are talking about 125 years ago. The differences are always going to be greater than the similarities. Yet reminding people of the similarities has significant value in both helping people understand what the heck is happening in the world around them and to help people learn about the past and how it is useful to them.

What’s interesting to me is how many people are now commenting on the New Gilded Age metaphor is a number of ways. Some of these are pretty worthless, such as saying that capitalists lost the Gilded Age. Oh, OK.

A couple of more useful discussions. First, the historian Heath Carter, arguing we are not in a new Gilded Age That’s because in the Gilded Age, Americans fought like hell against income inequality and today, the most prominent ideology actually supports the wealthy and doesn’t challenge capitalism much at all:

But whatever the similarities between the days of Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Vanderbilt and those of Gates, Buffett, and Bezos, there is this fundamental difference: Our late-nineteenth century forebears were less inclined to give economic inequality their “amen.” In the face of the Gilded Age’s notorious disparities, working people built movements that challenged the underlying structures of industrial capitalism, contributing along the way to an unprecedented, nationwide ferment regarding the shape of a moral economy—and it is on these crucial fronts that the analogy to our own time falls apart.

The late-nineteenth century was continually rocked by working-class unrest. Outraged at the seeming injustice of the emerging industrial order, working people experimented with new forms of solidarity, organizing trade unions, craft federations, and big-tent alliances such as the Knights of Labor. To be sure, the early American labor movement was seriously hampered by the racism, ethnocentrism, and chauvinism that were pervasive in its own ranks, but even still, it succeeded, among other things, in making “the labor question” the defining issue of the era. It no doubt helped that, for two months in the spring of 1871, radicalized workers seized control of Paris, appearing to confirm Karl Marx’s insistence that a proletarian revolution was taking shape in the wings. In the United States, an aghast elite followed the news in France and for decades thereafter entertained nightmares of a similar movement rising up in its very midst.

American workers kept the dream alive by taking repeatedly to the streets, which in countless Gilded Age cities and towns were transformed often into industrial battlegrounds. It took the combined powers of local militia, the National Guard, and the U.S. Army to quash the railroad strikes of 1877, which swept across the industrializing North like wildfire during that violent summer. The “Great Upheaval” of the mid-1880s saw more than a million workers surge into the upstart Knights of Labor, who were behind many of the 1,436 separate work stoppages (involving 407,000 workers) that unfolded in 1886 alone. That same year a bomb exploded at an anarchist-led rally in Chicago’s Haymarket Square, provoking consternation and alarm across the industrializing world and catalyzing, within a matter of hours, a fierce backlash against working-class movements of all kinds. Yet less than a decade later workers once more mounted an arresting demonstration of their strength, powering a sympathetic strike against the Pullman Palace Car Company that brought the nation’s vaunted rail system grinding to a halt until, finally, the federal government intervened legally and militarily to derail the uprising.

Moreover, he sees support among working people for both Trump and Clinton as a depressing sign in workers’ own acquiescence for their own disempowerment. Of course, there was plenty of that in the Gilded Age, particularly for Trump’s anti-immigrant positions. After all, Chinese exclusion was a movement coming from the white working class, not elites. And what about Sanders? Carter is moderately hopeful:

The major exception to the prevailing rule, of course, is Clinton’s Democratic colleague, Bernie Sanders, who has traveled the country doggedly making his case that “the issue of wealth and income inequality is the moral issue of our time.” Sanders’ throwback message has galvanized many thousands on the left. He battled Clinton to a “virtual tie” in the Iowa caucuses and appears poised for a resounding victory in New Hampshire. But polls show that a number of key Democratic constituencies, including, notably, nonwhite, working-class voters, continue to prefer Clinton. Unless Sanders can find a way to make deeper inroads into the American mainstream—and fast—the course of the 2016 election will only underscore how constricted the contours of not just political debate but also moral imagination have become. In these vital regards, our profoundly inegalitarian era compares unfavorably with the late-nineteenth century. And in that sense, ironically, the notion of a new Gilded Age is simply too good to be true.

Well, first of all the Sanders campaign is shifting the terrain in the Democratic primary pretty quickly so this might look more optimistic pretty quick. Second, I think one area where the New Gilded Age metaphor works pretty well is that in the early part of that period, Americans simply didn’t understand what to do about a rapidly transforming capitalism that showed all of its lies about shared wealth and relative equality to a shocked public. All sorts of short-lived movements popped up ranging from Coxey’s Army to Greenbackism to Bellamyism to the Single Tax. Occupy is something akin to that. And maybe so is the Sanders campaign. I am a bit more optimistic than Carter that Americans do know something terrible is happening to them and they don’t understand what to do yet. But they are trying to figure it out. What that leads to in the future, I have no idea.

Michael Lansing, another historian, has his own thoughts on the New Gilded Age, seeing it different than Carter because people are trying to do something about the problems. I do think he overplays it though by relying on the New Hampshire primary as a particularly meaningful moment.

The results of Tuesday night’s New Hampshire primary signal a sea change in the American electorate. They breathe new life into the Gilded Age analogy. Stolid Granite State voters, known for their moderation, chose a different path. This isn’t about voters picking outsiders to send to Washington, D.C. Nor is it about anti-elitism. Reporters who tout a growing anger in the electorate miss the point. Here’s the deeper meaning of the results: American voters now believe they are living in a second Gilded Age. And like Americans in the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s, they want to do something about it. This shift has the potential to transform our nation’s politics.

On the one hand, Americans reeling from hard times turn to Donald Trump. This nativist and nationalist billionaire trades on his celebrity to flout political norms and belie his embodied elitism. Longstanding powers in the Republican Party shudder at the thought of him as the endorsed candidate of the GOP. And yet what seemed like a joke last summer now strikes terror in boardrooms and within the Beltway.

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, touts a platform that echoes the one created by the late 19th-century Populists. It focuses tightly on the redistribution of wealth and separating corporate wealth from our political process. His tight focus on economic inequity and his longstanding record make it easy for him to stay on message. Rejecting Super-PAC money, he has defied the odds and is on the verge of stretching his primary race deep into March.

Again, maybe so. I am really hesitant at looking at one particular moment that just happened as predicative of a future or a sign of a major change. I’ve seen too many historians make this error, writing essays claiming that the Wisconsin protests show that public sector unionism is on the rise or that the Chicago Teachers Union strikes demonstrates the return of labor to a new activist phase. None of that seems to be the case at all just a couple of years later. But who knows. New Hampshire is a sign of something at the very least–that a lot of Americans aren’t real happy with the pro-corporate policies that have dominated both parties for four decades or more. Whether that dissatisfaction manifests itself primarily in left-wing populism or right-wing populism remains to be seen.

Life Spans of the Rich & Famous

[ 117 ] February 13, 2016 |

I can’t wait to hear how poor people are supposed to bootstrap their way to longer life spans.

The poor are losing ground not only in income, but also in years of life, the most basic measure of well-being. In the early 1970s, a 60-year-old man in the top half of the earnings ladder could expect to live 1.2 years longer than a man of the same age in the bottom half, according to an analysis by the Social Security Administration. Fast-forward to 2001, and he could expect to live 5.8 years longer than his poorer counterpart.

New research released on Friday contains even more jarring numbers. Looking at the extreme ends of the income spectrum, economists at the Brookings Institution found that for men born in 1920, there was a six-year difference in life expectancy between the top 10 percent of earners and the bottom 10 percent. For men born in 1950, that difference had more than doubled, to 14 years.

For women, the gap grew to 13 years, from 4.7 years.

And I’m sure the Death to Obamacare Panel will become very affectionate with the following data. Because what’s the point of giving people access to health care if they’re gonna die anyway? Huh?

Limited access to health care accounts for surprisingly few premature deaths in America, researchers have found. So it is an open question whether President Obama’s health care law — which has sharply reduced the number of Americans without health insurance since 2014 — will help ease the disparity.

This is a helpful but incomplete statement.

At the heart of the disparity, said Elizabeth H. Bradley, a professor of public health at Yale, are economic and social inequities, “and those are things that high-tech medicine cannot fix.”

Yes, but in part because economic and social inequities give people higher on the socio-economic scale access to better health care. (And then there’s the whole ugly issue of bias in the medical community and the impact it has on patient care.) However, Bradley does (I think) acknowledge the fucking non-stop grind that is being poor in America. It doesn’t take a chickenshit cop or an evil, poison spewing corporation to create deadly levels of inequality.

And why oh why won’t the Obama Administration build a wall to stop Canadians from stealing the longer life spans of American citizens?

The experience of other countries suggests that disparities do not necessarily get worse in contemporary times. Consider Canada, where men in the poorest urban neighborhoods experienced the biggest declines in mortality from heart disease from 1971 to 1996, according to a 2002 study. Over all, the gap in life expectancy at birth between income groups declined in Canada during that period. And a study comparing cancer survival rates found that low-income residents of Toronto had greater survival rates than their counterparts in Detroit. There was no difference for middle- and high-income residents in the two cities. And a study comparing cancer survival rates found that low-income residents of Toronto had greater survival rates than their counterparts in Detroit. There was no difference for middle- and high-income residents in the two cities.

I can’t wait for President God King Cruz to start the bombing campaign.

Would you rather be the flower, or the pot?

[ 182 ] February 12, 2016 |

That’s a question someone asked me during an job interview.

Fortunately, he was giving an example of the type of ridiculous questions interviewers are encouraged to ask job applicants. And we all laughed and got on with the interview, that was 100% free of Rorschach ink blotty questions. At the time I didn’t know how lucky I was.

Because as some of you may be aware, not only are interviewers encouraged to ask such questions, they actually do it. And not only do they ask these questions, the correct answer is not to look at one’s time-tracking device in a meaningful way, lean across the desk and say “My time is valuable. Please get on with the real interview.”

So far as I can tell from talking to other adults (or people pretending to be same), this isn’t some passing fad. In fact, it could be getting worse. Stupid? Obviously. I assume it is caused by the fact that more interviews are conducted by people who don’t understand why the applicant is there. And so:

“You’re applying for what? Do we even do that here? I haven’t the slightest … Uh. OK. If you were a flower, would you be a daisy or an orchid, and why?”

Then, while the job applicant is trying to sound professional while he’s wondering what the hell flowers have to do with metallurgy and wishing he could clobber the interviewer with a chair, the interviewer can sit back jot down notes about things he does understand, such as what he thinks of the applicant’s posture and and speaking voice.

I imagine there’s also a second, but not mutually exclusive group of people who get their jollies by increasing the stress of job interviews with dimwitted questions.

Hopefully these people are simply dopey Cerberuses. If they have a significant impact on who gets hired, the economy might fall apart before President Trump can destroy it.

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