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Money for nothing

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moe greene

(1) There’s a sure-fire way to build a small fortune in this great country of ours, which is to start with a much larger one. Donald Trump is a guy who has a real genius for self-promotion, and is apparently awful at literally everything else (real estate development, marriage, learning things, Twitter etc.). I would put the odds of him having negative net worth at present as significantly above zero.

(2) I think at this point Trump is almost certainly getting high on his own supply: he’s getting intoxicated by the cult of personality that he’s built at these white trash Triumph of the Will extravaganzas, so he now really believes his own nonsense about biased polls and millions of hidden voters. He’s a poor man’s Mitt Romney in other words. (It’s like rain on your wedding day).

(3) It’s amazing how football coaches who are paid millions of dollars a year are incredibly bad at clock management. Every single weekend there’s a bunch of stuff like this:

Stanford has the ball at the Washington 43, fourth and very long, 30 seconds left and clock running at the end of the half. If Washington doesn’t call time out, Stanford can let it run all the way down until there’s time for one play, and then run a Hail Mary, which from the other team’s 43 has a very non-trivial chance of working. So the smart thing for Washington to do is to call time immediately, since Stanford will almost certainly punt if they do rather than risk turning the ball over close to midfield with time left.

Chris Petersen, Washington’s coach who is paid millions of dollars a year, doesn’t think to do this — but it doesn’t matter because David Shaw, who is paid millions of dollars a year by Stanford, just lets the clock run down while lining up in punt formation, and then actually punts with 10 seconds to go and the clock still running! (Again something like this, which is the equivalent of hitting on 20 in blackjack, happens several times every weekend in both big time college football and the NFL, although the worst examples tend to be in the former).

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  • MAJeff

    “white trash Triumph of the Will extravaganzas”

    choreographed by Lenny “Reefer” Stahl.

  • I suppose he was hoping for a defensive penalty which would get him a shot from closer in. Of course he could have gotten that on a hail Mary pass as well.

    • Downpuppy

      When it’s 23-0 on the way to 44-6, maybe the important part of time management is “Let’s get this over with without injuries”?

      • Paul Campos

        This is just rationalizing terrible decisions. Lots of teams have come back from down 16 at the half, especially if they’ve just hit a huge play at the end of it. It’s not like Shaw pulled McCaffery et al out of the game at the half, which is the smart move if you’re genuinely giving up.

        • Matt

          Since Petersen is clearly one of the smartest coaches in football, and his defense was dominating, I’m willing to think that he probably had a better idea of what was going on here than you. Of course, even the best make mistakes at times, but I don’t think this is as nearly as obvious as you’re suggesting. (As noted by others, the decision by Shaw is less defensible.)

          “especially if they’ve just hit a huge play at the end of it.”

          Is there any support for this? I’m skeptical that “momentum” arguments like this are actually supported at all, so I don’t think this adds much to your position here.

          • Jordan

            Ya, I mean, the other bit in favor of Petersen is that it totally worked out for him. He still got the punt AND the clock ticked down anyways.

            If Stanford comes out in punt formation, you should *never* call timeout.

      • Jordan

        ya, but the better way to do that is to force the punt, tell the guy to fair catch, and take the knee. (well probably)

        (just talking petersen, Shaw definitely should have tried the hail mary).

  • Jordan

    People keep saying this and it keeps being true: these coaches need to hire a “time management” coach or whatever to make these types of calls.

    That said, I am immensely satisfied by Petersen’s success at udub.

  • mattius3939

    Just for some context, it was 23-10 at the half of that Washington-Stanford game. I didn’t watch it, but the news story that accompanied the box score says that Stanford’s qb was sacked a record infiniti times. Maybe Peterson, Washington’s head coach, wanted to get into the locker room as much as Shaw and Stanford? I don’t see the sense of urgency to score again from Peterson’s perspective, given Washington’s defensive efforts on the night.

    • Jordan

      No it wasn’t, it was 23-0.

      Getting into half time with no risk is accomplished by forcing the punt, which is what calling timeout would have done.

      • mattius3939

        Yeah, ok. You’re right, as is Paul Campo upthread when he says anything other than punt is rationalizing bad decisions. Still; football coaches got a billion things going on around them, and I find the clock management criticism a little tuesday-morning-qb-y.

        It is really weird to me that given all the ink spilled about clock managment that ambitious football coaches don’t devote 30 minutes or so out of their 20 hour days to locking themselves and staff in a room and just pouring over end of game/end of half scenarios. That in and of itself seems like a surefire way to make a nice niche for oneself within the football industry.

        That no one (that I’m aware of) does this makes me a little hesitant to indict for the crimes of bad clock managment; I’m missing some major piece of what’s going on.

        • Jordan

          I agree with you that clock management criticism is very much tuesday-morning-qb-y, for the reasons you say.

          I’m much more willing to forgive college coaches this type of stuff, because they have coach-restrictions and are dealing with teenagers, and face so many more unpredictable things that going by general rules-of-thumb for making decisions makes sense (particularly given the constraints they are under that you mention).

          Still don’t know why the pros don’t hire a dedicated “clock analyst” coach type person to game all of these things out and relay the correct call.

        • efgoldman

          no one (that I’m aware of) does this

          I’ve never seen it reported in so many words, but I’ll bet Belichik does.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      sacked a record infiniti times

      Corporate naming rights are out of control.

  • Ithaqua

    To be scrupulously fair, you also have to instruct the returner to call a fair catch then get far away from the ball. That’s two whole things to think of, not just one!

  • mattius3939

    Also, there’s a WaPost article that someone shared from one of the Trump/Tax posts that’s a that deserves more attention. I’m floored. I know belief systems can take people to some crazy places, but holy shit this is a damning article about not just Trump but the whole republican infrastructure.

    • MAJeff

      One of the things that got me about the article, and that has been downplayed in this election due to the open white supremacy, is just how central anti-queer animus is to her worldview. Her hatred of teh gheys made her (literally) delusional.

    • That was a strange article and its…a little odd that they ran it. The main interviewee clearly suffered a lot (the sexual harassment alone was pretty severe) and has mental health issues. Some parts seem sort of generalisable, but a lot of it is her.

      I’m glad they didn’t enable comments.

      • Jordan

        ya, the sexual harassment is terrible, and I’m not even sure how to parse this:

        In 2002, a jury awarded her $450,000 in damages, a verdict overturned by a federal judge who did not question the facts of the case but decided that the matter had been handled appropriately.

        Very bad typo? Anyways, ya, odd story to run.

        • “Very bad typo?”

          It took me a couple takes to figure it out, but I think what they meant (and shouldn’t have edited down) was:

          In 2002, a jury awarded her $450,000 in damages, a verdict overturned by a federal judge who did not question the facts of the case but decided that the matter had been handled appropriately [by the railroad company].

          • Jordan

            Right, I couldn’t tell if it was what you said, or there was a “had been handled inappropriately [by the local court/whatever]” or something else.

            Just sloppy.

          • Warren Terra

            As a non-lawyer, I thought in the appeals process the reviewing judge normally doesn’t question the facts but only looks at whether the process was correct and the law was followed? I thought it was just the trial court that determined the facts?

            And if my understanding isn’t too far off, why is it even worth mentioning that the appeal court judge didn’t question the facts?

            • Just_Dropping_By

              The reference to “a federal judge” in the singular made me think this was a district court judge (federal appellate panels usually have three judges) who was throwing out the verdict on a Rule 50 or Rule 59 motion. Impossible to tell without more information though.

      • mattius3939

        I think singling her out was cruel, but showing the effects the rightwing media has on those at the edge – and those in office! – is something I’ve read in the lefty-media since at least W’s second term.

        I don’t really know what the take-away is from the article, but I hope its that Trump’s waking long dormant institutions up to the fact that this “crazy” dynamic isn’t at the margins of republicanism anymore.

        • mattius3939

          Alright: after much consideration and reading and quiet contemplation, this is what I got:

          We, as a nation, are as over-prepared for nazis as we are zombies. We’re so overprepared that during a normal election everyone takes every sign to be evidence of creeping fascism. That’s super-annoying, but allows the powers to be to tut-tut the masses, which is their favorite thing in the world. But here we are at the cusp of a Trump presidency, and people are freaking out, man. We’re at defcon 3, compiling the evidence, surveying the field, preparing for defcon 1. There’s going to be a nazi-zombie outbreak come Nov, and Pelosi’s going to have articles of impeachment in her hands, and all institutions are going to be like: “Fuck the tut-tuting, Nancy’s got the antidote! Use the antidote, Nancy!” (we’re all on a first name basis in the zombie-nazi crisis).

          2016, ladies and gentlemen.

          • Jordan

            For nazi-zombies, we send in Bob Howard.

            • wjts

              Nothing against Bob, but Nazi zombies are more of an Alan Barnes job.

              • Jordan

                It was Bob Howard who ultimately defeated nazi zombies on the moon. A moon that had been terraformed into the face of adolph hitler! That is no small feat.

                Alan Barnes is just a gun along for the ride.

                • wjts

                  I think it’s fair to say Bob would have died before he even reached the Nazi Space Castle if he, rather than Alan, had been in charge of planning that mission.

                • Jordan

                  That is fair to say. Just as it would be fair to say that all of them would have died – and wouldn’t have accomplished their mission, and thus possibly doomed all life on earth (and possibly … the galaxy? the universe?) – if Bob wasn’t the one who stopped all the space zombie nazis as well as the “frost giant”.

                  I guess, what we are saying, is that they are a good team who works together and that friendship is magic.

                • wjts

                  “Friendship is magic” is the central theme of the Laundry novels, yes.

                  (Snark aside, that’s actually not a bad way of looking at The Annihilation Score, now that I think about it.)

                • Jordan

                  I think the central theme of the Laundry Files is that no one should do any math, ever. Or any computers, ever. Or any logic, ever. Which is, ya, depressing.

                  Interesting theory about The Annihilation Score. Must elaborate.

                • wjts

                  The relationships that help Mo weather the events of the book are the friendships she forms with Ramona and Mhari while her romantic and (more purely) professional relationships contribute to the problems she has to overcome. (Can’t elaborate more – typing on the phone at work.)

                • N__B

                  the problems she has to overcome

                  Her budget doesn’t include spandex uniforms.

                • wjts

                  Well, that’s austerity for you.

                • Recommendations for Laundry Files books for someone who hated Halting State and the other more recent Stross thing she read (Singularity Sky, most likely) but almost liked The Jennifer Morgue?

                • wjts

                  Maybe try one or two of the novellas? If you weren’t crazy about The Jennifer Morgue and don’t find anything in the novellas that tickles your fancy, you probably won’t be too keen on the series.

                • I’d be willing to read more like The Jennifer Morgue, which seems to have a more ironic attitude to the whole engineer saving the world etc. etc. thing. But my library doesn’t have a lot of his earlier books and I didn’t really like the later ones they do have, I’d have to go looking for them. I’ve only read those three.

                  So I read too fast–the novellas are the ones available online, I guess.

                • B. Peasant

                  (Singularity Sky is the least recent Stross book – it’s the first one he got published. Or maybe you meant most recent you read.)

                  I think The Jennifer Morgue is actually the weakest book in the Laundry series. There’s not enough plot, really.

                  I think Atrocity Archives and Fuller Memorandum are the best Laundry books, though the rest aren’t far behind.

                  For a twist on “Friendship is magic”, read Equoid

                • Re: SS, really? I must have been going by the shininess of the book jacket. :) Tho it’s possible I read a different one and was misled by my 5 minutes research on Wikipedia during the edit window.

    • Jordan

      At the time, her hips were still sore from a series of injections intended to calm her. She had gotten them in February, during a difficult time in her life, when she had been involuntarily hospitalized for several weeks after what she called a “rant,” a series of online postings that included one saying that Obama should be hanged and the White House fumigated and burned to the ground. On her discharge papers, in a box labeled “medical problem,” a doctor had typed “homicidal ideation.”

      Yikes. This means she was likely repeatedly physically restrained and forcibly given injections after becoming violent in an involuntary unit at an in-patient psych hospital. Not much good usually comes from that, and this person is likely seriously mentally ill.

      /eta: as Bijan (as usual, correctly) notes, I doubt there is much that is generalizable from it.

      • cleek

        this person is likely seriously mentally ill.

        seems pretty obvious that the reporter agrees. ex. last para:

        “It’s finished,” she said of the 2016 presidential election, in which she was sure Trump would triumph and more and more people across the country would at last see the truth. “In my head, anyway.”

        • Jordan

          ehh, people have stupid beliefs isn’t the same thing as being seriously mentally ill. I suppose you can interpret that quote the way you are portraying it, but I doubt that is her intended meaning and anyways I more feel bad for this lady than anything else.

          • cleek

            if you picked up that she was mentally ill, that’s because the reporter wanted you to. he/she could’ve left out everything about that women’s medications and hospitalizations and how everybody in town thought she was off her nut.

            • Jordan

              Right, all of those things are reasons to think that the reporter is clearly saying the person is mentally ill.

              Not the bit you quoted though.

              • cleek

                literally, the last four words of the article are “In my head, anyway.”

                • Jordan

                  Right. She said Trump was going to win, “in my head, anyway”.

                  That is something anyone could say about anything. In my head, I think Clinton is going to win! Probably in yours head too!

                  Its not a mental health tell and its not a remarkable thing to say if it hadn’t been preceded by anything else.

                • EthanS

                  Jordan, why did the writer choose those words for the closing line of the piece? To make a point. And that point is, “this lady its clearly nuts”

                • Jordan

                  Cleek: Right, that was very probably the writer’s intention. I’m probably being super unclear: I agree with you that that was the writer’s intention.

                  I’m saying the reporter was wrong. That quote *isn’t* a good reason to think the woman is mentally ill.

                  /eta: looking back, ya, I fucked up. I meant to switch at the end of that comment to “does this demonstrate that the person is mentally ill” rather than “does this demonstrate that the reporter is portraying them as mentally ill”. But I did that pretty incompetently. So my apologies.

                • addicted44

                  Also right before is her conversation with her neighbor who says that both he and the other neighbor thinks she should have indeed been committed to the mental institution when she was.

                  I really don’t see how the reporter could be clear in indicating that she is someone with mental problems.

      • Norrin Radd

        That mental illness bit is definitely generalizable.

        • Jordan

          To anything about Donald Trump supporters? I very much doubt it.

          • calling all toasters

            Most of her “crazy” beliefs have already been espoused by the man who 43% of the public believe should be president. The rest have almost certainly been floated by his pal Alex Jones.

            • Jordan

              I mean, sure. But there is a difference between having “crazy” beliefs and being actually, clinically, psychotic or delusional.

              • calling all toasters

                Delusions are only delusions if those around you don’t find them reasonable. I generally use birthers as an example for my classes of why not all crazy beliefs are considered pathological. She is undoubtedly worse than the average Trump voter, but I have no doubt that there are millions who would think she’s just fine.

                Basically, mental illness is not supposed to be something that can be transmitted socially. I think that we see the problems with that formulation most clearly in people like this.

                • Jordan

                  hmm, I have no idea who “she” is supposed to stand in there for.

                  But yes, mental illness isn’t contagious while lots of this rot is. That is a good distinction.

                • calling all toasters

                  “She” is the subject of the article.

                • Jordan

                  Ah cool, makes sense.

                • We live in a hell of a world where standing in a crowd all yelling “kill the bitch” isn’t considered “crazy” (well, not by some people) even though saying the same thing as an individual is.

                  (To defend my use of “crazy,” I’d say, say, Philip K. Dick said some crazy things, and from what I’ve heard believed them at times. Being able to recognize that those beliefs were crazy probably stands as a marker for when he was or was not literally, clinically insane.)

                • Moondog von Superman

                  You have it exactly right. This is *not* just a sad story about some crazy woman.

                  “They say they found a pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow,” Trump had told the talk-radio host Michael Savage, who was using his show to explain the scenario to his 5 million weekly listeners, who then spread it on Facebook, where it wound up in Melanie’s feed.

          • addicted44

            The conceit of the article basically seems to be: Here’s an obviously crazy person who has obviously crazy thoughts.

            But you know what, all the non-crazy Donald Trump supporters have the same ideas. The crazy ideas she is getting are coming from right wing media. And elected right wing officials say the same things (the reporter repeats her complaint that she was restrained for saying something which was far more docile than stuff said by elected Repubkican officials, but nothing happened to them).

            It’s essentially saying the entire right wing is no different from an obviously crazy person.

            You don’t need to generalize her story to the rest of Trump supporters. But you do have to worry about those supporters to realize that despite being nothing like this lady, they have the same crazy thoughts and ideas. Essentially, right wingerism has made clinically mentally competent people, as insane as those with real medical issues.

      • PohranicniStraze

        and the White House fumigated and burned to the ground

        You would think one or the other would be sufficient.

        • Jordan

          I mean, if it was fumigated, why would you then burn it to the ground? Seems like if has to be destroyed from orbit just to be sure you just do that and not worry about the fumigation part.

          • Lurking Canadian

            The real question is, if you are planning to burn it to the ground, why bother with fumigation?

            • Jordan

              Exactly! Asking the real questions here.

            • ajay

              if you are planning to burn it to the ground, why bother with fumigation?

              Asbestos cockroaches.

    • LeeEsq

      The main subject of the article seems to have not been that mentally stable to begin with. Plenty of people manage to believe all sorts of strange, stupid, demented, or evil things through out their life without having to undergo forced psychiatric treatment or causing that much direct harm to themselves or others.

      • The Dark God of Time

        That’s pretty risible, coming from you.

        • …the fuck?

          • LeeEsq

            Dark God has frequently criticized me for some of my heterodox beliefs from the blog. It might be in relation to that.

            • wjts

              I assumed he’d confused you with that crackpot Lee Rudolph.

              • The Dark God of Time

                This is going to cause more heat than light but I am not very sympathetic towards this post. It hit a very raw nerve and I need to vent.

                http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2016/08/hit-women-wearing-resting-bitch-face#comment-2185044

                Heterodox, did you say?

                • LeeEsq

                  We all have overly emotional responses at times. People are generally able to control them but sometimes it comes out. I did acknowledge that it was an overly emotional response in the initial post.

                • vic rattlehead

                  I did acknowledge that it was an overly emotional response in the initial post.

                  Quite the understatement. It was completely inappropriate and a complete non sequitur.

                • Hob

                  I did acknowledge that it was an overly emotional response

                  That must be why, hours later, your responses to people who were taking an entirely appropriate amount of offense to that crap were “How dare somebody expresses a dissenting point of view or points out some basic hypocrisy with the entire system”, “Get off your outrage horse and stop trying to have it both ways”, “You [women] complain about men not being emotional enough but when men get hurt by women being jerks you also complain.” That’s not someone who helplessly vented in a difficult moment and regretted it in any way, it’s just textbook MRA bullshit.

                  You have pretty much made it impossible for most people who read that dialogue to think of you as a serious commenter or anything other than “that guy who has unbelievably huge issues with women” ever again. You can’t possibly believe this is just Dark God being especially hung up on you. Own your shit, stop telling yourself you’re a brave rebel, and get help. (I would add “stop reading MRA propaganda” but it’s entirely possible that you came up with that stuff by yourself, unfortunately, that’s sometimes how it works)

                • lizzie

                  You have pretty much made it impossible for most people who read that dialogue to think of you as a serious commenter or anything other than “that guy who has unbelievably huge issues with women” ever again.

                  Yep. I’ll certainly never forget it.

                • We all have overly emotional responses at times. People are generally able to control them but sometimes it comes out. I did acknowledge that it was an overly emotional response in the initial post.

                  This would have been a good time to just up and apologise for your behaviour in that thread. It’s ok to want people to think that it was you not being at your…even mediumest. But the right way to do that is to apologise *then* explain (but only a little bit).

              • N__B

                that crackpot Lee Rudolph.

                Shhh. I think he works for the Black Chamber.

                • Jordan

                  you will NOT draw me or WJTS in with this comment.

                  wait, crap.

            • Ronan

              Well, I do enjoy your heterodox beliefs, even if the linked thread wasn’t your most convincing interjection.
              Still, it’s the lot of a comment thread intellectual to miss the mark every now and again ; )

          • vic rattlehead

            Probably referring to the long thread on Lee’s penile neckbeard woes, which…just came out of nowhere.

            • Lee’s penile neckbeard woes

              Hey! My new label’s underassistant East Coast promo man swore up and down that they wouldn’t leak my new group’s name until the eponymous album release at their debut appearance at the penthouse of the Millennium Tower!! I smell mole asses!!!

            • NewishLawyer

              You know you never met the guy. I am not saying his behavior was the best in the thread but assuming the worst is not very kind or charitable either.

              • The Dark God of Time

                Assuming the worst would be telling him to let go of his captive in his basement.

                • rhino

                  That’s well past unfair.

              • lizzie

                No need to assume anything. It was right out there in the open. Frankly just knowing there are men like that is unnerving and it’s something I have to try not to think about in order to get through life.

                • Moondog von Superman

                  That comment has made it harder for you to get through life? Really.

                • lizzie

                  No, I said that knowing that there are men like that is something that I have to not think about in order to get through life. I’ve known that there are men like that since adolescence. Men who react with anger at the thought of women exercising the normal human prerogative of getting to decide who they like and want to get to know are frightening to me. YMMV.

                • Hob

                  And not just “react with anger,” since despite what Moondog thinks it wasn’t just one comment— he hung around for hours continuing to engage relatively politely with male commenters who were trying to get him to see reason, while spitting venom at female commenters and using the word “you” toward them in a way that made it clear he held their whole Girl Team responsible for his woes. And then he never apologized for any of it or offered the slightest retraction other than, just now, saying his first comment might have been “overly emotional.” And he clearly expects everyone here (unless they had a prior beef with him like Dark God) to be fine with it— which unfortunately is often how such things go in life: people who weren’t his direct targets just make excuses about how he’s normally a nice guy, people who were his targets now have more reason to feel that others don’t really take them seriously, and the nice guy goes on thinking he doesn’t really need to rethink anything. (NewishLawyer, I seem to remember that you know Lee personally. If so: you may think you’re helping here, but you’re not.)

                  So yeah, that’s unnerving.

                • jim, some guy in iowa

                  Hob, a couple of things:

                  first of all, LeeEsq made himself look bad enough without misrepresenting how much time he spent doing it. He *didn’t* “hang around for hours”, as you keep saying. He dug his hole, came back an hour or so later and dug some more, and then got out. I guess the reason I’m making this point is that I skimmed through way too many shitfests generated by a certain commenter from Lowell and there was no comparison

                  secondly, Newish is Lee’s twin brother, if I recall correctly. just for informational purposes

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      I kinda disagree. This person is literally mentally ill. Presenting her as a typical Trumo supporter is both unfair and even a little cruel. And given all the ways in which actually typical Trump supporters are awful, choosing someone like her to profile seems like a very odd journalistic choice to me.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        I see a lot of folks beat me to this point. I’m glad I’m not alone in my reaction to the piece.

      • mattius3939

        This person is literally mentally ill. Presenting her as a typical Trumo supporter is both unfair and even a little cruel.

        That was my initial reaction as well, I wonder why the WaPo ran it if it’s just her?

        • Norrin Radd

          What makes you think there aren’t a million more just like her? The overwhelming amount of sanity at his rallies? The rationality in believing a man whose gamed the system his entire life for the personal health of his pocket book is suddenly going to help the schmucks he’s been fleecing his whole life?

          Sounds certifiable to me.

          • Jordan

            Thats not what mental illness is. People can be stupid, evil, hateful and irrational without being actually seriously mentally ill.

            In conclusion, I am glad that you are not a psychiatrist.

            • Vance Maverick

              What we loosely call “crazy” behavior by non-crazy people is worrisome. This article shed no light on that, and needlessly shamed someone who’s suffering badly.

              • Jordan

                I agree. “Crazy” is used to mean “irrational” or “this does not agree with my worldview” by most people now and by no one clinically to mean “mentally ill”.

                I still don’t like it, although there are definitely others on this blog and and whatnot who are fine with it (aimai I think has a passionate defense of it). So I dunno.

                The more important thing to me is equating mental illness with terrible political positions. Thats just dumb and harmful.

                • Vance Maverick

                  Yeah, we’re on the same page. The article is a missed opportunity, to put it neutrally. If they had given similar attention to the, uh, deplorable beliefs of a more representative Trump voter, that would have been interesting. As it is, they conflated that tendency with personal problems of a different order.

                • Jordan

                  Ya, nothing to add, but this.

                • I agree. “Crazy” is used to mean “irrational” or “this does not agree with my worldview” by most people now and by no one clinically to mean “mentally ill”.

                  This can be true and yet it still be harmful. I’ve argued this.

                  One problem is that its use against people one disagrees with tends to get medicalised…medicalising is the natural escalation path (cf Trump). Another problem is the use of it against awful/irrational people tends to attach awfulness and irrationality to people with mental illnesses (which causes many of them to avoid getting help).

        • NewishLawyer

          Same reason they used Jim Cooley as an example of the guy who grew up without guns and now feels a great psychological need to take an AR-15 when he goes to Walmart to pick up a soda. There are lots of people like him.

          The woman spent her entire life in an area of Pennsylvania that is dead and seems to be rotting and decaying in front of her eyes. Where is she supposed to go?

          I don’t think anyone has any answers for her. She will probably stay in that dying part of the U.S. until the day she dies herself.

          She needed solace and found it in really crazy stuff. So did millions of other people.

          I did not know “Obama is really homosexual” was a long time paranoid staple until today.

          • Srsly Dad Y

            The full nut job theory about Obama is that in NYC he was a gay prostitute who got paid in cocaine, and the first thing he will do once out of office will be divorce Michelle and shack up with Reggie Love in Hawaii. I shit thee not.

            • NewishLawyer

              How does anyone even come up with something that far-fetched?

          • Ramon A. Clef

            A regular at the Waldenbooks I managed in the mid-1990’s would, if permitted, go on at length about how Bill Clinton was gay, Hillary was a lesbian, and Chelsea was the product of artificial insemination. So, like the old joke about the clock in hell that measures a politician’s lies being used as a fan, this seems to be a story that can be adapted anew with each new political cycle.

            • Bruce B.

              And really, what are the odds that Obama or Hillary is a closet case? It’s not like they’re homophobia-spewing evangelicals….

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            I suppose when there’s finally a(n openly) gay president, there are going to be paranoid conspiracy theories about how the president is secretly heterosexual.

      • Woodrowfan

        but you can also see the piece as showing how Trump’s campaign (and the whole RW noise machine) takes advantage of, and encourages, people with these issues.

        Besides, I am really not sure it’s JUST HER. The rage I’ve seen from Trump supports is scary and large, and seems to be aimed at fantasies as much as this woman’s/

        • Jordan

          Having beliefs that we colloquially call “delusional” isn’t the same thing as being *actually* delusional.

          This is one reason that its a good idea to not use these terms as general slurs against those we don’t like. Beyond the effect it has on those who actually suffer from real and serious mental illness, it leads to this sort of confusion.

          • gmack

            The famous quote from Nietzsche might be useful here: “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule.”

            • Jordan

              Ehh, I prefer saying “some people have serious mental health issues” and saying “many people, groups, parties, nations …” have irrational, stupid, harmful mindsets.

              Conflating the two just doesn’t seem to serve any good purpose.

              • Many people will say, if you’re a Catholic and you say you’re talking with the Virgin Mary (silently), then maybe you’re very religious. But if you’re not a Catholic and you’re doing the same thing, you’re mentally ill. That seems simplistic–maybe you’re the child of atheists who sent you to a Catholic school and your friends talk with the Virgin Mary all the time. But unless you’re going to deny any mindset is delusional to the point of pathology, it’s an important distinction. And doesn’t commit you to saying Catholicism is necessarily delusional (unless you are extremely hypersensitive and consider any explanation different from the one you’d apply to yourself to be a severe insult, in which case you are probably rejecting modern psychiatry altogether).

                (Not to sidetrack this onto religion but that is the form of the cliche.)

              • Ronan

                It clearly serves a rhetorical purpose. The fact that people are still quoting the Nietzsche line a century later proves that

          • Hob

            Maybe you meant to post this somewhere else in the thread, I don’t know; it seems not responsive at all to Woodrowfan’s comment.

            “Showing how Trump’s campaign … takes advantage of, and encourages, people with these issues” and “The rage … seems to be aimed at fantasies as much as this woman’s” – I think these are good points regardless of whether you think the word “delusional” (which WF didn’t use) applies to the supporters in general.

            This is a movement that relies so heavily on conspiracy theories, non-factually-based threat warnings, and proud disregard for social norms in general, that it pretty much has to take advantage of and encourage harmful patterns of thought… and will tend to see a very hostile and/or very sick person as an asset to be egged on, rather than someone to be reasoned with and maybe kept at more of a distance from the campaign. It might as well have been designed to make people worse.

            There’s always going to be some of this in every political movement – I’m sure there is a Clinton volunteer coordinator out there who’s thinking something like “Yeah, it’s a shame that Bob thinks the Jews and the lizard people have teamed up with the Kochs to oppose gun control… but he has a passion for the cause, and thank goodness he’s so good at sorting bulk mail.” But it’s a really bad sign when the things the most unstable supporters say are so hard to distinguish from public campaign statements.

            • Moondog von Superman

              “Showing how Trump’s campaign … takes advantage of, and encourages, people with these issues” and “The rage … seems to be aimed at fantasies as much as this woman’s” – I think these are good points regardless of whether you think the word “delusional” (which WF didn’t use) applies to the supporters in general.

              Yes. I’d wager that Melanie’s story is not as unusual as we’d like to think. People like her certainly exist on the left but there is no left-wing Trump (at Trump’s level) fanning the flames. Not to mention Trump is just building on what Rove et al have been working for decades.

      • vic rattlehead

        This person is literally mentally ill.

        I’m not sure I appreciate you painting everyone who is “mentally ill” with a broad brush. I suffer from GAD and MDD, so I am “mentally ill” by any definition. That being said, I am still responsible for my actions and capable of functioning. Not everyone who is mentally ill is incapable of functioning normally/gets institutionalized/the whole nine yards. The mere fact that she is “mentally ill” doesn’t tell you anything. It’s the particular severity in her case.

        • NewishLawyer

          What is interesting and frightening is to the extent that so many people can believe things that have no discernible basis in reality but still be out there.

          I am thinking of Marion Cotillard’s various out there beliefs.

      • Warren Terra

        I kinda disagree. This person is literally mentally ill. Presenting her as a typical Trumo supporter is both unfair and even a little cruel.

        I agree it can be read that way, but I don’t think it’s the only way. I look at the story, and I see a woman who’s had a difficult life – an abusive workplace in a failing rustbelt town, legal troubles of her own, a partner with his own legal troubles – and has been sucked into a constructed alternate reality of false explanations, conspiracy theories, slanders, and murderous rhetoric. She’s come to accept all of that and to crudely parrot it, and in her case her murderous rhetoric was taken seriously enough to have consequences. But, as she points out repeatedly, her murderous rhetoric was completely normal for the world she’s been sucked into, with prominent Trump campaign surrogates saying things not noticeably worse!

        Really, the evidence that she’s seriously mentally ill (as opposed to merely troubled/stressed, and being taken advantage of by or melding with the wingosphere) is not presented in the story. It seems far from obvious she’s any worse than the typical InfoWars habitue – worse in any sense, including mental health.

        And maybe that’s the point, or at least it should be: a concocted alternate reality of conspiracy theories and incendiary claims is taking troubled people looking for answers and for comfort, and is turning them into basket cases or into monsters.

    • Matt

      What really makes me want to puke is that my Social Security tax dollars are entirely subsidizing this woman, while at the same time she votes for people who’ve been working double-time to destroy the entire Social Security system for decades.

      • MAJeff

        I’m sure she’d be one of the first to say, “Get the government out of my SSI.”

      • Jordan

        ehh, negative on this. She seems truly mentally ill. She should be supported by the state even if her political positions are poison.

        /eta: and even if she wasn’t mentally ill, she should absolutely be entitled to social security. The moment we start making judgment calls on that is the moment we fail.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          Matt isn’t saying she shouldn’t get assistance. He’s saying that her actively working against other people getting the same kind of help frustrates him. me, too

          • Jordan

            Ya, if that is it, that is more than fair enough.

            I guess I have an itchy trigger finger for “what really makes me puke is that people like this are getting government benefits!” comments. That almost never ends well.

            I agree, though, that it is frustrating.

        • Matt

          What Jim said. I’m fully in favor of things like Social Security.

          But just like when a lifeguard has to decide whether to go in for a fifth rescue attempt after a drowning man has tried to drag him under AGAIN, some folks test that preference dearly.

          I’d also add that I’ve read some of the pieces complaining about the original article, and I think the authors are well-intentioned but have missed the point. If the article focused solely on the subject’s deep fears that “they” are coming to get her *personally* it would be one thing – but that’s not what it’s about. The overwhelming majority of what animates Ms. Austin’s fantasies is not the product of her own mind, but of the right-wing media machine. If we’re going to count believing in them as a “symptom” that can’t be criticized, damn near half the country should be institutionalized.

          • Bruce B.

            Yeah. She’s deserving of help, just by virtue of being a human being and a fellow American. I wish that her response to her need didn’t include trying to kill people like me and my friends, break up their marriages, impoverish us all further, and like that.

      • Vance Maverick

        And 47% of the voters don’t even pay any federal income tax!

        • Mrs Tilton

          47% + 1.

          • Moondog von Superman

            This makes me wonder if that 47% figure is an assumption based on income and expected tax liability … And therefore doesn’t count all the crafty rich bastards who don’t pay a dime…?

            • The Dark God of Time

              It’s based on the % of returns that were filed in 2009 and didn’t pay any tax, but of course, 2009 was an outlier.

              • Ahuitzotl

                ah so DJT would be one of the 47%

    • IM

      “Oh, look,” she said, reading a headline. “‘A West Virginia member of the House of Delegates says Hillary Clinton should be tried for treason, murder and crimes against the U.S. Constitution and then hung on the Mall in Washington, D.C.’ ”

      She scrolled.

      “I want to find out if he’s going to the nut house because of it,” she said.

      She has a point here.

    • Warren Terra

      It’s a nice and apparently overlooked grace note that this troubled woman who’s been sucked into Alex Jones’s world is quoted saying Scalia’s death must be a murder because no-one sleeps with a pillow on their face … and the story twice mentions the woman’s boyfriend doing exactly that on the sofa next to her.

  • LeeEsq

    There is going to be a significant segment of the population that will learn about Trump’s taxes and admire me all the more for it. These are the people that love to perceive themselves as the hustlers and conmen getting rich by heists and trickery rather than living a decent life by doing honest work.

    • sparks

      There is going to be a significant segment of the population that will learn about Trump’s taxes and admire me all the more for it.

      I’ve always had doubts about you.

      • LeeEsq

        I revealed too much.

      • Just_Dropping_By

        Indeed, the fact that LeeEsq is Donald Trump’s tax attorney has been staring us in the face the whole time.

        • LeeEsq

          My lack of money is further evidence.

          • Lurking Canadian

            Actually, his tax attorney is probably the ONLY employee who gets paid on time. Most critical man in the organization.

            • rea

              If there is one thing I’ve learned over the decades I’ve spent as a lawyer, it’s not to extend credit to the guy who hires you to defend him from all the creditors he’s stiffed.

            • calling all toasters

              And also the least critical, at least when the Donald is around.

    • Manny Kant

      The really damaging part should be the losing one billion dollars part.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        yeah, I don’t quite get why that isn’t being emphasized more. Most people are going to think a successful business operator will figure out how to work the tax code, but they aren’t going to think someone who loses a billion dollars is a success

      • LeeEsq

        It should be and is to many or even most people but not to everybody.

      • NewishLawyer

        The experimental theatre director Robert Wilson had this story about his dad after the opening performance of Einstein on the Beach in the 1970s.

        His dad saw the sold-out audience and said to his son that he must be raking in a lot of cash. Wilson said “No, dad. We actually lost a million dollars on the production.” Wilson’s dad replied “Son, I didn’t think you were smart enough to lose a million dollars!”

  • Karen24

    I’m sure Campos will get some grief for describing Trump rallies as “white trash Triumph of the Will extravaganzas,” but I think that would be wrong. At some point adults have to accept responsibility for their own appalling behavior, and the kind of thing that happens at Trump rallies is not really covered by the world “appalling.” Just because you’re poor is no excuse to also be an asshole.

    • LosGatosCA

      Just because you’re poor,rich, educated, uneducated, old, young, white, non-white, man, woman, Democrat is no excuse to also be an asshole.

      Of course, being a Republican is a perfectly good excuse to be an asshole.

      But there’s really no excuse for being a conservative Republican if you’re not an asshole.

    • Ramon A. Clef

      The phrase “white trash” sets my teeth on edge.

      • Ronan

        I tend to agree, though “white trash Triumph of the Will extravaganzas” is quite a good line. I can see the urge to go with it.

        “At some point adults have to accept responsibility for their own appalling behavior, and the kind of thing that happens at Trump rallies is not really covered by the world “appalling.” Just because you’re poor is no excuse to also be an asshole.”

        okay, but what’s the trash in reference to ? Their place in the socioeconomic order or just their abysmal political values? If the first, As people often mention, trump supporters skew above average in income. This seems to be (in part) because the poor are less likely to vote, but even going from this starting point it would seem that trump rallies are unlikely to be attended disproportionately by poor whites. So it’s inaccurate aswell as a little distasteful.

        • AMK

          It’s much more of an ethno-cultural designation than a statement on income. The Chick-Fil-A family is probably richer than Trump, but they’re still white trash in a way that the Trump family isn’t.

  • dogboy

    Trump demands that everyone accept that he’s a billionaire based on his say-so, never mind the facts. With his recent increase in “it’s all rigged!!” diatribes, how long before he just declares himself president? I’m thinking it’ll be the week of the 24th.

  • Norrin Radd

    There’s a sure-fire way to build a small fortune in this great country of ours, which is to start with a much larger one.

    Fair warning I’m stealing and copy writing this!

    • Shalimar

      It is an old, very common joke, dating back at least to the 1950s. I assume that makes it public domain to use and update as you see fit.

    • Vance Maverick

      It’s traditional.

    • Matt

      Fair warning I’m stealing and copy writing this!

      It’s already a fairly well-known cliche.

      • sparks

        Doesn’t mean it won’t pass muster with the copyright office.

        • rhino

          Can you have copyright trolls in the same way you have patent trolls?

    • LosGatosCA

      Sure fire way to make a million dollar fortune in the stock market. First, take $10M . . . .

      • (((Hogan)))

        Also Texas oil.

        • Brenda Johnson

          There’s a lawyer version too — what’s the easiest way to get a million dollar verdict? F**k up a ten million dollar case.

  • AMK

    I would put the odds of him having negative net worth as significantly above zero

    Which would also explain not paying income taxes, right? If X percent of what he’s making is going to pay debt? Any accountants out there?

    Really Congress should pass a law making tax disclosure mandatory for presidential candidates. Put that somewhere on the wish list for the next time we control the entire govt.

    • bender

      The requirements to be President are in the Constitution. IANAL, but adding any others would require amending the Constitution.

      • (((Hogan)))

        You could make it a requirement for matching funds, if that mattered any more.

      • AMK

        Laws already require non-tax financial disclosure…I don’t see how this is any different constitutionally.

  • Richard Gadsden

    There are more things other than in-game management involved in college coaching than NFL coaching – in part because NFL teams have General Managers and colleges don’t.

    On that basis, you’d expect college coaches to be worse in-game on average than NFL coaches.

  • ColBatGuano

    then run a Hail Mary, which from the other team’s 43 has a very non-trivial chance of working.

    Baloney.

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