insinuation

The Story So Far (#crackpottery)

#crackpottery | #WhatTheyVotedFor

#PutiTrump: Protest image of Vladimir Putin, artist unknown. Donald Trump in detail of photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for msnbc, 2016.

While the damage assessment remains uncertain, President Trump’s weekend twitterpation certainly raised the Beltway beyond murmur and buzz, and near to open clamor. As distractions go, it is certainly a handful of headlines to follow, but the problem with news derived from fantasy is often that it is rather quite difficult to discern what portions of the noise are which. Steve Benen offers the Monday morning overview, and we would not so much complain that it does not help as, rather, point out that even still, the situation is a messy patchwork of speculation, insinuation, and mystifying whatnot:

Why does Trump believe Obama had his “wires tapped” before the election? Perhaps the better question is why Trump believes anything he says about any subject. In this case, the president said on Saturday that he “just found out” about the alleged Obama scheme, but by all accounts, this didn’t come from any official sources. It’s likely the Republican president relied on a report from Breitbart, a right-wing website his former strategist used to run. (It’s also possible Trump saw a piece in the National Enquirer about Obama being out to get him and started filling in the gaps with imagined evidence.)

Is it possible Obama really did tap Trump’s phone? Well, that’s where this gets interesting. Whether Trump understands this or not, a president doesn’t have the authority to unilaterally order a tap on an American’s phone calls. An administration can, however, get a warrant if there’s credible evidence that’s brought before a judge.

It creates an awkward dynamic: either there was no secret surveillance, in which case the president is starting to appear delusional, or there was secret surveillance, in which case there’s evidence that Trump is suspected of serious crimes and/or is an agent of a foreign government. Either way, the Republican isn’t doing himself any favors with tantrums like these.

What are members of Trump’s White House team doing about this? As is often the case, the West Wing is starting with ridiculous comments from the president, and then reverse-engineering their way through the process.

The New York Times reported, “[A] senior White House official said that Donald F. McGahn II, the president’s chief counsel, was working to secure access to what Mr. McGahn believed to be an order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorizing some form of surveillance related to Mr. Trump and his associates. The official offered no evidence to support the notion that such an order exists.”

And this is how it goes: Louise Mensch → Mark Levin → Breitbart → Donald Trump → Twitter → headlines.

Yes, really, this starts with a Tory.

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Image note: #PutiTrump: Protest image of Vladimir Putin, artist unknown. Donald Trump in detail of photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for msnbc, 2016.

Benen, Steve. “Trump targets Obama with wild-eyed wiretapping conspiracy theory”. msnbc. 6 March 2017.

Hopeless, Fumbling Elbow Jelly

Detail of frame from FLCL episode 5, 'Brittle Bullet'.

This is hopeless:

In one experiment, the researchers … asked nearly 5,000 people (ages 18 to 76) if they would consider dating a virgin. Most of the people in the study who’d had sex before reported that they would not date a virgin―but but here’s where it gets really interesting: An even greater number of virgins said they, too, would not date someone who had not previously had sex. Younger people in their 20s were particularly less likely to say they would date a virgin―even though most virgins were in this age range —and women were more likely to report not wanting to date someone without sexual experience than men. Virgins, in other words, were themselves not attracted to other virgins and, in fact, sexually experienced people were more likely to date virgins than virgins themselves.

(Basu)

Okay, as briefly as possible:

• The headline, “Adult Virgins Say They Don’t Want to Date Other Adult Virgins”, pretty much sums up the Duh! factor.

• To the other, while Science of Us blogger Tanya Basu does, in fact, note explicitly, “Once considered a virtue, virginity may now be more of a liability for late bloomers”, and while I do recall the punch line from Dennis Miller, late in his Funny Period, about the seventy-two virgins and eventually just wanting someone who knows how to slip you the finger, some manner of amazed insinuation about the time-tested corrupt-the-innocent fantasy value about the idea of virginity goes here. It is almost as if the idea of beggars demanding to be choosers just blundered face-first into one of the most bizarre side effects we might never have imagined, unless the time-tested corrupt-the-innocent fantasy value about the idea of virginity really was an empty trope that only I―and maybe, what, twelve other people?―was ever aware of? Never mind. It’s just that a, Wait, WTF? factor asserts itself.

• And, you know, honestly, I feel some need to stick up for sexual inexperience, here. Listen to me, virgins: If I’d just stuck with all the boyish fooling around, we all, for the most part, would be better off.α So, you know, really, use funny names and fumble embarrassingly through the best time of your life, because, you know, familiarity really does breed contempt, and if we’re lucky it’s merely spending our days lamenting how our partners can’t fuck just so. So get with yourselves and figure it out, because those of us with experience sure as hell haven’t done much by it. Seriously, here you go: Bungee spider web, olive oil, grape jelly, graham crackers, plastic pants, and a box of disposable frosting bags. What’s that? Don’t know what to do with all that? Neither does anyone else; the only rule is, have fun figuring it out. Seriously, expectation is the death of your sex life.β

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α No, really, the kid is the kid is the kid, but the rest of her mother and me getting ahead of ourselves was pretty much a disaster.

β No, seriously, all those embarrassing, awkward, failed relationships and it turns out I was gay the whole time. Who knew? Oh, right―everybody. Strange how they only get around to telling you later. Yeah, you always knew, which is why you never said a goddamn thing. Which was, you know, why? That’s right: Expectation. No, doesn’t mean you need it to the elbow, or anything like that. But, you know, fuck expectation. And no, there is no pretty way under the sun to take it elbow-deep, but you know, most days the only person who can tell you how ridiculous you look getting off with someone impaled elbow-deep into your body is the person who looks even more pathetic for shoving elbow-deep into another human being, so as long as that’s what you want, don’t worry about it. And, for the record, the rocket science of driving to the elbow is simple and twofold: (1) It isn’t rocket science, for fuck sake. (2) Not everyone can take it elbow-deep, so, you know, be kind, be decent. You know. For fuck sake.

Basu, Tanya. “Adult Virgins Say They Don’t Want to Date Other Adult Virgins”. Science of Us. 4 April 2016.