The State of the Union address has been analyzed ad nauseam and the standard interpretation goes something like this:
The New Hampshire primary boosted Klobuchar, exposed Biden as a zombie and drew the curtains on Andrew Yang and Deval Patrick. That's something, and at least the Hampshiremen/women counted votes in a businesslike manner.
With essentially all the votes in, Sanders, Buttigieg and Klobuchar are bunched at the top within 6 percentage points of one another. Warren and Biden have less than half the votes of the leaders and are within 1 percentage point of each other. Steyer and Gabbard have less than half the votes of Warren/Biden and are within half a percentage point of each other.
It’s a weird race.
The dominant contenders for the Democratic nomination are three white guys: an angry old communist, a young gay socialist and a NeverTrump big city billionaire. Two are Jews, but not seriously enough to put Ilhan or Rashida off. Will one be our Disraeli?
The fierce old fella who handled Ukraine for Obama is beset by lying, dogface, pony soldiers as he staggers toward South Carolina. The nice, ex-boyfriend-funded lady is hanging by her fingernails while the frantic, many-planned woman has spiraled into a tie with delusional Hillary.
The jokes write themselves, but hardheaded consumer packaged goods marketers are concerned about young shoppers who are averse to buying gender-differentiated products and young families who want to simplify shopping lists by pruning "his" or "hers" versions. Bic has just expanded its "Made for You" line of razors by introducing unisex grooming products (face lotion, body lotion and shaving cream) and research supports the decision. More than two-thirds of consumers between 18 and 24 approve of such things. Nearly half of them have used genderless beauty products and the rest would be interested in trying them. Meanwhile, fewer adult consumers in general admit that their purchases of hair- or skin-care products are positively influenced by gendered positioning.
Friend Gina, pro weird hunter, spotted Mike Jordan's bulletin about Popeyes and it deserves attention. Here's the story:
Beyoncé (or "Bouncy" as Fr. Joe calls her) has a brand of clothing called "Ivy Park" which recently introduced an activewear collection. Everyone and his cousin immediately noticed striking similarities to Popeyes' uniforms. Ivy Park hasn't responded to questions and I'm willing to assume it's a case of great designers arriving at the same place by coincidence rather than any kind of yucky copying.
Healthcare costs a lot in America. For 2017, the most recent year for which the Centers for Disease Control presents statistics, the cost per capita was $10,739, twenty percent of which was for doctors and clinical services. Sixteen percent of persons under 65 were in families that had problems paying medical bills.
Fortunately, Anastasia O'Grady, reporter for the WSJ, has looked south to a Brazilian-Cuban arrangement that offers a solution: STOP PAYING DOCTORS.
John Harris is looking for an honest conservative and he's not just accepting a show of hands. To satisfy John, such a one must (1) support President Trump, (2) believe the current impeachment is "illegitimate and unfair," and (3) believe the impeachment would be equally illegitimate and unfair if the facts were exactly the same but we swapped out Donald for Hillary, Biden for whoever would be running against President Hillary in 2020 and, presumably, Pelosi for Ryan.
We achieved apotheosis the Monday before Thanksgiving when, after a push that began in 2002, the City Council voted to tax sales of recreational marijuana at 3% and devote the proceeds to reparations. Read more about it here and note that "people were in awe of us." They still are; some are simply stunned. The vote was 8-to-1, with the retrograde 6th Ward Councilman in solitary opposition, and the ordinance awaits only the signature of our supportive mayor.
Wednesday, I joined my mom, Norma Jean, and my stepmom, Natasha, to watch the 5th Democratic debate. They thought I was taking notes on the candidates, but mostly it was a sneaky ethnography and I was really after their reactions.
Attorney General Barr's speech to the Federalist Society is excellent and it's particularly timely in light of the coup that has been prosecuted since mid-2016 by elements within the executive, legislative and judicial branches and with the eager help of much of the Fourth Estate. The scholarship is impressive. I'm proud that Barr is the AG and I am motivated to join the Federalist Society. (Never enough to read.)
Peggy Noonan begins this week's column in the Journal by comparing the current impeachment inquiry to Watergate. The comparison is unfavorable, of course, and careful observers will remember that current events are pale and tawdry compared to those of Peg's youth. Indeed her first impression, in response to a "young foreign-affairs professional" (what one calls a Georgetown grad who's landed her first job at State), was that this is "grubby and small" where Watergate was grave and dramatic.
I thought I'd check out The King, Netflix' original production based on Shakespeare's Henry V. But, after an hour -- I kept hoping it would improve -- I switched to re-watching The Crown. The next day, with a treadmill session in view and an hour of The King left, I thought, "The battle will get me through and they can't mess that up." But I was wrong.
All politics is local and never more so than when the polis just about fits in a cargo container. Here's the story, abstracted from Nick Squires report in The Telegraph (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/11/09/family-dynasties-battle-role-tremendousness-princess-italian/).
Seborga (population 315) is a tiny village 20 kilometers west of San Remo and 40 east of Monaco, overlooking the Italian Riviera. The major industries are horticulture -- shades of Jean de Florette -- and, surprise, surprise, tourism. The village is distinguished by the local talent for self-promotion.