Can we judge defense attorneys by the clients they choose?
& Santa Claus pols are in holiday mode
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4-7-2022 (issue No. 30)
The Democratic Governors Association has been blasting Republican gubernatorial hopeful Richard Irvin, the mayor of Aurora, for his work as a defense attorney.
(He’s been) profiting by defending some of the most violent and heinous criminals. Domestic abusers and sexual assaults. Kidnapper who molested a child. Reckless homicide. Even accused child pornographers. Irvin has been getting rich by putting violent criminals back on our streets.
This has echoes of Republican attacks on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson for her stint as a federal public defender from 2005 to 2007.
“The last Judge Jackson left the Supreme Court to go to Nuremberg and prosecute the case against the Nazis,” said Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton on Tuesday, referring to former Justice Robert H. Jackson, who served as chief counsel in the prosecution of Nazi war criminals. “This Judge Jackson might have gone there to defend them.”
Cotton’s remark was, of course, nasty and idiotic, but both the DGA commercials and the Republican innuendo pose a question: When, if ever, is it fair to judge lawyers by the nature of the clients they represent?”
I’ve brought this up with several attorney friends over the year,s and their answer is always a forceful “Never!”
Our justice system, they say, relies on the idea that every accused person be represented in court by a zealous advocate who holds the state to its burden of proof. If accused those accused of domestic abuse, rape, kidnapping, murder and child pornography were simply marched off to prison on the presumption of guilt, it would turn our entire system on its head. Defending the seemingly indefensible is one of the purest imaginable acts in defense of justice.
It’s very hard to argue against that.
For example, Nikolas Cruz, the confessed killer of 17 at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, must have an attorney representing him at his ongoing sentencing trial. And to cast aspersions on the lawyer who takes on that difficult and potentially unpleasant task is to harm all defendants going forward by making it harder for them to hire a defense.
Yet for all but court-appointed attorneys and public defenders, lawyers choose whom they’re going to represent. And if we’re going to praise those who fight for workers’ rights, environmental protections and the wrongly convicted, are we not then entitled to be somewhat critical of those who routinely go to battle for tobacco companies, polluters, brutal cops, mobsters and those malefactors enumerated by the Democratic Governors Association?
In “Lawyers are responsible for their choice of clients,” a 2019 commentary in Current Affairs, Nathan J. Robinson said yes.
On the one hand, the principle that “everybody deserves to have a competent advocate” seems sound. On the other hand, if this is the only principle you hold, then it means every kind of lawyer is acting equally in the “public interest.” And that simply isn’t true: Some client choices a lawyer could make will increase the amount of justice in the world, and some will decrease it. …
The acknowledgment that some discomforting work will always need to be done does not mean that any person is justified in choosing any work, no matter how unequal the consequences. Lawyers should not so easily content themselves that “everyone deserves an advocate.” Sure they do, but does it need to be you?
He cited “The responsibility of lawyers for the justice of their clients’ causes,” a 1986 commencement address at American University’s Washington College of Law, delivered by Harvard Law School professor Duncan Kennedy. In that speech, Kennedy said:
You should feel guilty, and we should disapprove of you, if you go ahead and argue a cause you think will do more harm than good. You shouldn't take the case if you think it would be better for society, or more moral, for the client to lose. … Most lawyers don't agree with (this) at all. They believe that you are not tarred morally by your clients' underlying intentions, or character, or by the outcome, as long as you don't participate in law breaking yourself. Maybe they make an exception and condemn Mafia lawyers, even when they aren't involved directly in criminal activity. But that's about it. I think you are tarred with bad actions of clients that you facilitate in your work as a lawyer. To the extent this is right, it is wrong to represent an abortion clinic that's trying to lease a new building to expand its operations, if you are pro-life. And it's wrong to represent a landlord who has been intimidated into trying to evict an abortion clinic if you are pro-choice.
Robinson’s essay was a takedown of another Harvard Law School professor, Ronald Sullivan Jr., who had joined Harvey Weinstein’s defense team.
A Harvard law professor has the broad freedom to take whatever cases they want, to serve whichever causes they think are worth their time. Ronald Sullivan looked out over all of the possible causes in the world, and decided the most worthy client was Harvey Weinstein—a man who has made it clear that he wants lawyers who will discredit and undermine the 80 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. Weinstein has previously had his lawyers hire Israeli intelligence operatives to find dirt on women who have accused him. Does Weinstein need help? It would seem that, if anything, someone should probably restrict his access to high-priced lawyers. Give him a public defender!
Hard to argue against that as well.
Last week’s winning tweet & a celebration of the end of Tweet Madness
The concept behind Manchild’s winning tweet is not new. A 2016 tweet by @kusahafiez reads, “Two-step verification: When a child asks it's father for something and he says, ‘Go ask your mother.’" But Manchild’s wording is sufficiently different — and, I feel, more clever — that I don’t consider this an example of joke thievery.
Plagiarism became an issue several times during Tweet Madness, the just-concluded bracket tournament pitting the winners of the last 64 weekly polls against one another, and it struck again in the final pairing, which was:
What haunts me is that I am just not smart enough for so many people to be this much stupider than I am. — @KateHarding
Do you remember, before the internet, it was thought that the cause of collective stupidity was the lack of access to information? Well, it wasn’t that. — @JebTheJarhead
Responding to an alert from a reader who expressed the belief that Jeb didn’t write that tweet, I did some digging and found numerous identical tweets that predated Jeb’s, the earliest being from @BamaFanGrl1. I messaged her, and she assured me that it was original with her. Just to be careful, I messaged semifinalist Kate Harding through her website even though I found no direct copies of her wording anywhere. Harding, a writer who lives in the Rogers Park neighborhood, wrote back to assure me the tweet was hers.
I heard from some readers who were disappointed that both finalists were versions of “Jeez, people are so dumb!” But the voters spoke, advancing these tweets through round after round after round.
Harding’s tweet won with 58% of the 515 votes cast in about two days of balloting.
Scroll down to read this week’s nominees or click here to vote in the new poll.
‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’ or ‘No! No! No!’? Our pols are in a Christmas mood in April
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, not to be outdone by her potential 2023 rival Willie Wilson, last Thursday announced a $7.5 million gasoline giveaway program as part of “Chicago Moves,” a proposed $12.5 million transportation relief package aimed at helping city residents with the recent surge in motor fuel prices.
Wilson, recall, doled out $1.2 million in free gas last month in two giveaway events, which looked a lot like pre-campaign stunts in advance of his announcement next Monday on whether he will mount a third run for mayor.
And though Lightfoot’s plan was not warmly received by aldermen Wednesday at a meeting of the City Council’s Committee on Budget and Government Operations and now seems as though it may not go anywhere, it’s another example of the impulse some politicians have to throw goodies at their constituents.
Lightfoot has also offered homeowners rebates of up to $450 to cover the cost of outdoor security cameras that police can access and 5,000 free bicycles with locks, lights and helmets.
In Springfield, House and Senate Democrats are trying to hammer out a compromise plan to funnel money back to taxpayers given unexpectedly large state tax revenues. The final deal will likely include a rollback of gasoline taxes, suspension of sales taxes on groceries, property tax credits and a sales tax holiday in August for school supplies and clothing.
Look, I’m a safety-net guy. I believe it’s a key duty of government to help economically struggling people from hitting bottom during rough patches. So I’m all for aid that’s targeted at those who are truly suffering during this inflationary period — which is why the proposed expansion of the earned income tax credit strikes me as a worthy move, but nontargeted tax holidays strike me as gratuitous.
The state’s got a little extra money? Great! Pay down some of that nation’s-largest pension debt. Get caught up on the backlog of bills. Supplement our nation’s-smallest rainy day fund.
Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, suggested Wednesday that an investment in CTA security would pay bigger dividends than simply distributing free Ventra cards. “The best way to increase ridership on the CTA — especially the trains — is to make them safer,” he said, according to the Sun-Times. “That will get people back to the system. Certainly, people will be coming back to work. But, folks still aren’t comfortable using the train system. They’re scared.”
That sounds like the sort of sensible investment we should be making in the long-term well being of the metropolitan area.
News & Views
News: Southwest Side Ald. Ray Lopez, 15th, an outspoken critic of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, says he’s going to run for mayor in 2023 and “save Chicago” from violent crime.
View: I’m surprised that any member of the City Council would give up an aldermanic seat to challenge an incumbent mayor, but Lightfoot is looking so vulnerable that such an attempt may well not be futile.
Fran Spielman reported in Wednesday’s Sun-Times that Lightfoot “has just $1.7 million in cash in her primary political account” and that “the City Council’s Black and Latino caucuses have both done recent polls to gauge voter sentiment for the contentious remap referendum. Both also included questions about Lightfoot. The Black Caucus poll had her approval at 28%. The Hispanic Caucus had it at 30%.”
When Mayor Rahm Emanuel was in political trouble in 2015, he spent $24.4 million to overcome his negatives and win reelection, Spielman reported.
It’s no longer inconceivable that Lightfoot will decide not to run again.
The Tribune’s Gregory Pratt had this:
A former skycap for Southwest Airlines armed with a mile-high contrarian streak, Lopez is a complicated figure in Chicago politics with ties to numerous political organizations. Known to some of his colleagues as “Showpez” and “Li’l (Ald. Ed) Burke,” Lopez is a fast talker who asks sharp questions at committee hearings, and had the best attendance of anyone on the City Council last term, according to a WBEZ and Daily Line analysis.
Critics, however, say Lopez is a publicity hound who nitpicks Lightfoot to gain attention. … If elected, he would be the first openly gay man to be elected and the first Latino.
The election will be held on Feb. 28, 2023.
News: Tiger Woods says he intends to play in the Masters this weekend, less than 14 months after he suffered a compound leg fracture in a ghastly single-car wreck.
View: It will be stunning if Woods makes the cut given his age, 46, and hobbled condition. It will be the sports story of the century so far and the greatest story in golf history if he wins.
News: After her team won the NCAA women’s basketball championship, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said, “Our path was divinely ordered, and the order was for us to be national champions on this day.”
View: I have a hard time not rolling my eyes at these excruciating expressions of piety, so I’ll leave this one for Andrew Bradley, who writes satirical tweets as “Mrs. Betty Bowers,” a smug Christian: “The Lord could have saved the lives of children murdered in Ukraine, but He was simply too busy making sure Dawn Staley's SC team got a ball inside a metal hoop enough. Glory!”
News: A new study from the center-left think tank Third Way shows that states won by Donald Trump in the 2020 election have 40% higher murder rates than those states carried by Joe Biden.
View: I’m sure there are all sorts of reasons why this might be true, but it sure does foul up the “Democrats make us less safe!” campaign theme.
News: The Retail Industry Leaders Association. the American Bankers Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores and the National Grocers Association are urging the U.S. Treasury to increase coin circulation to ease a shortage.
This one’s easy. If these trade groups want to “get coins moving,” as their campaign suggests, then they should figure out a way to eliminate the 11.9% service fee charged by Coinstar redemption machines often found in supermarkets. Subsidize them. Buy the machines and operate them. End the disincentive to empty out the coin jars we all have in our houses but rarely touch.
News: White Sox to sell Miller Lite instead of Bud Light at games this year
Views: Put one or the other down in front of me and I couldn’t tell you which brand it is. But Trib beer expert Josh Noel says Miller Lite really is better.
How do you square your strong defense of local journalism (in last week’s item on John Kass) with your frequent critiques of the revenue model that the Tribune (along with other papers) uses to boost the bottom line and keep reporters and editors employed?
I defend local journalism in part because it defends and protects the values of transparency and honesty, and I certainly hope that transparency and honesty are not in conflict with fair and open subscription practices, as it would save us from this very uncomfortable implication that the noble ends justify the sleazy means.
Last fall I wrote about the way the Tribune makes it difficult for subscribers to learn what they’re paying — you have to call customer service at 312-546-7900 and ask the person who answers because your account page at Chicagotribune.com doesn’t tell you — and how, if you’re not diligent, they charge you an extra $6.99 a month for Sunday-insert “premium issues.”
These “premium issues” are things like “Health,” “NYT Travel,” “The Year in Photos,” “Holiday Gift Guide,” “Life Skills” and “Summer Entertaining,” according to a customer-service representative I spoke with Wednesday. I asked if she’d email me a full list of the titles and publication dates — something that really ought to be online but is not — but she said she didn’t have such a list to send me.
I called because the above letter reminded me that subscribers can opt out of the $6.99 monthly surcharge for only six months at a time. The charge reinstates if they don’t call to opt out again. I can’t defend such a practice, not even for a good cause. Does that really make me an enemy of local journalism?
By the way, the patrons-only issue of the Picayune Sentinel earlier this week featured a raft of letters regarding the John Kass issue. I’ve moved those out from behind the paywall and posted them here if you’re interested.
To receive patrons-only posts, join the comment community and/or just to support my work here, become a paid subscriber.
Land of Linkin’
“Advocate of the Last Resort — Bill Ryan ’56 is one of the few who has acted on the biblical call to visit those in prison, and so do for Jesus by doing for the least among us” is a freelance article I wrote for Notre Dame’s alumni magazine. Ryan, of suburban Westchester, is one of the most compelling people I covered in my 40-plus years at the Tribune, and I was thrilled to get this assignment.
New report from the Illinois Policy Institute: “Speed cameras issue more tickets in 2021 than Chicago has residents.” “Annual ticket revenues doubled, but fatal crashes still increased. … City speed cameras in 2021 collected $89 million from motorists – more than doubling revenues generated from the cameras in previous years. Of that amount, almost two-thirds, or $55.9 million, came just from the $35 tickets Mayor Lori Lightfoot wanted issued starting March 1, 2021, for going 6 to 10 mph over the limit. Above that, the speed camera fines are $100.” Italics mine.
Here is a transcript of “A Viral Case Against Crypto, Explored,” the latest episode of Ezra Klein’s podcast at The New York Times. Klein interviews Dan Olson, whose YouTube offering “Line Goes Up – The Problem With NFTs” has nearly 7 million views.
The satirical “Birds Aren’t Real” conspiracy theory got a big boost Monday night during the telecast of the NCAA men’s basketball championship when someone held up a sign in the background during halftime chitchat. “The U.S. Government genocided over 12 billion birds from 1959-2001 and replaced these birds with surveillance drone replicas which still watch us every day,” says the website, a sharp mockery of all the ludicrous theories that many people actually believe.
There is a subreddit for people who have never broken a bone. What makes the forum compelling and amusing is the utter, savage contempt that participants heap upon those who do break bones and come on to admit it: “Forgetting you as soon as humanly possible. Your pathetic noodle bones don’t deserve to take up space in my or anyone else’s memory.” “Good riddance. We don't need inferior twig skeleton weaklings like you here anyway.” “Get your silly-string boned body out of here. Can't believe we ever considered you apart of this community. For shame.” If you loved Amazon’s consumer product reviews for milk, you will love r/Neverbrokeabone
My online dialogue with transgender attorney Joanie Rae Wimmer has been updated.
And speaking of trans issues, Monica Eng of Axios Chicago has a wonderfully thorough profile of Paula Camp in Chicago magazine. Camp was the Tribune’s restaurant critic and volatile features editor before she transitioned, and Eng tells her story with precision and compassion.
The Picayune Sentinel preview: Mondays at 11:30 a.m. I talk with WGN-AM 720 host John Williams about what’s making news and likely to be grist for the PS mill. The WGN listen-live link is here.
Adam Kinzinger can’t even…
Here is a transcript of the video posted Tuesday by retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois:
So I’m back in D.C, and what a historic time, obviously. You know, I look at this and — I mean — I’m in here looking at Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who hasn’t really said a word about his members that have shown Putin sympathy. I never could’ve imagined my party would not just even have somebody that (was) showing Putin sympathy, but would not vomit them out if they rose their ugly head.
You know, we have people like Tucker Carlson in essence, “just asking questions.” That’s his thing, you know, about whether or not the CIA did, you know, frame all these atrocities we’re seeing in Ukraine.
And then the latest outrage of the day is some woke thing on Disney or whatever it is, you know, Dr. Seuss, we’ve moved on from. I gotta tell ya, we’ve got a bunch of children in this job. We’ve got a bunch of people that sit around. The world order is being challenged for the first time since World War II and they’re sitting around thinking today about how we can win our next election, what the newest outrage is, what’s the next thing we can do to get people angry and upset and get their money from them for our reelection.
We are being governed by a bunch of children. By a bunch of people who are not serious about running the United States of America, and truly don’t understand the threat that’s out there from Vladimir Putin, from China and from some of these actors in the world who want to destroy our place in it.
I mean, there is a genocide going on in Ukraine and the outrage is over what’s happening at Walt Disney. You guys deserve way better. I mean, I’m glad I’m leaving here in a year because I’m just being surrounded by a bunch of children. So let’s grow up.
And I hope my party can finally remember where our foundations are and actually say that we’re not going to Putin-sympathetic anymore.
Updates: Shoes and books
In PS Issue 14 back in December I wrote about my decision to purchase Zeba hands-free sneakers with springy, collapsible heels that make them as easy to step into as slippers, yet as comfortably snug as the New Balance cross trainers I’d worn for years.
They’re very similar in concept to Kizik hands-free shoes, a better known brand. And I remain enthusiastic. They are comfortable and durable. About two months after I began wearing them every day, I found that I’d worn a small hole in the interior lining of the heel:
I wrote to the company asking for guidance on addressing what wasn’t even a cosmetic problem, but that I worried might grow. Was there a patch? Another suggested remedy? They immediately and at no charge sent me another pair.
Otherwise they have proved very durable and they work as advertised.
In PS Issue 16, the last issue of 2021, I wrote of my resolution to read fiction at least 10 minutes a day in order to make up for my appalling failure to read anything but newspapers and magazine articles the previous year.
I haven’t missed a day, and so far I’ve read “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout, “The Dutch House,” by Ann Patchett, “Chances Are…” by Richard Russo, short story collections by George Saunders and Flannery O’Connor, and “Run Rose Run” by Dolly Parton and James Patterson. I’m also most of the way through “The Burning Room” by Michael Connelly.
Strout, Patchett and Connelly I read on the recommendation of readers, and all are very satisfying. Russo’s book I read because it’s about male college friends in their 60s who have a reunion on Cape Cod, which is exactly what I do every summer. Saunders and O’Connor are widely praised, but I couldn’t get into most of their yarns, just as I couldn’t get into the often-recommended “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles, a beautifully written book that so bored the socks off me that I quit it halfway through.
In contrast, “Run, Rose, Run” is a dreadfully written tale populated by stereotypical characters who move through a hackneyed plot driven by preposterous twists. But the story clipped along quickly enough that I got all the way to the end. I’ve never read the prolific, popular James Patterson before, so maybe this is what he always churns out. And though I dearly love Dolly Parton, I was embarrassed for her to be associated with a glorified romance novel like this.
But maybe I’m wrong. Kirkus Reviews says “Run, Rose, Run” is “so much fun you won't mind the silly plot,” Publishers Weekly calls it “an exhilarating rags-to-riches story” and a “timeless fairy tale,” and Variety reports it’s soon to be a major motion picture. Meanwhile the novel is in its third week at No. 1 on The New York Times list of bestselling hardcover fiction titles.
Mary Schmich on heroism
My former colleague Mary Schmich posts column-like thoughts most Tuesdays on Facebook. Here is this week’s offering:
It’s a word I rarely use because it’s so overused. A true hero isn’t someone who’s merely strong or good at something. A true hero has one essential quality: courage. And courage is more than a display of skill. It’s more than doing something hard on a burst of adrenaline. It’s more than beating the odds.
Courage means doing the hard, right thing—choosing the hard, right thing— in the face of risk and fear. The way I hear the word, it also involves the willingness to sacrifice for someone or something beyond yourself.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a hero.
Every time I see him—walking in a war-shattered Ukrainian street, talking on a giant screen at the Grammys—the word pops into my mind.
This isn’t to say that heroism is limited to war. It’s not. Courage doesn’t manifest itself only in war, and not all wars come with bombs and tanks; some are made of words and ideas. Still, Zelenskyy’s wartime heroism takes courage and instills courage. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking to see.
When the Russian troops invaded his country, Zelenskyy was expected to flee. He stayed. He didn’t hide. He made himself visible. And vulnerable. He showed what it means to lead.
We sometimes refer to talented actors and great communicators as heroes. Zelenskyy is both a talented actor and a great communicator, but that’s not what makes him heroic. It’s that he puts his talents to work, at risk to himself, for the service of Ukrainians and for the more open society his country has been moving toward.
(Have you watched his sitcom, “Servant of the People”? If not, find it on Netflix. He plays a working-class history teacher who suddenly finds himself president. As president, he wages war against corruption and totalitarianism. Watching it now—it began in 2015—is an exercise in eeriness, like stepping into the past aware that it was predicting the future.)
And as I watch him now in real life—and watch so many courageous Ukrainians fighting to save their country—I wonder
what I would do if my country, my city, my home were being bombed.
Do you ever wonder that? Would you be courageous if you were being tested in the way the Ukrainians are?
Courage, of course, comes in different forms. The Ukrainians who have fled their bombed cities have also had to summon courage, the courage to leave the familiar and head into the unknown, many of them doing it to save their children.
But by staying put and speaking out, Zelenskyy has shown the world a vital form of courageous leadership. He helps save his people, and many of the rest of us, from despair.
There’s danger in romanticizing people as heroes. It can set them up to fail. In the case of wartime heroes, it risks romanticizing war. At some point, Zelenskyy may do something that reminds us that heroes are only human too. He may fall from his hero perch.
But one way we learn courage is to see it. Courage can be contagious, and in some ways it’s learned. Zelenskyy is helping teach the world, and millions of us are grateful. — Mary Schmich
Guest panelists Kristen McQueary (an original member of “The Mincing Rascals” podcast crew) and Bill Cameron (the veteran WLS-AM City Hall reporter and former host of “Connected to Chicago”) joined John William and me for this week’s episode to talk city and state politics, gambling, speed cameras and more.
Subscribe to us wherever you get your podcasts. Or bookmark this page. If you’re not a podcast listener, you can now hear an edited version of the show at 8 p.m. most Saturday evenings on WGN-AM 720.
This week’s nominees for Tweet of the Week:
I’m at that age where if I say “I’d hit that” I’m talking about a buffet. — @PoodleSnarf
Whenever i see an iPad at a cash register I know that I’m about to tip for something I never had to tip for before. —@Bobby_Condon
It's funny how we say "a bug hit my windshield" when we are the ones going 70 miles per hour. I'll bet the bug's family describes it differently. — @MelvinofYork
How high was the person who pitched “Veggie Tales?” — @Cpin42
Hello again work bathroom lighting, my most honest companion in life. —@wakeupangry
I like you so much I'd actually turn over the tater tots halfway through baking and not just say I did. — @Grommit56
It’s like no one sings about their Ding-a-Ling anymore. —@ddsmidt
I spent my time making a home cooked meal and placed it in front of the kids who immediately asked for something different and laughed. Then I laughed. Then we laughed. Then I spoke in a voice not of this world and everyone ate their damn dinner. — @maryfairybobrry
One day, I hope to give someone a small, very personal item and then gently close their fingers over it. — @GreeGreeHoist
Interviewer: What’s your greatest strength? Me: You tell me. Interviewer: Delegating? Me: That’s right.— @DanMentos
I don’t expect the Ding-a-Ling tweet to do well, as it references a 50-year-old Chuck Berry hit, which itself was a revival of a then-20-year-old novelty song. But I laughed at it.
Click here to vote in the poll. Click here to vote in a special, bonus all-political poll. I have followed the suggestion of many readers to segregate the more polarizing, often partisan tweets into their own category. And yes, these are decidedly lefty-oriented. I will gladly post a link to a click poll anyone creates of sharp right-wing tweets. Email me
If Ketanji Brown Jackson really wanted Ted Cruz to treat her with respect she should’ve called his wife ugly. — @OhNoSheTwitnt
The Republican Party went from Abraham Lincoln to Marjorie Taylor Greene. No wonder they don’t believe in evolution. — @middleageriot
If you can't imagine explaining "gay" to a child without talking about the physical act of sex, but can easily imagine explaining hetero marriage without it, that's homophobia, and it's a you problem, Florida. — @ TheCardboardKid
Republicans Yesterday: "Biden is too weak on Putin!" Republicans Today: "Biden is too mean to Putin!!!!" — @BettyBowers
Something I picked up on Twitter. After I was harassed for wearing a mask by a guy when I was out shopping I replied: “I wear a mask because of the deep state’s facial recognition system.” This froze the person for quite a while. I think I caused a meltdown. — @GeorgeWachsmuth
Did it hurt? When you realized that corporations have falsely convinced us that by using paper straws and freezing in winter you can fix the damage they’ve done to our planet? — @kieransofar
Is it a problem that a huge number of our elite political media figures are sociopaths? Because I'm starting to think this might be a problem. —@longwall26
The Jewish Space Laser is stored at the Yentagon. — @OhNoSheTwitnt
Criticize Biden all you want but it’s nice to have a president whose family adopts animals instead of one whose family pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to hunt them for fun. — @OhNoSheTwitnt
Being gay isn't a choice. But so what if it was? Sure beats the decision to be a hateful prick. — @Home_Halfway
For instructions and guidelines regarding the poll, click here.
A New York Times article in a recent print edition of the Tribune referenced the “instantly catchy first song, ‘Chaise Longue’” from musical duo Wet Leg.
I like catchy so I checked out the video:
Verdict: Catchy. To me it has a 1980s feel, with its deadpan talk-singing and punky instrumentals. The lyrics aren’t particularly interesting or profound — mind-numbing repetition of “On the chaise longue, on the chaise longue, on the chaise longue, all day long, on thе chaise longue” — though I do admire the insertion of a line of dialogue from the 2004 Lindsay Lohan comedy “Mean Girls, “Is your muffin buttered? Would you like us to assign someone to butter your muffin?”
No chaise longue chairs appear in the daffy yet charming video. The song itself does have “the feel of an epochal one-off, something unrepeatable, like ‘Louie Louie’ or ‘Because I Got High,’” as the Times wrote. It made me think of “O Superman,” “Hide and Seek,” “Somebody That I Used to Know,” “I'm Too Sexy,” “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Da Da Da.” But I’m hoping readers can come up with better one-off pop musical analogies.
Wet Leg is Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, musicians in their late 20s from the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England. Vogue has named them “the world’s buzziest new band.” “Everyone loves them,” wrote the Guardian, “… because they put everyone in a good mood.”
I am usually way behind when it comes to buzzy new bands — “Huh?” is my regular reaction to the announcement of the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” — but for today I’m feeling caught up.
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