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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Round Up the Usual Suspects- March 7, 2016

-Fat Elvis, sucking up in hopes The Donald will make him Secretary of Moon Colonization, says Mitt Romney’s speech was “vitriolic and nasty.” Having dealt Romney out as the consensus pick of a deadlocked convention, maybe, too, Gingrich is staking out his own street corner in Cleveland for this summer.

-Move over, Vanilla Ice:

Freestyle rap app Rhymeo gives budding freestylers a free platform to create and share their next top single … or at least practice their performance. First you select a producer-provided beat from the offerings, which are divided into slow, medium and fast pace and have hilarious names like “radiation,” “whiplash” and, of course, “epic.” Next, you pick a subject to rap about — the ’90s, college life, fame or “hungry for success” — and lyrics and rhymes are suggested to you. Hit record and start flowing. (You just know this is how Kendrick Lamar produces his tracks.) So far, co-founder Josh Jacobs says more than 15,000 freestyles have been made with the app, and nearly 5,500 accounts have been opened since the first beta launch last July. The free app can be used on your iPhone, iPad or iPod (those still exist!) anytime you are struck with hip-hop inspiration.

-Charlie Pierce worries about America on Cruz control:

Suddenly, it is obvious that the only real competition he has is Tailgunner Ted Cruz, and that puts He, Trump, a charlatan who only recently became a kind of monster, in a head-to-head brawl with someone who has been raised since birth to be one. Trump is an opportunist who saw a chance and half-ran, half-stumbled toward it. Cruz is someone who's had his eyes on the prize since before Princeton and Harvard Law loosed him upon the world. Trump is a man of grandiose, hopelessly vague promises. Cruz is dead-serious about hauling the country into retrograde theocracy and Gilded Age economics. Trump places his faith in Two Corinthians, which I believe is a pizza and sandwich joint on Staten Island. Cruz considers himself to be both a vehicle for political extremism and the instrument of the living God. You decide which frightens you more.

-Yet an OUPBlog commentator argues Cruz is an angry, out of touch candidate: wrong time, wrong message, wrong style, wrong man.

-Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) says he would likely have approached President Obama's nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia differently than current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Of course, in 2002, Lott also said, "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years either," and in 1981 he said, "Racial discrimination does not always violate public policy.”

-The last men to talk on the moon are already forgotten. Soon no one will be alive who remembers when anyone was there.

-Cory Robin writes the most sensible things. In this political age, that means- I guess- that I find myself them (I found my way to his corner via his appreciation of Hannah Arendt).

He is exactly correct. Only the tone and manner of presentation varies each quadrennium. And I contend this not because I just agree with his premise. I remember all the examples he gives.

-As a male prostitution scandal wracks the Colombian government, how long before Ted Cruz and Franklin Graham call for a US boycott, arguing it is properly women’s work and we needn’t have such homocoddling spread northward?

-Speaking of the God’s Bully, Franklin Graham posted this sententious lead-in to his semi-daily pitch for money and souls:

Certain people have had a great impact on our lives and we don’t even realize it. Raymond Tomlinson who passed away on Saturday was certainly one of those people. He invented email back in the early 1970’s–now the whole world connects through email instantaneously. I wish I could have thanked him and I’m sure you do too. Steve Jobs with his Apple computer and iPhone is another. He made it affordable for the average home to have a computer, and then later developed the iPhone which is what really brought me into the computer age because of the touch features. These men were innovative giants.

Poor Franklin. Steve Jobs did  lot, but he never made computers affordable. He made them luxury items for the modern carriage trade, which is what they still are. Which, one assumes, is how Graham, who is 62, was “brought into the computer age” by the costly iPhone. He makes over $800,000 a year. Graha probably has no idea the stories of the early, cut-rate PC makers who truly put a computer in every home.

But the best thing about Graham’s post is the unintended irony of its first line. Jobs and Apple pioneered the tech industry practice of hiring based on employees being the best they could get, not on being straight. Franklin Graham runs large corporate entities that place sexual orientation, and the right to discriminate based on his personal whimsies, above hiring the best people available to feed the poor, aid the distressed, and promote the wildly inclusive message of the Gospels. Steve Jobs didn’t care who his employees wanted to marry. He cared about who could design the software and look of the iPhone that changed Franklin Graham's life, and makes it possible for him to ask people to text him money at his discrimination rallies.

Steve Jobs, on the other hand, created the most valuable corporation in the world and left its leadership to a gay guy from Alabama. Certain people have, indeed, had a great impact on our lives and we don’t even realize it. Or at least, Franklin Graham doesn’t.

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