Should the U.S. Trash Capitalism?

The more Americans talk about socialism, the more the word becomes drained of any functional meaning. Some blame for that belongs to Republicans, who have spent decades hurling socialist as an epithet at anything to the left of a Kiwanis Club meeting. But some also lies with Bernie Sanders, who brought the term roaring back to life with his presidential campaign in 2016. The trouble was that while the senator called himself a “democratic socialist,” his platform mostly consisted of expanding the welfare state and more strictly regulating big banks. Those goals were completely compatible with, well, capitalism.

That’s why, despite being a mushy, center-left type myself, I was excited to read The Socialist Manifesto. The book’s author, Bhaskar Sunkara, is the founding editor of Jacobin, a quarterly political magazine that has become the house organ of America’s far-left boomlet over the past decade. And the book’s tagline promises “the case for radical politics in an era of extreme inequality.” Here, I figured, was a work that would plant a flag on the irksome question of what socialism actually is, and mount an argument for why we need it.

What I got instead was a book that mostly dwells on how socialist movements have failed throughout history, either falling short of their goals or descending into nightmarish authoritarianism. Even Sweden, famous for its generous welfare state, is treated as a cautionary tale. “The best we can say about socialism in the twentieth century is that it was a false start,” Sunkara writes. Out of this dismal track record, Sunkara tries to draw lessons about how today’s radical leftists can do better, but the result is not always inspiring. A more fitting title might have been The Socialist Manifesto: Let’s Try to Get It Right This Time.

An article splitting the finest of hairs to show the supposed yawning difference between two stupid ideas. 

EVMS probe could not determine whether Northam was in racist photo, but school knew about it for years

Lawyers hired to investigate racist content in Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbooks could not definitively say whether Gov. Ralph Northam appeared in the infamous blackface and KKK picture in the 1984 edition.

But a report released Wednesday says two EVMS presidents, including current president Richard Homan, were told about the racist photo while Northam was running for political offices and decided not to make it public.

“We understand President Homan’s reasoning was EVMS should not become involved, or be seen to become involved, in an election as it is a public body and a public institution, and that EVMS did not not want there to be any suggestion that it had tried to influence Governor Northam in any respect by calling the photograph to his attention,” the document says.

The Norfolk medical school released the findings from Richmond law firm McGuire Woods in the form of a 36-page report.

In one case, the school’s alumni affairs director noticed the photo while preparing for a reunion and was “shocked” by it, the report says. EVMS officials decided not to put the 1984 yearbook on a table with other years’ editions. The McGuire Woods lawyers say they do not know when that occurred.

“The EVMS personnel who became aware of the photograph expressed surprise and disappointment in the photograph,” the report says.

Virginia is having a “Bitch set me up!” moment. Maybe Congress can have an investigation. Really grill the governor about every line in the yearbook on TV. After all, the past is nothing but a catalog of your crimes.

The text of Trump’s press conference after pimp-slapping Nancy and Chuck.

Highlights include:

Nearly 500 search warrants. Think of that, a search warrant. Did you ever see a search warrant before? Neither did I. This was over 500 search warrants.

Really? Donald Trump has never seen a search warrant before? 

And of the 19 people that were heading up this investigation — or whatever you want to call it — with Bob Mueller, they were contributors to the Democrat Party, most of them, and to Hillary Clinton. They hated President Trump. They hated him with a passion. They went to her big party after the election that turned out to be a wake, not a party. It was a wake. And they were very angry.

Talking about himself in the third person past tense. And he’s just all over the place.

They would have loved to have said we colluded. They would have loved it. These people were out to get us, the Republican Party and President Trump. They were out to get us. This was a one-sided, horrible thing.

Talks about himself in the third person again. And is possibly employing the royal we.

They want to interview — Jerry Nadler, who’s been an enemy of mine for many years. He fought me in New York unsuccessfully, by the way. I’ve had great success against Jerry. But he was representing Manhattan, and he would fight me all the time on the West Side railroad yards many times, very unsuccessfully. He failed.

I know this isn’t what he means, but the idea of Donald and Nadler bare-knuckle fighting in a shadowy railyard is very pleasing to me. The scene is lit only by trash fires in barrels. A small group of classic hobos is passing a bottle back and forth. The combatants are both crying, snot running down their faces. Donald and Nadler and the hobos all take off running when the police drive up. So pleasing.

Cro-Mags. “We Gotta Know,” 1986

No comments on hairstyles from me. I got in trouble last time.