May 6, 2016

Is it just my imagination or have sentences suddenly got longer?

I blame Donald Trump. Seriously. I think commentators have become grandiloquent in response to what they feel is his crudeness, his brutality. And look for the words "crude" and "brutal." They're everywhere.

ADDED: It seems that the anti-Trump people are LIKE the pro-Trump people: so theatrically emotional. Maybe it's that everyone, deep down, knows the next president is Hillary Clinton, and it's a pre-freakout.

"It's a nuisance, it's a distraction, because he can't win the nomination and every dollar that he spends and every time she has to defend against an attack or answer some accusation of his..."

"... is money and time not spent defining Donald Trump and the Republican nominee. That's all it is at this point. I think people gave him a wide berth when he had a numeric chance but there is no math that ends up with his being the nominee, so at this point I think even the wins don't do anything but continue the inevitable problem of he can't get there from here."

Said Joe Trippi, disrespecting Bernie Sanders and all he has done. And it's simply not true that "there is no math." If Sanders keeps winning, it's possible for him to get ahead of Clinton in the non-super delegates. If that happens, the super delegates could flip.

ADDED: With all the help she had, all the money, all the name-recognition, what Sanders has done is truly astounding. If he overtakes her in the democratic process, how can the supers not respond. He'll only need half of them to win. In a year of unlikely occurrences, that seems almost ordinary.

AND: From John Cassidy in The New Yorker:
In the weeks ahead, the calls for Sanders to wrap up his campaign are likely to become more explicit. He seems certain to ignore them, and he has at least four reasons to do so. First, most of his supporters want him to keep going. Second, he still has a (very) slim chance of obtaining the nomination. Third, there isn’t much evidence that his dropping out would affect the result in November. And fourth, back in 2008, Clinton herself did something very similar to what Sanders is doing now, extending her primary contest with Barack Obama well beyond the point at which most commentators had concluded that she had no chance of winning....

Since the primary season began, Sanders has won more than nine million votes and finished ahead of Clinton in eighteen states. (Clinton has won more than twelve million votes and won twenty-three states.) Sanders continues to attract large crowds—on Thursday he will be campaigning in West Virginia—and he seems likely to win more primaries in the coming weeks, including in West Virginia, on May 10th, and Oregon, on May 17th. If he were to end his campaign now, many of his supporters would be furious, and even some Democrats who aren’t necessarily backing him would be disappointed. According to new poll from NBC News/Survey Monkey, fifty-seven per cent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners want Sanders to campaign until the Convention, and just sixteen per cent think he should drop out now. Eighty-nine per cent of Sanders’s supporters said they wanted him to keep going until July. More surprisingly, perhaps, twenty-eight per cent of Clinton’s supporters agreed....

"[A]fter repeating the standard line for months that he would support the party's nominee, the country's highest-ranking Republican could not bring himself to do so once Trump actually became that person."

"And so, in the most searing and drastic defection of this wild campaign season, [Paul] Ryan broke ranks with the brash New York billionaire. The decision will shape Ryan's political future in the short and long term, and could have a real effect on the outcome of the 2016 election. Immediately, the move could give the 200-plus Republicans up for reelection — particularly those in the swing districts that will decide the size of the GOP's majority, or even whether it keeps the House — a measure of cover from Trump's unpopularity. Many of them think the presumptive nominee is too politically crude to represent the party. Ryan's move came just hours after Trump tweeted 'I love Hispanics!' along with a picture of him eating a taco bowl, not exactly the kind of fence-mending with a growing voting bloc that GOP brass had in mind for Trump's general election pivot. But Ryan's decision to buck the nominee-in-waiting was borne out of opposition to Trump's principles, not any particular policy, according to a source familiar with his thinking...."

From "How Ryan decided to ditch Trump/The speaker did not expect Trump to clinch the nomination so soon and huddled quickly with advisers to plot his break," in Politico.

"Technology does cut two ways: it facilitates a weird and sometimes useful intimacy, sure, but it also teaches us to conflate a curated identity with a real one..."

"... and, moreover, to work on perfecting our systems of curating rather than our actual selves. This becomes important, politically, when we can no longer read or understand the human character. Our present cultural climate discourages empathy—a stay-in-your-lane policing has been afoot for a while now—and demands the performance of absolute authority. The idea that a person could work to understand another, to assume their struggles and their triumphs, to question them, and to love them regardless, is the crux of any spiritually functioning civilization. Yet this seems to be Radiohead’s real anxiety: that we are all forgetting how to know each other, and how to be properly alive."

Last paragraph of a New Yorker article Amanda Petrusich — author of “Do Not Sell At Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records" — about how the band Radiohead had suddenly "bleached its Internet presence—its Web site faded to white; its Twitter and Facebook pages were scrubbed of content—a move so blatantly counterintuitive that acolytes knew to recognize it as a portent. "

"Some humans are optimized for small spaces, and I am one of them. Perhaps you are, too."

"Here’s an experiment to try. Find the square footage of your home and calculate how big it is in units of you. I am 5-foot-4, and my current apartment is 320 square feet. Therefore, my current apartment is 3 x 3.75 Mollys. I wonder if there is a golden ratio at work here — a crude logic behind our spatial preferences. As a compact and rectangular human, I gravitate toward compact and rectangular shelters. Ranch houses make me feel diluted. When I walk into a spindly Victorian, I feel as though someone is tightening my corset. My first thought upon entering any dwelling more than 6,000 square feet is 'Nobody will hear my screams.'"

Writes Molly Young in "Letter of Recommendation: Tiny Spaces."

"The battle lines among American feminists over selling sex were drawn in the 1970s."

"On one side were radical feminists like the writer Andrea Dworkin and the lawyer and legal scholar Catherine MacKinnon. They were the early abolitionists, condemning prostitution, along with pornography and sexual violence, as the most virulent and powerful sources of women’s oppression. 'I’ve tried to voice the protest against a power that is dead weight on you, fist and penis organized to keep you quiet,' wrote Dworkin, who sold sex briefly around the age of 19, when she ran out of money on a visit to Europe. Other feminists, who called themselves 'sex positive,' saw sex workers as subverters of patriarchy, not as victims. On Mother’s Day 1973, a 35-year-old former call girl named Margo St. James founded a group in San Francisco called Coyote, for 'Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics.' Its goal was to decriminalize prostitution, as a feminist act. In its heyday, Coyote threw annual Hooker’s Balls, where drag queens and celebrities mixed with politicians and police. It was a party: In 1978, a crowd of 20,000 filled the city’s Cow Palace, and St. James entered riding an elephant. By the 1980s, Dworkin’s argument condemning prostitution moved into the feminist mainstream, with the support of Gloria Steinem, who began rejecting the term 'sex work.' St. James and the sex-positivists were relegated to the fringes....."

From a long NYT article by Emily Bazelon, "Should Prostitution Be a Crime?/A growing movement of sex workers and activists is making the decriminalization of sex work a feminist issue."

May 5, 2016

At the Red, White, and Blue Café...


... you can talk about anything you want.

Photo comes from the UW Arboretum, today.

"Happy Cinco de Mayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!"

An actual Donald Trump Facebook post, complete with photo of him eating with a taco bowl.

As I was just saying a few days ago (a propos of the mockery of John Kasich for getting photographed eating various foods):
Food-eating used to be a cliché campaign photo-op. Bob Dylan sang about it in 1963:
Now, the man on the stand he wants my vote
He’s a-runnin’ for office on the ballot note
He’s out there preachin’ in front of the steeple
Tellin’ me he loves all kinds-a people
(He’s eatin’ bagels
He’s eatin’ pizza
He’s eatin’ chitlins
He’s eatin’ bullshit!)
But, note, Donald Trump isn't eating in that photograph. He's posing with food. And Donald Trump was one of the main people who mocked Kasich for eating: "He has a news conference all the time when he's eating. I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion. This guy takes a pancake and he's shoving it in his mouth. It’s disgusting."

Now, back to today's quote: "Happy Cinco de Mayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!" That's got to be so wrong on so many levels. Or is it a trap?

That supposedly "brutal" ad from Hillary shows "Trump being opposed by… a bunch of useless losers on the Republican side. Trump annihilated every one of them. And it wasn’t even hard."

Says Scott Adams, about that ad we discussed yesterday. It's my observation that various media sites called the ad "brutal" as if it were terribly effective — "Clinton Releases a Brutal Anti-Trump Ad" (Mother Jones‎), "This brutal new ad shows the shredding machine that awaits Trump" (Washington Post‎). Adams lists 4 things that ad does to our mind, none of which are things Hillary should want to do:
1. The ad lumps Clinton with the losing Republican candidates. They all share a dislike of the presumptive Republican nominee. Do they belong to the same club of establishment politicians who are ruining the country?

2. The ad shows that Trump is disliked by the Republican establishment. But that is his appeal, not his flaw. Trump already “fired” the losers in the video who are attacking him. Do you believe anything you hear from a disgruntled employee who just got fired?

3. When you remind viewers how many big-name politicians Trump has defeated, it makes him seem stronger.

4. Democrats, independents, and even some Republicans will see that Trump is an “enemy of their enemy” and bond to him.
Nice analysis. I know when I watched the ad, I felt pulled toward Trump. I don't know if it was because of those 4 things or something else. An obvious something else — to me, anyway — is: They're all being so cruel to him that: 1. It makes me want to help Trump (I feel protective), 2. I feel like they're trying to hide something from me and trying to scare me away from thinking about something that, understood, would hurt them, and 3. They seem ridiculous and abnormal, not talking like mature politicians at all (they seem like a bunch of schoolkids whose game could be broken by a simple "I'm rubber, you're glue" retort).

Here's the ad again, for reference:

"Although we remain convinced that Hillary Clinton is very vulnerable and would probably lose to most other Republicans..."

"Donald Trump's historic unpopularity with wide swaths of the electorate - women, millennials, independents and Latinos - make him the initial November underdog. As a result, we are shifting 13 ratings on our Electoral Vote scorecard, almost all of them favoring Democrats."

Says the Cook Political Report.

"After a teammate dared [Hunter] Osborn to stick out the top of his penis during the yearbook football picture, Osborn did just that."

"Osborn was arrested and faced 70 charges: 69 misdemeanor charges for indecent exposure — one for each person in the photo — and one felony charge for 'furnishing harmful items to minors' (for exposing himself).... But on Wednesday, officials announced they had dropped the charges against Osborn after all 69 people in the yearbook picture declined to file charges."

ADDED: The government had 69 possible complainants, and not one would side with the prosecution. Nice teamwork.

A Harvard political theorist gives Hillary Clinton some ludicrous advice about how not to walk into Donald Trump's "trap."

This is in WaPo, by Danielle Allen. The "trap" is that Hillary has a problem with men.
The more that Clinton takes Trump’s bait around the issue of his denigration of women, the more powerfully this flaw in her own campaign will show itself.
By "around the issue of his denigration of women," Allen means Trump's criticism of Hillary for playing the "woman card." That's not denigration of women, whatever... Allen's point is Hillary needs to do something about her man problem.

Allen has 3 ideas:
First, she should let her surrogates do the work of responding to issues raised by Trump that would pull her off her core message. She should let her surrogates do the work of replacing his labels with her own. Personally, she should meet his insults with a cheery silence, or a lighthearted deflectionary joke. She needs to become Teflon — not to engage.
So... just continue with those knowing smiles and big horse laughs? That's a basic strategy, but it can get annoying, especially if we feel there's an issue of substance that she's avoiding. Allen is assuming that Trump's statements will be misogynistic insults, but that's underestimating the opponent.
Second, each week, Clinton needs a message powerful enough to rival the rhetorical force of Trump’s own messages. How many of us can say what Ted Cruz’s or John Kasich’s messages have been in the past eight weeks? But we can all say what Trump’s have been. “The Republican primary process is rigged.” “The person who gets the most votes should get the nomination,” and so on. Clinton needs weekly messages that meet the moment and drive the conversation.
All right, that's the second level strategy. The first level was no substance. The second level is: Substance! Okay, if you've got it. Your substance has to beat his substance.
Third, and most important, Clinton needs to force Trump to fight on the ground he has claimed as his own. No one has yet forced him to do that. She needs to challenge him on the terrain he is seeking to defend. Rather than simply fighting for women and children, Clinton needs to fight Trump for the votes of men. His slogan is, “Make America Great Again.” Hers should be, “Make America Fair Again.”

Can we be great without being fair? No we cannot.

Do women want fairness? Yes. Do men want fairness? Yes. Do African American, Latino and Muslim Americans want fairness? Yes. Do white Americans want fairness? Yes. Do religious Americans want fairness? Yes. Do gay, lesbian and transgender Americans want fairness? Yes.
Allen lapses into a rhapsody about fairness, replete with the saccharine lyrics of the 5th verse of "America, the Beautiful" ("Till souls wax fair as earth and air....").

I had to laugh. "Make America Fair Again" is not going to beat "Make America Great Again." It's a terrible response for Hillary. It may please some people who already support her (though that "again" points to the When was America fair? detour). But it's not going to win over the men (or women) who are drawn to Trump. They're going to hear "fair" to mean: You've had enough, time for other people to get their share.

My advice to Hillary Clinton would be: Stop listening to advice from people who consider Donald Trump patently loathsome. You must understand what is happening from the perspective of people who do not hear misogyny and xenophobia, but a positive message of America and greatness.

IN THE COMMENTS: Nurse Rooke said:
Presumably in the "America the Beautiful" lyrics, "souls wax fair" means "souls grow more beautiful" not more just.
Yes. You'd think the song title would clue that pretty strongly. I considered calling the line racist, with "fair" understood as in "fair-haired." The use of the word "soul" made me think in those terms. I thought of the William Blake poem, "The Little Black Boy" with the line: "And I am black, but O! my soul is white...."

“It tastes like chicken. It’s crazy. I don’t know how they do it."

"'Yes, it is actually a real thing,' said Anna Mugglestone, marketing and communications director for Ogilvy & Mather Group in Hong Kong, the agency running the campaign."

Donald Trump is "fine" with the "low road" if that's the road Hillary wants to take — "I can handle the low road if I have to do it."

I noticed this little dialogue on Bill O'Reilly's show last night:
BILL O'REILLY (HOST): Now, tone, tone. If history is any barometer, the Clinton campaign will go after you through surrogates. MoveOn, these sleazy left-wing websites are going to tear you up. Are you going to respond to that if Hillary Clinton takes the high road and doesn't do any of that?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I'm going to be able to figure it out. We had 17 people just now and I figured that out and I will be able to figure it out with Hillary. It depends on where she is coming from. If she wants to go the low road, I'm fine with that. And if she wants to go the high road, which probably I would prefer, I would be fine with that.

O'REILLY: But wait. You're fine with the low road? Most people don't want to go on the low road?

TRUMP: No, I can handle the low road if I have to do it. I mean, we've had some low roads over the last few months.

O'REILLY: Really?

TRUMP: I'm fine with it if we have to go that direction. Maybe you haven't noticed.

O'REILLY: You know what? I hope you don't have to go it. I would like to see you and Mrs. Clinton in a spirited campaign about issues without the low road. I know the media likes it. I know they like all that stuff but I don't. I would like to see you, you know, you guys just fight it out over issues.
That was kind of brilliant, now, wasn't it? He's not saying he likes the low road or that he'd choose the low road, just: If she or her people take the low road, they'll be on the low road with him and he knows how to handle it. He had 17 people in the primary, taking whichever roads they were taking on any given day for nearly a year, and he dealt with it. So he's warning the Hillary people: You do not want to take the low road with me. That can't possibly warn Hillary and all her proxies off the low road, but he's staked out his position: It won't faze me — "I'm fine with that" — and you will lose. 

My link goes to Media Matters, which mangles the meaning in its headline: "Trump Tells O'Reilly He's Ready To Take The 'Low Road' Against Hillary Clinton In The General Election/Bill O'Reilly: 'You're Fine With The Low Road? ... I Hope You Don't Have To Go To It.'" They completely omitted the main idea, that he wouldn't choose the low road, but he's prepared to operate on that level if his opponents choose it.

What was so striking about the rhetoric — and I almost don't blame Media Matters for screwing up the interpretation — is that Trump seemed to enjoy saying "low road" and exhibiting his comfort with that place. Also Trump avoided the original question, which specified that Hillary herself would take the high road and those sleazy proxies would do the dirty work. Trump declined to see Hillary standing apart from her surrogates.

Gloria Steinem hopes Donald Trump will lose "in a very definitive and humiliating way."

She wants humiliation. What is that about?

It made me think about something else I read this morning: "MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Caught on Hot Mic Ogling Melania Trump." That's in Variety, which is going after Matthews for saying, "Did you see her walk? Runway walk. My God is that good." I have trouble even seeing what's wrong with that. Modeling was her chosen profession and she has real skills that people admire. Variety puts Matthews's remark into what's supposed to look like a pattern: "The pundit has been accused of sounding sexist on live television many times before. Here’s a look at some of his sexually regressive greatest hits." That sounds awful, but I don't see the pattern. Just because you make a list doesn't mean you have a list of things that belong together. But what I wanted to pull out of that list — because I'm trying to understand why Steinem wants to see humiliation — was something about humiliation:
(3) January 9, 2008: Argues Hillary Clinton Is Successful Because Bill Clinton “Messed Around”

Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Matthews credited said she appealed to voters as a suffering wife, “I think the Hillary appeal has always been somewhat about her mix of toughness and sympathy for her. Let’s not forget the reason she is a U.S. Senator, the reason she is a candidate for President is because her husband messed around. We keep forgetting it. She didn’t get there on her merits, because everyone felt, ‘My God, this woman stood up under humiliation.’ Right? That’s what happened.” Matthews later apologized and admitted he “sounded nasty.”
What is it about humiliation? We have a creepy love of it — a fascination — do we not? I confess to using the word myself on the night of the Indiana primary: "CNN talk is all about Trump but the big news is Hillary's humiliation."

It should be enough that the better candidate wins and the loser concedes with dignity. Why do we want to stare into the pain of the one who is defeated? What's wrong with us? Those questions relate to what I said on Tuesday and what Gloria Steinem said about the coming election, but it's a weirder dynamic that Chris Matthews talked about, the embrace of the humiliated woman, the desire to see her win because of her humiliation. It makes me wonder whether we really accept the truly independent, strong, successful woman. Maybe we need our woman pre-crushed.

But I'm looking back to the last time Hillary Clinton was elected, which was 9 years ago. Maybe we've changed, and that humiliation happened 18 years ago. Whatever taste for humiliated women America may retain at this point, is Hillary still crushed enough?

IN THE COMMENTS:  Henry said:
Althouse wrote: Modeling was her chosen profession and she has real skills that people admire.

This reminded me of a weird line in the Melania profile [in The New Yorker that] you linked the other day:

Through a quirk in immigration law, models, nearly half of them without high-school diplomas, are admitted on H-1B visas, as highly skilled workers, along with scientists and computer programmers, who are required to show proof of a college degree.

What a lovely mashup of intellectual snobbery and fake distinction this is! Think of all the athletes, artists, actors, and musicians who work in the U.S. despite not being "highly skilled" workers like "scientists and compute programmers." Of course, through a quirk of immigration law they have O and P visas.

May 4, 2016

It's the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jane Jacobs, author of "The Death and Life of Great American Cities."

1. TIME: "Jacobs was not just a writer who had big ideas, she was also the champion of those ideas in the real world. At the time city planning aimed to make cities orderly, with tall buildings and open space, and had no qualms about demolishing large swaths of neighborhoods to make their ideas reality, as with New York City’s Cross Bronx Expressway. A similar highway was the subject of what remains perhaps her most famous battle: The Lower Manhattan Expressway, proposed by city planner Robert Moses, which would have been a 10-lane road cutting across what is now SoHo and Little Italy. At a public hearing on the proposed expressway in 1968, Jacobs was arrested and later charged with 'second-degree riot, inciting to riot and criminal mischief'...."

2. The Guardian: "Washington Square Park anchored the Village, offering 10 acres of green space to a steadily changing set of neighbours, from Edith Wharton to Bob Dylan. In 1880, Henry James wrote in Washington Square of its 'rural and accessible appearance' – a quality that had not entirely dimmed by the 1950s. Moses, however, upon looking at the park, was convinced that the amenity it most sorely lacked was a four-lane road through its centre." Below: "An artist’s sketch from 1959 of the proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway, a 10-lane highway through SoHo and Little Italy that required the demolition of 416 buildings."

3. HuffPo: "Even though Jacobs had no training in the field (let alone a college degree), she turned urban planning upside down and led cities to embrace mixed use development such as what transformed Baltimore’s Inner Harbor from urban decay to a major tourist attraction. Just as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962 raised awareness over the misuse of pesticides and sparked the beginning of the ecological movement in the U.S., Jacobs’ book fueled the New Urbanism movement."

4. Treehugger: "Jane Jacobs did her research just by looking around and watching the sidewalk ballet, but others are now using more sophisticated methods to show that she was right. [Marco De Nadai] at the University of Trento and his team have examined six cities in Italy to test Jacobs' four conditions of multiple functions, small blocks, mixed age and relatively high density. Instead of eyes on the street, they used big data...."

5. Tech Insider: "6 ways the ‘Mother of Urban Design’ has transformed American cities.... 100 years after her birth, many urban dwellers are living in the kind of American cities she imagined and fought for."

6. Vox: "Her fight with [Robert] Moses has been turned into an opera called A Marvelous Order, drawn from a Jacobs passage about the logic under the chaos of urban life: 'Under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city.'"

7. Slate: "Bulldoze Jane Jacobs/The celebrated urban thinker wrote the blueprint for how we revitalize cities. It’s time to stop glorifying her theories.... Thinking through how to make cities truly equitable is harder than uncritically reaffirming a small selection of the work of Jacobs. If Jacobs remains an almost-deific figure in urban planning, the profession will end up perpetuating what Jacobs fought so hard against: doing things to cities simply because they replicate the ways they’ve been done in the past. If we want to celebrate Jacobs, it’s time to move beyond her."

8. Gothamist: "Confirmed: Bob Dylan Did Co-Write Protest Song About Robert Moses With Jane Jacobs."

"I had told Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone that I would cover the Patty Hearst trial..."

"... and this pushed me into examining my thoughts about California. Some of my notes from the time follow here. I never wrote the piece about the Hearst trial, but I went to San Francisco in 1976 while it was going on and tried to report it. And I got quite involved in uncovering my own mixed emotions. This didn’t lead to my writing the piece, but eventually it led to—years later—Where I Was From (2003). When I was there for the trial, I stayed at the Mark. And from the Mark, you could look into the Hearst apartment. So I would sit in my room and imagine Patty Hearst listening to Carousel. I had read that she would sit in her room and listen to it. I thought the trial had some meaning for me—because I was from California. This didn’t turn out to be true...."

Writes Joan Didion in the new issue of The New York Review of Books.

The problem with "too risky" as an argument against Trump.

Scott Adams notes the Clinton campaign is going for the "too risky" attack on Trump, but predicts it's not going to work because...
American voters have decided how much risk they want. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are the “more risk” candidates and they each outperformed expectations. Added together, the higher-risk candidates (Trump and Sanders) got far more votes than the safe candidate, Clinton....

I have said before that there are no trained persuaders working on the Clinton campaign. That comes through in all of their decisions. Their decision to use “risk” as a warning to the public at the same time the public is begging for more risk is an enormous persuasion error. It borders on a self-kill shot.

To be fair, Trump scares the pants off of about one-third of the public. So “risky” will hit home for those voters. The problem for team Clinton is that Trump has complete control of his persona. All he needs to do is act less risky for a few months to prove his campaign persona was all for effect. That process is well underway.
BUT: Check out Hillary's new ad:

Now that Trump is the GOP nominee, shouldn't Republicans want to see Merrick Garland confirmed?

I'm seeing a fair amount of discussion of a point I'd been making — if not on this blog, then in person on a couple panels I've done at the law school: The GOP should want to confirm Garland now.

Garland was a moderate choice for a Democratic President. After an election won by a Democrat — presumably Hillary — we'll almost surely see a more strongly liberal nominee. Conservatives shouldn't hang onto much hope that Donald Trump — if he's elected — would nominate someone who'll turn out to be a solid conservative. So it's a good time to take the known person, Merrick Garland.

Aside from the effect on the Supreme Court, the theater of confirmation could — at this point — do the Republicans in the Senate some political good. The congressional elections are important, not everything should be about Donald Trump, and the Senate Judiciary Committee is a place where the party can display itself as dedicated and principled. I'm sure Ted Cruz — a member of the committee — can help with the show.

"I’ve never noticed anyone not liking my body hair."

"We’re seeing a return to ’70s fashion... The late ’60s and early ’70s were about freedom, the hippie movement, having lots of hair."