Our heroes in Vineyard Vines. Plus: Drew Barrymore, Momala, Columbia, pro-natalism and more from Nellie Bowles and The Free Press.
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TGIF: Don’t Tread on Me, Bro

Our heroes in Vineyard Vines. Plus: Drew Barrymore and Momala. Why the campus jihadis should run the border. Pro-natalist and proud. And much, much more.

Welcome back. I’m wearing my old Columbia sweatshirt and a Hamas headband—the look of the season. My apologies for how many college items this has. God willing, just as this group swapped out pussy hats for keffiyehs, they soon swap to something less stressful (eco-fascism?), and we can return to normal news, like my book promotion. The first review called me a dime-store Tom Wolfe who has no clear stance on things, which is completely accurate, and I’m flattered. 

→ RIP Cricket: We begin with what is, for me, the biggest news of the week. Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota, a top contender for the Trump VP slot, has a new memoir out, and in it she writes about her 14-month-old wirehaired pointer, Cricket. Cricket really annoyed her. She took Cricket out hunting, and Cricket was useless. “I hated that dog,” she recalls. So when they got back from the not fun pheasant hunt, she took Cricket out back to a gravel pit and shot Cricket dead. Seemingly pleased with herself, she then went and found a particularly annoying goat, brought that one over to the gravel pit, and shot the goat dead too. She presents this as life on the farm. Now, I have family who farm, and honestly the main thing about their lifestyle is how much they love and care for animals. I swear to god they have ten stray cats they’re feeding, and if one of them bites it’s definitely your own fault. Farms are not special places where random wirehaired pointer puppy slaughter is approved. It’s not that squeamish city folk just don’t understand what it takes to maintain the heartland. The actual news from this is that “Trump insiders” (i.e., Trump, in a Manhattan courthouse bathrobe, texting) say Noem is definitely not the VP pick after this freaky little anecdote. 

→ Trump ahead of Biden again in latest CNN poll: Speaking of Ole Orange, he’s beating Biden in another CNN poll of registered voters. Trump’s at 49 percent; Biden’s at 43 percent. They keep shaking the poll machine, and it keeps spitting out these same faulty numbers. A particularly riled-up James Carville, the longtime Democratic operative, had this to say about young people who have been turning away from Biden: “So, I hear this a lot: ‘James, young voters are just not into this. It’s two candidates, one’s in their 80s, one is almost in their 80s, they’re concerned about things that Washington politicians, and you just can’t blame them for—’ Oh, shit. Fuck you!. . . . You tell these young people, if you don’t get involved right now, in this election, they’re gonna be involved in your life for the rest of your freaking life. But that’s all right, you little fucking 26-year-old, you don’t feel like the election’s important to me. They’re not addressing the issues that I care about.” 

Every time that Carville skull pops up on TV, no matter what rant he’s making, even if the rant is him calling me a dumbass millennial fence-sitter, RFK-curious–idiot, well, I’m chastened. Sorry, Dad, I’ll do better! 

And in a strange moment of unity among the protesters this week (we’ll get to them, don’t worry), anti-Israel and pro-Israel protesters were facing off in a plaza at the University of Alabama chanting in unison for a brief moment. Their message? “Fuck Joe Biden.” They then returned to their various tribal calls. 

→ Not the art school debt, come on guys: Whenever we do an item about student debt relief, I have to delete my line about how they’re paying off underwater basket weaving classes. It’s too cliché. It’s been done. By me, but still. But then our Joe Biden goes and literally pays off underwater basket weaving class loans. Yes, this week he’s announced he is “forgiving” (i.e., taxpayers are providing the money for) debt for Art Institute students, who went to a literal scam school. Congratulations, taxpayers, you just paid $6.1 billion in student debt cancellation for 317,000 borrowers who chose art school. As an artist (this is my craft, TGIF is my Mona Lisa) I can tell you that the truly biggest scam in modern American intellectual life is telling young people they need a very expensive graduate degree to do things like paint or write. These are not skills that require higher order schooling! They barely require getting out of bed. 

These schools are great scams for failed painters and failed writers to earn a buck teaching, but useless for, like, the paying students. I’m too upset about the idea of smart kids I like going to get an MFA in creative nonfiction and becoming smart kids I hate, so for balance I’m linking to NPR’s coverage, which will give you the more positive take, on why it’s so good and noble that we just paid for 317,000 kids to deconstruct perceptions of the self through lenses (art school).

We already posted this in our new daily digest, The Front Page, but I can’t stop thinking about it. 

Another Boeing whistleblower is dead: This time from a “sudden, fast-spreading” infection, despite being “in good health” and “having a healthy lifestyle.” His name was Josh Dean and he worked in quality inspection on 737s. The last Boeing whistleblower to die was by “suicide.” Right.

→ A star is born: The protests were a cacophony of faces and voices but one stood out among the rest. Her name is Johannah King-Slutzky. And after Columbia students had smashed through the glass doors to break into a building on campus where they were going to camp until Israel disbanded as a nation and gave all the land back, Johannah King-Slutzky had a request from the liberators. They needed the protest catered. They were hungry. Fine, maybe not starving, but they wouldn’t say no to an arugula salad and fries for the table. Like so many of us, they wanted a late lunch. And sure, the school didn’t stop food from going in, exactly, she admitted. In response to a question about why the university should be obligated to bring food and water to protesters, King-Slutzky explained, 

I guess it’s ultimately a question of what kind of community and obligation Columbia feels it has to its students? Do you want students to die of dehydration and starvation or get severely ill even if they disagree with you? If the answer is no, then you should allow basic—I mean, it’s crazy to say because we’re on an Ivy League campus, but this is like basic humanitarian aid. We’re asking for, like, could people please have a glass of water?

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