Hello and welcome back.
→ The actual news: Is that the Senate passed an $886 billion defense bill, though it remains to be seen how much follow-up aid Ukraine and Israel will get. Meanwhile, it appears Russia has suffered 315,000 casualties in the war. And the Bidenomics “soft landing” seems to be happening, as the Fed signals it’ll cut rates in 2024. But you can get all that somewhere else—The Economist or the Politico or those emails your father-in-law sends five times a day. You’re here for the weird stuff.
→ Like, isn’t it weird China is ghosting us? A month ago, Biden announced that the U.S. military and China’s military would start “open, clear, direct communications” and called it “critically important” and “real progress.” But China’s being really lame and not picking up the army’s phone, according to NBC News: “U.S. defense officials have repeatedly tried to reach their Chinese counterparts but not received any responses, according to three senior U.S. officials.” I, for one, cannot believe that China would be anything but up front with us. Here we give them the ability to plaster propaganda across our entire nation, asking for nothing in return except a phone call or two, and they can’t even give us that. Why staff the White House with so many communist interns if you can’t even get the Big Boss on the line?
→ The Texas abortion saga is a warning: First, a woman whose fetus was diagnosed with a severe genetic anomaly (it is typically fatal) had to appeal to a Texas judge for an abortion. The judge authorized it. But then, the Texas Supreme Court overturned the decision. Now, the woman has left the state to end the doomed pregnancy. There could come a day when such travel is illegal. Even today: Could she be charged with murder upon her return to Texas? As Ann Coulter, famous progressive hero, put it: “The prolife movement has gone from compassion for the child to cruelty to the mother (and child).”
The American people are reasonable normies on the issue of abortion, with most of us agreeing on a moderate, limited pro-choice stance like Europe has. Republican politicians? True believers (you might say zealots) who don’t mind losing elections over these profoundly unpopular policies. Next, the Supreme Court is going to weigh in on whether the FDA acted legally when it loosened safety standards for mifepristone prescriptions, which allow women to self-administer an abortion in the first ten weeks of pregnancy.
→ What in the Hunger Games: No matter who the president is, the new White House Christmas trend is “demonic holiday.” Under Trump, it was perfect rows of blood-red Christmas trees. Under Biden, it is dancers dressed like Hunger Games capitol dwellers doing a jazzy tap interpretation of The Nutcracker. Watch here. Full name of the show is too long to print, but is found here and includes “a Rhythmaturgical Evocation of the SuperLeviathonic Enchantments.” The chic White House Christmas aesthetic now, under two presidents, is that you will be murdered by the end of this. Merry Last Christmas. Saw XVIII: Holiday Edition. Now compare the tap dance and blood trees to these normal images of historic, murder-free White House Christmases.
→ Boston mayor’s holiday party is only for “electeds of color”: The mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu, is hosting a city-sponsored holiday party but only for “electeds of color.” The trouble is, her office accidentally sent the email to all electeds, even the *gasp* white ones. Very uncomfortable for everyone involved. I’m obsessed with how “of color” is defined these days. I have a good friend who was tracing his ancestry to try to count as a person of color in Hollywood. I imagine Boston’s mayor trying to figure out the invites: the city will give you champagne if you’re from Turkey but not Greece (scram, Greeks!); Afghanistan but not Iran; Argentina even if you’re 100 percent Italian. It’s a beautiful system. What I’m trying to say is I want to go to the party. And I do hear you that Greeks don’t count, but I propose a trade with the mayor of Boston: she comes to one Greek Easter and I get to go to the party for electeds of color.