by John Walters

Welcome to The Annex. What it is is, on days when we have a little extra time and feel as if we only went off half-cocked during the morning’s IAH!, well, this is our time to go off full-cocked. Maybe we should call it Full-cocked? You can voice your opinion in the Comments on that. So here we go…

The Three Not Wise Men

“All the best people”: Kelly, McMaster, Mattis

Whatever they believed their legacies were going to be, Generals H.R. McMasterJohn Kelly and Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis will be remembered as three men who attached their careers to the Trump presidency and are now historically tarnished for that affiliation. Their collective failures as, respectively, National Security Advisor, Chief of Staff and Secretary of Defense were not military. They were not diplomatic.

If only. Their failure was not heeding a lesson they all should have learned by third grade: Never do the wrong thing for the right reasons (I just realized the last eight letters of that  sentence are “treasons”).

I’ve heard the argument: If these three weren’t there, who knows what Trump is capable of? It’s as if, Hey, they’re lifelong conservatives and now they finally have someone on their side in the Oval Office, so they’ll do whatever the team asks and make sure Donald doesn’t do anything too crazy.

The problem is that this wasn’t about the GOP Team. This was about being part of Team Trump. The very act of joining that latter team was no longer about service to your country, or the GOP’s version of the country, but of legitimizing an illegitimate president. If you buy a whorehouse just because you think you can do a better job of protecting the girls, you’re still running a brothel.

Sometimes a thing has to break all the way before it can truly be fixed. The election of Donald Trump was the triumph of ignorance and nationalism over this country’s true ideals. Trump needs to fail, and to fail hard, in order to expose what a disaster he is as a president and as a man.

By signing on with him, McMaster, Kelly and Mattis attempted to hide from their fellow countrymen what a buffoon, what a malefactor, we have in the White House. Were they really trying to protect us, or were they trying to protect an archaic ultra-white conservative ideology embodied by the Republican party?

Screamin’ A

You may not like what Stephen A. Smith is saying here, but there is nothing he says in this clip that is false. And this goes to something deeper that I see on Twitter: people don’t judge things as much by whether they are inherently wrong or right, but by how the consequences make them feel.

What SAS is saying here may not be loaded with Rinaldi-esque empathy (or sap), but he’s absolutely right: While it’s okay to call addiction a disease, it is fundamentally different than the other diseases he mentions because it begins with a choice. And if you argue that a person never had a choice before they were chemically addicted, then you have to realize that you are arguing against the existence of free will itself.

But here’s the point: Why does what SAS is saying here upset you? What is NOT true? Please, tell me. Or do you just not like it that it feels as if he is blaming the addict for his own disease, which, to a limited degree he is? Because, to a limited degree, more so than an Alzheimer’s patient, the addict IS responsible for his disease.

Let’s push this out. On the same night I saw Twitter get upset because on this play…

…Duke’s Zion Williamson was whistled for a charge and fouled out. Now let’s do a little thought exercise. When is the last time you saw anyone under age 35 on Twitter cheer against a dunk? Or cheer for anything that prevented a dunk? That’s what I thought.

So on the above play (I had a clip earlier that showed the play a few seconds before, but cannot locate it at the moment) Duke’s precocious freshman palms the ball at least twice. Then he does commit a charge—he’s out of control as he bangs into the defender. And, okay, maybe reasonable minds can disagree about this, but it seems most of Twitter was upset because 1) he fouled out and 2) the referee was infusing himself into the game.

That’s what referees are paid to do. When someone breaks the rules. It may be that fans don’t pay to watch defense, but if you’re not going to give defenders an equal chance, then the entire quality of not just this game but any game goes out the window. I appreciate that’s very GOML of me to say, but I don’t apologize for being a GOML guy. At least I have a lawn.

The Farm Bill

Lost in all the other mess of yesterday was President Trump signing an $867 million welfare package to America’s farmers. Of course, if you call it a “farm subsidy” as opposed to “white landowner welfare,” it sounds a lot more respectable.

Personally, I’m against the government paying anyone who is healthy not to work, regardless of race or economic station. The pro-farm bill people try to explain to me that they need to do this to keep crop prices competitive, but isn’t that what capitalism is all about? If you have too much product, prices go down. And so a few farmers go out of business. Isn’t that the invisible hand of competition at work?

So then someone tells me that this very program “trickles down” (those magic words) to help the impoverished. Really? Then why not just give that $867 million directly to the impoverished and avoid the middle man?

Nike Was Right

On Labor Day weekend or thereabouts Nike unveiled a TV ad, coinciding with the beginning of football season, in which Colin Kaepernick was spokesman. A few conservative pundits (and a friend of ours) predicted that now was the time to short Nike stock, as the company would take a huge hit.

While the stock is down from where it was in September, look around. Almost all major stocks are down since then. What IS worth paying attention to is that Nike has posted double-digit growth since the ad was unveiled, demonstrating that The Swoosh may understand contemporary America better, thankfully, than Clay Travis or Joe Kernen do.

About That Border Wall…

Charlatan (Chapter 4,691)

As David Farenthold of The Washington Post points out, Donald Trump had a framed Time magazine cover of himself hanging in his office and at six of his golf courses. The problem is that no such magazine was ever printed. Now, yes, anyone can design magazine covers in which they are the cover boy (I think it used to be something you could do at a photo studio), but when you’re as prominent a figure as Donald Trump as opposed to, say, an eight year-old boy, what’s your motivation?


3 thoughts on “THE ANNEX

  1. Mic drop into the weekend:

    “Now, yes, anyone can design magazine covers in which they are the cover boy (I think it used to be something you could do at a photo studio), but when you’re as prominent a figure as Donald Trump as opposed to, say, an eight year-old boy, what’s your motivation?”

  2. You must be on AZ time today & since I’m off to the farm for Xmas in about 40 minutes, I probably won’t see any post today (Monday 12/24) , so MERRY CHRISTMAS, JDUBS! And to all who congregate at MH! 🙂

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