More Dispatches from Alternative Realities

  • How Katie Britt, like other clueless Republicans, claims victimhood, and pleads for cash;
  • Robert Wright on how the Trump-Biden choice won’t solve anything;
  • Short items about Trump’s obsession with Hitler; how violent crime is down but you wouldn’t know it from Fox News; and how Ben Shapiro thinks that people who retire die within five years.
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Boing Boing, Mark Frauenfelder, 12 Mar 2024: “My heart is broken” — Disgraced Sen. Katie Britt begs MAGA suckers for cash after becoming global laughing stock

The first thing a MAGA leader does when they get in trouble is to ask their cult-like base to pull out their wallets. Today, it is Alabama Senator Katie Britt’s turn. After her disastrous State of the Union response, where she delivered a melodramatic string of bullshit in her best Fundy Baby voice, while sitting in her kitchen in front of her $8000 refrigerator freezer, Britt now wants MAGA followers, many of whom are likely struggling to pay for refrigerators that cost a fraction of that amount, to contribute their money to her cause.

In her plea for cash, Britt stated, “Following my speech, the left-wing media didn’t waste a second flooding the airwaves with despicable, disgusting messages about me,” Britt said in her winceworthy, self-pitying pitch for cash. “They attacked my character. They attacked my faith. They attacked my identity as a mother and a wife.”

She has no clue. She’s tone-deaf, in her bubble culture, and has no idea how people out in the real world, outside her bubble, perceive her.


Here’s a rare piece by Robert Wright, author of The Moral Animal and Nonzero.

Washington Post, Robert Wright, 13 Mar 2024: Opinion | The real problem with the Trump-Biden choice

Consider the possibility that whether your candidate wins doesn’t matter as much as you think. And I mean that in the most momentous sense possible. Maybe when it comes to keeping the world from spiraling toward catastrophe, neither Trump nor Biden is up to the job.

And, on his favorite theme:

“Non-zero-sum” is a concept that never deeply penetrated the character of either the Trump or Biden White Houses. Sure, the basic idea — that the world is full of non-zero-sum games, and you should seek win-win outcomes and avoid lose-lose outcomes — is one that Sullivan and others in Biden’s administration can recite. But the actual harnessing of international non-zero-sum dynamics is, for them, typically in the service of some zero-sum confrontation; cooperation is something you do with some countries to thwart other countries.

So this piece isn’t overtly political, so much as ruing how politics will not solve world problems.


Quick takes.

Apparently a whole bunch of people — non-Trump loyalists — were fired from the Republican National Committee a couple days ago. (The cult is taking control.)

Salon, Amanda Marcotte, 13 Mar 2024: Trump’s RNC purge: His obsession with “loyalty” is as dumb as it is evil, subtitled “Trump admires Hitler’s control over underlings. But the Nazi dictator died in shame, with his country in ruins”

Donald Trump’s infatuation with Adolf Hitler is both well documented and profoundly disturbing. What’s often overlooked is how painfully stupid it is. The latest round of stories about this phenomenon underlines why: Trump doesn’t seem to understand that Nazi Germany lost World War II.


Media Matters, 12 Mar 2024: Violent crime is down nationally. Fox News would rather talk about vibes.

Media Matters, 12 Mar 2024: Ben Shapiro: “No one in the United States should be retiring at 65 years old”, subtitled “Shapiro: ‘Frankly, I think retirement itself is a stupid idea unless you have some sort of health problem'”


Joe.My.God, 12 Mar 2024: Shapiro: People Who Retire Die “Within Five Years”

No, they don’t. Moron. Where does he get these ideas??

OK, actually, there are anecdotes, if not systematic evidence, that when some people retire, and have nothing else to do with their lives, they settle into a funk and die earlier than they might have if they had had some continued purpose, if only through their job. (Just as some people in lifelong relationships die soon after their spouse dies.) But as conservatives do, Shapiro over-simplifies this and makes a blanket statement that is simply not true (I ‘retired’ from my job 11 years ago!), apparently to support the idea that people should not be retiring early, and therefore… (I’m speculating) we can cut social security! As the Republicans want to do. Motivated thinking.

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