A no-holds-barred conversation/debate/suck-up session with my pal Tucker Carlson. You think he’s off-the-hook on TV? Listen to this podcast. Yikes!

Plus:

Who’s worse at their job: Donald Trump as comforter-in-chief, or the media who (mis) report the story?

The FBI knew all about “Crooked Hillary” and the Russia uranium scam for years —and said nothing.

And Google’s caught “fat-shaming” by Generation Cupcake. Literally.

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Published in: Politics

There are 14 comments.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    As someone who weighs a lot more than a cupcake, all I have to say to these folks is, “Suck it up, cupcake.”

    The interview was a lot of fun. For those of us who watch no TV, this is the only way we’re ever going to get Tucker Carlson.

    • #1
  2. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    I always enjoy this podcast, but whoa now.

    I think that we can have a good, hard conversation about why it’s idiotic that our society tells every kid he/she has to go to college.  We can talk about the inherent idiocy of the American education system itself, which has lost its way in many respects as it’s become more and more and more about credentialing rather than learning.

    However, it’s also absolutely ridiculous to say that kids in the humanities go to university and simply get damaged.

    For cripes’ sakes.

    Humanities professors don’t pass out joints and tell kids to go become hedonists.

    The truth of the matter is that a large portion of our electorate lacks basic critical thinking skills.  That’s not a political statement or an elitist statement.  It’s simply the truth, and that doesn’t even touch the appalling lack of general knowledge.

    For an example, I graded an exam last night in which I had a basic ID question, which was intended to “give” a point to help soften what was a generally hard exam.

    What did I ask?

    Who is the most infamous traitor in US History?  (This general was considered invaluable by George Washington.)

    That’s one of those questions you’d think most people can just rattle off, right?

    Well, I admit I did laugh out loud–quite literally–when a student ID’d that “most infamous traitor” traipsing around in the Revolutionary Era as Beyonce.

    I kid you not.

    Perhaps we have to figure out how to change what we are doing pre-college and then in higher education, but the humanities in general are not making students ignorant.  That’s how they arrive.

    And while I agree that there is something horrible about how we are stuffing every kid into the college pipeline, it’s also rather lacking in self-awareness when Tucker advocates his kids not going at all because they’ll be fine either way.  Telling middle class folks that they are going to destroy their kids if they send them to university will pull a step stone out from under some students who will then be stuck in different places.

    I say this as a kid who went to middling state universities for both undergraduate and graduate work, had to work my way through, and can’t say I did too much more than “grow up” when getting my BA.

    That was worthwhile, too, though I wish there had been more.

    I guess I’m saying I’d rather fix the system than burn it down.

     

     

    • #2
  3. Michael Graham Contributor
    Michael Graham
    @MichaelGraham

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I always enjoy this podcast, but whoa now.

    I think that we can have a good, hard conversation about why it’s idiotic that our society tells every kid he/she has to go to college. We can talk about the inherent idiocy of the American education system itself, which has lost its way in many respects as it’s become more and more and more about credentialing rather than learning.

    However, it’s also absolutely ridiculous to say that kids in the humanities go to university and simply get damaged.

    For cripes’ sakes.

    Humanities professors don’t pass out joints and tell kids to go become hedonists.

    The truth of the matter is that a large portion of our electorate lacks basic critical thinking skills. That’s not a political statement or an elitist statement. It’s simply the truth, and that doesn’t even touch the appalling lack of general knowledge.

    For an example, I graded an exam last night in which I had a basic ID question, which was intended to “give” a point to help soften what was a generally hard exam.

    What did I ask?

    Who is the most infamous traitor in US History? (This general was considered invaluable by George Washington.)

    That’s one of those questions you’d think most people can just rattle off, right?

    Well, I admit I did laugh out loud–quite literally–when a student ID’d that “most infamous traitor” traipsing around in the Revolutionary Era as Beyonce.

    I kid you not.

    Perhaps we have to figure out how to change what we are doing pre-college and then in higher education, but the humanities in general are not making students ignorant. That’s how they arrive.

    And while I agree that there is something horrible about how we are stuffing every kid into the college pipeline, it’s also rather lacking in self-awareness when Tucker advocates his kids not going at all because they’ll be fine either way. Telling middle class folks that they are going to destroy their kids if they send them to university will pull a step stone out from under some students who will then be stuck in different places.

    I say this as a kid who went to middling state universities for both undergraduate and graduate work, had to work my way through, and can’t say I did too much more than “grow up” when getting my BA.

    That was worthwhile, too, though I wish there had been more.

    I guess I’m saying I’d rather fix the system than burn it down.

    I don’t share Tucker’s anti-college nihilism, but I stand by my argument that we are sending too many kids to college, and it’s the middle and lower-middle-class families who suffer most. They can least afford the massive debt and have the fewest resources. They need college to be a fiscal investment, not “finishing school,” and sending their kids off to gather $50k in debt for a degree in “communications” or “business administration” is a high-risk, low-reward proposition.

    • #3
  4. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    Michael Graham (View Comment):
    I don’t share Tucker’s anti-college nihilism, but I stand by my argument that we are sending too many kids to college, and it’s the middle and lower-middle-class families who suffer most. They can least afford the massive debt and have the fewest resources. They need college to be a fiscal investment, not “finishing school,” and sending their kids off to gather $50k in debt for a degree in “communications” or “business administration” is a high-risk, low-reward proposition.

    You’re not getting an argument from me there.  I agree.  But how we go about having that conversation is suuuuuuuper important.

    After all, I work with a lot of those exact kids at a community college, which has a vocational track as well as very cheap access to core classes that transfer to four year institutions.  (In Texas, a very high percentage of our college graduates knock out at least some credit in community colleges per the math of tuition.)

    I’m only saying the conversation needs to be a bit more nuanced, but it’s a conversation well worth having.

    And the humanities in and of themselves are not the problem.

    I can’t speak to the aforementioned treachery of Beyonce, but I feel that answer is somehow related to the reason non-vocational education matters when we live in a democratic-republic.

    • #4
  5. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    Dear Michael:  Always enjoy hearing Tucker Carlson.  There is an article (in Commentary maybe?) about a young man who was driven out of Reed College in Oregon by SJWs.  Part of his problem, from reading the article, is that he is working class/lower middle class so could not negotiate the uh ‘nuanced’ politics of the current campus.  (First person to go to college in his family, etc) The major SJW was a black woman (intersectionality much) but upper middle class.  Could another barrier for lower/middle class kids in college be all the political correctness?  However, after all this talk of cupcakes, I am definitely looking around for a sugary treat.   ColleenB

    • #5
  6. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    So, let’s see if I’ve got this straight. Tucker Carlson…

    • …thinks we should raise taxes.
    • …thinks it’s a valid use of the law to “send a message” about right and wrong.
    • …thinks Saddam Hussein wasn’t a threat to anybody and the world would be better off if he were still in power.

    I’m struggling to identify any of these things with which Barack Obama would disagree.

    • #6
  7. Egg Man Inactive
    Egg Man
    @EggMan

    Michael, I was glad to hear you push back against Tucker Carlson’s statements on Iraq.

    Let’s not forget Bush’s “Axis of Evil” included Iran and North Korea. Arguing that we should go to war with every country that could have met a few of the criteria we stated (as in Carlons’s “by that argument we would have gone to war with X” statement) is simplistic. It doesn’t recognize that we face different threats in different ways.

    We went to war with Iraq after attempting to work with Saddam Hussein for over a decade. If he was the shrewd, secular leader he claimed to be, sometime between HW Bush and W Bush he would have tried to cut a deal that left him in power and gave the US a foothold to defeat Iran (and don’t you think we would have jumped at that?)

    Instead, we were met with defiance right up until his hanging.

    It’s disappointing to think what could have happened if the surge occurred 2 years earlier, if Bush had decided to defend the war at home and marshaled more political support, and if we had decided to fight back more aggressively — militarily and economically — against the proxy war with Iran. It may not have been the rosy picture of Japan and West Germany in the 1950s, but it would likely be improved from what we are dealing with now.

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Egg Man (View Comment):
    We went to war with Iraq after attempting to work with Saddam Hussein for over a decade.

    We went to war in 1991. We had a conditional ceasefire, and he was not meeting the conditions. There was not a Gulf War and an Iraq War. There was only a Gulf War. It is the same with Korea. We are at war with North Korea, but we have a nominal ceasefire. If things heat back up, it will still be the same war declared by the UN in about 1950.

    • #8
  9. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    Higher education is a proxy for the IQ tests that employers are not permitted to use, due to “disparate impact“.

    This is why parents are willing to pay a premium to get their children into highly selective schools.

    • #9
  10. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    Egg Man (View Comment):
    Michael, I was glad to hear you push back against Tucker Carlson’s statements on Iraq.

    Me, too.  This doesn’t mean I don’t recognize mistakes in that theater, but I can’t stand the over-simplifying hindsight consensus that seems so prevalent now.

    Taras (View Comment):
    Higher education is a proxy for the IQ tests that employers are not permitted to use, due to “disparate impact“.

    This is why parents are willing to pay a premium to get their children into highly selective schools.

    That’s true.  The highly selective schools don’t necessarily do a better job with education either, but they provide better networks.  Tucker’s kids already have those in place.

    • #10
  11. Michael Graham Contributor
    Michael Graham
    @MichaelGraham

    Egg Man (View Comment):
    Michael, I was glad to hear you push back against Tucker Carlson’s statements on Iraq.

    Let’s not forget Bush’s “Axis of Evil” included Iran and North Korea. Arguing that we should go to war with every country that could have met a few of the criteria we stated (as in Carlons’s “by that argument we would have gone to war with X” statement) is simplistic. It doesn’t recognize that we face different threats in different ways.

    We went to war with Iraq after attempting to work with Saddam Hussein for over a decade. If he was the shrewd, secular leader he claimed to be, sometime between HW Bush and W Bush he would have tried to cut a deal that left him in power and gave the US a foothold to defeat Iran (and don’t you think we would have jumped at that?)

    Instead, we were met with defiance right up until his hanging.

    It’s disappointing to think what could have happened if the surge occurred 2 years earlier, if Bush had decided to defend the war at home and marshaled more political support, and if we had decided to fight back more aggressively — militarily and economically — against the proxy war with Iran. It may not have been the rosy picture of Japan and West Germany in the 1950s, but it would likely be improved from what we are dealing with now.

    I will NEVER forgive W for his rejection of politics. It’s one of the problems plaguing the Right as a whole.

    Being president = “being political.” To say “I’m not going to be like Clinton and constantly campaign” means that important initiatives (like Iraq and transforming the Middle East) don’t get the political air cover they need to succeed. We all think of WWII as the most popular war ever, right? And yet the FDR administration kept up a steady stream of media support, reminding Americans “Why We Fight.”

    If Bush had been willing to do the same (plus fire people more quickly who were screwing up, another Bushie flaw), the efforts in Iraq would have had more support, and the narrative of politics in 2006-2009 could have been very different.

    PLUS– Our soldiers and Marines on the ground deserved it.

    • #11
  12. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    Michael Graham (View Comment):
    I will NEVER forgive W for his rejection of politics. It’s one of the problems plaguing the Right as a whole.

    Being president = “being political.” To say “I’m not going to be like Clinton and constantly campaign” means that important initiatives (like Iraq and transforming the Middle East) don’t get the political air cover they need to succeed. We all think of WWII as the most popular war ever, right? And yet the FDR administration kept up a steady stream of media support, reminding Americans “Why We Fight.”

    If Bush had been willing to do the same (plus fire people more quickly who were screwing up, another Bushie flaw), the efforts in Iraq would have had more support, and the narrative of politics in 2006-2009 could have been very different.

    PLUS– Our soldiers and Marines on the ground deserved it.

    While W is loved by the military community–and he is loved–you are absolutely right about this.

    Presidents have to do politics, though I give Bush credit for the surge when the politics made that decision difficult for him.  He also had created a stable Iraq, and it baffles me that so few people now seem to remember this as they talk about the need to apologize (????) for having ever gone there in the first place.

    I still find it hard to understand how we went from Joe Biden saying that Iraq would be the greatest success of Obama’s presidency (when we had troops there) to needing apologies for having ever gone (after we left behind a power vacuum).

    I also wonder what people think they are saying to the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, widows, widowers, and children who lost people in that theatre.  To the soldiers, sailors, and marines who were at war.

    It’s like the message now is “your sacrifice was stupid.”  (I know that’s not what Tucker meant, but… it’s the message.)

    I know soldiers and marines who are very proud of their service in Iraq and Afghanistan, so I doubly resent this constant drumbeat that it was all just a stupid mistake.  (There’s normally a strangled cry of “Neo-con!!!” somewhere in that sort of critique.)

    Bush made lots of mistakes, but I believe Obama lost Iraq.

    Speaking of politics, if Bush didn’t speak loud or often enough about why we were in the Middle East, Obama barely whispered about our engagements there, even as they heated back up.

    • #12
  13. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    Bush made lots of mistakes, but I believe Obama lost Iraq.

    Speaking of politics, if Bush didn’t speak loud or often enough about why we were in the Middle East, Obama barely whispered about our engagements there, even as they heated back up.

    I’ll come out and say it: Iraq is the way it is because Obama would rather see America lose than see Bush win.

    • #13
  14. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    Bush made lots of mistakes, but I believe Obama lost Iraq.

    Speaking of politics, if Bush didn’t speak loud or often enough about why we were in the Middle East, Obama barely whispered about our engagements there, even as they heated back up.

    I’ll come out and say it: Iraq is the way it is because Obama would rather see America lose than see Bush win.

    I don’t agree with this, @umbrafractus.  Obama was quite happy to take credit for stability when things were stable.  I don’t think he would have had a problem at all spinning a stable Iraq into his legacy.

    He likes to blame the SOFA on Bush now, but I think he wrongly judged the place was “all fixed” and therefore felt he could play politics for his base… be the “triumphant commander” bringing the troops home.  (He’d won the Nobel Peace Prize after all.)

    So while I always found how that president would hold his chin up when playing at commander-in-chief a bit insufferable, I don’t think he wanted America to lose.  He just wanted himself to win.  And he thought he knew more than the military knew.  At least if I am to believe Bob Gates.

    • #14