I’m a deeply pessimistic person when it comes to war-gaming future events, so I can’t help but think that Trump’s going to win November 3, or that if he doesn’t, he’ll steal it. I say this by way of acknowledging the cognitive bias at play here; I’m predisposed towards expecting the worst out of the next couple of weeks. That having been said, my one piece of analysis about tonight’s debate is that I couldn’t help but think back about “Hartfield’s Landing” and “Game On”, episodes of West Wing when Bartlett was debating his second-term opponent, and its similarities to the situation at hand.

In it, they speak of the “expectations game” – how expectations for Ritchie are so low that if he doesn’t trip over his own shoelaces he’ll consider to have won it. After the first debate, does that sound familiar?

In the episode, they implore Barlett: Don’t bring Uncle Fluffy to the debate, ‘Uncle Fluffy’ being the part of him that hems and haws and wants to be his image of “just plain folks”. Or, to put it another way, what Toby warns him against:

“You’re a good father, you don’t have to act like it. You’re a good man, you don’t have to act like it. You’re not just folks, you’re not plain-spoken. Do not – do not – do not act like it! […m]ake this election about smart, and not. Make it about engaged, and not. Qualified, and not. Make it about a heavyweight. You’re a heavyweight.

Watching the third debate, I kept wishing Biden had a Toby. He reminded me throughout most of it of the Bartlett we see before he becomes energized … for the most part. There are moments where he isn’t Uncle Fluffy, when he speaks with iron and persuasion in his voice. In a better world, we would’ve seen that man throughout the debate, especially in a world where the damn stakes are so high.

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

Are you new to blogging, and do you want step-by-step guidance on how to publish and grow your blog? Learn more about our new Blogging for Beginners course and get 50% off through December 10th.

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Dog sings to the theme from ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ with perfect pitch.

Awwwww!

A good political ad that addresses Trump’s so-called ‘jokes’ and the aftermath.

Pretty.

NPR: “The study, which was of a single health system, finds that mortality has dropped among hospitalized patients by 18 percentage points since the pandemic began. Patients in the study had a 25.6% chance of dying at the start of the pandemic; they now have a 7.6% chance.” [for all groups, even older patients by 18 percentage points on average]

This looks very peaceful.

And you can act like you don’t want to listen to me and I wouldn’t blame you but let’s be honest — I’m frigging Batman.

However, that’s far from the darkest part of Revenge of the Jedi. In the original version, Luke slew his father, removed his mask and took the mantle of Vader for himself. As the new Vader, Luke then attacked the very Rebel fleet he helped lead to Endor and went to war with his twin sister, Leia. As the movie closed, the battle between the Rebels and the Empire continued raging. Instead of good conquering evil, Darth Sidious continued to rule over the galaxy, Luke joined the Dark Side, Anakin was never redeemed and balance never returned to the Force.

Cats can’t judge men on their wrongdoings. They cannot gauge the gravity of crime, and cannot judge the ink on people’s skin. Cats are unable to distinguish between street clothes and prison uniforms –– and that’s exactly what makes the relationship between the men at Pendleton Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison outside of Indianapolis, and the cats that live there, so special.

John Scalzi photograph: Sunrise, fog and trees. Really quite a nice shot.

Interestingly, Sen. McConnell currently has extremely dark and mottled hands.

Jose Luis Garcia, 62 […] a law-abiding, legal permanent resident who came to the United States nearly 50 years ago when he was 13 years old […] was watering his lawn and having his morning coffee outside his home in the Arleta neighborhood of San Fernando Valley when ICE agents put him in handcuffs and detained him, according to his daughter, Natalie Garcia.” “A pattern under the Trump administration of detaining people with old, minor convictions […] the current administration no longer prioritizes targeting people with serious criminal convictions.”

Every citizen of the United States, who is of legal voting age, shall have the fundamental right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides. Sadly, this is not enshrined law in our country. Yet.

[I]ntelligent vampires could calculate a bloodsucking frequency that would maximize total utility per vampire and keep the human race alive indefinitely — and solutions exist no matter whether they’re ‘asymptotically satiated vampires,’ ‘blood-maximizing vampires,’ or ‘unsatiable vampires.’

One of them is a photographer, and one day while she was photographing some stuff on a bridge, she dropped her camera’s lenscap over the edge. There was no way she could get it back, so she left it. When she got home, the lenscap was sitting on the edge of one of the feeding stations, waiting for her. Not only were the birds following and watching over her, they were smart enough to realize she dropped an Important Thing and cared enough to bring it back to her.

Actor Michael Sheen on fanfic: “I will unashamedly and unapologetically celebrate the joy and the warmth and the creativity of a community of people sharing something positive and beautiful and connective and if you don’t like it you are most welcome to very fuck off.

Things that are mental health care that aren’t therapy: basic universal income, preventative healthcare, reproductive healthcare and prevention, guaranteed basic housing, food security.

New Zealand’s deputy prime minister, in response to a coronavirus denier: “We’ve got someone who obviously got an education in America. 220,000 people have died in the US, where there are 8,000,000 cases to date. We’ve got 79,000 cases just today, probably in India, and here is someone who gets up and says ‘the Earth is flat’. Sorry, sunshine, wrong place.” We’re the laughingstock of the world thanks to Trump.

Spaghetti-fication of a star.

“Within twenty minutes of the statue arriving, I was having a conversation with a very kind police officer because someone called to report a homeless man sleeping on a park bench. Within twenty minutes…

Trump ate the Onion.

Bye bye, entirely-non-funny SNL cast member.

Do you want to watch a snowman?

I was watching Captain Marvel the other day and it seemed very clear that Carol and Monica were meant as a lesbian relationship.

A Biden-Harris campaign logo was projected onto Trump Tower in downtown Chicago.

One of those hard-working actresses whose name you probably never knew but whose work you saw all over the place.

Quite possibly the cutest video in all of existence.

Balance one anvil on top of another, with a layer of gunpowder between the two. Light the gunpowder. Run.

While it’s not uncommon for these scientific journals to take a stance on policy issues, it’s absolutely remarkable for them to take an active stance against a presidential candidate, and even moreso to actively endorse that candidate’s opponent. It is quite literally the first time that The Lancet, NEJM, Science, and even SciAm have ever taken an explicit stance against a candidate, or endorsed one. That’s a large part of why we made this megathread. The act of these journals rebuking a candidate is itself large news, before you get to the rebukes themselves./r/science

Journal Statements

Press Coverage:

Drink your pumpkin spice, put your Christmas tree up. This year has been hard. Do whatever brings you a little bit of joy.

@sarahcpr: New plan: we set up a fake university and tell Trump we’re giving him an honorary medical degree, when he shows up we trap him in a Truman Show style world where we can watch him pretend to be president but he can’t actually hurt anyone.

@executivegoth: VOTE. The car crashed and were trapped in the car and the car is on fire. VOTE to get out of the car so we can put the fire out, vomit up the smoke and go into the years of traction it’ll take to heal. You can’t vote to be fine yet. First you have to VOTE TO GET OUT OF THE CAR.

@CyrusMMcQueen: I keep tellin’ folks, “Biden just may have to be your rebound. And that’s okay… You’ve been in an abusive relationship and, Biden’s the decent guy who could be the bridge between your nightmare and your dream love.”

Robert Reich: Wouldn’t it be nice if pro-lifers focused on suicide prevention? Or ending the death penalty? Or fighting poverty? Or curbing hunger? Or stopping gun violence and police killings? Or combating the opioid epidemic? Or ending wars? You know, things that would actually save lives?

I assumed [the Captain] was looking for a wife of taste and sophistication, who was a dead ringer for Tippi Hedren; instead he wanted to marry a curtain-wearing religious fanatic who shouts every word she says.

Roald Dahl’s Widow Says Charlie From ‘The Chocolate Factory’ Was Originally Black.

The defunct Trump Plaza in Atlantic City is currently wrapped in black netting to keep people nearby from getting hurt by random pieces of its eroding facade. It will be imploded altogether in January.

Percy Long Prong’s business card.

Do you want to stay with Donald Trump?

What a year.

One that doesn’t make guns and bombs. One that’s not at war with itself constantly. One that doesn’t poison the air, doesn’t poison the land, doesn’t poison the sea. One that has enough respect for each other and the planet we live on and all the other life forms that share this planet that we live on. One that has enough respect for all of that, to live in a way that’s completely sustainable, that is beneficial to all of life, so that mankind becomes a symbiotic life form that’s supporting the life of its host planet instead of being a parasitic life form that’s devoiding its host planet of its ability to support life.

Animaniacs trailer for their 11/20 return – man, does this inspire some really warm fuzzy feelings.

The striped cuckoo actually has some freakin’ groovy mating dance moves. *chirp chirp* boogie-woogie-woogie

“I’m really exhausted, and I’m feeling just sort of existentially insane, but I’m trying to hold it together.” – John Mulaney, 11/28/17

Emotional support symbiotes (Elodie and Calyx).

The children have gone feral and I love it.

Elder Bunny, Small God of Fluffiness.

Yippie-ki-yay, yippie-ki-yoah, ghost riders in the sky …

Jabba the Cupcake.

Give me compliments.”

I had a woman tell me I would burn in hell as I held her hand during her abortion […t]hey just lack the empathy to understand that everyone seeking abortions has the same need that they do.

[T]here’s a mysterious foreign debt lender on Trump’s records, whom he owes half a billion dollars, and we don’t currently know who the fuck that is. But that debt is personally guaranteed to come due in the next few years, and he doesn’t have the money to even dent it.

The Samuel L. Jackson Garden Gnome.

*very disappointed sigh* Kind of wish they hadn’t gotten “The Watch” all entirely wrong. Really poor casting for Vimes and Sybil, for example. “We need to make Terry Pratchett hip! You’ve heard the expression, ‘let’s get busy’? Well, this is a dog who Watch which gets ‘biz-zay!’ Consistently and thoroughly. We’re talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.”

Boy, this cover of Dolores O’Riordan’s “Dreams” is absolutely, transcendently beautiful.

I use Backblaze and I’ve been trying to figure out their (IMO poorly designed) backup system, but the relevant help desk article made me think of Cher. I am now imagining “If I Could Roll Back Time.”

Evidently if you show footage of wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tubemen in reverse, they actually dance pretty well.

Goodfellas: “Put it in front of the window. Shh, shh, just be quiet.

Trump 2020! Now with endorsements from the KKK and Taliban, and funding from neo-Nazis!

BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Good kitty!

Modern works of art + stomach zerberts = gold.

“I heard my mother asking our neighbour for some salt. I asked her why she was asking them as we have salt at home. She replied: ‘It’s because they are always asking us for things; they’re poor. So, I thought I’d ask something small from them so as not burden them, but at the same time make them feel as if we need them too. That way it’ll be easier for them to ask us for anything they need from us.'” – Ali al-‘Afifi

The inner border reads ‘God Save the King,’ and the outer border, repeated over and over in Morse code, is ‘Fuck Hitler.’

Get DOWN with your bad self.

Trump, by Siegfried Woldhek.

African children who have never seen white skin with arm hair before. (Turn sound on.) Really kinda cool. 🙂

The more things change. *sigh*

New York: Trump Won’t Debate Unless There’s a Risk of Infecting Biden.

‘Hallelujah’ melody + ‘Taken’ monologue = …

New York Times: White House Blocked C.D.C. From Requiring Masks on Public Transportation. “[A] sweeping order last month requiring all passengers and employees to wear masks on all forms of public and commercial transportation in the United States, but it was blocked by the White House, according to two federal health officials.”

Trump on Barr: “Where are all the arrests?” Reminds me of: “Where’s the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!