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"It’s like you get the most confident, strong personality people, a lot of them being women, and it’s like you’re layering all of them on top of each other and it becomes everyone trying to talk over each other."

Sunday, January 17, 2021

"So it’s a lot of really enthusiastic yelling.... It was nice to have so many different, really strong opinions. We always joke that whenever we bring our friends over for the first time they’re going to get grilled. Like, if you don’t have your 10-year plan, like, fully ready and outlined in a spreadsheet for them, you’re not going to survive that meal." 

Said Ella Emhoff, quoted in "What’s It Like to Have Kamala Harris As ‘Momala’? We Asked Her Stepkids/A Zoom interview with Ella and Cole Emhoff" (NYT). 

I was interested in the question — asked by the NYT interviewer — "Your dad has never not worked, right? What do you think that’s going to be like for him?" 

The reader is forced to infer that Emhoff is quitting his work. There's no link or statement to that effect, and I didn't know it. He's only 56. He's been a lawyer. I see at his Wikipedia page that he took a leave of absence from his law firm when Harris was running for VP, and he permanently resigned when she became VP. So what will this be like for him? I'd say, he's old enough to retire, and not retiring would probably cause more trouble than any good his working could have done, even assuming that his legal work was for the good.

Here's his daughter's answer:
I hope he takes up, like, another hobby. I hope he starts knitting, like I do. I think it’ll be a good time for him to slow down and just, I don’t know, like appreciate life. And tap into a lot of the things that he couldn’t do because he was working so much or had these, like, time constraints. I hope that it opens up some of those creative outlets, but that’s obviously just me, the creative child.

Let him play the supportive role with grace and dignity, like the female first and second spouses have done. He's inventing the masculine version of a traditional role. I've seen some people say that the arrival of a man into this role ought to be an occasion for getting rid of it altogether — as if the role itself is sexist, and putting a man in it reveals that it was never a good at all. But I'd say that line of reasoning is sexist. 

BUT: Just clicking on footnotes at Emhoff's Wikipedia page, I see "Kamala Harris’s Husband Named to Faculty at Georgetown Law":  

Emhoff will be a Distinguished Visitor from Practice focusing on media and entertainment law, which he practiced for nearly three decades as a partner at DLA Piper. He will also serve as a distinguished fellow of the school’s Institute for Technology Law and Policy.

Dad needs a hobby. Ha ha. Being a law professor is a hobby. Or such a nothing pastime that you need to load in something like knitting to keep from being at loose ends. 

That NYT question — "Your dad has never not worked, right? What do you think that’s going to be like for him?" — contains the inference that to be a law professor is not to work!

"Mr. Biden’s team has developed a raft of decrees that he can issue on his own authority after the inauguration on Wednesday..."

"... to begin reversing some of President Trump’s most hotly disputed policies. Advisers hope the flurry of action, without waiting for Congress, will establish a sense of momentum for the new president even as the Senate puts his predecessor on trial. On his first day in office alone, Mr. Biden intends a flurry of executive orders that will be partly substantive and partly symbolic. They include rescinding the travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries, rejoining the Paris climate change accord, extending pandemic-related limits on evictions and student loan payments, issuing a mask mandate for federal property and interstate travel and ordering agencies to figure out how to reunite children separated from families after crossing the border, according to a memo circulated on Saturday by Ron Klain, his incoming White House chief of staff, and obtained by The New York Times. The blueprint of executive action comes after Mr. Biden announced that he will push Congress to pass a $1.9 trillion package of economic stimulus and pandemic relief, signaling a willingness to be aggressive on policy issues and confronting Republicans from the start to take their lead from him. He also plans to send sweeping immigration legislation on his first day in office providing a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people in the country illegally."

Aggressive and confrontational... that's the tone they want to set. 

I say "they" because it's "Mr. Biden's team" putting these things together. What part of this is the actual man, Joe Biden, choosing and acting? 

Here's a sentence that's about Biden personally: 
After a lifetime in Washington, the restless, gabby man of consuming ambition who always had something to say and something to prove seems to have given way to a more self-assured 78-year-old who finally achieved his life’s dream.
A man got what he wanted. He was "restless" when he didn't have it yet, and now that he's achieved his dream — getting the position — he's "self-assured." The struggle is over, I guess, and he can relax.
“He is much calmer,” said Representative James E. Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina and a close ally. “The anxiety of running and the pressure of a campaign, all that’s behind him now. Even after the campaign was over, the election was over, all the foolishness coming from the Trump camp, you don’t know how all this stuff is going to play out. You may know how it’s going to end, but you’re anxious about how it plays out. So all that’s behind him now.”

At the Sunrise Café...

Saturday, January 16, 2021


... you can talk 'til dawn.

"Adnan Oktar... a Muslim televangelist and cult leader... proselytised about religion while scantily clad women bopped robotically beside him."

"He and his followers had connections and influence stretching across the world.... The core female members were called 'kittens' and the men 'lions,' and many were recruited from powerful and wealthy families. The local tabloids loved it: an Islamic 'sex cult' run by Istanbul’s Hugh Hefner with a few Quranic verses thrown in. But, after a trial that has gripped Turkey, Oktar’s organisation... been shown to have committed serious crimes and destroyed the lives of many members. In an 480-page indictment prosecutors laid out charges including sexual abuse, fraud and organised crime that reached deep into Turkey’s elite.... Their message of religious understanding and liberal values resonated with [one woman who escaped the group after 10 years]. In it she found another option to the secularism common in her social class. Soon, the group edged out her old friends and her family. 'They were like best friends around me,' she said. 'I mean, they were taking a lot of care of me. They make you feel like you’re indebted to them, so you want to do something in return. Slowly your reality starts getting distorted. Very slowly, not fast. It’s not like "OK, you joined us, now you can’t go out any more."'"


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