Quote by Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Happy 153rd birthday.
Writing about Donald Trump is a thankless task, made only faintly bearable by coming up with new ways to describe him. Below, an exhaustive list of every phrase this website came up with to talk about Trump in 2015.
As you can see, these descriptors got both funnier and depressingly numerous as the year went on. You’ll also notice a very distinct drop between February and May, and there’s a reason for that: Trump announced his candidacy in June, and for the preceding few months, he wisely didn’t make a ton of news. For a time there, after he did announce, it was funny enough all by itself to just write “presidential candidate Donald Trump.” Those times are over, and here we stand: bruised, exhausted, and with hundreds of new adjectives. Enjoy!
I’m honestly not sure if we should be proud of ourselves here or terribly, terribly depressed.
Image via AP, illustration by Bobby Finger
You might be wondering: Where did that alleged fraudster Martin Shkreli get the grey hoodie he was sporting on his perp walk in New York City this morning? A forensic analysis of various photos taken this morning (some of which captured the word “CARGO” pressed into the hoodie’s metal zipper fob) pointed us to the following hoodie sold by the New York-based sports retailer Modell’s: The Cargo Mens Full Zip Hoodie in Light Grey.* It is also available in a “big mens” version, for the big mens in your life.
A group of nearly 2,000 professional physicists and astrophysicists have signed a letter, drafted by members of the Equity & Inclusion in Physics & Astronomy Facebook group and addressed to the Supreme Court justices, repudiating the lines of questioning put forward by Justices Antonin Scalia and John Roberts which implied that affirmative action disadvantages black students by putting them in situations they are not equipped to handle, and that furthermore diversity has no role to play in the ostensibly objective world of science.
So my roommate and I got these Rudolph Christmas coloring books a couple of weeks back. Since it’s finals week, I wanted to ease my mind into studying by coloring. First time opening the book and I saw this picture..
And I thought to myself
Oh my god do I try.
I swear to god if I get tumblr famous over this stinkin Heman the meme nose reindeer.
me: *googles how to mash potatoes*
some food blogger: My childhood home was full of wind and light. On a brisk Autumn evening, it often felt as if the outside was in. My younger sister, my mother, our favourite cousin, our dog, our other dog, our dog’s sister, and I would sit on the floor in the living room for hours, lit only by the moon and candlelight
me: *scrolls for several minutes*
some food blogger: It was at that moment, with my tiny hands clasped tightly around a mason jar filled with fireflies, that I realised the true value of family. My dog and my dog’s sister came and sat quietly at my feet. We stared up at the sky together, and I felt truly connected to both the Earth at my feet and the ancestors who shared the blood that ran through them, for the first time realising that
me: *scrolls for several minutes*
some food blogger: and when we finally made it home, our cheeks flushed with laughter and cold, there were warm mashed potatoes waiting for us. I will always remember their fluffiness, perfectly mirroring the light feeling I carried with me for the entire next week. This is my favourite cousin’s recipe from that very day, modified slightly to not be fucking awful. Boil an potato and smush it up with fork and botter. NOT A RAW, Salt, pepepr. In it
This... fuckin’.... guy!!!
The people having the most success destroying the Wall Street elite these days are not bomb-throwing anarchists. They are buttoned-up investment types who are just less greedy.
Traditionally, the Wall Street investment industry has grown rich by skimming off a portion of the astronomical amount of money that passes through its hands. In exchange for moving money here and there and everywhere for investors, Wall Street would take a little fee. And even a fee that sounds subjectively small—one percent? Less?—adds up to many billions of dollars when it’s applied to a pool of investments in the trillions.
Over the years, though, research made it increasingly clear that the people you paid to tell you where to invest your money really had no idea if their advice was good or not. No idea! The advice was actually, in fact, worthless! And so people who paid high fees on their investments inevitably, over time, make less money than people who pay low fees. It also became clear that very few people can successfully pick winning stocks, so it is better for most people to just invest in everything and leave their money alone. These were the founding ideas of Vanguard, an investment group which provides very low-cost index funds, and is owned by its investors, meaning it lacks the insatiable profit motive of the big banks.
Today, Vanguard has grown so huge that with every passing year it sucks more and more away from higher-priced traditional Wall Street funds, as more and more people sit down and do the math on how much they are paying for a service that amounts to nothing. Bloomberg tallies up what Vanguard is actually costing the rest of Wall Street:
Vanguard’s assets now stand at $3.1 trillion, which effectively means that this year alone it will have removed more than $16 billion from the financial industry just through fees. That figure is based on the average asset-weighted fee of a Vanguard fund of 0.13 percent, compared with the 0.66 percent average asset-weighted fee of an active mutual fund...
Until now, the asset numbers probably weren’t big enough to trouble Wall Street, but as Vanguard is now on pace to add a cool $1 trillion in assets every few years, it is effectively becoming a massive wealth transfer machine funneling money out of the financial industry and into individual investors’ accounts.
To add a bit of perspective, Goldman Sachs’ investment management business brought in $6 billion in profits last year; JPMorgan Chase earned a total net income last year of close to $22 billion. Vanguard, simply by offering less greedy prices for its services, is in effect accomplishing the same thing that a tax on Wall Street that was then refunded to investors as a tax credit would accomplish.
It is kind of neat that the biggest existential threat to a fundamentally corrupt business model is just another business that decided to rip people off less. Who would have thought?
Waving signs outside of Goldman Sachs headquarters while playing a drum with a black bandanna tied around your face is still good. We all have a part to play. Just remember, Occupy Wall Street soldiers, that your most effective ally is a bunch of paper pushers in Malvern, PA.
Everyone go home, the pinnacle of fiction has been achieved
Back in the wild west days of file sharing, and for a moment all too brief, Kazaa reigned king. And thanks to a recently reinvigorated Twitter account, we’re reminded of the complete and utter mess that was our Kazaa-fueled Winamp queue. So for the sake of nostalgia, we ask you: What are some of your best (which is to say, worst) Kazaa memories?
It is often said that life is about the journey rather than the destination. OK. If you’re so smart, then, what if the destination is a small clearing in the wilderness wherein a skunk is doing an impressive, seconds-long handstand? What’s more important then?
When Marco Rubio became Florida’s Speaker of the House in 2005, Governor Jeb Bush welcomed him by bestowing upon him the sword of “Chang,” who Bush described as “a mythical conservative warrior.” It’s odd how mythology develops: Bush was almost certainly, if unwittingly, talking about Chiang Kai-Shek, the Chinese nationalist leader best known for losing a civil war to the Chinese Communist Party and retreating to Taiwan. Chiang was, notably, not democracy’s number-one fan.
When it comes time to run for President—few things are more crucial to any good campaign than a rockin’, vaguely patriotic tune to blast as your stuffy, out-of-touch candidate comes bumbles out onstage. The second most crucial thing: A slightly less-rockin’ backup song to play when your first one gets canned because, as luck would have it, every good band hates you.
Politicians—Democrats and Republicans alike—suffer from a long and storied history of being forced to pull campaign songs just as soon as they’ve pressed play. Whether the candidate in question has simply misunderstood the song (like Ronald Reagan’s misguided attempt to commandeer “Born in the U.S.A.”) or the musician simply prefers to stay out of the political realm entirely (Sam Moore’s cease-and-desist letters to Obama, for example), no party’s candidates are totally safe.
So for your listening pleasure (and with some help from FiveThirtyEight), we’ve compiled a Spotify playlist of some of our various presidential campaigns’ biggest musical upsets. And for those about to rock, we salute you (unless we don’t, in which case please stop rocking immediately or else you will be hearing from our lawyers).
2000 - Sting asks Al Gore to stop playing “Brand New Day.”
2008 - Sam of Sam & Dave asks Barack Obama to stop playing “Hold On, I’m Coming.”
1984 - Bruce Springsteen asks Ronald Reagan to stop playing “Born in the U.S.A.”
1984 - John Cougar Mellencamp asks Ronald Reagan to stop playing “Pink Houses.”
1988 - Bobby McFerrin asks George H.W. Bush to stop playing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
1996 - Sam & Dave ask Bob Dole to stop playing “Soul Man.”
1996 - Bruce Springsteen asks Bob Dole to stop playing “Born in the U.S.A.”
2000 - John Cougar Mellencamp asks George W. Bush to stop playing “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.”
2000 - Tom Petty asks George W. Bush to stop playing “I Won’t Back Down.”
2000 - Sting asks Bush to stop playing “Brand New Day.”
2000 - Sting then also asks Al Gore to stop playing “Brand New Day.”
2004 - John Hall of Orleans asks Bush to stop playing “Still the One.”
2008 - Boston asks Mike Huckabee to stop playing “More Than a Feeling.”
2008 - Van Halen asks John McCain to stop playing “Right Now.”
2008 - John Cougar Mellencamp asks McCain to stop playing “Our Country.”
2008 - John Cougar Mellencamp (once again) asks McCain to stop playing “Pink Houses.”
2008 - Heart asks Sarah Palin to stop playing “Barracuda.”
2008 - Jackson Browne asks McCain to stop playing “Running on Empty.”
2008 - Bon Jovi asks McCain to stop playing “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.”
2008 - The Foo Fighters ask McCain to stop playing “My Hero.”
2008 - Tom Petty asks McCain to stop playing “I Won’t Back Down.”
2008 - Abba asks McCain to stop playing “Take a Chance on Me.”
2012 - Survivor asks Newt Gingrich to stop playing “Eye of the Tiger.”
2012 - The Heavy asks Gingrich to stop playing “How You Like Me Now.”
2012 - Dee Snider of Twisted Sister asks Mitt Romney to stop playing “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
2012 - Al Green asks Romney to stop playing “Let’s Stay Together.”
2012 - Silversun Pickups ask Romney to stop playing “Panic Switch.”
2012 - K’Naan asks Romney to stop playing “Wavin’ Flag.”
2012 - Survivor asks Romney to stop playing “Eye of the Tiger.”
2012 - Tom Petty asks Michele Bachmann to stop playing “American Girl.”
2012 - Katrina and the Waves ask Bachmann to stop playing “Walking on Sunshine.”
2016 Dropkick Murphys say this to Scott Walker over “Shipping Up to Boston.”
2016 - Neil Young asks Donald Trump to stop playing “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
2016 - Allee Willis asks Trump to stop playing Karate Kid’s “You’re the Best.”
2016 - Steven Tyler of Aerosmith asks Trump to stop playing “Dream On.”
2016 - R.E.M. asks Trump to stop playing “It’s the End of the World as We Know It.”
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hobby Lobby, the craft store made famous by winning a Supreme Court case on “religious freedom and government mandates,” may be guilty of looting ancient artifacts from the Middle East.
According to Candida Moss and Joel Baden at The Daily Beast, store CEO Steven Green and his family “have been under federal investigation for the illicit importation of cultural heritage from Iraq” since 2011. The antiquities in question are a collection of 200 to 300 clay tablets “inscribed in cuneiform—the script of Ancient Assyria and Babylonia, present day Iraq—and were thousands of years old.” Apprehended in Memphis, the shipment of small tablets was on its way to “the compound of the Hobby Lobby corporation.”
Cary Summers, president of the Museum of the Bible, located in Washington, D.C. and scheduled to open its doors in 2017, confirmed to The Daily Beast “both the seizure of the cuneiform tablets and the subsequent federal investigation.” The Green family is funding the new museum.
If the Greens are prosecuted, they will likely be compelled to hand over the tablets to the United States government. But Summers, The Daily Beast reports, “made it sound as if the ongoing federal investigation was simply the result of a logistical problem...‘incomplete paperwork.’” Yet there have been to date “hundreds of hours of interviews” conducted over this matter, suggesting far more complex and significant circumstances.
Moreover, the tablets were tremendously undervalued at $300, a ploy often used when “someone looking to bring antiquities into the U.S. knows that the artifacts should never have left their country of origin.”
Green has already been approached on this subject, but has remained noncommittal in his response. “Is it possible that we have some [illicit] artifacts? That’s possible,” he told Moss and Baden for a forthcoming piece in The Atlantic.
Jezebel will keep you updated as more details regarding this investigation unfold.
Contact the author at email@example.com.
Image via Getty.
Big vape news for big vape-men: The U.S. Department of Transportation has banned airline passengers from packing e-cigarettes and other battery-powered vaping implements—I don’t know? E-blunts?—in their checked baggage.
The new rule will take effect within the next two weeks, at which point you’ll have to keep your vape in your carry-on, and you still won’t be allowed to charge it on the plane.
Does the stuffy old Department of Transportation have it for future-men and their glimmering smokable robots? Nay. There is a sensible reason for this new rule, which is that e-cigs were literally exploding inside airplanes—26 of them since 2009—when people left them on or the battery short-circuited.
Since 9/11, eCigs have caused more explosions inside U.S. commercial planes than actual terrorism.
Smoking is dead. Vaping is the future.
[h/t Consumerist, Photo: AP Images]