Friday links! I declare weekend edition


It’s almost noon in the one true time zone, so it’s basically the weekend. And not just any weekend—it’s the weekend of Memorial Day, a holiday of pure enjoyment uncomplicated by any depressing overtones. It must be party time, because my neighbors have put a smoker in our shared yard, right next to their grill, their fire pit, their canopy tent, their second grill, their chairs, their woodpile and their broken-pieces-of-palettes pile, amid the general distribution of their beer cans. Today is Friday, and I can’t escape my home office quickly enough. Won’t you bang something out and knock off with me?

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Ways to lose to Trump: Call him poor

The 2016 presidential candidates and their spouses hang out at a wedding.

The 2016 presidential candidates and their spouses at a wedding in 2005.

Who says Hillary Clinton isn’t the best candidate to address wealth inequality? Racists and bros, mostly—the rest of us know better. Here’s the presumptive Democratic nominee telling the New York Times that she’s open to considering Mark Cuban or another successful businessperson as her vice president:

“Businesspeople, especially successful businesspeople, who are really successful — as opposed to pretend successful — I think, have a lot to offer,” said Mrs. Clinton, whose campaign has begun taunting Mr. Trump with a #PoorDonald hashtag on Twitter, suggesting that he is not nearly as wealthy as he claims. Mr. Trump has cited an audit by the Internal Revenue Service as his reason for keeping his tax returns private.

Clinton supporters on Twitter have begun circulating the claim that Donald Trump is not a multi-billionaire, as he says, and that his net worth is actually less than $100 million. That would put him below the Clintons’ estimated worth of $110 million, nearly all of which they made after Bill became president. Surely, voters will flock to Hillary once they start thinking of her as the richer candidate.

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Ways to lose to Donald Trump: Run on land war in Asia

As Vizzini in The Princess Bride, Wallace Shawn taught us a classic error.

As Vizzini in The Princess Bride, Wallace Shawn taught us a classic error.

Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, Hillary Clinton is guaranteed to become president. It’s obvious Trump can’t win. He’s utterly unqualified. His negatives are too high. Everyone of sense can see he is doomed in the general, just as we all knew his candidacy was going nowhere in the primaries. Okay, so he won almost all the primaries, but that was a fluke. This time, there’s no way. Democrats will keep the White House in 2016, because all of Trump’s signature issues appeal to fundamentally limited subsets of voters. He’s not selling anything the majority of Americans can agree on. On a completely unrelated note, the Intercept has reported that Trump called Hillary “trigger happy” at a rally in Lynden, Washington, where he warned that she would embroil the United States in another land war in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Hillary is courting neoconservatives put off by Trump’s isolationism. Here’s Republican strategist Steve Schmidt:

Donald Trump will be running to the left as we understand it against Hillary Clinton on national security issues. And the candidate in the race most like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney from a foreign policy perspective is in fact Hillary Clinton, not the Republican nominee.

Finally, the Democrats have an opportunity to position themselves as the party of hawks—and at a moment when war is so popular!

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Friday links! Cheat to win edition

Russian athletes at the Sochi Olympics celebrate before tipping over a car.

Russian athletes at the Sochi Olympics earn their families’ freedom.

We all know that it’s “cool” to work hard and play by the rules. That’s what our heroes do, from Captain America to Hillary Clinton. But what if hard work and rulesmanship were not, in fact, what we admire about those two fictional characters? What if winning were actually the coolest thing a person can do? Obviously I’m being facetious, since our society remains deeply committed to ethical behavior. But perhaps someday, in the distant future, cheating might become not accepted, per se, but so widespread that it no longer provokes outrage. Today is Friday, and cynicism benefits the crooked. Won’t you pretend it’s a big deal to catch ’em with me?

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Kasich and Cruz agree to coordinate, almost unifying not-Trump vote

Around the fire at the GOP debate, former boxer John Kasich gets inexplicably hostile to Nick Adams.

Around the fire, a punch-druk John Kasich becomes inexplicably hostile to Nick Adams.

Confirming your uncle’s Facebook theories, John Kasich and Ted Cruz have agreed to stay out of each other’s ways in Indian, Oregon and New Mexico, in an effort to prevent Donald Trump from winning the Republican nomination outright. Cruz gets Indiana, where he’s polling eight points behind Trump but lags by only two if Kasich leaves the race. Kasich gets a new blanket and a can of soup, and Citizens United v. FEC gets even more laughable in its ban on “coordination” between Super PACs and campaigns. Quote:

Both campaigns said they expected allies and third-party groups to follow their lead, and a representative from the “super PAC” supporting Mr. Kasich confirmed late Sunday that it would not advertise in Indiana.

That’s a totally independent group of citizen activists, right there, independently suspending their advocacy in order to adhere to a deal struck between two campaigns. But will it work?

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