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Weekend link dump for December 25

May your days be merry and bright, and may all your linkdumps be full of good reading.

“Silliman’s piece revisits the stark contrast — or flagrant hypocrisy — between the ardent concern for politicians’ personal ethics that prominent white evangelicals expressed during the Lewinsky Era vs. the utter lack of such concern during the Trump campaign. The sheer up-is-downism displayed by prominent evangelical partisan hacks like James Dobson or Jerry Falwell Jr. is impressive. But Silliman also looks past such spotlight-hogging hypocrites to ponder the survey data that shows a similar change happening throughout white evangelicalism.”

The Incompatible Food Triad is the Fermat Hypothesis of our time.

“Under the shrewd and relentless assault of a resurgent Russian authoritarian state, all of this has come under strain with a speed and scope that few in the West have fully comprehended, and that puts the future of liberal democracy in the world squarely where Vladimir Putin wants it: in doubt and on the defensive.”

Five things Donald Trump promised he’d do, but hasn’t done yet. Don’t hold your breath for most if not all of them.

RIP, Zsa Zsa Gabor, prototypical “famous for being famous” person.

David Frum on the consequences of Donald Trump’s narcissism.

“No matter what her title is, Ivanka’s essential role remains the same: to integrate a very specific vision of exceptionalist white womanhood into the Trump brand and presidency. By presenting a very specific type of exceptional success, she is the Trump presidency’s built-in excuse for failing the rest of us.”

The Harlem Deer Saga, and why it shouldn’t have been a saga.

“Given this effort, it essentially would be irrational for children not to believe. In believing in Santa Claus, children, in fact, exercise their scientific thinking skills.”

Do you drop your kids off at school? If so, I hope your experience is less insane than this.

“Rogue One, or, the Disneyfication of Star Wars is Complete (and This is a Good Thing)”.

“So if you’re an engineer forced by Imperial stormtroopers to build a death machine, then you have the chance — the opportunity and the obligation — to do whatever you can to undermine that machinery. You might, for example, convince them that the Death Star’s main reactor required a thermal exhaust port that would leave the entire machine vulnerable to destruction.”

This is what kleptocracy looks like.

“Since the 1960s, it has been widely understood among historians that far from being a collective failure of diplomacy or the result of entangling alliances, World War I was engineered deliberately by Germany.”

“The pattern in North Carolina is clear: When Republicans win, they suppress the Democratic vote to solidify power in future elections. And when they lose, they rig the rules to prevent their opponents from being able to fairly exercise and maintain power. This is what happens in a dictatorship, not a democracy. And it’s a preview of what’s to come in Trump’s America.”

RIP, Lou Harris, influential pollster and political consultant who helped elect JFK.

Jaime Martin, high-tech art detective.

Here’s a Christmas light show synchronized with AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”.

Tip your waitstaff. Seriously.

Some “Santa slasher” movies to make your days a bit more merry and bright.

The “swamp” will remain undrained, in case you still thought that was a thing.

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