Rick Perlstein wrote on Mitt Romney's "grammar of mendacity" in issue 21. / Mister Serum
The Baffler,  June 13, 2016

Daily Bafflements

The connectivity gospel, snake oil, Miranda warnings

Rick Perlstein wrote on Mitt Romney's "grammar of mendacity" in issue 21. / Mister Serum


• Microsoft has bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. If you’re scratching your head at how a jobs site that rarely provides any actual opportunities has continued to be worth anything to anyone, perhaps Ann Friedman’s read on the cultural resonance of the LinkedIn ethos will help: “The roots of the LinkedIn vision of prosperity-through-connectivity lie in the circular preachments of the positive-thinking industry,” she wrote in Baffler no. 23

• Today in We Told You Sos: Paul Krugman ruminates on why Trump’s Republican opponents haven’t been able to attack him by pointing out his propensity for grift, and concludes that Rick Perlstein got it right in Baffler no. 21. “There has always been a close association between the movement and the operations of snake-oil salesmen,” Krugman writes.

• Miranda warnings are fifty years old today. There are still problems with the way they fit into the law. For instance, Californian kids of ten are expected to know enough to waive their Miranda rights intelligently, an absurd state of affairs Natasha Vargas-Cooper wrote about earlier this year.

• In the wake of the horrific hate-killings in Orlando, it’s worth revisiting Chase Madar’s review of Jennifer Carlson’s Citizen-Protectors, a study of the nation’s handgun grassroots.

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Further Reading

 June 22

For the Atlantic, actual political agency, it seems, is a lesser virtue than the civic jolt proffered by a “mediating function.”