Stephen Introduces His Anthony Scaramucci Impression

Now that Stephen has the impression down, the White House’s new communications director can run but he can’t hide.

We are in the midst of an ideological civil war.  One pitting  hope, empowerment, and self-reliance against defeatist attitudes of fear, entitlement, and victimization.


I saw this guy win a game of connect 4 with three pieces.

Misquoted: Live every day as if it were your last.

I hate how that Aurelius quote is always cut off. The full quotation is, “Live every day as if it were your last: without frenzy, without apathy, without pretense.” The point isn’t that you should go party and have fun and not plan for the future, which the additional “without” clauses clarify. Aurelius meant that you should adopt an emotional state of peace and firm dedication. Because most people really would not party on their last day, if they knew. They would go about their business calmly, taking care of the most important priorities, making amends and sharing time with loved ones, ensuring that their affairs were in order and their conscience clean, and appreciating every detail of every moment as if it were infinitely precious. Nothing would upset them unduly because they would know nothing will affect them anymore soon.

Similarly, you probably wouldn’t want to wake up and go to an awful job. If doing your job makes the world a better place, you can justify going because you know you are building a legacy, even with your final moments. If you’re passionate about it, you can justify it. If the job allows you to provide for your loved ones, you would go even on your last day.

So Jobs like many others misunderstood the quote out of context but reached the conclusion Aurelius intended anyway. And that conclusion is good advice! If you’re just doing the minimum to skate by, not really thriving, you’re probably selling yourself short. Unless you have some other reason for working that gives meaning to your life (e.g. kids, funding a passion project/hobby, religion), it’s just not worth going to a shitty job just for the paycheck.

The Blood on a Tax Cut

a cut of taxes that are painless to the small percentage of people who have to pay them — a 0.9 percent Medicare surtax, and 3.8 percent tax on net invested income for couples earning more than $250,000 a year.

.. And it’s not as if there’s been a great hue and cry to repeal those tax increases. “My wealthy clients barely noticed the taxes resulting from the Affordable Care Act and have not needed to make lifestyle adjustments,” wrote the Forbes contributor Carolyn McClanahan, a financial planner.

I bet if you asked rich people if they wanted to cut off health care for millions of their fellow citizens in exchange for a bit more money at the end of the year, most of them would say no, that’s crazy. Taxes don’t register among the top concerns of people, in poll after poll.

Why such a cruel bill, then?

.. “We’re talking about a great, great form of health care,” President Trump said at midweek, with all the conviction of someone peddling the fraud of Trump University.

And you have a Congress that was largely paid for by influential groups for whom tax cuts are the only reason to get out of bed in the morning. Still, we have a moment of rare consensus in this country: An overwhelming majority hates the Republican overhaul. No state in the union has voiced majority support.

Francis: A Third Way

Francis didn’t bother questioning doctrines and dogmas of the Church. He just took the imitation of Christ seriously and tried to live the way that Jesus lived!

.. “You only know as much as you do.” [1] His emphasis on action, practice, and lifestyle was foundational and revolutionary for its time and is at the root of Franciscan alternative orthodoxy. Francis and Clare fell in love with the humanity and humility of Jesus. For them Jesus was someone to actually imitate and not just to worship as divine.

.. I sincerely think Francis found a Third Way, which is the creative and courageous role of a prophet and a mystic. He repeated the foundational message of all prophets: the message and the medium for the message have to be the same thing.

.. The early Franciscan friars and Poor Clares wanted to be Gospel practitioners instead of merely “word police,” “inspectors,” or “museum curators” as Pope Francis calls some clergy.

.. They saw orthopraxy (correct practice) as a necessary parallel, and maybe even precedent, to verbal orthodoxy (correct teaching).

.. As the popular paraphrase of Francis’ Rule goes, “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.