As expected, Boris Johnson wins. The rest is a lot less predictable.

Brexit

I’m beginning to wonder about this phrase “senior Tories.” Who, really, are “senior Tories?” Why are these putative “senior Tories” more moderate than some other Tories on Brexit? Is it just Brexit? Or other issues as well? What really is going on with these folks?

It’s the kind of phrase you can’t just take for granted. You need to interrogate it. Because if, for example, all “senior Tories” really means is something like the soft-on-Brexit Theresa May cabinet members, that’s quite a bit different from the connotation of older, more experienced party members or officials.

I searched the archive I’ve been accumulating since I shut down parts-unknown.org and found three hits for “senior Tories” in Guardian articles[1] and one hit in a British Broadcasting Corporation article.[2] So it isn’t just Guardian arbitrariness.

It’s the kind of term that is, by nature, arbitrary. But given its connotation of “older,” “more experienced,” and “wiser,” it shouldn’t just be bandied about lightly. It should be defined.

In the meantime, there is this article by Tom McTague that I guess I should but won’t recommend reading. It is ultimately forgettable because it reaches no conclusions beyond suggesting—here’s a shocker—that Boris Johnson seems narcissistic. It dances around that nonexistent middle space of neither really condemning nor really praising, sympathizing without endorsing. Emulating the vanity of its subject, the article attempts a weird sort of objectivity while refusing to actually analyze but nonetheless pretending insight.[3] It leaves me with an icky feeling.

How about this? Read McTague’s article at your own risk. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Tom McTague, “Boris Johnson Meets His Destiny,” Atlantic, July 22, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/07/boris-johnson-profile/594379/

William Booth and Karla Adam, “Boris Johnson, Brexit cheerleader, to become British prime minister,” Washington Post, July 23, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/boris-johnson-expected-to-win-british-prime-minister-vote/2019/07/23/0e63fc8e-ac93-11e9-9411-a608f9d0c2d3_story.html

Rowena Mason, “Boris Johnson warned by Tory rebels: ditch no deal or face fight for survival,” Guardian, July 23, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/22/senior-tories-warn-boris-johnson-over-no-deal-brexit

Ruby Mellen, “Boris Johnson, Britain’s incoming prime minister, in his own colorful words,” Washington Post, July 23, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/07/23/boris-johnson-britains-incoming-prime-minister-his-own-colorful-words/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Boris Johnson’s rise could be a preamble to his fall,” Washington Post, July 23, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/07/23/boris-johnsons-rise-could-be-preamble-his-fall/


Pittsburgh

eus-2019-07-23-08.gifFrom what I can see, the flooding seems to be getting worse as the summer progresses. I assume—remember I’m from California, not Pennsylvania—this is because the soils are saturated. From what I gather, the drainage with underlying sedimentary rock sucks.

Although I have to say, when one of my passengers said that the creeks here can’t handle more than about two inches an hour, I had to respond that in California, they’re in trouble if they get two inches in a day.

The California and Pennsylvania situations really aren’t comparable, which is why I have to hesitate with my remark about saturated soils.

Tony LaRussa And Natasha Lindstrom, “Back-to-back storms pound Allegheny County, prompt emergency rescues,” TribLive, July 22, 2019, https://triblive.com/local/regional/flash-flooding-forces-closure-of-numerous-roads-in-region/


  1. [1]Rowena Mason, “Boris Johnson warned by Tory rebels: ditch no deal or face fight for survival,” Guardian, July 23, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/22/senior-tories-warn-boris-johnson-over-no-deal-brexit; Michael Savage and Toby Helm, “Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit plan ‘will trigger early election,’” Guardian, June 15, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/15/boris-johnson-no-deal-brexit-plan-will-trigger-early-election; Michael Savage, Toby Helm, and Simon Murphy, “Boris Johnson under fire over row with partner as top Tories raise fears,” Guardian, June 22, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/22/boris-johnson-under-fire-questions-hustings-late-night-argument
  2. [2]Nicholas Watt, “Brexit: Scheme to block no deal ‘could involve Queen,’” British Broadcasting Corporation, July 18, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49040128
  3. [3]Tom McTague, “Boris Johnson Meets His Destiny,” Atlantic, July 22, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/07/boris-johnson-profile/594379/