OUT: EVIDENCE-BASED POLICYMAKING. In: Policy-based Evidencemaking. “The evidence mounts that virtually none of our scientific establishment can be trusted—certainly none that has any connection to or dependence on government funding. Government agencies based on their supposed technical expertise claim that they practice “evidence-based policy making,” but the truth is the reverse: we live in an age where governments practice policy-based evidence-making.”

HEH, INDEED: Let’s start another war to stop Antony Blinken singing.

During a surprise musical performance on Wednesday night, secretary of state Antony Blinken tried to convince the State Department he’s got the soul of a blues singer. The stiff-armed, frog-throated diplomat jammed out to a less than rousing rendition of Muddy Waters’s “Hoochie Coochie Man” that left the room full of his subordinates cheering.

“I couldn’t pass up tonight’s opportunity to combine music and diplomacy. Was a pleasure to launch the State Department’s new Global Music Diplomacy Initiative,” Blinken tweeted on Wednesday.

Blinken’s set followed performances from Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters and pop star Gayle. Before beginning, Blinken joked, “If this doesn’t clear the house, I don’t know what will.” Fearing for their jobs, or otherwise deaf, Blinken underlings gave him a standing ovation. Had Cockburn been in attendance, he would have gladly heeded Blinken’s advice and left. Clearly the secretary of state isn’t busy enough if he’s spending his time rocking out. Perhaps Biden could heed the cries from Arlington security contractors and start another war to put a bit more on Blinken’s plate and shut him up?

Blinken of course loves the feigned adoration from his underlings. As the late Tom Wolfe told Elon Green of Nieman Storyboard in 2014 in an article called: Annotation Tuesday! Tom Wolfe and radical chic:

I remember talking once to Abe Ribicoff. When I was a graduate student, they have these weeks where distinguished people come and make themselves available to all kinds of student organizations. We had a little thing called the American Studies Club. During the course of the week, Abe Ribicoff agreed to come. I asked him, very naively, “What is it that motivates politicians? Is it the money, the power? What is it? The publicity?” And he said, “Well, it’s certainly not the publicity. You get so used to it that you just expect it.” And then he said, “Unless you’re an idiot, it’s not the money.” And he says, “You find out that even at the federal level, you don’t really have that much power. There are very few people who you can point to, and say, ‘You do this and you do that.’ ” But, he said, “The real kick is seeing them jump.” I said, “Seeing them jump?” “Yeah,” he said. “You come into a room and everybody jumps up! Everyone offers you whatever seat you want. If you even hint that you might be hungry, 10 people want to go out and get you something from the restaurant.” He said, “Seeing ’em jump. That’s what it’s all about.”

For the vast majority of politicians, indeed, to coin an Insta-phrase.

DAVID MAMET on the Hollywood strikes. “As for the unions, like any organisation evolved into life, they develop their own hierarchies and agendas, which more closely resemble those of management than those of the shop floor. They take form from the struggles of shop stewards, delegates, and negotiators within the union; as with our government representatives, they live in a hermetic world, separate from those they are elected to represent, and amassing power through their control, which is to say, their manipulation. The relation of union leadership to management is like that of opposing parties in Congress. Whatever differences they profess or portray, they play golf together, and, on the golf course, complain or joke about their constituents, who make it so tough to get along.”