"Meanest Pun of the Year,"

according to Prof. Mark Liberman (Language Log):

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Quoted by Prof. Liberman from NPR's Wait Wait … Don't Tell Me!, Dec. 21:

Peter Sagal: Mayor- Mayor Pete has been getting some heat.
I don't know if you saw this.
He attended a big fundraiser in Napa
at a winery with a, quote, "wine cave."
And everybody was so mad that he did this.
But why would you be mad about a wine cave?
It celebrates the two things Democrats are known for, whining and caving.

Very funny, I think, regardless of what party one belongs to (indeed, the "caving" part sounds more like a Democrat-on-Democrat criticism, if it has any real substantive content at all).


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  1. Har har har. Sort of. (And I say that as someone mostly unsympathetic t Democratic top-line goals.)

    On the “cave” front, tho, my thinking went a rather different (and, in the present circumstances, directly opposite) direction:


  2. Also, “meanest”? I would say merely average.


    1. Did you mean to say “averagest”? That would be the normal reaction.

      1. Either way would make the intended point. 🙂

  3. The funniest thing about the mayor when it comes to puns, etc. is that of all the candidates that are gay, it’s the dude with the funny last name that alludes to it.

  4. the meanest pun of the year ..hmmm..very nice 🙂

  5. So send him to the Puncil of Punsylvania for Pun-ishment.

  6. Eugene, I don’t know how else to flag something for you—interested in your take on the situation in Oakland where squatters have taken over a vacant house and are demanding that the owners basically give it to them…because reasons.

    The Mercury News has the scoop.

    1. Squatters can actually take houses and gain ownership of them in specific circumstances, though this doesn’t apply here. As an example, many decades ago an Australian man renting out his property died. The renter continued paying rent to his agent until a few decades ago, when she died. It sat ignored/forgotten by the man’s family until a man, who knew he could do this after he couldn’t find anything about the current owners or if there were any, moved in and began improving it. After 19 years, in 2017 he applied to become the owner, and suddenly the owner’s heirs sued and lost, probably because it was now very valuable.


    2. The idea of squatting for a long period of time is a good, old-fashioned Common Law idea. I fully endorse it.

      If the owner is keeping track of his property, and acts to evict the squatters as soon as he sees them (obtaining property for the purpose of owning something doesn’t take months, it takes years), then the owner should be able to keep the property. If the owner ignores the squatters for years, then the squatters should become the possessors.

      The key for this to work is that the owners should have years to act on preserving their property — and the person who is claiming the property for himself needs to live there for years as well.

    3. I don’t know what story you’re referring to — it looks like there’s at least a couple of incidents — but everything I’ve seen indicates the squatters weren’t living in the space in question for long (in one case, there was a series of squatters), that police have been called on occasion to remove them, and the very fact that the homes in questioned were burned down (possibly caused by recklessness on the part of the squatters, or maybe even deliberately caused) means that there’s a lack of improvements.

      In the cases of warehouses, apparently the squatters were even there in violation of zoning laws (not that I approve of zoning laws, but still — I would imagine that successful squatting would have to involve using the building or property for its intended purpose).

      So, if I understand these facts correctly, then no, the squatters shouldn’t get the property.

      If the facts of your specific story are different, provide a link, and we can see!

  7. Whine about Trump. Pelosi caves to the extreme left and the House adopts articles of impeachment that are “imperative to preserve law and order” but then fails to pass them along to the Senate. Great analogy.

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