Yes Barack Obama still wears that ridiculous wife-beater beneath a dress shirt. And a flag pin. And yes his ties have recently grown so comically long we fear a Trump tie label may be on the verge of grabbing the President's nutsack. But we're encouraged — and also intrigued — by Obama's regular removal of his wedding ring.
Lately whenever he's about to meet crowds or on the stump, he pockets it.
Speculation has been running high about why Obama does, and the leading theory — that he does it to protect the ring from would-be thieves — makes no sense at all. First, he shakes hands with his right hand, not his left. Second, there's a reason you've heard of "pickpockets" but not "pickfingers" — it's much easier to lift a ring from the former rather than the latter.
But the notion that Obama has big plans for his First 100 Days out of office doesn't wash either. Even armed with those Trumpian ties and some Tic Tacs®, we just don't see him stepping out on Michelle any time soon. Which, as faithful readers have already no doubt deduced, leaves only one plausible explanation: The lame duck leader of the free world is finally adopting at least one Magnificent Bastard principle.
The swallows have returned to Capistrano. The Twins are already thinking about next year. And we've made a new batch of ties. Ah, spring! This time around, we've got five new additions to the MB catalog, all made from fabrics produced by a mill in Biella, Italy, then meticulously cut and hand-stitched into the ties you see here in a factory in Queens.
Normally, our ties retail for $60. But these are not normal times. Come January, there's a not-insignificant chance that Donald Trump and his Toolbag Militia, which now includes everyone from Bobby Night to Gavin McInnes, will occupy the White House. We admit how wrong we were on this one. Five years ago we thought there was no chance in hell that Trump could credibly contend for the highest office in the land.
But while Trump claims his goal is to make America great again, his track record suggests otherwise, at least when it comes to neckwear. For years, Trump has made shiny corporate ball-ticklers in Chinese factories and fed them to hapless toolbags at approximately $60 a piece.
His alleged rationale: He can't find American manufacturers who can deliver this product at competitive prices.
Last summer, we explained the shortcomings of that argument. To make Magnificent Bastard ties, we use a manufacturer based in Queens, New York — aka the town where Trump grew up.
We don't know if we just got lucky, or if we have great instincts, but it wasn't that hard to find this company. The price they charge allows us to sell our ties at the same prices Donald Trump sells his. And we use fabrics produced in Italy, not China.
Now, granted, Trump sold his ties through retail channels, and we sell ours directly to you. But so could he. If he really wanted to support American businesses and offer good value to American consumers — to make America great again — he could do it. But he hasn't, even though it's incredibly easy to do.
Why not? The only rational conclusion is that Donald Trump loves ugly 100 percent Chinese ties. Just look at his neck, right now, wherever he is — that's all the proof you need.
Will any of this change if Trump becomes president? Unlikely. In fact, as recently as two months ago, he was still emphatically pledging his allegiance to ugly Chinese ties.
Our prediction? If Trump is elected president, he will push for a new era of tie control, with regulation that protects his own long-standing business interests by favoring cheap Chinese imports over American-made ties like our own.
Now, in other words, is the time to buy stylish, American-made neckwear. Because when 2017 rolls around, the Toolbag Militia will probably be breaking down doors and confiscating any tie that is not shiny enough to serve as a ribbon on a four-year-old girl's birthday present.
We're not waiting until then to start a resistance movement. We believe it is our duty as Americans to resurrect our Anyone But Trump sale from last summer. What we said then, we say now: Just to prove that good old American know-how and entrepreneurism can still compete with Chinese tie sweatshops equipped with color-blind slave robots, we are offering the following deal, now through July 15 (or until supplies run out): Two Made in USA ties for $60. 4 for $120. 8 for $240. Shipping included. This includes all of our Spring 2016 ties, and every other tie we currently have in inventory. Just be sure to use the code ANYONEBUTTRUMP when ordering. Show your patriotism, and buy now!
In the 2016 campaign for the White House, conventional wisdom says the electorate is angry with the establishment, and this explains why a short-fingered vulgarian is on the brink of winning the GOP's nomination for president.
True enough, but the analysis lacks depth. Specifically, what is it about the establishment that has everyone so frosted?
We've been developing a theory over the last several months and now believe we've compiled enough evidence to go public with it.
There's one cultural force that blue-collar Republicans, the Mobile Home Majority, disaffected Democrats, and various other constituencies find even more threatening than Mexican immigrants, Syrian refugees, or even ISIS: the zip mock neck sweater.
Have a look:
While we understand the animus underlying this trend, we fear its consequences. A Trump presidency could potentially turn America into the world's first toolbagocracy. Just look at the notables from whom Trump has already collected official endorsements: John Daly. Jerry Falwell, Jr. Hulk Hogan. Ted Nugent. Dennis Rodman. Willie Robertson. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and the list goes on.
Oh, and just in case you're not already checking real estate prices in New Zealand? Yes, Guy Fieri "could be interested" in a Trump presidency.
America's only hope, as far we see it? Between now and November, somebody's gotta convince Trump to put on zip mock neck sweater.
While conventional wisdom is that Hillary Clinton's 11 hours of testimony provided no new information about the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, we disagree: Committee chairman Trey Gowdy — with the help of an age-inappropriate, face-lengthening flip-hawk — identified himself as just the third person on earth who belongs wearing a spread collar (which he did!), joining Adrien Brody and the guy in Edvard Munch's The Scream.
Do you have a recommendation for the fourth person on the planet who should wear a spread collar? Drop a note to our editor and if it's worthy we'll post it and send you a free belt, tie, or beverage shields.
Q: I appreciate your effort, but it looks like your Trump Tie Sale isn't doing much to stem The Great Toolbag Rebellion of 2015. The latest polls show that Trump is now "the clear leader in the race for the GOP nomination."
Is it time for all MBs in arms to take up more extreme measures and get a Hillary t-shirt?
A: $30 for a "union printed, American made" t-shirt that's 50 percent polyester? Seems a bit expensive to us. For comparison's sake, Bernie Sanders is offering a 100 percent cotton t-shirt that is "union-made and printed in the USA" for half the price — $15. So we guess we know who UNITE HERE is backing.
We also think that stylish campaign-wear is extremely difficult to pull off. In fact, the only successful effort we can think of off-hand is Ronald Reagan's cheerleading squad from the 1966 California gubernatorial election.
So we're going to pass on the t-shirts for now and just take our chances in November 2016. If worse comes to worst, our bunker is stocked with more than enough Bulleit and Apfelkorn to see us through the Trumpacolypse.
EARLIER: How Donald Trump inspired our sale.
At first glance, last night's presidential debate looked like a highlight reel from an unusually sycophantic episode of The Apprentice, as Wisconsin governor Scott Walker desperately tried to position himself as Donald Trump's first-string yes-man. After awhile, however, we began to think Walker was actually engaging in a subtle but sophisticated attack on Trump's main talking point. If Trump can't even secure his own personal borders from such brazen illegal immigration, how likely is he to shore up 2000 miles of rugged desert terrain?
TIME-SAVING BUT LESS ENTERTAINING VERSION: 2 Made in USA ties for $60. 4 for $120. 8 for $240. Shipping included. Use code ANYONEBUTTRUMP at checkout.
We didn't think it was possible for us to think any less of Donald Trump than we already do. Then, he started talking about the economic realities of global menswear manufacturing.
Trump, of course, is a kind of toolbag da Vinci. He makes garish hotels, fussy golf courses, unwatchable TV shows, and generically glitzy menswear. Now that he's stumping for president on a platform of closed borders and trade protectionism, media watchdogs are starting to call him out for his seemingly hypocritical embrace of ill-tailored immigration — most of the clothes that bear his name are made overseas.
A couple weeks ago, investigative tie-wearer Jake Tapper donned a Trump tie for an interview with the candidate. Like most of the shiny corporate ball-ticklers in the Trump line, this tie was made in China.
When Tapper asked him about whether it was hypocritical to complain about losing jobs to China and Mexico while outsourcing the production of his clothing line to such countries, Trump responded that it is "impossible for our companies" to compete with Chinese ones because of how its government manipulates its currency.
Pressing him on the issue, Tapper asked, "What do you say when somebody says why don't you be a leader and make them in Philadelphia? I'd be willing to pay more for this tie..."
In reply, Trump exclaimed, "It's very, very hard to have anything in apparel made in this country." The implication: You just can't find American clothing manufacturers, at any price.
The truth, of course, is that there are plenty of American clothing manufacturers these days. And in many cases, they're not even economically prohibitive.
Take, for example, ties. Tapper encouraged Trump to start up a tie-manufacturing concern in Philadelphia. In reality, Trump wouldn't need to start something from scratch. Nor would he have to go to Philadelphia.
Our Magnificent Bastard ties are made in Queens, New York, which, coincidentally, is also Donald Trump's birthplace.
When we decided we wanted to make ties, we weren't on a quest to find a U.S. production facility or anything like that. We just wanted to find a place that made high-quality ties at prices a small brand like ourselves could afford. And ultimately it wasn't that hard to find such a place — we think we spent a few hours.
No doubt we could find a factory in China or Taiwan that makes ties even cheaper than our supplier does. But the truth is this family-run company in Queens, which has been making ties since 1957, offers very competitive prices. In fact, its prices are so competitive that we are able to offer hand-stitched, natural fabrics ties, including some that come with poetry attached to them, for $60.
If you ask us, that's a bargain.
But as it turns out, Trump's ties are even less expensive — at least at the moment. On Amazon, you can currently get one of his shiny corporate ball-ticklers for $29.99.
That puts us in a place where we're going to have to put our money where our mouth is, so that's what we're doing.
Yes, we're having a sale.
Just to prove that good old American know-how and entrepreneurism can still compete with Chinese tie sweatshops equipped with color-blind slave robots, we are offering the following deal, now through September 1st (or until supplies run out): Two Made in USA ties for $60. 4 for $120. 8 for $240. Shipping included.
With your savings, you could (a) Buy a drink for an illegal immigrant who makes your life better in some way (b) Make a campaign contribution to any other candidate, or (c) Buy more ties from us.
Ultimately, of course, the choice is yours. Just be sure to use the code ANYONEBUTTRUMP when ordering.
If it's true that you should always "dress for the job you want, not the job you have," then we think Senator Ted Cruz (R - TX) just announced his intention to run for Assistant General Manager of a Subway franchise in Salina, Kansas. If we're wrong about this — and even worse, if America is prepared to elect a man who wears a t-shirt under a sport shirt to its highest office — we are heading to Canada and demanding reparations.
Earlier: Take the Toolbag Self-Assessment
Why is Wisconsin governor Scott Walker proudly flashing a big thumb's up? Because he just aced our new quiz.
Take our new Toolbag Self-Assessment and find out if you're Toolbag-Immune, a Recreational Toolbag, a Problem Toolbag, or a Stage IV Toolbag. (P.S. This test is completely confidential.)
Put this all in a warmed glass and stir until the honey dissolves. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
In-Depth Hot Toddy Coverage:×
So you — or the MB in your life — has already acquired
Q: Just found myself in possession of a 10 year old 911 convertible. The problem: lots of sun exposure,...
Q: I just bought tickets to The Nutcracker for December 6th in Minneapolis. What would a Magnificent...
We've written about
We're sad to report that Makers and Riders is closing up shop. Regular readers know their
Got a style question? We're all ears. And antlers. Ask away.
If you know about something you think we should know about, let us know (so we can pretend we knew about it all along). Send a tip.