Saturday, January 21, 2017

All Year Long

It isn't that hard to keep people organized and energized for politics all the time, to make it seem important and to make them think that they can contribute in some small way. And, no, clicktivism doesn't count. Victory (Obama) brings complacency generally, but the people with all the money and influence are rarely interested in that kind of organizing. And even grassroots require leadership and, yes, money.

If not getting out on the streets, then what? There were a lot of quirky quixotic efforts during the Bush years. They mostly faded away or got absorbed into the borg.

Political parties are membership organizations. They should ask something of their members other than "CONTRIBUTE OR DIE!!!!"


Good for all who are out. I don't know how effective protest marches are. I also don't know how effective signing online petitions, spending hundreds of millions on television, writing sternly-worded oped pieces for a nice salary, or writing anguished blog posts and tweets are.

Something about people gathering in public is exotic or foreign to people in this country. I think, in part, because we lack public spaces in our daily lives.

Anyway, it's one way to stand up and say "we're here." It doesn't have to change any minds. What does?

Sorry About Your Missing Bits, Bruh

When people say stuff like this seriously I imagine they just mean "my noisy public farts don't get the public acclaim they used to. I blame women. Also I am a sad old man."

Friday, January 20, 2017


Bishop Allen - Like Castanets

Happy Hour Thread

Rock on.

More Thread

This inaugural parade is pretty freaky.

Don't Smash Windows

Violent protest especially directed at random things nearby is wrong. Don't smash random windows. On the other hand, small scale property damage isn't that big of a deal either. Not defending it, just saying that it's of minimal importance compared to violence against people.

Afternoon Thread

Commence fetal position.

The Horrors To Come

As I've said, the scariest part of this administration won't be the standard conservative horrors that we all expect (though we are right to expect them), it'll be the unraveling of the presidency itself. Our system, like many (most, really), puts too much power into the executive, and, despite all of our talk of "checks and balances," ultimately depends on the man (team) in charge showing some restraint and some respect for real if evolving norms. Goodbye to all that...

Our Theme Song

Make America Late Again

I know this is one of my obsessions none of you care about, but, you know, they call it the American Dream. It's a metaphor, people!
Attorneys for Triple Five, the developer of American Dream Meadowlands, told the state Appellate Court in September that immediate dismissal of a lawsuit against the project must be made so as not to impede a complex financial sequence that must culminate on Nov. 4. The court dismissed the case the next day.

Yet more than nine weeks later, the project site looks as deserted as it has since before Christmas – and as it has many times over the past decade. The bond issuance plan – which has expanded to a planned $1.15 billion offering - was approved by the state for the first time in fall 2013.

Might Be A Good Day To Lie On The Couch And Watch Netflix

So I might do that!

Morning Thread

Lalalalala, I can't hear you!

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Nothing else seems appropriate somehow.

I Can't Watch All The Festivities

But, uh, have "fun."

Happy Hour Thread

Get happy.


Bishop Allen - Dimmer


I wouldn't really align myself with the bulk of this piece (sorry, not in the mood to do a line by line discussion, I am a lazy blogger after all), but I thought this was a good point.
I have always respected Jonathan Chait. That may come as a surprise, but he possesses a quality that is rare among liberal pundits. Most will lie to you about the politics of their hearts. They will tell you that they’re all for the left’s ambitions, or at least for a United States more like the benevolent states of Europe. They will assure you that when the time is right, they’ll throw their weight behind the moral cause of socialism; it’s just that it isn’t practical right now. It’s just that you’ve got to be reasonable, compromise, capitulate to the demands of the Democratic Party without protest, or else we’ll never get anywhere. Chait does not do this. He believes that the mild welfare state championed by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is not merely an acceptable form of government, but very nearly an ideal one. When he scolds the left for their hostility toward business, or lectures college students over their inadequate reverence for liberal free speech norms, or endorses the Iraq War and later cops only to an inadequate consideration of its logistical prospects, Chait is telling you precisely what he thinks. I’ve often, almost always, taken issue with his conclusions. But I have never gotten the sense that Chait is operating in bad faith. He’s a liberal capitalist, a technocrat, what any sane assessment of the political spectrum would rate a conservative centrist, and he does not pretend otherwise.

Well, perhaps not the first sentence, but otherwise I agree with the basic point. One thing about the primary, during which too often Bernie versus Hillary obscured Bernieism versus Hillaryism (that is, the basic ideological positioning of the two as opposed to the specifics of the people who were representing them), is that a lot of people did reveal themselves to be, at heart, Chait Democrats (I think this was true much more of prominent Hillary supporters/surrogates, than was true of of the campaign or Hillary herself). That's fine. People can be Chait Democrats. And people can disagree with Chait Democrats. But the point is that there are disagreements which are, as the above says, papered over with claims of solidarity and practicality and electability. Team D (or Team Liberal or Team Left of Center or whatever) actually don't agree about policy goals. It isn't simply that one segment thinks they are going as Lefty as they can get away with. They're going about as Lefty as they want to go. More lefty Democrats have a pretty good case that their crazy ideas aren't just crazy, but perhaps popular and necessary,too. The campaign highlighted that and also sharpened divisions. That's good and bad, I guess. Fight away.

Republicans Will Not Save Us

Oh, sure, they might pile on a confirmation vote or two just to maintain their "independent" cred. But I doubt even that's going to happen, and it sure as hell isn't going to be Little Marco who will take anything but the occasional rhetorical stand.

Lunch Thread

Tomorrow will be yuge.

Mini Book Review

Trying to rid mor good books this year. I'm a bad reviewer, and not much interested in slamming books I don't like, but I might as well mention the ones I do like. It won a Pulitzer, too, so I guess that means something. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is long but worth reading.

Who Won The Twitterz

Jeebus save me from coverage like this.

You know, the thing about Trump becoming an incoming president with an approval rating in the 30s is that whatever he's doing isn't winning. I mean, sure, he might win at destroying everything good about the country and the world in the process, but he isn't winning the fucking PR battle. He isn't winning with his +1 Vorpal Twitter powers.