Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wednesday Night

I'm not hosting so I barely have any cooking obligations, but having several butchers a couple of blocks away makes this holiday a lot easier.

...byebye, Smokey Joe.

“I want your word that this ends,” he said, according to the recording, adding: “I will be completely straight with you. I am ready if I have to, I don’t want to, but I should take all this crap to the Capitol Hill Police and have them launch an investigation. And if I do that, that hurts me potentially big time.”

“Why would you even say that to me?” the woman responded. “ . . . The Capitol Hill police? And what would you tell them, sir?”

Said Barton: “I would tell them that I had a three-year undercover relationship with you over the Internet that was heavily sexual and that I had met you twice while married and had sex with you on two different occasions and that I exchanged inappropriate photographs and videos with you that I wouldn’t like to be seen made public, that you still apparently had all of those and were in position to use them in a way that would negatively affect my career. That’s the truth.”

Even in this context revenge porn is wrong, but, uh, no, you don't get to make these threats.

Smokey Joe Barton

Do not look for it, I beg of you, but apparently a member of Congress sent a picture of his junk to someone and now it's on the internet. If it was part of a consensual relationship, and a desired activity within that relationship, aside from the "all you fake traditional values scolds are moral hypocrites and liars" which we always knew, welcome to 2017. If he was just sending his junk unsolicited, then, well, pack your bags back to Texas, dude..

Wednesday Happy Hour

Apparently there's a holiday tomorrow.

Holiday Shopping Blogging

I haven't read it yet, but it just won a National Book Award and looks good.

The Problem With The Note

No normal people actually read it. Its audience was the people who should have known better, but for some reason didn't.

The Note purported to reveal Washington’s secrets. In fact, its purpose was the exact opposite: to make the city, and US politics, appear impossible to understand. It replaced normal words with jargon. It coined the phrase "Gang of 500," the clubby network of lobbyists, aides, pols, and hangers-on who supposedly, like the Vatican's cardinals, secretly ran DC. That wasn't true — power is so diffuse. But Halperin claimed he knew so much more than we did, and we began to believe it.

Once you believe that, it’s not hard to be convinced that politics is only comprehensible, like nuclear science, to a select few. There were those chosen ones — the people who'd flattered Halperin to get a friendly mention in his newsletter, the ones he declared to be in the know — and the rest of us. Halperin wrote about Washington like it was an intriguing game, the kind that masked aristocrats played to entertain themselves at 19th-century parties: Everyone was both pawn and player, engaged in a set of arcane maneuvers to win an empty jackpot that ultimately meant nothing of true importance.

Holiday Season

Semi-vacation for the next couple of days, so blogging will be random...

The Mark Halperin Decade

Halperin was horrible as I wrote here (and many other times, he was like the Muse of this humble Blog), but the real question is why it took his downfall to for this narrative to be accepted. Halperin (and Mike Allen after him) was the personification of the basic lefty critique of "the liberal media" which was that they weren't liberal and that they were fucking horrible in the ways we described, aside from whatever the basic ideological leanings. Everyone hated Mark, apparently, but no one ever pointed it out except assholes like me. I don't say this to pat myself on the back, I say this to point out that liberalish critiques of the "liberal media" are completely ignored. Occam's razor suggests a reason.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tuesday Evening


I Am Very Surprised

I thought that given his own history, Trump would be completely disgusted with the actions of Roy Moore and would fight very hard to keep him out of the Senate.


Afternoon Thread


By Any Other Name

Charlie Rose has always been a mystery to me. I get that he has fans, but I never understood why. I suppose he had a more "high brow" show than most, in some sense, but Charlie Rose was always about, well, Charlie Rose. Some interviewers enable their guests to speak, and some impose their views on their guests and most guests find it hard to battle back. "Exactly right, Charlie."

But forget the PBS show, which is what I'm describing. The CBS morning show? So weird.

What Do You Think Happens In A War

This could be applied to basically every hawkish US foreign policy endeavor, but assuming that some of their proponents are well-meaning and not just on the boards of arms dealers, what exactly do people think happens when you start arming people to blow other people up or start blowing them up yourself? Either you're encouraging one side to turn the other side into rubble, or you're just aiming for some scaled up version of "an armed society is a polite society." Give everyone weapons and hope this means they don't use them.

Nobody could have predicted...

No Solution

The thing about the Irish border is issue is that...I haven't actually seen a solution. I don't think anyone has one. Other than just not having a border, of course, which...

In an exclusive interview, Ireland’s foreign minister said his country still has a veto - and is prepared to use it.

Simon Coveney told the Standard that trade talks will not be allowed to begin until the UK also agrees to maintain the open border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

He said: “Anybody who thinks that just because the financial settlement issue gets resolved […] that somehow Ireland will have a hand put on the shoulder and be told, ‘Look, it’s time to move on.’ Well, we’re not going to move on.”

Sweet Little Lies

Related, if not the same, is that there's a tendency to pain certain actions by the Trump administration as somehow being unprecedented or "not what America is about" or whatever. The degree matters in all such things, of course, and not everything that is similar is precisely the same, but pointing out that no, actually, all (or most of) this was happening before, is not a defense of Trump. Or to put it another way, when the Trump era is over, I hope all the shit that was "bad" under Trump is still thought to be bad.

Sometimes Lost

I don't expect Republicans to be good. I think it's reasonable to expect (and be disappointed that they don't) that the supposedly objective media gives things the appropriate weight and actual evenhanded coverage instead of the bothsidesism that is the lazy (and worse) version. We should still expect (demand) our own side to be good.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Late Night

What did liberal college students do wrong today?

Monday Night

Rock on.

And I'm Back

Never quite recover an OS system crash, but I think I've sort of managed. Thanks to random internet person who suggested "change this BIOS setting for your hard drive."

The Crusty Paw

And Charlie Rose.

I Can't Drive 55

I think most people have what is to me an acceptable unacceptable attitude about speeding, but for most people that means maybe they'll drive 80.
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro hit with speeding charges after cops clock her driving 119 mph upstate

Afternoon Thread

Still in computer hell. Managed to coax a dos prompt to appear and hook up an external drive so at least there will be backups. Then to see if formatting and reinstallation works or if it's just time for a new machine (or at least new drive).

Somebody Wants To Be Fired

5 sources!

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster mocked President Trump’s intelligence at a private dinner with a powerful tech CEO, according to five sources with knowledge of the conversation.

Over a July dinner with Oracle CEO Safra Catz — who has been mentioned as a candidate for several potential administration jobs — McMaster bluntly trashed his boss, said the sources, four of whom told BuzzFeed News they heard about the exchange directly from Catz. The top national security official dismissed the president variously as an “idiot” and a “dope” with the intelligence of a “kindergartner,” the sources said.