Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesday Evening

Get your evening on.

Self-Driving Car Engineers Discover Driving Is Hard

I could've told them that.
These became the first structured tests in the self-driving program. It turns out that the hard part is not really the what-if-a-zombie-is-eating-a-person-in-the-road scenarios people dream up, but proceeding confidently and reliably like a human driver within the endless variation of normal traffic.


First They Came For Everybody Else

Sure we're all a bit more likely to feel sympathy with a "victim" we identify with somehow, and maybe even find some slightly tortured argument for that additional sympathy to make it seem like some sort of High Principle, but conservatives and glibertarians are incredibly able to spin 180 degrees.

Afternoon Thread

Busy with stuff.


One bit of the whole white supremacist stuff I don't get is the 'we'. I suppose Vonnegut would have called it a Granfalloon. Why do people feel this weird connection to "history" and "culture" (stuff they rarely know anything about anyway) based on, well, nothing. I think some of my ancestors were from Romania. I don't feel any connection.

The Trump Show

This WaPo report (in my local newspaper) is, well, it's interesting.


Another day, another shit storm. And so it goes.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tuesday Night

I was out. Sounds like I've been missing some fun.

Yertle's Mad

I never know whether to believe any of this stuff at this point, but...

The relationship between President Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and Mr. McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

What was once an uneasy governing alliance has curdled into a feud of mutual resentment and sometimes outright hostility, complicated by the position of Mr. McConnell’s wife, Elaine L. Chao, in Mr. Trump’s cabinet, according to more than a dozen people briefed on their imperiled partnership. Angry phone calls and private badmouthing have devolved into open conflict, with the president threatening to oppose Republican senators who cross him, and Mr. McConnell mobilizing to their defense.

Happy Hour Thread

Get happy.

Richie Riches

Of course America has always had an underclass, but the idea of the "middle class" was that access to stability and comfort, if not luxury, was being extended to much (not most!) of the population. The reversal of that trend had been bad.

Blog Format Is Good

Maybe I am just old, but I don't know what motivated the "Actually, posting things in full in reverse chronological order is Bad" fetish. I don't want to click through everything. Stop it or I will send Lawyers, Guns, and Money!

Facebook does it because of their obsession with The Algorithm so I don't post on Facebook anymore and everyone else did it for awhile because of Tablets, which as Microsoft realized weren't quite as much The Next Big Thing as people thought, but now?

The DCCC Defense Squad

Not that anyone reads this sucky blog, but fundraising tactics that succeed in raising money do not necessarily help people win elections. The fundraising team has one job to do and their bosses have a bigger one (in theory, at least).

The Voters Are Economically Insecure Horrible Racists

Since the election there's been this weird back and forth about whether Trump voters were motivated by The Economic Insecurity or by The Racism. This is yet another proxy battle in the 2016 primary battle between Bernie The Racist Who Thought Economic Justice Would Solve Racism and Clinton The Neoliberal Who Really Hated Racism (this is caricaturing the arguments so do not get mad).

I think it's important to note that the average Trump voter isn't actually an unemployed coal miner, because facts matter, and the portrayal Trump as Working Class Hero (sometimes they remember to write "White") is silly and wrong. Trump's base are not the marginal voters who switched to him from Obama, they are the same Republicans who vote Republican every 4 years.

But as for the "but they're racists!" argument. Yes, yes they are. People who are racists generally vote for Republicans. Some (many?) of Trump's voters were motivated to vote by the racism specifically, though many of those people would have voted as they always do anyway - for the Republican.

So what do Democrats do about that? If you just dismiss the 2016 election as "but...they're racists!" Then? I mean, what's the answer to that? This is about 2018, not 2020, because the world probably won't even exist by then.


Something I realized watching my partial (74% I think) eclipse versus the total eclipse (on the teevee) was that they are very different things. Previously when I heard tales of stupid humans who lacked the constant CNN eclipse coverage and completely freaked out when the eclipsed happened, I had the wrong idea. The thing is anybody who experiences a partial eclipse probably is not bothered at all, even if they are not educated by Wolf Blitzer about what it's all about. Mostly because we generally don't look up into the sun and a partial eclipse...really isn't that dramatic. A day might get a bit "cloudy" without actual clouds, but that would barely be noticeable. Even if you looked up at the sun (like King Donald), you wouldn't even really be able to see it.

But the full eclipse isn't a slow eating of the sun by the moon (as people see it), a slow transition from light to shadow to dark.... It's a sudden, short, freakish disappearance of the sun followed by the presence of a wacky glowing fire. The light is there, the light is gone. The sun is there, the sun is covered. It's dramatic. If you experienced it and had no idea what was going on... it'd be really freaky.

Monday, August 21, 2017

There Was Never Any Doubt

As Pareene warned us, the way to be a Good President is to be a president who promises to kill a lot of brown people in other countries.

Does Trump Become President For The 37th Time Tonight?

A promise to kill more people is always the best way.

Happy Hour Thread

I did not go blind.

Afternoon Thread

Rock on.

Secret Service is Out Of Money

Basically, Donald Trump is, as usual, not paying the people who work for him because he just doesn't believe in it.

Overwork and constant travel have also been driving a recent exodus from the Secret Service ranks, yet without congressional intervention to provide additional funding, Alles will not even be able to pay agents for the work they have already done.

Nothing Is Real

I just saw another piece, which I won't bother to link because I'm tired of rewarding this stuff and the sourcing was more abysmal than usual (really, it's so often at the level of "some guy who heard something at a bar"), but it was all about White House Intrigue. Basically, it's WHO IS LEAKING AGAINST WHO IN THE PRESS. Of course "the press" know this precisely, but can't say, so you get all these weird stories. And while they're fun gossip and they can matter - to the extent that who is up and who is down can influence policy - none of these people seem to care about anything except shitting on each other in public and none of them know a damn thing about policy.

Morning Thread

Thank goodness Dear Leader's vacation is over. I don't know how much more of the madness I can take. Maybe now that he's back at work and too busy to watch tv news, things will calm down.