Tuesday, January 17, 2017

84

Gogol Bordello - Alcohol

Tuesday Evening

How is it Tuesday already? Only another 208 or so of these to go...

For Your Consideration

On the way out the door.
WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday largely commuted the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the army intelligence analyst convicted of an enormous 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted the administration, and made WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures, famous.

Nutpicking

La Resistance will have protests. People will spend most of their time nutpicking the protests. As always happens.

Conservative Health Care Plan

Liberal Trump fanfic scenarios aside, the conservative plan for health care is "if you can't pay for it, you suffer and then die." This could be modified slightly to setting up a system by which your income is garnished for the rest of your life to pay for your treatment (not so different than what we have now, except with more pressure to actually treat people), or with a system that forces you to buy shitty health care insurance that you can't afford and which won't cover treatment anyway (ACA does this to some, though with health care that isn't entirely shitty and which might actually cover you).

That's how it is, and anyone who pretends otherwise is stupid or lying. I suppose there's some slight chance they'll blackmail Democrats into supporting some plan which is only 90% as bad as this sounds, so that Republicans don't get blamed for it, but otherwise that's the only template for "replacement."

Lunch Thread

Survived a trip to the dentist with all of my teefers intact.

Fee Fees

Rumors are a couple of Trump nominees don't like people being mean to them and want to retreat to their safe spaces under their mountain lairs of gold.

What did they expect?

Monday, January 16, 2017

85

Maria Taylor - Song Beneath the Song

Miserable Failure

One frustrating thing during the Bush presidency was that this horrible person remained popular for so long. Yes it was post-9/11 and rally around the flag, but still. The second frustrating thing about the Bush presidency was that even when he was unpopular the press talked about him like he was popular, until he went so low that they couldn't so they started writing comeback story fan fiction.

Trump's already quite unpopular, and I'm pretty sure he'll stay that way. The press will, however, keep writing about how he's winning the news cycle or whatever due to his BOOYAH tweets. This is not opinion, this is ANALYSIS, and it is true no matter what the polls say.

Afternoon Thread

I'm all deepthoughted out. Who has one?

Extraordinarily Profound Thought For The Day

Even when people fundamentally agree about things, they can differ wildly about how to prioritize those things.

Lunch Thread

Get your lunch on.

Troll The World

Don't worry, I'm not one of those "maybe Trump won't be so bad" types. My estimation of how bad things will be probably exceeds that of most people, which is why I'm subsisting on a diet of ketamine and bath salts. Still the one way to shut most of his critics up for awhile (not that I think he cares to, really, he just wants to be loved and worshiped for being just the way he is) would be to actually ram through a better health care plan.

No it won't happen.

Why Martin Luther King Jr. Would Have Been An Atriot

I'm sure many of us heard the lovely tales about the glories of nonviolent resistance movements in our various Myths Of America American History classes. It seems that idea gets increasingly morphed from a largely utilitarian one - nonviolence can work - to a moral one, which says that victims of state oppression and violence have no right to fight back, that the oppressors are the only justified users of force. They're bad, but fighting back is worse. Unless, I suppose, the US State Department declares that you are "moderate rebels" in which case anything goes.

The title is a sardonic joke, of course, as everyone rushes to claim MLK as their own. Pretty sure there's an automated program which sends the "Why MLK Was a Conservative" column to the Washington Post every year.

Anyway, I've been a bit remiss in my life about reading more black writers of all genres and going a bit deeper into black history. A good enough time as any to start remedying that.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

86

Portastatic - I Wanna Know Girls

Sunday Evening

Enjoy.

Drug Test Them All

White House staff used to be drug tested. Got some attention in the Clinton years because of all of those druggy hippies he hired. Anyway, just drug test anyone who does regular work in the White House. Fair!

(No I don't really think people should be drug tested).

Random Thought For A Sunday

Nothing new, but as I read the numerous arguments about "gentrification" (a word that like so many others tends to mean whatever people want it to mean at that moment), I just keep coming back what is to me the primary issue, at least in my urban hellhole (though not unique to it): the problem isn't that rich people moving in drives up property values, the problem is that rich people moving in magically causes better better public service provision (quality police, fixed streets and sidewalks, school quality, etc) which causes property values to rise. Provide public services equally across the city and the neighborhood by neighborhood gentrification really isn't such of an issue...

Changing Perspectives

Short blog post means big generalizations, but...

Post-impeachment, post-Bush selection, post-9/11 was a weird time in American politics (I suppose a specific weird time, it's always a weird time). One thing people forget about the impeachment era was that it was basically The Left (sometimes actually The Left like The Nation magazine writers and sometimes people who found themselves being branded The Left because of this) who defended Bill Clinton in the whole Monica Madness era (and before). Mainstream media (hi New York Times!), columnists, cable news personalities, all the respectable prominent "centrist" Democrats, were falling all over themselves to condemn that nasty Bill Clinton and his nasty penis, and Ken Starr was treated as the second coming of Jesus in respectable DC circles. It was a weird time in which the crazy left were actually the biggest defenders of the Democratic party, much bigger defenders of it than the Democratic party itself. It was a time when you wouldn't have been surprised if you woke up one morning and half the party hadn't decided to switch teams and become Republicans. "I was a Democrat before Bill Clinton did nasty things with that woman, but now I don't think rich people should pay taxes anymore..."

And then the selection, and then Iraq, and then Bush's re-election, and the whole Social Security privatization nonsense... It was always the "crazy left" that was trying to make the Democratic party just, you know, be Democrats, and everybody else basically being like "Why can't a Democrat be more like a Republican." Being against the war or against Social Security privatization (the Dems finally woke up on that one, but it took a lot of yelling) wasn't exactly calling for full communism, and plenty of people who thought they were just standard squishy Democrats suddenly found themselves being lumped together with radicals.

So I found myself on the crazy left. I'm genuinely more "lefty" than I was 15 years ago, but even now I'm not exactly calling for full communism. I generally think that usually the best use of my efforts are to pull the party leftward (not that I think I have the superpowers required to do this), not just because I'm more lefty, but because the forces pulling them to the right continue to be powerful and well-funded. Also, if the "crazy" position is a minimum wage of $25 an hour, then $15 an hour doesn't look so crazy anymore (for example). If the best we can ever do is a compromise, then it's best not to start the negotiations with the compromise position.

People get mad about criticizing Democrats these days in a way they never did before. People like Obama and associate "the crazy left" with Bernie, blaming him (and therefore the crazy left) for Clinton's election problems. Maybe I'm wrong, but whatever horrors the Trump administration is going to unleash, the important thing is for the Democrats to draw distinctions, and not just hope for team R to step on enough rakes. "Not as evil as the other guys" just doesn't win elections, even when the other guys are really fucking evil.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

87

Amy Rigby - Dancing With Joey Ramone

Hell St.

I try to resist responding to every one of our idiot manchild president-elect's idiot tweets, but his most recent tirade about how John Lewis's congressional district is poverty stricken hellhole hit all of my pet peeves. I mean, his district includes a combination of prosperous (a lot!) and less prosperous bits of Atlanta and is a high income/high education (average) one.

But basically this is Trump's view that all black people live in hellholes and all urban areas not within 15 feet of his golden palace in the sky are hellholes. A lifetime New Yorker but really where he'd rather be is a expensive suburban country club residential development somewhere. Which is fine, he's entitled to his preferences. But 70 years on this Earth and it seems like he's seen his penthouse, some golf courses, the occasional glance out his limo window, and that's it other than 24/7 cable news. Strange life, given his resources.

Saturday Happy Hour

Everybody's working for the weekend.