Thursday, September 21, 2017

Happy Hour Thread

Get Happy

Bad People Are Bad People

Once upon a time conservatives claimed to have better ideas for lifting up the plight of the blahs and the poors. They don't even bother pretending anymore. They hate the blahs and the poors. This is just fact and journalists should not shy from pointing this out.

Authoritah

Jimmy Kimmel has made opposing Repblicans on health care part of his thing. Good for him! This has inspired the usual very selective backlash from conservatives about how comedians don't know nothing and should shutup except when they are Dennis Miller and we feature him on teevee every night. Most pundits don't know anything about anything. Our entire model of journalism - especially punditry - is largely allergic to actual expertise. Sean Hannity is on the teevee night after night opining about shit he knows nothing about, but Kimmel should shutupShutUpSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP.

I don't know if Kimmel is Good or Bad and he isn't any more of an expert than you or me but he's a guy with a platform and he's using it for good at the moment so good for him.

Guys I Have Some News I Have To Share

Mike Pence is the Vice President.

It's Rube Goldberg's World

Years ago back when I had a bit of notoriety (my 15 respectable minutes - even the Colbert show called me though they did not have me on) for my crazy and controversial idea that maybe we could solve our retirement income problem by making Social Security just a bit more generous, I gave a talk at a conference about such issues. And really I was there to suggest the crazy idea that literally everybody else knew was totally true but could not say because of the politics of the issue. Everyone else had all of these ideas for addons and state plans and more savings tax credits and blahblahblah. They all knew it was bullshit, except for the token conservative who was there to pretend these ideas were serious when in fact he just wanted us all to give all of our money to Wall Street thieves (also bullshit, but a different kind). But because every knows that Social Security is going to go bankrupt, it was vital to propose alternative expensive complicated plans with additional layers of bureaucracy because is it too early to start drinking?

Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.

America's Worst Humans

Tucker Carlson.

Guys I Have Some News I Have To Share

Donald Trump is the president.

I Read The News Today

I just woke up and the CNN caption is "Maria Lashes Dominican Republic, Destroys Puerto Rico."

I hope that's a bit of hyperbole. 3.4 million people live in Puerto Rico.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Late Night

Rock like you've never rocked before.

Wednesday Evening

Rock on.

Dumb TV Repeats

Funny thinking that The Kids Today don't have any idea who Lenny and Squiggy are.

Mysteries

The "pivot to video" by lots of sites is hilariously dumb (goodbye, pivot to video sites), but more than that even mostly text-based sites are increasingly putting like 3 lines on a page. Have any of you people ever seen the internet? I do not want to scroll through a giant picture and/or video and/or image ad every 3 sentences.

Happy Hour Thread

Not all happy hours are happy.

What Will Fix Puerto Rico After This Disaster

Is, of course, more austerity.

(dark humor, sorry)

Count

"Moving cars is more important than moving people" is dumb policy which applies in basically every American city, but in addition to that my take is that a lot of "moving cars" policies actually don't help move cars at all. Anything which encourages a lot of lane switching in times of heavy traffic probably slows down traffic quite a bit. Sometimes rules are actually better than chaos.

If cars are the priority (they shouldn't be, but obviously they are), run an experiment. Measure numbers/speed without shunting them into the bus lane, and do the same when you do. The results might be surprising. Or not!

Nobody Knows In America

News reports say the entire island of Puerto Rico is without power.

Good Tweets, NPR

I can be a bit critical of Nice Polite Republicans even though I know that in a lot of ways they are Good, so good tweeting NPR (click and follow the thread).

The System

What I'm a bit puzzled about with the latest GOP attempt destroy our health care system is that it really seems like it would destroy our health care system. I know they don't think poors should have health care, but if you pull too many Jenga tiles out of the system the whole thing starts to come down. Rural hospitals are gone, for example. And rural hospitals aren't just for the poors in rural areas. All those big square red states have rural areas. Have to be pretty damn rich to take a helicopter to the hospital when you get sick.

Colony

This is not normal, as is fashionable to say these days.

Spanish national police have stormed ministries and buildings belonging to Catalonia's regional government to put a stop to the region's independence referendum.

The Guardia Civil, which acts with the authority of Madrid's interior ministry, is searching for evidence regarding the planned 1 October referendum on Catalan independence, which Spain's Constitutional Court has declared illegal.

In the early hours of the morning armed officers arrived at various Catalan ministries, including the economy department, foreign affairs department, and social affairs department, Spanish media reports.

America's Worst Humans

The Philadelphia DA's office.

While the DA liquidates many of the assets it seizes, other records obtained by City & State PA and Philly Weekly reveal the DA has long been loaning out forfeited cars to its office personnel. Cars – not unlike Geiger’s seized Buick – are routinely doled out to top deputies for work use, as take-home cars and, in one case, even as a plaything for the district attorney himself. These perks are in addition to those that staff already enjoy, like assigned downtown parking spots, free gas and repair work – all courtesy of Philadelphia taxpayers.

Yet even this unprecedented disclosure appears to represent only a fraction of the city’s civil asset forfeiture proceeds. In reports submitted annually to the Pennsylvania attorney general, the DAO previously claimed to have spent between $2 and $7 million in forfeiture funds each year – at least $5 million more than shown in the budget documents delivered to City&State PA and Philly Weekly. Officials declined to explain the multimillion-dollar discrepancy, despite multiple requests for comment.

Philly Is Closer To DC Than Dulles Is

That's not true, but close enough.

Price’s spokespeople declined to comment on why he considered commercial travel to be unfeasible. On one leg of the trip – a sprint from Dulles International Airport to Philadelphia International Airport, a distance of 135 miles – there was a commercial flight that departed at roughly the same time: Price’s charter left Dulles at 8:27 a.m., and a United Airlines flight departed for Philadelphia at 8:22 a.m., according to airport records.

Forget the flight and take the Acela like a sensible human being.

Morning Thread