Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Late Night

Rock on.

Top Books By Margaret Atwood

Everybody knows the Handmaid's Tale, but really everything she writes is great. I read most of her then for me back catalog in my late 20s, and I still remember them. So... Let's start with, Alias Grace.

America's Worst Humans

John McCain.

Happy Hour Thread

Get Happy.

Liberal Dreamboat

Beating Le Pen, like everybody does always, is good. Stop swooning for the guy.

The French president Emmanuel Macron has come under fire for cuts to housing benefits, just as his popularity has dropped in polls.

A row erupted on Monday after the government announced it was going to cut a particular type of housing benefit by five euros a month in a move affecting millions of French people – including many living below the poverty line.

Cutting 5 euros a month is almost a bigger dick move then throwing everybody off the system. It isn't even some highminded (if bad) reform, it's just cruelty for the sake of cruelty. Stick it to the poor.

Centrism Is Mr. Smith Going To Washington FOREVER

I tired of the fantasies people have of heroic politicians doing heroic things as a patriotic soundtrack swells behind them and an American flag can be seen just out of focus.

It isn't a movie.

Everybody Gets A Lawyer

Some will be able to afford them, and some not so much.

Ivanka Trump will retain criminal defense lawyer Abbe Lowell to counsel her in the ongoing Russia probe, according to the National Law Journal.

Lowell, an attorney for the D.C.-based firm Norton Rose Fulbright, will work to provide both Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner with legal and ethical advice during the investigation.

The Word Is Senile

But close enough.

“Yes,” Reed replies. “I think — I think he’s crazy,” apparently referring to the president. “I mean, I don’t say that lightly and as a kind of a goofy guy.”

“I’m worried,” Collins replies.

Go Big

Crazy ideas finally getting mainstream.

Such infrastructure spending has long been a Democratic Party priority. However, Trump managed to communicate it in a way that Hillary Clinton did not.

I’m still waiting to hear the “bold solutions” that Democrats promise. I can think of one possibility: Why not propose some version of truly universal single-payer health care?

Trump said one trillion dollars. It was bullshit. Hillary Clinton said "$275 billion over 5 years." It was not bullshit. It also did not sound yuge.

Could The Next One Be Worse?

It's certainly easy to imagine that the replacement for Jeffy Jeff would be worse in a lot of ways, but it's hard to imagine someone so skilled at being a racist Attorney General.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as he continues to rage against Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation.

Trump turns on everyone except Ivanka. Why is this not obvious to everyone?

America 2017, The Novel

A rich 80 year old man with brain cancer and socialized medicine flies to DC, against the advice of doctors, to make sure young people don't have health care, to support a president who had mocked him for being a POW.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Late Night

Enjoy.

Monday Evening

Get your evening on.

There's Always Money In The Banana Stand For "Capitalism"

Why I obsess about this stuff...

Proponents of self-driving cars say they'll make the world safer, but autonomous vehicles need to predict what bicyclists are going to do. Now researchers say part of the answer is to have bikes feed information to cars.

Just follow this logically about what they think their toys will require....

Flee For The Tillerson

Another one of those "hard to imagine someone worse, and yet..." things.

For weeks, conversations with Tillerson friends outside of Washington have left the impression that he, despite his frustrations, was determined to stay on the job at least through the end of the year. That would allow time to continue efforts to reorganize the State Department and would mean he could claim to have put in a year as America's top diplomat.

But two sources who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity over the weekend said they would not be surprised if there was a "Rexit" from Foggy Bottom sooner that that.


The press likes him because he rich so he must be great, but that's not actually how things work. We should have learned that lesson recently.

America's Worst Companies

EmCare

BothSides

The bothsides joke isn't that the press always finds Both Sides equally and oppositely culpable, it's that there is no Republican sin without a corresponding Deomcratic one, though the opposite isn't true. The scales are almost always weighted in one direction in all things.

Those of us with long memories remember how, at best, you would find one lonely Clinton defender against 3 or more rabid antagonists during Monica Madness (at best, as often that lonely defender was basically saying, "Well, I'm not sure why should actually have him executed..."). Remember, of course, that the public was against impeachment and Clinton was popular during this time. Or during the Iraq war, when there was a similar dynamic. Or during the Bush administration, when the Republicans/Conservatives were over represented on the Sunday shows because they ran the government, and then during the Obama administration they were over represented because they didn't.

I don't think it's the case that Trump gets good press... I mean, even that would be an effort too far... But there have been about 15 events which for a Democratic president would have inspired a return to Monica Madness (including, as keeps being hinted at, Trump's own Monica, about which I know nothing and I don't really care but who reporters keep dropping clues about), an OJ-level feeding frenzy of endless coverage from which the only conclusion allowed would be "he must be resign."

Pseudo-Public Space Is Bad

In part because it seems like we will never, ever create more truly public spaces again, and the ones we have are likely to be eroded.

Pseudo-public spaces – large squares, parks and thoroughfares that appear to be public but are actually owned and controlled by developers and their private backers – are on the rise in London and many other British cities, as local authorities argue they cannot afford to create or maintain such spaces themselves.

Although they are seemingly accessible to members of the public and have the look and feel of public land, these sites – also known as privately owned public spaces or “Pops” – are not subject to ordinary local authority bylaws but rather governed by restrictions drawn up the landowner and usually enforced by private security companies.

Also, He's Bad?

A weird thing is how some foreign (usually European) elections capture the attention of Americans and some don't. I don't claim to know anything about the politics of most European countries. I follow British politics pretty closely, and Spanish some and French a bit. I only claim to know anything much about the first one.

Anyway, I get that Le Pen is Bad and beating Le Pen is good and everyone Bad is apparently a stand-in for Trump (Voldemort, some bad guy on Game of Thrones I think?, the Home Alone robbers), but the National Front has, you know, never won, so beating it wasn't actually that big of an accomplishment. He's young and pretty and projects the image of having some book learning, so I guess that's refreshing. Macron is also kind of bad on economic policy, like cut taxes and remove labor protections and talk about things like Tom Friedman does bad, and so...

French President Emmanuel Macron's popularity rating has slumped by 10 percentage points this month, according to an Ifop poll on Sunday—the biggest decline for a new president since 1995.

The poll, published in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, said 54 percent of people in France were satisfied with Macron in July, compared with 64 percent in June.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Night

Tomorrow is...

Sadly, No

Sometimes you say things in order to make them more likely to happen, but I hope Dems don't actually believe this.

Yet everything keeps coming back to pushing a Congress that has so far been supine before the president and often hostile to dissenting constituents. “If Trump were to fire Mueller, that is to me the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu told me. “I think at that point you’re going to have large numbers of Republicans saying we need to start impeachment proceedings.”

Lunch Thread

enjoy