Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Crass Commercialism

Some gear for your weird cousin.

Nothing to See Here

Move along.

Temperatures have soared in western Russia’s Yamal tundra this summer. Across Siberia, some provinces warmed an additional 10 degrees Fahrenheit beyond normal. In the fields, large bubbles of vegetation appeared above the melting permafrost — strange pockets of methane or, more likely, water. Record fires blazed through dry Russian grassland.

In one of the more unusual symptoms of unseasonable warmth, long-dormant bacteria appear to be active. For the first time since 1941, anthrax struck western Siberia. Thirteen Yamal nomads were hospitalized, including four children, the Siberian Times reported. The bacteria took an even worse toll on wildlife, claiming some 1,500 reindeer since Sunday.

A Bit Too Early For The Shit Eating Phase

Pretend just a bit longer, at least.

Democratic vice-presidential pick Tim Kaine has privately told nominee Hillary Clinton he will support repeal of the Hyde Amendment, a 1976 provision that bans the use of federal dollars for abortion services, Clinton spokesman Jesse Ferguson and Kaine spokeswoman Amy Dudley said Tuesday.

The position is a reversal for Kaine, who earlier this month told the Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, that he's "traditionally been a supporter of the Hyde amendment."


Heckuva Job

Sorry millions of lives were destroyed. Bygones.
The injustice is that the cost of the bailouts was switched to ordinary Greek citizens – the least able to support the burden – and it was never acknowledged that the true motive of EU-IMF Troika policy was to protect monetary union. Indeed, the Greeks were repeatedly blamed for failures that stemmed from the policy itself. This unfairness – the root of so much bitterness in Greece – is finally recognised in the report.

“If preventing international contagion was an essential concern, the cost of its prevention should have been borne – at least in part – by the international community as the prime beneficiary,” it said.

The real problem is that no one trusts elites anymore.

What A Strange System

It's a bit weird that after all of that, we're going to re-run the entire Clinton/Sanders primary again. There won't be any time for the general election campaign!

Instant Punditry's Gonna Get You

So I'll skip it.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Main Event

Coming soon!

Thursday Evening

Final night!

Sticking The Knife In

If I hadn't known for years that DWS was horrible, this type of thing might actually make me feel bad.

Can't believe she failed to realize my friend Josh was behind the supposed Russian hack all along. Probably could have demonized him more effectively, then.

Gonna Go Hang Out At The Abortionplex

The end of Dem defensiveness on abortion is a welcome development. For some reasons pundits always tell us that The People like politicians who are sure of themselves and unapologetic about what they stand for (I think this pundit observation is actually true!), but Dems are supposed to be wishy-washy about all of their key differences with the Republican party. Always supposed to chase the people who won't vote for them.

Lost in the discussion, from a purely political perspective, is that Dems have their own group of single issue voters, those who are concerned with legal reproductive health and rights. It isn't that reproductive health and rights issues are the only thing they care about, but it is the thing which will bring them to the polls. For years Dems were told to support abortion rights, but tepidly and apologetically, making sure to communicate that every abortion was an icky tragedy that we should all feel really bad about, especially the slutty slut who had one. They were also supposed to make common cause (why it was their responsibility I was never sure) with people who wanted to outlaw contraception. Never knew what that compromise was supposed to look like. Free abortions for some, chastity belts for others?

Hopefully those days are over. Women need proper health care. Abortion is a part of that, and without the right to choose women can't be equal citizens. Be loud and proud about it.

Lunch Thread



One of our cute little traditions in Philadelphia is that the median of the major North/South artery in South Philly is unofficially a free parking zone. It's illegal to park there, officially, but it's, you know, "tradition." It's also ugly, dangerous, and largely just serves as a fre long term parking storage facility for multi-car households who have extra cars that are rarely used. Snow provides good evidence of how often people actually need those cars. If a car is still sitting there with snow on it 2 weeks after a storm, it probably isn't used very often.

The number of usable parking spaces this illegal parking adds for commuters is pretty small. Still, South Philly is a special place where finding parking is more difficult than anywhere else in the city (it isn't). Did I mention that one of our two subway lines runs down this route and it probably has the best bus coverage in the city?

To the extent that parking is a problem (it can be anywhere), the simple solution is to implement permit parking for residents. Hey, I live in South Philly, though not quite deep enough to be in the free median parking zone. As soon as permit parking came to my block, no more parking problems. Generally, any kind of parking enforcement is not tolerated.

This is just a preamble to thanking the Gods of the internet for giving me so much fun yesterday, reading an online discussion about a proposal to make the temporary enforcement of the median parking ban, instituted for the DNC, permanent. We all have hobbies. You'll take away peoples' babies before you'll take away their illegal parking. It's good fun.

I am sympathetic to parking issues, believe it or not. I'm not very sympathetic to people who think it's a problem if they have to park 2 blocks away from the house sometimes. People write things like, "how would you like it if I parked in front of your house???" Which, you know, is normal everywhere else in the city, suggesting that parking in South Philly is not actually a bigger problem than elsewhere. They aren't private spots, they're public, and the free long term storage opportunities provided on S. Broad St. don't really help that situation anyway.

At least they amuse and confuse visitors to the city.

...adding, yes there are people with mobility problems for whom two blocks is a problem. I'm not talking about those people. Solutions which help them are completely unrelated to providing free illegal parking to everybody else.

A Few Problems

A few times in my adultish life there have been recessions. Each time things looked bleak, but each time it eventually seemed like genuine recovery had arrived. Whether it did or not is another question, but the basic belief that all we needed to do was get back to close to full employment and everything would be fine seemed to be true enough. We're pretty close to full employment. Things certainly are better than they were a few years ago. Things are also still fucked up and bullshit.

Morning Thread

From what I'm reading, there is just too much good speechifying going on in Philly.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Late Night


Make America Great Again

Starting to worry this campaign is going to be Trump saying something horrible and/or ridiculous, followed by the Clinton campaign and others pointing out how horrible/ridiculous it is, followed by...over and over and over and over again.

Not going to do a lot for downballot races. Not gonna do a lot for telling people how we're going to make things better for The Kids Today.

Convention Thread

Wednesday edition.

Afternoon Thread


Biofuels, Bitches!

Or maybe not.
Environmentalists who once championed biofuels as a way to cut pollution are now turning against a U.S. program that puts renewable fuels in cars, citing higher-than-expected carbon dioxide emissions and reduced wildlife habitat.

America's Worst Humans

Bill O'Reilly.

Heckuva Job

The "hilarious" thing is how much the UK press is largely ignoring the party that actually created Brexit, and which happens to be in power, in favor of focusing on blaming the leader of the party that has no power and focusing on the infighting in that party.

In 5 years everyone will remember how Prime Minister Corbyn made the UK leave the EU and destroyed everything.

Bill's Worst Moment

Petey Beinart gets one right. I cringed when I heard it.
But in between, Clinton said something dreadful: “If you’re a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together, we want you.” The problem is in the assumption. American Muslims should be viewed exactly the same way other Americans are. If they commit crimes, then they should be prosecuted, just like other Americans. But they should not have to prove that they “love America and freedom” and “hate terror” to “stay here.” Their value as Americans is inherent, not instrumental. Their role as Americans is not to “help us win” the “war on terror.”.