Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday Morning

Does anyone watch the Sunday political shows anymore? Anyone?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Saturday Night

It's alright.

Saturday Evening

I think it's a bit... out of date... but I at least get why members of Congress used to blather on about bipartisan this and bipartisan that. And, yes, of course sometimes compromise is necessary and it's nice if people can work together, though the outcome is the thing, not the process (This is the part our political press does not understand. It does not matter if TipnRonnie have beers, it matters what they do before and after).

The scary thing is some senators really... believe it? They think they've been elected to form gangs and go the gym together or whatever. Strange people. I'm looking at you Claire McCaskill. Stop it.

And Another

Dumbasses.
WASHINGTON — Representative Patrick Meehan, a Pennsylvania Republican who has taken a leading role in fighting sexual harassment in Congress, used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle his own misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him last year of making unwanted romantic overtures to her, according to several people familiar with the settlement.

A married father of three, Mr. Meehan, 62, had long expressed interest in the personal life of the aide, who was decades younger and had regarded the congressman as a father figure, according to three people who worked with the office and four others with whom she discussed her tenure there.

But after the woman became involved in a serious relationship with someone outside the office last year, Mr. Meehan professed his romantic desires for her — first in person, and then in a handwritten letter — and he grew hostile when she did not reciprocate, the people familiar with her time in the office said.

Was 60-40 R-D in 2016, but it's notionally a swingy district. Presidential was 49.3-47 Trump-Clinton.

To Live In LA

A game we play sometimes is trying to come up with 10 cities in the US that we'd be willing to live in. Obviously I am not aware of all cities in the US and my views of places I have spent time in are of course mostly dated. I don't have perfect information about everywhere in the US. I am also not so picky that I am unwilling to go places temporarily. I'd go many places for a year or two without complaint if need be, but that's different than wanting to live in them "forever."

Anyway, Los Angeles never really made that list before. I lived in SoCal 17 years ago, and while I didn't live in LA, I spent a reasonable amount of time there. I did not like it. It was not good. I just spent 10 days or so there and I can say...maybe it's good now?

I have my own peculiar baseline for wanting to live anywhere. I need to be able to get around without a car. I don't mean that I need to not own a car, I just have to not need to use it all the time. I want to be able to walk or use public transit for most of my regular needs/wants. You know, supermarket, coffee shop, some restaurants+bars, basic neighborhood amenities... within walking distance, and then decent transit (including buses!) to take me to at least some other places I want to go.

17 years ago LA lived up to its stereotype pretty well. Transit was pretty bad. Nobody walked anywhere. Downtown was deserted at night (and not actually thriving during the day).



Now they have trains and subways (they had a bit of this when I was there, but they were not so useful) and a bus system that is really really good. I went "everywhere" on transit - during the day, at night - and had no problems. The LA region is really really big, so trying to get around on mass transit is never going to be perfect, but... it worked really really well! Downtown is hopping. Having an active downtown makes it easier to establish a good transit system, allowing it to radiate from a core, even if visiting downtown doesn't interest people.

And the surrounding areas are... much nicer now. Except for the obvious "rich people areas" much of LA was pretty run down 17 years ago. A lot of retail strips struggling or even boarded up. The city is "back" even in the non-downtown areas. And, yes, having a reprieve from the cold is not so bad. I am getting old.

Where Do I Store His Binky

One weird thing about autonomous car proponents is that they don't seem to understand how most people use cars. I assume these people tend to be drivers, because most people are, but maybe they're all just SF techbros who rely on Uber and so they don't actually get car ownership anymore than I should as a non-carowner.

A driverless car fantasy (aside from the fantasy that they'll work) is that individual car ownership will be significantly reduced as people can just hit the button on their phone and summon one. This could be true, a bit, in places where lots of people already don't own cars (urban hellholes), and don't rely on them for commuting, but it's hard to see how that works generally. The obvious issue is rush hour. People who rely on cars to commute all need cars at the same time.

Even aside from that, have you seen how families use cars? They're filled with car seats for the kids and toys and a water bottle and spare items and ... People store stuff in them. Stuff they want to be there when they get into the car, stuff they don't want to have to remember to lug out to the car every time they go somewhere.

It just isn't the case that everyone wants to travel by taxi, even if they're cheap (which they won't be, and also they won't work).

Shutdown

John Kelly is as big a racist xenophobe as Stephen Miller, if perhaps for different reasons, and you can't make a deal with bestest boy Donald about immigration (or anything) because they'll run interference and get him to "reconsider." The New York Times reporters spent all last night (in their shitty newspaper and on the twitters) blaming Democrats for the shutdown, because it's always their fault, so cancel your subscriptions. Please. I am so sick of this shitty newspaper destroying our politics. From Whitewater to Iraq to Clinton Cash to Emails to Maggie when will people learn. It is a bad newspaper. Local media is often horrible but at least they cover things that nobody else does so give your guilt money to them instead.

Autopilot

Really shouldn't call it that.

"Autopilot" should not be conflated to "self-driving," as one allegedly inebriated Tesla driver found out after failing to cross the Bay Bridge last Saturday evening.

The man had apparently passed out in the stopped car while stuck in the flow of busy bridge traffic at 5:30 p.m. that day, according to the California Highway Patrol. When he was awoken, he ostensibly attempted to reassure arresting CHP officers onsite that the car was "on autopilot."

Morning Thread

Day 1 of government shutdown. Maybe there's a football game we can watch.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Late Night

Rock on.

One Thing I Know For Sure

There is nothing that upsets the Majority Leader more than knowing that some kids might lose their health insurance. If only he had any power to do something about it.

Happy Hour

Have at it!

Meanwhile, a doctor tending to young, female Olympic gymnasts

TRUMP SMASH

Trip to his Florida shithole postponed.  Gonna be an angry preznit.

Afternoon Thread

Enjoy

Travel Day

Um, let's see, (spins wheel), self-driving cars aren't gonna happen anytime soon?


So, when an automaker tells the world that it will have self-driving cars by 2020, it likely means Level 3 or Level 4 cars will be available as commercial vehicles, in specific cities or regions without consumer sales by that time.

They're always 3 years away...

Morning Thread

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sure, Believe That's The Straw. Whatever. Lol You Garbage People

Fates are already sealed.

But some episodes can’t be ignored. Trump’s comments during a closed-door immigration meeting last week in which he referred to “shithole” countries are still reverberating, with several administration officials privately worrying that their future job prospects could be damaged by association, according to a person familiar with their thinking.

Thursday Night

Tomorrow is... a travel day.

America's Worst Humans

Carl Higbie.

He resigned.

Afternoon Thread

I beat the bureaucracy. America is great again.

No Foods

I've experienced shortage problems at my local Whole Foods a couple of times recently, though I have no idea if it's related. It's one thing if they're out of kelp or something, but another if you can't be sure you'll find onions and potatoes and other basic staples. Twice I've had to go the Other Supermarket across the street for really basic stuff.

But Whole Foods employees say the problems began before the acquisition. They blame the shortages on a buying system called order-to-shelf that Whole Foods implemented across its stores early last year.

Supermarkets need to be overstocked. Yes that'll lead to waste, but...

Thursday, Thursday

Many things to deal with today. I thought things were supposed to be simple in this country. That's what we used to tell Europeans, at least.