Monday, August 03, 2015

Monday Evening


So Many Grifters

It is really funny.

The Very Serious People Go To London

It's all so familiar, this branding of anyone vaguely to the left of whoever UK's equivalent of Joe Lieberman is as being silly and childish.

As Jones suggests, the truth is that all the more Blairite New Labour people need to do is embrace the genuinely good things that Labour did while they were in government. But since they decided not to battle the Tory "ZOMG LABOUR SPENT ALL THE MONEYS" narrative, they can't do that. At least Miliband could muster up the "not quite as evil as the other guys" narrative reasonably well. Post-Miliband, Labour can't even manage that. As useless as a marzipan dildo.

I Wonder What Econ 101 Could Tell Us About This

I always get amused when people point to certain jobs - usually public sector ones - and complain about how they pay and benefits are too generous. You know, bus drivers, teachers, etc. If it's such a good job, you go drive the damn bus! My local transit authority has had job listings for bus drivers every time I've looked.

Make it a crappier job with crappier pay and people will leave. It's true that job security is an enormous perk in a society in which few people have it. It's also true that job security is an enormous perk which allows school districts to pay their workers a lot less. Take it away, and...
Teachers can’t hotfoot it out of Kansas fast enough, creating a substantial shortage expected only to get much worse. Why?

Well, there’s the low pay. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average teaching salary in 2012-2013 (the latest year for which data were available, in constant 2012-2013 dollars), was $47,464, lower than the pay in all but seven states (Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and West Virginia), though not by much in most of them.

Last year, job protections were cut by state lawmakers, who have also sought to reduce collective-bargaining rights for public employees.

Ruh Roh

Grand old police blotter.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been booked at a Dallas-area jail on felony charges alleging that he misled investors before becoming the state's top lawyer.


Questions about Paxton's financial dealings have shadowed the tea party conservative since he took office in January.

Mysteries of Success

I get how completely ruthless assholes manage to rise to the top, but some assholes seem to lack even the tiniest bit of the social skills I would think would be necessary to achieve success. A lot of these people seem to do really well. It isn't that easy to convince a lot of people that you are the asshole they should send to the governor's mansion, as opposed to all of the other assholes. How do they manage?

Nice Trick

Greatest trick the banksters pulled was convincing the world that it was unpossible to default on a loan. We'll see how this plays out.
Puerto Rico will miss a payment on debt due Aug. 1, the governor's chief of staff said on Friday, an event that will be considered a default by investors as the commonwealth lurches towards what could be one of the largest U.S. municipal debt restructurings in history.

Puerto Ricans can just move to the US (those with the means, anyway) if the banksters try to destroy it.

Good Morning

Sunday, August 02, 2015

There Was Never A STEM Shortage

It never showed up in the data. It was always bullshit. Why certain powerful people chose to believe it I do not know. That many universities believe that their future lies in STEM majors - and are hiring and cutting based on that belief - is maddening.


Got a bit too much sun today.


Leaving aside the question of what security precautions should be in place ideally, if this is the level of coordination fail that's going on then it's just going to be a complete mess. In other words, it isn't really about security. It rarely is. I just don't know what it's really about.
On Thursday, the federal agency issued an unusual release denying that it dictated SEPTA limits on rail service for that weekend or that it had ordered Philadelphia businesses to shut down.

The blame game continued Friday afternoon, with SEPTA challenging the Secret Service, saying it had no choice but to shut stations rather than comply with unworkable security rules.

Ridiculous and incompetent. That's how you make things secure!

America's Worst Humans

William Lewinski

Morning Thread

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Saturday Night

It's alright.

Nobody Could Have Predicted

Must increase gasoline shipments to our firefighters.

While American military trainers had gone to great lengths to protect the initial group of trainees from attacks by Islamic State or Syrian Army forces, they did not anticipate an assault from the Nusra Front. In fact, officials said on Friday, they expected the Nusra Front to welcome Division 30 as an ally in its fight against the Islamic State.

“This wasn’t supposed to happen like this,” said one former senior American official, who was working closely on Syria issues until recently, and who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential intelligence assessments.

The Nusra Front said in a statement on Friday that its aim was to eliminate Division 30 before it could gain a deeper foothold in Syria. The Nusra Front did much the same last year when it smashed the main groups that had been trained and equipped in a different American effort, one run covertly by the C.I.A.


Not that I object, but I admit I find it a bit surprising that we allow extradition at all.
Walter Palmer, the wealthy big-game hunter who killed a famous lion, could be headed back to Africa — if the Zimbabwe government has its way.

On Friday, officials in Zimbabwe said they intended to press ahead with a request to extradite Palmer for killing a lion known as Cecil just outside a sanctuary where the animal was protected. Later, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it had finally contacted Palmer, a dentist who had shuttered his practice in Minnesota a few days ago and disappeared.

The War On Women

I had thought it was a bit hyperbolic...

Early Morning