Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Happy Hour Thread


The Big Grift

What's "funny" about all the Trump Family Business stories is that...dude, if you're thinking being preznit means you can jack up your hotel rates, you're really dumber than I think. Think big! Once Republicans in Congress make clear (they pretty much have) that oversight is off the table, just write yourself giant checks from the Treasury!

Besides, it's better for us to pay the corruption tax cleanly. Just take a billion bucks, and stop the nickel and dime stuff.

Afternoon Thread

A blogger's work is never done.

He Was No Angel

I'm actually for reporters providing more nuanced portrayals of people who do bad things, but in 2016 there should be a bit more self-awareness in newsroom generally that these treatments are given to relatively privileged white guys, and not young black males who (in some cases) grew up and live in desperate circumstances. Growing up in poverty is treated as personal pathology, and not an obstacle or hurdle. If you're black, anyway.

Apocalypse Cult

The amazing thing about climate change denialism is that there doesn't seem to be any good reason for it other than tribalism and pissing off liberals. I'm sure the business interests who are capable of fending off any regulation would be more than capable of making mint getting "compensated" for any regulations that were actually passed. I can't imagine there's any legitimate financial interest in denying it anymore, just the billionaire's version of "Al Gore is fat."

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Late Night

Rock on.

Tuesday Evening

I hope someone asks Ben Carson his views on appropriate curb cut policies.

Mr. Brady Hands Out An Allowance

I doubt this was even in a Brady Bunch episode, but I had sudden flash vision of Mr. Brady inviting Bobby into his study and informing him that if he rakes the yard and mows the lawn, he'll get another FIFTY CENTS per month in allowance.

Proposed policies shouldn't sound like that. Also, too, they shouldn't be like that, but whether they are or aren't they shouldn't sound like that. Keep it simple, and don't make it stingy.


The "best" case scenario for Brexit is one in which wealthy individuals, finance, and other multinationals continue operating as if nothing has changed and everybody else gets screwed. But, hey, just put a flag on it.

For weeks after the EU referendum, the only description Theresa May gave was “Brexit means Brexit”, but now the prime minister has a new slogan - “a red, white and blue Brexit”.

Mon Dieu!

Lunch Thread


Radical Puppetry

One of my "favorite" things back in the exciting runup to our Great and Glorious Adventure in Iraq is that people who supported the Iraq war were always advising its opponents how they should be opposing it. You know, protesting this way is bad, protesting that way is good. The best was when they all agreed that if The Left really cared about Iraq then they would have spent the last several years protesting Saddam Hussein. Yah, that would've shown him! Saddam, fifty hippies have formed a drum circle in Washington, DC! Oh my, I must usher in a new era of human rights and economic justice for all of the people of Iraq!

There's been similar commentary in the UK, about how The Left should be protesting Assad, or whoever it is we're/they're at notwar with in Syria this week, instead of the actions of their own government. (The Syria case is especially "hilarious" as no one can keep track of whether we're more interested in ousting Assad or fighting "nonmoderate" rebels that week).

The most politically powerless group in most countries these days is always supposed to be using their mighty power in support of whatever it is the people with actual power want them to use it for. Of course The Left in these cases generally has a pretty simple message, right or wrong, which is "how about we stop bombing other countries it doesn't seem to be helping much." No matter how bad Hussein was or Assad is, protesting them was/is likely to encourage the bombs, not discourage them.

The Left really should be listening to centrist pundits who don't share their goals at all. Then they'd be powerful!

Broke Through The Floor

Of course it varies by state a bit, but still I think the "27% would support a child rapist (with video!) if he had an R after his name" is a reasonable rule of thumb which holds even in more liberal states. Even liberal states have a lot of wingnuts. So good job, Chris Christie!

According to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released Tuesday morning, Christie’s approval has dropped to 18 percent among New Jersey voters — down from 21 percent in October.

Michael Crowley thought he saw a beat so sweet that there was no beat sweetener too sweet to sweeten it. Oh well.

Get Used To It

Trump gets good PR on things he doesn't deserve it for because the media (they did it with Obama too, just not nearly as much as with W and presumably will do with Trump) tend to report things as scripted before taking a second look later.

But when something he does is popular, even if it's bullshit, people should understand why...

Morning Thread

Hey, at least it's not Monday morning.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Monday Night

Another one almost done with.

Late Happy Hour Thread

Who can keep track of time when the sun disappears at like 3:30.

Important Announcement

I will be joining No Labels as Blog Outreach Coordinator in order to help circulate our policy agenda, just as soon as we figure out what the fuck it is. Figure it'll be an easy gig (no work) for another 20 years or so.


I think it's cute (well, perhaps not the best word for it) when politicians (and the media) fight about which policies create the most jayyuubs. Yes more jobs are better than fewer, and the more we inch towards full employment (unemployment a bit lower than it is now, emp/pop a bit higher) the better, but there are limits to this as long as the Fed is going to take away the punchbowl the second there are "too many" jobs, or more specifically the second there is evidence that wages are actually rising.

You can see almost back to back headlines of "Will tax cuts create jobs?" and "Signs of job growth signal Fed to increase rates." There ain't much point in creating jobs, through the tax cut fairy or any other means, if the Fed is just going to take them away.

Monday Crass Commercialism

The regular reminder that the best way to support this site (no obligation!) is to make the Amazon purchases you were going to make anyway. 'Tis the season after all. Give me some of Jeff's money! Buy some noise cancelling headphones!

I think I've used amazon since about the beginning of this site. Hate the company and don't use it if you don't like it! But the affiliate program has always been well-run and generous. It varies, but roughly speaking Eschaton World Industries gets 7% of what you purchase. Just click a link like the one above, or use the searchbox to the left, or click on any amazon ad before buying stuff and it should work. Find a better deal elsewhere, prefer other companies, do that instead. But if you use Amazon anyway...

Time Keeps On Ticking

The first election I have an adultish memory/perspective of was Bush/Dukakis 1988. I was 16. The Bush/Gore election was 16 years ago. In 1988 the "16 years ago" election was Nixon/McGovern in 1972. I was a more informed than average teen, but I doubt I could have told you anything about the 1972 election other than the fact that Nixon won it.

Why Hillary Clinton Will Lose This Election

Months ago I was grumpy one day and decided to distill all of my campaign criticisms down to one post, which I'd post-date until the day after the election and then we'd all hopefully have a good laugh at how wrong I was. A couple of days later I got less grumpy and decided there was no point to this exercise other than to be proved fucking right or fucking wrong for a laugh on the internet, and either way would just be pissing people off. More than that I decided I was wrong and deleted the post (in my self-defined rules I gave myself 5 days to delete the not yet published post or leave it up for all eternity).

Anyway, I didn't keep a copy and don't claim to remember all of my reasons at the time (whether smart or stupid, right or wrong), but there was one thing about the campaign which reminded me a bit too much of the 2008 primary campaign, and that was a tendency by it (very broadly defined, this was much more of a Clintonland thing than a Clinton campaign thing, though one doesn't always know where one began and the other ended) to dismiss criticism as being unfair. And, yes, Hillary Clinton faced a lot of things that were unfair including from actors (mainstream media) who fancy themselves as being the neutral purveyors of truth.

But pointing out that something is unfair doesn't make it go away. I'm all for working the refs - I think it's necessary, sadly - but the refs are not voters. Voters are going to have all kinds of incorrect, incomplete, and, yes, unfair views of political candidates. Saying "this shouldn't matter" (often true!) or "people are holding Clinton to a double standard" (often true, too, but worth remembering that potential Dem voters don't just have double standards, they have different standards) doesn't make those things not matter. And if you see your job as helping to elect someone, rather than simply aloof commentary (both are fine, but if you're going to be a hack be a good hack), you can't just wave these things away.

I don't claim to know, aside from Monday morning quarterbacking (should've put more resources into places you lost! throw more touchdowns!), what the campaign should have done differently given what they had to work with, but one thing they had to "work with" was 25 years of unfair views of their candidate. Wishing them away wasn't going to help.

American Dreaming

I wonder what they're doing.
After nearly a year of a complete absence of hard hats and boots on the ground at the Meadowlands Sports Complex site (outside of the white-collar workers in the trailers on the periphery of the project), I found six or eight workers at times in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, I counted 34. On Thursday, I counted 22. Today, I counted 29.

Probably pulling out everything of value to re-sell.*

That would take us into 2019, at best. On Feb. 12 of that year, babies born on the date that the state first approved of predecessor Meadowlands Xanadu will turn a Sweet 16. Some workers who weren't quite AARP-eligible on Feb. 12, 2003 would be retiring at age 65 by that time.

The grift goes on.

*This is a joke. do not sue me.