Friday, June 24, 2016

Happy Hour


When Texas Secedes

The conversation with Uncle Sam will be something like:

You aren't going to close your military bases, are you? Well, yes.
You aren't going to close the borders and enact border checks, are you? Well, yes.
You aren't going to require visas for Texan patriots to visit the US, are you? Quite possibly.
You aren't going to end all of those transfer payments you make? Hell yes.
What about the Social Security owed to our residents? Interesting question, isn't it.
There aren't going to be tariffs between our nations, are there? Everything is negotiable.
My child just married an American. Will he be able to live in the US? That's complicated...


Fuck The UK

I could be wrong, but I doubt that too many people with power in Europe are in the mood to place nice with the UK these days. The UK has long been a bit of a whiner about the EU, rightly or wrongly, even though they have generally gotten what they wanted out of the deal (for things of any importance, anyway). That bit of water provides a bit of a buffer for the UK and they didn't to act as if that buffer has magic powers that should shield them from any of the problems that countries with actual land borders face. A bit of the bullying sibling who wonders why he only gets 3 times as much food as everyone instead of just 2.

And as for EU-related program activities, fuck the UK. I don't actually want the UK to be fucked. I rather like it, and these types of referendum are, to me, a bit stupid. But you can't have it both ways. In or out. Out has consequences

All Hail Boris

Over his tenure as Mayor of London, Boris probably went from inevitable next prime minister to not, but with Cameron resigning soon, who else? All hail PM Boris.

More Thread

Was up late reading Brexit stuff...sleepy.

Moochers and Scroungers

As far as I can tell, Leave was popular because enough people believe that all of the immigrants are on the UK's secret welfare system, even as they get squat. Labour under Blair, despite his rather extreme flaws, was actually pretty good at giving goodies to people. Brown was, too, though he was mocked for his supposedly ridiculous spending after the financial crisis, because even most serious lefties believed that austerity was necessary. Spending during the recession? On things other than bailing out banks and rich people? Crazy talk. Brown got it right, even though he was genuinely doing some "ridiculous" spending because shoveling money out the door as fast as possible was actually good policy.

As austerity became the dominant philosophy what could Labour offer? We'll cut your goodies but continue the (nonexistent) secret welfare system for immigrants! The Tories promised to cut goodies but at least cut the (nonexistent) secret welfare system, too. Easy choice, really. England for England and all that.

There is actually a kind of secret welfare system. The EU provides it...

Cornwall has issued an urgent plea for reassurance that it will not be worse off following the Brexit vote.

The county has received a "significant amounts" of funding from the EU for the past 15 years due to its "relatively weak economy".

But, following the vote to leave the Union, the council says it is seeking urgent reassurance money allocated to it will still be received.

Bye Dave

Cameron's going to spend more time with his pigs.

Hello PM Johnson.


Heckuva job, Cameron.

...I was about to make a joke that the London PTB would blame Scotland and the SNP for the results. So much for jokes.

Turnout in Scotland has been considerably lower than expected. The SNP, the dominant party which ran huge campaigns for the independence referendum, UK election and Scottish elections, has run a lacklustre campaign with minimal ground activity.

Sturgeon had more to say about criticising the remain camp than making the positive case for Europe and she was nowhere to be seen until the dying days of the campaign.

Remain, of course, won every Council in Scotland and therefore Scotland. It did not win in England, probably due to those lacklustre campaigns by the Tories and Labour.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

It Doesn't Make Sense, But It Does

The logical thing would have been to express your anger at austerity by voting for the other party, but there was the austerity party and the austerity-but-we-are-a-bit-sorry-for-it party. Ed Miliband ran a campaign about as competent as a typical Dem midterm campaign. Voters are still pissed, and someone gave them a target...

In Cardiff, the Plaid Cymru leader, Leanne Wood, is concerned that the vote is going to be very close in Wales. She said places that have suffered economically through austerity seem to be those that are voting out.

Better to blame immigrants than have no one at all to blame.

Nobody Knows Nothin'

Some UK press reporting on comments by Leave people like Farage suggesting that they have probably lost. Maybe they did! Final actual poll (no public exit polls) has them losing! But that's pretty much all they know, which is the same as everybody else.

Afternoon Thread

I'm not sure why - it should just make us all despair - but occasionally it's comforting to be reminded that other countries have buffoons for politicians, too. Quite likely the next Prime Minister of England:

A bit more chance of that than Trump becoming president.

Don't Talk To Me

Since I don't drive much, and haven't for years, the instincts have eroded a bit. I'm an okay driver, still, I think (everybody thinks they're above average drivers), but it does require a healthy chunk of my brainpower to maintain the concentration I need to drive. I really can't cope with people in the car talking to me. Apparently it isn't just rare drivers like me.
It sounds weird, but according to federal data, more than half of distracted driving accidents were caused by conversations with passengers. Sometimes, it seems, we all just get way too lost in dialogue.

The next most likely distraction is your phone: texting, dialing numbers, Googling things, looking at your directions, changing a song, taking a selfie. All that only accounts for 12 percent of distracted driving accidents.


Extra Thread

Busy with some stuff. I gather there was Supreme Court opinionating today. Someone on the internet has to have explained it all.

Or Maybe Not

The way to avoid a big confrontation is to not start one. Rounding up all of the hippies will look bad and be very expensive (lawsuits). If the city can't have an event like this without handling them appropriately, using every effort to deescalate confrontation at all moments, than they shouldn't have them.\\
A day after the city said it would house in Holmesburg Prison protesters arrested during the Democratic National Convention, plans have changed.

"In the event of any arrest, we will first use other jails in the system," Shawn Hawes, spokeswoman for the city's prison system, said Wednesday.

Yes it's possible that police intervention is necessary. The key is that police intervention isn't assumed to be necessary. In NYC in 2004 it was clear that rounding up the hippies was the job. It was about showing who was boss.

Morning Thread

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Late Night Thread

Happy Hour Thread


When We Want

Pretty sure that for most people who aren't tenured academics, working "when we want" due to the glories of the technology that makes telecommuting possible means we're essentially on call to respond to emails etc. 16+ hours per day. "When we want" means "all the damn time" not "between my trips to the shooting range."

But we've been hearing this basic story for 25+ years (longer really). Somehow it doesn't ever quite seem to pan out. Reasons why, or good guesses about them, aren't that complicated. Maybe one day we'll be able to operate a fleet of robots from our home office, though we're probably going to have to have a bit better broadband access in most of the podunk places (and non-podunk places) where we're supposed to operate our mobile widget factories. I'm sure comcast will get right on that, just as soon as they get a cut of the widget profits.

It's said that people like me want everyone to live packed like sardines into tiny urban apartments (My house is pretty big. That's not a boast, just always trying to make the point that the density required for urban living doesn't require giant condo towers with tiny apartments). But conservatives regularly make the opposite claim, arguing that people want/should want to live in isolation. Sometimes that means "rural" sometimes that means "small town" and sometimes that means "suburban." I don't really care where you live, I just think some policy choices we've made/keep making are stupid and expensive. It's true that some people do want rural life, and good for them, though I'm not sure what happens to these areas when conservatives get their way and millions of people flock to them. Maybe everybody doesn't like dense cities, but all those people gotta go somewhere. Those somewheres at least need roads, water systems, and oh, hey, superior broadband systems. I'm sure rural areas will all be wired up nicely by the year 2180 or so.

Oops I Rubio'd Myself

I suppose with 17 members of the clown car it was hard to go wrong betting against people, but the "Rubio sends starbusts up everyone's leg" crowd never made any sense to me. He comes across as an annoying not very precocious man-child. Maybe he's good looking in some sense, but he has zero charisma. They aren't quite the same thing. Sure policy should matter more than theater, but for the starburst crowd it's all about the inept theater criticism. Besides, they've all been pushing the same nonsense so attempting to actually differentiate them on policy was a waste of time. Some put on their metaphorical bow ties and specs long enough to convince Very Serious People that they're wonky, but the policy from the wonks was pretty much the same as the policy from the non-wonks.

Who has convinced the boy blunder that he was destined to be president? Weird.

The Important Plans

Reopening the Eagles Jail would make more sense.
The city's shuttered Holmesburg Prison will be available during the Democratic National Convention to hold arrested protesters if necessary.

Shawn Hawes, spokeswoman for the city's prisons system, said the facility is being readied on an if-needed basis for the convention, July 25 to 28.

"If we had to activate Holmesburg, that would be out of necessity for a mass-arrest kind of processing situation," she said. "We're always ready to open whenever necessary, so, like the city, we're hoping for the best, preparing just in case."

Hawes was quick to say that the portion of the prison to be used is the recently renovated gymnasium - currently available for overflow when the city's jails are over capacity - not the cell blocks where horror movies have been filmed.

Gonna lock some hippies up, because that's what you do.

May We Live In Interesting Times

We all probably have to admit that all of this is a bit more interesting when there are actual interesting things happening, even if we might differ quite a bit on just what is interesting. A leave vote (for Brexit) would be much more interesting than a stay vote. Change vs. status quo, blah blah. As I've said I'd vote to stay in Yurp, though that isn't because I think the EU is unambiguously a force for good. Still a policy vote aimed at right wingers is likely give right wingers what they want, not enshrine your left wing fantasy version of "what happens with Brexit." Xenophobia is the biggest driver of the current support for Brexit and I'm one who thinks that the UK (and the US) has become a much better place due to the relative ease to move there from many countries. Many of the people who support it will be pissed when they discover that it'll likely mean taking away most of the good stuff of the EU that "normal" people benefit from while the other stuff remains. Fortunately we'll all know who to blame for the horrible Tories: immigrants.

Early Morning Thread

It's light out.