Monday, July 27, 2015

History's Greatest Monster

Richard Beeching.

Where Are All The White People At

Sometimes I just do not understand.
The same goes for longtime Alhambrans adapting to the city's new Asian identity. At the new hybrid 99 Ranch on a recent weekday, more than 80% of the shoppers were Chinese.

A white couple, Mike and Kathy, wandered into the store recently and began to explore. They examined the rotisserie chicken cartons under the heat lamp at the front and admired the bread selection at the bakery.

But despite the store's efforts to disguise itself as a Western grocery store, Mike described it as an exotic cultural experience.

They left without buying anything, then drove to Pavilions.

Happy Hour Thread



They're clearly better than the riffraff.
He paid women in prostitution for their services in a grace and favour flat in Dolphin Square for which he pays £1,000 a month instead of the going rate of nearly £3,000. This man’s “private life” is subsidised to the hilt by the taxpayer, and that is what really sticks in the craw. That, and his comments about Asian women. He asks if there will be any “nice little young Asian women” at the party, before adding, “they sort of look innocent but you know they are whores”. As he was the guy in the Lords responsible for making sure that his colleagues, his fellow public servants, behaved properly, the notion of “double standards” covers him much less impressively than that unfortunate bra. His awful moaning to the women who charged him £200 a night about how he can’t get by on a Lords allowance of £200 a day is the worst element of the whole scandal. “I do spend it on wine and different things,” he remarked.

In reality the allowance for peers is £300 a day, though it does not apply to Sewel. He is paid £120,000 a year, made up of his salary for his part-time work chairing committees in the Lords (£84,525) and his allowance of £36,000 for maintaining a home in London. He complains that he is struggling, and when one of the women asks if his £200 allowance pays for his lunch, he replies: “it’s not lunch luvvie darling, its paying for this”. Wow. Is there any real question that he should remain in the House? That he should not be expelled? He certainly can’t be put back in charge of the conduct committee, or appointed to any others. His behaviour and his sense of entitlement have clearly prospered in the context of the Lords. This is six-figure scrounging.

A benefits cap is a good idea, after all!

In The UK, As It Is Here

It’s worth remembering that in the press, public opinion is often used interchangeably with media opinion, as if the public was somehow much the same as a group of radically rightwing billionaire sociopaths.

This is specific to one candidate, but the basic dynamic is the same.
To be fair, much of the negative commentary on Corbyn explicitly focuses on how badly he will play in the media, without asking why that should be when he is the only candidate with any obvious personality or charm. In lieu of any charisma from the preferred candidates, Tony Blair appeared like a prize-winning Iraqi Halloween costume and was cheered for spewing out some meaningless rhetorical algorithm by a political class that somehow still uses the phrase “big beast” in the middle of a paedophile scandal.

I suspect that what all the Corbyn-bashing really means is that our media thinks the only people who are fit for anything in this society are those who have internalised the assumptions of its propaganda. That banks are too big to fail but countries aren’t. That unbelievable foreign villains have made movies ridiculous, but not history or the news. I honestly don’t think that Corbyn would make a good leader but only because he would quickly take his own life in a highly unconvincing manner on a long country walk, an inquiry taking 15 years to report that he had kicked himself to death.


Not so good.
Stocks fell in Europe for a fifth day after the Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 8.5 percent as Chinese industrial company profits decreased in June.

16 Forever

There's something about getting stuck in high school.
Christie has remained especially close to his high school friends. He checks in by phone and attends reunions. But he's also made a habit of appointing and nominating his former classmates to plum state positions, including judgeships. An Associated Press review of his senior class yearbook, state payroll records, agency websites and state press releases found that a handful of Christie's former high school classmates have ended up in state positions since he took office.

The world's changed quite a bit, but he's still just the spotty teenager playing air guitar to Born to Run, deciding it's better to be the bully than to be bullied. And he has stuck around a bit too long...

Residual Delays

Good chance it's only going to get worse.
Commuters in New Jersey were given one more reason to dread morning rush hour, when New Jersey Transit on Sunday pre-emptively announced “residual delays” to its Monday morning service, and said that commuters could use their tickets on private bus and ferry services as well as PATH trains.

People tend to overestimate the capacity of highways. Generously a highway lane can handle 2000 cars per hour. Congestion and accidents obviously reduce this. Take away rail capacity, and...

The Greatest Sin Is To Insult Saint McCain

No I'm not defending The Donald's comments about McCain and POWs, but anyone who thought they'd hurt his candidacy is an idiot.

Fans of The Donald hate Losers. That's the point. Who are Losers? Pretty much everybody else. Conservatives never liked McCain much anyway, for understandable reasons (from their perspective). The Villagers feel tribal allegiance to him. The rest of the country doesn't.

Monday Mourning

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Night

Oh crap, tomorrow is...

Not Just Us

There must be a German word for that tiny bit of satisfaction you feel when you realize that other countries are capable of fucking everything up just as much as we tend to.

America's Worst Humans

Chris Christie.
Amtrak also depends on money from states, and its relationship with Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, soured last week. On Friday, Mr. Christie accused Amtrak of “abject neglect” of its infrastructure. He said he had asked New Jersey’s attorney general to determine how the state could make sure that the nearly $100 million it pays Amtrak each year was being used properly.

Amtrak officials countered that New Jersey Transit’s payments mostly go toward operating costs, like train dispatching and inspections, and for electricity to run the trains, and that in the 2014 fiscal year, for example, only about $13.6 million was left for system upgrades.


They all could be right, of course, but I'm currently amused by the Labour establishment completely freaking out because they might elect an "unelectable" leader. Everybody agrees he's unelectable! And, hey, maybe he is. So was the last guy.

The weirdest thing about analysis of Labour politics in Britain right now is everyone just pretends Scotland doesn't exist. It rarely factors into the analysis at all, even though the last supposedly electable unelectable gang drove Scotland out of the Labour party, probably for good.

Every Little Thing

Just stop treating people like crap. We don't even pretend to try to live up to our soaring rhetoric about ourselves anymore.
A federal judge in California has ruled that the Obama administration’s detention of children and their mothers who were caught crossing the border illegally is a serious violation of a longstanding court settlement, and that the families should be released as quickly as possible.

In a decision late Friday roundly rejecting the administration’s arguments for holding the families, Judge Dolly M. Gee of Federal District Court for the Central District of California found that two detention centers in Texas that the administration opened last summer fail to meet minimum legal requirements of the 1997 settlement for facilities housing children.

Let them go. How hard is it to build decent facilities? It isn't rocket surgery. Just build damn decent facilities if you want to lock people up. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEARGH

Sunday Morning Thread

Saturday, July 25, 2015

America's Worst Humans

Trace O'Connell.

If Only There Was Some Way We Could Help People Without Money

We do actually spend a lot of money to "help" poor people in various ways, we're just allergic to giving them cash. Maybe food stamps (which is a close second to cash, admittedly, we just don't give people very much), maybe some housing assistance of some sort, but we just can't bring ourselves to give people cash. That's what they need.

If we're going to do the paternalistic version, which is that we can't give you cash because we need to make sure you make the right life choices instead of spending it all on T-Bones and Cadillacs, then we have to do that better. Doing it right is really expensive, by having case workers with actual resources really working with families.

I guess those homeless kids just need a bit of gumption.