Thursday, February 23, 2017

49

Imperial Teen - Hair the TV the Baby & the Band

Happy Hour Thread

Get happy.

Career

One thing I find mindbogglingly weird is the number of people who clearly see some very important jobs - mayor of a major city or governor of a major state (cough Christie cough) as simply a stepping stone to greater things. Sure life is long and we are all motivated by concerns a few months off, but I don't know how you can assume that kind of responsibility and then not too long into your run just say "ah, fuck it, who cares, where's my next job?" Especially since I would wager that a pretty good way to enhance your future career chances is to be a good and popular governor, not the most unpopular one in the history of the planet. I know failing upwards is isn't hard to do in wingnutland, but you probably shouldn't be such a failure.

Afternoon Thread

Enjoy.

Why Don't Millennials Buy Houses?

The need for credentialing has gone up, the cost of credentialing has gone way up. Students (not just law students!) enter the workforce with one mortgage and people expect them to get another right away. Easy to do if you cut back on Starbucks purchases.

But The Women Will Make Them Do The Right Thing

It's long been a part of the press narrative about powerful Republican men. Oh, yes, they're a bit harsh, but the women in their lives might soften them just a bit. It's a weird mix of things. Bizarre assumptions about gender and gender dynamics (women are "nicer" and they have soft influence on their menfolk), implicit (but not explicit) acknowledgement that the men are, in fact, assholes (they are but you don't need to contrast them to imaginary versions of women in their lives to make that case), and, of course, a perpetual Lucy/football dynamic on the issues. Maybe this time Ivanka will make him do the right thing!

I have no idea if a Dictator Ivanka would be kindler and gentler than a Dictator Trump, but nobody else does either. There's certainly no reason to believe that a)she's better/nice/smarter and b)has or will use influence successfully.

FBI Follies

I'm not entirely surprised the FBI does this stuff, but I am surprised that no one actually thinks it's so embarrassing that they shouldn't tout it when they do.

Compassion

Alan Colmes died. Kind of a weird reminder that there was a time when Fox pretended to be "Fair and Balanced." They didn't put much effort into pretending, but they put in just enough effort that other news outlets gave them a seat at the big boy table.

I clicked through some comments to Fox's announcement of this, and one of the responses was something like "wrong politics, but obviously a very caring and compassionate man." And I realize being caring and compassionate is a weird part of conservative self-identity, part of the Real America is Great, so we are Great, so we are Compassionate. I'm not sure what conservatives even claim to be caring and compassionate about anymore, and whatever else one thinks of, say, Hannity and O'Reilly it's hard to think "they exude compassion" is really what even their most deluded fans thing.

And this is what the shit people at ICE are up to.

An undocumented woman in desperate need of brain surgery has been forcibly removed from a Texas hospital — and her relatives in New York fear she could lose her life, a family representative said early Thursday.

America is Great and Good and We are Great and Good and Jesus was Caring and so are We. Just ignore what we do.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

50

Thao - Swimming Pools

A Voice For Blogging

"Asshole New Jersey sports fan on the radio" seems like a good gig for Christie, but no one is going to want to listen to him.

Afternoon Thread

I got nothin'.

Baby In Chief

Certainly not all kids/parents, but I have come across parents who have the same approach with their children.

The key to keeping Trump’s Twitter habit under control, according to six former campaign officials, is to ensure that his personal media consumption includes a steady stream of praise. And when no such praise was to be found, staff would turn to friendly outlets to drum some up — and make sure it made its way to Trump’s desk.

...

The in-person touch is also important to keeping Trump from running too hot. One Trump associate said it’s important to show Trump deference and offer him praise and respect, as that will lead him to more often listen. And If Trump becomes obsessed with a grudge, aides need to try and change the subject, friends say. Leaving him alone for several hours can prove damaging, because he consumes too much television and gripes to people outside the White House.

Lunch Thread

enjoy

Ted Leo Needs Food, Badly

Not really (I hope) but the music industry is all kinds of messed up this days (though good for consumers in a lot of ways, if not the artists), and pre-paying to support making an album is a good way to make sure we get the good stuff and they keep eating. Ted's good people and a lot of fun live.

Here's Ted with Aimee Mann as The Both.

.


...more from Ted.

Conservative Principles

One of my least favorite liberal tics is to grant there was some time when American conservatism was some sort wrong but noble affair, and to appeal to various horrible things as some deviation from those principled norms. The American conservative movement (which while not identical to the Republican party, it has been latched onto its face planting its eggs in its body Alien-style for decades) has carried the banner of white nationalism, bigotry, contempt for the poor, corporate immunity, environmental destruction, rigid unequal gender roles, homophobia, xenophobia, "law and order" policing, state discrimination, the military state, perpetual global war, support for worldwide dictators, American "empire" in its various manifestation, etc. That isn't to say all Republicans (or even conservatives) have been that bad, or that team D has been pure(certainly not!), but these are all things which are deeply in the DNA of the conservative movement. I mean, ok, Teddy Roosevelt started the national park system, but I don't think your appeals to "conservatism used to be about conservation!!!" are really going to win any converts.

Liberals imagine they catch conservatives in some violation of their own supposed principles all the time. This is only proof that conservatives have successfully conned a lot of liberals. They haven't conned themselves.

Everybody's A Messican

Unless you catch them crossing the border, so you don't let them cross the border, you don't actually know.
In a call with reporters Tuesday morning, DHS officials confirmed they were working on a plan to send migrants who had entered the United States from Mexico back to Mexico, even if they were not citizens of that country.

...

However, former senior Mexican and American immigration officials said it could very well create new security problems along the border, as authorities in each country push unwanted migrants back and forth.

They all look alike, at least the ones we care about getting rid of it, so what's the difference.

As for this:

“Anyone who complained about Obama as the deporter-in-chief,” said David Martin, formerly DHS’s principal deputy general counsel, “is unfortunately going to get a taste of what it’s like when someone is really gung-ho.”

Well, fuck you. Obama was shit on this stuff no matter how many excuses his administration made. That Trump will be way worse does not excuse it.

President Obama attempted to focus enforcement efforts on immigrants who had been convicted of serious crimes, and on those who were caught while or shortly after illegally entering the country. Still, his administration deported record numbers of immigrants, most of whom had only been accused of minor crimes and immigration violations.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

51

Ted Leo+The Pharmacists - Who Do You Love

Plenty Of Conservative Assholes Left

They publish right wing assholes because the books sell and they don't care who is harmed by them. When there was talk of a Simon&Schuster boycott a lot of people were like "wahhhh what about the good authors why do you want to hurt them" which is the kind of argument that applies to literally every consumer boycott. Of course, even a successful boycott would be unlikely to hurt author sales. Few people know or care who is publishing their book. It could hurt the reputation of the individuals involved with the publisher, making those cocktail parties uncomfortable, and more importantly it could hurt the reputation of them with the vast marketing apparatus for new books which is important, as well as encouraging other new authors to look elsewhere.

Abusive racism and sexism are fine because they sell, and advocating an absurdly low statutory age of consent is not, presumably because it doesn't.

Make America Great Again

There was a time when the US was a bit ahead of the rest of the world (or close enough). We had shiny new highways and houses, the latest consumer appliances, a general sense that "things just worked." Modern technology and infrastructure (good and bad) came here first. America was rich! We were, and things looked that way, too.

And then...

Afternoon Thread

enjoy

Our Heroes

One of the appeals of Milo types is they appeal to the people who wake up every morning and think, "wouldn't it be great if being a complete horrible asshole was really attractive?" He's seemingly* successful, with lots of money and sex (that he's gay also means he isn't a competitor for most of his fans), and he achieves it all by punching down while making it appear if he's punching up (trans college students actually run the country!). Makes being a bully sexy, heroic, and well-compensated.

Not the hero we need, but for some reason the hero that many people want.

*I say seemingly because I have no idea, but it's the image he projects.

Prediction

This should be paired with my "sun will likely rise in East tomorrow" prediction, but here it is: The GOP budget bill will cut taxes on rich people bigly, will be filled with fanciful and completely made up economic projections to justify how it will balance the budget (who cares, but people pretend to), and all the "deficit hawks" will praise it for its responsibility.

Because even "deficit hawks" don't care about the deficit. Just tax cuts.

Then, of course, the instant Democrats appear to be about to assume control, once again Teh Deficit and Teh Debt will dominate the conversation as the biggest problems ever, problems which can only be solved by more tax cuts.