Friday, March 24, 2017

Somebody Sees The Grift!

Gotta keep the day drinking funds rolling in.

The American Dream mall is not a dream; it is fantasy that it is not happening. While the mall in the Meadowlands is sitting empty and construction hasn't started, we've heard for years they are going to start sometime soon.

Before they kept spinning and giving out misinformation that the construction will start soon, but now they won't even respond. We believe the reason they aren't responding is because they don't want to walk away without getting all their permits for a mall in Florida. They are doing this because they don't want to undermine the financing approvals for their Florida project.

Vote Henry Sias

I've been friends with Henry for.. I dunno, 10 years I guess.. and he's running for judge here in Philadelphia. So if you're a local, vote for Henry!

History could be made in Philadelphia this spring.

Henry Sias is seeking a judgeship on the Court of Common Pleas. If he’s successful in the May 16 primary election, and later the general election, Sias would be the first transgender man to be elected judge in the nation.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Thursday Night

Tomorrow is.... maybe this will make disqus work

...have a video

Happy Hour Thread

Get your happy on.

Your Moment of Zen

Time To Bring Out The Cattle Prods

Or maybe checks for the floor. Ryan's scheduled and then postponed presser has been postponed again!

...and now my deep sources on Twitter say the vote is off for today. Bigly!

Philadelphia's Worst Humans

Seth Williams.

Deal or No Deal

Current word is NO DEAL on Trumpcare. Praise Jeebus for the House Freedom Caucus.

Majority Rules

A big problem in American politics is that no one is ever clearly to blame. In parliamentary systems, the party or coalition in charge rightly is responsible. In the US, we have the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches, also, too, the judicial branch. We have both the Senate and the House. They have stupid rules about when a majority is or isn't a majority (filibuster, reconciliation+"Byrd rule", etc.). This is combined with a campaign finance regime which, while now eroded, long separated "issues" from "elections," and an "objective" press which worships "bipartsanship" and "across the aisle" nonsense. And of course we have a federal system, meaning states and local governments have significant powers.

It's always scary to remove barriers to simple majority rule. Can get a horrible Supreme Court Justice for life (we will anyway) and horrible seemingly irrevocable policy changes. I'm not a "we must burn it down to save it" kind of guy. I don't think short term pain inevitably leads to long run gain. But generally I think it's good to kill these anti-majoritarian things whenever possible. When 50%+1 rules, no politician or party can hide behind an arcane system. Rs are to blame or Ds are to blame. The end.

Still Growing!

Philly is barely growing in population, but I think people tend to underestimate the major shift from being a shrinking city to a not-shrinking city. There has definitely been a "would the last ones to move out please turn out the lights" perception about Philadelphia for a long time, with policies focused on attracting jobs and visitors instead of existing or potential residents for a long time. The city isn't booming, but the shrinking is over (for now).
New population estimates released today from the U.S. Census Bureau show that Philadelphia has continued its demographic winning streak. The city continues to grow, reversing a decades-long trend of population decline, and the Philadelphia metro area, with over 6 million residents, has maintained its ranking as the nation's seventh largest.

Obama Wasn't That Great

I don't say that to bash him, but I get frustrated by people who are blind to what went wrong the past 8 years, not all of which was the fault of Republicans (especially when you include the fact that Obama shares some blame in their being elected in the first place). It isn't about dwelling in the past, it's about recognizing that after 8 years of Obama things are still fucked up and bullshit. I don't really like the framing of elections as "stay the course" or "status quo" but for whatever reasons (and there are reasons), a lot of Americans don't think America is already great. Life is tough. People often blame the wrong things when that is the case, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.

Terrorists Are SCARY

I'm not downplaying the horrible events in London, but I'm always grimly "amused" by the reactions which expect that events like that put a city on lockdown, with everybody too scared to leave their kitchens or something. London's a big place. 9 million or so people live there. People gotta go to work. People still go to the pub after work. In a dense city, a mile away is like a million miles away. I lived in London years ago during a period when there were 3 nontrivial terrorist attacks, and while they were horrible most people didn't adjust their life in any way. If I heard about (for example) a bomb going off in the heart of Philadelphia (a mile away or so), I wouldn't fear for my safety at all.

9/11 was obviously a bigger deal in NYC, because it was a BIG DEAL with lingering aftereffects, but even the 7/7 bombings in London, as horrible as they were, didn't shut down the city (The London 7/7 bombings got surprisingly little attention here in the US compared to what any terrorist attack anywhere gets now, despite their scale, but that's a subject for another blog post).

Gotta Get Up On Thursday

Woke up early and am watching local news. Apparently there is traffic congestion on the roads into the city?

Morning Thread

Way too much going on. One thing is clear, Nunes pretty much has to recuse himself from the congressional investigation into the transition team since he, himself, was on the the team. Otherwise, the whole thing is a farce.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Frightened Rabbit - Wish I Was Sober

Wednesday Evening

Have a video..

Happy Hour Thread

Feel the happy.

How About If One Pair Of Children From Each Of The Districts Is Chosen To Battle To The Death

Trumpcare is a piece of shit, of course, and an incompetently crafted piece of shit. The Freedom Caucus, who have been the best allies of liberals since 2010, are not happy with it and will likely nuke it in the House. It isn't cruel enough, you see. Just adding my suggestion for a sweetener to get them on board.

Afternoon Thread



Mostly it isn't that he likes well done steak with ketchup. Eat steak cooked any way you want! Also I think there's generally a US bias against putting any kind of sauce on a steak, which is stupid. A nice perfectly cooked steak without much on it is great, but there's nothing wrong with adding something to that, even ketchup if you like.

It's that if you're going to eat a hockey puck with Heinz, you don't need to pay $50 to do it. If you're paying $50 for a hockey puck with Heinz, you just think that if something costs more it must be better. That $8.99 steak and eggs at the local diner is probably going to be better. And, ok, fine, the Donald is super rich so who cares, but he actually isn't super rich, he's a grifter who lives an ostentatious life by floating from one line of credit to the next.

A $500 bottle of wine might be awesome, but if you can't tell the difference between that and two buck chuck, drink the two buck chuck. There's no shame in that.

I wrote "mostly," and there is one other issue, which is that for all of his supposed "riches," the Donald is a man who seems to have not gone beyond fancy steak houses and golf courses (and gold plated homes) in his appreciation for "the finer things." You can be an obscenely rich guy and love hockey pucks with Heinz, but if the breadth if your experience hasn't gotten beyond that more generally... that's sad!

The well done steak is a symbol.

Heckuva Job

Nobody could have predicted that a sociopathic Ayn Rand-worshipping CEO who thought pitting departments against each other within stores was an excellent idea would destroy a company.

After years of huge losses and store closings, the future is officially in doubt for Sears and Kmart.
Sears Holdings (SHLD), the holding company for the two iconic retail brands, warned investors late Tuesday that it can't promise it will stay in business.

Times change and not all firms survive, but often this banal fact gives cover to the fact that many iconic institutions are looted and destroyed by the people paid lots of money to run them (many local newspapers, which perhaps would not have survived anyway, were looted and prematurely destroyed).

We're 100 Miles Away

I think the NYT deliberately gets things wrong when they report on the outer provinces just to demonstrate that they don't give a fuck.

Correction: March 22, 2017

An earlier version of this article misstated the given name of Philadelphia’s mayor. He is Jim Kenney, not David Kenney.