Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Man Does Not Like To Admit He Is Wrong

In some ways Jake Tapper is better than your average press bear, but also in some ways... not so much. The glibertarians did a study which showed Bernie's plan saved TWO TRILLION DOLLARS which wasn't what they wanted to highlight. They wanted to highlight the fact that government would spend TRILLIONS ON HEALTH CARE. Then the glibertarians decided that if you focused on some other plan then that other plan didn't save two trillion dollars so that meant that Bernie's plan didn't really save two trillion dollars. Of course that is good enough for the press, who get all their economics and policy stuff from right wing think tanks, which decided that lefties were wrong and dumb again.

Than Tapper took it a step further and said Bernie was a big liar because he claimed the study said his plan would save THE GOVERNMENT two trillion dollars which isn't true and also, too, Bernie and his people never said that.

Then it's all just too confusing to correct.

Sunday Morning Thready Goodness

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Saturday Night

It's ok.

Palace Intrigue


Mr. McGahn’s cooperation began in part as a result of a decision by Mr. Trump’s first team of criminal lawyers to collaborate fully with Mr. Mueller. The president’s lawyers have explained that they believed their client had nothing to hide and that they could bring the investigation to an end quickly.

Mr. McGahn and his lawyer, William A. Burck, could not understand why Mr. Trump was so willing to allow Mr. McGahn to speak freely to the special counsel and feared Mr. Trump was setting up Mr. McGahn to take the blame for any possible illegal acts of obstruction, according to people close to him. So he and Mr. Burck devised their own strategy to do as much as possible to cooperate with Mr. Mueller to demonstrate that Mr. McGahn did nothing wrong.

Lunch Thread



No not really.

American Dream was originally slated to open in 2017. Then last summer Triple Five pushed back the completion date because it had difficulty securing the $1.1 billion in financing. It worked with Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan to secure $1.6 billion in financing earlier this year.

Even ignoring its previous incarnation as "Xanadu," the "American Dream" was "originally slated to open" in... 2013.

American Dream Meadowlands’ amusement park, originally slated to open in the fall of 2013, won’t be finished by the Feb. 2, 2014, date for Super Bowl XLVIII, developer Triple Five conceded in March. And it now says the shopping mall also may not be ready by then.


What a country!

Her husband Joel Arrona was driving his wife to the hospital for a scheduled Cesarean section Wednesday afternoon when they had to stop to get gas. That’s when their car was approached by two SUVs. Maria said they were officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The mother of five was then asked to show her identification and complied. When the agents asked Arrona, the couple said he didn’t have the ID on him, but that they lived nearby and could go get it for them. The agents then asked Arrona to exit the vehicle, searched the car for weapons, and put Arrona into custody, leaving Maria alone at the gas station.

Saturday, Saturday

Everything gets dumber every day. I got nothin'.

Saturday Morning

So far, it's alright.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Happy Hour Thread

And another week over.

Everything's An Airport

This is so dumb.

Los Angeles Metro will be the first U.S. transit agency to use a security system created by the federal Transportation Security Administration to scan riders as they enter the system, the agency announced this week. New York and San Francisco has also been testing the technology, which TSA says will thwart terrorism or mass shootings. The agency says it plans to install the system at transit stations around the country, the New York Times reports.

Remember When The New York Times Ran An Op-Ed By Erik Prince Asking If We Could Pay Him To Do All The Murders

Gonna get his wish.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is increasingly venting frustration to his national security team about the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and showing renewed interest in a proposal by Blackwater founder Erik Prince to privatize the war, current and former senior administration officials said.

Maybe The Boring Company Is Going To Build His Escape Route

To the hyperloop, Grimes!

They'll Be So Much Safer Than Human Drivers

Once we completely redo our driving infrastructure and ban pedestrians.

You’re crossing the street wrong.

That is essentially the argument some self-driving car boosters have fallen back on in the months after the first pedestrian death attributed to an autonomous vehicle and amid growing concerns that artificial intelligence capable of real-world driving is further away than many predicted just a few years ago.


But to others the very fact that Ng is suggesting such a thing is a sign that today’s technology simply can’t deliver self-driving cars as originally envisioned. “The AI we would really need hasn't yet arrived,” says Gary Marcus, a New York University professor of psychology who researches both human and artificial intelligence. He says Ng is “just redefining the goalposts to make the job easier,” and that if the only way we can achieve safe self-driving cars is to completely segregate them from human drivers and pedestrians, we already had such technology: trains.

It isn't really about trains - as in things on rails - if you're willing to have completely segregated rights of way it can be buses or self-driving scooters or whatever. But cities are made of people. People gotta go somewhere, and then they get out of their vehicles and...

Ban pedestrians? Fuck you. Ban cars.

Friday Morning

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Thursday Night

I'm not a baseball superfan but I gather it isn't good when the score is 24-4 and the losing team sends in their second baseman to pitch.

Happy Hour Thread

Get happy.

How Long

The self-driving cars were Uber's hail mary pass. If they get rid of that... then? Their path to profitability always required establishing monopoly - and then jacking up rates - somehow, but their path to monopoly was never clear. I don't even think self-driving cars were the path. Just another shiny object to flash to investors. Now the (some) investors are done.

Some investors have told Uber officials that it may be wise to divest the self-driving car unit, said a person familiar with the issue. Uber has invested least $2 billion in the unit over the past three years. Yet the company hasn’t yet come up with a clear path to commercializing the technology it has developed.

Will be interesting if the two major taxi app companies (Uber, Lyft) fold.

Low Hanging Fruit

The dirty little secret of LA is that transit there is actually pretty good. They have trains and subways and buses. A lot of buses! The buses are good. But LA is big and sprawly and in too many places (not all places!) even when the transit is good the walking is not. Mass transit rarely brings you door to door, but the "last mile problem" or certainly the "last half mile problem" isn't actually a problem if that last half mile or so is a pleasant and relatively efficient stroll.

It's standard (and correct) to say that mass transit decisions are too often made by people who would never ride any of it. It's also largely true that it's made by people who never walk anywhere, and walking is always a critical complement to a decent transit system. Improve your sidewalks. Add more crosswalks. Lengthen pedestrian signal times. Stop giving ridiculous tickets for "jaywalking." Do give tickets for crosswalk blocking and bus lane parking cars. It isn't hard.

Has To Be A Little Bit Stupid

My rule of pseudo-scandals that get saturation coverage is that they have to be a little bit stupid. "This is bad" is boring. "This is sorta bad but mostly it's dumb and I can't believe we can't stop talking about it but the fact that we are talking about it is so stupid and I can't stop talking about that" is really what drives an endless pseudoscandal coverage. Also, too, sex, particularly sex involving Democrats.

Musk's cunning plans are like that to me. They're so obviously stupid and yet they get lots of media coverage and I can't stop talking about them because they're obviously so stupid but everybody is talking about them and it's so stupid that everybody is talking about them so I can't stop talking about that.

Musk isn't going to build this tunnel to Dodger stadium. He certainly isn't going to build it in earthquake country without a long and massive review process. If he does manage to build it then it will be mostly useless and will close up unless someone pumps massive amounts of subsidies into it as the optimistic projected revenue barely covers 5 full time staffers. No one wants to stand in line for an hour or more because this dumbass rich guy is obsessed with the idea that the problem with trains is that they have too many gross people on them, or something.

But I can't stop talking about it because it's so dumb.

Oh Dear Elon Has Found Another Con

Just need to keep getting gullible local officials to throw money at you for a "study." No good way to get to Dodger stadium about low capacity cars on sleds! They're good for everything!

The Boring Company is proposing to build Dugout Loop, a zero-emissions, high-speed, underground public transportation system from the Los Feliz, East Hollywood, or Rampart Village neighborhoods ("western terminus") to Dodger Stadium in the City of Los Angeles.

Let's take a look. The route is 3.6 miles.

Loop is a zero-emissions, high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported on autonomous electric skates traveling at 125-150 miles per hour. Electric skates will carry between 8 and 16 passengers.

I highly doubt they'll travel this fast, but the real point is that it doesn't matter. Boarding is the real bottleneck for things like this. Picture the taxi line at the airport, or the line for the rollercoaster. That's what you get when you can only board a dozen people at a time. The line's gonna be long, Brant.

Oh, sorry, line? No there will be an app for that which will totally solve this problem (hahahaahahaha).
Initially, riders will be able to reserve times and purchase Dugout Loop tickets in advance similar to booking seats at a movie theater via a mobile app, over the phone, or in person (e.g. 5:45pm PT Dugout Loop ticket).

Remember this is primarily a baseball game transportation device. What time would you like to go to the baseball game? And sure, arrivals can be staggered a bit, but everybody wants to leave at the same time...enjoy the line!

Initially, Dugout Loop will be limited to approximately 1,400 people (approximately 2.5% of Stadium capacity) per event.

I love how it doesn't even say "per hour" but "per event" which probably includes at least a 2 hour window (guessing!). One real subway train can easily carry 1000, board them all quickly, and you can run one ever 2 minutes. One attraction to these "sleds" is the weird idea that if you have lower capacity you can run them more often, but headways aren't really a technical constraint of subway systems. Any modern subway system can run 24 trains per hour easy, and plenty do 32. At that point it's the boarding time that makes running them more often be impractical. Even our pretty antiquated trolley system in Philly runs through the tunnel with <3 minute headways at peak, and they carry about 70 people per train.

Electric skates are zero-emission vehicles, and thus do not output hazardous gases like internal combustion cars do.

Wow electric powered underground vehicles. What will Elon think of next?

The fares are not finalized but will cost around $1.

Their own projections put it at 250,000 riders per year. Let's say each does roundtrip, so 500,000 total. Time for some math. All that grad school must have been good for something. Let's see if I remember how to do this.

Oh yes. 500,000×$1= $500,000. Sure most transit systems are subsidized, but, uh...

Morning Thread