Saturday, March 23, 2019

Afternoon Thread

Not quite Spring enough.

Saturday Almost Lunch

Quality of life here in the urban hellhole is largely determined by the sets of things that are within 5, 10, 15, and 20 minute walks. Some things don't need to be that close, and some things are much more useful if they are. The new 5 minute walk supermarket is +1.

Republican Daddies And The Impartial Referees Won't Save Us

When the Dems are powerless I get throwing their hopes at such people "doing the right thing" (oh whatever happened to that Lindsey Graham???), but now they have power. Not limitless power. But they have the power to issue subpoenas and get tax returns. "The Mueller report is coming!!!" has been their excuse and for awhile "but we need to see what's in the Mueller report!!!" will be their excuse and then they will be out of excuses because they are the only ones who might possibly do the right thing.

Theresa May's Not Going To Remove Herself

Certainly no sympathy for the World's Worst Prime Minister, but imagining the sight of a bunch of idiot manboys (I mean just look at the picture) asking her to resign gets me close.

The idiot manboys have power too, and none of them have demonstrated that they're any more competent than May. If they want her out they can have a vote.

Morning Thread

From what I can see, lots of chatter, but no substance on the Mueller Report. Which leaves us in the same holding pattern.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Late Night


The End Of The Trump Presidency

I guess the Dems can stop saying they're waiting for the Mueller report.


There's certainly no reason to go on Fox News unless you're going to treat it as hostile, but I agree people who want to be on the side of good should not be granting any legitimacy to it at all.

It’s not interested in legitimate journalism as much as it’s interested in promulgating right-wing nationalism, and this raison d’etre means that attempts to puncture the bubble are self-defeating. The narrow goal of a liberal, or a credible reporter, who appears on the network may be to present an alternative, factual viewpoint, but within the Fox ecosystem they can only function as foils, cast to lend the network credibility it doesn’t deserve. Journalists who try to break through walls of the Fox News echo chamber can only end up reinforcing them.

There was no golden age when Fox was good, or even much better than now, but the explicit support of white nationalism at a time when we have an explicitly white nationalist president and an administration populated with them, makes it not just bad but dangerous. Very dangerous.

DOT People Who Know What They're Talking About

Actually that's giving them more credit than necessary. They just have eyes.
“It’s a car in a very small tunnel,” Michael McLaughlin, Virginia’s chief of rail transportation, told members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s public transit subcommittee on Wednesday.


The officials from Virginia who met with company leaders and took a drive through the tunnel in January say nothing they saw would lead them to change their approach to transit in the near term.

“I think there’s a lot of show going on here,” said Scott Kasprowicz, a Commonwealth Transportation Board member who made the trip with McLaughlin and public transit chief Jennifer Mitchell.

“I don’t mean to suggest that they don’t have a serious plan in mind, but I don’t consider the steps they’ve taken to date to be substantive. They’ve purchased a used boring machine. They’ve put a bore in the neighborhood where they developed the SpaceX product, and they’ve taken a Model 3 and put guidewheels on it and they’re running it through the tunnel at 60 miles per hour.

Tesla fans are super brain geniuses compared to the Boring/Loop fans, but there have been numerous press reports about Musk's Journey To The Center of the Earth which have skipped over this simple fact (most, in fact, I had to research a lot to make sure it was true): Musk's super exciting Boring company, thus far, has done nothing but dig a tunnel with an off the shelf used tunneling machine from China. So many press reports made it sound as if it was some sort of exciting new invention. No. It's a machine they bought.

No You're Stupid

I alternate between being glad other countries are as dumb as ours or being horrified. Either way, recent years have shown that elites in the UK - and the Tories especially - are so so stupid. And in the UK the Tories are supposed to be the smart ones, because they've all been to Eton and Oxbridge, while at least a few members of Labour are graduates of lowly places like Durham.

Where Do They Go From Here

I've never really known what the major players in Brexit want. What would they decide, if any of them were actually the decider? What does May want? What do the supposed hardcore Brexiteers want? What do the Labour MPs (or TIG) whose position on the whole thing seems depend on how they can be the most mad at Corbyn on that particular day want?

Presumably May's deal will go down in flames for the 3rd time and then April 12 will be the new crash out date...unless? I have no idea.

Running A Message Board Is Hard

No this is not a criticism of you, dear readers, but it is actually true, and it's hard in ways that people who have never done it do not understand but since the dawn of online communications it is something that people rediscover over and over again.

Someone, though I forget who, on the twitter box made this point recently, that after pretending for a decade that it wasn't a message board, Facebook is finally realizing that it is one and it comes with all of the troubles that running a message board comes with that some of us have understood forever. Twitter, too, though not in precisely the same way.

That's separate from facebook's "hand over all your data and private messages to anyone who waves a fiver under Zuck's nose" issues, but it is one of their issues.

Morons and Cowards


The first lesson is the importance and rarity of sound, realistic judgment on foreign policy — above all in the use of military force. Washington Post columnist Max Boot is right that a big majority of the political class and population at large supported the Iraq War, but the implication is the opposite of what he claims. Far from being a difficult decision that was understandable at the time, this support betrays only that the American political class is suffused with morons and cowards.


In about 5 years John McCain's name recognition will be down to Jake Tapper and the visitors to his John McCain shrine.

Exaggeration, of course, but nobody but reporters (very objective ones) thinks what Donald Trump says about John McCain matters to anyone.

Morning Thread


Thursday, March 21, 2019

And Then?

France and Belgium want a May 9 Brexit deadline.

Any later and the UK has to have EU elections.

Of course no one has any idea what exactly is supposed to happen between now and May 9. They're going to kick the can BUT WILL THE CAN KICK BACK???

Fortunately They Don't Need Unanimity

Oh wait they do.

Take Power And Then...

If you don't use it, you'll lose it, as we see over and over again.

An odd disconnect has opened up in the Democratic approach to President Trump. On the one hand, Democrats rhetorically treat his presidency as a rolling national emergency, as an existential threat to our democracy.

Yet on the other hand, in several crucial ways, Democrats are badly muddling that message, by refraining from doing what might be described as the congressional oversight equivalent of breaking the emergency glass.

Democrats always think the opposite, that the danger is in using power. They're wrong. Or, at least, you've done something while you could.

Well we'll just ride this one out until the next election. And then the next one. And then the next one.

There are babies in cages.

Who Indeed

There will possibly come a moment when the Trump scandals boil over and become so immense and unignorable that our great purveyors of conventional wisdom will decide, as they always do, that it's just time for the country to move on and heal. For the good of the people and democracy or some shit. Bygones.

So who paid Trump Victory for their photos?

Yang isn’t saying — but she and three associates with an Asian-American political group donated a total of $135,500 to Trump Victory in the weeks leading up to the event. None of those associates would comment either. One of them told the Miami Herald she could not recall making a $25,000 donation listed in her name and address.

Corbyn Derangement Syndrom

Much of the politics in Britain these days isn't even about Brexit. It's about how most of the elite political class (Tories, most of the press, and the Blairites in Labour) hate Jeremy Corbyn. The guy isn't beyond criticism and certainly if you don't agree with his politics you aren't going to like him. Brits have a slightly more open if still complicated and confused version of our own "what does it mean to be a journalist instead of an advocate" question. But it really is at the point where if Corbyn wears a hat one day they decide that's evidence he's unfit, and if he doesn't wear a hat one day they decide that's evidence he's unfit.

In terms of Brexit, what the political press wanted (including the ones who are paid to be racist liars for right wing publications, mostly) was an Oxford debate between the anti-Brexit forces and the pro-Brexit forces, with the former led by a Labour leader who wanted nothing more than to dissolve his own party and form a new third party containing anti-Brexit Tory and Labour members, which would otherwise be basically a Tory party. The anti-Brexit forces would defeat the other side with Facts and Logic, Ben Shapiro-style, and somehow Brexit would be over. It's their version of the third party fantasies our press has here. Maybe Howard Schultz is a UK citizen?

America's Worst Humans

Steve Rattner.


Someone needs to talk to the California Department of Labor.

While declining to elaborate on how many people were working underneath the tent or who from the Tesla accompanied the tour, Ives said his group viewed a "robust" and "streamlined" production process.

"In terms of the tent, this is not a situation where you have workers taking lunch breaks and relaxing," Ives said. "You sense at Fremont this is a company that has pressure on the manufacturing process, just given underlying demand they're seeing in Europe and China."

Good thing the employees aren't [record scratch] taking lunch breaks.

In California, an employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than five hours per day without providing the employee with a meal period of not less than thirty minutes, except that if the total work period per day of the employee is no more than six hours, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employer and employee