Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The National Poll Is The Only Thing That Matters

Not true, of course.

In 2012 Obama was basically never up that much over Romney in national polling.

Afternoon Thread


The CNN to Fox Pipeline

Lou Dobbs, John Roberts, Bill Hemmer, Tucker Carlson, Greta Van Susteren, Howie Kurtz, ....

Communicating True Things To Readers And Maybe Trying To Explain Things A Bit

It isn't new, but political reporters thinking (or claiming to think) that their job is to perform some elaborate ritual to keep sources happy and maintain some illusion of "balance" instead of trying to do what the title says is even more absurd now. People think journalism is important (yes) and think the New York Times does good work (of course it does some good work) and think supporting journalism means paying for the New York Times (no, really, no, it's like supporting higher education by donating to Harvard). And if you like the product pay for it. That's fine. But don't pay for it because you think you are fulfilling some sort of civic duty by paying for it. The New York Times has been hurting America my whole life. Every "but her emails" joke is about the New York Times and I don't know why everybody forgot this the day after the election.

Why should I pay for Peter Baker to call Ben Domenech to get quotes for a piece which basically blames normal people and "both sides" for the fact that elites, including elite journalists and columnists, and mostly Republican and conservative elites, are devoted to deceiving normal people, or at best obscuring the truth? Do your damn job and tell us who is full of shit. That isn't always completely clear, but often it is!

Unless that isn't your job... in which case, what would I be paying for again?

What Is Truth? An Elusive Custard, Surrounding A Willow Tree

What is wrong with the New York Times.
While truth was deemed an endangered species in the nation’s capital long before President Trump’s arrival, it has become axiomatic in the era of “alternative facts” that each person or party entertains only their own preferred variant, resisting contrary information.
Both sides, you see, have alternative facts, and it is beyond my duties as one of the most elite journalists in the country, to go beyond this formulation. I will, however, get a Republican to comment on this.
“We’re in a dangerous moment,” said Peter Wehner, a former strategic adviser to President George W. Bush and a vocal critic of Mr. Trump. “The danger is people come to believe that nobody is giving them the facts and reality, and everybody can make up their own script and their own narrative.”
Everybody can just make up their own script. Everybody! Who else should I quote?
“The story of the past half-century is the steady degradation of trust in the institutions and gatekeepers of American life,” said Ben Domenech, the founder of The Federalist, a conservative news site. “Everything from politics to faith to sports has been revealed as corrupted or corruptible. And every mismanaged war, failed hurricane response, botched investigation and doping scandal furthers this view.”
How about a plagiarist who runs a hate site? Good idea.

The whole thing is really just my full page ad in the New York Times for "why you should cancel your subscription to the New York Times."

Midnight Thread


Monday, December 09, 2019

One Million Robotaxis

The Musk faithful still believe.
This past Saturday, some typical police activity turned chaotic after a Tesla Model 3 slammed into a police cruiser on the side of I-95 in Connecticut.

The scene, which until the crash was simply State Police responding to a disabled vehicle on the freeway, turned wild as the Model 3 first hit the police car, continued on to hit the disabled vehicle and finally came to a stop with some assistance from a second state trooper.

The driver told police he was checking on his dog in the back seat and had Tesla's Autopilot system engaged. Tesla does not advertise Autopilot as a completely self-driving system, though the name remains controversial, with critics saying it overpromises its abilities. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this incident.

Next Time

It really doesn't matter how badly things went in Afghanistan or Iraq or anywhere else, or that nobody could articulate a goal for either adventure. As soon as the Foreign Policy Estalishment shines the Eye of Sauron on Some Other Bad Guy I Mean Humanitarian Mission, all the usual suspects will fall all over themselves to say We Must Do Something and "something" always means freedom bombs.

I get surprised at how fast these things happen. Remember when Donald Trump bombed Syria and that was the day he became president and then everyone forgot about Syria?

Afternoon Thread

There are those who say that truth is but an illusion.


Journalists do something transparently awful.

And then make an even worse attempt at defending it.

Or you could realize the story is actually "Liz Warren made surprisingly little money over the course of many years. Interesting!"

But, Atrios, they do good work, too! Yes, I know, our elite newspapers have both GOOD JOURNALISM and BAD JOURNALISM but the daily politics coverage is almost uniformly shitty and dangerous. And deranged.

Yes I Expect Better Of Democrats

People often get mad when I make some critical remarks about certain prominent Democratic politicians. You might notice I don't say "so just vote for Trump!" It's sort of a given that the Dems are better, which is why I vote for them, but also... I expect a bit more from them?

I get that expecting more from Democrats is a weird thing objectitudinal reporters do, even as they fail to acknowledge that is what they are doing. Their double standard is because they are both sidesing everything. My "double standard" is that I...want them to be better.

Better Give It Another 18 Years

36 More Friedmans!
A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.

Always surging surging surging towards freedom!
A person identified only as a senior National Security Council official said there was constant pressure from the Obama White House and Pentagon to produce figures to show the troop surge of 2009 to 2011 was working, despite hard evidence to the contrary.

How Much Do The Children Of Rich People Pay For Chocolate Milk?

A useful thing in recent years has been the ending of various dodges by the "better things aren't possible" crowd. The more "centrist" Dem candidate and their supporters aren't out there saying, well, this lefty goal is good but gotta get it through the Senate and whatchagonnado? They're saying better things are, actually, bad.

Not inspiring but good to know.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Sunday Evening

Tomorrow is...

Our Buddies

A weird thing I see a lot is older people being confused that people under the age of 50 don't automatically see Russia as the enemy something something cold war USSR commies. In no way am I offering this up as a defense of Putin or the various Russia-related activities that are happening at the moment, but from the fall of the Soviet Union until very recently it was very much deliberate US policy and, yes, propaganda from the usual media adjacent elements of the blob that Russia was our good buddy. The whiplash for most people isn't "hur dur how can people like Russia???" it's the opposite. When did they become our enemy??? The actual relationship began to sour during the Obama administration for various reasons but "Russia is actually bad now" didn't really become a thing until very recently.

How Much Do The Children Of Rich Parents Pay For College?

The answer (for most) is zero. It is free for the children of rich parents, folks. That's no malarkey! Malarkey free zone here.

Well Then

I know LOL nothing Trump says matters but if a prominent Democrat said something like this "we'd" be talking about the Democrats' anti-Semitism problem for the next 25 years.


Maybe transporters?

It's maddening that transit agencies are run by people who want "innovative ideas." If you have no extra money, run lots of buses. If you have a bit of money and political will, run lots of buses with increasing degrees of their own rights of way (dedicated lanes, priority signals, separated lanes, etc...). If you have more money it's rail (sometimes even just making more use of what's already there). There's no magic, but also it isn't complicated.
Got an idea how to move lots of people between the Secaucus train station, MetLife Stadium and the American Dream retail and entertainment complex? Now is the time to formally pitch them to NJ Transit.

Close to a month after the transit agency held its innovation challenge on Nov. 7 at the Meadowlands with 140 participants, the agency now wants formal ideas from firms with the wherewithal to make them happen.
NJ Transit wants an idea with the capability to move 20,000 people an hour from Secaucus Junction to MetLife Stadium for special events, double the amount that can be transported now. The agency also wants transit ideas that can move up to 6,000 people an hour on a daily basis to and from American Dream.
20,000/hour is hard without good rail. 6,000 is easy and it just requires a lot of buses.

Overnight Thread

Have fun.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

If You Can't Even Stand Up To McKinsey

Just laughing at Mayo Pete trying to claim that his former employer has cast a silence spell on him that not even a president could break.

diGenova and Toensing

It's probably the case that only weirdos who had cable news brain back in the 1990s when few people had cable news brain remember Joe and Vicky from that era, but when time traveler me goes back and explains 2019 to 1999 me, 1999 me is going to be pretty pissed off that Joe and Vicky are still around somehow. These deep Republicans operatives never disappear. Except maybe they have!

Oh, Elon

"Pedo guy" guy Elon Musk wins his court case.