Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Wednesday Night

Rock on.

Happy Hour Thread

A Pareene throwback.

Fair, Balanced, and Blonde

Admittedly it's the kind of crack a liberal critic might make, but not for the same reason.

Not Bothsidesing

Both sides are not perfect, of course, but positing that there is corruption on "both sides" that serves to cover it all up is not suggesting it is of equal magnitude. But when, for example, the nominally Democratic DA of New York City seemingly teams up with the Republican now-Labor Secretary to cover up and minimize the child rape by a rich guy, and the story is perhaps not getting quite as much attention as it should, well..

For example.


Sometimes one wonders what the Republican party has on the Democrats.

Sort of a joke, but the more serious version is that corruption is bipartisan (certainly of the donor classes if not as much the electeds), and no one really wants peeking behind the curtain.

We Tried To Tell You

Not that it's about *me* (as the little voice in my head screams MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE), but it was a bit difficult in the early days of the Obama administration pointing out how badly they were fucking things up. And they did fuck things up and a lot of people suffered and all so Tim Geithner's pals could stay rich and so the Gods Of The Market could be pacified by the continued immiseration of the population. I haven't read Reed's book yet, but he's not the obvious person to play the role of critic.

In the end, the stimulus would prove weaker than even Romer thought. Unemployment would remain over 9 percent until late in 2011. The unimpressive recovery surely contributed to the massive vote swing toward the Republicans in the 2010 midterm elections and their takeover of the House of Representatives; the slow hard march back to prosperity left many voters still bitter even in 2016. To the extent that the decision to ask for a smaller stimulus resulted from, as David Axelrod tells Hundt, “political judgments, not economic judgments,” it backfired. The Democrats gained no evident support for their demonstration of restraint in crafting a spending package, and their apparent ineptitude in fighting the recession weakened them when afterward they sought vital environmental and health care legislation.

That these supergeniuses didn't understand that "I lost my job and am losing my house" was more important than headlines about a fiscally conservative stimulus or lukewarm praise from David Brooks or some bullshit...

Our Special Knowledge

It's probably reasonable to say that the anti-vax movement started out on "The Left" though mostly that particular West Coast slice of "The Left" which is much more about attitude and personal lifestyle choices than actual politics, but since then it's metastasized and is largely a right wing nutter thing. I don't quite get it, though. Trying to read some of The Discourse among its adherents doesn't leave me very enlightened. It doesn't seem to be much deeper than vaccines are bad, and we special people know that, and therefore do not vaccinate our kids, and people who do vaccinate their kids are bad because reasons.

Yes once upon a time the supposed vaccine-autism link was the big I'm not even sure? It's still there, but it isn't the only thing.

Morning Thread

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

My President

He's very online just like us!

A significant portion of the meeting focused on Trump’s concerns that Twitter quietly, and deliberately, has limited or removed some of his followers, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversation who requested anonymity because it was private. Trump said he had heard from fellow conservatives who had lost followers for unclear reasons as well.

Half of conservative twitter is them whining because they think they are being oppressed somehow.

Happy Hour Thread


Hello Fellow Children

The oldest millennials are 38 or so. I'm not entirely sure when 38 became "young" but ok fine 38 is young. But what 38 isn't is 20, and the cultural overlap between 20-year-olds and 38-year-olds is not huge. 38 young is not the same as 20 young.

How It's Going To Go

The Trump administration will fight all oversight. Conservative hack judges, many of whom had nice writeups about them from eventheliberal fancy lawyers, will defer to the executive based on some made up principles. If ever there is a Dem president in office they will rediscover the dangers of such deference - we went a bit too far, you see - and unimpeded oversight will suddenly be the norm.

The circle of life.


Back when I had a tiny bit of contact with DC people, educating them about how the puke funnel works and how to deal with right wing media was part of what I tried to do (informally, mostly). They still are bad at it.
After eight years of the Obama presidency, Democrats should be very good at identifying a baseless smear campaign when they see one. The skills they should have honed under Obama would be crucial now, with prolific liar Donald Trump in office. Relentless fact-checking won’t end Trumpism’s hold on America, but the president’s political opponents ought to at least be able to discern between truth and fiction. Instead, it’s not clear what, if anything, the party’s leaders learned from its Obama-era battles. Faced with a smear campaign against one of its newest congresswomen, the party has stumbled repeatedly.
The instinct is to always blame the victim. This can't happen to me. If I just behave, they won't punch me.


Nicer Things Aren't Possible

I'm not sure if I prefer vague aspirational bullshit or very detailed "all we can hope for is a slightly expanded tax advantaged savings vehicle."

The former is at least a little hopey.

Morning Thread

Monday, April 22, 2019

Not Just Me

Consumer reports.

David Friedman, Vice President of Advocacy for Consumer Reports, said, “Technology has the potential to shape future transportation to be safer, less expensive, and more accessible. Yet, safety must always come first. Today’s driver assistance technologies have helped deliver on safety, but the marketplace is full of bold claims about self-driving capabilities that overpromise and underdeliver. For instance, Tesla’s current driver-assist system, ‘Autopilot,’ is no substitute for a human driver. It can’t dependably navigate common road situations on its own, and fails to keep the driver engaged exactly when it is needed most.

“We’ve heard promises of self-driving vehicles being just around the corner from Tesla before. Claims about the company’s driving automation systems and safety are not backed up by the data, and it seems today’s presentations had more to do with investors than consumers’ safety. We agree that Tesla, and every other car company, has a moral imperative to make transportation safer, and all companies should embrace the most important principle: preventing harm and saving lives.

More Of A Shelbyville Idea

Wasted a bit of time watching Elon's Musk pretend "full self driving" announcement. Then I went to the gym because running on the treadmill was more pleasant.

There's a new chip because at some point Elon got mad that his robot cars weren't working, threw a tantrum, and screamed "WOULD IT HELP IF WE HAD A BETTER CHIP???" And one of his highly paid guys said, uh, sure, Elon, we just need a better chip.

So they made a chip, or paid someone else to make a chip, or something.

It's better than the chip from 3 years ago, but not better than anybody else's chips from... today. But, ok, fine, there's a better chip.

It's a cool chip. And they just have to solve the software problem. Almost there. Gonna solve that software problem. By the end of the year (no, really). And the robotaxis will be ready... next year. IF the regulators approve! Elon always says it needs regulator approval, but he never says who the regulators are because they don't exist.

What a con man.

Afternoon Thread


But What About Me

I wasn't kidding with the last sentence here. I've seen a lot of evenliberals get mad at the idea that someone else is being helped and they weren't. I get it. Sucks to be born at the wrong time. But "no one can have nice things unless I have nice things" is how we got here. Well that and a lot of "this self-made man paid for college with a minimum wage summer job in 1966, why can't you kids???"

3 Months, 6 Months, Certainly By The End Of The Year

Consumer fraud is rampant but it's a bit more of a problem when it involves two ton high speed death machines.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk appears poised to transform the company’s electric cars into driverless vehicles in a risky bid to realize a bold vision that he has been floating for years.

The technology required to make that quantum leap is scheduled to be shown off to Tesla investors Monday at the company’s Palo Alto, California, headquarters.

This is going to be hilarious.


Sounds good to me.
The first step in addressing this crisis is to deal head-on with the outstanding debt that is weighing down millions of families and should never have been required in the first place. That’s why I’m calling for something truly transformational — the cancellation of up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 42 million Americans.
Cue people saying "what about mah college that I paid for?"

Morning Thread

Setting up to be another bumpy week.