Thursday, November 15, 2018

Thursday Night

Tomorrow is...

Snow Day

Feels like a Sunday, but not.

Neat But Ultimately Not All That Useful

Even I acknowledge that one day we might upload our brains into robots - including robot cars! As I have been saying

It'll be decades before autonomous cars are widespread on the roads -- and even then, they won't be able to drive themselves in certain conditions, the CEO of Waymo said Tuesday.

John Krafcik, head of the self-driving car unit of Google parent company Alphabet, said that though driverless cars are "truly here," they're not yet ubiquitous. And he doesn't think the industry will ever achieve the highest driving rating of being able to drive at any time of year in any weather and any condition.

Obviously even now they "work" to an extent that is quite impressive and neat! But the fantasy of robot uber taxis driving around, say, Philadelphia, has always been that. (If you read Tesla fan boy boards many of them believe Elon's gonna give them a software update in a few months that'll let them rent their existing cars out as robot taxis when they don't need them). Not gonna happen any time soon. Their utility will be so limited as to basically be gimmicky or as part of the general research project, with a few very niche applications that are much more about the neato factor than any sort of viable consumer/business model,

When You Check and Re-Check To Make Sure It's Not A Parody Or Joke


Apropos Of Nothing

There was a time (long past, alas) when I probably could've made this blog a launching pad to other more seriously grifty activities and whether due to laziness or ethics I didn't.

Everything I do, I do it for you.

Brain Worms


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Later Night Thread

Lean All The Fucking Way In

Did I mention THE JEEEWWWS?

While Mr. Zuckerberg conducted a public apology tour in the last year, Ms. Sandberg has overseen an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat Facebook’s critics, shift public anger toward rival companies and ward off damaging regulation. Facebook employed a Republican opposition-research firm to discredit activist protesters, in part by linking them to the liberal financier George Soros. It also tapped its business relationships, persuading a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic.

Our critics are tools of THE JEWS and also they hate Jews.

As I Said

Brave brave Tory rebels, always rebelling.


I'm too lazy right now to parse the latest "deal" but as usual rumors are being floated of DUP defections and Tory Rebels and...

hahaha. not gonna happen. They'll fall in line and keep supporting May. I don't entirely know why, but...

Lunch Thread


Maybe An Improvement Over Subsidizing Casinos

Probably not even, given the magnitude of the subsidy offers to Amazon, but I do wonder how much of this stuff is "corrupt" and how much of it is "stupid." You don't have to choose, of course, as people individually and collectively can be both corrupt and stupid! But "casinos as economic development strategy worthy of massive subsidies" have been a staple of locations for decades, and not only do they never deliver they often manage to go bankrupt! I'd almost prefer "corrupt" to "stupid" as the explanation because how damn stupid do you have to be to think a casino is going to save your city? But I'm not even sure...

I Didn't Do It

Good thing nobody reads OUR newspaper. Maggie:

But since the election last week, Mr. Trump has tweeted about the caravan exactly once — to issue a proclamation preventing those who cross the border illegally from applying for asylum in the United States. Fox News, which faithfully amplified Mr. Trump’s warnings about the migrants, has gone similarly quiet on the subject.


While the caravan has faded from television screens, the costs of Mr. Trump’s response to it have not. Nearly 6,000 active-duty troops remain deployed from the Gulf Coast to Southern California, where they are putting up tents and stringing concertina wire to face a ragtag band that is still not near the border.

Faded from the television screens. Damn you television screens!

Notably, The New York Times and The Washington Post have run a total of 115 news stories in their print editions mentioning the caravan over the last three weeks. Each paper has run at least one such story on its front page on nine of the last 10 days.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pouty McPoutFace

I try not to dwell too much on the psychology of the man, as most of it's rather obvious and, well, who cares, ultimately? I am more fascinated by some of the dynamics between the various Trumpkins as I don't quite get how it works. Still the one thing about him specifically I don't get is how much he really does want to be liked, and how he putrid he has to be to not understand just *how goddamn easy that would be as president if he would just stop being a bit of a dick for 5 minutes every now and then*.

But his mood apparently has changed as he has taken measure of the electoral backlash that voters delivered Nov. 6. With the certainty that the incoming Democratic House majority will go after his tax returns and investigate his actions, and the likelihood of additional indictments by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Trump has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment, according to multiple administration sources.

Behind the scenes, they say, the president has lashed out at several aides, from junior press assistants to senior officials. “He’s furious,” said one administration official. “Most staffers are trying to avoid him.”

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, painted a picture of a brooding president “trying to decide who to blame” for Republicans’ election losses, even as he publicly and implausibly continues to claim victory.

I know being a bit of dick (a lot of a dick) is what makes him popular with the MAGA crowd, but they're stupid and don't really care about policy. He can huff and puff all he wants on twitter as long as he stops doing things like putting babies in cages. I'm sure Chuck Schumer would happily play along as long as the Dems got thrown the occasional bone. They could have passed an Obamacare "repeal" which didn't really, said now it's "Trumpcare" and it's great, and had Chuck march out there to say he just couldn't beat the negotiating prowess of President Details and he just had no choice, thank you Mr. President may I have another.

There was that moment..I guess it was about a year ago... when there was talk that there could be some sort of compromise immigration legislation to preserve DACA. Chuck-N-Nancy went and had a talk, and obviously Chuck knows how to speak old man New York City, and Nancy knows how to flatter gross old men, and for a moment Donald actually seemed to be enjoying himself and ready to compromise. I might even correctly remember a smile. Then Fox and the White House MAGAs got to him and he went back to sulking and being a dick.

Democrats are forgiving totebaggers. He'd be at 50%+ popularity and probably presiding over a winning election if he had just dialed it down a little bit. Also, I even think, a little bit happier.


The absurd thing is that NYC is rather a large place and 25,000 jobs is basically measurement error in the monthly employment stats. Again, that many jobs in a small location might have a great impact (likely bad, at least for existing residents given the current state of NYC's housing and transportation) on that particular location and related transportation links, but the idea that anyone in NYC or NYS could argue that 25,000 jobs in a city of 9 million is... important... and worth all those subsidies is ridiculous.

Under the agreement, first announced by Amazon in a blog post, the company would receive performance-based direct incentives of $1.525 billion based on the company creating 25,000 jobs in Long Island City, most of which come from a state tax credit. “Amazon will receive these incentives over the next decade based on the incremental jobs it creates each year,” th[e] company wrote.

That's a minimum subsidy $ as there will be many other pots of money for them to puts their hands in.

Afternoon Thread


What For

As people start counting up the absurd amounts of public money that are going to be handed over to Amazon, I'll ask the dumb question of why most municipalities are unable to comprehend that providing nice things for their citizens is also a good way to attract a tax base. I mean, build a damn park. Improve your schools. Clean the streets (this is a Philly thing). These things are relatively cheap compared to throwing hundreds of millions at companies that don't need them anyway.


Low Housing Costs Are A Priority

I think the impacts of Amazon showing up to a city (good and bad!) were largely exaggerated. In my urban hellhole, people were fretting over FIFTY THOUSAND JOBS altering the place entirely, and my basic point was that if I said "job growth over the next 5 years would average 10,000 annually" no one would have thought it excessive. That's not to say that sticking 50,000 in jobs in essentially one spot wouldn't have some impacts, just that the city in the aggregate could handle that. (I also didn't think Amazon showing up would be especially good, just didn't care).

But the one thing that stood in Amazon's spirit quest was that they were interested in more affordable housing costs. Places that could actually absorb those jobs.. So, you know, congratulations on putting your major white collar presence in [checks notes] Seattle, San Francisco, and now the DC area, and New York City.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Horrible And The Next One Will Be Worse

The basic theme of Trumpkins going forward.

President Trump has decided to remove Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and her departure from the administration is likely to occur in the coming weeks, if not sooner, according to five current and former White House officials.

And she probably heard about this right as I did!

The Stone Zone

Even If They Pretended To Care, Reporters Wouldn't Pretend To Believe Them

A lot of people in politics and media over the years have, in various way, said that Democrats are just not as good at the game. If you're a journalist and not just a political hack this kind of observation should make you take a long look in the mirror and think about what you do every day. Oh, so you say it's a game, do you? And one you play a role in? Interesting.

If every Democrat and hack fanned out over cable news to suppress outrage over Trump being too lazy to go to Arlington, journalists would just roll their eyes and treat it like the fake outrage that it was. That's what they should do when Republicans do it. And yet...