Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Morning Thread

Monday, December 10, 2018

Wow Tell Us More About This Process By Which The President Plants Disinformation

Sounds like a big story!!!

Monday Evening



We basically don't enforce anti-trust laws anymore so it seems anachronistic when maybe we do. Back when I was young and innocent I learned about all the anti-competitive behaviors which were "illegal per se" versus activities for which the legality depended on other factors. Price fixing between supposed competitors was illegal per se, no matter what, but lol nothing matters.

Tweets Mere Minutes Apart

Most of the UK press for whatever reason fails to communicate just what an omnishambles all of it is.

No one really has a particular clue what is happening, even though it’s my literal job. But then no one in Number 10 Downing Street does either. Michael Gove spent Monday morning stating clearly, again and again, that the Tuesday ‘Meaningful Vote’ was absolutely, definitely going ahead. Just before lunchtime, a No 10 press officer told the assembled political journalists in the lobby that the vote was going ahead, no matter what. At the same time, another No 10 staff member told other political journalists that Theresa May was pulling the vote. Schrodinger’s vote existed for around half an hour, both alive and dead, until May killed it, confirming there would be no vote, as she was bound to lose it. The prime minister would make a statement at 3.30pm.

OK the reason is that most of the press is obviously right wing with even the sainted BBC becoming a Tory Shop (UKIP, despite maxing out at 2 MPs, regularly got a "3rd seat" in political shows). What's left of the left wing press is mostly divided between New Labour/Blairites who hate Corbyn because he isn't that, and those who hate Corbyn because he hasn't turned Labour vs. Tory into a singular Team Remain vs. Team Brexit contest.

Monday Crass Commercialism

Buy an electric kettle! Why not?

The Market

I have a bit of fun with the dog track fluctuations here, but I do dislike when liberals implicitly embrace the stock market=the economy frame which dominates coverage of such things. It matters, of course, but not nearly as much as the emphasis it gets and day to day fluctuations matter little except to the people who try to make money off of day to day fluctuations.

Norway or Bust

Norway(ish) is the only Brexit thing which ever made any sense at all. Also mostly pointless and stupid! But not a big deal.

With the U.K. Parliament balking at Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, Norway’s arrangement with the European Union is getting another look. It’s a model that might just find broader support -- at least as a temporary move -- until a better answer can be found. Supporters say it’s a lifeboat option that honors the result of the 2016 referendum in which Britons voted to exit the bloc, while minimizing damage to the U.K. economy by ensuring closer ties than May’s plan would. But the route is fraught with obstacles of its own, not least of which is that the EU might not agree.

I'm sure the EU would be fine with "Norway" just not "Norway with a bunch of Rube Goldberg bullshit so the Tories can tell their idiots that Brexit means Brexit."

And Then What

A part of me wants to believe that the Tories (May) have gamed out where they realistically want this Brexit thing to go but I have never seen any evidence that they've gamed it out past tomorrow. Or 2 days ago, really.

Theresa May has postponed the final vote on her Brexit deal after a last-minute conference call with cabinet ministers, a clear admission by the prime minister that she does not believe she can get the unpopular EU withdrawal agreement through the Commons.

Brexit Interrupted

October 2018 was supposed to be the drop dead date for this.

Two cabinet sources have told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg Tuesday's planned Brexit vote will be delayed.

A Beat So Sweet

Beat sweeteners have become ridiculous. Once upon a time they were more about elevating the stock of some slightly minor Washington figure, with the idea that they might actually become a useful source. Good journalism? I don't know, but there was at least a justification. Now they all rush to do celebrity profiles of the most powerful people so that they can get on the list of people who do fawning profiles of powerful celebrity people. Just print the damn press releases and run the enclosed photos and go home early.

Morning Thread

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Sure, Elon

I don't know how many times he gets to make these promises before getting sued out of existence.

Because I have weird hobbies, I nose around the internet Tesla forums sometimes and there are people who really believe Elon's gonna flip the switch and turn their Tesla into a moneymaking robotaxi for them soon.

Happy Hour

Get to it, this Happy Hour Thread may not last long.


Americans who become overnight experts on the politics of other countries always make me roll my eyes. Imagine an outsider trying to understand American politics. People from other countries actually hear about American politics on a regular basis, but they still (mostly) have no idea. Most Americans hear nothing about the politics of other countries and then hear about one issue or policy in isolation and think they can pass judgment on the popular response to it or the people or political party responsible for it. There's an almost impenetrable historical and cultural context to all of this stuff, and thinking you can pull out one thread and understand it in relation to US politics is ridiculous.

I don't know a damn thing about the politics of most other countries. I know a bit about Spanish politics. I know enough about UK politics to comment intelligently about it. The rest... not so much. I have knowledge about other countries, but politics is a messy complicated thing that requires more than just a bit of knowledge.

And most of the time, frankly, it's none of "our" business. Sure it's a big interconnected world and some obvious human rights related stuff transcends borders, but a lot of politics is just internal stuff that really is opaque to outsiders and can't be understood from a couple of NYT headlines.

Our own politics can't even be understood from a couple of usually misleading NYT headlines.

Not How It Works

It occurs to me that much in American politics is about white people who think of themselves as "middle class" (don't want to debate what that actually means) imagining they are mediating a dispute between the very rich and the very poor.

When really they're defending their own class interests as the rich spend a lot of money trying to convince them that it's the poor who are trying to take all their money away.

Circular Firing Squad

Primary season is arriving, and some candidates are going to have dumb ideas and some are going to have smart ideas and some are going to have some annoying things in their past records on these things and some are going to prioritize different things than I do which makes them bad.

So this blog is pivoting to dog videos.

...multitasking is hard.

Sunday, Sunday

Family-related program activities going on.

Cold Morning Thread

29°, not so, so bad.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Evening Thread

With a sleepy cat

Afternoon Thread



I know it's my boring obsession, but these people have no idea how anything works.

Will Amtrak ever start making regular stops at the NJ Transit Secaucus rail station, near MetLife stadium and the American Dream mega-mall and entertainment complex?


“We raised the issue with Amtrak and we continue raise it with a loud voice,” said Jim Kirkos, Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer. “Even if it’s just a few stops a day, it makes it more convenient for people coming from the North or South, whether it’s for a sporting event or American Dream.”

When Kirkos says from the North or South, he doesn’t mean Jersey. He’s talking about people traveling from from Washington D.C. or Boston. Now, they have to take Amtrak to Manhattan or Newark and double back to Secaucus, he said. NJ Transit trains run between Secaucus andMetLife stadium.

An Amtrak stop at Seacaucus might make sense, but not because a single human being is going to book a trip from DC to the American Dream, and even if they wanted to "a few stops a day" isn't going to make that an attractive option.