Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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...

Afternoon Thread



So many grifters have tried to to implement "the Republican version of ActBlue."

The heart of the problem, McConnell said at the event at party headquarters on Capitol Hill, is ActBlue. The Democratic fundraising tool funneled over $700 million in small donations to House and Senate candidates over the course of the 2018 campaign. The GOP leader said Republicans were getting swamped in the hunt for online givers and that he’d charged his political team with coming up with a solution to enable them to compete in 2020.

I'm too lazy to find them all, but there was Rightroots, Slatecard, Big Red Tent, RedStormPac, ActRight...

Parliamentary Crisis

I chatted with a couple of UK journalists about this a few weeks ago and I don't think they quite had the answer. It's conventional wisdom that if May brings some sort of deal to parliament and they vote it down that it's election time. But no one seems to quite know what happens if there's just... no deal brought to a vote at all.

Senior cabinet ministers led by Brexit secretary Dominic Raab will tell Theresa May that the current deal on offer from the EU is unacceptable and she should prepare for the UK to leave with no deal if she cannot secure further concessions.

In a significant raising of the pressure on May from inside her own cabinet, the group of senior ministers will make clear to the prime minister that they could not support a deal that breaches their two red lines.

No one seems to come to terms with the idea that "no deal" will have to involve... lots of deals.

Maybe Someone Should Ask Trump About This

Every Trump twitter endorsement was basically a form tweet which went something like "Is a a great guy! Loves our law enforcement and our troops and vets, tough on crime and our border!!!"

Love the Vets.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is suffering from a series of information technology glitches that has caused GI Bill benefit payments covering education and housing to be delayed or — in the case of Roundtree — never be delivered.

"I’m about to lose everything that I own and become homeless," Roundtree said. "I don’t want to be that veteran on the street begging for change because I haven’t received what I was promised."

A Stiff Breeze

The consequences of elections are huge, of course, but I do think it's always a bit wrong to overthink What It All Means. Lots of elections are close and with a different dice roll things would be very different. Obviously electing Trump mattered quite a bit, but one problem with all the diner pieces and obsession with Trump voters is that.. he lost the popular vote and barely won the electoral college (yes numerically he won but with some very close states).

So does +40ish Dem House seats say an immense amount about the country that +25ish wouldn't have? Not so much. Sure the more the better, but I don't think the it changes what the think pieces should be all that much. Tells us something about trends in specific states and districts, but no so much about the soul of the country.

Counting Votes, How Does It Work

The people who are paid lots of money to go on your teevee and declare election results should perhaps have some idea how the election systems work (or don't) in different states.

Overnight Thread

have fun

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday Afternoon

Get your Sunday on.

High School History Modern American History, 2040

It occurs to me the Iraq war won't even exist.

It barely exists now.

Those of us who did our own small (very small) part trying to stop it remember how it was the most important conflict since Normandy.

And then...

Democrats Only Win In Places They Win

This is a fair thing to talk about when they are, you know, losing, but when they are actually winning it is so weird. Democrats only win in, um, blue states! Yah, ok, whatever.

It's Always Sunny

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Did You Know Helicopters Can't Fly In The Rain?

Wow reporters are gullible.