Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Tuesday Night

Rock on.

Happy Hour

Tequila Tuesday.

Freak Show

Just a little, as a treat.

Fish Hook

Ingraham's just echoing the sentiment we've heard in endless articles, except making it political by pinning on Democrats instead of "liberals" generally.

Some people love covid, love not seeing anyone, love being isolated, want everyone else to suffer in that glorious fashion, and that's why we published dozens of articles about this based on the fact that some people were spotted wearing masks outside last July.

That was the party line from a certain clique of centrists, before they moved onto to "akshually, black people are the real racists."

Priorities Change

You don't have to perceive all old people as heartless bastards who don't care about their grandkids to understand that certain priorities are going to slip a little bit. Fighting for, say, proper school funding is something you're more likely to do when you have kids in school, or even just have peers who have kids in schools.

That doesn't mean people inevitably oppose these things as they age, just that they will fall down the list at least a little bit.

I'm less likely than I once was to get excited about new infrastructure projects (SUPERTRAINS!!!) than I was a few years ago, in part because, well, by the time they come online I'm going to be not quite as young as I used to be.

Small shifts in priorities as the population ages (and the median age of members of Congress) can easily lead to big shifts in actual policy outcomes.

Lunch Thread

No more turkey.

Technocracy

One part of the liberal governance agenda has been, for decades, to put our faith in experts and to stress the independence of government agencies. Sure you don't want expert advice to be corrupted, and you want some protection from the massive power of the federal government merely being at the whim of one man, but ultimately we do elect a boss and that boss needs to step in and tell them what to do sometimes.

Even the best most expert staffed agency filled with nothing but benevolent public-minded civil servants are only on one piece of the puzzle at a time, and sometimes an agenda needs to be comprehensive.

Of course there's no reason to assume such expertise and benevolence, and in fact maintaining a sense of independence moves corruption into the hands of much less accountable individuals.

Some happy balance exists, but I'm pretty sure that for a lot of things we're waaay off balance all in one direction.

Nothing guarantees the people running these shops are smartest than the average blogger.

You're Making Us Look Bad, Chris

Years ago, most of the press freaked out when Obama's people considered shutting out Fox. "One of our sister organizations," decreed Jake Tapper. And of course there's a case to be made that the White House should be open to a variety of outlets, even opinionated ones, maybe even ones with a clearer agenda than that, but that's very different than pointing to an outlet like Fox and saying, "They is us."

I'm regularly struck by who supposedly serious journalists include "in the club." It can be a big club, but some members degrade brand journalism quite a bit, to put it mildly.

In any case, if Chris Cuomo gets to remain in the club, then, well...

The Election is Over, Campaign Season Begins

I'm not entirely sure the "election every two years" thing was a good idea, and it certainly isn't a good idea in an era when a lot of segments of the political-media-industrial complex prefer the campaigns and talking about the campaigns to the actual governing part.

Tuesday Morning

Another month ending.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Monday Night

Rock on.

Happy Hour Thread

Get happy.

Oh Dear Time For Another Blogger Ethics Panel

Crazy what they get up to.
CNN host Chris Cuomo used his sources in the media world to seek information on women who accused his brother Andrew Cuomo, then the governor of New York, of sexual harassment, according to documents released Monday by the New York Attorney General’s Office.

Gotta Play The Game Well

Readers of this very fine blog know that I have spent a lot of time faulting our prestige media outlets for many sins, especially the fact that they've consistently rigged the game for one side.

Still it is the game, and you gotta suit up even for a rigged game.

I have various theories (there isn't one reason) about why they continue to be bad at it, but ultimately Dems can't expect the news outlets to do their job for them, and they can't expect a duck to be a swan.

No point in yelling "unfair" after the final buzzer, either. Too late then!

The Great Escape

Afternoon long read. 

Salty

I think what depresses me most is that after witnessing various not minor catastrophes in my life, the speed at which "everyone" always reverts to normal, particularly the people in charge, is incredible.

Imagine that you are a politician, someone who made the effort to put yourself in a position of power, and you think in the Year of Our Gritty 2021, what you were put in office to do was protect pharmaceutical profits and devote your time and energy to making sure rich people in New Jersey got their big tax break returned to them.

That your response when the lobbyists come knocking isn't just, "Fuck you, assholes! Turn on the news!"

Lunch Thread

That time again.

Novelization

Can't remembember what it was, precisely, have a vague sense that I read a novel about a global pandemic in which repeatededly the way through seemed in reach, but idiotic decisions by weak and corrupt leaders, along with a reasonable amount of stupidity from the general population, ultimately doomed civilization.

The Noble Humanitarian Mission In Libya

One wonders why I'm skeptical of such things.
In the past six years, the European Union, weary of the financial and political costs of receiving migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, has created a shadow immigration system that stops them before they reach Europe. It has equipped and trained the Libyan Coast Guard, a quasi-military organization linked to militias in the country, to patrol the Mediterranean, sabotaging humanitarian rescue operations and capturing migrants. The migrants are then detained indefinitely in a network of profit-making prisons run by the militias. In September of this year, around six thousand migrants were being held, many of them in Al Mabani. International aid agencies have documented an array of abuses: detainees tortured with electric shocks, children raped by guards, families extorted for ransom, men and women sold into forced labor. “The E.U. did something they carefully considered and planned for many years,” Salah Marghani, Libya’s Minister of Justice from 2012 to 2014, told me. “Create a hellhole in Libya, with the idea of deterring people from heading to Europe.”
This isn't obviously a direct consequence of that, but it's a reminder that the people who scream about the humanitarian justifications for bombing the shit out of people are rarely humanitarians.

(The instigators of our recent Libyan adventures were more France and the UK than us, but there didn't seem to be much arm twisting needed. Maybe we're just too trusting.)

I Guess Regulated Taxi Fares Were Good, Akshually

Now that Uber has moved beyond its "losing money on every ride but making it up on volume" business model, I regularly see people complaining about their extreme fares. 

 I tried to warn you. 

 Anyway, normal taxis still operate some places, especially at airports and similar, and those fares are generally regulated still...

One of those subjects that used to enrage some people. "Sorry, my man, I think offering fares below cost while not obeying any taxi or labor regulations might cause some problems down the line..."

Yes some places weren't previously well-served by taxis, but some were.

Monday

I thought Biden was gonna outlaw Mondays.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Sunday Night

Rock on.